March 21, 2005
Vet strikes back

As a follow-up to Matt Rosenberg's piece on the Vilification of the US Military at West Seattle High, what follows is a letter by Maj. Terry Thomas, USMC, written to the Seattle school board. It provides a first-hand account of what he witnessed. He hasn't gotten a reply yet.

This isn't the first time they've allowed anti-military activists into the school.

This is a letter written by Major Thomas to the school board.

March 14, 2005
Seattle Public Schools
Attn: School Board & Superintendent
P.O. Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

Dear Seattle School Board and Superintendent:

It is with extreme and heartfelt regret, anger and utter dismay that I find myself having to write this letter to your attention given my family’s deep personal ties to West Seattle High School.

This past Friday afternoon, March 11, 2005 I served as one of a panel of guest speakers at the West Seattle High School Theater after having been invited to West Seattle High School by a student, Mr. Ben Doty, via referral from Ms. Nadine Gulit of Operation Support Our Troops. I served as one of a panel of approximately seven guest speakers at the West Seattle High School Theater. The topic on which I was invited to speak was my experience as a combat veteran of the war in Iraq. I was informed that I would have an opportunity to speak to students, along with other veterans as part of an objective forum with both anti-war and pro-troops sentiments. It was my understanding the purpose of this event was to provide students of West Seattle High School with an opportunity to hear from people with varied opinions on the war. I am pleased that my remarks were welcomed by the student audience. The panel of guests, though varied in opinion, was most professional in all aspects of a disagreeable but respectful discourse.

Why, then, am I writing to you? Upon entering the theater at 12:30 PM, approximately 15 minutes prior to the event, I was taken aback by what I witnessed. As I stood there in my Marine Corps Dress Blue uniform, there before me stood numerous kids running around in sloppily dressed and ill-fitted helmets and military fatigues with utter disrespect for the symbols and uniforms of the U.S. military. The walls were covered in camouflaged netting and the stage was covered with approximately twenty white, life-sized cut-out patterns in the shape of dead women and children, all of which were splattered in red-paint to depict human blood. Onstage, children were kneeling and weeping while dressed in ill-fitted Arabic headdress with white-faced masks similarly covered in red paint to depict human blood. At a podium, children were reading a monologue of how U.S. troops were killing civilians and shooting at women and children. Moreover, several grown adults were standing on stage in bright orange jump-suits, with black bags on and off their heads, some bound and tied, and some banging symbols and gongs in a crude depiction of what I believe were their efforts to depict victims of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse episode.

Within the auditorium, numerous adults appeared to have been supervising this behavior and children were literally running amok. What is going on in your classrooms and auditoriums? Who supervised this program? Who are these grown adults dressed as prisoners and performing such the attics on the stage of our public schools? Since when has it become Seattle School Board policy to take an official anti-troops position and declare returning combat veterans from Iraq such as myself as killers of innocent women and children as if this war were some sick sport. As an Iraq war veteran I am outraged by what I witnessed going on at West Seattle High School!

My fellow veterans and I were immediately made to feel unwelcome by these organizers as if each of us were the devil himself; indiscriminate killers and enemies of our own community. To someone's credit, all of this nonsense was ceased less than one minute prior to the curtain going up. I can only assume someone realized how sickly embarrassing this would be for the school district. However, this last minute cover-up does not excuse what was going on and it appears to have been going on for quite sometime given the obviously lengthy art and script preparation developed for this event. I and the other veterans from Afghanistan, the Balkans and Ms. Gulit from Operation Support Our Troops were all witness to this ugly spectacle along with over 40 or so people that appeared to be willingly participating in this depravity.

I have served my country honorably for nearly 13 years all around this globe. I have fought on the battlefield in Iraq, lost good friends dead and wounded in this conflict and I will not sit back and allow our Seattle school district to shame or sully the name, reputation and good name of our military and our returning veterans. I will not tolerate an ill-administered school bureaucracy that seeks to sanction, condone, advocate or chaperon a vile position that Americas military men and women are somehow blood thirsty, indiscriminate murderers, executioners or war criminals.

I am requesting a meeting with your board as soon as possible to explain and address this issue and a letter should be written to the parents of West Seattle High School students making them aware of Fridays events explaining how and why it occurred. A full accounting of those teachers, counselors, parents, groups and adults that were allowed preferential access on to the campus to advocate for this particular position, use school facilities and develop these abhorrent materials is expected immediately. Lastly a public letter of apology is due the Seattle community with apologetic cordiality extended to the returning Iraq war veterans of this community for the shameful antics going on in our public schools with an assurance that this sort of sick nonsense will not be condoned or tolerated in Seattle public schools now or ever.

