UPDATED 20 December 2010

Militarism (Narcissism-in-uniform) Stinks by whoever lives it!

"Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.

Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race"

--Albert Einstein

Noting with regret that "the armed forces are no longer representative of the people they serve," retired Admiral Stanley Arthur has expressed concern that "more and more, enlisted as well as officers are beginning to feel that they are special, better than the society they serve." Such tendencies, concluded Arthur, are "not healthy in an armed force serving a democracy."

The USMIL is a BUREAUCRACY of lemmings, NOT a profession.

General George S. Patton Jr. said:

"No one is thinking if everyone is thinking alike. In too many organizations, toadyism is buried like a cancer. It must be removed with the sharpest bayonet available. All sorts of suggestions, ideas, concepts, and opinions must be allowed to promote an environment of learning and imagination. A fault of many potentially fine commanders is a lack of the ability to admit that other people have good ideas. If younger Soldiers are not allowed to use and cultivate their imaginations and their abilities for abstract thought, where will we get the next generations of qualified, motivated, and confident commanders? Commanders who never ask for an opinion, never listen to suggestions, and think they have the only correct idea find that their Soldiers will stop communicating altogether. They'll begin to sit on their asses and wait for orders before doing anything. No matter how high in the ranks a man goes, he can't know everything. We can always learn from each other. Juniors must learn not only to be allowed to use their imaginations, but they must be encouraged to do so.

Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men. I cannot count the times I've seen men who should know better than to keep quiet when unjust decisions are being made, decisions that literally affect the lives of tens of thousands of Soldiers. These decisions are made, not on the basis of sound military policy, but purely to further the political and personal ambition of officers in high command. Cowardice on the battlefield is disgusting enough. Cowardice in the military planning room is repugnant. It ultimately means the unnecessary death, mutilation, and disfigurement of Soldiers for the sake of the commanders. It takes courage to stand up for what is believed to be right and just. Most men seem to lack such courage. Sycophancy for the sake of career is just as deadly as incompetence."

Iraq war costs power points


The Costs of the Iraqi Conflict: 2008 update

Security Policy Working Group Press Briefing
National Press Club

Linda Bilmes
Joseph Stiglitz
Nobel Prize Winner in Economics
Harvard University
Kennedy School of Government

February 13, 2008

This shows the light infantry on foot and in trucks are most definitely getting their asses kicked and all the vain AmeroFascist bragging doesn't hold up. Same as Vietnam, too.

1 = American killed

15 X = Americans wounded

It shows the true human and medical costs of broken light infantry mentality extends for many many years afterwards until all the vets die.

1 out of every 2 Soldiers deployed to an all-out war end up on VA medical disability

Every 100, 000 Soldiers that end up on disability costs us $1 BILLION each year

So if we insist on perpetually keeping 200, 000 troops 24/7/365 in Iraq/Afghanistan, 100, 000 will leave the service as destroyed people for the rest of their lives costing us $1B each year until they all die off

So far 333, 000 are on VA rolls getting benefits = $3B/year

Another 400, 000 vet claims pending so this could rise to $$7B/year

Why do we support this crap?

$3B EVERY WEEK is being spent in Iraq alone, that's $158B/year

5 years = $750+ B

Most of the $$$ is going to military people and junk weapons profiteers. Willing victims and victim-izers all using AmeroFascistist pride and sunk cost excuses to keep on occupying a country that doesn't belong to us and propping up a Islamic Shia factionocracy that the majority of the Iraqi people do not support. "Democracy, shamocracy" by the greedy neocons.

America's Economic Addiction to War


Defintely Iraq will be the biggest quagmire EVER for the American people EVER all thanks to flag-waving, "christian" Satanist GWB. The 4, 000+ death toll would be much higher were it not for advanced medical treatment. Meaning, we'd have over 50, 000 dead by now if we were saddled with Vietnam medical technology which would at least alert the public of an ineptly conducted war to get the BS to stop. So having better medicine actually prolongs wars helping racketeers and hinders public revolt against it, just as the M16's tiny 5.56mm rationale that it would take 3 enemy Soldiers out of the fight by requiring them to care for a wounded man rather than bury a dead comrade. Iraq is GWB's version of 5.56mm-ing the American people to death. Meaning Americans need to wake up and develop a more accurate view of the world and not think all is "AOK" just because 50, 000 have not (yet) died in war. 40, 000 die EACH YEAR in car crashes and Americans don't do squat.

American Flaghead Raghead Haters Wrong Men for the Job


The report you've seen reported in the press on the abuse of Iraqi civilians by Soldiers and marines by the U.S. Army's Surgeon General is at:



Should the report "mysteriously vanish" from the website and the link does not work, you have it here:


Lots of data here on how/why the war in Iraq was lost; useful to retain when they start trying to blame the press and the politicians who wanted withdrawal, of which there are actually very few in order to cover up military incompetence.

Lou Dobbs of CNN was totally right in his outrage at the Army spin that the mental health report gives "leadership" a passing grade that sets our Soldiers up for failure with overlong deployments to Iraq.

This is not the only way Army and marine "leadership" (we use the term loosely) sets our men into no-win situations where their anger and frustration reaches impossible levels to control for their youth/immaturity/narcissistic values system. To keep their budgets high for their prized nation-state war units, generals foist this lie that ANY young "shooter" can do COIN/SASO operations when the truth is we need a specialized corps and sometimes they will be the only ones getting the "action" and the kill/capture egomaniacs will have to sit this one out, which is too damn bad because they can't always be the center of attention.


We should not have the brain-washed marines come shore at all.

We need a Non-Linear Battlefield Stability Corps (NLB-SC) of OLDER, WISER NON-EGOMANIAC SOLDIERS living from DISCRETE BATTLEBOX FOBs out of sight of the populace who interface ONLY AS NEEDED from multiple armor-layed (not just v-hull shaping) all around, cross-country capable M113 Gavin tracks that can avoid most ambushes and what can't be avoided take some punishment and not get in a rage and fire in all directions and want to get even because their weak egos have been bruised. We need a force that has RESTRAINT without a GLASS JAW. Study how the Dutch do COIN/SASO successfully in Afghanistan today using M113 Gavin light armored tracks.


MHAT REPORT HIGHLIGHTS with our comments in RED.

18-25 Year Olds are the Wrong People for SASO/COIN

"Volunteer" Force Officers and NCOs are in it for themselves


Troops in Vulnerable Tents & Trucks Get Killed and Maimed

Enemy Doesn't Play our Gunslinger Games

Narcissist Shooters Sees Foreign Civilians as Crap




Combat Doesn't Make You Stronger

Admit to Being Weak, You are a Pussy, So Saith the Groupthink

Establishment wants Lackeys Keeping Lower ranks In-Line with Delusions that All is Well (Die Happy without Mental Health "Issues")

Older More mature Soldiers Have Less Mental Health Problems, Commit Less Atrocities = We Need a Non-Linear Battlefield Stability Corps


American Silly Parade Ground Garrison Militarism

New Iraqi Army


Members of the Iraqi army hold a tribute parade Sunday, May 22, 2005 to honour the memory of fallen police hero Maj. Imad Shakir Mahmoud who died whilst stopping a suicide bomber on Sunday, May 15, in the city of Baqouba, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad in Iraq Sunday, May 22, 2005. (AP)

Is it just us, or haven't more people been killed by bomb blasts in Iraq than anything else?

Then what are we doing having clusterfucks of new Iraqi Army Soldiers march close together on parade?

Do we want to lose?

Do we have a death wish?

Who in the hell is training them to do this?

EFFECT #1: Americans and Iraqis Dying...(the ones not hunkered down in comfy base camps)

The video below taken from places in Iraq tells the whole story:


Here some slacker marines smoke 'n joke by the ole' fish pond: the Iraqis must love us!

"Operation Iraqi Freedom" to the rank & file (weak, economic co-dependents) and their alleged "leaders" (narcissistic, egomaniac, careerist bureaucrats) is American BS garrison life in comfy barracks transplanted to Iraq with extra pay & benefits. The USMC egomania is not a new thing.

As the above DoD graphs from Chuck Spinney of DNI shows, with the American nation-state big war Soldier unwanted presence continues, oil continues to flow but IRAQI CIVILIANS CONTINUE TO DIE IN LARGE NUMBERS. The INCREASE in Iraqi civilian deaths matches the rise of the so-called "security troops" being fielded by the weak central, puppet government of Iraq. Obviously, these Shia-dominated "security" forces from the Shia majority factionocracy are barging into civilian homes as learned from the Americans, roughing up and killing them, feeding new recruits for the rebellion. Our brutality of the Iraqis matches our mishandling of the south Vietnamese and will result in the same defeat because small, sub-national conflicts cannot be done properly by big, nation-state war forces however "scaled-down".

The last U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Schoomaker thinks he can order the "From Here to Eternity" garrison culture out of existence, when his modularity reorganization will result in more narcissists with rifles from trucks with lots of time on their hands to play garrison games. To end this, he or his successor needs to insure Soldiers KNOW WHAT COMBINED ARMS WARFIGHTING LOOKS LIKE FROM BASIC TRAINING ON, ORDER RETIREMENT PARADES BE STOPPED, re-equip our light infantry and sustainment troops with tracked M113 Gavin APCs to have non-linear battlefield protected cross-country and amphibious mobility and get rid of garrison buildings and lawn care by BATTLEBOXes. Otherwise his words will not make it so...but its good to know he realizes parade ground mentalities are the problem. Chris Ashby in her cartoons captures the garrison non-sense of our day very well and we will show them throughout this web page.

In the cartoons above, we see the petty tyrants that are everywhere in the U.S. military and the perfect-paperwork-because-we-can mentality is shown. All too many senior NCOs just have to be assholes to somebody each day. And while the truth is we should be at war and ready for actual terrorist attacks, we are not with the phony GWOT; so the asshole in the comic strip can't stand for his HOBBITs (home operating base) CQ peons to write in the log that there were "no al queda" attacks because it would show enthusiasm, creativity and might be mocking HIM. Its all about HIM and his pompous ass ego. Never having been an enlisted Soldier, General Schoomaker is clueless about how the blue collar, zero-sum thinking Army life really is and why it embraces BS like parades and ceremonies over the hard work of real professionals to study and improve war means and skills. Its much easier to yell and scream and demean over petty garrison Army time-wasting BS and masquerade to be doing something constructive. Modern war is TECHNOLOGICAL, those that want to be blue-collar simplistic dumbasses will die and be wounded beating their chests at how patriotic and heroic they are with the false humility routine, when really they were unprepared because they did not fight before the war to be prepared, which means not embracing the "From Here to Eternity" BS.

Columbia (SC) State
August 25, 2006

More Training, Less Parading Urged

Army chief says use of Soldiers' time needs to be studied

By Chuck Crumbo

Army chief Gen. Peter Schoomaker worries that Soldiers are spending too much time marching in parades and "filling the bleachers" for retirement ceremonies.

So, on Thursday, the Army's four-star leader challenged a group of trainers meeting at Fort Jackson to find better and more efficient ways to train Soldiers.

"Look through the eyes of those you're training and ask yourself, in their view: 'Is this the best use of their time?'" Schoomaker said.

Addressing some 200 people attending a conference of brigade commanders and command sergeant majors who train Soldiers, Schoomaker praised troops and their families for their dedication and willingness to endure frequent deployments and even extensions in combat zones.

He was in Iraq last week, meeting Soldiers of the 172nd Stryker (truck] Brigade Combat Team. Two weeks before their yearlong tour was up, the Soldiers learned they would stay another four months.

Both the troops and their families, whom he later visited at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, the brigade's home station, said they weren't happy but would deal with it, Schoomaker said.

"We can't be sitting around and crying in our tea cups," Schoomaker said. "Sometimes you give more than you get."

Most new Soldiers are motivated and want to be challenged, Schoomaker said, but they also want to be respected - and there's no room in the training program for hazing or mindless detail work that he referred to as "painting rocks."

The obstacle a Soldier faces must be the task, not the drill sergeant or company captain, he said. "You can't do enough to help people survive on the battlefield."

Schoomaker acknowledged the Army has made a number of changes in recent years and will continue to do so as it retools to meet the emerging threat of terrorism.

"We're kind of building an airplane while it's in flight, and we can't stop."

Former Army Vietnam officer John Reed concludes that most volunteers in the current All Volunteer/Victim Force/Farce are defectives:


Two actual case histories

I went to two high schools. At one, a guy I'll call George was the biggest social outcast in my class. If someone wanted to tease a girl, he might say, "I heard George is going to be your date for the prom." His yearbook write-up probably showed absolutely no extracurricular activities and commended him for his "nice smile." Your high school yearbook probably has a number of Georges. They probably enlisted in the military in disproportionate numbers.

George told me he spent his free time during high school sneaking through other people's backyards in his neighborhood at night to train himself for the military. When he graduated, he joined the marines-an all-volunteer outfit at the time. At times during its history, the marines had to draft people.

On the other hand, my best friend in junior high was very popular and athletic-MVP of his high school's various sports teams. Call him Jake. He got drafted into the Army.

When I was a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division, I felt like I was surrounded by thousands of Georges. Jake did not volunteer for either the Army or the paratroopers. He served his country including a tour in Vietnam. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, which is one of the few military decorations that I have great respect for. Many military decorations are worthy of far less respect than laymen afford them.

"Georges" volunteer for the military for all sorts of inappropriate reasons:

* to overcome inferiority complexes
* to prove their manhood
* adventure (one of the marines convicted of murdering an innocent Iraqi said he joined to have adventures he could later tell people about. The Navy's recruiting slogan was once, "It's not just a job, it's an adventure.")
* to be able to brag that they had killed another man
* to brag that they were combat veterans
* to wear a uniform
* to get medals for bravery
* to put distance between themselves and the locale of bad or embarrassing past behavior
* to stay out of jail (during Vietnam and before, judges would sometimes offer a convicted criminal the choice of enlisting in the military or going to jail-When I was a company commander, all of my cooks were parolees from the Leavenworth military prison.)
* generous benefits like retirement after 20 years with half pay plus lifetime free medical care and PX and commissary privileges (undeniably a mercenary motivation, although not necessarily the only motivation)

Draftees are in the military for one very good reason:

* they figure it is their duty

Reed goes on to explain on his web page we need to have universal service so we can more "Jakes" into military service who do not have some inner vaccuum they are trying to fill, who realize they are complete ADULTS who just want to get the job done as best as possible:

* fairness regarding the distribution of responsibility for national defense to all categories of Americans including economic status, education, regional, and ethnic groups
* better quality military personnel including non-criminals and people used to getting results in the business world
* avoidance of persons attracted to military service for inappropriate reasons to acquire persons with skills that are needed but which the military cannot teach
* to ensure that the military is representative of the American people
* to make every family more interested in whether we should go to war thereby reducing the number of our wars
* to minimize bureaucratization of the military
* to avoid our military personnel being dominated by one region, currently, the South
* to avoid our military being dominated by one religious group, currently, Christian fundamentalism
* to avoid outsourcing our defense to a "day-labor" military of alien would-be U.S. citizens
* to make the U.S. less reluctant to use military force when necessary
* lets the military leaders focus on winning the war rather than keeping recruitment and re-enlistment rates high
* lack of a draft lets young men veto a Congressional declaration of war by "voting with their feet" not to volunteer, an intolerable transfer of responsibility and authority by the Congress
* lack of a draft turns our military increasingly mercenary and intolerably expensive as more and more money is required to induce adequate numbers of enlistments and reenlistments
* lack of a draft forces such inappropriate policies as preventing volunteers from leaving when their enlistment is up, longer combat tours, promotions of unqualified personnel, forcing non-infantry to become infantry and non-Army military personnel to be assigned to the Army, extraordinarily strict discipline to stop increased AWOLs and desertions

He's right on-target since today's Volunteer/Victims are told to STFU since they "volunteered for it", they are easier to send in to bleed in no-win wars that are good for corporate profits.

The 65/35 Split: How much of the U.S. Military is Without ANY Conscience?

In fact, if civilian society itself is composed of 65% lemmings who have no conscience whatsoever, and only 35% THINK and have internal morality, HOW MUCH of the U.S. military is immoral?

If the citizenry of America were drafted into military service the ratio would be 65% immoral and 35% moral. BUT WE DON'T DO THIS ANYMORE!

Today the military is composed of "volunteers". People who WANT TO BE LEMMINGS in a mother/daddy organization. What if the U.S. military ONLY DRAWS FROM THE 65% lemmings segment without a conscience?

Clearly, this is the case.

We say the ratio in the U.S. military is 99% lemmings who will do anything they are told to include killing innocent civilians as long as some mommy/daddy figure tells them its ok.


The Mind of James Donahue

Blind Obedience

Corporations Without Conscience

Author unknown
Received by e-mail.

I like it so much I am publishing it as it was received

"The greatest pyramids ... are made not of stone but of people: they are the vast bureaucracies that constitute society's core, and they function not necessarily to get the 'job' done but to reward the personal loyalty of those at the bottom to those at the top." - William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, 2001 November

Adam Smith's first major work was not The Wealth of Nations but a book on ethics: Theory of Moral Sentiments.

As an ethicist he understood that the mechanism of the "invisible hand" would be most efficient if self-interest was restrained by conscience. With remarkable prescience Smith warned that corporations (in his day called joint-stock companies) could slip the restraints of human conscience. In our day this is pretty much what has happened. Corporations have taken on a life of their own, entities without a conscience with the potential to wreak havoc on the societies that have created them.

This isn't the place to document the detrimental effects of corporations on society, the political process, the environment, etc. The journalist William Greider does an admirable job of this in his book "One World, Ready or Not - The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism." Here attention will be focused for the moment on one question: What is it about corporations that allows them to slip the restraints of human conscience?

William Langewiesche has provided the key to answering this question: "Corporate bureaucracies function not necessarily to get the 'job' done but to reward the personal loyalty of those at the bottom to those at the top." The power to reward loyalty is the currency of the corporation. And this power is also used to command obedience.

The subject of obedience to authority will be linked forever to Stanley Milgram's obedience experiments of the 1960's. His conclusions in his own words were: "The results as I observed them in the laboratory are disturbing. They raise the possibility that human nature cannot be counted on to insulate men from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority. A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. If in this study an anonymous experimenter could successfully command adults to subdue a fifty year old man and force on him painful electric shocks against his protests one can only wonder what government with its vastly greater authority and prestige can command of its subjects."

A little editing of Milgram's conclusion will put it in better context: "A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do [by an anonymous experimenter] irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. One can only wonder what [a corporation] with its vastly greater authority and prestige can command of its [employees]." This sobering assessment goes a long way in explaining how corporations slip the restraints of human conscience. There is just one problem. "A substantial proportion of people" isn't good enough for a full explanation.

Dr. Thomas Blass's website on Milgram and his work, www.stanleymilgram.com , cites 65 percent as the proportion of people who delivered the maximum shock to their unwilling victims. (The experiments were rigged. The "victims" were in on it and no shocks were actually delivered.)

So what about the 35 percent of people who won't subordinate their consciences to authority? Well, consider how an employee rises through the levels of a corporate hierarchy. At each level ability, loyalty and obedience can be rewarded with a promotion. If at any level conscience interferes with loyalty or obedience then the employee likely won't be promoted further. So we have an employee screening process that selects for ability, loyalty and obedience but selects against conscience. As Leo Durocher put it, nice guys finish last.

To summarize, corporations slip the bounds of human conscience because of two conditions. The first condition involves human nature. Milgram's obedience experiments empirically show that a substantial proportion of people are willing to subordinate their consciences to authority. The second condition involves corporate nature. Corporations use an employee screening process that selects for ability, loyalty and obedience but selects against conscience.

It is noteworthy that two words have not been used in this discussion: "power" and "corruption." It has not been necessary to appeal to Lord Acton's axiom and indeed it is probably not generally true that power corrupts those who wield it. Rather, the association between power and corruption is more likely due to a flawed screening process that tends to select non-conscientious people to positions of power.

If the employee screening process is flawed by a tendency to select against conscience, then the obvious remedy is to fix the screening process. The key to doing this is the line above: "If at any level conscience interferes with loyalty or obedience then the employee likely won't be promoted further." Why not? Because it is in the self-interest of superiors to command the loyalty and obedience of their subordinates.

But what if employees were promoted not just on the basis of loyalty and obedience but also on the basis of conscientiousness? To do this the role of superiors in the employee promotion process would have to be diminished. It necessarily follows that as the role of superiors decreases the role of peers and subordinates would increase. There is a name for this. It is called democratization.

The aftershocks from the Enron/Andersen/Wall Street scandal are providing an historic opportunity to challenge one of the most unexamined beliefs in business culture, that corporate government must be strictly authoritarian in nature.

During Europe's Middle Ages the divine right of kings and the feudal order went unchallenged. It took the Renaissance, the rise of the bourgeoisie, and the Enlightenment to legitimize the idea of government responsible to the people.

During the debate over the U.S. Constitution, Madison, Hamilton and Jay wrote the Federalist Papers to make the case for a centralized yet democratic federal government. The time is ripe for the world's most innovative thinkers on the subject of corporate governance to rethink the issue from first (i.e. democratic) principles with the aim of producing the corporate governance equivalent of the Federalist Papers.

How do the Lemmings Deny Reality? It Makes them feel Good to Lie to Themselves

Cognitive Dissonance (COGDIS) creates pleasure in lemming trucktards


Denying Bad News Makes Us "Feel Good"

By James Donahue

Sometimes it seems hard to believe that national leaders like our own president and many of his staffers would deny global warming even though the evidence around us is becoming so overwhelming even the average Joe on the street senses that something is really wrong.

And why would other world leaders and influential people, like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, say that the Nazi slaughter and suffering of Jews did not happen when there are many survivors of those World War II concentration camps still living today who tell the story? The embellishment of the death camp story is another matter.

Why, for that matter, is the world turning its back on the horrors now going on in places like Darfur, Africa, where the Sudanese Government is conducting mass genocide on hundreds of thousands and over a million people have been driven from their homes?

Dr. Drew Weston, in a published paper earlier this year, reports that a research study conducted at Emory University in Atlanta indicates that the brain responds to bad news in a unique way. The research shows that "there are flares of activity in the brain's pleasure centers when unwelcome information is being rejected."

The study of brain mapping techniques reveals that "we derive pleasure from irrationally sticking with beliefs against evidence," Weston wrote. The study suggests that most people internalize a system of beliefs and that changing those beliefs in the form of new and compelling information can bring psychological and social pain. But when a person allows the brain to find a way to deny this new evidence and thus maintain old beliefs he or she experiences immediate biochemical pleasure.

The Weston study helps us understand why so many people throughout the world remain in denial that our planet is dying from overpopulation, extreme exploitation of natural resources, and irresponsible polluting of our land, seas and air. There is a widespread unwillingness to believe some recent scientific reports that suggest that we have no more than 50 years before the planet will no longer support life.

It is shocking to note that within hours after this report made the news, it strangely disappeared. No matter where we searched, the story was erased. Who and why was this done? The order to pull this story appears to have originated in high places . . . possibly from the White House.

Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said two federal agencies, the inspectors general for the Commerce Department and NASA have begun sweeping investigations of the Bush Administration's censorship and suppression of research into global warming.

Lautenberg said he believes the investigations "will uncover internal documents and agency correspondence that may expose widespread misconduct." What we find even more shocking is the lapdog nature of the national media to go right along with the federal program of denial. As a retired journalist, this writer finds it difficult to understand why responsible media would ignore the most important and critical news story in history . . . the threatened extinction of the human race.

The Weston study may give us some insight into the full spectrum of issues associated with individual opinions and mass-mindedness. If the story is too dire, we just do not want to hear it. Thus we allow our brains to play tricks on us, and let us go on believing that all is well when we really should know better.

Unjust Wars for corporate Profits = Soldiers Turn to Suicide, Need to Turn to Non-Participation in Evil

Unable to sort out the contradictions and hypocrisies, many servicemen are turning to suicide. If they feel this way, they should instead say NO! and fight corruption by refusing to participate in it.


Suspected Army Suicides Set Record

By Gregg Zoroya,
USA Today
Posted: 2007-12-13 12:14:35
Filed Under: Nation News

(Dec. 13) - A record number of Soldiers - 109 - have killed themselves this year, according to Army statistics showing confirmed or suspected suicides.

The deaths occur as Soldiers serve longer combat deployments and the Army spends $100 million on support programs.


U.S. Soldiers prepare for a mission in Ramadi, Iraq, in June 2006. Army figures show suicides among troops are up, a trend that coincided with longer combat deployments.

"Soldiers, families and equipment are stretched and stressed," Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff, told Congress last month.

The Army provided suicide statistics to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. Her staff shared them with USA TODAY.

Those numbers show 77 confirmed suicides Army-wide this year through Nov. 27 and 32 other deaths pending final determination as suicides.

The Army updated those statistics Wednesday, confirming 85 suicides, including 27 in Iraq and four in Afghanistan.

The highest number of Army suicides recorded since 1990 was 102 in 1992 - a period when the service was 20% larger than today.

A total of 109 suicides this year would equal a rate of 18.4 per 100,000, the highest since the Army started counting in 1980. The civilian suicide rate was 11 per 100,000 in 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The military hasn't erased the stigma surrounding mental health issues, so troubled Soldiers often do not seek help, Murray says.

"I want to say I'm surprised" by the suicide increase, she says. "But when we're not doing everything we can to deal with mental health, when we know the Army is under such stress, it's not a surprise. It has to be a wakeup call."

The Army has moved more aggressively in recent years to stem suicides, instituting mandatory training for every soldier about mental health and establishing a program to study its suicides.

Research released by the Army in August shows that almost 70% of suicides in 2006 were spurred by failed relationships.

The Army continues to improve its suicide-prevention programs, spokesman Paul Boyce said Wednesday. A hotline number - 800-342-9647 - is also available.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, records show that 128 Soldiers have killed themselves while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

One was Spc. Travis Virgadamo, 19, of Las Vegas. His family said he was on suicide watch but was eventually taken off, and his gun was returned. "That night he killed himself," says his grandmother, Kate O'Brien, of Pahrump, Nev.

O'Brien says her grandson desperately wanted to come home.

"He would say, 'Grandma, pray for me.' " she says. "What good is somebody (to the war effort) that is under such stress?"

EFFECT #2: Snobby U.S. servicemen abuse each other....is it a surprise they infuriate and make more enemy rebels? that servicemen turn to suicide?

Arguably, America's greatest actor today is Gene Hackman.

He was once in the marines.

Notice how he was treated by the snobby marines and ask yourself how pride--narcissism---can be an uplifting "virtue", and how being a condescending snob is going to bring out the best in anyone, much less a foreign civilian struggling to make his/her country safe and make a living? There's no such thing as "respect" and "honor" in USMC "values" which are vanities and egotism sugar coated in dress uniforms. Army BS "LDRSHP" values are not much better, either.


Was in the marine corps. Toured in China. Based his role in The Conversation (www.imdb.com/title/tt0071360) (1974) on one of his uncles and a fellow marine he had known well. He characterized the marine as someone "who probably became a serial killer". In a 2004 Vanity Fair story on he, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Duvall, Hackman said one of the worst memories of being a struggling actor, was working as a doorman in New York City. He recalled having seen former marine officers pass him by when opening the door for them, which one had said "Hackman, you're a sorry son of a bitch."

With marines like that overseas is it a wonder the rebellion is growing?

Here's an Army horror story from Iraq of the dehumanizing lemming, militaristic fascist culture now permeating in the U.S. military. I was looking for a web page on the PBS documentary "In the Company of Soldiers" where a medic shoots and kills an Iraqi man's dog for no reason and you can hear him cry as he had lost his only friend he had in this life. He did it just to be an asshole (because he could!) no doubt suffering from the lingering and monumental BS of constant harassment dealt him daily in the Army. That asshole, sorry-excuse-for-a-Soldier should have been punished. Instead we found this story of yet another outrage foisted by the American military fascist mentality.

What would YOU do?

I know what I'd have done, the troops would have kept the dog.


Orders to kill adopted puppy leave Florida Soldiers mourning

By Roger Roy

It's against the rules for U.S. Soldiers in Iraq to have pets, [EDITOR: says fu*king who?] but the skinny black puppy that wandered up to the Florida National Guard Soldiers at a base in northern Iraq wouldn't go away.

So the Soldiers from Alpha Co. of the 2nd Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regiment adopted the mutt and named her Apache after their radio call sign.

But Army regulations finally caught up with Alpha Co. and Apache.

Family members said Wednesday that the Soldiers were eventually forced to obey orders and have the dog killed.

"My husband was devastated," said Maggie Ford of Melbourne, whose husband, Sgt. 1st Class Bill Ford, had hoped to bring the dog back to Florida. "We all cried when we found out."

Many wild and stray dogs, often unfriendly and even dangerous, roam the Iraq countryside. But Soldiers said Apache was always friendly. At first, the men tried to ignore the eager pup, who kept sidling up to them begging for food while they kept guard at a checkpoint leading into Camp Anaconda, a huge American base outside Balad, about an hour north of Baghdad. But finally the Soldiers gave in and took the dog back to their camp.

While affectionate with the 130 or so Soldiers in the company, Apache could spot a stranger instantly and would bark and growl menacingly. She seemed to especially dislike officers, and in September nipped at a captain from another company who got too close.

But Apache would happily greet the Soldiers when they returned from patrols, then roll over to have her belly rubbed and chew playfully on their arms.

Still, the Soldiers were warned repeatedly that they were flouting the rules and that they had to get rid of the dog.

Maggie Ford said her husband was researching how to bring Apache back when the Soldiers come home in February, but commanders last month gave the Soldiers a deadline.

She said her husband couldn't bear to have the dog killed, so the Soldiers drove Apache about 10 miles outside the base in the hope someone would take care of her.

Within three days, Apache had found her way back to camp, Maggie Ford said.

Finally, around Thanksgiving, the Soldiers took their pet to a veterinarian, who destroyed her, she said.

Family members still don't have all the details. The Soldiers from Alpha Co., who mostly train at the Leesburg armory, and those from Bravo Co., who train at the Sanford armory, have little access to telephones or e-mail at Camp Anaconda, and their families have infrequent contact with them.

But several said the Soldiers were upset they had to have the dog destroyed.

"Their morale dropped," said Linda Wood of Sumterville, whose son Spc. Seth Wood is in Alpha Co. "There were some guys who were very, very attached to that dog."

Kim Alfonso of Tampa, whose husband, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Alfonso, is the leader of the platoon that adopted Apache, said she spoke to her husband after the dog was destroyed, but he was too upset to discuss what had happened.

She said her husband has tried to keep his men from dwelling on the dog's fate. The Soldiers conduct frequent raids and patrols looking for guerrillas and can't afford to be distracted.

And while Apache's death was upsetting to many of the men and their families, Kim Alfonso said, it's a small tragedy in a place where hundreds of Americans, and still unknown numbers of Iraqis, have died since the war began.

Iraq, after all, is a place where life is hard enough for people, let alone animals.

Kim Alfonso said her husband recently had her mail him some clothes their 3-year-old daughter had outgrown so he could give them to children in the local villages, who often wear little more than rags.

"You have to keep things in perspective," Kim Alfonso said. "It's not like one of our guys was shot. We're talking about a dog. But it is sad." [EDITOR: wrong you ignorant wife co-dependant. How you treat animals directly reflects on your value in general towards LIFE. This is a reflection on how the U.S. military does not value life in general]


The following startling report by former USMC officer Carlton Meyer exposes American triumphalist egomaniacs on a binge of civilian atrocities they try to excuse away because its done by staging a private air show using sexy, mega-expensive fighter-bombers.

1. This is yet more reason why the immature nation-state war Soldier/marine should not be tasked to do sub-national conflicts and why we need a NLB-SC composed of psychologically-screened, older more mature Soldiers.


The nation-state war racketeers don't want a properly trained/equipped NLB-SC because it may be the only "action" to justify their budgets and they certainly are not going to let someone else get the missions regardless of how unqualified they are to do them.

2. Another series of tragedies showing why we need low-altitude MANNED observation/attack aircraft with discretionary firepower to control the ground below 24/7/365 not sexy fighter-bombers that can't see what they are dropping and have to have their hands held by a GFAC on the ground below.


Carlton writes:

"Here is one of my recent articles at www.sandersresearch.com The website is now free but one must register there."


SRA, Aerial Car Bombs

By Carlton Meyer Mar/20/2007

Youtube.com has become one of the world's most popular websites in less than a year. It allows anyone to easily upload home-made videos for everyone to view -- all for free. This is an example of America's "new economy" because it loses millions of dollars a month with no real plan of how to make it profitable. Meanwhile, youtube and other new video databases have changed the way information can be presented over the Internet.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth millions. Just a few video clips provide excellent examples of how the U.S. military failed in Iraq. Numerous stories have appeared in the press about U.S. Soldiers and marines slaughtering innocents. However, the most common method occurs when large aerial bombs are dropped on Iraqi cities. While the corporate media provides daily reports of civilians killed by car bombs, they rarely mention civilians killed by U.S. military bombs.

Here is a youtube clip of U.S. troops dealing with a sniper in a major city.


That blast was as powerful as any car bomb, and U.S. troops certainly didn't inspect the building beforehand to ensure it was not occupied by civilians. The audio is equally frighting as it shows immature Soldiers laughing and cheering at the massive destruction, like teenagers enjoying fireworks. How would you like those yahoos rooting out insurgents in your neighborhood?

The Iraqi city of Ramadi has proven tough to pacify. Here are American "peacekeepers" exploding 2000 lb. bombs on its inhabitants.


Here are two more recent examples of gratuitous death and destruction in Iraqi cities:



Search youtube to find more. These are just incidents that were videotaped and uploaded at youtube. Such crimes occur daily in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and helps explain "why they hate us." Youtube allows viewers to comment, which provides frightening examples of the hatred many Americans have toward everyone. They don't care if innocent people are killed; they think it funny. While billions of dollars are spent each month to rebuild these nations, aerial bomb attacks probably destroy more each day than is rebuilt.

Some may claim these incidents are the result of some immature junior enlisted personnel. Daily evidence proves otherwise. The U.S. Central Command proudly posts its daily airpower summary on the Internet. Here is part of the March 7th summary:


SOUTHWEST ASIA - In Afghanistan yesterday, .... Also near Sangin, U.S. Navy F/A-18s received coordinates for a compound where enemy fire was originating. One of the F/A-18s dropped a Guided Bomb Unit-12 on the compound. A JTAC reported a good hit with an unusually large initial explosion and at least ten secondary explosions, possibly indicating destruction of a weapons cache. Other U.S. Navy F/A-18s dropped GBU-12s and GBU-38s on two separate anti-Coalition insurgent buildings near Sangin. All weapons hit the desired target as confirmed by a JTAC. Other F/A-18s also dropped GBU-12s and GBU-38s on enemies in a wooded area and another enemy building near Sangin. Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers released Enhanced Paveway II munitions and a 540 pound bomb on enemy trench systems near Kajaki Dam. The weapons directly hit the targets according to a JTAC. French Air Force M2000s provided a show of force for Coalition forces receiving rocket fire near Now Zad. In total, 54 close air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.[1]


As a result of one of these actions, the media reported that nine civilians, including four children, were killed in Afghanistan when U.S. warplanes dropped two 2,000 lb. bombs on their mud home. The Central Command attempted to justify these murders: "Coalition forces observed two men with AK-47s [assault rifles] leaving the scene of the rocket attack and entering the compound," said Lt-Col David Accetta, a military spokesman. "These men knowingly endangered civilians by retreating into a populated area while conducting attacks against coalition forces." The "compound" was a small group of mud houses where a family lived.[2]

In this case, a single rocket was fired at an American airbase and caused no damage. Two men with rifles were seen near the area where the rocket was launched. The two disappeared into a small group of mud huts. It is not uncommon for Afghan men to carry rifles, yet they may have been responsible for launching that harassing rocket. A rational commander may dispatch a squad of Soldiers to search the mud huts and question the men. However, some deranged Americans decided to drop bombs on the mud huts where civilians lived.

Even more shocking was evidence of approval by senior American military officers provided by their spokesman. He did not apologize and and state that an investigation was underway and criminal charges are likely to be filed. He blamed the two Afghans with rifles for the civilian deaths, men whom he was not even sure were responsible for launching a small rocket. Even if they were, they did not kill the nine civilians, some in the U.S. military murdered them. This was not part of a firefight and no U.S. servicemen were in danger, so what did they think would happened when they dropped two huge bombs on a group of mud huts where civilians lived?

This is not only inexcusable, but criminal. This was a widely reported story, yet there was no outrage by members of congress, no editorials demanding an investigation, and no military officers relieved of command. This is why such outrageous acts continue, and why the insurgency continues to grow in both Iraq and Afghanistan as friends, relatives, and sympathetic Muslims join in the fight against American "peacekeepers."

The U.S. Military has a justice system to punish people who kill others, even by accident. The Central Command's website provides a recent news release about a junior enlisted Soldier convicted of negligent homicide and sent to prison:


Specialist Daniel E. Turner, C Battery 1/142 Field Artillery, 16th MP BDE, was convicted at a general court-martial Feb. 26 for negligent homicide and dereliction of duty. In the early morning hours of July 20, 2006, Turner shot and killed a fellow Soldier while clearing his M9 pistol. Turner was culpably negligent in failing to ensure his weapon was safe and in failing to ensure he safely cleared his weapon. The court martial was tried at Camp Victory, Iraq, presided over by military judge, Col. James Pohl of the 5th Judicial Circuit based in Germany. The court-martial panel sentenced Turner to confinement for 15 months, reduction to the grade of E-1, total forfeitures of pay and allowances, and a bad conduct discharge.[3]


This was clearly an accident, but killing an American results in prison time. However, when Americans recklessly kill Afghans and Iraqis, it is always the victims fault for living where a bomb was dropped. This arrogance is why the U.S. military has lost.


[1] "Airpower Summary for March 6"; U.S. Central Command; March 7, 2007.

[2] "Afghan children die as U.S. drops one-tonne bombs"; The Independent; March 6, 2007.

[3] "News Release "; U.S. Central Command; Feb. 27, 2007.


For more of Chris Ashby's amazing artwork and cartoons: www.elusive-concept.com

The vast majority of people in the Army are there for economic reasons...we'd say 50%. The other 49% are insecure folks seeking self-validation and blood lust, which we will detail in the next section. The weak, economic co-dependants are not securing the Iraqi roads from bombs nor setting up night ambushes; the Army is a "9-5" job for them. Their heads are not in the game--the war--we mean not X-BOX. Too bad if it means some Jessica Lynch support unit truck drivers die from a bomb blast, "I have to get back to my playstation ASAP". Do we really need 130, 000+ Americans on government welfare in uniforms in Iraq? We don't.

Soldiers frolic in a Camp Victory swimming pool as Iraqis go without water to drink just miles away

The result of class snobbery and treating our own people like feces is they turn their minds off like General Patton warns in his quote at the top of this web page. To prevail on the non-linear battlefields of today against thinking foes, we need a thinking and co-operative U.S. Army....the snobbery and leaving details to lower ranks as "dirty work" has to go or America is going to go...by the wayside of other arrogant, corrupt empires.

Now compare the bad attitude we have created in U.S. Army Specialists and marine Lance Corporal E4s ("Lance Coolies") with the pro-active, acts-like-he-is-a-member-who-owns-the-organization, U.S. Air Force Airman John Levitow. Consider how many people would haver died if he acted according to the "Specialist Creed" and did nothing as the flare burned in the AC-47. Or how we are in the 21st CENTURY not the 19th and the cunning enemies we face on the non-linear battlefield will eagerly reward our snobby stupidity with DEATH from their creative attacks we didn't see coming because we were too busy defecating on someone with lesser rank (why? because we can!) to be studying war and being on top of it. Oh, yeah Levitow was saving U.S. Army Soldiers on the ground below when this incident of selfless heroism happened.

Medal of Honor


Rank and organization: (then Airman 1st Class) Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 3rd Special Operations Squadron

Place and date: Long Binh Army Post, Republic of Vietnam, 24 February 1969

Entered service at: New Haven, Connecticut

Born: 1 November 1945, Hartford, Connecticut


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Levitow (then A1C.), U.S. Air Force, distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while assigned as a load master aboard an AC-47 aircraft flying a night mission in support of Long Binh Army Post. Sgt. Levitow's aircraft was struck by a hostile mortar round. The resulting explosion ripped a hole 2 feet in diameter through the wing, and fragments made over 3,500 holes in the fuselage. All occupants of the cargo compartment were wounded and helplessly slammed against the floor and fuselage. The explosion tore an activated flare from the grasp of a crew member who had been launching flares to provide illumination for Army ground troops engaged in combat. Sgt. Levitow, though stunned by the concussion of the blast and suffering from over 40 fragment wounds in the back and legs, staggered to his feet and turned to assist the man nearest to him who had been knocked down and was bleeding heavily. As he was moving his wounded comrade forward and away from the opened cargo compartment door, he saw the smoking flare ahead of him in the aisle. Realizing the danger involved and completely disregarding his own wounds, Sgt. Levitow started toward the burning flare. The aircraft was partially out of control and the flare was rolling wildly from side to side. Sgt. Levitow struggled forward despite the loss of blood from his many wounds and the partial loss of feeling in his right leg. Unable to grasp the rolling flare with his hands, he threw himself bodily upon the burning flare. Hugging the deadly device to his body, he dragged himself back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled the flare through the open cargo door. At that instant the flare separated and ignited in the air, but clear of the aircraft. Sgt. Levitow, by his selfless and heroic actions, saved the aircraft and its entire crew from certain death and destruction. Sgt. Levitow's gallantry, his profound concern for his fellow men, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Sadly, John died a few years ago but consider his life story.


John Levitow, 55, Airman Honored for Bravery, Dies

By Richard Goldstein,, November 24, 2000

John L. Levitow, the only Air Force enlisted man to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War, died Nov. 8 at his home in Rocky Hill, Conn. He was 55.

The cause was cancer, his family said.

On the night of Feb. 24, 1969, Airman First Class Levitow was serving as loadmaster of an AC-47 gunship circling over the besieged United States Army base at Long Binh. The plane was firing thousands of rounds of ammunition at enemy forces and dropping magnesium flares to illuminate their positions for the American ground troops.

Airman Levitow, on his 181st combat sortie, was responsible for removing the flares from a rack, setting their controls and passing them to a gunner who would pull the safety pins, then throw the flares out a cargo door. The flares, attached to parachutes, ignited in midair 20 seconds later.

In the fifth hour of the mission, a Vietcong mortar hit the plane's right wing and exploded, opening a hole two feet in diameter and sending shrapnel through the aircraft's skin.

Airman Levitow was hit by 40 pieces of shrapnel in his back and legs and was stunned from the blast's concussion. "It felt like a large piece of wood struck my side," he would recall.

The other four crewmen in the cargo compartment were also wounded as the pilot struggled to keep the plane under control.

The gunner, Airman Ellis Owen, was about to toss a flare out the cargo door when he was wounded. The flare, fully armed and capable of burning through the plane's metal skin if it ignited, fell from his grasp.

As Airman Levitow was moving another wounded crewman away from the open cargo door, he saw the smoking flare rolling wildly from side to side among thousands of rounds of ammunition. An explosion seemed imminent.

Airman Levitow reached three times for three-foot-long, 27-pound metal tube holding the flare, but it slipped from his grasp each time. Finally, he threw himself on it, hugged it to his body and dragged it to the open door, trailing blood from his wounds and having lost partial feeling in his right leg.

He heaved the flare outside the door. A second or so later it ignited, but it was clear of the aircraft.

The pilot, Maj. Kenneth Carpenter, made a safe landing at the Bien Hoa air base with more than 3,500 shrapnel holes in the fuselage.

"I had the aircraft in a 30-degree bank, and how Levitow ever managed to get to the flare and throw it out, I'll never know," Major Carpenter said.

After being treated for his injuries, Airman Levitow flew an additional 20 combat missions. He was discharged from the Air Force in August 1969 as a sergeant and received the Medal of Honor from President Richard M. Nixon at the White House on May 14, 1970. The citation stated that he "saved the aircraft and its entire crew from certain death and destruction."

John Lee Levitow, a native of Hartford, worked for federal and state veterans' agencies for more than two decades after leaving the Air Force. He was the legislative liaison and director of planning for the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs at the time of his death.

He is survived by a son, John Jr., of Charlotte, N.C.; a daughter, Corrie Wilson, of Cromwell, Conn.; his mother, Marion Levitow, of South Windsor, Conn.; a sister, Mary-Lee Constatino, of East Hartford, Conn., and a grandson.

Long after receiving the nation's highest award for valor, Mr. Levitow was honored again.

In January 1998, in a ceremony at Long Beach, Calif., the Air Force named a C-17 Globemaster plane for him. The legend on the fuselage read: "The Spirit of Sgt. John L. Levitow."

John Levitow, Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient, died on 8 November 2000

8 November 2000 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Air Force Sergeant John L. Levitow, one of only 16 airmen awarded the Medal of Honor for exceptional heroism during wartime died Nov. 8 at his home in Connecticut after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 55.

Levitow, the lowest ranking airman to earn the medal, received the honor as a result of an incident on Feb. 24, 1969. At that time, the airman first class served as loadmaster aboard a severely damaged AC-47 gunship flying a mission over Long Bihn, South Vietnam.

Suffering from more than 40 shrapnel wounds in his back and legs caused by a mortar blast, he saw a smoking magnesium flare amid a jumble of spilled ammunition canisters. Despite loss of blood and partial loss of feeling in his right leg, the 23-year-old threw himself on the flare, hugged it close, dragged himself toward an open cargo door and hurled the flare out. Almost simultaneously, the flare ignited harmlessly outside the door and away from the munitions.

President Richard M. Nixon presented the Medal of Honor to Levitow on Armed Forces Day, May 14, 1970, at the White House.

After Levitow left the Air Force, he worked in the field of veteran's affairs for more than 22 years. His most recent work was for Connecticut developing and designing veteran programs.

Further details and funeral arrangements for a military burial at Arlington National Cemetery are pending.

We're all in favor of the troops living in FORTIFIED ISO container BattleBoxes and having all the "toys" for off-duty they want AS LONG AS THEY ARE DOING THE MISSION FIRST WITH ALL THEIR BEING. A huge Camp Victory with swimming pools, chow halls, palaces, fishing pond reflects PEOPLE GOOFING OFF NOT FIGHTING THE INSURGENCY by security operations or civil affairs reconstruction assistance.

Is it a wonder the rebels "own-the-night" to lay bombs at will?

We are too lazy to stop them.


August 13, 2005

G.I.'s Deployed in Iraq Desert With Lots of American Stuff

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - First Lt. Taysha Deaton of the Louisiana National Guard went to war expecting a gritty yearlong deployment of sand, heat and duress, but ended up spending her nights in a king-size bed beneath imported sheets and a fluffy down comforter.

She bought the bed from a departing Soldier to replace the twin-size metal frame that came with her air-conditioned trailer on this base in western Baghdad. She also acquired a refrigerator, television, cellphone, microwave oven, boom box and DVD player, and signed up for a high-speed Internet connection.

"We had no idea conditions were going to be this great!" said Lieutenant Deaton, 25, the public affairs officer of the 256th Brigade Combat Team and an ambassador of the exclamation mark. "My first thought was, oh my God! This is good!"

As much as modern warfare has changed in recent decades, so has the lifestyle of the modern warrior - at least the modern American warrior on base.

Camp Liberty, one of the best-appointed compounds in the constellation of American military bases in Iraq, has the vague feel of a college campus, albeit with sand underfoot, Black Hawks overhead and the occasional random mortar attack.

The Soldiers live in trailers on a grid of neat gravel pathways, and the chow hall offers a vast selection of food and beverages, ethnic cuisine nights, an ice cream parlor and, occasionally, a live jazz combo. Camp Liberty, like many other bases, also has Internet cafes, an impressively stocked store, gymnasiums with modern equipment, air-conditioning everywhere and extracurricular activities like language and martial arts lessons.

Not that life is this comfortable for everyone. Small outposts in the rural hinterlands can be crude, at best, with nothing beyond the very basic amenities and Soldiers required to wear their full "battle rattle" - body armor and helmet - all day because insurgent attacks are so frequent.

And for those Soldiers whose jobs require them to leave base, there is no escape from the cruel realities of war in Iraq.

Wrapped in body armor and the ubiquitous threat of death, they choke on dust and heat and make do with Meals Ready to Eat. On long combat missions, they may go weeks without a shower and sleep wherever they can: on the ground, in empty buildings, in their cramped vehicles. Beyond that, the Pentagon's program to provide them with stronger, safer vehicles has suffered delays.

But wherever possible, the current generation of young Soldiers - like its predecessors in Vietnam and other conflicts - has sought the succor of the familiar, and resourceful Soldiers in this war have taken this quest to astonishing levels, accumulating all the accouterments of home: personal electronics, bed linens, furniture, household appliances and beauty products.

Gadgetry, in particular, proliferates among the 138,000 troops stationed in Iraq: laptop computers, MP3 and DVD players, digital cameras, televisions and video game consoles. On bases in greater Baghdad, many Soldiers have cellphones and some have satellite dishes that pull in scores of stations. Personal DVD collections numbering several hundred are not uncommon; the legendary ones top 1,000.

Never in the field of human conflict has so much stuff been acquired by so many Soldiers in so little time.

One Louisiana National Guardsman stationed on Camp Liberty converted his trailer into a recording studio, and a New York National Guardsman living nearby has spent some of his free time during the last year producing a record by a singer in New York using an electric keyboard, sequencer, laptop computer, sampler, drum machine and mixer in his room; he and the singer use sound files sent via the Internet to exchange musical ideas and recorded tracks.

"I don't know how they managed to acquire so much audio-visual machinery," said an amused Lt. Col. Geoffrey J. Slack, 48, commander of the First Battalion, 69th Infantry, of the New York National Guard, which is garrisoned on Camp Liberty with the Louisianans. "Some of these kids, they'll go out and fight all day, and they'll come back and play these goofy space-age electronic war games all night. The furthest thing from my mind is to play war games. You'll walk by and hear them hootin' and hollerin'."

Some of these luxuries came with the Soldiers, but most are purchased from departing troops, in stores (the one at Camp Liberty sells at least 11 different makes of television, including a giant $2,999 42-inch JVC plasma television) or over the Internet (the United States Postal Service charges domestic rates for packages sent to troops in Iraq).

Lieutenant Deaton said, "Amazon, eBay and Overstock.com have all made money while we've been here."

The DVD collections among troops mostly comprise pirated disks, each containing several movies, that are sold on American bases by Iraqi vendors for about $3 each.

"Throughout the whole deployment, I was comfortable," said Specialist Chris Foster, a guardsman from Baton Rouge, La., whose initial spree of purchases last year included an electronic back massager. "I didn't have a need for anything."

For Specialist Foster, wartime comfort is often no further away than the nearest Xbox game controller, and he is particularly proud of his division-wide invincibility at Halo 2, a shoot-'em-up video game in which the player is "a genetically enhanced super Soldier."

"They call me 'Halo God,' " Specialist Foster said. "Half my deployment I've spent playing Halo 2." He and other Soldiers once ran cables between several different trailers enabling as many as 12 players to play at one time.

Lately, Specialist Foster has done much of his Xbox playing in the trailer belonging to Cpl. Andrew Smith, 23, a guardsman from La Place, La.

In addition to their Army-issued beds and wardrobe, Corporal Smith and his roommate outfitted the room with an entertainment center, a beanbag chair and custom-made shelves and a desk.

Their belongings include three guitars, a laptop computer with speakers and a 30-inch flat-screen TV with surround sound - a gift from Specialist Foster, who gave Corporal Smith his entire video-game complex in part to try to curb what he calls his "Halo 2 addiction."

"I wasn't into video games until I got here," Corporal Smith admitted, in the sheepish manner of someone confessing a new vice. "My wife told me I wasn't allowed to bring it home."

Now that the Louisiana and New York units at Camp Liberty have begun shifting living quarters in preparation for their return to the United States, the Soldiers have been trying to find buyers for the items they do not want to ship home.

In this periodic ritual, fliers are posted around the base, which becomes a low-profile yard sale as newly deployed Soldiers hustle deals from the departing troops.

On a recent morning, Phill Woods, 47, and Bob Szescila, 23, two military contractors, were perusing the booty of a group yard sale organized by the medical platoon of New York's 69th Infantry. Mr. Woods settled on a waist-high LG refrigerator; asking price: $60. Mr. Woods, a beefy man with a long ponytail, pulled a wad of cash out of his pocket and forked over $60, entirely ignoring the time-honored yard sale - and Middle Eastern - tradition of haggling.

"I'm not a haggling kinda guy," he shrugged as he and Mr. Szescila hauled the refrigerator toward its new home. "I'm a guy who's gotta pick up some people at a helipad."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


When you make people into narcissistic snobby egomaniacs and send them to a foreign country which as they would sneer is full of "civilians" (lesser life forms "who never served a day in the marine uniform" etc. ad nauseum) and have them walking around vulnerable on foot and in absurd wheeled trucks is it any wonder there will be atrocities?

USMC Massacre: What do you expect from the snobby U.S. military?

1. Now Soldiers in Iraq are getting "classes" on ethics? Too late? "Better late than never"?

Or how about "whitewash" hypocrisy when the U.S. military culture is UNETHICAL?

You cannot turn morality "on" and "off" like a light switch...either you got it or you don't...and the snobby rank-conscious, blind obedience U.S. military doesn't have morality or COMPETENCE.


The U.S. military mistreats its men according to their rank, how do you think they'll treat an Iraqi WITH NO RANK?

2. And this same snobby military does not want people of lesser rank with tracked armored vehicles that they can dominate situations themselves with; they want them on a tight "leash" via electronic radio and computer screen inside a weak, wheeled truck so they can't do much except ask headquarters, "Mother May, I?" and die-on-cue when they drive down the predictable road and get blown up by the enemy.

Is it then a surprise that when faced with their own deaths that they are powerless to stop, that marine egomaniac snobs lash out and massacre Iraqi civilians?

The question you should be asking is how long before the weakling marine seeking peer approval from the mother USMC turns on American "civilians" and does the same?

Thios is why the founding fathers distrusted large standing armies---and marine corps (plural) as threats to civil liberty.


Updated: 12:27 PM EDT

Pentagon Silent on Allegations of Massacre by marines

U.S. Troops Killed Innocent Civilians 'In Cold Blood,' Rep. John Murtha Said


WASHINGTON (May 19) - Military officials say a criminal investigation into a firefight in western Iraq that left at least 15 civilians dead is not complete, but they did not dispute a congressman's charges that the attack by marines was far worse than originally reported.

Officials in the Pentagon and at U.S. Central Command would not say Thursday whether Rep. John Murtha was correct in saying marines killed innocent women and children "in cold blood" during the attacks last November. Murtha, a marine and war hero in Vietnam, said U.S. troops overreacted, and nearly twice as many people were killed as first reported.

"There is an ongoing investigation; therefore any comment at this time would be inappropriate and could undermine the investigatory and possible legal process," said marine Lt. Col. Sean D. Gibson, spokesman for the marine element of U.S. Central Command.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in an interview Thursday with Fox News Channel, said the department is investigating the matter, and "needless to say, we have to take seriously allegations of that type. And they're under investigation, and they will then be handled in the normal order of things."

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he would not comment on the veracity of Murtha's remarks but said individuals will be held accountable if it is determined they did something wrong. He added that U.S. troops "are facing a host of enemies in a tough and challenging environment every day."

A criminal probe into the fire fight in the western town of Haditha is being conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Whitman said it's not clear when the investigation will be completed.

About a dozen marines from the 3rd Battalion, 1st marine regiment, 1st marine division, are being investigated for war crimes in connection with the fire fight to determine if they violated rules of military engagement.

During a Wednesday press conference on Capitol Hill, Murtha said the investigation will show that "in fact there was no fire fight, there was no explosion that killed the civilians in a bus. There was no bus. There was no shrapnel, there was only bullet holes inside the house where the marines had gone in."

Murtha has been a consistent ally of the armed forces as a member of Congress. He has called in recent months for the United States to get out of Iraq.

A videotape taken by an Iraqi shows the aftermath of the alleged Haditha attack: a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.

The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after Haditha residents told The Associated Press that American troops [marines] entered homes and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a marine. [USMC brass REFUSE to replace trucks with multiple armor-layered tracks]


Updated: 02:40 AM EST

Soldier Gets 90 Years in Iraq Rape-Murder Case


FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (Nov. 17) - A Soldier was sentenced Thursday to 90 years in prison with the possibility of parole for conspiring to rape a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and kill her and her family.


AP: An Iraqi girl was raped by U.S. Soldiers in this house in Mahmoudiyah on July 5. The girl and her family were later killed.

More Coverage:

· marine Sentenced in Slaying of Iraqi Man

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--Talk About It: Post Thoughts

Spc. James P. Barker, one of four Fort Campbell Soldiers accused in the March 12 rape and killings, pleaded guilty Wednesday and agreed to testify against the others to avoid the death penalty.

"This court sentences you to be confined for the length of your natural life, with the eligibility of parole," said Lt. Col. Richard Anderson, the military judge presiding over the court-martial.

Under the plea agreement, Barker got a life sentence but will not serve more than 90 years in prison, Anderson said. He will be eligible for parole in 20 years.

Barker, 23, showed no reaction when the sentence was read. Afterward, he smoked a cigarette outside as a military bailiff watched over him. He grinned but made no remarks as reporters passed by.

Earlier Thursday, Barker wept during his closing statement, accepted responsibility for the rape and killings and said violence he encountered left him "angry and mean" when it came to Iraqis.

