Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

The New Chickenhawk War

Written By: Bob - Oct• 28•11

One thing I think no one who sees the video will deny is that Scott Olsen seemed to be peacefully refusing to leave the scene of Occupy Oakland as police told the protestors to disperse. In the video taken just before he was felled, Olsen was merely standing passively, and not even chanting.

Moments later he was on the ground, critically wounded, from what appears to have been a “less-lethal” round fired into his head, fracturing his skull. As he lay bleeding on the ground and his fellow protestors tried to assist him, a law enforcement officer in riot gear purposefully threw a small flash-bang grenade or similar device into the crowd, the device detonating within inches of Olsen’s body.

Occupy protestors, including Olsen, refused to obey a repeated lawful order to leave the area. That allowed, no law enforcement officer is justified in pointing a weapon at the head-level of protestors at any time or distance, nor do I suspect there is legally-defensible justification for throwing a flash-bang onto or beside the body of wounded protestors and those trying to help him. These actions almost certainly violated use-of-force guidelines and nearly killed a man.

I was greatly relieved when I saw that Olsen’s condition had been upgraded from critical to fair, but while Olsen’s condition appears to be approving, the mood of certain protestors is turning grim and combative towards police, particularly an outspoken group claiming to be Marines.

Anyone can claim to be anyone else on the Internet, it is true, but odds are that the majority of outraged souls claiming to be Marine veterans are precisely who they say they are, and as Mediabistro almost gleefully announces, could be in the mood to become combative against the police.

If online reaction is any indication, it’s not a stretch to think Olsen’s injury could be the start of something very big. We have a lot of military combat veterans in this country who haven’t been treated very well since they left the service. No job prospects. Inadequate medical coverage. If they take their anger offline and into the streets, the OWS movement will become an extremely potent, and WELL TRAINED force.

If you read some of the hundreds of comments of the Mediabistro post you get a sense that the anger is genuine and building on both sides, and that both the protestors and the anti-protestors would like to claim the support of the military in an increasingly divided country.

The simple fact of the matter is that neither side can claim the military as their own. While they share brotherhood, they are individuals, and and attempts to call the other side’s protestors “chickenhawks” in an attempt to demean their level of service or non-service will ultimately do nothing but make the divisions that much deeper.

Update: As if things aren’t tense enough already, someone is passing around fliers at Occupy Phoenix goading protestors to shoot police for any number of imagined slights.

The first question I had after reading this was whether or not the rhetoric on the fliers was similar to the rhetoric from the armed neo-Nazis that were there claiming to offer the Occupy protestors protection from the police.

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  1. Dragon says:

    If someone ignites this particular fuse, it does have the potential of getting real ugly real quick.

    But as far as the Marines go….I would like to know how many of these Marines are Honorably Discharged (or Honorably released from active duty) Marines, and how many of the Marines showing up at these *protests* have been court-marshalled (at worst) or Captains Masted (at the least) and have a less than stellar record in the military, something that would give them a General Discharge, or a Dishonorable.

    My guess is that these fellows claiming to be Marines at these events are the 25 – 30 % of service members that receive a discharge or separation from active duty that is less than Honorable.

    And if these Marines decide to go all bat-shit crazy, and lend their support to the Occupy-Somethings, and a shooting civil war (or civil unrest) breaks out, they are facing well over 250 MILLION firearms in the hands of former military & civilians who feel that once the police said to disperse in accordance with whichever law they could find to legally tell them to do so, and that was ignored, then all bets are off…you made your bed, now lie in it.

    I have no pity for these *Marines* who disobey lawful orders and get conked in the head with a tear gas canister. And I’m a Veteran. I *still* have no pity for them.

    Like I said…I believe that the former servicemen (regardless of branch) who are attending these obvious attempts at subversion are nothing but that swath of the military that couldn’t cut it *in* the military and manage an honorable discharge.

  2. Mark L says:

    Simple solution: Use a water bomber. Get a helicopter equipped for fighting wild fires, and dump the water over the area occupied by the protesters. Best way would be to get a system that mists the water down — like rain.

    Get the camp out area wet enough and it becomes a miserable place to stay — especially if temperatures are in the 60s or below. No martyrs with busted heads, just wet, miserable protestors.

  3. Old NFO says:

    Dragon is correct, these are NOT upstanding USMC folks, these are the dregs that left for any number of reasons (mostly negative)…

  4. Old NFO says:

    And here is the link I couldn’t find earlier about Olsen…

  5. Dragon says:

    Thanks for the link, NFO….

    I took a look at the archives to his site. Hell, I had no idea he was one of those guys who couldn’t cut it in the military when I first posted here, and after reading what is archived of his blog *I hate the Marine Corps*, it doesn’t surprise me. He is VERY disingenuous in hiding under the *I’m a Marine* meme now that he’s injured after civil disobedience, seeing that his hatred for the services in general runs deep.

  6. redc1c4 says:

    apparently, it is quite possible that this anti-Semitic dirtbag was hit by something thrown by his fellow protestors: