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Whose Blood, Whose Treasure?
America's Senior Generals Find No Exits From Endless War
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Veni, Vidi, Vici,” boasted Julius Caesar, one of history’s great military captains. “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed that famed saying when summing up the Obama administration’s military intervention in Libya in 2011 — with a small alteration. “We came, we saw, he died,” she said with a laugh about the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, that country’s autocratic leader. Note what she left out, though: the “vici” or victory part. And how right she was to do so, since Washington’s invasions, occupations, and interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere in this century have never produced anything faintly like a single decisive and lasting victory.

“Failure is not an option” was the stirring 1995 movie catchphrase for the dramatic 1970 rescue of the Apollo 13 moon mission and crew, but were such a movie to be made about America’s wars and their less-than-vici-esque results today, the phrase would have to be corrected in Clintonian fashion to read “We came, we saw, we failed.”

Wars are risky, destructive, unpredictable endeavors, so it would hardly be surprising if America’s military and civilian leaders failed occasionally in their endless martial endeavors, despite the overwhelming superiority in firepower of “the world’s greatest military.” Here’s the question, though: Why have all the American wars of this century gone down in flames and what in the world have those leaders learned from such repetitive failures?

The evidence before our eyes suggests that, when it comes to our senior military leaders at least, the answer would be: nothing at all.

Let’s begin with General David Petraeus, he of “the surge” fame in the Iraq War. Of course, he would briefly fall from grace in 2012, while director of the CIA, thanks to an affair with his biographer with whom he inappropriately shared highly classified information. When riding high in Iraq in 2007, however, “King David” (as he was then dubbed) was widely considered an example of America’s best and brightest. He was a soldier-scholar with a doctorate from Princeton, an “insurgent” general with the perfect way — a revival of Vietnam-era counterinsurgency techniques — to stabilize invaded and occupied Iraq. He was the man to snatch victory from the jaws of looming defeat. (Talk about a fable not worthy of Aesop!)

Though retired from the military since 2011, Petraeus somehow remains a bellwether for conventional thinking about America’s wars at the Pentagon, as well as inside the Washington Beltway. And despite the quagmire in Afghanistan (that he had a significant hand in deepening), despite the widespread destruction in Iraq (for which he would hold some responsibility), despite the failed-state chaos in Libya, he continues to relentlessly plug the idea of pursuing a “sustainable” forever war against global terrorism; in other words, yet more of the same.

Here’s how he typically put it in a recent interview:

“I would contend that the fight against Islamist extremists is not one that we’re going to see the end of in our lifetimes probably. I think this is a generational struggle, which requires you to have a sustained commitment. But of course you can only sustain it if it’s sustainable in terms of the expenditure of blood and treasure.”

His comment brings to mind a World War II quip about General George S. Patton, also known as “old blood and guts.” Some of his troops responded to that nickname this way: yes, his guts, but our blood. When men like Petraeus measure the supposed sustainability of their wars in terms of blood and treasure, the first question should be: Whose blood, whose treasure?

When it comes to Washington’s Afghan War, now in its 18th year and looking ever more like a demoralizing defeat, Petraeus admits that U.S. forces “never had an exit strategy.” What they did have, he claims, “was a strategy to allow us to continue to achieve our objectives… with the reduced expenditure in blood and treasure.”

Think of this formulation as an upside-down version of the notorious “body count” of the Vietnam War. Instead of attempting to maximize enemy dead, as General William Westmoreland sought to do from 1965 to 1968, Petraeus is suggesting that the U.S. seek to keep the American body count to a minimum (translating into minimal attention back home), while minimizing the “treasure” spent. By keeping American bucks and body bags down (Afghans be damned), the war, he insists, can be sustained not just for a few more years but generationally. (He cites 70-year troop commitments to NATO and South Korea as reasonable models.)

Talk about lacking an exit strategy! And he also speaks of a persistent “industrial-strength” Afghan insurgency without noting that U.S. military actions, including drone strikes and an increasing reliance on air power, result in ever more dead civilians, which only feed that same insurgency. For him, Afghanistan is little more than a “platform” for regional counterterror operations and so anything must be done to prevent the greatest horror of all: withdrawing American troops too quickly.

In fact, he suggests that American-trained and supplied Iraqi forces collapsed in 2014, when attacked by relatively small groups of ISIS militants, exactly because U.S. troops had been withdrawn too quickly. The same, he has no doubt, will happen if President Trump repeats this “mistake” in Afghanistan. (Poor showings by U.S.-trained forces are never, of course, evidence of a bankrupt approach in Washington, but of the need to “stay the course.”)

Petraeus’s critique is, in fact, a subtle version of the stab-in-the-back myth. Its underlying premise: that the U.S. military is always on the generational cusp of success, whether in Vietnam in 1971, Iraq in 2011, or Afghanistan in 2019, if only the rug weren’t pulled out from under the U.S. military by irresolute commanders-in-chief.

Of course, this is all nonsense. Commanded by none other than General David Petraeus, the Afghan surge of 2009-2010 proved a dismal failure as, in the end, had his Iraq surge of 2007. U.S. efforts to train reliable indigenous forces (no matter where in the embattled Greater Middle East and Africa) have also consistently failed. Yet Petraeus’s answer is always more of the same: more U.S. troops and advisers, training, bombing, and killing, all to be repeated at “sustainable” levels for generations to come.

