The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewFred Reed Archive
Let Us Salute the Flag
On the Nobility of Motives
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Aaaagh! Enough. I keep reading that I should Honor Our Troops. On airline flights, I am asked to applaud Our Young Men in Uniform. Why, for God’s sake? What have Our Troops done for me except cause me great embarrassment, cost money better spent on anything else, and kill millions of people that I have had no interest in killing? For this I am to thank them?

No, they don’t have noble motives. Men join the military because they need a job, because they want money for college or because they are bored or want to prove their manhood or go to exotic places and get laid. Basic training, jump school, being a tank gunner or doing nocturnal scuba insertions are much more appealing to a young man than selling fan belts at the NAPA outlet.

Patriotism? “Love of country” is an after-market add-on, good for a drink or a pat on the back at the Legion–nothing more than an expression of the pack instinct that makes men in all places and times join in groups to fight other groups. The pack instinct is why tribal warfare is continual among primitive peoples, why war, otherwise inexplicable, remains incessant between modern countries. It is why the gangs of young males in Chicago mirror military hierarchy, with territory to be expanded or defended, with leaders and insignia (e.g. black and gold jackets for the Latin Kings ), with hand signs to signify identify and loyalty. It is why people join screaming mobs in political conventions, why they become wildly emotional over football teams consisting largely of convicted felons who have nothing to do with the city.

The pattern of loyalty inward to one’s pack and hostility outward toward other packs explains the peculiar morality of the military (and of most other people). A Marine colonel will be at home a good neighbor, civic-minded, honest, cut the grass and help old ladies across the street. Come a war and he will mercilessly bomb any city he is told to bomb, and after killing he doesn’t care whom on the ground, he will go to the officers’ club where there will be high-fives and war stories.

We must not notice this, or the other feral dogs will turn on us. If you say that soldiers are morally indistinguishable from Mafia hit-men, you will arouse outrage—but there is no difference. A soldier who has never heard of Vietnam or Iraq goes when ordered to kill Vietnamese and Iraqis, and duly kills them. Guido and Vito, who have never heard of Hyman Blitzschein the store-owner who is behind on his protection payments, break Hyman’s leg when ordered to. What is the difference?

Morality is always a very thin veneer on top of the deeper savagery of the pack. Militaries encourage this savagery. From Joshua onward until very recently, armies regularly put cities to the sword, and generals allowed their troops to sack and rape as rewards for good service. For those unfamiliar with such things, “putting cities…” meant killing every living thing within.

A graphic description of torture and murder routine in the Thirty Years War would have most readers retching. Today this sort of thing, when exposed, is held to be in bad taste. Only the United States engages openly in torture (put “Abu Ghraib” in Google images) but others do it.

Of course, much depends on who is doing what to whom. When the Germans bombed London, the English thought it barbaric. Later, when they were bombing German cities, it was a form of heroism. The Rape of Nanjing was hideous, while the frying of Hiroshima was not. Killing everyone in a city of a hundred thousand by hand would be very bad PR, but burning them to death from above is a cause for congratulations.

An effect of the pack instinct is the suppression of cognitive dissonance. If one noticed that a woman, campaigning for sexual abstinence, was pregnant with her seventh child, one might notice the contradiction. Patriots, or the American variety anyway, cannot notice that Our Boys, and Our Girls, are committing the routine atrocities that armies normally commit. Call it cognitive indifference.

American atrocities are always Isolated Incidents. An Isolated Incident is business-as-usual that is detected by the press. Thus torture is best avoided by restricting coverage.

It is de rigueur to speak of our boys fighting to defend America and our way of life, and to speak of their sacrifices. In the Fifties this spirit was exemplified by Superman jumping out of a window, while the voice-over intoned “truth, justice, and the American way,” then thought to be related.

Actually soldiers are more sacrificed than sacrificing. Precisely how killing Afghan goat-herds protects the United States is not clear: careful students of geography have argued that Afghanistan is somewhere else. The evidence does seem to support this.

Today, the motives of wars are usually disguised so as to be palatable. It has been said that the British fought for empire, the French for la gloire de la France, the Russians to steal watches from the wounded, and the Americans for vague moral abstractions. Thus Washington fights to rid Iraq of a cruel dictator, while supporting many others as cruel; fights to instill democracy, as if anyone anywhere cared whether Afghanistan were democratic; and to protect the world from nonexistent WMD.

The dog-pack instinct is most intense in the elite outfits, SEALs and Force Recon and Special Forces, with tightly-bonded small groups—the focus of males—working together. Powerful free-floating hostility characterizes them, and patriotism gives them a cover story for doing what they would want to do anyway.


Loyalty to a small band of warriors is easily transferred to an abstraction such as country or religious faith. Witness the fervor of Moslems today, or the enthusiasm for Christianity of illiterate Crusaders in the eleventh century who knew little of Christianity and certainly didn’t follow its moral precepts. Being swept up in a Cause gives an appearance of meaning to a life otherwise devoid of such. The flags, the hurrahs, the rhythmic thump-thump-thump of hundred of boots, the solidarity—these reinforce the pack instinct, and recruiters and politicians know it.

And so a coal-miner who hates the coal company, hates suits and liberals and the rich and blacks and homosexuals and knows he is being exploited and doesn’t really like anybody at all except local friends, will discover unexpected loyalty when the Japanese bomb Pearl.

And now, let’s hear a huzzah for Our Boys.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy, Ideology • Tags: American Military 
Hide 100 CommentsLeave a Comment
100 Comments to "Let Us Salute the Flag"
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Jonathan says:

    Fred thanks for the write up and I concur. I see those Support the Troupes stickers and ribbons and get irritated. What the hell does that even mean? Support the troupes? Support them to sacrifice themselves for the corporations? Support them to rape, kill and mame? Support them to come home and get out of those scandalous wars? Support them to actually read the Constitution and figure out what it means? How about this novel idea instead of invading countries support them to actually gaurd our borders. Support them to invade Washington and take it back from the psychopaths?

    Well I’m for the latter.
    My feeling is that those that put such hypnotic phrases on their vehicles are mindless, or have a stake in it (their child was foolish enough to join) watch TV and believe them self a good and true American mindlessly following the propaganda not knowing (remnember mindless) it is all in fact propaganda.

    What a dismal state we are in.

    In good conscience,


  2. Dave37 says:

    I hesitate to repond before the anti-zionist get their say but I agree with Mr. Reed’s take on the honoring of our soldiers as being like propaganda and that war is a dirty business that doesn’t promote morality. Still I would think a reminder of the people among us that are essentially doing our bidding, as young men before them have, is that many are suffering for it. And it may be a good reminder for society if it doesn’t become background noise. If you really want to support our troops, don’t high five him, help out at the VA, or hire a vet and deal with his problematic behaviors and of course you could write your congressman and tell him you don’t think we should be engaged in this or that military action though I don’t suppose that would have much effect unless you are involved with a political group, so become involved.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  3. Cameron says:

    It’s paradoxical that Fred views the thugs of the militarily as the hired criminals they truly are, yet, in at least one other article sees the police, who differ very little from them in mentality and behavior, as misunderstood heroes. “Who can explain it; who can tell you why? Fools give you reasons; wise men never try.” (Oscar Hammerstein II, on a very different topic.)

