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Why American Leaders Persist in Waging Losing Wars
Hint: They’re Winning in Other Ways
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As America enters the 18th year of its war in Afghanistan and its 16th in Iraq, the war on terror continues in Yemen, Syria, and parts of Africa, including Libya, Niger, and Somalia. Meanwhile, the Trump administration threatens yet more war, this time with Iran. (And given these last years, just how do you imagine that’s likely to turn out?) Honestly, isn’t it time Americans gave a little more thought to why their leaders persist in waging losing wars across significant parts of the planet? So consider the rest of this piece my attempt to do just that.

Let’s face it: profits and power should be classified as perennial reasons why U.S. leaders persist in waging such conflicts. War may be a racket, as General Smedley Butler claimed long ago, but who cares these days since business is booming? And let’s add to such profits a few other all-American motivations. Start with the fact that, in some curious sense, war is in the American bloodstream. As former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges once put it, “War is a force that gives us meaning.” Historically, we Americans are a violent people who have invested much in a self-image of toughness now being displayed across the “global battlespace.” (Hence all the talk in this country not about our soldiers but about our “warriors.”) As the bumper stickers I see regularly where I live say: “God, guns, & guts made America free.” To make the world freer, why not export all three?

Add in, as well, the issue of political credibility. No president wants to appear weak and in the United States of the last many decades, pulling back from a war has been the definition of weakness. No one — certainly not Donald Trump — wants to be known as the president who “lost” Afghanistan or Iraq. As was true of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the Vietnam years, so in this century fear of electoral defeat has helped prolong the country’s hopeless wars. Generals, too, have their own fears of defeat, fears that drive them to escalate conflicts (call it the urge to surge) and even to advocate for the use of nuclear weapons, as General William Westmoreland did in 1968 during the Vietnam War.

Washington’s own deeply embedded illusions and deceptions also serve to generate and perpetuate its wars. Lauding our troops as “freedom fighters” for peace and prosperity, presidents like George W. Bush have waged a set of brutal wars in the name of spreading democracy and a better way of life. The trouble is: incessant war doesn’t spread democracy — though in the twenty-first century we’ve learned that it does spread terror groups — it kills it. At the same time, our leaders, military and civilian, have given us a false picture of the nature of the wars they’re fighting. They continue to present the U.S. military and its vaunted “smart” weaponry as a precision surgical instrument capable of targeting and destroying the cancer of terrorism, especially of the radical Islamic variety. Despite the hoopla about them, however, those precision instruments of war turn out to be blunt indeed, leading to the widespread killing of innocents, the massive displacement of people across America’s war zones, and floods of refugees who have, in turn, helped spark the rise of the populist right in lands otherwise still at peace.

Lurking behind the incessant warfare of this century is another belief, particularly ascendant in the Trump White House: that big militaries and expensive weaponry represent “investments” in a better future — as if the Pentagon were the Bank of America or Wall Street. Steroidal military spending continues to be sold as a key to creating jobs and maintaining America’s competitive edge, as if war were America’s primary business. (And perhaps it is!)

Those who facilitate enormous military budgets and frequent conflicts abroad still earn special praise here. Consider, for example, Senator John McCain’s rapturous final sendoff, including the way arms maker Lockheed Martin lauded him as an American hero supposedly tough and demanding when it came to military contractors. (And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.)

Put all of this together and what you’re likely to come up with is the American version of George Orwell’s famed formulation in his novel 1984: “war is peace.”

The War the Pentagon Knew How to Win

Twenty years ago, when I was a major on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, a major concern was the possible corroding of civil-military relations — in particular, a growing gap between the military and the civilians who were supposed to control them. I’m a clipper of newspaper articles and I saved some from that long-gone era. “Sharp divergence found in views of military and civilians,” reported the New York Times in September 1999. “Civilians, military seen growing apart,” noted the Washington Post a month later. Such pieces were picking up on trends already noted by distinguished military commentators like Thomas Ricks and Richard Kohn. In July 1997, for instance, Ricks had written an influential Atlantic article, “The Widening Gap between the Military and Society.” In 1999, Kohn gave a lecture at the Air Force Academy titled “The Erosion of Civilian Control of the Military in the United States Today.”

A generation ago, such commentators worried that the all-volunteer military was becoming an increasingly conservative and partisan institution filled with generals and admirals contemptuous of civilians, notably then-President Bill Clinton. At the time, according to one study, 64% of military officers identified as Republicans, only 8% as Democrats and, when it came to the highest levels of command, that figure for Republicans was in the stratosphere, approaching 90%. Kohn quoted a West Point graduate as saying, “We’re in danger of developing our own in-house Soviet-style military, one in which if you’re not in ‘the party,’ you don’t get ahead.” In a similar fashion, 67% of military officers self-identified as politically conservative, only 4% as liberal.

In a 1998 article for the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Ricks noted that “the ratio of conservatives to liberals in the military” had gone from “about 4 to 1 in 1976, which is about where I would expect a culturally conservative, hierarchical institution like the U.S. military to be, to 23 to 1 in 1996.” This “creeping politicization of the officer corps,” Ricks concluded, was creating a less professional military, one in the process of becoming “its own interest group.” That could lead, he cautioned, to an erosion of military effectiveness if officers were promoted based on their political leanings rather than their combat skills.

How has the civil-military relationship changed in the last two decades? Despite bending on social issues (gays in the military, women in more combat roles), today’s military is arguably neither more liberal nor less partisan than it was in the Clinton years. It certainly hasn’t returned to its citizen-soldier roots via a draft. Change, if it’s come, has been on the civilian side of the divide as Americans have grown both more militarized and more partisan (without any greater urge to sign up and serve). In this century, the civil-military divide of a generation ago has been bridged by endless celebrations of that military as “the best of us” (as Vice President Mike Pence recently put it).

Such expressions, now commonplace, of boundless faith in and thankfulness for the military are undoubtedly driven in part by guilt over neither serving, nor undoubtedly even truly caring. Typically, Pence didn’t serve and neither did Donald Trump (those pesky “heel spurs”). As retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich put it in 2007: “To assuage uneasy consciences, the many who do not serve [in the all-volunteer military] proclaim their high regard for the few who do. This has vaulted America’s fighting men and women to the top of the nation’s moral hierarchy. The character and charisma long ago associated with the pioneer or the small farmer — or carried in the 1960s by Dr. King and the civil-rights movement — has now come to rest upon the soldier.” This elevation of “our” troops as America’s moral heroes feeds a Pentagon imperative that seeks to isolate the military from criticism and its commanders from accountability for wars gone horribly wrong.