The alternative, he suggests, is too awful to contemplate:

“You have to do something about [Islamic extremism] because otherwise they’re going to spew violence, extremism, instability, and a tsunami of refugees not just into neighboring countries but… into our western European allies, undermining their domestic political situations.”

No mention here of how the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq spread destruction and, in the end, a “tsunami of refugees” throughout the region. No mention of how U.S. interventions and bombing in Libya, Syria, Somalia, and elsewhere help “spew” violence and generate a series of failed states.

And amazingly enough, despite his lack of “vici” moments, the American media still sees King David as the go-to guy for advice on how to fight and win the wars he’s had such a hand in losing. And just in case you want to start worrying a little, he’s now offering such advice on even more dangerous matters. He’s started to comment on the new “cold war” that now has Washington abuzz, a coming era — as he puts it — of “renewed great power rivalries” with China and Russia, an era, in fact, of “multi-domain warfare” that could prove far more challenging than “the asymmetric abilities of the terrorists and extremists and insurgents that we’ve countered in Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan and a variety of other places, particularly since 9/11.”

For Petraeus, even if Islamic terrorism disappeared tomorrow and not generations from now, the U.S. military would still be engaged with the supercharged threat of China and Russia. I can already hear Pentagon cash registers going ka-ching!

And here, in the end, is what’s most striking about Petraeus’s war lessons: no concept of peace even exists in his version of the future. Instead, whether via Islamic terrorism or rival great powers, America faces intractable threats into a distant future. Give him credit for one thing: if adopted, his vision could keep the national security state funded in the staggering fashion it’s come to expect for generations, or at least until the money runs out and the U.S. empire collapses.

Two Senior Generals Draw Lessons from the Iraq War

David Petraeus remains America’s best-known general of this century. His thinking, though, is anything but unique. Take two other senior U.S. Army generals, Mark Milley and Ray Odierno, both of whom recently contributed forewords to the Army’s official history of the Iraq War that tell you what you need to know about Pentagon thinking these days.

Published this January, the Army’s history of Operation Iraqi Freedom is detailed and controversial. Completed in June 2016, its publication was pushed back due to internal disagreements. As the Wall Street Journal put it in October 2018: “Senior [Army] brass fretted over the impact the study’s criticisms might have on prominent officers’ reputations and on congressional support for the service.” With those worries apparently resolved, the study is now available at the Army War College website.

The Iraq War witnessed the overthrow of autocrat (and former U.S. ally) Saddam Hussein, a speedy declaration of “mission accomplished” by President George W. Bush, and that country’s subsequent descent into occupation, insurgency, civil war, and chaos. What should the Army have learned from all this? General Milley, now Army chief of staff and President Trump’s nominee to serve as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is explicit on its lessons:

“OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] is a sober reminder that technological advantages and standoff weapons alone cannot render a decision; that the promise of short wars is often elusive; that the ends, ways, and means must be in balance; that our Army must understand the type of war we are engaged with in order to adapt as necessary; that decisions in war occur on the ground in the mud and dirt; and that timeless factors such as human agency, chance, and an enemy’s conviction, all shape a war’s outcome.”

These aren’t, in fact, lessons. They’re military banalities. The side with the best weapons doesn’t always win. Short wars can turn into long ones. The enemy has a say in how the war is fought. What they lack is any sense of Army responsibility for mismanaging the Iraq War so spectacularly. In other words, mission accomplished for General Milley.

General Odierno, who commissioned the study and served in Iraq for 55 months, spills yet more ink in arguing, like Milley, that the Army has learned from its mistakes and adapted, becoming even more agile and lethal. Here’s my summary of his “lessons”:

* Superior technology doesn’t guarantee victory. Skill and warcraft remain vital.

* To win a war of occupation, soldiers need to know the environment, including “the local political and social consequences of our actions… When conditions on the ground change, we must be willing to reexamine the assumptions that underpin our strategy and plans and change course if necessary, no matter how painful it may be,” while developing better “strategic leaders.”

* The Army needs to be enlarged further because “landpower” is so vital and America’s troops were “overtaxed by the commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the decision to limit our troop levels in both theaters had severe operational consequences.”

* The Iraq War showcased an Army with an “astonishing” capacity “to learn and adapt in the midst of a war that the United States was well on its way to losing.”

The gist of Odierno’s “lessons”: the Army learned, adapted, and overcame. Therefore, it deserves America’s thanks and yet more of everything, including the money and resources to pursue future wars even more successfully. There would, however, be another way to read those lessons of his: that the Army overvalued technology, that combat skills were lacking, that efforts to work with allies and Iraqi forces regularly failed, that Army leadership lacked the skills needed to win, and that it was folly to get into a global war on terror in the first place.

On those failings, neither Milley nor Odierno has anything of value to say, since their focus is purely on how to make the Army prevail in future versions of just such wars. Their limited critique, in short, does little to prevent future disasters. Much like Petraeus’s reflections, they cannot envision an end point to the process — no victory to be celebrated, no return to America being “a normal country in a normal time.” There is only war and more war in their (and so our) future.

