There are no atheists in foxholes … or in cockpits

So the president of the United States went on television last night to tell us that 13 years haven’t been nearly enough, and we now have a whole new band of barbarians hellbent on killing us and we’ll be waging war against them for the foreseeable future, and then some.

That new group has lots of names, and I’m still trying to figure out exactly what to call them. Pretty much every newspaper and television station I’ve seen is calling them ISIS, which apparently is upsetting lots of women named Isis, not to mention that it’s the name of a great Dylan song (which is redundant) and I’m sure this isn’t what he had in mind. And, besides, the second S stands for Syria, which nobody really wants to think about very much.

The president, meanwhile, is calling them ISIL, which is probably better because I don’t know anybody named Isil and there are no songs with that name that I know of. But the L stands for Levant and, really, what the hell is a Levant? Sez here that if you have to look it up, it’s a bad name.

Even others are calling them the Islamic State, which the barbarians themselves like to be called, which is reason enough not to call them that. And besides, the president reminded us in no uncertain terms last night that they are neither Islamic nor a state.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, is calling it the Islamic State group, which sounds way too much like Dylan’s backup band.

I think we should go simply with IS. It’s short and sweet, a headline writer’s dream. And besides, it means that after all these years, we’ll finally know what the meaning of the word IS is.

But I digress. This is about our never-ending war.

First of all, let’s get something straight. We need to rid our planet of each and every one of these ISes, who are like Al Qaeda met the Taliban and gave birth to a baby on steroids. To these guys, chopping off people’s hands, stoning adulterers and sawing off the heads of American journalists is just a start. There’s the whole starve-the-Christians-to-death-on-a-mountaintop thing. And there’s the beat-the-women-to-a-pulp-and-give-them-away-to-IS-commanders thing. As far as I’m concerned, the sooner these IS guys meet their 72 virgins the better.

And the president says we’re going to do our best to make that happen, and what’s more – and here’s the best thing – we’re going to do it this time without BOOTS ONNA GROUND! I like that a lot, because those boots onna ground have always been filled with the feet of young American men and women, thousands of whom died in the last 13 years with them on. And that’s not to mention the thousands more who came home missing arms or legs or both. And those who came home but left their brains on the battlefield.

We most definitely do not want any more boots onna ground. Not this time.

So the president has a plan. This time, we’re going to do it from the air. Those IS guys are going to be strutting around the Levant, stoning adulterers to death and cutting off robbers’ hands and killing Christians and raping women and all of a sudden BOOM out of the sky comes a bomb and then they’re gone.

I like this plan. Instead of boots onna ground, we’ll have boots inna air.

And for that we’ll need airmen. And airwomen. Or should we call them airpersons, since everyone wants to be totally politically correct these days? I’m sure there’s an Air Force spokesman or spokeswoman or spokesperson who can answer this one.

But I digress.

As I was saying, we’re going to need airpersons to fly those planes and drop those bombs, and they’re going to have to be good, God-fearing airpersons, because let’s face it . . . You can’t beat Allah if you don’t have God.

Don’t believe it? Just ask the unnamed airperson at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada who has been told he won’t be allowed to re-enlist because he is an atheist.

You can’t make this stuff up. According to the Air Force Times:

An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada has until November to change his mind and swear a reenlistment oath to God, the Air Force said.

The unnamed airman was denied reenlistment Aug. 25 for refusing to take an oath that concludes with the phrase “so help me God,” the American Humanist Association said in a Sept. 2 letter to the inspectors general for the Air Force and Creech. In her letter, Monica Miller, an attorney with the AHA’s Apignani Humanist Legal Center, said the airman should be given the choice to reenlist by swearing a secular oath. She said the AHA will sue if the airman is not allowed to reenlist.

In a Sept. 5 email, Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson said the airman is still serving and will continue to do so for at least two more months.

“The airman’s term of service expires in November 2014,” Richeson said. “He has until this time to complete the Department of Defense Form 4 in compliance with the Title 10 USC 502.”

The four-page DD Form 4, which is titled “Enlistment/Reenlistment Document, Armed Forces of the United States,” contains a “confirmation of enlistment or reenlistment” oath that reads, “I, [insert name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God” ….

The Air Force said it cannot change its [Air Force Instruction] to make “so help me God” optional unless Congress changes the statute mandating the oath.

Let’s recap. We need airpersons to drop bombs on the ISes in the Levant and rid the world of what the president himself called a cancer last night, and we have a perfectly fine airperson who wants to re-enlist at the Creech Air Force Base, but said airperson won’t be allowed to re-enlist because he doesn’t want to take an oath that ends with “So help me God.”

And it will take an act of Congress to change the statute that mandates the oath.

That’s all. Just an act of Congress.

What would you say are the chances of our congressmen, uh, congresswomen, uh, what the hell, congresspersons, changing the statute? What are the odds that even a single one will stand up in the House or Senate and say, “Let’s give our God-denying atheists their First Amendment rights and permit them to go drop bombs on Islamic militants who are hellbent on killing us”?

If there’s one thing this country hates more than an Islamic terrorist, it’s an atheist.

We’re in for a very long war.

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