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The United States of Amnesia.” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it just might. Take the European conflagration of 1914-1918, for example.

You may not have noticed. There’s no reason why you should have, fixated as we all are on the daily torrent of presidential tweets and the flood of mindless rejoinders they elicit. But let me note for the record that the centenary of the conflict once known as The Great War is well underway and before the present year ends will have concluded.

Indeed, a hundred years ago this month, the 1918 German Spring Offensive — codenamed Operation Michael — was sputtering to an unsuccessful conclusion. A last desperate German gamble, aimed at shattering Allied defenses and gaining a decisive victory, had fallen short. In early August of that year, with large numbers of our own doughboys now on the front lines, a massive Allied counteroffensive was to commence, continuing until the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, when an armistice finally took effect and the guns fell silent.

In the years that followed, Americans demoted The Great War. It became World War I, vaguely related to but overshadowed by the debacle next in line, known as World War II. Today, the average citizen knows little about that earlier conflict other than that it preceded and somehow paved the way for an even more brutal bloodletting. Also, on both occasions, the bad guys spoke German.

So, among Americans, the war of 1914-1918 became a neglected stepsister of sorts, perhaps in part because the United States only got around to suiting up for that conflict about halfway through the fourth quarter. With the war of 1939-1945 having been sacralized as the moment when the Greatest Generation saved humankind, the war-formerly-known-as-The-Great-War collects dust in the bottom drawer of American collective consciousness.

From time to time, some politician or newspaper columnist will resurrect the file labeled “August 1914,” the grim opening weeks of that war, and sound off about the dangers of sleepwalking into a devastating conflict that nobody wants or understands. Indeed, with Washington today having become a carnival of buncombe so sublimely preposterous that even that great journalistic iconoclast H.L. Mencken might have been struck dumb, ours is perhaps an apt moment for just such a reminder.

Yet a different aspect of World War I may possess even greater relevance to the American present. I’m thinking of its duration: the longer it lasted, the less sense it made. But on it went, impervious to human control like the sequence of Biblical plagues that God had inflicted on the ancient Egyptians.

So the relevant question for our present American moment is this: once it becomes apparent that a war is a mistake, why would those in power insist on its perpetuation, regardless of costs and consequences? In short, when getting in turns out to have been a bad idea, why is getting out so difficult, even (or especially) for powerful nations that presumably should be capable of exercising choice on such matters? Or more bluntly, how did the people in charge during The Great War get away with inflicting such extraordinary damage on the nations and peoples for which they were responsible?

For those countries that endured World War I from start to finish — especially Great Britain, France, and Germany — specific circumstances provided their leaders with an excuse for suppressing second thoughts about the cataclysm they had touched off.

Among them were:

  • mostly compliant civilian populations deeply loyal to some version of King and Country, further kept in line by unremitting propaganda that minimized dissent;
  • draconian discipline — deserters and malingerers faced firing squads — that maintained order in the ranks (most of the time) despite the unprecedented scope of the slaughter;
  • the comprehensive industrialization of war, which ensured a seemingly endless supply of the weaponry, munitions, and other equipment necessary for outfitting mass conscript armies and replenishing losses as they occurred.

Economists would no doubt add sunk costs to the mix. With so much treasure already squandered and so many lives already lost, the urge to press on a bit longer in hopes of salvaging at least some meager benefit in return for what (and who) had been done in was difficult to resist.

Even so, none of these, nor any combination of them, can adequately explain why, in the midst of an unspeakable orgy of self-destruction, with staggering losses and nations in ruin, not one monarch or president or premier had the wit or gumption to declare: Enough! Stop this madness!

Instead, the politicians sat on their hands while actual authority devolved onto the likes of British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, French Marshals Ferdinand Foch and Philippe Petain, and German commanders Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. In other words, to solve a conundrum they themselves had created, the politicians of the warring states all deferred to their warrior chieftains. For their part, the opposing warriors jointly subscribed to a perverted inversion of strategy best summarized by Ludendorff as “punch a hole [in the front] and let the rest follow.” And so the conflict dragged on and on.

The Forfeiture of Policy

Put simply, in Europe, a hundred years ago, war had become politically purposeless. Yet the leaders of the world’s principal powers — including, by 1917, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson — could conceive of no alternative but to try harder, even as the seat of Western civilization became a charnel house.

Only one leader bucked the trend: Vladimir Lenin. In March 1918, soon after seizing power in Russia, Lenin took that country out of the war. In doing so, he reasserted the primacy of politics and restored the possibility of strategy. Lenin had his priorities straight. Nothing in his estimation took precedence over ensuring the survival of the Bolshevik Revolution. Liquidating the war against Germany therefore became an imperative.

Allow me to suggest that the United States should consider taking a page out of Lenin’s playbook. Granted, prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, such a suggestion might have smacked of treason. Today, however, in the midst of our never-ending efforts to expunge terrorism, we might look to Lenin for guidance on how to get our priorities straight.

As was the case with Great Britain, France, and Germany a century ago, the United States now finds itself mired in a senseless war. Back then, political leaders in London, Paris, and Berlin had abrogated control of basic policy to warrior chieftains. Today, ostensibly responsible political leaders in Washington have done likewise. Some of those latter-day American warrior chieftains who gather in the White House or testify on Capitol Hill may wear suits rather than uniforms, but all remain enamored with the twenty-first-century equivalent of Ludendorff’s notorious dictum.

Of course, our post-9/11 military enterprise — the undertaking once known as the Global War on Terrorism — differs from The Great War in myriad ways. The ongoing hostilities in which U.S. forces are involved in various parts of the Islamic world do not qualify, even metaphorically, as “great.” Nor will there be anything great about an armed conflict with Iran, should members of the current administration get their apparent wish to provoke one.

Today, Washington need not even bother to propagandize the public into supporting its war. By and large, members of the public are indifferent to its very existence. And given our reliance on a professional military, shooting citizen-soldiers who want to opt out of the fight is no longer required.

There are also obvious differences in scale, particularly when it comes to the total number of casualties involved. Cumulative deaths from the various U.S. interventions, large and small, undertaken since 9/11, number in the hundreds of thousands. The precise tally of those lost during the European debacle of 1914-1918 will never be known, but the total probably surpassed 13 million.

Even so, similarities between the Great War as it unspooled and our own not-in-the-least-great war(s) deserve consideration. Today, as then, strategy — that is, the principled use of power to achieve the larger interests of the state — has ceased to exist. Indeed, war has become an excuse for ignoring the absence of strategy.

For years now, U.S. military officers and at least some national security aficionados have referred to ongoing military hostilities as “the Long War.” To describe our conglomeration of spreading conflicts as “long” obviates any need to suggest when or under what circumstances (if any) they might actually end. It’s like the meteorologist forecasting a “long winter” or the betrothed telling his or her beloved that theirs will be a “long engagement.” The implicit vagueness is not especially encouraging.

Some high-ranking officers of late have offered a more forthright explanation of what “long” may really mean. In the Washington Post, the journalist Greg Jaffe recently reported that “winning for much of the U.S. military’s top brass has come to be synonymous with staying put.” Winning, according to Air Force General Mike Holmes, is simply “not losing. It’s staying in the game.”

Not so long ago, America’s armed forces adhered to a concept called victory, which implied conclusive, expeditious, and economical mission accomplished. No more. Victory , it turns out, is too tough to achieve, too restrictive, or, in the words of Army Lieutenant General Michael Lundy, “too absolute.” The United States military now grades itself instead on a curve. As Lundy puts it, “winning is more of a continuum,” an approach that allows you to claim mission accomplishment without, you know, actually accomplishing anything.

It’s like soccer for six-year-olds. Everyone tries hard so everyone gets a trophy. Regardless of outcomes, no one goes home feeling bad. In the U.S. military’s case, every general gets a medal (or, more likely, a chest full of them).

“These days,” in the Pentagon, Jaffe writes, “senior officers talk about ‘infinite war.’”

I would like to believe that Jaffe is pulling our leg. But given that he’s a conscientious reporter with excellent sources, I fear he knows what he’s talking about. If he’s right, as far as the top brass are concerned, the Long War has now officially gone beyond long. It has been deemed endless and is accepted as such by those who preside over its conduct.

Strategic Abomination

In truth, infinite war is a strategic abomination, an admission of professional military bankruptcy. Erster General-Quartiermeister Ludendorff might have endorsed the term, but Ludendorff was a military fanatic.

Check that. Infinite war is a strategic abomination except for arms merchants, so-called defense contractors, and the “emergency men” (and women) devoted to climbing the greasy pole of what we choose to call the national security establishment. In other words, candor obliges us to acknowledge that, in some quarters, infinite war is a pure positive, carrying with it a promise of yet more profits, promotions, and opportunities to come. War keeps the gravy train rolling. And, of course, that’s part of the problem.

Who should we hold accountable for this abomination? Not the generals, in my view. If they come across as a dutiful yet unimaginative lot, remember that a lifetime of military service rarely nurtures imagination or creativity. And let us at least credit our generals with this: in their efforts to liberate or democratize or pacify or dominate the Greater Middle East they have tried every military tactic and technique imaginable. Short of nuclear annihilation, they’ve played just about every card in the Pentagon’s deck — without coming up with a winning hand. So they come and go at regular intervals, each new commander promising success and departing after a couple years to make way for someone else to give it a try.

It tells us something about our prevailing standards of generalship that, by resurrecting an old idea — counterinsurgency — and applying it with temporary success to one particular theater of war, General David Petraeus acquired a reputation as a military genius. If Petraeus is a military genius, so, too, is General George McClellan. After winning the Battle of Rich Mountain in 1861, newspapers dubbed McClellan “the Napoleon of the Present War.” But the action at Rich Mountain decided nothing and McClellan didn’t win the Civil War any more than Petraeus won the Iraq War.

No, it’s not the generals who have let us down, but the politicians to whom they supposedly report and from whom they nominally take their orders. Of course, under the heading of politician, we quickly come to our current commander-in-chief. Yet it would be manifestly unfair to blame President Trump for the mess he inherited, even if he is presently engaged in making matters worse.

The failure is a collective one, to which several presidents and both political parties have contributed over the years. Although the carnage may not be as horrific today as it was on the European battlefields on the Western and Eastern Fronts, members of our political class are failing us as strikingly and repeatedly as the political leaders of Great Britain, France, and Germany failed their peoples back then. They have abdicated responsibility for policy to our own homegrown equivalents of Haig, Foch, Petain, Hindenburg, and Ludendorff. Their failure is unforgivable.

Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate.

Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity. No doubt Saudi and Israeli leaders will cheer, Europeans who remember their Great War will scratch their heads in wonder, and the Chinese will laugh themselves silly. Meanwhile, issues of genuinely strategic importance — climate change offers one obvious example — will continue to be treated like an afterthought. As for the gravy train, it will roll on.