    • Replies: @Jim
    , @Truth
  4. Realist says:

    The official warmonger network, Fox likes to refer to the military as warriors or heroes. These terms are suppose to ameliorate the ravages of war. They have partial blame for millions of deaths.

  5. rod1963 says:

    I sort of agree, but before demonizing those in the military as nothing but scumbags and baby killers. They are but tools and most are decent guys, yeah there are some assholes and total psychos in the mix, but you’d probably find more this sort in academia or a Wall Street banking firm, except they have higher IQ’s and are much more destructive to society.

    The real bad guys are in the political class, you know the ones who initiate elective wars the way cops eat donuts. The political class has at it’s disposal a powerful PR machine that would make Goebbels green with envy. So they are able to bombard the populace on a 7×24 basis with a set of lies to convince of the need for war and it works.

    That’s how we got Desert Storm, Desert Freedom, Kosovo, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan. None of these wars were necessary, they were elective and served other interests than our national security. Vietnam could probably be included as well, since the Gulf of Tonkin incident seems to have been manufactured by the Navy as the behest of others.

    Now we have politicians demanding that we insert our troops in Ukraine.

    Those who deserve our ire are not those in uniform, it’s the bankers, the MICC, the media and political class who decide when and where there will be war.

    • Replies: @Cameron
  6. Cameron says:

    “Those who deserve our ire are not those in uniform, it’s the bankers, the MICC, the media and political class who decide when and where there will be war.”

    Are “those in uniform” robots without functioning minds of their own? Were they coerced into becoming murderers of the innocent? After their first murder of a baby or adult head of family or anyone, were they unable to cease their murders? Were they unable to understand the death, destruction and misery they were causing people who did them no harm?

    Wouldn’t a civilized human being looking for work prefer a minimum wage job rather than be the murderer of hundreds or thousands of innocents?

    Those are easily answered questions by anyone past puberty who has a conscience and an ability to reason.

    “The bankers, the MICC, the media and political class” decide when and where there will be war, but it’s the men and women in uniform who volunteer to carry out their orders.

    • Replies: @Stealth
    , @SecretaryNS
  7. Stealth says:

    And if they didn’t volunteer, a lot of American young men would be voluntold to show up at boot camp. That’s how it worked for most of the twentieth century.

    • Replies: @cameron
  8. Hubbub says:

    Thus it was, Fred, and thus it is and ever shall be. Don’t berate your own, for you may reap a bitter harvest in your hour of need. I support my troops because they are my troops – not international peacekeepers. Today they are not conscripted; they volunteer for whatever personal reasons and suffer their fate whatever it may be. Those here who criticize our military are not anti-war in the extreme, they are the soft moralists of a dying culture who foster the delusion that, yes, if we leave other people alone, they will not bother us, they will not hate us, they are just like us, in fact. That’s the kind of thinking that has gotten our asses kicked since World War II.

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
    , @annamaria
  9. cameron says:

    But they do continue to volunteer. There’s no excusing their evil.

  10. The signal difference between yesterday’s Americans and today’s is that yesterday’s Americans were free to choose whom they admitted to their company as pre-1965 Americans still had the political power to force their representatives to do the people’s will, while today’s Americans are told by their political class – whose members are no longer the people’s representatives but have instead become the people’s Dear Rulers – whom they must admit to their company. So much for the notion of today’s Americans as their own, “consent of the governed,” freely chosen “in group.”

    When people are free to choose whom they admit to their company – free to choose members of their “in group” – then and only then is there genuine patriotism. And that is why today’s “Support Our Troops!” propaganda, which serves no one but the 0.1% GATT-globalist super-rich who own and puppet our Dear Rulers, is anything but genuinely patriotic.

    That said, of course war is bloody horrific savagery, because victory goes to the force that can maximize and sustain the infliction of bloody horrific savagery until its enemy collapses or capitulates. As what’s left of what used to be my country – my “in group” or my “extended family” – is no longer made up of my “extended family,” I’m left at a loss when it comes to supporting our troops, because I am forced to be at a loss to support the missions assigned to them by our Dear and non-representative Rulers in behalf of their GATT-globalist Overlords who rig the system for the Perpetual Mass Third World immigration that has made the scores of millions of their imported “new Americans” not a true part of my “extended family,” while those Overlords simultaneously use the U.S. armed forces also to get their way in the foreign countries that belong to those countries’ people’s “in groups”/extended families.

    I will resume being a patriot when my country will, by whichever means that prove effective, have been returned to me and to my extended family. Until then, as our Dear Rulers do the Invade The World-Import The World bidding of their 0.1% GATT-globalist Overlords, I have actually no longer got an “in group,” I have actually no longer got a country – which is, of course, precisely the goal of our 0.1% GATT-globalist New Overlords.

    • Replies: @Ace
  11. 2Mintzin1 [AKA "Mike"] says:

    ” If you say that soldiers are morally indistinguishable from Mafia hit-men, you will arouse outrage—but there is no difference.”
    Sod off, Mr. Reed.
    Sober up, and think about what you just wrote.

    • Replies: @Jim
    , @Wally
  12. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Tsk Tsk, you’ve gone and said what many people might be thinking but aren’t supposed to say out loud. It’s just not polite and hurts people’s feelings. To stop any such musings and whatever conclusions they may lead to someone will act as the local volunteer commissar and shout ‘unpatriotic’ so as to squelch things right then and there. People certainly don’t want lynch mobs forming at their door to show them how traitors are dealt with. Americans get around these issues by speaking in code. We’re a nation of code-speakers.
    Whatever the psychology of those who enter the military it’s also true that they’re pawns of those who call the shots. Despite their pretended love of the flag they don’t give a rat’s ass about the well-being of the rank and file, they’re just a resource to be expended as needed and calculations are made as to how many will probably bite the dust in one operation or another.
    The article is fairly much an American one. The military in many other countries does have a deservedly higher level of prestige due to the fact that they’ve fought against foreign invaders who aimed to destroy or enslave them. For them it’s not an abstraction. In our case we’re protected by two oceans and have thus gone thousands of miles away in search of enemies. That’s why American patriotism is particularly fake and requires singing the national anthem ever louder to ward off uncomfortable thoughts.

  13. @Hubbub

    I don’t care if they hate us or not, but two oceans worth of water sure keeps them from bothering us, if we have a sane immigration policy.

    • Replies: @Pshr
  14. Jim says:

    Someone will always wield power. In Fred’s Mexico power is often wielded with extreme brutality by drug cartels. Libertarianism is just as much a fantasy as socialism.

  15. Jim says:

    Human morality is in-group-out-group oriented. In most human societies there is a very sharp distinction between aggression against members of the group, something which is generally sanctioned, and aggression against non-members which is often the source of increased status in one’s own group.

    Human beings are not ethical philosophers, they are biological organisms, the result of a highly complex and totally amoral evolutionary process. It is clear that there has been strong selection for aggression against out-groups in the evolutionary history of our species.

    • Replies: @2Mintzin1
  16. Retired says:

    Time to retire, Fred, you have jumped the shark.

