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05 June 2014

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Charles I

Thanks for being such a generous hard man and continuing to alert us, bit by irrefutable bit, about this dreamy state of affairs. Even so, protected, unexposed and comfy is exactly the state I wish to be in, albeit a bit more explcitly, uncomfortably aware and sheepishly, used to be reluctantly, grateful.

Its hard from outside to proactively become a military supporter, booster, whatever, because all things considered our soldiers are, or used to be, so good and our FP elite so wretched.

The former used, discharged, discarded into broken economies, rending all our guilty hearts til the email pings. The latter just revolve to their next sinecure in Global Fungilbe Capital Inc, severances & pensions dogging them for life.

Given the continuous exposure of vet admin bumbling, and here in Canada, exposed in the most political hack-discrediting manner possible, generating nationwide endorphin rich indignant sympathy, our publics wish much attention/resources/active listening to our vets and their families, way less to producing any more from foreign wars. We're proud, but so far away, inconclusive, what are they about?

Yet we must have hard, and hopefully, experienced, hard men. History seems to be accelerating a la some kind of Moore's law, change in people and society's latent natures less so. Emotional and resource wars are going to keep coming as our hardness apparently softens while our leaders try to manage the democratic components of the diminishing Anglo-Zionist empire by made up crisis management.

How to produce valuable hard men, and the respect for our need for them in these conditions? Our leaders will now be clusterf**s of enthusiasm or ignorance henceforth, of that I'm sure. Esp in the state vs ngos/militias/local corruption/foreign subversion politics that now seems to occupy the battle spaces we will fight in? And given the enormous role of Private Security all over the planet.

You were on me about training and readiness. What's a state to do? I just note that all the soldiers here seem to have a much better and broader historical and classical education than I got, self-selected to SST as we are. For some reason I get the impression this occurred in some large part before military service. Now from going on 10 years here, this seems critical to me in making good soldiers, leaders and decisions, in this most existential of fields.

Should this decline be proven to be the direct fruit of liberals, pothead and gay marriage, I hope I die before it is as apologizing for all the resultant neocon mayhem I constantly tilt and puff at would be a bridge too far.

Thank you all for all you gave and continue to give to keep me living the dream, this portal excepted.

oofda

As none other than George Orwell wrote, “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Couldn't be stated more clearly.

Charles I

And over at Moon of Alabama under June 2 comes an example of how history you make up may come around to bite one in the ass as it was hoisted up one's own petard.

"Unveiling "Western" Hypocrisy Russia Connects Syria And Ukraine"

citing this USA today article: U.N. proposal would OK cross-border aid into Syria

MoA then cites this delicious call to us R2P'ers.

"For June Russia will be take up the presidency of the UN Security Council which allows it, to a certain extend, to set the agenda. The first point on that agenda is now the question of "human corridors" from Russia into east-Ukraine:

Russia will submit a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council on Monday calling for an immediate end to worsening violence in Ukraine and the creation of humanitarian corridors in the east of the country, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
...
[The draft resolution] will also include "a demand for the creation, without delay, of humanitarian corridors though which peaceful civilians could leave combat zones if they wish," he said. The text would also call for guarantees of unhindered access for humanitarian aid.

"Now how about a Chapter 7 clause for that?" Lavrov will ask his colleagues."

It is to laugh, except the blood is real, our leaders unreal.

Fred

So President Barrack Obama has chosen, no doubt with the advice and consent of the senate, to commit the armed forces of the Republic to defend all the nations on the western border the Russian Federation? How in the name of God does that “safeguard our own security” or is in any way something other than a provocation to a neutral nation - Russia? (Especially after the National Endowment for Democracy spent $5 billion in Ukraine over the past decade?) How is that in the national interest of the United States? What the hell have the Estonians, Moldovans or Ukrainians ever done to defend American security? Why must we now “… stand together -- now and forever…”

The people of Moldavia will fight and die to defend American freedom? Right. Let me know which branch of the Armed Forces the children of the Obama, Power and Rice families will be enlisting in; to defend Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania; and oh yes “friends” like Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Because their freedom is our freedom.