Except when venting at TomDispatch, Andrew J. Bacevich is hard at work writing a book about how we got Donald J. Trump. He is the author, most recently, of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Europeans who remember their Great War will scratch their heads in wonder

    I like what Bacevich writes most of the time and I have a great deal of personal respect but quote above is simply not true.

    1. Great War just pales in comparison to WW II and what Europe endured in it and so are the impacts simply not-comparable without losing one credibility trying to prove otherwise.

    2. This alone completely devalues any argument built around it even if one goes to exercise strategic and operational sophistry within highly contrived scenarios.

    Remaking of Europe, including profoundly in cultural and intellectual senses happened not as a result of Great War but as a result of WW II which colored European mind well into the 21st century. British can wear their red poppy whatever they want but Russians and Germans mutually slaughtered between each other around 40 million, throw in here 6 million Poles, or 1.7 million Yugoslavs, not to mention realities of death and concentration camps, slave labor and how this compares to Great War–I guess re-connection with reality on the ground is in order.

    Just as a stray fact–I remember not single mentioning of Great War in Christopher Caldwell’s superb treatise Reflections On The Revolution In Europe. WW II, on the other hand is placed squarely into the position of a major impetus which pushed Europe to where it is today, including her huge problems.

  2. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:

    “The United States of Amnesia.”

    That’s actually a universal condition.

    • Replies: @Antlitz Grollheim
  3. unseated says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    1. WW1 had total casualties (civilian and military) of around 40M. WW2 had total casualties of 60M. So yes WW2 was more deadly but “pales in comparison” is hardly justified, especially relative to population.

    2. Marshal Foch, 28 June, 1919: “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.”
    WW1 inevitably led to WW2.

    • Agree: byrresheim
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @El Dato
  4. My recent tribute to World War I:

    May 28, 2018 – A Memorial to the Great War Disaster

    Books about World War I are not popular in the USA because they are depressing. The world’s great European powers destroyed a generation of men in pointless bloody battles. Few Americans realize that World War I was America’s worst foreign policy blunder that killed millions and set the stage for World War II.

    When the “Great War” began in 1914, royals and generals hoped for swift victories. However, advances in technology, mostly machine guns and rapid fire artillery, allowed concentrated firepower to annihilate attacking formations. The war in France bogged down into a bloody stalemate and the construction of fortified positions ensured that any offensive would grind to a stop. The king of England and Germany were first cousins who grew up together, so a peaceful resolution was likely in 1916.

    The problem was that British bankers had loaned its government lots of money and most could not be repaid. They wanted to win the war so they could loot Germany by requiring Germans to pay reparations so the British government could repay them. If they could lure the powerful USA to join the war, victory was assured. They blocked peace efforts and used their agents of influence to manipulate the USA into joining the war. Soon after President Wilson was elected with the promise to stay out the war, he worked with Congress to declare war. 

    As a result, the war dragged on for two more bloody years before enough American men and material arrived in France to turn the tide. The war was unpopular back home, leading Wilson to censor the US mail by blocking anti-war newsletters and magazines. He threw thousands of political opponents in jail, implemented a draft to fill out the Army, and sent these reluctant Americans into battle with little training and poor equipment. The Americans fought bravely, but the Germans had three years of combat experience and chewed up American units foolishly thrown into frontal attacks that had little chance of success. After four years of war, the Germans had no more manpower to replace losses, and surrendered based on a just peace promised by President Wilson. That never happened and Germany was looted and humiliated, which led to the rise of the Nazis and World War II.

    So this Memorial Day, remember the 116,516 Americans President Wilson killed in that senseless war. Moreover, the American intervention extended the war and resulted in World War II. American GIs slaughter Germans so British bankers could collect debts, with interest! I was inspired to write this blog post after reading the brilliant David Stockman’s recent essay about America’s disastrous intervention in World War I.

    https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2018/05/16/why-the-empire-never-sleeps-the-indispensable-nation-folly-part-2/

  5. rjj says:

    Irony (rhetorical high flying?) has its hazards.

    “Allow me to suggest that the United States should consider taking a page out of Lenin’s playbook. ”

    Should we be mindful of or hand wave away the fact that Lenin’s damage limitation policy led to an additional 1.5 million combatant and 7-12 million civilian losses in the Civil War?

    • Replies: @animalogic
  6. RVBlake says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Periodically I am reminded how hideous a president Wilson truly was. He also was responsible for the Palmer Raids.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  7. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    “Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate.”

    Isn’t that what happened in November 2016?

    That the dcclarant was lying would seem beside the point to someone “hard at work writing a book about how we got Donald J. Trump.”

  8. c matt says:

    “Enough! Stop this madness!”

    The only politician with a modest national stage to have said that (and meant it) in the last 50 years was Ron Paul, who was booed and mocked as crazy. Trump made noises in that direction, but almost as soon as the last words of his oath echoed off into the brisk January afternoon, he seemed to change his tune. Whether he never meant it, or decided to avoid the JFK treatment, who knows.

    No, as I believe Will Rogers said, democracy is that form of government where the people get what they want, good and hard.

    • Agree: Z-man
    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Tom Welsh
    , @Johann
  9. @unseated

    So yes WW2 was more deadly but “pales in comparison” is hardly justified, especially relative to population.

    It is really interesting to hear once one considers that WW II had unprecedented impact due to highly developed Air Forces and mechanized warfare on civilian population and infrastructure, which makers WW I look like a pillow fight. Moreover–I don’t know where 40 million figure for WW I came from. Care to elaborate on this?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties

    How you arrived to 40 million dead is a complete mystery to me.

    2. Marshal Foch, 28 June, 1919: “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.”
    WW1 inevitably led to WW2.

    That is absolutely irrelevant here–anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of military history knows that WW II in some sense was a continuation of WW I. The issue here is SCALE and, hence, the impact of WW II which dwarfs WW I in terms of destruction, dislocation, suffering, brutality and, basically, destruction of whole Europe from France to almost Urals. Just to give you a hint:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II

    Here is Dresden.

    Here is Stalingrad–pretty standard picture on the Eastern Front–same goes for Voronezh, Sevastopol, Kiev etc.

  10. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @c matt

    Yes.

    I supported Ron Paul in 2012. But after his candidacy was crookedly subverted by the Establishment (cf., Trump’s) I vowed never to vote again for anyone that I believe unworthy of the power wielded through the public office. I haven’t voted since, and don’t expect to until the Empire collapses.

  11. @Andrei Martyanov

    —, on both occasions, the bad guys spoke German.

    German demon #1 was Queen Victoria’s Grandson… Kaiser Bill.

    Why hasn’t anybody tracked the English crown in all of this? The only reason Wilhelm didn’t become king – is because ascension to the throne hadn’t yet changed to the eldest child, male or female.

    Victoria and her daughter died ONE year apart. That would have put Wilhelm on the throne in 1901.

    Nobody connects the dots between the German bloodline in every monarchy in Europe, including Greece. — and the Windsors.

    They are demonic…. and still in charge…. Europe just keeps trading one gestapo for another under the rule of these despotic monarchs.

  12. Kirk Douglas starred in a great film about fighting in World War I: “Paths of Glory.” I highly recommend the film for its accuracy, best described in Wiki by the reaction of governments:

    Controversy

    On its release, the film’s anti-military tone was subject to criticism and censorship.

    In France, both active and retired personnel from the French military vehemently criticized the film—and its portrayal of the French Army—after it was released in Belgium. The French government placed enormous pressure on United Artists, (the European distributor) to not release the film in France. The film was eventually shown in France in 1975 when social attitudes had changed.[17]

    In Germany, the film was withdrawn from the Berlin Film Festival to avoid straining relations with France;[18] it was not shown for two years until after its release.

    In Spain, Spain’s right-wing government of Francisco Franco objected to the film. It was first shown in 1986, 11 years after Franco’s death.

    In Switzerland, the film was censored, at the request of the Swiss Army, until 1970.[18]

    At American bases in Europe, the American military banned it from being shown.[18]

  13. Mike P says:

    No, it’s not the generals who have let us down, but the politicians to whom they supposedly report and from whom they nominally take their orders.

    I’d say both. The generals have greatly assisted in stringing along the trusting public, always promising that victory is just around the corner, provided the public supports this or that final effort. Petraeus in particular willingly played his part in misleading the public about both Iraq and Afghanistan. His career would be a great case study for illuminating what is wrong with the U.S. today.

    As to the apparent failure of the Afghanistan war – one must be careful to separate stated goals from real ones. What kind of “lasting success” can the U.S. possibly hope for there? If they managed to defeat the Taliban, pacify the country, install a puppet regime to govern it, and then leave, what would that achieve? The puppet regime would find itself surrounded by powers antagonistic to the U.S., and the puppets would either cooperate with them or be overthrown in no time. The U.S. are not interested in winning and leaving – they want to continue disrupting the peaceful integration of East, West, and South Asia. Afghanistan is ideally placed for this purpose, and so the U.S. are quite content with dragging out that war, as a pretext for their continued presence in the region.

    • Replies: @animalogic
  14. TG says:

    An interesting and thoughtful piece.

    I would disagree on one point though: “Today, Washington need not even bother to propagandize the public into supporting its war. By and large, members of the public are indifferent to its very existence.”

    This is an error. A majority of the American public think that wasting trillions of dollars on endless pointless foreign wars is a stupid idea, and they think that we would be better off spending that money on ourselves. It’s just that we don’t live in a democracy, and the corporate press constantly ignores the issue. But just because the press doesn’t mention something, doesn’t mean that it does not exist.

    So during the last presidential election Donald Trump echoed this view, why are we throwing away all this money on stupid wars when we need that money at home? For this he was attacked as a fascist and “literally Hitler” (really! It’s jaw-dropping when you think about it). Despite massive propaganda attacking Trump, and a personal style that could charitably be called a jackass, Trump won the election in large part because indeed most American don’t like the status quo.

    After the election, Trump started to deliver on his promises – and he was quickly beaten down, his pragmatist nationalist advisors purged and replaced with defense-industry chickenhawks, and now we are back to the old status quo. The public be damned.

    No, the American people are not being propagandized into supporting these wars. They are simply being ignored.

  15. When are you going to stop insulting our intelligence with this Boy’s State civics crap? You’re calling on political leaders to stop war, like they don’t remember what CIA did to JFK, RFK, Daschle, or Leahy. Or Paul Wellstone.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/tribute-to-the-last-honorable-us-senator-the-story-of-paul-wellstones-suspected-assassination-2/5643200

    Your national command structure, CIA, has impunity for universal jurisdiction crime. They can kill or torture anyone they want and get away with it. That is what put them in charge. CIA kills anybody who gets in their way. You fail to comprehend Lenin’s lesson: first destroy the regime, then you can refrain from use of force. Until you’re ready to take on CIA, your bold phrases are silent and odorless farts of feckless self-absorption. Sack up and imprison CIA SIS or GTFO.

