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Apparently I have missed Memorial Day by being on the road in Guanajuato. I gather I should have thanked Our Boys for their service to the exceptional nation. I will pass. My tolerance for nauseating twaddle has diminished with the years.

To begin with, “Our Boys,” so affectionately denominated, are not our boys but suckers of the ruling rich. Think not? Think again. Ending the draft protected the sons of the well-off from military service and the military from anti-war movements. If you draft the moneyed elegants of Princeton, you get resistance. Instead the oligarchs send the expendable children of the lower orders. Who volunteer.

Further, the soldiers are not heroes but mercenary killers morally indistinguishable from hitmen for the Mafia. A kid joins the military, perhaps never having heard of the Pentagon’s next target country–Iraq, Vietnam, Iran, Afghanistan, wherever. It doesn’t matter. They are just countries.

Then one day come orders from Washington to go kill people in the country du jour. The kid does it. He doesn’t know the people he kills, who have done nothing to him and threaten neither him nor the United States. If ordered, he would as readily attack Switzerland–or Americans.

Guido and Vito. You tell me the difference.

“Our Boys” are not patriots. A recruit signs up because he needs a job, or from boredom, or thinks being a soldier might get him laid in Asia, or wants college money, or to prove himself. Patriotism is an aftermarket bolt-on. It can get you free drinks in a lot of bars. Especially if you have a wound. Wounds usually come from bad luck or incompetence, but you can peddle them for drinks.

The public, middle class and up, does not “support the troops.” The majority do not serve, do not know anyone who does, and avoids soldiers as sex-crazed riffraff. Which is not too far off the mark.

I grew up aboard Dahlgren Naval Proving Ground, a naval weapons-development base on the Potomac in Virginia. The daughters of the mathematicians, physicists, and officers were strongly discouraged from dating sailors. They were, though no one quite said it, dirt. Can you imagine Ivanka Trump going out with an enlisted Marine? To Billy Bob’s Rib Pit?

How many of those celebrating Our Boys at Breitbart or National Review have been to a Legion hall recently? Ever? Carried a rifle? Know what one is?

Our Boys are not making sacrifices for America. They are being sacrificed, used to promote the interests of Big Oil, Israel, the Neocons to the extent that there is a difference, the arms industry, and the imperialists. They are certainly not defending America, which is in no danger at all from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, or the rest. Do you wake up shuddering in fear of attack by Yemen?

Our Boys do not fight because they want to but because we force them to. If they choose not to, they are called “deserters” and “traitors” and face heavy jail time. A few men enjoy war and go back, tour after tour–I know several of these–but most, given the chance to come home without penalty, would be gone yesterday. If you don’t believe me, make them the offer and see what happens.

American soldiers are not good guys, decent people, armed Boy Scouts promoting democracy and policing the world to rid it of evil. They start as normal lower middle class kids, yes, no worse than anyone else, but training soon brings them around. They learn how to place a bayonet in an enemy’s kidneys so that the shock and agony will drop him. At least we did in Parris Island in the summer of ‘66. They learn how to take out a man’s face with a vertical butt stroke. Chiefly they lose the normal aversion to killing. All of this is necessary in soldiers. Our Boys.

The abandonment of all human decency is the soul of military culture, and a needed abandonment. A pilot bombing Baghdad knows that he is splattering people, that they have done nothing to him or his, that he is leaving children screaming at what is left of Mommy with funny things coming out of her middle and gurgling. He knows this because it is impossible not to know what five-hundred-pound bombs do. But he does it anyway. He doesn’t care. If he did, he wouldn’t do it.

In the age of PR, the military will speak of “surgical strikes” and “collateral damage.” Officers, who are liars and politicians, become angry if pressed on what they are really doing. They don’t care, at least don’t care enough, or they wouldn’t do it, but they know that disemboweled kids play badly with the public. That you see no photos of bleeding viscera in the media is a measure of the control of the press by those profiting from war.

Soldiers are evil. They don’t start that way, but the military changes them. If you read military history you will find that, from Joshua to yesterday, armies have butchered whole cities, looted, raped, burned, tortured. It is what armies do. Dresden, Hamburg, Nanjing, Hiroshima. How can you not think this evil?

Having been trained to kill, they do. Seeing their friends die horribly after stepping on the mine, they come to hate the dinks, slopes, sand niggers, Krauts, gooks. Revenge has a powerful appeal. Seeing a lot of mutilated corpses, cartilage glistening white, produces numbness. Another dead gook. So what?

It happens easily. The day I arrived at the Amtrac compound at Danang in 1967, a VC had been killed the night before outside the wire. They brought him in, I don’t know why. He was lying on the ground, apparently having taken a full magazine of 7.62, arm almost cut off with bone sowing and flies crawling on open eyes going cloudy.

Several other Marines were taking turns holding his head up by the hair for trophy photographs. So what, I thought. He was dead. It wasn’t an atrocity. Just guys kidding around.

Our boys. Me included.

But atrocities happen, regularly. Some can’t be argued, such as Lt. Calley’s mass killing at My Lai. Many soldiers deny what they have done, or kid themselves. A pilot bombing a village because sniper rounds came out of it will see no atrocity.


Militaries today have learned to be sensitive about these things. They invariably are called “isolated incidents.” An isolated incident is business as usual that has been detected by the press. Countries insist that their soldiers don’t do the things every other army has done since the first human picked up a pointed stick. Germans will tell you about the “clean Wehrmacht.” Yeah.

Memorial day. Let’s hear it for Our Boys.

Last week various readers took issue inexplicably with my preternaturally insightful explanation of the media. In defense I offer to anyone interested an explanation of war correspondents.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, American Military 
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  1. “Our Boys” is how we avoid looking at what our boys had to do to stay alive and to give cover for war in the first place. Fred’s right though as all the boys of history do these things.

    I’m a believer in not interfering with the affairs of other countries unless there is a direct connection to our way of life that is imminent or obvious in the near future. Pearl was an event we could not avoid nor could we avoid what followed. Viet Nam and Irag were more than avoidable. Korea, my war, was also avoidable. Our only treaty of mutual defense should be with Canada and Mexico; let Europe take care of itself. It’s 3 times bigger in people than Russia and can maintain its own borders easily. If they fail or choose not to, they lose, not us. The oceans are still tough to cross especially against US air and naval forces. And MAD still works against the big players. Little players – No.Korea – can’t do fatal damage to the country as a whole and our retaliation would simply wipe them off the earth.

    • Agree: bluedog
    • Replies: @Che Guava
  2. Rurik says:

    I just posted this on another thread:

    are soldiers deplorable by definition?

    You must agree that under certain circumstances, there are legitimate reasons to go to war. The American revolutionary war and the War of 1812 being among two that ring a bell for me. All the people fighting to get the US out of their countries today for instance surely are fighting the good fight, at least as far as I can see. The Russian military should be lauded for what they’re doing in Syria, even if it’s ultimately for dubious motivations. Defending the sovereign integrity of Syria seems like a very noble reason to take to arms, from my perch.

    I of course agree that our recent zio-wars and most of the wars America has engaged in over the last hundred years or so have been abominations and sins against reason and humanity, but I don’t consider all soldiers and officers to be reprehensible by default

    but I also agree with the general sentiment of this article, and that we should no longer honor our military, especially today as they’re engaged in myriad illegal wars of aggression and serial war crimes and atrocities the world over.

    A nice clip with James Garner

    the American military today are demonic and their leadership war criminal$

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @MarkinPNW
    , @Dwright
  3. dearieme says:

    “the expendable children of the lower orders”: the deplorable are disposable.

    • Replies: @DanCT
  4. willem1 says:

    Great piece as always. Others have observed that we seem to get into more and longer wars now that we have eliminated the requirement for a percentage of the “cream” of the nation’s youth to participate.

    You write: ” ‘Our Boys’ are not patriots. A recruit signs up because he needs a job, or from boredom, or thinks being a soldier might get him laid in Asia, or wants college money, or to prove himself. Patriotism is an aftermarket bolt-on.” I do think that at least a few of the people volunteering actually ARE patriots and at least part of their reason for signing up is that they think they can do some good for their country (whatever their other motivations are). And some find later on that they actually like that way of life, if not every single thing that goes with it.

    I served over eight years in the Navy during and after the Vietnam War. Although I’m as patriotic as the next guy (I guess?), none of the reasons I had for joining had anything to do with patriotism. I had to leave college, and was going to lose my draft deferment, so to avoid getting shot at in the jungle, I decided to volunteer for the Navy before I was drafted. I was lucky to have had that choice. I have since met a lot of guys that got really messed up in Vietnam (and obviously did NOT meet the poor guys that didn’t make it). To this day I feel nothing but lucky that I didn’t have to go.

    I went to a conference just a couple of years ago, where at one point, the presenter asked those of us who had served in the military to please stand up, after which we got a big round of applause. I felt nothing but embarrassment, because the applause of course implied that I had made some big personal sacrifice for my country because I was a patriot–which of course was not the case. It was a short-term career decision made by a kid who didn’t know yet where he was going or what he wanted.