BTW when did we sign a treaty to defend Moldova or Georgia or - Ukraine? When did the Senate ratify it? Boy do I need to help rally people to vote a couple of Senators out of office - and quick too.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

This is plain crazy to me.

It is jarring to hear “Russian Aggression” in every media story about Ukraine. If anything Russia has shown amazing restraint as outsiders incite the neo-nazis' rampage through its Borderlands. Next, the US Air Force sole sources all space launches, then Russia prohibits use of their engines in the Atlas 5 rocket which threatens national security. Finally, politicians say that the only POW in the Afghanistan War should have stayed there.

Americans do not want to serve in the Empire’s endless wars and do not support an Elite who have nothing but contempt for them. The overlords are left with wedge politics, propaganda and surrogate fighters. What is insane is that General Martin Dempsey is all that stands between us and a nuclear holocaust which is guaranteed if NATO and Russia get into the shooting war. This sure appears to be the end game that the war mongers, ideologues and financial crooks are all aiming for. Greed and hatred have overcome common sense.

Bobo

Saying an 18 year old coming out of basic training or a 28 year old coming back from captivity is a "kid" or "child" tells you a lot about the speaker, these are words not written by another. The other B.S. comes from a speechwriter who knows not what he is writing.

Obama (the good) has made some smart, good, decisions. This past week was one. Obama (the mediocre) keeps tripping over himself never really moving the ball. The man has poor fundamentals. Bergdahl fils also had poor fundamentals. Where do we get our fundamentals that inner thing that makes us stick it out and plod forward to a better time. 2016 is coming and only one to lead us out of this morass is a Virginian.

Best line of the week "Five years in Afghanistan is not Disneyland".

scott s.

Col, what came to me on reading your last bit was this:

I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense. ...

MikeS

Yes, there's no doubt rough men to protect us, as Orwell noted, but I think things have moved well beyond them protecting us, to often actually endangering us. This has been true since our imperialist escapades began with McKinley. I'm reminded of Gen. Smedley Butler, until Chesty Puller the most-decorated Marine in history:


-- Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Our "rough men" are actually making us less safe for their own purposes.

turcopolier

Mike S

This is just pacifist cant. Soldiers don't threaten or harm you. The idiots you elect do that. pl

Fred

MikeS,

Smedley Butler didn't order the marines into any of those places nor his men go there for their own purposes.

MikeS

Sorry to have been Vlad the Implier, but by "rough men" -- and BTW, the quote itself doesn't seem to have written by Orwell, now that I have researched it -- I meant those who make rough decisions, for good or bad. Decisions that protect us at the cost to others who would harm us can be considered good, yet "rough." Sometimes, unnecessarily rough.

Bad decisions diminish our security, safety, health and welfare and sometimes our lives. I think Butler's point was that soldiers or policemen carry out those decisions. In that sense, we aren't threatened or harmed by soldiers, but by those who direct them.

Sadly, some of those leaders, elected or otherwise, are idiots. Worse, they are enriching themselves or their patrons, they are indulging their lust for power and/or grandiosity, or even just burnishing their legacy.

Orwell did, in fact, decry some pacifists as "Those who abjure violence [but] can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf." See his "Notes on Nationalism." I don't group myself or Butler among those so defined.

"Violence in defense of liberty is no vice"?

oofda

Just to remember the day...and a bit of D-Day Trivia.

On this day, 70 years ago, 18-year old Coast Guardsman Yogi Berra was off-shore Utah and Omaha Beaches in an LCSS ("Landing Craft Suicide Squad").

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5210564/ns/msnbc-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/t/yogi-berra-was-d-day/

Matthew

How about more sanctions? See http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-06/russian-bear-celebrates-bull-market

No wonder Mr. Putin looks happy today.

Fred

Our Australian allies think history has ended:

http://news.yahoo.com/australia-refuses-call-east-jerusalem-occupied-142453120.html

Tyler

Glad you liked that one.

walrus

Fred, the curent Australian Government. led by Tony Abbott. is a return to old fashioned, grind the faces of the poor capitalism. In that it is aided and abetted by the Christian baptist right wing congregations who managed to get a few of their members elected to Parliament. They hate Muslims and believe the bible is truth, That is the source of the change of nomenclature - they see that as "progress" towards the second coming.

walrus

Myths are things which never happened but always are.
Salustius [84-34 B.C.E.]