  16. Operation Michael … A last desperate German gamble.

    Nothing desperate about Operation Michael. The Germans were close to winning WWI in the summer of ’18.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  17. @Carlton Meyer

    Since Spain was smart enough to stay out of both World Wars (as was Switzerland, of course), I wonder what Franco was thinking when he banned the film. Anyway, the final scene may be the best final scene in the history of movies.

  18. This writer, a retired military officer whose son died in service to the yankee imperium seems to have as good a grasp as any if not a better grasp than any about the nature of the yankee system of permanent war.

  19. It was the cynical Mencken, not the genial Rogers, who said that. He also opined that everybody gets what the majority deserve.

    • Agree: byrresheim
  20. Members of the public aren’t just indifferent to the wars, they’re irrelevant. Which realization may account for the indifference.

  21. Cassander says:

    Does anybody think Mike Lee and Rand Paul have a chance of opening a real debate on the endless war?

  22. Dutch Boy says:

    Emperor Karl of Austria opened secret negotiations with France when he assumed the throne in 1916 but the negotiations failed when the Allies insisted that he cede part of Austria to Italy as part of any deal.

  23. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Andrei Martyanov

    “I like what Bacevich writes most of the time and I have a great deal of personal respect”

    I respect the opinions of you, Andrei Martyanov, but I cannot understand you being fooled by this self-interested phony, Bacevich. The guy was an Army Colonel, then he retired and he became a very vocal critic of the Iraq war. This supplemented his generous Army retirement with speaking fees. After all, what self-respecting group opposed to war would not want to pay for a retired Army Colonel to speak for them?

    I wonder if anyone ever asked him, what would you, Andrew Bacevich, do if your son wanted to join the Army and fight in Iraq? Those suckers who paid his speaking fees for his opposition to the Iraq war might have thought he would advise his son to stay as far away from the armed forces as possible. On the contrary, he was just fine with his son joining the Army and going to kill more citizens of Iraq in a contiuation of the illegal invasion of that country.

    Young Andrew Bacevich died fighting in Iraq. You might think a loving father would be filled with guilt that he did not do everything he could have done to convince his first-born son to stay out of the illegal war he was supposedly very opposed to (and making good money for that oposition). You might think he would resent the Army for the death of his son. Well, if you thought all that, you would be wrong.

    Andrew Bacevich Sr. went right back to work for the Army lecturing at West Point while AT THE SAME TIME, continuing to get paid to speak and write in opposition to the war. It seems his son’s death was not enough. He wanted to do the same thing with his young college students.

    This guy does not believe the stuff he writes at all. He does it for the money, and for the attention he gets. I can tell you from personal experience that an Army officer who realizes the folly and the evil of war will do everything he can to prevent his son from joining the armed forces and will not take a job teaching cadets how to be military officers.

    This guy Bacevich is a phony and I strongly suspect he is an infiltrator and spy for one or more US intelligence agencies.

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    , @Johnny Rico
  24. Ivan K. says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    The war casualties counts can vary widely, depending on how one counts them. Judging by the official figures of wartime death, WW1 pale in comparison to WW2 for Germany, Austria, and Russia, and it is unlikely to do so for Britain, France and Serbia, countries that suffered more casualties in WW1.

    WW1: 1.1 million just for Serbia http://archive.is/eWCaT
    WW2 : 1.0 million. The official widely accepted 1.7 million figure for Yugoslavia is a result of a politician’s error made in 1948 :

    http://archive.is/b3Wyi

    … Error in interpreting the calculations, that showed then, and repeatedly show ever since around 1.0 million for the whole country : https://exyugenealogy.net/podaci-ratnih-zrtava/1941-1948/demografski-gubici/

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  25. @Ivan K.

    The war casualties counts can vary widely, depending on how one counts them. Judging by the official figures of wartime death, WW1 pale in comparison to WW2 for Germany, Austria, and Russia, and it is unlikely to do so for Britain, France and Serbia, countries that suffered more casualties in WW1.

    Again, it seems impossible to explain to people the difference between Panzer Army, supported by some Luftwaffe Fleet, on the offensive and a cavalry (literally–with horses) corps doing its thing. What would be the scale of damage on a brick between 9 mm handgun and 76-mm? That is roughly the difference between WW I and WW II on civilian population of Europe, Yugoslavia or no Yugoslavia. It was still horrific and unprecedented historically scale of devastation. NO weapon, or armed forces of WW I could do this to the continent even if they would try hard–it would still be a pale puny effort compared to a single day of aerial bombing by either allies or axis. In WW I Dresden or Tokyo weren’t possible for purely technological and industrial reasons, in WW II they have become almost a common place.

  26. @TG

    While I agree the slave-American is ignored, I think the elected, salaried members of the elected government are also ignored.. The persons in charge are Pharaohs and massively powerful global in scope corporations.
    Abe Lincoln, McKinnley, Kennedy discovered that fact in their fate.

    Organized Zionism was copted by the London bankers and their corporations 1897, since then a string of events have emerged.. that like a Submarine, seeking a far off target, it must divert to avoid being discovered, but soon, Red October returns to its intended path. here the path is to take the oil from the Arabs.. and the people driving that submarine are extremely wealthy Pharaohs and very well known major corporations.

    I suggest to quit talking about the nation states and their leaders as if either could beat their way out of a wet paper sack. instead… starting talking about the corporations and Pharaohs because they are global.

    • Replies: @anon
  27. Mr. Anon says:

    The yawning silence accompanying the centennial of the Great War is baffling to me. It was the pivotal event of the 20th century. It was the beginning of the unmanning, the demoralization of Western Civilization. It was the calamity that created the World we inhabit today.

    I’ve heard nary a peep about it in the U.S. over the last four years. It’s as if it were as remote in people’s consciousness as the Punic Wars.

    • Agree: Mike P
  28. Mr. Anon says:
    @RVBlake

    He also was responsible for the Palmer Raids.

    Wilson suffered the first of his strokes before the raids. He might not have actually been wielding power by that time.

    Anyway, there is nothing wrong with ejecting alien subversives from your country.

    That aside, yeah, Wilson was a crappy President.

  29. utu says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Poor Martyanov feels excluded when the Westerners talk out their Great War. What about Russians and the Red Army and the 27 millions? We must be heard. Please talk about us. And don’t forger about our suffering and sacrifice. We are your ‘partner’ after all.

    Martyanov, Get few Jews here who want to talk about Holocaust and their unique suffering and you and them can shut down the discussion. Or let pass the law that any talk about history from now on must include Holocaust and unprecedented suffering and sacrifice of the Red Army in the WWII.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    , @Wally
  30. MarkinPNW says:

    The World Wars (I and II) can be seen as an increasingly desperate attempt of a fading British Empire to hold on to and maintain its power and hegemony, with the material, human, and moral cost of the wars actually accelerating the empire’s demise.

    Likewise, the current endless “War on Terra” can be seen as an increasingly desperate attempt of a fading American Empire to hold on to and maintain its power and hegemony, again with the material, human, and moral cost of this war actually accelerating its demise.

    But in the meantime, in both examples, the Bankers and the MIC just keep reaping their profits, even at the expense of the empires they purportedly support and defend.

  31. El Dato says:
    @unseated

    Marshal Foch, 28 June, 1919: “This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.” WW1 inevitably led to WW2.

    This is quoted correctly but in the wrong context (as it is usually done).

    Foch wanted a fat chunk of the German territory to the west of the Rhine to be given to France. He emitted the statement when he heard that was not going to be the case after all.

    The terrible sadism of the victors and especially France towards Germany was a fat part of WWII.

    Have a look at https://mises.org/library/blockade-and-attempted-starvation-germany

  32. bartok says:

    The implication that moronic generals sent millions charging into machine guns throughout WWI doesn’t work. Tactics changed multiple times during the war, and quickly.

  33. @rjj

    “Lenin’s damage limitation policy led to an additional 1.5 million combatant and 7-12 million civilian losses in the Civil War”
    There is limited to no causal connection between Soviet withdrawal from Great War & the later civil war. The civil war was an internal Russian matter: of course Russia’s former allies supported the Whites – but they would have anyway.

    • Replies: @rjj
  34. ” In truth, infinite war is a strategic abomination, an admission of professional military bankruptcy. Erster General-Quartiermeister Ludendorff might have endorsed the term, but Ludendorff was a military fanatic. ”

    He was not at all:
    Erich Ludendorff, ‘Meine Kriegserinnerungen 1914 = 1918′, Berlin, 1918
    Alas the book is in German, ghotic letters, few people are going to read it.
    Ludendorff understood quite well what WWI was about: the destruction of Germany.
    The book also is very interesting about how democratic Germany was during WWI, politicians in the Reichstag could criticise the war in any way they wanted.
    Compare this to GB, where Morel was thrown into a harsh jail for his book
    E.D.Morel, ‘Truth & The War’, 1916, London
    He died in the early twenties as a result of jail conditions.
    That he beat Churchill in a by election shortly before his death may have been some consolation.

    • Replies: @Mike P
  35. @Carlton Meyer

    Glory.
    Read Remarque, ‘Im Westen nichts Neues’, there surely is a translation.
    The most damning statement about WWI was that the British wanted much British blood spilled in the war, otherwise they would not have a great claim at the conference table after the war.
    It for a long time puzzled me why the British continued sending tens of thousands of young men to certain deaths at the Somme
    Robin Neillands, ‘The Great War Generals on the Western Front 1914-1918’, 1999, 2004, London
    The author tries to exonerate these generals, who, more than forty miles behind the front, in comfortable castles, in my opinion committed mass murder, for several days in 1916, at the Somme.
    Martin Middlebrook describes one day’s massacre in great detail, cannot find the title of the book now.

  36. @Mike P

    Good points Mike P.
    Author says: “strategy …has ceased to exist”.
    In a traditional sense the author is right. Strategy is the attainment of political goals, within existing constraints.(diplomatic, political, resources etc)
    “Goals” traditionally means “victories”. (WWI is a great example of the sometimes dubious idea of victory)
    Has the US ceased to have a strategy ? No. (Their strategy is myopic & self destructive – ie it’s not a “good” strategy)
    The US strategy is based on two core principles:
    1. Maintain – extend hegemony over whole world. (Resources, military etc etc)
    2. Act as Israel’s Golom.
    * Afghanistan, at (relatively) minimal cost, US controls key land mass (& with possible future access to fantastic resources). Threaten, mess up Russian – Chinese ambitions in this area.
    * Iraq: Israeli enemy, strategic location, resource extraction.
    * Syria: Israeli enemy, strategic location, key location for resource transfer to markets (EU esp). Deny Russia an ally.
    * Libya: who cares ? Gaddafi was a pain in the arse.
    * Iran: Israeli enemy, fantastic resources, hate them regardless.
    Of course this (very abbreviated) view of US “strategy” is open to the criticisms that it’s both dumb & evil. As if US establishment cares. Compared to cost of traditional “war” it’s pretty cheap ( which is funny, because it’s such a yummy gravy train for the 1% … sorry, actually, forgot the FIRST core principle of US strategy: enrich all the “right” people)

    • Replies: @Mike P
  37. Tom Welsh says:

    ‘There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one–on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful–as usual–will shout for the war. The pulpit will– warily and cautiously–object–at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, “It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.” Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers–as earlier– but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation–pulpit and all– will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception’.