Paradoxically, Americans have become both too detached from their military and too deferential to it. We now love to applaud that military, which, the pollsters tell us, enjoys a significantly higher degree of trust and approval from the public than the presidency, Congress, the media, the Catholic church, or the Supreme Court. What that military needs, however, in this era of endless war is not loud cheers, but tough love.

As a retired military man, I do think our troops deserve a measure of esteem. There’s a selfless ethic to the military that should seem admirable in this age of selfies and selfishness. That said, the military does not deserve the deference of the present moment, nor the constant adulation it gets in endless ceremonies at any ballpark or sporting arena. Indeed, deference and adulation, the balm of military dictatorships, should be poison to the military of a democracy.

With U.S. forces endlessly fighting ill-begotten wars, whether in Vietnam in the 1960s or in Iraq and Afghanistan four decades later, it’s easy to lose sight of where the Pentagon continues to maintain a truly winning record: right here in the U.S.A. Today, whatever’s happening on the country’s distant battlefields, the idea that ever more inflated military spending is an investment in making America great again reigns supreme — as it has, with little interruption, since the 1980s and the era of President Ronald Reagan.

The military’s purpose should be, as Richard Kohn put it long ago, “to defend society, not to define it. The latter is militarism.” With that in mind, think of the way various retired military men lined up behind Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016, including a classically unhinged performance by retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (he of the “lock her up” chants) for Trump at the Republican convention and a shout-out of a speech by retired General John Allen for Clinton at the Democratic one. America’s presidential candidates, it seemed, needed to be anointed by retired generals, setting a dangerous precedent for future civil-military relations.

A Letter From My Senator

A few months back, I wrote a note to one of my senators to complain about America’s endless wars and received a signed reply via email. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that it was a canned response, but no less telling for that. My senator began by praising American troops as “tough, smart, and courageous, and they make huge sacrifices to keep our families safe. We owe them all a true debt of gratitude for their service.” OK, I got an instant warm and fuzzy feeling, but seeking applause wasn’t exactly the purpose of my note.

My senator then expressed support for counterterror operations, for, that is, “conducting limited, targeted operations designed to deter violent extremists that pose a credible threat to America’s national security, including al-Qaeda and its affiliates, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), localized extremist groups, and homegrown terrorists.” My senator then added a caveat, suggesting that the military should obey “the law of armed conflict” and that the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that Congress hastily approved in the aftermath of 9/11 should not be interpreted as an “open-ended mandate” for perpetual war.

Finally, my senator voiced support for diplomacy as well as military action, writing, “I believe that our foreign policy should be smart, tough, and pragmatic, using every tool in the toolbox — including defense, diplomacy, and development — to advance U.S. security and economic interests around the world.” The conclusion: “robust” diplomacy must be combined with a “strong” military.

Now, can you guess the name and party affiliation of that senator? Could it have been Lindsey Graham or Jeff Flake, Republicans who favor a beyond-strong military and endlessly aggressive counterterror operations? Of course, from that little critical comment on the AUMF, you’ve probably already figured out that my senator is a Democrat. But did you guess that my military-praising, counterterror-waging representative was Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts?

Full disclosure: I like Warren and have made small contributions to her campaign. And her letter did stipulate that she believed “military action should always be a last resort.” Still, nowhere in it was there any critique of, or even passingly critical commentary about, the U.S. military, or the still-spreading war on terror, or the never-ending Afghan War, or the wastefulness of Pentagon spending, or the devastation wrought in these years by the last superpower on this planet. Everything was anodyne and safe — and this from a senator who’s been pilloried by the right as a flaming liberal and caricatured as yet another socialist out to destroy America.

I know what you’re thinking: What choice does Warren have but to play it safe? She can’t go on record criticizing the military. (She’s already gotten in enough trouble in my home state for daring to criticize the police.) If she doesn’t support a “strong” U.S. military presence globally, how could she remain a viable presidential candidate in 2020?

And I would agree with you, but with this little addendum: Isn’t that proof that the Pentagon has won its most important war, the one that captured — to steal a phrase from another losing war — the “hearts and minds” of America? In this country in 2018, as in 2017, 2016, and so on, the U.S. military and its leaders dictate what is acceptable for us to say and do when it comes to our prodigal pursuit of weapons and wars.

So, while it’s true that the military establishment failed to win those “hearts and minds” in Vietnam or more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, they sure as hell didn’t fail to win them here. In Homeland, U.S.A., in fact, victory has been achieved and, judging by the latest Pentagon budgets, it couldn’t be more overwhelming.

If you ask — and few Americans do these days — why this country’s losing wars persist, the answer should be, at least in part: because there’s no accountability. The losers in those wars have seized control of our national narrative. They now define how the military is seen (as an investment, a boon, a good and great thing); they now shape how we view our wars abroad (as regrettable perhaps, but necessary and also a sign of national toughness); they now assign all serious criticism of the Pentagon to what they might term the defeatist fringe.

In their hearts, America’s self-professed warriors know they’re right. But the wrongs they’ve committed, and continue to commit, in our name will not be truly righted until Americans begin to reject the madness of rampant militarism, bloated militaries, and endless wars.

A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and professor of history, Astore is a TomDispatch regular. His personal blog is Bracing Views.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Anonymous[271] • Disclaimer says:

    I really don’t care, do U?

  2. anon[412] • Disclaimer says:

    if the photo is any indicator, many of the troops aren’t really Americans anyway

    • Agree: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @Carroll Price
    , @anon
  3. bob sykes says:

    You seem to have missed it, but Trump campaigned on an anti-war platform. The real story is how the Deep State/Cabal turned him around, and how irrelevant elections are.

    Another issue is whether or not the US military, especially its flag officers, are even minimally competent. One suspects they are not.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
    , @Realist
  4. Ace says:

    You contribute to Warren? Amazing.

  5. Dutch Boy says:
    @bob sykes

    Too true. Trump also promised to go after the pharmaceutical corporations but has instead appointed industry insiders to the regulatory positions. He also bought into the Republican tax cut mania with his foolish corporate tax cut. I suspect that Trump’s weakness of character has made it impossible for him to effectively oppose Washington’s usual suspects and their usual policies.

    • Agree: RVBlake
    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  6. It is very hard to give any credibility to someone who donated to Warren. Is this the sort of piece that is designed to discredit the argument it ostensibly sets out to advance?

  7. For a small fraction of the enormous amounts of money Pentagon gets every year any half-competent political technologist in the US can promote Devil himself as a Savior and make people believe it.

