America’s Next War: Coming Soon

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

798px-Tomb_of_the_Unknowns_crackOur nation has become a military empire analogous to ancient Rome, another Republic that lost its bearings because it became the mightiest fighting force of its time. That we owe this to having spectacularly won what could be called “The Last Just War”, World War II, merely ironically underlines our descent into become the World’s most bellicose nation. This bellicosity has been masked by propaganda that makes us out to be the one nation responsible for ensuring “freedom and safety”. In this strife torn Earth, that idea cannot be supported since the truth is that we are the chief threat to peace in the world today. Now in truth, the use of the United States military to intervene in this Nation and other Nation’s affairs is not simply a phenomenon that began with World War II as you can see from this timeline linked here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations . What World War II marked though was the absolute dominant position in world military power which our country attained during our participation in that war. Given the magnitude of its scope it is easy to forget that for the United States World War II lasted only a brief four years. However, the incredible mobilization of troops and the supporting materiel of war were accomplished via a total mobilization that in the end fully turned the vision of Corporate America towards the great profits and benefits to be derived by American military dominance. Indeed, for generations to come there was a fluidity of personnel between leading corporate entities and the Department of Defense.

 Since 2001 our Armed Forces have been totally engaged in two major, unjustified wars and various minor “peace actions”. A child born in 1990 in the U.S. grew up in a world where there has been constant warfare and warfare’s necessary companion glorification of military service. The admixture of America’s warlike behavior and the faux glorification of the nobility of our military has become a constant in that young persons mind, only to better make them future cannon fodder for our dominant Corporate/Military Industrial Complex. Sadly, the less educated that young person is the more they are gullible to the siren call of that propaganda of military glorification. As the Great U.S. General Smedley Butler said so long ago: “War is a racket”.

In truth we honor our soldiers far more in words than in deeds. “America’s Greatest Generation” as establishment mouthpiece Tom Brokaw put it, was also the one generation of military personnel that was actually very well treated in the aftermath of their service. The World War II returning troops were educated via the generous G.I. Bill, had their homes financed through special discount programs and entered the marketplace at a time of phenomenal growth of the U.S. economy due to our country’s new position as the World’s dominant power. Every generation of returning veterans before and after World War II was treated rather shabbily in comparisons, despite the lavish praise given them for their service. The huge backlog in receiving benefits and medical treatment for our latest generation of returning veterans is masked by our presumed “honoring of the troops”, which is constantly accomplished merely in words, with a paucity of actual services delivered.

The reality is that the only real bi-partisanship that exists in our politicians today is that the overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans are enthusiastic supporters of American military hegemony and bought stooges of the Corporate/Military Industrial Complex. That many beyond their corporate donors are indeed true believers in American military supremacy is no doubt true. The fact is that if you were born after let’s say 1960, your view of the world was shaped by American interventionism and American military supremacy. Barack Obama was born in 1961 and one can count him as one of those who for the most part supports America’s military interventionism. The proofs of my assertions are simple. In this time of supposed budgetary crisis, there is barely minimal support for cutting anything out of our Military and Intelligence budget. I lump Military and Intelligence together because there has been such a blurring of the lines between these two formerly discrete government entities, that today it is impossible to distinguish boundaries.

 When it comes to my premise for this piece which is that this country will soon be involved in its “next” war, let me explain my reasoning. First of all there is the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room of American politics that almost no one that I’m aware of talks about. We are mired in a recession with countless American unemployed. If we bring our troops home and cut our defense budget we will add hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people to our jobless rolls. Truly, the military has been the escape for many with otherwise poor employment prospects into obtaining a respectable job and the semblance of a future career. By cutting the military/intelligence budget, as things now stand economically in this country, we will recede from “recession” into “depression”. However, without something to justify the existence of our military budget, the U.S. spends more on our military budget than the next thirteen countries combined military expenditures, the truth that we are squandering the riches of this country to support the profits of private corporations becomes obvious. Therefore we need something to justify this unnecessary expense and that is another war.

 As I see it there are three good prospects for that coming war, though I won’t preclude that we might fight all three at once. The first prospect is that ever handy, oil rich, example Iran. The justification would be similar to that of Iraq, which is “weapons of mass destruction”. The idea is that we can’t allow a country as unstable as Iran to have nuclear capacity. Underlying this justification is that Iran has a massive supply of oil riches and so would be a prize similar to Iraq and the oil leases we forced Iraq to agree to. Naturally, a partial excuse would be its threat to Israel, but in truth that is merely a convenient overlay for Saudi Arabia’s competition with Iran for dominance in the Muslim world.

 A second possibility is intervention in Syria for humanitarian reasons. The Syrian dictator Assad is no doubt a brute, but we live in a world where a great many country’s are ruled by brutes. The “humanitarian” interest in Syria is its strategic location, the presence of American military bases close by and the various economic benefits to be supplied by controlling that country.

 Now a third possibility rearing its ugly head comes from the clownish dictator of North Korea. Again we find a nuclear threat involved and also this is paired with the “humanitarian” need to rid this unfortunate country of its hereditary dictator. That North Korea is a failed state, unable to feed its people and geographically located next to one of the World’s great powers China may be ignored because the silly posturing of its’ “dear Leader” can be propagandistically twisted into a “threat” to our country.

 It must be noted that possibly the most unstable country to possess nuclear capability in the World today is Pakistan, yet that ill-governed country is somehow never cited as a threat to the U.S., even with its harboring of Osama Bin Laden and of the Taliban, next door to the country we are currently deeply involved in.

 These are my reasons for my believing that quite shortly our country will be involved in another war. Unless thinking by both parties in Washington changes drastically, which I don’t see as likely given the gravy train our politicians are on, we will receive the same propagandist buildup as a preparation of the American people for yet another war. We will squander the lives of our troops and the wealth of this country maintaining our role as the “Leader of the World”. We will move ever closer to Rome’s example as a republic turns to empire and the empire is ruled by military heroes and so it goes.

The reader will note that I used no links to back up my suppositions and in truth this guest blog was my meditation on the militaristic character that has prevailed in our nation. However, my musings are not merely the product of a fevered brain this morning, but actually a continuation of an ongoing theme of a portion of my guest blogs. The links below supply the information  and detail that have influenced my feelings and a the combination of work that both Gene Howington and myself have produced in the past year or so.

 Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

 http://jonathanturley.org/2013/02/09/petraeus-the-problem-with-heroic-hagiography/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2013/02/02/why-they-hate-hagel-and-american-mythology/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/09/15/this-changes-everything/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/09/08/the-drum-beat-goes-on/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/08/25/lest-we-forget/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/06/23/missing-the-point-when-the-point-is-obvious/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/06/17/propaganda-102-holly-would-and-the-power-of-images/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/05/20/propaganda-101-what-you-need-to-know-and-why-or/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/04/01/defending-our-freedoms/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/17/a-real-history-of-the-last-sixty-two-years/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/02/25/hypocrisy-democracy-whats-going-on/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/07/americas-transcendent-issue/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2011/09/24/as-we-careen-towards-a-dream-of-armageddon/

 http://jonathanturley.org/2011/09/10/the-president-has-been-afraid-of-what/

122 thoughts on “America’s Next War: Coming Soon

  1. “The reality is that the only real bi-partisanship that exists in our politicians today is that the overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans are enthusiastic supporters of American military hegemony and bought stooges of the Corporate/Military Industrial Complex. ”

    Yep.

    And of every other K Street high dollar John who strolls up to the steps of Congress looking for a date.

    Good job, Mike.

    But we won’t see any substantive change until either “campaign contributions” are reigned in or something really terrible happens. Probably both.

  2. Mike,
    This is an excellent piece. As an amateur historian, I am constantly bemused by the fact too many people see an armed intervention as a first choice, not the last choice. Sun Tzu gave them the answers over 2,500 years ago. People say they have read Sun Tzu, but fast money speaks louder than common sense and the lessons of history.

    A few lessons from Sun Tzu:
    ******************************************************

    The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

    For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.

    There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.

    Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

    Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.

  3. yet another nice one,Prof Mike
    -but let’s call a spade a spade: war,shmore…the name of the game is Invasion
    [mea culpa, have been reading, ‘It Ain’t Fine if it Don’t Rhyme’ :’An eclectic collection of lyrics written over the past 60 years by happy-go-lucky veteran songsmith, Andy Halmay…’Kindle Edition on Amazon ]

  4. The one of the better things that the American public can do is vote every federal politician out of office and start over. But, we see too many people almost worshipping them and buying in to their propaganda for that to happen. Politics is a racket and will be as long as people continue to be so easily mislead due to their ignorance or apathy of what it takes to be a true leader.

  5. Mike, Great article. Can’t disagree with a word of it. Some thoughts:

    Much of the unemployment would go away if the government hired people, directly or indirectly, rather than lay them off. This is one way to turn around a recession. Would a few more people in the VA help turn around the abysmal turnaround rate of VA benefit requests? Would a few more inspectors in the regulatory agencies help the environment, the work place, EEOC claims?

    The more people who are working at living wage jobs, the more money that is spent. The minimum wage should be doubled and then tied to the cost of living index.

    We are moving more and more to a feudal society where a few will be determining what the rest of us do, if we manage to survive.

    How does this tie into your article? Only a few join the military because the want to fight. Some believe the propaganda of “keeping the homeland safe”, which can be countered by those opposed to more war but when wages are low and unemployment high, the military is an attractive option for many young people who can’t find jobs that pay enough to provide food, shelter and clothing for themselves, much less a family.

  6. OS,

    Thank you for the Sun Tzu quotes, As you point out many have read him through the lens of their own pre-judgment. Also as you know Confucius, a contemporary also was drawn to philosophize because of his being appalled at the ongoing wars of the various Chinese States.

  7. “We are moving more and more to a feudal society where a few will be determining what the rest of us do, if we manage to survive.”

