Rule By Poser

Way back when the Bush administration launched the invasion of Iraq, the prevailing assumption among those who were in charge was that it would be a cakewalk. The people would embrace us as liberators. People who had some clue about how the world works knew it would be an ugly mess, as is the case with all wars. War is, by definition, the ugliest of human activities. It’s purpose is to kill and destroy.

Inevitably, stories turned up about abuses. One essential way to prepare soldiers for war is to dehumanize the enemy. Men, even trained killers, are not going to kill people they see as sympathetic. There’s no way to finely calibrate the mind of a soldier so in every war there are abuses, even when care is taken to avoid them. That’s why things like the Abu Ghraib prison incident happened. War is and always will be an ugly business.

That knowledge should lead Western governments to use their technological and economic advantages to avoid getting into wars with the barbarians on the edge of civilization. Instead, they start wars they never intend to win, so they can preen and pose about their virtue and morality, when something terrible inevitably happens. It means some guy in uniform gets to be strung up in order to please the vanity of our rulers.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman shot dead an insurgent on September 15 2011 after he had been injured by Apache helicopter gunfire.

The 42-year-old was originally known as Marine A to protect his identity from terrorists.

He grew up in Brighton and has two sisters and a brother, according to the Justice for Marine A website.

The keen sportsman is a skilled canoeist who competed at national events.

He joined the marines aged 23 and married his wife Alex in 2010 after the pair met in the Somerset town of Taunton.

At the time of the 2011 killing Blackman was serving in Helmand province with Plymouth-based 42 Commando.

Blackman was ”dismissed with disgrace” from the Royal Marines after serving with distinction for 15 years, including tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

He was handed seven years for manslaughter, but having already served almost three-and-a-half years since his conviction for murder, he could be free within weeks of the sentencing on March 28.

Sgt Blackman shot an injured Taliban insurgent in the chest in 2011 before quoting Shakespeare at him.

He said: “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil you c***.

“It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us”.

He then told soldiers: “Obviously this doesn’t go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention.”

The shooting was captured on film but has not been released out of fears it could be used as terrorist propaganda.

Dramatic footage that has been released shows troops cheering as an Apache warship fires some 139 rounds at militants trying to sneak up on British positions.

Another clip shows Sgt Blackman and Jack Hammond, known as Marine C, find an AK47, a hand grenade and spare ammunition next to the injured fighter.

Blackman ordered colleagues to move the enemy fighter out of sight from British Army surveillance cameras mounted on balloons.

Blackman was convicted of murder in November 2013 by a court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire, and sentenced to life with a minimum 10-year term.

It was the first such conviction of a serving British soldier since the Second World War.

Judge Jeff Blackett told Blackman at his sentencing: “If the British Armed Forces are not assiduous in complying with the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law they would become not better than the insurgents and terrorists they are fighting.”

There you have it. He handed down a sentence as a public act of piety, signalling to the other lunatics in the ruling class that he is some sort of special snowflake for throwing the book at this soldier. It’s also why the West has not won any wars in a long time. Instead of focusing all energy on killing the enemy and breaking their stuff, all energy is put into maintaining moral superiority, even if that means losing.

The point of war is to kill the enemy and break up their stuff. The hope is they quit before you kill all of them and break all of their stuff, but you plan otherwise. If the Afghans knew all along that helping Osama bin Laden was most likely going to mean their cities and large towns would be flattened, they would have chose differently. Let’s assume they played it the same and Bush had firebombed Kabul, what would have been the result?

Yeah, there would have been a lot of hand-wringing and pearl clutching in Washington, but every other nutjob in the Middle East would have been re-calibrating his plans. A lot less death and destruction would have come as a result. Instead we have decades of killing to no logical end. We have an endless war of attrition just so Western leaders can have chances to let us know that they paragons of virtue.

What’s truly insane about all of this is the people in charge seem to care more about the opinion of the enemy than they do their own people. Maybe Sgt Blackman should have been punished, but the only reason to punish him is to maintain good order in the ranks. It’s not that he killed a wounded man. It’s that he violated the rules of engagement and encouraged others to do the same. It should be ZFG about what the terrorist think.

But, that’s not the world today. Our rulers care more about foreigners than they do their own people. If it were otherwise, the rulers would be quick to paper over these sorts of incidents, defending their fellow citizens against these sorts of accusations. Given their policy preferences, and the way they conduct foreign policy, it is safe to say they truly hate the rest of us. We have to hate them back.