  8. Anon[340] • Disclaimer says:

    “American” leaders persist with these stupid wars because they don’t fundamentally share a connection with actual Americans. They are like foreign monarchs who don’t speak the native language. Hence, they don’t really care about the locals.

    • Replies: @Lost american
  9. Paw says:

    Soon they run up out of the forces. And compulsory military service id the end of their fun.
    Stupid Cupid.
    How are those differences different. When two navy ships cried ,that they were allegedly attacked ,so the US can declare more war on the North Vietnam.
    Real and bloody attack the ship Liberty and many deaths , resulted , that, pres. Johnson shitted himself only and peacefully. ….

  10. From the tenor of the 1st 3 paragraphs, one could get the idea that the Central Bankers have America right where they want her, by the short hairs. Yes folks they have us, and we’re on the fast track to bankruptcy, and foreclosure. If you think I’m full of it look into the situation in Greece. That poor nation, with help form the Fed, is being cannibalized by the Euro Central Bankers. Greece has been forced to sell it’s national assets, and treasures, everything on, above and below ground. The deadly and terrible fires which captured world headlines for a few weeks this summers were to cover the screams of 11 million Greeks as they watched their natural resources auctioned off to foreigners (Greek citizens were barred from bidding) at discount, pennies on the dollar. Even the Royal Jewels of Greece were sold. Don’t believe me, read up on it.
    Yes I believe the wild fires in Greece this summer were not so wild, or natural. The fires were a false flag used to steal attention away from the rape of a once great nation. Nothing but a false flag. A gift form the heartless Central Bankers.

  11. Gordo says:

    How has the civil-military relationship changed in the last two decades? Despite bending on social issues (gays in the military, women in more combat roles),

    Who is that bending to? Certainly not ordinary civilians, the chattering classes perhaps.

  12. tyrone says:

    I hope you’re not one of those “peace through de- moralized military “people .It’s not the fighting man’s fault we’re in all these crappy wars ,it’s the politicians……..Or would you rather have our soldiers spit on when they go out in public ……Major?

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
    , @Mr. Anon
  13. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @tyrone

    “would you rather have our soldiers spit on when they go out in public”

    I would rather have soldiers (not OUR soldiers) take responsibility for their actions instead of the “I was just following orders” cop out. They should not volunteer for anything going on right now, and they should refuse unlawful, unconstitutional, or immoral orders if they are already in the military. After all, these are humans capable of thinking and making moral decisions. They are not GI Joe dolls

    • Agree: TimeTraveller
  14. @Dutch Boy

    Well to date, at least Trump hasn’t started any wars. Not only that, his “craziness” seems to be allowing the Koreans to decide their own fate. If they come up with an end to their war, will anyone sane in the US say no? One down, lots more to go.

    I might add,m that his Russian rhetoric is actually pushing the EU and Russia closer together. Bye Bye NATO?

  15. TLDR says:

    American leaders lose and lose and lose because Congress is composed of chumps with no balls like Ro Khanna.Look at this half-assed stab at reinventing the wheel to CIA specifications

    https://fellowtravelersblog.com/2018/10/23/ro-khanna-five-principles/

    The world has already set the rules out in gnat’s-ass detail, and the US is bound by it. Just say so, for chrissake.

    First of all, what he seems to be getting at with ‘restraint’ is codified in binding black-letter international law and case law. The right to self-defense is subject to necessity and proportionality tests, and invariably subject to UN Charter Chapter 7 in its entirety. See Article 51. Instead of this waffle, just say, the president must commit to faithfully execute the supreme law of the land, specifically including UN Charter Chapter 7.

    Second, national security is not a loophole in human rights. Under universal jurisdiction law, it is a war crime to declare abolished, suspended or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. Domestic human rights are subject to ICCPR Article 4 and the Siracusa Principles. Instead of CIA’s standard National Security get-out clause, state explicitly that US national security is respect, protection and fulfillment of all human rights.

    Third, internationalism is OK as far as it goes, but he doesn’t deal with the underlying issue: CIA has infested State with focal points and dotted-line reports, and demolished the department’s capacity for pacific resolution of disputes. You need to explicitly tie State’s mission to UN Charter Chapter 6, and criminalize placement of domestic CIA agents in State.

    Fourth, Congressional war-making powers are useless with Congress completely corrupted. Bring back the Ludlow Amendment, war by public referendum only, subject to Article 51.

    So purge these eunuchs and get us a law’norder candidate. Like a Grayson.

  16. As much as I enjoy shooting holes in inanimate objects and seeing stuff blown up into little pieces, I want to see my country (what’s left of it anyway) drastically reduce the number of its foreign military bases and cease provoking China and Russia with its adolescent shenanigans. Cutting our losses and leaving Afghanistan after 18 years of folly would also be a plus. Japan, South Korea and most NATO members are sufficiently grown up to handle and fund their own military affairs and adventure wars without an American presence and logistical support. As for the ME, withdraw completely and allow them to return to type. Trade with them only as necessary and stop importing their cretinous minions to the US. The US military needs to be repurposed to a robust defense of North America, border and port security and maintaining freedom of movement in sea lanes in cooperation with other nations. As for knuckle-cracking Neocons and warmongering MIC bureaucrats, sack the lot and let them take up selling shoes.

  17. Makes sense: You haven’t lost the war if it never ends.

    Kind of ironic that America’s biggest export business is subject to having its supply chain crippled on any given day by America’s largest rival. As another great American hero once quipped, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

  18. @Unrepentant Conservative

    Judging by the quality of their policies, the shoes they might sell would hardly be wearable. I suggest sending them all to Saudi Barbaria or another place where their ilk is in charge.

  19. No such thing as “losing wars”. They’re meant to be sustained for as long as possible.

    • Agree: Alfa158
  20. If war is such a good racket why has the US worse off today then it was in the 1990′s between the Cold War and the War on Terror?

    The nineties seem implausibly prosperous today.

    There was no deficit after the Clinton administration.

    • Replies: @RVBlake
    , @Avery
    , @Them Guys
  21. wayfarer says:

    “All Wars, are Bankers’ Wars!”

    “Cannon Fodder, Growing Up for Vietnam”
    source: http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/a44/cf.htm

  22. Or, to put this article more economically: The USAmerican empire continues on the irreversible path to which all empires come eventually: decline and fall. Meanwhile, the new imperial sun rises in the North/East. The nazis’ Tausand Jahre Reich lasted about twelve years, counting from their initiating false-flag – the Reichstag fire – to the fall of Berlin to the Red Army.* How long for ‘the New American Century’, counting from its initiating false-flag, 11/9/01? (British notation…) Twenty five years? Thirty? Less?

