Chapter 12: A COLONEL'S LETTERS: SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!, by Col. Joe Kopacz
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
2.2 Media Shirk History - July 28, 2005
__I do not know whether to praise Mr. Broder for his "Time to recapture our history" article on the 28th of July, or blame him and those "in the business" of news for watching and allowing it [the ignoring of history] to happen to the degree that he points out.
__The most blatant example, however, is not ... our almost collective inability to remember what the Monroe Doctrine is about or even who our WW II allies were [as Mr. Broder discussed], but how Iraq is almost exactly like that other undeclared war we fought - and lost - about 40 years ago in Vietnam. Who's fault is that? It is not wholly the education system's. It is those who will not make the obvious comparison: the mature adult press, that is who.
__Everyone knows our government lies to us and prefers for the public (both political parties, by the way) not to know too much history and then only according to their spin. In fact, those in power want a majority of citizens who are "'below basics' in the subject". They truly want some "left behind", at least 50%.
__What will it take before y'all really start doing your jobs? Jane Fonda riding a camel in the sand with an AK 47 slung across her back outside of Baghdad? Hopefully, by the way, that will happen. ...
2.3 Flag Waving and Burning - July 15, 2005
__Lighten up, dude. Mr. Mike Digiuro's "Have a right to burn flag?" letter on the 15th of July is just way too heavy. If you believe the President, why do you think we are in Afghanistan and Iraq? That is exactly the reason we are there, so you have the right to do just what you write [i.e. to protest]! It's called freedom, democratic freedom.
__We do not fight and perhaps even die for a flag. We do that for the words and meaning of our Constitution. That is a concept a lot deeper, [more] important, and valuable than the shallow symbolism of worshiping and enshrining a piece of cloth [a flag].
__As disgusting and revolting as that act may seem to you (and can be to all of us at times), it truly represents the freedom that we, as citizens of the greatest experiment in democracy in the history of the world, have [to be able] to protest something we feel is seriously wrong with our government. Furthermore, no one need fear bodily harm, if they were to do it in front of my platoon, company, battalion, or brigade; we are American soldiers and we know why and when to kill people and break things.
__Burning Old Glory is *not* one of them.
__By the way, I fly my flag and post all my mail with those flag stamps upside down. Do you know what that represents, Mr. DiGiuro? Distress, danger, or trouble. I recommend you do the same. You need a lot of help and so does our country.
2.4 Fonda Not a Traitor - August 2, 2005
__In response to both of the letters on the 2d of August by D. A. Schroeder and Richard Robbin regarding Ms. Fonda's Vietnam and, now, her Iraqi antiwar protests, she did not commit treason then [or now], nor do I give a damn what she rides on now to protest this debacle [in Iraq] in which we are currently militarily engaged. ...
__As repugnant as I may personally find her actions both then (and I remember them well, very well) and now, what she did both then and now is much more patriotic, in a larger sense, than what we armchair soldiers are doing. First of all, the Congress has to declare war, before anyone can commit treason by aiding, abetting, or otherwise supporting an enemy. They did not do then, nor have they done now [the proper lawful procedure]. Her 1st Amendment rights [are part of] what I am sworn to "support and defend ... against all enemies foreign or domestic" and to which "I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same ... and that I will well and faithfully discharge ...," [that] is The Constitution of the United States of America. Its supremacy [as the "supreme" law of the U.S.A.] is unambiguous, intentional, and clear.
__[Our allegiance is] not for a Congress, who, both then and now, do not have the courage to do their job. Not for a President who evaded, if not lied about, the truth then and now. Not for senior military leaders, who knew then and now, on many levels, that what they were and are ordering their Army, their soldiers, to do is fall on its sword ... for a perverse agenda ..., that we still do not know.
__Not even for a flag, but [for] the U.S. Constitution. Period.
__Sorry about that, but y'all are wrong. Jane is right.
2.5 Cindy's Questions - August 9, 2005
__Another very important (Mr. Studs Terkel [type of]) impertinant question that Ms. Sheehan, the "One Mother in Crawford" (9 August editorial), must ask our Dear Leader is: why is it that military issue tombstones do *not* indicate that their loved one died in the Iraq War and just say Iraq? Why is that, Mr. President?
__Ms. Sheehan is also 100% correct on her other two points. Whenever we leave Iraq, tomorrow, or in two [or] ten years, there is going to be chaos. In fact, the sooner we leave the less [chaos] that there will be (not to mention troopers and treasure [lost]). Who, in their right mind and/or not on heavy duty drugs, does not know that? Talk about high crimes and misdemeanors, she is right; he should be impeached too. Not to mention putting a whole bunch of the rest of them [politicians and bureaucrats] in the slammer for mal- and misfeasance of duty.
__As a parting shot, I'd also look him straight in the eyes (grab hold of him if I had to) and ask: from one Mother to a Father, when are *your* two girls joining the U.S. Army? ...
2.6 Cindy's Protest - August 16, 2005
__It is completely beyond me that the "CJ" in its "Cindy Sheehan's protest" editorial on the 16th of August still insists on not recognizing why we are fighting an undeclared war in Iraq. Ask "The Plain Dealer" - they could tell you, but they probably won't. There is an awful lot to be afraid of and the loss of their 1st Amendment rights is not one of them. Or, even better yet, someone at the "CJ" could read the "Mother Knows Best" article in todays NYT Op-Ed by Zev Chafets. We, as Mr. Chafets writes, have become Israel's "hatchet". Wake up! That is why we are there: to protect the Jewish nation of Israel - period. Our President just does not have the guts to tell us, much less [to tell] a Mother who has lost her son, fighting and dying for his lies.
__Tell me it's to protect our source of oil, at $2.75 a gallon (and rising) for gasoline, while oil companies are making record profits; I dare you. ...
__Furthermore, retired General McCaffery's comment that "the wheels are coming off" of our Army are about as ingenuous as they can get. The "wheels" never were on, as he and I discussed in the Armed Forces Journal a year or so ago. The best we can do militarily in Iraq is leave it much the same as it was when we got there, but now more trained and equipped with the material that we are going to leave there. Just like we did before [in Vietnam], remember? And the results will be the same, only this time it will be the Iranian Muslims from the East (after we create a Shiite Islamic theocracy for them in Iraq; something they tried to do for eight years, but couldn't), not the NVA from the North.
__War by resolution. Where is that in the Constitution? Fools, all of them - spineless, gutless fools! They should be lined up in front of the Vietnam Memorial - the last war by resolution that we lost - and shot, all of them! That is what you do to traitors during "war," is it not? [i.e.] shoot them?
__Don't ask what I'd like to do to the active duty senior military leadership helping to prosecute this fiasco, charade, three-ring circus, this lie. There is not one brave soldier among them all. Cowards all of them too! Nation-building my rear end!
__The only brave person I see, besides the American warriors that we are wasting in Iraq, is, one ..., Ms. Sheehan. My only recommendation to her is do not drink the Kool-Aid; Jim Jones is alive and well in Crawford, Texas. Stand your ground, you have every right to see our dear leader again. For that matter all of the parents of the children who he has had killed, maimed, and wounded (and that is exactly what he has done, make no mistake about it) [have that right] as often as they like. ...
FELLOW U.S. SOLDIERS: Chapter 12, Part 3
3.1 Recruiter's Blues - July 13, 2005
__[Recruiter] SSG Dean Isaacs' letter "HELP OR GET OUT OF THE WAY" in the 18 July Army Times shows a lot of bravado, if not too firm a grasp on reality. Besides, he is missing the point. In the country that I spent over 27 years defending, it was a given that the ones that you disagreed with were one of the prime, basic reasons why you were defending America, Jane Fonda included. It's called the Constitution of the United States of America. Not Mom, not home, not apple pie, not some flag, but the words - all of the words - in that document.
__Currently some of us see that document being abused, misused, and most importantly ignored by those in political power in order to maintain and forward their own "agenda". Plus, they are doing it to the point of destroying the country for which the world's greatest experiment and hope in democratic government stands. We will not allow that to happen, Sergeant - your meeting your recruiting goals notwithstanding! What is going on right now is bigger, much bigger than both of us.
__But there is hope. Not necessarily light at the end of the tunnel, but at least I think we've just about stopped digging in the hole that we are in. That is the first rule of how to get out of a hole, don't you know? STOP DIGGING!
__The way SSG Isaacs' letter reads to me is that, tactically we are winning! [But] even by "throwing money" [away] and "lowering standards," the recruiting battle is being lost, still. Strategically, even with allowing thousands of non-U.S. citizens in the U.S. Army; involuntary MOS re-training; even raising the eligibility age to, what, over 37 or 40 (or is that OCS?); and the infamous blue to green program (not to mention allowing violations of the UCMJ slide) we are running out of soldiers - active duty and reserves.
__That is good news! Unless, of course, the President and the Congress decide to do their jobs and DECLARE WAR ON IRAQ the way the Constitution specifically tells them to!!! Then, and only then, disregard all of the above. ... But, I don't think that is what they really want us to do, Sergeant. Do you? Therein lies the answer.
__By the way, have you recruited the White House [Bush] girls yet? Wouldn't they make great 5t Multi-fuel drivers? ...
3.2 Soldier Training - July 26, 2005
__Re "Recruiting Suffers, Military Reins in Abuses at Boot Camp" article by Erik Eckholm on the 26th of July, Mr. Eckholm got it wrong. It is not because of recruiting problems that ... this incident happened. It is because it is such an anomaly that such blatant disregard for our "seed corn," trainees, happens, that it is never permitted, never! -[while] fighting an undeclared war, or not!
__After personally attending Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Advanced Individual Training (AIT) - Reconnaissance Specialist and Armor Officer Candidate School (OCS) - plus, commanding the 5th of the 15th and 6th of the 16th Armored Cavalry Training Squadrons (the 5/15 was the one I attended as an enlisted soldier for my AIT) at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and then commanding the Infantry Training Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia, I can assure you [that] this does not happen very frequently, at all. Been there, done that for over 27 years, both on active and reserve duty.
__All of this training was and is strenuous, physically demanding, tough, and hard (the President does not know the meaning of the word, until he or one of his daughters undergoes BCT, AIT, or OCS - fat chance! ...). I cannot count the hundreds of miles ran (for the first 9 weeks of OCS you had to run, whenever outside of the billets, all the time, wherever you went, 24/7), hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups, plus thousands of yards of "low crawling" on blazing hot asphalt, concrete, mud, or ice/snow, or in the "attic" of your billet with and without your "wife", i.e. rifle (... always with the constant barking, yelling, and screaming of your Drill Sergeant or Tact Officer, again 24/7).
__But, not one time, not once, was I subjected to the type of "abuse" Mr. Eckholm reports on in his piece, nor [ever I] allowed it to take place during my time in command, without swiftly correcting the problem, before it grew into the sad state of affairs he reports. It is a tough business we are in and as one of my 100th (Training) Division commanders pointed out on many occasions: "Train them tough!" and we did, [do], and will in the future.
__War stories notwithstanding by soldiers (by and largely that is what they are: stories, not reality) about how tough they had it during their initial entry, advanced individual, or one-station unit training (OSUT) cycles in the past, we are producing some of the very best soldiers the Army ever had - right now. That is why, when something like this ... happens, the perpetrators are crushed. They will not be allowed to ruin soldiers, not even one. Furthermore, the careers of the Battalion commander of this unit is over too, as is the Brigade CO - as well they both should be. That is a forgone conclusion.
__The only question that arises now is, why is the press not demanding that the politicians and generals, that are being supplied with the most important, best-trained, and finely honed instrument of war, do their job and declare war, so we can win and bring our Army home. That is why they are fighting, isn't it? To win, so they can come home? That is the way it is supposed to work, isn't it? Who is/are ruining our soldiers now? Why haven't they been punished?
__Remember, in the final analysis, "We sleep safely in our beds, because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" [George Orwell]. They must be both trained and used wisely, with that in mind, to win. Unfortunately, we had a training problem; it is now fixed. However, the greater problem - "use" - still exists. Why are we in Iraq? Armies do not create democracies! They do not build nations. They destroy [enemies] and win. Does anyone in their right mind think we are going to win in Iraq?
3.3 Senior Military Cowards - July 13, 2005
__Re retired LTC Ralf W. Zimmermann's "Hope for change lies with the American public" article in the 18 July Army Times, there is no light in the bottom of that rat hole - Iraq. There is civil, religious war going on right now. There already are ... (at least) three separate nations [Sunnis, Shiites & Kurds] - just like there was the day before we invaded.
__Tragically, also just like in the late '60s, we have senior civilian political and military leaders that are willing to sacrifice American warriors, while they figure out a way to get us out of this debacle, this quagmire (look it up, that *is* what we're in) without leaving a trail that leads back to them - just like a [slimy] slug. ... Our soldiers, our Army, and our nation will continue to twist in that sharp, dry, hot Iraqi wind, until [those officers] can find plausible deniability and cover/concealment for themselves. Been there, seen that done before! Cowards of the first order, the whole lot of them!
__Furthermore, there is zero probability or possibility for "stabilization" in Iraq and we "finish[ed]" the day we captured Saddam in his rat hole. We should have ... left [at that point]. It is still not too late to do that, but do you think any of them have the guts? No, they would rather see the blood of our warriors pool, then quickly dry, leaving nothing but a crusted reddish brown stain in the sand. How can you justify that?
__That being said, I wonder why retired LTC Zimmermann has become a sycophant for the failed senior military officers leading our Army? He does not have to give them excuses, [by saying] "our military leaders don't have many choices." Say what? Either they want to keep wasting our Army or they don't. What is so tough about that decision?
__General Abizaid has (and a whole bunch of "other" nameless generals) already told us we can't win militarily, unless we win politically. We were sent there to militarily solve their civil, political problem in the first place (or so we are being told by our Commander-in-Chief, now). If we cannot do the job we were sent to do, until they do it, what in the hell is going on? What's the casus belli this week, better than two years into the occupation of Iraq? Why are we still there? Nation building? Ha!
__Or, as has been reported: "what for?" asked the young West Point graduate company of the line combat Platoon Leader, when told one of his men had just been killed. What for? If that warrior does not know, we have no business there. That is what I know and so does Ralf. ...
3.4 The Generals' Unforgivable Sins - July 25, 2005
__No way! Retired General Westmoreland was *not right* in any way and we do not, nor should, take any responsibility for his failure to truly lead - "The Sacramento Bee's" "Westmoreland tragedy was also America's" editorial, reprinted in "The Courier-Journal" on the 24th of July notwithstanding.
__Their editorial statement, that "in our society generals carry out the orders of civilians" is only half right. The other half of that "truth" is that the orders have to be legal, i.e., in this case, Constitutional; that is what all officers swear to uphold and defend - the U.S. Constitution. We are not required to defend, and in fact should fight against, efforts to misuse ... our Amy for political and/or personal reasons, causes, agendas, or issues.