80 thoughts on “Rule By Poser

  1. The Rothschild banking family has been around for 230 plus yeare. Nathan Rothschild said “Give me the control of a nations money and I will control the country.” They have also stated if we want war here will be war! If do not want war there will be no war!” They have funded both sided of the wars fought since the French Revolution.

    In 2003 there were seven countries that did not have a Rothschild controlled Central bank;

    Afganistan, Iraq,Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. To day , thanks to the US wars there is three. Ther are Iran, North Korea, and Cuba. As you know we are now saber rattling about N. Korea and Iran.

    As the film maker has said, “All Wars are Bankers wars and all bankers are Zionist or have Zionist connections.”

  2. Could argue with some of your positions, but very glad to see it.

    Too many people say we’re the ones at fault for not giving POW status or full trials to jihadis even though the rules don’t say that we need to.

    We need to follow the rules (at least until we decide otherwise), but not one inch further. If our lawyers say that waterboarding is okay within the rules we agreed to, then we should do it.

  3. Lots of good comments here. Here are some of my thoughts:

    I lump war crimes into three broad categories: 1) Not turning off the killing instinct quickly enough. 2) Units gone bad (LT Calley, that Marine squad in AFG that was committing serial atrocities). 3) Mass killings stemming from policy.

    For 1) you need to show compassion to the soldiers involved and get them out of the fight immediately. 2) Break up the unit and lock up the ringleaders for a long time. End the careers of the higher echelon commanders who were too stupid or cowardly to intervene early. Leave “Joe” alone but in general, don’t let him re-enlist. 3) Leave the troopers alone and hang the political leadership.

    Abu Ghraib was most definitely a failure of leadership. The officers and senior NCOs were derelict and never went on the prison floor to see what “Joe” was up to. I believe that this was a category 2) war crime, but to quote a WWII vet I once met, “People start wars. Then they go and find other people to fight those wars. And people make mistakes!”

  4. I would argue that the day the red hand of Rome was washed clean is the day that the decline truly began. Having participated in several “conflicts”, mostly as an enlisted slob, I have a quibble with this post. Avoiding war is as suicidal as over participation in it.

    War is unpleasant because it reminds us that we are all still animals. Participating and winning conflicts is necessary for the good a culture.
    From my perspective nations are mostly animal interaction in very large packs. Wolves kill wapiti because they are wolves. Showing hesitation or doubt is a weakness and will cause a wolf to lose status permanently in the pack or just be killed out of hand. When a nation becomes unwilling to win a war it has permanent lost the respect of other nations and in a similar manner looses status in the pack. Neither the speeches of politicians nor the pontificating of the righteous (SJW’s- the modern clergy of the Cloud People) will have any effect on the reality of the situation. We have lost the will to fight and win, we will not get it back, and no actions or words will assuage the pack of nations now.

    PS- Z Man, thanks for what you do.

    • I agree – it’s also a bad practice to fight an enemy too often is to be avoided when possible. Sparta fought Thebes too often and they learned their tricks and tactics. We’ve been hanging around in the Middle East too long.

  5. A major problem with our current Cloud-land is the fantasy that if a subject is icky it need not be dealt with honestly. So it is with state-conducted brutality. Serious elites used to know that they had real enemies, strive to understand those enemies, and calculate the best methods to deal with them. Like it or not, brutality always has be in the mix since some enemies don’t think you’re serious otherwise. The art is to pare and tailor the brutality appropriate to the threat. This our Cloud refuses to do.

    In systematic (non-tribal) warfare it has been known since the days of Sun Tzu that mindless (as in undiscriminating) brutality is stupid (as in counterproductive). It is ALWAYS in soldiers’ interest that that the enemy considers that they have the option to surrender rather than fight to the death (and killing more of us too). Hence Rules of Engagement (ROE) that prohibit the murder (as in deliberate killing) of the wounded or surrendered.

    However, these ROE can only work if the surrendered are prevented from becoming a future danger to the soldiers in contact. Sadly this is now the case with our incompetent elite’s ‘Catch and Release’ program. They’ll be back before you are in many cases. So, I’m frankly surprised that there aren’t more such incidents.

  6. Plus: Blackman would have gotten away with it had it not been captured on video by one of his mates and kept on a laptop which then ended up in the hands of the British police. Faced with this evidence, the MoD didn’t have much choice but to act: had it been otherwise, they might have swept it under the carpet. It’s not so much what Blackman did, but he got caught: in the military that is the gravest of all offences.