The Undiscovered Country

Talk of such future wars — of, that is, more of the same — reminded me of the sixth Star Trek movie, The Undiscovered Country. In that space opera, which appeared in 1991 just as the Soviet Union was imploding, peace finally breaks out between the quasi-democratic Federation (think: the USA) and the warmongering Klingon Empire (think: the USSR). Even the Federation’s implacable warrior-captain, James T. Kirk, grudgingly learns to bury the phaser with the Klingon “bastards” who murdered his son.

Back then, I was a young captain in the U.S. Air Force and, with the apparent end of the Cold War, my colleagues and I dared talk about, if not eternal peace, at least “peace” as our own — and not just Star Trek’s — undiscovered country. Like many at the time, even we in the military were looking forward to what was then called a “peace dividend.”

But that unknown land, which Americans then glimpsed ever so briefly, remains unexplored to this day. The reason why is simple enough. As Andrew Bacevich put it in his book Breach of Trust, “For the Pentagon [in 1991], peace posed a concrete and imminent threat” — which meant that new threats, “rogue states” of every sort, had to be found. And found they were.

It comes as no surprise, then, that America’s generals have learned so little of real value from their twenty-first-century losses. They continue to see a state of “infinite war” as necessary and are blind to the ways in which endless war and the ever-developing war state in Washington are the enemies of democracy.

The question isn’t why they think the way they do. The question is why so many Americans share their vision. The future is now. Isn’t it time that the U.S. sought to invade and occupy a different “land” entirely: an undiscovered country — a future — defined by peace?

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

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Here’s how he typically put it in a recent interview:

    “I would contend that the fight against Islamist extremists is not one that we’re going to see the end of in our lifetimes probably. I think this is a generational struggle, which requires you to have a sustained commitment

    Obama said the same generational struggle, see the mulatto homosexual’s quote on it below, but as soon as Trump comes in and ends Obama-McCain-AIPAC’s support for ISIS, the Russians, Syrians, Iranians, and (a healthy and heartfelt shout out to) Hezbollah begin slaughtering the pig bastards of Sunni whores.

    “This larger battle for hearts and minds is going to be a generational struggle,” he added. “It’s ultimately not going to be won or lost by the United States alone. It will be decided by the countries and communities that terrorists like Isil [an alternative acronym for Islamic State/Isis] target.”

    War is a generational racket.

  2. “We came, we saw, we failed.”
    William Astore’s maxim conveys succinctly the ultimate fate of all empires – failure. Every civilization/nation eventually gets the war it is trying to avoid: utter defeat. Leaders and decision-makers delude themselves, thinking they can avoid that fateful conflict, that it can limited in scale or even won. History has always proven them wrong. The retired General Petraeus demonstrates a blindness to the pattern of history when he talks of a new ‘cold war’ and ‘renewed great power rivalries’. Military planners could be lulling themselves into a false sense of security, failing to realise the original Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment; today we are in pre-world war environment. The cycle says we’re on course for another world war – nuclear war.

  3. David says:

    The US military’s culture of failure extends all the way to the bottom. Just under half of Afghan and Iraq war vets have filed disability claims.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  4. The scalpel says: • Website

    an affair with his biographer with whom he inappropriately shared highly classified information

    Oh and fu**ed, we can’t forget that. Astore wants to gloss over that part because it truthfully portrays the married military officer as morally decrepit, not the well-meaning, but incompetent fellow the military apologists would prefer us to see. Let’s be clear. These generals are the definition of evil. They place their own careers above the lives of anyone else, friend or foe, and above truth, and above justice, and above any common understanding of morality. Thank you for your “service,” yeah right.

    • Replies: @Mike P
    , @Steve Naidamast
  5. Christo says:

    Lt . Col. Astore

    Lt Col? I see he got near the glass ceiling right below General Grade Officer which few make it past without Academy/Family/ and most important High Masonic standing. I figure I would have bumped into that glass ceiling if I had gone OCS before ETS , or ROTC afterward and returned an officer. Its always been there i knew a ret. Brig/Maj General from way back (USAAF -LOL) , who liked good scotch, saw some things , heard some things, our General Officer Branch much like any lawyer with “pull” – Mason city. Take it from there with all the now seldom heard “judeo-masonic” connections if you chose

    But none of that mattered as I saw exactly what Mr/Lt Col. Astore saw at the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the fake war of terror (War for Israel) with the 1st Gulf War . Blood? 3 dead comrades , Mike Rose, Mario Vega, Joe Parker, They didn’t die for their country. others possibly that I missed on lists. Nope ,1993 , Honorable D, no more of the “joke” for me. Sad to see it still being played on so many other “young fools” such as I was.

    • Replies: @TimeTraveller
    , @Anon
  6. SafeNow says:

    Endless, inexplicable wars do perhaps serve one useful purpose. I am reminded of the old movie “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” starring Burt Lancaster. Burt tries to get the government to admit that the actual purpose of the Vietnam War was to convince the Russians and Chinese that we are insane and unpredictable about such things. Thus, these two great powers would be afraid to take any significant action, knowing we are unpredictably capable of any irrationality. Russia and China have by now gotten that message, which arguably is good. Unfortunately, N. Korea has gotten the message, so will never relinquish its nukes, knowing we are crazy. In general, is it good to be crazy?…worth a big price?

  7. renfro says:

    “Failure is not an option’

    And the Titanic was unsinkable.