    Bettykath,

    There you go channeling my thoughts again. :)

  8. For the Germans, WWI was a war that taught them the profit motive of war. For America WWII gave the lesson.

    America watched, observed, and absorbed some German successes in the run-up to WWII. We must address the 1933 Parellels. The Germans used the arson of the Reichstag as the necessary evil to end al civil liberties. We saw that and did the same with the Twin Towers. At the Nuremburg Trials, Goerring was locked up and admitted to committing the arson himself. History might reveal who was responsible for 9/11. But we have gone down that cliff. It is well beyond “slippery slope”. We tax what we can and spend as much as we can on Halliburton. Welfare is a diversion to keep our attention on the welfare cheats while Cheney and the Koch Brother boys cheat us to kingdom come.

    Which brings us to Kingdom Come. There will be a reckoning. America the Beautiful will be viewed as AmeriKa The Tyrannical. So sayeth, BarkinDog this 13th day of April, 2013, [day, month and year of our Lard]

  9. After reading my previous post I realized that the point was, without sufficient soldiers, the military would be less powerful. Then I thought of the drones and the lasers. Lots of kids these days would love to sit at a console and play drones and lasers without understanding that those are real people they are killing.

    Should we go after N. Korea, and sit on another border with China, I think we’ll be in for more than we can handle.

  10. Great job Mike. I am not so sure that we are close to a major conflagration with any of the three countries that you mentioned. I do not see North Korea actually starting a war because they this is the way they get things from the international community. They bluster and shoot a defective missile or two and then the world gives them aid in exchange for stopping their nuclear ambitions. Plus, even China is getting sick of North Korea’s tactics.
    I could see us sending more aid to Syria, but I do not foresee a major military move there. Iran may have the highest chance of instigating or enticing the US into a conflict, but I do believe that their military has the ability to do damage to the US and its allies so we may think twice. I just hope I am right!
    I think we will continue the run away military spending and continue the war by proxy that seems to be the latest product of the MIC.

  11. [music]
    And its one, two three, What are we fightin for?
    Don’t ask me I dont give a damn..
    Next stop if Viet Nam..
    And its five, six, seven Open up the Pearly Gates!
    Ain’t no time to wonder why
    Whoppee we’re all gonna die!
    -Country Joe and the Fish

    A friend of mine who did two years in Nam tending to wounded and dying, is dying of a tumor in some hospital. No one, or few, are linking the illness to the stress of war.

    What are we fighting for in Afghanistan? Keep the pirate territory safer than when the Russians had it so that seven guys with box cutters wont get on planes in Boston and hijack them?

    The budget debate on CNN is all about welfare and social security benefits. Not one cent in tribute is denied for defense. Billions for Halliburton but not one mention on CNN when budget crisis is discussed.

    This apparently ain’t no time to wonder why.
    Whopee, we are all gonna die in the long run so why care?

  12. Get Rid of Mubarak!
    Whose this Morsi nazi?
    How did we get him?
    Let me count the ways.

    Get rid of Saddam and his weapons of catolic mass destruction.
    Who are these thieves in office now?
    How did we hire them?
    Let me count the ways.

    Get rid of Ghaddafi!
    Get rid of TallyBan!
    Get rid of Putan!
    Get rid of Bloomberg!
    Bring on Weiner!

  13. CheatinDog 1, April 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    No one talks about making the world safe for Democracy anymore.

    ********************************************
    At the moment, trying to sell our “ideal” form of government to other countries will be a hard sell indeed, given the behavior of this government over the past fifty years. And it is not getting better, it seems to be getting worse.

  14. Mike Spindell 1, April 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    The following article on the execrable Tom Friedman can be read to illustrate those “esteemed” propagandists who ramp up the drumbeat for America’s warlike interventions. One could say he’s a cheerleader for the Corporate Military Industrial Complex.

    http://www.alternet.org/media/tom-friedman-most-overrated-and-disgraceful-journalist-america?paging=off
    ===========================================
    Should anyone consider U.S. Journalist vs. U.S. Journalist a little too close to call, take the example of an American trained journalist who now practices in Jordan, as a further-away-from-the-fray observation (“professionally criminal”):

    By coincidence two clashes over nuclear issues are hitting the headlines together. North Korea and Iran have both had sanctions imposed by foreign governments, and when they refuse to “behave properly” they are submitted to “isolation” and put in the corner until they are ready to say sorry and change their conduct. If not, corporal punishment will be administered, since they have been given fair warning by the enforcers that “all options are on the table”.

    It’s a bizarre way to run international relations, one we continue to follow at our peril. For one thing, it is riddled with hypocrisy, and not just because states that have hundreds of nuclear weapons are bullying states that have few or none. The hypocrisy is worse than that.

    Rami Khouri, the distinguished US-trained Lebanese writer, calls it “professionally criminal”. After a month in the US recently, he found that coverage of Iran was based on “assumptions, fears, concerns, accusations and expectations almost never supported by factual and credible evidence”. In as much as these distortions build public support for a military attack on Iran, he finds it as culpable as the media’s role in the runup to the attack on Iraq a decade ago.

    What makes it particularly egregious is that the bullying is being done by hypocrites out in plain public view:

    High-level talks between Israel and its Muslim neighbors regarding a nuclear weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East have been cancelled by the US and Israel.

    A nuclear weapons-free zone has been repeatedly proposed, only to have Israel – the only state in the region with nuclear weapons – reject it in favor of maintaining this nuclear monopoly, further destabilizing the region, and keeping the threat of others’ nukes as a primary excuse for its militarism.

    Diplomats tell the Associated Press that the US, one of the organizers of the meeting on this latest NWFZ proposal, would likely make a formal announcement of its cancelation soon, claiming that “the time was not opportune.”

    While Iran is a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has publicly pledged its opposition to nuclear weapons development, has subjected itself to thorough international inspections, and in fact has exactly zero nuclear weapons, Israel has done none of the above and has approximately 200 nuclear warheads. Iran is being severely punished and threatened with attack, Israel is supported with unparalleled economic, military, and diplomatic support.

    (Origin of the Classic Nuclear Bully). Thus, Mike’s statement “the truth is that we are the chief threat to peace in the world today” is an accurate observation made by research journalists around the globe.

  15. I find it interesting that the rise of the progressive era in the late 19th century coincides with the rise of military might/ambition. From TR and Woodrow Wilson to GW Bush and now BH Obama we have had endless war with a respite during the 20’s and 30’s under Coolidge, Harding and Hoover and the late 70’s and 80’s under Ford, Carter and Reagan except for the bombings in Libya and the support for the Mujahedeen against the Soviets.

    TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, both Bushs, Clinton and Obama all pretty much anti-capitalist progressives. Coolidge, Harding, Hoover and Reagan pretty much pro-capitalist, individual liberty sorts for the most part. Although you could make a case against Hoover.

    I think I see a pattern. So does my favorite philosopher:

    “Laissez-faire capitalism is the only social system based on the recognition of individual rights and, therefore, the only system that bans force from social relationships. By the nature of its basic principles and interests, it is the only system fundamentally opposed to war.

    Men who are free to produce, have no incentive to loot; they have nothing to gain from war and a great deal to lose. Ideologically, the principle of individual rights does not permit a man to seek his own livelihood at the point of a gun, inside or outside his country. Economically, wars cost money; in a free economy, where wealth is privately owned, the costs of war come out of the income of private citizens—there is no overblown public treasury to hide that fact—and a citizen cannot hope to recoup his own financial losses (such as taxes or business dislocations or property destruction) by winning the war. Thus his own economic interests are on the side of peace.

    In a statist economy, where wealth is “publicly owned,” a citizen has no economic interests to protect by preserving peace—he is only a drop in the common bucket—while war gives him the (fallacious) hope of larger handouts from his master. Ideologically, he is trained to regard men as sacrificial animals; he is one himself; he can have no concept of why foreigners should not be sacrificed on the same public altar for the benefit of the same state.

    The trader and the warrior have been fundamental antagonists throughout history. Trade does not flourish on battlefields, factories do not produce under bombardments, profits do not grow on rubble. Capitalism is a society of traders—for which it has been denounced by every would-be gunman who regards trade as “selfish” and conquest as “noble.”

    Let those who are actually concerned with peace observe that capitalism gave mankind the longest period of peace in history—a period during which there were no wars involving the entire civilized world—from the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.”

    Ayn Rand
    “The Roots of War,”
    Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 38

  16. “In the long run, war and the preservation of the market economy are incompatible. Capitalism is essentially a scheme for peaceful nations…. The market economy, subject to the sovereignty of the individual consumers, turns out products which make the individual’s life more agreeable. It caters to the individual’s demand for more comfort. It is this that made capitalism despicable in the eyes of the apostles of violence. They worshiped the ‘hero,’ the destroyer and killer, and despised the bourgeois and his ‘peddler mentality’ (Sombart). Now mankind is reaping the fruits which ripened from the seeds sown by these men.”

    Ludwig von Mises (1949)
    Human Action: The Scholar’s Edition
    (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1999), p. 824.

  17. Mike,
    Wonderful article. Otteray Scribe’s contribution of SunTsz’s observation that, “there is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare” seems to be a lesson that mankind is incapable of learning. When we were in the process of replacing the French in Viet Nam, Ho Chi Min advised, you will come, we will kill a few of yours, you will kill many of ours and in the end, you will go home. Such is the lesson of history for invading and occupying foreign armies. The fact that the United States is so persistent in refusing to recognize this should be a reminder that the business of America is business and the thing business loves most is a good old fashioned war. Media being nicely consolidated into fewer big businesses, they also seem eager to serve as propogandists, more than happy to fan the flames of aggression.

    Though Iran, Syria and North Korea are all good bets for our next military intervention, I am not so sure you should be discounting Pakistan quite so much.

  18. Obama has been provoking and poking a stick at North Korea for ages. Same with Iran. Hes a warmonger. Hes got alot of the left fooled tho an they think hes about peace. Whatever. Herding the sheeple

  19. Bron 1, April 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I find it interesting that the rise of the progressive era in the late 19th century …

    Ayn Rand
    “The Roots of War,”
    Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 38
    ==========================================
    If you are reasoning from the foundation of the only female pr*ck around, Ayn Rand, then you would be talking about the Civil War (“late 19th century”) which was a war against slavery.

