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Pence Goes to War: America Will be Fighting Forever
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On May 25th Vice President Mike Pence was the featured speaker at the United States Military Academy commencement. His speech was predictably an encomium celebrating both the diversity and the success of the newly commissioned officers as well as of the system at West Point that had produced them, but it also included interesting insights into how he and the other non-veterans who dominate the policy making in the White House see the military.

Most media commentary on the speech was either shocked or pleasantly surprised by Pence’s prediction that the graduating officers would soon be at war. He said “It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life. You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen. Some of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of you will join the fight on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific, where North Korea continues to threaten the peace, and an increasingly militarized China challenges our presence in the region. Some of you will join the fight in Europe, where an aggressive Russia seeks to redraw international boundaries by force. And some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere. And when that day comes, I know you will move to the sound of the guns and do your duty, and you will fight, and you will win. The American people expect nothing less. So, wherever you’re called, I urge you to take what you learned here and put it into practice. Put your armor on, so that when — not if — that day comes, you’ll be able to stand your ground.”

Pence may or may not have known that military academy graduates have only a five-year active duty commitment after graduation. Many do not stay in the service after that point, instead using their security clearances and resumes to obtain well paying positions with defense and national security contractors. If Pence was aware of that five-year window, he was implying that he expects multiple wars will involve the United States during his own remaining time in office, assuming that he and President Donald Trump are reelected in 2020. He might even be assuming that war is inevitable no matter who is in the driver’s seat in the White House because America’s numerous enemies, which he identified, cannot otherwise be dissuaded from their “nefarious behavior.”

Pence’s choice of words is revealing. There is a “virtual certainty” of “fight[ing] on a battlefield for America” and that battlefield is global, including both transnational Islamic terrorism and the western hemisphere. The language implies that American security requires “full spectrum dominance” everywhere. It encompasses traditional national enemies, with a Pyongyang that “threatens peace,” a China that is “militarized,” and a Russia that is both “aggressive” and expansionistic. The soldiers must be prepared to fight “when – not if – that day comes.”

First of all, it is discouraging to note that Pence believes that a war or wars must take place, and further, one must have to wonder exactly what scenarios are envisioned by Pence, and also presumably by his boss and colleagues, regarding precisely how war against other nuclear powers will play out. Nor does he entertain what would happen when the rest of the world begins to perceive the United States at its enemy due to its willingness to interfere in everyone’s politics. And the American soldiers would die not knowing what they were fighting for, since they would understand from the onset that it had nothing to do with the defense of the United States.

The speech is, in short, a recognition that the Trump Administration sees perpetual war on the horizon, a viewpoint that is particularly alarming as one can quite easily make the case that the United States is not seriously threatened at all by anyone on Pence’s enemies list and is therefore the aggressor. China is a regional power, Russia does not have the resources or will to reestablish the Soviet Union, and North Korea has only limited capability to attack anyone, even if it should choose to do so. Islamic terrorism is largely a creation of the United States in the first place and maintains its potency by the adverse impact of the continued US presence in Muslim lands. And the suggestion that Venezuela and/or Cuba might be a threat to America is, quite frankly, laughable.

If Mike Pence is seriously interested in looking around to see who has been most interested in starting new wars, he should look to gentlemen named Bush and Obama, not to mention his own colleagues John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. And then there are Washington’s feckless allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are keen to advance their own interests by means of piles of dead American soldiers.

Is there no one around to question why exactly American soldiers are sent to die in so many places that can hardly be found on a map? Or to ask what the compelling national interests might be to require sending soldiers to such God-forsaken death pits? One can be sure that the newly minted Army officers that Pence addressed have no desire to be killed in Mali, but it would take a brave young man or woman to speak the truth if asked by a senior officer.

And Pence unfortunately has many friends who believe in force majeure as he does on Capitol Hill. Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on Fox News Sunday the day after the Vice President spoke and said “I would give Cuba an ultimatum to get out of Venezuela. If they don’t, I would let the Venezuelan military know, you got to choose between democracy and Maduro, and if you choose Maduro and Cuba, we are coming after you. This is in our backyard.”

It should be clearly understood Pence, Graham and Pompeo are all calling for wars of choice, where the military is being used as an option rather than diplomacy in a situation where there is no imminent threat. Iraq, Syria and Libya are examples of such wars and all three have turned out very badly. And then there is the moral dimension. By the standard set by the Nuremberg Trials after World War 2, initiating an armed conflict in that fashion is a war crime. Indeed, it is the ultimate war crime as it brings so many evils with it. Mike Pence’s vision of America the perpetual war criminal is not something to be proud of.