__That is exactly what was being done in Vietnam and, furthermore, is being done in Iraq! Retired General Westmoreland then [and] those generals that are serving at the pleasure of the President right now knew and know they were and are sending American warriors to fight an undeclared war. What he did then and they are doing now was and is wrong.
__They are morally and Constitutionally, legally wrong. May God have mercy on retired General Westmoreland's soul and may he find eternal rest. But, not forgiveness from me - never - then or now.
__You cannot "spin" his or their leadership failure then or theirs now any other way - ever.
3.5 Powell's Problem - Oct 24, 2005
__"How Scary is This?" Mr. Bob Herbert asks in the title of his 24 Oct article. I'll tell you: "a lot!", Mr. Herbert. Obviously, retired army Colonel Wilkerson has duped you too. Wilkerson was the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State, you also point out. The one [military] individual that had to know the President and his buds ("cabal", he calls it) were lying to the American people, regarding the reasons to attack Iraq ... [was] Mr. Colin Powell, retired General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during the first Persian Gulf war against Saddam. He knew all of the time, but did not have the courage to tell the truth. He was and still is part of the problem - both of them!
__The fact that he did not [speak out] and is a retired soldier makes Mr. Powell the biggest traitor of them all in my book. Furthermore, all, that is going on right now by these types of presentations by his minions, is being done to provide Powell and themselves cover and concealment from that sad fact. He did not have the courage to fall on his sword to save either his army or nation from what this debacle, charade, tragedy has wrought, because of not only his acquiescence and overt promotion then, but, in particular, his silence now. They are all still trying to save themselves from how ugly history is going to justly find them out to be (and already has in the minds of a lot, a real lot, of people).
__What is even more disgusting is Wilkerson's effort to continue the lie out of the other side of his mouth by contending that "...we can't leave Iraq. We simply can't." That is garbage! We must cut and run - call it what you like - and starting last month was too late. His logic for not leaving is as phony as his attempt to place the responsibility for this deadly three-ring circus on everyone else inside the government, but his boss and himself. His stupid comment, that, if we do leave the middle east, [they] will re-arm, is foolish....
__However, it does conclusively show why we are wasting both our troopers and pouring our treasure down that rat hole, Iraq: ... our dear leaders do not have a clue. Colonel, they *all* are already armed, you dummy! In fact, what do you think we are doing with the Iraqi Security Forces? We are buying them tanks and wheeled vehicles, by the hundreds, if not thousands, plus weapons by the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. That too is a fact. ...
__Then he opines that in 10 years we will be "ashamed" of what we did in Iraq. Say what? ... Anyone with [any] brains ... was ashamed of what we were doing even during the prelude to the attack - especially that sickening performance of his boss, Mr. Powell, at the United Nations....
3.6 Draft More Criminals? - August 31, 2005
__I do not have to, do not intend, nor will, read your "The Chief Speaks: manning is nation's duty" article in the 5 September Army Times. The title says it all! General Schoomaker's comments can only be taken seriously, if our Army is defending The Constitution of the United States of America. That is what we are sworn to do. Nothing more, nothing less. Period.
__Certainly, [that's] not what he or the Army is doing now. Ordering our soldiers to pay the ultimate sacrifice in an undeclared, unconstitutional ... "struggle" is criminal ..., based on lies, more lies, and even more lies. No one was fooled or misled; we were lied to. We get it, General, why don't you?
__That is why parents, loved ones, and the public in ever-increasing numbers are not following the bouncing ball. We were lied to about why [we should invade Iraq] and, yet, the Congress allowed (and is allowing) the President to get our sons and daughters killed in combat without doing their national duty and either declaring war, or stopping it. If anything, it has become the nation's duty to stop this debacle and not fuel it with the lives of their sons, daughters, and loved ones anymore, because Congress will not do their Constitutional duty.
__Also, do not give me that "we broke it, we have to fix it" crap! Iraq was never "right", never *not broken* from the day the English created it out of the tribes to whom we are now giving it back! That sophomoric, undergraduate, cheap-shot, psychological mind-game won't work either.
__For me, Saint (Sir) Thomas More sums it up best. "The common people do not go to war of their own accord, but are driven to that by the madness of kings". Or, if you like something a bit more tailored by Mr. Ralph Bunche, "There are no warlike people - just warlike leaders". Isn't what St. More said one of the key reasons we fought a revolution for independence and said the Congress has to declare war in our Constitution, not a King George? Isn't that what we all swore an oath to do, defend the Constitution, not a king?
__Besides, if it's our nation's duty to man the Army, why haven't our nation's dear leader's daughters signed up? - much less the vast majority of high-ranking federal or state public officals' - Congress included - ... loved ones?
__But, if you insist on filling the ranks, there is another source. I understand that there are 10,000s of prisoners available and in dire need of three hots and cot. Why not enlist them? ...
After all, you're already allowing non-U.S. citizens to join the *AMERICAN* Army; why not American criminals? I believe Mr. Edward Gibbons wrote about that too, ... [as a reason for] "The Decline and Fall of the (what?) Empire". ...
__Prostitute your beliefs any way you want, General, but don't try to impute my patriotism by twisting my correct sense of duty, honor, and country. ...
DEAL WITH ISRAEL: Chapter 12, Part 4
4.1 Who Endangered Plame? - Oct 31, 2005
__I think it is very important that we remember, that special prosecutor Mr. Patrick Fitzgerald said, that his investigation of the "outing" of CIA covert agent Valerie Plame Wilson is not over. Plus, [he said] that, while the indictments against Libby are not for being the source for revealing her cover, but are for preventing him from finding out the truth of who did, it [is] vitally important that we remember what that truth is.
__Where have I heard that before? Only this time it is not about trying to cover up an adulterous affair, it is about covering up for someone who might have committed treason, during a time of war, as undeclared and illegal as [the war] is too. What happened to that first guy? Impeached? For lying about sex? What should happen to a traitor for lying for a traitor who [exposed] one of our own spies? - during a time of "war", no less? ...
__By the way, Libby's indictment on these charges and the exposing of a spy ARE relevant to the lies told to us regarding WMD and the whole three-ring circus ... in Iraq. Mr. Fitzgerald is wrong on that [count]. ...Just as ... the indictment and conviction of Al Capone on income tax evasion [was relevant to] him being a liar, thief, and murderer....
4.2 Lying As Treason - July 15, 2005
__[Re exposed CIA agent Plame] Karl Rove is a liar, the President is a liar, so what? What is new or newsworthy about that? Your editorial on the 15th of July "Karl Rove's leak" misses the point. We are at war, the President has told us so, unless he was lying, again, that is. Since that is the case, should not Rove be tried for treason and shot, if found guilty? ...
__If the President lied to us about being at war, what should we do to him? I remember what we did to the last president for getting a little strange. Let's see, lying about sex versus lying about war; what should we do, what should we do? ...
4.3 Purpose of the War, Political - Oct 30, 2005
__The comments in Mr. Charles Krauthammer's "Scowcroft v. the administration" article on the 30th of Oct reminded me of watching a person drown. So bankrupt and wrong-headed are his interpretations of both Bush's and Reagan's supposedly successful foreign policy accomplishments, one cannot help but to think he is going down for the count. Talk about reaching for straws.
__First of all, no one that I know of any worth, be they conservative, independent, or liberal in their political beliefs, thought (or think) that the reason that we invaded, unconstitutionally, and are occupying Iraq was for "theft, oppression, and empire". Well, theft maybe. It was done to maintain and keep internal - state and federal - political power in the hands of the Republican party and [to implement] the "road map", as the neocons viewed their responsibility to Israel (as long as it helps their primary objective - political power, that is). It is as simple as that....
4.4 Elephants Fighting for Israel? - July 17, 2005
__It is obvious to me that Mr. Rich's 17 July article "Follow the Uranium" is nothing more than the same diversion from the real truth as are the "subplots" he describes in his piece. Without asking and demanding an answer to the question, why are we fighting an undeclared war of aggression in the first place, articles like this are only making finding the truth more impossible....
__But, then again, I think he and a whole bunch of other folks in the news media (i.e. "The Cleveland Plain Dealer" and "others") know the answer. However, none have the courage to tell us the truth either. "The Plain Dealer" is hiding behind the 1st Amendment while letting the President lie about fighting an undeclared war. American warriors are dying, while all he and the rest of the media can do is tap-dance around the edges of the issue. How strange is that? How wrong is that?
__The elephant in the living room, that no one will mention ..., is Israel. We have been lied to, because, if the real reason for all of the American troopers and treasure wasted there were to be known, we would be out of Iraq in a heartbeat. That is exactly why the Congress did not do its job. They were cowards and did not want to hear the real reason (if they did not know, even then, and Senator Kerry for sure knew) because they could not have voted for it and risk their careers on such a crazy, stupid idea. After all, their careers would be on the line, if things went badly; they might lose their jobs. They truly are co-conspirators ...!
__There is only one answer and it is not complicated, as a reporter in the Louisville, Kentucky "Courier-Journal" would like us to believe in her "In war, clarity hard to achieve" piece today. Ask the question straight up; did we go to fight an undeclared war in Iraq for Israel's sake? If the answer is no, they are lying. Ask again, again, and again, until they tell you the truth. A truth that, by the way, is known by the rest of the whole world, even the English. As it has been rumored from the very beginning, this is an illegal war being fought for Jerusalem via Baghdad - that is the road map. ...
__The next question is, why doesn't the media demand an answer to the only logical, albeit, last possible reason left? Then again, maybe that is why Mr. Rich and y'all are jerking us around too. You really do not want to hear, much less report, the answer. Why is that? Perhaps all of you should be lined up in front of the Vietnam Memorial wall and shot! Talk about the ultimate, supreme irony. Iraqi civilians and treasure aside, we are killing, maiming, and wounding American warriors by the thousands and tens of thousands, plus, destroying the moral fiber of our society, our country, for what? At best, Israel, unconstitutionally. At worst, a lie!....
4.5 Blackmail from Israel - July 18, 2005
__Mr. Charles Krauthammer in his 18 July "Civilization needs a calling card" article expects us to believe that destroying 1% of all the Islamic Muslims in the world is justification for wasting: the lives of 10s of thousands of American warriors (killed, maimed, or wounded); our Army; and 100s of billions [of dollars] poured down that rat hole, Iraq; plus, possibly destroying our country - all of this in an undeclared war that our generals, including General Abizaid, have told us we CANNOT WIN militarily. Well, I do not believe [it's justified]. Charles is wrong, again!
__However, if his logic is the case, then why was our dear leader kissing and holding hands with the King of Saudi Arabia when 17 of the 19 terrorists who [supposedly] executed the WTC and Pentagon missile attacks were from there? (They really have no shame!) Plus, the extremist Wahabee Muslim religious leaders and fundamentalist madras school operations are headquartered in Saudi Arabia. Why are we not attacking, occupying, and turning Saudi Arabia into the first democracy - including Israel - in the region? - plus, using it for our base of operations for our war on terror? (We have [a lot of] awfully expensive facilities already built there....) That is [supposedly] where the "center of gravity" of terrorism is. If you are right, Mr. Krauthammer, why are we not there? Mr. Clausewitz would be.
__We are not in Saudi Arabia, because you are wrong, again, Mr. Krauthammer! We are in the quagmire, Iraq, to protect Israel. Period. Just ask the editors at "The Plain Dealer", Cleveland, Ohio's newspaper. Maybe they will tell you, because they will not tell us. It seems that they are going to sit on a story that could "shake this country's foundations" or words to that effect out of fear of jeopardizing their 1st Amendment rights (how strange, bizarre is that logic?).
__Maybe if we asked retired Marine Corps General (4 star) Zinni he could tell us? He knows. This has nothing to do with international terrorism and everything to do with Israel. Unless you want to call the threats Israel made to our dear leader as such, that is. Go on, ask some of the big dogs, they will tell you. Listen closely.
__Mr. Krauthammer, when are you going to run out of excuses for these guys? This is a seriously flawed and unconstitutional policy/action. It must stop now. Please stop tap-dancing for them. ...
4.6 Who's Paying for Israel? - August 19, 2005
__Well, the "CJ" almost has it right; surprise, surprise! Your "Leaving Gaza" editorial on the 19th of August - besides the faulty history lesson - has it exactly, absolutely right.
__Israel must remove its settlers from BOTH of the occupied territories, Gaza and the West Bank, in accordance with U.N. resolution 242. Period, paragraph, end of subject! That is the deal our dear leader and PM Sharon "cut," before we attacked and occupied Iraq, and that is all that is acceptable!
__They owe us big time. They owe us to the tune of 10,000s of American warriors killed, maimed, and wounded and counting. Plus, $8 billion (that is an 8 with nine zeroes behind it) *each and every month* that we are pouring down and unconstitutionally occupying that [Iraq] rat hole, while Israel ... builds its West Bank Wall [Iron Curtain].
__The nation of Israel was created both by the 1917 Balfour Declaration and then the 1937 Peel Commission report (White paper to PM Winston Churchill). The latter [was] after the Jewish guerrilla, terrorist, insurgent group, the Haganah, attacked British forces in Jerusalem (blew up the British Army headquarters in the King David Hotel) and attacked other military strong points the British had established trying to enforce the Palestine Mandate as defined in the Balfour document and League of Nations resolution (sounds eerily familiar, does it not?).
__It must be said that the Islamic Arabs, indigenous Palestinians, also did their share of terrorist acts, insurgency fighting, guerrilla warfare during this period too. But, then again, it was *their* (Old Testament notwithstanding) land that the British were giving to the Jews as a homeland. In light of what they, the English, did in their creation of Iraq in the early 1900s, would you ever trust them? (Before you answer, remember where we are fighting today, almost 100 years after they screwed up Mesopotamia.)
__As outlined in these documents, it was England, the League of Nations, then the United Nations, who decided to give the land that was called Palestine (populated overwhelmingly with Islamic Arabs) to the Jewish people of the world. Give it to them as a homeland, not as a democracy - a Jewish, religious homeland. But only after the Jewish military insurgents/terrorists (of which Mr. Sharon was/is one) drove the British out of Palestine and [after] the holocaust of WW II.
__The problem is that the vast majority of Jews in the world do not want to live in Israel and Islamic Arabs do. The end result being that, demographically, they, Arabs, will soon outnumber Jews living in Israel. That being the case, Israel can no longer put on the facade of being a democratic form of civil, ... national government, because the Muslim Arabs would vote them out of existence.
__Therefore, by giving back Gaza, creating a wall on the West Bank and giving everything on the East side of it to the Muslims, they will create a truly Jewish Republic. No longer the nation of Israel, but now the Jewish state of Israel. A Jewish theocracy with nuclear weapons, that is.
__And we are in Iraq to prove it. Tell me, again, why else?
__By the way, if I was an Iranian Shiite Muslim diplomat, the last thing I'd be doing is stopping my U238 enrichment program, much even less mid-range solid rocket efforts - build or buy.
