The Real Radio Hatemongers
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#1 Aug 24, 2010
My comments strictly pertain to Rush Limbaugh's discussion on Jesse Macbeth, and I wish to post this in anonymity.
On 1 May 2003 I remember sitting next to Macbeth while we shipped by air to Army training in Fort Benning, Georgia. He told me he was from Bahrain, and I think I wanted to ask him if he was from Manama, because all my conversations with foreign nationals are directed to whatever the capital city of their country is.
Neither of us completed training. Macbeth was in 1st platoon, and would be berated in front of everyone by a sergeant, who was also a former Marine, from another platoon on account of the fact that he was a Muslim, albeit an Afrocentric looking one, and that he would spend time reading from his copy of the Qu'ran. Religious literature was the only type of reading allowed. Macbeth later claimed that he was suicidal, and that he had ingested large quantities of pills, and that he was also, not having killed himself, going to write to his congressional representative.
It was evident that he wanted to quit, and his rash of behavior indicated that he was seeking any way to leave. That he invoked writing to his congressman is what expedited his discharge.
Whatever he claims he did after that point is false. In fact I saw him on two occasions, and in late 2004 he was an employee of a McDonald's in Tucson, Arizona. I also saw him in early 2005.
However, when I relay this story I have to admit that I have respect for him because I think my own situation was acutely similar. When he talks about his "service" in Iraq, I can see that he is, in a sense, referring to Basic Training at Fort Benning, and that is where his anger comes from. He was made to feel inferior to everyone else there, and it is difficult to try to continue when you degraded to that point. It is as simple as that. In my case, I felt I was treated with more respect at Fort Benning, but my problems really took root from the recruiting staff I enlisted under while in Arizona, and I could see how, in the long term, they would likely continue after Basic Training, had I stayed on. Neither of us had any support from our respective immediate families. After my three months I received a medical discharge.
Rush Limbaugh never served in the military and received a deferrment on account of his football injury. I do not see how he is justified to make reference to ANYONE with a military background a "phony solider."
I am so surprised that this small issue has become discussed so heavily in the press, and with the situation in Iraq coming to a close realize how my little stint in the military has taken on more significance than I ever previously afforded it. It seems obvious that the right are targeting him because he is easy fodder for their rhetoric. Please also understand that I do not condone the fact that Macbeth lied, and I do not belive that 23 year-olds are always that innocent or naive.
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