    Great piece, Fred, love your stuff. Keep ’em coming!

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
    , @woodNfish
  5. MarkinPNW says:

    The first time I saw that scene, I suddenly got a lot of respect for James Garner as an actor and a human being.

  6. those celebrating Our Boys at Breitbart or National Review

    If you really want to see what these guys really think, mention the USS Liberty. These “conservatives” will sell out the US military at the drop of a hat to protect Israel.

  7. My late Father was born in the year, 1900. Through him and his older siblings I got a window into Nineteenth Century attitudes and norms. According to him and other old timers, uniformed service officers were accorded respect. Enlisted ranks were uniformly looked down upon. Army enlisted men were assumed to be alcoholics. No halfway decent girl would have anything to do with a sailor.

    All this changed during declared wars. That is when soldiers became “Our boys.” You might be lynched for disparaging our boys during WWI. Immediately after they came home our boys got out of uniform as fast as possible and the regulars went back to being bums in the public mind.

  8. Philip Z says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Fred on this subject. I had the unfortunate experience of working on a military base some years ago. The vast majority of both officers and enlisted personnel were degenerates.

  9. American Soldiers are heroes and patriots ONLY WHEN defending the US. But when they are stationed abroad or fighting in foreign wars, they are attack dogs of the empire.

    That said, US did good in defeating Germany and Japan in WWII, and we have to credit the US military for containing communism during the Cold War… though some of these wars, like in Vietnam, proved to be ugly. US wasn’t a nation of angels but still better than the enemy.

    But the Cold War is so over.

    Also, I don’t think most Americans want an empire.

    And US culture and ideology are such total shi*.

    A civilization with rap music, slut culture, homomania, white self-loathing, tattoos & piercings, and other forms of degeneracy has no right to be lecturing the world or spread its poison and disease.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    , @fnn
    , @grr
  10. Progs’ idea of making the military ‘progressive’ is adding Negroes, womenfolk, homos, and even trannies.

    But even if military is filled with blacks, womenfolk, homos, and trannies, the fact remains that officers and soldiers still have no agency. They must do as told. They must be like attack dogs. They must never think or offer criticism.

    So, maybe the most truly progressive way to fix the military is to get rid of all ranks.
    Ranks are hierarchical, and that is unequal.
    Also, soldiers should be given the right to vote if a war should be fought or not.
    And just like some police men must carry videocameras, all soldiers should be made to carry videocameras to see if they commit atrocities.

    That would be true progress.

  11. 5371 says:
    @Priss Factor

    But what if faggots and wymyn and trannies are the ones commanding? To deprive them of the pleasure of giving orders would be to violate their yuman rites.

  12. “You must agree that under certain circumstances, there are legitimate reasons to go to war.”

    Why? Because otherwise a gun would be pointed at my head?

    • Replies: @Rurik
  13. RodW says:

    I always find it pathetically comical that US marines take such pride in barking Semper Fi at each other. Even the stupidest dog knows that there are limits to fi.

  14. I didn’t join to be a heroic patriotic sonuvabitch, but when the opportunities presented themselves, the adrenaline rush was awesome.

    Now I fly the D4D (Desk, Four Drawers), and I’m not allowed to kill anyone who annoys me on the job … what a bore! But the pay, food, and sleeping quarters are much better.

    Fred, if the Boys are patsies or pawns of the criminal elite, you can still be grateful that they will be there on the wall if … when you truly need them. The one who really deserve your scorn are the true mercenaries the DoD subcontracts to.

    • Replies: @Flat Cat
  15. My father was career military. Served in Vietnam. Told my brother and me when we were young that we should only join the military to get money or skills. Never, never sign up for combat. Don’t make the same mistake that he made.

    Btw, when did “veteran” come to mean anyone who was in the military and not someone who say combat? I’ll be damned if I’ll bow my head and applaud to some paper pusher because he happens to wear to a uniform instead of a suit.

  16. Rurik says:
    @Fran Macadam

    Why? Because otherwise a gun would be pointed at my head?

    or far worse

    I went on to explain..

    ‘All the people fighting to get the US out of their countries today for instance surely are fighting the good fight’

    the “US” must surely include ISIS, as it was the CIA that created and funded these animals.

    If I were an Iraqi or Syrian, and ISIS was on the verge of descending on my village, I wouldn’t be fighting out of fear of a gun pointed at my head or my loved ones, I’d be fighting to prevent things far more unspeakably horrific than that.

    ” I do think that at least a few of the people volunteering actually ARE patriots

    Pat Tillman

    for what it’s worth, I’ve known a lot of privates in the US military. Almost to a man and woman (often boy or girl) they joined because their home towns are crumbling from globalism, and there are zero opportunities, and they simply need a job, or a way to go to college, and for some hope of some kind of better life. They don’t enlist to kill people, at least not the vast majority of the ones I’ve known.

    it’s true that the ZUSA government is stone-cold-evil. And that it murders men, women and children with bloody ruthlessness. And that our congress are super-corrupt and get kickbacks from the billion$ they send to the MIC and Israel, in a circle of corruption that makes the head spin. But I don’t blame the girl from Nebraska or the boy from Detroit who join out of abject desperation for a job. I blame the scumfucks who have created a reality on the ground that makes the military the only option there is to these young people – deliberately.

    When the Fiend needs to boost enlistment for another one of their evil adventures, they simply choke off the money supply to a target demographic and ‘presto!, the enlistments are up.

    Such a deal !

    • Agree: John Jeremiah Smith
  17. Agree almost entirely! How did we become WARRIORS, to be vapidly thanked at every turn? If you want to “support the troops,” bring them home.

    But Brother Kipling is still relevant:

    We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints:
    Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an “Tommy, fall be’ind,”
    But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind,
    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
    O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

    You talk o’ better food for us, an’schools, an’ fires an’ all:
    We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country,” when the guns begin to shoot;
    Yes it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    But Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool–you bet that Tommy sees!

  18. Flat Cat says:
    @The Alarmist

    I’m curious as to why a private contractor, paid by the government, who preforms the same tasks in pursuit of the same goals as government soldiers, sailors, airman, and marines is due any more or less scorn than “the Boys”. If the actions are the same than there is no real difference between a “mercenary” and a government soldier.


    1. A man kills his neighbor because his father told him the neighbor was bad. This is murder.

    2. A man kills his neighbor because his father paid him 1,000 dollars. This is murder.

    3. A man joins the army because he wants to defend his people, is ordered to a country that has never attacked his people and kills the men who fight him and his comrades. This is murder.

    4. A man joins a mercenary company for money and participates in the invasion/occupation of a the same country as the soldier in accordance to his company’s contract with the invading government, killing the men who fight him and his comrades. This is murder.

    There is no difference in the action. The soldier and the mercenary are the same. They deserve the same scorn or praise, depending on how you view the morality of their actions.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    , @Rod1963
  19. The Scalpel says: • Website

    I have always disliked the term “served” when referring to working in the Armed Forces. As Fred made clear in his article, the troops are not doing us any service. Ironically, US taxpayers are serving those in the Armed Forces with an income at least. Soldiers are tax spenders.

    So, to put it succinctly, when a soldier and a civilian taxpayer meet, the soldier should thank the taxpayer for his service – not the other way around.

    I refer to my time in the Armed Forces as simply, “when I was in the Army and, “or “when I worked in the Army”.

    • Replies: @WorkingClass
  20. Vendetta says:
    @Priss Factor

    The Bolsheviks did experiment with this kind of thing, or at least the mere trappings of it (getting rid of saluting, part of the idea behind addressing one another as “comrade”).

    It gernerally didn’t work too well, and a lot of these egalitarian experiments ended up being rolled back when they were faced with real war.

  21. @Flat Cat

    I dunno … something about raising my hand and taking the pledge and then suffering the shitty pay and living conditions as the price to join what we were told was the honorable profession of arms makes that seem less sleazy than those who kill and maim just for the pay and adventure. Maybe I’m just envious.

  22. @The Scalpel

    When I joined the Army in 1965 my starting pay was less than $100.00 per month. In those days we were called “servicemen” and were said to be “in the service”. If someone had noticed my absence and asked my mother about me she would have said WorkingClass is “in the service”. Today soldiers actually get paid. If asked they will say they are “in the military”.

    Sometimes, when people find out I’m a vet, they thank me for my service. Being a polite person I respond with “you are welcome”. If I were being honest I would say I didn’t do it for you and I would not do it again.