    And as usual with standard-issue disintegrating empires, only a few can see clearly what’s happening. And no-one – but no-one – can do anything effective to stop it. If you like ‘classical’ music, listen again to the insane march episode in the first movement of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony, ‘The Leningrad’. Perfect encapsulation of the inevitable fate of empires.

    What’s that you say? The USAmerican empire isn’t a standard-issue one? “This time it’s different!”? If you think that, then clearly you’re not one of the few who can see clearly what’s happening – as usual. Wake up soon!
    ________________

    * Sure, the piddling USuketc. forces got to West Berlin about the same time. But does any sane, properly-informed person still think it wasn’t the Russians who did the serious heavy lifting in WW2

  23. Miro23 says:

    Another place the US military is winning is in defending the US Dollar.

    If any ME oil producer suggests going off the dollar standard they get whacked . That’s what happened to Saddam Hussein (Iraq) and Muamar Gadafi (Libya) and the threat to Iran. Recently Mohamed bin Salam (Saudi Arabia) just got a strong reminder of who is in charge and to stop favouring the Petro/Yuan.

    The existing US Dollar world currency reserve status has a lot of advantages, since world trade has to be priced in it, and world traders have to buy it. Take away this demand and the dollar is only backed by the US economy (permanent deficits) and its value plummets.

    If for example the dollar lost 50% of its value then the US could no longer fund on credit ME wars, the MIC , special interests, welfare etc. as it is doing at present. The dollar would have to return to its true value making the US an entirely different place.

    Apart from the political impact, outsourcing would shut down, profits would disappear, the military would have to pull out of bases around the world and ME wars would stop . The US public would have less purchasing power, having to get used to living at the level of its social development indicators (for example PISA test scores) somewhere in the region of lower ranking European countries.

  24. “presidents like George W. Bush have waged a set of brutal wars”

    Not a bad example, but pretty conspicuously the only one given. I’m guessing he lives in a timeline in which Democrats were sometimes manipulated into failing to curb the warmongering excess of their thoroughly evil Republican predecessors. I won’t hold my breath waiting for him to credit Nixon and Reagan with ending the two longest-running wars of the 20th Century.

  25. Tom Welsh says:

    A cartoons that says it all:

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  26. Democracies fight wars as necessary, whereas Empires are constantly at war to preserve a power structure with them on top. Winning the war and getting it over with is the goal in the first case. Not losing a war and maintaining a threat to your opponents is the goal in the second. This illustrates why empires eventually fall: it takes a constant expenditure of energy to try to dominate everyone and the empire eventually can’t back up its’ non-stop bullying.

    It’s not military weakness that is causing the US to slowly lose wars. Military reforms wouldn’t make US forces vastly more effective and capable of “winning”. The problem is the political context under which the military is employed. As long as the US is engaged in building and maintaining an empire, the situation won’t change.

    • Replies: @Iberiano
  27. Realist says:
    @bob sykes

    You seem to have missed it, but Trump campaigned on an anti-war platform. The real story is how the Deep State/Cabal turned him around, and how irrelevant elections are.

    Trump wasn’t turned around he is just a lair. He is a member of the Deep State.

    • Replies: @RVBlake
  28. Da Wei says:
    @Unrepentant Conservative

    “As for knuckle-cracking Neocons and warmongering MIC bureaucrats, sack the lot and let them take up selling shoes.”

    Who’d wear them? They’d explode.

    • Replies: @Them Guys
  29. Da Wei says:

    Like Eric Margolis said, you don’t win a war by killing people. You win a war by achieving your strategic objective. Now, absent that, what the hell’s the point? 1) Bushels of Money; 2) Perpetual Chaos. And that pair would make Trotsky and his backers proud. So, we haven’t come far, only deeper.

  30. Wars in the Zionist template are not meant to be won, the wars are fought to terrorize both the American people and the people of the targeted country and thus increase the governments control over America and increase the profits of the Zionist banking cabal that perpetrated the wars.

    Read Orwells 1984 in the chapter on why wars are fought and as Orwell says , wars are not fought to be won, they are fought to control the people and chew up the resources of the countries in both sides of the conflict and keep the people on both sides in a state of terror from a created terror threat, just as it is here in America aka Oceania.

    The war on terror is a created lie, the Zionist controlled U.S. and Israel and Britain and NATO created ISIS aka AL CIADA to provide the excuse to fight a threat that they created by the Zionist controlled deep state and Israels attack on the WTC which led to the 17 year war against the created threat.

    America will never have peace as long as America is under Zionist control which it has been since 1913 with the passage of the Zionist privately owned FED and IRS, which gives Zionist bankers the ability to create money out of thin air to fund their wars and the IRS gives them the power to tax the America people to pay for the Zionist wars.

    Free America from Zionist control abolish the FED and the IRS.

    • Agree: Wade
  31. TG says:

    Yes, well said, but one quibble: “Invest” in Wall Street? haha. At least with our ridiculous winless wars we get to keep some sliver our our technological base. Wall Street is purely parasitic…

  32. RVBlake says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Good for the Military/Industrial complex…Not for us.

  33. The biggest reason these wars go on and on and on is there is no draft. Anyone who was alive during the Vietnam era knows this to be true. It was the anti-war, which in reality was the anti-draft movement that put an end to the quagmire which was Vietnam.

    Any one who will admit the truth knows we here in America do not care about anything that does not concern us. As long as I don’t have to go fight and die in some shit hole country, I really can’t be bothered with such things. The “haves” will never worry about the fate of the “have not’s”.

    The Empire is assured a steady stream of new “volunteers” as we have shipped our jobs and manufacturing over seas. The poor with no prospects for a career, or even a job in anything above the fast food industry see the military as their only hope for any kind of a future. Charlie Daniels states in his song Long Haired Country Boy “A rich man goes to college and a poor man goes to work”. To be brought up to date, the line needs to be re-written as “A rich man goes to college and a poor man goes to war”.

    The Empire(and its lap dogs the media)learned it had brighten the image of the armed forces. No more stories of soldiers being spit on and called baby killers when they returned home. It now would be yellow ribbons and waving flags for our soldiers returning home to a hero’s welcome.

    If you think this perspective is incorrect, imagine the average college student, the ones who had to take the day off from school when Trump was elected would react if they received the following in the mail:
    Greeting: You are hereby ordered for induction into the Armed Forces of the United States and to report at Local Board No. 54, 24800 Mission Blvd., Hayward California on November 30th 2018 at 6:45 A.M.
    Willful failure to report at the place and hour of the day named in this Order subjects the violator to fine and imprisonment.

