Monday, February 18, 2008

Semper Fi
by Rep. John Campbell

You might have heard about Berkeley’s City Council's recent vote to tell the Marines to close their recruiting station in the city. With this vote, they told the Marines that their recruiting office is not welcome in their city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as an uninvited and unwelcome intruders.

In response to this, I will be introducing the “Semper Fi Act” in the House of Representatives. This act rescinds all of the funding contained in the FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Act for the City of Berkeley, CA and transfers those funds to the Marines for recruiting.

During the meeting, the City Council also voted to give protest group Code Pink a parking space in front of the recruiting office once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week. According to the City Council agenda, they "Encourage all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station, and applaud residents and organizations such as Code Pink, that may volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley."

The Marine Corps has been protecting Americans and our freedoms for 233 years. Americans understand and appreciate that. You don’t have to join the Marine Corps, or even like it, but you should at the very least let the Marines do their job and respect them for it.

The action by the Berkeley City Council indicates that they have a disdain for and do not appreciate Marines for what they do and have done for this country, our democracy, and our freedoms. If they have so little respect and understanding of that, there is no reason for the rest of us, outside the city of Berkeley, to subsidize their actions with our taxpayer funds.
I had no plans to visit Berkeley, but will take pains to avoid that city in the future. You may not like what the military does, but these men and women deserve our respect and our support.
Who would be screaming the loudest if America were invaded by an enemy force and there were no military to defend us? The police certainly couldn't. They don't have nearly enough manpower or training to repel an invasion. If liberals have their way, private citizens couldn't protect their homes or family because they wouldn't be allowed by law to have guns. Who would we call on to help when natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding occur? Remember the stories that came out of the Super Dome after Katrina? The National Guard couldn't respond because under mindsets such as the Berkeley city council, the guard wouldn't exist.
Becareful of what you wish for; you might get it.

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