  17. Rich says:

    Wars, like the poor, will always be with us and soldiers will have to fight those wars. There is neither good nor evil in war, there is only victory, otherwise, like the Germans after WW2, your women will be raped, your wealth confiscated and your cities destroyed. There’s no Marquis of Queensberry on the battlefield, never was and never will be and only a foolish Utopian could think otherwise.

    • Replies: @pyrrhus
  18. “I support my troops because they are my troops”

    Just as Fred said. No other reason.

  19. SFG says:

    I more or less agree, though if you’re lucky enough to join during peacetime you just march around a lot and feel much manlier than you would slinging french fries (which is the option for a lot of these guys in rural areas).

    The only thing I have to add is that it’s too bad the whole racial thing keeps us from linking up with the antiwar left on this issue. I often thought the Old Right and Left could form an anti-globalist, anti-war alliance, but it’s practically impossible.

  20. annamaria says:

    Your sentiments are understandable. Would you encourage your children and grandchildren to join the voluntary US Army to fight the current wars?

    • Replies: @Ace
  21. @Cameron

    Get the fuck out of here. It’s pathetic hearing high-intelligence 40-year-olds slag off 18-year-olds, as if these kids should have as much understanding of the world as they do. You think they’re murderers, evil, etc? I think you’re a judgmental prick who mistakes his literacy for goodness.

    Most young veterans I know don’t trust the federal government, and in fact, the federal government seems to be constantly trying to figure out how to “tame” them. That’s a good start.

    As far as Fred Reed goes, I love the guy, but he writes this article every couple of years or so and I hate it every time. I’ll come back and visit when you’re sober, Uncle Fred.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Bill Jones
  22. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    I can think of no more loathsome and repellant bit of cornball Fox News Americana than:”Thank you for defending our freedoms”….Unapologetically I say:”Fuck the Troops!!!”…and “Fuck Cornball Fox News Americana!!!!…..

    I never knew that going to war could be so easy and fun…just chant: “Thank you for your service …Thank you for protecting our freedoms”…I’m off with Boomer and Carton in my NY Ranger Jersey to the Garden:GO RANGERS!!!!!!

    It is fascinating to see how Sports Entertainment is so integrated with the Chikenhawk “Support the Troops” nonsense.

    “Support the Troops” and “Thank You for service”=now get the fuck away from me, and go die in Iraq, while I chant GO RANGERS” basket case fucking freak….This is one of the dirty little secrets of AMUUUURRICA!!! 2015…

    • Replies: @Ace
  23. Meanwhile, at this year’s Victory Day parade in Red Square, Russia’s Defence Minister revived the pre-Revolutionary tradition of pausing to cross oneself at the gate of Saviour Tower:

  24. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    All Native Born White American Christian Troops…at the time that mortal combat is initiated against Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia by the homosexual-pedophile Democratic Party… You have a DIVINE EDICT FROM JESUS CHRIST!!!!! to join the Native Born Orthodox Christian Russian Troops and do battle against SATAN’S SPAWN=the Black….Mexican….Muslim….Transexual….Homo-Pedophile “US” invading Military in the Ukraine. Committing Treason against this Great Globular Postule of Social and Cultural Filth would be the highest form of Native Born White American Christian Patriotism!!!!!!!!!

    Native Born White American Christian Patriotism….now that’s the ticket!!!!

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  25. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    Go to Google images…Google General Smedley Butler…among the photos that come up on the first page is the WW1 basket case photo. To all Native Born White American Christian Troops(mostly White Teenagers):this is what all the ESPN-WFAN jock sniffers want to do to you…This is what the Great Globular Postule Mike Francessa wants to do to you….This is what they mean when they say:”Thank you for your service”=”Ha Ha…I’m having fun at the Ranger game…get out of my sight you fucking limbless freak!!!…back to your bedpan at Walter Reed…hee…hee…ha…ha…I’m a good time Charly Chickenhawk”…..”Thank you for protecting my freedom….sucker!!!!!!”

  26. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    To all Native Born White American Christian US Army Colonels and Majors:at Christmas Time at Fort Hood Army Base this year, you will be invited to join General Randy Taylor and his new Husband Lucas….Gay Hairdresser from San Francisco…at their home for their anusual Christmas Eve Party with their Gay Couple Friends…Lucas will be very happy to see you all enthusiastically biting into his Ginger Bread Boy Cookies!!!!!….General Randy Taylor will be watching…Show your joy at eating Lucas’s Ginger Bread Boy Cookies…its mandatory you know…don’t piss off Ashton Carter. Oh, what JOY at Christmas Time at Fort Hood Army Base!!!!…pass the lubricant!!!!!

  27. @Dave37

    ” Still I would think a reminder of the people among us that are essentially doing our bidding”

    You are a mindless fool.

  28. @War for Blair Mountain

    I agree with you in principle but you should dial it down a notch.

  29. Realist says:

    I never had an interest in going into the military….at any age.

  30. “Of course, much depends on who is doing what to whom.”

    “An effect of the pack instinct is the suppression of cognitive dissonance.”

    The two successive paragraphs that begin with these sentences certainly struck me as the essential point.

    Much depends on who is doing what to whom. Yup. That isn’t a failure of cognition, or morality, or ethics. It’s the essence of the human condition. It’s not a cognitive dissonance problem unless one is attempting to believe in a universalist religion or in one of the [irrational when stripped of the religious rationales at their heart] secular philosophies that evolved out of them.

    As to the rest, there’s a lot of rarely spoken truth in this and I agree. But the level of bitterness about it as presented could only come from an American, and only at the end of 14 or so years of trying to maintain a degree of just such national cognitive dissonance that always characterizes America at war more than most other countries, from the beginning but especially since the victory of the idea of a proposition nation.

    The idealistic youth still left in me might argue that plenty of young men still sign up for reasons of patriotism, perhaps foolishly, to be sure, and even if it is just one among many reasons including those you cite. A paid professional army is not the same creature as a conscript army or a mass volunteer army in wartime, and it is not justified by the same rationales. The three types should not be used in the same way, either. But a professional national army of citizens [or even with a few wannabes] isn’t quite the same as a mercenary warband either. [Give it time until the PMC’s take it all over]. It still goes to kill where the duly constituted government wants it to go and kill.

    In theory it does so in service to the national interest, which is a legitimate thing to do, the more so with professionals than conscripts or volunteers in the aforementioned sense. That’s what professional armies are for, and nations do have interests. That’s a more pragmatic idea of patriotism than trying to make every war a crusade for liberty and humanity, but it is patriotism as most of the world always knew it. [Even the Greeks in full crusading mode fought for the liberty and expansion of Greek culture, not everybody else. And most of the time they weren’t in crusade mode, just fighting for stuff.]

    If the interests being fought for do not coincide with the interests of the people, or even if they do but are carried on by a government neglecting other and more urgent security interests of same people, well ’twas ever thus. That’s why you don’t use conscripts. I’m Euro-influenced by the idea that states have interests of their own, and that over the long sweep their strength more likely coincides than not with the preservation of the people they represent, so I’d be willing to tolerate a lot of abuse in the near term if I had confidence in that much at least. Until recently, the French people did not let their republican ideals get too much in the way of strategic cynicism at the state level, and this was wise of them. Pity France has fallen into bad habits.