"I want the people of Iraq to know that I did not go there to do the terrible things that I did," Barker said, his voice quivering as he began to weep. "I do not ask anyone to forgive me today."

After Barker's sentencing, military prosecutors declined to comment because three other Soldiers have yet to be tried in the case. Defense attorneys planned a news conference.

Barker confessed Wednesday to the crimes as part of a plea agreement to avoid a possible death penalty that requires him to testify against the others.

In his closing statement, Barker said Iraq made him angry and violent. "To live there, to survive there, I became angry and mean. The mean part of me made me strong on patrols. It made me brave in fire fights," Barker said. "I loved my friends, my fellow Soldiers and my leaders, but I began to hate everyone else in Iraq."

During testimony intended to show the judge that Barker could be rehabilitated, Barker's fellow Soldiers described weeks with little support and sleep while manning distant checkpoints.

Capt. William Fischbach, the lead prosecutor, told the court that such conditions were no excuse for Barker, who led the group to the family's house, and that no one deserved such unspeakable horrors.

"This burned-out corpse that used to be a 14-year-old girl never fired bullets or lobbed mortars," Fischbach said as he held pictures of the crime scene. "Society should not have to bear the risk of the accused among them ever again."

The killings in Mahmoudiya, a village about 20 miles south of Baghdad, were among the worst in a series of alleged attacks on civilians and other abuses by military personnel in Iraq.

The defendants are accused of burning the girl's body to conceal the crime. Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, 24, and Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, 22, members of the 101st Airborne Division along with Barker, have also been charged. Cortez has deferred entering a plea, and Spielman will be arraigned in December. Pfc. Bryan L. Howard, 19, also deferred entering a plea at his arraignment in October.

Private Steven Green, 21, pleaded not guilty last week to civilian charges including murder and sexual assault. He was discharged from the Army for a "personality disorder" before the allegations became known, and prosecutors have yet to say whether they will pursue the death penalty against him. In earlier testimony, Barker described in detail how he raped Abeer Qassim al-Janabi with Cortez and Green before Green killed the girl, her younger sister and parents.

"Cortez pushed her to the ground. I went towards the top of her and kind of held her hands down while Cortez proceeded to lift her dress up," he said. "Around that time I heard shots coming from a room next door." Howard, Cortez and Spielman could face the death penalty if convicted. Cortez and Spielman are both being held in confinement, and Howard is restricted to post.

Barker did not name Spielman and Howard as participants in the rape and murders but said Spielman was at the house when the assault took place and had come knowing what the others intended to do. Prosecutors on Thursday said Howard had been left behind at a checkpoint.

11-17-06 02:33 EST


1. Do you think these 101st Sky Soldiers would have been so embittered against Iraqis to do atrocities had they been in M113 Gavin armored tracks?

We don't. Even as weak, narcissistic red neck please-thy-peers snobs if they had not been sent into Iraq's streets on foot and in wheeled trucks in a shoot-them-because-I-have-no-armor-protection bad situation (CONOPS) they could have absorbed some enemy fire without losing their self-control over time. We're sure if a study were taken it would show units that were in armored tracks commit less atrocities than those in trucks and on foot. Even the U.N. is smart enough to have its men in armored tracks.

The problem here is a "glass jaw" light infantry that cannot freely maneuver with protection in closed terrain because it has no M113 Gavin light armored tracks. You can and you should say the MISSION of occupying Iraq is wrong (see point #3), but if you do this you leave the light infantry off-the-hook and let them evade the fact that their FORCE STRUCTURE is wrong and needs to be fixed. We will relive this debacle again during a fight we DO need to win.

2. Do you think if these Soldiers were older would they have done the atrocities?

Furthermore, sending young, arrogant militarist snobs to occupy ANY country a year at a time is an invitation to disaster. If we had a Non-Linear Battlefield Stability Corps doing a smart CONOPS in armored tracks only as needed to do security creating maneuvers composed of OLDER more mature Soldiers there would be no atrocities. Why do we say this? Older men realize DEATH is real and that since they are themselves older IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THEM. These are people not likely to lash out on other human beings in the same situation. Young men on the other hand, think they are going to live forever. When they go to a war zone and see that they not only will not live forever in their current physical bodies they might DIE TODAY before living a full span of life as they see with horror happening to their buddies all around them. This creates tremendous RESENTMENT and ANGER at life in general and its just too easy to turn that rage against the civil population caught in the middle.

We also think the All Volunteer Force (AVF) is BS, too. It draws the worst of our populace into military service in a ratio of 50% narcissists, 49% economic beenie boomers and less than 1% actual selfless warrior professionals. We need to get the full involvement of our population to get some adults into our military or you can kiss America goodbye.

3. Do you think the Army or marines are going to change because of this and other atrocities?

Of course not.

You see it in the language of the prosecutor. He implies that ITS ALL THE FAULT OF THESE BAD APPLES. They are indeed "bad apples" but if you place your Army and marines in situations where the weakest links reveal themselves, then its the organization's fault. As Van Crevald says resisted occupations demoralize ALL the troops over time.

However, there is no such understanding of human nature in the garrison AVF military that plays "From Here to Eternity" games insulated from life's realities. Get rid of the mythical "10%" as the marine corps likes to say. Find a scapegoat and preserve the corrupt status quo. There is no admission that the Army is to blame for a screwed-up light infantry force structure that sets these Soldiers up for failure. The senior officials in both the Army and marines to justify their existence believe they are capable of "full-spectrum operations" meaning they can do all military actions from nation-state nuclear war to sub-national conflict bargain-basement peacekeeping. They can just ad hoc it. Read FM 3-21 the COIN manual. They don't even understand or accept the fact that consent of the governed means THERE IS justification to rebel against a military occupation. From there they digress into foisting all the problems on to the lower-ranking Soldiers sent out on presence patrols like it were lawn care details to as General Ricardo Sanchez said "go figure it out" on their own, leaving him in his comfortable garrison FOB.

Senior Army/mc officials have not stood up and insisted on a sound strategic mission; that melting 3 adverse violently opposed groups into a strong central Iraq nation-state is not possible short of over-riding violent dictatorship. Failing to keep the existing central government Army and government civilians in play after toppling Saddam's hierarchy was our only chance for this. Failing this, dividing Iraq into canton regions defended by LOCAL SECURITY FORCES (rural force/popular forces) and having a weak central government is an attainable mission. U.S. forces out of sight to not incite rebellion could stay at discreet FOBs and be resupplied by picketted MSRs to help train the RF/PFs and a national Iraqi Army, the latter to secure the border, oil infrastructure and Baghdad (capital) and nothing else.

05/18/06 21:05 EDT

The following prescient and excellent article by former marine, Fred Reed is outstanding and explains WHY the marine and army massacres took place. Our comments are in [ ].

On Recent Wars
Things Not Figured Out

By Fred Reed
May 17, 2006

People ask how we got into our splendid mess in Iraq and why we can't get out. The question is a subset of a larger question: Why, since WWII, have so many first-world armies gotten into drawn-out guerrilla wars in bush-world countries, and lost? Examples abound: France in Vietnam, America in Vietnam, France in Algeria, Russia in Afghanistan, Israel in Lebanon, etc. Why don't they learn?

The answer I think is that militaries are influenced by a kind of man-call him the "Warrior"-who by nature is unsuited for modern wars. He doesn't understand them, can't adapt to them.

The "Warrior" is emotionally suited to pitched, Pattonesque battles of moral clarity and simple intent. I don't mean that he is stupid. Among fighter pilots and in the Special Forces for example it is not uncommon to find men with IQs of 145. Yet emotionally, the "Warrior" has the uncomplicated instincts of a pit bull. Intensely loyal to friends and intensely hostile to the enemy, he doesn't want any confusion as to which is which. His tolerance for ambiguity is very low. He wants to close with the enemy and destroy him. [Self-validation through war acts; existentialism, a vanity]

This works in [nation-state] wars like WWII. (Note that the American military is an advanced version of the military that beat Germany and Japan.) It does not work when winning requires the support of the population. The "Warrior", unable to see things through the eyes of the enemy, or of the local population, whom he quickly comes to hate, wants to blow hell out of things. He detests all that therapeutic crap, that touchy-feely leftist stuff about respect the population, especially the women. [Because he's a snob] Having the empathy of an engine block, he regards mention of mutilated children as intensely annoying at best, and communist propaganda at worst.

On the net, these men sometimes speak approvingly to each other of the massacre at My Lai. Hey, they were all Cong. If they weren't, they knew who the Cong were and didn't tell us. Calley did the right thing, taught them a lesson. There is an admiration of Calley for having avoided bureaucratic rules of engagement probably dreamed up by civilians [feces in the pyramid of military ego]. War is war. You kill people. Deal with it.

If you point out that collateral damage (dead children, for example) makes the survivors into murderously angry Viet Cong, the "Warrior" thinks that you are a lefty tree-hugger.

Today, the [non-linear, 4th Generation Warfare] battlefield as understood by the enemy, but seldom by the Warrior, extends far beyond the physical battlefield, and the chief targets are political. In this kind of [4GW] war, if America can get the local population to support it, the insurgents are out of business; if the insurgents can get the American public to stop supporting the war, the American military is out of business. This is what counts. It is what works. The "Warrior", all oooh-rah and jump wings, doesn't get it. Vo Nguyen Giap got it. Ho Chi Minh got it.

Thus the furious, embittered insistence of "Warriors" that "We won Tet of '68. We slaughtered them! We won, dammit! Militarily, we absolutely won!" Swell, but politically they lost. It was a catastrophe on the order of Kursk or Dien Bien Phu. But they can't figure it out.

The "Warrior" doesn't understand what "victory" means because he thinks in terms of firefights, courage, weaponry, and valor [self-centered narcissism and existentialism to please peers]. His approach is emotional, not rational. Though not stupid, he is regularly out-thought. Why?

It's not mysterious. An intelligent enemy knows that America cannot be beaten at industrial war. So he thinks, "What then are America's weaknesses?" The first and crucial one is that the American government enters into distant wars in which the public has no stake. Do you want your son to die for-get this-democracy in Iraq? You diapered him, got him through school-yard fist fights, his first prom, graduation from boot camp, and he comes home in a box-for democracy in Iraq?

The thing to do, then (continues thinking the intelligent enemy) is to make the Americans grow sick of the war. How? Not by winning battles, which is difficult against the Americans. You win otherwise. First, don't give them point targets, since these are easily destroyed by big guns and advanced technology. Second, keep the level of combat high enough to maintain the war in the forefront of American consciousness, and to keep the monetary expense high. (Inflation and gasoline prices are weapons as much as rifles, another idea that the Warrior just doesn't get. Bin Laden does.) Third, keep the body bags flowing. Sooner or later the Americans will weary of losing their sons for something that doesn't really interest them.

However, the "Warrior" does not grant the public the right to grow weary. For him, America exists to support the military, not the other way around. [Dangerous snobbery that poses a threat tou our own freedoms at home] Are two hundred dead a week coming back from Asia? The "Warrior" believes that small-town America (which is where the coffins usually go) should grit its teeth, bear down, and make the sacrifice for the country. Sacrifice for what? It doesn't matter. We're at war, dammit. Rally 'round. [Fascism] What are you, a commy?

To the "Warrior", to doubt the war is treason, aiding and supporting, liberalism, cowardice, back-stabbing, and so on. He uses these phrases unrelentingly. We must fight, and fight, and fight, and never yield, and sacrifice and spend. We must never ask why, or whether, or what for, or do we want to. [Weak narcissist egomaniac has no objective, self-esteem, its all a test of his penis size]

The public of course doesn't see it that way. [This is because they are ADULTS with self-worth] In 1964, I graduated from a rural high school in Virginia with a senior class of, I think, sixty. Doug took a 12.7 through the head, Sonny spent time at Walter Reed with neck wounds, Studley I hear is a paraplegic, another kid got mostly blinded for life, and several, whom I won't name, tough country kids as I knew them, came back as apparently irredeemable drunks. (These were kids I knew, not all in my class.) It was a lot of dead and crippled for a small place. For what?

Cowardice? I was on campus in 1966 on a small, very Republican, very patriotic, very conservative, very Southern campus. The students, and their girlfriends, were all violently against the war. So, I gather, were their parents. Why? Were they the traitors of the "Warrior"'s imagination? No. They didn't want to die for something that they didn't care about.

This eludes the "Warrior". Always, he blames The Press for the waning of martial enthusiasm, for his misunderstanding of the kind of war we are fighting. Did the press make Studley a paraplegic? Or kill the guy with all the tubes who died in the stretcher above me on the Medevac 141 back from Danang? Did Walter Cronkite make my buddy Cagle blind when the rifle grenade exploded on the end of his fourteen [M14]? Do the Warriors think that people don't notice when their kids come back forever in wheelchairs?

They don't get it.

Not just a cartoon, but reality: Afghanistan Sports Attire PT Madness = Combat Incompetence

Here's some more proof that the Army is clueless and in narrow-minded robotics when overseas reverting to its BS "From Here to Eternity" garrison default of wasting time on sports attire PT narcissism to drive their little internal ego games when staring right in their tactically incompetent faces are unsecured high ground which the enemy is free to surveill all our activities and alert comrades when we take off to run away and laugh or stay and ambush. If we want to be "physically challenged" these Soldiers should get off their egotrips and lug themselves up/down the nearby mountains and man observation post/listening posts to ACHIEVE SIGNIFICANT TACTICAL EFFECTS NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION and when they are pooped and back at the FOB they will have little time/energy to waste running around in shorts offering themselves as easy kills for the Taliban.

Rod Serling visits Iraq


Long shot of Iraq and a U.S. marine forward base, zoom in to a large building then cut to the insides of an air-conditioned auditorium...

"Room, Atten-Hut!"

The assembled marines and sailors stand at attention awaiting their commander....as they wait...

Rod Serling walks in...

"Welcome to the closed fraternity of the American military mind....brought to you direct from a forward operating base in a middle eastern country you are all too familiar with...about to come and speak is a Colonel Charles Rogers, a not so uncommon man with a career to direct, that some of us may have run into in different times and places, but who isn't going to let anything or anyone---get in his way of his climb to the top.....that is....until he stepped into the Twilight Zone"...

Rogers walks in.

"Take your seats, be seated."

"Some of you think you're warriors. You're not. Only those of us infantry who leave the wire are the ones I respect. All you are is a bunch of REMFS"

The Command Sergeant Major Woolworth interjects and laughs; "Sir, we call 'em FOBBITs now"

Rogers turns his head, "FOBBITS? "

"I like that"

"If it was up to me we'd have none of you, you'd all be infantry. Since you're not, I'm going to leave now on our first presence patrol with me in command. I want you to think about the real marines who are taking the real risks and how you need to do everything you can for them. Is that clear?"

The assembled men shout back:

"Sir, Yes, Sir!"

"Good. Let's get going Sergeant Major".


A column of wheeled trucks lined up at the gate.

"What's this, Sergeant Major?"

Captain Spaulding walks up.

"Aren't you my artillery officer?"

"Not anymore, sir. I'm a grunt. Every marine a rifleman"

"Very, well, take your place in our column".

The now very large column leaves the FOB on patrol.


Rogers is conversing with an Iraqi street merchant whose shack is nearby.

"This is my son, LT Rogers, he's my driver. "

"Glad to meet you Colonel and LT Rogers".

"We need you to take this shack of yours down. Its causing our supply convoys to slow down and they are getting blown up and shot at by snipers."

"I can't Colonel this is ALL I have...please...I beg you...."

"I have my orders...you need to understand"

The Iraqi man gets on his knees and begs...

Just as Rogers was to reply, Woolworth runs up with a radio operator.

"Sir, its brigade. There's a firefight in the traffic circle we got to scoot"

Rogers waves his men off.

The Iraqi man full of gratitude stands up.

Both Rogers get into the truck.

"Dad, you know damn well you're under no orders to tear that man's booth down".

"Well, he doesn't. And what did I tell you about not calling me by my rank?"

"Yes, Sir, Colonel."

"Now let's get going."

Bullets begin crashing through the truck's windshield.

"There's your hearts and minds at work, Son. These Hadjis are scum. All we do for them and this is what we get. Let's get moving."


The convoy drives right into a bomb blast. Vehicles scatter, more are blown up. Both Rogers get out and take cover. Rogers calls for the CSM and radio operator.

"I want an artillery strike on that row of houses, what's the grid coordinates?

Woolworth: "its Sierra Papa 6784055100".

"Colonel Rogers here. I want fire-for-effect on grid coordinate 6784055100"

Base radio operator: "You mean Sierra Papa..."

Rogers: "Stop sharpshooting me Son and get me the goddam artillery".

Radio operator: "Sorry, Sir we have no artillery they are all with you."

Rogers: "What the....?"

Rogers looks back to Woolworth;

Woolworth: "Its true. They're all here. All the FOBBITs."

Rogers: "I want an air strike on"

Radio operator: "No can do, Sir. All the pilots are with you."

Enemy mortar bombs start landing, exploding the remaining trucks.

"Get everyone into those row of buildings!"

The RTO is in the background trying to get help.

Woolworth: "We got wounded men who are going to die if we don't get them back to the FOB. I want to take your truck and get the most seriously injured back"

Rogers obviously upset that his command is going to shit, screams.

"Get the medics to come get them!"

Woolworth: "they're already here with us. Their truck ambulances are all disabled."

Rogers calls to his son,

"Jeff you take the Sergeant Major and the wounded back to the FOB."


Surrounded and trapped, Rogers is about to be over-run when a convoy of cooks delivering hot chow comes upon them and rescues them. Rogers forgets all about his REMF/FOBBIT condescending attitude and promises them all decorations if they save him.


Rogers and survivors limp back to the FOB. Glad to be alive.

Rogers: "Where's Jeff?"


Rogers: "LT Rogers. Where is he?"

Distressed, Rogers goes on a rip running from building-to-building of the now empty FOB. There are no FOBBITs to go search for his son.

Finally seeing the error of his snobby "us" and "them" outlook, he's now lost his son, Rogers breaks down in tears.

That's just when the few perimeter guards left open the gate to a man with a donkey cart.

Its the roadside merchant who has a severely wounded LT Rogers on his cart.

Merchant: "I remember he is the son of the kind base commander. The rebels were going to execute him, but I told him he's the husband to my daughter and a part of my family. They let him live".

Overcome with emotion, Rogers in tears hugs his son and gets him to medical care.


Rogers has the surviving men standing in formation in the open. He has had a change of heart and has something to say.

"I want you all to know I was wrong about all of you.

Each one of you has value and are needed.

You are all warriors.

In fact, even the people who are around...."

A sniper shot cracks through the distance hitting Rogers in the throat who falls as mortars begin landing amongst the men.


In a hospital room, Rogers is all bandaged up. His son limps in.

He tries to talk, but can't.

"Hi Dad. I'm ok."

Rogers shows relief.

"After the Hadjis got you and some of our guys, we decided to get some 'payback'.

Rogers is alarmed.

"We went back to the area around where our convoy was ambushed. We torched all the buildings around and took care of a lot of rebel sympathizers..we really kicked some ass"

Rogers screams through his bandages and breaks his IV drips causing the nurse to run in.

Rod Serling walks in.

"Exhibit A, a man who said he needed nobody.....as he stepped on their toes to become a general officer....realizes too late that we all have value; to even include the enemy;

....its just too bad you only saw this on the Twilight Zone."

The Generals who order the weak economic co-dependants and lesser-ranking narcissistic egomaniacs around like it was garrison lawn care

The "Presence Patrol" mentality = Delegating Dirty Work

The "presence patrol" mentality now esconced in the new COIN manual FM 3-24 (LTG Petraeus is co-author with I-enjoy-killing marine general Mattis) despite being a miserable failure in Iraq for over 3 years, is senior generals getting to live in comfortable palaces on FOBs as they delegate the dirty work of appeasing the masses to lower ranking Soldiors who try to cut deals with them. Its just the garrison mentality back in the states of the generals and colonels and majors ordering lower ranking personnel to mowe lawn and polish floors, except this time its to expose themselves to constant enemy ambush to placate the locals or to kill/capture the rebels to "tidy-the-area". Its not lower ranking "empowerment" its snobby delegating the dirty work to have lower ranking Soldiers to do all the work and try to overcome SYSTEMIC problems CREATED BY THE SENIOR OFFICERS. For example, maybe the best CONOPS is to rehire the old Army and create town/village RF/PF security forces to keep rebels out, not have U.S. forces enter/leave villages/towns which exposes them to road ambushes and yields control right back to the rebels? Real empowerment would not be a top-down, one-way RHIP tidy-my-area drill, it would be the lower ranking Soldiers sitting at the table of the councils of war and CHANGING THE SYSTEMIC PARAMETERS of the operation with their input so we have a WINNING CONOPS. "Presence patroling" is senior officers trying to have junior Soldiers do their jobs without their power, funds and authority to change the conditions so they can at least have a chance to succeed. Details:



In Iraq, Military Forgot Lessons of Vietnam
Early Missteps by U.S. Left Troops Unprepared for Guerrilla Warfare

By Thomas E. Ricks Washington Post Staff Writer

The real war in Iraq -- the one to determine the future of the country -- began on Aug. 7, 2003, when a car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy, killing 11 and wounding more than 50.

That bombing came almost exactly four months after the U.S. military thought it had prevailed in Iraq, and it launched the insurgency, the bloody and protracted struggle with guerrilla fighters that has tied the United States down to this day.

There is some evidence that Saddam Hussein's government knew it couldn't win a conventional war, and some captured documents indicate that it may have intended some sort of rear-guard campaign of subversion against occupation. The stockpiling of weapons, distribution of arms caches, the revolutionary roots of the Baathist Party, and the movement of money and people to Syria either before or during the war all indicate some planning for an insurgency.

But there is also strong evidence, based on a review of thousands of military documents and hundreds of interviews with military personnel, that the U.S. approach to pacifying Iraq in the months after the collapse of Hussein helped spur the insurgency and made it bigger and stronger than it might have been.

The very setup of the U.S. presence in Iraq undercut the mission. The chain of command was hazy, with no one individual in charge of the overall American effort in Iraq, a structure that led to frequent clashes between military and civilian officials.

On May 16, 2003, L. Paul Bremer III, the chief of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S.-run occupation agency, had issued his first order, "De-Baathification of Iraq Society." The CIA station chief in Baghdad had argued vehemently against the radical move, contending: "By nightfall, you'll have driven 30,000 to 50,000 Baathists underground. And in six months, you'll really regret this."

He was proved correct, as Bremer's order, along with a second that dissolved the Iraqi military and national police, created a new class of disenfranchised, threatened leaders.

Exacerbating the effect of this decision were the U.S. Army's interactions with the civilian population. Based on its experience in Bosnia and Kosovo, the Army thought it could prevail through "presence" -- that is, Soldiers demonstrating to Iraqis that they are in the area, mainly by patrolling. "We've got that habit that carries over from the Balkans," one Army general said. Back then, patrols were conducted so frequently that some officers called the mission there "DAB"-ing, for "driving around Bosnia."

The U.S. military jargon for this was "boots on the ground," or, more officially, the presence mission. There was no formal doctrinal basis for this in the Army manuals and training that prepare the military for its operations, but the notion crept into the vocabularies of senior officers. For example, a briefing by the 1st Armored Division's engineering brigade stated that one of its major missions would be "presence patrols." And then-Maj. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then the commander of that division, ordered one of his brigade commanders to "flood your zone, get out there, and figure it out." Sitting in a dusty command tent outside a palace in the Green Zone in May 2003, he added: "Your business is to ensure that the presence of the American Soldier is felt, and it's not just Americans zipping by."

The flaw in this approach, Lt. Col. Christopher Holshek, a civil affairs officer, later noted, was that after Iraqi public opinion began to turn against the Americans and see them as occupiers, "then the presence of troops . . . becomes counterproductive."

The U.S. mission in Iraq is made up overwhelmingly of regular combat units, rather than smaller, lower-profile Special Forces units. And in 2003, most conventional commanders did what they knew how to do: send out large numbers of troops and vehicles on conventional combat missions.

Few U.S. Soldiers seemed to understand the centrality of Iraqi pride and the humiliation Iraqi men felt in being overseen by this Western army. Foot patrols in Baghdad were greeted during this time with solemn waves from old men and cheers from children, but with baleful stares from many young Iraqi men.

Complicating the U.S. effort was the difficulty top officials had in recognizing what was going on in Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at first was dismissive of the looting that followed the U.S. arrival and then for months refused to recognize that an insurgency was breaking out there. A reporter pressed him one day that summer: Aren't you facing a guerrilla war?

"I guess the reason I don't use the phrase 'guerrilla war' is because there isn't one," Rumsfeld responded.

A few weeks later, Army Gen. John P. Abizaid succeeded Gen. Tommy R. Franks as the top U.S. military commander in the Middle East. He used his first news conference as commander to clear up the strategic confusion about what was happening in Iraq. Opponents of the U.S. presence were conducting "a classical guerrilla-style campaign," he said. "It's a war, however you describe it."

That fall, U.S. tactics became more aggressive. This was natural, even reasonable, coming in response to the increased attacks on U.S. forces and a series of suicide bombings. But it also appears to have undercut the U.S. government's long-term strategy.

"When you're facing a counterinsurgency war, if you get the strategy right, you can get the tactics wrong, and eventually you'll get the tactics right," said retired Army Col. Robert Killebrew, a veteran of Special Forces in the Vietnam War. "If you get the strategy wrong and the tactics right at the start, you can refine the tactics forever, but you still lose the war. That's basically what we did in Vietnam."

For the first 20 months or more of the American occupation in Iraq, it was what the U.S. military would do there as well.

"What you are seeing here is an unconventional war fought conventionally," a Special Forces lieutenant colonel remarked gloomily one day in Baghdad as the violence intensified. The tactics that the regular troops used, he added, sometimes subverted American goals.

Draconian Interrogation Ideas

On the morning of Aug. 14, 2003, Capt. William Ponce, an officer in the "Human Intelligence Effects Coordination Cell" at the top U.S. military headquarters in Iraq, sent a memo to subordinate commands asking what interrogation techniques they would like to use.

"The gloves are coming off regarding these detainees," he told them. His e-mail, and the responses it provoked from members of the Army intelligence community across Iraq, are illustrative of the mind-set of the U.S. military during this period.

"Casualties are mounting and we need to start gathering info to help protect our fellow Soldiers from any further attacks," Ponce wrote. He told them, "Provide interrogation techniques 'wish list' by 17 AUG 03."

Some of the responses to his solicitation were enthusiastic. With clinical precision, a Soldier attached to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment recommended by e-mail 14 hours later that interrogators use "open-handed facial slaps from a distance of no more than about two feet and back-handed blows to the midsection from a distance of about 18 inches." He also reported that "fear of dogs and snakes appear to work nicely." The 4th Infantry Division's intelligence operation responded three days later with suggestions that captives be hit with closed fists and also subjected to "low-voltage electrocution."

But not everyone was as sanguine as those two units. "We need to take a deep breath and remember who we are," cautioned a major with the 501st Military Intelligence Battalion, which supported the operations of the 1st Armored Division in Iraq. "It comes down to standards of right and wrong -- something we cannot just put aside when we find it inconvenient, any more than we can declare that we will 'take no prisoners' and therefore shoot those who surrender to us simply because we find prisoners inconvenient." Feeding the interrogation system was a major push by U.S. commanders to round up Iraqis. The key to actionable intelligence was seen by many as conducting huge sweeps to detain and question Iraqis. Sometimes units acted on tips, but sometimes they just detained all able-bodied males of combat age in areas known to be anti-American.

These steps were seen inside the Army as a major success story, and they were portrayed as such to journalists. The problem was that the U.S. military, having assumed it would be operating in a relatively benign environment, wasn't set up for a massive effort that called on it to apprehend, detain and interrogate Iraqis, to analyze the information gleaned, and then to act on it.

"As commanders at all levels sought operational intelligence, it became apparent that the intelligence structure was undermanned, under-equipped and inappropriately organized for counter-insurgency operations," Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones wrote in an official Army report a year later. Senior U.S. intelligence officers in Iraq later estimated that about 85 percent of the tens of thousands rounded up were of no intelligence value. But as they were delivered to the Abu Ghraib prison, they overwhelmed the system and often waited for weeks to be interrogated, during which time they could be recruited by hard-core insurgents, who weren't isolated from the general prison population.

In improvising a response to the insurgency, the U.S. forces worked hard and had some successes. Yet they frequently were led poorly by commanders unprepared for their mission by an institution that took away from the Vietnam War only the lesson that it shouldn't get involved in messy counterinsurgencies. The advice of those who had studied the American experience there was ignored.

That summer, retired marine Col. Gary Anderson, an "expert" in small wars, was sent to Baghdad by the Pentagon to advise on how to better put down the emerging insurgency. He met with Bremer in early July. "Mr. Ambassador, here are some programs that worked in Vietnam," Anderson said. It was the wrong word to put in front of Bremer. "Vietnam?" Bremer exploded, according to Anderson. "Vietnam! I don't want to talk about Vietnam. This is not Vietnam. This is Iraq!"

Gyrenes in Trucks are wrong people/gear to do COIN ops.

Marine shooting in Afghanistan decried

By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer
Sun Apr 15, 3:30 AM ET

KABUL, Afghanistan - A U.S. marine unit broke international humanitarian law by using excessive force during a shooting spree last month that left 12 people dead, an Afghan human rights group said in a report Saturday.

The troops fired indiscriminately at pedestrians, people in cars, public buses and taxis in six different locations along a 10-mile stretch of road in Nangahar province after an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into their convoy on March 4, according to the report by Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission.

Six people were killed near the blast site, while the other six died on the road as the troops sped away, said Ahmad Nader Nadery, the group's spokesman.

The dead included a 1-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and three women, the report said. Thirty-five people were wounded in the shootings.

"In failing to distinguish between civilians and legitimate military targets the U.S. marines corps special forces employed indiscriminate force," the report said. "Their actions thus constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law standards."

The group said its report was based on interviews with victims and their families, witnesses, local community leaders, hospital officials f 2003, and in the two battles in Fallujah the following year.

One reason for that different approach was the muddled strategy of U.S. commanders in Iraq. As civil affairs officers found to their dismay, Army leaders tended to see the Iraqi people as the playing field on which a contest was played against insurgents. In Galula's view, the people are the prize.

"The population . . . becomes the objective for the counterinsurgent as it was for his enemy," he wrote.

From that observation flows an entirely different way of dealing with civilians in the midst of a guerrilla war. "Since antagonizing the population will not help, it is imperative that hardships for it and rash actions on the part of the forces be kept to a minimum," Galula wrote. Cumulatively, the American ignorance of long-held precepts of counterinsurgency warfare impeded the U.S. military during 2003 and part of 2004. Combined with a personnel policy that pulled out all the seasoned forces early in 2004 and replaced them with green troops, it isn't surprising that the U.S. effort often resembled that of Sisyphus, the king in Greek legend who was condemned to perpetually roll a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down as he neared the top.

Again and again, in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, U.S. forces launched major new operations to assert and reassert control in Fallujah, in Ramadi, in Samarra, in Mosul.

"Scholars are virtually unanimous in their judgment that conventional forces often lose unconventional wars because they lack a conceptual understanding of the war they are fighting," Lt. Col. Matthew Moten, chief of military history at West Point, would comment in 2004.

When Maj. Gregory Peterson studied a few months later at Fort Leavenworth's School of Advanced Military Studies, an elite course that trains military planners and strategists, he found the U.S. experience in Iraq in 2003-2004 remarkably similar to the French war in Algeria in the 1950s. Both involved Western powers exercising sovereignty in Arab states, both powers were opposed by insurgencies contesting that sovereignty, and both wars were controversial back home.

Most significant for Peterson's analysis, he found both the French and U.S. militaries woefully unprepared for the task at hand. "Currently, the U.S. military does not have a viable counterinsurgency doctrine, understood by all soldiers, or taught at service schools," he concluded.

Casey Implements a New Tactic

In mid-2004, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. took over from Sanchez as the top U.S. commander in Iraq. One of Casey's advisers, Kalev Sepp, pointedly noted in a study that fall that the U.S. effort in Iraq was violating many of the major principles of counterinsurgency, such as putting an emphasis on killing insurgents instead of engaging the population.

A year later, frustrated by the inability of the Army to change its approach to training for Iraq, Casey established his own academy in Taji, Iraq, to teach counterinsurgency to U.S. officers as they arrived in the country. He made attending its course there a prerequisite to commanding a unit in Iraq. "We are finally getting around to doing the right things," Army Reserve Lt. Col. Joe Rice observed one day in Iraq early in 2006. "But is it too little, too late?"

One of the few commanders who were successful in Iraq in that first year of the occupation, Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, made studying counterinsurgency a requirement at the Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, where mid-career officers are trained.

By the academic year that ended last month, 31 of 78 student monographs at the School of Advanced Military Studies next door were devoted to counterinsurgency or stability operations, compared with only a couple two years earlier.

And Galula's handy little book, "Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice," was a bestseller at the Leavenworth bookstore.

American Soldier sleeping in an Iraqi home...has no empathy/maturity to ask how he'd like it if a foreign Soldier was sleeping in HIS HOME back in CONUS?

Egomaniacs in trucks are wrong people to do COIN ops.

Marine shooting in Afghanistan decried

By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer
Sun Apr 15, 3:30 AM ET

KABUL, Afghanistan - A U.S. marine unit broke international humanitarian law by using excessive force during a shooting spree last month that left 12 people dead, an Afghan human rights group said in a report Saturday.

The troops fired indiscriminately at pedestrians, people in cars, public buses and taxis in six different locations along a 10-mile stretch of road in Nangahar province after an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into their convoy on March 4, according to the report by Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission.

Six people were killed near the blast site, while the other six died on the road as the troops sped away, said Ahmad Nader Nadery, the group's spokesman.

The dead included a 1-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and three women, the report said. Thirty-five people were wounded in the shootings.

"In failing to distinguish between civilians and legitimate military targets the U.S. marines corps special forces employed indiscriminate force," the report said. "Their actions thus constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law standards."

The group said its report was based on interviews with victims and their families, witnesses, local community leaders, hospital officials and police.

A U.S. military commander has also determined that the marines used excessive force and referred the case for possible criminal inquiry, a senior U.S. defense official told The Associated Press on Wednesday. U.S. military officials said after the incident that the suicide attack was part of an ambush that included militant gunmen shooting at marines, which may have caused some of the civilian casualties.

The human rights group's report said "there is some evidence at the immediate site of the incident to support this claim, but it is far from conclusive and all witnesses and Afghan government officials interviewed uniformly denied that any attack beyond the initial (suicide car bombing) took place."

The group also alleges that U.S. troops serving with NATO's International Security Assistance Force in southern Afghanistan returned to the area after the bombing for an investigation and a cleanup operation, which involved the removal of all bullet shells and cartridges.

The group said it interviewed a member of Afghanistan's National Police criminal investigations office who said his unit had searched around the site after the incident, but that "ISAF forces had collected all shells, magazines, cartridges from the spot and we could not find any trace or sign of them." U.S. military officials were not available to comment on that allegation.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly pleaded for Western troops to show more restraint amid concern that civilian deaths shake domestic support for the foreign military involvement that he needs to prop up his government, increasingly under threat from a resurgent Taliban.

The initial U.S. military investigation concluded that the marines' response was "out of proportion to the threat that was immediately there," the senior U.S. defense official said Wednesday in Washington.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe's results have not been released. The findings have been forwarded to U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for U.S. military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Another official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the initial military investigation concluded that there was a "reasonable suspicion" the marines violated the rules for the use of deadly force, and that crimes, possibly including homicide, may have been committed in the aftermath of the convoy being struck. One marine was wounded in the blast, which also killed the bomber.

Army Maj. Gen. Francis H. Kearney III, head of Special Operations Command Central, opened an investigation into the incident after taking the highly unusual step of ordering the unit of about 120 marines out of Afghanistan.

"We deeply regret the loss of life and casualties that resulted from the (suicide car bombing) and the actions that followed," Lt. Col. Lou Leto, spokesman at Kearney's command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., said in a statement. "We will work to prevent similar events from occurring in the future."

The marines are in a "special" operations unit that deployed from Camp LeJeune, N.C., in January with the 26th marine expeditionary unit. After Kearney ordered them out of Afghanistan, they returned to their unit's ships in the Persian Gulf.

The unit is one of four marine Special Operations Command companies established since the command was created in February 2006. The one ordered out of Afghanistan was the first to deploy abroad.

Our point is that the American All Volunteer Force (AVF) attracts weak economic and ego co-dependants as outlined by British Army officer, Dr. Norman Dixon in his book; "On the Psychology of Military Incompetence":

Read Dixon's Book ONLINE

The Abrams Doctrine of having the nation depend on Guardsmen/Reservists to fight foreign wars so there would be ADULTS (and not narcissistic fascists) who would make a stink and refuse to go along with immoral and incompetently run occupations like Iraq has failed. The Guardsmen/Reservists are just part-time versions of the economic and egomaniac active duty troops that wastes time on BS paperwork and time wasting. America clearly needs a moral compass inside its military to be the final check & balance against bad wars. The IDF has this mechanism, we do not yet.

Troop Surge & Strykers: Both Failing: Cash $$$ Surge to Bribe Enemy Not to Attack us

The solution to factions shuttling land mines and car bombs (high explosives) amongst themselves is WALLS and CHECK-POINTS manned by the factions themselves for self-preservation sake not "surging" a foreign Army running around with rifles in their hands in road-bound wheeled trucks getting exhausted and blown up because nearly all factions hate them.


Army Deploys (Stryker) Unready Brigade

The U.S. Army's "Stryker" brigade from Fort Lewis deployed to Iraq in early May. It had target strength of 4000 men, but 700 stayed behind for various legal and medical reasons. An Army officer admitted this was a very high figure, which indicates that hundreds of Soldiers sought reasons to miss the 15-month deployment. The officer mentioned that such problems have become common in other deploying units.[2]

Within two months of arrival, the unit suffered 17 killed and 170 wounded, which included 30 so disfigured that they were sent home. At this rate of attrition, during the remaining 13 months, the 3300 Soldiers that deployed with this brigade can expect another 110 killed and 1105 wounded, to include 195 so badly injured they will be discharged. After this brigade returns to Fort Lewis, surviving Soldiers can expect to return to Iraq within a year since President Bush has indicated that pacifying Iraq may take 50 years of sacrifice. As a result, career Soldiers should expect they will end up dead or crippled before they can retire.

Fatigue Cripples U.S. Army in Iraq

By Peter Beaumont
The Observer UK
Sunday 12 August 2007

Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging U.S. troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis.

Lieutenant Clay Hanna looks sick and white. Like his colleagues he does not seem to sleep. Hanna says he catches up by napping on a cot between operations in the command centre, amid the noise of radio. He is up at 6am and tries to go to sleep by 2am or 3am. But there are operations to go on, planning to be done and after-action reports that need to be written. And war interposes its own deadly agenda that requires his attention and wakes him up.

When he emerges from his naps there is something old and paper-thin about his skin, something sketchy about his movements as the days go by.

The Americans he commands, like the other men at Sullivan - a combat outpost in Zafraniya, south east Baghdad - hit their cots when they get in from operations. But even when they wake up there is something tired and groggy about them. They are on duty for five days at a time and off for two days. When they get back to the forward operating base, they do their laundry and sleep and count the days until they will get home. It is an exhaustion that accumulates over the patrols and the rotations, over the multiple deployments, until it all joins up, wiping out any memory of leave or time at home. Until life is nothing but Iraq.

Hanna and his men are not alone in being tired most of the time. A whole Army is exhausted and worn out. You see the young Soldiers washed up like driftwood at Baghdad's international airport, waiting to go on leave or returning to their units, sleeping on their body armour on floors and in the dust.

Where once the war in Iraq was defined in conversations with these men by untenable ideas - bringing democracy or defeating al-Qaeda - these days the war in Iraq is defined by different ways of expressing the idea of being weary. It is a theme that is endlessly reiterated as you travel around Iraq. 'The Army is worn out. We are just keeping people in theatre who are exhausted,' says a Soldier working for the US Army public affairs office who is supposed to be telling me how well things have been going since the 'surge' in Baghdad began.

They are not supposed to talk like this. We are driving and another of the public affairs team adds bitterly: 'We should just be allowed to tell the media what is happening here. Let them know that people are worn out. So that their families know back home. But it's like we've become no more than numbers now.'

The first Soldier starts in again. 'My husband was injured here. He hit an improvised explosive device. He already had a spinal injury. The blast shook out the plates. He's home now and has serious issues adapting. But I'm not allowed to go back home to see him. If I wanted to see him I'd have to take leave time (two weeks). And the Army counts it.'

A week later, in the northern city of Mosul, an officer talks privately. 'We're plodding through this,' he says after another patrol and another ambush in the city centre. 'I don't know how much more plodding we've got left in us.'

When the Soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain's assistant who has come to bless a patrol. 'Why don't you tell the truth? Why don't you journalists write that this Army is exhausted?'

It is a weariness that has created its own culture of superstition. There are vehicle commanders who will not let the infantrymen in the back fall asleep on long operations - not because they want the men alert, but because, they say, bad things happen when people fall asleep. So the Soldiers drink multiple cans of Rip It and Red Bull to stay alert and wired.

But the exhaustion of the U.S. Army emerges most powerfully in the details of these Soldiers' frayed and worn-out lives. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaints: Soldiers talk about divorces, or problems with the girlfriends that they don't see, or about the children who have been born and who are growing up largely without them.

'I counted it the other day,' says a major whose partner is also a Soldier. 'We have been married for five years. We added up the days. Because of Iraq and Afghanistan we have been together for just seven months. Seven months ... We are in a bad place. I don't know whether this marriage can survive it.'

The anecdotal evidence on the ground confirms what others - prominent among them General Colin Powell, the former U.S. Secretary of State - have been insisting for months now: that the U.S. Army is 'about broken'. Only a third of the regular Army's brigades now qualify as combat-ready. Officers educated at the elite West Point academy are leaving at a rate not seen in 30 years, with the consequence that the U.S. Army has a shortfall of 3,000 commissioned officers - and the problem is expected to worsen.

And it is not only the Soldiers that are worn out. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the destruction, or wearing out, of 40 per cent of the U.S. Army's equipment, totalling at a recent count $212bn (£105bn).

But it is in the Soldiers themselves - and in the ordinary stories they tell - that the exhaustion of the U.S. military is most obvious, coming amid warnings that Soldiers serving multiple Iraq deployments, now amounting to several years, are 50 per cent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress.

The Army's exhaustion is reflected in problems such as the rate of desertion and unauthorised absences - a problem, it was revealed earlier this year, that had increased threefold on the period before the war in Afghanistan and had resulted in thousands of negative discharges.

'They are scraping to get people to go back and people are worn out,' said Thomas Grieger, a senior U.S. Navy psychiatrist, told the International Herald Tribune in April.

'Modern war is exhausting,' says Major Stacie Caswell, an occupational therapist with a combat stress unit attached to the military hospital in Mosul. Her unit runs long group sessions to help Soldiers with emerging mental health and discipline problems: often they have seen friends killed and injured, or are having problems stemming from issues at home - responsible for 50 to 60 per cent of their cases. One of the most common problems in Iraq is sleep disorders.

'This is a different kind of war,' says Caswell. 'In World War II it was clear who the good guys and the bad guys were. You knew what you would go through on the battlefield.' Now she says the threat is all around. And Soldiering has changed. 'Now we have so many things to do...'

'And the Soldier in Vietnam,' interjects Sergeant John Valentine from the same unit, 'did not get to see the coverage from home that these Soldiers do. We see what is going on at home on the political scene. They think the war is going to end. Then we have the frustration and confusion. That is fatiguing. Mentally tiring.'

'Not only that,' says Caswell, 'but because of the nature of what we do now, the number of tasks in comparison with previous generations - even as you are finishing your 15 months here you are immediately planning and training for your next tour.' Valentine adds: 'There is no decompression.'

The consequence is a deep-seated problem of retention and recruitment that in turn, says Caswell, has led the U.S. Army to reduce its standards for joining the military, particularly over the issue of no longer looking too hard at any previous history of mental illness. 'It is a question of honesty, and we are not investigating too deeply or we are issuing waivers. The consequence is that we are seeing people who do not have the same coping skills when they get here, and this can be difficult.

'We are also seeing older Soldiers coming in - up to 41 years old - and that is causing its own problems. They have difficulty dealing with the physical impact of the war and also interacting with the younger men.'

Valentine says: 'We are not only watering down the quality of the Soldiers but the leadership too. The good leaders get out. I've seen it. And right now we are on the down slope.'

"War Tsar" Calls for Return of the Draft to Take the Strain

America's 'war tsar' has called for the nation's political leaders to consider bringing back the draft to help a military exhausted by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a radio interview, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute said the option had always been open to boost America's all-volunteer Army by drafting in young men in the same way as happened in Vietnam. 'I think it makes sense to consider it,' he said. Lute was appointed 'war tsar' earlier this year after President Bush decided a single figure was needed to oversee the nation's military efforts abroad.

Rumours of a return to the draft have long circulated in military circles as the pressure from fighting two large conflicts at the same time builds on America's forces. However, politically it would be extremely difficult to achieve, especially for any leader hoping to be elected in 2008. Bush has previously ruled out the suggestion as unnecessary.

Lute, however, said the war was causing stress to military families and, as a result, was having an impact on levels of re-enlistment. 'This kind of stress plays out across dinner tables and in living-room conversations within these families. Ultimately the health of the all-volunteer force is going to rest on those sorts of personal family decisions,' he said.

A draft would revive bad memories of the turmoil of the 1960s and early 1970s when tens of thousands of young men were drafted to fight and die in Vietnam. Few other policies proved as divisive in America and the memories of anti-war protesters burning their draft cards and fleeing to Canada are still vivid in the memory.

"Surge" Face-Saving Measure is not new, Abrams was wonder-boy with his "Surge" in second half of our Vietnam War Debacle

Look familiar?

Change "Abrams" to "Petreaus".

Change "Maximum pressure" to "Surge".

Change "Vietnam" to "Iraq".

Its the same narcissistic, egomaniacs who think an American Soldier with a gun in his hand is the solution to everything when its their very presence coupled with heavy-handed abuse of civilians through forced relocation and too much firepower has made them cooperative with the internal rebels (Viet Cong) and when they were wiped out at Tet, not loyal enough to the central government to fight off the external North Vietnames Army (NVA).

General Gavin's "enclave" strategy is exactly what we need to do today in Iraq--separate the warring factions by a wall checkpointed by the Shias/Sunnis/Kurds inside to keep car bombs and land mines out, while U.S. forces redeploy to rural areas of Iraq to stop being a catalyst for rebellion by their obnoxious presence patrolling and home invasions. Subtle strategies like "Enclaves" are not understood or appreciated by the big nation-state war brass who want to kill ragheads and get body count statistics. This is more proof why we need a dedicated sub-national conflict force. The racketeers are wrong, our forces cannot do the full spectrum of warfare well; what is required of small wars is fundamentally different from what large wars need. None of these truths are being told to the Secretary of Defense who lacks a professional military staff.



THE Nixon Administration has secretly decided to respond to the Communist lull in the fighting in Viet Nam. The Pentagon is drafting orders instructing the military command in Saigon to reduce and limit the current strategy of "maximum pressure." The decision came after months of subdued debate. Some top State Department officials seemed as reluctant to modify the allies' aggressive strategy as their counterparts in the Pentagon. The hard-liners at State agreed with their military colleagues that the lull has little if any political significance. If it had, they said, the Communists would have found ways and means to let the U.S. know.

Other State Department officials were more willing to take a chance. Their argument was that the strategy of maximum pressure puts the burden of cutting back the level of fighting entirely on the enemy. Sooner or later, U.S. pressure results in Communist counterpressure. The question is essentially whether or not the possibility of reducing the level of combat and taking another step toward total disengagement from the war is worth the military risk involved. Last week the Administration decided that it was.

Ignored Advice. General Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was dispatched to Saigon to discuss the new tactics with General Creighton Abrams, commander of U.S. forces in Viet Nam. Wheeler will also discuss the feasibility of withdrawing as many as 100,000 more U.S. troops from Viet Nam by the end of this year, if the lull continues. The President was expected to meet with Abrams next week, either in Saigon or Bangkok, as part of his nine-day, 24,070-mile tour of seven countries.

The new orders do not deny the necessity of an active defense, but they would scale down the massive search-and-destroy missions that have dominated U.S. strategy. Said one Government official: "Where we used to have division-sized sweeps, we now want to see whether the job can't be done by 25-man patrols. Where we now send out 25-man patrols, we want to see whether a five-man patrol won't do. And we must keep in mind that we are no longer out for military victory." The new approach also calls for increased Vietnamization of the war. U.S. troops would spend less time in combat and far more time training ARVN. Obviously, both proposals are designed to cut U.S. casualties.

The new Nixon concept of conducting the war-withdrawing troops gradually, dropping the level of combat and sending fewer G.I.s out on missions-seems a limited step in the direction of the "enclave theory" that was advanced in 1965 by retired Lieut. General James Gavin. Under Gavin's plan, American troops would withdraw to garrisons in Saigon, Cam Ranh Bay and Danang, and concentrate on upgrading the South Vietnamese army. However, the new orders do not entail an actual movement of U.S. forces to fixed enclaves, as Gavin proposed.

The military did not accept the Gavin concept then, and they are not enthusiastic now about the prospects of deescalation. They argue that maximum pressure is nothing more than an "active defense." Unfortunately, the line between attack and defense is not always clear. The military, for example, regarded the bloody assault on Hamburger Hill last May as essentially a defensive action, though it cost the U.S. 84 killed and 480 wounded.

Understandable Reluctance.

Overall, few experts would question that Abe Abrams' aggressive tactics in Viet Nam have been markedly more successful than those of his predecessor, General William Westmoreland. Last fall Abrams replaced Westmoreland's ponderous battalion and brigade assaults with squad-sized thrusts. His Operation Sting Ray called for hundreds-sometimes thousands-of small patrols daily. The enemy's infiltration trails through the jungles, mountains and paddies were denied him. American troops began operating after dark, and for the first time in the war the night no longer belonged to the Viet Cong. Last year more than 8,000 tons of Viet Cong ammunition and food were captured. In the first five months of this year, 5,000 more tons have been discovered. The Communists have been unable to launch major, concentrated attacks in the past ten months. With that record, the allied command in Saigon is understandably reluctant to shift tactics.

Military officials also insist that the lull is one of those recurrent pauses in which the enemy disengages his troops in order to regroup and resupply. Intelligence reports estimate that the North is still infiltrating 10,000 men per month into South Viet Nam. The Reds continue to cache food and arms in preparation for future offensives.

Plainly, the Administration's decision to reduce the level of combat is a gamble. Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky last week proposed a South Vietnamese pullout from the Paris peace talks and accused the U.S. of lagging in its efforts to train and equip ARVN troops. A great deal will, of course, depend on the ARVN's willingness and ability to assume a greater share of the fighting. Despite the dangers, the risk seems worthwhile. Last fall, when the Communists pulled three divisions back across the DMZ, Averell Harriman for one was convinced that it was an earnest sign of Hanoi's eagerness to limit the fighting and that the U.S. should make a reciprocal move. The Johnson Administration, committed to a military victory, failed to probe the possibilities. This time, the Communists deny that there is a lull, but the stillness on the battlefield may yet prove more eloquent than their words.

PATRIOTIC CORRECTNESS SIDEBAR: Is fascism AOK as long as President Bush says he's a "Christian"? Didn't Hitler say the same thing?

The 14 Points That Indicate your Nation-State Has Become A Fascist Country


Fascism is a taken from "fasces" or wooden strips to strengthen an ax handle; individuals are the wooden strips who sublimate themselves and their consciences (moral integrity) to the government (ax) are FASCISTS. They are not real Americans who act always on their freedom based on their conscience in ALL matters. The whole point of America was a moral law was king not the other way around. Today's American populace would rather sell their freedom for a comfortable king telling that what to do in a feudal slavery than stand on their own two feet and think and act for themselves. Fascist want you filled with blue-collar victim excuses that someone has to partake of an evil in order to condemn it---you don't have to take LSD to know its unhealthy nor does one have to be a volunteer victim in Iraq (and then be an accomplice to the evil) to see with your own eyes that we have no moral or practical justification to occupy the place as we are.

Individual Self-Delusion: The New American Way (AmeroFascism): or How Americans Think Like the French

The cartoon above is so true except for the "political gain" part. It's not just about political gain (except for the neo-cons maybe). It's all about oil (and maybe heroin) and money. It used to be that you'd get massive corruption for billion-dollar defense contracts. Imagine the magnitude of corruption involved with setting up HUNDRED BILLION dollar contracts. We see the entire nation corrupted on a mammoth scale never seen before. It goes way beyond politics which is just a tail wagged by the much bigger dog.

Americans in general are anti-intellectual and unable to see the subtle poison of RACKETEERING---and have been since they conquered the west. Americans want to EXPERIENCE rather than THINK and are thus prone to hedonism, violence and destruction at the behest of the corporate and government elites who know how to push their unconstrained by factual logic, emotional buttons. French philosophers Sarte/Camus say you have to EXPERIENCE something to know it, look up existentialism. No one has to be a victim to see and condemn obvious bullshit, but that takes THINKING and its so much easier to consume what's dished out to you from above.

As the nation became more densely populated and people moved away from the family farms where some sobriety and self-control was in effect and into cities to work in factories, THEY THE CORPORATIONS discovered they could easily manipulate Americans through their urges since they are not rational thinkers with a national culture. The BBC video documentary below by Adam Curtis explains how THEY THE CORPORATIONS learned how to control the American populace and turn them from an expectation of being thinking, rational citizens into irrational, emotional consumers who are easily manipulated for maximum corporate greed be it by buying their civilian life products or dying in their wars to increase the demand for war products.


From Farewell America


"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at one time."


Chapter 2 Legacy

"The worst fault of a highly-intelligent sovereign is to impose tasks on his subjects which are beyond their forces, for his aims go far beyond what they are capable of doing and, when he is in charge of an undertaking, he thinks he can foresee its consequences. His administration is therefore fatal to the people. The Prophet himself has said, 'Pattern your step on that of the weakest among you. Too great an intellect is a burden for the people.'"


Americans are the sons of Calvin.

John Calvin preached that the pursuit of wealth and the preservation of property is a "Christian" duty. He taught that the temptations of the flesh demand a discipline as strict as that of the military profession. "He created an ideal type of man theretofore unknown to both religion and society, who was neither a humanist nor an ascetic, but a businessman living in the fear of God." (1)

Two centuries later, this new type of man came under the influence of John Wesley. (2) "We exhort all Christians to amass as much wealth as they can, and to preserve as much as they can; in other words, to enrich themselves." For President Madison, "The American political system was founded on the natural inequality of men." Correlatively, the moral philosophy of the United States is based on [material] success.

At the end of the Eighteenth Century a Frenchman, the Chevalier de Beaujour, wrote on his return from North America, "The American loses no opportunity to acquire wealth. Gain is the subject of all his conversations, and the motive for all his actions. Thus, there is perhaps no civilized nation in the world where there is less generosity in the sentiments, less elevation of soul and of mind, less of those pleasant and glittering illusions that constitute the charm or the consolation of life. Here, everything is weighed, calculated and sacrificed to self-interest."

Another Frenchman, the Baron de Montlezun, added, "In this country, more than any other, esteem is based on wealth. Talent is trampled underfoot. How much is this man worth? they ask. Not much? He is despised. One hundred thousand crowns? The knees flex, the incense burns, and the once-bankrupt merchant is revered like a god."

The British went even farther than the French. "They are escaped convicts. His Majesty is fortunate to be rid of such rabble. Their true God is power." (3)

In an introduction to a series of articles by historian Andrew Sinclair, the Sunday Times wrote in 1967, "In the five centuries since Columbus discovered the New World, savagery has been part of American life. There has been the violence of conquest and resistance, the violence of racial difference, the violence of civil war, the violence of bandits and gangsters, the violence of lynch law, all set against the violence of the wilderness and the city."

The opinion of these Europeans is subject to question, but George Washington, speaking of the future of American civilization, commented that he would not be surprised by any disaster that might occur.

The disasters began as triumphs. The conquest of the West, the rise of the merchants, the industrial revolutions were America's great crusades, and from them were issued her Titans and her gods. Every civilization has its ideal man. an archetype that stands as a model for the average citizen. Athens chose the philosopher and the artist; for the Jews, it was the law-giving prophet; for Rome, the Soldier-administrator; for China, the learned Mandarin; for England, the empire builder; for Japan and German, and professional Soldier; for India, the ascetic. For the United States, it was the businessman!

While other nations might have chosen wisdom, beauty, saintliness, military glory, bravery or asceticism as their popular divinities, the United States chose the civilization of gain. The true gods and the only Titans of America were Jay Gould, Daniel Drew, Jay Cooke, Andrew Carnegie, Charles T. Yerkes, Solomon Guggenheim and Irenee Du Pont.

Some of these men, like J. Pierpont Morgan, became gay, high-living nabobs. But most, like Henry Ford, were frugal and dreary puritans. All of them, even the most devout, even the most devoted, even the most sincere, had one thing in common: where business was concerned, they were tough. The churches approved of this attitude. In his book Heroes of Progress, the Reverend McClinock wrote:

"May he long enjoy the fruits of his work and promote the reign of Christ on this earth, not only through the Christian use of the vast fortune with which God has favored him, but through the living example of his active and peaceful piety." He was referring to Daniel Drew, who cheated his associates, bribed municipal governments, and took advantage of the credulity of the people.