The myth of "progress" towards Churchills warm sunlit uplands of peace and prosperity is what defines Western thought. Francis Fukuyama unwisely declared that we had reached those sun drenched slopes following the demise of the Soviet Union. In his mind this represented the ultimate triumph of free market liberal democratic values and that nothing further was necessary to ensure permanent human happiness.

President Obama unwisely and hypocritically, draws on the power of this myth as an attempt to justify American meddling in Ukraine. Unfortunately for President Obama there are quite a few who dnever bought Fukuyamas narrative, Sir Michael Howard famously opining that history has a way of getting to its feet again and deliver powerful blows to the solar plexus.

There is nothing modern or progressive about American and European policy regarding the Ukraine. That has its roots at least as early as 1531 AD - The Schmalkaldic League, a loose allliance of Protestant Princes whose objective was the weakening or replacement of the Holy Roman Empire. I suspect that the "responsibility to protect" mantra has equally ancient roots.

Not only is the current policy old fashioned, but the very idea that human "progress" in our relationships with each other is irreversibleas resident Obama implies, is simple bunkum. Two wars in Iraq and one in Afghanistan should be enough evidence and if theoretical proof is required, remember that peace is an invented human condition - primarily the creation of modern nation states able to impose civilised mores on its population. The stark tragedy of the Ukraine has been the deliberate unfettering by American interests of ancient antagonisms. For example, exactly who encouraged the destruction of the Ukranian Berkut riot police - the only possible counterweight to the organised gangs of right wing neo nazi thugs?

If Putin really wanted to apply the golden rule then Two things could happen which might give Obama pause for thought:

- the stationing of one or more Russian missile submarines in Cuba.

- the covert supply of Russian MANPADS and anti tank weapons to Mexican drug gangs, that I suspect, would be Tylers nightmare.

Tyler

Walrus,

The cartels already have the weaponry you describe. There's a brisk trade between the Mexican military and the cartels for stuff like M2 .50 machine guns, anti tank rockets, light machine guns, and all the rest.

The thing is they're using it on each other south of the line. Killing an agent riles up the entire hornet's nest and shuts down traffic, disrupts smuggling networks, and makes the whole profitable business of drug smuggling very unprofitable. "If I fall, ten shall rise up and avenge me" etc etc.

Its much like why El Paso is so safe and Juarez is so violent. The cartels have stashed their families in El Paso, and made an agreement to keep the fighting in Juarez.

Larry Kart

Those twin remarks of Obama's make my head hurt. To what choir is he preaching? Or is this in large part the voice he hears in his own head? The latter, I suspect.

Fred

Walrus,

I too was wondering if and when Putin would at least threaten to put something in Cuba.

Babak Makkinejad

All:


Speech by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, at the meeting with members of the Russian International Affairs Council, Moscow, 4 June 2014

http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/F772ADD4C6B7E17744257CEF005C7A2C

Fred

Meanwhile the laundry shops that are our banks operate without real interference from the administration.

David Habakkuk

Fred, walrus,

IMO they are unlikely to make that kind of threat, in part because of the kind reasoning laid out in Lavrov’s speech to which Babak Makkinejad linked below:

‘Russia’s reaction to the unfriendly innuendoes from overseas has been shown clearly lately, that we do not accept invitations to this kind of games and we do not intend to get involved in senseless confrontations only for the sake of providing the United States and NATO with an image of the enemy as they desire it.’

Putting it another way, I think there is good reason to believe that both Lavrov and Putin think that people are trying to bait them into getting involved in confrontations they very much want to avoid, particularly as once one gets into such confrontations it may be very difficult to get out.

Moreover, as Lavrov stressed at the conclusions of his speech, ‘the situation in the world remains complicated and it is hard to predict its development.’ This put a premium on maintaining flexibility.

An obvious example is Russian relations with Saudi Arabia. As long as Bandar was pursuing a strategy in which the potential advantages of destroying the Assad regime were deemed worth the risk of ‘blowback’ against the Saudi regime from jihadists, Russian and Saudi positions on Syria were diametrically opposed.