(Republished from Strategic Culture Foundation by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Mike Pence, Neocons 
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  1. peterAUS says:
    Clinton/Gore, Bush/Cheney, Obama/Biden, Trump/Pence……..

    Could’ve started from Theodore Roosevelt, of course.

    Even before; actually…. it all started with The War of 1812.

    That’s how this thing, Empire, The Power, works, since Babylon.

    The only difference,now, is…. nukes.
    “The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking…the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind.”
    “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

  2. Anonymous [AKA "AFQT 12.4"] says:

    Aw, give his speechwriters the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re just tailoring the message to his audience of dumbshit cannon fodder. Despite the hilarious US News ranking of the service academies as actual schools, they’re all at Faber College Delta House level.

    Now, Cadets are dumb, but they’re not nearly dumb enough to fall for it when Pence says go get your nuts blown off for Jesis. “Cadets are jaded, cynical, arrogant, and entitled. They routinely talk back to and snap at their instructors (military and civilian alike), challenge authority, and openly refuse to follow regulations… Some arrive to class unshaven, in need of haircuts, and with uniforms that look so ridiculously bad…”

    Salt of the earth, in short. This is the same morale collapse that got us out of the Vietnam war, when the brass lost that. These guys may not be Einsteins, but they know the military is bullshit. If they put up with it even a little, they get what’s quaintly called an engineering degree without being forced into hopeless lifetime debt peonage. Shitheads thank them for their service and often give them jobs they cannot do, and competent assistants. If nobody blows your nuts off, it might be worth it, if you can’t afford a real school. Every few months they squash a few but that’s Darwin in action.

    • Replies: @follyofwar
  3. War with Iran is inevitable, and it does not matter what Pence says, more likely either there will be regime change or the Mullahs are going to go down, with the Arab league at the charge, not America,
    Hezbollah and the IRG, have got to stop their proxy wars, it is a Shia dominant takeover, they have killed a lot of Iraqis as well. It is a muslim on muslim war.
    You cannot blame it on Pence.

    • LOL: byrresheim
  4. alexander says:

    Is the real purpose of our “post 9-11” Neocon wars of aggression to exterminate the solvency of the United States ?

    Looking at the carnage on our nations balance sheet over the last two decades, one could make an overwhelming case, the purpose of our wars is to do exactly that.

    When Americans recognize that since 2001 ,the levels of heinous “overspending” under Neocon tutelage, is unprecedented in all of history…and amounts to a whopping 16.5 trillion dollars in under 19 years, we have to ask ourselves ” What the f#ck is going on ?”

    If one considers that the entire accumulated “overspending” our government was guilty of, since its inception in 1776, up until 2000, was a mere 5.8 trillion dollars, the contrast between it and our “post 9-11 era” of overspending , is shocking to the core .

    Let’s look at the numbers.

    5.8 trillion divided by 224 years (1776-2000) equals the amount of overspending on average per year, every year, up until 9-11.

    It amounts to 260 million dollars per year in “overspending”.

    Now, lets look at the post 9-11 overspending under Neocon tutelage.

    Current debt 22.3 T minus debt in 2000 5.8 t = 16.5 T

    16.5 trillion divided by 19 years (2001-2019) equals the amount of overspending on average per year , every year, since the Neocons took over the shop.

    It amounts to 868 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR in overspending.

    Over 3000 times more in overspending , per year, every year since the Neocons started running the show.

    Like it or not ,what our country is experiencing is the rapid wholesale extermination of US Solvency under Neocon stewardship.

    Why is it not being discussed ?

    Perhaps because nobody in our entire government has a clue what to do about it .

    Are our leaders , who “lied us into war” really going to ask the taxpayers to pony up 180 k pay for the cost of their lies ?

    Does that seem right ?

    We are in a very sticky wicket right now.

    It is tragic….. and it just keeps getting worse.

    Does anyone have any ideas of what to do ?

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  5. @alexander

    “Is the real purpose of our “post 9-11” Neocon wars of aggression to exterminate the solvency of the United States ?”

    “Why is it not being discussed ?”

    “What the f#ck is going on ?”

    I’ve been troubled by this same problem. It is absolute insanity. I think the “American people” are suffering from a mass psychosis that was kicked into high gear with the psy-op on September 11, 2001. The dominant culture and most of it’s members are completely insane. Batshit f*ckin’ crazy.

    U.S. debt on September 10, 2001 = 5.8 Trillion.

    The cost of servicing the federal debt for the fiscal year 2018 was 523 billion dollars. The cost of servicing the federal debt for the fiscal year 2019 was 269 billion dollars at the end of March. The CBO says it will cost 900 billion to service the debt for 2019.

