Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition: Fortunately We Need Not Worry, Unless . . . .

Do you know where the expression “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition comes from?” I knew it was a WWII patriotic song but did not know that it existed prior to the song. The first time it was spoken was during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Chaplain, Lt. j.g. Howell M. Forgy, was stationed aboard the USS New Orleans during the attack.

According to Lieutenant Edwin F. Woodhead, who was the officer in charge of an ammunition line on that ship, “I heard a voice behind me saying, ‘Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.’ I turned and saw Chaplain Forgy walking toward me, along the line of men. He was patting them on the back and making that remark to cheer and keep them going. I know it helped me a lot, too.”

Chaplain Forgy later recounted, “our electrical power wasn’t on, and so when we went to lift the ammunition by the hoist, we had to form lines of men — form a bucket brigade — and we began to carry the ammunition up through the quarterdeck into the gurneys, and I stood there and directed some of the boys down the port side and some down the starboard side, and as they were getting a little tired, I just happened to say, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” That’s all there was to it.”

December 7, 1941, over 77 years ago the United States was bombed into a world war that lasted less than five years; we are now involved in ongoing wars in several areas one creeping up close to a 20 year endeavor with no end in sight. But there is another one, urged on us for many years by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, against the country of Iran which is lurking around the corner.  The big question is whether Netanyahu and his new-found co-conspirators in Saudi Arabia can push us around that corner or whether we will stop short and stay on the street where we now stand.

The decider in this will be Trump. This in a sense is fortunate since he is a coward when it comes to fighting and cannot see himself out front in any wars. Ge’s lucky because he can point the finger at others for us being in our present under the screen wars.

I’m not exactly sure of the reason he fears war although I sometimes think it is because he still yearns to outdo or demolish everything Obama has done and one thing that yet remains out of his reach is the Nobel Peace Prize which was given to Obama and which has been deprived him even though he has ardently sought it.

On other times I think he does not want to face being the instigator of many American military deaths having refused to wear the American uniform himself. It must be tough knowing you had a fake excuse to avoid serving during Vietnam to decide upon sending America’s youth off to do something you were fearful of doing. That may be the only vestige of humanity that remains in Trump if it is there at all as the reason.

We’ve seen Trump back down over and over again. He walked away from Syria giving it to Assad and Putin. He seems to be walking away from Venezuela leaving it to Maduro and Putin. He now is consulting with Putin over what he will permit him to do in Iran. He needs Putin’s okay. Putin though is allied somewhat with Iran so he may demand a whole lot to give it. Will he give Trump the okay to do some type of attack if Trump gives him the okay to invade Ukraine or Latvia?

Trump though may hope to finesse Netanyahu, Saudi’s murderer MBS, the Nobel Committee and Putin by going to war as he did in Syria when he launched some missiles which hit some buildings after the people occupying them were told to leave.  He may attack and blow up some abandoned Iranian railroad lines or buildings without causing any casualties to people. After this attack, he will seek negotiations with Iran. Perhaps a summit with an Ayatollah like he did with Kin Jong Un.

The one problem is unlike with Syria, Venezuela or North Korea, Iran might take offense. Trump is betting they won’t. But what if they do?






19 thoughts on “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition: Fortunately We Need Not Worry, Unless . . . .

  1. The fact that he beat the system through privilege and chicanery is not what galls. He was among a host of others that did the same, from all spots along the political perspective. What inflames me is when these “chicken hawks” rattle the sabre and posture with their bellicose rhetoric extoling military might and righteous response. A response that will not threaten to disturb their cozy nests one iota. No-the price will be paid by others. It always is.

    1. Hutch:

      Surely you don’t refer to John Bolton. After serving in the National Guard for four years, he served in the United States Army Reserve until the end of his enlistment two years later. He wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book: “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.” It was all right for others to do that. Now he is leading the charge into Iran.

      1. Or Chaney, when asked about his service: “Vietnam was not a priority for me.”
        Tell that to the parents, wives, sweethearts and friends that will visit the grave a young man who is forever nineteen.