  23. bluedog says:

    Well said, when I went in in 1956 it was $72 and the only reason I enlisted was to keep them from drafting my ass, and gave me some choice as to which branch to go into…

  24. There was a time I had contempt for pacifists. No more, I now find that at age 88, I feel like a true pacifist. There’s no need for me to expand too far on what Fred has written, he has pretty well hit the nail on the head. I would say that most of the wars the US has been engaged in could have been avoided. The War Between the States the one that should have been avoided the most. For the record I would like to state that I am a combat veteran although I could never equate my combat experience with that of a man who wears a combat infantryman badge. I flew numerous combat missions in Korea in F-8Os and Vietnam in F4s, mostly dropping bombs on various targets. I have no idea how many people I killed, perhaps none. I did it for my personal glory and as a very nice ticket for advancement. I now recognize that both wars were stupid beyond belief. In Korea General MacArthur should have been court-martialed and jailed for sending our troops to the Yalu River to engage the Chinese in the middle of winter. Fifty thousand plus needless deaths to feed the vanity of a five star general. The Vietnam War was a tragedy from beginning to end and forever remains a stain on our nation’s history.. I hope I can die in peace.

    • Agree: bluedog
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  25. One of the more fascinating books that I have ever read was Robert Graves’s ‘Good-Bye to All That’. An honest account of a officer’s experience during WW1.

    Though he admitted that it is a third rate book written by himself under time pressure it scarily recounts the feelings and experiences of one put in the absurd circumstances of war. It is readable in spite of his intelligence because it is brief and a true chronicle.

    Of course Robert Graves became a writer of super-intelligent books (the I Claudius series for one) and many others that I confess are too erudite for me to read though at one point I thought that I was smart enough.

    My point was that in one of his WW1 experiences, during a frontal trench attack his regiment suffered 50% casualties and had to retreat under gruesome circumstances. They all eventually settled down and recovered as they were evacuated to the R&R trenches. A couple of months later, their colonel put them to stand in formation and announced

    ” I have great news for you lads! We have been granted the opportunity to avenge the honour of our comrades lost in the last scuffle!”

    Think about this. You went through the gates of hell charging clouds of barbed wire under intense machine gun fire, seeing your pals with which you had spent close contact with for months being cut down and barely escaping with your own life being lucky to be only wounded and this peacock comes by and tells you it is your lucky day to do it all over again!

    War is insane. Being a pirate makes sense, booty has a price and a reward. Charging hot lead for ‘democracy’ or ‘our way of life’ is stampeding the herd.
    Humans are herd animals. How else do you explain voting?


    • Replies: @Ace
  26. Dwright says:

    That movie couldn’t get made today.
    Great article by Fred that can only be written by someone old enough not to care who dislikes it.
    Also better written from Mexico.

    Lots of my wifes family participating inVFW. Run anything up the flag pole and they’ll salute and have a fund raiser for it. Same with police.

    You see all the old retired working guys along with geriatrics wearing their military ball caps. Never see any other social class doing that or involved in it. Sorry to say they have been played for suckers.

    As long as we support it or stay quiet we’ll just keep getting more of it. So it goes.

    • Replies: @Anon
  27. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “You see all the old retired working guys along with geriatrics wearing their military ball caps. Never see any other social class doing that or involved in it. Sorry to say they have been played for suckers.”

    I was born into a wealthy family and I joined the military and even, occasionally, wore one of those nifty embroidered ball caps. I didn’t do it for ‘patriotism’ or even the money (which for officers is quite good) I did it because I felt that killing other human beings would somehow make me a more complete, or highly evolved person. I was fascinated by the idea. When people ‘thank me for my service’ I thank them for their taxes. I didn’t do it for them, or some pie in the sky idea. I did it out my own morbid sociopathic curiosity. I don’t understand why most civilians are at least a little weirded out by veterans. “Oh they are punctual and reliable, due to the military discipline!” Never “So you joined up because you actually wanted to waste people?”

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  28. I cash-in on all the Veteran’s discounts I can get. I go to the VA hospital for all the little stuff and health maintenance items. That was the contract, and I remain very much aware that I got the worst of the deal. And I try not to grind my teeth at every shrill, bright-eyed cry of “Thanks for your service!”

    This may be the best writing Fred has ever done, in my opinion. Thanks, Fred. I wish I had the balls to grind a thumb into the military eye like you did.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  29. While I cringe at this piece, Mr. Reed, I can’t avoid believing you are largely correct, echoing many of my own feelings, including those regarding my own time in a couple of deployments to Iraq during the early days of the OIF cycle.

    The truth is, I thought I was actually contributing to the legitimate defense of my kith and kin, and was rudely awakened to the truth hidden in plain sight – and to which you bear witness in your article here – some years later. While I can’t help honouring my comrades with whom I served, I’m forced to admit that we weren’t contributing a thing to supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic, nor were we defending one damn freedom of any of the folks who really matter. If that were true, we’d be marching on Washington, and other strongholds of the corporatocracy/insurgency that maintains its power and profit at our and the rest of the world’s expense.

    I am flying the Stars and Bars on this, our local Confederate Memorial Day. Two of my ground-pounding ancestors who fought in the Army of Tennessee were at least attempting to defend their homes from an invader, instead of supporting the abstract aims of globalist oligarchs!

  30. I don’t buy the argument that we need soldiers strewn all over the world, in >150 countries, to protect our “interests” and “freedom.” That is hogwash. The global military empire is a ripoff and waste of taxpayer dollars and soldiers’ lives. If people disagree that is fine, and I say to them saddle up with your rifle ammo and combat boots and go off and kill those people that need killin’ — on your own dime.

    I don’t want my money going to the global military empire. I never voted for this. We are $20T in debt and it is time to bring this nonsense to halt. Close the bases, bring the equipment and soldiers home, and put some of the soldiers on our southern border. Let other countries sort out their own problems, and leave them alone. All this gets us is tax $$$ down the tubes, dead soldiers, and countries that resent our meddling.

    • Replies: @Rod1963
  31. I must preface this by saying I was only a lowly state guard guy, part of a unit that was set up to do chemical decontamination for nuclear, biological and germ warfare in the Northeast. Did not see the large picture, but as a personnel sergeant did see some of the officers and enlisted up close. Never shot a round in anger, never deployed, never faced any threat to my life, unlike Fred Reed who saw the elephant. So what I say is limited to what I have seen stateside.

    A fair number of these reservists were there for love of country and the right reasons. Many of them I had deep respect for, even the officers. That said not all, there were certainly folks who were off, or for themselves and nothing else, but that is equally true in private life.

    Many of the men I served with had what I consider to be very good character in comparison with those who did not. I am not negating what Fred says, certainly he saw more and all I saw was part timers in peace. But these folks were all willing to put themselves in harms way for their fellow citizens and the EIT, PLDC and BNCOC all taught me things about life that one simply does not get in any civilian training environment. A lot of the people I met really took the abstractions of honor, duty, courage and self sacrifice seriously.

    For example the senior warrant I reported to was Vietnam vet, of the 12th regiment, 1st Air Cav. Was at the famous Tet battle in Feb of 68′ where the 2nd Battalion of same had to march out at night when surrounded. Came back to the US, had issues with survivor guilt and ended up doing VA volunteer work. He was the man that taught me about duty and self sacrifice, in a way none of the well to do professionals I work with ever even came close too.

    The fact is if I had to generalize, ex-service men are, by enlarge, some of the best folks I have had to deal with, they are, in general better men than those that did not serve. I do not know why it is, but I suppose the test of character in their youth made them make some choices, which is reflected in their world view and subsequent actions in life. Most men need to have a coming of age experience, which is pretty much denied in our modern risk adverse world. But men need this testing to become fully male, to give up adolescent folly.

    One last comment: memorial day is about the war dead, not the vets. One of my personal problems with it is that he day should be somewhat somber, when I see ads for story sales, people going to the beach it all seems to be trite and warped.

    • Agree: Whoever, Ace
    • Replies: @anarchyst
  32. Whoever says: • Website

    Thanks, Sam, for writing that.
    I was going to post something, but…shrug.
    Fred seems to have lived in a Country Joe and the Fish song for the past 50 years. He should have realize by now that there is more to life than youthful poseur cynicism and shallow pop ditty lyrics are able to express.

    memorial day is about the war dead, not the vets.

    Yes. You have to be a really despicable person to intrude political invective into a remembrance of our dead. I guess Fred has never sat down and talked to a tombstone, having been reluctant to go to the cemetery, knowing how it would affect you, but once there, alternating talking and sitting silent, thinking and remembering, not wanting to leave even though the shadows grow longer and longer, but finally getting up, stiff-legged, saying good-bye and good-bye and good-bye and I’ll be back again much sooner than this last time. I promise. I promise….

  33. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Beautifully written.

    One of Freds best pieces to date.

  34. Mr. Reed, the next time you visit your beloved Mexico, please do us all a favor and remain there.

  35. Mr. Reed, your rant is true today, but it wasn’t true when America’s elite were still responsive in domestic policy to the American people.

    It is fitting and just to go to war for an elite that looks out for you domestically – as in strictly limiting immigration so that our own people enjoy ample employment by which to enjoy the fruits of their own labor and to bequeath further such opportunity to their progeny, as in not spying on us ordinary people and as in protecting our right not to be hounded and even fired for expressing ourselves frankly. But today our Ruling Elite Transnational Globali$t Open Border$ E$tabli$hment openly $ell us out and tyrannize us, both in foreign policy and in domestic policy, so that going to war for that E$tabli$hment is repugnant and, most of all, is no longer a moral obligation or duty.

