“Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something important.”
~ Last words of Pancho Villa, Attributed1
Three years in this business…you know, that’s a pretty fair run. I’ve enjoyed it, too, no doubt about that. But, as with all good things, it’s time to draw this one to an end. I’m moving on. Yes, I’ll miss it, some ways, I am sure. I’ll miss you folks, too. So don’t be strangers; I can be found both on Baen’s Bar, Facebook, and even via email, which I am better about answering than most writers, I assure you.
I’m a pedantic SOB, too, no doubt about that either. To the extent I could, I wanted this column to be about educating folks to some of the realities of the military and, later, as I became the last remaining political columnist present afloat, about the world. I can only hope I succeeded in that. Okay, okay, I also wanted to piss off some lefties and I know I succeeded in that.
But annoying the left was only ever about fun; it was the education that really mattered. Hence, if there are any columns I’d like people to remember, these are them:
The four part series that began with “Afghanistan and the War America could never win”2 mattered, I think. It mattered for explaining the limits of military power in international affairs, especially when the power is used for non-military goals. I take a certain pride in having predicted, over on Baen’s Bar, back in late 2001, in the midst of the chorus of congratulatory hosannas at our rapid defeat of the Taliban, that the war was far from over, and that we might well lose. As it turned out…
I definitely enjoyed writing the tales of Lieutenant Reilly and Captain Hamilton, which I sprinkled throughout with no particular pattern or rhyme. They’re all true, too. If it helps some company grade officer or senior non-com reader to do the right thing, or endure the idiocy, I consider the time writing them to have been well spent. Hell, if they amused the casual reader that’s plenty good enough, too.
There’s so much nonsense floating around about terrorism that I consider the month (+) I used up for that to have been worth the effort.3 Feel free to cite to it when some misinformed soul tells you that terrorism never works. Cite, too, to someone who thinks its unbeatable; they’re both full of crap, in about equal measure.
Then there was the women to Ranger School thing.4 Kevin O’Brien, sadly recently passed, of weaponsman.com, thought I pegged it pretty well. I think I did, too. I said it then and I’ll say it again, here, “Ranger School is the soul of the US Army.” Since it’s been prostituted by a cluster of unworthy colonels and generals, for unworthy PC ends, it’s probably just a whore now. Certainly it can’t give much soul of note, anymore.
When you try to understand what is happening to the United States, as we continue that long slide into the sewer of history, remember the columns on the political optical illusions.5 We’ve lost the ability to communicate, so much so that I am not sure we’re quite the same species anymore.
Remember, too, that there is one fraud both left and right agree to continue perpetrating, the silly notion that it is even possible to tax the rich in any meaningful sense.6
If there’s silly crap floating around about terrorism, and there is in plenty, it’s as nothing compared to the feel good nonsense in common currency about torture.7
I had cause last week, in my closing substantive column, to suggest that a timocracy might save the United States we know and, most of us, love. It might not, either, but go reread these, anyway.8
Crapping on Social Justice Warriors is very high on my list of things to do, of course, so I, at least, especially enjoyed crapping on what they’ve done to the armed forced.9
Libertarians, go read about conscription; it may save you from looking a fool by proclaiming it to be the same as slavery.10
In the last year, too, we discussed the hopefully soon forthcoming wall,11 the Mexican attempts to retake our conquests from 1847 and 48,12 and what we’re going to have to do to keep them.13 Then there was the massive series on Trump v. Felonia von Pantsuit. I won’t even cite those, there were so many. I can’t take credit for Trump’s win, of course, Hillary deserves most of that, herself. I can take maybe a little for keeping your morale up in the face of a months of journalistic lies…but I repeat myself. And then there was the whole series on meeting and defeating the fascists of ANTIFA.14 I hope someone in high places was listening.
On the whole, I’ve been fairly pleased with it.
Final thoughts; thanks to all my loyal readers, and even the disloyal but attentive ones. Thanks to Harry K and Lawrence R, who contributed in substantial part to several columns, between them. (Yes, of course I split the take when that happened. Harrumph!) Thanks to Alex Macris, who sought me out and hired me on for this. And thanks to my indefatigable editrix, Kori Ellis, who put up with all my typos, just barely made it to deadline columns, and “Hey, Kori, can you change…?” edits. The hardest part will not be working, dealing, and simply talking with you all.
Fate is a funny thing; I may show up someday in some similar format. I may continue writing and putting out books. Until then…
That’s all, Folks.
1 He never said it, but it fits.
4 https://everyjoe.com/2015/01/19/politics/women-entering-ranger-school-going-to-get-ugly/ and https://everyjoe.com/2015/01/05/politics/women-in-ranger-school-dishonesty-hatred-dire-consequences/
5 https://everyjoe.com/2015/02/02/politics/breakup-of-america-political-optical-illusions and https://everyjoe.com/2015/02/09/politics/breakup-of-united-states-more-political-optical-illusions/
6 Last of the three parter, with links to the other two, here: https://everyjoe.com/2015/05/11/politics/soak-the-rich-increasing-taxes-on-rich-doesnt-work/
8 https://everyjoe.com/2015/11/02/politics/service-guarantees-citizenship/ and https://everyjoe.com/2015/11/09/politics/service-guarantees-citizenship-adapting-starship-troopers-system/
9 Last of a three parter, with links, here: https://everyjoe.com/2016/01/11/politics/social-justice-armed-forces-going-to-war/
10 Another last of three parts, with links: https://everyjoe.com/2016/03/07/politics/conscription-part-iii/
Tom Kratman is a retired infantry lieutenant colonel, recovering attorney, and science fiction and military fiction writer. His latest novel, The Rods and the Axe, is available from Amazon.com for $9.99 for the Kindle version, or $25 for the hardback. A political refugee and defector from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, he makes his home in Blacksburg, Virginia. He holds the non-exclusive military and foreign affairs portfolio for EveryJoe. Tom’s books can be ordered through baen.com.