Sincerely,
Terry Thomas
Major, USMCR
Combat Veteran– Operation Iraqi Freedom
P.O. Box 31406
Seattle, WA 98103

Superintendent (206)252-0100 Raj Manhas
rsmanhas@seattleschools.org
Communications Director (206)252-0200 Peter Daniels
wpdaniels@seattleschools.org
School Board MemberDistrict 1 (206)252-0052 Sally Soriano
sally.soriano@seattleschools.org
School Board MemberDistrict 2 (206)252-0031 Darlene Flynn
darlene.flynn@seattleschools.org
School Board MemberDistrict 3 (206)729-3202 Brita Butler-Wall
brita.butler-wall@seattleschools.org
School Board MemberDistrict 4 (206)297-4533 Dick Lilly
dick.lilly@seattleschools.org
School Board MemberDistrict 5 (206)720-3303 Mary Bass
mary.bass@seattleschools.org
School Board MemberDistrict 6 (206)933-5338 Irene Stewart irene.stewart@seattleschools.org
School Board MemberDistrict 7 (206)760-4747 Jan Kumasaka jan.kumasaka@seattleschools.org
West Seattle High School Principal (206) 252-8800 Susan Derse scderse@seattleschools.org

Posted by Brian Crouch at March 21, 2005 12:36 PM | Email This
Comments
1. I think it is high time First Man Mike step in. He needs to put that new office of his to good use.

Posted by: chardonnay on March 21, 2005 12:47 PM
2. An awsome letter, which I'm afraid will get an inappropriate response. Isn't it comforting to see our tax dollars going to the 3Rs?

Posted by: Fred on March 21, 2005 12:53 PM
3. Thanks and congratulations to Terry Thomas and other members of today's military for the service and faithfullness to the missions they have so well acheived. Thanks also for Major Thomas' continuing efforts.

We live amongst the shameless insanity wrought by liberalism that will not likely subside until more tragedy intrudes into their insipid lives.
About the time someone knocks their door down, cuts their mother's throat and rapes and kills their daughter they will cry out for Major Thomas to stop it. If they had their way, there would be no Major Thomases, only pathetic girl-boy liberal degenerates who believe in Michael Moore, Ted Kennedy and whose parents voted for John Kerry.

Right now they are too busy hating Bush, drinking cool aid, pretending the Washington State Gubernatorial election was fair, and acting kinder by pretending to be more reasonable than conservatives.

Thank God there are those who will do what must be done rather than what liberals would want if we lived in liberal utopia.

Liberalism is a communicable mental disease and our schools are it's carriers.

Thanks again Major Thomas!!

Posted by: Amused by liberals on March 21, 2005 01:30 PM
4. I've heard this kid (Ben Doty) on talk radio twice so far. He sounded apologetic (of course) on Kirby Wilbur's show and defiant (of course) on Dave Ross' show. One thing is clear: He's mastered the art of deliberate disingenuousness. It's pretty clear his intent all along was to set up an ambush and/or slant the discussion. Kudos to the good Major for letting the school board have it.

Posted by: Steve on March 21, 2005 01:45 PM
5. Speaking for other vets, [Unkl Witz, Headless Lucy, Goldy], Thank you! JCH [LT, USN 76-84].........oh, UK, Lucy and Goldy never served? Gee, what a surprise!!

Posted by: JCH on March 21, 2005 01:45 PM
6. Even though I am in Southern CA, I sent off an email to everyone on the School Board listed at the end of the article. Thanks for posting, and hopefully everyone will send of an email to the list, no matter where you live.

Posted by: BurbankErnie on March 21, 2005 01:50 PM
7. Do you think a request for relevant e-mails from the school under the Publics Record Act would uncover the culprits?

Posted by: Regret on March 21, 2005 02:20 PM
8. THANK YOU for your service. Without you and the rest of our troops, freedom would only be a useless word.


Posted by: a blue star mom USMC on March 21, 2005 02:27 PM
9. To JCH:

Why is it every time someone on the left does something palpably stupid, like what appears to be a very amateur attempt at guerrilla theater, you try to associate it with my name? I don’t condone this kind of behavior. In fact I think it is counterproductive and hurts our cause.

Yes, I oppose the war in Iraq. I think it was a huge mistake in foreign policy and will haunt us for years to come. But I don’t oppose the institution of our armed forces. I want a strong and just warrior class in this country to protect us from a dangerous world. As I have said in the past, I would no more make a public display of disrespect for our soldiers than I would firebomb an abortion clinic.

I do think there is a real danger in the misuse of our armed forces. Yes, it happens. And I don’t consider it patriotic to turn a blind eye to that misuse. Nor do I regard it as “supporting out troops”.

I would regard supporting out troops as paying our taxes and making sure they have only the very best equipment and resources to achieve their mission. I would also regard support at keeping a very critical eye on when, where and why we put them in harms way and ask them to perform dirty, dangerous, and psychologically debilitating tasks, like killing people.

So if you want to debate those points, let’s get to it. But quit trying to lump me in with every straw man liberal you create, or those who are foolish enough to create themselves.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on March 21, 2005 02:29 PM
10. Blue Star......Best regards, JCH, Pahoa, HI

Posted by: JCH on March 21, 2005 02:30 PM
11. Unkl Witz.....How did I know you never served. [Well, I guess I'm just a good guesser!] You libs are all alike. When the heavy lifting comes, you are nowhere to be found! Was that you who ran off the ROTC recruiters at U of W? [Paying your taxes and having a "guvment" job...net parasite!]

