Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Few of you dudes out there realize how difficult it is to publish a paper like this. The penalties we face are severe, the cost is great (and we foot the bill, as PFC's, LCPL's) but the satisfaction we feel in knowing that we are in some small way eroding the oppressive attitude of our “superiors” towards free expression makes it all worthwhile. The lifers are rather concerned over what they consider “subversive” and “revolutionary” activities by some of your fellow serfs. Well, if campaigning for our basic constitutional rights as U.S. citizens is subversive then we are subversives. If trying to gain some meaningfull [sic] way of voicing our grievances is revolutionary then we are, indeed, revolutionaries. (Speaking of grievances, ever try requesting mast? Talking it out with the power structure? Next time, write your congressman if you want to get some quick action.)
The career man is basically unsympathetic to the interests of the “working class”. They have to be, actually, they have too such at stake, when you commit your entire life to the service, you are expected to be spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and politically subservient to the system; the system that provides the total security for which you must sacrifice these freedoms. The career man cannot put himself in a position that would endanger or compromise this life-long security. They therefore cannot tolerate anyone who thinks as an individual rather than a member of the herd. The concept of individual freedom in a military structure in submerged beneath the need for absolute discipline and order. Lifers are constantly invoking the old line “If you were __________(fill in the blank) in combat you might get you buddies killed!!!!” More than a grain of truth in that, but why use it as an excuse to impose battlefield rigidity on us Troopies here in CONUS? (Continental United States for all you folk who are not hip to USMC lingo) The “necessity” for absolute order is an assumed necessity, enforced by fear, that should be repugnant to any rational, thinking human being. A case in point and certainly the first to come to mind, is the war in Vietnam. As Marines we are forced to accept uncritically the official pronouncement of what we are accomplishing there. Resisting communist aggression while educating the peasants to the ways of free enterprise, all this and negotiating for an honorable peace on the side; saving Asia from communist China, etc. These are our rationalizations for being in Vietnam with half a million men at a cost of forty billion dollars a year. Now there happen to be a great many people in this country who think what we are doing is not in keeping with our noble democratic ideals. Statistically, the number of people who disagree with our involvement in Southeast Asia approaches half the population of the U. S. Nearly everyone is beginning to realize that we have lost almost every country in the world we could once call a friend because of what we are doing in Viet-Nam. Enough said. As Americans, we are able to think as we please on the subject, right? WRONG !!!!! Ever think seriously about the possibility of being locked up for exercising your freedom of speech????? Your author has..... Does joining the Marine Corps mean that for four years you are liable to harassment, arrest and impris onment for speaking freely on a subject that involves the future of your nation? The future of the free world? YOUR OWN LIFE?????????? The point is, pardon the hysteria, why are we as Marines suddenly denied the right to carry on any debate on the issues that directly affect us? The war is only one example, what about living conditions, pay, instances of racial discrimination, promotion (we don’t knock anyone who digs making rank, just those who dig throwing it around), and unnecessary harrassment [sic]?? This article is written principally to deny the narrow minded assumptions that freedom to speak-out is “subversive activity”. Head-On Wish would welcome articles by anyone on any matter of interest to servicemen. You don’t have to agree with us, cut us down, criticize, but for God’s sake, feel free to say what you want! That’s what we are here for man. If you never read anything more controversial than the Windsock, your mind is likely to atrophy from misuse. Lets get some excitement!! Its a shame, and kind of odd really, that those of us who happen to be left of center politically had to take the initiative in starting a paper like this. You’d think all those patriots out there who bellow about our treasured rights as Americans would take the time to test a few of them.
Does Head-On Wish contribute to a decay in morale and order? Those who think so are directed to the following quotations from a nationally read magazine:
“American military power cannot build nations abroad-but it can hurt us at home.”
“This nation has spent around half a billion dollars on arms and men at arms since the end of W.W.II, the last foreign war, and perhaps the only foreign war in which our vital interests and national security were indisputably at stake.”
“There is no use fussing about the ‘military mind’ which will always be with us and which is relatively minor in the equation (referring to the war in Viet-Nam) however one defines it.”
“It takes nearly half the Federal revenues (The Defense Establishment) and no human mind can encompass it, track and properly measure its activities.”
“It remains eternally true that professional soldiers say they hate war but hate it no more than a trained surgeon hate his often tragic trade. War gives them their promotion, renown and sense of being usefully alive; no other experience compares wit it for the male ego.”
If you consider any of the above statements to be subversive, write the editors of Look magazine. They are excerpts from an article in their August 12 issue on the growing threat of militarism in America. The article was written by Mr. Eric Severeid of the late night T. V. News fame. The first quote is a statement made by former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, the second is by Senator J. W. Fulbright; simply an example of informed Americans speaking freely on the subject of militarism. Here is one from former Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Shoup: “There exists a large nucleus of aggressive, ambitious, professional military leaders who are at the root of America’s evolving militarism.”
Again, the question: does Head-On Wish jeopardize the morale of Marines in North Cariolina? The answer: no more than Look magazine. We maintain that democracy functions best when its members are not arbritarily denied the right to freedom of expression, especvially if they are expected to fight and die in defense of that freedom.
Our Motto? We dare to be free!!!!
Head-On Wish , No. 9