    - Satan, in Mark Twain’s “The Mysterious Stranger” (1908)

  38. Tom Welsh says:
    @c matt

    “No, as I believe Will Rogers said, democracy is that form of government where the people get what they want, good and hard”.

    It was actually Mencken.

  39. Tom Welsh says:
    @The Scalpel

    “This guy Bacevich is a phony and I strongly suspect he is an infiltrator and spy for one or more US intelligence agencies”.

    It seems to me that, if you yourself were “an infiltrator and spy for one or more US intelligence agencies”, you might say of Colonel Bacevich exactly what you did.

    Poisoning the well is one of the oldest and most effective of propaganda techniques.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @The Scalpel
  40. Bacevich wrote:

    Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!”

    Don’t you mean: Enough! Stop the Jewish lobby!!!

  41. Z-man says:

    Today, Washington need not even bother to propagandize the public into supporting its war. By and large, members of the public are indifferent to its very existence. And given our reliance on a professional military, shooting citizen-soldiers who want to opt out of the fight is no longer required.

    Yep, I was looking for a quote like this. We have a mercenary military now so the ruling elite can send them anywhere they want with little agitation from the general public. That’s why I advised my son not to join, not that he was leaning in that direction anyway. (Grin) He would be putting his life on the line for the Zionist Billionaires Boys Club.

  42. rjj says:
    @animalogic

    “There is limited to no causal connection …”

    led to” weasels around causality, consequence, subsequence. Would chance a claim of obsequence (as another way of saying perverse outcome) because it is nearly universal in human affairs,

    • Replies: @animalogic
  43. Mike P says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Ludendorff’s book is available on archive.org, an amazing resource.

  44. Mike P says:
    @animalogic

    Depressingly good overview of what passes for American strategy these days.

  45. @utu

    Give Martyanov a break. Homo Sovieticus was only born in 1917. What happened previously is largely irrelevant to the Glory That Was The Soviet Union ( Good name for a book, that ).
    Martyanov is the Sovok version of Tiny Duck.

  46. In 1913 the Zionist bankers got a compliant congress to pass the IRS and the FED and thus set the stage for all the Zionist wars forced on America by these Satanist bastards. Wilson as all the coming POTUS said there would be no war and this was followed by war as per the Zionist bankers plans and the plans of their designs for a NWO and thus the future of America and its Zionist wars.

    War is the Zionist policy for the American gov and this policy creates debt for the people and profit for the Zionist bankers and so since the passage of the FED and the IRS war is perpetual as laid out in the Report From Iron Mountain. Orwell in 1984 lays out the agenda of our BIG BROTHERS wars for profit and control of the proles ie we goyims and so the business of the Zionist controlled U.S. gov is war and control and the Zionist One World Government.

    If anyone doubts that the Zionists control the U.S. gov , just think about this, Israel and the Zionist controlled deep state did 911 and got away with it and that is control in spades.

  47. @rjj

    Your reply is not clearly made.
    “led to” weasels around causality, consequence, subsequence.”
    You used the expression “led to”: are you suggesting clarification here is “weasel[ing] around” ?
    “Led to”to me implies causality, not subsequance. Further, if it’s merely subsequent then no blame can attach to Lenin – in the same way that if you fart & a cow dies in India you are not to blame.
    Incidentally “Would chance a claim of obsequence (as another way of saying perverse outcome)”. “obsequence” means something like: compliance possibly amounting to servility: which is irrelevant here, amounting to incomprehensible.

    • Replies: @rjj
  48. annamaria says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    European politicians, the war on terror, and the triumph of Bankers United: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/06/12/europe-brainwashed-normalize-relations-russia/
    “Europe has not had an independent existence for 75 years. European countries do not know what it means to be a sovereign state. Without Washington European politicians feel lost, so they are likely to stick with Washington….
    Russian hopes to unite with the West in a war against terrorism overlook that terrorism is the West’s weapon for destabilizing independent countries that do not accept a unipolar world.”
    The world is ripe for barter exchange. Screw the money changers.

  49. Anon[317] • Disclaimer says:

    So question is, why would those in power assume damage, cost and consequence responsibility for committing the sheep in their pasture to a foreign war? You answered your own question: War was a necessary step in the Zionist plan to take the richest oil fields in the world from its owners, the Arabs. Destruction of the Ottoman Empire and implementation of control over the Arab lands was accomplished by the Zionist Pharaohs and their corporations who were behind the British, French, and German pre war propaganda and post war control the Arab lands mandates.

    [MORE]

    A second a more important question is: How did the Zionist leaders in-charge get away with it. ? The answer lay in the global Zionist control over the options Zionist lead nations states are allowed to take. Paris, London are hosts to significant portions of organized profit making Zionism; bankers, industrialist, are in charge. Pharaohs and their corporations. nation states are organized to maintain citizen discipline (systemically denies right to self determination); dissent is criminalized, non compliant citizens are ____. (if you don’t get in line, we kill you) propaganda is like the shepherd’s dog, its bark signals return to the herd signals.

    comprehensive war time industrialized profiteering. is not a reason, its a reward to keep those with the financial and political strength who might object to war in line. Shut up or you will not be allowed to make the millions the coming or existing war will bring. = = == Explain why, the self-destructive loss and ruin outcome war not one monarch or president or premier had the wit or gumption to declare: Enough! to Stop the madness! And deferred instead to their “warrior Chieftans” British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, French Marshals Ferdinand Foch and Philippe Petain, German commanders Paul von Hindenburg Holing punching Erich Ludendorff.

    cause war is the business of these mental psychos? Like General Patton, they live to lead armies into war.

    Vladimir Lenin. In March 1918 in Russia, was a Zionist movement propelled by the forced departure of the Jews whose plan to over throw the Ottomans was discovered in 1908. The Ottomans burned the rebellious Jews out from Salonika and that led to the October Revolution in 1918 in Tsarist Russia. Lenin was used by the Zionist movement, and under that revolution organized Zionism killed 32 million Orthodox Christian Ukrainians. Your article looks more like Zionist organized propaganda than it does research.

    I want to make clear, I am not against the Jewish people or the people of Jewish origins, in fact, I think the Zionist used the and abused the Jewish people and caused them much suffering. Pharaoh( wealthy bankers, industrialist and their corporate backed organized Zionism accounts for the wars you mention).

  50. Wally says:
    @utu

    said:
    “Jews here who want to talk about Holocaust and their unique suffering and you and them can shut down the discussion. Or let pass the law that any talk about history from now on must include Holocaust and unprecedented suffering and sacrifice of the Red Army in the WWII.”

    Oh please.
    The ‘Jew 6.000,000′, which they have been pushing since at least 1823, is as fake as can be and you cannot prove otherwise.

    The Red Army only had their masters to blame.

    The ’6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’ are scientifically impossible frauds.
    see the ‘holocaust’ scam debunked here: http://codoh.com
    No name calling, level playing field debate here: http://forum.codoh.com

    USSR plan to attack Germany / ‘American Pravda: When Stalin Almost Conquered Europe’, by Ron Unz

    http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-stalin-almost-conquered-europe/

    Operation Barbarossa Was A Preventive Attack

    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7999

    • Replies: @Anon
  51. Skip,
    You lost me at, “Lenin had his priorities straight.”
    Then, “…we might look to Lenin for guidance on how to get our priorities straight.” Were you deliberately trying to alienate, even offend, readers with some awareness of the thousand-year background, the prosecution, and the consequences of that revolution and the ensuing civil war?
    I skimmed the rest of your piece for evidence of any insight into the tribal nature of the modern US government’s prosecution of endless war. I found none.
    Oh, and, ALLONS!, me bucko.

  52. rjj says:
    @animalogic

    I meant obsequence in this sense -

    Obsequent streams are streams flowing in the opposite direction of the consequent drainage.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluvial_landforms_of_streams

    Karmic gitback for the “rhetorical high flying” comment. Assumed this sense was in general use. Should be. It would come in handy for describing the course of human events.

  53. I posted this in another thread, but here it is more appropriate:
    That’s what happens when hubris replaces strategy. In the US today only MIC has a strategy: produce any fakes necessary to keep the gravy train rolling. The leadership of the country is wholly owned by MIC and allied forces (AIPAC is one of those) and mostly resembles biblical blind lead by the blind

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
  54. Jake says:

    The problem with Bacevich is nicely summed in the bio under this article: “Andrew J. Bacevich is hard at work writing a book about how we got Donald J. Trump.” That book could be little more than: because the leadership of both mainstream parties for at least 75 years has alternated between imbecility and evil grasping after power, a Donald Trump was more than inevitable and perhaps could be a required breath of not fully fresh air that allows us to find more sanity down the road.

    Worrying about the many issues with Trump is like the physician obsessed with his patient’s smoking cigarettes when the patient also smokes marijuana daily and is addicted to both oxycontin and crystal meth and recently has mainlined heroin a couple of times, all while fantasizing about a sex change operation.

    • Agree: RVBlake
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  55. Heros says:

    Albert Pike, 33rd degree scottish right freemason, laid it all out in his letter to Mazzini in 1871. He described the coming 3 world wars.

    WWI was about breaking up the Ottoman Empire (and others) and getting Jerusalem. WWII was about the creation of Israel. WWIII will be about the third temple and Noahide laws.

    http://rense.com/general80/pike.htm

    The reason these politicians keep making these unpopular war decisions is quite simply because they are instructed to act that way. We can rant and rave and lock up any of these politicians we may be lucky enough to catch, but we will never get at the root issue as long as we let the real criminals remain to corrupt the next batch of sociopaths.

  56. renfro says:

    Andrew J. Bacevich is hard at work writing a book about how we got Donald J. Trump.

    Buying his book would be a waste of money……I can tell you for free.

    Trump was elected out of the sheer desperation of a large number of Americans fed up to death with a corrupt government and noxious liberalism. period.

    Unfortunately he was a fraud…..but the most desperate are still clinging, hoping against hope.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  57. @TG

    …a correction to your correction.
    Most Americans have lost the ability to think. It disappeared in cyberspace.

  58. @Carlton Meyer

    Where do you get that stuff about British banks part in keeping the war going. I am readonably familiar with WW1 history and don’t recall any of the disvussions which would have had to take place according to your account. Like “we should certainly try and get negotiations going but, gentlemen, the Treasury jascjust received very pressure from the banks who financed our first six months…..”.

  59. You state : “Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate.”

    Why don’t you run in 2020, Mr. BACEWICH.

    You would probably make it. You have the balls, the shoulders and the brain to that effect.

    Please wear a bullet proof jacket.

    I wish you the very best.

    I will support (modestly) you.

    C.D.