    Meanwhile the infrastructure crumbles as homelessness, suicide and hardcore drug addiction are on the rise. Opium war 3.0 is advancing according to plan.

    It seems “our” benevolent overlords have decided to enslave us all through mountains of “government” debt. If you have a social security number you have been pledged as collateral for “our” glorious war debt. You, all your future wages, all your property, even the shirt on your back; partner. The “property tax” isn’t a “property tax” at all. (Property has never been assessed or taxed. That is why we use the term equity.) The land and house have been pledged as collateral for the debt and the “property tax” is this years portion of the debt obligation. It’s like paying the minimum on the credit card. Same with ad valorem tax on the car. If the car is registered, it has been collateralized. The state holds the title, you enjoy equitable interest, use and the cost of maintenance. (Subject to the lawful title holders rules of course.)

    Put more simply, if you really “owned” the house or the car, to whom would you pay the tax? Is the “property tax” really not just rent to the landlord? (Lawful title holder) Hint: Fee simple is the highest form of tenant property.

    “Are our leaders , who “lied us into war” really going to ask the taxpayers to pony up 180 k pay for the cost of their lies ?”

    Leaders? I think not. Criminals.
    “Our leaders” Not my leaders. I do not contract or negotiate with terrorists.

    “Ask?” These are not people who ask. Remember the 2007-2008 AIG/Banking bailouts? Did they ask? Or did they just print a bunch or currency out of thin air (against the will of the people) thereby devaluing the currency? (Punishing dollar savers and workers alike.) Remember how the price of houses, cars and most other commodities doubled all at once(ish).

    Gold spot September 10, 2001 = $271.50
    Gold spot March 19, 2003 = $335.80 (Iraq Invasion Day)
    Gold spot September 15, 2008 = $780.94 (Lehman Brothers Collapse)
    Gold Spot June 16, 2019 = $1342.70

    It’s totally because of the strong dollar. :0)

    “Does anyone have any ideas of what to do?”

    Buy lots of ammo. Stock up on food. Buy a diesel generator and plenty of fuel oil. Stock up on propane. Get out of debt. Ditch the dollar for gold/silver/platinum/rifles/ammo/farmland/tractors/trucks/tools/building(s) and other non-perishables. Plant a garden and save seeds. Make sure you have a source of clean water and plenty of filters. (Rainwater is an option in most places) Stay clear of the big cities. When the power goes out, the big cities are just a few days away from destructive chaos. City folk will freak out when the lights go out. They’ll freak out worse without air conditioning. Without food and water they will not know what to do. Most of them are afraid of the dark.

    Or, “we the people” could start by holding the real September 11 criminals (Israel) accountable. The people who have profited from all this destruction should be the ones to pay for it. Confiscate their ill-gotten gains. Then off to the guillotine with them. Whatever debt is left can be discharged in a jubilee.

    The fun thing about the u.s. debt is that it can never be repaid. It is mathematically impossible. When they created the principal by borrowing it into existence, they didn’t create the interest. This is why IMF loans are secured with real tangible assets like land and mineral rights. When the country defaults on the unpayable loan, the bankers foreclose then take possession of resources, often for pennies on the dollar.

    “We” are operating in absurdity. And no one notices. No one talks about it.

    Americans, and most other people in the world, are living a mass delusion. A shared psychosis. I really hope “we” can snap out of “our” hypnosis, before it gets really ugly.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @alexander
    , @HEREDOT
    , @nsa
  6. anon[247] • Disclaimer says:
    @Adam Smith

    you’ve taken Preparation well beyond H

  7. @Anonymous

    As a veteran of the Vietnam Era myself, your report that discipline at West Point has fallen apart pleases me greatly. I only hope that the same thing has happened at the naval and air force academies. Perhaps Ziocons like Pence will think twice before starting new wars of aggression with a junior officer corps that hates the military, and would rather desert than be sent off to die for Greater Israel.

    And a big Shout Out to the lesbian feminists of West Point, as well as their sisters in uniform, for doing their level best to wreck the military cult of death.

  8. alexander says:
    @Adam Smith

    Awesome comment, Adam.

    Very insightful….and loaded with lots of stuff.

    Let me address one issue here ..[.”The fun thing about the US Debt is that it never can be repaid.”] by rolling back our ” National Debt Clock” to the year 1999.

    Our GDP was around 9.4 Trillion
    Our Debt was around 5.5, 5.6 Trillion.