__Oh, and don't cry too big ... or many tears for those [Israelis] forced to leave homes that they should not have been in, in the first place. They are being well paid - $150 to $500 thousand per family. By whom? You and me, naturally [i.e. U.S. taxpayers].
4.7 Disarm Israel to Disarm Iran - Sep 14, 2005
__Mr. Pierre Goldschmidt has it wrong; the only" Decision Time on Iran" that we have to make, [re] his 14 September article, is that decision to disarm Israel of its nuclear weapons capability - not their development program, not their intentions, [but] their 200 plus weapons that they have aimed at every nation in the region. Then and only then will we be able to negotiate with Iran at truly arm's length.
__Without us, the international community, doing just that, ... there is no way that Iran is going to stop developing their nuclear weapons program. What are we going to do [to threaten Iran]? - not use their oil, boycott and/or sanction them, then attack them, after we find that [those tactics] do not work? I do not think so.
__China has awoken, with or without our help, and we are no longer the big boys on the block. Boy, our status as the only superpower in the world sure did not last long. What, five or six years at best? How many allies do you think we have? One or two? Thank you President Bush. You are responsible for that also!
IRAQI SECURITY: Chapter 12, Part 5
5.1 Training for Iraq's Security? - July 20, 2005
__I find the two Newsline Iraq stories on page 16 of the 25 July "AT" very interesting and compelling reading, not for what they say, but for how they read "in between the lines". Both the "Iraqi troops may control Baghdad by election time" and "Study says infiltrators setting back U.S. withdrawal" articles boldly tell me that we are out of Iraq - big time.
__Unfortunately, they're also saying that we are going to have to tap-dance around and jump through no-telling how many hoops before we get the hell out of Dodge. We are now into the hunker-down or cover-your-ass stage of this debacle. It is only a question of how many more American warriors are going to be wasted and 100s of billions [of dollars] more are going to be poured down that rat hole.
__Regarding the training/readiness of the ISF's (Iraqi Security Forces), these folks have been fighting a lot more and for a much longer time than we have in their little corner of the world. They know how to kill each other. Trying to teach them some small-unit tactical training and basic leadership skills, the way that we are organized for war, is a waste of time and effort; but, most importantly, lives of our warriors [are senselessly at risk] hanging around in Iraq waiting for them to meet some make-believe standard that they are not going to follow one minute after we leave, anyway. Wake up!
__Set a date. Date certain. Start a one-for-one rotation. Throw them into the pool, the deep end. Some will sink, some will swim. ... Stop hiding behind this "train-up" charade....
__It's over, ladies and gentlemen. Who is going to take the blame? All of us - we should never have let this happen, never! And we still do not know why we went in the first place, or they still will not tell us.
5.2 What Training in Iraq? - July 24, 2005
__Both your "Grim and grimmer" editorial and Mr. Anderson's political cartoon on the 24th of July were right on target. But, you failed to ask the one question that has to be asked and answered, before we can start making any sense out of that three-ring circus (U.S. Army, civilian contractors, and politicians), called the undeclared war we are fighting in Iraq.
__That three-part question is: What are the Tasks, specifically, that the ISF (Iraqi Security Forces) have to learn, before they are deemed combat-ready? What Standards are we using to determine that combat-readiness for each task? What Conditions are being applied to help us realistically evaluate the true level of readiness regarding the training being taught and hopefully learned?
__It is always a matter of Tasks, Standards, and Conditions. That is how we train and prepare to fight wars. It should be no different for the ISF. Ask that question the next time you get to talk to a two- or three-star general. If he starts to "tap-dance around" we are in big trouble; they ALL should know that!. If he says that there are none and we are doing it some "other" way in Iraq, ... kiss your ass good-bye. It is finished! - [to quote Jesus].
5.3 Document Iraqi Readiness - August 5, 2005
__"A secretary with poor shorthand" article by Mr. David S. Broder on the 5th of August was very enlightening and should be closely read by all. Thank you, Mr. Broder - well done, well done indeed. What he has provided is the first tap-dancing lesson that we are going to get a lot more of from the Pentagon in the months to come.
__The pure and simple truth is the Army is playing it by ear regarding the training and combat-readiness ... of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). There are no Tasks, Standards, or Conditions to validate ISF readiness, just, as Mr. Broder noted, blank sheets of paper. I guarantee you nobody is going to sign off on anything close to saying they are ready - any of them, ever. What they are doing now in Iraq is nothing more than the way that we used to evaluate our own Army in the '60's and '70's. It's called the SWAG method. I am sure many are familiar with it: *Scientific *Wild *Ass *Guess.
__If anyone thinks the lying, that got us into this debacle - this total waste of troopers, time, and treasure - from the Executive branch of the federal government, was obscene, you ain't seen nothing - yet! Just wait until the spin-doctors (both in and out of uniform) in the five-cornered puzzle-palace get finished; they will have us believing it was everyone else in the world's fault, except theirs, that THEY FAILED! 8 billion bucks a month for well over two or maybe even three years and the best Weapon of Mass Destruction in the history of the world, the U.S. Army, [at their disposal] and THEY FAILED! Plus, they all will give themselves promotions to boot for decades to come, based on this monumental failure. Sorta like that [deal with] Bolton, Wolfowitz, et al....
__I do have a suggestion for Mr. Broder, though. The next time you are at a Defense Department press conference, ask them for signed documented validation of ISF individual, company, and/or battalion METL (Mission Essential Task List) readiness training. Better yet, ask them for the same thing, but for ISF unit ARTEP (ARmy Training and Evaluation Program) results: remember, signed documentation. Then, sit back and watch them screw themselves into the stage.
__It would be comical, except for the fact that American warriors are being killed, maimed, and wounded, because of their idiocy. Not to mention what it has done to America ... militarily and internationally in the short run and down the road a piece - a long piece I'm afraid.
__I was talking to another retired field grade officer earlier today and he asked if I thought that there were any officers/leaders now on active duty that could/would be capable of putting the Army back together after this fiasco is finished. He did not think so. I'm not sure. I hope that we both are wrong and that there are. That [topic] would make another good and important piece, don't you think, Mr. Broder?
5.4 President's Iraq War Accomplishments - July 24, 2005
__Let us see, Mr. Krauthammer, what has our Dear Leader's commitment "to doing big things" that you praise him for in your "For Roberts, a leftward drift?" article on the 24th of July, done for us lately? [Here's what!]
* Create an Islamic theocracy in Iraq. The other Shiite theocracy - Iran, next door - thanks us very much, by the way (gave them time to rebuild their Army after Saddam defeated them, with our chemical weapons, and to further develop their own *real* nuclear weapons program).
* Protect a Jewish theocracy in Israel, while they go about building their West Bank wall and pull out - maybe - from the Gaza Strip (if we give them $2 billion, that is).
* Give a 5 to 4 Roman Catholic majority to the Supreme Court with the confirmation of Mr. Roberts. Plus, when Rehnquist retires/dies, make the Chief Justice an Italian Roman Catholic, i.e., Scalia. WE got you now! Who needs the Presidency, or Congress, when you have the Supreme Court for the next twenty to thirty years or so? ...
__Oh, did I mention also, destroy the U.S. Army and bankrupt the nation? What a guy. He'll have us living/starving like North Koreans in no time, too (just let him at Social Security Insurance).
__Let's see. He and the Republican party (with no small amount of help from the Democratic party) have covered all the bases; Muslims, Jews, and Roman Catholics (still the big dogs of the Christians) and all it cost was - America.
5.5 Theocracy for Iraq - July 31, 2005
__Does anyone in their right mind believe that Iraq is going to be anything but a Shiite Islamic theocracy? Where has Mr. Wang been? His "Iraq Dances With Iran, While America Seethes" article on the 31st of July is laughable, if only it wasn't so painfully true.
__At best what we are going to end up having is some form of Islamic federation between Iraq and Iran to their East, Saudi Arabia to the South [and] Syria ... and the Kurds in the North. You know, [it's] sorta like it was before we invaded and lost a couple of thousand American warriors killed, 10s of thousands wounded and 100s of billions [of dollars] poured right down the drain.
__Tell me, what will that do to the price of a gallon of gas and a cubic foot of natural gas? - much less our "special" relationship with Israel? In that regard, how many Infantry/Armor battalions do you think will be stationed - permanently - in Israel in 2 to 5 years? I say a brigade's worth (3 to 5 [battalions]).
5.6 Establishment of a Religion - July 31, 2005
__Mr. Safire's "desecration" piece in his "On Language" column on the 31st of July was particularly satisfying to read, my personal feelings regarding "flag" burners ... notwithstanding....
__However, the article raises in my mind the Constitutional legality of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Where does it say the Congress can let the President declare war? I seemed to have missed that part. Do you think that was the framers' intent? In fact, wasn't [it] their exact opposite reasoning - Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 11? (Not to mention the fact that) what our President has in effect done is create, using our Army, a Shiite Islamic theocracy. ...
5.6 Establishment of a Religion [Cont.] - July 31, 2005
__Again, isn't [establishing an Islamic theocracy in Iraq] the exact opposite of what the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights specifically prohibits - establishment of a religion?
__That being the reality of the case in Iraq, our President has turned us into a well-defined religious theocracy out there fighting another Crusade in that region of the world. (Except) this time, as opposed to the last series in the 13th century, we are establishing, not trying to destroy, a Muslim religion.
__[Your] use of the word "desecration" is correct, [but, otherwise] Mr. Safire, you are wrong - again. Sorry. ...
5.7 Women's Rights in Iraq? - July 27, 2005
__Although it takes a long time for Ms. Parker to get to the real point of her "Don't forget about the women" article on the 27th of July, when eventually she does, she is wrong, again. Why does she insist on writing, that even those, opposed to this debacle in Iraq from the very beginning, would not want to exercise the only "options" that are available and realistic to take at this time?
* "Withdrawing now isn't an option." she states. Why not? We do plan on leaving, don't we? What difference is it going to make, besides fewer American deaths, maiming, and injured warriors, oh, and 100s of billions [of dollars], too? Didn't Jane Fonda teach us anything, if not to pull out sooner, rather than later?
* "Losing the war isn't an option," she also writes. What war? When did Congress declare war? Did I miss something? There is no war to lose, besides that military three-ring circus occupation going on in Iraq, which was lost from the get-go, that is. When did we ever plan on winning anything in Iraq? It has always been about lies, not winning, or losing. It's lying, stupid!
* "Handing Iraq to terrorists isn't an option" either, she finally states. Please, grow-up! Just who do you think is going to run Iraq, once we leave, whenever that is? Shiite religious Islamic fundamentalists, that's who. Basically, the same bunch that are running Iran with the guidance from the Wahabees, al Qaeda, headquartered in Saudi Arabia. Tell me they are not terrorists. I dare you!
__Obviously, you have not read either, or are conveniently ignoring, one of the most current drafts of the Iraqi Constitution, regarding ... women's rights, too. It states as plan as day that: a.) Islam will be the source of ALL legislation. b.) No law will be approved that contradicts "the rules of Islam".
__It seems to me that you should be enlisting Ms. Jane's efforts, not mocking them. As far as I'm concerned, I think she should - go, baby, go! ... [Jane] is right, again!
IN IRAQ FOREVER: Chapter 12, Part 6
6.1 Fighting to Continue? Where? - July 29, 2005 __What exactly is "The Courier-Journal" trying to tell us in their "Heading to an exit" editorial on the 29th of July, by saying "the situation in Iraq is still chaotic and violent?" Then near [the] end they write, "fighting is likely to continue for years". In the middle they bounce around like a pinball in a pinball machine, making no ... sense at all. However, it is at the very end where they really show their confusion, by stating, "but there could be precious little to show for a misconceived war." Talk about an attempt at spin control, hot air, and CYA action all in one.
__... Baloney, we have accomplished the *exact* mission our President set out to do, only he did not tell us what it was! The Jerusalem/Berlin wall has been constructed ... The "road map" is finished - well, at least this part. ...
__Really, why else do you think we attacked and now are occupying Iraq? WMD in Iraq? Ha. Oil? Ha. Connection to 9/ll and al Qaeda? Ha. War on terror? Ha. Democracy in the Middle East? Ha. It's Israel, stupid. ...
__One more thing. Do not be surprised if a brigade or a battalion or two of American warriors are re-deployed to Israel and not back home to the U.S.A., per Senator Lugar's suggestion that he made a long time ago. ...
6.2 Troops Needed at Home - August 4, 2005 __Mr. Krauthammer's 4 August article "... Common sense policy ..." is a nice way of avoiding the [real] terrorist threat. [Instead,] let's blame American society and the police for not figuring out a way to check possible terrorist suspects in subways or bus terminals, while ignoring the REAL problem.
__All [that such] pieces, like his, do is keep everyone from thinking about what we need to do in order to eliminate the [threats at the] Mexican border and [at] international cargo (both sea and air) terminals.... ... That, Mr. Krauthammer, is where the next "bomber", "guided missile" driver, or IED is coming from. Also, it is not going to be like London.
__Haven't you learned anything about guerrilla warfare yet? Their next attack might very well not even be directed directly against people. But they might knock out a city's water, municipal sewage treatment facilities and/or electric grid. Then again, it might just be a baseball stadium, a mall, or a church, with or without people in it, just to show us they can (Remember it is fear that they want to sow, if not wild, unfocused anger ...). How are you going to identify those terrorists, regardless of "profile," that you say best reduces the risk to an acceptable "probability," but stands a good chance of capturing some of them? They are *all* coming across the Mexican border pall-mall, [of] every race, color, and nationality. Furthermore, I do not think the word "wasteful" is in al Qaeda's dictionary, when it comes to defeating [or] killing heretics and infidels. Obviously, they are willing to pay any price [even death].
__But, then again, perhaps the reason [Mr. Krauthammer] does not want [to address] the real problem is because he knows the answer to it would [be] putting U.S. troopers on the border - troopers which we do not have. Plus, [it would mean] allowing individual states to use their National Guard units, augmented by regular federal forces to do the job that they were designed, short of declared war, to do: protect their state, again, with soldiers, which they do not have.
__Why do we not have them? Because they both are being wasted in Iraq (also, where there are not enough troopers*), fighting, not to win, but to "struggle" against an enemy.... Mr. Krauthammer and those of his ilk are trying their damnedest to morph [them] into their other agenda (foreign policy debacle) based on lies.
__This is truly a classic case, more so than even Vietnam, of bounded rationality, fed by cognitive dissonance, resulting in opportunity costs. The only question left to answer is how high is the price that we are going to to have to pay?
__Mr. Krauthammer, would you like to talk about confirmation bias? How about overconfidence? Perhaps anchoring? What about loss aversion? No? I did not think so.
__* The reason why both field and senior Army commanders are saying they do not need any more warriors on the ground [in Iraq] is two-fold. 1.) They know there aren't any more. 2.) It makes no sense to make the battlefield more target-rich with our forces, especially since we are not at "war" and do not plan on winning anything! Oh, and there is one more: if they did [ask for more troops], they'd lose their [own] jobs.