  60. Johann says:
    @c matt

    I thought that the quote about democracy came from HL Mencken of Baltimore.

  61. peterAUS says:

    So the relevant question for our present American moment is this: once it becomes apparent that a war is a mistake…..

    Stopped reading here.
    Not one war waged by USA, since Mexico, has been a mistake by people in power.
    Those who actually make decisions about wars.

    Since then, those people have been increasing their power and all the perks that come with it.

    So, what’ s not to like?

  62. @Carlton Meyer

    I have to agree with much of what @Carlton Meyer stated in his reply. But I would like to also add my own in-depth notes…

    I tend to concentrate my military studies on World War I (in addition to the “War for Southern Independence” and the inter-war years (1919-1939)). And as everyone here has concluded, World War I was an abomination of an atrocity.

    Professor Bacevich, a man I have great respect for, did however make some minor but critical errors in this piece.

    Kaiser Wilhelm had no desire to enter into a world conflagration. When he realized that events were spinning out of control, he did everything in his power to contact his cousin, the Russian Czar, to request that Russian Mobilization be halted, the actual cause of the start of the conflict. Due to the fact that diplomacy, unlike the military (which had adopted wireless and wired communications), was still using traditional methods of face-to-face discussion or formal letters for diplomacy, the Kaiser was unable to get through to his cousin in time to stop what the Czar most likely could not halt in any event. Mobilization of forces at the time had taken on a life of their own due to the technologies of modernized train transport.

    In 1915 or 1916, the German high command attempted to offer to negotiate peace with Britain and France but Britain, with the war being run basically by Churchill (a warmonger of the first order) refused to talk to the Germans, since he loathed them for whatever reasons.

    The war was won by Germany in the winter of 1917 at which point the megalomaniacal Woodrow Wilson pushed the US into the conflict with his god-like notion that he could create peace on Earth. The man was truly clinically insane (but functional) as much recent documentation has attested to (see the late Thomas Fleming’s, “Illusion of Victory” for a thrill ride through Wilson’s addled thinking).

    Had the US not entered the war, there would have been an amenable peace developed in 1917 among the European belligerents. And probably as a result, no World War II.

    England was the cause of the war indirectly with her centuries old “balance of power” politics applied to continental Europe. In this vein, fearful of the loss of her dominance on the high seas as a result of the Kaiser’s excellent buildup of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), which in turn would threaten her empire, the British military started to collude with the French military, I believe as early as 1906, to develop joint operational plans in case of war with Germany. This latter of course, the British were very much hoping would happen. And with Churchill being one of the most influential cabinet members on the matter, there was little doubt that Britain would need very little pretext to enter a conflict.

    However, it was France’s alliance with Russia that was directly responsible for the initiation of the entire conflagration. This alliance was centered upon loans to Russia from France for Russian domestic development and French fears that if Germany attacked her she would be left on her own to defend herself. Russia agreed in principal to ally herself with France but used the French loans instead to rebuild her military (though it did her little good against superior German arms).

    Germany, bound in alliance with Austro-Hungary, did in fact support Austria’s punitive strike into Serbia and provided what some have called a “blank check”, which provided for military and financial support as a result of the alliance. Austria’s military, one which had a very spotty historical record of being on and off again as far as quality was concerned, was definitively off in 1914 and was summarily defeated by superior Serbian Forces.

    Franz-Josef of Austria had no expectation of a world war when he committed Austria to such an incursion into Serbian territory and by that time no else did either as a result of the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand since royal assassinations had become pretty common place in Europe from 1880 onward. However, on the Austrian side we have general Conrad von Hotzendorf to thank for this strike at Serbia. He hated Serbia probably as much as Churchill hated the Germans but Conrad had good reason to since the Balkan nation was always causing all sorts of problems on the Austro-Hungarian borders. Unfortunately, Conrad was not all that good a military man and cost Austrian hundreds of thousands of combatant deaths during the conflict.

    As a result, this assassination, a real non-event, has been touted to school children ever since as the cause of World War I. In reality, it was simply window dressing for idiots in the US educational system to latch onto.

    The reaction of Russia to the attack on Serbia was to fully mobilize her military, which up through World War II has always been seen as an imminent sign of war.

    This automatically dragged France into war, which in turn dragged England as a result of the secret military partnership. Austria then was forced to follow suit and formally declare war, which brought the final player into the conflict, Germany, who with the exception of some in the German high command really had questions about engaging in such a widening war, which was supposed to be a localized conflict.

    Seeing that there was no hope to ending the conflict on amenable terms, the Kaiser abdicated in 1918 and fled for the Royal Netherlands where he was taken in and granted political asylum. However, by this time General Ludendorf had become a de-facto military dictator of Germany. And though both he and his senior military aide. Max Hoffman, , who did the majority of the planning, developed superior battlefield strategy, Ludendorf’s political decisions caused untold problems for the German social infrastructure, some of which was a reaction to the new pressures that US Forces were finally bringing to bare on German arms.

    The original number of deaths for World War I began at around ten million but had been upgraded over the years to around twenty million. However, this does not take into account the highly damaging effects of what would become known as the Spanish Flu in 1918. Recent research into this aspect of the war is now postulating of up to sixty million deaths all told.

    The Spanish Flu was actually a very mild flu; not the devastating epidemic that again idiot educators and historians have touted over the years. What made this particular strain of Flu so devastating was not the virus itself but the need for adequate health-care and recovery. However, within the field armies that were facing each other, the deprivations that the war had brought to continental Europe, and the very poorly developed 33 US training camps in the States, affected personnel and civilian populace did not have the proper facilities and health-care required to allow them to recover quickly and properly from this disease. The result was that patients lingered in terrible conditions making recovery impossible and allowing death to ensue.

    Finally, it was not just British bankers who wanted their loans paid back but the US banks desired it as well for their own loans; a first in the annals of military history between allies. However, the Wilson Administration never considered the US an ally to Britain or France. It instead viewed itself as an “associated nation”, whatever that meant. However, Wilson was famously known for his ridiculous vagueness and slogans (“saving the world for democracy”, which even at the time no one could quite figure out the meaning of). As a result, the US would not sign a peace agreement until 1922.

    Talk about stupid…

  63. Perhaps the China’s financing of America’s infinite wars has a purpose.

    • Replies: @Donald J. Tingle
  64. Not so much British bankers as Britain’s bankers, who were American, that is, Morgan, as it is told by Adam Tooze in his exhaustive (or rather, exhausting) book on the subject.

  65. @Donald J. Tingle

    Please ignore the “the” before “ China’s.”

    • Replies: @Anon
  66. @jilles dykstra

    The book in English translation is called: “All Quiet on the Western Front”. There is another book that is a sort of horrific companion to Remarque’s which is F.A Voight’s “Combed out”.

  67. @jilles dykstra

    I forgot, published London 1920, Jonathan Cape 30 Bedford Square.

  68. anon[317] • Disclaimer says:

    Gravy train is cover-up propaganda.. real intent to accomplish the Zionist take over goal.. War in Syria continues, today group invades Yemeni to destroy every living Yemeni, if they can.. Tomorrow it will be somebody else. they want complete total control of every life on earth. including they want to licence and charge for each breath everyone takes, they want all of the land, all of the oil, gas and minerals, everything and they will not stop until they get it or the world will be no more.. That is what I think Mr. Putin is warning everybody about.

    • Replies: @Them Guys
  69. @Jake

    You are an idiot.

    You haven’t even read the book. And someone who does oxycontin and meth isn’t going to bother with weed.

  70. Them Guys says:
    @anon

    Yes and unlike many others thru history who also desired total global control. A difference exists now with Zionists and international Talmudic Judaic jewry. That being, that not only do they desire full worldwide control of all what matters, including every acre of land globally that exists….But they also desire and believe religiously it is their absolute right to OWN it All!

    Total worldwide ownership by their tribe of entire planet earth, all it contains be it in ground still resources, or man made things of every type and sort….Plus a final worldwide Ownership of every remaining Goyim Gentile that they the tribal jews allow to keep living and remain alive after the tribes goals of exterminating aprox 95% of current world populations. Kinda like Georgia Guide Stones erected by an anonymous donor in, is it Atlanta GA(?). Those so called guide stones resemble the orig Stone Hedge in England from ancient era and still standing. But the new version in GA. Have the globalist version of the “ten commandment’s” engraved on the slabs of stone.

    One such commandment states that “The proper total world population Must not exceed 500,000,000 Total”…..That supposedly to thwart off global warming nonsense and lack of foods etc.

    That version of global 10 commandments ironically coincides with international Talmudic jewrys Limits for worldwide total population….Hmmmm.

    Like I said though, unless I missed it? I have yet to see any historical proofs of any other dictator or global one world leader wannabe promote, besides total global control, but also an total Ownership of Planet Earth and all it contains including Peoples!

    But if folks refuse to wake up to these issues and agendas, like so many Here at unz have done. The entire world and whomever is allowed to remain alive after the big “Culling” effect take place…Will be separated into Two distinct groups..One group being every alive jew at that time, and the other remaining group consisting of every Goyim gentile still left alive then.

    Two more issues will then exist…Being Two seperate forms and systems of international Law All alive Must obey totally….For Jews one Talmudic based Law and it includes the orig biblical ten commandments, but for jewry to obey only…..While Every Goy gentile will be forced to obey and abide by the talmudic judaic invention of…Noahide Law, only for, Gentile goyim.

    And the number one first Noahide Law is a Ban on all forms Idol worships….And they include and especially so!…All and Any type sign or neckless or Pin etc. that represents the Jesus Christ Christian Cross….As well as Any and All professions of a Christ Belief by any goy gentiles period.

    Like every of the Noahide Laws, same goes for that Ban on Idol worship aka Christ Belief or to Wear a Cross symbol….Every of those laws has for all violators the, if found guilty, penalty of DEATH Via Decapitation!

    But for gentile goyim, only One Sanhedrin jewish Judge will preside over cases of noahide law voilations. he determines guilty or not…if guilty, hands down death sentence.

    But every Jew only need obey Talmudic jewish Laws and 10 commandments…and if a jew is taken to Trial for an offence, All 23-Sanhedrin Judges shall preside at his jewish trial, and there Must exist at least Two other jewish witness’ and Both jew witness’ Must swear to court that each first gave verbal warnings, and each witness attempted to cause the jew on trial to Not go ahead with the crime commited, and basically tried every verbal and physical means to stop the criminal prior to doing the crime.

    Only then can the full court of 23 jew sanhedrin judges preside and hold a trial. To find guilty conviction of any jew, ALL 23 Judges Must concure in the absolute beyond all doubt guilty as charged verdict!

    In other words, for gentile goys, yes any idiotic noahidic law offence commited is very highly likely to end with guilty verrdict and death by Decapitation. But very Few jews will ever get charged let alone tried by all 23 judges, unless perhaps a jew commits so serious a crime as murdering a fellow jew…and ONLY if murdered a fellow jew. If a jew murders a gentile? So What eh? Who cares when jewrys own Talmud teaches that “Yes even the Best of Gentiles/goyim SHOULD be Killed”!