Posted by: JCH on March 21, 2005 02:34 PM
12. JCH - I don't think that Unkl ever stated one way or the other whether he served. In any case I do not see the relevance in it one way or the other. It in no way changes the validity of his point of view. Rational discussion has a better chance of that.

The military has defended our freedom, which also permits descent. Accusing him of disrupting the school is what many people on this site have accused the libs of doing - unsubstantiated accusations.

Let us all keep civil and to the facts. Please drop these wild accusations. Reps already have a reputation of gun toting intolerant fanatics. Even though it is false, let's not add any fuel to those incorrect points of view.

Posted by: Fred on March 21, 2005 02:54 PM
13. Well writ.

Posted by: Who.... me? on March 21, 2005 03:14 PM
14. Fred...Not a chance. Unkl, Goldy, Nelson, and DON.....all very happy with crooked, fixed elections. Yes, I'm a vet, and I'll bet a Hershey Bar Unkl and DON made SURE they never served. It is relevent, and germaine to issues on this board. Considering the topics [running the ROTC off U of W, and the Major's [USMCR] letter, let's be clear. Shining the light of truth may make UNKL feel "uncomfortable", but I think I can live with that. Again, my respects to Blue Star.

Posted by: JCH on March 21, 2005 03:47 PM
15. UNKl..........Just a thought.......It's probably a good idea for you to stay off the "VETS" thread. Your feelings may get bruised.

Posted by: JCH on March 21, 2005 03:53 PM
16. Just curious whether the school board members, the principal, and the school superintendent are sporting the ubiquitous yellow "Support Our Troops" magnets on their automobiles.

Semper Fi
MikeF USMC '68-'73

Posted by: MikeF on March 21, 2005 04:21 PM
17. MikeF..My respects, JCH [LT, USN, 76-84]

Posted by: JCH on March 21, 2005 05:14 PM
18. The following is the text of a letter I sent to Major Thomas:

Dear Major Thomas,
The school board in question is responsible for setting policy and is responsible for the insults inflicted. The deplorable slurs inflicted on you can be safely argued as an expression of Board Policy. That being so, You have strong reason to pin the ears back of the school’s board of trustees and, with them, the teacher’s union officials and, most importantly, reach the students.

As someone familiar with board policy, I strongly suggest that you drop the efforts to identify the “staff” responsible for the insults. That effort will lead you, intentionally, into a quagmire of “personnel law” and “privacy” issues designed to squelch public memory of the incident over time without ever admitting anything.

Instead, you are liable to gain more momentum, cause far greater discomfort and, ultimately, create more change, by focusing on the five board members of that school district. Either the school incident was an expression of board policy or it wasn’t. If the board members deny that it expressed their policy, then the teachers have violated board policy, have harmed the students, and need to be reprimanded, publicly (since the incident was public).

If the board does not deny that it was their policy, they should be sued for defaming your character (it was a known, provable fact that you were an invited guest who, it can be argued, was the target of the slurs).then you need to behave as if the entire incident was intentional and personal.

You should demand nothing less than the resignation of the school board members.
Find an attorney in your city who is familiar with the laws of public governance and the fiduciary responsibility of board members. Do not hire a law firm that does work for school districts or even the major public entities of your city. Get someone independent. Tell that person your story and have that attorney help you publicly address the liability of that school board for the harm it has inflicted on the students (you should focus on the harm done to the students by the propaganda they were forced to absorb; that is a huge violation of public policy) and the attempt to stain the honor of our military.

Posted by: Peter Hughes on March 21, 2005 05:23 PM
19. JCH:

While I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm for my posts, and my service records, I do find your tone somewhat offensive.

If I thought my service record was any of your business and relevant to this discussion, I would be happy to go into it. I’m very proud of it. But since it is neither, I won’t be baited into posting it in response to your attempts to insult me.

I did show your posts to the navy guys here. They kinda shook their heads and opined that from what you had written, it didn’t really sound like you were intelligent enough to even be in the Navy, much less an officer. Since I had nothing better to offer in your defense, I implored them to give you the benefit of the doubt.

They didn’t seem to happy about it. I can’t imagine Major Thomas would be all that proud of your posts either.

As far a “bruising” me goes, give it your best shot. I guess you feel that’s what this forum is all about. I'll holler "Unkl" when I want you to stop.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on March 21, 2005 05:46 PM
20. To Peter Hughes,

As an educator for 32 years (not all of us are liberals!), the two people most responsible in this case are the Principal and the Superintendent. Board members typically have little or nothing to do with what is going on in the schools on a day-to-day basis. They should however mete out appropriate punishment to the persons directly responsible including the Superintendent, Principal, teachers, and any other adults who participated in this farce. The students should also be punished for violation of tolerance codes, insensitivity to diversity and just plain rudeness. About 10 hours of special lessons for each should do the job.

Posted by: joated on March 21, 2005 07:56 PM
21. It wouldn't hurt the Board members to sit in on some of this training either.

Posted by: joated on March 21, 2005 07:58 PM
22. I doubt anyone on this board ever served. Typical republican wussies trying to steal a little soldier honor for themselves. The stories really impress the plebians. They begin to think you're one of them.