6.3 Kerry Was Right Once - August 3, 2005
__"The CJ" Bolton appointment editorial on the 3d of August ... makes [me] really wish they would make sense when trying to take a principled stand. ... The most egregious and ass backward comment has to be the one telling us that we had such a more "diplomatically skilled" person to choose as president, Kerry, but we selected Bush. Say what?
__Senator Kerry, the guy who earned two of the second highest medals the Army can award - the Silver Star - for bravery and heroism in combat - who then threw them over the White House fence in protest for the Congress not declaring war in Vietnam - an action, which ... in no small part was why, when he ran for the Senate, he won because of that principled position (and not to mention that he was right)? Then what does he do, once it is his opportunity, as a Senator, to vote [whether] to send our nation to war? - exactly the same thing he protested against back then, [he votes to] let the President do it. He may very well have been a hero then; personally, I think he was, but for sure he is gutless now!
__The CJ calls that diplomacy? I call it cowardice.
6.4 Vietnam All Over Again - August 16, 2005 __Thank you, Mr. Rich, for your excellent piece "Will someone tell the President the war is over?" printed on the 16th of August in the "CJ." The only point that bothers me is his comment, seemingly to Constitutionally justify our attack on Iraq, "that sped the congressional ratification of the war".
__Isn't that the same shuck and jive congressional action that ended up getting the Vietnam Memorial built - the last non-declared war we lost? At the worst, wasn't the War Powers Act supposed to be the vehicle the President uses to take this nation to war, if there is not enough time for the CONGRESS TO DECLARE WAR by debating the need first? Why was that legislative piece of congressional mea culpa excuse-making over that other "conflict" not used this time, for the first time? Did it not give them enough cover and concealment, plausible deniability, or what? Talk about a bunch of slimy earth-crawling slugs.
__[Forget] ... Mr. Santayana's warning, "Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it"? Man, you sure can say that again.
6.5 Nixon All Over Again - August 20, 2005
__Congratulations, Ms. Dowd! You've won first prize in the "let's screw America" contest the same way that "Tricky Dick" did in '68 and '72 with his "I have a secret plan" to end the Vietnam conflict (2/3 of all soldiers killed and over 3/4 of those maimed and wounded [in Vietnam] happened while executing his "plan", under Dicky's watch - look it up).
__Your "Hey, What's That Sound" article on the 20th in the NYT hits the nail right on the head. In fact, these criminals will continue getting American warriors killed and spending outrageous sums of money - $8 billion a month - as long as it benefits them politically. They [could not] care less about this country as long as they remain in power. That was the truth then and it is now. No need to be bashful about it, it's the truth. Tell it like it is. You got it exactly right! ...
6.5 Nixon All Over Again [Cont.] - August 20, 2005 __What frustrates some of us in particular is that the Democrats not only know that this is what is happening, but they too are a part of the problem. Anyone who says - we have to stay the course; we broke Iraq and now we have to fix it; or (most distressingly of all) we cannot let the lives of our lost warriors be in vain - are the real cowards [and] traitors (... truly self-serving evil persons) in or out of uniform or political party.
__This is especially true, because we, soldiers and civilians, have been dealt this hand and have had to play it before. We will not "cut and run" until the current Kissinger declares "peace with honor". But, then, we will do exactly that - "cut and run". Watch!
__In fact, maybe we should bring Henry out of retirement, so we can hear him say it (play it) again.... Sorta like we brought General Shoomaker out of retirement as the Army Chief of Staff, because no one on active duty would take the job. ...
__The only difference, by the way, between now and then is that we promised the NVA billions of dollars and reneged. This time we are paying, training, and just plain-old giving away $8 billion a month to the enemy we are "struggling" against - up front.
__There is a quote from George Santayana, Spanish-American 19 - 20 century philosopher from his book "The Life of Reason" [that] says: "to delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman." __Tell me that what the President and Congress are doing is not criminal. They are and it is. Been there, done that before. ...
6.6 Tap-dance in Iraq - August 15, 2005
__The comments by Senators McCain and Biden this weekend (13-14 August), regarding our military presence in Iraq, makes me wonder if they have been drinking some of our dear leader's Kool-Aid. They both are giving us that "stay the course" mantra. How stupid is that? It is either that, or they are lying and are going to run for President in '08.
__Sen. Biden said we can't lose because of the damage it will do to our credibility and standing in the international community on "Meet the Press" Sunday. What is he talking about? - continue getting our soldiers killed, maimed, wounded, and wasting 100s of billions for his and our dear leader's screw-up? Just how much more does he think the rest of the world can laugh at us, much less think worse about us than they do today? Senator, you cannot turn this pig's ear [War] into a silk purse!
__Then, McCain says that we cannot even begin to think about leaving Iraq, until he "can land at the airport in Baghdad and ride in an unarmored car down the highway to the Green Zone". ... Senator, an "American Jew" (that is what [Muslims] call us *all*, but especially our warriors) will never be able to do that in Iraq and I think you know that too.
__Iraq is going to continue to be in a state of chaos both until and after we leave. It is much better for them and certainly for our warriors, who are going to be shot and blown up in the future, to get the hell out of Dodge right NOW! We all know that. What is this tap-dancing we are doing in the minefield all about anyway? Couldn't be politics could it? Wouldn't be the same thing Tricky Dick did to us 25 or so years ago? You remember, don't you, "peace with honor?" Not no, but hell no.
__Speaking about the '08 election - Ms. Sheehan for President!
6.7 Iraq Is Dead - August 17, 2005
__When will y'all see the truth? The nation created by England in the early 1900's, Iraq, no longer exists, that is the truth. We killed it. For sure there will be a transnational Kurdistan in the north, until the Turks destroy it, that is. In the South/Southeast [there will be] the Shiite Islamic Republic of Iraq, until it is absorbed - peacefully or violently - into the Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran.
__The Sunnis in the middle, well, if you think there was a blood bath in South Vietnam in '75 after the the North Vietnamese drove into downtown Saigon (and there was), you ain't seen nothing yet. The Tigris and Euphrates are going to flow red for quite a while. The massacre that is going to take place will make Saddam and his sons look like rank amateurs.
__I wonder if our "over the horizon" military presence will stop any of that from happening? Not!
__For what [is this war]? Let see, the Israelis have withdrawn from Gaza, they have built their Jerusalem/Berlin wall, and we have paid for both in our blood and bucks - big time! How do they do that? Why did we let them do that? Now, our dear leader can say: mission accomplished. What a swell guy.
__Ms. Sheehan, that is what your son died for! Nothing more, nothing less - Israel.
__Oh, and gasoline is selling for $2.50 - $3.00 a gallon here while that being sold in Iraq is selling for $0.05, that's 5 cents a gallon, because of subsidies. Who's subsidizing the price? Guess who? Who else is handing out bags full of dollars in Iraq, but us? ... They are not even our dollars, but the ones we borrowed from Communist (Red) China - who, by the way, is conducting joint military maneuvers with Russia (of late USSR fame) off the straights of Taiwan in the North Pacific Ocean. ...
6.8 "Total Victory", Deadly Rhetoric - August 25, 2005
__Ms. Maureen Dowd's excellent" His own private Idaho" article on the 25th of August says it all, almost. What are we to make of our dear leader's demand for TOTAL victory? For that matter, why doesn't she or the rest of the national media point it out that that is what the President said he was going to require before his undeclared war was over. Isn't that news? Why haven't we heard more about it?
__Plus, ... he also said that he has a "detailed strategy" to accomplish that mission! You know sorta like Tricky Dick's "plan" to get us out of Vietnam, "peace with honor". While he will not tell us what his plan for TOTAL victory is (which Dicky never did either, by the way), one of the things he did tell us about (via the VFW/ARNG speeches this week) is to let the Iraqi Security Forces take over from us on a one-for-one basis, so we can de de mao mao out of the country [while] they are [being] trained. How does that square with TOTAL victory? Isn't that much like what Dicky did in Vietnam, so we could cut and run from the roof of the American Embassy, but from downtown Baghdad in Blackhawks this time? That's "peace with honor" then, or "TOTAL victory" now? I ... do not know so.
__As that Iraqi veteran, who ran for a vacant Congressional seat in Ohio a short time ago, said, and I agree, we have a chickenhawk for a President. He narrowly lost, by the way, but he had one fact absolutely 100% correct!
__Does anyone believe a word out of [the President's] mouth? Truly I am to the point where I think he must be the originator of the three greatest lies a man can tell a woman.... After all he was an airplane driver ... once, was he not?
6.9 Hunkering Down and Out in Iraq - August 28, 2005
__The last straw! Mr. David Brooks's 28 August article "Winning in Iraq" has done it! No one in their right mind (or left for that matter), who has read and studied the British military policy in Malaya, the United States in Vietnam, or even the French before us in Vietnam, can call a "hunkering down" strategy "successful"! It was and is an escape plan, dummy, while we sued for peace.
__What retired Lieutenant Colonel Kupinevich is proposing is nothing more than a retreat strategy to get us out of Iraq. We have tried the "secure" ... village form of war, and yes it works, but what it is used for is not to secure victory. It is a tactical method to minimize deaths ... and wounding of soldiers, while the politicians, that got us into this three-ring circus, "spin" their way out and senior military idiots, who let them get us there, find concealment, if not cover! It is nothing more than a "delaying action".
__Even so and unfortunately, there still will be a last warrior to catch the last bullet, before we find "peace with honor" and then cut and run from this "struggle" too.
__What Mr. Brooks is doing is trying to find "plausible deniability" for this horrific waste of American warrior lives and fiscal treasure that he actively supported from the get-go and still does. Well, he can't do that; we won't let him! He was and is wrong. At worst, that fact should be tattooed across his forehead. At best, in a perfect world, he should volunteer or be "volunteered" to be the one to take that last slug!
__What should be tattooed? I recommend "liar" and/or "fool". What about the politicians and senior military, you ask? How about bringing down a pox or plague upon them and their families, or, at a minimum, let them secure and expand village ... perimeters in Iraq (bet we'd get the right kind of armor protection in [the] country then and be out of there real quick, I mean tout de suite).
__Mr. Brooks, just how do you expect to implement this grand strategy ... with no secure borders around any part of Iraq? - not to mention 3.5 billion Muslims world-wide already on our backs - huh? Stop playing at war. You really, really do not know what you are talking about, nor does that Lieutenant Colonel.
6.10 Game Not Over in Iraq? - August 30, 2005 __I just do not understand what Mr. Noah Feldman is talking about in his "Agreeing to Disagree in Iraq" in his 30th of August article. He states, after ... half of a page of ramblings, that "the game is not over yet", even if the Iraqi-American constitution is rejected by the Iraqi people on the 30th of October.
__What planet is he from? - that new one we just found? Militarily, we are decisively engaged by a bunch of, well, to put it nicely, let's call them, irregular forces. Tactically and strategically, we have lost the ability to maneuver, except for retreat, that is. Fiscally, we are pouring $8 billion a month (or more totally) down that rat hole.
__He goes on to contend that, even if it is rejected (and obliquely thinks it might be a good thing if they do), ... "everyone can head back to the negotiating table and try again". Say what? ... Furthermore, those, who say, as Mr. Feldman's article also implies, that we broke Iraq so we have to stay and fix it (NYT included), also need to have their heads examined.... Iraq has always been broke, by any standard and definition, ever since it was created by the English about 90 or so years ago. All we are doing is resetting the pieces the way they were. ...
__Plus, there will be a "blood baath" whenever we leave, tomorrow or ten years from tomorrow. ... You can pay now or pay latter. The price is only going to escalate. ...
6.11 Guard Whose Borders? - September 1, 2005 __Mr Ross's recommended tactical military solution to the quagmire in Iraq, as expressed in his "End game?" editorial in the September 05 issue of "AFJ", caught my eye. Of all the solutions being given, his is the best of the worst. However, (just like NYT columnist Mr. David Brooks's "strategic village ..." recommended replay of what we tried and failed miserably at, with over 500,000 soldiers, in the Republic of South Vietnam, which, by the way, is only about 1/3 the size of Iraq, Mr. Brooks) where are [we] going to get the troopers in this case to ... patrol 24/7, year in and year out, the Iraqi borders ...? Answer: we ain't! But, again, his is the best idea of the worst. ...
__Furthermore, we have not "broken Iraq and therefore have to fix it". That is just so much garbage, Mr. Powell, et al.! At best, we have re-created the situation in the region, on the ground, the way it was before the League of Nations mandated the English to create Iraq about 90 years ago in the first place [with its several tribes]. At worst, we've signed the death warrants to a whole bunch of Sunni Muslims [and Christians?], as soon as the Shiites and Kurds get to them via their Bush administration concocted ... "democratic" constitution. Plus, of course, [he] created an Islamic theocracy [there], aligned very closely, if not, symbiotically, to our friend, IRAN! Whatever we do militarily in Iraq from now on, those are the facts and we can never change that, *nor should we be a part of it!*
__The comment that "we knew what the stakes (in Iraq) were" is absolutely, 100%, in the box, correct! Many, many (Mr. Roos included, I believe) begged, pleaded, and fell on their proverbial swords, trying to prevent what is happening to our Army [and] our country from happening, but to no avail. We knew then that we were being lied to. The only thing that can happen worse, now, is to let it drag on, so that those who failed us from the get-go are given the opportunity to find ... cover, at the cost of additional American warriors and treasure. Truly, it is enough to make you weep.
__Besides, we cannot even control our Southern border with Mexico and there are no "live free-fire zones" there - yet.
__That is why I am so disappointed in Mr. Roos's editorial. Putting scouts on the borders [of Iraq] (about [2400 mi.] worth, including coastline) may be the school answer, but we know it is not going to work. We all know how it is going to end, don't we now, Mr. Roos? "Off with all of their heads!" [is how].
6.12 Bush to Change Iraq! - September 12, 2005 __I cannot see, much less understand, Mr. Friedman' point in his "New Orleans and Baghdad" piece on the 12th of September.
*11 or so Crusades (including our current one) over the last millennium in that region;
*T.E. Lawrence's book "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom," (I understand that the new Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Hagee, has just now read it and is recommending it to other General-grade and senior, civilian governmental leaders - talk about being a dollar short and a day late);
*plus, the movie, "Lawrence of Arabia";
*and he thinks Bush ... is going to change Iraq, if not the whole region! He is crazy!
__Whatever happens in that rat hole [the Iraq War] that we accomplish, that we can even twist [or] spin ... as being good and worthwhile, is going to revert back exactly the way it was one minute after we leave. Who does not know that? Is there anyone out there willing to admit that truth? We are wasting troopers and treasure - big time! But that is not the reason we went there in the first place, Mr. Friedman; is it? That mission [removing Saddam] was accomplished. The trick now is getting out. Maybe that is what his article is really about - laying the foundation so we can blame the Kurd, Shiite, and Sunni tribes, again. Just like in that scene in Aqaba before Major Lawrence left for home, England. The sooner we [leave for home] for America the better too - for all of us!