        1. Hutch,

          Nice to be able to decide whether you want to go to war or not. I wonder how much time you would have spent in Leavenworth if you went to the draft board in Uphams Corner and told them that you’d prefer not to go to Vietnam.

          1. I can answer that. When I was at the Army base in Southie, I was not certain that I would go. An Army Master Sgt. informed us that if any of us did not intend to report do not cross a yellow line on the floor or you would then come under the UCMJ. I raised my hand and said I was not sure. I was escorted to a side room where a Lt. Colonel and another senior NCO were seated.

            I took a seat and they perused my file. I said maybe I’ll go to jail for a couple of years or at least go to court. Then they explained:
            1. I could not claim CO status because I was Catholic (since changed).

            2. I would go to Leavenworth (how did you know?) for five years.

            I said that seemed unfair–they agreed-and I was not a CO. Long story short–I served. I want to emphasize that throughout this process I was treated with respect and courtesy.

  2. The sequence of events here starts with the failure of the slow-motion, announced-at-a-press-conference coup against Maduro in Venezuela. With that embarrassment lingering in the news, Trump changed the subject to Iran. Since I’ve always been fearful Trump might drag us into a war with Iran, this definitely caught my attention. But, as it turns out, it was only John Bolton and Mike Pompeo screwing things up again. Bolton bungled badly in Venezuela, and he then teamed up with Pompeo to create the false impression we were on the road to war with Iran.

    I guess we’re supposed to believe that Trump wasn’t at the steering wheel. And that he’s been badly served by his handpicked foreign policy advisers. So sad.

    By the way, Matt, Trump’s grandfather was kicked out of Germany for evading military service. So it definitely runs in the family. (

    1. Dan:

      The way I see it is Trump wants the war with Iran but wants to be able to say he didn’t but the others made him do it. My money is on a Gulf of Tonkin incident, a one and done attack over a day or two involving little or no loss of American lives, and a stand down and wait for Iran to cry “uncle.” I’d be very surprised if it doesn’t happen.

      Then again, as I’ve suggested before, much depends on Vladimir the Invader.

  3. When will we learn we can’t set up happy little democracies all ove the world. If we didn’t learn from Vietnam, we should have learned from Afghanistan and Iraq. The alternative to Assad and Russian support is ISIs or the Muslim Brotherhood. Venezuela is a economic mess only partly from socialism but mostly from American sanctions.

    1. Brian:

      Some lessons are hard to learn. Trump did a one and done in Syria by launching some missiles that accomplished little and kept him in line for the Nobel Peace Prize. Pompeo and Bolton are pushing him hard – behind them MBS from Saudi and Bibi from Israel and Jared from Kushner Enterprises. I don’t think we face a Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq situation but something quick for a show. The only problem with that is we can’t control the response. But what do I know really since it seems no one really has an idea what is going to happen from one day to the next.

  4. Churchill’s son Randoph boasted to Walter Lippman that Britain had dragged the U S into two world wars and if necessary she would drag her into a third. The B team, Bibi, Bolton and Bin Salman are trying to drag us into conflict with Iran. A conflict with Iran would be a disaster. Thousands of troops are stationed in the region . They would be sitting ducks for the Iranian military and their proxies. A military expert said this would be a road game for the U S and Iran would be fighting at home. Many people voted for Trump because they didn’t want the failed regime change foreign policy of Obama, Hillary and Bush. Additionally there is no public support for that war. If Trump can avoid war his economy is so strong that re election seems a sure thing. The Persian Gulf would likely be shut down during a fight and $200 a barrel oil could be seen. There would be no re election under those circumstances. 2. Is one a coward for avoiding war? Ike, Reagan and Carter must have been cowards. LBJ, Wilson and Bush must have been courageous to inflict their wars on us. That argument is total sophistry. If we had sent two divisions into Syria as some suggested how many thousands of casualties would have resulted? America can’t control the world and shouldn’t attempt to. Give Peace a Chance.