    She would not have sanctioned that war, choosing slavery instead.

    I prefer to listen to an American who has been a cabinet member, congressman, and President.

    Add to that having been a real civil rights expert because of having written The Bill of Rights, then having been called “The Father of The Constitution.”

    He has a unique American foundational view of war:

    Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other [enemy of public liberty]. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.

    (The Greatest Source Of Power Toxins?, emphasis added). Since this was before progressives or conservatives, democrats or republicans, it is not an understanding born of modern political science.

    It is far more timeworn and far more distant from the modern age of propaganda.

    It is far more pure than the hateful daughter of wealthy folks who came to Hollywood from Russia.

  20. Another element of our national militarization is the leaking of that mindset into domestic policing.

    SWAT, military style police raids, the increasing police firepower, etc are all symptoms of our national militarization.

    It isn’t only distant foreigners who will feel the effects of our militarization.

  21. It is a strange truth that war brings out the best in people, as well as the worst in people.

    It is also a truth as old as history itself that young men and women die for the aspirations and egos of old men.

  22. I believe Sun Tzu’s admonition is off-point. He wrote in a time of kings and emperors, when the gains and costs of war were pretty much borne directly by the kings and emperors that chose to pursue it (or were victimized by it).

    That is no longer the case. War is usually profitable for somebody; and war profiteers are not generally the type of people that care if their profits come at enormous human costs, or even the fall of countries.

    Just as certain investors with a ton of cash on hand are willing to destroy an otherwise viable and profitable company in order to pocket as profit a tenth of its value, war profiteers that can make tens or hundreds of millions of dollars will live fine elsewhere, in Switzerland, Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or many other fine countries where money buys luxury and first-class healthcare and security, often with fewer restrictions than the USA.

    If an investor gains control of a company and doesn’t care about the survival of it or the people it employs, they can extract and pocket much of the future profits immediately, load the company up with crippling debt, and leave it to its fate. Just ask Mitt Romney, he’s an expert.

    If war profiteers don’t care about the survival of the country, they can for pennies on their profit-dollar use corrupt tactics to push it into war, so the country buys ludicrously over-priced weaponry and services. They can run the country into crippling debt, pocket their profits and leave it to its fate while they relax as decamillionaires in their fine houses all over the world.

  23. Otteray Scribe 1, April 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Mike,
    This is an excellent piece. As an amateur historian, I am constantly bemused by the fact too many people see an armed intervention as a first choice, not the last choice. Sun Tzu gave them the answers over 2,500 years ago. People say they have read Sun Tzu, but fast money speaks louder than common sense and the lessons of history.

    A few lessons from Sun Tzu:
    ******************************************************

        The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

        For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.

        There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.

        Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

        Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.
    ===========================================
    Your quote comes from a book written by a Chinese General titled “The Art of War.”

    Is war an art or is it a disease:

    You might be wondering how this “war is art” meme began.

    It began with the teachings of a Chinese general who wrote a book “The Art of War” which eventually found its way into the libraries of The U.S. Army War Colleges.

    It then infected the minds of the students of war, the “artists” who do war, who once upon a time would have been doctors learning how to prevent the disease of war.

    Now, instead they get a degree in the Chinese philosophy, not the original American philosophy:

    Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.

    Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

    3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.

    5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

    7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

    8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

    9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.

    10. By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

    11. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

    (The Art of War, see also this, this, and this). So, since your health is their enemy then you are their enemy, and since art is expensive, if you complain in the streets about not having a home, job, or food, they will capture your country whole and intact, because that is considered to be supreme excellence in their “art of war”.

    Remember their “art” dictates:

    “The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives …

    The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness …

    By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.”

    (ibid, links added). That the art of war even controls the building of the roads explains a lot about our infrastructure?

    Yeah, James Madison, I get your drift.

    (Is War An Art or Is War A Disease?). This Chinese General is required reading while Civics 101 is not.

    The reason is the drift toward totalitarianism by way of taking over the old United States without firing a shot — by practicing the “art” of Sun Tzu.

    According to General Westley Clark, that policy coup has now taken place (A Tale of Coup Cities – 2).

    It takes “real genius not to see” that they only practice Sun Tzu on the American public, not on the nations we have invaded, occupied, and virtually destroyed.

  24. CheatinDog 1, April 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    No one talks about making the world safe for Democracy anymore.

    *****

    Maybe we should start talking about making the United States safe for Democracy???

  25. Just so you know…. i am not part of “We”. I do not support governments in America, I do not support ” the social contract “. I do not support WAR ! I do not support democracy ( mob rule ). I do not support jingoism. I do not support violence. I support individuals & their freedom & their creativity & their productivity…. 99guspuppet

  26. Mike S,

    “In truth we honor our soldiers far more in words than in deeds.”

    OS

    “It is also a truth as old as history itself that young men and women die for the aspirations and egos of old men.”

    Then, what does this say about those who serve? Why are our young people signing up by the thousands every year? Is it the economy (i.e lack of job opportunities. Entering the arm forces without a college degree is similar to working entry level management at McDonalds?)?

    Is it ignorance or lack of knowledge about the benefits if you don’t serve out your 20 years, if you don’t go to college while your enrolled-increasing your chances of being promoted, or being badly injured (physically and/or mentally) and, then, having to live a low-income lifestyle or even becoming homeless?

    Why are you (young people) fighting for a country (USA) that refuses to fight for you?

    Excellent article Mike S.

  27. 99guspuppet: I support individuals & their freedom & their creativity & their productivity

    If you do not support democracy, how is that defined? Or is it just your unilateral, dictatorial decision what shall and shall not be declared “freedom”?

    Does freedom let people kill each other? Steal from each other? Rape each other? Enslave each other? If you do not believe in “mob rule,” and you do not believe in violence, why should those acts be prohibited, and if any acts are prohibited, how do you propose we enforce that prohibition without violence against against somebody determined to commit violence to get what they want?

    I think you need some further mental processing of your list of what you “support,” as it stands what you support and do not support cannot be used to create a coherent societal system. What you support is “anarchy” which typically evolves in short order to absolute rule by psychopathic violence.

  28. AP,

    Thank you for thr Bill Maher link since it inspired this piece. Tthis morning when I started to write this, the video wasn’t available. You’ve brought this blog back to its inspiration and Maher’s rant is well worth watching.

  29. RWL,
    They sign up for all kinds of reasons. Too many to name. Some economic, some for educational opportunity, some out of family tradition, some for adventure. And on and on. Besides, when you are 19 or 20, you are bulletproof.

    A lot of young people cannot find jobs, have no insurance, and who sign up out of desperation to have a regular paycheck.

  30. Elaine M. 1, April 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    CheatinDog 1, April 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    No one talks about making the world safe for Democracy anymore.

    *****

    Maybe we should start talking about making the United States safe for Democracy???
    ================================================
    Bingo.

  31. I kind of like Friedman. Those St. Louis Park Jews[Friedman, Cohen Bros. David Brooks] have done ok for themselves. Must be writing in that towns water instead of flouride which as we all know “Will dry up you precious bodily fluids.”

  32. Anon 1, April 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    maybe we should talk about making the democracy around the world safe from the United States of America
    ===================================
    It is not united.

    Haven’t you ever heard of the U.S.eh?

    One of the better generals who understands what a military is for said a coup took place during or before 2001 (A Tale of Coup Cities – 2).

  33. Bill Maher is the King of Smug. I saw the late great Christopher Hitchens rip the little twerp a new assh@ole…it was great!

  34. Preparation H is made from really crude stuff.

    We have fought many wars to bring it.

    Exxon gave it to people free to 354 locations in 2012.

    If you like innuendo, bend over, here it comes:

  35. OS.
    Some of the kids that signed up for the military and who lived through 9/11 felt a patriotic tug or pull to join up. Our son talked about the Marines all through college and we suggested to finish school and then decide. He went in and really gained an immense amount of confidence and leadership ability that landed him a couple of good jobs since he got out of the Marines. The hard part for us as parents was his tour in Afghanistan. But he and many of his fellow officers felt that patriotic tug following 9/11.

  36. “Winston could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war…”

    “War … is now a purely internal affair. … The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.” — George Orwell, 1984

    The Corporate Management of the United States (CMUS) has only one enemy that it truly fears and loathes: namely, us, or (quaintly) “we the people.”

  37. War on N.Korea? Wouldn’t last long enough. No big oil supply to loot. China wouldn’t approve and might call in U.S. debts.

    Syria? Russia wouldn’t approve – but ISRAEL would.

    Iran? Would cause too many problems…for us/ISRAEL.

  38. raff,
    So did a lot of young people, and some not so young. Little did they realize the level of incompetence and venality of the Administration. Or, on second thought, maybe the Administration was not really incompetent. Bush, Cheney & Company made a ton of money for their friends and family, and were able to push their right wing agenda even further right.

    Now look where we are. The cost of this misadventure in Iraq and Afghanistan? There are 6,656 dead Americans as of February 2013. No one knows the exact number of civilian contractors killed, but the best estimate is about 3,000. No good data are available on casualties, because all too many have wounds that do not bleed and leave no visible scars. We know there are more than 50,000 with physical wounds.

    But when vets ask the fat cats and politicians who sent them there for more money to treat them, we get……..crickets. Slogans and soaring pronouncements, but where is the money?

    “The character of a nation can be measured by the way that nation treats its veterans.”
    — Author Unknown

  39. How about we insist our Congress representatives vote on any War Declaration as out Constitution so clearly says they should?

    Congress, get a backbone!

    Do not vote for your (and my) war mongering congress wimps.

  40. “Do not vote for your (and my) war mongering congress wimps.”

    Do you realize how many of the NPRer’s here support HILLARY! 2016?