  7. I’m not fully in agreement with this: I have close friends who were serving in the Royal Marines at the same time as Blackman, and they believed his actions constituted murder. For sure there were extenuating circumstances, but it was murder nonetheless and he should have been tried (albeit with reduced sentencing). His commanding officer came in for much unofficial criticism because he’d encouraged a very aggressive attitude in his men; the officer in the neighbouring unit was much more chilled out and, in the opinion of the Royal Marines I know, did a better job as a result. Finally, as my friends also pointed out, Blackman gave a very bad name to those Royal Marines who *didn’t* shoot wounded people. Of course they all wanted to, but they all refrained. Almost all of them, anyway.

    • I don’t dispute that he may have been guilty of something. I think we can debate whether it makes any sense to permit lighting a guy up with a minigun, but you can’t shoot once he is down. But, rules are rules and lines must be drawn. I’m fine with that. Where I get off the bus is when they turn the procedure into a morality play, which appears to be the case here. This guy should have faced his administrative discipline without public fanfare.

      I also think sanity requires a very broad interpretation of the rules in theater. A cop shooting a wounded robber after he is down is murder. A marine shooting a wounded enemy after a firefight is bad timing.

      • Who’s definition of “after the firefight” are you using? A lot of enemy may still be trying to reach for a weapon, have one hidden or be planning to use a hand grenade or other type of explosive device. You just never know about these guys. In previous, more civilized wars (I know how stupid that sounds), this kind of stuff may not have happened as much but when your enemy wants to die, well, your best defense is to shoot to kill. So just because your enemy is wounded does not mean the fight is over.

        • In the pacific theater, the Japanese would booby trap wounded soldiers and civilians. In the Great War, the Germans switched to a defense in depth strategy where they would booby trap buildings, the dead, the wounded, farm animals, you name it. Then you have the mortally wounded who try to take out as many of their enemy as possible by pulling the pin on a grenade as they lie dying.

          Like I said, you very broadly evaluate the actions of men in war. We used to have the good sense to keep this quiet.

  8. Re:The ME Wars…I’ve been saying this for years…

    Very simply put, we bombed the wrong fuckers.

    We should have done this, in this order:

    a) Nuked Tehran so they were out of the picture permanently 

    b) Nuked Mecca and Medina simultaneously two days later.

    Kill lots of people and break lots of things. Fuck morality when dealing with these koranimals.

    No “boots on the ground” needed at all. Three planes, three bombs. Nobody would have had the time for any countermeasures.

    Every muzloid nation on the planet would have woken up, taken notice and would still be on their best behavior.

    And every nation on Earth would have realized that the U.S. was a pushover no longer.

    (If it wasn’t so long I’d post a fictional essay I found about four years ago called “An Ocean of Glass”.  The hosts at were kind enough to re-post it after I did in a comments section about two months ago.  You can still find it there.)

  9. Since WW2 (and possibly Korea, which I don’t know enough about) we have only been involved in controlled wars, not existential wars. These wars (Viet Nam, Iraq, etc.) were used by our political class to play out their foreign policy fantasies. Our national security was never at stake. No George Pattons were allowed or even needed. If an existential war comes along they’ll definitely be needed and will be the ones that save us.

    • By the time the existential conflict comes along, it will be too late to find a Patton or a Sherman to save the day. Those men will have been purged from the military decades earlier, disciplined for some caustic remark about homos or fat women. Effective generals come out of a culture, they don’t just land on the earth like meteors.

      G.K. Chesterton naturally had the measure of a people in decline, having seen it himself in England:

      “It may be said with rough accuracy that there are three stages in the life of a strong people. First, it is a small power, and fights small powers. Then it is a great power, and fights great powers. Then it is a great power, and fights small powers, but pretends that they are great powers, in order to rekindle the ashes of its ancient emotion and vanity. After that, the next step is to become a small power itself.”

      • You’re probably right. By that time the only real warriors in our military will be the grunts, maybe one or two will rise
        up and lead. One can only hope

        • I think that just as the burned wilderness sprouts with life once again, that heroes, leaders can and will rise from the common man at the time of great need. People like Patton and Sherman were germinating for decades waiting for their time in history. There are others, maybe not in the current leadership, but others can and will rise to the challenge based on the moment at hand. This is, I believe, an undeniable fact, that is part of God’s providence on this great land. I don’t say that with the intent of preserving the status quo, but of providing victory on a grand scale against our greatest foe(s), and having the willingness and boldness to fight and never retreat. It may not be a solo person, as in Donald Trump. There may be more than one. But in a country of 330 million plus, the circumstance will find the person for the moment and not the person finding a political job for their desires. Those are people of destiny. And we need to support them … against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    • The first year of the Korean War was pretty out of control. We came damn close to losing at the Pusan Perimeter. The Chinese sneak attack on the Eighth Army was the last time the U.S. lost a major land battle – and the longest retreat in US Army history.

