Byline: Gary Anderson, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Jeremiah Wright Jr. had quite a month for himself in April. He singlehandedly left the campaign of his long-time friend and parishioner Barack Obama with damage-control problems that the captain of the Titanic might have recognized. But his bridge burning did not stop there.
Mr. Wright also alienated the United States Marine Corps. He hides behind the fact that he once wore the uniform of the Corps when people impugn his very questionable patriotism, while he compares the Marines who have served, and are serving, in Iraq to the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus. This has caused many among even his former supporters to wonder what he was thinking.
To say his statements incensed current and former Marines would be a monumental understatement. The Marines like to say, "Once a Marine, always a Marine." One is well advised never to call someone an ex-Marine. Marines call people who have been honorably discharged from the ranks, "former Marines." People who received less than a fully honorable discharge are called ex-Marines. Lee Harvey Oswald was an "ex-Marine."
There is an unwritten code among former Marines that they will do nothing to dishonor the Corps. Most Marines believe that they belong to a special fraternity that precedes the birth of the nation itself. The vast majority of us credit much of whatever success we may have gained to what we learned in its ranks. Former Marines as diverse as both of Virginia's senators and comedians Drew Carey and Jonathan Winters credit the Corps with giving them the self confidence to take on daunting challenges.
Most of us former and serving Marines are legitimately outraged when someone uses his service in the Corps to hide behind his misbehavior. To use one's service to justify something ill-advised that he has done is one thing, but to go on to insult the Corps is incomprehensible.
Marines are not only dying in Iraq, but they are simultaneously conducting humanitarian and nation-building operations under conditions unprecedented in American history. Better still, they are showing results to the point where they are bored and looking for new challenges in Afghanistan. This makes Mr. Wright's remarks …