    1. NC:

      Germany dragged us into WWI by sinking our ships and trying to get Mexico to attack us; Japan dragged us into WWII. You really got to stop listening to Pat Buchanan.

      Obama made peace with Iran with a reasonable deal. He was interested in regime change there. It’s your guy who is seeking that. However, he wants no more, as I see it, than a one and done attack of a day or so. I heard he watched some of the March Madness and got caught up with the idea of one and done. Expect, if one happens, a big day attack and then a stand down. Smart people are keeping their fingers crossed the Iran will take it and do nothing.

      When we send Abraham Lincoln into the Persian Gulf aka the Arabian Gulf – the U.S. Navy calls it the latter name at the behest of the rulers of Saudi Arabia – that will be the time of greatest danger.

      2. Reagan didn’t avoid war. Didn’t he invade Spain – a place called Grenada; didn’t he bomb Muammar el-Qaddafi’s country. Carter sent troops into Iran to rescue the hostages but their planes broke up; Ike was lucky. But you’re right avoiding war doesn’t make one a coward but when a guy goes around threatening war (unlike those you mentiones) and backs down at the first sign of having to do more than talk that does make him a coward.

      Don’t forget LBJ won the Silver Star one of our highest military awards. He got it from General McArthur and wore it on his lapel all the time. Wilson did everything to avoid war but Germany made it inevitable; Bush and Bush got caught up in the neo-con Saudi Arabia love fest. Had we sent two divisions into Syria as I suggested we could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, kept Russia out of there, and established a stable democracy in that country. One of our country’s great failings was not to follow my advice.

    1. Honest:

      I’m glad you got to London early so you can get a front row seat at the reception Trump will get when he arrives for the state visit.

      1. I’m back in Virginia, Matt. My wife and I spent 2 1/2 weeks in Iceland and England birdwatching and visiting with friends. Good news: English food is improving! Pubs are getting it right. And the birding on the Norfolk Coast, as always, is spectacular.

        1. Honest:

          Sounds like a fine trip. I do hope you are going back for Trump’s arrival. I heard there is going to be a big bird in his image floating above the city.

          1. If he thinks our press is bad…. He is about to enter an entirely new universe of venomous scribes. They disliked him en masse 40 years ago when looking to build a golf course, he tried to pry land from a man who’s family had lived on it for about 20 generations.

  5. Firstly, to clear up confusion, I’m also known as Billy C, the Savin Hill Billy, the Chestnut Hill Billy, Billanova and William Connolly.

    How blithely you label a man a coward. Bill Clinton a coward? Barack Obama? They did not don the uniform. Trump got deferments for 4 years of college as every college student did during Vietnam, he then got a 1-Y for “bone spurs”, making him ineligible to be drafted so long as the 1-Y continued . . .He was never drafted . . .the Vietnam War was winding down . . .then the LOTTERY came out, and only guys in the top 100 or so got called . . . .

    But you somehow know he was a “coward.”

    I hope we get out of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the 100 countries the NEO-CON IMPERIALISTISTS AND HILLARY HILLARIAN IMPERIALISTS have placed our soldiers in.

    I hope we recognize we are not an EMPIRE . . .the age is not PAX AMERICANA . . . .and we pull back and let NATO, Japan and the rest of the world do the heavy lifting elsewhere

    I sincerely hope we stop “sending American boys to do what European or Asian or African boys should be doing” paraphrasing Lyndon Johnson, before the Vietnam War exploded. If only he’d followed his own counsel . . .a good many of the 50,000 excess deaths and several hundred thousand injuries could have been averted.

    So, let’s stop throwing stones, name-calling, mud-slinging, character assassinating, and lets’ stop sending American men and women to wars in foreign lands.

    Signed, just another Savin Hill Billy

    1. William:

      Yes, he is a coward. He didn’t know what foot his bone spur was on when asked. His old man had a foot doctor tenant who wrote the letter allowing fat rich Trump to stay home while some poor kid got sent over in his place.

      But that is a good attribute because he will not want to get us involved in a protracted war; although he might ok a day or two of bombings. Bibi and MBS told him he could do that without any consequences.

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