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The Real Side | Commentary by Joe Messina
| Tuesday, Jul 21, 2015

joemessinamugWe lost five of our finest last week. Five young men who served our country. Three came back from tours overseas and continued their service, encouraging others to do the same.

I have spoken to many of these young men and women, asking them why they serve. Why put your life on the line for a cause they often don’t seem to get much support for?

The answer is always the same, and it’s never the pay. Nope. Not the benefits, not the education or housing or food. It has nothing to do with seeing the world or those great uniforms they get. What would possess these young people to serve?

Their answer is always: “We love this country, sir.” They usually go on to say they want to protect the freedoms this country offers all its citizens and that they still believe this is the best country on the planet.

They never complain about a living wage, living arrangements, work hours, time off, Internet access or sleeping accommodations because they love what they do and they believe they are doing the right thing.

Do you know where the largest concentration of military recruits comes from? The South. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina. Tennessee, Texas, and so on. In the South, approximately 7 out of every 1,000 people enlist, as opposed to less than 3 out of every 1,000 from California, New York and Massachusetts.

We’ve been pummeling Southerners for being racists, yet their actions prove they love this country (and ALL of the people in it) enough to make what could be the ultimate sacrifice. Meanwhile, some of those “other” states can only complain about the country and those “racists.”

Some of our service personnel are seriously injured, yet they can’t wait to get back to the battlefield. And then there are those who simply can’t go back to the battlefield.

How do we honor these people who give their lives for us? By not protecting them. We honor them by ignoring the real and present danger. In other words … we don’t honor them at all.

We don’t honor them until it’s too late. We give them medals for coming home with missing limbs. We honor them by giving a flag to their families when they pay the ultimate sacrifice. We honor them by considering lowering standards for certain groups of people to get in because it’s politically correct (something our military never should be). We honor them by turning what was the most respected military force on the planet into a military you might be able to count on if the higher-ups give the order in time to make a difference. That’s not honor.

And now, our president further dishonors our military by not acknowledging what really happened in Chattanooga. Five military men were gunned down by an ISIS sympathizer on American soil, and our president calls it an isolated incident by a “lone gunman.”

I’ve gone from giving him the benefit of the doubt to calling it what it is: This President is delusional.

He must mean it’s an isolated incident like those Boston Bombing cowards. You know, those two young men with Muslim extremist connections? Sure. It’s that kind of an isolated incident.

How about a few other isolated incidents?

September 2014, Oklahoma: A Sharia advocate beheads a woman after calling for Islamic terror and posting an Islamist beheading photo.

June 2014, West Orange, N.J.: A 19-year-old college student is shot to death “in revenge” for Muslim deaths overseas.

June 2014, Seattle, Wash.: Two homosexuals are murdered by an Islamic extremist.

April 2014, Skyway, Wash.: A 30-year-old man is murdered by a Muslim fanatic.

Since 9/11 we have had almost 50 attacks on U.S. soil in the name of Islam or in the name of ISIS. Another 30-plus were stopped before they occurred.

Most of the attackers yelled “Praise to Allah” before committing these acts. Yet the incidences have been deemed everything from workplace violence to single acts of deranged people.

We can still buy ISIS flags and get ISIS-themed cakes made. There is no resounding noise or uprising to ban the ISIS flag image like there was after the single shooting incident in Charleston, S.C.

When Dylan Roof gunned down nine black people in that church in Charleston, you would have thought from the subsequent media coverage that he was speaking for all people associated with the Confederate flag and that shootings associated with a Confederate flag were a regular occurrence that had to be stopped, NOW. He never yelled “Long live the South” or “The South will rise again” or any other “racist” chant while doing so. Overwhelmingly, the American populace, including Southerners, denounced his actions. His only real connection to the Confederate flag was that he was pictured with it, but it became the central focus. And the fallout from that one shooting continues with Civil War memorials being removed and soldiers being exhumed.

One racially motivated incident by one deranged shooter who happened to be photographed with a Confederated battle flag causes such furor that history is actively rewritten in right in front of us.

Compare that to 50 attacks on U.S. soil by Islamic extremists. Are there any calls to ban the flag? Nope. That ISIS flag is still easy to find here in the USA.

What is this double standard? Why do some atrocities simply draw a gasp while others incite riots? And why do some groups always seems get a pass?

I’ve come to the conclusion: If you are white and commit a crime using a gun, you are tagged a “right-wing, conservative, gun-loving, homophobic, bigoted racist” and represent all in the “White (fill in the blank)” category.

But if you happen to be a “devoted Muslim, with beheading videos and ISIS propaganda all over your home and in your computer” and are even writing blogs encouraging others to join the cause, you are a “lone wolf” with no ties to any other Muslim extremists.

There’s no pattern here.

There isn’t enough booze or drugs to make that garbage make sense.

Speak out and speak up. Be the non-violent “lone wolf” and make a difference by speaking the truth.


Joe Messina is host of The Real Side (TheRealSide.com), a nationally syndicated talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS radio and SCVTV [here]. He is also an elected member of the Hart School Board. His commentary publishes Mondays.


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  1. Lee Uber Lee Uber says:

    No need to try and justify your disgusting xenophobia, Joe. Just say that people who aren’t white Christians scare you and be done with it.

  2. Benghazi Joe at it again.

  3. I hope we have female and people of color as our Presidents of The US until this racist bafoon dies. Just to piss him off. This guy has no idea what the real world is like or what happens over his 16 ft high white picket fence in his front yard.

  4. Dave Warburton says:

    Pres. Obama has nothing to do with wacko extremists of any stripe. Nor does Boehner or McConnell, either for that matter. We live in a time when Muslim extremism is unfortunately prevalent and we are going to have occasional spillover of it from its main source, the Middle East. All western countries are in a similar position. All we can do is be alert and try to shut down individual threats wherever and whenever we can. They cannot be stopped, only controlled to a greater or lesser degree.

  5. It helps to weaken ISIL and other extremist groups by not giving them legitimacy or credit.

  6. You might want to wait until the investigation is finished before you “dishonor” the president for his actions. He has given his condolences to the family and talks about the investigation in this interview http://www.msnbc.com/the-ed-show/watch/pres.-obama–tn-shooting-is-heartbreaking-485710915559

  7. Betty Arenson says:

    Good research, Joe. Thank you for recognizing those who sign up to protect America and those within. Among the proud and brave, count one of my grandsons (new join) and a grandson-in-law…who hopes to re-up a SECOND time soon—after TWO Afghan deployments! Both Marines.
    Semper Fi.

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