    • Replies: @JoaoAlfaiate
  8. Intriguing article on America’s self-perception even when it appears to be critical of our infatuation with perpetual war. No mention of the criminality of the failed illegal wars. Neither do the perceptions of the people of the countries America has left in tatters seem to count for anything other than providing “minds and hearts” waiting to be “won” by our military interventions and patronage.

    Our faith in superior military technology and fabricated justice of dubious causes pursued in societies long regarded as inferior to our own point to our sick exceptionalism that places us above moral censure, most importantly, from within. Fact is as long as many of us remain sold on our exceptionalism, our government’s crimes committed in our name will continue unabated as we frequent our malls, watch our football games and as we passively watch the twin evils of the MIC and the Anglo Zionists wreak havoc on our nation. Ours is a chronic sickness. And like all other chronic maladies, will exact a price on our nation’s fabric in due course.

  9. @Christo

    But none of that mattered as I saw exactly what Mr/Lt Col. Astore saw at the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the fake war of terror (War for Israel) with the 1st Gulf War . Blood? 3 dead comrades , Mike Rose, Mario Vega, Joe Parker, They didn’t die for their country. others possibly that I missed on lists. Nope ,1993 , Honorable D, no more of the “joke” for me. Sad to see it still being played on so many other “young fools” such as I was.

    As long as there are young, poor people, the US will always have what it needs to fight the next war.

  10. Old Prude says:

    Above the rank of 0-3, you have to be a sociopath to succeed. When the fool in command gives a stupid/deadly order, you salute and pass the cursed thing to your own subordinates. Its hard to have sympathy for that Navy three-star who lost his job over the fatal destroyer collisions. Sure he warned this CO, the four-star, about the deterioting state of training and maintenance, but, in the event, he saluted and told the two star to get things done, who told the one star, etc… Until there were twenty dead sailors. To send people off to get killed doing pointless, futile or counter-productive things, so you can collect another star and a pension, requires a streak of sociopathy. The streak widening the higher you get. Same is true for politicians and captains of industry. Our elites are all sociopaths.

    There are a lot of smart and talented people, who aren’t in charge of things, because they have too much decency to engage in the grasping and clawing and stomping on your fellow man it takes to climb the slippery pole.

    • Agree: The Scalpel
  11. Anon[288] • Disclaimer says:

    Shekels and blood spent on the War for Israel are simply something that Gentiles owe to the Jews for what the Jews provide to us.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  12. @David

    Just under half of Afghan and Iraq war vets have filed disability claims.

    They’ll wait a long time. Years to get a ‘no’, years more to appeal. Another “No”. Then to a Judicial appeal on a teleconference with Washington. Then more years and more requests for them for paperwork and records they themselves generated to begin with. Hilarious part is, if they went around the country and simply fired the tens of thousands of civilians (hardly any of whom are Veterans themselves) with their 6-figure salaries and their plush offices and perks, they could instantly pay off all the Vets’ claims with change left over. It’s bureaucratic theft, a taking of resources for whom they were intended. The apparatus of denial of claims is HUGE.

    The idea is to wait out the life span of the Vet. With the death or suicide of the Veteran dies the claim. They didn’t admit Dioxin, Agent Orange defoliant, for thirty years, knowing the stuff caused cancer. “Not Service Connected”. By the time they owned up, 90% of those claims were ‘dead’, they finally started taking care of some of those guys. They’re doing it today with depleted uranium ammo the guys over there were poisoned with, asbestos, burn pits, diseases you could only get from service in the military. Vets aren’t even treated with the same common decency of a workman’s comp claim. 300,000 claims and waiting. Even as the number of claims grew, the budget is now well North of 140 billion now, IIRC, filled with Democrat shills, SEIU union, the works. It’s not getting paid out to Veterans, not by a 1/4.

    • Replies: @Piglet
  13. All Generals are totally frightened to death by grim reaper called redundancy.

  14. @Anon


    Then why an earth do Gentiles go along with it? How many Jews serve in the US forces except maybe a few Rear Echelon techies or officers? Why do Gentiles so easily get sucked into supporting wars?

    Why is it Jews who protest on campuses if Gentiles are the ultimate victims? Most protests against the Vietnam War were led by Jews who were then set upon by Irish and Italian construction workers?

    Why don’t gentiles protest against wars? Why are they not as skeptical as Jews when some obvious moron like Bush lies to them?

    Why are Gentiles gullible and Jews are not?

  15. To win a war of occupation, soldiers need to know the environment, including “the local political and social consequences of our actions…

    So, they hadn’t learned this 40 years earlier after Vietnam but want to learn the lection now?

    The Army needs to be enlarged further because “landpower” is so vital and America’s troops were “overtaxed by the commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan,

    So, the army has difficulties in a war against a small country that was barely beyond the stone age and another small country weakened by decade long sanctions and isolated and with a few old weapons? How many soldiers will you need to fight against real strong enemies?

    the Army has learned from its mistakes and adapted, becoming even more agile and lethal

    Even more letal? What does that mean? They could already destroy the whole planet 20 times. How many times can they destroy it now?

