January 2, 2009

Karl Rove... "The wounds I received I got in a job I love."

I see that quote in the WSJ's email teaser for a Karl Rove column and click over thinking maybe this will be Karl's musings on all the hate that's been aimed at him over the years. It's not:
During my White House years, I came to know of the heroic actions of the Seals and other special operators in the global war on terror. These men willingly follow evil into dark and perilous places. They volunteered to be on the front edge of the conflict whose outcome will shape this century....

I met [a Seal who had] been shot eight times in Iraq and had undergone nearly two-dozen operations. One bullet had taken off part of his cheek and nose. He was destined for reconstructive surgery in a few days.

Yet he didn't feel sorry for himself. He was full of charisma, confidence, cockiness and joy. After all, he confided, when you're a wounded Seal, the world's best doctors want to operate on you so they can brag about it. Besides, he explained, he was just showing that a Seal really could catch bullets with his teeth....

The next day, I got an email from the retired Navy Seal buddy who'd talked me into speaking at NSWF. He shared a picture of the sign the wounded Seal put on his Baghdad hospital door.

On it, the Seal had scrawled that visitors shouldn't "feel sorry" for him. "The wounds I received," he wrote, "I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough." And on his sign he promised "a full recovery" and wrote that his hospital room was a place of "fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, GO ELSEWHERE." He signed it "The Management."
IN THE COMMENTS: knox said:
There's a wealth of material in the stories of our special forces. Too bad Hollywood ignores them all... there's got to be hundreds of great action/war movies just begging to be made.
Pogo said:
Well, at least we have a good movie about gay rights and other one about/not about pederasty, plus a Hitler movie and a Nixon movie (not the same film, BTW).
Larry J said:
My SEAL story is from October 1975 when I was in Jump School. SEALs go to Jump School after their much tougher UDT training. To them, Jump School is a vacation.

I heard a lot of commotion when falling out for noon formation one day. From what I was told, one of our SEAL students had just jumped from a 3rd story window, did a parachute landing fall, and entered formation saying, "This shit bores me."

I didn't see it happen so I can't swear it's true but it would be typical of SEALs. They're genuine bad-asses not to be messed with.

38 comments:

AllenS said...

Re: Optimism--

Having spent 3 months in a military hospital in Japan, I know what he's talking about.

If Trooper York is awake, let me add this: the year was 1968 and Bart Starr showed up for a visit to the hospital. Some place there is a picture of me in the hospital bed with Bart standing next to the bed. That was the year that the GREEN BAY PACKERS WERE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!

MadisonMan said...

Life can be very fulfilling if you love your job.

knox said...

There's a wealth of material in the stories of our special forces. Too bad Hollywood ignores them all... there's got to be hundreds of great action/war movies just begging to be made.

Meade said...

AllenS,

Just don't forget, to most of us, you yourself, along with your brothers and sisters, are THE true world champions.

Darcy said...

I'd like to say amen to knox and Meade, and a thank you to AllenS.

Pogo said...

I read about the soldier Rove describes a few weeks ago. Made me well up with tears.


"Too bad Hollywood ignores them all..."
Well, at least we have a good movie about gay rights and other one about/not about pederasty, plus a Hitler movie and a Nixon movie (not the same film, BTW).

AlphaLiberal said...

...all the hate that's been aimed at him over the years

Only in Wingnuttia, where criticism = hate could you hear this type of talk.

Another corollary to this should be that Karl Rove dished out far more crap/hate than he took.

And, he (and others) also exposed the identity of a CIA agent working under cover on nuclear weapons proliferation. For this he is celebrated by the right wing.

Rove should be shunned by decent people.

Pogo said...

"And, he (and others) also exposed the identity of a CIA agent"

Oh, is that the current liberal game plan?

The Nation, no right wing rag, wrote this:
"One mystery solved.

It was Richard Armitage, when he was deputy secretary of state in July 2003, who first disclosed to conservative columnist Robert Novak that the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson was a CIA employee."

garage mahal said...

Real men ignore subpoenas.

SteveR said...

Wow Alpha, that is so 2006. Plame and Wilson are enjoying celebrity status in Santa Fe, liberal paradise. No sane person can feel sorry for them and what Richard Armitage did to them.

knox said...

And, he (and others) also exposed the identity of a CIA agent working under cover on nuclear weapons proliferation. For this he is celebrated by the right wing.

Truly, truly dumb. Head up ass dumb.

TosaGuy said...

Of course the wingnut lefties would make this post about Rove, rather then the topic to which Rove was speaking.

All people regardess of ideology should be in complete agreement with Rove on this.

The Drill SGT said...

One minor edit.

All Americans regardess of ideology should be in complete agreement with Rove on this.