  41. Raff and OS,

    Even as I protested Viet Nam in my mind a big part of my protest was for those young soldiers who were being destroyed by a war which they were told was to protect our country. After 9/11 the government propaganda machine, lovingly abetted by the bulk of our mass media, made similar young idealists think they were joining a crusade to protect their country. It is almost always the same way with war and that is why the preferred recruits are young. Venal “old” men can vicariously satisfy their blood-lusts in the safety of their luxury and murmur platitudes of praise for those who truly suffer the consequences of these criminals misdeeds. Think Dick Cheney.

  42. nick,

    Let us not forget that Christopher Hitchens was a big proponent of America starting a war with Iraq.

    *****

    When Hitch was wrong
    He was disastrously wrong
    BY ALEX PAREENE
    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/17/when_hitch_was_wrong/

    Excerpt:
    The late Christopher Hitchens had the professional contrarian’s fixation on attacking sacred cows, and rather soon after his cancer diagnosis, he became one himself. I think he would’ve been disgusted to see too much worshipful treacle being written about him upon his untimely death, so let’s remember that in addition to being a zingy writer and masterful debater, he was also a bellicose warmongering misogynist.

    Upon the death of the unlamented Earl Butz, Hitchens excoriated editors who published sanitized obituaries of a man remembered solely for a vulgar racist remark made in public. Hitchens leaves a rather more varied legacy, but it’s just as important not to whitewash his role in recent history.

    There was no more forceful intellectual voice in support of the Iraq War than Hitchens. There were others who were more prominent, more influential or more persuasive, but Hitchens was the perfect shill for an administration looking to cast its half-baked invasion plans as a morally righteous intervention, because only he could call upon a career of denunciations of totalitarianism and defenses of human rights. (The fact that the war was supposed to be justified by weapons Saddam was supposedly developing didn’t really matter to Hitchens.)

    And so we had the world’s self-appointed supreme defender of Orwell’s legacy happily joining an extended misinformation campaign designed to sell an incompetent right-wing government’s war of choice. The man who carefully laid out the case for arresting Henry Kissinger for war crimes was now palling around with Paul fucking Wolfowitz.

    Once he became an unpaid administration propagandist, Hitchens, formerly a creature of left-wing magazines whose largest mainstream exposure was in Vanity Fair and occasionally on Charlie Rose, was suddenly on TV rather a lot. The lesson there, I think, is that the popular American mass media will make room for even a booze-swilling atheist Trotskyite if he’s shilling for a the latest war.

    And to be honest, his post-9/11 conception of an epoch-defining clash of civilizations between the secular West and the jihadists is more than slightly ridiculous. The secular West faces any number of graver existential threats — like unaccountable too-big-to-fail financial institutions and climate change, to name two that immediately come to mind — than that posed by the less-than 1 percent of the world’s Muslim population that subscribes to Salafist jihadism. Hitchens, the old Orwell worshiper, clearly just wanted a great big generational threat to tackle fearlessly, with polemics attacking the sclerotic establishment liberals who failed to see that the world was at the brink of disaster. He was looking for his own Spanish Civil War. That’s why he insisted on arguing that “Bin Ladenism” was equivalent to fascism.

  43. Mike S.
    I got home from work today and headed out to venture into the interwebs to gather up various news, comments, ideas, etc. I finished up watching Bill Maher’s “NEW RULES” and was on my feet applauding only to sit right back down and read your article echoing what got me on my feet. I’d stand and applaud while typing, however I’m not that talented… Thanks.

  44. “Why even have this expensive military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” — former Secretary of State Madeleine Allbright

    “We came. We saw. He died.” — former Secretary of State You-Know-Her.

    And the glib, gloating women warmongers have only just started getting in their innings. .. More of that coming real soon now, courtesy of the “liberal” “humanitarian” interventionists.

  45. Kinda off topic…. But I think this new Pope as started out on the right track of corrective measure…. I’ve yet to read anything negative or even controversial in his decisions….

  46. Bill,

    I’m sorry…. I didn’t realize that just because someone listened to a particular news program that it I’d them as a supporter….. But sir, you may know more than I……

  47. rafflaw 1, April 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    OS.
    Some of the kids that signed up for the military and who lived through 9/11 felt a patriotic tug or pull to join up. Our son talked about the Marines all through college and we suggested to finish school and then decide. He went in and really gained an immense amount of confidence and leadership ability that landed him a couple of good jobs since he got out of the Marines. The hard part for us as parents was his tour in Afghanistan. But he and many of his fellow officers felt that patriotic tug following 9/11 …
    ===========================================
    “The kids” … Patriotic tug?

    Oh I get it tug-o-war … kids stuff.

    Sincerely raf, my bad, I cannot remember if you are an evolutionist JT guy or a religious JT guy.

    So, I do not understand what you mean by “patriotic tug following 911.”

    Obviously it wasn’t the one that wanted justice for the 15 of 19 Saudi Arabian hijackers.

    Hell, hit the little guys, not the big powerful Oil-Qaeda who actually did it.

    Sorry raf, most Americans did not then, and still do not now feel that patriotic tug.

    It is a tug boat pulling the battleship “My Lai Leg” to a junkyard somewhere nobody needs to go, wants to go, or has to go.

  48. Otteray Scribe 1, April 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    “The character of a nation can be measured by the way that nation …
    =================================================
    “overcomes the senseless lust for parading and abusing veterans.” – Arthur Unknown

  49. Anonymously Yours 1, April 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Kinda off topic…. But I think this new Pope as started out on the right track of corrective measure…. I’ve yet to read anything negative or even controversial in his decisions….
    ============================================
    Have you read my study of the prophecy (Shades of the Mayan Calendar?) declaring he is the last Pope?

    It is a most ancient “shiver me timbers.”

  50. I joined the military (at 18) for the GI Bill, which let me go to college when I got out.

    That said, I know a lot of the guys that joined with me had what I thought (even then) was a naive sense of patriotism, heroism, serving the country, protecting the civilians, elitism, whatever.

    I did not believe it then, I do not believe it now; I did not see battle but I was cannon fodder, trained (by random drills we were purposely kept from knowing whether they were the real thing) to do my job without question or hesitation to the final second of life even if I was about to be vaporized in an atomic explosion. I worked beneath colonels and generals that proved to me on a daily basis they were phucking morons. I still think so thirty five years later.

    I think that some young, like me, join out of desperation or cold calculation, but the majority join because they are conned into thinking they are serving their country and protecting citizens and doing something noble, when they are in fact suffering and dying to protect corporate profits.

  51. After reading all the comments I think that we should push the proposition to Make The World Safe FROM Democracy.
    All of the United States rhetoric has been in favor of Arab Springs. Then we get Arab rats. Springtime for Hitler in Germany was autumn for Poland and France.

  52. why we need eleven nuclear super carriers when the rest of the world has only eleven carriers of any type.

    eleven US carriers that can’t go through the panama canal

  53. Mike,

    More on Thomas Friedman:

    Rewrite Thomas Friedman’s Syria Column, Win a Free Hand Grenade
    By Matt Taibbi
    POSTED: November 14, 2012
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/rewrite-thomas-friedmans-syria-column-win-a-free-hand-grenade-20121114

    Excerpt:
    I know, this is getting very old. I promise, after this, to not mention Thomas Friedman for a long time. But his column today was so old-school, it deserves some attention.

    Friedman on the Middle East this morning:

    “Ever since the start of the Syrian uprising/civil war, I’ve cautioned that while Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Tunisia implode, Syria would explode if a political resolution was not found quickly. That is exactly what’s happening . . .

    “What to do? I continue to believe that the best way to understand the real options — and they are grim — is by studying Iraq, which, like Syria, is made up largely of Sunnis, Shiites, Christians and Kurds. Why didn’t Iraq explode outward like Syria after Saddam was removed? The answer: America.”

    Friedman’s idea seems to be that ethnically-fractured Middle Eastern countries like Syria would be more stable today, if they’d only been occupied first and had their nation-states built on a foundation of political compromises brokered by a strong military power like the United States. Veteran Friedman readers know that this line of thinking usually leads to either an “iron fist” column, or a “midwife” column. Today, he went with both.

    Friedman used to believe that Arabs were not physically capable of resisting the urge toward ethnic violence. Years ago, in an effort to explain what he called his “Pottery Barn” metaphor (the “You break it, you own it” line used to describe Iraq, and later appropriated by Colin Powell), Friedman remarked that in the case of Iraq, the pottery pieces were broken long before we arrived. They were, he said, “broken . . . by 1,000 years of Arab-Muslim authoritarianism, three brutal decades of Sunni Baathist rule, and a crippling decade of U.N. sanctions. [Iraq] was held together only by Saddam’s iron fist.”

    So you had all of these pottery pieces being held together by an iron fist, but we took away the iron fist, and the pottery pieces fell apart again. This could have been fixed, he wrote, by inserting our own iron first, and commencing therapy, but we screwed that up, resulting in a vacuum: “Had we properly occupied the country, and begun political therapy, it is possible an American iron fist could have held Iraq together long enough to put it on a new course,” he wrote. “But instead we created a vacuum by not deploying enough troops.”

    That was six years ago. Friedman was very down on Iraq then. “There are so many people killing so many other people for so many different reasons,” he wrote, that Iraq is “not even the Arab Yugoslavia anymore. It’s Hobbes’s jungle.” It was a jungle, he wrote, where we were “throwing more good lives after good lives into a deeper and deeper hole filled with more and more broken pieces.”

    An endlessly-deepening hole, containing broken pottery pieces at the bottom, rapidly filling up with the dead bodies of good people. That is a very strange and depressing image, and it’s what Friedman saw in Iraq in 2006.

    Now, however, Iraq looks good compared to Syria. In an attempt to explain how that could be, given that six years ago it looked quite a lot like our invasion of Iraq triggered a wave of ethnic violence, Friedman is re-explaining the history of the Iraq war.