Following his evidently acrimonious meeting with Bandar in Moscow in July last year, however, Putin called King Abdullah in November – clearly putting out feelers.

If as Colonel Lang suggests that the disappearance of Bandar indicates that the Saudi elite have had a belated attack of commonsense about the risks involved in encouraging jihadists, then Russian and Saudi positions on Syria, as on Egypt, may have switched very rapidly from being diametrically opposed to being in harmony.

Had Putin got hot under the collar about Saudi support for Syrian jihadists, and in particular made a ridiculous exhibition of himself in public statements, as Obama and Kerry – and also Cameron and Hague – characteristically do, he would have made a rapprochement with the Saudis far more difficult.

It does help, in diplomacy, to have reasonably adult people in charge, rather than individuals who never seem quite to have grown up.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

Thanks for the link. One remark I found wryly amusing:

‘We were surprised that they even started to use the idea that the Soviet Union with its communist doctrine at least remained within the framework of the system of ideas, which were developed in the West, while the new Russia is returning to its traditional values, which are rooted in the Orthodox faith and therefore is becoming even less understandable.’

After Gorbachev came to power, when I was trying to make sense of what was going on in the Soviet Union, one of the scholars I used to read was Stephen F. Cohen.

In the ‘reading list’ attached to a collection of his journalism he published in 1986, Cohen pointed to the critical importance of arguments as to whether Soviet Communism was ‘a native system growing out of prerevolutionary Russian traditions or an alien import from the West.’ As a critical statement of the former view, he recommended the 1937 study of ‘The Origin of Russian Communism’ by the émigré religious philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev.

So I read it. One advantage of having followed Cohen’s advice is that when earlier this year Putin quoted Berdyaev remarking that that conservativism does not stop society from progressing but “prevents it from falling backward into chaotic darkness and the state of primitive man” I did not find this at all difficult to understand.

Ironically, however, the interpretations of Putin’s remarks in the Western media seem to indicate that those doing the interpreting are in general abysmally ignorant not simply of Christianity but of religion in general.

The ‘Washington Post’ had a piece explaining that:

‘To get a grasp on one needs to check what Putin’s preferred readings are. Putin’s favorites include a bunch of Russian nationalist philosophers of early 20th century Berdyaev, Solovyev, Ilyin – whom he often quotes in his public speeches.’

(See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/03/02/how-putins-worldview-may-be-shaping-his-response-in-crimea/ .)

The fact that the ‘Columbia University doctoral candidate in political science’ who wrote this appears to be ignorant of basic principles of English grammar, and the WP sub-editors seem to be equally ignorant, is itself remarkable.

Equally remarkable, however, is the fact that simple Google searches would rapidly lead to texts demonstrating that Berdyaev was an implacable opponent of nationalism. So, for example, if one puts ‘Berdyaev nationalism’ into Google the top result is paper whose opening paragraph contains the following sentence:

‘Nationalism, which I distinguish from the admitting and affirming of the positive value of nationality, is the reaction and uprising of “nature” against “spirit”, the elemental against the conscious, of eros against ethos, of the collective against the person.

(See http://www.berdyaev.com/berdiaev/berd_lib/1934_391.html .)

Apparently, the ‘Columbia University doctoral candidate in political science’ not only cannot write English, but cannot use Google.

Equally remarkable, moreover, is her apparent inability to see that the view of nationalism as a form of ‘idolatry’ is in no way peculiar to Orthodox Christians like Berdyaev. A great deal of what he has to say parallels what many Christians have thought about nationalism. Subject to correction from those better informed than I am, I also suspect that there have been very strong parallel strands of thought in Judaism – which have been largely marginalised by the determination of Israeli and American Zionists to turn the traditional religion of Jews back into a kind of tribal cult.

As to currents in Islam, I am too ignorant to venture any conjectures.

Fred

Walrus,

We have our share of Christian right wing congregations, who also see "progress towards the second coming". Apparently they are not happy with God's timetable and demand He adhere to theirs. Hopefully their power is waning in the US.

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