Larry J said...

My SEAL story is from October 1975 when I was in Jump School. SEALs go to Jump School after their much tougher UDT training. To them, Jump School is a vacation.

I heard a lot of commotion when falling out for noon formation one day. From what I was told, one of our SEAL students had just jumped from a 3rd story window, did a parachute landing fall, and entered formation saying, "This shit bores me."

I didn't see it happen so I can't swear it's true but it would be typical of SEALs. They're genuine bad-asses not to be messed with.

Matt Eckert said...

May God Bless the Navy Seal that Rove talks about in this story and all of his fellow patriots in the war zones through out the world. They serve to keep us free.

So that worthless assholes like Alphaliberal can spout their nonsense without fear of a knock at the door in dead of night.

Of course there is a change in adminstrations so that might change.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

I didn't see it happen so I can't swear it's true but it would be typical of SEALs. They're genuine bad-asses not to be messed with.

Seals are considered overmuscled, high-ego prima donnas by the SF and Delta guys. Sort of like more mature over trained Rangers that can swim underwater.

Their training focuses on brutal physical regimes, never quitting and overcoming pain.

garage mahal said...

So that worthless assholes like Alphaliberal can spout their nonsense without fear of a knock at the door in dead of night.

Perhaps you missed that the Democrat received a 6-1 advantage in contributions for Pres. from troops abroad last year? What does a recovering Navy Seal and Karl Rove have in common anyway? Him and his ilk have decades voted against any increase Vet benefits or increase for after-care for PTSD or head injuries after being sent on a hairbrain neocon fantasy. USA! USA!

Zeb Quinn said...

I don't know what Rove's real value as a political strategerist is or may ever actually have been. It's a dubious proposition to me. I believe we have seen better ones. But there's no mistaking the way the mere mention of his name strikes shock and awe and mortal terror in the left. Tremble, quake, and soil all over themselves they do, ascribing to him all manner of supernatural abilities and powers, indeed omnipotence. They froth at the mouth, making accusation after accusation of ingenious elaborate and byzantine plots hatched by Rove. It's a wondrous thing to behold, for this capacity alone he is worth his weight in gold.

Funny thing about it is, from all appearances, he's a boogeyman who emanated from the hatreds and delusions they harbored within their own collective id.

Robert R. said...

Funny, I seem to recall GENERATION KILL as a high profile Hollywood release this year. That seems to be part of the "wealth of stories of our special forces".

There really have not been many war movies that have been financially successful in recent times. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and BLACK HAWK DOWN. That's partly down to the audience who seems to be more interested in GLADIATOR or STAR WARS than in contemporary or near-contemporary war stories.

jayne_cobb said...

Perhaps you missed where McCain won the military vote.

Matt Eckert said...

The point garage boy is that the thread is about the Navy Seals guy and like most liberals you and Alphaliberal can not honor their service. Instead everything is about Rove and Bush. Well guess what, they are out of business in a few weeks and you will have to deal with it you commie tools.

al said...

I think Generation Kill was a TV mini-series - not a theater release

The Hollywood theater releases have been very anti-war and anti-military - and have done poorly. I think a movie based on Marcus Lutrell's Lone Survivor or Michael Yon's coverage of the Deuce Four in Iraq would do quite well.

Jason said...

Here's the Army Times' take on active duty military attitudes toward Obama.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/12/military_poll_main_122908/

Not good.

Robert R. said...

Sure, Generation Kill was a mini-series. Despite the fact that it was available to much of the nation, it did not much in the ratings.

In many ways, the War Movie genre has been just as moribund as the Western for a long time. Really, what was the last cop movie that was a big hit either? Some of it may be because of themes/perceived bias. Part of it may be because the theater going audience, i.e. teenagers, cares more about playing war video games than seeing stories about war. There are no sleeper hits in that genre. Name the last big hits other than BLACK HAWK DOWN or SAVING PRIVATE RYAN? O.k., 300, but even that had the comic book sub-genre working in its favor and was incredibly stylized visually. Even stories that were undoubtedly pro-military like WE WERE SOLDIERS or THE GREAT RAID, did so-so box office. VALKYRIE is doing o.k., but certainly isn't going to be a big hit. We'll see if INGLORIUS BASTERDS appeals to more than the Tarantino crowd. Tom Clancy's adaptations have all been in a series of diminishing returns since THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER.

When confronted with the choice of pumping money into a comic book superhero or a war movie, it's hard to fault the studios based on recent returns from favoring the former.

Pogo said...

Robert's correct, but I think it's more because, as Clint Eastwood put it in Esquire recently, "We live in more of a pussy generation now...

I don't know if I can tell you exactly when the pussy generation started. Maybe when people started asking about the meaning of life."

blake said...