The first American giants -- Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, McKay, McCoy -- whether they were oilmen, shipowners, prospectors or livestock dealers, made or consolidated their fortunes by smuggling arms and supplies during the Civil War. Today's Titans are often college graduates. Some are affable and well-bred. They constitute an oligarchy of directorial bureaucrats who, while lacking the personal fortunes of the old Titans, have preserved their power and conserved their practices. For them, and it is true, profit is "the remuneration of a decision made in conditions of uncertainty." (4) But this equation has become the basis for a moral philosophy that takes neither the nation nor the individual into account.

"Men who spend every weekday making money, and every Sunday at the Temple, are not made to inspire the muse of Comedy," wrote Alexandre de Tocqueville, and he was correct. The standards of American society have been raised to untouchability. The dollar remains the criterion of worth and success. Money is the only real measure of human beings and things, and American society, while classless, is nothing more than a graph of economic levels. (5) "That which a people honors most becomes the object of its cult," wrote Plato. This is a democratic notion in so far as it offers everyone a chance, or at least appears to, but its rigidity leaves room for all kinds of excesses.

In other times and on other continents, these Titans would have been, if not scorned, at least gauged by their relative worth. But the Titans have become the pride of every American citizen. In no other society is the cult of the successful man so strong, and it is unwise to disregard it. "America has been built by individual effort and a recognition of individual responsibility . . . Government may guide and help its citizens, but it cannot supply talent to those who do not have it, or bestow ambition or creative ability on those who are not born with these qualities." (6)

This morality demands the tolerance or the complicity of those who hold political power: Congress and the President.

Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt were accidents along the way, deviates from the American mythology. An American who enters politics for unselfish reasons is regarded with suspicion. His attitude can only conceal a lust for power or a senseless and dangerous devotion to the "public welfare." Politics and the public welfare have little in common, and the activities of a politician are not considered normal or comprehensible unless they are pursued for selfish and material gain. President Jackson was condemned in 1831 by Vincenne's Gazette in these terms: "Ambition is his crime, and it will be his undoing."

Harold Laski has written that "a strong President is a moral threat" to all those who have toiled to build an American society whose prosperity is based on initiative, energy and efficiency, but also on what Europeans call corruption, an additional arm made available to those whose sole motivation is profit. America, wrote George Washington, is a country where political offices bear no proportion to those who seek them.

America accepted Franklin D. Roosevelt only because she had no other alternative. She found herself again in Harry Truman, a solid citizen with no perverse ambitions who declared that "the combined thought and action of a people always lead in the right direction." (7) Eisenhower was the ideal President. A victorious commander, he dazzled the crowds. Inconsistent, he had no dangerous political philosophy. A petty bourgeois, he dared not oppose the Titans.

And suddenly Kennedy appeared, the first President born in this century, a millionaire, a liberal, and an intellectual. The Democratic candidate nevertheless made no attempt to conceal his aims.

"In the decade that lies ahead -- in the challenging revolutionary sixties -- the American Presidency will demand more than ringing manifestoes issued from the rear of the battle. It will demand that the President place himself in the very thick of the fight, that he care passionately about the fate of the people he leads, that he be willing to serve them at the risk of incurring their momentary displeasure.

We stand today at the edge of a New Frontier -- the frontier of the 1960's -- a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils -a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats. (8)

Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom promised our nation a new political and economic framework. Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal promised security and succor to those in need. But the New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises -- it is a set of challenges. It sums up, not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them. It appeals to their price, not their pocketbook -- it holds out the promise of more sacrifice instead of more security..." (9)

The Scriptures tell of a time when there were giants on the earth, and that is what our country needs today. This is not the time for futilities. This is not the time for petty complaints and half-measures. This is the time for men of action, not men of words -- this is the time for giant hearts, not faint hearts... (10)

We have no time for complacency, timidity, or doubt. This is a time for courage and action. (11)

The old era has ended. The old ways will not do." (12)

It was all so beautiful, so unreal, that no one believed it. They even admired his inscrutability, his ingenuity in using a metaphor borrowed from American folklore, from the myth of the West, to mask a demagogy that was all the more inoffensive because it seemed credible. Others, more cunning, grew concerned when, in West Virginia, under the low roofs of a forgotten America, the Senator from Massachusetts spoke to the abandoned miners, to the unemployed, to the families vegetating in the hills. America began to ask herself if Kennedy was speaking seriously when he bent towards the little people and the forgotten.

Kennedy's socialism aimed at enriching the poor rather than impoverishing the rich, but it was dangerous nevertheless. For one hundred million Americans, the gravest danger, after bankruptcy, is that those just behind may catch up with them. The nouveaux rich are only rich so long as no one grows richer. The have-nots live in constant fear of the down-and-outs, and the hate and fear of the little Puerto Rican for New York are really no more than the hate and fear of half of New York for the little Puerto Rican.

Millions of Americans have risen from the proletariat to the middle class with insufficient intellectual means. They or their sons want to continue to climb the ladder of society. This new American bourgeoisie, which has risen by its own toil, works less today and lives better, and pays less taxes. It claims to be descended from the Pilgrim Fathers, but its origins go back to the washing machine. The Great Society is essentially sectarian and violent. Its mottoes are "each man for himself," "it's none of their business" and "woe to the vanquished."

Today's American is at the mercy of his anxieties. The United States has grown so wealthy that she has lost touch with the rest of the world. America is neither here nor there, be it a question of power or of weakness. She no longer knows what is happening on this earth. Her universe exists in the third person.

The difference continues to widen between the American radicalism of the Thirties and the radicalism of today, whose ethical basis is possession. True, this basis can be traced far back into the American past, and finds its theme song in the ballads of the Far West, where men killed for a horse or a bottle of beer. But Jeffersonian tradition placed, or restored, human values above real estate values.

Hemingway's Americans saw the Spanish Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of spiritual as opposed to material values: the power of the Church, the domination of the Army, and the wealth of the big landowners. They were in sympathy with the other Spain, although to all appearances it was Red. But today, when a majority of Americans are landowners, what other insurgents scattered throughout the earth still have the sympathy, or at least the comprehension, of a sufficient number of Americans, of the men who nevertheless trace their origins back to the revolutionaries of the Thirteen States of the Union? And let no man be mistaken about the struggle for civil rights. The Negroes too want to become landowners.

America is no longer a young nation. There is New York, of course, superlatively demanding, offering, in the absurd and the sordid, the crude atmosphere of youth and folly of a town in search of its identity. Its culture is centered on the Jew and the Negro. It is a young city, but it is not an American city. It rejects the provincialism, the racism, the folklore, the religion, and the superpatriotism of the ordinary small town, whose preoccupations are diametrically opposed to the policies of any progressive and imaginative government.

Imagination itself has become "un-American." It is accepted, but with fear and distrust, when it embellishes a concrete experience, the story of how a fortune was made or a victory won. But where it exists solely for itself, when it becomes a culture or a dialectic, it is no longer tolerated. Americans are insensitive to philosophical ideas. They need something tangible, something concrete, something that has been acted on the stage. Acted, that is, seen and felt. What is said is not important. We are not impressed by explanations, and verbal play leaves us indifferent. What we want is action." (13)

It was to men without imagination that Kennedy addressed these words:

"Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -- not as a call to battle, though embattled are -- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle..."

The message got through, but there was something suspicious about the style. Culture is a major threat to modern American society. A society fears its deserters more than its enemies, and in its mind intelligence is too often equated with leftism. Kennedy said, "Our nation cannot allow itself to be economically rich and intellectually poor." And Steinbeck added, "What a joy that literacy is no longer prima facie evidence of treason."

But a portion of American society instinctively understood that Kennedy was declaring war on its own. "High society," like the middle classes, felt only suspicion or dislike for his university professors. The American upper crust tries in so far as possible to preserve itself in a superb state of ignorance. For these people, brilliant men like Theodore C. Sorensen or Adlai E. Stevenson, the kind of men who are too poor to leave big tips and too proud to accept them, are intruders in a society that places no value on pure intellect, or accepts it only when it occurs in one of its sons.

These well-to-do, these profiteers, these weaklings, and these simple people had one thing in common: their fear of everything that Kennedy represented. His principal fault was that he was not like them. He did not share their desires and their complacency, their weaknesses and their intolerance. These citizens of the Twentieth Century had no conception of the responsibilities of a President whose role, in reality, is that of viceroy of the universe.

The United States has never faced the irreparable. She has never even experienced a catastrophe. She has known no Roman domination, no barbarian invasion, no feudal wars, no massive bloodbaths. In consequence, she finds it difficult to accept a dominant leader. On the contrary, she wants a President who is subject to the will of his constituents, and even of his adversaries.

The chances of becoming President of the United States are extremely slight, even for a man in the forefront of public life, and such opportunism is needed that the way is left open for a mediocre but crafty politician who knows how to please. With Eisenhower, the United States was content to spend eight years in an armchair. The intellectual emancipation and the agitation of the new generation succeeded at the beginning of the Sixties in defeating, by a narrow margin, the advocates of a placid administrator of a complacent nation devoted to the welfare of the majority -- in other words, corrupt. It was the strength of his electoral organization that carried Kennedy to victory, with the help, perhaps, of the seasonal favor of an actual minority that suddenly tired of mediocrity or, like a woman, was momentarily seduced.

But, once he was President, Kennedy set out immediately to give the nation a sense of responsibility and of pathos. This was all the more disturbing in that it was abstract, and therefore unfamiliar. How many of the 185 million Americans in 1960 sensed that this man would betray their heritage, the American way of life, the established order?

Often primitive, readily stubborn, and capable of sudden violence, the American character contains dangerous elements with which men like Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt have had to contend. If, as Machiavelli wrote, men find it easier to forget the loss of their father than that of their patrimony, then "there is nothing more difficult, more dangerous, than to try to change the order of things."


1. Herbert J. Muller.
2. Founder of the Methodists.
3. Oliver Sharpin, The American Rebels, 1804.
4. Professor B. S. Keirstead.
5. "An American citizen is now worth $200,000" (Dallas Morning News).
6. David Lawrence, U.S. News and World Report, January 18, 1965.
7. Harry Truman, Mister President.
8. In Washington, January 14, 1960.
9. At Los Angeles, July 15, 1960.
10. At Anchorage, September 3, 1960.
11. At Detroit, September 5, 1960.
12. At Seattle, September 6, 1960.
13. Arthur Miller.

The Age of the Self

In 2002, Adam Curtis and the BBC released a four-part series called "The Century of the Self." The series tracks how American elites have aggressively used the modern behavioral sciences to persuade, coerce and manipulate the American public into accepting the corporate-government world's version of events as their own.

Part 1: Racketering corporations see people as just emotional, irrational idiots not thinking citizens as per Freud, they go on a binge of consumption and great depression follows


Part 2: FDR saves country but consumerism is re-engaged after WW2 to scare people into building MICC-TT, Freud's daughter stresses social conformity to suppress irrational desires, business provides social conformity products.

This video focuses on one of the most skillful and amoral expert of all the experts in mass manipulation, Edward Bernays. Bernays got his first taste of the power of propaganda during World War I. He advised US presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Einsehower and served numerous corporations and business associations. One of his biggest fans was Hitler's propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, a fact about which Bernays bragged proudly.

In this clip, we see a pattern that Bernays used over and over again: turn a harmless entity into a fearsome enemy through lies and manufactured news items. Then use the "threat" to justify attack. The subject of this video is Bernays campaign against the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1953, but you'll have no trouble seeing that this very same method is being used today (Iraq).


Part 3: Sick of conformity and manipulation by corporations, public wants their desires let loose during wild 60s, society's inhibitions are cause of misbehavior, self fulfillment becomes the goal, instead of society classes, corporations pander to the psychological categories of people


Part 4: Give the People What They Want---Public deceived into thinking products will satisfy them, Corporations and Governments get Control; their elected officials are "products", too consumer-based politics pandering to the mob's primal desires, internally-driven bringing about greater and greater physical reality disconnect--possible ecological collapse as we over indulge and consume, destroying spaceship earth; irrational consumers no longer rational citizens abrogating their social fabric to corporations who have no loyalty to them to provide them jobs out-sources product construction to overseas slave labor to increase profits; disaster coming unless we BOYCOTT their products and make them produce ECOFRIENDLY PRODUCTS BUILT BY US and we demand what's BEST not racketeering thru government intervention thru elected officials we elect not bought by the corporations



What's Bush doing saluting with the sign of Satan if he's supposed to be a Bible-believing Chrisitian? (hint: he ain't)

As was well stated by President Theodore Roosevelt two generations ago:

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country."

Pre-emptive war immoral: General Gavin Nails the Neocons Before they were even CONceived

On pages 250-251 of his 1958 book, War and Peace in the Space Age, Gavin explains liberal and conservative "Cold War" attitudes and thinking which amazingly predicts the sick attitudes of today's neo-conservatives (neocons) which are really Leo Strauss marxists in democratic sheep's clothing. Since they don't give a damn about people in general; their attitude is kill them before they kill us (pre-emptive war); and have no interest whatsoever in security assistance or any assistance to prevent nation-states from falling into chaos by tangibly solving social ills. Straussians believe that the common people need to be fed a national myth to keep them docile as documented by BBC film maker Adam Curtis in his series "The Power of Nightmares".

Part 1: "Baby, Its Cold Outside"


Part 2: The Phantom Victory


Part 3: The Shadows in the Cave


In a previous series, "The Trap" Curtis showed how the neocons to contain communism set up sham democracies to actually keep dictatorships in power while keeping the populace docile with consumerism. Curtis explains how consumerism is manipulated by corporations via media "public relations" brain washing in his epic series "The Century of the Self" in 2002 broadcast by the BBC as a four-part series. The series tracks how American elites have aggressively used the modern behavioral sciences to persuade, coerce and manipulate the American public into accepting the corporate-government world's version of events as their own and to consume, consume, consume! to make them rich, rich, rich!

After exporting this shamocracy failed in post-communist Russia, they installed a phony "democracy" in Iraq hoping that having an influx of outsider corporations coming in to govern would set up a consumerist society. The Iraqis are not satisfied with a Shia FACTIONOCRACY and certainly not with their nation being a vassal state to American corporations to exploit.


Part 3: Kissinger backing of brutal dictators in order to contain communism, neocons think we should instead expand negative freedom at gunpoint to roll-back communism, armed struggle + bureaucratic shia islam = freedom? wtfo?, reagen neocons export sham democracy (like in Iraq today), a falsade placebo for the people


Part 4: Reagen admin lying about Sandanistas having chemo weapons from Sovs etc., liberal democracy hubris, Soviet collapse results in economic collapse


Part 5: Yeltsin restores order by force, corporations owned by racketeers have Yeltsin in hock, Putin takes charge, imprisons the robber barons, negative consumerism liberty failed in Russia, neocons back in power lying to America to get them to war


Part 6: Bremer fires all capable people like Pol Pot did except without murdering them to get clean slate, country given over to foreign corporations to be governed, massive corruption, typical falsade democracy like during Reagen era, no social contract, rebellion began, we become the French and start torturing/coercion, pre-emptive war manifests as pre-emptive crime arrests, our so-called freedom aka consumersim is not going to hack it in the future


Clearly, General Gavin did NOT advocate exporting shamocracy around the world but REAL, representative democracy that would result in American corporations losing their defacto colonial empires where resources are plundered and people work in sweat shops as slaves. This kind of "freedom" requiring real social change and reforms obviously took too much effort and harmed the corporate masters and mentality of the fuck-you neocons so they decided a sham form of freedom, based on consumerism is that all that is needed to placate the masses.

Why We Fight: America's Economic Addiction to War


Gavin's brilliant and moral outlook on societal reform is best seen in his 1968 book, Crisis Now which clearly advocates engaging in direct solving of people's problems not shutting them up with consumer goods.

Yet Bush who calls the U.S. Constitution he swore to defend a "goddamed piece of paper" LIED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND OUR SOLDIERS TO GET US INTO A NEEDLESS WAR AND OCCUPATION OF IRAQ TO GO ALONG WITH THE PNAC NEOCON AGENDA. See the "smoking gun" document above proving that as soon as he took power in 2001, he was war mongering to take-over Iraq. Bush and his entire administration are crooks and scoundrel who need to be removed from office before they can instigate or tolerate another "terror attack" so they can suspend the U.S. Constitution and stay in power as a fascist elite.

Basically some of you don't want to admit that like Nero setting Rome on fire, the Reichstag fire, Pearl Harbor and the Gulf of Tonkin "Incident" that government insiders instigate events to drag people to war. Facing the FACTS that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job (ie; why were A3D SkyWarrior parts strewn at the Pentagon on 9/11?) would mean YOU would have to get off your asses and FIGHT REAL EVIL, and criminals like Bush/Cheney have no hesitation to go assassinate folks like Paul Wellstone and his wife. It takes real moral and physical courage to fight real evil, the physical courage to kill lest you be killed in war is not so remarkable when so may alleged "courageous" veterans fail to stand up to war mongers here at home.

Hermann Goering, Hitler's deputy and Luftwaffe Chief said:

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Today America is sick from the disease of Patriotic Correctness, not much different than from the Clinton-era "PCness" groupthink.

Racket Theory Explains Military Incompetence

Racket: An organized, self-perpetuating, self-serving, less-than-optimal "solutional" beavior to a societal need/want

Reading Professor Roger Thompson's new book, "Lessons not Learned" there is a constant theme of the U.S. Navy lying and denying its failures. So you ask yourself WHY would the USN not be interested in military efficiency excellence?

The answer that screams at you is BECAUSE THE NAVY IS A RACKET.

Admitting to errors would mean an end to that racket. The thing Americans do not understand about themselves and life in general is that IT PAYS MORE TO BE INEFFICIENT WITH A PARTIAL SOLUTION THAN IT DOES TO BE EFFICIENT WITH A FULL SOLUTION. Military men do not need excellence on a daily basis, they are most of the time not at war against a human foe trying to kill them. In the air forces and navy the earth itself is trying to kill them and this keeps a certain amount of efficiency in play but it doesn't have to be the best means to defeat a future enemy, it can be a COUNTERFEIT set-up.

Essentially in ALL human militaries, the men involved are trying to justify their existence and pay parasitically taken from the civilian populace who have to earn this money (certificates guaranteeing reciprocal behavior) by creating tangible goods/services. This was a dire necessity for the USN's racketeers like Admiral King during the economically depressed 1930s, and he damn sure wasn't going to spoil their racket by a little thing like WW2. If the battleships can't be the lucrative cash cow, FINE he will demand Congress buys him a dozen large, ego-gratifying "fleet aircraft carriers" instead of the 100 escort carriers made from humble cargo ships actually required to fan out across the still very large planet earth oceans to effect sea control from enemy submarines and surface ships, aircraft etc. that FDR ordered him to use to win the war. Its more greed and ego lucrative to have a COUNTERFEIT NAVY that inefficiently spends more money on inefficient means that never solves the problem that can then be milked for years and years than to have an efficient navy that gets the job done best, with least. There simply is no reward for EXCELLENCE in human behavior "that works itself out of a job" if an OK less-than-full-solutional racket offers counterfeit goods/services that pays off the most people. You could say its better to run less-than-optimal solutional rackets in human affairs than to run perfect solutional human organizations because the former keeps more people busy and employed.

Think about it before reading further.

A lucrative, money-for-everyone bloated racket is OK as long as the less than optimal solution is unchallenged or is challenged only by minor crises where its "good enough" to get by. In other words, as long as everybody is fat and happy, why bother to change the racket? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is the folk saying. The mortal danger to a society is that as time goes on and there is no threat to force the racket to become more efficient, arrogance and smug delusions of "we are great" begin to grow as the reformers warning of future disaster due to fatal inefficiencies and fatal flaws are dismissed and more and more people want to get their piece of the growing racketeering pie. The fatal danger is that these series of minor successes smothered in years of no wars at all create a false sense of security that the less-than-optimal racket is "good enough" or even "the greatest military in the world" while dangerous vulnerabilities grow uncorrected and if exploited, KILLS THE ENTIRE CIVILIZATION.

The American military refuses to look at any problems on their cause-effect merits to get EXCELLENCE because a series of small successes with the racket is used to justify not having any sense of urgency to fix this problems. The racketeers will tell you there is no sense of urgency, in fact if 3, 000 are killed and 22, 000 are wounded in Iraq by military inefficiency they will say its not a problem since we lost over 650, 000 dead in the Civil War or 385, 000 in WW2 ie; NO AMOUNT OF MILITARY FAILURE WILL DEMAND THE RACKET BE REFORMED BECAUSE WE HAVE TAKEN FAR GREATER LOSSES AND STILL CONTINUED TO EXIST AS A NATION-STATE etc. so the current losses due to military incompetence pose no "clear and present danger" to the survival of America, so SHUT-THE-FUCK-UP those all victim force people dying and being maimed for life KNEW WHAT THEY WERE GETTING INTO WHEN THEY VOLUNTEERED FOR THE RACKET. They knew that they could be sent on some fucked-up corporate war of convenience as part of a deliberately less-than-optimal military racket and die or be maimed in exchange for middle class wages, college benefits and a chance to order people around and wear sexy looking uniforms. YOU SIGNED FOR THE RACKET so now you must forfeit your what's-best functional common sense and your conscience, THUS SAITH THE RACKETEERS.

This is utter BULLSHIT, YOU ARE ALWAYS A FUCKING HUMAN BEING, PERIOD. And you NEVER abrogate your rights to do what's right and I do not give a flying fuck what you scribble on anyone's piece of paper. There comes a time when you have to start acting like a moral human being and damn all the social consequences of the various racketeers you cross when you do so. We used to call this capability human FREEDOM. If you are not free to do what is right you are not free.

History is full of examples where sewers leading under the city are unguarded and enemy forces sneak in unopposed and wipe-out every man, woman and child without mercy, wiping out the entire society. I dare say, America is on such a collision course because the American people as a whole DO NOT UNDERSTAND HUMAN RACKETEERING BEHAVIOR. They have no clue about how a partial solution racket in any walk of human life will be milked by those doing it so it grows and grows like a cancer until it stops working completely and shuts down society's vital organs, killing the nation-state.

The way to stop racketeering behavior is for the people involved to have the self-control and wisdom to CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE efficiency over more lucrative inefficiency.

In a word we have to be SMART.

Smart enough to know the subtle nuances of human behavior that if you do not fight against it, rackets will develop. Rackets and less than optimal solutions MUST BE REJECTED AS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE.

Right now, Americans have no such principle of excellence, the "market" drives everything ie; GREED AND EGO to get the maximum cash for the least work to the most people because the more people corrupted by the racket, the more clout we have to keep the racket going.

Americans are not smart, we tend to be FULL OF SELFISH EGO, PRIDE and GREED to make a lot of money quickly at the lowest personal effort possible.

"Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall" as God says.

In a nation-state, this means having a morality-based, logical CULTURE which America does not currently have. Other nations have good culture and they have good military services because of it since they determine what they do from honest war games and experiments and when they go to war they actually learn from it. In a smaller group like the U.S. military, some sense of what war realities are and to take what these demand to be done and do them---not factoring in what's best for the service bureaucracy racket. Without actual wars, war games and experiments could be the driving force like practice games and scrimmages are for football. However, the racketeers have learned to rig the games and lie about their results so as to not have to change their lucrative ego and greed rackets. A voluntary military attracts racketeers to its ranks so its the American people who do not have a cultural sense of themselves that are to blame for their less than optimal military. If a society does not have a self-control and excellence-seeking culture, then the next best thing is to not let volunteer greed and egotists take over the military services turning them into self-serving rackets but to force everyone in the nation to be involved to inject some get-the-job-done efficiency since these folks are not interested in "making the service a career" ie; being involved in a racket.


"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. "

- President John F. Kennedy, 27 April 1961

Notice "Poppy" Bush, leader of the Bush crime family and secret society member with the "kids" and a "toy"; notice its an Illuminati "pyramid of ego" with the upper elite in the white top, just like the "all-seeing eye" BS masonic artwork on the back of our $1 dollar bills that should be discarded immediately. Secret societies abuse theirs/other's children (Like pedophile Republican, Congressman Tom Foley?) to get their loyalty; if 1% of the U.S. population are in these secret groups and buy into this snobby BS, is it a wonder the U.S. military filled with secret society members abuses its junior members and has the same "pyramid of ego"? Maybe U.S. military in-effectiveness is DELIBERATE SABOTAGE (Made It happen On Purpose or "MIHOP") not just arrogance-created incompetence? The question has to be asked:

MIHOP: The Sabotage Theory of U.S. Military In-Effectiveness?

Looking back on events and the constant refusal of DoD and the uniformed military to adapt to prevail in non-linear wars, forces the inescapable conclusion that those running ("ruining") the U.S. military do not want to be effective and excellent. Being unready is a convenient and understandable face-saving excuse for those in lower ranking uniforms who will indeed die and be maimed in war. Its a defense mechanism, morally corrupt but understandable in human psychology. However, senior officials who are not going to die or be maimed in war do not have personal survival concerns as a basis for embracing military incompetence, or do they? Most reformers unknowingly buy into the "limited hang-out" Dr. Norman Dixon explanation that weak ego senior officials are out of touch with reality due to stupidity/snobbery and thus become militarily incompetent.

However, when a weak ego person refuses to change his war policies when the entire public is aware of better actions and are calling on them, (even a stupid person would embrace them to remain in political power since the embarrassment is moot point) it becomes clear that that person is not stupid/snobby but is UNDER ORDERS to sabotage the U.S. military under threat of death. Maybe it is PERSONAL SURVIVAL CONCERNS that drives not only DoD/military but the Congress and the Executive and Judicial branches towards an increasingly ineffective U.S. military. If they don't go along they are "dead" with mass media re-election campaign funds stripped from them and REALLY DEAD (as in a bullet or a bomb or an "accident") if they don't go along with policies much less blow-the-whistle and tell the American people their country has been skyjacked for real and the "remote control" is not just in the planes that rammed the WTC towers on 9/11. Maybe we are not clear enough, so let's be direct:


In the psychological concept called "projection" those that obsessively protest the loudest about things are actually secretly rejecting an ugly truth within them; since Bush & Company constantly say our men/women are in Iraq to prevent "terrorists" who are "fascists" from "attacking the U.S.", the actual truth is that BUSH & COMPANY ARE THE ACTUAL TERRORIST FASCISTS WHO ARE ATTACKING AMERICA--under orders from some NWO secret elite powerful enough to threaten them with political, financial and physical death.

We postulate that what we know today as the "Revolution in Military Affairs" (RMA) actually began as deliberate sabotage to "de-industrialize" the American military, which was a common plank idea that the British empire builders employed with their overseas colonies.


"The British plan for world conquest also called for the de-industrialization of all other nations so they would not be able to build modern weapons to fight back against British attacks. All major nations of the world were industrializing in the years prior to World War One, and the British Imperialists decided that all other nations must be both de-industrialized and depopulated so that they would never again be potential rivals for world domination."


Depopulating Iraq = U.S. misled Bush neocon Colonial Ploy to Seize their natural resources (Oil, ancient artifacts etc.)

The British Empire's plan when colonizing an area to take their natural resources was (or is) to de-industrialize and DE-POPULATE them. Less local mouths to feed/govern makes it easier to steal their stuff (loot). Note the page number the Washington Post assigns this story (page 12). I guess it tells us all we need to know about what the Washington power elite thinks of the lives of Iraqis who the rank & file snobby "Pyramid of Ego" military man calls "Hadjis" after killing 655, 000 of them. Remember in the "Pyramid of Ego", the Iraqi civilian or rebel is below feces, and as you continue reading, the majority of the dumb-ass weak economic and ego co-dependant U.S. military personnel in Iraq WRONGLY THINK IRAQ WAS SOMEHOW INVOLVED IN THE 9/11 ATTACKS WHEN IRAQ WAS NOT.

Study Claims Iraq's 'Excess' Death Toll Has Reached 655,000

By David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 11, 2006; p. A12

A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred.

The estimate, produced by interviewing residents during a random sampling of households throughout the country, is far higher than ones produced by other groups, including Iraq's government.

It is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

The surveyors said they found a steady increase in mortality since the invasion, with a steeper rise in the last year that appears to reflect a worsening of violence as reported by the U.S. military, the news media and civilian groups. In the year ending in June, the team calculated Iraq's mortality rate to be roughly four times what it was the year before the war.

Of the total 655,000 estimated "excess deaths," 601,000 resulted from violence and the rest from disease and other causes, according to the study. This is about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country.

The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.

The same group in 2004 published an estimate of roughly 100,000 deaths in the first 18 months after the invasion. That figure was much higher than expected, and was controversial. The new study estimates that about 500,000 more Iraqis, both civilian and military, have died since then -- a finding likely to be equally controversial.

Both this and the earlier study are the only ones to estimate mortality in Iraq using scientific methods. The technique, called "cluster sampling," is used to estimate mortality in famines and after natural disasters.

While acknowledging that the estimate is large, the researchers believe it is sound for numerous reasons. The recent survey got the same estimate for immediate post-invasion deaths as the early survey, which gives the researchers confidence in the methods. The great majority of deaths were also substantiated by death certificates.

"We're very confident with the results," said Gilbert Burnham, a Johns Hopkins physician and epidemiologist.

A Defense Department spokesman did not comment directly on the estimate.

"The Department of Defense always regrets the loss of any innocent life in Iraq or anywhere else," said Lt. Col. Mark Ballesteros. "The coalition takes enormous precautions to prevent civilian deaths and injuries." [EDITOR: why they run around in flimsy wheeled trucks or on foot and return fire in all directions when attacked, yeah, right]

He added that "it would be difficult for the U.S. to precisely determine the number of civilian deaths in Iraq as a result of insurgent activity. The Iraqi Ministry of Health would be in a better position, with all of its records, to provide more accurate information on deaths in Iraq."

Ronald Waldman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for many years, called the survey method "tried and true," and added that "this is the best estimate of mortality we have."

This viewed was echoed by Sarah Leah Whitson, an official of Human Rights Watch in New York, who said, "We have no reason to question the findings or the accuracy" of the survey.

"I expect that people will be surprised by these figures," she said. "I think it is very important that, rather than questioning them, people realize there is very, very little reliable data coming out of Iraq."

The survey was conducted between May 20 and July 10 by eight Iraqi physicians organized through Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. They visited 1,849 randomly selected households that had an average of seven members each. One person in each household was asked about deaths in the 14 months before the invasion and in the period after.

The interviewers asked for death certificates 87 percent of the time; when they did, more than 90 percent of households produced certificates.

According to the survey results, Iraq's mortality rate in the year before the invasion was 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people; in the post-invasion period it was 13.3 deaths per 1,000 people per year. The difference between these rates was used to calculate "excess deaths."

Of the 629 deaths reported, 87 percent occurred after the invasion. A little more than 75 percent of the dead were men, with a greater male preponderance after the invasion. For violent post-invasion deaths, the male-to-female ratio was 10-to-1, with most victims between 15 and 44 years old.

Gunshot wounds caused 56 percent of violent deaths, with car bombs and other explosions causing 14 percent, according to the survey results. Of the violent deaths that occurred after the invasion, 31 percent were caused by coalition forces or airstrikes, the respondents said.

Burnham said that the estimate of Iraq's pre-invasion death rate -- 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people -- found in both of the Hopkins surveys was roughly the same estimate used by the CIA and the U.S. Census Bureau. He said he believes that attests to the accuracy of his team's results.

He thinks further evidence of the survey's robustness is that the steepness of the upward trend it found in excess deaths in the last two years is roughly the same tendency found by other groups -- even though the actual numbers differ greatly.

An independent group of researchers and biostatisticians based in England produces the Iraq Body Count. It estimates that there have been 44,000 to 49,000 civilian deaths since the invasion. An Iraqi nongovernmental organization estimated 128,000 deaths between the invasion and July 2005.

The survey cost about $50,000 and was paid for by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies.

Staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.


We also think perhaps the de-industrialization and mental gadgetification of the U.S. military began in the 1960s with the advent of the integrated circuit and could have began by a conversation like below.

The Pentagon; circa 1963

Assistant Secretary of Defense A: "You know once America with its 200+ million people get fully involved with a war with their creativity and industrial capacity, they can really come up with a pretty powerful military force to flood areas and push everyone out--look at them at the end of 1945."

Under Secretary of Defense B: "We must break this up. When they are not in a war, we must civilianize their bases; the liberal Democrats will say they are spending billions on defense when actually they are creating more buildings and lawns for troops to care for."

Assistant Secretary of Defense A: "That will stop forces from being competent, but their weapons and equipment will improve from our permanent war footing especially when the pendulum swings and the war monger Republican fascists are in power; we need to emasculate and de-industrialize their military force."

Under Secretary of Defense B: "Let's sabotage their physical strength by saying electronic mental gadgets will magically find targets for them so they don't need lots of maneuver platforms on the ground, sea or air; this will also drive unit costs up to where eventually they can only afford a few expensive robots."

Assistant Secretary of Defense A: "Brilliant! With the men cut out of warfare and their weapons physically emasculated, every time America tries to exert military force they will take heavy casualties when their gadgets fail and maneuver is required. They will be unable to vanquish threats quickly so they'll bleed into economic ruin and become an impotent power."

Under Secretary of Defense B: "After awhile, unable to build either ships, tanks or airplanes in any quantity through a lack of practice, they will be unable to exert their will abroad, except with foot troops and heavy casualties. Anyone can give a man with no job a rifle and make him kill, and in the third world all they do is crank out babies who grow into men with no future so the Americans will be out-numbered and out-gunned. Their many enemies will then come to their door step and start wiping out major cities with nuclear, bio or chem weapons, we will have our excuse to declare martial law and suspend that cursed U.S. Constitution of theirs and get their people subordinate to the one world order---finally."

LIHOP: the following is 100% certain: Bush/Cheney/Rummy's Arrogance and refusal to "change the course" is certainly Let-It-Happen-On-Purpose

Dave Pyne writes:

"This revelation comes as no surprise. For the past two years, I have been saying that the primary goal of Bin Ladan and Al Queda in attacking us on 9-11 was to get the US to overreact and commit aggression against an Arab country in order to fuel Bin Laden's call for jihad against America and to radicalize and destabilize the region to make the secular governments of the Middle East more susceptible to overthrow by Islamists like Al Queda and their allies. In this objective, Bin Laden and The Ayatollahs of Iran see eye to eye. Iran and Al Queda have been allies since the early 1990's and their relationship has grown increasingly closer in recent years as Iran has allowed itself to be used as a training ground and haven for Al Queda terrorists over the last several years.

Iran used its agents of influence most notably the notorious neocon shill Ahmed Challabi to goad the Bush administration to invade Iraq in order to destroy Iran's number one arch-enemy Saddam Hussein and deliver Iran to Khomenist control which had been a top Iranian goal ever since Saddam invaded Iran in 1980. Unbelievably, the self-deluding Bush administration fell right into the trap set for it by Al Queda and Tehran resulting in a greater triumph for both than they had ever dreamed and a stunning defeat for the US in the war on Islamic terror. Not only Al Queda leaders but Iranian leaders have expressed their support for keeping the US bogged down in Iraq for years to come in furtherance of their objectives.

Iran's leaders know that its long-term goal of invading Israel with a million man army and exterminating the Jewish presence in the Middle East could not be achieved until it obtained control of Iraq first as it has been able to do thanks to the generous assistance of the Bush administration which has expended the lives of 2700 brave Americans and hundreds of billions of dollars to defend the Iranian-proxy Shiite Islamist regime in Baghdad from the secularists fighting to overthrow it and bring the Islamic revolution in Iraq to a screeching halt. In so doing, Bush has taken the side of the terrorists in his much -vaunted war against terror.

Not surprisingly, our enemies have taken advantage of our preoccupation with fighting a no-win war in Iraq on behalf of our sworn enemies. Afghanistan is being reconquered by the Taleban while Iran develops nukes without fear of American retaliation and North Korea prepares to test a nuclear weapon to expose the powerlessness, cowardice and strategic bankruptcy represented by the America-Last Bush administration policy of appeasing our terrorist and Communist enemies while pursuing a policy of unilateral nuclear and conventional disarmament."

Straying Off-Course: Bush having Americans in Iraq is a wonderful recruitment & training bonanza for A Queda terrorists = Stay-the-Course = Be-the-Main-Course Feeding Terrorist Live-Fire Training while Greedy Contractors Get Filthy Rich

Got an Immoral, Incompetent War-For-Profit that American Citizens Don't Want Support? U.S. Military Got You down, War Racketeer? Then hire CRIMINALS to do your criminal empire-building enterprises, just like Rome did!

The All Volunteer/Victim Force/Farce (AVVFF) was a work-around for corporations to get more compliant victims for their wars-for-profit ("they volunteered for this!") than the Vietnam-era draftees who demanded that as Citizen-Soldiers that what they did was moral and based on the common good of the people of the United States. Wars only in justified self-defense not make-believe wars of aggression for corporate profits. The AVVFF has just become its own self-perpetuating RACKET. Obviously, the AVVFF is incompetent at sub-national conflicts since it longs for quick and easy nation-state wars that never happen and is entirely comfortable with garrison "From Here to Eternity" routine.

So to work around the AVVFF, the corporations created the armies of the corporation eh, potomoc (AOTC) where business tries to do war itself using the profit motive. Got an illegal, immoral war that the American people don't support? Hire criminals to do your killing! The profit motive doesn't generate moral military excellence since corporations are defined by their nature as sociopaths without any conscience let alone a social one--WE THE PEOPLE of America or THEY THE PEOPLE of the foreign lands don't pay them. AOTCs are mercenaries to do the corrupt and evil nation-state government puppets of the large corporation's bidding without public scrutiny and morality. We have scoundrels in the U.S. government creating illegals wars waged by illegal hirelings to WORK AROUND their Constitutional requirement to obey the will of the people through the Congress. Congress should stop funding these AOTCs.

November 19, 2007 Issue
Copyright (c) 2007 The American Conservative

Hired Guns
While the volunteer Army struggles, the business of war booms.

by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

The armed security contractor in Iraq makes an appearance on the collective American radar only when events get so ugly they won't go away: the charred bodies of four Blackwater guards swinging from a Fallujah bridge in 2004, the 17 civilians reportedly killed by Blackwater men in a Baghdad square in September. Mostly their presence-anywhere from 20,000- to 70,000-strong depending on who's counting-moves on a battlefield that, in the words of the 1980s television series "Tales of the Darkside," is "just as real, but not as brightly lit" as the news we see every night. They kill, bleed on the side of the road, and recover with stumps and prostheses, just not at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Richard Zbryski put the shadowy existence of the private parallel army in cold, hard perspective when he described how the body of his brother, Walter Zbryski, a 56-year-old retired New York City firefighter, was shipped home from his job as a contracted truck driver in Iraq. "What really upset me was that he was laying there floating in 6 inches of his own body fluids," still wearing his bloodied clothes, with half of his head blown away, Zbryski told the Chicago Tribune. His brother was one of the more than 1,000 civilian contractors killed since the war began. More than 180,000 remain in Iraq today. Most are unarmed, doing everything from feeding and providing basic services to the U.S. military to constructing bases, transporting equipment, and rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure. But it's the hired guns and spooks-the tens of thousands of guards protecting diplomats and VIPs, government buildings, reconstruction projects and convoys, plus prison interrogators-who bring into focus the fate of the mission and the implications of privatizing the military. They have people wondering what new breed of mercenary super-soldier American money is buying.

"There are many questions as to how a myriad of heavily armed private armies can serve the purpose of the U.S. military and foreign policy," writes Robert Young Pelton, in Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror.

Pelton has traveled with both military and private contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq throughout the conflict. He describes the new terrain shaped by outsourcing and reports that it bears little resemblance to the noble enterprise sold to the military years ago. Five years into operations, it is a darkly obscured landscape of violence, profiteering, and negligence. He senses that this parallel army is undermining the entire mission, leading to "blowback of extraordinary proportions."

"It strikes at the core of the entire American principle, the idea of the Citizen-Soldier," he tells TAC. "We've been fighting this war longer than World War II, and the military is absolutely dependent on the private sector."

Never in modern history has war privatization reached this level. The course was set as early as the 1980s, when post-Cold War military restructuring led to the first LOGCAP-the Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program-which furnished an open-ended, cost-plus contingency contract for private vendors to provide rapid support services to the Army in deployment operations. Military brass initially resisted the idea, write Dina Rasor and Robert Bauman in Betraying Our Troops: The Destructive Results of Privatizing War: "Military commanders, at the time, expressed considerable mistrust of a contractor's ability to supply troops on the battlefield because they would be too slow, unreliable, and uncontrollable."

But Dick Cheney, then defense secretary under President George H.W. Bush, was still able to secure a $3.9 billion LOGCAP contract for Brown & Root before leaving office and becoming the CEO of its parent company, Halliburton, in 1995. Privatization expanded throughout the Clinton administration, with the new Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) and Dyncorp International receiving lucrative service contracts to work in Somalia, Rwanda, Southeast Asia, Kuwait, Haiti, and the former Yugoslavia.

Some say Cheney was the midwife of the military-private sector alliance. With Donald Rumsfeld, a kindred spirit who has also enjoyed a lucrative public-private revolving-door career, he was able to nurture that alliance into its current mutation in the global war on terror.

"[Privatization] became a mantra, that the contractors could do so much better," said Rasor, whose book is an exhaustive account of "what happens when you introduce a for-profit motive into the battlefield." Rumsfeld, who famously said "you go to war with the Army you have, not the one you want," was "thinking like a businessman," said Rasor. "It's not working out."

After the Sept. 11 attacks, civilians-ex-Soldiers and spies mostly-were unleashed on Afghanistan under the CIA to look for Osama bin Laden, according to Pelton, while Blackwater got its first gig guarding military facilities and, later, new Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who still enjoys the best security detail American money can buy.

As the war grew more dangerous, so did the need for armed contractors. Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority until it turned over the keys to the Iraqis in 2004, introduced the first private security detail into Iraq, hiring Blackwater to the tune of $21.3 million. In an astonishing display of firepower, Bremer was routinely surrounded by 36 civilian guards and "a fleet of SUVs, two bomb-sniffing canine teams with handlers, four pilots, four aerial gunners, a ground crew and three Boeing MD-530 'Little Bird' helicopters," Pelton reports. Later on, they would add three Mamba trucks with machine gun mounts and a Saracen armored carrier for transport.

Early news coverage of private contractors centered around the bravery of the truck drivers, servers, and technicians helping to rebuild Iraqi society and provide comforts never before experienced by American Soldiers in the field. To many, even today, that remains true.

But the good news was soon tempered by reports that KBR, the biggest contractor in Iraq, was overcharging the military for things like fuel and food, engaging in fraud, and using the largely no-bid LOGCAP contract like a teenager with a credit card. Soldiers began to complain back home about work stoppages, wasted and lost equipment, and jobs that didn't get done.

Worse than that emerging fiscal and logistical nightmare was the bad press generated by the guys with guns.

Outside of the tens of thousands of unarmed contractors on the ground, it is estimated that close to 200 security companies operate in Iraq today, ranging from the elite-Blackwater, Triple Canopy, and Dyncorp-to the low-paying and less impressively equipped "mom and pop" outfits. A minority are Americans and other Westerners. The rest are Iraqi and ex-military types from far-flung places like South Africa and Chile.

Billions of dollars in government and private money floating around have been a boon for the hired-gun business. But this might be one case in which the free market is not self-regulating. Unlike Main Street, the roiling pressures of danger and political instability in Baghdad won't wait for this particular market to self-correct.

"Guys with guns and no laws governing them-it was inevitable in a way," says Robert Greenwald, director of the documentary film "Iraq for Sale," a gritty take on the business of war. He thinks the latest Blackwater scandal might be the "tipping point" for American patience with hiring war out to private guns who play by wildly different rules than U.S Soldiers.

"They have had an extraordinary track record of keeping people alive," said (Ret.) Col. Gerald Schumacher, author of A Bloody Business: Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq. "They do it through intimidation. Bulldozing cars off the road. Varying degrees of aggressiveness." Plus, "the contractor has surmised, and I think rightly so, that they are immune to prosecution."

Iraqi anger at Blackwater is palpable. Local officials allege that contracted guards killed 17 civilians in the Sept. 16 shootout in Baghdad, including a child whose charred body was found fused to his mother's in the backseat of a burning car. Iraqis want the company tried in their courts and banned from their country, and it is not clear at this writing that Blackwater will survive the life of its $571-million contract with the State Department.

In 2006, a drunken off-duty Blackwater guard was accused of murdering the bodyguard of Vice President Adil Abdul Mahdi on Christmas Eve in the Green Zone. He was shuttled out of the country before he could be questioned by Iraqi police and was fired but never prosecuted. The family of the bodyguard was given $15,000 in compensation.

In 2005, an innocent bystander and father of six was fatally shot by Blackwater guards careening down a street in al-Hillah. Blackwater gave his family $5,000 after the State Department urged the company to "put this unfortunate matter behind us quickly," according to an e-mail supplied to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has promised reforms, and on Oct. 25, Deputy Secretary for Diplomatic Security Richard Griffin tendered his resignation. Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the contractors' job to protect their clients is at "cross purposes to our larger mission in Iraq," adding, "there have been instances where, to put it mildly, the Iraqis have been offended and not treated properly." DoD employs about 7,300 security contractors in Iraq and 1,000 in Afghanistan; around 2,500 work for the State Department.

Blackwater insists that on Sept. 16 its guards were ambushed and were shooting in self-defense. Founder and CEO Erik Prince-the politically connected son of Edgar Prince, the late billionaire who helped build the Family Research Council-went on a media charm offensive in October, giving television interviews and inviting reporters to Blackwater's 7,000-acre training facility in North Carolina. "We don't get any advantages for the lack of accountability-we just end up getting hammered on the issue," said Doug Brooks, spokesman for the International Peace Operations Association, a trade group representing 40 companies in the private security industry. He and others say the assault on contractors is politically motivated and the stories of their abuses and excesses are greatly exaggerated.

But there is plenty of grist. Civilian interrogators were involved in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, and YouTube provides visuals of swaggering guards with heavy ammo, taking shots at unsuspecting Iraqis.

U.S Soldiers are the first to acknowledge that the "fog of war" sometimes invokes extraordinary measures, but the contractors' cocksure pose and seeming lack of conscience reflects on them all. "I feel that many of the contractors here have no respect for the locals and are doing a great deal of harm to our reputation," an Army lieutenant stationed in Afghanistan e-mailed.

The "Delta Force" Look

"They don't have to explain themselves. We've all witnessed them shooting up cars, and then they just drive off in their SUVs, wearing their ballcaps, sunglasses, and full beards. If we shot up a car, we couldn't leave the scene for two days," said (Ret.) marine Sgt. Nick Benas, who served in Iraq from July 2004 to March 2005. [EDITOR: this is the "Delta Force" look and don't forget to add the leg holster!] Afterward, he turned down an $186,000 offer to train Iraqi police as a civilian contractor.

Advocates for contractors, like Jane Crowder, who started www.AmericanContractorsinIraq.com as a support network for the community of civilian workers, say most contractors don't earn that much and are in many cases victims, too, fighting for medical benefits and lacking the institutional support military veterans take for granted. "Most of them get injured or killed before they make $50,000, then they get sent home with no medical coverage or follow-up care," she told the Knoxville Voice in June. "Once you leave Iraq, you're alone."

Danger, burnout, injury and death have led to significant turnover. The elite former Navy Seals and Army Special Forces who formed the backbone of the security enterprise in its early days are a vanishing breed, replaced by less qualified profit-seekers, Third World commandos, and "ham and eggers" looking to reinvent themselves into something worthy of bravado back home. Pelton suspects that some with the new "skill set" honed in Iraq may never want to go home and will continue looking for action and money elsewhere. "It's going to have a significant impact" on the global security landscape, he said. "I already see guys doing bounty hunting or getting involved in questionable training programs overseas." If the military ever wanted to go all the way and start hiring mercenaries to do their fighting, there's probably a division ready to go.

The temptation is understandable, for it avoids the politically difficult decision to put more boots on the ground, calling up more National Guard and reserves, or appealing to the United Nations and NATO for help. "It is a predicament of [the U.S government's] own making. It has over-outsourced to the point that it is unable to imagine carrying out its most basic operations without them," war privatization expert Peter W. Singer suggests in Can't Win with 'Em, Can't Go to War without 'Em: Private Military Contractors and Counterinsurgency.

He goes on: "The use of private military contractors appears to have harmed, rather than helped the counterinsurgency efforts of the U.S mission in Iraq," which require winning over the local population. He hopes the military will take a long look at whether it can continue. "Will our leaders have the will to just say no?" Dina Rasor considers that unlikely simply because there are so many lobbyists on Capitol Hill pushing the magic pill of privatization, and big firms always have influential ex-military and CIA on the payroll. Blackwater Vice Chairman Cofer Black led CIA operations in Afghanistan and is now serving as an adviser to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

After the 2004 incident in which four Blackwater guards were shot and hung from the bridge in Fallujah-a case in which the company is facing lawsuits from the victims' families for allegedly sending them out on a mission unprepared-Prince hired now-defunct Republican lobbying firm Alexander Strategy Group, tied to then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. According to Rasor, "Blackwater's investment in Alexander paid off quickly. By mid-November 2004, Blackwater reported a 600 percent growth in additional contract dollars." And the windfall isn't limited to Mideast operations: after Hurricane Katrina, Blackwater guards patrolled the streets of New Orleans under a new domestic contract.

Blackwater has received $1 billion from the U.S government since the start of the war. Erik Prince won't disclose Blackwater's profit margin, but he recently told Congress he made around $1 million last year.

"This new [war service] industry depends on hot wars, occupations and natural disasters (which can't always be counted on), to keep it going," Rasor writes. But Prince won't surrender to the cynicism, at least in public, calling most contractors "open, honest Americans trying to do a good job," in an October Washington Post interview. Then, according to the Post, came the rub: "If they don't like what we're doing," he declared, snapping his fingers, "then cut off the revenue stream right now."

Iraq for Sale: Civilian War Racketeers Drive Bush

PART 1: uber narcissist "special" operator Scott Helvetsen and Jerry Zovko burned up in an unarmored, gas-powered wheeled SUV in Iraq working for anti-armored vehicle narcissist company Blackwater


PART 2: brother notes that the vehicles were unarmored and unarmored--mounted warfare Blackwater is not interested in, that's for the "mech pussies", clearly if they had been in an armored vehicle particularly a TRACKED one they would have shrugged off the ambush and be alive today, first thing Blackwater thought about was Blackwater, of course, so they hire a Republo-fascist conservative lobbying group to do their "spin" on the Fallujah massacre of their employees, Blackwater's CEO is a $2M campaign finance contributor to the Republo-fascists, asked for favors from Warner, Santorum, Hunter to stop any investigations from taking place, maintaining their business contracts with the U.S. Government, hired some ex-Republo-fascists to lobby for them full-time, rewarded with $200M in new USG contracts--it pays to be incompetent!


PART 3: Blackwater expands and says it can make even more foot and truck riding narcissist victims for the right price, Abu Gahraib: out-source torturers,


PART 4: Senator Carl Levin rightly concludes that governmental functions should not be out-sourced to civilian contractors, who have no supervision to keep from doing atrocities, Americans just tossing people into prison at random, results in bad information anyway, un-skilled TITAN linguists


PART 5: Army MPs court-martialed for Abu Gahraib but not contractors, Feds like contractors around to do their dirty work like sub-national conflicts those in uniform are not interested in doing, KBR exploits U.S. military's incompetence at building forward operating bases and offers older men's know-how--at a price---,


PART 6: young punk U.S. military demoralized that it is not even close to being self-sufficient and KBR gets the job, sad tale of Texan truck drivers going over to Iraq to drive fuel trucks on April 9th, no driver survival training or maps, suddenly there's no traffic = AMBUSH, small arms fire goes right through them, trucks overturn, catch fire, screaming men burn to death,


PART 7: 7 dead Americans and KBR goes boo hoo!, one truck driver actually belived KBR would keep him safe, these folks now realize that all KBR as a corporation wants is $$$$, KBR = Kill, Bag and Replace people, Halliburton/KBR gets their contracts without having to compete for them,


PART 8: H/KBR giving hot chow to Soldiers they should be cooking for themselves BS, no chlorine in water storage tanks!!, had malaria, typhus, dysentary, 63 out of 67 water treatment plants were not providing safe H2O, 1 wait in line each meal at chow hall, exposes men to enemy fire, H/KBR refuses to have 24 hour feeding to minimize troop clusterfucks that enemy can target, $100 for every bag of clothes washed, military chain-of-command ordered Soldiers to use H/KBR services, cost plus contracts so H/KBR over-charge


PART 9: Don't question it, enjoy it! H/KBR employees living it up on vacation resorts prior to going into Iraq, troops living in moldy unprotective tents, getting respiratory sickness, driving around in luxury SUVs, wrong stuff gets burned, no oil filters or spare tires? BURN THE TRUCK!, driving empty truck convoys to bill the U.S. taxpayer, VP DickheadCheny former H/KBR CEO so its no surprise they get all these no-bid, cost-plus contracts,


PART 10: H/KBR has bribed Congress, their CEO gets $42M/year, we could have hired Iraqis to do it better and gotten them off the streets and given them jobs and a reason not to rebel, no action from Congress to stop war racketeers


PART 11: clips trying to get interviews with greedy contractors


PART 12: All of the greedy contractors refuse to stand up to the camera and try to justify their greedy crap


www.csmonitor. com/2006/ 1006/p01s04- woiq.html? ref=aol

Specials>Iraq in Transition from the October 06, 2006 edition

How Al Qaeda views a "long" Iraq war

A letter from Al Qaeda leaders found in Iraq shows that the group sees the war as a boon for its cause.

By Dan Murphy | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

CAIRO - In appearances across the US, President Bush has been campaigning against withdrawing troops from Iraq, arguing that to leave now would hand a historic victory to Al Qaeda and inspire new generations of jihadists to attack the US.

But a letter that has been translated and released by the US military indicates that Al Qaeda itself sees the continued American presence in Iraq as a boon for the terror network, which has recently shown signs of expanding into the Palestinian territories and North Africa.

AL QAEDA IN IRAQ: Leader Abu Hamza al-Muhajir is cultivating Sunni leaders. US MILITARY/AP/ FILE

"The most important thing is that the jihad continues with steadfastness ... indeed, prolonging the war is in our interest," says the writer, who goes by the name Atiyah. The letter, released last week, was recovered in the rubble of the Iraqi house where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, former leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed by a US bomb in June.

If the letter is accurate, it provides a window into the group's strategic thinking on Iraq that differs starkly from the one the Bush administration has been expressing publicly - a view the president reiterated Wednesday when he said that Al Qaeda believes that "America is weak, and if they can kill enough innocent people we'll retreat. That's precisely what they want."

While the letter was released only recently, Atiyah, thought to be a senior Al Qaeda leader whose full name Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, apparently wrote it last December from the Pakistani region of Waziristan. It has surfaced among a flurry of other communiqués from Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released a videotape this week in which he lashed out at Mr. Bush and Pope Benedict XVI. On Sept. 28, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, believed to have replaced Mr. Zarqawi as the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, published an Internet statement in which he reached out to Sunni tribal leaders who have been in conflict with Al Qaeda. And a new group claiming to be Al Qaeda in Palestine issued a video attacking Palestinian political leaders.

But the Atiyah letter, reflecting as it does the candid opinions of Al Qaeda, rather than the group's propaganda statement crafted for public consumption, appears to offer the most insight. It is largely focused on the fact that Zarqawi's tactics were alienating Iraqi Sunni leaders, and urges him to move with more caution.

He strongly warned Zarqawi against assassinating Sunni leaders. Al Qaeda is a Sunni organization that has been trying to use minority Sunni anxiety in Iraq to build support. The letter also called the Zarqawi-organized bombing of three hotels in Jordan in 2005 a "mistake," arguing that expanding Iraq's jihad beyond its borders too soon will cost them public support.

At one point, Atiyah muses that perhaps Zarqawi should step down from his leadership role, "if you find at some point someone who is better and more suitable than you." Since Zarqawi's death, a "more suitable" figure from Al Qaeda's standpoint has indeed emerged.

"In order to understand this letter one has to see the circumstances of when this letter was released,'' says Rita Katz, the director of the SITE Institute, which is devoted to tracking Islamist militant groups. "This followed after Zarqawi had an audio message ... in which he threatened the tribes of the Sunnis who wouldn't cooperate with him. That was a real turning point.

"The letter from Atiyah is basically his response to this. He's telling him that instead of fighting Sunni opponents, you should reach out with more peaceful solutions."

Ms. Katz says Mr. Muhajir's Sept. 28 statement shows he has taken that advice to heart. She points out that a number of Sunni tribes in Iraq's turbulent Anbar Province have turned against Al Qaeda's main umbrella group in Iraq, the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC), in recent months.

"Al-Muhajir' s latest speech was quite interesting, because he basically said sorry to the heads of the Sunni tribes. 'We need you. We'll work together to defeat the enemy.' "

The day before his speech, Al Jazeera reported a statement it said was delivered by Ahmad Naji al-Juburi, head of the tribal council in Salahuddin Province north of Baghdad, in which he lashed out at Al Qaeda for killing "civilians, defenseless people, police and security men ... Al Qaeda said it came to Iraq for jihad and to liberate it from occupation [but] what Al Qaeda is doing is utterly at odds with what it announced."

Katz and others say Muhajir is eager to mend fences with Sunni leaders, because he knows that if Al Qaeda loses the support of Sunni tribes, it will be in a very tenuous position.