  54. Report: The Pentagon Must Cut Spending
    By Ben Armbruster
    Apr 12, 2013
    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/04/12/1861201/pentagon-cut-spending/

    Excerpt:
    President Obama’s Pentagon budget proposal exceed’s last year’s request by $1 billion and CAP defense budget experts Lawrence Korb, Alex Rothman and Max Hoffman think the White House can do better. “This is a missed opportunity to realign our national security priorities,” they write in a new brief, adding, “Unnecessary defense spending does not make us safer; it diverts resources away from other critical investments here at home that create jobs and rebuild our infrastructure.”

    The report notes that in 2011, the United States spent more on its military than the next 13 biggest spenders combined (a majority of those nations are U.S. allies) and note that Obama’s defense budget proposal maintains an “unwillingness to return military spending to prewar levels or historical norms in real terms.”

  55. I admired Hitchens as a writer. Thought he was a masterful debater. My opinions of him as compared to what I’d consider a decent human being are far less charitable. That being said, I’m no fan of Maher either.

    Friedman is a joke and a bad one at that. Doubly so because some people think he knows what he’s talking about.

    As far as our “defense” spending goes? Oligarchical pillaging of national resources is a sure fire sign of a nation in free fall. Our militarization and senseless aggression geared toward private interests is not the only commonality we share with the Roman Empire. We will continue on this ruinous path until we either fix our manifestly corrupted political system (starting with Congress) or until something truly horrible happens at which point we with change the way we as a nation conduct our business, for the better or worse remains to be seen. And largest military or not? If the rest of the world gets tired of our bullshit, no one wins a nuclear war. And as horrifying as that prospect is, the more insidious threat is a biological war in age of easy genomics.

    The universe is an active place. Everything oscillates. Everything is reciprocal. This is the idea behind many concepts both philosophical and scientific, not the least of which is “you reap what you sow”.

    Our national policy is to sow destruction for personal profit as a form of free enterprise.

    When that circle completes, it will not be a pretty picture.

    I once thought – and not that long ago – that we as citizens had a chance to “right the boat” before it was too late.

    Looking at our governmental and MSM institutions, I’m not so sure any more.

    I still hope for the best, but the reality is likely to be far starker and harder than the best.

  56. Gene,

    Off topic–but on the subject of Thomas Friedman:

    Thomas Friedman and Wealth
    By Norman Solomon, the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy.”
    Posted: October 30, 2006
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norman-solomon/thomas-friedman-and-wealt_b_32837.html

    Excerpt:
    Last week my column was a parody of how Thomas Friedman writes about the global economy. Since then, I’ve learned that I was in error on a matter that shines some light on the worldview of the syndicated New York Times columnist and best-selling author.

    “Let’s face it — at this point I’m a rich guy, and I work for a newspaper run by guys who are even richer than I am,” the satirical version of Friedman said in my article. But actually, Friedman is not just “a rich guy.”

    Days ago I read a long feature story that appeared in the July issue of The Washingtonian magazine. It provides some background on the world of Thomas Friedman — and the personal finances that have long smoothed his path.

    Much of Friedman’s emphasis in recent years has revolved around economic relations. He’s been a strong supporter of “globalization”: the international trade rules and government policies allowing corporations to function with legal prerogatives that routinely trump labor rights, environmental protection and economic justice.

    “Globalization” is largely about relations between the rich and the poor — and often that means the very rich and the very poor.

    The lengthy profile of Friedman in The Washingtonian this summer had scant ink to spare for criticisms of Friedman’s outlook — which corporate media outlets frequently hail as brilliant. But the article did include a telling comment about him from the renowned economist Joseph Stiglitz, who said: “Participation in the new world requires resources, computers, education, and access to those is very unequally distributed. He has this high level of optimism that means that anyone can do it if they just have wills.”

    Stiglitz, a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, added that Friedman has understated the impacts of “some of the forces of inequality.” And Stiglitz pointed out that “globalization inherently increases the inequalities in developing countries.”

    Friedman’s great wealth is a frame for his window on the world. The Washingtonian reports that “his annual income easily reaches seven figures.” In the Maryland suburbs near Washington, three years ago, “the Friedmans built a palatial 11,400-square-foot house, now valued at $9.3 million,” on a parcel of more than seven acres near Bethesda Country Club and the Beltway.

    Throughout his journalistic career, Friedman has been married to Ann Bucksbaum — heiress to a real-estate and shopping-mall fortune now estimated at $2.7 billion. When the couple wed back in 1978, according to The Washingtonian article, Friedman became part of “one of the 100 richest families in the country.”

    Does Friedman’s astronomical wealth invalidate what he writes? Of course not. But information about the extent of his wealth — while not disclosed to readers of his columns and books — provides context for how he is accustomed to moving through the world. And his outsized economic privileges become especially relevant when we consider that he’s inclined to be glib and even flip as he advocates policies that give very low priority to reducing economic inequality.

    Supposedly rigorous about facts and ideas, Friedman has prostituted his intellect. During a CNBC interview with Tim Russert in late July, the acclaimed savant made a notable confession: “We got this free market, and I admit, I was speaking out in Minnesota — my hometown, in fact — and guy stood up in the audience, said, ‘Mr. Friedman, is there any free trade agreement you’d oppose?’ I said, ‘No, absolutely not.’ I said, ‘You know what, sir? I wrote a column supporting the CAFTA, the Caribbean Free Trade initiative. I didn’t even know what was in it. I just knew two words: free trade.'”

    Friedman went on: “Why am I so obsessive about that? Because it is a free, open, flexible economy that means you really gotta compete, but that you really can compete and you can really be quick in responding. That, Tim, is the most important asset we have.”

    Tim Russert didn’t bother to pursue the fact that one of the nation’s leading journalists had just said that he fervently advocated for a major trade agreement without knowing what was in it. “But beyond Russert’s negligence,” David Sirota wrote at the time, “what’s truly astonishing is that Tom Friedman, the person who the media most relies on to interpret trade policy, now publicly runs around admitting he actually knows nothing at all about the trade pacts he pushes in his New York Times column.”

    It’s reasonable to ask whether Friedman — perhaps the richest journalist in the United States — might be less zealously evangelical for “globalization” if he hadn’t been so wealthy for the last quarter of a century. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that the corporate forces avidly promoting his analysis of economic options are reaping massive profits from the systems of trade and commerce that he champions.

  57. Tom Friedman’s pre-war advocacy for the invasion
    By Glenn Greenwald
    12/1/2006
    http://utdocuments.blogspot.com/2006/12/tom-friedmans-pre-war-advocacy-for.html

    Excerpt;
    Beginning in November, 2002 all the way up until and including the day of the invasion — March 23, 2003 — Tom Friedman essentially made every single argument about the war, including many that conflicted with one another, except for one — we should not invade Iraq. But on the day of the invasion, he mocked the argument of “the French,” whose views he said were “unserious” and should result in their removal from the U.N. Security Council ( specifically, “the French argue that only bad things will come from this war — more terrorism, a dangerous precedent for preventive war, civilian casualties”).

    And despite having repeatedly said that the Bush administration’s pre-war actions were disastrous, Friedman declared on March 23 that the war would produce the outcome the Bush administration argued would result and that The Dreaded Unserious French would be proven wrong…

  58. Gene

    about bill maher, i recall before the 2000 election he would refer to the candidates as gush and bore, saying that they were interchangeable.

    also from the old show politically incorrect i got the impression that he’s slept with ann coulter.

    so he’s not as right or as bright as he thinks. more like a bill o’rielly that smokes weed and is on the invitation list for hugh hefners parties.

  59. Thanks, Mike. I definitely couldn’t have said it better myself. The chicken hawks start the wars that others fight and others pay for it because chicken hawks don’t fight and they don’t pay taxes.

    We don’t really honor the soldiers we deify the generals, like Petraeus, rhymes with betray us, and McCrystal. Funny think about those generals they don’t actually win wars. They explains why they can’t win wars and why torture is a good idea. Of course not that clearly. They become gods in their own minds and in the minds of Congress. They behave like Caliglia and get medals and have their subordinate lie for them.. Hands up everyone who thinks Petraeus didn’t start that affair when his biographer was with him in the “trenches”. Since WWII which of the wars that we hopped into did the mightiest fighting force in the world win? NONE, except maybe the first Gulf War where we saved Kuwait from that dictator Sadam. You know Kuwait that shing star of democracy in the Middle East.

    We don’t win wars and that’s ok for some people. They make more money that way and as the scare level rises they can sell more and more tools to turn the US into a prison.

    One last thought, Syria. That “we gotta do something for the the PEOPLE” quagmire that certain politicians see as a good opportunity to keep the money flowing. Assad is a thug. The rebels or a portion of them have sworn allegiance to Al Queda just after we dropped a bundle of money in their lap, not enough I guess. I feel for the people, the little people who live in constant fear of these “righteous” killers on both sides of this civil war; however, if we go in it won’t be for the PEOPLE and we won’t win. It will be another win for the military industrial complex.

    I feel for our people.

  60. Hey. Anyone out there remember the movie: The Producers. Here are the lyrics for one of the theme songs. Substitute Morsi for Hitler and you will see the 1933 Parallels. It is Winter for women and Coptics.