The Western seems to be making a bit of a comeback. But like the cop movie, it was pretty well beaten to death over several decades.

The War movie has the disadvantage of being expensive. You can pack Crowe and Bale into your 3:10 To Yuma remake and still bring the picture in for $50M (a sum those two stars can virtually guarantee at the B.O.) But the last big decade for war movies was the '70s, and it was all superstar, "casts of thousands", blowing up expensive models and stuff.

People like that.

They don't like, so much, the intimate, squad-based morality plays, with the exception of the execrable Platoon.

If the past five years is any indication, they also really don't want to see war-related movies that are basically a lot of posturing based on perceived administration policies.

Valkyrie may not rock the box office, but it's already beaten out Lions for Lambs.

Matt Eckert said...

When they stop making movies for commie liberal America haters and instead make them for real Americans then the war movie would make a lot of money.

The only hereos these Hollywood commie pinko pricks have are Che and Hugo Chavez.

The only men in uniform they would honor are Che and Fidel.

WOLVERINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert R. said...

Thanks for bringing up Clint. I'll note that FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS and LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA weren't exactly runaway successes.

I expect that this is cyclical. Heck, Michael Bay is one of the biggest filmmakers in Hollywood and certainly loves the military and their technology, although the less said about PEARL HARBOR, the better. TRANSFORMERS 2 is certain to include more of Bay's flagwaving/pro-military bent. 24 and IRON MAN also appeal to the technology lovers and seem to have an anti-terrorist bent to them. There's a good chance that G.I. JOE will be a big hit, although it actually being a good movie is a big question mark.

I think it's cyclical. The realistic, traditional war movie is just at a low point. It will bounce back at some point. And even the ones that aren't hits, will probably have a longer shelf life than stuff like LIONS FOR LAMBS.

BetaLiberal said...

i just want to say that my older brother AlphaLiberal and his show off buddy michael arr a couple of dickwads who think they know evrything just because they are in middle school. they should turn off mom's computer and get out of the basement.

The Drill SGT said...

Well somebody should buy the movie rights to John Ringo's Last Centurion.

Centurions were the guardians of Rome. At the height of the Roman Republic there were over five thousand qualified Roman Centurions in the Legions. To be a Centurion required that, in a mostly illiterate society, one be able to read and write clearly, to be able to convey and create orders, to be capable of not only performing every skill of a Roman soldier but teach every skill of a Roman soldier.
Becoming a Centurion required intense physical ability, courage beyond the norm, years of sacrifice and a total devotion to the philosophy which was Rome.

When Rome fell to barbarian invaders, there were less than five hundred qualified Centurions. Not because Rome had fewer people but because it had fewer willing to make the sacrifices. And the last Centurions left their shields in the heather and took a barbarian bride?

We are? The Last Centurions.


http://www.thelastcenturion.com/

Cedarford said...

Drill SGT - Seals are considered overmuscled, high-ego prima donnas by the SF and Delta guys. Sort of like more mature over trained Rangers that can swim underwater.

The few SEALs I encountered in the military were guys that looked nothing like football players...they were medium-sized, wiry guys that looked like a high-grade martial artist or an elite tennis player. Nor did they - the ones I briefly met - show any sort of "fighter jock swagger" you saw from guys who passed through Edwards and Mirimar.

And "DILDO Force" as it is sometimes known, is not exclusive of SEALs..The old days of forces not integrating are over. SEALs are part of that group, and inside Iraq and Afghanistan, have had small teams that worked with Army and Marine units.

Their training focuses on brutal physical regimes, never quitting and overcoming pain.

The comments about military movies I think miss a point about American culture and timing. As I have read, in Vietnam, people were sick of fighting in a long, protracted war that people weren't too sure we should be fighting. So most prowar and antiwar movies did not fare well, outside "pop-ups" like Patton and MASH, because the public was suffering war fatigue and if they wanted to spend bucks at the movies, they went for stuff outside the daily headlines.

WWII only took 3 1/2 years of Americans fighting. Aside from wartime propaganda flicks - some derided by the troops as pieces of crap made for guiilable civilians, the flicks generally emerged 5 or so years after the war was finished, settled, the "score" clear. The victories and losses were clearer...not the present circumstance where our guys are being killed and maimed in actions that may or may not have historical relevance as "noteworthy" victories. Another problem is that our guys were not getting killed in set battles movies can be made of (once they knew were the enemy was, the deaths were almost all with the "Hajis") as much as they were being killed and maimed in the 1's, the 3's, half dozens Outside Battle...as they were made IED, sniper, RPG fodder in ambushes that hit and melted away.
The good part of that is that while we pissed away a trillion in treasure, we have about a hundreth of the casualties we suffered in WWII when we had less than half America's present population.