"Al-Muhajir took another step toward undoing some of the alienation Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had created in Iraq's Sunni community," Michael Scheuer, who ran the CIA's bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999 and is now a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington wrote in a commentary on Muhajir's and other recent Al Qaeda communications.

NO. 1 TARGET: Iraqi National Security Adviser al-Rubaie (r.) said Saturday that Iraq is close to capturing Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (l.), the alleged leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.


How long Muhajir will be in charge of Al Qaeda in Iraq is unclear. Earlier this week, Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie said security forces are close to catching him. On Sept. 28, the US military caught a man it described as his driver. But given the ease with which Al Qaeda in Iraq weathered the killing of Zarqawi, analysts are skeptical that killing Muhajir will have much impact on Iraq's war.

"When Zarqawi was killed, people said that was the end of the insurgency and the end of the mass killings. But in fact we've seen mass killings increase dramatically since," says Katz. "Al Qaeda in Iraq played an important role at the beginning of the war. Zarqawi set up something that hadn't existed before, but at this stage the infrastructure is set up very nicely."

Whether the Bushies are guilty of military incompetence by ommission or commission, its high time we regain control of both our government and our military and make them morally-sound and effective.

"There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country -if the people lose their confidence in themselves - and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance."

- Walt Whitman

The following is not from a "liberal"; its from Robert Welch, founder of the ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE John Birch Society:

"Cruelty is never funny. And your militant iconoclasts of all ages, who want to destroy what Kipling called 'the gods of the copybook headings,' always have a streak of cruelty which enables them to find pleasure in their destructiveness."

Bush/Neocons are NOT conservatives: gullible weak economic and ego co-dependants in U.S. military going along with their BS as it "validates" them

VIDEO: BBC News: Watch the complete documentaryseries:

The Power of Nightmares Part I: Baby It's Cold Outside


OBSERVATIONS: Lawn care self-absorption non-sense in 1950s America similar to garrison U.S. Army/marine officers, both (militant Islam) Sayyid Qutb and (neocons/looniecons) Leo Strauss tell their people lies to create fear/insecurity to yield to them power as faith in nation-states due to bureaucracy erode.

The Power of Nightmares Part II: The Phantom Victory


OBSERVATIONS: the Neocons lied about the Soviet threat while arming Islamics not concerned that they might turn on us as soon as the Russians left Afghanistan

The Power of Nightmares Part III: The Shadows In The Cave


OBSERVATIONS: the Bush Neocons are really Marxist-Leninist/Fascist elitist snobs (the political spectrum is actually circular with tyranny in either left or right-wing flavors of poison) with no respect for the U.S. Constitution or the welfare of American citizens; they will milk the undeclared "global war on terror" for as long as they can unless we grow up and take control of our country back from them


Lies of the Neocons: From Leo Strauss to Scooter Libby

The Philosophy of Mendacity

All governments lie as I. F. Stone famously observed, but some governments lie more than others. And the neocon Bush regime serves up whoppers as standard fare every day. Why this propensity to lie? There are many reasons, but it is not widely appreciated that the neocons believe in lying /on principle/. It is the "noble" thing for the elite to do, for the "vulgar" masses, the "herd" will become ungovernable without such lies. This is the idea of the "noble lie" practiced with such success and boldness by Scooter Libby and his co-conspirators and concocted by the political "philosopher" Leo Strauss whose teachings lie at the core of the neoconservative outlook and agenda, so much so that they are sometimes called "Leocons."

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was a Jewish-German émigré from the Nazi regime who eventually landed at the University of Chicago where he developed a following that has achieved enormous prominence in American politics. Among his students were Paul Wolfowitz who has openly acknowledged that he is a follower of Straus as has the godfather of neconservatism, Irving Kristol. Irving Kristol begat William Kristol, the director of operation for the DC neocons, editor of the /Weekly Standard/ and "chairman" of the Project for the New American Century, which laid out the plans for the Iraq War. (PNAC also opined in 2000 that a Pearl Harbor-like event would be necessary to take the country to war, and one year later, presto, we had the strange and still mysterious attack of September 11.) For his part Paul Wolfowitz begat Libby, in the intellectual sense, when he taught Libby at Yale. Others stars in the necon firmament are Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and lesser figures like Abram Shulsky, director of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, created by Donald Rumsfeld. Shulsky, also a student of Strauss, was responsible for fabricating the lies masquerading as intelligence that were designed to get the U.S. into the war on Iraq. While the neocons have a passion for the Likud party and Zionism, they also count among their number not a few pre-Vatican II Catholics and an assortment of cranks like Newt Gingrich and John Bolton and crypto fascists like Jeanne Kirkpatrick. The list goes on and Justin Raimondo has documented it in great detail over the years on Antiwar.com. But it is enough to note that Cheney's alter ego was Libby, and Rumsfeld's second in command until recently was Wolfowitz. So both Cheney, the de facto president with an apparently ill perfused cerebrum, and the geezer commanding the Pentagon have been managed by younger and very prominent Straussians for the past five years.

A superb account of the ideas of Strauss, his followers and his influence is to be found in /The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss / (hereafter PI) and /Leo Strauss and/ /The American Right/ (hereafter AR), both by Shadia Drury, professor of politics at the University of Calgary. Her account of Strauss's ideas and the prominence they play in American politics today will give you chills or nausea, perhaps both. As she says in PI (p.xii), "Strauss is the key to understanding the political vision that has inspired the most powerful men in America under George W. Bush. In my view men who are in the grip of Straussian political ideas cannot be trusted with political power in any society, let alone a liberal democracy. This book explains why this is the case." For those who wish to understand the neocon agenda, Drury's books are essential reading. She is clear and thorough. Of pertinence to "Scooter's" case and the pack of lies he was concealing is Strauss's idea that a "philosopher elite" (i.e., Straussians) must rule. Moreover they must do so covertly. As someone remarked before Last Friday, "Who ever heard of I. Lewis Libby?" a man who shunned the spotlight and operated behind the scenes. The reason for such covert rule, or cabal, is that the "vulgar" herd, as Strauss liked to call the rest of us, cannot appreciate "higher truths" such as the inevitability and necessity of wars in relations between states and even the utility of wars in governing a state. So the covert elite must be certain that myths like religion or the glory of the nation are not weakened for these are among the best ways to rule over the ignorant herd and lead it into war. (Note that the Straussians themselves are not religious. They are "above" religion, capable of dealing with tough truths like man's mortality. But in their view, religion is a crucial factor in governing. Irving Kristol, following Strauss, tells us that religion is "far more important politically" than the Founding Fathers believed and that to rescue America it is necessary "to breathe new life into the older, now largely comatose religious orthodoxies." (AR, p. 148). Any religion will do except perhaps Islam, which is more or less verboten, given the affinity of all leading neocons for Israel. Hence the neocons readily embrace the ideology and leadership of Christian fundamentalism which can keep the crowd under control and get them to march off to war and death. The neocons are mainly interested in foreign policy, as was Strauss, but in exchange for the support of the religious Right in foreign affairs, the neocons line up behind the domestic program of the fundamentalists. It's a win win situation, from their point of view

But useful lies of the grand sort like religious myth or blind nationalism need support by lesser lies at crucial moments. And so we go to the "smaller" lies like "weapons of mass destruction," the "smoking gun that comes in the form of the mushroom cloud." And here too the elite has a role to play. They are to use their "superior rhetorical skills" to make the weak argument seem stronger. In other words the cabal not only has to protect myths and manufacture lies but go to work in selling them. What Strauss called "rhetoric," we call spin.

All of this comes down to one word: lying. But for Strauss, these Lies are necessary for the smooth function of society and triumph of one's own nation in war. Hence for Strauss, the lie becomes "noble." This phrase Strauss borrows and distorts from Plato who meant by a "noble lie" a myth or parable that conveyed an underlying truth about morality or nature. But in Strauss's hands the "noble lie" becomes a way of deceiving the herd. Strauss's "noble lies are far from "noble." They are intended to "dupe the multitude and secure power for a special elite" (AR, p. 79).

One other idea of Strauss's bears on the situation of "Scooter" Libby. How is the Straussian philosophical elite going to get from the halls of academe to the corridors of power? This depends on good luck and the "chance" encounter between the powerful and the Straussian. Here the contemporary neocons go beyond Strauss and leave nothing to chance. It would even appear that they look for the stupid, gullible or those who are mentally compromised. So William Kristol becomes Vice President Quayle's chief of Staff, and Libby becomes the right hand man to the addled Cheney as well as assistant to the Quayle-like Bush. And there are many more.

Finally, Drury makes the point that Strauss and the neocons are not really conservative at all. They are radicals, at war with the entire modern enterprise which makes them turn to the ancients for their inspiration and even there they need to distort the teachings of Socrates or Plato to make their case. But the Enlightenment comes to us with the advance of science to which Strauss is also hostile. He says that he is not against science as such "but popularized science or the diffusion of scientific knowledge.Science must remain the preserve of small minority; it must be kept secret from the common man" (PI, p. 154). But this is impossible. Science by its very nature is a vast social enterprise requiring the widest possible dissemination of its findings. Any society that puts a lid on this will fail, and so by natural selection, the Straussian project is doomed to fail. But before that happens the Straussians can do a lot of damage. As Drury says, they "cannot be trusted with political power." But we can learn from them the importance of boldness, not in the pursuit of the "noble lie" but of the truth. And we must be certain that we are vigorous as we hunt them down and get them out of power. In that effort Shadia Drury has done us a great service.

*John Walsh* can be reached at jvwalshmd@gmail.com

How many more misdeeds and evil acts must Bush do before the Bush "sheeple" will admit that he is wrong and must be impeached?

"Churchianity" sheeple constantly make all kinds of excuses for Bush. However, are they unwittingly taking part in a "great falling away" and propping up someone who is actually working for evil?

In the movie, "Left Behind: World at War" (2005) www.imdb.com/title/tt0443567, the 666 antichrist, played by Gordon Currie looks like George W. Bush and says we must "stay the course" for world peace like good lemming fascists.

Just a Coincidence?

New Study: 40% of U.S. Population believes any lie to support Bush

This is a pretty shocking study, the first we've ever heard of it. What it suggests is that 40% of the U.S. population are authoritarian liars who will lie their heads off to reverse the truth in order to support their autocratic leader Bush, including believing the exact opposite of what Bush's policies really are, i.e., alleging that Bush has more liberal policies than he really does, in more agreement even with this 40% of the population. Most of these people apparently come from abusive authoritarian homes so it is a generational curse that keeps getting passed on.

This explains why there is no traction in getting Bush investigated or impeached for fabricating the WMD case for going to war in Iraq, why no special prosecutors for the phony Iraq war or for 9/11 criminal negligence or responsibility, why there is not even an inquiry into any of this. No amount of evidence is sufficient to convince this mammoth 40% segment of the American people as they will lie to deny it all. The greatest crimes can be pulled off right in front of everyone, and everyone sort of knows what is going on, but finds ways to rationalize and deny it. This is like Nazi Germany when the vast majority of the German people willfully turned away from the evidence of their own senses about the Holocaust, the people they saw dragged from their homes, the acrid smoke of the nearby crematoriums, etc., which they rationalized and explained away in their minds as something else, anything to deny the truth.

We also noted the typical liberal attempt to explain this away as showing that authoritarian "right-wing" attitudes are due to stupidity (or "simplicity" as they euphemistically and condescendingly try to phrase it in phony academic jargon they love to make up). Or they try to explain it as due to "religion". That way the liberals don't have to deal with this either, it's just a matter of "education" to educate the stupid right-wingers into their liberal "enlightened" pipe dreams. In fact, the conservatives' attitudes are not due to stupidity (or religion), they're just as smart as the liberals, it has nothing to do with intelligence or education levels, but it is due to willfulness. The typical, rigid, authoritarian Bush fanatic has grown up in an abusive authoritarian home where survival required lying to themselves and lying to others to get through each day intact, year-after-year, until they've grown up and started their own families with the same mentality. And now they get to keep passing this hateful legacy on to new generations. But it threatens the very survival of our nation. A nation that lies to itself cannot survive. It is like something straight out of Orwell's 1984.


The Amazing Truth-Defying Bush Supporter
Special to The Dubya Report
January 31, 2005

In the fall of 2004 the Program on International Policy Attitudes conducted two polls of Bush and Kerry supporters. A September poll focused on foreign policy issues, including questions about Iraq and terrorism, whether the U.S. should pursue a multilateral approach to national security, and underlying issues such as U.S. participation in international treaties. An October poll compared public perceptions to reality on a range of questions, including justifications for the war in Iraq, foreign attitudes toward the U.S., and foreign policy positions of public officials. (Candidate positions were documented from their own statements as recorded by a variety of sources, including the Council on Foreign Relations election web site, answers given to a questionnaire from Time magazine, and official statements from the State Department and the Office of Management and Budget.)

With regard to foreign policy, the PIPA study found that Bush supporters

... have many incorrect assumptions about his foreign policy positions. Among the misperceptions:

84% of Bush supporters incorrectly assumed that Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements

69% believed Bush favors U.S. participation in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

66% assumed Bush favors U.S. participation in the International Criminal Court

72% believed Bush favors U.S. joining in the international treaty banning land mines

51% assumed Bush supports the Kyoto Treaty on global warming

Moreover, majorities of Bush supporters themselves favored the positions they erroneously ascribed to Bush -- 93% in the case of including fair labor standards in trade agreements, 75% regarding participation in the International Criminal Court, etc.

The October poll found that:

A large majority of Bush supporters believe that before the war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or a major program for building them. A substantial majority of Bush supporters assume that most experts believe Iraq had WMD and that this was the conclusion of the ... report by Charles Duelfer. A large majority of Bush supporters believes that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda and that clear evidence of this support has been found. A large majority believes that most experts also have this view, and a substantial majority believe that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission.

The PIPA study made the striking observation that these opinions were held despite that fact that Duelfer's report, as well as those of Iraq survey group head David Kay, and the 9/11 commission concluded that before the war Iraq had neither weapons of mass destruction, nor a significant program to develop them. (As noted elsewhere in The Dubya Report, the 9/11 commission concluded "...to date we have seen no evidence that ... contacts [between Iraq and al Qaeda] ever developed in to a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.")


72% of Bush supporters continued to hold to the view that Iraq had actual WMD or a major program for developing them

56% of Bush supporters believed that most experts say that Iraq did have actual WMD

75% of Bush supporters believed Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda

63% of Bush supporters believed that clear evidence of Iraqi support for al Qaeda has been found

55% of Bush supporters said the 9/11 Commission had concluded that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda


The key reason that Bush supporters gave for holding onto their beliefs in the face of what the PIPA report called "repeated disconfirmations" was that they perceived the Bush administration was confirming those beliefs.

82% perceived the Bush administration as saying that Iraq had WMD or a major WMD program

75% of Bush supporters thought the Bush administration was saying Iraq provided substantial support to al Qaeda (56%) or even that it was directly involved in 9/11 (19%).

55% of Bush supporters believed the Bush administration said the US has found clear evidence Saddam Hussein was working closely with al Qaeda

And while they agreed on very little else, 84% of Kerry supporters agreed with Bush supporters that the Bush administration was saying Iraq had WMD (73%) or a major program (11%).

The PIPA report also suggested that Bush supporters held on to the unfounded beliefs that Iraq had WMD and supported al Qaeda because it was "necessary to their support for the decision to go to war with Iraq."

58% of Bush supporters said the U.S. should not have gone to war "If, before the war, U.S. intelligence services had concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and was not providing substantial support to al Qaeda...."

61% expressed confidence that Bush would not have gone to war in that case

As the PIPA report noted, "This tendency of Bush supporters to ignore dissonant information extends to other realms as well. One of these is world public opinion."

Only 31% of Bush supporters recognized that the majority of people in the world oppose the US having gone to war with Iraq

57% of Bush supporters assumed that the majority of people in the world wanted Bush reelected

82% of Bush supporters believed that a world majority either feels better about the U.S. due to its recent foreign policy

These beliefs are contrary to the findings of a number of international polls, most recently an independent project of 10 leading newspapers, which found majority support for Bush only in Russia and Israel. Majorities also opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in seven of the ten countries surveyed. The latter results were consistent with a May 2004 survey by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, which found that in the year following the invasion of Iraq, international opposition to US policies had increased.

Bush supporters also have significant misperceptions about his foreign policy views.

69% believed Bush supports the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

72% believed Bush supports an international treaty banning land mines

Even after Bush denounced the International Criminal Courtt during the presidential debates, 53% continued to believe that he supported it 74% incorrectly believe Bush supports including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements.

The PIPA report noted a " recurring theme: majorities of Bush supporters favor these positions, and they infer that Bush favors them as well." By contrast, "Kerry supporters were much more accurate in assessing their candidate's positions on all these issues," the report concluded.

So why do Bush supporters show such a resistance to accepting dissonant information? While it is normal for people to show some resistance, the magnitude of the denial goes beyond the ordinary. Bush supporters have succeeded in suppressing awareness of the findings of a whole series of high- profile reports about prewar Iraq that have been blazoned across the headlines of newspapers and prompted extensive, high-profile and agonizing reflection. The fact that a large portion of Americans say they are unaware that the original reasons that the US took military action--and for which Americans continue to die on a daily basis--are not turning out to be valid, are probably not due to a simple failure to pay attention to the news.

... [W]hile others have peeled off, Bush supporters continue to hold onto their image of Bush as a capable protector. To do this it appears that many need to continue to screen out information that undermines this image.

Bush appears to assume that his support is fragile. He refuses to admit to making any mistakes. He admits that he was surprised that WMD were not found, but does not say that the most reasonable conclusion is that they were never there .... He asserts that he never said that Iraq was directly involved in 9/11, but maintains that there were contacts with al Qaeda in a way that implies that they were significant. Most telling, his supporters as well as his opponents overwhelmingly say that they hear him still saying that Iraq had WMD and supported al Qaeda. To remain loyal and bonded to him means to enter into this false reality. Bush may be right. Admitting his mistakes may shatter his idealized image in a way that some supporters may not forgive. But there also risks in succeeding in getting elected based on false beliefs. The number of people in the public who see through the illusion will likely continue to grow, eating away at the implied mandate of an election. Further, the cohesion of society can be damaged by a persisting and fundamental division in the perception of what is real, undermining pathways to consensus and mutual sacrifice, and making the country increasingly difficult to govern.

Fear and Loathing in America

In their 2003 study, "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," researchers John Jost, Jack Glaser, Arie Kruglanski and Frank Sulloway offered some insights from the field of social psychology as to why Bush supporters may hold the beliefs they do, and cling to them with such tenacity. They used the term "motivated social cognition" to describe relationship between people's beliefs and their "motivational underpinnings."In the post-Freudian world," they wrote, "the ancient dichotomy between reason and passion is blurred, and nearly everyone is aware of the possibility that people are capable of believing what they want to believe, at least within certain limits." Belief systems, they suggested, "are adopted in part because they satisfy some psychological needs." The authors took care to point out that they were not suggesting that "conservative beliefs are necessarily false, irrational, or unprincipled." They started from the assumption that most human beings are "subjectively rational" in that their attitudes are derived from a set of principles that the believer subscribes to, and are at least in part a response to external events and conditions, or "reality constraints."

The authors reviewed 88 sets of data from published studies, representing a combined population of more than 22,000 participants. Material was drawn from 12 countries, and in addition to experiments and surveys included political speeches, judicial opinions, etc. The study utilized what is termed a "meta-analysis" -- statistically combining the results of several studies on a single topic. The methodology is a common approach to working with historical data, and attempts to gain greater objectivity, precision, and generality than is otherwise possible.

Jost and his colleagues found that the following psychological factors were correlated with conservative political beliefs:

Anxiety about death


Needs for order, structure, and "cognitive closure" -- the need for a firm belief on a given topic

Factors with negative correlation to conservative political beliefs included:

Openness to experience

Tolerance of uncertainty


The researchers also found that perceived threats from "system instability," such as economic decline, increased crime, or civil disturbance, correlated with conservative political beliefs.

Jost et al. identified the core ideology of conservatism as resistance to change and justification of inequality. While they acknowledged that liberals can defend the status quo and that conservatives can support change, they asserted that in general these aspects of conservatism are psychologically related to one another "for most of the people most of the time." They highlighted the obvious exception of left-wing ideologues in communist regimes who exhibit "mental rigidity and other psychological characteristics that are often thought to be associated with right-wingers in other contexts."

Jost noted that different economic groups may have different motivations for adopting right-wing ideologies. Disadvantaged individuals might be more likely to be motivated by a need to reduce fear and uncertainty, while the advantaged might be motivated by self-interest and a desire for social dominance. "System justification theory" tries to understand this phenomenon. Nearly everyone, this theory suggests, is motivated (to a greater or lesser extent) "to explain and justify the status quo in such a way that it is perceived as fair and legitimate." If the system is challenged, or threatened, then those who suffer most under it have the most rationalizing to do. "One way to minimize dissonance would be to redouble one's commitment and support for the system, much as hazed initiates pledge increased loyalty to the fraternity that hazes them...."

Of particular interest in the context of the PIPA studies are Jost et al.'s observations on conservatives' attitudes toward uncertainty. Uncertainty is perceived as a threat. This observation is consistent with Lakoff's characterization of the conservative's hierarchy of values as having preservation of the value system itself as the highest value.

A second theoretical perspective seems particularly appropriate to events of the last few years. This approach, called "terror management" theory, suggests that worldviews -- religion, for instance -- provide people with a means to symbolically transcend death. An awareness of one's mortality combined with the instinct for self preservation "creates in humans the capacity to be virtually paralyzed with fear," which in turn triggers a defense of one's worldview. "... [S]ocial intolerance is the consequence of worldview-enhancing cognitions motivated by the need to buffer anxiety-inducing thoughts."

"Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition" created something of a stir when it was published, in part because the study had received federal funding. Some conservative commentators, pundits, and would-be pundits attempted to dismiss the study as if it had simply as declared conservatism to be some kind of neurosis. One such attempt, dressed up in academic language, but short on analysis was published in The New Atlantis, a publication of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. EPPC was established in 1976 "to clarify and reinforce the bond between the Judeo-Christian moral tradition and the public debate over domestic and foreign policy issues." EPPC's vice president is Michael Cromartie, former special assistant to Christian Right activist Charles Colson. EPPC is closely aligned with the American Enterprise Institute, with whose religious programs it often overlaps.

Not surprisingly the EPPC reviewer seemed not to have read or understood the entire paper. More likely, he or she simply chose to dismiss it rhetorically, by pretending that one one portion of one theory -- namely the effect of parenting styles on a child's attitudes toward authority -- represented the entire thesis of the study. In fact, Jost et al. are somewhat critical of attempts to correlate political conservatism with parenting styles. "Good research linking parental behavior to the political attitudes of their children is scant and insufficient ... for the obvious reason that it would require 20 or 30 years of continuous snooping to do it comprehensively," they wrote. " ... [M]ore research is needed before concluding that (a) political conservatives are more pessimistic or contemptuous than others and (b) their negative emotions stem from experiences with parental aggression."

Left, Right, and Rigid

One critique of the Jost group's report that avoided the defensive posture taken by conservative commentators came, not surprisingly, from other social psychologists. Jeff Greenberg of the University of Arizona, and Eva Jonas of the University of Munich suggested that "the fear-and uncertainty-driven motives ably presented by Jost et al. (2003) contribute to ideological rigidity independently of whether the ideology is right-wing or left-wing." As Jost et al. acknowledged, attempts to theorize about authoritarianism have been subjected to this line of criticism since the 1950s. Greenberg and Jonas argued that, contrary to the Jost group's characterizations, conservatives do advocate change. They cited as examples of this Ronald Reagan's platform and policies of change, and the Christian Right's efforts to change the basis of all government policy to an explicitly Christian framework. Jost et al. referred to this as the "conservative paradox" and cited Hitler and Mussolini as examples of "conservative revolutionaries" who wanted "change in the direction of decreased egalitarianism." They suggested that in some cases what appears to be a desire for change is "an imaginatively transfigured conception of the past with which to criticize the present."

Greenberg and Jonas didn't find this explanation sufficient, and suggested that it doesn't explain how the exceptions square with resistance to change as a core principle of conservatism.

With regard to Jost's second key component of conservatism, tolerance for inequality, Greenberg and Jonas noted that a common conservative argument against liberals is "that liberals advocate inequality through advocacy of preferential treatment through affirmative action programs and social services." This kind of thinking, Greenberg and Jonas suggested, "is based on the conservative tendency in the United States to deny the reality of discrimination, which, given the empirical evidence, can only be viewed as ignorance or another product of motivated social cognition. One can thus view this conservative reasoning as a smokescreen to hide a preference for inequality."

Greenberg and Jonas pointed out, however, that historically left-wing governments have exhibited considerable tolerance for inequality. Citing the Soviet Union and communist China as examples, Greenberg and Jonas suggested that "the needs to reduce uncertainty and fear drive those in power to defend their ideology and squash dissent despite the inherent contradiction with the principles associated with the ideology." When combined with an ideology that advocates government control over economic behavior totalitarianism can emerge.

Greenberg and Jonas applauded the Jost group's research, and having derived "convergent predictions" from a variety of social-psychological motives. But they disagreed with the conclusions that the motives that Jost identified uniquely characterize political conservatism. Rather, they suggested, "embracing the prevailing ideology, even if it ostensibly advocates a form of egalitarianism, may be the best way pragmatically to serve social dominance needs because doing so aligns one with the powers that be."

Greenberg and Jonas proposed a coordinate model in place of Jost's linear model.

... one content dimension and one content-free dimension and view them as orthogonal. From this perspective, one dimension could be called right-left, referring to the content of ideology. Right wingers favor a free-market economy, individual responsibility, genetic or will-based theories of individual differences, and equity principles. Left-wingers prefer a socialist or communist economic system, communal responsibility, social theories of individual differences, and equality principles. The content-free dimension could be called ideological rigidity, its pole varying from low to high to describe the strength of orientation toward an ideology. Those who are ideologically rigid closed-mindedly and unquestioningly cling to their ideology, seeing it as absolutely right and seeing alternatives as absolutely wrong. They are therefore biased against different others and live certain in their knowledge. Low-ideological rigidity people are open-minded and tolerant; they view their preferred ideology as a personal choice but are open to questioning it and willing to consider and acknowledge the possible virtues of alternative views.

Greenberg and Jonas's criticism of the Jost group's work is theoretical and technical. And while suggesting that the Jost group's findings might not hold in the Soviet Union or China, for example, they acknowledged that the findings may well hold in the contemporary United States.

One could argue that in the United States and most other capitalist nations there are not many advocates of the extreme left or much in the way of a coherent left-wing ideology and that therefore, as the research reviewed by Jost et al. (2003) suggests, it may very well be the case that in such nations, on average, right-wingers are more ideologically extreme and rigid.

Simplest Terms

One item in the Jost study that seemed particularly to irritate conservatives was the finding that "conservative ideologues are generally less integratively complex than their liberal or moderate counterparts." Essentially proving the assertion, conservatives tended to respond as though identifying them as "less integratively complex" was equivalent to calling them simple. This, not surprisingly, is an oversimplification. Integrative complexity is a technical term that refers to what is sometimes called a "cognitive style." Persons who exhibit high levels of integrative complexity tend to "use different dimensions to discuss an issue."

For instance, if a person uses a single dimension (e.g., good-bad) to discuss the issue, there would be no differentiation. Assuming that there is differentiation, the second aspect of integrative complexity concerns the degree to which two or more dimensions are related or connected. There can be no integration, some integration, or complex integration. The greater the degree of integration, the greater the integrative complexity. A person exhibiting the lowest level of integrative complexity recognizes only one perspective to a problem or an issue. Persons with higher levels of complexity recognize the existence of alternative perspectives, but see them as independent and unrelated. At the highest level of integrative complexity, there is recognition of the trade-offs among perspectives and solutions. John Di Iulio's account of the workings of the Bush White House suggested that, regardless of the theoretical context discussed here, the Bush administration is targeting its efforts to an audience with limited integrative complexity. On his way out of the White House, after resigning as head of Bush's Office of Faith-based Initiatives, DiIulio wrote Esquire's Ron Suskind, that there was not really any domestic policy making apparatus. Rather, "Mayberry Machiavellis -- staff, senior and junior ... consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest, black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible."

The Global Change Game

One of the leading contemporary researchers on authoritarianism is Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba. Altemeyer developed the right-wing authoritarian (RWA) scale, which is widely used by researchers in political psychology. In 1998 Altemeyer used a computerized global simulation game to explore what might happen if the world were populated entirely by individuals with a high RWA score, and ruled by RWAs who also score high in Social Dominance Orientation (SDO). (SDO essentially measures how much someone values social equality. High SDOs place a low value on social equality.)

The game ran for two sessions, each simulating a period of 40 years. At the end of each session, nearly 2 billion people had died of starvation and disease. "One of the great benefits of the simulation, for the North Americans who participate in it, is a realization of how daunting are the problems that most of the world faces," wrote Altemeyer. In one session, a war was declared, and global military escalation followed. The facilitators believed that nuclear war was imminent as the game ended. The leaders also consistently appropriated funds from the public treasury for their personal use. "Perhaps the most striking aspect of the simulation," wrote Altemeyer, "was how automatically right-wing authoritarians, placed in a room filled with people rather like themselves, still divided the world into small enclaves of 'Us' versus the global 'Them.' ...In general, I think you have to give the worlds they created ... an 'F.'"

Altemeyer, of course, was talking about a game. Whether the right-wing authoritarians now in control of the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government can do any better with reality remains to be seen. One can hope, however, that they will not have 40 years to try.


Kull, Steven, et al. Public Perceptions of the Foreign Policy Positions of the Presidential Candidates Program On International Policy Attitudes (PIPA). 29 Sep. 2004.

Kull, Steven, et al. The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters Program On International Policy Attitudes (PIPA). 21 Oct. 2004

"Out of Their Right Mind" The New Atlantis 3 (2003): 103-105 Jost, John T., et al. "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition" Psychological Bulletin 129.3 (2003): 339-375

Greenberg, Jeff and Eva Jonas. "Psychological Motives and Political Orientation" Psychological Bulletin 129.3 (2003): 376-382

Antonio, Anthony Lising and Kenji Hakuta ."Integrative Complexity" Effects of Racial Diversity on Complex Thinking in College Students Stanford. 22 Jul 2003

Szegedy-Maszak, Marianne. Rev. "Enemies of Freedom: Understanding Right Wing Authoritarianism" by Bob Altemeyer Psychology Today Mar. 1989

---------------------------- Material not otherwise attributed (c) 2001 - 2005 Clark Kee

Americans Waking up about 9/11; Our Still Deceived Troops in Iraq


Stunningly, a Scripps-Howard Poll recently found that 36 percent of Americans -- yes, more than one in three -- don't believe the established accounts of what happened on 9/11.

What else don't they believe?

For one, a Time poll found that 54 percent believe the U.S. role in Iraq is "hurting, not helping" the "war on terrorism." Implied: At least that many Americans don't equate Iraq and the war on terrorism at all.

Fifty-three percent don't believe Saddam had any connection to 9/11. This is in sobering contrast to a Zogby Poll that found as many as 85 percent of U.S. troops in Iraq in February said the U.S. mission is mainly "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9/11 attacks."

Seventy-seven percent of those troops said they believe a major reason for the war was "to stop Saddam from protecting al-Qaida in Iraq."

Like our vice president, they haven't read the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report, either.

Former Iraqi CPA official Larry Diamond writes:

"if America is to regain the trust of Iraqis and cultivate a true partnership, we must demonstrate that it really is democracy we care about in Iraq -- not permanent American military bases." (ie: turning them into an oil colony of the U.S.)

Its clear now that:

1. We have exported the American garrison army to Iraq

3. Only a fraction of our troops are fighting the rebels, and doing it badly from trucks and during banker's hours (9-5).

4. What the hubris-filled Bush administration calls an "insurgency" is really a rebellion against our open-ended and looks-like-we-are-never-moving-out American military occupation of Iraq

A PBS Panel examines the recent Bush speech's rhetoric


5. The mental gadgets for "RMA" firepower Rumsfeld DoD cannot employ MANEUVER since they emasculated our Army into troops-in-trucks, so they brutalize Iraqis to try to get targeting info so they can drop a bomb on a map grid coordinate. Scapegoat Army Reserve General recently revealed that her Army superiors in typical right-wing, fascist hate refused to release innocent Iraqis taken in our dragnets. Listen to her interview by retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor on CSPAN:


Colonel Macgregor Revelations from Karpinski: torturing for targets doesn't work:

a. Too many U.S. Generals are snobby narcissistic egomaniacs who abuse Soldiers who are not in their "club"; want to promote selves, units are not ready to maneuver in war, do not know what "right" looks like

b. When thrust into a war situation, they act on their built-in snobbiness and abuse civilians hoping to find targets they can bomb because they are not prepared to maneuver and inter-act with civilians as adults; RMA precision firepower hubris appeals to the DoD civilian wonks as well as troops-in-truck narcissists who think itll be less work for them than employing tracked tank maneuver; less work means more time for narcissist sports PT and petty "Here to Eternity" snobby games. The "Light Mafia" is in cohoots with the DoD RMA firepower wonks (Rummy & Co).

c. Generals imprisoning innocent civilians longer than 48 hours turns them into enemies

The Abu Gahraib abuse scandal is not Americans sticking up for themselves and going a little "overboard" in their national defense its about turning a civilian population that was once on our side against us because we have snobby generals in charge. Remember the "pyramid of ego" the U.S. military culture operates by.

Competent maneuverists who are not snobs would realize the key to a successful occupation is to stay invisible and not over-react to rebels and make more rebels by not having a "glass jaw" (be on foot and in vulnerable wheeled trucks); to control the necessary ground to sustain selves and build up civilian faith by creating actual security via tracked armored vehicle presence and temporary housing conditions of foreign coalition troops (live in shipping container BattleBoxesTM not dictator palaces)

"Tanks and armored personnel carriers have been out of favor with the advocates of military transformation for so long that their value and versatility in Iraq has come as something of a revelation," the report says. "Not only have they provided critical capabilities in waging urban battles, but they have proven surprisingly relevant in the conduct of counterinsurgency operations."

--Lawrence Korb, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Reagen Administration

Tofflerian RMA is a belief that FIREPOWER remotely directed and delivered WITHOUT PEOPLE can somehow win wars. That's the ultimate fantasy goal. Emasculating the Army to have less and eventually zero tracked tanks and just foot, line infantry narcissists as Schoomaker is doing with "modularity" is just making more M16 versus AK47 egomaniacs who will have to call in precision fires (HELP! HELP! we are vulnerable and cannot MANEUVER against enemy resistance)...if they can't find someone's house to bomb, round up some prisoners and get them to talk...its RMA BS all the way....

The inescapable reality is that Bush is a liar; he wants you to THINK Iraq's violence is caused just by Islamist outsiders "terrorists" when the truth is our brutal OCCUPATION OF IRAQ IS THE CAUSE OF THE REBELLION by regular Iraqi insiders who just want us to leave their country. Iraq does not belong to us. Its their country, not ours. We stayed too long, the Iraqis gave us plenty of time to reconstruct and leave, instead we are still there and the country is still in ruins!

The reason Bush lies to us is because he and his neocons DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE IRAQ. Go to the PNAC web site and see why they want to never leave Iraq since its a base to eventually attack Iran. The Bush administration is run by the PNAC egomaniac think tankers aka "neocons" actually best viewed as "looniecons". Notice in his speech, Bush implied we cannot leave Iraq until the Iraqis can defend themselves and he conveniently offered no yardstick for when that would be achieved. Anyone who has ever been in a military unit knows you constantly train and never reach a "perfect" condition of combat readiness. So as long as just one bomb goes off in Iraq, Bush will have a ready-made excuse to keep Americans in Iraq to "help" the Iraqis without end. The video below proves that Bush has built permanent U.S. bases in Iraq:


You can lie to yourself and your own people but if you do not understand your enemy you cannot defeat him.

In guerrilla war, the rebels bait the government to over-react to their terrorist acts and become then a recruiting tool to make more rebels. We have swallowed their bait by killing over 100,000 Iraqis and imprisoning over 10,000 and building more jails.

The solution in Iraq is to reject Bush's lies that Iraq's violence is just being caused by a minority of "outsider" terrorists and to GET AMERICANS OUT OF IRAQ by the thousands to eliminate the occupation that is causing Iraqis to rebel. Keep just enough Americans to train & advise the new government's police and military, strongpoint our troops on the border to keep outsiders out with a "Morice Line" type security fence backed overhead by manned observation/attack planes and a quick reaction force (QRF) in tracked armored fighting vehicles. Instead of 136,000 troops in Iraq infuriating the Iraq people, we should have less than 50,000 total. Costs to keep this reduced presence should be less than $100 million a month not the current $1.5 to $2 BILLION a week that is leading us to economic ruin. If we are going to "help" Iraqi security forces with open-ended training, lets do it without keeping the rebellion fuelled.


Posted on Sun, Jun. 26, 2005

The birth of Iraq's deadly insurgency

By Larry Diamond

One year ago, one of the most audacious overseas endeavors in modern American history drew to a partial close. June 28, 2004, the American political occupation of Iraq ended in a hasty and quiet ceremony with the transfer of power from the Coalition Provisional Authority, led by an American, to an Iraqi interim government led by a longtime U.S. ally.

For me, the event had personal meaning. From January to April of 2004, I served as a senior adviser to the coalition government. Operating out of the "governance" office in the kitchen of Saddam Hussein's former palace, I participated in several aspects of the political transition, including drafting an interim constitution. I saw the American occupation from the inside -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

The hand-over of power was achieved on schedule -- in fact, two days early -- and has been one positive note in a succession of American mistakes and setbacks. In fact, the seeds of the insurgency -- which claims roughly 100 Iraqi lives a week -- were sown during the early postwar days, when America displayed more hubris than sense.

Even though the Bush administration now is trying to dig out, most notably by supporting the incorporation of Sunnis into the political process, it will take years to terminate the violence and build a viable democracy. Moreover, if America is to regain the trust of Iraqis and cultivate a true partnership, we must demonstrate that it really is democracy we care about in Iraq --not permanent American military bases.

The hand-over wasn't the only early milestone after America's quick military success. In March 2004, Iraq got a new interim constitution that protected individual freedoms and struck a historic bargain between Iraq's minority Kurds and its Arab majority. And more than half of eligible Iraqis courageously voted in January for a transitional parliament that will adopt a permanent constitution. Once that is achieved, elections for a new government will come.

Beyond the political achievements, by the time of the hand-over Saddam was in prison, along with many of his henchmen. Mass graves were exposed and historical accountability for terrible crimes was beginning to be established. During the 15 months of American occupation, more than 3,500 schools were refurbished and more than 70 health care facilities built. Commerce began to revive, a new currency was issued and education resumed with new textbooks freed of the stifling impositions of Saddam's Baathist Party ideology. A wide array of political parties and civil society organizations began to emerge.

Gains overshadowed

But all this was overwhelmed by the relentless guerrilla attacks, kidnappings and assassinations, roadside bombings and ambushes, suicide car bombings, and other terrorist and insurgent violence. From the moment that Baghdad fell in April 2003 and much of the public infrastructure was systematically destroyed, the United States failed to fulfill the first overriding obligation of an occupying power: to establish and maintain order. Coalition (mainly American) forces failed to secure Iraq's cities, roads, electricity grids, oil pipelines and borders. The tenacious insurgency, fed and emboldened by an escalating influx of foreign jihadist terrorists, sabotaged roads and crucial facilities as rapidly as they were repaired.

Not surprising, Iraqis quickly lost confidence in the Americans. They now had to face, instead of Saddam, a new but still paralyzing fear -- of chaos, and of various possible forms of violent assault and sudden death.

Why did this happen? Both the military and civilian aspects of the postwar mission were astonishingly short of resources. Not only did the coalition forces not have nearly enough troops, but America also never had enough armored Humvees and other vehicles, including helicopters, or high-quality body armor. We never had nearly enough translators and interpreters, nor enough civilians who knew Iraq's culture, history and language.

The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion. A much more senior Iraqi interlocutor (a widely experienced Iraqi-American lawyer) became so exasperated with the young man's audacity that he finally challenged him:

"You must have thoroughly studied the history of the British occupation of Iraq."

"Yes, I did," the young American replied proudly.

"I thought so," said the Iraqi, "because you seem determined to repeat every one of their mistakes."

Throughout the occupation, there was a profound tension between the idealistic goal of building democracy and the desire on the part of the Americans to retain control, to shape a particular kind of Iraqi democracy.

The dilemma struck me almost immediately after my arrival, when one of our colleagues stormed into the office after a late-night meeting of the Iraqi Governing Council, uttering: "We have a problem. And no one wants to deal with it. The Governing Council is issuing orders and the ministers are starting to execute them." Several of us burst out laughing. We were fostering a transition to sovereignty and democracy. We had established the Iraqi Governing Council. But God forbid it should actually seek to start governing!

Of course, it would be hard to imagine a more overbearing and presumptuous means for one country to relate to another than to occupy it and remake its political system. That's one reason why many experts on Iraq warned the United States that establishing itself as an occupying power there would be met with sustained violent resistance. But America occupied anyway, in a way that was often filled with an ill-informed hubris, leading it for many months to misread the importance of Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani; to underestimate the depth of Iraqi resentment of American military and political dominance; to marginalize the United Nations' mission in postwar Iraq, despite its considerable knowledge and expertise; and to impose 100 colonial-like decrees.

Hubris and gaffes

It was hubris -- and worse -- that led one retired general to dismiss the disastrous April 2003 murder of Abdul Majid al-Khoei (Iraq's most outspoken democratic Shiite cleric, and a man we had just brought back from London) with the disdainful quip, "Oh, it's just them killing each other." It was hubris that led the United States to simply dismiss the insurgents as a bunch of bad losers and "evildoers" who would be quickly consigned to the dustbin of history. Thus President Bush defiantly invited them to "bring it on."

And then there were major policy miscalculations, the most serious of which were the decisions in May 2003, upon the arrival of the American head of the occupation, L. Paul Bremer III, to disband the 400,000-member Iraqi army and disqualify from public employment a wide swath of Baath Party members. Both of these decisions flew in the face of numerous expert warnings that moving too precipitously in these ways would humiliate many Iraqis, alienate the Sunnis and destabilize the country, providing political fuel -- and a large number of recruits with weapons -- for an insurgency.

Since spring 2004, the Bush administration has been modifying these mistakes -- restoring some of the lower-level Baathists (like school teachers and technical personnel) to their government jobs, while recruiting back on a selective basis, after vetting, some of the former army officers. And it has made other pragmatic adjustments, including bringing in the U.N. mission in 2004 and agreeing to direct elections for an Iraqi parliament.

The most important adjustment has been the ongoing effort to bring Sunni tribal, political and religious forces into the transitional process, to try to give them a stake in the new political order. Sunnis, only 20 percent of the country, have dominated it for most of the past century, including Saddam's rulership.

Difficult to fix

Still, adjustments have tended to be too modest, too late, and have never been able to get out in front of the suspicions that have helped to drive the insurgency.

Clearly, if Iraq is going to become a democracy, or even a reasonably stable and effective state, it must get control of the insurgency, which is based largely among Iraq's Sunnis. Defeating it will require a sophisticated, patient and incremental effort for many years, combining military, intelligence, policing and political efforts.

There is no magic solution, because the insurgency consists of multiple social strands, and some of these -- especially the foreign fighters (such as Al-Qaida) and the surviving Saddam loyalists -- can only be defeated and killed in combat, arrested, or expelled.

However, other elements -- Sunni tribal groups, nationalist forces, political parties, even some of the fundamentalist religious networks and some former Baathists who are glad to be rid of Saddam -- appear eager to negotiate with the United States. Some have been seeking, through international intermediaries, to do so for more than a year. They have signaled a willingness (yet to be clearly tested) to suspend or end the violent struggle in exchange for certain concessions.

Fortunately, a dialogue has been under way between the elected Iraqi transitional government, led by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, and some of these Sunni forces sympathetic to the resistance. Also positive is that the Bush administration (including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on her recent visit to Iraq) has been encouraging this dialogue, which recently led to an agreement to enlarge the constitutional drafting committee to include more Sunni voting members and advisers.

To achieve lasting peace in Iraq, America will have to make concessions, including an explicit commitment not to seek permanent military bases in Iraq. Perhaps no issue in the coming years will more clearly expose the real purpose of the Bush administration's postwar mission in Iraq: to build democracy or to obtain a new, regional military platform in the heart of the Arab world.

Make no mistake about it: While Iraqis are glad to be rid of Saddam, they also want their country back. Only if we make it clear that we will withdraw our military forces when Iraq is stable will we create the political context in which Iraq can once again become secure. The alternative would leave us mired indefinitely in a violent quagmire in Iraq.

LARRY DIAMOND is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His book, "Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq," was published this month. He wrote this article for Perspective.

How to Defeat Al Queda Sub-National Terror Groups: Important to Defeat the Enemy: Documentary on Suicide Bombers: Group Conformity



Please watch it.

We're going to spoil the show now because its too damn important.

1. The Islamic suicide bombers were all foreigners living far away from their families and not assimilated into the Western societies they were in. They would become more Islamic than even Islamics were back home. The Italian Mafia for example, does crimes because they too felt no loyalty to America.

2. To replace their family feeling of belonging, THEY TURNED TO SMALL GROUP friendship and conformity.

3. They all went to their deaths due to PEER PRESSURE to be like their friends, in fact the last suicide bomber of a group will often call and check to see if the other friends had gone through and blew himself up.

College psychologists have done tests with regular people and they have shown that they will continue to shock an actor with lethal doses of electricity despite screams and appearing unconscious. In other tests, actors would say two lines clearly not the same length were the same and the "normal" person would go along with the BS lie.

What does this mean?

1. Militarism and group conformity is BS as Dixon and history proves. If the group is formed and it says forsake your biological family and set themselves off to themselves (U.S. military's post/base syndrome) its easy to then dehumanize the enemy and kill him, if it happens to be American citizens who do not go along with your wannabe fascist regime (George Bush) then the American military full of weak ego co-dependents who want to go along with peer pressure, then they'll shoot other Americans. If its a sub-national terror group, then it could be hijack airliners and fly them into buildings packed full of people. Evil is evil, period. And blind social conformity is evil.

Question: Since when do we get our morality from the U.S. Military?

From: Steven Aftergood
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 11:14:07 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 08/25/06

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 91
August 25, 2006

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News:



U.S. Army policy for dealing with military personnel who assert a conscientious objection to military combat is set forth in a newly updated Army regulation.

Criteria for likely approval or rejection of a conscientious objection claim are described. Claims that are insincere or "based on objection to a certain war" will "not be favorably considered."

The Regulation accepts the reality of conscientious objection with due respect.

"Care must be exercised not to deny the existence of beliefs simply because those beliefs are incompatible with one's own," it states.

In any case, "The burden of establishing a claim of conscientious objection as grounds for separation or assignment to noncombatant training and service is on the applicant."

See "Conscientious Objection," Army Regulation 600-43, 21 August 2006:


This regulation is TOTAL FASCIST BULLSHIT.

It needs to be resisted and tossed out.

The IDF doesn't have this you-either-accept-ALL-wars-we-send-you-to or reject-ALL-wars-as-a-pacifist-pussy. The possibility that you are a warrior but oppose a specific war because its corruptly based would place responsibility on the Army and marines to clean up their acts and do better and possibly oppose immoral orders from an out-of-control President. That's why when the IDF screws up they ADAPT and get better and Americans don't.

This is corrupt crap.

We all damn well know that each war is different and can be based on sound or fraudulent reasons that conform or violate a person's coscience. What the army wants to do is paint you into a corner where you are either a CO (pussy without a penis) or you willingly go along with whatever bullshit they tell you to do to be a "warrior", "stud". What they cannot tolerate is someone who ISN'T PERSONALLY A "CHICKENSHIT" OPPOSING WHAT THEY ARE DOING BECAUSE ITS MORALLY WRONG and/or incompetently being done. They want to blackball anyone who isn't cannon fodder into the "pussy" label to fit into their blind-obedience fascism.

This is a total lack of a moral and technotactical competence compass.

They can cut out their fu*king bullshit spin talk about "respect" the snobby Army and marines don't fu*king respect anyone or anything---least of all moral principles.

The ANSWER is to have a moral compass and teach INDIVIDUALS to stick to it NO MATTER what the fuk the "group" is doing. A moral compass that transcends peer pressure/conformity, sadly the U.S. Constitution is not enough; we think we need a CODE OF HONOR for the U.S. Army like the IDF has that VALUES complex truths only individuals can perceive so the organization as a whole has a "salt preservative" to stop corruption:


2. Obviously the American public school system of Dewey that teaches social conformity to be a sheeple consumerist needs to be thrown out and replaced by a educational system that creates SELF-RELIANT, THINKING citizen INDIVIDUALS. They should leave school with a wonder and love for learning about our fallen but still wonderful world and know how to build and maintain a zero-energy home, repair a car etc.

3. Everyone in a nation-state DOES need to do 2 years of national service (police, medical, conservation corps etc.) to learn a broader perspective of life beyond the home/neighborhood yet acquire some loyalty to the nation--America. European nations with Muslims need to assimilate them into their societies through national service and not let them drift into terror cells and small group peer pressure due to alienation. The melting pot must melt. We must stop this BS of relying on small elite snobs to defend 300 million Americans and have the complete, overt participation of all Americans in national affairs like we had in WW2.

4. Those that do not want to melt and are illegally in a western nation must be sent back to their home nations. The borders must be closed.

5. Also if we have a moral code/compass that's strong lived by strong individuals not weak co-dependents, we will not tolerate Abu Gahraib torture and then be on the moral high ground to condemn the Islamist Jihadi assholes when they behead and shoot prisoners etc. Bush/Rummy and their torture-for-RMA targeting scheme undermine our entire moral maneuver advantage that we have as Judaeo-Christians who live by moral principles.

PROFILE-IN-COURAGE: Lt. Ehren K. Watada, U.S. Army


By William Cole (wcole@honoluluadvertiser.com)
Military Writer

In one of the first known cases of its kind, an Army officer from Honolulu is expected to refuse to go to Iraq this month with his unit, citing what he calls the "illegal" and "immoral" basis of the war, his father confirmed. The officer, 1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada, 28, son of former state campaign spending commission executive director Bob Watada, is believed to be one of the first military officers to publicly take steps to refuse his deployment orders.

"My son has a great deal of courage, and clearly understands what is right, and what is wrong," Bob Watada said yesterday. "He's choosing to do the right thing, which is a hard course."

Watada declined further comment until a news conference planned for 11 a.m. tomorrow at the state Capitol. His son is with a Stryker unit out of Fort Lewis, Wash., and is expected to participate by teleconference.

Jeff Paterson, a former Kane'ohe Bay marine who refused to board a transport in 1990 heading to the Gulf War and now works as an anti-war activist with the organization, Not In Our Name, said a second news conference will be held in Tacoma, Wash. On the Web site www.thankyoult.org, which Paterson said was created by friends and family, the "Lt." is quoted as saying: "I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to watch families torn apart, while the President tells us to 'stay the course.' ... I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression. I wanted to be there for my fellow troops. But the best way was not to help drop artillery and cause more death and destruction. It is to help oppose this war and end it so that all Soldiers can come home."

Ehren Watada apparently sought in January to resign his commission, and later asked again and was denied. Watada, who is not seeking conscientious objector status, but rather has moral objections to the Iraq war, faces the possibility of a court-martial, dishonorable discharge and several years in prison if he refuses the war orders. According to the GI Rights Hotline, a conscientious objector has a deeply held moral, ethical or religious belief that it is wrong to kill another human being in war. Some service members discover that opposition after joining the military, and are discharged, the organization said.

Watada doesn't qualify as a conscientious objector because he does not oppose all wars. [EDITOR: Says who? Who made this BS definition up?] Watada graduated from Hawai'i Pacific University in 2003, joined the Army shortly after, went to Officer Candidate School, and incurred a three-year obligation. The Hawai'i man is with the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry, at Fort Lewis. The unit is part of a larger 3,600-Soldier Stryker brigade combat team similar to a unit being developed in Hawai'i with about 300 eight-wheeled [trucks] armored vehicles. The Fort Lewis brigade is heading to Mosul in northern Iraq, and the Soldiers are expected to leave this month and into July. At a farewell ceremony on Friday, I Corps and Fort Lewis commander Lt. Gen. James Dubik, a former Schofield Barracks commander, said that of 299 million people in the United States, only 2.3 million serve in uniform to defend the nation, the Olympian newspaper reported. "Less than 1 percent of the nation is carrying 100 percent of the burden of this war," Dubik said. [EDITOR: so what do you want? A brownie button?] But in a sign of increased opposition to the three-year-old Iraq war, anti-war activists demonstrated at the Port of Olympia after Stryker vehicles drove there for shipment, the Olympian reported.

Police used pepper spray on about 100 activists, and 22 people were arrested in one of the more volatile confrontations, the newspaper said. Paterson, 38, who in 1990 alleged that the Gulf War was about profits and oil in the Middle East and sat down on the tarmac at Kane'ohe Bay instead of boarding a transport, said he's not sure of the number of Iraq or Afghanistan war objectors. Cases that resulted in court-martial include a Navy sailor sentenced to three months of hard labor for refusing to board a ship headed to the Persian Gulf, a specialist in the National Guard given 120 days in a stand against fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a Soldier sentenced to 15 months for refusing to deploy to Iraq a second time.

Robert Arakaki, the 83-year-old president of the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans group, who saw combat in Italy in 1945, yesterday said Watada "owes the country a lot." [EDITOR: does this include going along with an immoral and incompetently waged war?] There "should be some kind of good explanation" for why Watada wants out, he said, and Arakaki takes issue with claims of an immoral and illegal war. "Who determines what is legal or illegal? Him or our government? Not him," Arakaki said. {EDITTOR: actually, not fascist Arakaki. What determines morality is GOD by his LAWS not the nation-state. When the individual sees a disconnect between God's laws and what the state is doing, its not just his right, its his DUTY to tell the nation-state to go FUCK OFF.] Retired Navy Cmdr. Jack Miller, past president of the Hawai'i chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, said "there's always been the problem of following orders. This time is no different." [EDITOR: ahh yess. Being a good little co-dependant to the fascist state. Funny, how this has NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING A BRAVE AMERICAN WHO STANDS UP WITH WHAT's RIGHT AND FUCK WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING. What our country was founded on. Conscience. Not caving in to BS peer pressure, even from old fart war veterans.]

"Being a Vietnam veteran, we went through this," said Miller, 72. "The rest of the load had to be shared by those willing to follow orders and serve their country." [EDITOR: since when is going along with corrupt groups running the country, "serving your country"?]

Dependable, loyal officers are needed, and "if one doesn't fit that qualification, a bad apple will contaminate the barrel. He (Watada) should be punished in some way," Miller said. "You don't want someone over there in Iraq who's not going to willingly follow orders. That's dangerous." [EDITOR: you mean people who follow orders....like the lemming marines who massacred the Iraqi civilians? No, what Miller's worried about is an OUTBREAK OF CONSCIENCE AND MORALITY sweeping across our military that would result in actual adaptation and victory. We can't have that!]

6. U.S. Military Refuses to Adapt to the situation if it means cleaning up their snobbery

"I'm not going to destroy the traditions and doctrine of the United States Army just to win this lousy war."

Sound familiar?

"any good Soldier can defeat a guerrilla."

Insert "marine" for Soldier if you like.

Now consider how the brass lacked a fraction of the balls (moral courage) of 1LT Watada during the Vietnam war to reform themselves and stand up to corrupt President Johnson to conduct the non-linear war correctly:


But is it too much to expect that General Westmoreland, General Earl Wheeler, and their staffs might have better understood their professional obligations in the face of a novel challenge? No, that is not too much to expect. It is not too much to expect a professional Soldier to put his country's interests above those of his service or his personal reputation, and that was precisely the problem. Thanks to Nikita Khrushchev's famous speech about "wars of national liberation" as the new face of the anti-imperialist struggle, and to President Kennedy's conclusion that the United States needed to invest more resources into our capabilities to fight counterinsurgencies, a furious argument broke out in the early 1960s within the middle ranks of the U.S. Army. While some major figures, such as General James Gavin, supported Kennedy's view, most senior Army brass resisted it firmly. General George H. Decker, Army Chief of Staff from 1960 to 1962, summarized this view with the comment that "any good Soldier can defeat a guerrilla."

The conventionalists won the bureaucratic wars, and, as is the way of the world in such matters, their views hardened from having been subject to criticism. The conventionalists got promoted and, with those hardened views firmly implanted in their heads, rose to their places just in time to mismanage the war in Vietnam. Lind quotes an anonymous Army officer in Vietnam as saying, "I'm not going to destroy the traditions and doctrine of the United States Army just to win this lousy war." Such sentiment not only reflects Westmoreland's misguided devotion to conventional tactics in the face of an unconventional situation, but also the primacy the Army accorded doctrinal orthodoxy (and the professional egos attached to the doctrines) above all else. The American people had a right to expect better, and certainly deserved better. Which brings us back to Robert McNamara.

Is it too much to have expected McNamara to have bucked the tide within the Johnson Administration as a whole and opposed the 1965 escalation? Yes, it is too much, and we would all be better off if McNamara ceased his self-flagellation over the point. But is it too much to have expected McNamara to put a stop to Westmoreland's disastrous direction of the war before the end of 1966? No, it is not too much, because that was his job. McNamara himself was one of those who dressed down General Gavin for wanting to develop anti-guerrilla tactics, and he gave Westmoreland the leeway to wreak maximum havoc. It was also McNamara the systems analyst, along with the senior Army brass, who became fixated with body counts and other conventional indicators of military success that mislead in unconventional contexts. If McNamara insists on contrition, fine; he has much for which to repent. Just let him get the reasons right.