    Almost 2 to 1 ratio.(not quite, but almost)

    What is most important to recognize is that (at the time) our government was running a fiscal SURPLUS of almost 200 billion per year….we were not only able to service our debt…we were PAYING IT DOWN.

    Think about it.

    We had the worlds largest economy. We had, far and away, the most powerful military ( spending pegged at @250 billion per year.) we had a Debt to GDP ratio of almost 1/2 and we were running a fiscal surplus of 200 billion per year.


    Believe it or not, there was actually a REASON (once) why our dollar was the world’s reserve currency….There was actually a REASON(once) why the world fell over itself to purchase our treasury bonds.

    The USA was a solvent, churning powerhouse of dynamic economic growth, so much so in fact,that anyone thinking of buying “gold ” over the US dollar ….was making a Shitty bet.

    We didn’t HAVE TO pay off “all our debt” to maintain the value of our currency…we just had to be ABLE TO…the more easily, the better.

    Then, Post 9-11, the Neocons stepped in, took over the shop, lied us into illegal war, pocketed trillions in illicit war graft, and bankrupted the nation.


    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  9. @Fran Taubman

    Curse those Hezbollah for defending their nation against attack by the “world’s mostest moral army”(sic). Do they think anyone has the right to fight back against the Israelis?

    • Agree: RobinG
    • Replies: @byrresheim
    , @Fran Taubman
  10. @Chris Mallory

    They are not defenders, they hate Jews as all current Shia do. What were all those tunnels for?

    • Replies: @Ace
  11. HEREDOT says:
    @Adam Smith

    thank you fabulous comment.

  12. anon[154] • Disclaimer says:

    By the standard set by the Nuremberg Trials after World War 2,…

    The Nuremberg Trials were a disgrace, on a par with the Soviet Show Trials of the Thirties.

  13. Val says:

    Easy for Pence to say all of this …. HE won’t be on the front lines if there is a conflict, AND, he is an apocalyptic evangelist who WANTS war to fulfill nutcase religious prophecies, JUST LIKE Jared Kushner, who is involved in a similar apocalyptic thought pattern which REQUIRES a devastating Middle East War. Add psychopaths Pompeo and Bolton, and there is sure recipe for disaster. All this is plainly visible to everyone, yet …..

  14. ATBOTL says:

    We need a real nationalist political party in the US. The GOP will never be good guys.

  15. @Fran Taubman

    Tel Aviv trolls set new record for chutzpah—now operating openly under Jewish names!

    • Replies: @Fran Taubman
  16. @Kevin Barrett

    You are being sarcastic and joking correct? Do I need to take a photo in front of my car with a newspaper, like they do for kidnappers.
    Why does every pro Zionist need to be a troll living in Israel.

  17. nsa says:
    @Adam Smith

    “the fun thing about the US debt is that it can never be repaid…”
    Pure BS. Run negative real interest rates and government debt evaporates over time. The rate of evaporation is easily calculated using the Rule of 72. Example: run real inflation at 4.5%, tell the public it’s 1%, and finance the debt with 30 year bonds at 2.5%. 72 / (4.5 – 2.5) = 36 years i.e.the actual debt halves every 36 years. If bond buyers insist on say 3.5%, run actual inflation at 5.5%. So who is actually eating the debt? Obviously, the bondholders i.e. savers. Why would anyone buy bonds? Possibly they are risk adverse and have nowhere else to go. As Keynes, the godfather of modern econ, pointed out….inflating away debt amounts to little more than a slow motion debt jubilee which not one human in a thousand can see or understand.

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
  18. Ace says:
    @Fran Taubman

    To distribute hate literature?

    • LOL: Fran Taubman
  19. @alexander

    You’re right, in 1999 the U.S. was paying down the debt. Clinton’s is the last fiscally conservative regime. Tax and spend is more responsible than borrow and spend.

    Once upon a time the US dollar was a better bet than gold. Oh how things change.

    “Post 9-11, the Neocons stepped in, took over the shop, lied us into illegal war, pocketed trillions in illicit war graft, and bankrupted the nation.”

    Will they ever be held accountable?

    They have successfully transfered trillions to the 0.1% from the 95%.

    It all started with the crime on September 11, 2001. Shameful indeed.

    Thank you for your comment.

  20. @nsa

    You’re right.

    I guess I should have said that the fun thing about the US debt is that it can never be repaid… without stealing from people responsible and/or lucky enough to be savers.

    “inflating away debt amounts to little more than a slow motion debt jubilee”

    Slow motion jubilee for the indebted, paid for by reducing the purchasing power of the non-indebted.

    When the system goes cashless it will be easier to run negative real interest rates.

    Thanks for your comment.

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