I say you're all bluffing.

Posted by: Anonymous on March 21, 2005 10:14 PM
23. For anonymous-I'm an American of Chinese and Japanese descent, from Seattle,...and a (gasp) REPUBLICAN! And although I am extremely proud of my husband, who is an excellent Special Forces soldier, I would never try to steal his honor for his personal sacrifice and service to our great nation. I have my own honor serving as a productive citizen, Army wife, mother, and someone who doesn't drain our fellow citizens of their hard earned money.

For the rest of us embarrassed Washingtonians:
You may want to check into the "adults" or even teachers that support a student group at West Seattle High, called Students Take a Stand. They were advertised endorsers for the 19 Mar 2005, rally at the Seattle Center. Although touted as a "peace" rally through local churches, please note one of the following fliers and it's list of sponsors/endorsers: http://www.karikas.com/mar19/
Included are groups such as the International Socialist Organization, Green Party of Washington, Palestine Solidarity Committee, Not in our Name Project, Radical Women, SCCC Students Against War, WEST SEATTLE'S NEIGHBORS FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE, etc. I wonder if anyone in this small sampling of groups is a card carrying thespian looking to relive the good old days of high school "plays"??

Posted by: SFWife on March 22, 2005 12:12 AM
24. That was a very stupid show. I suggest you recant before you lose all credibility.

Ledger

Posted by: Ledger on March 22, 2005 01:19 AM
25. I doubt anyone on this board ever served...


If I were posting something as idiotic as that post, I would remain anonymous, too.

Posted by: Mike D in SC on March 22, 2005 05:35 AM
26. Thank you for posting the e-mail adresses. I just sent an e-mail off to the principal who I feel bears 100% of the responsibility for this abortion.

If this had been a conservative group you can bet that the kids would have already been sent to a reeducation camp to learn tolerance and sensitivity.

Posted by: Curt LaRose on March 22, 2005 06:23 AM
27. As a Korean "War" veteran, I was appalled at the happenings reported. Since when did the students decide, without parental or teacher guidance, what they would study or portray. Are the inmates running the institution? Shouldn't they be taught that if they can read, thank their teachers,if it is in english, thank their veterans. Get control of the situation. I was on the local school board for 12 years and I guanantee nothing like this happened on my watch.

Posted by: James S. Sweet Jr. on March 22, 2005 06:23 AM
28. It is past time to purge our schools of the communists. They teach our children sex, lying, and murder. When will everyone wake up? This is how the communists are winning the war against us, by undermining our values. Yes, I said 'values', and I said the communists are still waging war against our principles. If you have doubts about that, just research the history of communism in America. You see, they didn't just go away, they've bunkered themselves into our universities and schools, and are destroying America through our own children. Hey, wake up out there!

Posted by: Steve Phelps on March 22, 2005 07:33 AM
29. Anonymous...Sorry, Buddy. You are another lib who is dead wrong. JCH, USS Tuscaloosa,USS Barbour County. Democrats "progressives": domestic terrorists and voter felons.

Posted by: JCH on March 22, 2005 07:53 AM
30. Wow....Im a ex-navy conservative from NJ...I can only say:
"Thank You Washington, at least this didnt happen in Jersey, we have enough problems over here!" And I will email the principal soon with my outrage.
-Ed

Posted by: edlnj on March 22, 2005 08:28 AM
31. "The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
- Thucydides

Posted by: Teenagers' mother on March 22, 2005 08:35 AM
32. Just sent my e-mail to the dist supt. Asked him how he felt about this event in the light of the fact that Seattle's National Guard units are AT THIS VERY MOMENT returning from combat in Iraq! Doubtless, there are Guardsmen in the families linked to WSHS. I asked him if that was the welcome they intended for these community members.

Posted by: Casey Klahn on March 22, 2005 08:53 AM
33. Anonymous: A wussie is someone who uses a fake email to post a scurrilous attack.

I'm a veteran, full hitch, then went for two years overseas with a volunteer medical ministry in Africa.

So blow it out your ear.

Posted by: Bleeding heart conservative on March 22, 2005 09:01 AM
34. Anonymous,

You sound like the same un-named person from Lucianne who posted like minded, pathetic and childish posts like the one above. I'll stack my combat experience along with my 19 yrs, 9 mos and 22 days (so far) against your entire pathetic life. Go bite your pillow at night while you wet the bed and know that there are better men and women than you out there protecting your right to spew your pathetic drivel.

USMC '85-Present

Posted by: 53Driver on March 22, 2005 10:29 AM
35. Anklewhiz,

No one in their right mind really cares about what you "feel" or pretend to think.

You are a shallow self-rightous liberal blowhard without a point.

Some of your comments are humorous though so keep it up.