    If the US state running foreign policy has become radically detached from the true security and strategic interests of the United States, let alone the aims of the American people, that’s a problem of the constitution, of government, politics and the electorate. Ceasing to have a military able to serve national interests is not the answer. The answer is at the political level. Given the degree of disagreement on everything in modern America, it may be impossible. But that’s where the problem is.

    All of which is also why US troops are not exactly comparable to Guido and Vito. The latter take orders from a private authority to kill, in general, fellow citizens of the res publica/polis/commonwealth against the laws of same, for violations that are not punishable by those laws. The military takes orders FROM the commonwealth to kill, in general, non-citizens.

    Maybe that’s my own form of silly idealism, but it never occurred to me to think of the state’s obligations to all humanity as equal to its obligations to its own. Must be not being religious.

    Again, if the orders coming from the institutions of the commonwealth are no longer either representative of the people’s will or needs, or justifiable in terms of national interest, that’s a bigger but distinct problem.

    Hmm. Apologies for being verbose, though.

  31. Pshr says:
    @Chris Mallory

    You may not care if “they” hate you, but do you at least care about the evil AmeriKlan perpetuates around the world, which causes such hate? Or, are you too blind?

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  32. FYI I am a Canadian.

    Our political class is divided between those who want to send troops abroad to die in American wars that may or may not be marginally in our national interest, albeit sucking up to Washington is at least defensible as our ONLY vital national interest, and those who want to send troops abroad on UN missions in which their chance of dying is a bit less but there is not even theoretically a national interest involved. Similarly, each has a rah-rah ideology in play- neocon democratic triumphalism on the one hand, utopian multilateralism on the other.

    Needless to say I am a bit divorced from both. Still, I can see the general point of both some of the time. If we get diplomatic credits or some such. The problem is no government ever stays focused on that and all get sucked into one or the other version of the romantic idealism. Most Canadians have no business complaining though. We mostly fall into one or another camp ourselves. No other foreign policy is sellable.

    Still, given our position in the world at the time, I’m not going to apologize for atrocities committed by Canadians in WW2. Our RCAF provided the third largest component of the bomber offensive [integrated as N06 Bomb Group RAF and a few other places] and I am only sorry at how many Canadian airmen died in that, especially given the doubts about its efficacy. I have never been troubled by the ruins of German cities.

    A fairly dark-humoured German buddy of mine years ago [he was German-Chinese, two broadly phlegmatic peoples at their respective bests] took me around Hamburg and showed me the building in which his grandmother had lived and where they had dumped UXO in the nearby river once. He said his grandmother had once [I think I would have liked her] mock-wistfully described the war to him as, “Goebbels asked us, ‘Do you want the Total War?’; We said yes…it was nice…”

  33. Do you guys sometimes wonder if there were people who made the exact same arguments back in the days of the decline of Imperial Rome? The more the world turns…

    • Replies: @random observer
  34. @jimbojones

    I’d be curious if anyone was arguing at Rome that maybe they shouldn’t let in so many Germans.

    At least the Germans had the courtesy to pose an actual military threat sometimes, demonstrating willingness to work for the concessions they demanded of the Roman state. A conqueror earns privileges an illegal immigrant does not. On the other hand, the Visigoths were a population of armed refugees, and they first turned on their Roman hosts when denied free food subsidies in their version of refugee camps. Just goes to show, if you are going to admit dangerous peoples and then turn on them, do it right. Or, genuinely assimilate them rather than letting them have concentrated lands and their own community leaders.

    These lessons have all been learned before. To paraphrase Derb, “why don’t people listen?”

  35. Art says:

    Is the US military saluting the Stars and Stripes or star of david?

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  36. Priss Factor [AKA "AOL"] says: • Website

    With the exception of national defense(when the nation is attacked), soldiers are usually little more than mercenary attack dogs when sent overseas to fight other nations and peoples. And it’s usually the case that the war has nothing to do with lofty stated goals and is really about serving the agenda of the ruling elites.

    This is why, barring cases when the nation is attacked, US soldiers should be given the right to vote on which overseas wars to fight. If they have to do the killing and dying, they should have some say in this.

    All this ‘gays in military’ or ‘trans in military’ is bullshit justice. If we want real justice in the military, soldiers should have the right to voice their views and decide which wars to fight IF THE WAR ISN’T ABOUT NATIONAL DEFENSE IN CASES WHEN US ITSELF IS ATTACKED.

    This is especially necessary since today’s politicians and elites don’t serve in the military and their children sure as hell don’t. They use the sons of OTHER Americans to do all the killing and dying.

  37. Priss Factor [AKA "AOL"] says: • Website

    “Is the US military saluting the Stars and Stripes or star of david?”

    Star of David with the ‘gay rainbow’.

    The homo rainbow flag is the new flag of globalist imperialism. It is funded by Wall Street, Hollywood, Harvard, Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, and etc.

    The West now conquers other nations and plants the ‘gay flag’ on them as the victory flag.

  38. Truth says:

    It’s paradoxical that Fred views the thugs of the militarily as the hired criminals they truly are, yet, in at least one other article sees the police, who differ very little from them in mentality and behavior, as misunderstood heroes.

    I think he’s nailed you between the eyes there, Freddy-boy.

    • Replies: @Ringo Starr
  39. pyrrhus says:

    Not true for the USA. We have lost or stalemated every war we have been in for the last 70 years, none of which have turned out to be necessary, without having our wealth confiscated (except by our own government), our women raped, or any of our cities destroyed… what the hell are you talking about?

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @Rich
  40. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    In a relative comparison:

    The US Military=Social and Cultural Filth!!!!!-with anal warts thrown in to boot.

    Russia=Sky Blue Conservative Orthodox Christian and virtuous!!!!

  41. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:


  42. Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website

    More welfare for the stupid under the guise of “service”. Don’t make me laugh.

    Mr. Reed is absolutely right, there’s not a speck of difference between our mercenary troops’ actions and those of the mafia.

    At least the mafia usually killed their own like minded trash. Not a bad thing.

    But hey, we’re supposed to follow the lead of “that shitty little country”, so it’s all OK.

    Now Mike, you sod off.

  43. Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website

    On the whole an excellent and much needed article.

    but Fred Reed said:
    “Of course, much depends on who is doing what to whom. When the Germans bombed London, the English thought it barbaric. Later, when they were bombing German cities, it was a form of heroism.”

    Clearly Reed’s knowledge of history is incomplete.

    It was the British who initiated the targeting of civilians long before the Germans were forced to respond.
    ‘Who started bombing civilians first: Germany or Great Britain’

    Yes, the Rotterdam, Coventry canards, etc. are all debunked there.


  44. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    The USS Ronnie Reagan now celebrates Gay Pride Week with a great big pink frosted Gay Pride cake with Gay Pride!!!! printed on top.

    Who ordered this Social and Cultural Filth? Answer:Retired Admiral Mike Mullins.

    Considering how rampant pedophilia was in the Ronnie Reagan Whitehouse…none of us here should be shocked.