  36. @Whoever

    Whoever, thanks for your comment. Now the grown-ups are talking. As for me, I admire Fred a lot, an awful lot. When I was a ten year old, he was a tougher ten year old than me. When he was 20, he was a tough guy, and I was an intellectual snowflake. That being said, I have fought in an American war, and I know what it is like – as does Fred – to have nearby people trying to kill you day after day. Sure I spent an hour or two of each day at a desk but 22 out of 24 hours I was at risk of being shot at, bombed, ambushed, or killed via rocket, with not much more than a thrift shop pistol to rely on for defense. You know something? Nobody fucking cares. And I don’t care. Fred is a tough guy with a right to his opinions and I am not going to criticize him. As for me I was not a “combat vet” and here is what I think – there are too many idiots on the internet who think they are tough who say only “combat” vets count. Well fuck them a lot of people who did what I did are dead, combat vets or not. Well, Fred, I like you, but a lot of your sycophants need to toughen up – you don’t need to toughen up, I have no problem with you. That being said, you, Fred Reed , grandchild of great Americans, are lucky to have been born in Virginia, which was only Virginia because men as good as you fought for Virginia. I hope I do as well for my grandchildren. And here is a hearty Fuck You to some of your sycophants. I wish I could buy you a whiskey Fred you seem like a great guy, I have bought whiskeys for lots of people who are not as interesting as you. Not that I care that much. America needs a lot more people like Fred Reed. And me, but that would be bragging. My gravestone will not have my war service on it – just my rank. Fuck you if you don’t like that.

  37. Michelle says:

    I love this scene in the movie, “Gallipoli” wherein the Australian boys are eagerly headed to Turkey to fight the Germans and they meet an old bushwacker in the outback who turns out to be far, far more wise than they are.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  38. Rod1963 says:
    @Flat Cat

    Mercs fight for anyone. They have no loyalty, none.

    Historically they are murderous scum and treacherous as hell.

    The fact that Blackwater puts out a good front doesn’t obviate that all. When Iraq was hot and heavy they brought South American death squad types because they ran out of Americans greedy and stupid enought to sign up.

    The reason we use them is if they are killed no one notices or cares. Most are just unstable losers who couldn’t handle a real job. Lots have drug and booze issues as well.,

    This is why under the rules of war you can execute mercs on the spot on the battlefield. Everyone knows they are the worst of the worst.

    Now for defense contractors. Most are just bloody ass leeches and criminals. It’s mostly a welfare program for people who can get up in the morning and be at work at a given time. Most of their work can be done by monkeys and school kids with six months of training.

    Really most of it isn’t demanding and that include flight test. The AF takes kids and inside of a year they are working on F-16’s and F-22’s. Albeit at 1/5th what some bloated contractor makes.

    I’ve seen it. I’ve see beer gutted contracts strut into a maintainers bull pen before Christmas and brags to them “I made more money this year than all of you put together” and he did. He didn’t lift a finger. Big fat guy(dead now from boozing and smokes) would sit around and yell orders to the Zoomies. Now the zoomies were the one pulling eighty to hundred hour work weeks not the spoiled contractor.

    The fact is contractors are very, very costly. The only reason we use so many of them is because they enrich the contractors. Most of the work can be done cheaper by uniformed personnel.

    It also has the added benefit of making the defense budget impossible to cut because then it impacts a congressional district somewhere in the U.s. So real cuts don’t happen.

  39. Rod1963 says:
    @Buck Turgidson

    Yes we have a military empire and it’s killing us. It’s killing our men for nothing and draining our treasury.

    When I hear the phrase “they died for our freedoms” I want to gag. Those men died for the empire and nothing else. None of the countries we’ve attacked since Vietnam was a military threat to us at all.

    All those new graves at Arlington are for nothing. The same thing for the men who gave up their limbs and sanity.

    I don’t fault the men in the least. They are literally forced into the military because of the global economy created by the very elites who send them to war overseas have destroyed the local economy.

    They were conscripts without being conscripted.

    As for the men who served many of them I met(mostly zoomies) were decent men. Their officers were a mixed bag. The few ex-Marines I met were a real mixed bag.

    But none of them deserved to die or be mutilated because some corporations wanted to enrich themselves.

    If there be hate, aim it at Congress and the defense contractors who have milked trillions out of every military intervention since Vietnam.

  40. tigana says:

    War as a Service…

    I think we are seeing more of algorithmic driven wars now (media/virtual and ballistics/physics) being played out by some very psychotic, playful humans at the top to try and strip mine the world of anything of any value. Invoking patriotism with saturated media bombing on all fronts (sports venues, news, movies, guns and violence in shows) is part of the ‘framework’.

    If countries can be compared to animals then it makes total sense why this is all happening. Some countries are just plain carnivorous and there is nothing we can do about it. It will continue to hone its killer instincts and game play as technology advances and maybe hedging its bets on our robotic counterparts to take part in offering ‘services’ ( War as a Service )

  41. Brilliant article. This one is a classic. Many will hate it. But it’s brilliant all the same. Hard truth is hard to swallow. Thank you, Fred.

  42. Charles A. Lindbergh, ´The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh’, New York, 1970
    A Pacific commander said to him ‘my boys do not take prisoners’.
    Okinawa, 7000 USA soldiers killed, 100.000 Japanese soldiers, and 40.000 Japanese civilians.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @utu
  43. @Michelle

    Australia and New Zealand sent troops to Europe to oblige GB to protect them against the French.
    It was Churchill’s first folly.
    The second one was WWII.
    He destroyed the British empire.
    Charmley’s book on this was never published in GB, just in a german translation.
    John Charmley, ‘Der Untergang des Britischen Empires, Roosevelt – Churchill und Amerikas Weg zur Weltmacht’, Graz 2005
    Translation: The destruction of the British empire, FDR – Churchill and the USA road to world power.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Wizard of Oz
  44. Ace says:
    @Timur The Lame

    Voting is an individual action taken in complete privacy in which you can ignore everything you heard or read prior to election day and make the best decisions you can in the context of an imperfect human enterprise.

  45. Fred Fred Cabbage Head, here is one more reason why the West must spread ‘western values’ around the world.

    #ManchesterOneLove | Unity, Celebrities & DIC* BICYCLES

    • Replies: @Rurik
  46. @Rod1963

    I agree Rod. I have military friends, come from a military family, and my work bumps up vs the military and individually are great people (for the most part, a little pushy sometimes, I ain’t perfect either). As an institution of discipline and conditioning and commaraderie, I also respect the military. These are not where my quibbles lie, however.

    It’s the global empire and the far flung pointless missions and the trillions of dollars our Congress rips off from us to enrich aerospace and military firms and contractors, in the name of “freedom” (my arse … “isn’t free” what a crock!) . Do Lockheed and Northrup Grummon’s PR people work with the Pentagon to feed us this baloney?

    We could bring the entire enterprise home, station soldiers on our southern border, downsize bigly, and it would save us money and be widely popular and we would not have to lose much of our military. Leave all muslim countries the hell alone and stop all immigration.

    Is this not eminently more sensible? I will not subscribe to the “yes but we HAVE TO be in Iraq…” Sez who? That is my $$ that you are using pal, do I not have a say in this?

    We are $20T in debt for crying out loud do people the magnittude of that number?

  47. Che Guava says:
    @Jim Sweeney

    Pearl Harbour was a set-up, a trap. Clearly avoidable, until the fleet was approaching and in comms silence.

    Rozenfeldt (promising to keep your country out of the war) was clearly desperate to enter the European war, but only after the USSR had taken the brunt of the German attack, had the bonus goal of extending the Monroe doctrine across the Pacific, then the Atlantic.

    Read Day of Deceit. Many references.

    On another line, another great article by Fred.

  48. @Priss Factor

    uS military did not defeat Germans. Soviet army did. And nobody contained Soviet Union as there was no plans to invade. You were just building own empire and committing agression after agression non stop.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  49. The Scalpel says: • Website

    “I have military friends, come from a military family, and my work bumps up vs the military and individually are great people”

    Yes, I’m sure that individually they are great people – great people who will kill you or anyone at the drop of a hat as long as someone in charge of them orders it. They all say that they would disobey an order they disagreed with, but that order never happens.

  50. @ Ace,

    Yes of course, but I believe that you have missed the point that they always only offer you the choice between Coke and Pepsi when what you need and want is pure spring water.


  51. DanCT says:

    You’ve got it right. It is sickening how many brave young American patriots have gone to their deaths or been mutilated following the orders of costumed bureaucrats, whom “our boys” tragically mistook for patriots and warriors like themselves.