  10. I don’t often disagree with Z-man, and even more rarely do I say so; but from where I was standing at the time, the Aboo Grab incidents had little to do with the nature of war, as the second paragraph seems to suggest, and everything to do with the fact that — for reasons known *only* to God — we brought girls along this time, and the place turned into a frat house.

    • Amen,Brother. See former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski,commander of 800th Military Police,in charge of all Iraqui prisons at the time. I read yesterday that the newly appointed commander of the USAF Academy is a lesbian with a “wife” and 2 children. Life has become farce. The idiocy we’ve inflicted on our military is shameful,and suicidal.

      • Confirmed. The military is doing everything they can to keep this quiet. Only a few years ago they were running Christians out of the academy for proselytizing. It only made sense that this was the next step. Also note female Sec AF.

    • That is a fair point. I was simply using it because it is a well know incident. The larger point is that war is an ugly business and we used to accept ti. Now, our rulers send the peasants out to fight and then prosecute them for making the rulers feel sad about it.

      • Aboo Grab was a failure of basic supervision.

        In my army days (1950s) junior officers were on rotation to serve as “duty officer” staying awake all night and touring the area.

        That prison should have been patrolled every hour or so by an officer.

        Also significant: the misbehaving enlisted people were National Guard. Most NGs were serious but some (many) joined for the “fun” of playing soldier once a week and were unserious.

        • Thank you JamesG… I was about to write exactly what you have. Abu-Grab was the first big media/democrat chit to undermine the whole war and they played it to the hilt. All the angles that lead to what occurred ( NG, Lady General, no supervision ) were irrelevant to the media.. they had a President to tear down. It still pisses me off to no end that those stupid idiots took pictures of everything!

        • Farcical is the notion of Abu Ghraib as a “war crime”. It was a few frat pranks gone sideways.

          No one died. No one was even physically injured. A few raghead prisoners got momentarily embarrassed. Boo frickin’ hoo.

          Had they simply been summarily executed upon capture as combatants out of uniform, precisely as they should have been, they would have been well within the Geneva Convention’s purview, and quite simply deader than canned tuna.
          The monumental command failure started when the TFHQ didn’t issue such “execute on capture” orders as part of the ROEs.

          And the media should have been castigated and excoriated from the White House to the Pentagon hourly and unendingly for trying to equate that BS into being anything deserving more than the lowest convening commander’s non-judicial punishment, like 15 days of extra duty and a stern scolding, with extra finger waving, and extra turns burning out the crap barrels afterwards. Game over.

          Even referring to it as a war crime accepts a recockulous premise, and lends credence to the defeatist surrender monkeys who would gladly turn us over to the tender mercies of our caliphate would-be overlords at their soonest opportunity, out of a nothing but a faulty sense of unearned moral superiority, and a pathological desire for self-destruction.

          Eff that, up the tailpipe, sideways, with a chainsaw.

          • Amen Asop!
            Who gives a fricking hoot about those loser’s in the sandpit? They should have been “One-shot, One-Kill.” Center forehead. Cheap. Dead. One less rat to deal with.

            And then flush the Cmdr of the rat trap who couldn’t manage a bazaar of flea’s.

            Sorry to hear about the lesbo in charge of the Air Force Academy. I hope their enrollments drop, but alas, I’m sure with ever dropping requirements, the ranks will be filled with ever more losers of the same caliber as their leader.

          • Further to that, the guy in that infamous photo of a hooded Abu Ghraib prisoner hooked up to electrical wires that actually went nowhere, was later interviewed by BBC and in high dudgeon, indicated his intentions to file a lawsuit (!) against the US military.

            In his heyday, Saddam regularly fed Abu Ghraib prisoners feet first into wood chippers, and to my knowledge —notwithstanding an abject failure of discipline, for which that stupid and incompetent lady CO was fully responsible (was she ever properly punished under the UCMJ?)— zero prisoners of the Americans during our operating Abu Ghraib prison were ever murdered by our forces.