  45. Avery says:

    {“We have lost or stalemated every war we have been in for the last 70 years, …”}

    Not true: US was 100% victorious against the two Caribbean superpowers of Panama and Grenada which were preparing for massive invasion of our homeland, but our superior intelligence services detected the plans and preemptively smashed the enemies’ vast fleets and divisions.

    On a more serious note, England, in its day, was saved from many an invasion by being an island nation.
    Spanish Armada was smashed by the seas.
    Napoleon massed an invasion army, but feared crossing the channel.
    Hitler never felt confident enough to cross the channel and invade England due to British Navy’s mastery of the seas. (The British expeditionary force was routed and ran like chickens at Dunkirk, chased by German panzers)
    As far as I know, the only power that successfully invaded and occupied England was the Roman Empire.

    US is in even a better position: two of her land neighbors are allies and/or friendly.
    Vast oceans are an excellent buffer against any non-existent force thinking of invading US mainland.
    Japan managed to make the mistake of bombing distant Pearl and was crushed for its impudence.

    US is simply too powerful and too distant to be attacked directly.
    US will be hollowed out and ‘defeated’ from inside, non-militarily.

    • Agree: Sam Shama
    • Replies: @annamaria
  46. Rich says:

    You’re of the opinion that the US has lost every war it’s fought in the last 70 years? Really? Are the communists in Seoul? Is Cuba still in Grenada? Saddam still in Kuwait? The Taliban still in Kabul? Obviously you must be referring to Vietnam, but the facts are that due to internal pressure the US pulled its troops out of Vietnam 3 years before the fall of Saigon, so you’re not much of a historian are you? Look at the postwar pictures of Germany and Japan after losing to the Allies, China, Korea and the Philippines after the Japs beat them, Palestinians after Israel, and you can read a few history books about the result of losing wars if you tire of the photographs.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  47. @Pshr

    There is a simple solution. Bring all our troops home, close our borders, end all aid to every other nation, work at deporting anyone whose ancestors were not here in 1800. Problems with people hating America are now solved.

  48. Kiza says:

    I was really happy to read comments of support by US citizens to Fred’s article, with good grasp of what the issues are. This makes me believe that not all US citizens are mindless fools who will swallow the most intense propaganda in the World (when someone tries to convince you that you are free, then grab your gun).

    In the last 100 years or so of the US empire, the US has been running a huge death bill in the World. Many US citizens do not comprehend that most bills usually come due, and your children may be paying it.

    The US which the rest of the World, or at least I as a non-US citizen, would like to see is the US which defends its borders and protects its national interest. Not the US which is a spice in every soup of the global kitchen. Not the US which bombs and occupies for Israeli interests, Saudi interests, Albanian interests, 0.01% US interest etc.

    Here are the three simple ways to make the US one of the most popular nations in the World:
    1) mind your own business (there is no dictatorship which requires you to bring it down, every genocide you fought to prevent was a lie),
    2) gain control of your police and your military and keep them inside your borders, we are sick of watching their crimes, and
    3) focus on improving your economy, because you are dragging the whole World down with you.

    Reads simple, does it not, but also impossible. I guarantee that you will keep doing exactly the opposite on all three.

  49. orly says:

    a fred reed article that i agree with and contains no racebaiting?

    what is this world coming to.

    • Replies: @Sean T
  50. MarkinLA says:

    Is Cuba still in Grenada?

    Yes, we showed them what an American task force can do to a force of construction workers hired by a British construction company. We showed them that you can lose the students you were supposed to be saving for two days and they still won’t be murdered by the “leftist thugs” you need to defeat so everybody can forget you just got a bunch of Marines killed in Beirut.

    • Replies: @Rich
  51. @Wally

    The Nazis never did nothing wrong never.

  52. @Wally

    “When the Germans bombed London, the English thought it barbaric. Later, when they were bombing German cities, it was a form of heroism.””

    You do realize that it was Britain who first indiscriminately bombed Cities, don’t you?

    • Replies: @random observer
  53. @SecretaryNS

    And even at the young age of eighteen they are incapable of understanding that if you join an organization whose purpose is killing people , deaths may result?
    Grow the fuck up.

  54. @Wally

    BobbyBeGood, don’t look now, but it was in the First World War that the Germans initiated unrestricted submarine warfare, as they violated the internationally-agreed Cruiser Rules (which called for all warships to stop and search both enemy & neutral merchantmen for contraband and then stipulated that the warship crew had to see all souls aboard vessels carrying contraband into lifeboats before they could then sink the merchant ship), by torpedoing civilians aboard merchant & passenger vessels sailing under the flags of neutrals (ever heard of the Lusitania?, and she was just one of the many merchant & passenger ships sunk without warning by WWI German U–boats).

    In that same war the Germans, attempting to achieve their avowed aim of setting entire English cities afire, initiated aerial bombing by Zeppelin and aeroplane of civilians. In fact, in the First World War even Germany’s High Seas Fleet sailed on raids in which its warships shelled civilians in English coastal towns.

    Even before the start of the Second World War, in the service of Franco’s Nationalist forces Germany’s Condor Legion aircraft bombed Guernica and other Spanish towns, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians. Pablo Picasso’s eponymous and most famous painting depicts the bombing of Guernica.

    I refer you also to British Cabinet discussions of 1939 in which it was determined that RAF bombers be permitted to attack only German military targets. You might care to read about the 1939 early RAF raids on Kriegsmarine warships, the only raids the British Cabinet then permitted on any targets in Germany.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  55. @AVERY
    “As far as I know, the only power that successfully invaded and occupied England was the Roman Empire. ”

    That was in 54 BC – there was another quite successful invasion in 1066 AD; had you not heard about William the Conqueror? It is just possible you have some Norman blood in your veins

    • Replies: @Avery
  56. MarkinLA says:
    @Auntie Analogue

    The Germans did this in response to British Q-ships.

    • Replies: @Auntie Analogue
  57. @Wally

    The implication of hypocrisy here doesn’t hold water.

    Granted I have not read every pronouncement or newspaper opinion from the 1940-41 period nor will, but I never had the sense that the official opinion of Britain at the time or the mass of public opinion specifically claimed the Blitz was ‘barbaric’ or anything like that. Perhaps some did, but it would be unlikely the official line, or even majority public opinion, apart perhaps from the overall belief that war in general is barbaric.

    [Maybe Rotterdam or Warsaw were so regarded in British opinion, but compared to London those cities were near totally defenceless against the Luftwaffe when bombed, so they score higher on the barbarism scale than the Blitz would. Similarly, German cities were heavily defended and allied aircrew took huge losses. That distinction was likely considered important in the traditional moral calculus of war. Rather like the distinction in earlier codes between sacking a city after taking by storm against defenders and just burning and massacring an undefended one while passing by.]

    After all, every major government had spent the 1930s not only preparing to wage such a war, but preparing their populations with air raid and even aerial gas attack drills. It was part of the general expectations of war held in Britain, as elsewhere. Similarly, the British propaganda machine would have been foolish to let a condemnation of its barbarism slip out, as they had fleets of bombers ready or building themselves and the upper echelons knew that.