General Gavin in his visionary and hard-hitting book "War and Peace in the Space Age" written upon his resignation in protest in 1958, explains how the 1947 creation of the Department of Defense has created civilian mandarins with no clue about military realities easily taken in by lies from the Air Force that we can just bomb enemies into submission from the air. He proposes we finally get some uniformed professionals into a staff and have them separated from their services so the Secretary of Defense and his under secretaries can get honest, objective military advice. This has yet to happen and 50 years later we are still having Vietnams. Consider the bombing mentality of SAC is today's "RMA" PGM mentality. Obsolete weapons still being built are today's Humvee/Stryker wheeled trucks. Change "Wilson" to Rumsfeld" and you can have a severe case of deja vu all over again, as you read the TIME magazine article below.


Atom-Age Army

TIME magazine, Monday, Aug. 11, 1958

"I am not going out to write and raise a rumpus and things," said Lieut. General James M. ("Slim Jim") Gavin, 50, Army Research and Development chief, when he announced his retirement from the service seven months ago, after losing his battle to get a healthy boost in his 1959 budget (TIME, Jan. 13). This week LIFE published the second of two installments on Gavin's quickly written 304-page book, War and Peace in the Space Age (Harper; $5), a rumpus-raising attack on his old enemies and a sharp accusation that the Army is in bad shape technologically because the defense effort has been too concentrated on the Air Force. And this, he says, is doubly tragic, because:

1) limited wars using tactical atomic weapons are still more likely than the massive air-atomic one for which the Strategic Air Command is ready, and

2) SAC's big bombers will be useless in the missile age that is almost upon the world.

The manned atomic bomber, declares Paratrooper Gavin, will be out of business even before the intercontinental ballistic missile is on hand to replace it. Date for the bomber's "early obsolescence": the moment effective Russian "surface-to-air missiles carrying nuclear warheads are on the site in numbers." If such deterrent protection is to be retained, argues Gavin, "we will have to step up missile production so as to have, at an early date, an arsenal of combat-ready, mobile, intermediate and long-range missile systems."

Other targets at which Gavin fires:


Gavin quotes an unnamed service chief on Wilson: "The most uninformed man, and the most determined to remain so." His "deception and duplicity," says Gavin, let him conceal slashes in combat-ready divisions by creating "Wilson" divisions out of paper groups of troops as far apart as Fort Benning, Ga. and the Panama Canal Zone. Wilson made good a foolish assurance to Congress that no additional Soldiers were needed for Formosan defense, charges Gavin, by shipping groups over without shoulder patches.*


Industrial pressure, he charges, is partly responsible for "hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on obsolete weapons."


The Defense Department civil servants who, more permanent in the Pentagon than either politically appointed Secretaries or rotated military career officers, pervert the decision-making machinery. Though he does not name Defense Comptroller Wilfred J. McNeil, Gavin bombs the fiscal officer in the Pentagon who often rejects projects without understanding of military needs.


Dwight D. Eisenhower was "out of touch" with technological advances in weaponry, says Gavin, as far back as SHAPE days.

As Lieut. General James Gavin concluded his closed-door testimony before the Senate Preparedness Subcommittee one day last week, Chairman Lyndon Johnson scribbled out a press statement summarizing the testimony and handed it to Gavin. Old Soldier Gavin hurriedly looked it over and okayed it. With that began Round Two of the extraordinary story of Jim Gavin's proffered resignation from the U.S. Army (TIME, Jan. 13).

In the statement. Paratrooper Gavin, the two-fisted boss of the Army's Research and Development section, bluntly revealed his "intuitive" feeling that Army Chief of Staff Maxwell Taylor had reneged on an agreement to make him head of the U.S. Continental Army Command (with a fourth star for his shoulder). Furthermore, said Gavin, the Army had tried to transfer him to command of the U.S. Seventh Army in Europe (the same three stars), a step that was aimed at halting his ringing insistence that the Army's role was being whittled down.

"Genial Manager."

It was Lyndon Johnson's swift pencil that complicated the Gavin mess, since Gavin's fundamental reason for quitting-his failure to arouse sympathy for the Army's cause-was stuffed in at the end of the press statement. To make the mess messier, Army Secretary Wilber Brucker next day called a press conference to explain how it all started. Before Christmas, when Gavin sent word around that he planned to retire, Brucker called him into his office. "I urged General Gavin to be patient," explained Brucker in the tones of a genial office manager referring to his ambitious messenger boy. He appealed to Gavin to accept the Seventh Army job and a possible promotion a year later. Gavin refused.

The two bargained on, as Secretary Brucker told it, with West Pointer Gavin holding out for the Continental Army Command assignment, an anguished Brucker pleading that Gavin should at least stay on in his present job. At length Gavin promised to "reconsider," for despite his personal ambitions, he still felt strongly for the Army's cause.

Passionate Loser.

It dawned on Lyndon Johnson's subcommittee that Johnson's statements plus Brucker's account of bargaining with one of his generals over a duty assignment had indeed done an injustice to the record of a distinguished soldier. Back to Capitol Hill next day went Jim Gavin for another run-through before the committee and another press statement. Said Gavin: "I can do better for the Army outside than in. I have no ax to grind. I am not unhappy with my Secretary. I am not going out to write and raise a rumpus and things."

With that, beribboned (two D.S.M.s, two D.S.C.s, a Silver Star) Slim Jim Gavin marched out of the hearing room, leaving behind, instead of a disturbing picture of an Army where high officials barter for stars, a picture of a passionate partisan who played the game and lost.


"Break up the Joint Chiefs"

Monday, Dec. 23, 1957

As Chief of Staff, U.S. Army (1945-48), five-star General Dwight Eisenhower was one of the chief architects of the National Security Act of 1947, which set up the separate U.S. Air Force and was also designed-though with numerous compromises-to "unify" the armed services. As President of the U.S., Dwight Eisenhower has a better basic knowledge of how the services work than any President in modern history. Yet, paradoxically, one of the soft spots of his Administration record is that, during the regime of Defense Secretary Charlie Wilson, Ike let Pentagon administration get out of hand.

At his conference with legislative leaders last fortnight the President sat fuming while Congressmen asked sharp questions-and got limp answers from Pentagon officials-about interservice rivalries, overlapping missile programs and the whole organizational foul-up that makes it almost impossible to trace responsibility for any kind of failure in U.S. defense. No sooner had the congressional leaders left the White House than President Eisenhower called Defense Secretary Neil McElroy, into his office. His orders: find the right answers to the Pentagon's problems and put them into effect. Said the President: "You have a free hand.''

More & Better. It was not all that simple: before Neil McElroy could attack the Pentagon's problems he had first to know and understand them himself. And the same organizational tangle that brought on Ike's order is still working against McElroy-or his three subordinate service secretaries, or the 30 assistant and deputy secretaries-achieving the required knowledge and understanding. Never has that fact been more bluntly put than last week, when the Army's tough, brainy research and development chief, Lieut. General James M. Gavin, appeared before the Senate Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee. Neil McElroy, said Paratrooper Gavin pointedly, is "the most able man who has come to that office [Secretary of Defense]." But McElroy needs more and better "professional military advice" than he has been able to get under the Pentagon system from the Joint Chiefs of Staff -or from assistant secretaries whose regimes, said Gavin, have lasted "somewhat on the order of a year and a half."

The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a sort of command-by-committee system (Gavin later emphasized that he was not talking about the individual competence of the present chiefs) and is not enough. Said Jim Gavin: "He [McElroy] needs more advice than the Joint Chiefs of Staff give him. I think really what is needed now is a competent military staff of senior military people working directly for the Secretary of Defense. I would have them take over the functions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I would have the military staff organized to handle operations, plans, intelligence, and in fact break up the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

Such a career staff, said General Gavin, should be drawn from all services, but should be "completely integrated across the board." Said Gavin: "The thing that disturbs a number of people, and I am included, is that there is no operational staff within the Department of Defense, and in the event of war it would have to be reorganized."

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First Things First. At no point did Gavin actually advocate a "general staff system"-which conjures up images of Prussianism to many a skittish Congressman-and to all devout Navymen. But that was precisely what he was urging, just as retired Air Force General James Doolittle had urged a fortnight before when appearing before the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee. In the minds of Jim Gavin and Jimmy Doolittle, and in the opinion of others among the nation's best military thinkers, Neil McElroy cannot even begin to solve the Pentagon's problems until he has a general staff, whatever it may be called. Their argument: only a general staff, standing above violent service loyalties and ambitions, can work out a single, integrated, sensible U.S. defense plan. And only within the context of a single, integrated, sensible defense plan can Neil McElroy start using his free hand to tackle the subsidiary problems. Among them:

ROLES & MISSIONS. If he is to head off an interservice blow-up that will make past squabbles seem like mere brush fires, McElroy must redefine obsolescent service roles and missions assignments (air to the Air Force, sea control to the Navy, land to the Army) in the light of missile strategy, to which old geographic concepts no longer apply. Outer space, by present definitions, belongs to no single service; neither does defense against enemy space missiles. Neither, for that matter, does the missile itself. All the services are rushing in with proposals, claims, bids.

ADMINISTRATION. The Defense Department must find a way to become an operational as well as a policymaking body in such grey areas as missile development. McElroy has promised a single manager for new space programs. Another critical problem is the increasing demand for an effective missile "czar," since neither Missile Director William Holaday nor Presidential Science Adviser James Killian has yet fulfilled that role.

EXPENDITURES. McElroy's predecessor, Charlie Wilson, let costs get so far out of hand that he was forced to call an abrupt halt to military procurement before the end of fiscal 1957. He also had to reduce procurement programs for 1958 to an extent that caused havoc in the airframe industry. McElroy will probably have about $2 billion more than Wilson to spend, will have that much bigger a problem in trying to control the spending.

LIMITED WAR v. GENERAL WAR. During Wilson's regime, big-war thinking dominated U.S. military policy and procurements. But there is a rising clamor for the U.S. to prepare itself equally for small, limited wars; the Army especially is driving hard for the men and equipment, including airplanes; is already on the way to having an air force of its own.

In his brief time in office, Neil McElroy has indicated that he may be a strong Defense Secretary. He will have to be: his is the awesome job of making up for past mistakes while presiding over the orderly and economical phasing-in of an entire new military technology, without weakening U.S. forces in being.

Now reflect on Iraq, where the same thing has happened but with a weird twist. Several retired Generals like General John Batiste have gone public and condemned the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld RMA Iraq policies BUT THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA AND FASCIST AMERICAN PUBLIC ATTACKED THEM for not being patriotically correct fascists. Unlike Vietnam, the American public is guilty of not marching in the streets and openly refusing to send their sons/daughters to die BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN SOLD ON THE LIE THAT THE IRAQ WAR IS CONNECTED TO THE 9/11 HOMELAND ATTACKS DONE BY ISLAMIC ENEMIES IN AFGHANISTAN. Fortunately, the realization is growing that the 9/11 attacks were instigated by the Bush administration; quietly recruitment for Bush crime family wars has dried up, the question is is there enough outrage to stop Karl Rove from starting a war with Iran or staging a "terrorist-with-a-nuke-in-a-city-somewhere" scenario to suspend the U.S. Constitution and upcoming elections so the Neocon fascists stay in power?


Only a year ago, Wisconsin's Senator Gaylord Nelson said in a moment of frustration: "We all know that the two biggest words in the English language are 'national defense.' If you just shout them loud enough, you are in the clear. It is just plain unpatriotic to question any appropriation for national defense. Defense against what? It does not matter. Just utter the magic words." Nelson's complaint was not considered much of an exaggeration -only a year ago. Now, suddenly, the words seem to have lost their magic. Now another Senator notes that wherever he goes, "one sure applause line is a condemnation of the growing influence of the military."

At no time since pre-Pearl Harbor days has the vast organism created to protect the nation against foreign enemies been under such furious homefront attack. No segment is immune: the uniformed professionals, their civilian colleagues and superiors at the Pentagon, their supporters in Congress, their suppliers among big business and big labor-all feel the criticism and distrust from several directions at once. Students, intellectuals, pacifists and the New Left have long been opponents. Now they are being joined by more influential voices from the center and even the right. Congress, until recently amenable to almost any proposal from the military, suddenly bristles with skepticism. The Senate may not approve the antiballistic missile program. Unfriendly investigations have been pointing out flaws in the ABM and other weapons programs. Still another committee is scrutinizing overseas military deployment and commitments. Once friendly Senators, such as Democrats Stuart Symington of Missouri and Allen Allender of Louisiana, have emerged as critics. "Some of us in Congress," El-lender said last week, "have become captives of the military."

No less an authority than General David Shoup, retired Marine Corps Commandant and Medal of Honor winner, accuses the armed services of relishing war for the sake of self-aggrandizement, of making the U.S. "a militaristic and aggressive nation." Physicist Herbert York, former Pentagon chief of research, development and engineering, warns that Americans will face a "Frankenstein monster that could destroy us." Not only are military motives questioned, but military competence as well. The defense complex is indicted for being unable to develop weapons that work well enough, wasting money needed for civilian purposes, giving bad and dangerous advice to the Commander in Chief, poor planning and worse execution in Viet Nam. Does the military, many people wonder, exaggerate the threats to U.S. security and grossly overestimate its own needs to retain-or even enhance-its own power?

The accused are not without counsel. Many Congressmen, academics and ordinary citizens retain confidence in the nation's military leadership. Some, like Political Science Professor Morton Kaplan of the University of Chicago and Politics Professor John Roche of Brandeis, depict the military as scapegoats for a frustrated, roiled nation. If blame must be placed, it is argued, civilian policymakers deserve a goodly portion. Senator Henry Jackson of Washington bemoans the fact that the military has become the protagonist in the "latest version of the devil theory of history."

As the U.S. confronts specific

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decisions on new weapons, on foreign commitments, on the general shape and size of the defense structure after Viet Nam, the debate promises to become one of the most significant of the generation. It could also become one of the most useful, particularly if it brings about more thorough, dispassionate and knowledgeable reviews of defense programs by Congress and the executive. A clear-eyed reappraisal of military deployment in relation to foreign policy is long overdue. Yet should the debate result in a polarization of the nation into military and antimilitary factions, the consequences could be grave. Blind antimilitarism could reduce the armed services to impotence. Or, isolated in society, the fighting forces could develop a sort of "everybody-hates-us" psychosis and see themselves as the sole guardians of national virtue; this, in turn, could make them a potentially troublesome political force, something that has never happened in the U.S. but is certainly not uncommon elsewhere.

Devil Theory 7

American Soldiers do not suffer from coup d'état fever or a Versailles complex. TIME correspondents, interviewing scores of military men at home and overseas, report that men in uniform are almost as diverse in outlook toward the controversy as civilians. Some are indifferent, some philosophical, some resentful. Says Major General Melvin Zais. commander of the 101st Airborne in Viet Nam: "The country is looking for a scapegoat. First it was the draft, then recruiters, then Dow Chemical, and now it's the bloody generals."

Lieut. Colonel Wallen Summers, a West Pointer now advising a Vietnamese Ranger group, views the professional as a "chivalrous romantic" who is caught in a crossfire between the "calculated materialism" of many Americans and the "hedonistic romanticism" of much of today's protest movement. Colonel George S. Patton III, a tank commander in Viet Nam, says his men are "too busy killing Charlie and staying alive" to worry about academic disputes. But Patton, who succeeds in sounding like his famous father (the son's motto in Viet Nam: "Find the bastards-then pile on"), has a thought of his own: The public is "too interested in the pursuit of the buck, not in the future of the country." Many career men think of themselves as dedicated public servants who put their lives in forfeit for the country's sake and are no less idealistic than the most zealous pacifist-in fact, far more so. Few are elitists; they honor the nation's tradition of the citizen-soldier. The Army men in particular oppose, with a surprising degree of near-unanimity, Richard Nixon's proposed all-volunteer force. Many career Soldiers argue that this would cut the military off from civilian society.

Men in the field, even senior officers, feel the criticism perhaps less keenly than their comrades in Washington. From the Pentagon, TIME Correspondent John Mulliken reports the mood among officers: "With quivering confidence they wonder what they are supposed to do, and what is expected of them. They certainly are bewildered and, if they had been trained to admit it, just a bit frightened."

Who Is the Enemy?

The bewilderment is understandable. When it was possible to distinguish between war and peace, it was possible for

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professional Soldiers to discern their role and function with some degree of comfort. For most of the years since World War II, the U.S. and its fighting men have been suspended in a murky, twilit world, where neither war nor peace prevails. World War I, World War II and even Korea were what Colonel Samuel Hayes, head of West Point's Psychology and Leadership Department, calls "Manichaean" conflicts, ringing clashes between good and evil, with no doubt about the identity or nature of the aggressors.

Even until 1965, the military received relatively clear missions and the means to accomplish them. It also enjoyed more public respect and fatter appropriations than in any previous generation. It had defeated Germany and Japan, saved West Berlin, held South Korea, helped contain the Russians at the Iron Curtain, constructed an awesome nuclear arsenal, and performed numerous lesser chores successfully.

Viet Nam was different. The war of misty beginnings seems to lack an end. Meanwhile, the East-West confrontation is losing its sharpest edges. Who is the enemy, anyway? The Russians, with whom Washington has been signing treaties and exchanging musicians? The Chinese, who have been shooting Russians lately? Those scrawny North Vietnamese, visited often by American journalists? Assorted revolutionaries in distant and backward countries, who might be influenced by Communists? At home, social needs became more pressing than ever. Did the nation really need all those billions for defense?

Between Passivity and Pugnacity

To some extent, the military is also a victim of the general concern over powerlessness in the face of huge, impersonal, Kafkaesque institutions. At a time when more and more citizens are questioning the degree to which they control their own destinies, the military, with its rigid hierarchy, its demand for total obedience, and above all, its tropistic reaching-out for ever more armaments, is an obvious-and perhaps valid-target. An increasing number of officers, to be sure, are getting broad educations and display considerable political and social sensitivity. Still, the military as a whole, with its tendency toward stiffness and even narrowness, rarely copes well with the challenge of dissent. Thus, a military court meted out what seemed unconscionably harsh treatment to the "mutineers" at the Presidio in San Francisco, one of whom was sentenced to 15 years at hard labor for refusing to stop singing (the Army judge advocate in Washington later reduced the term to two years). Equally revealing of the military mentality was an episode that occurred recently at the naval base in Long Beach, Calif. Fed up with the hippies, peaceniks and other irritating agents, base officials barred any cars bearing the stylized love daisy, the ensign popular with antiwarriors, from the installation. One day an officer who was driving a daisy-festooned car was detained at the gate for 15 minutes. He turned out to be the new base commander, en route to his own welcome-aboard ceremonies in his son's auto. Daisies have since become legal again.

All too often, the military seems to be its own worst enemy. Interservice rivalry may be acceptable on football fields, but when the Army and marines squabble in Viet Nam, they are hardly serving the public interests. The release of the Pueblo crew loosed the full story of

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incompetence in the command structure that had led to the unprotected ship's capture. The strange case of Lieut. Commander Marcus Aurelius Arnheiter, accused of waging his own private skirmishes in Viet Nam, also attracted scorn. The shifting justifications offered for the proposed ABM project, and its questionable efficacy, persuaded many Americans that the Defense Department was misleading the public.

Poised as it must be in today's world between passivity and pugnacity, the military is confused. It is .condemned for wanting to win in Viet Nam in the traditional sense and criticized for not being able to win in any sense. Commander Lloyd Bucher gives up the ship without a fight, and the U.S. lets North Korea get away with it. Is Bucher a hero or a failure? The public leans toward the hero label; the Navy, which had put Pueblo in a scandalously vulnerable position, seems undecided. What is the lesson for the Annapolis class of 1969?

Pueblo was a relatively isolated incident, the kind of blunder endemic in large organizations. Far more serious from the military's viewpoint-and the country's-are the broader controversies now in progress. The most profound is the central accusation lodged by General Shoup. In an Atlantic article, Shoup insists that the profession of arms, to which he devoted his career, has achieved an unduly large measure of control over American society, including U.S. foreign policy. He charges that the officer corps' view of war as "an exciting adventure, a competitive game, and an escape from the dull routines of peacetime," together with the economic and political power wielded by the larger defense community, has led to foreign involvements, including Viet Nam. Harvard's George Wald, a Nobel prizewinning biologist, contends that the very existence of a large military establishment has distorted society, and makes future conflict almost inevitable, even "if the Viet Nam war were stopped tomorrow."

The first question posed by these attacks is whether a large military structure is still necessary. Wald, taking a giant step beyond Shoup, says that "the thought that we are in competition with Russians or with Chinese is all a mistake, and trivial." Thus nuclear weapons, for instance, can be dispensed with. Marcus Raskin, a former White House aide now prominent in the anti-Viet Nam movement, goes even further. He suggests dismantling the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency over the next decade. It is obvious that neither the nation as a whole nor any particular U.S. Administration in the foreseeable future could-or should-subscribe to such ideas. The realities of power in the nuclear age may be ugly and dangerous, but they remain realities.

Quite apart from the smaller nations that depend on American protection, it is in the U.S. interest to help maintain some degree of balance and stability in the world. That is a goal quite different from acting as "the policeman of the world," as the current cliché has it. Neither the Soviets nor the Chinese have displayed so much altruism that their good behavior could be relied on in the absence of U.S. power; Moscow's behavior in Czechoslovakia and Peking's border skirmishes with both the Russians and the Indians are ample proof of that. Moreover, many less

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powerful nations-often sentimentalized as truly "peace-loving" in contrast to the superpowers-have acted with complete lack of responsibility, being constantly at each other's throats in various nationalistic, tribal or racial quarrels.

Nonetheless, it is becoming increasingly clear that U.S. power has distinct limits, which must be better recognized than in the past. That power, often with absurd reliance on technology, is badly suited to guerrilla warfare, as in Viet Nam. It cannot be used to keep balky allies in line, as Russia did in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, because American values and politics would not permit it. It is unsuitable for ready use against mischiefmakers, whether in North Korea or Peru, because heavy ripostes to such irritations usually entail intolerable military or political risks.

While U.S. strength cannot enforce a universal Pax Americana, however, the nation's muscle has done a reasonably effective job of protecting the balance in areas crucial to world stability, such as Western Europe and the Far East. For the time being, a strong military machine is essential-although not necessarily at its present size, or guided by its present axioms. A vexing question is whether the military has become the master of political policy rather than its instrument. Historically, the U.S. military as an institution has kept out of politics to a remarkable degree. One reason perhaps is that until the late '40s Americans never tolerated a peacetime military force large enough to be influential. That has changed radically. What Dwight Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex* constitutes an enormous power bloc that now embraces manufacturers, organized labor, local business interests, many scientists and nonprofit organizations that get defense contracts (see box opposite). Yet it is difficult to show a precise cause-and-effect relationship between the defense complex and the generation of a specific conflict.

Never Again Club

Certainly neither the U.S. military nor U.S. militarism could be blamed for Korea, which was a clear case of Communist attack. The Truman Administration had been in the process of reducing military forces before the war started. After Korea, most high-ranking U.S. officers, including Douglas Mac-Arthur, opposed any future involvement in an Asian land war. The philosophy of the "Never Again Club" dominated planning through the Kennedy years. Though Shoup maintains that many U.S. officers saw the Viet Nam war as a chance to field-test new weapons and season a generation of career soldiers, the experience seems more an example of military-and political-misjudgment than of calculated aggressiveness. The military, which oversold Lyndon Johnson on the efficiency of air power against North Viet Nam, can be faulted; so can the State Department, which insisted that Ho Chi Minh, despite his Soviet training and his country's history of resistance to Chinese influence, was little more than Peking's puppet. But the final decisions lay with the Chief Executive. When it came to the point of choosing between certain defeat of the South Vietnamese armies and the introduction of U.S. ground combat units, Johnson chose to fight. Except for such critics as General James Gavin, the never-again club was disbanded. As Professor Hans Morgenthau puts it: "No

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general was going to admit that the U.S. couldn't win this lousy little war against a couple of hundred thousand peasants in pajamas."

When it comes to the precise application of military means to political ends and to assessing the likely moves of an adversary, the U.S. record in recent years has been less than brilliant. Douglas Mac Arthur based his strategy on the false conviction that the Chinese would not intervene in Korea. Historians of the Kennedy years say that the new President went along with the Bay of Pigs attack partly because the Joint Chiefs of Staff acquiesced in the CIA operation-but that they did so without thoroughly scrutinizing it. Had Kennedy heeded JCS advice during the Cuban missile crisis, he would have bombed and invaded Cuba before Nikita Khrushchev had had an opportunity to comply with U.S. demands. When the Dominican crisis erupted, the Chiefs urged that 20,000 U.S. troops be sent in, when far fewer would have sufficed.

No Concrete Plan

That Kennedy and McNamara prevailed over their professional military advisers during the tense days of October 1962, to the point of instructing the brass on the smallest details of how the blockade was to be run, tends to rebut the Shoup argument. It was Harry Truman's policy, not MacArthur's, that dominated in Korea. The U.S. did not join with the British and French in the 1956 Suez incident. And last year Clark Clifford, the putative hawk, became convinced that the bombing of North Viet Nam "had been a bust," and won Lyndon Johnson to that view, despite military advice to the contrary.

On becoming Defense Secretary, Clifford was also dismayed to learn that the military had no concrete plan for ending the war within the tactical limitations imposed by the Administration. For its part, the military has consistently complained that restrictions on the size and use of American forces have given the other side a decisive advantage. This will be argued for years, but there seems to be little doubt that a big-war approach was unsuited to Viet Nam. Some local commanders, for instance, had been shelling fields at random to harass the enemy, though often the effect was to harass innocent peasants instead. Even so, they could not be talked out of the tactic until a tactful-and influential-general from Washington, Andrew Goodpaster, onetime military aide to Dwight Eisenhower, made the case in such military terms as precision targeting and economic use of ammunition.

If the judgment of military professionals has frequently been disappointing, civilian leaders generally must share the blame, and sometimes deserve the larger share. Hans Morgenthau observes that the home warrior is often more militant than the general in the field. Certainly men in mufti such as McNamara, Dean Rusk, McGeorge Bundy and Walt Rostow, exerted considerable influence on Viet Nam deliberations.

The Preparedness Problem

Keeping the nation prepared for a war that might never come is in many ways more difficult than actually fighting one. The questions of how much is enough, which weapon to buy and which to junk, the relationship between one nation's technical advances and the incentives they give the adversary for his own buildup-all have yet to be solved in the third decade of the nuclear age. The military proceeds from a relatively simple assumption.

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Its mission is to protect the nation from every conceivable type of attack and to be able to fight in any kind of situation.

The same applies to force levels. To a commander, an extra division or a new aircraft carrier, another wing of planes or missiles can never hurt. For justification, the military merely points to history. In 1945, General George Marshall wrote: "We finish each bloody war with a feeling of acute revulsion against the savage form of human behavior, and yet on each occasion we confuse military preparedness with the causes of war and then drift almost deliberately into another catastrophe." In the nuclear age, there would be no time for the luxury of mobilization, which the U.S. has enjoyed in previous wars. Thus, presumably the only way to discourage attack is to prove to the potential enemy that an attack would be answered with an overwhelming counterblow. As McNamara put it: "Security depends upon taking a 'worst plausible case' and having the ability to cope with that eventuality."

This has proved a difficult theory to carry out with discrimination and economy, and the U.S. from time to time has suffered from illusory fears. In the early '50s, there was "the bomber gap." Fearful that the Russians would produce fleets of intercontinental bombers that would leave the U.S. exposed to attack, the nation began shelling out billions for new bomber series and an extensive air defense system. The Russians never fulfilled their bomber potential. Later came "the missile gap" again based on an appraisal of Moscow's ability to produce a weapon. The Kennedy Administration embarked upon an extensive missile-making program, and again the Russians failed to fulfill their potential. In 1967, McNamara admitted that he had bought too many missiles out of ignorance of what Moscow was going to do. In 1967, the Russians began to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles in quantity, but whether they were responding to the U.S. deployment or would have gone ahead on their own is impossible to tell. In any event, the sudden burst of activity is cited by Defense Secretary Melvin Laird as reason enough for the Administration to go ahead with its Safeguard ABM program. The Russians, Laird says, are striving to achieve the power to hit the U.S. so hard that it could not retaliate. Having been financially ambushed at the gap twice before, it is no surprise that the public has greeted ABM with some degree of skepticism.

The Plea from Great Falls

If considerations of strategy involve built-in waste, so do two other sets of factors that enter into the preparedness problem: the political-economic and the technical-administrative. Defense became big business in World War II, and has remained so. For most communities, military spending means prosperity. Members of the Congress may like economy for the nation, but they like prosperity for their own states and districts even more. One sign of the changing times, however, was Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield's rebuke to a group of constituents who last week urged him to approve the Safeguard system. Great Falls, Mont., would be the site of one base. "The ABM," said Mansfield, "is not just another public works project. It is not some trivial boondoggle, a minor item out of the military pork barrel. It touches questions which go to the structure

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of a free society, and to the civilized survival of this nation and the Soviet Union, and perhaps of all nations."

But in general, the spending process that has grown up in the past 20 years has all but got out of control. Though the Budget Bureau is supposed to run an independent check of all proposed expenditures by Government agencies, it has accorded the Defense Department, the biggest spender of them all, special treatment that results in considerable freedom from stringent review. Congress, with its key military and appropriations committees headed by promilitary Southerners, has occasionally voted more money than the Pentagon requested. When McNamara announced the closing of 80 installations in 1964, he received 169 protests from Congressmen that same day.

The technical-administrative problems can be equally galling. Defense contractors frequently bid low to get a contract, then considerably overrun the original estimate. When Laird took office, he found some $1.8 billion in so-called "overruns" in this year's budget, and he fears there will be more. Lockheed's giant C-5A transport, for example, may cost $1 billion to $2 billion more than its original price tag. Technical delays can add millions, too, because inflation raises the price.

Most mystifying of all in the era of flawless space shots is the fact that the military often seems unable to develop new weapons on schedule and in working order. Some projects turn out well, of course, such as the SR-71 reconnaissance plane (see SCIENCE). But the new tank program is a mess, with three separate projects years behind schedule and far in the red. The M-16 rifle now in use in Viet Nam is a sound weapon, but it went into full production inexcusably late. For a time the Communists, with their new Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifles, had better personal weapons than the forces of the most advanced nation in the world.

The Air Force's B-70 was virtually a bust. The Government spent $1.4 billion to build two test models before it was abandoned as obsolete. The F-111 was an attempt to save money while modernizing. McNamara thought he could save $1 billion by developing one plane for three services: Air Force, Navy and marines. Eventually, the marines dropped out, and the Navy, after investing $200 million, abandoned the carrier version in favor of its own new plane, the F-14A. The Air Force is reasonably satisfied with its F-111, except that a dozen have crashed so far, and the plane is costing $6 billion, more than twice the original estimate.

Research Chief's Nightmare

Lieut. General Austin Betts, the Army's chief of research and development, points to a central problem: "It is the constant fight between progress and being sure you never make a mistake." When to go into production and when to continue research is a problem that constantly bedevils Betts and his counterparts elsewhere in the Pentagon. "Make it, and you're a hero," he says. "Wrong, and you are up on the Hill." Men like Betts and John Foster, the research chief for the Defense Department, suffer nightmares that the other side may achieve some technological breakthrough that will leave the U.S. far behind in some crucial area and thereby subject it to blackmail by an enemy with an unbeatable hand.

At some point, however, the threat must be weighed

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against other national needs, and priorities must be assigned. If McNamara's doctrine of the "worst plausible case" were applied in every case, the nation would soon be broke or all its citizens would be huddling in a continent-wide bomb shelter-or both. With defense spending running at $80 billion, and with the services requesting enough in new weapons to offset most of the savings that would be achieved by peace in Viet Nam, there must obviously be some hard thinking about where to draw the line.

Weapons systems aside, the same is true in the equally uncertain area of foreign commitments and the deployment of forces. The approach to these essentially political problems has been essentially unchanged for 22 years. "If one should characterize American foreign policy in a sentence," Morgenthau observes in A New Foreign Policy for the United States, "one could say that it has lived during the last decade or so on the intellectual capital which was accumulated in the famous 15 weeks of the spring of 1947 when the policy of containment, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, fashioned a new American foreign policy, and that this capital has now been nearly exhausted." Not only does the use of raw military power have distinct limitations, but another paradox of the atomic age is that the possessor of overwhelming strength is often no stronger for it in dealing with other nations. Russia tolerates abuse from Rumania, Albania and China, and independence on the part of Yugoslavia. The U.S. has learned to live with Castro's Cuba and lesser annoyances in Latin America. While this lesson has been acknowledged for years in the abstract, it has not yet resulted in the development of sufficiently sophisticated policies in which economic, social and political factors are employed with the same skill as military ones.

The sheer size of the military is one indication. In addition to the forces in and around Viet Nam, the U.S. has some 900,000 servicemen stationed elsewhere abroad. It has defense agreements of varying nature with 48 nations. It maintains some 400 major installations abroad, in addition to the 476 at home. Altogether, there are 3,400,000 Americans in uniform, plus nearly 1,000,000 paid reservists. Few responsible critics argue that this force should be instantly reduced. But once the war in Viet Nam is ended, selective and gradual reductions at home and in such places as Korea, Okinawa and Germany would probably be both possible and prudent.

Two Valid Admonitions

What the military needs most of all is clear guidance from civilian supervisors-both on Capitol Hill and in the White House-as to its role in the '70s. It has not always been forthcoming. If there is uncertainty about U.S. interests and intentions in Asia or Europe or the Middle East, if there is coasting on old assumptions that may no longer be valid, the military could occupy the vacuum by fashioning its own, probably parochial policy. Ironically, a retreat from its world responsibilities could be as dangerous for American society as an excess of interventionist zeal. As the Rand Corporation's Arnold Horelick points out, indifference to or isolation from the rest of the world could prompt the U.S. to "build walls, and then you'd get social reorganizations conducive to a garrison state."

In considering how

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much of the nation's wealth and brainpower to allocate to defense needs, two Eisenhower admonitions remain valid. In 1965, he warned in Waging Peace that "every addition to defense expenditures does not automatically increase military security. Because security is based upon moral and economic, as well as purely military strength, a point can be reached at which additional funds for arms, far from bolstering security, weaken it." In his farewell address in 1961, he argued : "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and libertv may prosper together."

Vigilance is a term usually applied to armies on the lookout for enemies. As Eisenhower's caveat and the raging debate in the U.S. on the role of the military indicate, vigilance is similarly required on the part of Congress, the Executive and the public. It is required not to render the military powerless or to deny its courage and dedication or to thrust it beyond the pale. Such alertness is necessary, rather, to ensure that the military does not, by design or accident, irreparably impair the health of the society it is pledged to protect.

* The phrase was coined by Malcolm Moos, then a White House speechwriter and now president of the University of Minnesota. Eisenhower had asked for ideas for a farewell address on significant issues, and Moos, mindful of Ike's growing concern about a "garrison state," submitted this one.

New Counter-Insurgency Manual Based on Raghead-hating Flaghead AmeroFascism

We were able to contact the new COIN manual authors and insist that they change the basic lie inherent in the manual that foreign occupying forces are generally welcomed by the local populace. They refused. When the fact that the majority of the rebels in Iraq are just reacting to our presence and want us to leave their country which belongs to them--not us, the authors went beserk with "terrarist this" and "al quaida that". When confronted with our own experience with "red coats" inhabiting our colonies that created justified rebellion--they refused to admit this common human reaction even occurs much less needs to be the driving force in how we assist other nation-states using a low-key presence. Instead they like good fascists--state POWER is the number 1 concern in a counter-insurgency-- NOT consent of the people. In their warped minds there is no justification--ever--for the people rebelling against any government ie; how we could even exist today would be doubtful if these clowns were in charge.

In Price's excellent article explaining how the authors selectively picked and choosed from whoever they wanted, the driving force behind the racketeering enterprise was not explained.

All involved are AmeroFascists.

They think American shit doesn't stink.

When evil is done in red, white and blue it isn't evil anymore.

As AmeroFascists, the COIN manual authors believe that the government--the nation-state--is god---it is the final arbitrer of what is a "story" and what is not. They have no moral compass based on external, moral values. The corrupt U.S. military is based on inbred social conformity and self and peer validation--not even objective observation of external reality much less enduring moral truths.

Take a peek into "mainstream" journalism these days. To get a "story" published it has to be a document or statement from some government agency or official--we don't remember when we turned over truth's existence to the government to be the referee--but it smells and looks like what it is: AmeroFascism. You and I and our factual cause/effect existence isn't a "story"--we do not exist--just like people rebelling against unjust occupation by foreign troops doesn't exist.

The following describes AmeroFascism in the manual and how it drives the top general in Iraq and his gatekeeper to deny unpleasant realities on-the-ground.


Gen. Petraeus' Spokesman Denies Sending Angry Email -- Plot Thickens

A critical email allegedly sent by a top U.S. military spokesman to a leading blogger this past weekend is starting to draw mainstream attention. But the colonel had sent an equally hot note to E&P in May defending the general -- without reading the report in question.

By Greg Mitchell

NEW YORK (October 29, 2007) -- A disturbing email allegedly sent by a top U.S. military spokesman to a leading blogger at Salon.com this past weekend is just starting to draw mainstream attention. Howard Kurtz at The Washington Post mentioned it today, for example. It requires a good deal of background information to fully appreciate it, so I will provide a link to Glenn Greenwald's blog page at Salon where he offered extensive postings (and updates) Sunday and today about the email purportedly from Army Col. Steven Boylan.

But E&P has its own correspondence from Boylan, and I want to focus on that.

The long and short of the Greenwald postings: For months the popular blogger -- a former attorney and author of the recent bestseller "A Tragic Legacy" -- has criticized the growing "politicization" of the military attached to Iraq, starting earlier this year and peaking around the appearance of Gen. David Petraeus before Congress (and the media) in September. This was even before William Safire declared, this past weekend, that the general ought to be considered as a running mate for a Republican candidate for president next year.

Several months ago, Greenwald had received, and printed, emails from Boylan, a public affairs officer and chief spokesman for Gen. Petraeus, denying this trend and/or defending the general. So when he received an angry email from Boylan on Sunday, he posted much of it on his blog (and linked to the entire message), while asserting that the views and language in it proved his point about "politicization."

Then it got really interesting. Boylan in another note to Greenwald seemed to deny that he wrote the email, while denouncing Greenwald for publishing it. But he did not state this clearly and refused to respond to Greenwald's subsequent request for clarity. Meanwhile, various purported computer experts compared past and present emails from Boylan to Greenwald and suggested (to the latter) that they did seem to come from the same military email address overseas.

No one was certain, but further probing in this realm is now underway. At the least, it raised troubling questions about someone "hijacking" the email account of Gen. Petraeus's chief spokesman.

E&P contacted Boylan for a clarification about the email. Late Monday night he (or someone claiming to be him) replied: "I am denying writing and sending it. I know from past experience with Mr. Greenwald that any email exchange with him would be posted to his site as well as there is no need to discuss anything with him. I would only contact him in response to anything he would directly send to me as he did in this case. I have not contacted Mr. Greenwald since this summer" -- until Greenwald asked him to confirm the Sunday email, when "I told him it was not mine and I did not send it."

He did not express any concern in his note, however, about someone hacking into his military email account.

You can catch the whole thing (and Greenwald's response to the denial) at:


Knowing that I had a brief exchange of emails with Boylan last spring, I went back and found them -- with the Boylan in them sounding an awful lot like the Boylan in the disputed email to Greenwald.

I had drawn Boylan's attention with a May 9, 2007, column that followed an appearance by Gen. Petraeus, via a video feed from Baghdad, at the Associated Press annual meeting in New York, which I attended. This is what I wrote then: "Reporters should also ask Gen. David Petraeus, who is directing the 'surge' effort in Iraq, why he lied in responding to a reporter's question this week concerning widespread abuse by U.S. troops."

A reporter on stage at the gathering had asked about a U.S. Army Surgeon General study of over 1,300 troops in Iraq, released last week, which showed increasing mental stress -- and an alarming spillover into poor treatment of noncombatants. Petraeus, who said he had read the report (and was troubled by it), asserted that the survey showed that only a "small number" admitted they may have mistreated "detainees" -- a profoundly misleading statement.

Actually, the study found that at least 10% of U.S. forces reported that they had personally, and without cause, mistreated "noncombatants" (not detainees) through physical violence or damage to personal property.

The survey also noted that only 47% of the Soldiers and 38% of marines agreed that noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect. More than 40% said they backed torture in certain circumstances. Even worse, nearly one in five said that all noncombatants "should be treated as insurgents."

About 30% said their officers had not made it clear that they should not mistreat civilians.

Only 40% of American marines and 55% of Soldiers in Iraq said they would report a fellow service member for killing or injuring an innocent Iraqi. "Of course, this only guarantees that it will happen again, and again," I observed.

That sparked an email from Boylan in Baghdad the next day. "I found your latest column to be less than fair and as many editorials, lacking context," he wrote. "I find it insulting that you would even consider saying that General Petraeus lied to the gathering during the AP hosted event Monday. Simply put, you are in error and as such you even pointed it out in your own column....

"Because you don't agree with his words, detainee vice [sic] civilians, you are saying that he has lied. I am not sure how you come to that conclusion that he has lied? Would you be willing to explain that? I assume you could disagree on what is a small number or it is that you don't like his choice of words by using detainee.

"I am pleased that you can offer such a misinformed opinion based on one-hour event."

I wrote back to him: "Surely you understand the difference between a 'detainee' and a 'noncombatant.' Presumably Petraeus does as well. He said he'd read the report, where it clearly stated that the actions carried out by the 10% were against civilians or their property and without cause."

In other words, Petraeus was suggesting to the media - if not directly starting -- that it wasn't so bad a problem because it was (presumably guilty enemy) prisoners who were mistreated, not run-of-the-mill civilians. I didn't even raise the issue in my email to Boylan of whether 10% was an acceptable, or appalling, number of bad actors. Petraeus had called this a "small number."

Anyway, Boylan wrote back right away: "Yes, I clearly know the difference between the two, however, it was clear that he was saying and thinking detainee when he made his statement. I have not read the report, but either way, to state that he lied is at a minimum disingenuous and at worst, flat wrong on your part without even asking the questions, but making unfounded assumptions. I expect better professionalism from someone of your position based on your publication."

So Boylan, who admitted he had "not read the report," did not let that stop him from lecturing me and defending the misuse of its contents by Petraeus, who said he did read the report. Petraeus, at least, faced facts a short time later, writing a letter to his troops refreshing their memories about the requirement that they not abuse friendlys.


October 30, 2007

A CounterPunch Special Investigation

Pilfered Scholarship Devastates General Petraeus's Counterinsurgency Manual

* Core Chapter a Morass of "Borrowed" Quotes

* University of Chicago Press Badly Compromised

* Counterinsurgency Anthropologist Montgomery McFate's Role Under Attack


Editors' note: This expose of the stolen scholarship in the Army's new manual on counterinsurgency to which General David Petraeus has attached his name also runs in our current newsletter sent by US mail or as a pdf to our newsletter subscribers. Normally material in our newsletter does not run on the CounterPunch website. In the belief that David Price's story merits the widest and swiftest circulation, not only as regards the "borrowings" from unacknowledged sources but also the prostitution of anthropology in evil military enterprises we re making an exception in this case. AC / JSC

If I could sum up the book in just a few words, it would be: "Be polite, be professional, be prepared to kill."

--John Nagl, The Daily Show.

Last December, the U.S. Army and marine corps published a new Counterinsurgency Field Manual (No. 3-24). In policy circles, the Manual became an artifact of hope, signifying the move away from the crude logic of "shock and awe" toward calculations that rifle-toting Soldiers can win the hearts and minds of occupied Iraq through a new appreciation of cultural nuance.

Some view the Manual as containing plans for a new intellectually fueled "smart bomb," and it is being sold to the public as a scholarly based strategic guide to victory in Iraq. In July, this contrivance was bolstered as the University of Chicago Press republished the Manual in a stylish, olive drab, faux-field ready edition, designed to slip into flack jackets or Urban Outfitter accessory bags. The Chicago edition includes the original forward by General David Petraeus and Lt. General James Amos, with a new forward by Lt. Col. John Nagl and introduction by Sarah Sewell, of Harvard's JFK School of Government. Chicago's republication of the Field Manual spawned a minor media orgy, and Lt. Col. Nagl, a counterinsurgency expert, became the Manual's poster boy, appearing on NPR, ABC News, NBC, and the pages of the NYT, Newsweek, and other publications, pitching the Manual as the philosophical expression of Petraeus' intellectual strategy for victory in Iraq.

The media buzz surrounding the Manual maintains it is a rare work of applied scholarship. Robert Bateman writes in the Chicago Tribune that it is "probably the most important piece of doctrine written in the past 20 years," crediting this success to the high academic standards and integrity that the Army War College historian, Conrad Crane, brought to the project. Bateman touts Crane's devotion to using an "honest and open peer review" process, and his reliance on a team of top scholars to draft the Manual. This team included "current or former members of one of the combat branches of the Army or Marine Corps". As well as being combat veterans, "the more interesting aspect of this group was that almost all of them had at least a master's degree, and quite a few could add 'doctor' to their military rank and title as well. At the top of that list is the officer who saw the need for a new doctrine, then-Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, Ph.D."

The Manual's PR campaign has been extraordinary. In a Daily Show interview, John Nagl hammed it up in uniform with Jon Stewart, but amidst the banter Nagl stayed on mission and described how Gen. Petraeus collected a "team of writers [who] produced the [Manual] strategy that General Petraeus is implementing in Iraq now." When Jon Stewart commented on the speed at which the Manual was produced, Nagl remarked that this was "very fast for an Army field manual; the process usually takes a couple of years"; but for Nagl this still was "not fast enough". The first draft of each chapter was produced in two months before being reworked at an Army conference at Ft. Leavenworth. Most academics know that bad things can happen when marginally skilled writers must produce ambitious amounts of writing in short time periods; sometimes the only resulting calamities are grammatical abominations, but in other instances the pressures to perform lead to shoddy academic practices. Neither of these outcomes is especially surprising among desperate people with limited skills -- but Petraeus and others leading the charge apparently did not worry about such trivialities: they had to crank out a new strategy to calm growing domestic anger at military failures in Iraq.

Last year, the anthropologist Roberto González determined that anthropologists Montgomery McFate and David Kilcullen authored sections of the Manual and contributed to new Iraq counterinsurgency programs, relying on embedded military ethnographers in "Human Terrain System" teams, using anthropologists to assist troops making judgments in the field, employing cultural knowledge as a weapon of "pacification." Drs. McFate and Kilcullen have become media darlings. Kilcullen took on warrior-anthropologist status in last year's uncritical New Yorker profile by George Packer; profiles of McFate in the New Yorker, the S.F. Chronicle Magazine, and More (a glossy women's magazine "celebrating women 40+") sculpt images of Kilcullen and McFate as heroic soldier-thinkers, uncompromisingly harnessing knowledge for the state's agenda. This media campaign provides McFate with frequent opportunities to characterize her critics publicly (as she recently did in the Wall Street Journal) as having no ideas about the military beyond "waving a big sign outside the Pentagon saying, 'you suck.'" While such outbursts make Dr. McFate seem like a character right out of Team America, the military and intelligence community takes her and her work very seriously.

Montgomery McFate holds a Harvard law degree and a Yale anthropology Ph.D. and has worked for various organizations linked to U.S. military and intelligence agencies, including RAND, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the Institute for Defense Analysis' Joint Advanced Warfighting Program. She is currently the U.S. Army's Human Terrain System's Senior Social Science Adviser. McFate's current role as Senior Social Science Adviser for the Human Terrain program demonstrates how the military is implementing the Manual's approach to the use of culture as a battlefield weapon. Human Terrain Teams are now embedding anthropologists with troops operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some Human Terrain anthropologists have publicly identified themselves (the anthropologist Marcus Griffin even writes a blog on limited elements of Human Terrain work while working in Iraq), while others do not disclose their identity. Human Terrain anthropologists use ethnographic knowledge to advise and inform troops in the field while traveling with armed escorts and are, in some instances, themselves armed and wearing uniforms, yet McFate maintains that these anthropologists are in compliance with basic anthropological ethical standards, mandating that participants in research projects participate under conditions of voluntary informed consent.

In a recent exchange with Dr. McFate, Col. John Agoglia and Lt. Col. Edward Villacres on the Diane Rehm Show, I pressed McFate for an explanation of how voluntary ethical informed consent was produced in environments dominated by weapons. In response, McFate assured me that was not a problem because "indigenous local people out in rural Afghanistan are smart, and they can draw a distinction between a lethal unit of the U.S. military and a non-lethal unit." It also remains unclear how Human Terrain Teams comply with basic ethical standards, mandating that their research does not result in harm coming to the individuals they study as a result of their work.

Human Terrain research gathers data that help inform what Assistant Undersecretary of Defense John Wilcox recently described as the military's "need to map Human Terrain across the Kill Chain". The disclosure that anthropologists are producing knowledge for those directing the "kill chain" raises serious questions about the state of anthropology.

The Secrets of Chapter Three

Montgomery McFate and an unnamed "military intelligence specialist" co-wrote the Manual's chapter 3, the Manual's longest and the key chapter on "Intelligence in Counterinsurgency." Chapter 3 introduces basic social science views of elements of culture that underlie the Manual's approach to teaching counterinsurgents how to weaponize the specific indigenous cultural information they encounter in specific theaters of battle. General Petraeus is betting that troops working alongside Human Terrain System teams can apply the Manual's principles to stabilize and pacify war-torn Iraq. When I read an online copy of the Manual last winter, I was unimpressed by its watered-down anthropological explanations, but having researched anthropological contributions to the Second World War, I was familiar with such oversimplifications. But some in the military found the Counterinsurgency Manual to be revolutionary. McFate claims the Manual is so radical that it "is considered 'Zen tinged' not just by the media, but also by many members of the military who felt that the Manual, and chapter 3 in particular, was 'too innovative' and 'too politically correct.'" Like any manual, the Counterinsurgency Field Manual is written in the dry, detached voice of basic instruction. But as I re-read Chapter 3 a few months ago, I found my eye struggling through a crudely constructed sentence and then suddenly being graced with a flowing line of precise prose:

"A ritual is a stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects performed to influence supernatural entities or forces on behalf of the actors' goals and interest." (Counterinsurgency Manual, 3-51) The phrase "stereotyped sequence" leapt off the page. Not only was it out of place, but it sparked a memory. I knew that I'd read these words years ago.

With a little searching, I discovered that this unacknowledged line had been taken from a 1972 article written by the anthropologist Victor Turner, who brilliantly wrote that religious ritual is:

"a stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and designed to influence preternatural entities or forces on behalf of the actors' goals and interests." (See full citation in the concluding "comparison" section of this article.)

The Manual simplified Turner's poetic voice, trimming a few big words and substituting "supernatural" for "preternatural". The Manual used no quotation marks, attribution, or citations to signify Turner's authorship of this barely altered line. Having encountered students passing off the work of other scholars as their own, I know that such acts are seldom isolated occurrences; this single kidnapped line of Turner got me wondering if the Manual had taken other unattributed passages. While I did not perform exhaustive searches, with a little searching in Chapter 3 alone I found about twenty passages showing either direct use of others' passages without quotes, or heavy reliance on unacknowledged source materials.

In the concluding "comparison" section of this article are listed some of the unattributed passages I identified in the Manual's third chapter, along with the unacknowledged sources that I tracked down. These examples show a consistent pattern of unacknowledged use in this chapter. Any author can accidentally drop a quotation mark from a work during the production process, but the extent and consistent pattern of this practice in this Manual is more than common editorial carelessness. The cumulative effect of such non-attributions is devastating to the Manual's academic integrity.

The inability of this chapter's authors to come up with their own basic definitions of such simple sociocultural concepts as "race," "culture," "ritual," or "social structure" not only raises questions about the ethics of the authors but also furnishes a useful measure of the Manual and its authors' weak intellectual foundation.

Other sections of the Manual have unacknowledged borrowings from other sources. The anthropologist Roberto González found that the Manual's Appendix A was "inspired by T.E. Lawrence, who in 1917 published the piece 'Twenty-seven articles' for Arab Bulletin, the intelligence journal of Great Britain's Cairo-based Arab Bureau." González compared several passages of Lawrence with Kilcullen's Appendix A, and found parallel constructions where paragraphs were reworded but followed set formations between the two texts . González observed that while these parallel constructions can be seen, "Lawrence is never mentioned in the appendix. González shows that Kilcullen's other written work makes a passing reference, but does not acknowledge the degree to which Lawrence's ideas and style have been influential."

Sources for the Manual's pilfered passages range from the British sociologist Anthony Giddens' introductory level sociology textbook to the writings of American symbolic anthropologist (and World War Two conscientious objector) Victor Turner, to an online study guide for an MIT anthropology course, to Fred Plog and Daniel Bates' anthropology textbook Cultural Anthropology, to the writings of Max Weber.

Chapter Three's hidden debt to the great German sociologist Max Weber is intriguing. Weber had his own armchair dalliance with counterinsurgency when he supported the military's suppression of German radicals' 1919 uprising, proclaiming, "Liebknecht belongs in the madhouse and Rosa Luxemburg in the zoological gardens!" Weber's views on "power and authority" are reproduced in the body of the Manual, without quotation marks, as if they were the words of Petraeus' staff (see Comparisons section at the end of this artilcle), while section 3-63 is organized following Weber's tripartite division of authority structures: "Rational-Legal Authority," "Charismatic Authority" and "Traditional Authority."

In some sentences, the Manual so directly follows the vocabulary and structure of sentences in other works that the sources can easily be identified. For example, the Manual's (3-26) entry for "ethnic groups" says: "An ethnic group is a human community whose learned cultural practices, language, history, ancestry, or religion distinguish them from others. Members of ethnic groups see themselves as different from other groups in a society and are recognized as such by others."

Elements of this definition closely echo a passage in Anthony Giddens' 2006 Introduction to Sociology text (5th ed, p. 487), discussing ethnicity: "Different characteristics may serve to distinguish ethnic groups from one another, but the most usual are language, history, or ancestry (real or imagined), religions and Members of ethnic groups see themselves as culturally distinct from other groups in a society, and are seen by those other groups to be so in return."

Several sections of the Manual are identical to entries in online encyclopedia sources like www.answers.com. The most damning element of the Manual's reliance on unattributed sources is that the Manual includes a bibliography listing of over 100 sources, yet not a single source I have identified is included. My experience with students trying to pass off the previously published work of others as their own is that they invariably omit citation of the bibliographic sources they copy, so as not to draw attention to them.

Even without using bibliographic citations, the Manual could have just used quotes and named sources in the same standard journalistic format used in this article, but no such attributions were used in these instances. The few published critical examinations of the Manual focus on the text's provenience and philosophical roots. In The Nation, Tom Hayden links the Manual to the philosophical roots of U.S. Indian Wars, reservation policies, and the Vietnam War's Phoenix Program. In the Royal Anthropological Institute's journal Anthropology Today, Roberto González criticizes McFate and Kilcullen's contributions to the Manual, observing that the Manual "reads like a manual for indirect colonial rule." That a press as drenched in "reflexive" critiques of colonialism as Chicago would publish such a manual is an ironic testament to just how depoliticized postmodernism's salon bound critiques have become; and a recent New York Times op-ed by Chicago anthropologist Richard Shweder indicates a stance of inaction from which the travesties of Human Terrain can be lightly critiqued while anthropologists are urged not to declare themselves as being "counter-counterinsurgency".

Role of the Chicago University Press

The role of University of Chicago Press in bringing the Manual to a broader audience is curious. That such shoddy scholarship passed so easily and so briskly through the well-guarded gates of this press raises questions concerning Chicago's interest in rushing out this faux academic work.

Ramming a book through the production process at an academic press in about half a year's time is a blitzkrieg requiring a serious focus of will. There was more than a casual interest in getting this book to market -- whether it was simply a shrewd recognition of market forces, or reflected political concerns or commitments. The Press is enjoying robust sales of a hot title (it was one of Amazon's top 100 in September); but it did not consider the damage to the Press' reputation that could follow its association with this deeply tarnished service manual for Empire.

To highlight the Manual's scholarly failures is not to hold it to some over-demanding, external standard of academic integrity. However, claims of academic integrity are the very foundation of the Manual's promotional strategy. Somewhere along the line, Petraeus' doctorate became more important than his general's stars, touted by Petraeus' claque in the media as tokening a shift from Bush's "bring 'em on" cowboy shoot-out to a nuanced thinking-man's war.

The University of Chicago Press acquisitions editor, John Tryneski, told me the Manual went through a peer review process, but there are unusual dynamics in reviewing an already published work whose authors are not just unknown (common in the peer review process), but essentially unknowable. Tryneski acknowledged that peer reviewers came from policy and think tank circles. When I asked Tryneski if there had been any internal debate over the decision by the Press to disseminate military doctrine, he said there were some discussions and then, without elaboration, changed the subject, arguing that the Press viewed this publication more along the lines of the republication of a key historic document. This might make sense if this was an historic document, not a component of a campaign being waged against the American people by a Pentagon, surging to convince a skeptical American public that Bush hasn't already lost the war in Iraq.