NEOCON PHILOSOPHY-ECONOMICS 101: Chapter 12, Part 7
7.1 When in Moscow - November 3, 2005
__I've had this gnawing in the pit of my stomach for the last year and a half or so. Your "The Prison Puzzle" editorial on the 3d of November confirms the reason why. The use of old USSR prisons to imprison Iraqi detainees [and] prisoners proves that we are now more or less them - communists! ...
__How could we have allowed our civilian government to do this to us? How could our senior military leaders allow this to happen to their, our, army? - capturing the enemy and turning them over to the CIA, so they can be flown to Russia, or wherever, for ... rendering in our own system of gulags? What's the difference between us and the Soviet Army and the KGB, or the Wehrmacht and the Gestapo? My God, what are we going to do next? - find some [unused] camp in central Bavaria, ... so we can concentrate our interrogation [with] torture efforts even more?
__This is ... sick, morally indefensible, if not truly evil. And we will *all* be held to account. The next thing you'll know is that our dear leader took off his shoe and started banging on the podium at the United Nations [ala USSR Primier Khruschev]. Obviously, history has not taught us one damn thing - nothing! At least from the Crusades on, that is.
7.2 Patriot Act Economy - August 15, 2005
__Mr. Charles Krauthammer's "No obligation to be tolerant" article on the 15th of August is both very telling and possibly frightening.
__What happened in London was not the fault of weak, or not the right kind of, laws. What happened there was a direct result of not enforcing existing law out of politicians' fears of losing political support. Plus, of course, poor execution of the law by their police and bureaucrats [in both] their government and legal system. Much like the [public officials] we also have in ours - at all levels!
__What Prime Minister Blair is proposing (again, a lot like our Patriot Act) is more law, which will be ignored, or at best applied selectively. You know, Mr. Krauthammer, just like Communism. Which is o.k., I guess, as long as it's "my" type of Communism and "I'm" in the 10% [who are] running things.
__There are two ways to base an economy and government: [consumer] demand or [government] command. What we are seeing more of both in England and America is command - that is Communism.
__Welcome to the new world order, y'all.
7.3 A Conservative Idea: National Debt Reduction - August 2, 2005
__In reply to Secretary of the Treasury John Snow's letter on the 2d of August, I would like to say: please, Mr. Snow, give me a break! The only reason that the deficit is being reduced is because of the use of *my* Social Security Trust Fund dollars to pay interest on the debt (or, if you like, replace the tax dollars you gave back to the wealthy and took from the middle and lower classes).
__The simple fact of life is that, when this administration began 5 years or so ago, the country was running an annual surplus and the National Debt was being reduced. It is now running an annual deficit and the National Debt is growing. As long as it was doing the former, I do not mind you using my money (SSTF), but once you started doing the latter, so the wealthy can get wealthier, while the country is being held more and more financially hostage by South Korea, no less, I think not. In fact, maybe we should revolt (at least burn a flag or two, anyway).
__The only thing I want to hear from you, Mr. Snow, is that you are going to leave office in 3 years with the country in at least the same shape it was in when you started. If you cannot do that, shut-up. You have nothing to say.
__You guys are a bunch of flim-flam artists of the first order. Do not try to justify the obscene spending on that war-against-terrorism stuff either. We are in the international condition that we are in today because of the failed actions of this President, his policies, and the failure of the federal government. Those failures [led] directly to 9/11 and then sending us to fight a 100s of billions [of dollars] undeclared war based on lies. Oops, we are not supposed to call it "war" any more, according to General Myers, Chairman, JCS - someone might think our Army was supposed to win something or another.
__Mr. Snow, it's called Econ 101, macro-fiscal and monetary policy, and y'all are failures, utter and complete failures, at both! Obviously, what we need are some fiscally responsible Democrats to put our financial house back in order (ain't that a hoot?).
__P.S. and I'm a conservative...!
NEOCON PHILOSOPHY-ECONOMICS 101, by Col. Joe Kopacz
7.4 Homeland Security, Bureaucratic Wasteland - September 11, 2005
__With the exception of the unabated beating up on the rest of us about
the rough time we all gave Jews and witches, Mr. Krauthammer's "Plenty
of blame for all" article on the 11th of September was right on target.
He pretty much hits the proverbial nail right on the head by telling us
it's all of our fault!
__But, in particular, as many, many of us pointed out, the DHS
(Department of Homeland Security) would turn out to be and is nothing
more than another level of bureaucratic waste, fraud, and abuse! -
incompetence at its highest level or form, pure and simple. Who does
not know that after 9/11 heads should have rolled, reputations [should
have been] destroyed, and some probably should have been taken out and
shot. But, no! What we got was an additional level of mismanagement
made up of the same people who failed us on 9/11. THEY WERE PROMOTED! -
plus given raises or retired and became consultants - well-paid
consultants - ... to the now better-paid-for-failing yoyos supposedly
running ... DHS.
__Why did this and all of the rest of what Mr. Krauthammer [mentioned]
come about? [It was] not any one thing that he wrote about, for sure.
But, more than anything else, [it was] because we have a president who
is a jerk! ...
7.5 FEMA Under DHS, Thus Katrina - September 12, 2005
__I think Mr. Paul Krugman, in his "Go ahead, point those fingers"
article on the 12th of September, misses the point. The problem with
the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina [was] two-fold.
__The first is the lack of leadership or guts, [such as] in: not
preventing the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) from being formed
in the first place, regardless of who or what [was] running FEMA;
attack[ing] for no good reason another country and stick[ing] by that
decision, regardless of the facts, deaths and maiming of American
warriors, and all other obscene costs....
__The second is the evil and corrupt actions of both political parties,
whichever is in power at the federal, state, and local levels, in their
efforts to make money - big bucks - from this horrific event. Just
watch, they [the politicians] will all line up at the trough to get
their "taste". I mean, what the hell, we are handing out bags of money
in Baghdad; why not [here]?
7.6 American Refugees - September 17, 2005 __Regarding the letter sent
in by Mr. Christopher Clements on the 17th of September titled "They
are not 'refugees'" - wrong answer! Yes, they are!
__I do not care what some "High Commissioner" from whatever
organization says, even if, Mr. Clements, you might be taking his
comment out of context, or not quoting him completely. I still do not
__May I refer you to Mr. Webster? That is my source and the people
forced out of their homes and communities qualify as REFUGEES. ...
7.7 Katrina Grades Military Strategy - September 17, 2005
__The editorials in the 19 September Army Times; "Make FEMA job
military" and "A show of strength" make me want to laugh, except I
think that you are serious, in which case I want to cry!
__... If the Army was not able to fulfill its obligation to this
country's Grand Military Strategy - [which is to be] capable of
conducting two (2) regional armed conflicts while maintaining the
training base - we have much more serious problems than getting ice or
whatever to Biloxi!
__... That is why none of the [Katrina] refugees (that is what they
are, look it up in your Webster's) were moved directly to Mobilization
stations, as [has been] planned in case of any national disaster,
natural or otherwise. We are being lied to, because the Army could not
fulfill its duties and responsibilities to both Iraq and the ...
American people in our time of need. The Iraqis won out. Sad, but true,
anyway you slice the cake. Ask yourself: why weren't the displaced
citizens of the Gulf Coast moved to Ft. Polk, LA; Ft. Rucker, AL; or
Camp Shelby, MS, not to mention any other fort, base, camp, station, or
other military facility in the nation, per existing Mobilization Plans?
- especially my three favorites: Fort Benning, GA, Ft. Campbell, and
[Ft.] Knox, KY?
__What we need to do, Admiral Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations, is
tell the truth, do our jobs and, if we fail, get fired (or shot) and
stop blaming the system! It for sure is not perfect, but the problems
are in the personnel and how they do their jobs .... We do not need to
re-invent the wheel, much less create a new civil-military bureaucracy
[as you suggest] - a bureaucracy that will inevitably go the same route
as the DHS [Dept. for Homeland Security] - right down the toilet! Talk
about sending mixed messages to the troopers. That is, of course,
unless the Navy wants to dedicate two Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups
[with] equipment, personnel (including Marine MAB's) and funding, with
no increase in cost, 100% to the mission of America/Peace Corps
operations around the world. Be my guest, sir. ...
Chapter 13: A CONCERNED EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN, by Laurence M. Vance
[www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance-arch.html - Laurence M. Vance is author of CHRISTIANITY AND WAR. He is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in accounting and economics at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL.]
SHOULD A CHRISTIAN JOIN THE MILITARY? - October 11, 2004
Christian enthusiasm for war is at an all-time high.
__Gullible Christians have not just tolerated the state's nebulous crusade against "evil," they have actively promoted both it and the overgrown U.S. Military establishment. Because the Republican Party is in control of the federal government, instead of the "ungodly" Democrats, because President Bush is the Commander-in-Chief, instead of the "immoral" Bill Clinton, and because the "enemy" is the easily-vilifiable Muslim infidel, many Christians, who certainly ought to know better, given the history of state-sponsored persecution of Christians, "heretics," and other religious groups over the past two thousand years, have come to view the state, and in particular its coercive arm, the military, as sacrosanct.
For far too long Christians have turned a blind eye to the U.S. Global Empire of troops and bases that encircles the world. Many Christians have willingly served as cannon fodder for the state and its wars and military interventions. Christians who haven't died (wasted their life) for their country in some overseas desert or jungle increasingly perpetuate the myth that being a soldier in the U.S. Military is a noble occupation that one can wholeheartedly perform as a Christian.
__The question of whether a Christian should join the military is a controversial one in some Christian circles. By a Christian I don't just mean someone who accepts the title by default because he was born in "Christian" America or "Christian" Europe. In this respect, everyone but Jews and atheists could be classified as Christians. The mention of a Christian in this article should be taken in the narrower sense of someone who professes to believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour (Luke 2:11) and that the Bible is some kind of an authority (Acts 17:11). It is true that this may be too broad a definition for some Christians, and it is also true that many who profess to be Christians hold defective views on the person of Christ and the nature of the Atonement. But for the purposes of this article, the "broadness" of this definition and the permitting of these "defects" do not in any way affect the question: Should a Christian join the military? In fact, the narrower one's definition of what constitutes a real Christian, the stronger the case can be made against a Christian joining the military.
The idea that there are certain things Christians should not do is not only scriptural (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21), it is readily acknowledged by Christians and non-Christians alike. Christians have historically applied this idea to occupations as well. But it is not just unlawful occupations like pimp, prostitute, drug dealer, and hit man that Christians have shied away from. Most Americans - whether they be atheist or theist - would have a problem with those occupations as well. Everyone knows that there are also certain lawful occupations that Christians frown upon: bartender, exotic dancer, casino card dealer, etc. This prohibition is also usually extended to benign occupations in not so benign environments. Therefore, a clerk in a drug store or grocery store is acceptable, but a clerk in liquor store or an x-rated video store is not. Likewise, most Christians would not work for an abortion clinic, for any amount of money, whether in the capacity of a doctor or a secretary. In other places of employment, however, a Christian might have no problem with being employed, only with working in a certain capacity. This explains why some Christians might not wait tables in restaurants that forced them to serve alcohol, but would feel perfectly comfortable working for the same restaurant in some other capacity, like a bookkeeper or janitor.
The larger question of whether a Christian (or anyone opposed to the federal leviathan) should work for the state is not at issue. Someone employed by the state as a teacher, a mailman, a security guard, or a park ranger is providing a lawful, moral, non-aggressive, non-intrusive service that is in the same manner also provided by the free market. Thus, it might be argued that working for the BATF, the CIA, the FBI, or as a regulation-enforcing federal bureaucrat is off limits, whereas these other occupations are not. The question then is which of these two groups the U.S. Military belongs in. Given the actions of the U.S. Military since Sherman's state-sponsored "total war" against Southerners and Indians, the host of twentieth-century interventions, subjugations, and "liberations," and the current debacle in Iraq, it should be obvious.
The question before us then is whether a Christian should join the military. Although my remarks are primarily directed at the idea of Christian being a professional soldier (a hired assassin in some cases) for the state, they are also applicable to serving in the military in any capacity.
To save some people the trouble of e-mailing me to ask if I have ever been in the military, I will say now that, no, I have never been in the military. For some strange reason, many Americans think that if you have not "served" your country in the military then you have no right to criticize it. There are three problems with this attitude.
First of all, this is like saying that if you have not "served" in the Mafia then you have no right to criticize John Gotti. It reminds me of fellow travelers in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s saying that if you have not lived in the Soviet Union then you have no right to criticize it. So no, I am not a veteran, but I have family members who were in the military and have lived near military bases and been intimately associated with military personnel since I was ten years old. No, I am not a veteran, but I am a student of history ("Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" - George Santayana), and was born with enough common sense to know government propaganda when I see it. I can also read above a tenth-grade level, which is about all it takes to compare the wisdom of the Founding Fathers with the drivel from Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Powell, and Rumsfeld.
Secondly, some of the most vocal critics of the military have been in the military, like USMC Major General Smedley Butler. So it is not just non-veterans who are critics of the military.
The third problem with the knee-jerk reaction to this article and me because I have never been in the military is that it is misplaced indignation. I am only examining the question of whether a Christian should join the military. Criticism of the military is not my direct purpose.
Another objection to an article of this nature is that if it were not for the U.S. Military then no one would have the freedom right now to write anything. But if the military exists to defend our freedoms, and does not just function as the force behind an aggressive, interventionist U.S. foreign policy, then why are our troops scattered across 150 different regions of the world? Why doesn't the military control our borders? Why do we need a Department of Homeland Security if we already have a Department of Defense? Why, with the biggest military budget ever do we have less freedom in America now than at any time in history? The U.S. Military could not even defend the Pentagon. The case could even be argued that U.S. Military intervention is the cause for much of the anti-American sentiment in the world. So, like Brad Edmonds, I don't owe and still do not owe the military anything. I trust in God Almighty to keep me safe from a nuclear attack, not the U.S. Military.
__Using the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) as a guide, it is my contention that the military is no place for a Christian. As a Christian under the authority of the New Testament, I am perfectly aware that the Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament and were originally given to the nation of Israel. But I am also cognizant that the Apostle Paul said: "Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning" (Romans 15:4) after he had just recited many of the Ten Commandments (Romans 13:8-9).
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3).
__The state has historically been the greatest enemy of Christianity. Yet, many Christians in the military have made the state their god. Members of the military are totally dependent on the state for their food, clothing, shelter, recreation, and medical care. They are conditioned to look to the state for their every need. But the state demands unconditional obedience. Shoot this person, bomb this city, blow up this building - don't ask why, just do it because the state tells you to. The soldier is conditioned to believe that whatever he does is right because it is done in the name of the state. The state's acts of aggression are regarded as acts of benevolence. Then, once the benevolent state is viewed as never doing anything wrong, it in essence becomes the all-seeing, all-knowing, omniscient state, since it would take absolute knowledge to know for certain that the person shot, the city bombed, or the building blown up "deserved" it.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image (Exodus 20:4).