Posted by: Amused by liberals on March 22, 2005 10:46 AM
36. It's unfortunate that there is a certain segment in our society, that does not understand or even care to understand, our military. This is simply because of the fact that the most rabid anti- military freak has never served a day in it's life (they do not have the guts to serve their country in ANY capacity), but spout their uninformed opinions very loudly, not realizing how assenine they appear doing so. My suggestion to those misfits is: "educate yourselves on the subject matter and don't go galoping off on a wild tangent". There are those who have indeed "served" (and I use the term lightly) who have far from a distinguished record (like john kerry) who, upon being exposed to combat, need so many changes of underwear daily, that they get the heck out of Dodge, at the earliest opportunity and appear to be so "traumatized", that they start identifying with the enemy (Stockholm syndrome?) and supporting them in any way they can. All I can say to those is: "It'll come home to roost".
I served 2 1/2 tours in 'Nam and 1 in Laos (can I say that now?), interupted by being so badly wounded that I was retired. After spending months in the hospital in Japan, after lots of surgery, physical therapy and such, I was sent back Stateside, expecting to land in Travis AFB (Calif.), however several walking (limping) wounded and I were given a seat in a commercial airliner and we landed in San Francisco. Upon our arrival there (we were in uniform) we were "welcomed home" by a strange sight of Hari Krishna's jumping and singing inside the airport and consequently pelted with baggies of blood and excrement by a group of hippies and here I thought they were trying to convey a message of brotherly love and peace. I was a Democrat when I left the US and became an instant Republican, after that "welcome". My point is that these kind of misfits were around then and will be around in the future. The good Lord may forgive them for their sins and stupidety agains their fellow men, BUT I WONT. Alfred.

Posted by: Alfred on March 22, 2005 10:59 AM
37. Based on his perspectives, I seriously doubt that anyone with military experience would even talk to Unkl Witz unless, perhaps, he was handing out towels at the time .....

Posted by: Ghost of Eriks Mama on March 22, 2005 02:54 PM
38. Always good to hear from you Amused.

Like they say in advertising, first ya gotta entertain 'em, then you can sell 'em.

Seriously though, it would be even more amusing if perhaps you and Ghost could point out which of my coments you object to or disagree with and why.

Frankly, I already have a pretty good idea of how you feel about me, but I'm still a little weak on the 'howcome'. Any hints?

Posted by: Unkl Witz on March 22, 2005 03:20 PM
39. Has there been any local media coverage of this event, or would that be too much to ask?

If I were a local, I'd sure have the School Board's next public meeting (Wednesday, April 6 at 6:00 p.m.) on my calendar.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen in Miami, Whose Godson/Nephew is in Iraq and deserves better than this liberal cra on March 22, 2005 04:37 PM
40. I sent an email to all those email addressess listed to show my utter contempt for what happened. I hope everyone who reads this blog does the same.

Two of my sons served in Iraq, and one has a Purple Heart for injuries that he sustained in an explosion and the resulting firefight. I can only imagine how I would feel if one of them walked into an ambush like Major Thomas did - IN HIS HOMETOWN HIGH SCHOOL!

You know, there are times I think these anti-war protestors have gone through Alice's looking glass - good is bad, bad is good. Or maybe they just ate too many drugs....

Posted by: Doreen on March 22, 2005 06:27 PM
41. West Seattle Hate School is like the Saudi Madras Hate Factories that ALSO create TERRORISTS.

Posted by: Lou Novak on March 22, 2005 07:07 PM
42. Thank You Major Thomas, My Step-son just returned
with Washington State Nat'l Guard, from Iraq.
We were there for the welcome home ceremony.Many
thank you's were said, to the men for there service. No hate was ever shown. We are from Minnesota. Look at what hate has done in Red Lake,Mn.

Posted by: Mr. E. Binnebose on March 22, 2005 07:34 PM
43. Thank You Major Thomas, My Step-son just returned
with Washington State Nat'l Guard, from Iraq.
We were there for the welcome home ceremony.Many
thank you's were said, to the men for there service. No hate was ever shown. We are from Minnesota. Look at what hate has done in Red Lake,Mn.

Posted by: Mr. E. Binnebose on March 22, 2005 07:34 PM
44. I’ll leave it to others to carry on the excellent discussion of anti-Americanism, anti-war, and anti-military issues raised by the events at WSHS. No doubt the organizers and participants of this play later laughed among themselves and smirked at their cleverness. But like all bigots, their actions were steeped in ignorance and like all liberals, their ignorance is lost within their arrogance.
I was taken by the Major’s description of children wearing ill-fitting Arabic headdress and white masks. In all my years in the Middle East, I never saw an Arab child wear a mask, white or otherwise. Maybe I just wasn’t lucky enough to get invited to Halloween, Arabic style. I also never saw an Arab child in poorly fitting clothes. Dirty maybe, tattered even, but never poorly fitted. There is an issue of honor at stake here that most liberals would not understand. Most go without headdress at all, particularly while at play. It begs the question then doesn’t it…did these artful players wear the proper costume and attire? Were boys dressed in the right kaffiyeh and abaya? Or were girls wearing them too? Or, given the woeful budgets we hear about in Seattle’s schools, were they just wearing sleep shirts and bathrobes and some cloth over their heads? (I won’t use the “R” word here) Granted I wasn’t there, but somehow, I wonder? More to the point, were the young girls, wearing the proper jilbab? Actually, a simple jumper with blouse would have been sufficient when mixed with the proper hijab. This has religious meaning and I’m sure these “artists” had no intention of offending anyone. Well, the non-Americans anyway.
I suggest for their next school theater project, they revisit a piece of classic literature, ”The Ugly American” by William Lederer. Then we can see how art imitates life!

Posted by: Danno on March 22, 2005 07:43 PM
45. copy of e-mail I sent to all on the school board:


It is my sincere hope that all of you lose your jobs
because of this. One can only hope that the people
that replace you are level headed and responsible enough
to ensure that our public money is not spent, nor is
our public credibility lent to programs that endorse
anti-military propaganda during a time of war.

Furthermore, it is my most sincere desire that your
school district, and all of you on the board, are sued
to virtual bankruptcy.

Sincerely,
Matt B.
USCG-R

Posted by: bmw on March 22, 2005 10:04 PM
46. copy of e-mail I sent to all on the school board:


It is my sincere hope that all of you lose your jobs
because of this. One can only hope that the people
that replace you are level headed and responsible enough
to ensure that our public money is not spent, nor is
our public credibility lent to programs that endorse
anti-military propaganda during a time of war.

Furthermore, it is my most sincere desire that your
school district, and all of you on the board, are sued
to virtual bankruptcy.

Sincerely,
Matt B.
USCG-R

Posted by: bmw on March 22, 2005 10:05 PM
47. I would like to see more of we VETERANS protesting Mr Bush and his policies of killing innocent women and children in a country which posed no threat but was bombed because of lies by our government,.

Posted by: Robert Levy on March 22, 2005 10:51 PM
48. Mr. Levy,

I resent that you imply, that it is U.S. policy to kill women and children. Any civilian killed in this war was by accident or the soldier or Marine was punished. Contrast that, to the intentional murder of civilians by Iraqi and foreign terrorists.

Although I doubt that you are a veteran at all, I am positive that you are not a combat veteran. I remember the phony Vietnam Vets, who claimed they had committed atrocities.

And for you, Mr. Levy, a quote made by John Stuart Mill. "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

I salute you, Major Thomas, for your service and for your excellent letter.

Marty Sinclair
4th INF DIN, 2nd BDE, LRRP 1967/68

Posted by: Marty on March 23, 2005 02:13 AM
49. Mr. Levy,

I resent that you imply that it is U.S. policy to kill women and children. Any civilian killed in this war was by accident or the soldier or Marine was punished. Contrast that, to the intentional murder of civilians by Iraqi and foreign terrorists.

Although I doubt that you are a veteran at all, I am positive that you are not a combat veteran. I remember the phony Vietnam Vets, who claimed they had committed atrocities.

And for you, Mr. Levy, a quote made by John Stuart Mill. "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

I salute you, Major Thomas, for your service and for your excellent letter.

Marty Sinclair
4th INF DIN, 2nd BDE, LRRP 1967/68

Posted by: Marty on March 23, 2005 02:51 AM
50. The scene described made me sick to my stomach. Why is this not on national news?

Posted by: Lee Anderson on March 23, 2005 10:44 AM
51. The news was too busy covering Martha and Michael, you know, important stuff.

Posted by: SFC Ski on March 23, 2005 12:25 PM
52. Although I am not a veteran of the military I support our men and women 110%. These people chose their respective occupations and I salute them.
What went on in Seattle is sick! Those students, teachers, adults have it completely ass-backwards!
If you want to see what these types really stand for go to protestwarrior.com and see what the "anarchists" were doing to suppress the free-speech rights of those that supported our troops and our president.
Their motto is "free speech for me, but not for thee."

Posted by: Dan-o on March 23, 2005 02:17 PM
53. If this performance occured as described, and I have no reason to believe that it did not, then it is the most sickening thing I can imagine in a US public school. I wrote off the Pacific Northwest long ago. That may have been a mistake.

Charlie

Posted by: Charlie on March 23, 2005 08:18 PM
54. "the best way to avoid the firing squad is to hold the gun."

'progressive' teachers command their students to "speak truth to power" and then point them at the rest of the adult world.

here in chicago, the "coalition against the militarization of our schools" is headquartered out of one public school up north and headed by some schmuck with a teachers certificate and water on the brain named jeff sharkey.

find out their names and speak truth to their power -- the power to exploit children.

Posted by: jummy on March 23, 2005 08:44 PM
55. Great letter and thank you for your service. This type of behavior from public schools in reprehensible at the very least.

Imagine if public schools presented such 'theater' exposing the process through which females have murdered well over 40 million babies via a vacumn cleaner.

At the very least, soldiers have saved more lives particularly babies, even in military combat, than civilians ever will.

Calling American soldiers 'baby-killers' makes absolutely no since at all when compared to the lives murdered by American abortionist.

Posted by: susan on March 24, 2005 04:46 AM
56. Sorry, the word is 'vacuum' cleaner.

Posted by: susan on March 24, 2005 04:58 AM
57. First of all, honor and admiration to all those in uniform who serve the US. As for the episode, as a the father of school-age children but who still recite the pledge of allegiance each day, I am appalled at the behavior of these so-called educators. If as much effort was put into their work towards teaching English and Math and less in training kids to interpret their political beliefs, perhaps these kids would have a better chance at actually learning something valuable.