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
  16. TG says:

    “Wars are risky, destructive, unpredictable endeavors”

    Not really, not the way we are doing it! You see, the entire point of our endless winless wars in the Middle East, is that they are pointless! There is no downside to the elites of losing – or of failing to win. The money going to defense contractors will continue to flow, over-educated morons can continue to pretend that they are strategic geniuses, etc. But these countries are so weak, the elites are in no danger they way they were in WWII. These countries can’t invade us – well, not unless our elites allow them to immigrate without restraint, but that’s another matter and has nothing to do with how much or how little we bomb them.

    Surely it is not a coincidence that our military has gravitated to conducting these pointless wars in largely arid countries. Countries with a lot of jungle cover like Vietnam are hard for our tech-heavy army to fight in. In the open desert it’s easy to spot some goatherd from a drone and blow them away with a million dollar missile. Just saying.

  17. Zionist control of America since 1913 has given America continual war to benefit the zionist banking kabal that owns the FED and IRS and also benefits the zionist goal of a zionist NWO!

  18. Z-man says:

    With respect to ‘falling from grace’ you failed to mention Petraeus’ critique of no peace in Palestine causing us immeasurable harm in the Muslim world. That cut his ‘stature’ among the Israeli First crowd and probably contributed to him not getting a job with Trump who has disappointedly become an ultra Zionist.

  19. Rich says:

    Although Mr Astore appears to be well meaning, I think he’s wrong on the big picture. The US and its allies have been very successful in their mission and refusal to see that is wishful thinking.

    The Taliban are out of power, live in the bush afraid to show their faces except for the occasional terror attack and an American puppet government is in power.

    In Iraq the Baathists are out of power, a once solid central government is extremely weakened and American assets are in power throughout the divided country.

    Young men continue to enlist in sufficient numbers and both mainstream parties support the MIC with everything they’ve got. Not only is this a victory, it’s a total victory. And there’s no end in sight.

    • Troll: bluedog
  20. Agent76 says:

    MARCH 13, 2019 ‘Imperialism on Trial’ tour comes to Northern Ireland on March 19th and 21st

    Next week, the Imperialism on Trial tour comes to Belfast, Northern Ireland, and will include an impressive line-up of speakers, including two former British Ambassadors, a former British soldier, an Irish Republican writer, and a veteran CIA analyst – each presenting their own analysis of world events, and interrogating the role played at home and abroad – by western powers.

  21. Agent76 says:

    January 18, 2019 The US Has Military Forces in Over 160 Countries, but the Pentagon Is Hiding the Exact Numbers

    The US has 95% of the world’s foreign military bases, with personnel in more than 160 countries. But the Pentagon is leaving hundreds of outposts out of its official reports.

  22. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    Petraeus , from latin , Petreo , stony , rocky , Petro=rock

    When I saw Gen . Petraeus` photo in the papers when he was famous , I always had the doubt about if the General was a real one , or if he was just was an actor of the war movies of Hollywood .

    So it seems that he was a real General , involved in many wars .

  23. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    Petraeus always made me remenber the old movies of the 50`s about Francis ( the talking mule )

    Francis was very fun

  24. “… while minimizing the “treasure” spent.”

    He must have missed something.

  25. Art says:

    “King David” (as he was then dubbed) was widely considered an example of America’s best and brightest.

    Little King David cannot salute Israeli foreign policy fast enough.

    He has a lot of company – EVERY other US general does the same.

    Sad but true!

    p.s. It pays well.

  26. @The scalpel

    It has always been like that with US generals. Read, “Licoln’s Lieutenants” by Stephen Sears and you will find that the majority of senior Union leaders in the Army even back then were of the same ilk as they are today…

  27. densa says:

    The military is an extreme example of regulatory capture. Every institution created by the US has malfunctioned (?) from its stated purpose. Another term for it is corruption. The government is so corrupt I don’t think it will survive. Refusal to own up to institutional failure, the incapacity to learn and change, which I attribute to the corrosive effects of money/shekels, will be the end of the American people.

    My appreciation and thanks to those, like William Astore, who fought the tide. In the end, that you fought is the only victory possible.

  28. Priss Factor [AKA "Asagirian"] says: • Website

    One major difference between US and China is this.

    Chinese state violence has a relative free hand within China but is almost non-existent outside China.
    Chinese will brutally crack down on dissidents and use whatever means to keep Tibetans and Uighurs down. But around the world, Chinese policy is, “you do your thing, we no intervene. All we want is do business.”

    In contrast…

    American state violence is severely proscribed within the US. The biggest use of state violence in recent US history was Charlottesville where the Unite the Right people were denied freedom of assembly and free speech. The state-and-media complex colluded to spin the narrative, use lawfare, and virtual kangaroo courts to deny justice to Unite the Right.
    Still, that was mild compared to the kind of means used by the state in China. If Tibetans had tried to pull a Unite the Tibetans rally, many more heads would have been cracked and many more people would be sitting in jail or working in labor camps.
    In the US, blacks can run wild and burn down cities. They are mostly left alone. Illegals jump across the borders, but US must treat them ‘humanely’.
    While America has a huge jail population, blacks commit crime and some get caught. Can’t be helped. It’s not political violence though.

