Welcome to part two of our question and answer session with Republican candidate for United States Senate, David J. Carlson. This section will focus on veteran related questions, discourse on the military and his opinions on the crisis we face on the Mexican Border. Once again, thanks to David for taking time out of his schedule to talk with The Havok Journal.
You served honorably with the United States Marine Corps and endured several tours of duty overseas in Iraq. Over the past few months, Americans are now starting to see the negligent behavior in regards to how we treat those who serve upon returning home. What ideas do you have in place that can help fix some of these glaring issues we are all seeing?
When you have the lowest representation of veterans in Congress since World War II, with an administration and Congress that is constantly asking more of our Armed Forces, yet is cutting our forces to pre-World War II levels something has to give. We need to get more men and women who understand the military more than just what an advisor or veteran representative puts down for talking points.
I think for starters we must get more advocates in the position to make a difference, and that starts with the Congress, especially the U.S. Senate. America has never elected an Iraq-Afghanistan veteran to the U.S. Senate. I take great pride that I could be the first one, but also feel great disappointment that there has not been the support of the very community I am working so hard to fight for—fight for me. That includes military based media. We need men and women to hold the VA’s feet to the fire and demand people be replaced and a younger, more independent generation of veterans starts to get in more positions to make a difference and represent us.
We should not allow the VA to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on solar panels for hospitals already plugged into the power grid when we don’t have enough people reading folders, making appointments, or seeing patients. It’s a complete, unequivocal disgrace of monumental proportions and the fact that there is only recently a faux-outrage when so many veterans and veteran advocates have been saying this for years is a testament to why we need to get out of the just the rallies and get more of us at the table—at the positions to do as they say, and help improve the situation for veterans.
A major point for me is helping fund new veterans businesses in the same way World War II veterans were able to secure business financing and home financing. We have been wronged by our government in so many ways. We are known as the best parade walkers or props behind a candidate speaking, but where are we when we have candidates in the trenches battling for our rights? We are the one group in America that is not allowed to organize, our service organizations are not supposed to be political, the establishment does not want us to have strong, populist candidates that can achieve reforms with broad bipartisan support and respect.
We are kept isolated from the process while serving; our votes from across seas are often not counted, and we are disrespected on levels that other groups would never see nor tolerate, but for veterans we’re expected to suck it up–the time to suck it up is over. The time for this generation of warriors to get a place at the table is long overdue, and once we get more of us in the position to fight and help drive change we’ll truly see change. As a disabled veteran myself, I have depended on my VA benefits before and will fight to ensure this government keeps its obligations to the one group of people who have fought and become injured or killed for these benefits.
I am a part of a generation that has grown up in a world of perpetual war. Many millennials, such as myself question our ability to nation build and effectively deal with reparations overseas — though we do understand that at times, war is necessary. Would you endorse legislation or executive action that would place conventional forces back in Iraq to oppose the threat that ISIS brings internally and externally in the region?
ISIL is a major threat to the U.S. and systematically committing genocide to Christians and non-Muslims across the region. As a three-time combat veteran serving with the Commanding General of 1st Marine Division (1MARDIV) and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (1MEF) I can certainly empathize and understand why many veterans want to stay out of the Middle East, and out of Iraq, and even why many civilians are war weary.
I firmly believe the war on terror will last the rest of my lifetime and likely the rest of our nations history. It’s not that we want to continue to fight, but there is going to continue to be a large segment of the worlds largest religion that wants to destroy our country, our way of life, rape our women, scalp our men, and behead our children. We see ISIL doing this daily, and they have been doing so for well over a year, but this is nothing new; wanting a Islamic Caliphate is not a new desire of these barbarians, they just have accumulated more power, more resources, more money, more American equipment, killed more innocent people than we’ve seen before; or is it just more in our faces?
As a student of national security, foreign policy, Intelligence, and international and military affairs, I can say that our inaction in Syria is large measure responsible for what we see in Iraq now, along with our issues with Russia, and increasingly more often, China. Our weak and compromising policies towards Iran, refusal to confront and even properly quantify Jihadism and radical Islam for what it is, and most importantly, our obvious unwillingness to want to fight back shines brightly around the Muslim world and we see that in their rhetoric and propaganda.
So to answer your question, yes, I would support fighting ISIL because they won’t just stay to cities many of us have fought inside of in Iraq, but as they announced yesterday, they intend on rising the black terrorist pirate flag over the White House and our leaders seem confused on what to do, if anything; maybe because they lack the experience and knowhow of who or what it is we are really fighting, or what their intentions really are. Firing a few missiles at an artillery piece is laughed at. ISIL, Hamas—and let us not forgot Hezbollah, who prior to 9/11 had killed more Americans in the largest terrorist attack against Americans in history killing 241 American servicemen and 58 of our French allies, continue to operate without much opposition.
Iran is largely responsible for funding these organizations, along with Syria, but we also have a problem with Russia supplying our enemies and working to destabilize our foreign policy and relationships around the world. We need leaders who get this, who have the fortitude to call it out, and also have a plan of what to do next. We must confront ISIL and it’s unfortunately going to take more than some cruise missiles and those Iraqi’s who haven’t been killed already for previously helping the U.S. are looking at the sky and wondering where their American allies are… We are dropping some water, at best.
We cannot run because the going gets tough, because our enemies as many of us know will sacrifice their children to kill one of us, how do we compete with people who don’t care if their children even live another hour? Well, there may not be any good answers to ISIL and our various global threats right now, but there are certainly wrong answers, and running and hoping it doesn’t get to our shores surely isn’t the right one.
We must defend this nation and our honor, and the sacrifices of this generation inside Iraq and Afghanistan and that means getting our allies to also back us and support with their forces and also financial support as we should not and must not bear the entire burden of securing the free world on the American taxpayer alone.