Writer and Army wife Kanani Fong provided us with her commentary on the recent controversy surrounding Deb Pauly’s remarks at a Yorba Linda protest:
One of the most disturbing inclusions in Villa Park Council Woman and OC Republican Committee Representative Deb Pauly’s careless remarks at the recent protest in Yorba Linda was that she “knew a few Marines who would….” Of course, the remainder of this threat was that she knew Marines who would act as her personal ruffians to send to a private, peaceful event and do some harm.
Her words are a gross distortion of and do great dishonor to not only The Marine Corps, but all those who serve. The image she invoked reinforces the stereotype of our armed forces as an unthinking, heartless and randomly violent Leviathan force. Nothing can be further from the truth, and it is regretful Pauly brandished this threat as though she were a drunk gunslinger in a lawless saloon.
The Marines do not work this way. Their missions are well planned, involve a great deal of intelligence gathering, planning, and consideration. Perhaps she would not have been so careless with words had she been following The Marines progress in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The fulfillment of their mission has been nothing less than exemplary, showing not only the propensity to live and work alongside them, learn their local language, make it possible for the local Islam girls to go to school, in addition to restoring a climate of entrepreneurship where the local bazaar is thriving again. I have personal knowledge of the efforts being made over there, as my own husband is an active duty soldier, who in the past provided healthcare to Afghan locals in another province, Kunar. This included taking care of many children who were burn victims, and others who had suffered serious injuries due to IEDs.
The fact of the matter is that The Marines along with the world’s armed forces are bringing the first glimmer of opportunity since the Russians killed an estimated four million Afghans, followed by the killing of 400,000 innocents during the Taliban regime.
I know a few Marines too, and none of them would do as Pauly insinuates. They are not thugs. They are professionals, and a great many have died in the line of duty to protect the locals from thugs who are hired by AlQaeda who come from all countries to work for peanuts for an ideology that results in the stripping away of human rights, torture, and death. Need anyone want a reminder, Dexter Filkins wrotes concisely about what the soccer stadium was used for in Kabul during the Taliban regime.
This is not to say that one does not question organizations such as CAIR. If one wants to look into the checkered past of CAIR, they will find plenty of past actions that run counter to peace. It’s also fair to ask this new offshoot of CAIR: Why didn’t they join up with local organizations that have been addressing homelessness and abuse decades? And of course, as I asked on my own military blog The Kitchen Dispatch, it is entirely fair to ask if they wanted to have a first event: Why invite two controversial and suspect individuals to an area known to be politically to the right?
I do think it is important to address extreme Islam, just as it is to question the actions of a few Christians carrying out extreme acts such as the Westboro church’s hateful protests against victims of AIDS and soldiers, and most recently Rev. Terry Jones’ burning of the Quran in Florida. To this, I would ask CAIR why they did not instead invite Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum For Democracy. Dr. Jasser is a former Navy Officer, who has gone on to speak out against radical Islam. These are the types of questions that are fair to put to the organizers of the event.
I am also perplexed why Ed Royce would decide to take his stand at this event. It would seem that while there are bonafide concerns about radical Islam, neither politician used common sense, or went about it in an intelligent way. Pauly’s remarks were self aggrandizing and akin to proving herself as “more a military supporter than others, and also more as a conservative Republican than others.” However, she has fallen short, has embarrassed herself and has greatly maligned the honor and professionalism of those who serve. Pauly seems to be a highly risky person for Republicans to include as it tries to remake itself into a timely and current political party.