    But when it comes to foreign policy, US is the #1 terror-spreading nation. With drones, it blows up entire villages. It has invaded and bombed nation after nation. It has military bases around the world as ‘traps’. (If Russia gets into conflict with neighboring nation with a military base, the US media and Pentagon can spin it as “Russia attacks US soldiers.”)
    It has used sanctions to starve entire populations. It has engineered coups to topple a democratically elected government in Ukraine and Egypt. The death toll from US foreign intervention since the end of the Cold War is well over a million. Some might say it’s in the millions if they count those indirectly affected by the wars and violence.

    Chinese government is a like a strict father who uses violence to keep order in the house but is courteous to others in the neighborhood.
    US government is like a cuck dad who is helpless to stop his wife and daughter from doing it with Negroes and indulges his worthless whigga son, BUT outside the home he gets to play Jack the Ripper and make a big mess of things in the neighborhood.

  29. America is a jew run clown world.
    China aspires to be a jew run clown world.
    The Chinese social credit system is simply the next logical step
    on a road paved by Babylonian Globohomo neo-Bolshevik jews.
    and the basic elements of the social credit system are already being implemented
    in the west.
    Truly the jews are our misfortune.

  30. nsa says:

    Admiral Fallon referred to Petraeus as “an ass kissing little chickenshit” in 2008. This article is fairly typical of the disinfo spewed out by the “alt-right” JudenNet, of which Unz is fairly typical. Never once did the author finger the vile conniving jooie termites….only their useful idiots. Needed is a general like Vespasian or Titus………

  31. @renfro

    And Jerusalem is israel’s eternal capital.

  32. Sean says:

    Yet Petraeus’s answer is always more of the same: more U.S. troops and advisers, training, bombing, and killing, all to be repeated at “sustainable” levels for generations to come.

    That is his answer, but what is the question? In the war on terror, as in Vietnam, the question is what will it take to achieve victory? The military answer is a precipitous escalation because that is what it will take. But the civilian leadership never want to risk it so the wars drag on at a low level. In the Middle East (as in Vietnam) the problem is governments of religious minorities, Alawites, Sunnis, make countries fundamentally unstable . When leaders favored by the US fall, or go off the reservation as Saddam did by invading Iraq, war is the least worst option. To paraphase the C& W song some times you have to fight when you are the US.

    • Disagree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Old Prude
  33. @jeff stryker

    Why don’t gentiles protest against wars?

    Why are Gentiles gullible and Jews are not?

    These two questions, based on completely false premises, are so ridiculous that it makes me wonder what the purpose of you hanging out at this web site is. I guess you must be living in a confined environment, where the only Gentiles you ever encounter appear on back-lit flat screens.

    For your information, Gentiles protest agains wars more than Jews.

    Jews are possibly even more gullible than Gentiles. Credulity and conformity are basic human adaptations that evolved over thousands of years and were useful for societal collaboration, but are prone to exploitation in the modern age of mass media persuasion and “perception management”.

    • Agree: densa
  34. Northpal says:

    Since the day MacArthur was fired, the military like the government is stacked with upper middle class management of a technocracy.
    The labor/citizens are just another factor in a theorem.
    War as all corporate activities is now management teams filled by post WWII technocrats for varied global interests scratching and clawing for all the rewards the corner office has to offer.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  35. Old Prude says:

    “…because that’s what it will take.” To do what? Turn Afghanistan into an orderly semi-modern society? Turn Iraq into a peaceful, productive commercial republic? The only reason Japan and Germany came back to civilization after being rubbled was because they were civilized peoples on their own before the unpleasantries. Vietnam looks like they did a good job for themselves after we stopped dropping napalm and cluster bombs on their meager infrastructure.

    Maybe everyone would be better off in the long run if we stayed at home and stopped meddling. Especially since we’re no good at it and make a bloody mess wherever we send the guns in.

    • Replies: @Sean
  36. Wars are a”for profit” venture. Generals are the lap dogs of the industry captains. To these pukes, spreading death and destruction is just another career.

  37. onebornfree says: • Website

    “…War not only vastly extends the wealth transfers used by the state to bolster its rule but advances pro-state ideology. Because the state lives parasitically on the production of its hosts, those who benefit from the state’s wealth transfers must always be a minority of the population. The majority must be the victims of the state and, therefore, their acquiescence in predation by the state must be engineered; otherwise that state is finished. The legitimacy of the state must be manufactured and maintained through ideology. From Oriental despotism to American hegemony, the state has never failed to attract, with its power and pelf, those who would fabricate apologia. But their litany of claims — that our rulers are wise and their rule is beneficent, that our rulers protect us from horrible dangers, that our rulers uphold the glorious tradition of our ancestors, that our rulers embody the interests of society, that our rulers are appointed by God, that our rulers bring science and reason to society, and so on — never explain how such claims turn hegemony into voluntary association, murder into defense, kidnapping into voluntary association, and taxation into free-will offering. If the state is the fount from which all social blessings flow, then why do its apologists resort to instilling guilt in the successful and envy in the unsuccessful to strengthen its power?… “

    Liberty vs. War: A Brief History:

    Regrds, onebornfree

    • Agree: Johnny Walker Read
    • Replies: @Sean
  38. Sean says:
    @Old Prude

    If ‘everyone’ means a majority in the world as a whole, then quite possibly they would be better off. The Golden Rule: treat everyone as you would like to be treated, but when it comes down to it you would like others to not take their own side. And so in practice ethics is not feasible, and the balance of forces is what decides. The US is not morally bad or good, militarily incompetent or in the grip of a malevolent military-industrial complex.No country in history of the the world has acted with forbearance that is supposed to be the natural setting of American policy.