__The state has an image that it expects its citizens to reverence and pledge allegiance to. This is especially true of people serving in the military. Perhaps the most famous picture of the flag is the raising of the flag by U.S. troops at Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. But there is another picture of the flag that has occurred thousands of times that the state does its best to suppress: the picture of the flag-draped coffin of a life wasted in the service of one of the state's needless wars. Foreigners who object to our intervention in their country and our military presence across the globe burn American flags in protest. But they are not protesting because we are capitalists who believe in liberty, freedom, and democracy and they do not share our values. Christians in the military must reverence what has often justly come to be viewed by most of the world as a symbol of oppression. They must also pledge their allegiance to it. Christians blindly recite the Pledge of Allegiance without even bothering to find out where it came from, what its author intended, and how the state uses it to instill loyalty to the state in the minds of its youth. Never mind that the author was a socialist Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy (1855-1932), who was forced to resign from his church in Boston because of his socialist ideas (like preaching on "Jesus the Socialist"). Never mind that the idea for Bellamy's pledge of allegiance was taken from Lincoln's oath of allegiance imposed on Southerners after the successful Northern invasion of the Southern states. Never mind that "republic for which" the flag "stands" was, in Bellamy's eyes, "the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove." The Pledge is an allegiance oath to the omnipotent, omniscient state. There is nothing inherently wrong with the United States having a flag, but it has been made into a graven image that no Christian, in the military or otherwise, should bow down to.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain (Exodus 20:7).
__The state will tolerate God and religion as long as He and it can be used to legitimize the state. God's name is taken in vain when it is used to justify the state's wars and military interventions. Some Christians in the military envision themselves as modern-day crusaders warring against the Muslim infidel. Indeed, the president even termed his war on terrorism "this crusade." Others, all the way up to the commander in chief, invoke the name of God or His words in Scripture to give authority to their unconstitutional, unscriptural, and immoral military adventures. When a young Christian man (or woman, unfortunately) leaves home and joins the military he often learns to take God's name in vain in ways that he never could have imagined. There is a reason the old expression is "cuss like a sailor," not cuss like a mechanic, an accountant, or a fireman. Singing "God Bless America" while cognizant of the abortions, promiscuity, and pornography that curse America is taking God's name in vain. Likewise, military chaplains asking God to bless troops on their missions of death and destruction are taking God's name in vain. Many Christians were upset a few years ago when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) tried to strike out the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance (which was only added in 1954). They should have cheered instead, for even though the two federal judges (the decision was 2-1) who made the ridiculous ruling that the inclusion of the phrase "under God" was an unconstitutional "endorsement of religion" ought to have their heads examined, America is not a nation "under God," and to say that it is (as when one recites the Pledge of Allegiance), is the epitome of using God's name in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8).
__Although the sabbath day is technically the Jewish seventh day (Saturday) and not the Christian first day (Sunday), the basic principle is still the same. Christians the world over set aside the first day of the week to attend church services. Christians in the military are often deployed to some strange city or remote country for months at a time and are therefore forced to violate the precept of "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25). Defense consultant Josh Pollack, in his "Saudi Arabia and the United States, 1931-2002," has documented that during the early decades of the American troop presence in Saudi Arabia, Air Force chaplains were forbidden to wear Christian insignia or hold formal services. During the First Gulf War of Bush the Elder, the importation of Bibles for Christian troops was discouraged, and no alcohol was permitted to U.S. troops in accordance with Islamic Law.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother (Exodus 20:12).
__It used to be thought that following one's father into the military was a noble thing that honored him. Thankfully, this is not so much the case anymore. Is it honoring to one's father and mother for a Christian to accept the state's amoral values that are taught in the military and reject the values learned from a Christian upbringing? The temptations in the military for a Christian young person away from home for the first time are very great. Joining the military is one of the surest ways for a Christian to dishonor his parents by associating with bad company and picking up bad habits. This is not to deny that some Christians who are well grounded in the Scriptures live an exemplary life while in the military and are a positive force for good. But see the next point.
6. Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13).
__This is perhaps the greatest reason for a Christian not to join the military. But there is a difference between killing and murdering. Under certain conditions, a Christian would be entirely justified in taking up arms to defend himself, his family, and his property against an aggressor. If America was attacked, Christians could in good conscience kill and maim enemy invaders. However, when was the United States ever in danger from Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia, Grenada, Panama, Kosovo, Cuba, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, or any of the other places where the United States has intervened militarily? How then can a Christian justify killing any of them on their own soil? The old adage, "Join the army, meet interesting people, kill them," is now just "join the army and kill them" since you can't meet anyone at 10,000 feet before you release your load of bombs. The U.S. Military turns men into callous killers. The D.C. sniper, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Timothy McVey all learned how to kill in the military. When a Christian in the military is faced with an order to kill, bomb, or destroy someone or something halfway around the world that he has never met or seen, and is no real threat to him, his family, or his country, there is really only one option: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 4:29).
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).
__Human nature being what it is, the forcing of men and women together, especially for extended periods on Navy ships, has been the source of many broken marriages and unwanted pregnancies. Christians in the military also face incredible temptations when they are deployed overseas. In his seminal work Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, Chalmers Johnson has described the network of bars, strip clubs, whorehouses, and VD clinics that surround U.S. bases overseas. The former U.S. naval base at Subic Bay in the Philippines "had no industry nearby except for the 'entertainment' business, which supported approximately 55,000 prostitutes and a total of 2,182 registered establishments offering 'rest and recreation' to American servicemen." At the annual Cobra Gold joint military exercise in Thailand: "Some three thousand prostitutes wait for sailors and marines at the South Pattaya waterfront, close to Utapao air base." The prohibition in this commandment applies equally as well to men who are not married, for "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
8. Thou shalt not steal (Exodus 20:15).
__Through its system of forced revenue collection (the income tax), the state is guilty of stealing untold trillions of dollars from working Americans. Very little of that money is spent for constitutionally authorized purposes. One of the largest expenditures of the state is its bloated military budget. Training, feeding, housing, transporting, paying, and arming thousands of troops all over the planet is a very expensive undertaking. Robert Higgs has estimated the true military budget in fiscal year 2004 to be about $695 billion. Besides being the recipient of stolen money, a Christian in the military may have to steal the lives of the sons and daughters of parents he has never met. He may have to steal land in foreign countries to build bases on. He certainly steals the resources of the countries he bombs. Christians in the military should heed the words of the Apostle Paul: "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Ephesians 4:28).
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (Exodus 20:16).
__The state is the greatest bearer of false witness that there has ever been. The latest round of lies concerns the war in Iraq. Continual government lies about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, aluminum tubes, chemical and biological weapons, threat to the United States, tie to al Qaeda, and link to the September 11th attacks are the rule rather than the exception. The Christian in the military is supporting a lie and living a lie when he devotes his time and energy to supporting a U.S. war machine based on deception, disinformation, falsehood, and lies.
10. Thou shalt not covet (Exodus 20:17).
__Young people generally join the military for the wrong motive. Bored, indecisive, in trouble, unemployed, seeking to get away from home - these are some of the reasons why young men and women join the military. But perhaps the greatest reason young people join the military today is because of covetousness. Recruitment slogans all emphasize how much money an enlistee can earn towards his college education. Then there are enlistment bonuses, free medical care, commissary and exchange shopping privileges, the lucrative retirement program, and the future "veterans preference" to help get that government job after retirement. But aside from money, some people covet an increase in prestige ("The few, the proud, the Marines"). Others covet the power that powerful weapons bring. Some Christian young people join the military because they are patriotic, loyal Americans who have been conditioned to think that they owe the state something ("Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"). Their patriotism is noble, but misdirected.
__Should a Christian join the military? Should anyone join the military? The U.S. Military, although officially called the Department of Defense, is the state's arm of aggression. If it limited itself to controlling our borders, patrolling our coasts, and protecting our citizens instead of intervening around the globe and leaving death and destruction in its wake then perhaps it might be a noble occupation for a Christian. But as it is now, the military is no place for a Christian.
The argument that you have to become one of them to win them is fallacious. No one would think of becoming a pimp or a prostitute in order to convert them to Christianity. The fact that a Christian is compared to a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3) is no more a scriptural endorsement of Christians in the military than God being compared to "a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine" (Psalm 78:65) is an endorsement of drunkenness.
When the nation of Israel rejected the LORD and desired a king "like all the nations" (1 Samuel 8:5), God described "the manner of the king that shall reign over them" (1 Samuel 8:9):
__And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
__And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
__And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
__And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
__And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
__And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
__He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
__And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
__Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
__That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles (1 Samuel 8:11-20).
Christians should remember that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal" (2 Corinthians 10:4), and that we wield "the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).
That criticizing the military or recommending that Christians don't join it is seen as being un-American or traitorous shows just how effective the state has been with its propaganda. The United States is the greatest country on earth for a Christian to live in, but in spite of its military, not because of it.
HEBREW MIDWIVES, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS
by Laurence M. Vance - March 3, 2005
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!
There is no denying the fact that the Bible likens a Christian to a soldier:
__"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3).
__"And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house" (Philemon 2).
__"Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants" (Philippians 2:25).
As soldiers, Christians are admonished to "put on the whole armor of God" (Ephesians 6:11). The Apostle Paul, who himself said: "I have fought a good fight" (2 Timothy 4:7), told a young minister to "war a good warfare" (1 Timothy 1:18).
But this is not the Christian soldier I am referring to. The Christian soldier I am referring to is the Christian solider in the U.S. military. As I have pointed out again and again, the fact that the Bible likens a Christian to a soldier does not in any way justify American Christians bombing and killing foreigners for the U.S. military.
If the U.S. military was engaged in guarding our borders, patrolling our coasts, and genuinely defending the country instead of establishing and guarding a U.S. global empire, then perhaps a soldier would be a noble occupation that one could wholeheartedly perform as a Christian.
The Department of Defense is a euphemism. Its 700,000 civilian employees, its 2.3 million military personnel, and its $419.3 billion FY 2006 budget (up 41% since FY 2001) have very little to do with defense. The real defenders of the country are those who serve in the U.S. Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, neither of which is part of the Department of Defense.
The Christian soldier in the Bible fights against sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil. He wears "the breastplate of righteousness" (Ephesians 6:14) and "the helmet of salvation" (Ephesians 6:17). The weapons of the Christian are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4); his shield is "the shield of faith" (Ephesians 6:16) and his sword is "the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).
But now more than ever, the Christian in the military faces the possibility of having to kill (in the name of freedom and democracy, of course) for the state in some foreign country that we are not at war with (there has been no declaration of war in the United States since World War II) and many Americans can't even locate on a map.
Although I don't agree with some of his theological tenets, the theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) made a profound observation during his discussion of the sixth commandment:
Killing in war . . . calls in question, not merely for individuals but for millions of men, the whole of morality, or better, obedience to the command of God in all its dimensions. Does not war demand that almost everything that God has forbidden be done on a broad front? To kill effectively, and in connexion therewith, must not those who wage war steal, rob, commit arson, lie, deceive, slander, and unfortunately to a large extent fornicate, not to speak of the almost inevitable repression of all the finer and weightier forms of obedience? And can they believe and pray when at the climax of this whole world of dubious action it is a brutal matter of killing? It may be true that even in war many a man may save many things, and indeed that an inner strength may become for him a more strong and genuine because a more tested possession. But it is certainly not true that people become better in war. The fact is that war is for most people a trial for which they are no match, and from the consequences of which they can never recover. Since all this is incontestable, can it and should it nevertheless be defended and ventured? (Church Dogmatics, vol. III, pt. 4, p. 454).
The Christian in the military can't hide behind the state as if he is not responsible for his actions, as Barth again says:
The state wages war in the person of the individual. In war it is he, the individual man or woman, who must prepare for, further, support and in the last analysis execute the work of killing. It is part of the responsibility that in so doing he must risk his own life. But the decisive point is that he must be active in the destruction of the lives of others. The question whether this is permissible and even obligatory is not merely addressed to the state; it is also addressed specifically and in full seriousness to the individual (Church Dogmatics, vol. III, pt. 4, p. 464).
Blind obedience to the state is not a tenet of New Testament Christianity.
Fortunately, Christians faced with killing in the name of the state have an example in the Bible to guide them - the Hebrew midwives:
And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah;
And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.
But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?
And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.
Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.
And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses (Exodus 1:15-21).
The state said "kill"; the Hebrew midwives said "no." The midwives did not repeat the "obey the powers that be" mantra that warmongering, Bush-worshipping, state-apologizing Christians incessantly repeat to justify their idolatry.
God give us more Hebrew midwives.
by Laurence M. Vance - June 21, 2005
"And so to every sailor, soldier, airman, and marine who is involved in this mission, let me say you're doing God's work."
__~ George H. W. Bush, December 1992
"And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces."
__~ George W. Bush, June 2005
Even though the war in Iraq is a miserable reality, even though the number of dead American soldiers is approaching the 1,800 mark, even though more prisoner abuse scandals are unfolding, even though the number of insurgents is growing, and even though the war on terrorism is creating more terrorists, still Christians are defending Bush, the war, and the military.
No matter how anti-Christian Bush's actions are, some Christians continue to defend him because he professes to be a Christian. It doesn't matter how often the lies that got us into the war in Iraq are exposed, many Christians still support this war - they are just upset about the manner in which it has been fought. But the worst thing is that no matter what their opinion of Bush (or any president) or his war (or any war), most Christians persist in their holy sacrosanct reverence for the military.
In fact, it appears that support for the military among Christians is actually growing. The troops are now the object of pity. Isn't it terrible that they don't get to see their families for weeks and months on end? Isn't it disgraceful that they lack the armor they need for protection. Isn't it tragic that they might suffer from psychological health issues after they return from Iraq? And, horror of horrors, they are facing injury or death every day as they fight for our freedoms.
Never mind that every soldier in Iraq joined the military voluntarily. Never mind that every member of the Guard and Reserve knew that he might be called to active duty. Never mind that no American soldier has any business in Iraq. Never mind that every soldier who harbors doubts about the wisdom of the U.S. military being in Iraq had a hundred years of American foreign interventions to learn from. Never mind that every soldier who participates in U.S. wars and interventions is ignoring the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. Never mind that the military does very little to actually defend the United States.
Just never mind. Support the troops, defend the troops, pray for the troops, write to the troops, send things to the troops, applaud the troops, make apologies for the troops, worship the troops - just never mind where they are, how they were sent there, what they are doing there, and when they are leaving.
Many Christians have practically elevated military "service" to the level of the Christian ministry. Both presidents named George Bush have done so, as the above quotations show. Christian defenders of the military ought to pay more attention to the words of those who have been in the military instead of disqualifying me from criticizing the military because I have never "served."