    Springtime for Hitler by
    CHORUS:
    Germany was having trouble
    What a sad, sad story
    Needed a new leader to restore
    Its former glory
    Where, oh, where was he?
    Where could that man be?
    We looked around and then we found
    The man for you and me
    Where, oh, where was he?
    Where could that man be?
    We looked around and then we found
    The man for you and me!
    LEAD TENOR STORMTROOPER:
    And now it’s…
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany
    Deutschland is happy and gay!
    We’re marching to a faster pace
    Look out, here comes the master race!
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany
    Rhineland’s a fine land once more!
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany
    Watch out, Europe
    We’re going on tour!
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany…
    CHORUS:
    Look, it’s springtime
    LEAD TENOR STORMTROOPER:
    Winter for Poland and France
    CHORUS AND STORMTROOPER:
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany!
    CHORUS:
    Springtime! Springtime!
    Springtime! Springtime!
    Springtime! Springtime!
    Springtime! Springtime!
    STORMTROOPER:
    Come on, Germans
    Go into your dance!
    STORMTROOPER “ROLF”:
    I was born in Dusseldorf und that is why they call me Rolf.
    STORMTROOPER “MEL”:
    Don’t be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the Nazi party!
    ULLA:
    The Fuhrer is coming, the Fuhrer is coming, the Fuhrer is coming!
    STORMTROOPER #1:
    Heil Hitler!
    STORMTROOPER #2:
    Heil Hitler!
    LEAD TENOR STORMTROOPER:
    Heil Hitler!
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany
    ALL:
    Heil Hitler!
    ROGER:
    Heil myself
    Heil to me
    I’m the kraut
    Who’s out to change our history
    Heil myself
    Raise your hand
    There’s no greater
    Dictator in the land!
    Everything I do, I do for you!
    CHORUS:
    Yes, you do!
    ROGER:
    If you’re looking for a war, here’s World War Two!
    Heil myself
    Raise your beer
    CHORUS:
    Jawohl!
    ROGER:
    Ev’ry hotsy-totsy Nazi stand and cheer
    CHORUS:
    Hooray!
    Ev’ry hotsy-totsy Nazi…
    ROGER:
    Heil myself!
    CHORUS:
    Ev’ry hotsy-totsy Nazi…
    ROGER:
    Heil myself!
    CHORUS:
    Ev’ry hotsy-totsy Nazi…
    ROGER:
    …stand and cheer!
    THE HEIL-LOs:
    The Fuhrer is causing a furor!
    He’s got those Russians on the run
    You gotta love that wacky hun!
    The Fuhrer is causing a furor
    They can’t say “no” to his demands
    They’re freaking out in foreign lands
    He’s got the whole world in his hands
    The Fuhrer is causing a furor!
    ROGER:
    I was just a paper hanger
    No one more obscurer
    Got a phone call from the Reichstag
    Told me I was Fuhrer
    Germany was blue
    What, oh, what to do?
    Hitched up my pants
    And conquered France
    Now Deutschland’s smiling through!
    ULLA:
    Challenge Tap, Challenge Tap,
    Adolf digs a challenge tap,
    Bring on the allies to hear the news,
    the facts is the axis, cannot lose!
    Cos’ Mr H.
    ROGER:
    Who is that?
    ULLA:
    Mr H.
    ROGER:
    That’s me!
    ULLA:
    Is wearing his dancing shoes!
    STALIN:
    I am Stalin,
    You’ll soon be fallin’!
    CHURCHILL:
    I am Churchill,
    I’m here to win the day!
    ROGER:
    It ain’t no myst’ry
    If it’s politics or hist’ry
    The thing you gotta know is
    Ev’rything is show biz
    Heil myself
    Watch my show
    I’m the German Ethel Merman
    Dontcha know
    We are crossing borders
    The new world order is here
    Make a great big smile
    Ev’ryone sieg heil to me
    Wonderful me!
    And now it’s…
    CHORUS:
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany
    Goose-step’s the new step today

    ROGER:
    Springtime!
    Goose-steps!
    CHORUS MEN:
    Bombs falling from the skies again
    CHORUS:
    Deutschland is on the rise again
    ROGER & CHORUS:
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany
    U-boats are sailing once more
    Springtime for Hitler and Germany
    ROGER:
    Means that…
    CHORUS:
    Soon we’ll be going…
    ROGER:
    We’ve got to be going…
    CHORUS:
    You know we’ll be going….
    ROGER:
    You bet we’ll be going…
    ROGER & CHORUS:
    You know we’ll be going to war!!

    [Thanks to Roger for corrections]

  61. “The huge backlog in receiving benefits and medical treatment for our latest generation of returning veterans is masked by our presumed “honoring of the troops”, which is constantly accomplished merely in words, with a paucity of actual services delivered.”

    http://thesaurus.com/browse/lip+service
    Main Entry: lip service  [] Show IPA
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: empty talk
    Synonyms: duplicity, empty talk, hollow words, hypocrisy, hypocritical respect, insincerity, jive, lie,lip devotion, lip homage, lip praise, lip reverence, lip worship, mouth honor, mouthing,sham, smooth talk, sweet talk, token agreement, tokenism, tongue in cheek,unctuousness

  62. Ok. Spring has sprung. Follow your dream in two thousand thirteen.
    No more Merkel, done with France, end the Euro, hitch my pants.
    Greece gets Drachma, end the trance. Exit Cypress, reveal past.
    Denmark, Finland, stick with Krauts. Those for Siesta, mingle South.

  63. Has anyone read the story of Russia blacklisting U.S. officials in response to our blacklisting 18 Russians:

    Russia on Saturday banned 18 Americans from entering the country in response to Washington imposing sanctions on 18 Russians for alleged human rights violations.

    The list released by the Foreign Ministry includes John Yoo, a former U.S. Justice Department official who wrote legal memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques; David Addington, the chief of staff for former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney; and two former commanders of the Guantanamo Bay detention center: retired Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller and Adm. Jeffrey Harbeson.

    The move came a day after the U.S. announced its sanctions under the Magnitsky Law, named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was arrested in 2008 for tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230 million in tax rebates. He died in prison the next year, allegedly after being beaten and denied medical treatment.

    (Russia Blacklists Torture Architects). Since we the people in either nation can’t seem to get our governments to adhere to the treaties both nations have signed regarding torture and other human rights violations, perhaps these pressures will assist us in that direction.

  64. Coming soon, to a theatre near you.

    Bomb, bomb, bomb, Bomb bomb Iran.
    Oh, Bomb Iraaaan.
    I’ll take my staaaand.
    Rockin and a rollin, rockin and a reelin,
    Bomb Iran!

    – Roseann-RoseAnn Adana, Saturday Night Live, 1979.

  65. Conversation overhead at Denny’s:

    Wifeypoo: But Harold, he’s only a Freshman, and he’s doin fine at the Junior College.

    Harold: College is expensive. Be reasonable. The Marines will make a Man out of him. The recruiter says he can get into officer candidate school.

    Wifeypoo: A Man! Did it make a man out of you to go to Nam? Huh, Harold? Learn how to smoke! Cant look down a manhole cause there might be a gook.

    Harold: There’s little war action now. We’re leaving Afghanistan. College is expensive. it will make a man outta him.

    [ Generation, after generation, after generation. Whether White Castle or Denny’s or MacDonalds. ]

  66. Elaine M. 1, April 13, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    …Off topic–but on the subject of Thomas Friedman:

    Thomas Friedman and Wealth
    By Norman Solomon, the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy.”
    Posted: October 30, 2006
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norman-solomon/thomas-friedman-and-wealt_b_32837.html


    Friedman’s great wealth is a frame for his window on the world. The Washingtonian reports that “his annual income easily reaches seven figures.” In the Maryland suburbs near Washington, three years ago, “the Friedmans built a palatial 11,400-square-foot house, now valued at $9.3 million,” on a parcel of more than seven acres near Bethesda Country Club and the Beltway.

    Throughout his journalistic career, Friedman has been married to Ann Bucksbaum — heiress to a real-estate and shopping-mall fortune now estimated at $2.7 billion. When the couple wed back in 1978, according to The Washingtonian article, Friedman became part of “one of the 100 richest families in the country.”
    ====================================================
    The royal plutocracies of Europe always “married well.”

    The non-royal plutocracy which functions as a multinational epigovernment composed of owners of incestuous international corporations also like to “marry well.”

    They own the media financial structures and they also own Friedman who is a mouthpiece for their machinations.

    So, your comment is really not off topic, seeing as how they are the ones planning the next war Mike S posted about.

  67. Yeah, when Junior comes back from Iraq then the Harolds feel guilty about all the nightmares he is having and goes out an buys Junior a new SUV. I hear it from the car dealers having coffee at t Dennys over in Palm Beach. They now feel guilty about not sending Junior off to Junior College right up the street and now that they made a Man outta Junior and he is seeing the shrink they wanna make him happy with an SUV.

  68. April is National Poetry Month. Here’s one of my favorite anti-war poems. It was written by Wilfred Owen.

    Dulce et Decorum Est (Favorite Poem Project)

    ******

    Wilfred Owen
    http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/305

    Excerpt:
    He was wounded in combat in 1917 and evacuated to Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh after being diagnosed with shell shock. There he met another patient, poet Siegfried Sassoon, who served as a mentor and introduced him to well-known literary figures such as Robert Graves and H. G. Wells.

    It was at this time Owen wrote many of his most important poems, including “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and “Dulce et Decorum Est”. His poetry often graphically illustrated both the horrors of warfare, the physical landscapes which surrounded him, and the human body in relation to those landscapes. His verses stand in stark contrast to the patriotic poems of war written by earlier poets of Great Britain, such as Rupert Brooke.

    Owen rejoined his regiment in Scarborough, June 1918, and in August returned to France. He was awarded the Military Cross for bravery at Amiens. He was killed on November 4 of that year while attempting to lead his men across the Sambre canal at Ors. He was 25 years old. The news reached his parents on November 11, the day of the Armistice. The collected Poems of Wilfred Owen appeared in December 1920, with an introduction by Sassoon, and he has since become one of the most admired poets of World War I.

  69. I agree with Dredd regarding Elaine’s comments re: Tom Friedman. He has become one of the main spokesman for the Corporate Military Industrial Complex and I would suggest that it is his privileged life and those who he therefore intersects with that informs all of his ignorant opinions. When I first mentioned him I used the adjective execrable with full descriptive intent. Also when Gene H. and I write about propaganda and mythology it is with men like him in mind. Those who follow him slavishly as a knowledgeable pundit either are basking in his praise for their class, or blissfully ignorant of the failure of his predictions.