Posted by: Francesco Liberti on March 24, 2005 05:01 AM
58. first you kill innocent wpmen and children , now your picking on students , go get a life loser

Posted by: bob on March 24, 2005 08:16 AM
59. military recruiters are using the no child left behind act to come into schools and lie to students about military enlistment. they are abusing the system and parents and school staffs are catching on. parents have a right to a say so over their minor children coming into contact with recruiters who are lying to get their quotas. if you are really sincere about recruiting kids as VOLUNTEERS then let them come to you and stay out of the public schools.

Posted by: anonymous on March 24, 2005 08:35 AM
60. The screeching is deafening.

Posted by: Surete_du_Quebec on March 24, 2005 08:55 AM
61. Bob and anonymous: if given a choice, I would bet you'd rather insult a soldier than lift a finger to help an Iraqi. Mjr. Thomas, Brian Suits, Mikhail Ekshtut, have all expressed how often they were THANKED by the Iraqis. Losers such as yourself want to cast their actions into illegitimate and scurrilous terms, so that you can feel better about your moral cowardice.

Posted by: Bleeding heart conservative on March 24, 2005 08:58 AM
62. Hey anon and Bob

Just so you know Planned Parenthood(paid for by our tax dollars) and NOW are lying to all our youth by convincing them that it is okay to kill your baby if you so CHOOSE. In most states parents are not even allowed to know if their child is pregnant.

Just think Planned Parenthood's vacuum cleaners have murdered more people than a solider's gun.

Posted by: susan on March 24, 2005 09:10 AM
63. anonymous,

are you a student? if so, i want you to understand that the reason people are reacting to your comments as they are is because tour teachers have done you a disservice by telling you lies. e-mail me. i'd like to send you a couple of fliers i have that shed light on the untruths and distortions put forth in the afsc's counter-recruitment campaign.

Posted by: jummy on March 24, 2005 09:58 AM
64. I am writing as a Colonel of Marines (Ret) Iserved om WWII, was a marine rifle company commander in Korea, commanded the Landing Force of the 6th Fleet in the Med, and was Regimental Commander of the 26th Marine regiment at KheSanh in Vietnam in April 1968 on.

Since retirement, I have been an attorney in private practice, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Puget Sound
(now Seattle University Law School).

I support the remarks of my friend Major Terry Thomas USMCR.

As a graduate of Franklin HS in 1942, at 17went into the service, first as a midshipman, later as a commissioned officer of Marines. It has been 60 years since I took my oath to support and defend our Constitution. I fought (and was wounded) to protect the rights of the scurrilous persons who conducted the dispicable West Seattle HS activities. I would trust that the Superintendant of Schools of Seattle would have the intestinal fortitude to carefully examine this dispicable incident and take appropriate disciplinary action against those involved.

Bruce F. Meyers, Colonel of Marines (Ret)

Posted by: Colonel Bruce F Meyers USMC(Ret) on March 24, 2005 01:56 PM
65. High schools have no responsibility for the national defense (incidentally which of the last 20 invasions were necessary for the US defense? But nevermind. That is irrelevant. Underaged teens are not, in ANY WAY responsible for fighting these wars launched by old white men in Congress.)

When recruiters talk with kids under 18 too young to enlist, that is indoctrination. Not recruiting.

Schools are a state function under the constitution. These are federal agents in the local schools. And bypassing all of the checks and balances over curriculum and teacher qualification.

Federal control of education is dangerous as we saw in the 1930s. Where are your principles Maj. Thomas?

We the people of Washington pay for our schools. They are operated by us, and we own every inch of land and buildings and pay all the teachers. We entrust our children to our K12 public schools and they have a loco parentis obligation in return.

Loco parentis means the best interest of the child. Not the district, not the federal government. NOT to be indoctrinated for military service, NOT to be used as instruments or tools by ANY other outside interest whether corporate or military.

Miliary advocates are just ONE of many, many institutions in society. The whole world does not revolve around the military. Yet, the militarists seem to feel a special privilege to come into the schools and push their programs and ideologies.

LOOK mister Thomas, and all the rest of you right wingers: YOU are the ones who have FORCED yourselves into the school. Not the protesters.

You think your uniform is glorious and honorable. Well, that's fine. You're entitled to your opinion.

But if you want to control the curriculum and manipulate under-aged children to your goals, get in line down at the superintendent of public instruction with everybody else. You will have to explain yourself and justify your materials objectively. Schools are for knowledge and learning. Not for militarist indoctrination.

Todd Boyle - Kirkland

Posted by: Todd Boyle on March 27, 2005 11:54 AM
66. Gee Todd, maybe you should get the facts first. The school INVITED the military to attend a forum of those who were for and against freedom. Additionally, all PUBLIC schools are partially funded by FEDERAL dollars so recruiters are allowed under FEDERAL law to come and recruit. If there was militarist indoctrination going on they would be teaching regular classes not making occasional visits.