    • Rihyad was a big frat party in the first Gulf War. When my infantry battalion was sent over for Desert Shield / Storm, the Women Marines in support roles such supply and admin were sent to Rihyad.

      After the war, they came back with wilder stories than our actual combat. Women being sent home pregnant on an almost daily basis – some married and not deployed with their husbands. Drunken parties and fraternization between officers and enlisted. Angry Generals trying to get things under control but also reluctant to punish people too publicly because they wanted the whole mess kept quiet.

    • Please allow me to add my official, “as a woman,” stamp of agreement. It is beyond maddening. That said, there’s a substantial part of me who wants to see these blue haired college feminists drafted & placed on the front of battle lines-just once.
      I feel it would make a highly illustrative point to these Starbucks Marxist types, once & for all.
      And yes, I am a bit of a sadist.

    • Anyone with even a grain of common sense and some understanding of how military organizations function knows that the presence of women in heretofore all-male formations is enormously destructive of unit cohesion, morale, and espirit de corps.

      The feminists and their politically-correct cuckservative enablers – including the senior brass and perfumed princes who signed on for this nonsense – believe that it is simply a matter of making sure that the “right women” are put into these units, and not the wrong ones.

      This is false; the effect occurs independently of the women themselves. It doesn’t matter how competent, patriotic, in-shape, squared away, etc. that they are – their presence alone is destructive.

      The destructive effect of women in the ranks is considerably amplified by placing them in positions of command. Abu Ghraib was certainly exhibit A in this regard.

      Of course, in today’s world, it isn’t the winning of battles and wars which matters to the Pentagon/DOD, but the signaling of the correct social justice virtues to their paymasters on the ‘Hill.

      My two cents, for what they’re worth, is that if our nation “must” include women in the line military, then we should at least have the sense to segregate males and females into their own units and formations. This is how the Soviets did it in WWII, and the arrangement worked – albeit imperfectly.

  11. Marine A was lucky to get charged with manslaughter and not murder, on the basis of your quote. It seems to me that the fact that he got away with a lesser charge already recognizes that acts in war time should be treated differently, due to the highly stressful and messy environment. Perhaps the judges statement was a little bit snowflakey, but not massively off the mark.

    • I disagree. I think the judges final statement was the crescendo. He has subsequently claimed to be a victim of abuse for his “courageous moral stand.” The whole point of the exercise was for someone with the color of authority to make that statement, that testimony of faith.

      Like I said, he may have broken the rules of engagement. A sane country would have dealt with it well outside public view.

      • The UK is a sick maybe dying nation who has turned its capital, once the defacto capital of the English speaking West and much of the world into Londinistan with a Pakistani mayor

        Oh yes and they prefer to quell parents over Muslim rape gangs in Rotherham and elsewhere

        This kind of implies a huge government preference for Muslims at least on the Left

        Why would anyone think they would behave sanely under such conditions?

        Functionally a good chunk of the UK is under soft dhimmitude now and unless the military (after the US is to weak to pull another Wesley Clark) or the people decide otherwise though elections or other methods it will stay that way.

        Of course a sane nation would be nationalist and would strictly limit contact with Middle Easterners and other Muslims as well and the US can’t manage that very well.

  12. What is really insane is that the president has a license to kill while the soldier on the ground doesn’t.

    • So true. A president from the comfort and safety of the White House can order a drone strike on a “suspected” terrorist like Anwar al-Awlaki who was an American citizen without due process, or other “suspected” terrorists and kill adjacent innocents nearby written off as “collateral damage” is never held accountable.

      But when some fatigued grunt who has been on multiple tours with nerves honed by constant stress and primitive survival instinct to reflexively shoot first and ask questions later kills a wounded insurgent, well, no one bothers to asks who put him in that position under those conditions in the first place, to fight for a unwinnable war that has no end goal or purpose.

  13. I’ll never forget when Bush came out to announce the first aerial actions in the war in Afghanistan. The air force was being tasked with dropping leaflets that announced how much we loved the Afghan people and respected their religion. They were also dropping food baskets with biscuits and jam in them. I remember the jam particularly because somehow someone had managed to poll the Afghanis and they were disappointed in the selection of fruit. I don’t claim to possess any remarkable prescience, but I knew at that moment that nothing that occurred from that point on would resemble anything we could call victory.