The significance of the University of Chicago Press' republication of the Manual must be seen in the context of the Pentagon's domestic propaganda campaign to generate support for an indefinite U.S. presence in Iraq. Here is an "independent" academic press playing point guard in the production of pseudo-scholarly political propaganda. As the Middle East scholar Steve Niva recently suggested to me, "General Petraeus' counterinsurgency in Iraq has failed, but his domestic campaign for American hearts and minds is succeeding in textbook fashion; the strategy is to weaken the demand for withdrawal by dividing insurgents (anti-war activists) from the general population (American public)."

That militaries commandeer food, wealth, and resources to serve the needs of war is a basic rule of warfare -- as old as war itself. Thucydides, Herodotus and other ancient historians record standard practices of seizing slaves and food to feed armies on the move; and the history of warfare finds similar confiscations to keep armies on their feet. But the requirements of modern warfare go far beyond the needs of funds and sustenance; military and intelligence agencies also require knowledge, and these agencies commandeer ideas for use to their own purposes in ways not intended by their authors. Pressganging scholars to fight dirty wars

The requisitioning of anthropological knowledge for military applications has occurred in colonial contexts, world wars and proxy wars. After World War II, the Harvard anthropologist Carleton Coon recounted how he produced a 40-page text on Moroccan propaganda for the OSS by taking pages of text straight from his textbook, Principles of Anthropology. "[He] padded it with enough technical terms to make it ponderous and mysterious, since [he] had found out in the academic world that people will express much more awe and admiration for something complicated which they do not quite understand than for something simple and clear."

The most egregious known instance of the military's recycling of an anthropological text occurred in 1962, when the U.S. Department of Commerce secretly, and without authorization or permission from the author, translated into English from French the anthropologist Georges Condominas' ethnographic account of Montagnard village life in the central highlands of Vietnam, Nous Avons Mangé la Forêt. The Green Berets weaponized the document in the field. The military's uses for this ethnographic knowledge were obvious, as assassination campaigns tried to hone their skills and learn to target village leaders. For years, neither publisher nor author knew this work had been stolen, translated, and reprinted for militarized ends.

In 1971, Condominas described his anger at this abuse of his humanistic work, saying:

"How can one accept, without trembling with rage, that this work, in which I wanted to describe in their human plenitude these men who have so much to teach us about life, should be offered to the technicians of death -- of their death! ...You will understand my indignation when I tell you that I learned about the 'pirating' [of my book] only a few years after having the proof that Srae, whose marriage I described in Nous Avons Mangé la Forêt, had been tortured by a sergeant of the Special Forces in the camp of Phii Ko.'"

Today, anthropologists serving on militarily "embedded" Human Terrain Teams study Iraqis with claims that they are teaching troops how to recognize and protect noncombatants. But as Bryan Bender reports in the Boston Globe, "one Pentagon official likened [Human Terrain anthropologists] to the Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support project during the Vietnam War. That effort helped identify Vietnamese suspected as communists and Viet Cong collaborators; some were later assassinated by the United States." This chilling revelation clarifies the role that Pentagon officials envision for anthropologists in today's counterinsurgency campaigns.

McFate's Anthropology

The military and intelligence community loves McFate and her programs not because her thinking is innovative -- but because, beyond information on specific manners and customs of lands they are occupying, the simplistic views of culture she provides tell them what they already know. This has long been a problem faced by anthropologists working in such confined military settings. My research examining the frustrations and contributions of World War II era anthropologists identifies a recurrent pattern in which anthropologists with knowledge flowing against the bureaucratic precepts of military and intelligence agencies faced often impossible institutional barriers. They faced the choice of either coalescing with ingrained institutional views and advancing within these bureaucracies, or enduring increasing frustrations and marginalized status. Such wartime frustrations led Alexander Leighton to conclude in despair that "the administrator uses social science the way a drunk uses a lamppost, for support rather than illumination."

In this sense, Montgomery McFate's selective use of anthropology -- which ignores anthropological critiques of colonialism, power, militarization, hegemony, warfare, cultural domination and globalization -- provides the military with just the sort of support, rather than illumination, that they seek. In large part, what the military wants from anthropology is to offer basic courses in local manners so that they can get on with the job of conquest. The fact that military anthropologists appear disengaged from questioning conquest exposes the fundamental problem with military anthropology.

I'm sure that Chapter Three's authors had no idea the Manual would receive such public scrutiny; and that notions of University of Chicago Press distribution were not on the horizon when these identified passages were lifted. It remains unclear how these unattributed passages entered the Manual. If the Army or the Chicago Press care about scholarship, they will conduct an investigation and make public their findings. There's plenty of blame to go around. It would be simple to blame Gen. Petraeus and the University of Chicago Press for running such a sloppy operation, but Montgomery McFate's areas of expertise are those consistently coinciding with the chapter's pilfered passages.

I have such high respect for Jon Nagl's academic work and sense of propriety that I cannot imagine his knowing involvement in such sloppy work, but his name, as a significant element in the public face of this project, is sullied. These commandeered passages make curious McFate's insistence that "it is the nature of knowledge to escape the bonds of its creator; to believe otherwise is to persist in a supreme naivety about the nature of knowledge production and distribution." We are left to wonder how much unattributed "escaped" knowledge appears in classified documents, now sequestered beyond the public's view.

In one sense, the particular details of how the Manual came to reprint the unacknowledged writings of scholars do not matter. If quotation marks and attributions were removed by someone other than the chapter's authors, the end result is the same as if the authors intentionally took this material. The silence on the reproduction of these passages, the lack of any authorial erratum, and the failure to add quotation marks even when Chicago Press republished the Manual seems to argue against the likelihood of a simple editorial mix-up, but who knows. The ways that the processes producing the Manual so easily abused the work of others inform us of larger dynamics in play, when scholars and academic presses lend their reputations, and surrender control, to projects mixing academic with military goals.

With hindsight, Dr. McFate replies to queries and critiques of the Manual's scholarship seem odd. In response to González's critique in Anthropology Today of the Manual's weak anthropological base, McFate framed the Manual as "military doctrine, not an academic treatise" and inexplicably proclaimed that "doctrine does not have footnotes." But McFate knows that the Manual has both footnotes and citations where it suits its purpose (for example see footnote on Pages 53, 151, 188, of the Chicago Press printing; and see citations on 6-85, 6,87, etc.; and attributions for use of copyright materials on Chicago version, Pages 151, 188).

One measure of the Manual's status as an extrusion of political ideology rather than scholarly labor is that when quotes and attributions are used, they are frequently deployed in the context of quoting the apparently sacred words of generals and other military figures -- thereby, denoting not only differential levels of respect but different treatment of who may and may not be quoted without attribution. Last August, I emailed McFate in Afghanistan to confirm that she had co-authored the Manual's Chapter 3.

Unprompted, she replied, "Words, phrases and concepts that I was attached to were removed by other authors or the editors to make it more accessible to general readers. Also, all my footnotes were removed (naturally)." McFate listed words, phrases, concepts, and footnotes as removed elements of text, with no mention made of the removal of quotation marks or narrative attributions. Rather than providing shielding, Dr. McFate's disclaimers make me wonder if she was aware that somewhere along the line unacknowledged academic texts had been pilfered for reasons of state. In recent years, McFate and other militarized anthropologists have been demanding more academic respectability. While some in this group are producing interesting quality studies of the military and intelligence community, the Manual shows the sort of low quality work that can pass as "innovative" uses of anthropology for the military. Chapter three reads like the work of lazy C students, taking phrases and sentences promiscuously from various sources, cobbling them together into a sort of Cliffs Notes version of anthropology, which the University of Chicago Press has now laundered into a book posing as an object of academic respectability.

Considering the Manual's importance for Iraq, perhaps it is only fitting that American strategists are now trying to win a war based on lies with the stolen words and thoughts of others.

Comparisons of Unacknowledged Sources for Passages in The Counterinsurgency Field Manual

Here are specific examples of portions of the Counterinsurgency Field Manual, derived from other unacknowledged sources. The hyphenated numbers preceding passages indicate the citation used in the Counterinsurgency Manual. Bold writing indicates the portion of the passage that has been used without attribution from another source; indented passages present the original unacknowledged source passage (references for source passages appear in parenthesis).

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-20: Society

"...sociologists define society as a population living in the same geographic area that shares a culture and a common identity and whose members are subject to the same political authority."

Unacknowledged Source:

"Formally, sociologists define society as a population living in the same geographic area that shares a culture and a common identity and whose members are subject to the same political authority." (Newman, David. Sociology. 6th ed. Pine Forge Press, 2006. P. 19.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-24: Groups

"A group is two or more people regularly interacting on the basis of shared expectations of others' behavior and who have interrelated status and roles."

Unacknowledged Source:

"Group: two or more people regularly interacting on the basis of shared expectations of others' behavior; interrelated statuses and roles." (Silbey, Susan. Sociology study notes. 2002.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-25: Race

"A race is a human group that defines itself or is defined by other groups as different by virtue of innate physical characteristics. Biologically, there is no such thing as race among human beings; race is a social category."

Unacknowledged Source:

[Race] "refers to a human group that defines itself or is defined by others as different by virtue of innate and immutable physical characteristics." (Encyclopedia Britannica. "Race." 1974, vol. 15.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-26: Ethnic groups

"Members of ethnic groups see themselves as different from other groups in a society and are recognized as such by others."

Unacknowledged Source:

Members of ethnic groups see themselves as culturally distinct from other groups in a society, and are seen by those other groups to be so in return." (Giddens, Anthony. Sociology, 2006, 5th ed, P. 487.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-27: Tribes

"Tribes are generally defined as autonomous, genealogically structured groups in which the rights of individuals are largely determined by their ancestry and membership in a particular lineage."

Unacknowledged Source:

"[A Tribe is an] autonomous, genealogically structured group in which the rights of individuals are largely determined by their membership in corporate descent groups such as lineages." (Brown, Kenneth. "A Few Reflections on the 'Tribe' and 'State' in Twentieth-Century Morocco." In F. Abdul-Jabar & H. Dawod, eds., Tribes and Power. Saqi Books, 2001. P. 206.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-37: Culture

"Culture is a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that members of a society use to cope with their world and with one another."

Unacknowledged Source:

"The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that the members of society use to cope with this world and with one another." (Plog, Fred and Daniel Bates. Cultural Anthropology. Random House, 1988. 2nd ed. P. 7.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-44: Values

"A value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence."

Unacknowledged Source:

"A value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence." (Rokeach, Milton. The Nature of Human Values. Free Press, 1973. P. 5.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-51: Cultural Forms

"A ritual is a stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects performed to influence supernatural entities or forces on behalf of the actors' goals and interest."

Unacknowledged Source:

Religious ritual is "a stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and designed to influence preternatural entities or forces on behalf of the actors' goals and interests." (Turner, Victor. W. "Symbols in African Ritual". In J. Dolgin, et al., eds., Symbolic Anthropology. Columbia Univ. Press, 1977. P. 2.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-51: Cultural Forms

"Symbols can be objects, activities, words, relationships, events, or gestures."

Unacknowledged Source:

"The symbols I observed in the field were, empirically, objects, activities, relationships, events, gestures, and spatial units in a ritual situation" (Turner, Victor. The Forest of Symbols. Cornell University Press, 1967. P.19.)

Counterinsurgency Manual, section 3-55: Power and Authority

"Power is the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his or her own will despite resistance."

Unacknowledged Source:

"Power [Macht] is the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his or her own will despite resistance." (Weber, Max. Economy and Society. Univ. Calif. Press, 1978 [orig. 1922]. P. 53.)

David Price is author of Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI's Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists

www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0822333384/counterpunchmag (Duke, 2004).

His next book, Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War, will be published by Duke University Press in March 2008. He can be reached at dprice@stmartin.edu

BACKGROUND: The Collapse of FIDO/GIDO in favor of blind FIDO and the risk this poses to America

Just because the U.S. Constitution declares you a free man, doesn't mean you are. This is why Thomas Jefferson started the Declaration of Independence with an actual implied warning and not just an assertion that all men are created equal and have a RIGHT to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". However, just because you live in America where allegedly this is our way of life, doesn't mean you cannot be a slave or be enslaved by being a member of a sub-section of society or a prevailing groupthink like political or patriotic correctness. One of these slave outfits that does not believe in nor practice Jeffersonian ideals--yet is their alleged defender---is the volunteer-but-then-you're-stuck, fascist U.S. military which is increasingly failing to do its job.

FIDO is more than a dog fetching a stick

The U.S. military is full of colorful and clever phrases expressing the innate human creativity of its members though suppressed. One of these is the blind obedience mantra of "FIDO" or fuck-it-drive-on. With tongue planted-in-cheek suggesting an obedient dog, FIDO is the operative culture of the U.S. Army and marines dating from WW2 if not even farther back (Von Steuben) of 19th century linear obedience designed to keep thousands upon thousands of enlisted draftees in line in forced military service. Drafting millions of men into military service takes time and an entire nation convinced and mobilized to go to war; the idea is to overwhelm the foe on the ground with mass that can push him to your front and squeeze him out entirely after gobbling up all his territory to his capital city where he cries "uncle" or is annihilated. FIDO is considered how the enlisted, lower-ranking Soldiers should act; taking whatever their officers give them and just "make do" since if everyone does this there will be a massed effect greater than the perceived imperfect and faulty effect the enlistedman's take-what-you-were-issued means alone can accomplish. Remember we lost over 385, 000 men killed in WW2 doing this mass mobilization, linear, total war mentality. Germany, Russia and Japan lost men in the MILLIONS. We got off lightly because we entered the war late and this has falsely rose-colored our vision that FIDO works and is best. A nation rallied together and co-operating is a wonderful feeling and nostalgia for our lost WW2 unity only grows daily in contrast to our current grim failures.

GIDO: Only officers can think

When General Marshall reorganized the U.S. military to save our nation in WW2, he did not intend for Soviet-style mobs of infantrymen with rifles in their hand to just charge enemies in human wave attacks ala WW1. His Fort Benning, Georgia "revolution" with "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell was that officers over enlistedmen would be allowed and encouraged to think to find a better way to solve the problems and not adhere to some mythical "school solution". One of those officers who adopted Marshall's ideas was young James Gavin. Gavin wrote upon his retirement in 1958, that arriving at the best solutions requires the HONESTY to admit to unpleasant facts and to criticize and even oppose the prevailing groupthink "textbook solutions" if the facts warrant it. Currently, there are no civilian "adult supervision" within DoD that fact-checks alledgedly "new" schemes to waste billions demanding a sound combat and experiential base for them. If someone with rank says something is good, the lower-ranking lemmings say, "Yes, Sir!" which is the height of disloyalty to go along with anything blindly. Gavin warns us in War and Peace in the Space Aage on page 48;

"We must be able to tolerate criticism. 'If our treatment of the honest and skilled dissident is not to be liberal, then the army will be filled with more time-servers than in the past and will stagnate, to the great waste of the nation's treasure and, later, its life.' 3 As expressed by Robert G. Ingersoll:

I tell you there is something splendid in a man who will not always obey.

Why, if we had done as the kings had told us five hundred years ago, we should all have been slaves.

If we had done as the priests told us, we should all have been idiots.

If we had done as the doctors told us, we should have all been dead.

We have been saved by disobedience.

So while the enlistedmen were dancing at the USO club assuming all they had to do was show up and die on cue, INTERNALLY, professional officers were behind the scenes ARGUING vehemently over how best to train, equip and approach the problems at hand, be it parachuting with rifles attached instead of in separate containers like the German booboo on Crete or busting out of the hedgerows with TSGT Cullin's cutters attached to the front of M4 Sherman medium tanks welded around-the-clock in an emergency manner before the attack commences. The officers created an illusion for social control purposes, that all an enlistedman needed to do was FIDO. However, as casualties mounted trying to pierce the hedgerows of Normandy, enlistedman Cullins realized FIDO wasn't working and was a recipe for continued disaster. He knew that WE NEEDED MORE than what we had on hand, so he created in his mind the device we lacked; a hedgerow cutter and then presented it to his officers who WERE ALLOWED TO THINK AND ACT on it. To bust out of Normandy, we needed to GET IT AND DRIVE ON or "GIDO". This is what officers are supposed to provide when we say vague terms like "LEADERSHIP"-GIDO means GETTING MORE, GETTING WHAT WE NEED, STACKING THE DECK in our favor so we are set up to WIN. The WW2 formula can be summarized as follows:

FIDO (enlisteds shut up and do what they are told) + GIDO (officers get them what they need) = Massed military effects

Notice in the WW2 FIDO/GIDO construct, that TSGT Cullins knew if he were to present his idea to his officers they would listen to him honestly and with open minds and internally act on it. FIDO can only work if there are people over the FIDO mob THINKING for them.

The Collapse of the FIDO/GIDO Social Contract after WW2

What people do not understand is that FIDO/GIDO is NOT the best way to run any human organization. Its an understandable approach when drafting millions of men into forced military service. However, with the advent of the nuclear bomb at the end of WW2, it would be too late to draft millions of men to swarm all over an enemy nation-state to defeat it. The draftee U.S. military over time and after the trauma of the open-ended, misguided Vietnam war has gave way to an allegedly "all volunteer" force of just people who consciously chose at a point in time to contract to be in the service. Now without a full power slice cross-section of all of America's populace to include the "best and brightest", only the economically weakest and most selfish join the military for money or ego reasons...there is no voice of adult common sense and reason like a TSGT Cullins in the ranks. The U.S. military is now populated by folks with personal agendas to fulfill and personal needs to be met by the military, not just to get the job done and return to civilian life. The military IS their life, their meal ticket, their reason to exist.

The next thing to evaporate was the ruthlessly candid, behind-the-scenes GIDO force crafting by officers who themselves became political in order to "not make waves" so as to get promoted and self-validate their existence. These political officers edit the military's journals so only the party line and polite milquetoast token opposition fluff pieces are printed. Clamoring for "more" or better equipment would only "rock-the-boat" and ruin one's chances for promotion. So the officers stopped thinking and doing GIDO and themselves became FIDO slaves to the very senior generals (3 stars and above) who refuse to put their rank/power on the line to get the troops what they need to win/survive in war from a Congress that generally only wants to spend billions on pork garrison buildings and a defense industry that wants to foist off disposable crap; mentally steered gold plated bombs and cheapo unmanned planes that maximize their profits and not durable maneuver means. Today this is what we have:

FIDO (enlisteds shut up and do what you are told) + FIDO (officers shut up and do what they are told) = Incompetent and failed military misadventures sent by corrupt politicians

Today, for example with no one knowing "what right looks like" (what best military practices are) running interference to help the enlistedmen, they are just dying in droves in Humvee/Stryker trucks or on foot doing non-sense presence patrols in Iraq, both officers and enlistedmen doing FIDO and not thinking. They both ASS U ME they are doing their best-with nothing to compare to after years of garrison life and a refusal to consider other, more successful armies circular reasoning follows. If you try to present a better concept of operation (CONOPS) its not welcomed by the officers whose weak egos are offended because their identity is intertwined with what is being done, its nit-picked and torn apart to find an excuse-any excuse----to do nothing and maintain the officer's safe position doing FIDO while masquerading as being the GIDO leadership for everyone. Today's TSGT Cullins is told to "stay-in-his-lane" and "shut-the-fuck-up" who is he without a medal of honor? (inadequate penis size and social standing) etc. to question how WE THE OFFICERS ARE RUNNING THINGS? The FIDO officers who refuse to fight the RMA non-sense from above to get a winning set of parameters rationalize that somehow enlistedmen at their own level with no authority or resources will somehow "figure it out" when sent out from garrison FOBs like it was lawn care and solve the problem for them---read the new BS COIN manual, FM 3-24. They call this "empowerment" when really its irresponsibility.

To prevail on today's NLBs we need a professional U.S. Army force that is ALL GIDO

Here is a real world example of the difference between FIDO (taking what you got and tolerating it even if it means you are going to likely fail) and GIDO (getting what you need to win) that sets apart free-thinking, free men and the loser slaves who die-on-cue. To react to Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Air Force and the Army National Guard both sent troops to maintain order and rescue folks. The implied understanding is that they themselves should not become an added burden of mouths to feed and hydrate so as to focus all their powers on helping the civilians in peril. The Army Guard Soldiers arrived with a M16 automatic rifle and 20 bullets and no meals-ready-to-eat (MRE-allegedly called food) and only two quarts of water in canteens hanging from their bodies. This is classic FIDO mentality succumbing to the lowest common denominator bureaucratic garrison inertia that distrusts everyone and wants everything locked up so "no one gets killed" and possibly ruins someone's wonderful I-love-me career. The USAF airmen on the other hand, arrived with full magazines with 270 rounds of bullets, pallets of MREs and water to not be a burden to anyone and if necessary put down any criminals trying to loot. The USAF as an organization has a GET IT attitude; if they don't have it, THEY GET IT. They decide what the BEST way to do something is (greatest common denominator) and then fight for the things they need BEFORE THE WAR and set the parameters required so they can WIN as PRO-ACTIVE adults do. In contrast, the all-FIDO Army and marines of weak adolescent co-dependants now without father/mother figures looking after them doing GIDO are re-active and always "a day late and a dollar short". The reason the USAF is a thinking GI outfit is because if they don't get it, THEIR AIRCRAFT WILL CRASH AND THEY WILL DIE, not tomorrow but TODAY. The battle against planet earth keeps them honest. Death can be a good motivator to cut out the BS if you don't cover its coffins up with a flag. Notice I said the USAF is a "GI" outfit; their drive on (DO) and persist in the face of enemy opposition and get their fingers dirty with their comfortable, static, vulnerable, air base mentality is not really "drive on", but its at least half way where it needs to be. The USAF GI attitude also explains why they win with Congress to get the most money of all the services because they are pro-active thinkers even if their idea that air strikes alone can win wars is dead wrong.

On today's non-linear battlefield (NLB) where the enemy can attack in any direction at any time, its too late to have both officers and enlistedmen as FIDO victims of self-created circumstance react to what they slam into from the enemy. There are no 100 divisions of troops to rescue whoever is on the scene at hand, be it Iraq, Afghanistan or someday an Iran. If they can't solve the problem right then and there, they are going to likely lose and they will die, be maimed and taken prisoner. FIDO failures at TF Smith in Korea, Beirut in Lebanon, TF Ranger in Somalia and the daily clusterfuck in Iraq has made no dent at all in the minds and actions of the all-FIDO fascist lemming U.S. ground force military. There is no GIDO over the CONOPS except in the press here in the U.S. Thank God for that. We are indeed headed for an American Waterloo of epic, disastrous proportions possibly ending our super power status or even worse, nuclear annihilation as our civilians are not protected.

Let's return to the central Von Steuben premise of U.S. military culture and ask WHY would we want ANY of our troops acting like FIDO idiots?

The Israeli Defense Force and British Army though sadly not all that they once were---are not based on all-FIDO or FIDO/GIDO. Their goal is EVERYONE THINKING, an all-GIDO outfit. This is the ideal, and if you think its not possible think again. They do it and used to do it well. The Islamist terrorists network and are GIDO; if we want to defeat them since we lack the mass, we better be out-thinking and fighting them and stop thinking mental convenience RMA devices are going to make up for our lack of WW2 cannon fodder. This lie that the best and only way to create effective military force is by blind obedience FIDO places the very survival of the United States in jeopardy from adaptive GIDO sub-national and nation-state enemies. Maybe we have a death wish over our guilt consuming too much of the earth's natural resources? (Solution to eliminate guilt-stop doing guilty things ie; stop hogging up all the resources...driving a gas hog SUV? How about stopping?) We don't need a binge-and-purge false veneer of morality, if you want to be seen as moral be moral. Wow. What a concept. Sounds like acting like a brave, unselfish and courageous American that we say we are. The best way to defend freedom is not with dictatorship, its with FREEDOM. Such a military would look like this:

GIDO (enlisteds thinking and acting) + GIDO (officers thinking, acting and setting winning parameters, sticking up for the men) = an adaptive, kick-ass military

Would this create an adaptive "monster" military to threaten our civil liberties?

Some may warn if we had an all-GIDO U.S. military, such power would "go to its head" and they would get tired of their civilian masters reigning them in and would overthrow the U.S. Constitution and form a fascist police state. Resultantly, many of the more liberal in Congress for years have operated by this warranted fear and have emasculated our military by filling bases with buildings, buildings and more buildings when we needed lethal things like light tanks that we can actually deploy and fight with. Troops acting as lawn and building care specialists pose no threat to anyone; the groupthink was that if we need them it'll be after the USAF bombs the enemy into submission and they can go to a foreign country and just continue their lawn and building care garrison mentality overseas with extra pay and "combat patches" of course. Problem is this doesn't work against real enemies (re: the Israelis recently in Lebanon and our troops occupying Iraq) and America actually needs an adaptive, all-GIDO military that can land by aircraft in stealthy M113 Gavin tracked armored vehicles and encircle and kill/capture a sub-national Bin Laden and not get itself hurt as narcissists walking on foot tend to do so the risk averse, want-to-get re-elected politicians never conduct the mission in the first place. This gives birth to huge disasters like the 9/11 attacks.

If we created an all GIDO Army we would need at its base---its very core values----a MORAL COMPASS. We do not have this now. The U.S. Army and marines are intolerable egomaniac nightmares. The current UCMJ and conscientious objector regulations are total FIDO stifling ALL dissent in the ranks to take-this-war-we-give-you-or-else. This contradicts the very real reality that indeed the "war" (or undeclared war) being fought could indeed be unjust and needs specific rejection and that other wars might be sound. It rejects the fact that to win the war (remember that idea?) drastic candor and tangible changes and reorganizations might be needed that can only happen if the unvarnished truth can be told at the very least behind the scenes without reprisal and retributions. The UCMJ is so open-ended that anyone who opposes the prevailing FIDO groupthink at ANY LEVEL is destroyed as a person and made into some kind of man-without-a-country felon/leper. In civilian life, all you have to do is steal something over the value of $200 (a CD player) or change the pricing label on an item and be caught/found guilty and you are a "felon" FOR LIFE who can no longer vote but be taxed without representation. When America was full of stronger people, "taxation-without-representation" was the last straw that led them to revolt and the fight to get our independence from England. Today we are just glad that "felon" is no longer competing with us for that high salary job; "he can go get high on drugs and die for all I care". In this era of fuck-you, get-your-own social irresponsibility, its every man and woman for him or herself as the middle class that has the time and money to challenge the status quo shrinks into oblivion while the delighted ruling class exporting jobs overseas to slave labor to maximize their profits and jet set lifestyles. So we have millions of folks, my police friends say as high (pardon the pun) as 70% of all Americans hooked on some kind of legal and/or illegal drugs fueling our border insecurity. These drugged up, stressed-out people become authoritarian parents without the time or patience working two or more jobs to explain anything to their children so they just order them to do it "or else". The kids make rationalizations in their head why their parents don't love them to get through the day and are ideal candidates to switch parents and join the authoritarian U.S. military which can continue to manipulate, victimize and dehumanize them while giving them false security at the cost of their freedom and conscience.

In the U.S. military, you don't have to shoplift----all you have to do-GET THIS---is follow your conscience (ie be MORAL and PROFESSIONAL) and speak your mind that runs even a smidgeon counter to anyone's BS around you, underneath you or above you and they can if someone wants to vendetta you, force you out of the service and/or use the UCMJ or a "flag" to ruin your career since there's no "adult" supervision to insure even the few fair play and due processes that are in the military are done. Watch the movie or read the book, "From Here to Eternity" if you don't understand this. Or "A Few Good Men". No one is minding the store.

"Loyalty" has been perverted to mean going along with corrupt, immoral and incompetent BS at every level that will or actually is destroying the organization since there no longer is a mechanism of honest GIDO officer brokers you can turn to. There is no GIDO inward debate going on behind the scenes. The spin we feed to the outside world as an outward united front is the same spin feed to the men internally. "You volunteered for this" (no you did not, however, you are stuck now after signing the paperwork) so "shut the fuck up" and either be a conscientious objector "pussy" who opposes all wars so the military can label and dismiss you out of hand as a coward who just doesn't want to risk life/limb before peers/public or go along with the immoral war we give you and lose your conscience and soul. Both options keeps the heat off the military to get its moral and tactical competence house in order. Military narcissism to be seen by others as depicted in the current "pyramid of lifer ego" is NOT morality in any shape or form. The USMC thoroughly permeated with narcissism to inwardly please peers that they have "manhoods" has bloated to over 175, 000 on the public dole and should be disbanded immediately as a "clear and present danger" to the U.S. Constitution before unscrupulous politicians order them to open fire and start imprisoning American citizens who do not go along with their rule. Remember the warning that began this discussion---just because the Constitution says you are free doesn't mean that you are or and that there are not plenty of would-be tyrants and "thought police" all around you waiting to enslave you. Consider our founding father's fear of large standing armies---we got them now---and their loyalty is primarily to THEMSELVES as FIDO inwardly focused lemmings not to the U.S. Constitution and the American people. However, by creating an Army of Soldiers with a moral code that condemns narcissism and inward peer approvalisms that states clearly that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL with high value to include our enemies (so we understand them and maybe even turn them into our friends after a noble struggle) and that war is a necessary evil not a self-validation ego trip---a moral compass based on external principles of reality not groupthink---we would have a military full of adults who we can trust to get it to drive on since they will only do "it" if it's a moral thing to do. After corrupt President Bush showed us all the dishonest basis for the continued occupation of Iraq, a military of GIDO general officers would have revolted and refused to carry out his PNAC imperialism and gotten Congress to do its job and check and balance the now near dictatorial powers of the executive branch. America would also not be rushing headlong towards dictatorship just because a sub-national threat is intentionally allowed to linger because war was not declared and our borders not sealed shut so a convenient fear boogieman is in play so Bush can go have the needed excuses to occupy other countries and take their resources and vices (oil and drugs). It shouldn't be left to brave U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Watada to be the sole officer to refuse to go along with the illegal and immoral Iraq imperialism and incompetent CONOPS occupation.

The sad truth is that America has never got its act together and decided how to best defend itself and have a military that is consistent with its values that defends freedom with freedom exploiting the very best in human nature instead of catering to the worst instincts through an excused-away dictatorship of blind obedient, peer-focused FIDO lemmings derived from a glamorized WW2 experience that actually had a thinking GIDO check and balance that made some sense at the time to rapidly field massively large ground armies.

EFFECT #3: DoD's culture of deceit has troops voting with their feet


Posted on Sun, Aug. 27, 2006

Smarter recruits: what Army needs but isn't getting
By Kevin Horrigan

This month, Bryan Bender reported in the Boston Globe that the Pentagon quietly has begun reviewing its mistakes in Afghanistan and Iraq. A major goal is improving counterinsurgency tactics; that is, fighting a low-grade war against insurgents who disappear into an indigenous population.

Col. Peter Mansoor commands the Army-marine Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The story quotes him thus:

"The challenge is to train the force not what to think, but how to think. Counterinsurgency is a thinking Soldier's war. It is graduate-level stuff. There is public relations, civil affairs, information operations. It is not easy."

To read Bender's story is to be reminded -- and to be grateful -- that the Army has a corps of super-bright young officers who know how to read a scoreboard. Unfortunately, they're not in charge yet.

Also this month, David Wood of the Baltimore Sun reported, "At a time when the Defense Department is calling for the `best and the brightest' to fight today's tricky and unconventional wars, the Army is quietly signing up thousands of low-scoring recruits, who historically have performed less well, in order to meet its recruiting goals."

Let's see . . . one of the lessons of the past three years is that we're going to need smarter Soldiers. So let's lower the standards.

Wood reported that by the time the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30, the Army will have signed up 3,200 "Category IV" recruits, kids who scored below the 31st percentile on the Armed Forces Qualifications Test given to all recruits. Just two years ago, only 500 "Category IV" recruits were allowed to sign up.

College kids are not beating a path to recruiting offices. Nor are young people with the technical or trade skills needed in the job market. The Iraq war has made recruiters' jobs a lot more difficult. Despite enlistment bonuses and other perks, if the Army had not lowered its standards, it would have missed its goal of recruiting 80,000 new Soldiers this year.

If you add this year's 3,200 Category IV recruits to the 2,900 who signed up last year, it means that for the next three years the Army will field two brigades' worth of Soldiers who finished in the bottom 30 percent of all those taking the test.

We're not talking about the entrance exam for Mensa, either. Actual sample questions:

"Water is an example of: (A) crystal. (B) solid. (c) gas. (D) liquid."

"A chisel is used for: (A) prying. (B) cutting. (c) twisting. (D) grinding."

Now, it's true that a dumb Soldier is not necessarily a bad Soldier; nor is a smart Soldier necessarily a good one. Audie Murphy dropped out of school in the eighth grade, and he won every medal there was to win, including the Medal of Honor. But do you really want your son or daughter going to war with an eighth-grade dropout on the off chance he's the next Audie Murphy?

Murphy's job in World War II was to carry a rifle and use it to kill people in gray uniforms. Today's eighth-grade dropout can read about his job, assuming he can read well enough, in the draft of the new Army-marine Counterinsurgency Manual, available on the Web at www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-24fd.pdf. Here's some of what it says:

"Soldiers and marines must understand the following about the population in the area of operations (AO):

How key groups in the society are organized; relationships and tensions among them; ideologies and narratives that resonate with the groups; group interests and motivations; means by which groups communicate; the society's leadership system."

". . . Effective counterinsurgency requires a leap of imagination and a peculiar skill set not encountered in conventional warfare. Soldiers and marines at every echelon (must) possess the following within the cultural context of the AO: a clear, nuanced, and empathetic appreciation of the essential nature of the conflict; an understanding of the motivation, strengths, and weaknesses of the insurgents; knowledge of the roles of other actors in the AO."

In Iraq, the closest thing to this is this bit of wisdom, which is commonly passed from officers to their troops: "We're here to win hearts and minds. Be polite, be professional and have a plan to kill everyone you meet." If you're walking patrol in Baghdad, you deserve to know that the guy who's got your back also has a clue.

But if the smart guys aren't signing up, and the wars of the future are going to be low-intensity counterinsurgency operations, then what? A draft? That's about as likely as eliminating from the half-trillion-dollar defense budget all those exotic weapons systems designed for the wars of the past. The Pentagon and the Capitol are full of people whose careers depend on these programs. Counterinsurgency operations don't need a lot of fancy weapons, but neither do they yield a lot of campaign cash from the people and companies who build fancy weapons.

I bring this all up because sometime this fall, you're going to hear a politician tell you that he supports the troops. After the cheers die down, you might want to find out if he knows what that means.


KEVIN HORRIGAN (khorrigan@post-dispatch.com) is a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where this article appeared

We were told Iraq was being invaded to locate and destroy WMD. It was a lie.

We were told NFL star turned-Army Ranger Tillman died charging the enemy. It was a lie.

We were told female Soldier Jessica Lynch fired her M16 rifle until she ran out of bullets and was captured. It was a lie.

When SPC Wilson asked for vehicle armor, he was told "you go with the Army you have". It was a lie. The Army went to war in trucks and left by choice its better protected armored tracks, resulting in thousands of American dead and maimed.

We were told by DoD that "all vehicles in Iraq would be soon armored". It is a lie. The Army brass are now buying 24, 000 trucks for Iraq that are not only UNarmored they are powered by dangerous, explosive GASOLINE. They will be painted in bright GOLD to certainly infuriate Iraqi rebels to attack them.

We were told the rebellion in Iraq is only coming from a few Islamist outsiders and Sunni "dead enders" and that it is defeated ("in its last throes" according to chickenhawk Cheney) and "security was improving". It is a lie punctuated by a daily diet of bombs going off and mutilated bodies that continues to the present.

Recruiting for America's ground forces has now dried up in response to the steady stream of casualties from Iraq--over 2, 600+ dead and 22, 000+ wounded. The word is out from returning veterans that the entire U.S. military establishment is a failure and unable to confront problems honestly and solve them. If you bring up a problem like Humvee trucks are not safe to ride in Iraq where the enemy is all around and can set off a high explosive bomb at any time (Non-Linear Battlefield), you are told that "compared to the number of Humvee trucks over in Iraq: casualties in them are not a problem" Ask the families of the dead/wounded Soldiers if its a "problem". Another example is the Stryker truck apologists who say their 20-ton truck is better protected than 4-ton Humvee trucks and lighter than 70-ton heavy tanks while conveniently omitting that 11-ton M113 Gavin tracks are better protected at less weight because they are 28% more space/weight efficient and roll on steel tracks with rubber pads that don't burn like their rubber tires do and can go cross-country to avoid road ambushes in the first place.

This form of selective, dishonest cherry-picking of facts (sophistry) to portray a false idea is rampant at every level of DoD and our military where to get ahead you tell the boss what he wants to hear. Its easier to use relativity and find something--anything---positive even if its absurd and dishonest than to bring up problems. Messengers bringing bad news get their careers ended. This is what reformers mean when they describe "zero defects" syndrome. Its really a subtle form of lying--deceit---intended to manipulate the listener. Its very easy to do this at a mouse-click thanks to the availability of computers, just find your "silver lining" rhetoric, copy and paste. Our military accustomed to this kind of factual relativism is so used to lying to the troops, it pathologically cannot stop lying when it speaks to Congress and the American public who by law are required to tell the truth to. At press conferences, military spokesmen will cherry-pick minor tidbits like "the orphanage that was built" while ignoring the major problem facts like that bombs are going off all over Iraq and that its not safe to walk the streets today! The military is so used to cleverly picking and choosing data and telling the public what it wants to hear, its questionable if they themselves know or ever knew what the truth was or is. Anyone in the press who calls DoD on their lies and distortions has his access removed. Thus, our military is accountable to no one, except the youth of America who are now voting with their feet.

The inescapable conclusion is that the U.S. military refuses to do what it takes to win if pitted against creative enemies.

To out-smart such enemies the military has to be both honest and humble to admit to problems and understand them generically, and then drop the narcissist snobbery inherent in a rank dominated bureaucracy to arrive at direct answers.

Needed U.S. Army Ethos similar to Israeli Defense Force


In Iraq, it was obvious soon after we fired the Iraqi army who did as we asked and did not fight us, and moved into former Saddam palaces and started kicking down doors looking for the dictator and his loyalists that we were infuriating the civilian populace as roadside and car bombs started to go off all over. We did the exact same thing in South Vietnam beginning in 1954. Consulting counter-insurgency (COIN) experts who were successful in Northern Ireland DoD/military should have realized that presence patrols with gunslingers only give the enemy targets to push buttons and detonate bombs to create casualties for every news cycle. COIN experts told the military from the beginning to reduce American presence by staying out of cities via rural bases, actually defend the few supply roads needed with 24/7/365 infantry guards in tracked armored fighting vehicles and constant overhead surveillance by fixed-wing aircraft not to brutalize civilians, and to cordon off population centers and pedestrianize the bomb problem--do not let cars and trucks inside and to screen all walking people through checkpoints. Security fence experts would have educated DoD to build a "Morice Line" type security fence along the Syrian-Iraqi border with a constantly plowed clear dirt area patrolled by men in tracked armored fighting vehicles and overhead by manned observation light planes.

However, DoD never asked the COIN experts for advice since they assumed they knew it all. All they thought we needed to do was inhabit all over Iraq and drive around to show who we are and speed back to base and unwind in the mini-slice of American garrison comfort we had transplanted. At night, we could kick down doors and kill or capture the bad guys like wannabe Delta Force "bad asses" to keep the narcissistic egomaniacs satisfied there was a "war" for them to self-validate on, then return back to base for a cold one. Now after four years of making nearly everyone in Iraq hate us and support the rebels, we find that no one wants to join our Army and marines to die in a truck in Iraq. We are reducing our base camps and will inevitably have to leave. We have turned an entire generation of Iraqis against us and the only solution is to take our lumps and stop losing $1 billion a week and 11, 000 Soldiers a year by pulling back south of the Euphrates river and reducing our presence to under 50,000 troops all in tracked armored vehicles that can fight and intervene if the Iraqis need our help. We had at one time the good will of the majority of the Iraqi people but our snobbery and habitual deceit has led us to defeat.



1. Here is a video clip of Senator Santorum on PCN TV warning that LAV (Stryker) trucks are not fit for combat:


Why didn't Santorum and others FILIBUSTER on the floor of the Senate to stop passage of the spending bill buying LAV/Stryker trucks? Why didn't Congressmen and Senators introduce a bill that the Pennsylvania National Guard Interim Brigade would be equipped with York, PA produced M113 Gavin tracks instead of inferior Stryker trucks made in Canada? Who provides oversight over our military to prevent deathtraps from being given to our troops?

Its still not too late to do this; M113 Gavins are now being up-armored for Iraq


...and this could be expanded to the PARNG Brigade's M113 Gavins so they could be a tracked brigade combat team and would supply badly needed jobs in the state. In fact, there are 4 divisions and all of the support units of the Army that need to be in M113 Gavins with extra armor and band tracks for cross-country as well as 60 mph road mobility that could use some of the thousands of M113s the Army has in storage to be upgraded into this configuration instead of dying in Humvee/Stryker trucks.

Senator Santorum says Rumsfeld now realizes LAV/Stryker wheeled trucks are deathtraps and is curtailing the program but there is no evidence of this boondoggle ending.

Despite Senators Santorum and Biden warning the Army not to buy LAV/Stryker trucks, they did and now scores of Soldiers are dead. What has just come to light is so troubling and disgusting after 20, 000 Americans have been destroyed in Iraq service as dead or wounded it is almost beyond words.

2. Doesn't anyone realize a WAR IS GOING ON?

Here is a pic of the unarmored, rubber-tired pick-up trucks we are giving to the Iraqi Highway patrol.

3. Here is a pic of what the Iraqi rebels are going to do to these trucks:

4. Now look at what the Army brass want our Soldiers to ride around in--the same kind of deathtraps:


May 31, 2005: With hummers being used as combat vehicles in Iraq, the U.S. Army is buying 19,000 Chrysler minivans and 5,000 Pacifica SUVs to provide more economical transportation in non-combat areas. The 2.2 ton Chrysler vehicles get about 27 kilometers per gallon of gas. The hummer gets about 14 kilometers per gallon of gas (most run on diesel, which doubles fuel efficiency), and weighs 2.6 tons. Gasoline is easier to get in Iraq than diesel, or JP-8 (which powers a lot of American military equipment). The hummers cost $75,000, nearly three times the cost of the Chrysler vehicles, which will be gold in color when delivered to American troops. Most of the American troops in Iraq are operating in non-combat areas, either in large bases, or the northern and southern parts of the country where there is little violence.

CNN's Jamie McIntyre, Jamie recently reported on Lou Dobbs tonight:

"And ultimately they said what experience in Iraq is showing is that the vulnerable HUMVEE is being rendered obsolete by the tactics of the enemy."

--Gen. William Nyland, the Assistant Commandant USMC

The head of the NYLAND SOT says:

"I think that the utility, if this is threat of the future, the long term utility of the HUMVEE has to be questioned; we have to take continued steps to find what will defeat this kind of threat."

5. An Army officer in Iraq writes on the failures of Humvees and Stryker trucks in Iraq:

"One more note to get rid of wheels. Since the AOA kits have been installed on the M998/M1025/M1026 HMMWV (Ogara Hess), which are just heavy steel slats of plating bolted onto the M1025's,really (no undercarriage protection!), the front suspension has NOT been able to handle the weight and it goes beyond the vehicles limitations on the front end. You see sagging lillies running all over the place here Due to this, and just pure laziness (I'll agree) on DOD's part, the tires have to be changed three time as fast because the camber (inward/outward tilt of the tire) is thrown off due to the springs inability to handle the added armor. To fix this the brackets have to be shimmed out accordingly, but since we have no alignment machines, no one wants to use the old string and block method, and the armoring is an 'in and out as fast as you can' process here, they never bother to order and beef up the suspension at the armament shop at Setiz using the M1114 kits. This taxes the already taxed ORG maintenance guys who are forced, if they can even find the time (which we haven't being too busy keeping the existing fleet FMC and doing services), to do the swap out. Fact is we never get the chance to go that deep into the suspension and problem goes unresolved, just swap the tires and keep on trucking is the attitude.

Bottom Line: A radial HMMWV wheel and runflat will wear out in 1/3rd of its lifetime without the suspensions being upgraded, costing the US taxpayer $900.oo a pop on each tire every two months (average lifespan with alignment out of whack).

Plus the AoA kitted HMMWV's are worthless for anything other than 7.62 rounds.

DOD has put a bandaid on a gaping wound on the AoA kitting of existing M998/M1026/1025 HMMWV fleet.

You are absolutely 100% factually based in your beliefs that the HMMWV is a deathtrap for the patrolling soldier and that it could be readapted for use in many scenarios. Changing the thinking of others is the hardest thing as like me, they were brainwashed. Why, I might ask, as to what proof did anyone offer me that wheeled was the sole manner in which we had to develop our TTP?

Why are we brainwashed (you can answer this bettter than I can, Mike) With the use of the platter charge wheeled is unacceptable and poses a derelict security risk to troops and I can't understand how anyone can justify the risk assessment cards. The Platters are copper coated, they rip through M1114's like a hot knife through butter, and the primary vehicle of choice, the M1114, is too heavy for inclines (rolls extremely easy at even 35 degrees at slow speeds), is not all terrain and WILL easily get stuck in mud without having to try, is limited for speed and course on unimproved roads (a track will kick its ass in the off road and go places it could not dream of) has a weight to suspension configuaration that came as an afterthought (9800 lbs (5 tons!) dry GVW (without all the gear and BII thrown in on a standard 998 frame rated for only 7700 lbs TOTAL (5000 lbs dry GVW with only improvement being 2 liters more on the engine (6.5 as opposed to 6.2 GM) with a turbo thrown in for a liitle more power which gives it a top speed of 65 MPH if you are lucky on improved surface, that is if the Alison 4l80E trans that is computer controlled pain in the ass to troubleshoot does not lock up into second gear (which it does quite often when the TCM module malfunctions due to undercarriage heat-they placed it under the pass rear seat on the floor!) causing the vehicle to have to 'limp home' in second gear at 25-30 MPH, . It's suspension is underated, and has simply beefed up coil springs (added rung) and a little thicker brake pad and ball joint)with nothing else improved for handling (sway bar etc? NO). My last xxxxx saw one hit a median dip at at 45 mph, and in doing so the M1114 sprinboarded itself into a cartwheel.

As you will see, the vehicle could not handle the transverse weight shift of the dip at sideways motion and laterally cartwheeled itself through the median, flinging the gunner out of the turret like a pea off a plastic spoon breaking all his facial bones. Luckily no one died. Would this have happened if they were in track? Hell no. This speed demon-road-rage-warrior-straight into the IED ethos has been to the doom of many good soldier and when we first arrived it was TTP set in stone. Now they are finally telling us to slow up down the MSRs...wonder why?

Cause the M114 is a piece of crap that can't cut the mustard, that is why!

Reconfigured tracks indeed could be used in a variety of logistics situations with the added usage of Band Tracks and A/C could easily be retrofit. I think I am becoming a track-oriented guy from learning from you all that I never knew, as I never had the luxury of being in a mech outfit. We're onto something here.

I agree that the Stryker is useless as an Infantry vehicle, the guys don't like it and parts where a pain in the ass to get and tires a bitch to change and that is enough testimony for me if they are hampered in their ability to inflict lethality quickly and repair recover efficiently."

6. Notice FCS is only for the heavy units of the Army.

FCS is NOT going to light units that will still ride around in trucks and walk on foot and beat their chests how superior they are as they get blown up by HE bombs on the NLB. We also know FCS is "concept" rather than "threat" driven in its design ie: its not V hull shaped to defeat land mines and road side bombs.

FCS is nothing more than Army Generals tryintg to preserve the failed and obsolete WW2 style snobby status quo.

www.globalsecurity.org/ military/systems/aircraft/jtr.htm

7. There are no "non-combat areas" in Iraq. The battlefield is NON-LINEAR. This includes within the base camps. I sure as hell don't want to be inside a gas-powered, unarmored truck when a mortar or rocket hits.

This is all about Army Chief Gen. Schoomaker and his light infantry narcissists spending money on the sexy trucks they lust for that cannot protect our troops from bomb attacks on the NLB. The result is America's youth are rejecting such troops-in-trucks non-sense by not being a part of it. Recruiting has evaporated.

Army narcissist snobs want a linear battlefield that does not exist so they can pinch pennies and have an underclass drive around in unsafe trucks. How many more must die? How many more must be maimed?

Troops-in-trucks does not work on the Non-Linear Battlefield (NLB)


Click here to start Slide Show

Fort Lewis, Washington: "From Here to Eternity" Garrison U.S. Army Unready For War: As Seen From Space

James Jones, an Army combat veteran revealed the bankrupt and snobby Army culture as being unready for WW2 in his book; "From Here to Eternity". As Japanese planes are bombing and strafing U.S. Navy ships and Army/marine planes parked in neat rows to ward off "saboteurs" our entire force in the Pacific was nearly wiped out resulting in us almost losing the war on day 1. Despite the obvious need to drop the rank snobbery, work together and stop the non-tactical "parade ground" military, after WW2 we reverted right back to "From Here to Eternity" and suffered grievous losses in Korea, Vietnam, and now in Iraq. We are today, parking both ships, planes and trucks, troops, tanks and buildings in easily targeted rows, both in CONUS and overseas.

Are We Headed For Another Pearl Harbor?

On the 21st century, non-linear battlefield dominated by high explosives we simply CANNOT afford to play BS barracks games and keep living in rows of buildings with our air, ground and sea platforms parked in rows, uncamouflaged.

If you have ANY doubt about the dangers we face of reliving "Pearl Harbor" which we compound by base closures compressing even more targets in smaller areas, look at the satellite imagery of U.S. bases using google maps.

1. GO TO


2. Type in

fort lewis wa

you will see a street map

3. Click on "Satellite"

Click on + to zoom all the way in on to see the clusterfucks of Stryker and other wheeled trucks

Move <--- and ---> to shift view from space to keep the wheeled truck narcissist wagons in view etc.

Here's the photo of Fort Lewis, Washington taken from space by a satellite with key features of the U.S. Army "garrison" BS mentality explained:

1. HUGE parade ground for brass to self-worship themselves with troop standing in hot sun for hours at a time. Troops have to waste hours mowing this huge lawn. Parade grounds and useless golf courses should be ripped out of every Army post and the space used for tank cross-country open terrain maneuver training or at the very least a firing range. You will notice there is no maneuver training area on Fort Lewis--they have to drive over 100 miles southeast to Yakima training center--more time and resources wasted, when we do not have the time or the money to waste.

2. HUGE motor pools of Stryker, Humvee and FMTV vulnerable wheeled trucks in absurd Fulda Gap Olive Drab Green paint that makes them clearly seen against gray pavement. Troops waste many hours obssessing over these flimsy and tactically unsound trucks under the hot sun to micro-manage and alleviate the anxieties of the brass and their bean counters that they will work. However, the hot sun and temperature elements are degrading the rubber tires, optics, paint constantly.

So as mother earth kills the life of these flimsy vehicles, they make an easy Pearl Harbor-esque target for enemies who could with GPS guidance destroy them en masse with just a few direct hits. ALL vehicles should be painted in universal TAN or BROWN and dispersed and co-located with their units in the field at all times under concealing vegetation and/or nets to keep the sun off, or better yet IN ISO containers. Some "war on terror" we are waging, huh? We didn't declare war on 9/12/01 and we are still not at war.

3. You will see 5 x CH-47D Chinook heavy lift helicopters and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter again in absurd "Fulda Gap" green camouflage paint making them easy targets on the ground and in the air. These aircraft should be GRAY for effective camouflage in the air and be covered in camou nets on the ground. The main runway of Gray Army airfield is only 6125 feet x 150 feet and the secondary runway is only 1867 feet by 46 feet. This is good enough to fly-away by USAF C-17s and C-130s, but the Stryker truck is too heavy to fly by C-130 even stripped down anywhere unless you want to go to Spokane, Washington. Only 3 Strykers can fit into a C-17 which we do not have many total, and only a squadron of 12 at nearby McCord AFB. If the Army were wise and transferred Stryker trucks to MP units where their road-bound fatal weaknesses would be offset by a less lethal mission and re-equipped with M113 Gavin and M8 Buford AGS light tanks, they could fly 4-5 at a time in C-17s and 1-at-a-time in C-130s to strategic distances (over 1, 000 miles). Moreover, if the main runway was lengthened to over 8, 000 feet, cargo 747s could fly brigade Gavin/Buford sets and all required personnel rapidly to any place in the world with international airports. This was what an Army that was serious about getting ready to fight anywhere in the world would do.

4. Here you see a feel-good sports field and 400 meter tracks for absurd sports PT in t-shirts, shorts and running shoes which has no combat relevance. Also notice the tennis courts. More evidence that the U.S. military garrison lifestyle is all about narcissism and not combat effectiveness.

5. Here you see the comfortable Rank Hath Its Priveliges (RHIP) officer's housing adjacent to the parade ground for narcissist ceremonies. This is disgusting and not leadership-by-example. These housing units should be torn down on all U.S. military posts/bases and everyone made to live off post in REAL civilian houses to have real civilian cultural lives instead of living in the cloistered artificial lifestyle that leads to snobby and disrespect of people with less money, rank and status--people like our foreign enemies and civil populace that we are trying to win to our side. Amerocentric snobbery does not win hearts & minds.

6. All over the post are multi-story troop barracks and enlisted family housing units where the underclass lives and the under 21 year olds can be frequently visited by their over-bearing "mother may, I?" chain of command to nitpick over the condition of interior paint and the state of the lawns around the buildings. So while America's enemies study how to kill us with the latest technologies, our troops spend their days picking up trash and mowing lawns in the hot sun or freezing cold after starting the day without enough sleep doing absurd sports PT to numb them down to better control them and remind them that they are somehow inferior to the careerist narcissists running the show who want to look good and get themselves promoted. Is it a wonder troops think 5-ton trucks weigh 5 tons? Is it a wonder they do not know what a RPG can or cannot do? Is it a wonder our troops are ignorant of warfare and think they can ride around in wheeled trucks and just shoot the enemy as if it were a TV western gun duel? The sad truth is they enter the combat zone sleep-deprived for months and years at a time and are falling asleep at the wheel and dying. They are getting blown up by a push of a button by roadside bombs before they can even get a chance to shoot their hand weapons. War is not an event to prove manhood and adulthood you should already have, its not a game or a duel. Its about winning or losing, living or dying. And we cannot afford any longer to waste time on 19th century parade ground BULLSHIT on today's lethal, non-linear, 4th generation warfare battlefields dominated by not just bullets but high explosive weaponry.

7. The Curse of (Garrison) Line Infantry: where does it come from?

Mark Ash recently asked me (Mike Sparks), where does the U.S. Army's Light infantry divisions come from with their absurd hard-headed refusal to even light mechanize in light to medium tracked tanks?

Rather than give him the trite "official" answer that they were created in the early 1980s to fit on x amount of C-141A/B Starlifter jet transport sorties to reinforce Europe by fighting in closed terrain "not passable to tanks" after the Societ tank armies invaded so they had to forgo organic ground vehicles yadda yadda yadda, I have thought long and hard because the question also applies to all of the USMC infantry units, too.

Here is what I think the actual truth is:

1. Infantry that moves slowly on foot comes from the CIVIL WAR (19th century) to create linear formations to fight set-piece battles in the Napoleonic nation-state vs. nation-state mode.

2. We have LINE infantry because we WANT TO HAVE line infantry.

3. We want line infantry because it is simple and allows us to have GARRISON activities (BS = bull shit).

If we created a MOBILE infantry, the time needed to play GARRISON spit 'n polish, "From Here to Eternity", lawn and building care, parade ground ceremonies would have to be devoted to our MOBILITY MOUNTS and not self-worship. We want line infantry so we can have GARRISON BS.

We are in the 21st Century with a 19th Century military organization, culture and weak narcissistic egomaniac population. As you will see, the U.S. military has NEVER properly adapted and exploited the tank (mech) and the airplane. We are two centuries behind already.

Here is how its progressed over time:

1860 Civil War--------------------->WW1-------------------->WW2 1940

Despite creating a MOBILE infantry (Cavalry on horses) to defeat the Indians after the Civil War, we kept the LINE infantry that could advance in lines or entrench into lines, hitting its zenith in WW1's carnage. "Soldiering" was not that technologically complex and we could stab each other in the back all day long with GARRISON "From Here to Eternity" crap. Everything was shiny to be visible from a distance and polishing kept the troops busy. The mobile warfare folks in love with the HORSE forgot that it was MOBILITY that counted and refused to mechanize with machines to get it.

WW2 1941------------------------->Korea-------------------->1960

In the closed terrain of the Pacific, WW1 generals could refight WW1 using air and sea craft to deliver the infantry to the battlefield (parachute and airland airborne and amphibious operations), where they could then engage in linear Civil War re-enactments. Garrison was safe for post-war games/lifestyle. However, in the exposed, open terrain of Europe, ground forces needed to move much faster, and WW1 generals used wheeled trucks to "motorize" infantry to try to keep up with tracked tanks and dismount to fight Civil War-WW1 style at every opportunity, in addition to using air and sea craft. Garrison was safe for post-war games/lifestyle! Contrary to popular mythology, the motorized infantry did not work that well and it was a dismal failure in Korea against a genuine MOBILE infantry that could go up/down mountains/hills. General Gavin and others began to for the first time really try to make a mobile infantry that FIGHTS MOBILE not just uses mobility means and then fight without much mobility. The creation of the simple-to-operate, M113 air-transportable, all-tracked, all-terrain, all-armored, amphibious light tank for the first time in history offered us the possibility of a MOBILE infantry better than the horse. The whole purpose of the M113 was for INFANTRY, particularly Airborne infantry coming by fixed-wing aircraft, to FIGHT MOBILE, not foot-slog.

