Roy Exum: The Real Reason ISIS Quit

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

It’s not in my nature to be either unpleasant or unkind with Christmas Day less than a week away but I sure haven’t read a whole lot in the news about the fact the punk terrorist group known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has just crumpled. That’s right – destroyed! Peter Bergen, CNN’s National Security Analyst, is crediting Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi and his “Golden Division” of 10,000 warriors in Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service for fully liberating Iraq, after ISIS owned 40 percent of the country just three years ago.

But that’s pure bunk. What defeated ISIS was USA. Our bombers and money and strategists and snipers are the real reason and what CNN won’t tell you is that about a year ago we replaced a limp-wristed leader with a guy who takes no guff from anyone. The new guy also happens to be the most feared man in the world, James Mattis, who was named Secretary of Defense by President Trump who hired more military minds than have ever sat on a president’s cabinet.

This is precisely the reason ISIS is done. Oh, they are still dangerous, with several terrorist cells that are hiding like scared little girls in parts of Turkey and Syria. Iraq didn’t even form the “Golden Division” until this May and, with America’s might just a phone call away, let’s just say that the biggest factor in any success is when the leaders don’t care who takes the credit.

“Mad Dog” Mattis is the real reason the (expletive) terrorists ran for their lives because every terrorist group in the world is scared to death of him. Back in 2003 he’s the one who told Iraqi tribal leaders, “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f*** with me, I’ll kill you all.”

Two years after that he sent a letter out to all of his Marines that read in part: “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

He continued: “Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”

So I’m just saying, you can believe the Iraqis put a “Golden Division” together in just over six months and, according to CNN, ridded the country of ISIS; or you can tend to lean on the toughest former general that mankind’s ever known and the 41 years of wisdom earned as he became a “cult figure” in  the Marine Corps.

* * *


Note: In 1986 James M. Schmidt was a Lance Corporal stationed in Washington, D.C. He was assigned as a counter sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington, DC, under Commandant P.X. Kelly and Battalion Commander D.J. Myers. One day, just before Christmas, he wrote a poem now known nationally as “Santa and the Marine.” He posted it on the door to the gym but when Col. Myers saw it, he had copies sent to each department of the barracks and, in a move that made sniper Schmidt most popular, Col. Myers promptly dismissed the entire Battalion early for Christmas leave.

T’was the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,

In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give

And to see just who in this home did live.


I looked all about a strange sight I did see,

No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,

On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.


With medals and badges, awards of all kind

A sober thought came through my mind.

For this house was different, so dark and dreary,

I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.


I heard stories about them, I had to see more

So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.

And there he lay sleeping silent alone,

Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.


His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,

Not how I pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?

Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?


His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,

I soon understood this was more than a man.

For I realized the families that I saw that night

Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.


Soon ‘round the world, the children would play,

And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,

Because of soldiers like this one lying here.


I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone

On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,

I dropped to my knees and started to cry.


The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,

“Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;

I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,

my life is ‘My God, My country, my Corps’.”


With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,

I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still,

I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.


So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,

And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.

And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,

With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.


And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,

And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.

I didn’t want to leave him on that cold dark night,

This guardian of honor so willing to fight.


Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,

“Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”

One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,

Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!

* * *


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