  34. RVBlake says:
    @Realist

    Trump didn’t fill his Cabinet with the type of people who would be eager to pursue his promises of troop withdrawals. It was alarming to see the inflow of generals and bankers.

    • Replies: @Realist
  35. Iberiano says:

    “The character and charisma long ago associated with the pioneer or the small farmer — or carried in the 1960s by Dr. King and the civil-rights movement — has now come to rest upon the soldier.” This elevation of “our” troops as America’s moral heroes feeds a Pentagon imperative that seeks to isolate the military from criticism and its commanders from accountability for wars gone horribly wrong.”

    You mean, that Dr. King? the one who largely copied his “I have a dream speech” (from Republican Archibald Carey Jr.), plagiarized his doctoral thesis, was a serial adulterer, and who denied the deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth and the bodily Resurrection, all while claiming to be a Christian preacher– a man who at the same time saw fit to “instruct” Americans about the content of their character on other matters?

    You don’t have to be a Christian, nor believe in faithful marriages, fundamental and orthodox Christian doctrine, or the integrity of academic papers to see that your use of MLK here, is based upon the same moral and ethical logic that demands respect for the military, while shielding it from criticism. It’s the same game of constant and escalating virtue signaling.

    • Replies: @RVBlake
  36. Avery says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    {If war is such a good racket why has the US worse off…}

    Depending whose ox is being not-gored.

    US – as a country of your average American taxpayers – is definitely worse off: relentlessly growing national debt, higher and higher t taxes, deterioration of infrastructure, loss of purchasing power.
    Because the negative changes are small, they are not generally noticed.
    But it is clear, if you know where to look, the country is gradually falling apart.

    On the other hand – US as the top 1%, the rulers, the connected etc – is doing great.
    Top 1% now own about 40% of wealth in US.
    The gap has widened over the years and keeps widening
    For all practical purposes the American middle class has disappeared or disappearing depending where you are.

    “Middle class” husband and wife both have to work to raise 1 or maybe 2 kids.
    Many moons ago just the husband worked and Americans easily raised 3-4 kids.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  37. jsigur says: • Website

    Unfortunately, the deep state obviously considers these wars “wins”. Failing to recognize that the enemy, in fact, rules us, helps continue the inevitability of that rule

  38. This piece is sort of like a military campaign that is well executed all the way up until the end nears.

    Then some shit bird tosses something into the punch bowl.

    “Full disclosure: I like Warren and have made small contributions to her campaign. “

  39. RVBlake says:
    @Iberiano

    Yes, the inclusion of MLK as a moral exemplar was a speed bump.

  40. Mr. Anon says:
    @tyrone

    I hope you’re not one of those “peace through de- moralized military “people .It’s not the fighting man’s fault we’re in all these crappy wars ,it’s the politicians……..Or would you rather have our soldiers spit on when they go out in public ……Major?

    I would prefer that people stop all this “they’re fighting for our freedom” bulls**t, as it is transparent nonsense. “Our troops” are certainly not fighting for our freedom. If they are, they’re doing a really lousy job, because they’ve been fighting nearly non-stop for 17 years now, and yet we are getting steadily less free.

    • Replies: @tyrone
  41. Mr. Anon says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Well to date, at least Trump hasn’t started any wars. Not only that, his “craziness” seems to be allowing the Koreans to decide their own fate. If they come up with an end to their war, will anyone sane in the US say no? One down, lots more to go.

    I’m very ambivalent about the whole Korean thing. What happens if the North Korean regime falls and Korea is unified under the southern regime – essentially the same scenario that happened to Germany? Will our military stay there? Something tells me that the Pentagon and whatever administration is in power at that time will answer yes. That would place an American ally with American soldiers right on the border of China. Is that a good idea? I don’t think so – it seems a lot more dangerous in the long run than having, as we have now, a buffer between us, even if that buffer is one of the crazy Kims with their Baby’s-First-Nuclear-Arsenal.

    Superpowers (by which I mean any country with nuclear weapons) need to not border one another, especially when one of them is the United States.

  42. @Avery

    It sure went downhill since I left the US in 1999. If you had been overseas for 20 years like I have, being a single white male with no reason to return to the United States, believe me…you’d see the difference.

  43. nsa says:

    Hey, Astore……..how can you keyboard a screed concerning the ongoing wanton destruction of the Mideast without once fingering the conniving jooies for pushing their selfish agenda relentlessly? Your precious US military has simply been reduced to a well equipped and financed group of mercenaries hired on to operate as the attack wing of the IDF. Everyone knows it including you…….

  44. Apart from the cliche, “wars are for profits and power”, the other important reason to keep the troops abroad would be to prevent a civil war at home by the “God, guns and guts”crowd, who might be tempted to carry out more Pittsburgh style attacks on those who don’t fit into the rightwing narrative, as the comment number two amply demonstrates.

  45. MacNucc11 says:
    @Curmudgeon

    I agree. I don’t usually agree with Trumps rhetoric but the results seem to be working for us in ways. NATO going away would be a huge win for the American people and the world.

  46. @anon

    Visit any military base and you’ll see more dark-complexioned, foreigner-born individuals than you do fair-skinned native-born Americans.

  47. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Avery
  48. wraith67 says:

    And yet it’s the civilian leadership that controls the military and tells it where to go. Congress provides the funding, which it could cut at any given time. Congress could declare that the AUMF doesn’t pertain to brush fire wars across the globe – and yet it doesn’t. Congress could hold hearings with the generals and ask the tough questions – I haven’t seen them do it. The writer cites Elizabeth Warren and her boilerplate cheer leading for the military… what the military is doing is partially her fault. There’s no upside for poor civil-military relations; the writer invokes Vietnam – civil-military hostility didn’t stop one troop from being killed or maimed and didn’t shorten the war. This is simply blaming the hammer for a bent nail and ignoring the people swinging it.

  49. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    You are right She doesn’t look like H Clinton nor like Madame Albright or Jena Bush nor like Trump’s mother or Ivanka Doesn’t even look like Bannon another war monger .