However, in the critical year of 1960, with General Gavin retired, the GARRISON Army generals refused to create a mobile infantry; they did not give M113s to the light units, they instead gave them to the units assigned to follow TANKS, creating a perceived inferior social underclass bogged down in VEHICLE CARE lumped in with the heavier M48/M60 medium tanks. The Garrison Army was safe to play garrison Army games, and so was the USMC. During WW2, the USMC had used open-topped "amtracks" to hit the beaches, with the advent of aluminum alloy armor, they could fully enclose the vehicle and use it for MOBILE warfare inland. No-can-do. "The USMC is walking line infantry, we are not going to give up two riflemen; a driver and a track commander---to move every rifle squad, we're gonna get at least 2 squads in every amtrack to cut down on costs and who's 'goldbricking' and not marching into battle." Enter the post-WW2 enclosed and bloated family of USMC amtracks that continues to the present day---they will only take marines ashore and then they'll walk, even though in every damn war necessity finds the bloated amtracks being used as defacto inland war APCs with disastrous results.

1961---------------------->Vietnam 1975---------------------------------1980

The helicopter turned out later in Vietnam to be nothing more than a conveyor of troops like the earlier transport plane, sea landing craft and wheeled truck. However, the urgencies of Vietnam resulted in units that should have had M113s all along, getting them and we created a kick-ass MOBILE infantry that routinely beat the VC and the NVA; the world's best light infantry---by superior all-terrain mobility over soft, muddy terrain and woods and in the face of enemy fire. Operating M113s did NOT make the troops become motor pool "pussies". The M113 Gavins were so simple to operate folks wrongly assumed that if they were needed they'd be assigned ad hoc and THE PERMANENT ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES NEEDED TO CREATE A MOBILE INFANTRY WERE NOT DONE. If you wanted to play garrison "From Here to Eternity" games and own/operate M113s you could. The only excuse left was the ego card, and both the "heavy" tankers and the "light" infantry weighed in.

The WW2 tankers led by Starry with Soviet tank terror on their minds got an American Tiger heavy, defensive, big gun "male" tank to stop them on the Fulda gap. However, they still had swarms of Soviet infantry to kill in BMPs, and a M113 even with a BMP-killing autocannon would not do (AIFV) for their schemes. They didn't want infantry all over the place doing its own thing, they wanted just enough infantry to protect THEM and their tanks, so they created a "female" tank with space for a few security guards, the Bradley.

The lightfighters decided they needed a "pure" foot line infantry force using the limited USAF C-141 airlift excuse to create a whole culture of folks doing the garrison BS they wanted to do, yearning for easy war opportunities which came later in Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989). There were some smart lightfighters who remembered how well light tanks worked in Vietnam and kept it going with the 3/73rd Armor BN's M551 Sheridans, using borrowed M113s at places like NTC and JRTC but the MTOEs were never changed to make infantry mobile and have the long-term use to see new possibilities like "Air-Meching" them by USAF fixed-wing and army rotary-wing aircraft.


Bradley disease kicks in; a 25-33 ton tank that can't fly by C-130 much less helicopters, can't swim, can't go cross-country at will without getting stuck. Eco-nazis on garrison post don't want any trees and woodpeckers knocked over. Troops in back can't see shit or fight mounted. Infantry flees from Bradley units into the "lightfighter" narcissist orbit. USMC likes the Bradley so much their new AAAV/EFV amtrack will be arranged just like it. The Lightfighters without mobility gets their asses kicked in Somalia in 1993, but nothing changes. TF Hawk airlanding of heavy M1s and medium M2s is a clusterfuck and embarrrassment, so Shinseki rather than do the right and best thing, which would be supply the infantry M113 Gavin tracks, saves institutional face by pitching thinly armored trucks (LAV-III/"Strykers") aka motorized infantry as the Army's salvation for sub-national conflicts. Garrison line Infantry loves the high road speed, comfortable ride wheeled trucks because they think they will not have to spend much time on them and are then free to play their garrison BS games with gusto. No more Bradley second-class citizenship in back. Problem is that its no better than road-bound motorized TF Smith in Korea in 1950 asking to happen all over again. A future daily road ambush disaster awaits in Iraq, it happens and nothing changes.

The root cause of all of this is GARRISON.

The desire to have 19th century trappings of rank, privilege, barracks, lawns, parades, saluting, look-at-me-shoot, look-at-me-slowly-march, me-me-me narcissism; all of this chokes out ANY technotactical excellence.

If we do not fix this, and get rid of the 19th century military, America will not make it into the 22nd century. Maybe you are fat and happy with the way things are and the garrison BS. You think its AOK every time we go to war its always a "gee-this-is-a-new-thing-to-me" and the learning curve is measured in dead Americans in flag-draped coffins. You want to ride to the battle, have this event completely erased since its not important and focus ALL THE ATTENTION ON YOU, THE INFANTRYMAN. You have "arrived" and will now do your Civil War/WW2 re-enactment. But the one thing you better not try to do is foist yourself as a "hero" and a "patriot" or a military "professional", since you are neither. Garrison piece-of-shit is what you are and chose to be, Mr. Line Infantry.

We need a MOBILE INFANTRY if we want to defeat enemies today that are more mobile than us; its long overdue. The plains Indians could do it with 19th century technology. See excerpt Dave Reeder found below. Its high time that our light infantry get the M113 Gavin light tanks needed to do 3D maneuver warfare over and through closed terrain to help our heavy forces in heavier tanks doing 2D maneuver warfare over open terrain. If we don't fix this and soon, forces like Hezbollah will not be just a nuisance to the Israelis in rocky southern Lebanon.

From The Prairie Traveler, Capt. Randolph B. Marcy, 5Th Infantry, Chapter 6, 1859


The military system, as taught and practiced in our army up to the time of the Mexican war, was, without doubt, efficient and well adapted to the art of war among civilized nations. This system was designed for the operations of armies acting in populated districts, furnishing ample resources, and against an enemy who was tangible, and made use of a similar system. [EDITOR: nation-state war]

The vast expanse of desert territory that has been annexed to our domain within the last few years is peopled by numerous tribes of marauding and erratic savages, who are mounted upon fleet and hardy horses, making war the business and pastime of their lives, and acknowledging none of the ameliorating conventionalities of civilized warfare. Their tactics are such as to render the old system almost wholly impotent. [EDITOR: sub-national conflict by people who have no civilian "life", they live for violence; sounds like Hezbollah today]

To act against an enemy who is here to-day and there to-morrow; who at one time stampedes a herd of mules upon the head waters of the Arkansas, and when next heard from is in the very heart of the populated districts of Mexico, laying waste haciendas, and carrying devastation, rapine, and murder in his steps; who is every where without being any where; who assembles at the moment of combat, and vanishes whenever fortune turns against him; who leaves his women and children far distant from the theater of hostilities, and has neither towns or magazines to defend, nor lines of retreat to cover; who derives his commissariat from the country he operates in, and is not encumbered with baggage wagons or pack-trains; who comes into action only when it suits his purposes, and never without the advantage of numbers or position-with such an enemy the strategic science of civilized nations loses much of its importance, and finds but rarely, and only in peculiar localities, an opportunity to be put in practice.

Our little army, scattered as it has been over the vast area of our possessions, in small garrisons [FOBs] of one or two companies each, has seldom been in a situation to act successfully on the offensive against large numbers of these marauders, and has often been condemned to hold itself almost exclusively upon the defensive. The morale of the troops must thereby necessarily be seriously impaired, and the confidence of the savages correspondingly augmented. The system of small garrisons has a tendency to disorganize the troops in proportion as they are scattered, and renders them correspondingly inefficient. The same results have been observed by the French army in Algeria, where, in 1845, their troops were, like ours, disseminated over a vast space, and broken up into small detachments stationed in numerous intrenched posts. Upon the sudden appearance of Abd el Kader in the plain of Mitidja, they were defeated with serious losses, and were from day-to-day obliged to abandon these useless stations, with all the supplies they contained. A French writer, in discussing this subject, says:

"We have now abandoned the fatal idea of defending Algeria by small intrenched posts. In studying the character of the war, the nature of the men who are to oppose us, and of the country in which we are to operate, we must be convinced of the danger of admitting any other system of fortification than that which is to receive our grand depots, our magazines, and to serve as places to recruit and rest our troops when exhausted by long, expeditionary movements.

"These fortifications should be established in the midst of the centers of action, so as to command the principal routes, and serve as pivots to expeditionary columns. [EDITOR: only have the minimum necessary FOBs that are operationally located to have maximum effect]

"We owe our success to a system of war which has its proofs in twice changing our relations with the Arabs. This system consists altogether in the great mobility we have given to our troops. Instead of disseminating our Soldiers with the vain hope of protecting our frontiers with a line of small posts, we have concentrated them, to have them at all times ready for emergencies, and since then the fortune of the Arabs has waned, and we have marched from victory-to-victory. [EDITOR: Quick Reaction Forces]

"This system, which has thus far succeeded, ought to succeed always, and to conduct us, God willing, to the peaceful possession of the country."

In reading a treatise upon war as it is practiced by the French in Algeria, by Colonel A. Laure, of the 2d Algerian Tirailleurs, published in Paris in 1858, I was struck with the remarkable similarity between the habits of the Arabs and those of the wandering tribes that inhabit our Western prairies. Their manner of making war is almost precisely the same, and a successful system of strategic operations for one will, in my opinion, apply to the other.

As the Turks have been more successful than the French in their military operations against the Arab tribes, it may not be altogether uninteresting to inquire by what means these inferior Soldiers have accomplished the best results. [EDITOR: just like ARVN were able to get good results in M113 Gavins]

The author above mentioned, in speaking upon this subject, says:

"In these latter days the world is occupied with the organization of mounted infantry, according to the example of the Turks, where, in the most successful experiments that have been made, the mule carries the foot-Soldier.

"The Turkish Soldier mounts his mule, puts his provisions upon one side and his accoutrements upon the other, and, thus equipped, sets out upon long marches, traveling day and night, and only reposing occasionally in bivouac. Arrived near the place of operations (as near the break of day as possible), the Turks dismount in the most profound silence, and pass in succession the bridle of one mule through that of another in such a manner that a single man is sufficient to hold forty or fifty of them by retaining the last bridle, which secures all the others; they then examine their arms, and are ready to commence their work. The chief gives his last orders, posts his guides, and they make the attack, surprise the enemy, generally asleep, and carry the position without resistance. The operation terminated, they hasten to beat a retreat, to prevent the neighboring tribes from assembling, and thus avoid a [decisive] combat. [EDITOR: fight way out with mobility before enemies can converge like they did to Delta/Rangers on October 3, 1993 in Mogadishu]

"The Turks had only three thousand mounted men and ten thousand infantry in Algeria, yet these thirteen thousand men sufficed to conquer the same obstacles which have arrested us for twenty-six years, notwithstanding the advantage we had of an army which was successively re-enforced until it amounted to a hundred thousand.

"Why not imitate the Turks, then, mount our infantry upon mules, and reduce the strength of our army?

"The response is very simple:

"The Turks are Turks-that is to say, Mussulmans-and indigenous to the country; the Turks speak the Arabic language; the Days of Algiers had less country to guard than we, and they care very little about retaining possession of it. They are satisfied to receive a part of its revenues. They were not permanent; their dominion was held by a thread. The Arab dwells in tents; his magazines are in caves. When he starts upon a war expedition, he folds his tent, drives far away his beasts of burden, which transport his effects, and only carries with him his horse and arms. Thus equipped, he goes every where; nothing arrests him; and often, when we believe him twenty leagues distant, he is in ambush at precisely rifle range from the flanks of his enemy.

"It may be thought the union of contingents might retard their movements, but this is not so. The Arabs, whether they number ten or a hundred thousand, move with equal facility. They go where they wish and as they wish upon a campaign; the place of rendezvous merely is indicated, and they arrive there.

"What calculations can be made against such an organization as this?

"Strategy evidently loses its advantages against such enemies; a general can only make conjectures; he marches to find the Arabs, and finds them not; then, again, when he least expects it, he suddenly encounters them.

"When the Arab despairs of success in battle, he places his sole reliance upon the speed of his horse to escape destruction; and as he is always in a country where he can make his camp beside a little water, he travels until he has placed a safe distance between himself and his enemy."

No people probably on the face of the earth are more ambitious of martial fame, or entertain a higher appreciation for the deeds of a daring and successful warrior, than the North American savages. The attainment of such reputation is the paramount and absorbing object of their lives; all their aspirations for distinction invariably take this channel of expression. A young man is never considered worthy to occupy a seat in council until he has encountered an enemy in battle; and he who can count the greatest number of scalps is the most highly honored by his tribe. This idea is inculcated from their earliest infancy. It is not surprising, therefore, that, with such weighty inducements before him, the young man who, as yet, has gained no renown as a brave or warrior, should be less discriminate in his attacks than older men who have already acquired a name. The young braves should, therefore, be closely watched when encountered on the Plains. [EDITOR; career-ism and Achilles-style narcissistic existentialism, Indian-style]

From The Prairie Traveler, Capt. Randolph B. Marcy, 5Th Infantry, Chapter 7, 1859 offers suggestions to improve U.S. tactics:

By making short excursions about the country they acquire a knowledge of it, become inured to fatigue, learn the art of bivouacking, trailing, etc., etc., all of which will be found serviceable in border warfare; and, even if they should perchance now and then miss some of the minor routine duties of the garrison, the benefits they would derive from hunting would, in my opinion, more than counterbalance its effects. Under the old regime it was thought that drills, dress-parades, and guard-mountings comprehended the sum total of the Soldier's education, but the experience of the last ten years has taught us that these are only the rudiments, and that to combat successfully with Indians we must receive instruction from them, study their tactics, and, where they suit our purposes, copy from them. [EDITOR: obvious condemnation of garrison mentality in favor of head-on adaptation to defeat the enemy; like many similar calls, it may be heeded but only with expectation that when Indian problem is over, return to garrison will ensue]

The union of discipline with the individuality, self-reliance and rapidity of locomotion of the savage is what we should aim at. This will be the tendency of the course indicated, and it is conceived by the writer that an army composed of well-disciplined hunters will be the most efficient of all others against the only enemy we have to encounter within the limits of our vast possessions. [EDITOR: you crazy? The narcissistic garrison egomaniacs will have none of this "self-reliance"!!! STAY-IN-YOUR-LANE!!!]

I find some pertinent remarks upon this subject in a very sensible essay by "a late captain of infantry" (U. S.). He says:

"It is conceived that scattered bands of mounted hunters, with the speed of a horse and the watchfulness of a wolf or antelope, whose faculties are sharpened by their necessities; who, when they get short of provisions, separate and look for something to eat, and find it in the water, in the ground, or on the surface; whose bill of fare ranges from grass-seed, nuts, roots, grasshoppers, lizards, and rattlesnakes up to the antelope, deer, elk, bear, and buffalo, and who have a continent to roam over, will be neither surprised, caught, conquered, overawed, or reduced to famine by a rumbling, bugle blowing, drum-beating town passing through their country on wheels at the speed of a loaded wagon. [EDITOR: sounds like a Stryker "wagon"]

"If the Indians are in the path and do not wish to be seen, they cross a ridge, and the town moves on, ignorant whether there are fifty Indians within a mile or no Indian within fifty miles. If the Indians wish to see, they return to the crest of the ridge, crawl up to the edge, pull up a bunch of grass by the roots, and look through or under it at the procession."

Let's be brutally honest, shall we?

Where is the constructive effort to be good at warfighting in the garrison Army and marines?

U.S. military is not "AMATEUR hour"; amateur implies at least we are TRYING; we are not trying; U.S. military is PHONY.

Air Force & Navy when they fly aircraft and sail ships are kept somewhat honest and combat capable because if they at any second fail they can be dead falling from the sky or in the water where man really doesn't live. To warfight they need to actively operate air/sea platforms.

In contrast in land combat, man lives on land; he does not need a platform to exist on land that automatically has a war function. He is under no compulsion to be combat ready even by platform default. Man can die on land from EXPOSURE however, and since he lives on land all the time for a peaceful, civilian life his answer to this is FIXED BUILDING SHELTER. Since man has a civilian existence means that has no military platform utility, both the Army and marines have been corrupted by building and lawn care as convenient excuses/time wasters by people who are phonies who do not want to be combat ready, they want to be phony narcissist snobs and extended adolescents paid middle-class wages.

Actives: wake up each morning sleep-deprived, roll call troop formation, do non-sense sports PT, then breakfast, some more troop formations, "leaders" meetings, document-everything-with-perfect-paperwork via desktop computers, Mondays wasted in motor pool doing PMCS on tactically unsound Humvee SUV trucks, Tuesday/Wednesdays building and lawn care, Thursday meetings, Friday paperwork. WHERE IS THE TIME TO DO ACTIVE WARFIGHTING EXCELLENCE? The entire daily and weekly routine established by the narcissist egomaniacs to baby sit the economic weak co-dependants is geared around BULLSHIT (lawn and building care) not active thinking cat vs. mouse warfighting.


Reserves: one weekend a month they arrive and waste Saturday and Sunday with roll call formation, sports PT then lunch, then yadda yadda meetings, then time to go home for the day. Two weeks in summer is fun time away from wife and kids.


The great military strategist, B.H. Liddell-Hart realized long ago that people in the military are too absorbed in their own narrow-minded FIDO struggles and outlook to use GIDO to get the necessary parameters to win. He explains below that this BS self-pity victimology crap of those who are swimming in the events are NOT the only or best sources of factual information which to drive our present and future actions.

From Strategy by B. H. Liddell-Hart


From page 18....

My original study of "the strategy of indirect approach" was published in 1929-under the title The Decisive Wars of History. The present book embodies the results of twenty-five years' further research and reflection, together with an analysis of the lessons of World War II-in strategy and grand strategy.

When, in the course of studying a long series of military campaigns, I first came to perceive the superiority of the indirect over the direct approach, I was looking merely for light upon strategy. With deepened reflection, however I began to realize that the indirect approach had a much wider application -that it was a law of life in all spheres: a truth of philosophy.

[War is human conflict of wills/ideas]
Its fulfillment was seen to be the key to practical achievement in dealing with any problem where the human factor predominates, and a conflict of wills tends to spring from an underlying concern for interests. In all such cases, the direct assault of new ideas provokes a stubborn resistance, thus intensifying the difficulty of producing a change of outlook. Conversion is achieved more easily and rapidly by unsuspected infiltration of a different idea or by an argument that turns the flank of instinctive opposition.
[I have played this plant-a-seed game for over 26 years] The indirect approach is as fundamental to the realm of politics as to the realm of sex. In commerce, the suggestion that there is a bargain to be secured is far more potent than any direct appeal to buy. And in any sphere it is proverbial that the surest way of gaining a superior's acceptance of a new idea is to persuade him that it is his idea! As in war, the aim is to weaken resistance before attempting to overcome it; and the effect is best attained by drawing the other party out of his defences. [Like Grant did at Vicksburg--called a "turning movement"]

This idea of the indirect approach is closely related to all


problems of the influence of mind upon mind-the most influential factor in human history. Yet it is hard to reconcile with another lesson: that true conclusions can only be reached, or approached, by pursuing the truth without regard to where it may lead or what its effect may be-on different interests. [EXACTLY WHAT WE DO IN OUR STUDY GROUPS AND WHY WE MUST USE ANY DAMN LANGUAGE WE DEEM FIT TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT]

History bears witness to the vital part that the 'prophets' have played in human progress-which is evidence of the ultimate practical value of expressing unreservedly the truth as one sees it.

[THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I do ever since I decided to stop being Mr. Nice Guy around 1997ish. We need someone to call BULLSHIT BULLSHIT if we are ever going to get what's happening straight and make any dent in the BS]

Yet it also becomes clear that the acceptance and spreading of their vision has always depended on another class of men---"leaders" who had to be philosophical strategists, striking a compromise between truth and men's receptivity to it. Their effect has often depended as much on their own limitations in perceiving the truth as on their practical wisdom in proclaiming it.

The prophets must be stoned; that is their lot, and the test of their self-fulfilment. But a leader who is stoned may merely prove that he has failed in his function through a deficiency of wisdom, or through confusing his function with that of a prophet. [I play both prophet and leader at different times and places] Time alone can tell whether the effect of such a sacrifice redeems the apparent failure as a leader that does honour to him as a man. At the least, he avoids the more common fault of leaders-that of sacrificing the truth to expediency without ultimate advantage to the cause. For whoever habitually suppresses the truth in the interests of tact will produce a deformity from the womb of his thought.

[THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I STOPPED BEING MR NICE GUY INFILTRATOR ONLY AND STARTED TELLING IT LIKE IT IS. We were getting nowhere subsidizing NARCISSISM and working around it when its the very thing that rejects new ideas]

Is there a practical way of combining progress towards the attainment of truth with progress towards its acceptance? A possible solution of the problem is suggested by reflection on strategic principles-which point to the importance of maintaining an object consistently [BEARING] and, also, of pursuing it in a way adapted to circumstances. [HEADING] Opposition to the truth is inevitable, especially if it takes the form of a "new idea" but the degree of resistance can be diminished-by giving thought not only to the aim but to the method of approach. Avoid a frontal attack on a long established position; instead, seek to turn it by flank movement, so that a more penetrable side is exposed


to the thrust of truth. But, in any such indirect approach, take care not to diverge from the truth-for nothing is more fatal to its real advancement than to lapse into untruth.


The meaning of these reflections may be made clearer by illustration from one's own experience. Looking back on the stages by which various fresh ideas gained acceptance, it can be seen that the process was eased when they could be presented, not as something radically new, but as the revival in modern terms of a time-honoured principle or practice that had been forgotten. This required not deception, but care to trace the connection-since 'there is nothing new under the sun'. A notable example was the way that the opposition to mechanization was diminished by showing that the mobile armoured vehicle-the fast-moving tank-was fundamentally the heir of the armoured horseman, and thus the natural means of reviving the decisive role which cavalry had played in past ages.

[Play this retro game all the time to sooth egos, doesn't work with the avant garde']





"Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others' experience." This saying, quoted of Bismarck, but by no means original to him, has a special bearing on military questions. Unlike those who follow other professions, the 'regular' Soldier cannot regularly practice his profession. Indeed, it might even be argued that in a literal sense the profession of arms is not a profession at all, but merely 'casual employment'-and, paradoxically, that it ceased to be a profession when mercenary troops who were employed and paid for the purpose of a war were replaced by standing armies which continued to be paid when there was no war.

[U.S. military personnel are NOT professionals, they are greed/ego racketeers]

If the argument-that strictly there is no 'profession of arms' will not hold good in most armies today on the score of work, it is inevitably strengthened on the score of practice because wars have become fewer, though bigger, compared with earlier times. For even the best of peace training is more 'theoretical' than 'practical' experience.

Another example of a good idea today with our all volunteer/victim force/farce narcissism we would have rejected out of hand is the creator of the "Devil's Brigade". Fortunately in WW2, we had a winston Churchill who could recognize talent in men like Hobart and Pyke and over-ruled the egomaniac losers. Today, we have no Churchills to save us in power.

The Hollywood movie starring William Holden was disappointing because they didn't show any of the tracked vehicle/parachuting/skiiing aspects but at least its a place holder in our consciousness that such an unit existed.

The U.S. military ignores the battle against the earth (TBATE) then wonders why it has no energy left to effect the enemy?

Beyond Valor World War II's Ranger and Airborne Veterans Reveal the Heart of Combat

By Patrick K. O'Donnell


The Force

Of all of the elite units, the 1st Special Service Force had the most bizarre beginning. The Force was the brainchild of Englishman Geoffrey Pyke, an inventor, propagandist, statistician, financier, economist, and foreign correspondent. Pyke rarely bathed, shaved, or cut his hair, did not like to wear socks, and dressed in a badly stained, crumpled suit. Pyke's personality matched his appearance.

But for all his shortcomings, Pyke was a brilliant man, and many of his ideas became the basis for important advances in a variety of disparate fields. Most important, Pyke had the ear of several powerful people, including Winston Churchill and Lord Louis Mountbatten, who introduced Pyke to General George Marshall.

One of Pyke's schemes was built on snow -- the simple realization that, for nearly half the year, much of Europe was covered in snow. Pyke theorized that whatever country mastered the snow would control Europe. He devised the Plough Project, which involved parachuting men and "snow tanks" into snow-covered areas. The men would ride the tanks across the snow and destroy strategic Axis targets such as hydroelectric plants in Norway and Italy. Just how they would get out remained a mystery. Nevertheless, the plan captured the imagination of Churchill and Mountbatten, who convinced a weary Eisenhower and Marshall to move forward on the idea. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Frederick was given the task of creating the specialized unit for the Plough Project, surely a surprise to Frederick, who had written a War Department report against its feasibility.

To form the unit, calls were put out for lumberjacks, prospectors, game wardens, and forest rangers, basically all men who felt at home in the outdoors. The Canadians also wanted to be involved in the Plough Project, and with Churchill's backing, Canadians were integrated into the Force, which became known as the North Americans. All together, three six-hundred-man regiments were created along with a service unit. The Force hovered around twenty-three hundred men and was staffed with roughly equal numbers of Canadians and Americans, with Americans slowly coming to outnumber Canadians as time went by.

The skills needed to carry out the Plough Project demanded rigorous training in a wide variety of disciplines. Men learned every available weapon, becoming masters of demolition, qualified skiers, and paratroopers, and learned how to drive and repair the Weasel, the tracked "snow vehicle" developed for the project. Hand-to-hand fighting was taught as well as personal initiative. Thus one of the toughest fighting units of the war was born, and the modern U.S. Special Forces, considered by many the elite of the elite, trace their lineage to this group.

By September 1942, political interest in the project had waned and the bombers needed to transport the Force to Norway were not available, so the Plough Project was canceled. Pressure began to mount to disband the unit, but Marshall felt the unit could be deployed elsewhere. It was first shipped to the Aleutian Islands, where it made a bloodless landing at Kiska Island in August 1943. Shortly after the operation, the North Americans were transferred to Italy, where they would play a decisive role, and from there they went on to southern France, where the unit was finally deactivated.

[Look at the BS "training" we conduct, go to youtube and watch]

But Bismarck's aphorism throws a different and more encouraging light on the problem. It helps us to realize that there are two forms of practical experience, direct and indirect-and that, of the two, indirect practical experience may be the more valuable because [its] infinitely wider. Even in the most active career, especially a Soldier's career, the scope and possibilities of direct experience are extremely limited. In contrast to the military, the medical profession has incessant practice. Yet the great advances in medicine and surgery have been due more to the scientific thinker and research worker than to the practitioner. Direct experience is inherently too limited to form an adequate foundation either for theory or for application. At the best it produces an atmosphere that is of value in drying and hardening the structure of thought. The greater value of indirect experience lies

[We need GIDO experimenters/innovators not FIDO victims who whine about all the dues they've paid]


in its greater variety and extent. 'History is universal experience' -the experience not of another, but of many others under manifold conditions.

[How can you learn from others if you have no humility because you are a narcissist?]

Here is the rational justification for military history as the basis of military education-its preponderant practical value in the training and mental development of a Soldier. But the benefit depends, as with all experience, on its breadth: on how closely it approaches the definition quoted above; and on the method of studying it.

Soldiers universally concede the general truth of Napoleon's much-quoted dictum that in war 'the moral is to the physical as three to one'. The actual arithmetical proportion may be worthless, for morale is apt to decline if weapons are inadequate, and the strongest will is of little use if it is inside a dead body. But although the moral and physical factors are inseparable and indivisible, the saying gains its enduring value because it expresses the idea of the predominance of moral factors in all military decisions.

[Tell this to the anti-equipment 4GW egomaniac marines who think all they need is broomsticks and their hubris ad hoc]

On them constantly turns the issue of war and battle. In the history of war they form the more constant factors, changing only in degree, whereas the physical factors are different in almost every war and every military situation.

[Read comment above again]

This realization affects the whole question of the study of military history for practical use. The method in recent generations has been to select one or two campaigns, and to study them exhaustively as a means of professional training and as the foundation of military theory. But with such a limited basis the continual changes in military means from war to war carry the danger that our outlook will be narrow and the lessons fallacious. In the physical sphere, the one constant factor is that means and conditions are invariably inconstant.

[Tell that to the SASO/COIN Stryker racketeers who want to relive TF Hawk badly]

In contrast, human nature varies but slightly in its reaction to danger. Some men by heredity, by environment, or by training may be less sensitive than others, but the difference is one of degree, not fundamental. The more localized the situation, and our study, the more disconcerting and less calculable is such a difference of degree. It may prevent any exact calculation of the resistance which men will offer in any situation, but it does not impair the judgement that they will offer less if taken by surprise than if they are on the alert; less if they are weary and hungry than if they are fresh and well fed. The broader the psychological survey the better foundation it affords for deductions.

The predominance of the psychological over the physical, and


its greater constancy, point to the conclusion that the foundation of any theory of war should be as broad as possible. An intensive study of one campaign unless based on an extensive knowledge of the whole history of war is likely to lead us into pitfalls. But if a specific effect is seen to follow a specific cause in a score or more cases, in different epochs and diverse conditions, there is ground for regarding this cause as an integral part of any theory of war.

[Pitfalls? You mean like Stryker trucks?]

The thesis set forth in this book was the product of such an 'extensive' examination. It might, indeed, be termed the compound effect of certain causes-these being connected with my task as military editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. For while I had previously delved into various periods of military history according to my inclination, this task compelled a general survey of all periods. A surveyor-even a tourist, if you will-has at least a wide perspective and can take in the general lie of the land, where the miner knows only his own seam.

[FIDO victims can't see beyond their own victimhood]

During this survey one impression became increasingly strong that, throughout the ages, effective results in war have rarely been attained unless the approach has had such indirectness as to ensure the opponent's unreadiness to meet it. The indirectness has usually been physical, and always psychological. In strategy, the longest way round is often the shortest way home.

More and more clearly has the lesson emerged that a direct approach to one's mental object, or physical objective, along the 'line of natural expectation' for the opponent, tends to produce negative results.

[You mean like traveling down roads to kick down doors and "find those Al Quaida terrorists" in Iraq that creates more rebels?]

The reason has been expressed vividly in Napoleon's dictum that 'the moral is to the physical as three to one'. It may be expressed scientifically by saying that, while the strength of an opposing force or country lies outwardly in its numbers and resources, these are fundamentally dependent upon stability of control, morale, and supply.

To move along the line of natural expectation consolidates the opponent's balance and thus increases his resisting power.

[You mean presence patrolling in wheeled trucks so enemy has land mines waiting to blow us up]

In war, as in wrestling, the attempt to throw the opponent without loosening his foothold and upsetting his balance results in self-exhaustion, increasing in disproportionate ratio to the effective strain put upon him. Success by such a method only becomes possible through an immense margin of superior strength in some form-and, even so, tends to lose decisiveness. In most campaigns the dislocation of the enemy's psychological and physical balance has been the vital prelude to a successful attempt at his overthrow.


This dislocation has been produced by a strategic indirect approach, intentional or fortuitous. It may take varied forms, as analysis reveals. For the strategy of indirect approach is inclusive of, but wider than, the maneuuvre sur les derrieres which General Camon's researches showed as being the constant aim and key method of Napoleon in his conduct of operations. Camon was concerned primarily with the logistical moves-the factors of time, space, and communications. But analysis of the psychological factors has made it clear that there is an underlying relationship between many strategical operations which have no outward resemblance to a manreuvre against the enemy's rear-yet are, none the less definitely, vital examples of the 'strategy of indirect approach'.

To trace this relationship and to determine the character of the operations, it is unnecessary to tabulate the numerical strengths and the details of supply and transport. Our concern is simply with the historical effects in a comprehensive series of cases, and with the logistical or psychological moves which led up to them.

If similar effects follow fundamentally similar moves, in conditions which vary widely in nature, scale, and date, there is clearly an underlying connection from which we can logically deduce a common cause. And the more widely the conditions vary, the firmer is this deduction.

The objective value of a broad survey of war is not limited to the research for new and true doctrine. If a broad survey is an essential foundation for any theory of war, it is equally necessary for the ordinary military student who seeks to develop his own outlook and judgement. Otherwise his knowledge of war will be like an inverted pyramid balanced precariously on a slender apex.

[U.S. military doesn't want troops to have their own independent understanding of war to have good judgment, that's why they commit atrocities]


Reality Check from Day 1: School of Warfare Needed

FPRI wants to teach military history to high school civilian kids when THE MILITARY is ignorant of military history. We need military history taught to SOLDIERS as well as high school civilians.

This "School of Warfare" would be classroom instruction on what war is:


...and have "lab time" in the field where Soldiers find out what weapons and equopment really do and don't do.

Does the reader realize we DO NOT go to school on warfare in the U.S. military?

We go through a harassment package then to rote memorization of skill tasks--this includes USMC TBS.

What we need is a SCHOOL OF WARFARE right after basic harassment package and MOS training; one MONTH where there are NO TESTS, NO QUIZES, JUST DOING.

If they don't pay attention they will die.

That might be the school motto: "Pay Attention or Die".

You receive military history classes on WHAT WAR IS, (why abusing civilians helps rebels in sub-national conflicts) watch video documentaries on how war has changed, then YOU GO TO THE FIELD FOR REALITY CHECK TRAINING.

MOBILITY: You get into a wheeled truck and a light track and see what they can and cannot do to include mud, sand, slopes, breaking brush, trenches, wrecked cars, obstacles. If the student thinks he can do something, let him try it. He thinks his Humvee truck can break brush to follow a desired path depicted on a map, LET HIM GET STUCK. Have the recovery vehicles ready. Then have him succeed in a M113 Gavin light armored track.

FIREPOWER: You fire at targets with rifles, machine guns, grenades, and see what they do to your targets KE/HE wise to include being inside woods.

PROTECTION: Then you dig your targets in and sandbag them and do it again. Then you use C4 and blow them up and call in mortars and artillery and see what they do and don't do.

OBSERVATION: You wear night vision goggles and look through thermals to see what can and cannot be seen and for how far. You see what smoke can and cannot do for you. You determine how to find a direction to a shot or a mortar/arty round, how enemy and friendly weapons sound. Then they get a flight in an aircraft to see what they can see of their targets from the air at varying altitudes.

The U.S. MILITARY HAS TO MAKE THE INVESTMENT INTO EVERY ONE OF ITS PEOPLE TO BE PROFESSIONALS WHICH MEAN KNOWING THE TRUTH ABOUT THEIR PROFESSION. They "ain't" doing it now, which is why we have so many shooter narcissists ignorant of the limitations of their bullets, the threat of high explosives and the need for combat engineering that is the cause of our continual failures in Iraq/Afghanistan.

1. Get rid of static buildings: force ground troops to every day do combat things by making them live every day in tactically-sound, portable, fortifiable "Battle Boxes" THERE IS NO GARRISON. There is only the FIELD.


2. Make Reserves go to war for 24 hours each month


3. Get rid of phony narcissists and economic bennie boomers and replace with warfighter enthusiasts


4. Cat & Mouse Warfighting Experimentation Needed


Once we cut out all the BULLSHIT we will face the tools we have in front of us and start grappling with how we will use them in war and how to better use them by ACTIVE THOUGHT. Force everyone to FACE THE TOOLS THEY HAVE IN FRONT OF THEM their minds will be forced to THINK about what it is they have. FORCE THEM TO BE IN A WAR SETTING AND THEIR MINDS WILL PONDER hey, what if I left on foot over there to patrol and an enemy sapper team is already there?

The same intellectual development and innovation that I undertake will happen with the troops, what we call FIELD CRAFT. How can you have FIELDcraft when you are NOT IN THE FIELD but in garrison doing LAWN CARE?

A few examples:

Drive vehicles and lay smoke screens with OPFOR to perfect what it takes to evade optical weapons engagement

Off-road, x-country driving of TRACKED armored fighting vehicles to avoid roadside bombs/RPG ambushes

Finding out how to hide vehicles from thermal imagery

Shoot actual soft nose RPGs at vehicles and practice evading them

Actual hardening of combat vehicles and loading arragements perfected not static BS "this is the SOP we've always used so go back to sleep"

5. Create Mobile units able to prevail on the Non-Linear Battlefield


An Army Colonel and combat veteran writes:

"You have to think terrain even in non-linear warfare, all of Iraq much like all of Vietnam is not the same.

By the way, the idea of the dogs on patrols is excellent. They should add K9s the support platoon of all CA units, perhaps 2 per platoon, specifically for bomb-Haji sniffing. Really good idea.

The real problem, the one I see over and over and over again is a decided lack of inspiration and an over-reliance on junior and experienced Soldiers to provide the leadership oversight the Army needs. It is all leadership and you can't do leadership from the rear.

If you go to Gettysburg you will find inverted cannons all over the battlefield representing the place where a general officer fell. There are a lot of them because at that time generals had to be on the field to lead. Well today they have convinced themselves that they can lead with BFT and UAVs and all manner of what have you, often from air conditioned places in Qatar (which is pronounced Ka'tar as well as Cutter as any Qatari will tell you, to deflate the pseudo-encultured in the crowd). This is folly.

ALL general officers if they have any reason to be in the theater need to be IN the theater. Period. No more spending long days in the FOB, at least 1-2 times a week ALL generals need to be out on convoys, in the villages, with patrols, observing and learning. Period.

They do not do it. They spend their days surrounded by the PSDs and hopping via helicopter from point to point. Well that is terrible leadership. Simply getting on the terrain and seeing the land and the people up close and personal is everything not to mention figuring out how jacked up some weapons and vehicle applications would be. It was by being on the ground that I realized that we needed UAV or 58D support for one OP because it was flat out impossible to do the mission without aerial support even though higher had tasked just that, because they had never been on the ground.

Our junior S2 didn't know how to request a tasker and I was able to explain how to do it. He got his recon runs and found a bunch of stuff. That illustrates the problem, lack of leadership because of lack of mentoring. An S2 shouldn't have to rely on the wisdom of a combat support officer to make up for deficiencies in his Combat arms leadership.

That is the crux. Thinking outside the box about what the inside of the box looks like and how to apply the right forces in the right methods.

That and perhaps 150 Cessna 172s to continuously patrol the MSRs day and night and keep Haji from planting bombs in the dark of night on long lonely stretches of unpatrolled highway. Heck that is how the California Highway Patrol catches speeders. $18,000,000 or 6 Stryker's worth would get us the airplanes and they can run on straight gas if need be which is plentiful in Iraq."



When your troops are coming home with PTSD its because the U.S. DoD/military brass have set them up for failure driving around in Humvee/other wheeled trucks on the HE-dominated non-linear battlefield (NLB).


With a better CONOPS using better armored tracks, we'd need less than 50, 000 troops in Iraq and have more in Afghanistan actually getting OBL & company. Soldiers that are winners in a winning CONOP that don't have to shoot into civilians don't get PTSD when they win easily. Stability ops should be done by a dedicated Stability Corps:


If we are going to use motor-driven vehicles, we need to have firefighting vehicles in every movement formation:


U.S. News & World Report
October 9, 2006

Treating War's Toll On The Mind

Thousands of Soldiers have post-traumatic stress disorder. Will they get the help they need?

By Betsy Streisand

As they take their seats in the movie theater, Eric and Raquel Schrumpf could be any young couple out on a summer night in Southern California. No one notices as Schrumpf, 31, a former marine sergeant who served in Iraq, scans the rows for moviegoers who may be wired with explosives under their jackets. No one pays attention as a man who appears to be Middle Eastern, wearing a long coat with bulging pockets, takes a seat in the same row as the Schrumpfs and Eric starts watching him intently. No one listens as Schrumpf instructs his wife to "get as low to the ground as you can if something happens." Then something does. Schrumpf hears metal jangling as the man reaches into his pocket. Convinced he is a suicide bomber about to strike, Schrumpf lunges at him. The man jerks away and his deadly weapon falls to the floor: a can of Coke.

Schrumpf has everyone's attention now, as he and his wife quickly leave the theater. The Schrumpfs can't even remember what movie they went to see. Not that it would have mattered. Eric Schrumpf had room for only one movie in his head, the one where he is in Iraq. Now, more than two years later, Schrumpf has a good job, a strong marriage, a couple of pets, and a life that looks startlingly like everyone else's in Orange County, Calif. But he is still never more than a sound, smell, or thought away from the war. He gets anxious in a crowd, has been known to dive for cover, even indoors, at the sound of a helicopter, reaches for nonexistent weapons to be used in nonexistent circumstances, and wakes up screaming from nightmares about burning bodies and rocket-propelled grenades. "I'll never be the same again," says Schrumpf, who as a weapons and tactics instructor with the 5th marine regiment was part of the initial push into southern Iraq in 2003. "The war will be part of my life and my family's life forever."

Reliving the war. Like thousands of Soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, Schrumpf is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a chronic condition whose symptoms include rage, depression, flashbacks, emotional numbness, and hypervigilance. It can be brought on by a single event, such as when a grenade landed next to Schrumpf, ticking off his death and then failing to explode. Or it can be the result of repeated exposure to trauma such as house-to-house firefights or the accidental killing of civilians. "Soldiers who are routinely exposed to the trauma of killing, maiming, and dying are much more likely to bring those problems home," says Army Col. Kathy Platoni, a clinical psychologist and leader of a combat stress-control unit that works with Soldiers on the battlefield. At its most basic, PTSD is the inability to flip the switch from combat Soldier to everyday citizen and to stop reliving the war at so high a frequency that it interferes with the ability to function.

The problem is as old as war itself. But this time, American Soldiers have been assured by the government and the military that the solution will be different: Iraq will be nothing like Vietnam, with its legacy of psychologically scarred veterans whose problems went unrecognized, undiagnosed, and untreated. "The hallmark of this war is going to be psychological injury," says Stephen Robinson, a Gulf War vet and director of government relations for Veterans for America in Washington, D.C. "We have learned the lessons of Vietnam, but now they have to be implemented."

Since the war began, the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have stepped up efforts to address the mental health needs of Soldiers before, during, and after they are deployed. And more effective treatments for PTSD have been developed. But as the war drags on, the psychological costs are mounting and so is the tab for mental health care. Troop shortages are driving already traumatized Soldiers back into combat for three and sometimes four tours of duty. Those who make it home often feel too stigmatized to ask for treatment lest they jeopardize their military careers. And if they do ask, they often can't get the care they need when they need it.

In addition, there are concerns among veterans groups that the Bush administration is trying to reduce the runaway cost of the war by holding down the number of PTSD cases diagnosed (and benefits paid), and that the promise to protect the mental health of nearly 1.5 million troops is not being kept. "Throughout this war, everything has been underestimated-the insurgency, the body armor, the cost, and the number of troops," says Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war vet and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in New York. "Now, the psychological problems and the needs of these Soldiers are being underestimated, too."

Just how many troops will bring the war home with them is impossible to know at this point. But the numbers could be substantial. In a study published in 2004 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research found that nearly 17 percent of Soldiers who have returned from Iraq, or nearly 1 in 6, showed signs of major depression, generalized anxiety, or PTSD. A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this year found that 1 in 5 Soldiers met the risk for concern. And those numbers are virtually certain to grow as the war enters its fourth year. "I do think we're going to see a whole lot more PTSD as time goes on," says Platoni.

The VA, short of doctors, therapists, and staff in some areas, is straining to meet the mental health needs of the troops who have already returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers often wait weeks or even months to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. A 2004 study by the Government Accountability Office found that six of the seven VA medical facilities it visited "may not be able to meet" increased demand for PTSD. "I don't think anybody can say with certainty whether we are prepared to meet the problem because we don't know what the scope is yet," says Matthew Friedman, a psychiatrist and executive director of the VA's National Center for PTSD in White River Junction, Vt. "What we do know is that the greater the exposure to trauma, the greater the chance that someone will have PTSD."

Danger zone. There may be no war better designed to produce combat stress and trauma. Operation Iraqi Freedom is a round-the-clock, unrelenting danger zone. There are no front lines, it's impossible to identify the enemy, and everything from a paper bag to a baby carriage is a potential bomb. Soldiers are targets 24-7, whether they are running combat missions or asleep in their bunks. "There is no moment of safety in Iraq," says Andrew Pomerantz, a psychiatrist and chief of the Mental Health and Behavioral Science Service at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction. "That's one of the things we're seeing in people when they come back-a feeling of an absolute lack of safety wherever they are."

Stories of vets who sleep with guns and knives and patrol the perimeters of their homes obsessively are as common as tales of valor. Marine Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea, 38, who trained Iraqi troops and was in about 100 firefights, knows that paranoia all too well. "Every time I get on the road," says Zacchea, who commutes from Long Island to Wall Street, "it's like I'm back in the streets of Baghdad in combat, driving and running gun battles, with people throwing grenades at me." Zacchea, a reservist, is now being treated for PTSD at a VA hospital, but had it not been for chronic dysentery, migraines, and shrapnel wounds in his shoulder, he says he probably would have been redeployed in September, emotional scars and all.

And he still may be. The military's need to maintain troop strength in the face of historic recruiting lows means many service members, including some suffering from psychological problems like Zacchea, have no choice but to return. President Bush recently authorized the marine corps to call up inactive reservists, men and women who have already fulfilled their active-duty commitment. "They're having to go deep into the bench," says Robinson, "and deploy some people who shouldn't be deployed."

Multiple tours. Robinson is referring to the increasing number of reports of service members who stock antidepressants and sleeping pills alongside their shampoo, soap, and razor blades. The Defense Department does not track the number of Soldiers on mental health medications or diagnosed with mental illnesses. But the military acknowledges that service members on medication who may be suffering from combat-induced psychological problems are being kept in combat. "We're not keeping people over there on heavy-duty drugs," says Army Surgeon General Kevin Kiley, who estimates that 4 to 5 percent of Soldiers are taking medications, mostly sleeping pills. "Four to five percent of 150,000, that's still a lot of troops. But if it's got them handling things, I'm OK with that."

Handling things is a relative term. Army Pvt. Jason Sedotal, 21, a military policeman from Pierre Part, La., had been in Iraq six weeks in 2004 when he drove a humvee over a landmine. His sergeant, seated beside him, lost two legs and an arm in the explosion. Consumed by guilt and fear, Sedotal, who suffered only minor injuries, was diagnosed with PTSD when he returned from his first tour in early 2005 and given antidepressants and sleeping pills. Several months later, while stationed at Fort Polk, La., he sought more mental health care and was prescribed a different antidepressant.

Last November, Sedotal was redeployed. "They told me I had to go back because my problem wasn't serious enough," Sedotal said in an interview from Baghdad in mid-September. Sedotal says he started "seeing things and having flashbacks." Twice a combat stress unit referred him to a hospital for mental health care. Twice he was returned to his unit, each time with more medication and the second time without his weapon. "I stopped running missions, and I was shunned by my immediate chain of command and my unit," says Sedotal, who returned to Fort Polk last week.

Cases like Sedotal's prompted Congress earlier this year to instruct the Department of Defense to create a Task Force on Mental Health to examine the state of mental health care for the military. It is expected to deliver a report to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in May 2007 and make recommendations for everything from reducing the stigma surrounding disorders to helping families and children deal with the traumatized Soldier.

Sending military members who suffer from PTSD back into combat goes straight to one of the toughest issues of the war: how to protect Soldiers' mental health and still keep them fighting. It is well-established that repeated and prolonged exposure to combat stress is the single greatest risk factor in developing PTSD.

At the same time, there is tremendous resistance to sending home Soldiers who are suffering from psychological wounds, in all but the most severe cases. "If a Soldier has some PTSD symptoms," says Kiley, "we'll watch him and see how he does." The expectation "is that we're all in this boat together and we need to drive on to complete the mission," he says, adding that if the situation gets worse, the Soldier would most likely be given a couple days of rest to see if he recovers. Once Soldiers are evacuated, "they are much less likely to come back."

With that in mind, the DOD has designed a program to manage combat stress and identify mental health problems when they occur. It will include so-called battle-mind training for recruits, which focuses on the emotional fallout of seeing and contributing to the carnage of war and how to deal with it. Once they are in Iraq, there are psychologists and combat stress-control teams, such as Platoni's, who work side by side with troops to help them deal with their emotions and decompress immediately after battle. "Soldiers suffering from combat stress do better if they are treated early, efficiently, and as close to the battlefield as possible," says Col. Charles Hoge, chief of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Currently, there are more than 200 psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, and other mental health experts working with Soldiers "in theater." They lend an ear, encourage Soldiers to talk about their experiences with each other, and administer whatever short-term remedies they can, including stress-reduction techniques, anger-management strategies, or medications. However, their mission, first and foremost, is to be "force multipliers" who maintain troop strength. Their success is judged by their ability to keep Soldiers from going home for psychological reasons. Soldiers are often their allies in this effort, as they feel such guilt and shame over abandoning their units they'll most likely say anything to keep from leaving. "It's a very sticky wicket," says Platoni. "We don't know if our interventions are enough to help them stay mentally healthy, or if they'll suffer more in the long term."

Last year, for instance, Platoni spent four months in Ar Ramadi, near Baghdad, where her battalion was under constant attack by insurgents. "They were watching their fellow Soldiers burning to death and thinking they might be next," says Platoni. When a break came, one platoon was removed from combat for 48 hours so they could rest, shower, have a hot meal, and talk to psychologists about what they'd been through. "When they returned to the fighting," says Platoni, "they were able to deal with their fears better and focus on what needed to be done."

When Soldiers do return home, the true emotional trauma of war is often just beginning. They go through a cursory post-deployment medical screening and a quick interview with a healthcare worker, who may or may not specialize in mental health. And returning Soldiers are far more likely to downplay emotional problems for fear of being shifted from the "go home" line into the "further evaluation" line and being prevented from seeing families and friends.

Macho warrior. Three to six months after they return-the time when PTSD symptoms are the most likely to start becoming obvious-troops are given another mental health screening and may be referred for further evaluation, although the chances are slim. A GAO report issued in May, for instance, found that of the 5 percent of returning veterans between 2001 and 2004 who tested as being at risk for PTSD, fewer than one quarter were referred for further mental health evaluations. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, took issue with the study: "We're doing more than any military in history to identify, prevent, and treat mental health concerns among our troops. It is a top priority for us." Even with a referral, many veterans and active-duty Soldiers will not seek help for fear of being stigmatized. To help break down the barriers, the DOD has begun encouraging high-ranking Soldiers to openly discuss the effects that combat and killing can have on a person's psyche. Even so, the military remains dominated by the image of the macho warrior who sucks it up and drives on. According to the VA, the number of PTSD cases has doubled since 2000, to an all-time high of 260,000, but fewer than 40 percent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have sought medical treatment. "This is the military culture," says Schrumpf, who now gets regular therapy and takes medication to help with his PTSD. "If it gets out that you even went to see the medical officer, and it always does, then you're done as a career marine."

In a surprising admission, former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in Vietnam, announced in August that he is being treated for PTSD in the hopes of encouraging other vets to do the same. One of the biggest problems for Vietnam veterans, for instance, was that their psychological wounds went unrecognized and unattended for so long that, by the time they got treatment, many were past of the point of being helped. Cleland is one of a growing crowd of Vietnam vets who are finally seeking help-and competing for VA services-as a result of long-buried feelings stirred up by the Iraq war.

In the past few years, in part because of events such as September 11, there have been advances in therapies for PTSD. "Just because you have PTSD, it doesn't mean you can't be successful in daily life," says Harold Wain, chief of the psychiatry consultation and liaison service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the main Army hospital for amputees. Many of the patients Wain sees have suffered catastrophic injuries and must heal their bodies as well as their minds.

Reimagining the trauma again and again, or what's known as exposure therapy, has long been believed to be the most effective way of conquering PTSD. It is still popular and has been made even more effective by such tools as virtual reality. However, therapists are increasingly relying on cognitive behavior therapy or cognitive reframing, putting a new frame around a thought to shift the way a Soldier interprets an event. A Soldier who is racked with guilt because he couldn't save an injured buddy, for instance, may be redirected to concentrate on what he did do to help. Other approaches such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing use hypnosis to help Soldiers.

For some Soldiers, simply talking about what happened to them can be therapy enough. When Zachary Scott-Singley returned from Iraq in 2005, he was haunted by the image of a 3-year-old boy who had been shot and killed accidentally by a fellow Soldier. With a son of his own, Scott-Singley couldn't get the picture of the child and his wailing mother out of his head and became increasingly paranoid about his own child's safety. "I was constantly thinking about how people were going to attack me and take him," he says. Scott-Singley twice sought mental health care from the Army. The first time he says he was told that since he wasn't hurting anybody, he didn't have PTSD. The next counselor suggested he buy some stress-management tapes on the Internet and practice counting to 10 whenever he felt overwhelmed. (The VA is legally precluded from discussing a soldier's medical records.) Ironically, Scott-Singley found his therapy on the Web anyway, with his blog A Soldier's Thoughts (misoldierthoughts.blogspot.com). "It feels so much better to know I am not alone."

Outcry. Many veterans say they would also find it therapeutic to hear Bush acknowledge PTSD and the psychological costs of the war instead of downplaying them. Earlier this year, for instance, the Institute of Medicine was asked by Congress to re-evaluate the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, which was established by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. Critics claim the review was ordered by the Bush administration in an effort to make it harder to diagnose PTSD, which would in turn reduce the amount of disability payments. The number of veterans from all wars receiving disability payments for PTSD, about 216,000 last year, has grown seven times as fast as the number receiving benefits for disabilities in general, at a cost of $4.6 billion a year. And that figure does not include most of the more than 100,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have sought mental health services. The IOM report, released in June, supported the current criteria for diagnosing PTSD.

Now the institute is looking at the accuracy of screening techniques and how to compensate and treat vets with PTSD, widely regarded as an easy condition to fake. And in another move that infuriated veterans groups, the VA late last year proposed a review of 72,000 cases of vets who were receiving full disability benefits for PTSD to look for fraud. The move prompted such an outcry that it was called off.

Studies and reviews aside, there isn't enough help available to veterans with PTSD. According to a report from the VA, individual veterans' visits to PTSD specialists dropped by 20 percent from 1995 to 2005-"a decrease in capacity at a time when the VA needs to reach out," the report stated. Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Nicholson says the VA sees 85 percent of new mental health patients within 30 days. "But that still leaves 15 percent and that's a big number. Could we do better? Yes."

Bush has called for a record $80.6 billion in the 2007 VA budget. That includes $3.2 billion for mental health services, a $339 million increase over this year's budget. However, those increases are being met by increasing demands for care, as well as rising cost-of-living allowances and prescription drug prices. "The bigger budget doesn't really add up to much," says Rieckhoff.

However frustrating and exhausting the process, most vets can avoid getting help only so long before friends and family push them into counseling or they get in trouble with the law. "It's almost like your family has its own form of PTSD just from being around you every day," says a former Army sergeant who worked as an interrogator in Iraq and asked that his name be withheld. "When I came back I was emotionally shut down and severely paranoid. My wife thought I was crazy and my son didn't realize who I was. Because of them, I got help."

Like many Soldiers, he found it at one of more than 200 local Veterans Centers, which offer counseling for PTSD and sexual assault, a growing concern for women in the military. Vet Centers are part of the VA but operate like the anti-VA, free of the delays and bureaucracy. There is almost no paperwork, and the wait to see a counselor is rarely more than a week. It's no coincidence that when Doonesbury character B.D. finally went for help with his PTSD, he went to a Vet Center (story, Page 60). The centers are small and staffed mostly by vets, which creates the feel of a nurturing social environment rather than an institutional one. The free coffee is strictly decaf, and the approach is laid back. "Someone may come in asking about an insurance problem, and as we answer their questions, we ask them how are they feeling," says Karen Schoenfeld-Smith, a psychologist and team leader at the San Diego Vet Center, which sees a lot of Iraq vets from nearby Camp Pendleton. "That's how we get them into it." Many come just to talk to other vets.

It is that same need to talk that keeps Schrumpf E-mailing and phoning fellow marines and returning to Camp Pendleton every couple of weeks to hang out. "It is the only place I can talk about the killing," he says. Next month, Schrumpf will leave California for his home state of Tennessee, where he says it will be easier to raise a family. He's not worried about taking the war with him. In fact, in many ways he is more worried about leaving it behind. "The anger, the rage, and all that is just there," says Schrumpf. "And honestly, I don't want it to leave. It's like a security blanket." Or a movie, that just keeps on playing.

Stress by Any Other Name

Every war has had its own terms for the invisible scars left by combat, now known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Here is a brief history of PTSD on the battlefield:

Soldier's heart. The term was coined during the Civil War to describe the dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and other symptoms that Soldiers experienced in battle. It came back into use in the 1950s, when President Dwight Eisenhower's personal physician used it to describe the physiological effects of combat on the heart.

Shell shock. Surgeons during World War I used the phrase to describe Soldiers who were dazed, confused, blind, deaf, or paralyzed for no apparent reason. Doctors believed the problem was caused when a bursting shell upset the workings of the brain, and that the only cure was to return home to recuperate-if you were an officer, that is. Regular Soldiers with shell shock were often branded cowards.

Battle fatigue. World War II, which saw huge numbers of Soldiers discharged for psychological problems stemming from fear and exhaustion, established the idea that external events like warfare could have psychological consequences. Until then, Soldiers were believed to suffer breakdowns for mostly biological reasons, such as a weak nervous system. When the war began, the military believed that by picking the right Soldiers, it could limit losses to battle fatigue. By war's end, it understood that every man has his breaking point.