    It wasn’t even against international law as understood at the time. Granted the allies could hardly have cited it against the Germans at Nuremberg given they had done it much better themselves, but it would have been pointless anyway- nothing in the Hague Conventions had been read as prohibiting the practice by any major power, and it had to be specifically outlawed after the war.

    Recognition of that latter fact ensured that even the Germans officially treated bomber crew as POWs, for all the rhetoric about ‘terror flyers’. On the occasions when they did not, the Germans rather than the allied airmen were guilty of violating the laws of war.

    Older Britons never seemed to remember the Blitz as a noteworthy example of German ‘barbarism’, or as anything exceptional as an element of the war save for the obvious danger it had presented to people at the time and the losses of lives and property in their neighbourhoods. There can have been few who held specific grudges against the Germans for it- certainly none I met, and both my parents were born under the bombs. Most Britons of that generation seemed to retain respect for the Germans overall, unless kin had been specifically abused or killed in POW camps toward the end as the Germans started to take the leash off, and tended not even to emphasize the Holocaust all that much unless refugees from it. Certainly there was no national culture of moaning about the evils of the Blitz. Only a tad overdone triumphalism about the Battle of Britain. Most of the older Britons I knew tended to remember the Japanese as the greater barbarians of the day, as part of the general popular memory as well as among those who had kin or had themselves been POWs of the Japanese.

    So, no, I can’t see any hypocrisy in the British attitude toward aerial bombing or the culpability of the Germans or themselves in the practice. More like general acceptance that both had anticipated the tactic and considered it lawful at the time, both had done it, and the British [and Americans and Canadians] had just been better at it.

    Pity the Germans no longer take the same sensible view. Too many seem to think the comparatively pitiful preparations and performance of the Luftwaffe in 1940-41 was the result of moral limits or provides an excuse from what they now consider to have been a war crime but did not at the time any more than anyone else did.

    This from a country that rounded up millions of civilians on the ground and machine gunned them into pits or gassed them, including collecting and deporting most of them from their own countries to other occupied territories for the purpose of killing them, including populations of civilians from surrendered states like Belgium, trucial states like France, occupied states that had never been at war with Germany until invaded by it [Belgium, Netherlands, Norway] and citizens of states allied to Germany like Hungary. And attempted to round up civilians from a neutral that had not been at war with Germany until occupied and which offered no resistance, Denmark, and another German ally, Bulgaria.

    And, unlike the German civilians under the bombing, most of those civilians were not even participants in an enemy society [some were nationals of German allies or neutrals, others nationals of states already defeated and hors de combat, still others nationals of states still combatant against Germany but living in German occupied territory and therefore not a threat on any level and entitled to protection under occupation law] let alone potential contributors to an enemy war economy or military capacity. Even taking allied aims at their worst, specifically the aim of killing German civilians to break morale and force Germany out of the war that way, the Germans’ terrestrial practices come off worse. They were killing civilians already under their control for the sole purpose of killing them without assuming it would have any impact at all on the ability of enemy states to stay in the war.

    All of which was actually against the laws of war and of occupation rights to which Germany and others had signed up. Germany followed occupation law quite well in other ways, even when not to their advantage on occasion, but not when it came to handling enemy civilians they wanted dead for what amounted to the personal amusement of the ruling party echelons.

    And in Poland it suited them to not even follow the basics of occupation law, which required them to establish occupation regulations, accountable military government and some sort of continuation of civil authority under occupation, as they did elsewhere, with the disposition of Polish state and territory to await settlement. Instead they declared the Polish state extinguished and set out to liquidate Polish identity while using their territory as Europe’s charnel house. All of which also against international law to which they were an actual signatory.

    THAT was barbarism.

  58. @Bill Jones

    The major belligerents acceded to FDR’s request at the start of the war that they confine themselves to bombing military targets [all reserved the right to withdraw unless their enemies upheld the bargain], although this could include “fortified cities”. That was perhaps a difficult concept in the arena of air warfare, but I understand it to have included cities with military production capacity, military targets like headquarters, communications junctions and so forth, and which were defended against attack rather than being left open.

    The Germans stretched this almost to the breaking point at Warsaw already in September 1939, but it’s just about defensible as the city was the seat of government and defence headquarters and Poland writ large was still being defended, albeit Warsaw barely against air attack.

    The Germans discarded the policy first at Rotterdam May 14 1940, if the key issues are military targets and being defended. The attack on Rotterdam was at the edge of legitimacy only if, as a commercial port, it is considered to be within the definition of war production or war economy.

    One day later the UK expanded its own policy to include industrial targets and on the night of May 15 launched the first raid on the Ruhr. If that was illegitimate, then so was Rotterdam. If Rotterdam was legitimate, so was the Ruhr raid.

    Either way, the Germans set the pattern. Nothing the allies did later deviated from it except in sheer scale of destruction, not in kind.

  59. Witness the fervor of Moslems today, or the enthusiasm for Christianity of illiterate Crusaders in the eleventh century who knew little of Christianity and certainly didn’t follow its moral precepts

    Fred, you don’t have to travel back in time to find 11th century Christians, you only have to travel to the Pentagon. Insofar as subordinate, intimate, religion based crusader mentalities, these days you find it concentrated in our special operations forces, it’s not only the Muslims we radicalized through empire and the causal 1,000 USA military bases throughout the world with special forces in more than 130 countries. Now, what do you do about a pack mentality at the top?


  60. @MarkinLA

    British Q-ships carried on the ancient and well-known tradition of a ruse de guèrre against enemy warships – not against enemy merchantmen or passenger vessels. German surface raiders that targeted British & neutral merchant shipping also flew foreign flags as a ruse de guèrre, except that German surface raiders at first humanely followed the Cruiser Rules.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  61. @Wally


    Germany bombed Poland first. Period. End of argument.

  62. annamaria says:

    “US will be hollowed out and ‘defeated’ from inside, non-militarily.”
    Very sad.

  63. Fred is right (again!) that there’s no honor in today’s US military. With half a million in uniform, we have what – maybe 50,000 combat troops? The vast majority are REMF’s who push paper around for absurdly inflated pay. How high? Check this out:

    So one can skip college, get a job pushing paper for 20 years, make more dough than a college grad, have no student loan debt, and retire with a full pension and healthcare after 20 years, and laugh at the chumps who went to school. All while incurring zero risk of personal injury and having every idiot at the airport give you a standing ovation. I’ve seen several times folks giving up first class seats for these guys. It’s crazy!

    The generals are the worst. We have thousands and thousands of them and yet the number having anything to do with warfighting is minuscule.

    Meanwhile, our nation is being INVADED by military age males from Central America. Where’s our vaunted military? Our brave “heroes”? Hiding in an air conditioned office on an over priced base? Flying in a Gulfstream executive jet? Or in a dark room killing Arabs with remote control planes? Oh well, when their enlistment is up and time to spend their bloated pension checks, they’ll have to learn Spanish..

  64. Rich says:

    But the US still won in every example I cited, right? The peacekeeping mission in Beirut was ill-conceived and poorly executed and a good example of incompetence, but that doesn’t prove your original point that the “US lost or stalemated every war we’ve been in in the last 70 years…”, does it?