  50. We have the idea that war is, or should be, the exception.
    Yet, forget which historian, and over what period, a historian calculated that on average in Europe over thirteen years of war there were three years of peace.
    Maybe the period 1871 to 1914 created the false impression, hardly any wars in Europe.
    Yet enough British warfare outside Europe
    Ian Hernon, ‘Britain’s Forgotten Wars, Colonial Campaigns of the 19th Century’, 2003, 2007, Chalford – Stroud

    Who wants to be used to the idea that war is the normal situation I can recommend reading
    Michael Rostovtzeff, ‘Geschichte der Alten Welt, Der Orient and Griechenland’, Bremen 1961 (1924 Berlin)
    Michael Rostovtzeff, ‘Geschichte der Alten Welt, Rom’, Bremen 1961 (1924 Berlin)
    E. A. Freeman, ‘Western Europe in the fifth century, An Aftermath’, London 1904
    Herwich Wolfram, ‘History of the Goths’, Berkeley 1988 (1979 München)
    The two books by Michael Rostovtzeff were published originally in english.
    As another than the above mentioned historian wrote: ‘war is the way in which politicians destroy apparently superfluous wealth’.

    Surprising in Rostovtzeff’s books is that as soon as some ruler succeeds in, say, having ten or more years without war, a country prospers, science, arts and literature progress, hospitals, libraries, etc are built, as well as water and sewer systems.

    I wonder if anyone ever calculated what the Cold War cost, on both sides.
    Yet, for me, this Cold War was over when Chrustjow removed his missiles from Cuba, including the atomic warheads nobody, at the time, in the west knew about.

    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
  51. Herald says:
    @Curmudgeon

    “Well to date, at least Trump hasn’t started any wars” but he hasn’t wound any of them down either. On top of that he seems very keen to start a war with Iran, on behalf of his beloved Israel. Reneging from agreements designed to keep the peace also seems to be another Tump speciality, along with bumping up already overinflated defence budgets. What could go wrong with any of that?

  52. tyrone says:
    @Mr. Anon

    maybe you missed the crappy wars part,never said they’re fighting for our freedom.

  53. Agent76 says:

    Jan 10, 2011 War is a Lie

    In talks at San Jose Peace & Justice Center and in Santa Cruz, historian David Swanson revealed the truth behind the lies that led to the wars held sacred by many — the American Revolution, the Civil War and World War II.

    • Replies: @Johnny Walker Read
  54. Agent76 says:

    July 10, 2017 “Ain’t No Such Thing as A Just War” – Ben Salmon, WWI resister

    Lately, we’ve been learning about the extraordinary determination shown by Ben Salmon, a conscientious objector during World War I who went to prison rather than enlist in the U.S. military. Salmon is buried in an unmarked grave in Mount Carmel Cemetery, on the outskirts of Chicago.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47408.htm

  55. Middle America fell in love with the military the day that the Draft was ended. All they cared about was that their sons would be safe. Who cares about the poor kids who joined because they had no better alternative? The Powers-that-Be knew that they could not engage in endless wars as long as the military was composed of citizen-soldiers. They learned this hard lesson during the Vietnam War. There is no hope for the better unless the Draft is brought back.

    • Replies: @Herald
  56. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    They are not to win but to destroy. And they sure have destroyed much of Middle East and North Africa.

  57. Avery says:
    @Anon

    Regarding the video of “SS Marschiert in Feindesland”: gives one goosebumps, donnit?

    I especially like this passage: {A RIFELMAN STANDS AT VOLGA’S SHORES AND SILENTLY HUMS ALONG} (time stamp 1:04)

    How was that lyrics again? {A FILTHY MASS-MURDERING NAZI INVADERMAN LIES DEAD AS A DOORNAIL AT VOLGA’S SHORES AND SILENTLY DECOMPOSES INTO DIRT}

  58. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Let’s face it: profits and power should be classified as perennial reasons why U.S. leaders persist in waging such conflicts.

    Okay, then the military-industrial-complex can make huge bucks by instigating wars with Israel and Saudi Arabia. After all, the world community charges Israel of many human rights violations. And many people, left and right, find Saudi Arabia to be a loathsome nation. Surely, the US can cook up reasons to formulate wars against Israel or SA.

    So, if profits are the main motive, why doesn’t the US and Military-Industrial-Complex cook up excuses to blow those nations and kill people there?

    While MIC is greedy for profits, most of major recent wars have been driven more by the War Tribe than by War Trade. Iraq and Syria were destroyed because of their secular Arab modernity. Iran was sanctioned and threatened because Zionists hate that country. Though theocratic at the top, much of Iran is modern and capable of science/technology. Jews have feared Iran for that reason. Libya had to go because of Gaddafi’s independent streak. Yemen had to be destroyed because Houthi rebels have ties with Iran.

    Money is a big factor, but even profits are driven by agendas and tribal interests. In THE GODFATHER, all sides vie for profits but also want OUR SIDE to win. So, profits serve tribalism in the end. Profits are not neutral. Sheldon Adelson loves profits but uses money to back Israel. He’s about profits serving the Tribe.

    If profits are all that counts, the US and MIC can make huge profits with Iran by making peace and selling Iran tons of arms. Iran would love to sell oil and buy tons of top-notch arms from the US. Lots of profits there. So, why isn’t that allowed? Because the Tribe that rules the US care about Israel uber alles in the Middle East.

  59. Them Guys says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    Jeff, if you mean how Clinton so called balanced the fed Budget?…It is a total fraud scam. Every MSM TV news praised the Bi-partisan accomplishment between Bill Clinton & Newly repub speaker of house leader Newt Gingrich and their combined federal Balanced Budget success.

    Here is How they did it and why its as phony as a 3 dollar bill.

    Basically Newt rallied repubs in congress, which were the first time in 63 yrs the repubs gained total control away from dems. That first time in 63 yrs May have actually been after GW was elected? Either way if not a full 63 yrs, then something like 52 yrs first time for house + senate was repubs controlled.

    Clinton & Newt together conjured up a budget bill package that mainly Changed the Long held methods for the fed govnt office that determines the Actual Rate of per year Inflation…Which Rate is how COLA aka cost of living Raises were figured for Fed and State etc workers as well as, and This is Main KEY to that phony balanced part, also the rate determines how much COLA raise per month every Social Security recipient will get beginning on Jan. 1st until Dec. 31st.

    Then once again an actual inflation rate is set and again Next years COLA raises get added to monthly checks…..That Long Held inflation rate figured into the actual rate, Gasoline, Electricity rates elec companies charged folks and business’s etc….Foods/Groceries….Durable goods like home appliances etc…TV sets, it included most Everything a consumer would spend money on over the prior year.

    Their new balanced budget plan…Discontinued Gasoline, Elec service fees, Foods and Groceries, and more I cannot now recall….Which caused announced years inflation rates to Now hover around a very much Lower, 1% to 2% per year!!!…..The actual rate of overall inflation was STILL an actual 8% to even 10+% per entire year…Like it always remained for a long time frame..

