Those who serve, those who talk shit
Anthony Mantova, National Field Director
of the Leadership Institute,
(AP Photos/Rebecca Santana)
U.S. army soldier Sgt. Jason Mulligan, 28,
is one of thousands of soldiers and Marines
who left the active military but were pulled
back in and deployed to Iraq.
Glory without the guts
by Rob Ash, 8/25/2006
The wars in the Middle East grind on. The situation looks grimmer than ever. The United States and Iran appear perilously close to war.When people wonder why those rich, drunk kids get hammered for not serving, it's cowards like this which do the driving of policy. He wants to play risk with other people's lives, lives like that IRR soldier now back in Iraq.
In spite of all this death and destruction, not everyone is unhappy. One young former Humboldt County resident named Anthony Mantova is about to get the war he has publicly wished for, even if he does not intend to personally participate.
Since he is such a fan of aggressive military solutions to solve the world’s problems, he should be eager to enlist. Mantova flatly refused to concede to serving the United States in the military.
The money quote from these conversations came when Mantova berated me for what he said was my “hillbilly, intellectually vacant and morally repugnant belief that ‘those who call for war must serve.’”
A 24-year-old, healthy man, Mantova — hypothetically at least — believes in “personal responsibility” and strongly defending America. He’s an outstanding candidate for military service. He simply lacks the heart to sign up.
These days, Anthony Mantova is a young fellow on the rise in GOP politics. He is the national field director for an organization called The Leadership Institute.
Based in Arlington, Va., The Leadership Institute is a 501c3 advocacy foundation. Created by longtime GOP operative Morton Blackwell, “The Leadership Institutes mission is to identify, recruit, train and place conservatives in politics, government and the media.”
Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff and James Guckert (aka Jeff Gannon) are some notable graduates of The Leadership Institute.
Some time ago, Anthony Mantova wrote a few guest opinions for The Eureka Reporter, all of which were resoundingly jingoistic. One was called “The Cost of Co-existence is Too High.” That last title begs the question, what cost is Anthony Mantova willing to pay?
Mantova is very enthusiastic about combat, just so long as someone else is doing the fighting. He said it was unnecessary for him to enlist. This, despite the fact that combat tours have been involuntarily extended. Some troops have deployed into a war zone for the fourth time.
Mantova is of age, qualified to serve and has publicly, enthusiastically endorsed widening the war when there’s a shortage of troops.
Why doesn’t he sign up?
Mantova gave me unconvincing answers. He speculated how his enlistment might undermine civilian control of the military.
He compared himself favorably to the ancient Roman politician Cato the Elder, Winston Churchill and Socrates. Clearly, Mantova has a very high opinion of his intellectual abilities.
Finally, Mantova demeaned all service members and veterans with his “hillbilly, intellectually vacant and morally-repugnant” comments and dismissed the very notion of military service. He treated a deadly serious question as if it were a joke.
Guys like Mantova want all the glory without showing any of the guts. Since he works for The Leadership Institute, Mantova must aspire to lead something, some day. From what I can see, Mantova is showing no leadership qualities whatsoever — only glibness, smugness and self-preoccupation that borders on the sociopathic.
Those may get Mantova ahead in the short term, but will damage our country in the long run.
Is this the kind of leadership to which we can look forward?
Let’s hope not. I’m wishing Anthony Mantova a very brief undistinguished and unfulfilling career in politics. America has already had way too much of his kind of leadership.
Sgt Mulligan may wind up dead or injured and asswipes like Mantova talk about war like it was some kind of game. What's even worse, it's that these guys don't even know how what they're saying sounds. It's all been this backroom kind of thing, one the national media hasn't touched. They'll ask a high school kid why he isn't signing on for our glorious colonial war in Iraq, but not people like this. And it would be a hell of a story to see the kind of sneering contempt these fuckers have for military service and those in the military.
posted by Steve @ 1:01:00 PM