  70. Elaine,

    Thank you for the poetry, which is quite moving and exposes the stupidity and cupidity of almost all warfare. Owen’s work was poignant to me because he died in the horror of WW1. I remember when I was much younger reading Barbara Tuchman’s “Guns of August” and for the first time questioning the basis of that insane and incredibly brutal war. That it laid the groundwork for WW2 makes the futility of its occurrence even more starkly illustrative of the fact that “war is a racket”. Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece “Paths of Glory”, which I saw in my teens, also informed my feelings about WW1. That this film classic was considered “controversial” in its’ time indicates how much this country has been infused with the martial spirit ad how its establishment blocks criticism of that martial spirit.

  71. Mike S.,

    Friedman is one of the entitled elite in this country. He has no clue how we average Americans live–just like many other members of the MSM. I get so upset when I hear so-called “liberal” members of the media talk about how we have to cut social programs like Social Security and Medicare in order to do something about the deficit. Cutbacks in these programs won’t have a negative impact on their lives. They make plenty of money.

  72. Mike S.,

    I read “The Guns of August” when I was in college. It had an impact on me. I also found Tuchman’s book “The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam” interesting and informative.

  73. “I get so upset when I hear so-called “liberal” members of the media talk about how we have to cut social programs like Social Security and Medicare in order to do something about the deficit.”

    Elaine,

    I share your upset with those folks. This is why I find it funny when I find myself called either a “Progressive” or a “Liberal”. I deem myself an iconoclast, since I feel all political philosophies expressed by those who would guide us, are masks for egotists. Though there is a difference between the two parties, they both are corporate entities. One believes in “let them eat cake”, while the other believes in “let them eat table scraps”. We see the result in this past election, Romney would as President now be destroying Social Security, while Obama is only taking a bite out of it to mollify the other party. Both solutions are bad, but Romney’s would be more bad. I voted for Obama only in the hopes of delaying the process of fuedalizing this country, in the hope we could marshal ourselves to mount an opposition to corporatism.
    The solution lies not in political philosophies, but in a widespread understanding that with the exception of the 1% we’re all in this together.

  74. Mike,

    “The solution lies not in political philosophies, but in a widespread understanding that with the exception of the 1% we’re all in this together.”

    We have members of the wealthy elite and their lackeys who want to keep Democrats and Republicans/liberals and conservatives fighting against each other in hopes they won’t notice what is really happening in this country.

  75. whats funny is how the left on here speak of the Military Industrial Complex and how evil the government is and willing to get us into wars over and over…..and then……… they want to disarm the citizens and leave us at the mercy of this corrupt MIC/Corporate government.

    Now how the hell does that make any sort of sense…….Really people….. Do you really think the government will become better and more trustworthy with an unarmed population?!?!?

  76. Elaine: To me the problem with globalization, and and argument for strict controls on importations, is that foreign countries set their own laws on the treatment of workers, wages, taxation, workplace safety, worker abuse and endangerment, etc.

    Exploitation of workers is profitable, that is why we had to fight a war over slavery, and why we had violent conflicts over unions, and had (and still have) resistance to various laws requiring fair pay, non-discrimination, safe workplaces, etc.

    Thus globalization gives large corporations an easy way to bypass OUR laws (using near-slave labor in other countries) and still sell the fruits of their exploitation in the USA.

    That makes it impossible for the USA to compete without regressing our workplace regulations to the least common denominator, which is always (and still is today in some countries) abject slavery and no protection at all.

    Because if the corporations don’t like a law we pass, they can use some corrupt government somewhere that doesn’t have that law, or is willing to not enforce it for a suitable bribe. It allows large corporations to shop for a set of laws that results in the least cost of production.

    What our laws should do is say that if you sell in the USA (or in a state) then all your production must be in accord with the laws of the USA (or in the state you are selling in). I don’t care how hard that might be on corporations. Small companies (like a one-store restaurant) do not get to shop for the laws that apply to them, neither should a large company, certainly if each of them can afford to comply with the laws within their state, so can a much larger company afford to comply with the laws in each state they wish to sell in.

    I say the same thing should apply to incorporation: I think if you want to do business in a state, you should be required to incorporate in that state and comply with all the laws of that state; you should not be allowed to avoid taxes, fees or regulations of a state by incorporating in Delaware instead of that state.

    I think if you want to do business with the citizens of New York, you should be required to do it by their rules with their protections, as determined by their elected lawmakers.

  77. Mike – great article. Outstanding. You have provided the last “leg” in a theory I have been noodling on – why our governement has been doing certain things — even though they do not seem be working as to the stated purpose. Here’s my theory:

    1) Both parties support the very low interest rates we have right now. These have not generated any jobs but they do a couple of things;

    – devastate savers, especially older and lower income Americans with bank accounts and CDs instead of stocks (these people are of no use nor the concern of either party anyway.

    – corporate exec’s can borrow at very low rates thus keeping profits up despite falling revenues due to the global recession (these folks are important to the pols in both parties)

    – bankers are able to borrow at record low levels with the added benefit of the “too big to fail” insurance on their debt. They are not lending this money to small business to hire folks or generate economic growth but they are able to generate large fees from capital markets activities fueled by the cheap money. (these folks are also important to the pols in both parties)

    – the cheap money is generating lots of m&a activity — fees for bankers and huge pay days for corporate execs (the folks both parties really care about) — alas, no jobs, or even job reductions for the poor folks (who neither party cares about)

    The ONLY PROBLEM, with this, is that it leaves more and more poor folks out of work, and that needs to be handled or we will have social unrest endangering the political and banking/corporate elite.

    The solution, as you have so aptly reported, A WAR. How freaking perfect is that. We are doing God’s work, protecting the great republic of the Untied States of America — hell, saving FREEDOM itself. When you get on the plan in your uniform, people will all clap for you as you walk down the isle (your still sitting in the back), and, as you so aptly point out, you will return to poverty, or, if injured, a lifetime of care in a VA hospital that would not pass muster in a third world country.

    Oh those poor dumb bast__ds who put on the uniform and rush off to die for people who could not care less about them. And us, who pay taxes and continue to vote for them.

  78. Eric,

    Big Banks’ $76 Billion Per Year Federal Subsidy And What We Need To Do About It
    By Avery Goodman
    Jul 4 2012
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/701081-big-banks-76-billion-per-year-federal-subsidy-and-what-we-need-to-do-about-it

    Excerpt:
    According to Bloomberg News, the top 18 banks in America are receiving what, in practical terms, amounts to a welfare check in the amount of $76 billion dollars each and every year. This number is approximately the same as the entire profits of the banking industry over the past 12 months. About $14 billion went to JP Morgan Chase alone. Tens of billions went to Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Wells Fargo (WFC) and many others.

    These numbers do not include extraordinary benefits given during the bailouts of 2008, such as FDIC insurance guarantees on bank-issued bonds, Fed purchases of then-nearly-worthless mortgage backed bonds at much higher than market rates, near zero interest loans directly from the Fed, etc. Add all that and the number would be a lot bigger. The $76 billion arises solely out of the implicit guarantee that the government will not allow “too-big-to-fail” banks to go under. A study by the IMF, cited by Bloomberg, showed that the expectation of government support shaves about 0.8 percentage point off large banks’ borrowing costs.

    Using the sum of assets owned by the 18 biggest banks in the USA, the collective government welfare check, each year, amounts to about $76 billion. For those of us who believe in free enterprise, markets and fair competition, this is disheartening. How banking executives can justify typically excessive pay rates, when all their profits are coming from the government? They are, essentially, the highest paid “civil servants” in the history of the world. Some bank CEOs are pulling down “civil service” salaries of $20-$60 million a year!

    Recent banking scandals have brought this issue into the light of day, but it is nothing new. The banks have been subsidized for many decades. But, the extent of the subsidy has gotten bigger and bigger over time. Banking “entrepreneurs” like JP Morgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon and his underlings, as well as others with similar propensities, abuse the subsidy even more, by gambling big with taxpayer backed FDIC guaranteed deposits. They’ve learned that they can flip the coin, and tell us: “heads I win, tails you lose. We keep the profits. You keep the losses.”

  79. Elaine – thanks for the link. This is such a huge story but very few cover it. Everything describe by you, occurred under a Democratic administration – an administration who has refused to prosecute even on single bank executive for anything. Not for activities during the financial crisis – not even for laundering money – billions of dollars to terrorists in the recent case of HSBC who got a fine and a deferred prosecution agreement under Obama’s justice department.

    This will not change until “we the people” start to realize that both of these traditional parties are equal partners in this. They talk different games but they do the same things. Whenever I discuss this with friends, especially Democrats, I get in response “but he’s far better than George Bush or Romney”. My response is, “you’ve answered the wrong question” — the right question is “are either right for we the people” — the only reasonable answer to that is “neither” — we need another option.

    And, even comparing to George Bush, is he really better ???? Look at Elaine’s post. If you are a banker or corporate CEO, you may very well answer yes, he is better than George Bush. If you, like me, are part of we the people, I think the answer is no, he is not better than George Bush. He is the same.

  80. “whats funny is how the left on here speak of the Military Industrial Complex and how evil the government is and willing to get us into wars over and over…..and then……… they want to disarm the citizens and leave us at the mercy of this corrupt MIC/Corporate government.”

    Felix,

    No. What’s really funny is how you stereotype people’s views based on your uninformed pre-judgments of who and what are Right and Left. I for one support the Second Amendment ad have written about that for years here. At the same time I’ve written that politically I am neither “Right” or “Left” because I think those are false terms used by corporations to confuse us.

    On the other hand those you probably approve of as being on the “Right” have been the ones to support incursions into peoples private lives in sexual matters and in religious freedom. They have also been the greatest supporters of government welfare for Corporations.

    Your problem is I think that you have swallowed much propaganda whole without really trying to understand in depth what is really going on in this country. It was the “Right” under George Bush that supported ignoring the Constitution with its “War on Terror” and they did so with the help of most of the “Left”. Time for you to wake up and begin to understand what’s really going on.

  81. “why our governement has been doing certain things — even though they do not seem be working as to the stated purpose. Here’s my theory:”

    Eric,

    I find your analysis to be accurate.

  82. Eric,

    Most politicians in Washington bow to the big banks. Check out what happened near the end of Bill Clinton’s second term. I’m glad that Elizabeth Warren was elected to the Senate–and is on the Banking Committee.