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  65. Corvinus says:

    Chris Mallory’s “solutions”…

    “Bring all our troops home…”

    And jeopardize our freedom in process? No.

    “close our borders”

    International trade ring a bell? So, no.

    “end all aid to every other nation”

    Including humanitarian aid? No.

    “work at deporting anyone whose ancestors were not here in 1800.”

    You’ve gone full aspie. Never go full aspie. How do you propose selling this part of your plan to the American people? How do you implement this plan? What are the procedures involved? Where do you deport millions of people? What measures are in place for those groups of people who resist?

    Just. stop. embarrassing. yourself.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  66. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You’re of the opinion that the US has lost every war it’s fought in the last 70 years? Really? Are the communists in Seoul? Is Cuba still in Grenada? Saddam still in Kuwait? The Taliban still in Kabul?

    Big deal, nobody cares one iota about those pipsqueak ‘achievements’, collectively not worth a dime. Grenada is just a song. Don’t forget to add the defeat of mighty Panama to the list of historical achievements.

  67. MarkinLA says:
    @Auntie Analogue

    The number one job of the Q-ship was to sink U-boats. A U-boat has stealth, torpedoes, and one smallish deck gun (usually about 5 inches or 120 mm in caliber) in it’s arsenal. It takes some time to dive to a safe depth once it is on the surface.

    Once the British started using them all bets are off. There no way a U-boat can surface and survive an armed ship with multiple guns attacking it. Any damage to the pressure hull of a 1915 era submarine makes it impossible to submerge to any depth that would take it out of harms way.
    The Germans did the only thing possible.

    • Replies: @Auntie Analogue
  68. MarkinLA says:

    Grenada wasn’t a war or even a fight. It was a rally-around-the-flag-boys event so everybody would forget the stupidity of Beirut. However, maybe you forgot about that helicopter that crashed killing three rangers. More dead just so ignorant Americans would stop talking about how stupid Reagan was.

    • Replies: @Rich
  69. Kiza says:

    “Bring all our troops home…
    And jeopardize our freedom in process? No.” etc

    What a wonderful set of arguments appropriated from the MSM, only the “no” is yours. Just like the MSM, you never justify. Yours are the statements of authority, not of wisdom.

    1) How does bringing the troops home endanger your freedom? Is it not more sensible to concentrate defenses to defend you own country on its borders, instead of spreading the “defense” into military basis all over the World?

    2) How does closing the borders to illegal immigration endanger the international trade? You lost me completely on this one.

    3) What is bad about ending “humanitarian” aid to foreign countries? The rest of the World can take care of itself without the US propping up its favorite dictators and regimes. If you cannot sleep without donations, then send money and goods to the Red Cross and disband USAid. Even the UN has been mostly captured by US interests, only the Red Cross/Crescent remains mostly apolitical and, thus, truly humanitarian.

  70. Avery says:

    {“there was another quite successful invasion in 1066 AD; had you not heard about William the Conqueror? “}

    I did not know: now I do.

    {“It is just possible you have some Norman blood in your veins”}

    Highly unlikely: I am of Armenian descent: Armenian-American.
    It is more likely there is some Armenian blood in William the Conqueror’s veins: one of the theories is that Europe was populated by people migrating from Armenian Highlands 8,000 years ago (….they say ‘Turkey’/’Anatolia’, but there was no ‘Turkey’/’Anatolia’ back then).
    Another current theory is that Europe was populated by people from what is Southern Russia today: people called ‘Yamnaya’ about 5,000 years ago.

    • Replies: @AUGUSTUS FINKIN
  71. @MarkinLA

    My dear MarkinLA, the British also openly armed a proportion of their merchant fleet and passenger ships, these were know as Armed Merchant Cruisers and they vastly outnumbered the Q-ships, thus posing a much greater threat to U-boats trying to operate humanely by the Cruiser Rules. Your knowledge of this subject seems sketchy, so I hope you won’t mind my recommending that you begin by reading Arthur Marder’s five-volume history of the Royal Navy in the First World War, From The Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, which contains the reasons why Germany resorted to unrestricted submarine warfare; a resort taken that was unconnected to Q-ships, Armed Merchant Cruisers and even to British destroyer and patrol warships.

    The Germans resorted to unrestricted submarine warfare because their High Seas Fleet of dreadnoughts could not break the British distant blockade of Germany by defeating the more numerous, more powerful British Grand Fleet of dreadnoughts. Germany’s decision had nothing to do with Q-ships which, actually, had very little success in sinking German U-boats. Realizing that their High Seas Fleet could not break the British blockade of Germany that was having a deeply deleterious effect on Germany’s capacity to continue to wage land war, the Germans resorted to unrestricted submarine warfare as a means of starving out the British Isles and of stopping the seaborne flow of raw materials to Britain’s war industries.

    It boils down to siege warfare against entire nations waged by naval forces, the novelty being in Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare which violated the Cruiser Rules. This was just one more instance of advancing technology furnishing a novel weapons system by whose use the ever-changing rules of warfare were broken.

    On this topic Diana Preston has written two highly informative books which your local public library ought to have in its holdings or be able to secure for you through inter-library loan:

    A Higher Form of Killing: Six Weeks In World War I That Forever Changed The Nature of Warfare (this book traces Germany’s introduction of unrestricted submarine warfare, Zeppelin & aeroplane aerial bombing, and poison gas)

    Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy

    I hope you will read all of the suggested titles as I expect you will find them illuminating.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @marylou
  72. Sean T says:

    Yes, for the second straight article Fred has neglected to negatively refer to negroes.

  73. Rich says:

    Grenada – Casualties – Cuban – 25 killed, 59 wounded, 638 combatants captured
    Grenada- 45 killed, 358 wounded
    USA – 19 killed, 116 wounded
    Not World War Two, I admit, but it was a fight that the US won. My original point was that the US hadn’t “lost or stalemated” every war it’s fought in the last 70 years. You can say Grenada was nothing but a gang fight if you want, but you’re still wrong in your original comment.

  74. MarkinLA says:
    @Auntie Analogue

    The Germans resorted to unrestricted submarine warfare because their High Seas Fleet of dreadnoughts could not break the British distant blockade of Germany by defeating the more numerous, more powerful British Grand Fleet of dreadnoughts.

    This hardly makes any sense for why the German U-boats who were initially operating under the Cruiser Rules decided to sink ships without warning.

    I am well aware that the High Seas Fleet never made any significant contribution to the German war effort and only came out for one major engagement with the British and after the Battle of Jutland went back home and never went out again. The fact that the Germans had no surface raiders is irrelevant for why German U-boats started sinking merchant ships without warning.

  75. @Avery

    Thus do we gain knowledge from one another!

  76. @Truth

    There is a mitigating difference between the US cops and US military.
    The US military invade, occupy, destabilize, and inflame ethnic and religious tensions in
    OTHER countries. The US cops in the inner cities are mainly repressing (if excessively) black on black crime. If the cops left the inner cities, these places would quickly descend into chaotic hellholes and the murder, violence, and crime would go up by a factor of at least ten. The blacks would then be begging for the return of the whitey cops. The root of this problem is that US blacks will not do anything for themselves. They should police their own neighborhoods, run their own schools and hospitals, maintain the infrastructure and buildings, and run the stores and businesses. As long as they won’t take charge and instead rely on ‘outsiders’, then they get what they get.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    , @Truth
  77. Down with war! But let’s not just talk about it, it’s time to take action. We should refuse to participate by rejecting all of the advantages those wars have provided us with!