    • Replies: @Old Prude
  39. Sean says:

    Totally wrong war decreases inequality as all the academic work on the subject makes clear. You can have peace and plenty or equality: not both.

    • Replies: @Johnny Walker Read
  40. Wally says:
    @jeff stryker

    “Why is it Jews who protest on campuses if Gentiles are the ultimate victims? Most protests against the Vietnam War were led by Jews who were then set upon by Irish and Italian construction workers?”

    Only in the ‘we are the center of world’ Jew PR machine’s mind.

    Jew protestors got the attention from the Jew media thereby creating that illusion.

    As if Jews are really a peaceful, for-the-underdog people. LOL

    Failed Crypsis and Its Discontents: Past and Present:

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  41. The Scalpel says: • Website

    To win a war of occupation, soldiers need to know the environment, including “the local political and social consequences of our actions…

    ain’t gonna happen

    The one thing they need to learn is that “Give me liberty or give me death” does not apply only to the Revolutionaries fighting the British occupiers. Unfortunately, even if they learn that, it won’t help the occupiers win, but it might save some of their lives.

  42. When the goal is Endless War™, no general is worth a damn, but for good measure Obozo fired any and all who would dare oppose his treachery.

    Old hippie anarchists, it seems, will have the last say and last laugh: “All wars are bankers’ wars.”

    Off topic: Glad Rabbi Trump is helping secure Gatorade Heights. How many thousands of diseased, illiterate mestizos are in the next caravan coasting to our open border?

  43. @Wally

    Irish-American Catholics tend to spearhead these protests and garner a great deal of media attention as well. Tom Hayden, Michael Moore etc.

    Irish-Americans tend to view themselves as watchdogs of the working-class who are suspicious of exploitation by the system. Kennedy, for example, went after Hoffa and the unions.

    Also, Jews generally don’t vote for Republicans. They most certainly did not vote for Bush. The GOP tends to view them as the antithesis of traditional US values-their love of pornography, their Hollywood excesses, their support of Civil Rights, their perceived contempt for rural whites-but it is the GOP who supply the support for foreign wars.

    If the US government had to rely on a supply of Jewish volunteer soldiers, there would be no wars because there simply would not be enough warm bodies in uniform.

    Of course many of these are Mexican and black mercenaries. As Fred pointed out, poor inner-city blacks and poor rural whites join the military for the same reason Italians in dead-end New Jersey neighborhoods become “button men”. Simply because it is a job.

    But please don’t tell me that Jewish Americans got George Bush in office and were responsible for the Iraq War. Jews were indifferent at best to the Iraq War as registered Democrats and a good many were fully against the war in Iraq.

    I’m not Jewish or a shill. I’m simply stating the fact that Bush was able to manipulate the GOP and their demographic is overwhelmingly rural and Evangelical Protestant.

    Jews would have certainly put Al Gore into office and Gore would not have invaded Iraq.

    Nor did Iraq really do anything for Israel. Invading Lebanon would have helped Israel and during the Bush years there was a war with Lebanon which the US had nothing to do with.

    If the GOP had to try and manipulate urban Jews who have no incentive to serve their country or support the war in Iraq, they would not go very far. Few Jews ever serve in the US military.

    As for the “culture of critique” or whatever, there is a reason why this affects whites more than Asians or Hindus or Muslim Americans like Omar who don’t care if they lose their job and go back on welfare. The reason is that white people seemingly want to buy what is being sold to them. There is a gullibility there that does not exist with shrewd and cunning Asian-Americans or Hindus for whom money is the only language they speak.

    • Replies: @nsa
  44. akka says:

    One of the only reasons I make comment here is because I can do so anonymously (perhaps). Unlike the vast majority of other sites where one must log in with google, facebook, disqus or any other control which is basically spyware to log every comment one makes.
    So to Unz, why don’t you put up an article on how those sites can trace one and make one’s life miserable by judging what one posts?
    Btw the only reasonable way to comment anonymously on any site is by using Tor, coupled with a VPN.
    It doesn’t mean I’m a terrorist (I’m not) it just means I would like to comment without any other entity being able to put their hands on my privates.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  45. @akka


    I don’t think the Deep State cares much about the population of malcontents who are 40, 50 years old and suddenly realize how badly they have been screwed.

    If they had to put every one of us in jail for simply being malcontents, there would be no room. What could they possibly do? Make millions of malcontent formerly middle-class or lower middle-class people disappear.

    For people who are fed up with their anonymity and poverty, imagining that they are important enough for the government to give a shit about them is psychological compensation.

    In reality, while a few platforms like RETURN OF KINGS have been taken down the reality is that the Deep State really does not care about people who are to poor and anonymous to do anything about anything anyhow.

    Most posters here, like me, are in early middle-age. At 45 or 55 or 60 you are too old to do shit anyhow and the government knows it.