    Those generals on TV and in the Pentagon are quintessentially bureaucrats, mistaken for soldiers solely for the costume, whose careers got going not because of their leadership qualities under fire, but for the opposite reason, because they were identified early on for the globalists’ martinets they might become, then plucked out of harm’s way and assigned to ride their way up starting at a desk in a headquarters company.

    What’s doubly tragic is so many millions of America’s little children being indoctrinated into the statolatry of a radically secularizing and anti-Christian Amerika and turned into future cannon fodder under the guise of Christian evangelicalism in “churches.” These places, like Hagee’s Cornerstone Church, are little more than weekend civic centers in which the only symbolism to be found consists of American and Israeli flags and a photo gallery of their uniformed sons and daughters willing to die for materialism and to protect LGBT rights, abortion, and a pop culture whose only unifying theme is its hatred of everything Christian.

    • Agree: anarchyst
  52. Che Guava says:
    @jilles dykstra

    I am appreciating your posts in this thread (and others at times), the ocean battle of Okinawa, the part at sea was very successful against the USA. Huge tonnage of US ships sunk. The film footage reflects the magnificent defence.

    Once they were ashore, very cruel, much use of flamethrowers, of napalm most of the time by then, a little poison gas, etc.

    Yet a large number of the civilian deaths among Okinawan civilians were dead from being used as human shields and from forced suicides by the Imperial Army, not the US Marines and Army.

    That remains very controversial, but it is true. Ryukyuans or Okinawans don’t see themselves as Japanese. The colonisation was very recent, more so at the time.

  53. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    I cash-in on all the Veteran’s discounts I can get.

    Dad insisted on the government-issue bronze headstone. He/we could have had something different, but “the Army owes this to me.” It sinks and becomes overgrown within 3 months. When I’m no longer around to clean it up, who will make sure dad’s grave is still marked?
    My grandparents died 75 years ago. They have simple but granite headstones. They have never been in danger of disappearing.

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  54. Agent76 says:

    *All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars* By Michael Rivero

    I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations. There is ample precedent for this.

    26.03.2017 D. Rockefeller’s Gruesome Legacy

    The death of David Rockefeller, the de facto Patriarch of the American establishment, at age 101, is being greeted by establishment media with praise for his alleged philanthropy. I would like to contribute to a more honest picture of the person.

  55. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    the defense contractors who have milked trillions out of every military intervention since Vietnam


    Defense contractors have been milking millions since at least Lincoln’s war when the scum of Yankeeland flooded DC trying to sell the War Dept. the latest goods.

    The case might even be made that it was going on in 1813 when the national “mascot” was named after a defense contractor, Uncle Sam(uel) Wilson.

    How do you think “Daddy” Warbucks got his name in the 1920’s comic?

  56. anarchyst says:
    @Sam the Man

    Good post…
    I would like to add to that…
    Almost to a man, anyone who served in a combat zone is against the seemingly endless wars that our country’s leaders (along with Israel) put us in.
    I do not regret my service, and am a better person for it…
    Let’s not forget, EVERY veteran who has served both in peacetime and times of war has signed a “blank check” payable “for up to one’s life”. No other occupation comes close.
    Just sayin’…

    • Agree: Whoever
  57. anarchyst says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    If we were on the right side of WW2, we would have encouraged (and even helped) Germany conquer and destroy the (Jewish-run) Bolsheviks.
    Instead, we made the world safe for Jewish Bolsheviks and communism and lived with it for over 50 years.

    • Agree: Stonehands
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  58. @Priss Factor

    I guess your last paragraph is a joke ? Anyway, as an aside:
    Apparently, after WWII there was a “push” to make the army (not marines) more … gentle, more human ? Discipline was relaxed, training modified, etc. The chickens came home to roost in Korea: one “bug out”after another. Basically, the US Army collapsed in those first months (thank god for air supremacy !).
    So, I guess the lesson is, an army can only be so progressive…

    • Replies: @David In TN
  59. fnn says:
    @Priss Factor

    That said, US did good in defeating Germany and Japan in WWII, and we have to credit the US military for containing communism during the Cold War…

    Our new religion (the one that replaced Christianity) has elevated Hitler to Satan, so it’s hard to admit that WW2 was really about a great expansion of the American Empire and the silly Brits vainly hoping they could hang on to their own. The German-Polish conflict was transformed into WW2 because FDR pressured Britain into making guarantees it could not fulfill and pushed Poland to reject negotiation with Germany. The Cold War was essentially fake because the Sovs were never going to invade Western Europe. There *were* pointless conflicts in the Third World to please the MIC and CIA .

    FDR’s plans to incite war in Europe:

    Other truthful books on WW2:

  60. anarchyst says:

    Having served in Vietnam, I observed first-hand the “military industrial complex” in action.
    A consortium of worldwide civil engineering companies were awarded very lucrative contracts for infrastructure repair and development in Vietnam.
    The “biggie” was RMK-BRJ, a contraction of Robertson Morrison-Knudsen and Brown and Root-Johnson.
    Morrison-Knudsen is a well-known civil engineering firm that brought none other than Lyndon Baines Johnson on board with its contracts. Lyndon Johnson did quite well financially from this arrangement.
    Brown and Root is another well-known civil engineering firm that brought Senator A. Willis Robertson on board, who also made a killing on defense contracts. As an aside, Senator Robertson was televangelist Pat Robertson’s “daddy”.
    Both Johnson and Robertson profited handsomely from the Vietnam war.
    RMK-BRJ utilized local Vietnamese labor while being paid the “loaded rate” based on American wage rates.
    We had a saying…”War is big business, and business is good”. It sure was good for the “connected”…
    Such a deal…

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  61. Dr. X says:

    I am very conflicted about this article.

    I think Fred is spot-on for about 95% of it, but my disagreement comes from what appears to be his animosity toward the soldiers rather than the government they serve.

    Compared to the lazy, fat, stupid civilian scum out there, most of the soldiers I’ve been acquainted with are admirable people. They have discipline, physical fitness, a can-do attitude, and a team ethic. The military takes kids who, left to their own devices, would have been fat, longhaired, worthless punks sleeping in their mothers’ basements until noon and smoking weed and playing video games all day long, and turns them into fit people with skills and a clean appearance. They learn how to schedule, plan, and accomplish things. The military teaches zitty kids to look you in the eye and say “Good morning, sir!” instead of stumbling sullenly past with their hat on backward and face buried in an iPhone.

    Armies are necessary. Soldiers are necessary. Without them, it’s a given that eventually your country will be conquered by someone else. The world has always been a dog-eat-dog environment and national defense is undoubtedly a necessity.

    Without soldiers, there would have been no United States. Were Washington and Hamilton the scum of the Earth for killing the British? I don’t think so.

    That being said, there’s no doubt whatsoever that, for the past century, the U.S. military has been used as an imperial tool of progressive elitists. Germans, Italians, Serbs, Iraqis, Koreans, and Vietnamese never threatened the U.S. for so much as ten seconds, yet our troops were told to kill them for “our freedoms.” Hogwash.

    It’s not the troops I have the problem with, it’s the political elites who have deviated from the Founders’ advice to stay the hell out of the rest of the world’s affairs.

    • Agree: anarchyst
  62. @Simply Simon

    Those wars you call stupid were actually criminal wars. If USA were to start similar war against major power and lose, those who started it would end up hang just like Nazis.

  63. @anarchyst

    If we were on different blog I would tell you what I think of something like you.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  64. anarchyst says:
    @Dr. X

    Fred Reed should know better. He falls into the same trap as those who protested against the Vietnam War, blaming the warrior, rather than the “people at the top” who make the decisions.
    Fred Reed is correct in calling out those who engage us in “wars of misadventure” for their own crass purposes, but blaming the low-level trooper is not the way to go…

    • Replies: @Rurik
    , @grr
  65. anarchyst says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    pray tell…I can take it…I don’t blame you for your love of communism…that is all you have ever known.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  66. Rurik says:

    but blaming the low-level trooper is not the way to go…

    but it’s time to stop ‘honoring their service’

    it’s past time to continue treating the US military as if they had a shred of legitimacy. They don’t. Not anymore.

    It is time that we Americans all look down on the military for being ultimately what they are; war criminals and mass murderers in the service of a criminal enterprise in the ‘holy land’. (the Fiend)

    no more young American boys and girls suited up by their parents and sent to kill innocent people who’ve done us no harm, or get killed themselves, or come home like this

    there’s no honor in killing people based on lies, and we all damn-well know by now that every single war in the Middle East since the Kuwaiti incubators have all been based on lies.

    that the drone murders are war crimes and atrocities (it is no accident when they drone a wedding. The optics on those drones are extremely good, better than what we’re privy to. They know what they’re droning, and they target weddings deliberately to send a message of terror.

    our government and military are drooling servants of the Fiend. We’re inadvertently responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent men, women and children from Serbia to Afghanistan to Iraq and Libya and Syria and elsewhere. Millions of people have lost their family members and homes and villages to wanton, bloodthirstily slaughter, that we Americans have perpetrated on behalf of psychopathic Zionists and Jewish supremacist$.

    we’re past the time when the pretense of joining or serving in the military can be considered an honorable profession. We’re past the time when we Americans should thank our service men for what they’ve done and are doing. They’re murderers, and they need to be treated as such.