    That’s main reason todays us dollar buys so little compared to just 20 yrs ago. And especially when todays dollar buy worth is compared to say, 30-40 yrs ago. Because actual rate of inflation hasn’t changed or lowered or if did not by much…No where near 1 to 2% total rate. As always claimed.

    Then….In order to compile a large enough surplus saved by this plan of changed items included to determine rate of inflation, they got senate and house, repubs & dems, to vote on passage. And,
    What also created so large of a surplus and was then applied ONLY to That next years fed budget which they claimed will Balance budget for first time in 40 or so years…

    Was that they added up every dollar that will get saved by new much lower inflation rate, hence much lower COLA raises for 25 million fed workers, plus 75 Million Soc sec monthly checks.

    For the entire period of the…NEXT 15 Years worth of savings!!!

    They counted fed cash cola raises saved for entire Next 15 yrs in advance…Not even knowing for certain how many soc sec checks will still be issued etc so long into future.

    I read about, at least 5-6 or maybe it was more like 8-10 yrs ago, an article written by a very well known, Ex-Wall Street investor guru guy…Can’t recall his name now, his article showed a large Graph of the estimated and very close to actual numbers if overall inflation rates remained same as typically had prior to Clintons budget scam.

    He said If inflation rate was still calculated the exact same as before where all items get counted based on price rises at Gas pumps and Grocery stores etc….That Today, this was back when I read it, The typical Soc Sec check recipient would be getting DOUBLE or very, very Close to Double the current amount. Due to Compounded Cola yearly raises.

    That means that Now today, 2018 era, avg soc sec checks would be even higher per month.

    Aprox 75% of all soc sec checks avg around a monthly total of about, $1250 or so…Rest get less or more…Top rate I’m not sure but probably around $400-450 more or total check of around $1600 to $1,700 per month.

    So for 2018 avg soc sec amount for 75% of persons getting a check, would be well Over $2,500 per month…”IF” they never fucked up method to tabulate actual rate of inflation and ergo raise rate of cola increases.

    So that entire issue and so called balanced fed budget all tv news were so giddy to report as a massive bi-partisan achievement not seen in over 40+ years….Was….All a Huge swindle scam.

    They cannot take and include the Next 15 yrs worth of cash saved by lower cola rates, and place it all into a one year fed budget like was done by these scoundrels…They cannot use any cash they wont even See until many years later…..Nobody can do such.

    Plus what happens to every new years fed budget when they claim every dollar saved for next 15 years, so not a single saved dollar can go into next years, and next year after that budget?

    So…..That so called fed balanced budget was and is a massive swindle scam perpetrated upon usa taxpeyers, and Especially upon Low budget poverty status Soc. Sec. Recipients who have been recieving Much lower monthly amounts ever since it was done….That was IIRC in 1999!!! Or what ever was Clintons final year as us prez.

    And with every MSM TV spokes person who reported it as a huge success…Equally Guilty of Fraud and Lies galore.

    PS: And All Our lives we were told…”be Sure to only Vote for a Dem because, the Repubs are only For The rich folk, But…Those Dems are always going to Protect your Soc. Sec benifits and checks for ever”…..Yes like how Dem Prez Hobammy, with Dems controled Both houses congress for at least two years,…Out of a total of 5 yrs time frame…Soc Sec recipients saw ZERO/No Cola increases for a total of 3 of those 5 years!…..So much for, Dems care for poor folk and repubs only care about wealthy pals and corps etc, eh. Thats when Gasoline went to as high as, $4.50–$5.00 Per Gal. and then grocery bills Doubled fastly due to higer fuel prices for semi truckers. Gas and Deisel no longer were counted in fed inflation rates, thanks to two giant swindlers, Bill & Newt.

    • Replies: @niceland
  60. Them Guys says:
    @Da Wei

    That FBI/MK-Ultra Shoe Bomber guy will likely buy a few Dozen pairs.

  61. @Agent76

    A whole lotta’ truth in that video, which sends many “Murkan’s” right over the edge.

  62. Herald says:
    @follyofwar

    There is always a better alternative than enlisting in an army that hasn’t fought in a just war, in the last seventy three years.

  63. niceland says:
    @Them Guys

    I read about this in 2004-ish. Back then John Williams was keeping his eye firmly on the ball on his website. It turns out he is still at it, here: http://www.shadowstats.com/

    One of his charts.

    I find it amazing how little notice this issue has gotten. Stagnation/decline of living standards is hidden behind this fraud.

    Mr. Unz should invite him to post article about this issue. This results in huge transfer of wealth in the U.S and undermines great many Gov. statistics.

    • Agree: Them Guys
  64. -Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC

    I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

    War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag. I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are
    only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

    There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

    Trump and Obama Mirror Image Speeches on Syria: Brought to Heel By the (((Deep State)))

  65. This is a great video if you really want to see how US/Wall St/Zionist coups work. Same playbook they used recently in Ukraine, Libya and Syria. Its pretty eye opening how they’re able to use their media in these countries to turn people against their leaders, stir up division, blame violence and killings on the targeted govt. Same crap our (((MSM))) does to us here too.

    Watch whole thing and pay attention.

    The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Chavez: Inside the Coup

  66. @jilles dykstra

    As another than the above mentioned historian wrote: ‘war is the way in which politicians destroy apparently superfluous wealth’.

    This reminds me of an aphorism attributed to J.P. Morgan: “Bear markets are nature’s way of returning capital to its rightful owners.”

    Par divers moyens on arrive à pareille fin.

  67. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:

    The military-industrial complex and the Jewish-Israel lobby. These two villains explain America’s dysfunctional “defense” policy.

  68. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wally

    Yea , Germany seems to have decided that she had no other choice that serving the devil , like these SS , and be crushed for its sins .

  69. @Johnny Walker Read

    No, no, a thousand times no. Your kids and grandkids can enlist if you’re so gung ho. You can’t have mine.

  70. Christo says:

    There has not been a war since the Cold War. And also since then, it has been safer for the military to be over-seas in the ME and Af-Pak than if they had been “serving” over here in America. The Gulf War GWOT are jokes. And all this “Thank you for your service” since 1991 Should be “Thank You for defending Israel, and being sure Opium stays in production” because that is all the military has done since.
    Oh , And keep the MIC afloat, which is actually important , because the American economy truly would go bust without the huge amount of deficit financed US defense spending , never mind the weapon export sales. Arms production getting ready for WWII is what got the USA out of the Depression and continuously since then. It would fall back to that, only much worse.if we reverted to pre-WWII troop levels.