Post-Vietnam syndrome. In the early 1970s, a group of psychiatrists used this term to describe a delayed reaction to combat that included alienation, depression, anger, and sleeplessness. Their work, and activism on the part of Vietnam vets, would become the impetus for diagnosing PTSD as a medical condition.

Post-traumatic stress disorder. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association officially recognized PTSD. The designation gave victims a medical diagnosis to explain their sometimes debilitating responses to trauma and led to the development of several effective treatments for stress disorders.

When Humor Hits Home

Perhaps no political cartoonist has captured the war experience better than Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau. His character B.D. went to Iraq as a national guardsman, lost a leg in combat, and developed post-traumatic stress disorder. B.D.'s struggle with PTSD has been gathered into a new book, The War Within: One More Step at a Time. All proceeds go to Fisher House, an organization that houses families of service members receiving medical treatment. U.S. News Senior Writer Betsy Streisand talked to Trudeau, via E-mail, about B.D.:

Why did you choose B.D. to go to war? I wanted to heighten the stakes, and using a character whom longtime readers had been following for 35 years seemed a good way to accomplish that.

Why have him lose a leg? To dramatize the sacrifices our troops were making in our names. I briefly considered killing B.D. off. Instead, I gave him a serious wound and committed myself to following that story through his recovery.

Were you looking for a way to get his helmet off, which he has worn since the cartoon began in 1970? No, I did that on impulse. But once I did it, I realized that it greatly enhanced the pathos of the reveal. Yes, he was missing his leg, but what was nearly as shocking to readers was that he was missing a signature part of his persona-the headgear. I was trying to convey the sense that nothing would ever again be the same.

You spent a lot of time at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. What struck you most about the amputees?

The Soldiers are almost all hellbent on putting their lives back together. There's not a culture of complaint. So many of them want nothing more than to get back to their units. That's an unreasonable goal for most, but that aspiration is front and center and it's very moving.

Do you think the country understands how affected many Soldiers are by war?

I don't think most people fully understand the price to society of reabsorbing large numbers of veterans who are dealing with serious pain and dysfunction. It was ignored after Vietnam; it won't be this time.

B.D.'s journey is very emotional. Is this a departure for you?

I think so. We're seeing the emotional side of a very buttoned-up character, but it was necessary in order to describe the mayhem that PTSD brings on.

Was it more difficult to pull off than other story lines?

Difficult in one very particular sense: B.D.'s story is not told at the veteran's expense; it's told in his honor. That's an unusual ambition for satire, which generally plays offense.

Many Soldiers think that supporting the troops and not the war is a contradiction. What about you?

I opposed the war from the beginning, and yet I also feel we have a deep responsibility to these young men and women. The country's living in a state of low-grade schizophrenia, and that worries me. It could very easily allow its frustration with the war to bleed over to the warrior, and vets will once again pay a terrible price.

Table of Contents

Slide 1: Pyramid of Ego

Slide 2: Pyramids don't move

Slide 3: RHIP kills knowledge

Slide 4: Mini-pyramids exported

Slide 5: Pyramid fails miserably in Iraq

Slides 5a thru 5p: How Wheeled Egomania Corrupts our Army and New Iraqi Forces

Slide 6: Pyramid will return to CONUS with BS excuses

Slide 7: We need a wheel composed of adults to prevail in 4GW

Author: Sam Damon Jr.

Email: transformationunderfire@yahoo.com

Home Page: www.reocities.com/paratroop2000/weakcodependantarmy.htm

Download PPT presentation source (minus Slides 5a thru 5p)

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Mark Ash writes:

"All the forces have bought into 'network-centric' warfare where you divide your forces into four parts, detection/recon, combat, fire support and support. For detecting the enemy you pour all your money into very specialized platforms such as large, slow and cumbersome AWACS/J-STAR planes or vulnerable light 4x4 vehicles with very expensive sensor suite. These in turn send data to the fire support platforms, which carry large missile/bomb loads but have little or no way in defending themselves. Why mobile platforms depend on stealth, the 'ultimate' is what PNAC refers to as 'missiles-in-a-box'. Basically a box with missiles that you remotely control from you command bunker that can be dropped off anywhere and you fire them when needed. Sounds great right up until someone decides to tamper with you 'missiles-in-a-box'. Next comes the Combat force and support service. Because your fire support and the bulk of your detection platforms depend solely on fixed, long established installation there is little need for a flexible logistics. The Combat force is meant to be a token force to occupy territory that has been cleared of resistance by fire support. As this they need no firepower of their own. Also, because they need no firepower and aren't meant to really fight the Support service and be reduced to near nothing. Fighting will be avoided by superior information gathering and decimating technology that will tell the combat forces were it is 'safe' to go and where it is 'unsafe'. Basically the combat force becomes a 'no-teeth, no-tail' force that is 100% dependent on large, expensive and vulnerable detection and mouse-click firepower platforms.

The Military Bureaucracy:

- They are more then happy to retire the Phoenix missile without a suitable replacement because this reminds everyone that you can take down an AWACS/J-STAR-sized plane easily from over 100 miles with '70s-era technology from a manned aircraft that can be launched anywhere in the world. This includes the their airborne anti-ballistic missile laser platform and cargo transports.

- They are more then happy to get rid of electronic warfare and ECM because this reminds everyone that whatever uses radio/microwaves to transmit or detect can be jammed or spoofed. This doesn't sit well with the pro-UCAV community as working around this is one of their major obstacles Autonomous UCAVs is not an option as you can't micromanage and autonomous UCAV any better then you can a manned aircraft.

- They must avoid deploying better body armor because then infantry would demand to ride in vehicles more often. If infantry rode in vehicles more often then they would have to protect them better. If infantry rode in helicopters more often then they would have to become less vulnerable by being less visible and a lot quieter. Both of which aren't options.

- They must wean current combat force off organic firepower. A force that isn't totally dependent on Theater HQ for firepower might do something independently without asking 'mother-may-I'. The combat force must not have an organic recon capabilities so they are also totally dependent on Theater HQ and brigade and higher for information. This is how you build an obedient force.

- They must avoid capable carrier aircraft and cheaper carriers. If better aircraft can be flown from something other then All-eggs-in-one-basket CVN Supercarriers then the USAF will still have competition for the skies and sexy stealthy Superdestroyers will have something to challenge them for the seas. Again, last thing you want are 'redundant' capabilities, because then others can do things differently and possibly better. Or ruin your 'perfect' theories with reality.

Basically the DoD wants to make warfare into a game of chess, where one person moves military units as 'pieces' around the board in a very predictable manner with strictly set rules. Warfare doesn't work that way because there are more possible endings then just taking out the 'king'.

We reply:

We call the whole thing "Bombard & Occupy".

DoD and the Generals have indeed bought Alvin & Heidi Toffler's "Third Wave" hubris totally. They think we are in a new mental age where computers REPLACE the things of the industrial age which were PHYSICAL and metal and certainly the agragrian age which was made of wood and human powered. Total BS. We still eat food grown on farms (thank God!) and we still have PHYSICAL machines to get PHYSICAL effects.

The reason why the RMA push-button firepower attempt at warfare appeals to these clowns is indeed because they are Dixonian weak people drawn from our society's most anxiety riddled.

Flying over the earth is cool. Its inherently dangerous. You could DIE, not tomorrow, but NOW. It takes COURAGE to fly a plane and intellect. To do it well, humility. This is why the USAF is kicking all the service's asses on capital hill. They are wrong about warfare but they are effective at bureaucratic in-fighting thanks to flying keeping them "real". They don't waste time on the BS that the earth itself subsidizes in the Army/USMC; the lawn mowings, floor polishings, stupid TTPs etc. Flying through the air does not subsidize stupidity. You are stupid, you DIE.

To get skilled MANEUVER on the ground, we must toss out most of the people in the Army/USMC and start over with ADULTS with secure egos who are war/adventure enthusiasts. The new ground force must be ALL TEETH and little tail. It must through BATTLEBOXes have no static buildings but be totally kept true to a ground combat reality. The IDF and the British Army have reformed themselves over the years, the U.S. Army/marines have never FORMED themselves on a sound human being reality basis. We don't need to start talking about roles & missions. Start with ARE YOU IN UNIFORM BECAUSE YOU THINK IT MAKES YOU A BAD ASS AND SUPERIOR HUMAN BEING TO THAT THIRD WORLD COUNTRY PERSON IN RAGS? All things that could feed a person's ego into snobbery must be curtailed, things like sexy titles for rank etc. We need a really sound human nature organizational structure and culture far better than the current winking at and condoning narcissism one we have.

A former Assistant DA writes:

"Basically what you're saying is that the Navy -- and the Army and AF -- all choose, say, 50% efficient solutions so that they can employ double the number of half-assed (50% efficient) cronies, or do things at 50% efficiency so they can spend twice the amount of money. This is well known from business and government agencies in general. They have little or no incentive to do a good job 100% efficient because they reason that they will get less money and don't think of or care about the damage that 50% solutions do. 50% solutions are not mathematically scalable so that doubling them gives you a full 100%. A 50% military solution could be completely lethal to our side and doubling it only gives you two equally lethal 'solutions' that result in you being wiped out entirely, as you seem to be saying.

What is interesting and despicable are the asskissing bootlickers who cling to the 50% solutions and loudly proclaim they are really 100%. Their proof is the half that works and they cover up the half that does not. I have seen this so many times in so many different areas of life (business, govt, science) and it is just sickening. They cannot be reformed, it is hopeless. Only those who are teachable and willing to learn the truth are worth spending any time or effort on and there is some hope they can have enough influence and networking with other like minds. I know. I've tried."

War is a Racket was published in 1935 by Round Table Press, Inc., New York. It was condensed in Reader's Digest as a book supplement, with an introduction by Lowell Thomas, who praised Butler's "...moral as well as physical courage... "

General Butler's book is remarkable in many ways. Essentially he's calling on WE THE PEOPLE through our federal government to do 3 things; one take-over all war industry corporations and put them on a private E1's salary, two to have ALL the military service eligible men to VOTE on whether to go to war or not, and three, restrict the U.S. military to operations no farther than 200 miles to shore.

The tragedy is that Butler is right about steps 1 and 2. We should amend the U.S. Constitution to enable these measures. We have to be clever so DoD doesn't work around the military age male vote by going to push-button, robotic wars. The problem is Butler is wrong about step 3 the 200 mile limit and this is used by his nay-sayers to overthrow the first two sound measures. Its too bad Butler died before WW2 began to comment on it, even better if he could have hung on past 1945 to comment like H.G. Wells did. I would not be surprised if Butler was murdered. The 200 mile offensive/defensive limit sadly is not adequate in an age of long-range ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads aptly explained by LTG Gavin in his 1958 book, War and Peace in the space Age. www.combatreform.org/warandpeaceinthespaceage.htm

We need to advocated a "Butler Modified" Plan. This would be his first two points and the third point replaced by a military that can launch punitive raids and regime change wars if the threat of a Hitler appears who is capable or is already attacking us indirectly with sub-national conflict means. Iran for example would have to be shown as being such a threat to first the Congress and then the military age males for a vote before we went to war. IMHO, we should do away with the all volunteer/victim force/farce so the corporations do not have a group of weak egolings eager to self-validate and/or cash-in financially from corporate wars of convenience. America should have a mandatory 2-year active duty and perpetual reserve service thereafter national service of ALL its citizens and those in the military service would get to vote on wars.

An EXCELLENT new film on war is "Shooter" starring Mark Wahlberg. Aside from being technotactically accurate on current weaponry and fieldcraft, it presents a compelling case for Butler's racket theory of wars being started by corporations and Wahlberg's character as a retired marine gunnery sergeant missing the action being drawn into the role of Lee Harvey Oswald patsy/fall guy. The movie then poses the situation of what if? LHO was COMPETENT and escaped the ring of security during the assassination event? The film also at the end of the journey arrives at an U.S. Senator played with Academy Award-worthy skill by Ned Beatty bought off by the corporations telling Wahlberg that the ends justify the means because the corporations provide jobs for the people ie, the social fabric otherwise they'd be still living in grass huts. Another scoundrel Wahlberg encounters explains its not the actual shooters that matter since like him, they are expendible to the corporate interests, its BASIC HUMAN NATURE to racketeer that is to blame and its a cancer impossible to pinpoint just on one group or individuals and get rid of them as it will pop up again. Since metaphysically its basic human ego and greed we are fighting, our SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT must be first restored to its original founding father's intented checks and balances but then IMPROVED ON to account for the industrial age creating massive pools of money from making widgets/gallons of goop used to RACKETEER.

Another remarkable thing about Butler is that HE REFERS TO HIMSELF AS A SOLDIER--not a "marine". He is clearly not like today's narcissistic egomaniac gyrenes full of their own circular illogic and incompetences. The technical advisor for "Shooter" former sniper Pat Garrity appears to be of the same humble professional mindset as Butler judging from the behind-the-scenes segment on how the movie was made. Its too bad the majority of today's marines are not like Butler and Garrity and are caught up in their own ego racket.

Chapter One


WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few - the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a Soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep's eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other's throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people - not those who fight and pay and die - only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.

There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.

Hell's bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?

Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in "International Conciliation," the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said:

"And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace... War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."

Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war - anxious for it, apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter's dispute with Jugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.

Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recently increased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.

Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when Russia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backed Japan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Now the trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the "open door" policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000.

Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war - a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit - fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.

Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn't they? It pays high dividends.

But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children?

What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits?

Yes, and what does it profit the nation?

Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn't own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became "internationally minded." We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington's warning about "entangling alliances." We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars.

It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people - who do not profit.

Chapter Two


The World War, rather our brief participation in it, has cost the United States some $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man, woman, and child. And we haven't paid the debt yet. We are paying it, our children will pay it, and our children's children probably still will be paying the cost of that war.

The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits - ah! that is another matter - twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent - the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let's get it.

Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the wheel," but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket - and are safely pocketed. Let's just take a few examples:

Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people - didn't one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn't much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let's look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.

Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump - or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!

Or, let's take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad.

There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let's look at something else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.

Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year.

Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.

Let's group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.

A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.

Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren't the only ones. There are still others. Let's take leather.

For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central Leather Company were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916 Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 per cent. That's all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the three years before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and the profits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of 1,400 per cent.

International Nickel Company - and you can't have a war without nickel - showed an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.

American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.

Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled their earnings.

And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public - even before a Senate investigatory body.

But here's how some of the other patriotic industrialists and speculators chiseled their way into war profits.

Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits. They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like the munitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a dollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they did well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs of hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 Soldiers. Eight pairs, and more, to a Soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a Soldier. Some of these shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when the war was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought - and paid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.

There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn't any American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profit in it - so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet.

Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000 mosquito nets for the use of the Soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches - one hand scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!

Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no Soldier would be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting were sold to Uncle Sam.

There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order.

Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 - count them if you live long enough - was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.

Undershirts for Soldiers cost 14¢ [cents] to make and uncle Sam paid 30¢ to 40¢ each for them - a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And the stocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturers and the steel helmet manufacturers - all got theirs.

Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment - knapsacks and the things that go to fill them - crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them - and they will do it all over again the next time.

There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.

One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh, they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nut ever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holds the turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and the manufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars and shunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. When the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. He was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sell these, too, to your Uncle Sam.

Still another had the brilliant idea that colonels shouldn't ride in automobiles, nor should they even ride on horseback. One has probably seen a picture of Andy Jackson riding in a buckboard. Well, some 6,000 buckboards were sold to Uncle Sam for the use of colonels! Not one of them was used. But the buckboard manufacturer got his war profit.

The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lot of ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of the ships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood and wouldn't float! The seams opened up - and they sank. We paid for them, though. And somebody pocketed the profits.

It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few.

The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime profits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface.

Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying "for some time" methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides it has a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee - with the War and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a Wall Street speculator - to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn't suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of those who turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.

Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses - that is, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able to ascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a Soldier to the loss of but one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limit the loss of life.

There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent of a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a division shall be killed.

Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.

Chapter Three


Who provides the profits - these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them - in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us - the people - got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par - and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.

But the Soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men - men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home.

Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to "about face"; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face" ! This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology, sans officers' aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn't need them any more. So we scattered them about without any "three-minute" or "Liberty Loan" speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final "about face" alone.

In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens! Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel bars and wires all around outside the buildings and on the porches. These already have been mentally destroyed. These boys don't even look like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces! Physically, they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone.

There are thousands and thousands of these cases, and more and more are coming in all the time. The tremendous excitement of the war, the sudden cutting off of that excitement - the young boys couldn't stand it.

That's a part of the bill. So much for the dead - they have paid their part of the war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded - they are paying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too - they paid with heartbreaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and their families to don the uniform of Uncle Sam - on which a profit had been made. They paid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilled while others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities. The paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they were hungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in the rain - with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby.

But don't forget - the Soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too.

Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had a prize system, and Soldiers and Sailors fought for money. During the Civil War they were paid bonuses, in many instances, before they went into service. The government, or states, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment. In the Spanish-American War they gave prize money. When we captured any vessels, the Soldiers all got their share - at least, they were supposed to. Then it was found that we could reduce the cost of wars by taking all the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting [drafting] the Soldier anyway. Then Soldiers couldn't bargain for their labor, Everyone else could bargain, but the Soldier couldn't.

Napoleon once said,

"All men are enamored of decorations...they positively hunger for them."

So by developing the Napoleonic system - the medal business - the government learned it could get Soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.

In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn't join the army.

So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side...it is His will that the Germans be killed.

And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies...to please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.

Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the "war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world safe for democracy." No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American Soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a "glorious adventure."

Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make them help pay for the war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month.

All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind, give up their jobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they could get it) and kill and kill and kill...and be killed.

But wait!

Half of that wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a laborer in a munitions factory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from him to support his dependents, so that they would not become a charge upon his community. Then we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance - something the employer pays for in an enlightened state - and that cost him $6 a month. He had less than $9 a month left.

Then, the most crowning insolence of all - he was virtually blackjacked into paying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy Liberty Bonds. Most Soldiers got no money at all on pay days.

We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back - when they came back from the war and couldn't find work - at $84 and $86. And the Soldiers bought about $2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!

Yes, the Soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At nights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they lay home in their beds and tossed sleeplessly - his father, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.

When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they suffered too - as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too, contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers and shipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought Liberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armistice in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices.

And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying.

Chapter Four


WELL, it's a racket, all right.

A few profit - and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can't end it by disarmament conferences. You can't eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can't wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.

The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation - it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted - to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Let the workers in these plants get the same wages - all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers -

yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders - everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the Soldier in the trenches!

Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in industry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly $30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds.

Why shouldn't they?

They aren't running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled or their minds shattered. They aren't sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren't hungry. The Soldiers are!

Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket - that and nothing else.

Maybe I am a little too optimistic. Capital still has some say. So capital won't permit the taking of the profit out of war until the people - those who do the suffering and still pay the price - make up their minds that those they elect to office shall do their bidding, and not that of the profiteers.

Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limited plebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of all the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying. There wouldn't be very much sense in having a 76-year-old president of a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of an international banking firm or the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant - all of whom see visions of tremendous profits in the event of war - voting on whether the nation should go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms - to sleep in a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risk their lives for their country should have the privilege of voting to determine whether the nation should go to war.

There is ample precedent for restricting the voting to those affected. Many of our states have restrictions on those permitted to vote. In most, it is necessary to be able to read and write before you may vote. In some, you must own property. It would be a simple matter each year for the men coming of military age to register in their communities as they did in the draft during the World War and be examined physically. Those who could pass and who would therefore be called upon to bear arms in the event of war would be eligible to vote in a limited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power to decide - and not a Congress few of whose members are within the age limit and fewer still of whom are in physical condition to bear arms. Only those who must suffer should have the right to vote.

A third step in this business of smashing the war racket is to make certain that our military forces are truly forces for defense only.

At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don't shout that "We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation." Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only.

Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.

The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast.

The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the united States fleet so close to Nippon's shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.

The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can't go further than 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.

To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket.

We must take the profit out of war.

We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war.

We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.

Chapter Five


I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war.

Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.

In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.

Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?


An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:

"There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars.

If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money...and Germany won't.


Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a "war to make the world safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars."

Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy.

And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars.

Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences. They don't mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have been nullified. We send our professional Soldiers and our Sailors and our politicians and our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?

The professional Soldiers and Sailors don't want to disarm. No admiral wants to be without a ship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean men without jobs. They are not for disarmament. They cannot be for limitations of arms. And at all these conferences, lurking in the background but all-powerful, just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to it that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments.

The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achieve disarmament to prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and less for any potential foe.

There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of practicability. That is for all nations to get together and scrap every ship, every gun, every rifle, every tank, every war plane. Even this, if it were possible, would not be enough.

The next war, according to experts, will be fought not with battleships, not by artillery, not with rifles and not with machine guns. It will be fought with deadly chemicals and gases.

Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating its foes wholesale. Yes, ships will continue to be built, for the shipbuilders must make their profits. And guns still will be manufactured and powder and rifles will be made, for the munitions makers must make their huge profits. And the Soldiers, of course, must wear uniforms, for the manufacturer must make their war profits too.

But victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists.

If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the constructive job of building greater prosperity for all peoples. By putting them to this useful job, we can all make more money out of peace than we can out of war - even the munitions makers.


Corporation Rehab: Start a War, Cover Crimes in Patriotic Correctness: WW1 = Iraq

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

--Woodrow Wilson, (1856-1924) 28th U.S. President

Excerpts from: THE GREAT MADNESS, A Victory for the American Plutocracy

by Scott Nearing (social activist and pioneer "back-to-the-land-er")- written in 1917

The entrance of the United States into the world war on April 6, 1917, was the greatest victory that the American plutocracy has won over the American democracy since the declaration of war with Spain in 1898. The American plutocracy urged the war; shouted for it; demanded it; insisted upon it, and finally got it.

The plutocracy welcomed the war not because it was a war, but because it meant a chance to get a stronger grip on the United States.

[The plutocrats believe there are some things worse than war]: the confiscation of special privileges; the abolition of unearned income; the overthrow of the economic parasitism; the establishment of industrial democracy. The plutocrats would welcome a war that promised salvation from any such calamities; they would also welcome a war that promised greater foreign markets, the destruction of foreign competition, more security for property rights and a longer lease on life for plutocratic despotism.

The plutocrats, or wealth lords, ... were for the war from the beginning. They urged preparedness; they demanded national defense; they cried aloud for reprisals upon Germany because ... it gave them a chance to deliver a knock-out blow to the American democracy.

Big business was in public disfavor. Advertisements, "boiler-plate," news stories, press agents and blatant philanthropies had little effect. The people would not forget the "public be damned" days of the business buccaneers. They had learned about the rebates, the unfair rates, the debauchery of public officials and the criminal practices by which many of the most successful of the big business men had climbed into power. The people were "wise" to big business, and they were getting wiser every day.

The immense success of the parcels post sounded an ominous warning to special privilege. There was general talk that the telephone and telegraph industry would be nationalized next, and that the railroads would follow suit at an early date. If this socializing of industry was once begun, where was it to end?

The public had been educated, through many years, by progressive and radical political leaders, newspaper men, and social workers. There was the labor movement in its various phases - unions, socialism, I. W. W. The people were learning the lesson rapidly. Laws were passed; commissions were appointed; regulations were imposed. Most of the laws were violated; most of the commissions were captured by the plutocrats and most of the regulations were evaded. Still public opposition rose stubbornly and surely.

The plutocracy wanted a free hand. Since the Spanish War the United States had been a lending nation. The wealth of the country in 1900 was 87 billions; in 1912, 187 billions; in 1917, 250 billions. There were 120 persons, who admitted, in 1916, that they had incomes of over a million dollars a year. The wealth of the country was vast enough to feed, clothe, house and educate every boy and girl; enough to give all of the necessaries and most of the simple comforts of life to every family. The plutocrats were not interested in these matters, however. They wanted security for investments at home and abroad.

Things at home were in bad shape and promising to get worse. Millions of people were sore on the system which fed the owner and starved the worker; millions of casual laborers - men and women wandered from job to job; from city to city, discouraged, homeless, indifferent. The revolutionary fury that was passing through the country broke out menacingly in Colorado, West Virginia, Lawrence, Paterson, Bayonne and New York. People no longer asked, "Will there be a revolution?" but, "When will the revolution come?"

The plutocrats had lost public confidence. They realized that if they were to hold their position - public confidence must be regained.

The control by the vested interests of natural resources, banks, railroads, mines, factories, political parties, public offices, courts and court decisions, the school system, the press, the pulpit, the movie business, the magazines - all of this power amounted to nothing in a community that believed itself a democracy, unless public opinion was behind it.

How could the plutocracy - the discredited, vilified plutocracy - get public opinion? There was only one way: it must line up with some cause that would command public confidence. The cause that it chose was the "defense of the United States."


With the immense power of the public press at their disposal; possessing unlimited means; united on a common policy, the plutocracy spread terror over the land.

The campaign was intense and dramatic. Japanese invasions, Mexican inroads, and a world conquest by Germany were featured in the daily press, in the magazines, on the movie screens and in public addresses. Depredations, murder and rapine were to be the lot of the American people unless they built battleships and organized armies.

The campaign to arouse the American people against the Mexicans was so raw that President Wilson felt called upon to make a public statement (March 26, 1916), in which he charged that "there are persons all along the border who are actively engaged in originating and giving as wide currency as they can to rumors of the most sensational and disturbing sort which are wholly unjustified by the facts. The object of this traffic in falsehood is obvious. It is to create intolerable friction between the government of the United States and the de facto government of Mexico for the purpose of bringing about intervention in the interests of certain American owners of Mexican properties."

Still the campaign was continued and when the unwillingness of the Mexicans to fight made the manufacture of jingoistic propaganda impossible in that quarter, the advocates of "national defense'' turned to Germany as offering the greatest opportunities.

The preparedness campaign was a marvel of efficient business organization. Its promoters made use of every device known to the advertising profession. The best brains were employed and the country was literally blanketed with preparedness propaganda.

[In opposition to this campaign] Officers of the army and navy were frank in insisting that the defense of the United States was adequately provided for. General Miles said: "Having had much to do with the placing and construction of our fortifications and inspecting every one along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coasts, as well as having had an opportunity to see all the great armies of the world and many of their coast fortifications, including the Dardanelles, I am prepared to say that our coasts are as well defended as the coast of any country with the same class of guns, and heavy projectiles, and I have no sympathy with the misrepresentations that have been made in the attempt to mislead the public." (Congressional Record, 2/3/16, #2265)

Still the preparedness campaign continued with redoubled vigor. Congressman Clyde H. Tavenner stated (Congressional Record, February 3, 1916, page 2265.) that four firms "constituting the war trust have received army and navy contracts aggregating 175 million dollars." He contended that "army and navy officials have generously paid the war trust from 20 to 60 per cent more than the same supplies could have been manufactured for in government arsenals." He showed that the present "Chief of Ordnance was formerly in partnership with the Bethlehem Company, one of the war trust firms," and that the "powder trust was represented in Washington by an ex-army official and an ex-member of Congress." He then showed the connection that existed between the preparedness campaign and those who were making profits out of the war business, the nickel business, the copper business, and the steel business, interlocked through interlocking directorates ; then he established the connection between the Navy League and the firm of J. P. Morgan & Company, 23 Wall Street, New York. Regarding this connection, Congressman Tavenner says: "The Navy League upon close examination would appear to be little more than a branch office of the house of J. P. Morgan & Company, and a general sales promotion bureau for the various armor and munition makers and the steel, nickel, copper and zinc interests. At least, they are all represented among the directors, officers, founders or life members of or contributors to the Navy League. Especially are all firms of big business represented, and big business invariably heads in at 23 Wall Street, New York."1

Tavenner concludes: "...the munition patriots founded the Navy League. * * * The armor plate makers are the most patriotic patriots on earth." "There are but three firms in the United States who manufacture armor plate - Midvale, Bethlehem and Carnegie companies - each of them is represented in the list of 19 men who, according to the official journal of the Navy League, were founders of the organization. * * * Is it not a rather peculiar coincidence that among these 19 directors who stepped forth from all the millions of the American citizens to save the Republic by advocating larger appropriations for battleships every armor making concern in the United States should be represented ?"

"Defenseless America" the refrain. "Preparedness" was an argument in itself and every channel of publicity in the United States devoted a major share of attention to this argument.

Aggressive Germany was the danger mark. It was against her infamous desire to impose Kultur upon the world that America was urged to prepare herself. It was for this purpose that the President signed a bill during the summer of 1916 appropriating 662 million dollars for the army and navy, a sum larger than had ever before been appropriated for war purposes by any nation in times of peace. Well might LaFollette exclaim, in his speech (July 19-20, 1916) opposing this appropriation, -- "I object, Mr. President, to a game, a plan, a conspiracy to force upon this country a big army and a big navy, to use the Treasury of the country, and if need be the lives of its people, to make good the foreign speculation of a few unscrupulous masters of finance."

The preparedness movement came from the business interests. It was fostered and financed by the plutocracy. It was their first successful effort at winning public confidence, and so well was it managed that millions of Americans fell into line, fired by the love of the flag and the world-old devotion to family and fireside; millions more trembled with the fear of the frightful war that was coming, and other millions were gripped by the hate and the war lust that inspire war madness.


From preparedness to patriotism was a short step. The preparedness advocates had used the flag freely. They had played national airs, evoked the spirit of the founders of American democracy and worked upon the emotions of the people until it was generally understood that those who favored preparedness were patriots.

Patriotism ran high. Enthusiasm for the flag increased. Patriotic committees were organized, but when the names of the patriots appeared in the newspapers they were distinguished by one outstanding fact, the vast majority of them were the successful business and professional men who were the center and forefront of the patriotic movement just as they had been the center and forefront of the preparedness movement.

The price of flags rose rapidly - the flag manufacturers took this opportunity to get their share of the good things that were "going round" - nevertheless, the workers by the hundreds of thousands "contributed" to provide flags for the establishments in which they were employed. Men were discharged when they refused to make such "contributions."

The business interests were "in clover." After years of unpopularity, after being forced to endure investigation, criticism, and antagonistic legislation, after being condemned by even the conservative element in public life as a menace to American progress and well-being, the business interests suddenly found themselves in a movement that was carrying the people, and they worked it for all it was worth.

"Patriotism" was the refrain of every speech and every article - a patriotism of their own particular brand.

The plutocratic brand of patriotism won the endorsement of the press, the pulpit, the college, and every other important channel of public information in the United States. The "educated," "cultured," "refined," "high-principled" editors, ministers, professors and lawyers accepted it and proclaimed it as though it were their own. Turning their backs upon principle, throwing morals and ideals to the winds, they tumbled over one another in a wild scramble to be the first to join the chorus of plutocratic patriotism.

The American plutocracy was magnified, deified, and consecrated to the task of making the world safe for democracy. The brigands had turned saints and were conducting a campaign to raise $100,000,000 for the Red Cross. The malefactors of great wealth, the predatory business forces, the special privileged few who had milked the American people for generations became the prophets and the crusaders, the keepers of the ark of the covenant of American democracy.

This campaign was directed by H. P. Davison, one of the leading members of the firm of J. P. Morgan & Co.


Throughout the war, the United States had been referred to as the "great neutral." At the very beginning of the contest President Wilson had urged the people to be neutral in thought as well as in act. Meanwhile, the British fleet blockaded Germany, closed the North Sea, sowed it with mines, and refused to permit American manufacturers to sell goods to the Central Powers. This constituted a brazen violation of international law. By accepting this blockade the United States became the armorer and the provisioner of the Allied countries. Whatever the Allies wanted was manufactured by the United States and shipped to them, contraband and non-contraband alike. The statement was repeatedly made that we were willing to sell to the Central Powers on the same terms, but the fact that the Central Powers could not possibly buy from us rendered any talk of neutrality the thinnest kind of a sham.

England confiscated cargoes in violation of international law. Her mines sunk American ships and destroyed American lives. Being mistress of the sea she held up mails, despite American protests.

The German submarines sank American boats also in violation of international law. The protests against England's depredations were feeble, those against Germany were uproarious. American sentiment was being shaped deliberately in favor of the Allies from whom American bankers, manufacturers and traders were making a billion dollars a year of war profits. Driven by this economic pressure, the country ceased to talk of neutrality, and became frankly pro-Ally, in utterances as well as in business transactions.

American business interests put up a bitter cry of protest when Germany announced a blockade of England by her submarines (as complete as the blockade which England has established over Germany) and [When Germany] warned American shipping away from the waters surrounding the British Isles (in the same way that England has warned American shipping away from the waters surrounding Germany).

The situation was critical. American business stood to lose billions.

The President hurried to the rescue with his preposterous phrase "armed neutrality," and asked Congress for permission to place guns and gunners on American merchantmen. While the President asked for this authority as a peace measure, it was pretty clear that armed neutrality would mean war the first time that an armed merchantman met a submarine.

The President's request for authority to arm American merchant vessels was made in an address to Congress, February 26, 1917, in which he said, - "I am not now proposing or contemplating war or any steps that need lead to it. I request that you authorize me to supply our merchant ships with defensive arms, should that become necessary, and with the means of using them."

"The Armed Ship Bill", authorizing the President to arm merchant vessels was introduced. The newspapers of the country backed it eagerly. The administration pushed it vigorously, but the bill went down to defeat because of a filibuster by a little group of senators of whom LaFollette was the leading figure. Senator LaFollette (4/4/1917) "The demand [to arm merchant ships] came chiefly from the American Line, whose tonnage is less than five per cent of the total tonnage of the United States engaged in foreign trade. The American Line is a subsidiary of the International Mercantile Marine Company, which in December, 1916, had 102 vessels flying the British flag, two flying the Belgian flag and eight flying the United States flag. The control of the International Mercantile Marine Company, prior to the war, was in England. ...When one of the American Line ships, armed with United States guns, sails out to sea the orders to fire will be given by Mr. Franklin's master of the ship, not by the United States gunner. The English owners give orders to Franklin. The English owners take their orders from the British Admiralty. Hence we, professing to be a neutral nation. are placing American guns and American gunners practically under the orders of the British Admiralty.

"The armed ship bill commanded overwhelming support, not only of the party in power, whipped into line to railroad through the Senate an Administration measure, but also of all - those sinister influences which have been clamoring for war: the munition makers, the gamblers in war stocks and war contracts and the financial interests who have loaned vast sums to one set of belligerents...plotters, enemies of our democracy."


The armed ship bill failed to pass because a handful of senators refused to have it rushed through during the closing hours of the session. The result was electric. The President denounced them as "a little group of willful men." The papers cartooned them and vilified them in the most shameless manner. They were called "German agents" and scores of newspapers presented them with the Iron Cross. Among those senatorial "traitors" were the few senators who had stood for the common people against the vested interests.

The patriots of plutocracy did not confine their attention to Congressmen. The term "traitor" was flung in the teeth of anyone who opposed the seven league steps that the administration was taking toward war. Radicals who had always opposed war; ministers who had spent their lives in preaching Peace on earth; scientists whose work had brought them into contact with the peoples of the whole world; public men who believed that the United States could do greater and better work for democracy by staying out of the war were persecuted as zealously as though they had sided with Protestantism in Catholic Spain under the Inquisition. The plutocracy had declared for war, and woe betide the heedless or willful one who still insisted upon urging the gospel of peace.

The liberal and radical forces of American life - the men and women who had sacrificed, suffered, labored and struggled to make America safe for democracy, were brushed aside by the triumphant Patriotic plutocracy: Morgan, Rockefeller, Guggenheim, Willard, Gary, Schwab, Stotesbury, - were the great "patriots". All who opposed them were "traitors". The plutocracy had always stood and still stands for special privilege in its most vicious form. By a clever move, the plutocrats, wrapped in the flag and proclaiming a crusade to inaugurate democracy in Germany, rallied to their support the professional classes of the United States and millions of the common people.


The "patriots" wanted to ship goods to the Allied governments. Armed neutrality for them meant business opportunity. The "traitors" were those who opposed foreign entanglements and alliances and who used every effort to keep the United States out of the war.

No one knows just how serious was the predicament of the Allies in the spring of 1917. After three years of war, during which they had made the most stupendous preparations and spent unheard of wealth and energy they had proved themselves incapable of driving the Germans out of France and Belgium, and were, in reality, still fighting a defensive war. Their credit was strained to the breaking point, and their resources were at a very low ebb. The food situation in the British Isles was serious. The Russians were temporarily out of the fight. Meanwhile, the submarines were playing havoc with Allied shipping.

The economic position of the United States was also serious. Our export trade which had jumped from two billions in 1913 to seven billions in 1917 was threatened with demolition. The large manufacturing establishments which had been erected for the purpose of supplying munitions to the Allied governments had delivered most of their contracts and were waiting for additional war orders. The banking interests, led by the Morgan firm, had backed the Allies financially. Allied failure, therefore, meant disaster to American finance. For three years the American plutocracy had enjoyed the benefits of war business, without paying any of the penalties which war entails. These vast profits would cease if the submarine blockade succeeded.

The "great neutral" faced the test of possible commercial disaster. A hundred millions of people in the balance counted as nothing against the menace of economic losses. The President without any authority from Congress armed the merchant ships' and gave Bernstorf his papers. The business interests went wild with joy. When the news of the break with Germany was flashed to Wall Street every banking house hung out its flag and "in twenty minutes Wall Street from Trinity Church to South Street was bedecked like on a holiday." - Finance and Commerce, February 7, 1917.

On 4/2/17 the President insisted that Congress follow him still further and declare the existence of a state of war with Germany.

The Administration, backed almost solidly by the press (which saw within easy reach the war for which it had labored so faithfully) demanded that all members of Congress. "stand behind the President."

General Isaac R. Sherwood, a veteran of the Civil War, made a final appeal to Congress on the 5th of April in which he reviewed the history of England's attack upon the United States during the Civil War, warned the American people that they were going to war "as an Ally of the only nation in Europe that has always been our enemy and against the nation that has always been our friend." The President "in the presence of both Houses of Congress, and the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court, and the bespangled Diplomatic Corps, in a spectacular and elaborately staged event wrote a message to Congress and the country, declaring his purpose to enter the world wide conflict in the interests of a world wide democracy." * * * At the distance of 3,500 miles the undesirable and dangerous German Kaiser looks the same to me as the great-grandson of George Third; in fact, all kings look alike to me. I am not willing to vote to send the gallant young manhood of America across the Atlantic Ocean to fight for either. * * * I regard war as the greatest crime of the human race. * * * My experience in the Civil War has saddened all my life. * * * As I love my country, I feel it my sacred duty to keep the stalwart young men of today out of a barbarous war 3,500 miles away, in which we have no vital interest."

There was other opposition equally vigorous and equally well spoken which called down upon the heads of those who uttered it a torrent of the most barbarous abuse from the press, the pulpit, and public men in every walk of life.

On April 6th, with the passage of the resolution declaring the existence of a state of war, the American people found themselves in war, after returning a party to power only five months before because it had "kept us out of war."

The people were not consulted, their wishes were not considered.

No popular referendum on the war was even proposed by the administration. Like the people in the king ridden countries of Europe, the American people, without any say in the matter were plunged into the conflict.

The make-up of some of the [war-expenditures] sub-committees [is revealing]: Mr. Willard's sub-committee on "Express" consists of four vice-presidents, one from the American, one from the Wells Fargo, one from the Southern and one from the Adams Express Company. His committee on "Locomotives" consists of the vice-president of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, a vice-president of the Porter Locomotive Company, the president of the American Locomotive Company, and the Chairman of the Lima Locomotive Corporation.

Mr. Rosenwald's committee on "Shoe and Leather Industries" consists of eight persons, all of them representing shoe or leather companies. His committee on "Woolen Manufactures" consists of eight representatives of the woolen industry, and his committee on "Supplies" consists of a retired business man, and one representative each from Sears, Roebuck & Company, the Quaker Oats Company and Libby, McNeil & Libby (meat packers).

The same business control appears in Mr. Baruch's committees. His committee on "Cement" consists of the presidents of four of the leading cement companies, the vice-president of a fifth cement company, and a representative of the Bureau of Standards of Washington. His committee on "Copper" has the names of the presidents of the Anaconda Copper Company, the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company, the United Verde Copper Company and the Utah Copper Company. Mr. Murray M. Guggenheim is a member of the same committee. His committee on "Steel and Steel Products" consists of Elbert H. Gary, chairman of the United States Steel Corporation, Charles M. Schwab, of the Bethlehem Steel Company, A. C. Dinkey, vice-president of the Midvale Steel Company, W. L. King, vice-president of Jones & Loughlin Steel Company and J. A. Burden, president of the Burden Iron Company. The other four members of the committee represent the Republic Iron & Steel Company, the Lackawanna Steel Company, the American Iron & Steel Institute and the Picklands, Mather Company, of Cleveland. Perhaps the most astounding of all the committees is that on "Oil." The Chairman is the President of the Standard Oil Company, and the Secretary of the Committee gives his address as "26- Broadway," the address of the Standard Oil Company. The other nine members of the committee are oil men from various parts of the country. What thinking American would have even suggested, three years ago, that the Standard Oil Company would be officially directing a part of the work of the Federal Government?

Comment is superfluous. Every great industrial enterprise of the United States has secured representation on the committees of business men that have openly taken charge of the United States.

The business interests had played for a great stake. They had played against the well being of the American democracy. The prize they sought was a billion dollars a year in profits. Wrapped in the folds of the flag and uttering resounding declarations of patriotism, on April sixth the business interests won a victory of terrible import to the American democracy.


As soon as war was declared, the administration undertook to secure, -- money, conscription, and censorship. The first and most important of these was money. Congress passed almost immediately the bill authorizing a bond issue of seven billions of dollars.

The Liberty Loan was important to the American bankers who had financed the Allies, because it guaranteed Allied credit. There were other things about it, however, that were even more significant than its assistance in international business. It gave the local business men a chance to do a piece of work of the utmost importance to their own security.

[In the face of a public apathetic, indifferent or hostile to war] the Liberty Loan gave plutocracy a chance to put in every American home an economic argument (a bond paying 3 per cent) in favor of standing behind the government.

There was another argument in favor of selling the bonds to the people. Now that the plutocracy were the messengers of democracy in Germany and the incarnation of patriotism in the United States, to gainsay or to question their position was to be a traitor to the Stars and Stripes, which they had taken over as completely as they had previously taken over the steel, coal, iron, wheat, cotton, water power, franchises, banks, railroads and the like. Hence, any employee could be asked by an employer in the name of liberty and democracy to buy a bond.

A girl who was working in a department store for $7 a week "arranged" with her manager to contribute $2 a week for 25 weeks in order to purchase a Liberty Bond. When the Red Cross campaign was on, a friend found this girl crying and upon inquiring was informed that week the $5 which remained of her wage had been "contributed" to the Red Cross fund. She was wondering how she could get to the next week and pay her board and food bills.

A man with a family, sick for three months, had contracted several doctor's bills and was in financial straits. He was advised that it would be wise for him to buy a Liberty Bond. Like the cash girl, he was not in a position where he could talk back. He therefore went farther into debt in order to comply with the "suggestion" of his superior.

The Liberty Loan was probably more effective than any other single weapon in the hands of the business world as a club with which to coerce the workers. Heretofore the employer had run his own business as he pleased. Now he was able to go further and tell his workers how they might spend their income.

The plutocracy saw the advantage which would accrue to them from the Liberty Loan. They did not subscribe themselves in any large degree, but they did use every effort to cajole and coerce the common people of the United States into subscribing. The business interests of the United States stood together and worked together more solidly on the Liberty Loan than on any other measure within the memory of the present generation. It was a business proposition and the business crowd put it over.

The Liberty Loan was a signal victory for the plutocracy, and an equally signal defeat for the democracy. It did more to bulwark the position of the plutocratic despots of the United States than it will ever do for liberty in Europe.

The President's speech on April 2nd, and the "war-vote" of Congress on April 6th, plunged the American people into the war. The Liberty Loan saddled the immediate payment for the war upon millions of unwilling common people and yoked up the next generation to a war debt over which they had no control. The war-madness was beginning to yield its bitter fruit.


The second measure of importance to the business world was conscription. The labor problem in America was giving the plutocracy a great deal of trouble, The shortage of workers during the years of war-contract activity had put the laboring people in a position of great strategic advantage which they had used on many occasions to advance wages and shorten hours. The workers were relatively prosperous and unusually confident. ...labor solidarity [is] dangerous to plutocracy. Conscription would do much to hamper or destroy it.

Conscription possessed another advantage of supreme importance. Experience had shown that great armies and navies could not be raised by the volunteer system in a democracy. If the plutocracy was to put over its plan for a great army and navy behind its aggressive economic campaign into Mexico, Central America and South America, it must have conscription in order to provide the men for the military and naval forces.

When the Conscription Bill was introduced into Congress there was a general feeling through the country that it could not pass, Even the press hesitated, so un-American was this Bill, which clearly violated the spirit of the constitution and the traditions of American life. 2

Then courage was supplied to the press from somewhere, and the newspapers and magazines of the country went to work with a will. They apologized, explained and insisted. Six weeks after war was declared the bill had passed Congress. Within two months, more than nine million young men had been "selected for service."

The Conscription Bill paved the way for a military system exactly like that which had been so savagely denounced in Germany. It gave the American plutocracy the beginnings of a big, cheap army. It disposed of the uncertainties of volunteering and provided the possibility of military education for every young American. At the same time the way was opened for the imposition of universal service, which was all that Prussia has ever demanded in the balmiest days of her militarism, Then, too, a beginning was made toward industrial conscription, and the possibility was opened for the importation of coolie and peon labor, things which were not even thinkable in peace days. America, after two months of war, had ... the rudiments of European militarism in its most barbarous aspects.

Business rejoiced again. The Chicago Tribune on June 6th (the day following registration), headed one of its market reports , - "Draft Success Puts New Life in New York Market. Industrials Leaders in Upward Trend. Year's Best Prices Reached." The plutocracy had scored another victory which was immediately recorded in the climbing prices of stocks and bonds - and ten million young men were in the grip of American militarism.


"The United States has been suffering from an over-dose of democracy" insists one ardent supporter of the plutocracy.

The censorship bill was designed to remedy this deplorable situation by sweeping aside personal liberty. The declaration of war was a slap in the face of democracy. The censorship bill bandaged its eyes, plugged its ears and gagged its mouth.

The censorship bill, in its original form, was so drastic and far-reaching that even the newspapers denounced it. So general was the opposition that after weeks of fighting, the bill was approved by the President on June 15th in such a modified form that there was no direct reference to freedom of speech and of the press. But tucked away in an obscure corner of Section 481 was an amendment to the Postal Laws which reads, - "Every letter, writing, circular, postal card, picture, print, engraving, photograph, newspaper, pamphlet, book, or other publication, matter or thing of any kind containing any matter which is intended to obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States is hereby declared to be non-mailable."

Under this section each one of the 123,387 United States postmasters is made a censor with authority (subject to the reversal of his superiors) to exclude from the mails anything that in his judgment will "obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service." The Federal authorities were not slow in availing themselves of this immense power. The Cleveland (Ohio) Socialist, the Detroit (Mich.) Socialist, the Rebel of Texas, the International Socialist Review, the American Socialist, the Masses and other radical publications were promptly denied the use of the mails. The American Socialist (Chicago) had planned a "Liberty Edition" for June 30th. The entire edition and two other editions were held up by the Chicago postmaster acting under instructions from Washington. Other papers were temporarily suspended.

A storm of protest broke over the country, Within the memory of the oldest inhabitant there had been no such deliberate violation of the freedom of the press which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The Texas Rebel, an organ of the Farmers and Laborers Protective Association, was held up by the following order to the local postmaster, from W. H. Lamar, Solicitor General of the Postal Department at Washington, "submit to this office further copies of The Rebel, published at your place, for instructions, before accepting for mailing."

The Public (New York) remarked in this connection, "This is even worse than the late Russian Censorship. The Russian Censor would but black out the passage in the paper to which he took exception and let the rest go. But the postal censorship would hold up a whole issue."

While the Federal authorities were engaged in this vigorous campaign to throttle American liberty, local and state officials were equally busy denying the right of free speech and free assemblage. Halls were closed, street speaking was prohibited, the headquarters of socialist and I. W. W. locals were raided by the soldiers and police. Those who criticized the authorities were denounced as "traitors". The mere mention of "peace" was infamous.

[Throughout May, 1917] and through the succeeding months the denial of free speech and free assemblage continued; the postal censorship laid its heavy fist on the free press; and sailors and soldiers wearing the uniform of the United States were permitted and in some cases encouraged to disturb and break up meetings of a radical character. During all of that time there was no official utterance from the President on the subject.

The most flagrant invasion of civil liberty was staged in Boston on Sunday, July 1st. The workers had decided to hold a parade followed by a mass-meeting on Boston Common. Permits were secured for both events. The incidents of the afternoon are thus described by the New York Times (July 2nd) :

"Half a hundred men in the uniform of Naval Reservists, National Guardsmen, Marines and Canadian 'Kilties' who had watched the formation of the parade, marched across the common in a double column and intercepted the procession at the corner of West and Tremont Streets, and again at the corner of Winter and Tremont Street. In both instances the contact resulted in a street fight. Blows were exchanged, and flags were snatched from the hands of the marchers, while women in the line screamed in fright."

"At Scolley Square there was a similar scene. The American flag at the head of the line was seized by the attacking party, and the band, which had been playing "The Marseillaise" with some interruption, was forced to play "The Star Spangled Banner," while cheers were given for the flag.

"The police had just succeeded in quieting this disturbance when the reserves were called out to quell a near riot at the meeting place on the Common. The first of the peace speakers had barely begun his remarks when the reserves arrived . They formed a circle in the crowd, with the police wagon as a center, in front of the speakers' stand, but in spite of their presence there were scores of individual fights in the big gathering. To restore quiet Supt. Crowley, as Acting Police Commissioner, revoked the permit for the speaking and the meeting was called off."

The plutocracy had been trying, for years to hush up agitation and to suppress radicals. Muckrakers, the "labor agitator", socialists, the I. W. W.'s, "anarchists," and other opponents of things as they are were denounced, clubbed, jailed and shot, but the agitation grew through persecution. Despite the ownership of the jobs and the control of the government, despite company stores and company guards, despite its grip on the press, the pulpit and the school, the plutocracy was unable to prevent this agitation. There were Colorado and Paterson, speaking the unmistakable language of a coming revolution.

The war brought the harvest time. Radicals of every stamp who opposed it - and practically all radicals did oppose and denounce it - were "traitors" against whom the fury of the war-madness might legitimately be directed.


A short two years sufficed to enable the business interests of the United States to take charge of the country. They had previously secured the natural resources, the manufacturing industries, the credit machinery, the public utilities and the merchandising establishments. This economic power, together with the control of the channels of public opinion and of the machinery of politics enabled them over night, in the history of American affairs, to put across their program and prepare to "crush Germany."

President Wilson said very frankly that it was not the German people against whom we were making war. He insisted that our purpose was to overthrow the German autocracy.

The British capitalists had been franker. They had talked openly about the "war after the war." They had even gone so far as to hold a conference at Paris, in which they had discussed the best methods of overthrowing German industry. As Frank Harris puts it in his book, England or Germany (page 21), "Great Britain had taken up arms to crush a successful trade rival, and for no other reason. As soon as war was declared, The Times and Daily Mail and many other London papers threw off the mask and published column after column showing how this, that and the other department of trade could now be taken from the Germans."

Why did the American plutocracy desire to crush Germany? Was it to destroy despotism there ? The idea is preposterous. The despotism in any bank, factory or railroad of the United States is more complete than that of the Kaiser. The American plutocracy has fattened on despotism for generations.

The American plutocracy was no more interested in establishing democracy in Germany than they were in establishing democracy in the United States. They did want to see German industry crushed, however, and since the Kaiser and his group represented German business in its most highly developed form, the Kaiser was the object of their wrath.

The President stated the issue in quite another form, but no matter what he may say, he cannot escape the fact that the plutocracy of the United States was behind him in a body. The plutocrats are no man's fools. They know what they want and they are after it, hot-foot.

The President decided that the best way to "make the world safe for democracy" was to abandon America's traditional policy of isolation; to form an alliance with six democracies and seven monarchies; to mobilize the resources of the country, and to enter the world war as an active belligerent. ..."The world must be made safe for democracy," said President Wilson to Congress on April 2, 1917. Thereupon, without consulting the American people, or Congress either, the President pushed the United States into war in an alliance with three of the leading monarchies, including one of the most complete autocracies (Japan) of the world.

"We now chart a new national course," said Congressman Ernest Lundeen (April 5, 1917). "In terms of autocracy we declare our intention to bestride the world with democracy. Our fixed determination is to thrust democracy with loving bayonets down the throats of unwilling peoples."

"Let us look at the company we will keep in performing this benevolent function. We will be marching side-by-side with the King of Serbia; the King of Italy is our boon companion; the King of Belgium is there; so also the King of Roumania; the Emperor of India and the King of England, our stalwart brother; not to mention the King of Montenegro and various other principalities and rulers, as well as chaotic Russia - only France is a Republic - and last but not least we are to be brothers in blood with our dear friend the Emperor of Japan. And this our Chief Executive proposes as our 'league of honor.'"

The forefront of this alliance to make the world safe for democracy is England - "a hereditary monarchy, with a hereditary ruler, with a hereditary House of Lords, with a hereditary landed system, with a limited and restricted suffrage for one class and a multiple suffrage power for another, and with grinding industrial conditions for all the wage earners." (LaFollette 4/4/17) England, in which "there will never be the ghost of freedom till there is a social revolution," England, "the real enemy of civilization, for more than a hundred years now the chief obstacle to the humanization of man."3

Remember the words of David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of England, "Peace before victory would be the greatest disaster in the history of mankind...Britannia will rule the waves after the war." ...America will fight for liberty and when the right is won, - "Britannia will rule!" (Glasgow speech, June 29,1917).

The tradition of American statesmanship had been a mind your-own-business policy. ...[But] by July, 1917, the billboard enlistment campaign was couched in such words as "The regulars are in France, join them now!' "Enlist immediately so as to fight on German and not on United States soil." The German autocracy was on the defensive; the American plutocracy had become the aggressor. The regular army had already been transported four thousand miles and a conscript army of a million men was in process of formation to wage an aggressive war in the interests of the British ruling classes.

Step by step the plutocracy advanced. Point by point they established their position: war bonds, conscription, censorship and a war to crush German industry. Meanwhile, they were able to come out into the open and take possession of the government through the subcommittees of the Council of National Defense.

And the American people stood for it. Emotionalized, dazed, stupefied, and blinded by the great madness that possessed their souls, nearly a hundred million people cast aside their most cherished principles, sacrificed their hard-won liberties, and began spreading brotherhood and democracy by the sword. The plutocracy had won everything for which it had been fighting - immunity, power, wealth. The people were war-mad, - at least, there was enough of the war madness in the country to enable the vested interests to put across anything that they wanted.

Three years of ceaseless effort on the part of the press, the pulpit, the school, the screen and the stage had sufficed to infuse millions of Americans with the mob fear and mob hate that are the warp and woof of war-madness. The carefully planned, brilliantly executed scheme of advertising preparedness, patriotism and war, had left a great section of the American people incapable of reasoning or understanding. On April 2nd there were millions who had been worried, harried, and emotionalized through the successive stages of fear, resentfulness, bitterness, hatred and frenzy until they were sufficiently ferocious to be willing to use the knife.

The plutocrats won immunity, power and wealth, measured in seven figures. They won more. First, they secured the big navy and army for which they had worked so faithfully, - an army to menace neighbors and to preserve peace at home during the deluge of misery that will follow the bursting cloud of war-values and war-prices; a navy to guard the hundreds of millions that they have invested in "undeveloped" countries; and seven billions of dollars to be spent at once - much of it on war contracts, which afford proverbially fat pickings.

Again they had won conscription - the right to send a million Americans into the trenches of France to fight for the poor Belgians, for Lombard Street, Wall Street and King George of England.

They had established a spirit that permitted children to go back into factories from which [they had just been rescued]; women to take men's jobs at a fraction of the wage, and the standards surrounding the labor of men to be lowered.

The plutocrats won another point - a point desired by every despot. They won the right to impose restrictions upon the freedom of speech, of press and assemblage, which are the foundation of democracy. The plutocracy bought the press, subsidized the pulpit, placed their representatives in control of the schools, and by the use of the police and postal censorship they restricted individual liberty.

Beside and beyond this economic, political and social power the Plutocracy had millions of deluded people in its grip incapable of thinking because of the fearful war madness that possessed their souls. They aroused the people, agitating and irritating them, until they were frantically repeating the blatant lie that the real enemy of American liberty lived in Berlin. Then they stung them with high prices, filched their liberty, plunged them into war, took a million of their brothers and husbands and sons to wage a war of aggression on the battlefields of king-ridden Europe, and because nothing happened at once, they believe that they had won. They had won victory and death.

The plutocracy and the democracy cannot exist side-by-side. If the plutocracy wins, dollars rule; if the democracy wins, people rule. There can be no alternative and no compromise. During the past three years of struggle, the democracy has lost every move. The power of the plutocracy has been strengthened immeasurably.

1."The Navy League Unmasked" speech of 12/15/15, #13

2. Daniel Webster said in the House of Representatives, December 9, 1814, - "If the Secretary of War has proved the right of Congress to enact a law enforcing a draft of men out of the militia into the regular army, he will at the same time be able to prove quite as clearly that Congress has power to create a dictator. The arguments which have helped him in one case will equally help him in the other."

3. "England or Germany," Frank Harris, #398