    And same for a jew Robs a goy blind…Or Lies under Oath if lie screws a goy-sub-human, that is lesser than a 100% full Human jew. Mainly nothing a jew does to a gentile matters a whit period as far as talmudic jewish law goes, and Thats precicely what the JWO life will consist of being.

    Sounds very alike those biblical end time warning verses that state how Christians will get beheaded aka decapitation, just simply for being a publicly professed Christian eh.

    And in Israel now and for past few years the actual jewish talmudic San Hedrin judges are being RE-instituted, for their soon jobs once a new Thrid Temple is built for they and other Pharisee rabbis to work and operate in….

    Oh and also for them jews to Seat in that 3rd temple, their new global one world Leader guy, also known or called as…”The AntiChrist Man” and the Son of Perdition, he’ll be jewish also for interrnational jewry shall never ever allow nor accept anything other than a jewish Leader aka their new Messiah man…aka the Anti Christ man.

    And the main key component jewry and zios are useing most to erect such a world govnt system etc. Is….the…JewNited Snakes of America nation, along with its too many well Duped foolish go-alongs, to get-long type fools and idiotic jewdeo christian zios. The latter bunch cheers loudest of all combined usa dupes for every possible thing or issue jewish and israel. They think a Pre-Tribulation era Rapture Escape plan is going to Fly them Out in nick of time…Where they then spend seven full years waiting for all end scenarios in bible to get fullfiled. Even though the bible book of Revelation states that, the anti christ man will have only 42 months once “crowned” and then get taken Out etc. and an final end to his and jewrys falsehoods and global JWO events. Thats 3 & 1/2 yrs not 7 yrs, incase any apostates are reading here eh.

    I rekon them fools, the jewdeo christians forgot to Read that bible section in NT that describes a group of Apostate christians in a line opposite the Lords true saved group, and how the apostate group hears the words from Christ of “Depart from me You Wicked workers of Sin!” and that then that group of apostates get thrown into lake of fire for eternity…Meanwhile that Other christian group, standimg on the Lords Right hand side that same day, shall hear what them apostates “Think” they were supposed to hear…”Enter In my Good and Faithfull Servants”!

    When its time has come for the tossing or booting hesitant apostates and their fellow travelers into that fire lake…Pick Me Lord! I promice to do a good job of booting and tossing if Michael the Archangel should require assistance.

    • Replies: @Anon
  71. Anon[271] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wally

    As you are so fiercely concerned about right and wrong I wobdwr why you seem to have no conscience and talk sneeringly about “their…. suffererimg” rather than the shame and disgrace of a leading exemplar of our modern Western civilisation electing a government which could seriously consider the Final Solution (set aside the 6 million figure).

  72. Anon[271] • Disclaimer says:
    @Them Guys

    Can someone please help me with the big www puzzle: how can one reliably tell the difference between someone who is mad and someone who is only pretending to be?

    • Troll: Them Guys
    • Replies: @Momus
  73. @Steve Naidamast

    My grandfather’s first cousin, Sergeant Emil Meyer, died from the Spanish flu in 1918 at Camp Merritt in New Jersey, along with 573 other American soldiers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Merritt_Memorial_Monument

  74. Anon[436] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Naidamast

    I’m afraid you disqualified your amateur musings from consideration when you said that the war in 1915 and 1916 was being run by Churchill. Proof of deep deep ignorance. [Hint: Dardanelles/Gallipoli, sacked from Cabinet, command of battalion in France, much later returned to Cabinet by Lloyd George].

  75. @Steve Naidamast

    I miss the pre 1914 agreements between GB, France and the tsar.
    ” Ludendorf’s political decisions caused untold problems for the German social infrastructure, some of which was a reaction to the new pressures that US Forces were finally bringing to bare on German arms.”
    Ludendorf saw quite clearly that one of the objectives of WWI was to destroy Germany:
    Erich Ludendorff, ‘Meine Kriegserinnerungen 1914 = 1918′, Berlin, 1918
    I doubt if you read the book, in german, gothic letters.
    His political decisions, he complains all the time about Germany not giving its army enough support.
    Versailles proved him right.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  76. @Carlton Meyer

    Sorry about the typos in my last. I must have been tapping it in the sauna without my glasses on – well so to speak anyway.

  77. Anon[213] • Disclaimer says:
    @Donald J. Tingle

    Allow me to be stupid. Grammatically the definite article could get its significance from “China”, “financing” or both so what exactly are you saying?

  78. Anonymous[436] • Disclaimer says:
    @renfro

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Who needs to tax their brains with book length analyses and expositions of important stuff when it can all be found wrapped up neatly in a blogger’s brain fart?

  79. Momus says:
    @Anon

    Can someone please help me with the big www puzzle: how can one reliably tell the difference between someone who is mad and someone who is only pretending to be?

    If it looks, walk and quacks…

    Them Guys is a benthic and a wackadoodle crazy ex house cleaner who gained his insights working in an upscale Jewish home.

    • Troll: Them Guys
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  80. Anonymous[436] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Naidamast

    Wow! Who would have known or even guessed? Even the worst of Queen Victoria’s at best inadequate grandsons didn’t want to start a worldwide conflagration!
    No imagination. No sense of fun or adventure.

    *When* he realised”! Oh, yes, not very quick on the uptake. “did everything in his power..” It’s almost as pathetic that the head of the armed forces couldn’t contact his cousin as for you to excuse it.

    I had some recollection of the Kaiser having taken time out in Sweden when he should have been attending to what his generals were getting up to. So I read the long Wikipedia article which didn’t confirm that but did show what a menace to peace he had been from the beginning of his reign and reminded me that it was his guarantee to back Austria in beating up Serbia that set the ball rolling. Then he failed to stop his generals attacking which inevitably brought Britain into the war.

    (I hadn’t realised what an anti -Semite Wilhelm was but he is recorded as saying as late as 1919 that the Jews should be exterminated and suggested that using gas would be the way to do it. Talk about passing a baton!)

  81. @jilles dykstra

    Do you think that German civilians no longer wholeheartedly backing their generals by 1917/18 might have had something to do with the hardship and loss inflicted on them by the army which had from the moment that Austria was encouraged to invade Serbia and the Schlieffen Plan was adopted for attack on and through Belgium been responsible for the disaster?

  82. @Momus

    Thank you for “benthic”.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  83. Sparkon says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Don’t let your happiness at adding a new word to your lexicon obscure the fact that Momus has misused “benthic” as a noun, when in fact it is an adjective. The nouns are benthos and benthon.

    “Wackadoodle” seemingly can be used as either noun or adjective, usually by teenage boys and other immature people who feel empowered by creative or flamboyant name-calling.

    • Replies: @Them Guys
    , @Wizard of Oz
  84. Them Guys says:
    @Sparkon

    Name calling is The Main thing one can always expect when dealing with a jewy jew such as momus et al.

    They keep insisting and demanding massively for others to provide proof and historical documentations. Yet even when such has been provided to the Inth degree, it is obviously another jewy jewish ploy, for they never ever read or research ANYTHING that proves their many lies as….Lies and jewish fabels.

    Worse yet during the past 50 yrs in the usa, jews have co-opted every lib sect such as negroes, fems, youth, especially at High school and college levels, and have taught them to all become well trained brainwashed pavlov puppies that always defend and support everything and every agenda or issue jewish….And none of those so co-opted and brainwashed ever thinks to simply question anything gained from jews.

    Momus is a Prime Poster boy/girl example as to why jews in general have always throughout history been so dispised and Booted Out of Every Host nation they ever infiltrated into, the only host nation so far that has bucked that trend, is America.

    However, every week more americans awaken, and many more now awake are working at making America nation #110 to Boot them Out.

    Instead of trumps fraud MAGA agenda, it has morphed into.

    Help Make America #110, and, Never Again!

    And if it ever does happen, you can bet all you own that jews like momus shall be first in line to Cry and Whine with a single question of “Oy Vey! Why Us? Why do we always 100% innocent jews always get the Big Bootout?!!”

    And even then, when plenty of accurate answers are given, momus types will revert back to total rejection and refusals of every such accurate answer provided. It must be a DNA thing in jewry.

    No other group ever has so been dispised and avoided like a viper poisonous snake or plague by all others.

    This bible verse speaks volumes eh. “For they, jews, are the Adversaries of God and of All Mankind”!

  85. @The Scalpel

    The things you say are really awful. You seem kinda unhinged and angry.

    Professor Bacevich has taught international relations at Boston University for a long time. He is one of the most consistently probing analysts of the American Empire, American national security state, and American defense establishment. He is without doubt the harshest critic of those three things and expert at American history.

    Every one of the six books he has authored in the last two decades has been outstanding. You might learn something if you actually read one.

    The story of the transformation of his thinking is in those books. Not in your demented imagination. He is quite self-reflective. I personally am grateful he is an American and on our side.

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
  86. @Sparkon

    A bit like calling a maniac a manic I suppose – cp. a nice calm depressive.

    Thank you for attending to punctilio. Not enough of it on UR apart from Wally reminding us that *the* number is not 6 million but 5.999999 million or something.

  87. @Felix Krull

    One might be tempted to believe you if they didn’t actually know the history of WWI. Ludendorff called August 8th, 1918 the “black day of the German Army.”

    So explain how they were “close to winning” and then “lost” just like that – after 4 years.

    For the Germans to be “close to winning” the allies would have had to have been “close to losing.” No?

    But they weren’t. Obviously. Where have you ever read that the allies were about to quit and surrender in the summer of 1918?

    The series of offensives that the Germans launched from March to August were “desperate” in that the full-scale introduction of fresh American full-strength divisions into the line necessitated winning the war in 1918. The Germans knew they were blockaded, starving, and scraping the bottom-of-the-barrel for troops with two legs, at least one eye, and one finger to pull a trigger.

    What happened was that the British and French started mimicking the defense-in-depth trench systems that the Germans had been using. The initially successful German penetrations in depth ran out of steam and then, word is, the German troops came across the abandoned supplies of the British. When they saw how well fed and supplied the British were they lost all hope and got bogged down looting and getting drunk. End of story.

    Close to winning? Nope.

  88. anon[436] • Disclaimer says:
    @smellyoilandgas

    I’m aware that the first Zionist Congress was held in 1897 but would you please explain the bankers bit. Which banks/bankers? How? How much?

  89. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Tom Welsh

    “It seems to me that, if you yourself were “an infiltrator and spy for one or more US intelligence agencies”, you might say of Colonel Bacevich exactly what you did.”

    Life is a conundrum of esoterica. (From a Series of Unfortunate Events)

    All I can say is look at my life and look at his life. see the link to my web site. I was an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience. I would have to be deep DEEP undercover. From the day my children were born, I discouraged them from joining or glorifying being a troop or soldier. I am happy to say my son is alive, and was Amateur World Champion in his chosen sport. He is also World Record holder in one of the disciplines of his chosen sport. Andrew Bacevich’s son is dead. I am currently visiting my son in engineering school.