  83. How about Elizabeth Warren for president? Her head is in the right place with regards to banks and guns. She probably won’t run if Hillary does but if Hillary does not I think she will.

  84. My thoughts exactly! I was pleased to hear that President Obama voted against his advisors (Hilary Clinton and Leon Panetta) to take action is Syria. But when I heard we had ships moving strategically towards N.Korea, I laughed and said to my husband, “We’ll go to war with anyone who says, ‘Boo!'”

  85. The real world has many dangers and if America were to disband its military who would replace us as the worlds super power? If somebody has to be the rich kids it might as well be us. Look around your house that palace you live in, you know the one with the SUV and Volvo parked in the garage, that would soon be empty without running water and electricity if we let our guard down. Then you would complain about how we disbanded our military and we are now poor. The luxuries of the modern American life would soon disappear without the Military Complex to maintain our form of economic domination throughout the world. I do not dislike America, I embrace it and support our capitalist way of life and completely enjoy our position as the number one military in the world. Denial is futile! Acceptance is bliss!

  86. You make a good intellectual argument but it’s not reality I’m afraid. But to say that these wars were “Unjustified” is either naive or treasonous.

    When America is provoked, we answer back because it is in our best interest to “Keep The Peace”. In order to do that and as you are a student of history, the one with the big gun gets to make the rules.

    The U.S. is young compared to most existing and fallen nations. We are new but we are also the most advanced (..that is if President Obama doesn’t spend us out of the existence.) of all nations combined.

    We have always been celebrated, honored, and appreciated only by nations that contribute to mankind and hated by those nations that have taken and maimed.

    I am just glad that we are still the nation that do not have to apologize for being who we are. If we need to put more blood and sweat into another war to kick more hater’s rear end? Then so be it, count me in.

    #americantiltheend

  87. Eric Sotelo what service branch did you serve in and where did you serve?
    Also please explain why we attacked Iraq after 9/11? As far as me questioning those wars just how is that treasonous, because I’m certainly not naive. I think GW Bush and Dick Cheney were traitors afyer 9/11 because they should have attacked the Saudis. I think you need to study the Constitution more and FOXNews less.

  88. weather we go to war for money, oil, freedom. weather it be right or wrong. i am a American and i love this country. its is not our choice to question why, it is our duty to do and die. i am a highly educated 22 year old male =, i want peace and prosperity for every one, however i see what America is capable of good and bad. and most countries weather they hate us or not have adapted many western concepts, the America we have today is not the greatest but it is a necessity in this world, abd even if i dont agree with the leader or even like him. im sorry i will obey an listen to him because i am not selfish and i love my country, all i can do is put my faith in this country and hope we come out better, if we dont then that is that but ether way if you live here your duty is to this country, no question, AND IF YOU ASK ME IF YOU ARE SO SELF-RIGHTEOUS TO QUESTION THIS YOU CAN BURN IN HELL.

  89. MIKE SPINDELL. you are asking and answering the wrong questions, i am sure you have never seen active battle therefor would not understand this. as a citizen it is not our duty to question where or why we are at war. yes irag had nothing to do with 9/11 but that is not an issue if you are a marine or air pilot. i grew up around war. i love this country and will gladly die for her. i pray and hope that it will be for a just cause but above all i am a citizen and have plunder the joy that this country has offered and i am not about to question “why” if i am told to go to war, i will simply obey, i owe her that much. if you dont agree with that then you need to get your ass out of this country i think

  90. the worst thing we can have, is separation and demonetization upon the citizens of this country. the only thing that everyone of us has in common is that we are Americans. i dont always agree with the government or what the presidents choices are no. but i always remind myself that i am a citizen and i love this country and to question my country then separates me from the rest of the nation which makes this nation weak and vulnerable. therefor the worst thing we can do for this country and what she does and stand for is being rebels that dont agree and question its choices, not attacking the wrong country or lowering the SSI and making handguns illegal. no matter what i will gladly call myself a American and no mater what i will fight and die for this country, if every citizen believes this lik they did in 1942 we will be as strong as ever, but if we get people that question everything and think they can do it better we will be weak and crumble. a wall is only as strong ass the bricks which build it, one weak brick and confiscate the entire wall, to be strong and survive we must band together as “AMERICANS” first,for good or bad. not question everything, other whys we are a broken nation and a lost one.

  91. for you to question any war is treasonous by DEFINITION jack ass. just because YOU think it was right or wrong is irrelevant, so please take your head out of your ass, you are a American. stand by your country and be proud of whatever it does otherwise you make us weak and please go liv in Libya or Syria an get a test of their life.

  92. “if you dont agree with that then you need to get your ass out of this country i think”

    Ben,

    I’ve got 69 years here to your 24. I came first – – you leave. Besides that I understand the Constitution and you don’t since if you did you would never write: “for you to question any war is treasonous by DEFINITION jack ass.” Ever hear of the Bill of Rights Ben. People have died in wars for this country to protect it and you just throw it away with an intemperate statement like that. I love this country and want to see it live up to its greatness which is embodied in our Constitution. Before you question me you should look at what YOU are writing and understand that it is Un-American

  93. Every country you invade had more freedom before you came.Hopefully one day you will become ancient as ancient rome…

  94. all you white illegal european trash get off our land!all the problems in the world is because of your colonial *** which is on our soil causing global problems.

  95. I believe the next “war” will be more QUIET than loud. And I know exactly who are threats are going to be without a doubt….
    NOW BEFORE YOU JUDGE, YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THIS ONE PERSPECTIVE ON THESE COUNTRIES WHO BURN OUR FLAGS IN THEIR PROTESTS AS IF THEY ARE AT FAMILY GATHERINGS AND AS IF THEIR FAVORITE FOOTBALL TEAM JUST TOOK HOME THE WIN.

    The first two countries, who I don’t believe will be the bad guys quite yet (quite yet being the key phrase) who I believe NEED a war are N.Korea and Iran….although we aren’t all in unified agreement on this, and Kim has yet to fire anything at us yet so…and Iran are just more a thorn in our side so far…But!!!! One thing…
    Before anyone reading this thinks we or, especially I, would enjoy the idea of another conflict, lets just get to the bare, inescapable facts shall we?

    IRAN and NORTH KOREA are going to need either a small wrist slapping (covert action, which we’ve already been doing very, very small bits of since ’05) or a full scale “b*tch slapping” (so to speak) which it seems they will desperately need before the next decade is through.
    You see, we are perceived as quite weak now that we’ve squandered so many military resources during such a heavy duty recession (not just economically, but militarily) and because of this, a weakened United States becomes quite a juicy, enticing target for those who have been just quietly biding their time for the chance to strike…like an abused, unfed cobra stuck in some dark, hot straw box in India.

    NOW—-A more plausible idea.

    If it is not either of these two more popular countries, it will be a place like Chechnya. They and Pakistan seem to really need to be looked at very carefully as they have undoubtedly become a threat to those around them. The peaceful places inside Chechnya may not require any military force being used in their presence, and should be left alone, but unfortunately, their more militant groups (like their own government) seem to need a serious reality check. Chechnya is NOT harmless (yeah, I know…Russia’s been doing dirty work out there already, but we need to end their madness once and for all…they breed terror and heartless genocide/ethnic cleansing since the days of Kosovo).

    Before you think I belong in a rubber room with a straight jacket, think CAREFULLY about this one particular aspect of my point…..Pakistan and Chechnya are serious threats to our future and our children’s future (yeah i know how crazy I sound, but mark my words that these people are not about to turn the other cheek…and no, I’m not religious, so disregard the cheek comment). They, like N.Korea, have seriously (NO JOKE) made an actual promise to themselves (almost an oath, one that they make their own children at school recite very day like in N.Korea) to get the “evil US” before their time on this Earth is up.

    If I was POTUS (President)….And thank the Lord I’m not right? lol…
    I would first smoke every last bad guy in Chechnya that we would positively ID, then move to Pakistan’s equivalent to their SECDEF (in other words, their Defense Minister and his team), and let them know the gloves are off, no more drones/UCAVs/etc, and no more Hellfire strikes in the middle of the night, and that we are going to send in DOUBLE the number of JSOC assets we have been so far, and end those troublemakers in Waziristan and in any other corner of the Northern Provinces of the Pak’s backyard. No massing of reg troops, no Marines crossing their beaches or making any grandstanding entrances….no speeches….Just a series of quiet B&Es, so to speak, where we send JSOC’s finest (as I’m biased to Delta, I’d send their RECCE guys first to smokecheck the leadership elements that we DO currently know of) and these warriors are then given an entirely new set of ROEs (Rules of Engagement), with as much of Pakistan’s reluctant permission as we can con out of them, and let these target rich environments become free-fire zones…..Weapons free areas where our boys, who know the difference between bad guys and farmers who only keep that AK around to protect against the Ali Babas (thieves) hanging around, and then let them off their metaphorical leashes to conduct, plan, and execute as many strikes as they need until you can hear nothing but crickets and the sounds of children snoring safely in their beds and their mommies and daddies upstairs making more of their siblings.

    THAT is and SHOULD BE our next war. And if we were smart (which I guess we’re not from what I’ve seen on the news lately), we’d stop ANY and ALL defense spending cuts and start cutting the fat off our politicians’ salaries and cutting their stupid “everyone deserves everything” policy start-up capital. And no, I’m not a Republican or Democrat (more of a neutral/independent…maybe with some capitalist/Republican sensibilities, but no…I’m not political really).

    In summary, this is what we should do next once we hit 2014 and bail out of Afghanistan…which, on a final note, is stupid….To tell the Taliban (yeah i mean you Obama) when we plan to leave is just such an ignoramus move. Yeah we should leave at some point soon, but DONT TELL THEM WHEN…their game plan since we set foot there was to either kill us OR?….thats right….WAIT US OUT. And they just did. Great work, buddy.

    Thats enough from me on some comment board….Just my humble two cents.

Comments are closed.