    (Also for what it’s worth, I remember Giuliani coming out to announce – while the bodies were still warm in the WTC wreckage – that the first priority of law enforcement would be to visit all the city’s boroughs to make sure that no one was overcharging (“gouging”) for gas. Ever since that I haven’t been particularly impressed with that guy either.)

    • Historical revisionism is strong around here. The first aerial actions in Afghanistan were airstrikes and cruise missiles. Food aid came after the missile strikes in a coordinated action.

      As to victory, the U.S. Military attack against Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. The ruling Taliban abandoned Kabul on November 14, 2001. By the end of November the Taliban had basically left the country, escaping to Pakistan. A new government was sworn in on December 21, 2001. No U.S. soldiers were killed, although CIA operative Johnny Spann was killed.

      This was, by any reasonable measure, an historic military victory. Then we turned responsibility for the occupation over to NATO and ISAF, and they completely fucked up the occupation.

      • In narrow terms and measured by strictly military metrics – emplacements and bunkers destroyed, terrorist training camps bombed, terrorist leaders hunted down and killed – perhaps the long war in Afghanistan can be termed a victory.

        However, if we broaden the definition of conflict to include fourth-generation/unconventional warfare, it is plainly apparent that the U.S.-NATO alliance has lost this struggle. At best, it could be called a draw.

        Leaving aside the evil of their cause, the planners of the 9-11 attacks must be given their due as masters of unconventional warfare. Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants knew that they could not survive a straight-up conventional fight with the U.S. – if they were to stand any chance of achieving their objectives, they would have to get the “Great Satan” (as we are known to them) to overcommit itself, whereupon, jujitsu-like, the sheer size and energy of the U.S. would be used against it.

        Their plan was simple: inflict an unexpected attack upon the U.S. of such violence and unrestrained cruelty that it would provoke us into a disproportionate response – including a long-term counter-insurgency campaign on their ground and unconventional war on terms of their choosing. Once we had committed to a ground occupation campaign with our NATO allies, the stage was set for al-Qaeda and the Taliban to use the Vietnam template – death by a thousand cuts.

        Consider where we are now and what it has cost us versus the cost to our enemies to draw us into this conflict without end…

        For the cost of a few dozen jihadists (shahids) willing to martyr themselves, plus the cost of some flight training, crude weapons (box cutters) and other tools, al-Qaeda was able to draw the world’s most-powerful nation into a protracted conflict (ten plus years and counting) in which we have seen the precious blood of our soldiers spilled for no discernable end, seen our treasury drained of revenues we can ill-afford to spend, seen our armed forces worn down and run ragged as a result of more than ten years of constant deployments and action, and U.S. credibility damaged by “losing” to a bunch of nomadic tribesmen, jihadists and terrorists.

        Remember, right or wrong, that our enemies in this war can be seen as victorious simply by managing to survive the fight with us. We, on the other hand, may still be seen as having lost, if we cannot impose our will upon the enemy – no matter how impressive and one-sided our tactical victories are.

        The single most-salient fact in any counter-insurgency or guerilla conflict fought on foreign soil is this – sooner or later, everyone knows that the foreigners must return home. When we finally do depart, the terrorists, Taliban and jihadists will simply emerge from their hiding places and again begin doing what they were doing before we arrived.

        I am in agreement with Colonel Ralph Peters (U.S.A., ret.) that a permanent or quasi-permanent military presence on the ground in foreign nations like Afghanistan seldom serves our purposes. Instead, we ought to make more frequent use of punitive raids in force – again, as Peters recommends.

        One other thing: No nation-building, especially in the Islamic world. The neo-cons really outdid themselves in terms of idiocy and foolishness by believing that western-style Jeffersonian democracy could be transplanted, root and branch, into the soil of the Islamic world. Western civilization arose out of the unique cultural milieu found in the west; it cannot grow and thrive in the harsh soil of the Muslim world. The Afghans neither want nor need what we were offering. They’ve been living as they do for a thousand years, and will probably do so for another thousand once we’ve departed.

      • Excuse me, revisionism? When you glorify and justify the invasion of other peoples lands on vague and specious excuses?
        How do you justify the thousands killed, the multitudes maimed, the mountains of gold and treasure wasted? The utter waste of it all. Not glorifying that, is revisionism?

        Like you to explain to me your rationalizing going after the stated objective of getting Bin Laden and his associates, all long dead now, with a 14 year full fledged expeditionary invasion and occupation of the entire country of Afghanistan?
        Who is revising history here?