    I ask you, whose son will contribute more to society?

    I am not ignorant and have experience in the armed forces. I don’t trust any officer or soldier who claims to be opposed to warfare but hangs in there with the uniform, and encourages his kids to join, and revels in the “thank-you-for-your-service” baloney. To me they are worse than gung-ho because they mislead others.

    Andrew Bacevich has written hundreds of articles, but not one expressing any regret over the death of his son or his failure to discourage him from participating in an illegal invasion

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
    , @peterAUS
  90. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Johnny Rico

    “The things you say are really awful.”

    I am only telling you some of the inconvenient facts about Andrew Bacevich. If something was my personal opinion, I stated it. Basically, I said that i am suspicious if 2+2 does not =4

    “You seem kinda unhinged and angry.”

    Sure I’m angry. This dude was teaching West Point Cadets to go out and be officers in an illegal invasion after he got his own son killed trying to do the same thing. How many more kids did he get killed while trying to come off as some opponent of the whole thing?

    I wish someone who knew better had given me some honest guidance before I joined up. Too many people like Bacevich know better, but do not take concrete steps to save others. (or perhaps they are phony)

  91. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @The Scalpel

    “or his failure to discourage him ”

    meant to say, “…or his failure to discourage him or others…”

  92. peterAUS says:
    @The Scalpel

    Maybe you are too harsh………

    I am not ignorant and have experience in the armed forces. I don’t trust any officer or soldier who claims to be opposed to warfare but hangs in there with the uniform, and encourages his kids to join, and revels in the “thank-you-for-your-service” baloney. To me they are worse than gung-ho because they mislead others.

    Now, I am not sure that the author is opposed to warfare itself, just to “wrong” war/warfare. Now, what’s wrong and what’s right is another matter.
    You, I suppose, would agree that there is a right war/warfare.
    If not, good, skip the rest and put me on ignore.

    So, hanging out with the uniform is O.K. in my book. Depends what uniform it is and what the hanging is all about.

    As for his son, well, maybe the author did have misgivings etc. but, free will and such.

    So, although you do have a bit of a point you went too far with it.

    I am an “ex” (or so I say). Discouraged my son. He made his own decision, I suppose. He’s NOT in the service.
    If he were I’d do my best to help him, no matter what. Blood comes first. Always.

    I don’t like most of the (modern) military. Don’t hang with them, ever.
    Deeply respect some, though, and love having a chat with them when have a chance.

    Conundrum, a?

  93. The Scalpel says: • Website

    Good criticisms. I wrote an essay on what I consider to be a “just” war called “Just War and Conscience” It was published years ago on LewRockwell. or perhaps Strike-the-Root.

    I would think a just war is one where all the participants are there voluntarily, believe that their cause is just (conscientious) , and can disobey orders or quit anytime they feel differently. Hard to imagine such a war in reality

    Actually, in a Steve Sailer sort of way, those wars are good in the degree that they eliminate violent genes from the gene pool. I wrote a satirical essay about that called “The Real Reason for War” published on LewRockwell.

    So perhaps my feelings on what IS a right war are a bit less liberal than yours, but I can see your point of view and respect it. Thankyou for discouraging your son. He will pass on your genes.

    If you google Bacevich and his son’s death, you will find that his family members stated that he expressed no such misgivings

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @The Scalpel
  94. peterAUS says:
    @The Scalpel

    I would think a just war is one where all the participants are there voluntarily, believe that their cause is just (conscientious) , and can disobey orders or quit anytime they feel differently. Hard to imagine such a war in reality

    Try any ethnic war.
    The best documented, and relatively recent, Balkans combatants.
    Serb, Croat, Muslim, Albanian militias.
    Now, not joining, yes, almost always all the time. Disobeying and quitting,in action, less so, for obvious reasons. Now, not quite a formal military justice system but…ahm…other methods.

    ….those wars are good in the degree that they eliminate violent genes from the gene pool.

    Maybe, if there is a such thing.
    My experience tells me something else. Certain wars tend to change non-violent people into quite the opposite.
    I still guess that you approach this with a narrow beam. For USA military personnel, probably, yes. Or any Western, developed country.

    Not all the world has such luxury.

    For, say a member of Donbass militia, Assad’s military and plenty of others the paradigm was/is quite different.

    Thankyou for discouraging your son. He will pass on your genes.

    The former is about the modern Western military and its “engagements” as we speak. Should the situation change I’d definitely encourage him to join. Hell, I’d try too at this age.
    Depends on the “engagement”…….
    As for the later, well, more people get killed where I live by drunk drivers then by enemy combatants where our military is deployed.

    Bottom line, war is like human nature; rare individuals got true and deep insights into it and are able to convey them to those rare individuals both willing and capable to listen and understand.
    An interesting mix. Tiny minority.

    That’s why most people who have very strong opinions about it really have no clue.

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
  95. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @The Scalpel

    Andrew Bacevich is a graduate of West Point. His son was born at West Point. Andrew Bacevich was “vociferously opposed” to the Iraq war

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/us/16prof.html

    “But when his only son joined the Army and was sent to fight in that war, the father, Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, expressed only support…

    Professor Bacevich did not, however, speak out vociferously to his son, Jennifer Bacevich said…

    Professor Corgan said, “I think young Bacevich joined because of what he saw in his father…

  96. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    “Try any ethnic war. The best documented, and relatively recent, Balkans combatants. Serb, Croat, Muslim, Albanian militias.”

    Fits my definition of a just war. Let them kill each other off avoiding non-combatants if that’s what they want to do. Darwin’s law
    ———————————————–
    “My experience tells me something else. Certain wars tend to change non-violent people into quite the opposite.”

    – again, if they believe their cause is just….
    ——————————————-
    “I still guess that you approach this with a narrow beam. For USA military personnel, probably, yes. Or any Western, developed country.

    Not all the world has such luxury.

    For, say a member of Donbass militia, Assad’s military and plenty of others the paradigm was/is quite different.”

    Vague – I’m not sure exactly what you are trying to say with all the above…

    But as far as “narrow beam”. I disagree. If all the violent people and those too dumb to know any better want to kill themselves off, I’m ok with that. I am all about trying to counteract propaganda aimed at thoughtful nonviolent people and convince them that war is generally not in their personal best interest. I don’t think it has to be a tiny minority except for the propaganda put out by the intelligent antisocial types. So the real battle is for intelligent peaceful people to resist intelligent antisocial people. I don’t see Bacevich as antisocial. He is more of a court historian making a living off of his little nitpicker but still loyalist niche in the status quo promulgated by the antisocial types.

    ——————————————-

    “Should the situation change I’d definitely encourage him to join. Hell, I’d try too at this age.
    Depends on the “engagement”…….”

    If you believe your cause is just……

    ———————————————
    “more people get killed where I live by drunk drivers”

    Brownian motion – has no effect on the gene pool.

    • Replies: @edNels
    , @peterAUS
  97. edNels says:
    @The Scalpel

    ———————————————


    “more people get killed where I live by drunk drivers”

    Brownian motion – has no effect on the gene pool.

    ——————————–
    Well genes are too small to see but even 50% of viable ones, from a prime donor, and that which is a tiny part of what can be employed to breed with, are likely in the test tube with other components, depending on the admixture, if you get my drift.

    The genes of anybody, are a huge unknown unpredictable crap shoot multiplied against by each other combinant in the best of times, but that’s not saying that applied science can’t refine it. Like was famously undertook by geneticist icon Linaeus, with the pea pod selection experiments back in school.

    Or some multi national monastery corporation which breeds for specific genes, so that they can actually go around the chancy stuff and insert the genes desired into some body of biology that is made defenseless and is impregnated even with out ever having a single stray light beam of an impure thought about it.

    What kind of ”people” will be desired to be the product of it, my guess is it’s so close to being a fait accomply, that they ain’t going to have much control over the process as soon as they should, and the lizard dyno hybrids will get the go ahead before they come up with a plan for improved people.

    Enchanced humanoids will be what they offer, maybe the push for synthesis with non biological machine parts wlll leap frog the straighter pure genetic products but both go hands and hand too.

    But for Christ’s sakes, people trying to breed their genes to the future in this out of control over populous miasma of now days, isn’t good thinking, and the genes are the least of it. It’s just a nice quaint homey fantasy to expect good genes of anykind to replicate as desired unless done in Brave New World conditions.

    And the first features that get downsized will be the humanistic oriented ones vs. pragmatic purposes in which case machines dominate, all they need is an oil change. No Spanish flu or Anthrax designer bug to stop em’.

    Intelligent people should realize the day is long over to breed for future race character and so on, Culling is more efficient.

    Yeah though, who gets to be on the Board a Directors ?

    PS: on the soldiers that would council their sons away from enlistment. Sometimes the father’s experience including great achievements and fame, with later disillusionment, wouldn’t have much influence over a son who gets a bee in his bonnet about his own destiny, a son must have some sense that he has to go in his own path, and not be always told what to do.

  98. The Scalpel says: • Website

    “PS: on the soldiers that would council their sons away from enlistment. Sometimes the father’s experience including great achievements and fame, with later disillusionment, wouldn’t have much influence over a son who gets a bee in his bonnet about his own destiny, a son must have some sense that he has to go in his own path, and not be always told what to do.”

    True, but that does not seem to be the case in the Bacevich family, as I pointed out in the provided links. Even Andrew Bacevich Sr., himself, admits that fact in other interviews.

    Admittedly, my references to the genetic effects of this and that are somewhat tongue in cheek though, I believe, biologically sound. After all, lacking a “Great Decider” one must have some basis for making “moral” decisions.

    I think that all religion, all morality, boils down to this one leap of faith: Life has Value.

  99. peterAUS says:
    @The Scalpel

    My , rather detailed, reply got lost in limbo.

    Before I’d wish to type another, just a quick question:
    What kind of war you’d be happy to volunteer for?
    Nothing fancy. Just, like, join an outfit of, say, 15-2o guys, get a rifle and try to (they’ll shoot back, naturally)shoot at humans at, say, 600-800 metres from your position ? Just at some specks popping up here and there across the “no man’s land”? An old man with one eye and one arm can do that….

    The reason for the question is simple: selection.
    I am rather selective of who I try to discuss this topic with. Experience.
    Especially from libtards keen on virtue signalling and even a couple of pacifists.

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
  100. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    I would certainly defend myself and the ones I love. I don’t particularly like the term “war”, because it indicates an allegiance to some sort of government. My primary allegiance is to what I consider to be what is right and just. I think that Henry David Thoreau’s position on that as he elucidated in “Civil Disobedience” is correct.

    I could also see myself fighting to defend others who are being unjustly attacked. That would be a judgment call on my part and again, I would reserve the right to change my mind as my understanding of the situation changed.

