FW: Which are You? Sheep or Sheepddog?

["As long as my ‘retired’ Dad still gets forwards from his buddies in the military, I’m never going to run dry of things to send you.


Thanks Ted. Being a docile lamb, I've always wanted to peek into the logical, trustworthy minds of the law enforcing sheep dogs who "permit" us our glorious freedom. Let us see more!? ]

---- Begin Forwarded Message ----


"This letter was written by Charles Grennel and his comrades who are
veterans of the Global War on Terror. Grennel is an Army Reservist who spent
two years in Iraq and was a principal in putting together the first Iraq
elections, January of 2005. It was written to Jill Edwards, a student at the
University of Washington who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner
USMC Colonel Greg Boyington. Ms. Edwards and other students (and faculty) do
not think those who serve in the U.S. armed services are good role models.

> > To: Edwards, Jill (student, UW)

> > Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your "student activity" regarding the proposed
memorial to Col. Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I
suspect you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from conservative folks
like me. You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of
generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your
fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and
your naivete. It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor
in being a sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are.

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November
24, 1997 said: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind,
gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." We
may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still
remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who
are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme
provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.
Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without
mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are
capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so,
you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock
and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are a
healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence
and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive
sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep
love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a
warrior, someone who is walking the unchartered path. Someone who can walk
into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out
We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They
do not want to believe that there is evil in the world.

They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire
extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their
kids' schools. But
many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in
their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be
killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's
only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone
coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the
path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf.
He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that
the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep
dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and
removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a
representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog
disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the
land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them
traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage
fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog
cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf
shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high
school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had
the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had
nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and
SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to
physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them.

This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at
the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf
pounded hard on the door. Remember how America more than ever before, felt
differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel?
Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it
is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny
critter. He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the
breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a
righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous
battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the
sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend
the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day
. After the
attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in
America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes."

The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on
one of those
planes. Maybe I could have made a difference."

You want to be able to make a difference. There is nothing morally superior
about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only
one. And that is that
he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent
of the population.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of
violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of
violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast
majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language:
slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their
victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd
that is least able to protect itself.
Some people may be destined to be
sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But
I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm
proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored
in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man
on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an
operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When they learned of the
other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd and the
other passengers confronted the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a
transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and
parents -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves,
ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of
evil men." - Edmund Burke. Here is the point I like to emphasize,
especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each
year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are
born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are
not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is
a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a
sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the
wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a
sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one,
but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest,
safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the
warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day
to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive
moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It
is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a
continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other
end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the
other. Most of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away
from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating
their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously.
It is okay to be a sheep, but do not kick the sheep dog. Indeed, the sheep
dog may just run a little harder, strive to protect a little better and be
fully prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the sheep
moving from "baa" to "thanks".

We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. We just need a small
pat on the head, a smile and a thank you to fill the emotional tank which is
drained protecting the sheep. And when our number is called by "The
Almighty", and day retreats into night, a small prayer before the heavens
just may be in order to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep.
And be grateful for the thousands - -millions - - of American sheepdogs who
permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas .....


Occam's Electric Razor said...

This is great, except that I'm not a sheep.

slappymcgee said...

A response to the [alleged] letter of Mr. Charles Grennel to Jill Edwards (student, UW)
Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Thank you for your interesting tale of sheep, wolves & sheepdogs. You make such a fascinating distinction between the three. However, in your fervor for simplification, you've left out a major character in your pastoral parable: the Shepherd.

The Shepherd is the leader who is responsible for deploying the sheepdogs around the perimeter for protection. When the Shepherd decides to send his sheepdogs to the wolves's den to eliminate the threat before it's at the gate, he has stopped being a Shepherd and has begun his role as conqueror. No longer content with the resources of his own land, he has turned his eyes to that of his neighbors. He
has convinced both the sheep and the sheepdog that it is for their future protection. And in his zest for securing this future protection, how many of his neighbors sheep were slaughtered?

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm grateful for the sacrifices of the sheepdog. Evil and violence exist in the world and I respect all who are willing to stand in opposition to them, but we live in an age when all of our shepherds have disappointed us. All of our leaders have been involved in scandals of greed and debauchery. Pensions are robbed, jobs are outsourced, the environment plundered, health care is pathetic and the noble sheepdogs are asked to pay the ultimate sacrifice so that the shepherds may
continue to pursue their agenda of power and greed. When we the sheep, buy into this lie we are leading ourselves to the slaughter. Our freedoms are more endangered by the shepherds than from the wolves. And let's not forget that the ultimate role of the shepherd is to protect his sheep long enough to harvest their wool and slaughter them for meat himself.

Show me a good Shepherd willing to fight the corruption in his own yard and I'll show you a
sheep who's willing to fight the wolf himself.


Kip W said...

Baa baa, woof woof.

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