    I used to be an apologist for the poor young men and women who join, and in a way still am, because I know what it’s like to have zero options, but now more than ever, I want those poor young men and women to avoid the military at all costs. Just look at how they come back! They’re committing suicide at epidemic levels, and to the (obvious) elation of the Fiend, who no longer has to pay for medical treatment. In fact, I suspect that the Fiend hates these young Americans more even than they hate the Muslims. So as they come back, and are abandoned and rejected by the Veterans Affairs, they often just snuff it, and the Fiend quietly gloats. Such a deal!

    So now it is time, from the length and breath of this nation, to reject the notion of the military as honorable or virtuous. Not any more. They’re murderers and war criminals in the service of an enemy nation. If you doubt that, check out the article on the USS Liberty on Unz right now.

    When they do flybys at football games or try to recruit at your local high school, we Americans should treat them like the cockroaches they are, trying to encourage your children to kill innocent people or die trying, in the service of their most insidious, invidious enemy.

    They’ll go over there, and be forced to watch as our military slaughters innocent people, (or do so themselves), and when they come home some Veterans diversity psychologist trained in Lebanon or India, will proscribe some mind / soul numbing pharmaceutical or until they realize just how Satanic our government really is, and how they’ve used, and then seek the only relief to their spiritual desolation in suicide.

    no more

    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
  67. Agent76 says:

    Feb 1, 2016 Obedience Training: The Truth about the Pledge of Allegiance

    A look into the origins of the pledge of allegiance – mandatory regurgitation for school children – reveals that it was actually created by a magazine in 1892 in order to sell flags to schools, and the pledge was created by Francis Bellamy to create a reason for schools to buy the flags.

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  68. utu says:
    @jilles dykstra

    In WWII against Japanese Americans never had any intentions of taking any POW’s. Only towards the very end of war soldiers were encouraged to take POW’s by being offered ice-cream for desert and furlough. This improved the statistics somewhat but initially the ratio of killed to captured was extremely high of 100:1. The war against Japan and Japanese was a slaughter in the purest form.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @David In TN
  69. The Scalpel says: • Website

    “Let’s not forget, EVERY veteran who has served both in peacetime and times of war has signed a “blank check” payable “for up to one’s life”. No other occupation comes close.”

    That’s because most people aren’t that ignorant. Regrettably, for a certain period of my life, I was one of the ignorant ones

  70. Sowhat says:

    Fred, if you read this, I want you to know that I agree with you, fully. Thank you. Every time I have to watch an Miltary ad, paid by my tax dollars, during a football game, I have to change the channel. I get that ill.
    Having recently finished F. William Engdal’s The God’s of Money, I am reminded of the last chapter in which he draws all of the similarities between the Romans, as their empire was crumbling, and our “Exceptional” “United” States of America that they’ve already pulled the plug on. I love what the Founding Fathers founded. But I loath what it has become. Don’t dare anyone tell me to “get out, then!” I learned how to shoot as a child, before basic training, and someday, mine can find a home in your dead ass. This Is My Country, Land that I Love… But, I despise the MIIC and the Money Trust and the American Century and Every President that They have ALWAYS installed and what they, with all of their deceit, have really stood for. My jaw dropped to the floor on the morning that Little Bush had ordered his “Shock and Awe” on Bagdad. I knew enough about civics to know that he ordered something diametrically opposed to our constitution and I thought about all of the innocents that died, profiting the few. Thanks, Fred. You’re my true “brother. The rest need to educate themselves and shut up until they do.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  71. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Dr. X

    Those soldiers you love so much are the ones who do all the killing and all the destruction of homes and infrastructure. They do it for the reasons Fred stated. Those are not good reasons. The leaders don’t do any of that. They simply make it permissible for the soldiers to do it. The soldiers on both sides have more in common with each other then they do with the government officials authorizing them to fight. In general, they are in it for fun, adventure, profit, respect, and mistaken beliefs.

    When one country conquers another, in general, the people who did not fight go about their daily lives more or less unchanged. They simply pay their taxes to a different government. Maybe one government is better at supplying healthcare and another is better at supplying microwave ovens. That’s the big difference

  72. @Priss Factor

    the fact remains that officers and soldiers still have no agency. They must do as told. They must be like attack dogs. They must never think or offer criticism.

    So true, Priss.
    Why, that’s the concept that was upheld so vigorously and righteously at Nuremberg, isn’t it, Priss: “officers and soldiers have no agency; they only follow orders.”
    No German soldier was hanged or imprisoned for “just following orders.” None. Zed.

  73. Agent76 says:

    Jun 6, 2017 How This Man Created the Modern American Financial System (2005)

    Martin’s connection to the Federal Reserve was forged through his family heritage. In 1913, Martin’s father was summoned by President Woodrow Wilson and Senator Carter Glass to help write the Federal Reserve Act that would establish the Federal Reserve System on December 23 that same year. His father later served as governor and then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

  74. @ utu,

    Yes, and there was also a fundamentally racist frame of mind that existed then. I read many accounts about incidents such as carving out and boiling down Japanese skulls to make into ashtrays to send home. One would never think of doing that to a dead German soldier no matter how fierce an encounter.

    The only other example of bestial conduct I have read about and also heard from first person accounts is Soviet atrocities on the eastern front. Perhaps there was a military underpinning towards such conduct in a total war scenario but it would have turned the strongest western stomach to witness the aftermath.

    Most Russians carry that Mongol gene ( cue Christopher Walken) and when they get nasty they really get nasty.


    • Replies: @utu
  75. anarchyst says:

    You make some very valid points that are well taken. If I may suggest, re-instituting the draft with NO “college deferments” or other “ways out” (everybody serves, regardless of social status) would do much to reign in the quest for wars–sticking our noses where they do not belong.
    When the sons (and now daughters) of the fat cats and politicians have to serve, THAT might cause them to tread more carefully.
    We also have to prohibit the concept of “dual citizenship” and deport all those who hold such status, especially those who hold citizenship with that “certain little country” in the middle east…along with the forty or so congressmen and senators who hold dual citizenship with that “certain little country”.

    • Replies: @Sowhat
  76. Don Bacon says:

    In a speech delivered in 1933, General Smedley Butler said:
    “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.”

    • Agree: anarchyst
  77. @Dr. X

    Were Washington and Hamilton the scum of the Earth for killing the British?

    Hamilton was always scum but not because he killed the British. Washington became scum when he started killing Pennsylvania farmers.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  78. utu says:
    @Timur The Lame

    Forget about genes. Cultures, political systems and circumstances can make any people nasty. I won’t be looking for a gene that explains American or Soviet nastiness. Who was more nasty: Soviets on Eastern Front or Americans in Pacific Theater? They are the winners who wrote and keep writing the history, so it is hard to find information about their atrocities as they keep sanitizing it.

  79. @anarchyst

    Let’s not forget, EVERY veteran who has served both in peacetime and times of war has signed a “blank check” payable “for up to one’s life”. No other occupation comes close.

    In recent years, loggers and fishermen both have a higher death rate per 100,000 than members of the military.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  80. anarchyst says:
    @Chris Mallory

    You are correct. However, loggers and fishermen can “walk away” from their occupations. Not so for the soldier who will be prosecuted and imprisoned for “walking away”…

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  81. @anarchyst

    I agree it is a sucker contract. I signed my name with thoughts of patriotism, but one enlistment was more than enough to show me the truth and I got out as soon as my time was up.

  82. @Anon

    This right here is perfect. Im sure more and more people are joining for this reason (joining to just kill people). So did you “evolve” or did you still feel empty inside?

  83. Miro23 says:

    “Our Boys” are not patriots. A recruit signs up because he needs a job, or from boredom, or thinks being a soldier might get him laid in Asia, or wants college money, or to prove himself. Patriotism is an aftermarket bolt-on. It can get you free drinks in a lot of bars. Especially if you have a wound. Wounds usually come from bad luck or incompetence, but you can peddle them for drinks.

    The public, middle class and up, does not “support the troops.” The majority do not serve, do not know anyone who does, and avoids soldiers as sex-crazed riffraff. Which is not too far off the mark.

    This is sort of relative. Real patriotism comes from real threats.

    When Russia was on the verge on being defeated by Germany in 1941, Russian youths didn’t join the Red Army because they needed a job, were bored, or thought they might get laid. It wasn’t called “The Great Patriotic War” for nothing and represented a 100% effort from top to bottom to defend Russian soil. They were forced to serve but went willingly to fight in titanic battles with enormous loss of life.

    Stalin wisely tossed out the Bolshevik Jews (they weren’t Russians and the country would never unite around their internationalist ideas) and he achieved a very solid national effort to match the same on the German side.

    Still today the Russians still can’t understand why the French didn’t fight when France was invaded.