The following comments about life in the military are from some of my readers. Although the Bible says that "in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established" (2 Corinthians 13:1), I present here four "witnesses."
My first witness is R. M., an Army veteran from Massachusetts:
__I remember my Vietnam "era" service. Pornography (in the PX) and Prostitution (downtown Leesville) were readily available at Fort Polk. Sometimes the drugs were so pervasive in the billets that I thought we might draw anti-aircraft fire, the place got so high. Alcohol abuse? No comment necessary. Kipling said it best: "Men who live in barracks are never plaster saints."
My second witness is J. O., a Marine Corps veteran from Colorado:
__I just finished reading "God Bless our Troops?" and I agree 100%. I served from 89-93 USMC infantry along with growing up a military dependent and I know many of those Christians who are just as you described. It boggles my mind to hear their comments regarding the military especially since most admit that they have not served nor been a dependent at any point in their lives. They make the military especially the Marines and Army infantry MOS's specifically out to be, well, almost like King Arthur's Knights in shining armor or something. I am left scratching my head after hearing their descriptions and saying: "But that's not how it is." The unit I was in along with men from other units we mainly went out drinking, looking for sex, and the occasional fight at each liberty call we got. That was just fun for us.
I try to tell these Christians some of my past experiences but they don't want to hear it. I even went so far as to show some uncut raw Reuters footage of Marines in action in Iraq that I found, cussing and all. They either didn't want to see it or were offended by the cussing or something. As they are walking away I say, "Why are you offended? Its just the way they talk is all. Its like that in peacetime as well." On another occasion I'll sit there laughing at one marine's joke on a video (crude and sexual) and the Christians get really offended. Once again I say that's just the sense of humor besides its funny as hell!
I just don't understand Christians like Jerry Falwell for example. I am still left scratching my head because I have never in my life experienced the type of "military" that they describe or envision.
My third witness is L. G., an Army veteran from South Dakota:
__I just read your piece from today's Lew Rockwell. Well put. I find it hard to believe that so many nominal 'Christians' think that the military is some kind of enclave of virtue. I was in the Army for 4 years ('84-'88). Let us forget, for a moment, that the purpose of the military is to kill and destroy property - as if that is not bad enough. How does the military hold up when it comes to instilling what Christians call "values"? Well, I was shocked at the pervasiveness of drunkenness and sexual immorality among my fellow soldiers. A half-hearted review of the divorce and unwed pregnancy statistics of military personnel would give one an outline for a book on military culture. Go to a VA hospital and see which department is the busiest - it will be the alcohol and drug treatment program. Military culture is rotten to the core (despite the clean-shaven, spit-shined façade), and it corrupts those who enter therein.
My fourth witness is T. S., a Navy veteran from Florida:
__As a Christian, I made a foolish decision to enlist in the United States Navy. I served from 1990 to 1994. At the age of 18 I entered boot camp. I was placed in a company of 80 men. Never did I meet one professing Christian. It was either mold to the ways of the others or be a cast out. The military has very few standards when it comes to sexual perversion, filthy communication, or alcohol abuse. The military does have some strict standards when it comes to drug abuse, but that did not stop two Marines and I from obtaining a large sum of hashish in Spain. Many other Marines and Sailors purchased drugs that were brought and used upon the ship. Pornography and sexual perversion is out of control within the United States Military. Many a young man was first introduced to pornography within the military. God only knows the number of innocent minds that have been perverted. I can remember walking into a break room full of sailors on my ship and there on the television I saw hard-core pornography. I still suffer from some of the things these eyes saw in the Navy. I also recall the military sponsoring strippers at the club on base.
I also became a drinker of alcohol within the military. It was easy to obtain alcohol on the Little Creek Amphibious Base, either from the club or from beer vending machines. The sale and drinking of alcohol is not discouraged but encouraged by many within the ranks of the United States Military. I can remember coming back from the Persian Gulf in 1991. Our ship had not seen a port of call in months. Our only stop before crossing back over the Atlantic was in Rota, Spain. Now, what do you think was on the mind of every sailor that day? I can tell you for I was there. Every sailor was either drunk, stoned, or seeking sex through one of the numerous prostitutes available at a very cheap price.
My conclusion is this: If Christians desire their son or daughter to live by Christian values, they should not allow them to join the United States Military. Many Christians will not allow their children to attend public schools, but then allow them to join an evil, wicked, and murderous United States Military.
Think, Christian. The presence or absence of the Christian values of these witnesses is irrelevant. This is eyewitness testimony. So aside from all that is wrong with U.S. foreign policy, wars, and interventions, why would a Christian even think of joining the military or reenlisting if he had the misfortune of already being in it?
Because of September 11th? Not even Bush uses that excuse anymore. Because of money for college? "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). Because of family tradition? Some families have a tradition of gluttony and drunkenness. Because of the war on terrorism? Our actions are making more terrorists. Because the military is fighting for our freedoms? Our freedoms are fast disappearing. Because you have to go where they are to "win them to Christ"? "It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right" (Bob Jones Sr., Chapel Sayings). Because of foreign tyrants? John Quincy Adams said that America "goes not abroad seeking monsters to destroy." Because the military is defending the country? The military is defending a lot of countries, but certainly not the United States. Because there is no higher calling than military service? Don't be deceived.
What, then, is a Christian, or anyone else for that matter, to do? How about mowing lawns, trimming trees, or making hamburgers? A needy service is performed, it doesn't cost the taxpayers a dime, and no one gets killed. Think, Christian.
JUST SAY NO
by Laurence M. Vance - August 22, 2005
The recent court-martial of Sgt. Kevin Benderman that resulted in a prison sentence, a reduction in rank, and a dishonorable discharge - all because he refused to continue killing for the state - is an example to all Christians in the military. It doesn't matter whether Sgt. Benderman is Protestant or Catholic, evangelical or liturgical, conservative or liberal, dedicated or backslidden, or even whether he is a Christian at all. He is a rebuke to all Christians in the military.
Christians in the military who have no trouble killing for the state in Iraq because they think they are in a modern-day crusade against Islam are sadly mistaken. The Lord never sanctioned any crusade of Christians against any religion. Likewise, Christians in the military who have no trouble killing for the state in Iraq because they think they are doing their patriotic duty in a just cause are sorely deceived. Patriotism has nothing to do with killing foreigners on command in what is one of the most unjust wars in history. It is generally these types of Christians who wrongly consider Sgt. Benderman to be a coward and a traitor. They are both without hope since they would probably make apologies for any of the state's foreign interventions and fight for the state in any war, especially if it was started by a Republican president and approved by a Republican Congress.
But there is another group of Christians in the military that there is hope for. This group recognizes that the Iraq war is not a good idea. Some of them would go further and say that it is unconstitutional. Others would even say that the war is unjust. But still, they choose to fight. Why? There are, of course, a variety of reasons for this behavior.
To some, it is their job. After all, they are in the military, and isn't the military supposed to kill people? They would never kill anyone in civilian life unless it was in self-defense, but since they "joined up," they feel obligated to continue participating in the state's wars.
To some, the reason is fear. Fear of being court-martialed or going to prison like Sgt. Benderman. Fear of being called a coward or a traitor. Fear of a dishonorable discharge. Fear of being ridiculed back home. Fear of reprisals from others in the military. Fear of being labeled as un-American or anti-American. Fear of being called an anti-war weenie by some washed-up, has-been, pompous ass.
To some, it is because they have a superstitious reverence for the military. Even though they have doubts about the wisdom of the military being in Iraq, even though the military does very little to actually defend the country, and even though it has committed grave injustices, still they fight on because they think the military "defends our freedoms" or "keeps us free."
To some, it is because they have heard the "obey the powers that be" mantra from their pastor so many times that they think it is a sin not to kill people if ordered to do so by the state.
To some, the attitude is: it will all be over soon. They know that they will shortly be out of the military or that their tour in Iraq will soon come to an end. They are just enduring to the end and hoping that they will not be killed or have to kill. But if they have to kill, they will do so because of one of the above reasons.
In order for any of these excuses to soothe the conscience of the Christian soldier, he must subscribe to what I have expressed elsewhere as state-sanctified murder. This is the ghastly belief that the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13) does not apply to killing anyone in any war as long as the U.S. government says that he should be killed. With his conscience thus assuaged, the Christian soldier thinks that he will not have to answer to God at the judgment as to why he killed some nameless raghead who did not want him occupying his country.
The Christian soldier is in effect modifying the Sixth Commandment. There is a parallel to this editing of the commandments in George Orwell's Animal Farm.
After the animals rebelled against Mr. Jones and changed the name of his Manor Farm to Animal Farm, they reduced the principles of Animalism to seven commandments:
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
What ever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.
These were inscribed on the wall of the barn "in great white letters that could be read thirty yards away." After the commandments were read aloud, Orwell says that "all the animals nodded in complete agreement, and the cleverer ones at once began to learn the Commandments by heart."
After the pigs moved into Mr. Jones' farmhouse and began sleeping in the beds, Clover ("a stout motherly mare") "thought she remembered a definite ruling against beds." Unable to read the Seven Commandments inscribed on the barn, she summoned Muriel ("the white goat"), who claimed she was able to read them: "'No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,' she announced finally." Orwell then says: "Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so."
Later, after the pigs had found some whiskey in the farmhouse cellar and began to drink alcohol, "there occurred a strange incident which hardly anyone was able to understand." Squealer ("a small fat pig") was found one night sprawled beside a broken ladder underneath the place on the barn where the Seven Commandments were written. Nearby were a paint brush and an overturned container of white paint. Squealer was helped back to the farmhouse but "none of the animals could form any idea as to what this meant, except old Benjamin" ("the donkey"), until a few days later when Muriel read the Seven Commandments written on the barn. As Orwell says: "They had thought the Fifth Commandment was 'No animal shall drink alcohol,' but there were two words that they had forgotten. Actually the Commandment read: 'No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.'"
In between these two events, there was another incident when one of the Seven Commandments was edited - the one commandment that is the same in the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments - an incident that relates specifically to the Christian soldier killing for the state. Four pigs, three hens, a goose, and three sheep were executed on order of Napoleon ("a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar"). But, as Orwell says:
A few days later, when the terror caused by the executions had died down, some of the animals remembered - or thought they remembered - that the Sixth Commandment decreed "No animal shall kill another animal." And though no one cared to mention it in the hearing of the pigs or the dogs, it was felt that the killings which had taken place did not square with this. Clover asked Benjamin to read her the Sixth Commandment, and when Benjamin, as usual, said that he refused to meddle in such matters, she fetched Muriel. Muriel read the Commandment for her. It ran: "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." Somehow or other, the last two words had slipped out of the animals' memory. But they saw now that the Commandment had not been violated; for clearly there was good reason for killing the traitors who had leagued themselves with Snowball.
Christian soldiers who kill for the state are, consciously or unconsciously, likewise editing the sixth commandment:
__Thou shalt not kill unless it is a Muslim infidel.
Thou shalt not kill unless you are invading another country.
Thou shalt not kill unless you are occupying another country.
Thou shalt not kill unless you are in the military.
Thou shalt not kill unless the state says it is okay to kill.
Thou shalt not kill unless a Republican president starts a war.
Thou shalt not kill unless it is a conservative-supported war.
Thou shalt not kill unless you are protecting Halliburton employees.
In addition to the Hebrew midwives (Exodus 1:15-21), Christians have another example in the Bible to guide them in this matter of killing for the state: Saul's footmen.
After David killed Goliath, it was said of him: "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands" (1 Samuel 18:7). Naturally, this did not please King Saul. In fact, "Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward" (1 Samuel 18:8-9). Three times in 1 Samuel 18 it is said that Saul feared David (1 Samuel 18:12, 15, 29) "because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul" (1 Samuel 18:12). Left unchecked, envy can turn into hatred, and hatred into harm. Thus, it is said of Saul: "And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David" (1 Samuel 19:1). After Saul himself tried to kill David, he fled, eventually ending up in Nob, the home of Ahimelech the priest (1 Samuel 21:1). Unfortunately, one of Saul's servants, Doeg the Edomite, was there (1 Samuel 21:7). When Saul later questioned his servants about David, Doeg spoke up and revealed that David had not only gone to Ahimelech in Nob, but that Ahimelech had helped David, even giving him the sword of the dead Goliath (1 Samuel 22:9-10). Ahimelech was summoned to King Saul, who said to him: "Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast enquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?" (1 Samuel 22:13). Saul would not listen to Ahimelech's pleadings and said: "Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house" (1 Samuel 22:16).
But then something went wrong. Saul, as the head of state, gave the execution order - but it was refused:
__And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD (1 Samuel 22:17).
It is true that Ahimelech and the priests died anyway at the hand of Doeg the Edomite (1 Samuel 22:18-19), but Saul's footmen, because they refused to kill for the state, are an example for, and a rebuke to, all Christians in the military.
I appeal now to all Christians in the military: Just say "no" when it comes to killing for the state. To all parents: Just say "no" when it comes to encouraging your children to join the military. To all pastors: Just say "no" to glorifying the military in your sermon illustrations. To all church youth directors: Just say "no" when your young people seek guidance regarding joining the military. To all school counselors: Just say "no" when it comes to the military option. To all young people: Just say "no" to the recruiters who entice you with cash bonuses. To all veterans: Just say "no" when it comes to recommending a career in the military. And to all voters: Just say "no" to politicians who start wars.
__Just say "no"!
Chapter 14: NATURAL LAW & HISTORY OF IMPERIALISM
MORE NUREMBERG TRIALS?
by Murray Polner - lewrockwell.com - July 6, 2005
[Murray Polner is author of NO VICTORY PARADES: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran, BRANCH RICKEY: A BIOGRAPHY and with Jim O'Grady, DISARMED AND DANGEROUS. He has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Monthly, Commonweal, and many religious and secular publications.]
I once edited and wrote the introduction to William Graham Sumner's sadly forgotten book, The Conquest of the United States by Spain and Other Essays (Regnery/Gateway). Sumner was an irascible and biting Social Darwinist and classical nineteenth century supporter of laissez faire. What attracted me to him was not his economics but his utter contempt for American imperialism during the Spanish American War and its subsequent invasion of the Philippines, which left 4,000 American volunteers and perhaps 250,000 Filipinos dead. Despite the backing of a jingoist and cowed press, politicians who believed they had God's ear, and a large majority of Americans, Sumner the eternal skeptic wasn't convinced. Unlike the cheerleaders for war, he recognized what lay ahead. The rest of the century, he accurately predicted, would bring a "frightful effusion of blood in revolution and war."
__Since then, the world's addiction to war and violence has never abated. Nor has America's. Big and small and proxy wars, attacks on militarily powerful states such as the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Panama, plus interventions in the Caribbean and Central America, to name but a few, have occurred in nearly every decade. All of which seems to reflect Randolph Bourne's famous, all-too prescient remark that, "War is the health of the state." (Of course you can always pacify the population with patriotic and reverent ceremonies honoring the heroic troops who died in battle - always, the rationale goes - in the cause of "freedom.")