Just bravery alone doesn't matter, or we would see lots of flicks made about the superhuman bravery of Confederate detachments, Waffen SS tank divisions, gut-tough Imperial Japanese Special Landing Forces. The Russians aren't exactly saturated with their media commemorating the heroic struggles of the Red Army to bring modernity, civilization to the "noble people" of Afghanistan.

Films may come, but the longer the war goes on, the more delay there will be before people will want to see them. And if we find much of the actions and casualties were in futile gestures, then they won't make many flicks about the failures..

On actual movies? Eastwoods "Flags", BTW, sucked. It was 1/3rd good, then the second 2/3rds was all cynicism about soldiers back stateside doing PR, and ad nauseum about the trials and trevails of a drunken Indian "haunted" by Iwo. "Postcards" was a far superior picture...

Robert R. said...

The fact that the US has an overwhelming technological advantage, probably plays against war movies as well. The US is expected to win and can't be seen as underdogs. Especially when air support / evac is a radio call away. I don't think it's any coincidence that BLACK HAWK DOWN is the most successful modern day war film as it's one of the few times that the US looked like a legitimate underdog.

Dramatically, war films work best when there's the possibility of failure, but the "home team" eventually triumphs. The US against Germany and Japan, for instance. Or the North vs. the South. It's more dramatic and crowd pleasing when the underdog wins. Doesn't mean that the bravery currently demonstrated in real life is any less, but it's a harder story to tell.

War movies aren't the only movies affected by technology. It's harder all the time for modern horror movies and thrillers with ubiquitous cell phones.

Synova said...

Well somebody should buy the movie rights to John Ringo's Last Centurion.

I can never keep track of his books. Any chance Last Centurion is a stand alone?

Just bravery alone doesn't matter, or we would see lots of flicks made about the superhuman bravery of Confederate detachments,...

People want heroes.

Yes, I think time has something to do about it, but mostly I think it's a matter of the amount of time before someone is willing to make an heroic movie, than how long it is before people are willing to watch it.

There's a certain intellectual prejudice against heroes and heroics. I think that movie makers who disrespect their own profession care very much about doing something more "important" than entertainment. Comic book heroes give them a certain essential deniability... and we've seen an amazing number of impressive comic book movies lately.

I'd even count Sin City.

"300" and Transformers (so fun to see Air Force forward combat controllers get some love,) and Iron Man and Dark Knight.

Dark Knight was almost as full of subversive messages as The Incredibles.

The few SEALs I encountered in the military were guys that looked nothing like football players...they were medium-sized, wiry guys that looked like a high-grade martial artist or an elite tennis player.

I've been to D.C. once, a couple of years out of high school. One of the places we visited was the tomb of the unknown soldier. We were waiting for the ceremony and a group of young men in civies caught my eye. Oh, they'd have caught anyone's eye, male or female. It's possible I was wrong but I'm convinced that they were elite military and that a person can tell, when someone is that physically developed, just what the body has been conditioned to do.

Synova said...

Bah, I keep editing out so much that I don't make sense.

There is an intellectual prejudice against heroes, happy endings, and anything too up-beat. Angst, skepticism, and cynicism reflect a willingness to look at uncomfortable truth.

It seems to me that many entertainers despise their own profession because their own values mean that "entertaining" is anti-intellectual... so they need to make movies that are willing to look at uncomfortable truth.

I think it's wrong and sad and missing the real nobility involved in providing inspiration and comfort. Entertainment has value for it's own sake and shouldn't be despised in any way.

The deniability provided by comic book hero movies is that they aren't "serious" movies and everyone is off the hook for trying to prove how relevant and intellectual they are.

save_the_rustbelt said...

For many years my back fence neighbor was a retired Green Beret (Viet Nam era), his children included one Delta, one Seal, and an in-law who flew special missions choppers.

The family get-togethers were really interesting.

Last I talked to him he was pissed because his Delta son, a Middle East specialist now retired, was contracting (sounded like CIA) and was right back in the thick of things.

Very special people. Very special.

blake said...

And by "special" you mean, "able to kill you before you hear them sneak up on you."

Synova said...

My husband and I were talking about this in relation to a man he works with who is retired Army. Not special forces, but who's seen all the "hot" spots in the world for the last 20 or more years.

In his case "special" might not mean that you don't hear him coming, but that hearing him wouldn't help you.

He doesn't recommend military service to young people because he recognizes, to use a term a retired Marine I know uses, that he's "burned." I don't think he regrets those wounds any more than the warrior Karl Rove was talking about regrets his wounds, but the point of taking that on is so that other people don't have to.