    • Replies: @grr
  84. @anonymous

    The bronze head stone, if you digg out an area about 6 inches under the headstone and place a piece of plywood thats 2-3 times the surface area of the headstone, it should help displace enough weight to prevent the sinking for some years. Its not a permanent fix, but its better then nothing.

    • Replies: @yeah
  85. @ utu,

    Actually you may be wrong there. I made reference to the Mongol gene with an actual view to the past. Read up on Kievan Rus history and you will see the the Golden Horde had it’s way for a very long time and had an undeniable contribution to the gene pool.

    The Russian form of ruthlessness has the earmarks of being an Asiatic trait. For sure nobody has a monopoly on atrocious behavior especially when at war but national traits do exist.

    A Russian historian lectured me on this. I found it far fetched at the time being a “we is all ekaals” type like you at the time but eventually came to see that there was wisdom in his words.

    One of the first culture shocks I had when I spent time in Eastern Europe immediately after the implosion of the USSR was that they talked very bluntly about things that were off limits to us due to political correctness. Women, nationalities, homos etc were dealt with in the manner of the wisdom of the ages. I don’t think that we really realize how our minds are manipulated in the manner of a Chinese water torture.

    As a minor example, a schoolyard ditty I remember as a kid went ” Daniel Boone was a man, was a biiig man, but the bear was bigger so he ran like a nigger up a tree…” Ha ha and that was it. Now if a teacher overheard this, parents would be called, counseling would be mandated and a government study would be undertaken to see if African Americans or the poor bear was insulted. Daniel Boone? Well he is whitey so he doesn’t matter.

    I am obviously belabouring my point but it can’t be over stated that a “we are the world” mentality goes against accumulated wisdom. Genetic traits do exist and they can be found in large measure within nations, political structures notwithstanding.


    • Replies: @Sowhat
  86. bluedog says:
    @Chris Mallory

    Hamilton was always scum a product of the British who he loved so well,he even set up the treasury as his British peers had done, for at the center of the treasury we shall place a group of wealthy individuals who will build the ships build the factories create the trade and all the rest, and of course those wealthy few were the bankers..”The Life of Washington”

    • Replies: @utu
  87. @animalogic

    “Apparently, after WWII there was a ‘push’ to make the army (not marines) more…gentle, more human? Discipline was relaxed, training modified, etc. The chickens came home to roost in Korea: one ‘bug out’ after another. Basically the US Army collapsed in those first months (thank god for air supremacy!).”

    Yes, that’s pretty much what happened. The Sensitive Civilians had been complaining in the post-war novels that the US army was a “fascist” organization.

  88. Sowhat says:

    I may be past my prime but still have fire in the belly. A good fracus may be the only way to rid ourselves of this tyranny. The rest of the world would want to have the same chains broken.

    History does repeat itself and America looks so much like the Roman Empire as it fell. The Romans had a draft for their army but had spread themselves so thin and so far that they finally went to mercenaries and, eventually, they become more ineffective, lazy, and then useless.

    I’m convinced that we’ve been taken and “weighed in the balances a found wanting.” Surely we can all see that the representatives of “the people are Not and haven’t been for a long time Our house is falling into serious disrepair in more than a few ways. We’ve been unplugged from prosperity and the majority lack moral fiber, civility, and self-respect.

    A debt-based society can’t float forever.

  89. Sowhat says:
    @Timur The Lame

    I recently read that the Greeks and early Romans had red and blonde hair and fair skin but as they conquered, they made whoopi with their dark haired, dark skinned slaves/spoils of war and no one stopped the practice. Eventually, they had African and Eastern European genes mixed in and later Romans had, like later Greeks, dark curly hair and darker skin.

  90. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Time to take the meds again and consult priest or psychiatrist if not a historian.

    Your first sentence is just out-and-out barmy: too much rubbish to unpick.

    As for Charmley and his book you say was never published in GB as if that implied something: he had already published many (widely criticised) books and articles in English blaming Churchill for the break up of the British Empire. Also, why translate Untergang as “destruction” when it is much more logically, and certainly usually, translated “decline” or perhaps “downfall”? Spengler’s “Der Untergang des Abendlandes” is never translated as “The Destruction of the West”. Stop behaving like a sneaky second rate con man.

  91. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Where were these land battles fought by Americans against Japanese before Okinawa in which Americans had the option of taking prisoners? Are you unaware of the total refusal of Japanese to allow themselves to be captured?

    You write as though you claim to know something but if you don’t know that about the 1940s Japanese you should refrain from displaying your ignorance.

    How come the Japanese could reliably order hundreds of young men to be kamikaze pilots? Please don’t try and do a citizen’s arrest on the first suicide bomber you come across in your local shopping mall.

    • Replies: @utu
  92. utu says:

    But Hamilton was against free trade and thus helped to develop industry that made America self sufficient. He had influence on Georg Friedrich List who did the same (and more) for Germany. It was Hamilton and List who began the dismantling of economic power of the British Empire.

  93. utu says:

    Are you unaware of the total refusal of Japanese to allow themselves to be captured?

    You are mixing the cause and the effect. Japanese were reluctant to surrender because they were afraid (for good reason) that they will be killed anyway.
    On one occasion he commented to a group of senior officers that very few Japanese seemed to be taken prisoner.

    “Oh, we could take more if we wanted to,” one of the officers replied. “But our boys don’t like to take prisoners.

    “It doesn’t encourage the rest to surrender when they hear of their buddies being marched out on the flying field and machine-guns turned loose on them.”

    an Australian posted to Goodenough Island off Papua New Guinea. “Japanese are still being shot all over the place,” he wrote. “The necessity for capturing them has ceased to worry anyone. Nippo soldiers are just so much machine-gun practice. Too many of our soldiers are tied up guarding them.”
    They sometimes massacred prisoners of war.[90] Dower states that in “many instances … Japanese who did become prisoners were killed on the spot or en route to prison compounds”.[74] According to Aldrich it was common practice for U.S. troops not to take prisoners.[91] This analysis is supported by British historian Niall Ferguson,[92] who also says that, in 1943, “a secret [U.S.] intelligence report noted that only the promise of ice cream and three days leave would … induce American troops not to kill surrendering Japanese”.[92]

    Ferguson states such practices played a role in the ratio of Japanese prisoners to dead being 1:100 in late 1944. That same year, efforts were taken by Allied high commanders to suppress “take no prisoners” attitudes,[92] among their own personnel (as these were affecting intelligence gathering) and to encourage Japanese soldiers to surrender. Ferguson adds that measures by Allied commanders to improve the ratio of Japanese prisoners to Japanese dead, resulted in it reaching 1:7, by mid-1945. Nevertheless, taking no prisoners was still standard practice among US troops at the Battle of Okinawa, in April–June 1945.[92]

    Ulrich Straus, a US Japanologist, suggests that frontline troops intensely hated Japanese military personnel and were “not easily persuaded” to take or protect prisoners, as they believed that Allied personnel who surrendered, got “no mercy” from the Japanese.[93] Allied soldiers believed that Japanese soldiers were inclined to feign surrender in order to make surprise attacks.[93] Therefore, according to Straus, “Senior officers opposed the taking of prisoners on the grounds that it needlessly exposed American troops to risks”.[93] When prisoners nevertheless were taken at Guadalcanal, interrogator Army Captain Burden noted that many times these were shot during transport because “it was too much bother to take him in”.[94]

    Ferguson suggests that “it was not only the fear of disciplinary action or of dishonor that deterred German and Japanese soldiers from surrendering. More important for most soldiers was the perception that prisoners would be killed by the enemy anyway, and so one might as well fight on”.[92]

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  94. @Agent76

    I remeber reading when i was younger that the flag was never ment to be sold, or worn as clothing. I can’t seem to find where tho….

  95. @utu

    Ever try to take a Japanese soldier prisoner during WWII?

  96. utu says:

    “Military life in general depraves men. It places them in conditions of complete idleness, that is, absence of all rational and useful work; frees them from their common human duties, … also puts them into conditions of servile obedience to those of higher ranks than themselves.”

    ― Leo Tolstoy Resurrection Or, The Awakening, 1899

  97. @jilles dykstra

    What kind of medication are you on?
    Your delusions of omniscience may fit you in quite well on many an Unz Review thread but the idea that Australia and New Zealand sent troops to Europe so that Britain would have to defend them against the French is lunatic. Remember the Entente Cordiale? But you won’t remember, because you never knew that Australians went off to late 19th century British campaigns and the Boer War because Australia wasn’t a wholly independent country until the Statute of Westminster 1931 was finally adopted (even then leaving it open to appeal from Australian courts to the Privy Council till the 1980s). And when ANZACs first landed in Europe it was actually in Turkey against the German ally Turkey.

    And what are you implying by saying that Charmley wrote a book not published in Britain about Churchill and the “Untergang” of the British Empire? He wrote many books in English published in the UK accusing Churchill of damaging the empire. Also “destruction” is a non standard and tendentious translation of Untergang as you should know. “Decline” or maybe “downfall” would be honest. Cp. Spengler’s “Der Untergang des Abendlandes” – always “The Decline of the West”.