        And since when are peoples concerns and ideals of what is right or wrong about what has already transpired, trying to understand such acts in the context of the elites hubris revisionism?

    • Addendum: We dropped two and a half time the tonnage of bombs we dropped in WW2 on a country half the size of Texas. We saw how little that worked in defeating the enemy.

      • But, it was quite effective in helping take out Germany during WWII. The Germans would be the first to admit. Allied bombing and the Soviet Army.

      • Logic fail there, Ron.
        Merely comparing apples and pineapples does not prove equivalence.

        The Germans we dropped it on built tanks and jets.

        The height of Iraqi technological and industrial prowess would be a donkey cart. They manufacture, essentially, nothing, except more terrorists.

        And dropping a JDAM on a hut when a 40mm grenade properly placed would have sufficed is one reason we dropped a much higher tonnage, for a much lower payout.

    • Doug;
      Excellent article. So, indiscriminate brutality + Marxism didn’t work for the USSR in Afghanistan because Islam, country and Pakistan and yet carefully directed, highly discriminating brutality + ‘Democracy/Liberalism’ isn’t working for us in Agfhanistan either, because Islam, country and Pakistan. What could be the common thread_?

      If only there were some way to let Afghanistan and Pakistan eat each other and not our grandkids prosperity. But then we’d have to have some way to keep them from bringing their blood feuds to our shores. What, oh what might that be_? /sarc

      • All I got to say about that Al, is the fellows who started this republic made a point about avoiding “foreign entanglements”.
        We all can digress into every aspect of why and how that sage advice has been flushed down the crapper, it doesn’t change the rock bottom truth it was about the finest piece of advice imaginable.

        What I think, and I’m a simple dirt person, i don’t get up every morning and think, gee, who in my neighborhood can I invade today, and on what specious foil thin illusion of legitimacy can I predicate killing and rape and pillage for power fun and profit my neighbors.
        Know what I’m saying there Al?

        I wake up every morning, and never think once of wanting to even know what my neighbors are doing. Seriously.
        And I fare just fine and dandy. In fact, if my neighbors leave me alone to pursue my business as I see fit, understandably long as I do not impose on them, we all get along fantastic.
        I understand the world on international scale is a bit more complex. But I have a local level remedy for those complexities. You make it known to your neighbors you have guns, lots of guns, and you cherish your liberty, and you cherish that liberty so much, those guns and the will to use them are what protects not only my liberty, but theirs also. That what I do on my sovereign land is my business, just as it it is for them. And protecting that liberty is predicated on all our liberty depends on us all defending and protecting it. liberty for me, liberty for thee.

        So it begs the question, how the fuck, does this FUBAR of a “government” we are saddled with, protect or defend any liberty if it violates anyones liberty?
        To me the entire idea, it is an all or nothing thing.
        And that goes right back to the primal intent of avoiding foreign entanglements in the first place.

        Now many reading my words will scoff and such at my reasoning. But I’ll say this, hows it working otherwise motherfucker? The world is just peachy dandy right now? Shit half the world wants to genocide our arses for the river of blood and mountains of bodies, never mind the misery and tribulation our vaunted government has left in it’s expeditionary wake. And for what? To line the pockets of a handful of oligarchs and corporate fuckwads.
        And you better wise up you wise ass shithead, because those behind all this foreign shenanigan’s, they are bringing back home all the power and practice of what they did to wage their tyranny on dirt people, their beliefs notwithstanding, on other countries. It is what tyrants do. They do tyranny.
        It is why they are tyrants stupid.

        What do I know? I’m just a uneducated dirt person.

        • Doug,

          We’ve never met, but you are a man after my own mind. I have spent goodness knows how many hours on various “conservative” internet websites arguing with the neo-cons, interventionists and other assorted folks of the type on how dangerous to our liberties and prosperity at home the pursuit of foreign adventurism actually is. To no avail, of course, because trying to reason with these people is an exercise in futility.

          The wisdom of the Founding Fathers shines especially brightly in the realm of foreign affairs.

          These men came of age in an era not far-removed from the Hundred Year’s War, the Thirty Year’s War, and other similar calamities which had devastated Europe and for generations kept the continent perpetually at war.

          They had seen or had heard from the elders about the terrible damage done to the fabric of European life – the bloodshed, the suffering, destruction and the bankrupting of nations – all because of perpetual war and pursuing the “great power games.”

          The Founders warned us not to go abroad in search of monsters to destroy, but of course that is exactly what our foreign policy establishment has done over the last half century or more.