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @akka
  46. nsa says:
    @jeff stryker

    Whitey is too busy screaming in homoerotic orgasmic delight as Deshawn dunks in his underwear, or honoring diversity over at PornHub gawking at a pimply Becky deepthroating a grotesque Mandingo. No hope for whitey….the vile jooies recognized the weakness and gullibility, and won in a walkover.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  47. Old Prude says:

    I don’t disagree that looking at history as a whole, America’s short period of hegemony was relatively benign, but as she has proven increasingly incapable of intelligent and competent intervention, meddling in places of no national interest, things have turned sour.

    The flip side of the coin that says America has to keep peace and order across the globe, is that America has to accept the poor and wretched masses from across the globe. So not only are we wasting our blood and treasure in Somalia, Syria and Niger, we are filling our cities and neighborhoods with these semi-civilized people.

    Why are we shooting million dollar missiles at goatherds in the Kush, and waving their brothers and cousin-wives into Lewiston Maine to leach off a bankrupt welfare state and trash the neighborhood?

  48. I have to admit, I still appreciate Gen Patraeus.

    When the full spectrum application of the surge is reviewed, i think it was effective. The problem is how to sustain for several months, muchless a several years to get the overall objective.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  49. Biff says:
    @jeff stryker

    At 45 or 55 or 60 you are too old to do shit anyhow and the government knows it.

    At that age Gandhi was a number one threat to British India. And although MLK was whacked at age 39, he would’ve been considered a threat at any age.

  50. @nsa


    Asian-Americans, Hindus, Muslims and Jews themselves could also spend their time banging their genitals on their laptop to porn or obsessing over unsavory black thugs playing children’s games for millions of dollars or getting hooked on whatever drug the Mexicans decide to flood the US with.

    The odd thing is that when Jew or Asian-American watches some garbage churned out by Hollywood like BLACK PANTHER they don’t regard it as some sort of holy scripture-they simply dismiss it as crap churned out by cocaine addicts in Los Angeles. Whites seemingly regard the media as a religion of sorts. Exactly why whites care about Kim Kardashian, whose greasy Armenian Dad might have helped his friend kill two people, is curious.

    Why do Hindus and Asian-Americans and Jews only care about money?

    The strange thing about Jews and Asians is that they don’t care about sports. Few Asians or Jews are going to be tall enough to play in the NBA. They seem to spend their time DOING THINGS TO ENRICH THEMSELVES.

    You never see Jews who played high school football in Yonkers hanging around their high school watching the school team when they are 40 years old.

    As for pornography, the curious thing since my departure from the US in 1999 is how obsessed whites have become with it. When I was a young man, pornography was the sordid and pitiful obsession of perverts and horny teenagers. Exactly why whites have become so obsessed with porn in the last 20 years is perplexing.

    Though many Jews are involved in porn, far fewer of them seem to be destroying their own marriages or encouraging their daughters to get into the business.

    How many Jewish girls want to emulate Sarah Silverman or admire Ron Jeremy?

    Asia Akira and other Asian women do porn, but Asian-Americans don’t seem to be completely obsessed and debauched by porn or mistake it for real life.

    Exactly why whites have been seduced by pornography and sports is mysterious.

  51. @Sean

    War or peace, we are all equal, it’s just that some are more equal than others.

  52. Agent76 says:

    Mar 21, 2019 How Public-Private Partnerships Are Killing Us

    The FAA’s decision allowing Boeing to do its own safety assessments — while the company president told President Trump that all was fine with the 737 Max — raises serious questions about the effectiveness of regulatory agencies charged with protecting our health and safety.

  53. bluedog says:

    It waswn’t the surge that was effective but those skids of shrink wrapped ben’s (running into the billions sure were) from everything I have read he was the biggest ass kisser on the planet.!!!

    • Troll: Rich
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  54. @bluedog

    Well,that too was part of the surge strategy.

    The surge was not just more troops. It is a full spectrum push.

    But make no mistake, the US failures in both the invasions of Afghanistan (will most likely be a failure) and Iraq was the troop strength to subdue or control events after the invasion. Including a presence located in areas in which troops could have spread some cash to aide in their efforts.

    Laughing as to his political acumen, apparently so was Pres/Gen George Washington or else he probably would not have been a general or a president.

  55. akka says:
    @jeff stryker

    Surely you won’t be surprised to know that every ‘major’ site on the net examines every comment made on their site.

  56. The US Population is growing smarter, much more tech savy and are more likely to get their news from alternative sources today than anytime in our history. Mainstream Media and their Propaganda are losing the power over the masses. So the questions is, how will our Government convince anyone anymore that another middle east war is necessary.

    For this reason I believe before we go to war against Iran there will be another 9/11 type event carried out on US soil. Our next war will require a massive False Flag to instill the appropriate measure of fear back into the masses. The masses are beginning to awake and so the usual murdering 2000 fellow Americans (9/11), “yellow cake”, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Anthrax Murders, and “throwing babies from the incubators” aint gonna fucking cut it any longer.

    I imagine this time around there will be a minor nuclear detonation on US soil. Or perhaps we will sink one of our own ships and blame it on Iran. Whatever machination is dreamed up, you can bet it will be Israel carrying it out.

  57. Piglet says:
    @Jim Christian

    The idea is to wait out the life span of the Vet.

    You’re very correct. As a Korean War veteran described it, with the VA it’s “deny, deny, deny until they die.” Numerous times he has filed paperwork (lots of it, including required documentation), only to have it “disappear” and be told to start all over. Given enough time, the VA will get its wish.

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