    I do not necessarily see myself fighting to defend one government against another government, even if the government being attacked is being attacked unjustly. I would have to be convinced that the new government would somehow be detrimental to me or the ones I love, or was seriously violating my sense of justice to other human beings. For example, if one were to remove the debate about the Holocaust, I would not have seen a reason to fight the Germans during World War II, even if I had been a European. I think that history has shown that things have turned out pretty much the same for Europeans either way.

    So, maybe my answer is not what you are looking for. To summarize, I would simply say that I reserve the right to defend myself and the ones I love, and those I believe are being attacked unjustly. I reserve the right to change my mind as my understanding of the situation changes. I believe in defending actual human beings, and not some artificial construct such as that of “government.” I also reserve the right to migrate or take some other sort of evasive action if that seems to be the best course of action. It will always be my decision to choose fight or flight and to alter that decision based on my understanding of the circumstances.

    I do not believe that the rights I choose to reserve to myself are excessive. I believe they are natural rights reserved to any member of the animal kingdom.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  101. Anon[829] • Disclaimer says:

    >”Meanwhile, issues of genuinely strategic importance — climate change offers one obvious example”

    I was with Andrew until he dropped that deuce.

  102. peterAUS says:
    @The Scalpel

    Well, you’ve definitely given some thought to the topic.
    Nice principles.

    So, re your question:

    For, say a member of Donbass militia, Assad’s military and plenty of others the paradigm was/is quite different.”

    Vague – I’m not sure exactly what you are trying to say with all the above…

    Well, I did mention Balkans.
    The …ahm…..”International Community” dissected those conflicts in minute details and published related documents.
    Try to read some of them one day. You’ll find plenty of examples of very nice and peaceful people sucked against their will in a rather bloody and vicious war.

    My take on warfare/war is simple:
    It is, as is human nature. Simply is.
    It is what we were, are and will be (until we either somehow change or destroy ourselves).

    There are terrible and unjust wars…there are needed and just wars.

    There are vicious psychopaths using war for their perverted pleasures….and there are heroes, the best of us…and anything in between.

    A war is tragedy for a mother who just lost her kids……..and bliss for a businessman who sells the tools…and anything in between.

    There are people who love it…and people who hate is. Both are, IMHO, correct. Different strokes for different folks.

    For a man it can be an experience so good nothing in civilian life can compare to…or horror that destroys him.

    Etc…etc……

    Now, I know this is “civilian” anti-establishment site, hence, the attitude is, especially from Americans: war is bad and blah…blah…blah….
    Fine.

    Some of us here don’t agree with that.
    We find it a bit more…complicated.

  103. The Scalpel says: • Website

    I understand your point of view. I woul like to distinguish between “good” and “beneficial”. You think you mean to say that war is often beneficial to some and desireable to some. I agree.

    As far as if war is good, well that depends on how you define good. I addressed that in my essay “Thou Shalt not Kill?” I don’t claim to have abyone else’s answer to that one except my own, which is in the essay and too long to repost here. We kill all the time for various reasons, some of them good.

    In “The Real Reason for War” I described how I believe war can possibly be good in a genetics sense. We discussed that earlier.

    Anyway, thanks for the thought provoking exchange. It almost makes me want to write again

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  104. peterAUS says:
    @The Scalpel

    Hehe….as I say every now and then, you read 1000 posts, post 50 of your own and in all that you get a couple of value. That’s modern Internet communication.

    As for

    We kill all the time for various reasons, some of them good.

    it’s not, again, that, say “simple”.

    First, in modern wars, against more or less equal opponent (as ethnic wars are mostly about) you are lucky if you could point to a general area where the incoming fire is coming from.
    I’ve seen all the war movies. Only in a couple I’ve seen a couple of scenes which were realistic. The rest is pure rubbish. Even the …ahm…the most louded.
    Hehe…that’s how I often make my “selection”: “what’s the most realistic scene, combat/firefight wise, from THAT movie”?
    So, killing somebody is, for most combatants, quite unlikely.
    Getting killed or more likely, crippled for life (physically and mentally/emotionally) is much, much more likely. Just adjusting, again, to civilian life and moving on could be quite a challenge.

    I’d say
    We put ourselves in a position to get killed or crippled for………….something.

    True, some join because they are psychopath and they love hurting other people.
    Some are, say, “adrenaline junkies” and they love all that vibe. As I said, nothing in civilian life can compare to that. Nothing…..
    Some join because they are true believers in the cause.
    Some join because it’s family tradition.
    Some because it’s an ultimate test of character (or so they believe; that’s an interesting subtopic).
    Today, in West, a lot join simply because it’s an employment.
    Some among those, officers, see that as a good path to corporate world or even the world of politics. Money, power…..

    But, in really “good”, needed wars, people join to help their community. Not only that but to share the hardship, danger, simply to be a part of it.
    Nothing brings people together as facing a common danger. That creates bonds nothing else can create. There is something so natural in that.
    In such wars all relationships in community are much more….honest……

    Last time Americans had a chance to experience something like that was probably The War of Northern Aggression, South only, of course.

    As I say, this is American forum, mostly.
    Europeans, most of Asians, plenty of Africans tend to think and feel differently about the topic.
    Different strokes for different folks.

  105. The Scalpel says: • Website

    Regarding,

    “We kill all the time for various reasons, some of them good.”

    In that sentence, I was referring to humans killing humans for various reasons not limited to warfare, but including euthanasia, abortion, police action, death sentence, etc. etc. So the rest of your response is partially unrelated to the quote, and I do not necessarily disagree with what you wrote.

    When faced with a threat, each person must make a moral decision regarding fight or flight. What I oppose is for individuals to act in opposition to their own interests and moral position because they are following someone else’s orders. That, alone would go a long way toward ending war.

    Certainly there would still be individuals who use violence in ways contrary to almost everyone else’s morals, but those individuals will be stopped by others acting according to their own morals. What would not happen in that scenario, is that large groups – “armies” – will not carry out violence in ways that conflict with the individuals involved best interests simply because they are follwing orders. This would go a long ways toward ending war as we know it.

    I do not think that this philosophy can be immediately put into practice but making an effort to do so and encourage others to do the same, is the first step in getting there. That is why I try to convince others such as Andrew Bacevich that war is not in their best interest.

    Bacevich is a smart guy and he lost his own son for God’s sake AND he knew better, (at least that is what he writes.) The frustrating truth is that he made a decision to place the life of his own son behind that of his interests in his career as a writer and historian and some misplaced sense of patriotism, even in a cause he personally opposed. He continues to do the same thing.

    Bacevich wrote an article for the Washington Post saying that he had hoped to change society through his writing and that in that manner his son would not be sent to war. But until that happened, he was content, even proud, of his son voluntarily going to a war that he opposed. What kind of weak, lame, pathetic twisting of logic is that? He could have simply said, “Son, I believe that what you are considering is wrong and immoral and I don’t support it. I fear for your life. I love you and don’t want to lose you. I wish you would reconsider.” I’m betting if he did that, his son would be alive today, and possibly others too. That is what I support.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  106. peterAUS says:
    @The Scalpel

    When faced with a threat, each person must make a moral decision regarding fight or flight. What I oppose is for individuals to act in opposition to their own interests and moral position because they are following someone else’s orders. That, alone would go a long way toward ending war.

    Certainly there would still be individuals who use violence in ways contrary to almost everyone else’s morals, but those individuals will be stopped by others acting according to their own morals. What would not happen in that scenario, is that large groups – “armies” – will not carry out violence in ways that conflict with the individuals involved best interests simply because they are follwing orders. This would go a long ways toward ending war as we know it.

    I just have a feeling you approach the topic from, say, white middle class US citizen point of view. In that very case, yes, I do agree in:
    “That, alone would go a long way toward ending imperialist wars.”
    And
    “This would go a long ways toward ending US wars as we know them since 1812.”

    Ending war in general is, I think, about controlling human will to power, domination, exploitation…..simple greed….things like that.
    Complicated things.

    One more thing, on a pure practical level, re:

    ….each person must make a moral decision regarding fight or flight. What I oppose is for individuals to act in opposition to their own interests and moral position because they are following someone else’s orders.

    I’ll just say this: most people can’t do that.
    Yes, I know how it sounds and I still, 100 % keep that position.
    You think majority of people are like you. They are not.
    You …give….them….too….much..credit.
    Some people are thinkers, even less of those are leaders; most are simply followers.

    I was once (or so I say) in a …peculiar…..position during my service.
    I got my junior officers and all of NCOs together, explained them the situation and said that we had two options there, One or Two. Asked them which one we’d do.
    The most senior NCO, could’ve been my father, (not even junior officers) simply said something along the lines: “…….you are in command…..you make the decision”………..
    Makes sense?

    There is a book:

    https://www.amazon.com/Yompers-45-Commando-Falklands-War/dp/1473853427

    As I said, takes a peculiar combination of experience, ability and moral attitude to be able to convey war to civilians, especially from a Company O.C. point of view. I guess the book does it well.
    There is a good paragraph about “why go to war” from Western point of view somewhere inside.

    As for Mr.Bachevic, I see you have rather strong feelings there.

    I take him as an inside man, with proper mixture of education, experience, expertise and maturity to get something from. As I take some writers here and elsewhere.

    Much more can be gained from reading his articles then from 95 % comments here (or anywhere for that matter).

    As for this

    He could have simply said, “Son, I believe that what you are considering is wrong and immoral and I don’t support it. I fear for your life. I love you and don’t want to lose you. I wish you would reconsider.” I’m betting if he did that, his son would be alive today, and possibly others too. That is what I support.

    Same. Not so sure , had he said that his son would’ve obliged, but, yes.

    But, well, some people learn from terrible mistakes. Those are usually the best lessons. Smart/lucky people learn from others’ mistakes….

    My take:
    Hence, Mr. Bachevic writings are, actually, quite beneficial for people in similar situation/position. So, his overall effort is positive, at this stage, for people in West, US in particular.

  107. The Scalpel says: • Website

    I will let you have the last word. I think we have fully hashed this out and we will continue to differ on many points, but it was a good back and forth and helped me organize my thoughts

    Thanks

  108. wraith67 says:

    Much too easy to blame what’s happening on the military industrial complex. The Generals can go into ‘Forever War’ mode because nobody is sacking them for accomplishing nothing. Certainly the Social Justice focus, open service by homosexuals, welcoming trans-genders into the ranks (despite the high risk of suicide mixing with close proximity to explosives and real machine guns), pushing women into combat arms roles all indicates the DoD doesn’t give a damn about winning wars. Enough think tanks think a dust-up with a peer adversary will end badly for us. Having said all that, the generals have to be authorized to pursue the enemy to where they hide (Pakistan in the case of the Afghan war) and use the tactics necessary to defeat the enemies asymmetric warfare – which essentially means total war and a massive uptick in civilian casualties. The options are fairly simple: Either you fight and kill the human shields or don’t fight, anything else is just whack a mole, where the mole costs $250 and the munition costs $100,000+.

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