    Who wants to go first?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  78. marylou says:
    @Auntie Analogue

    Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy…

    you mean that ship that posed as a passenger ship and was loaded with war materials?

    It may have escaped your notice that the Germans did their best to keep folks from traveling on that ship, posting ads in major News papers, warning of the danger involved. Only the Des Moines paper bothered to print the ad.

    • Replies: @Auntie Analogue
  79. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:
    @Ringo Starr

    “If the cops left the inner cities, these places would quickly descend into chaotic hellholes and the murder, violence, and crime would go up by a factor of at least ten.”

    I say let this happen. Let the jivers kill one another.

    Pull all cops out of black communities.

  80. @marylou

    My dear marylou, the German warning was printed in several New York newspapers., in some instances directly beside Cunard’s own advert for voyages aboard Lusitania. Lusitania’s cargo included small arms ammunition and unloaded, inert artillery shells without propellant (according to U.S. Customs inspection records); the ship mounted no guns; none of her cargo made her fair game for German torpedoing without warning under the internationally-agreed Cruiser Rules which the German ad in the U.S. papers did not abolish and to which Germany was signatory. I suggest you read Diana Preston’s book as it is meticulously researched and very well written:

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  81. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Down with war! But let’s not just talk about it, it’s time to take action. We should refuse to participate by rejecting all of the advantages those wars have provided us with!

    Who wants to go first?

    I’ll go first. However, please first post a list all the advantages those wars have provided us with so I’ll know what to reject. I might miss one or two.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
  82. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    How ironic it all is.

    With US now working with Israel and Saudis to support ISIS and Alqaeda to topple Assad, it seems the War on Terror turned into War for Terror.

  83. Truth says:
    @Ringo Starr

    You don’t live, in Metro Detroit, any more than you do Karachi, so what do you care?

    • Replies: @ringo starr
  84. @anonymous

    Let’s just start with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). They invented the internet.

    I guess we won’t be seeing you again. And before you spew some nonsense about how Al Gore would have invented it anyway, try looking up ENIAC.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  85. MarkinLA says:
    @Auntie Analogue

    included small arms ammunition and unloaded, inert artillery shells without propellant (according to U.S. Customs inspection records);

    So none of this aided Britain’s war effort? Even if it was C-rations or grog that the Royal Navy was incapable of providing to it’s sailors and needed to be imported, it still was war material and is as vital as anything else for the maintenance of the military.

    This is like the US saying that it is sending “humanitarian aid” to it’s proxy armies in order to make the idiots in America think we aren’t arming them. A starving army without medicine can’t fight any more than an army without guns can.

  86. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Let’s just start with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). They invented the internet.

    The internet is a peacetime development, not a product of war although it did come out of defense contracting. It would have come about without all this military spending, most of it wasteful. Carry on, commander (salute).

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  87. The internet would be rather useless without computers, wouldn’t you agree? But I guess you didn’t bother to look up ENIAC. Go ahead and do that now, I’m rather looking forward to you telling me that it was going to be used for peacetime shelling. Then you can look up the Turing Machine and see who financed it.

    Competition and conflict help drive innovation. You should quit while you’re behind.

  88. @Truth

    who said I cared?

    • Replies: @Truth
  89. MarkinLA says:

    One area where the government (military) did make a significant advancement in technology was in semiconductor design and in focal plane arrays which are common place today. I worked at Hughes Aircraft Company when the US government started its VHSIC – Very High Speed Integrated Circuit program and Hughes Santa Barbara Research was a world leader in the development of focal plane arrays in visible and infrared light.

    The argument that the private sector would have done it eventually and cheaper is always true if you think waiting many years for something is OK. Pushing technology is always expensive and fraught with blind alleys. Does anybody remember bubble memory?

  90. Ace says:

    I hate to get anecdotal Fred but what you describe about the military does not in any way resemble what I saw in Nam. There was decency, restraint, and good feeling along with stupidity and negligence. It wasn’t Thirty Years War Part Two. It was an attempt to keep the South from falling to the communists and that was a decent objective, regardless of the failings of the leadership.

    Accurate stuff about WWII.

    All wars are subject to reanalysis. All wars are brutal.

    And now let’s hear what morons and hypocrites our troops were.

    Not one of your usually excellent efforts.

    PS – I can’t wait for the war with Syria because of Asad’s use of chemical weapons. Wink. Wink. When we do that it will be on the occupant of the WH not the troops.

  91. Ace says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    Isn’t it time for your nap?

  92. Ace says:

    Good people need to be in the military for a lot of reasons,. Whom do you want in the military if our nation continues to deteriorate as it is deteriorating?

  93. Truth says:
    @ringo starr

    Well you took time to give your opinion, and you even used ALL CAP EMPHASIS.

  94. Stonehands says: • Website


    Competition and conflict help drive innovation……and replace humankind with machines-there, I fixed it for you, mr. computer nerd.

  95. Mario says:

    ” The root of this problem is that US blacks will not do anything for themselves. They should police their own neighborhoods, run their own schools and hospitals, maintain the infrastructure and buildings, and run the stores and businesses. ”

    Isn’t that a return to segregation?

  96. 2Mintzin1 [AKA "Mike"] says:

    ” It is clear that there has been strong selection for aggression against out-groups in the evolutionary history of our species.”
    OK, and that proves…what?
    Some years ago I had the unfortunate experience of dealing (at arms length, I was a young attorney) with mob associates and at least one mafia member , a fellow who later went to prison for the murder of Robert Kubecka and Donald Barstow, two good and honest men (look it up). The hit men that Reed glibly compares to our military are parasites and crooks.
    I have enjoyed Reed’s writing in the past…a good polemic can be bracing.
    But if Reed really thinks this, then he is looking too deep into the Padre Kino (sp.?) bottle and might consider rehab.

  97. woodNfish says:

    I don’t berate our enlisted men, but I am no flag waiver. The US is a vicious war mongering country and our government has caused all the terrorism aimed at us by its actions over the last 100 years. The CIA overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran to instal the Shah of Iran. We have helped Europe meddle in and rework the borders of the Middle East so Europeans could steal Middle Eastern oil at very favorable prices. We have routinely bullied countries around the world for economic gain.

    Today the US is crony-capitalist fascist police state. I won’t salute the flag of fascism or celebrate it. And while ordinary amerikans hide behind our military men and pretend to support them while allowing the VA to kill them by the thousands, amerikans are actually cowards. The Boston bombers proved this. It is a pretty despicable situation.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Fred Reed Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Not What Tom Jefferson Had in Mind
Sounds Like A Low-Ranked American University To Me
Very Long, Will Bore Hell Out Of Most People, But I Felt Like Doing It
It's Not A Job. It's An Adventure.
Cloudy, With Possible Tidal Wave