Todd, Anonymous and Bob: It must give you warm fuzzy feelings at night to know that you are free to spit on your betters without prison or a death penalty hanging over your head. You wouldn't be so bold if we weren't here to defend your right to do so. So go live your sheltered life; sheltered by the rights that those of us in the military who served and sacrificed before and serve and sacrifice now preserve for you. Whether you like it or not you have these rights and the right to spew what you will because the military protects those rights for you.

Ignorance is curable through education and knowledge but stupid is terminal. Where do you fall?

Marty, Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Colonel Meyers and Maj Thomas, My utmost respect to you both. Semper Fi!

Maj, USMC '85-Present

Posted by: 53Driver on March 29, 2005 10:20 AM
67. Mr Thomas' remarks do not speak for all who were present at the event.I am a combat Vietnam veteran and along with Vietnam veteran Ben Sherman, and a Gold Star Mother, Georgia Schilz,whose son was killed in Iraq were Anti-war presenters at this forum. While I do think that the pre speaker presentation skit was provacative-it was meant to be-I do not think that it was anti military or meant to be demeaning to Mr Thomas. However thanks to the near hysterical reaction from Nadine Gulit of Operation Support Our Troops and Mr Thomas the skit, which was approved by the faculty was cancelled. While Mr Thomas and others may find this type of "theater" offensive let me remind him of something he should know all too well: that war is an ugly and brutal fact and it generates strong passions, passions that are not going to go away anytime soon. As the old saying goes "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen".Mr Thomas'attempt at censorship do not honor our Constitution or Bill of Rights-something he has sworn as a member of the military to "defend against all enemies foreign and domestic".

Posted by: Mike on March 29, 2005 05:55 PM
68. Attempt at censorship?? Get real. Why is it that everytime the lefties in this country get caught doing something underhanded they scream censorship. Get a grip on reality MIKE. No one is trying to censor your right to disagree. From what I read the purpose of the forum was to provide both sides in a panel discussion format. If anyone were really trying to censor you then you would not have been invited to participate and provide your perspective.

According to what I read from Maj Thomas' letter (and please refer to him as such since he was operating in that capacity when he was ambushed) as well as from the orginal article, the Iraqi war vets were invited by the school to take part in a forum to discuss the pro's and con's of providing the gift of freedom to Iraq. I don't see anywhere that the school board also mentioned that there would be a nausiating political skit totally based on unreality and false perceptions of fact. To try and excuse that is disingenuous on it's face. The fact that you admit that it was planned and sanctioned by the faculty belies the cries of innocence from the principle and school board. Was there going to be a positive skit painting American servicemen in a good light helping to rebuild infrastructure, schools, roads, hospitals, protecting Iraqi's from terrorists, etc. I doubt it. But then the whole thrust behind the pro-terrorist movement is not to provide equal time to the truth is it. The skit was meant to be an in-your-face distortion of reality as YOU see it, NOT as it really is.

You claim to be a Vietnam vet. Fine. Thank you for your service. However, this is a different time and a different war. What ever happened during your participation in Vietnam does not mean that the exact same is happening here. Are people dying? Duhh. That happens in war. No one is under any illusions over that. Don't talk down to the current war veterans and be disrespectful of them as if you have the only perspective of war. But to essentially accuse Americans of deliberately murdering innocent Iraqi's is on it's face repugnant.

We can disagree on a lot of things. We have that right to do so. And while Maj Thomas, myself and thousands of others currently serving took that oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies foreign and domestic" that does not excuse the deep disrespect with which you have treated him and the others who were there to provide an HONEST discussion of what's really going on over there.

I don't know the level of disagreement that you have over the current war against freedom. I don't know if you try and fit into that neat little group that claims to support the troops but is against the war. If so then your latest little group antics exposes you for the disingenous liars that you are. If you are blatantly anti-war fine. When you need to be protected because you refuse to do it yourself then we'll be there to do it for you. Whatever your bent, know that little childish stunts like this do MUCH to encourage the terrorists while leaving quite a few of our comrades-in-arms confused over what exactly is happening back home. Maybe what you ought to do is a little studying up on sedition. Remember the oath we took is to defend against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC and you are starting to sound more and more like the latter.

Posted by: 53Driver on March 30, 2005 05:32 AM
69. Wow... all this time I've heard about how nasty and mean spirited, even closed minded and unreasonable liberal blogs are... but conservative blogs! OMG! It's SO much worse here!

I've never seen so many ill mannered extremists in my life. Up till now I was on the fence... now I think my minds made up... if this is the kind of mentality the RIGHT offers, I don't want it!

Posted by: Rachel on April 5, 2005 07:27 AM
70. So long Rachel, and try not to let the door smack you upside the head on your way out.

Posted by: Lurker on June 28, 2005 03:55 PM
71. I know of one of the Navy's subjects Burning Heart,if he tells you his name i swear from the heavans above.if you ever hurt him
or do anything to him his family or his loved one including me i will take it to court i mean it too and this is no bluff i love burning heart just email me and i will give you my address and you will if you agree to noit hurt me state it in writing with a blck pen you wont hurt him thier for i will give you his name but if he does befor i do just to let you know he is only 14 years old so be nice to him please

Posted by: Elizabeth on November 3, 2005 03:21 PM
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