  98. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    My question of chronology remains. And what of the actual known training of Japanese and their honour culture which makes Pakis who kill their daughters look like snivelling drips? Ever heard of hara kiri, and what of the Japs who stayed in the jungle for decades after the war?

    Japanese POWs in Australia – nearly 2500 in 1944 – staged a suicidal breakout (Google “Cowra breakout”) in August 1944 despite it being obvious Japan was going to be defeated.

    The attitude of Australian soldiers wouldn’t have been softened by the deliberate killing of the Australians, Indians and Chinese militia wounded who had to be left behind in Malaya after one of the Brits’ (in this case under Australian command) first clear defeats in Malaya in January 1942.

    Despite having Japanese relations that I love and respect I cannot help taking notice of the observations of young business and professional people who have spent years in Japan to the effect that, for most Japanese, others aren’t quite human. Considering our lot’s old attitudes like “the only good Injun is a dead Injun” it really shouldn’t be difficult to grasp that those shouting Banzai as they charged machine guns may have been brought up in a never-surrender culture. (It is worth observing that the Japanese were still having huge families a generation after the Europeans whose sons went “over the top” stupidly in WW1 were no longer doing so.

  99. Aditya “Adi” Barot, atheistic Hindu and Alt-Right haus-hajji at your service.

    Mr. Reed’s darkly entertaining screed is completely accurate and utterly irrelevant. Whilst Mr. Reed may fancy himself the second coming of Ambrose Bierce with the political insight of Plato reborn, he is merely regurgitating received wisdom concerning professional armies since time immemorial.

    The Founders did not create a standing Union army for the same reasons that were cited by the Carthaginians who always employed mercenaries. Professional soldiers, especially the good ones, are stone-cold killers, and the army is a dangerous and effective tool for repression.

    Nothing new or particularly insightful.

    The US military is neither uniquely good nor bad. However, it is uniquely obedient to its civilian masters since there has never been a military coup even though MY BOYS could liquidate the civilian administration and their armed Praetorians in a single evening. Many of us would rejoice to the sight of our elected officials and their armed goons in blue swinging from lamp-posts or keeled over with acute lead poisoning.

    Mr. Reed’s state of mind is known to G-d alone. But he is neither healthy nor sound. In fact, he is an utter failure and a coward since he specializes in removing himself away from responsibility of his nation and, from that safe distance, insulting it, conveniently forgetting that the only reason his wrinkled sun-burnt arse prowls the turd world like a lame lion is because “OUR BOYS” spread holy terror in the heart of all our enemies and force them to respect OUR people and friends.

    Mr. Reed is not a misanthrope. He is simply curdled milk: sour, unhealthy and utterly worthless.

    • Replies: @Anon
  100. grr says:

    Jim Sweeney, Pearl Harbour was absolutely avoidable! What rock have you been under all of these decades? The military blockade of Japan gave them the cause; US president and brass knew it was coming, Australian signals Intelligence also gave warnings.
    Only the shit ships of the NAVY were there; prized ships were moved away earlier.
    It was a giant set up and your dopey sailors were sacrificed.

  101. grr says:
    @Priss Factor

    LOL, watched too many John Wayne movies? USSR defeated the germans; they had 10 times the divisions to contend with.

    • Agree: bluedog
    • Replies: @Sarah Toga
  102. grr says:

    anarchyst, if the “low-level trooper” had any balls and brains he would organise and sit out, refuse to obey illegal and/or immoral orders, which by the way is his right. But they go along to get along. They are as much to blame as the prostiticians that make the wars & sends them same.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  103. grr says:

    The French did fight; it was only the cowardly ruling class represented by Vichy that collaborated. The French Resistance was a huge partisan effort.

  104. yeah says:
    @Delinquent Snail

    Or you could piss on it; that’s about all he deserves.

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  105. anarchyst says:

    Easier said than done. In Vietnam, there WERE refusals at the company and squad level, some of which went unpunished. Please realize, that in many cases you are dealing with 18 and 19-year-old soldiers who may not have the maturity to resist following an illegal, questionable order. I agree that “just following orders” does not justify questionable activities.
    Now if we could just hold Israel and the IDF to the same standards…

  106. anarchyst says:

    OOPS! I got the two benefactors of the military industrial complex mixed up…Brown and Root Johnson…Robertson Morrison Knudsen…

  107. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve read Fred’s stuff on and off for 20 years and by no means always laughed and applauded. But I wish the old curmudgeon well in his semi-retirement. But I write now to suggest to you Pilgrim786 that you reflect on what you have written and what it may say about you.

    You seem to have little knowledge of Fred Reed or his work. In particular you criticise and abuse while showing no apparent interest in his real, physical not mental, state of health or why he is not living in the United States, but, instead, in a climatically and otherwise agteeable part of Mexico.

    I shall look for some specific redress before I read your comments in the expectation that the wisdom of a man of civil manners and calm judgment will be expressed there.

  108. Realist says:

    Fox News is one of the worst at glorifying the ‘Boys Of War’.

    The way this country honors, excuses and promotes the slaughter of war attests to the stupidity of most of it’s citizens.

  109. woodNfish says:

    I felt nothing but embarrassment, because the applause of course implied that I had made some big personal sacrifice for my country because I was a patriot–which of course was not the case.

    I have posted here and on other sites that I will not stand for the national anthem at football games and I don’t suck up to vets with the “thank you for your service” line of BS because not a single war or military action since the end of WWII had anything to do with our national security. The same is true with Iraq and Afghanistan. Now I have no problem with war for revenge and I think we should have bombed Saudi Arabia back into the sand and nuked the surface into glass, but we didn’t for all the reasons Fred stated.

    This country, our government and the history we force feed our children are all corrupt lies.

  110. woodNfish says:

    This article is a real generalization from Fred, but it is also mostly correct and something I have been saying for years. I always get trashed for saying it too. The truth will not win you any popularity contests.

  111. @yeah

    Thats…. Kinda fucked up….. Its his fathers tombstone. Regardless what you feel on the matter, its the mans final resting place and should be respected.

    • Replies: @Stonehands
  112. That the armed forces stand ready to defend the rights and freedoms of Americans from foreign attack makes it unnecessary for them to actually do so, and they deserve our gratitude and respect for that much. But only three times since the US became an independent nation have its forces actually fought in defense of America:
    1) War of 1812
    2) World War 2 (Japan attacked, and Germany declared war)
    3) The first attack on Afghanistan which deposed the Taliban, who were complicit in 9/11.

    All other wars involving American forces were fought to defend the rights of foreigners, violate the rights of foreigners, or violate the rights of Americans. Reasonable people can disagree as to which of these to apply to which wars, but none of them were to defend Americans.

    • Replies: @Stonehands
  113. @Rex Little,

    ” 3) The first attack on Afghanistan which deposed the Taliban, who were complicit in 9/11″

    The drugs you must be taking to write something like that come courtesy of the ‘deposed’ Taliban.


  114. bluedog says:

    War of 1812 your probably correct the other two should have been thrown out with the after-birth,for they were created wars the wanted wars the bankers wars…

  115. @Delinquent Snail

    Headstones attest to the folly and vanity of Western Man. Another idiotic custom for the consumer.

  116. @Rex Little

    The attack on Afghanistan restored- and the military protects- the poppy fields that the Taliban eliminated.

    • Agree: bluedog
  117. @A Retired US Seviceman

    What’s the matter sugarplum? Truth hurt? Do we 300 million have to pacify the 7 billion on this planet because they belong to the USSA as our slaves? Did you get erections when you were killing people in their own back yards? Do you keep pictures of John Wayne Gacy, Dunglas MacArthur and other mass murders on your wall for your masturbation fantasies? Did you ever meet anyone who wasn’t a robotic monkey such as yourself who you didn’t wish you could kill or imprison? Do you ache in your bones to destroy everyone who doesn’t appreciate your “service”? How many marriages have you had? When you have sex do you close your eyes and relive the rapings you and your filthy confederates committed upon the native population? Did you ever cover for the pedophiles in uniform? Is your default humor mode set to Gallows? Is your entire worldview predicated on Us vs. Them? Do you think you’ll never be held accountable for what you did? Do you believe that any military scrub who dies in the defense of Merica automatically goes to Heaven like Muslims do? Do two wrongs make a right?

    May all you unrepentant mass murdering military fiends burn in Hell forever for what you’ve done. Oh, and thank you for somehow ensure that I still have the right to say what I want because you dolts in cloth make that happen. Stupid Ape.

  118. @grr

    Purely hypothetical – what if Germany had defeated the Soviets?
    What would have happened next?
    Do you know of any good books that speculate/elaborate on such a scenario?

    I know the saying, “… we’d speak German east of the Mississippi and Japanese west of …” but I think it would have been far messier.

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