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  71. Military officers take an oath of office to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign AND domestic. For some obscure, unexplained reason, however, they never defend us from our domestic enemies. Therefore, since they are doing just half of their job, we must reduce their pay to 50% of what they are currently making.

  72. @Johnny Walker Read

    EXPAT POINT OF VIEW HERE-

    1) Middle-class urban white kids have often BEEN overseas growing up, at least for holidays. They are under less illusions that the rest of the world is a shithole that needs to be saved. Many middle class whites from NYC or elsewhere voluntarily move to Europe. Asians and Jews especially.

    By contrast, lower middle class whites have never been anywhere. They genuinely believe that the US is the greatest country on earth, having not been to Tokyo or Paris…or anywhere. They are more likley to be infused with patriotism-at least a young age.

    2) Fifty years ago when Italians still lived in slums, it was easy to get recruits for the mafia. Mercenaries who simply wanted to make a house mortgage doing a job. Today, many are mercenaries. They will go somewhere and do a job.

    3) Jews and WASPS who are better educated and will organize on campus. Ironically, they are better-off and America has done more for them then for the average white prole who loves his country and volunteers.

    4) Gen Y and Gen Z have never known anything but prosperity. Try living in a foxhole in the desert (I have, though not a veteran) or visit a tent city there. Its a hard life.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  73. @Johnny Walker Read

    YOUNG EXPATS ABROAD

    Had I been a wealthy WASP or Jew, I would not have moved to Dubai. I would have continued to enjoy life in a suburb and married some country club girl and inherited my parents property.

    But I had nothing to lose.

    This is the reality for the white prole. They volunteer because life is shit in the rustbelt slums and Podunk towns.

  74. @Christo

    Safer overseas.

    I lived in Dubai and spent extensive periods of time in Kuwait and Oman.

    The only place I felt unsafe was public space in Phoenix, Arizona. I never came closer to a genuine random unprovoked beating-maybe worse-than standing at a bus stop when two Cholos approached me from behind. This was in public.

    Never felt that unsafe anywhere else.

  75. Miro23 says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    These are good points. In my experience overseas experience as a teenager/young adult completely changes someone’s outlook – especially working abroad.

    1) Middle-class urban white kids have often BEEN overseas growing up, at least for holidays. They are under less illusions that the rest of the world is a shithole that needs to be saved. Many middle class whites from NYC or elsewhere voluntarily move to Europe. Asians and Jews especially.

    3) Jews and WASPS who are better educated and WILL ORGANIZE on campus. Ironically, they are better-off and America has done more for them then for the average white prole who loves his country and volunteers.

  76. This is one reason only the real proles are patriotic. They have never been anywhere. They have no basis of comparison.

    After one week in Dubai I sure as shit never had a reason to return to the United States.

    Jews, Asians and WASP elite spend much of their childhood abroad. They are more worldly.

  77. ” reject the madness of rampant militarism, bloated militaries, and endless wars. ”
    What madness ?
    In one of Deighton’s Cold War spy novels, ‘intelligence’ organisations keeping each other busy, the question of the ‘why’ is raised.
    The answer ‘the only object of the game is to keep the game going’.
    Both a victory and a complete defeat would make Pentagon and NATO superfluous, so the threat of war must be maintained, but also a real all out war.

    We in Holland, in the 17th century, knew the risk of having an army.
    We had a fleet, but a fleet cannot be used for internal dictatorial purposes.
    Our relation with the Oranjes therefore was a difficult one, in times of land war we needed a military commander to create and lead an army, but as soon as land war over, the worry was ‘how to disband the army as quickly as possible’, to prevent the Oranje of the time of using the army for getting political power for himself.

  78. War is inevitable now, its admirable the Russians are doing all they can, based on their own terrible personal history of War, to march the U.S back from it as best they can.
    Unfortunately dogma, ideology, racism, and the moral collapse of our own culture into blood soaked recriminations, are like narcotics affecting our judgement as we drive our tank straight at Russia screaming, shouting and waving our fists in furious anger.

  79. @Unrepentant Conservative

    “As for knuckle-cracking Neocons and warmongering MIC bureaucrats, sack the lot and let them take up selling shoes.”

    Yes! Boots by Max Boot — but remove all Jack Bootery from his inventory first.

  80. Johan says:

    Plato – REPUBLIC BK VIII

    “Come then, tell me, dear friend, how tyranny arises. That it is an outgrowth of democracy is fairly plain.”

    “But when, I suppose, he has come to terms with some of his exiled enemies and has got others destroyed and is no longer disturbed by them, in the first place he is always stirring up some war so that the people may be in need of a leader”

  81. Blindlight says: • Website

    the premise of the title implies that those who rule us consider what is good for the USA as its be all and end all. Therefore, the premise that this is a losing war is all wrong. For the globalists, its obviously a winning war. Its up to each and everyone of us to figure out that what our rulers want takes into account little about the needs of the ruled populace they pretend to serve

    • Agree: Mike P
  82. Anonymous[862] • Disclaimer says:

    The Jewish lobby has the US in its grip both in terms of foreign policy and domestic policy.

    “Conservatives” are generally afraid of standing up to the Jewish lobby. Actually, liberals are too. So is the US military. They prefer that young American men be killed in wars rather than stand up to the Jewish lobby. I am sorry but they have been bought off.

    Regarding domestic policy, if you read Kevin Macdonald’s “The Culture of Critique”, Jewish leaders do not want a heterogeneous American population because they fear it would create a possible anti-Jewish bloc.

    Thus, Jews have influenced liberals to want to destroy the basically White and Christian (that’s you and me) population of the US with Hispanics and anyone else.

    We Americans really are – I am very sorry that I must say this – captives of the Jewish lobby.

    We’re a bunch of cowards afraid to go up against the Jewish lobby. That means we are finished as a people and country. Too bad. “People get the government they deserve.”
    How sad that America is doomed. Will no one stand up to save us?

  83. I believe the former Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey (US Army)2011-2015 was a major player in not letting the Obama team get us into a war with Iran.

    The young officers in the US Army have good intentions but then they see that the higher up “careerist first” type officers don’t care much about the troops. A lot of good Lts. and Captains get out.
    I feel like someone sitting on a fence staring out at the Army and Marines and realize it is just another bureaucracy but in this one the leaders get a lot of young men (and now women) killed or maimed for life. The big shots just keep collecting their big paychecks-name of the game for careerist firsters.

    It seems that the majority who do their military time then feel estranged.

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PastClassics
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.