__During Vietnam - and later, before the Iraq War - we antiwar dissidents finally began mass protesting, marching, contacting politicians, writing, constructing placards and posters, praying, carrying out acts of civil disobedience and marching but to no avail. At least not yet.
__My own humble proposal to put an end to war and terrorism everywhere is somewhat different, namely that the International Criminal Court in The Hague be empowered to investigate, indict and try every high-level - and only high-level - governmental leaders whose policies have led to the murder of civilians. The court should be granted the muscle to deal with all those unaccountable politicians including those whose nations have not joined the ICC. In that event, the guilty leaders will never again be allowed to travel to a signatory nation without risk of arrest.
__Had such a court had the power, scores of notorious African, Central and Latin American presidents and generals would now be behind bars, as would past, present and future caudillos, generalissimos, presidentes, commissars, führers, duces, Great Leaders, presidents, vice-presidents and assorted zealots. Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon would have been hauled into court and tried for their responsibility in causing millions of deaths in Southeast Asia. The court would have had the power to call to the dock Saddam Hussein and any American and British leader who lied so Iraq might be invaded.
__This accountability, this threat to punish guilty heads of state, this permanent black cloud would forever strip them of honor and memory and with hope, dissuade future leaders from murdering in the name of one ideology or another and then justifying the resulting savagery with groupthink, excessive flag waving, religious fanaticism and the demonization of "enemies."
__Moreover, we could institute special worldwide celebrations for the naysayers and whistleblowers that refuse to go along with the murderous plots afoot in their countries. John Kenneth Galbraith and George Ball are rightly remembered for saying "no" to JFK and LBJ. Who now cares to honor Dean Rusk, Walt Rostow and McGeorge Bundy? I would also have a curriculum devised to teach the young everywhere the virtues of tolerance.
__It's a dream, I know, but the alternative is a 21st Century even worse than the one Sumner envisioned.
WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER ON WAR AND PEACE
by Murray Polner - lewrockwell.com - Mar 19, 2004
In 1965 I edited and wrote the introduction to William Graham Sumner's work, The Conquest of the United States by Spain and Other Essays (Regnery). While there is still no comprehensive, modern biography of him he was remarkably prescient about the vast bloodletting and worldwide anarchy to come in the 20th Century, the bloodiest in recorded history. And given our current government's contempt for the constitution, its failed and amateurish foreign policies, the baneful influence of neoconservative living room militarists, an endless and futile drug war, and the efforts to infuse our secular, generally tolerant society with strands of religious absolutism, Sumner long ago predicted that long after he and his generation were gone, the nation would have a vastly strengthened and centralized government, unaccountable bureaucracies, unbridled militarism and its alliance with arms makers and what retired Marine Colonel James A. Donovan once aptly described as a "blind enthusiasm for military actions."
__Nothing is more worthwhile recalling today than his excoriation of American imperialism, which speaks directly to our times. While fellow Darwinians were sanctioning expansion and military adventurism as a corollary of the "struggle for existence" and "most favored races," Sumner turned angrily against the new aggressive spirit in the country following the Spanish-American War and the invasion of the Philippines and its bloody, four year war that left 250,000 Filipinos and more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead and 3,000 wounded. After the peace treaty ending the Spanish American War was signed in 1898, transforming the Caribbean into an American lake, Sumner was unimpressed.
__His essay, The Conquest of the United States by Spain is a searing and thoroughgoing condemnation of American imperialism. It may be the most acute and thoroughgoing criticism ever written by an American. "My patriotism," he wrote, "is outraged by the notion that the United States never was a great nation until in a petty three months campaign it knocked to pieces a poor, decrepit, bankrupt old state like Spain." The invasion of the Philippines, a third-rate guerilla war reminiscent of later wars in Vietnam and Iraq, outraged Sumner in part because both required a powerful central government since it imposed more "burdens than benefits" while the resulting militarism inevitably seriously threatened free government, not to mention loss of U.S. troops and countries and civic structures often left shattered, their future uncertain.
__He and other anti-imperialists were denounced in the 1900 Republican platform as "copperheads," much as pre-Iraq War extremists tended to label antiwar critics as virtual traitors. Teddy Roosevelt, the war lover, once called him a liar to which the imperturbable Sumner replied caustically that if he ever voted for T.R., "I shall be disgraced forever." Then there was the arch-imperialist and premature neoconservative Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana who thundered at the turn of the 20th century, "[God], has made us the "master organizers of the world...He has marked the American people as His chosen nation to firmly lead in the regeneration of the world... We are trustees of the world's progress, guardians of its righteous peace." Nonsense, Sumner roared. "Grand platitudes," he scoffed. And, of course, he accurately predicted what lay ahead for unsuspecting Americans: "war, debt, taxation, diplomacy, a grand governmental system, pomp, glory, a big army and navy, lavish expenditures, political jobbery." With it would arise a legacy of political rulers who would always be able to find a war "whenever they [thought it was] the time for us to have another." Before American's entry into World War I, wars erupted with Great Britain, native Indians, Mexico and Spain and the Philippines. After the war there were interventions in Panama, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Cuba. Following World War II, which left at least 50 million dead and many millions crippled in mind and body, there were interventions in Guatemala, Iran, Korea, El Salvador, Grenada, Nicaragua and Haiti and Panama again, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Chile by proxy and now Iraq - and if our militarists have their way, in Iran and Syria. Now there are U.S. soldiers and "advisors" stationed in some 130 nations.
__Imperialism, Sumner argued, led to chauvinism, an aggressive outgrowth of mindless patriotism manufactured by the arrogant truculence of men and women relying on emotional sloganeering ("Support Our Troops in Iraq") and threats against dissenters and traditional civil liberties (what George Orwell once called "orthodox sniffery" - or are you loyal?). Who can disagree with Sumner's credo that, the 20th century would bring a "frightful effusion of blood in revolution and war?"
__More than all else, his importance lies in the fact that he anticipated the lethal rise of false utopianism, highly sophisticated mass propaganda techniques, two world wars, concentration camps and gulags, religious and nationalistic hatreds that have murdered many millions of human beings in the 20th century and threaten to reoccur in this century.
__Sadly, though, Sumner (1840-1910) has been largely forgotten. Few read him anymore or discuss and debate his views. Four years after he died of a stroke in 1914, E.L. Godkin, The Nation's irrepressible editor wrote that Sumner's vigorous and biting prose ("like a strong wind - it exhilarates") was still effective, still relevant, still capable or provoking intelligent and rational debate.
__When he died in 1910 his views were beginning to fade. The rise of an American empire in the Caribbean and Pacific left Sumner a lonely, carping, bitter, critic and scholar, an individualistic anomaly of his time. And yet to his everlasting credit he sensed correctly what lay ahead. Shortly before his death he wrote, "I have lived through the best years of this country's history. The next generations are going to see war and social calamities. I am glad I don't have to live on into them."
THE UNWARRANTED INFLUENCE OF THE MILITARY
Speech by [President] Dwight D. Eisenhower on Jan 17, 1961
... We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.
__... Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology - global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle - with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.
__... A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
__Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
__Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
__This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence - economic, political, even spiritual - is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
__In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
__We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
__Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
__In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
__... The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
__Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific elite.
__... Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.
__Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.
__Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war - as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years - I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.
__... You and I - my fellow citizens - need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation's great goals.
__... We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.
WASHINGTON'S PAST RELATIONSHIP WITH SADDAM
by Mark Weisbrot - lewrockwell.com - Jan 5, 2004
... Of course Mr. Hussein was "Our Monster" back then. But still it is rather striking that Rummy's mission, when he met with Saddam Hussein's foreign minister, was to reassure The Monster that his actual use of weapons of mass destruction - not mere possession, but using them to kill tens of thousands of people - would not get in the way of warmer U.S.-Iraqi relations. It was 1984 and Saddam was using chemical weapons, according to the Reagan administration's documents, "almost daily" against Iranians and Kurds.
__Mr. Rumsfeld had already met with The Monster himself back in 1983. He was sent back to Iraq in 1984 to make it clear, that Washington's interests in "continuing to improve bilateral relations with Iraq, at a pace of Iraq's choosing, remain undiminished," in spite of these daily atrocities. These were the written instructions that Rumsfeld received as special envoy of the Reagan Administration.
__Some may still remember that the main reason given for our armed forces invading Iraq, in defiance of international law and most of the world, was that Saddam supposedly had weapons of mass destruction. These alleged weapons are still missing in action. But even if they did exist, it is hard to believe - in light of these documents - that our leaders took us to war for this reason.
__The new documents were discovered by the non-profit National Security Archives and reported last week in the New York Times and Washington Post. They corroborate previous reports in the Times that the United States provided Iraq with battle planning assistance, and other military and intelligence support, at the time that Iraq was using chemical weapons in its war with Iran.
__... But all of this is history, which in America is synonymous with forgotten. Which is why the Bush administration will do everything possible to make sure that Hussein is not brought before an international tribunal, where there is a greater chance that he could implicate some of his former friends and allies in Washington.
__This is not just a matter of suffering embarrassment for being friends with monsters. Among the crimes that Saddam could be tried for is killing people with chemical weapons. In an honest judicial proceeding, Rumsfeld and his superiors could be named and indicted as co-conspirators.
__... Can anyone tell us why we have soldiers dying in Iraq?
WHAT'S IN A WORD, LIKE DEFENSE?
by Mike Rogers - lewrockwell.com - Mar 9, 2004
... The Bush administration, with the acquiescence of the U.S. Congress, has trampled the Constitution under foot. I suppose there's no point in my going through the various articles that the Bush administration has destroyed. You folks living in America all probably know about that. Or you are unwilling to admit the ugly truth that America is no longer "The Land of The Free."
__Ask Jose Padilla... If you can. Ask any U.S. soldier in Iraq what they really think, and you'll never see or hear it on American news. Yeah, America is a land of free speech - just stay in the designated zones. Japan is a Socialist country in many ways. I've lived in America and I live here, in Japan. Sorry, America: Japan is a much freer country than the United States. Most Americans just don't want to admit it.
__It seems a lot of Americans can't stand it, when it is pointed out to them that America is not #1 in many areas. One time, my older brother told me, "America has the best health care in the world! Bar none!" "Not according to the World Health Organization." I answered. "Bar none! Mike! Bar none!" He raised his voice and got angry in, sadly, typical American fashion.
__"If America has the best health care in the world, then why do Japanese on the average live 7 years longer than Americans? Why is America ranked 17th among industrialized nations in longevity?" I asked. Of course he got even more angry and answered: "Who cares what the World Health Organization says?"
__Pretty logical argument, that one. I also told him that, "The United States is becoming like the old Soviet Union: A first rate military power, with a second rate economy." He just called me "Anti-American!" Touché! Once again! How can I argue with such an analytical mind?
__There is an old saying here in Japan: "When America sneezes, Japan catches a cold." It used to apply to economics, but in these last few years, it's beginning to apply to politics too. The current Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi, wants to throw out parts of the Japanese Constitution and allow for Japan to send its Self Defense Forces overseas into areas that are "hot" wars.
__You have to understand the mind-set of the Japanese to really get a good understanding of just how big of a change this would be. The Ground Self Defense Forces (GSDF) are called that name for a reason. They are not to fight anywhere outside of Japan. Period.
__The position of The Japan Peace Committee and "almost all politically aware people in Japan feel that the GSDF are unconstitutional and should be disbanded, and that U.S. military bases are not needed." A lot of Americans would take issue with that, I'm sure. But I would have to agree. U.S. military bases in Japan only serve to make Japan a "target" and to increase tensions in the Pacific.
__Marshall McLuhan one of the world's most renowned experts on how the mass media creates perceptions in society wrote in his classic book, The Medium is the Massage: "As you prepare, so shall you proceed." These words have stuck in my mind for years. __"As you prepare, so shall you proceed." ~ Marshall McLuhan
__"As you prepare, so shall you proceed." To give you some incredibly simplistic examples: If you prepare to go on a camping trip, you will go on a camping trip. If you prepare to go on a vacation. You will go on a vacation. If you prepare a huge army to invade Iraq, you will invade Iraq. If you prepare for war, you will go to war. It's that simple.
America continually builds a huge military and, as such, continually gets involved in foreign wars. __According to historian William Blum, since the end of World War II, the U.S. has bombed: China (Twice. The first time between 1945 and 1946. The second time between 1950 to 1953); Korea; Guatemala (Three times! The first time in 1954. The second time in 1960. The third time between 1967 to 1969); Indonesia; Cuba; Congo; Peru; Laos; Vietnam; Cambodia; Grenada; Libya; El Salvador; Nicaragua; Panama; Sudan; Afghanistan (Twice. The first time in 1998. The second time between 2002 to today); Yugoslavia; And Iraq (For over 14 years - even now).
__The United States has bombed all of these countries since 1945 and not a single one of them have become a so-called "Democratic" country. How many more young people and innocents, how many more of your children, will die because "America proceeds as it has prepared?"
__Japan has a GSDF whose soul purpose is to defend Japan against attack. That is the way all nations should be. To redefine a few words from "Ground Self Defense Forces" into "military" is to prepare for the inevitable foreign war.
__Some people would argue that Japan needs to build a big military because of threats from North Korea or China. All I can say to that is, "Get real!" There will never be a war with North Korea unless the United States starts it. And the idea that there is such a thing as "Red China" is irrational at best. China is a capitalist society.
... Dictators come and go. People get old and die. If enemy troops were landing on Santa Monica beach in Southern California, I could see where America could use a few troops.
__But like the first Commandant of the U.S. Marines, Smedley Butler said in his book, War Is a Racket, "It would require an army of one million men and enough supplies to feed, clothe, and arm these soldiers for a period of eight months for an enemy to ever have any hope of even making a successful landing in the United States." (I'm paraphrasing, but you get the picture).
__But America prepares for war, so we have to use these weapons before they get old, and kill your sons and daughters (and everyone else's) along the way.
__If Japan follows suit, and builds a big military, then as it prepares, so shall it proceed. Need evidence? Just look at the United States. How many wars has America had in these last 60 years? Japan has had none.
__Could it be that Japan has not prepared for war, so there hasn't been any war that Japan has been involved in? Are Americans open-minded enough to consider that possibility? Or has God assigned America the role as the world's policeman?
__Article Nine of the Japanese Constitution says:
"Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
__"In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as other war potential will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."
It seems pretty straightforward. That's why changing the name of the GSDF to "the Army" or "Navy," "Air-force," etc, has frightening connotations for the people of this country.
Also, many lawyers in this country will point out that the final sentence of this article which states, "The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized," means that Japan should not recognize the U.S. attack on Iraq, as it was against international law, as well as contravening Japanese law. Therefore Japan, by law, should have absolutely nothing to do with this act of aggression. To put it even more bluntly: Japan should renounce this war crime committed by the United States against the people of Iraq.