          As I have grown older, I have begun to see that humanity divides along one very important line or trait – those who believe in minding their own business and letting others do the same, and those who do not. Into the latter camp fall almost all of the interventionists, neo-cons, foreign policy hawks, and the rest.

          It also does not help matters that a substantial portion of the leaders of our biggest companies and governmental institutions are sociopaths or psychopaths. Individuals possessing this pathology are drawn to positions of power like moths to a flame, since manipulating others and exercising power over them gives them intense pleasure. They are, in theory and in fact, driven at a very deep level to accumulate power and seek control over others.

          Most humans, regardless of where they call home, want only to be left alone to live their lives in peace. Unfortunately for them and for us, there is a small but fanatical minority who are determined to upend the apple cart. They have no intention of leaving us alone, nor allowing us to live our lives in peace. They thrive in chaos and it is chaos they mean to have.

          • Secession from the myriad of ways of slavery of the state is first a state of mind. Awakenings begin with each of us, and I’m grateful we see such things on a complimentary level of thinking, that I do believe you and I are not alone is such thoughts and principles.
            I couldn’t agree more with you, it is becoming more than conjecture, verifiable proof abounds there is indeed a class of American’s, if you can call them so, who are out of their cotton picking’ fucking minds, as you say, sociopaths and psychopaths, and the little totalitarians among us, who are basically partying on a political and social runaway train.
            It’s always us dirt people who pay the price in every sense of the term.
            Z is right, the whole idea, construct and practice of the nation state is an unmitigated disaster of corruption greed and hubris. People ask, what is TSHTF, when does SHTF happen, what does to look like?
            Well damn, your looking at it. If you can not see it your inflected with normalcy bias or serious cognitive deficiencies in critical thinking.
            The whole construct of the State is in a crisis of legitimacy. Just alone, look at the cognitive insanity that presaged the coming of President Trump. Now you can say anything you want about the guy, but if he doesn’t represent Orwell’s axiom about the Truth being a revolutionary idea in a time of universal deceit I don’t know what does. And I say that because Donald Trump is the great fuck you of the dirt people who have withdrawn consent for the sociopaths and psychopaths who rule our western hemisphere with impunity.

            These same tyrants and crooks, crazy sonofabitches, who are petrified of Trump and the great fuck you he represents, are above the “laws and regulations” they foist on us?
            Look at the revelations of just the crimes uncovered in the last couple days with spying on President Trump. These fuckers are going to walk on what are high crimes and treason.
            To a dirt person like me, them are fighting causes let me tell you.
            You’d have to be brain dead living on the dark side of the moon not to see it for what it is.
            While the truth is being spoken here, I probably ain’t the only fed up pissed off serf in this land who is sick and fucking tired of having to pay for the privilege of being screwed over royally by these high and mighty sons of a bitches and their useful lazy arsed free shit army and Praetorian Guard, and then have it shoved up my ass under threat that I’m classified as a “racist”, a terrorist, if I don’t keep my mouth shut by the same people who are supposed to be, swore even, with their greasy meat hook on the good Lords book, an oath of protecting my Liberty to begin with!? That. Is. Their. Only. Job.
            I wrote that above 7 years ago, whats changed is its worse. To me, it is TSHTF. It’s the end days of a republic that has devolved into an administrative tyranny that is sinking in a bog of illegitimacy. It can’t get out, the impetus alone has so much velocity of inertia it’s is going to drown before such things right themselves. And like a drowning frantic man it is thrashing about in existential survival.

            Even more so, though I can not speak for others, I can say I have had enough, and I’ll wager an arm I’m not the only one, as Meister Eckhart wrote:

            “Nothing in the world is so necessary for man as to be constantly assailed; for in fighting he learns to know himself. As grace is necessary to a man, so also is fighting. Virtue begins in fighting, and is developed in fighting. In every state to which a man is called, inward and outward, he must of necessity be assailed. A high Master said: As little as meat can remain without salt and yet not become corrupt, so little can a man remain without fighting.”

        • yes… There is much truth in this.
          We are responsible for the growth of the “military industrial machine” that the so called left hates so much. Yet their beliefs and policies grow this million headed monster into what it is today.
          The citizenry of these “occupied” areas have not grown tired of death. They have not had their grammys and grampys burned to death. Diplomacy and tactical strikes did not end either world war. These tactics will not end any current or future war regardless of how fucking smart you think you are.

  14. The Geneva convention was established as a “Gentleman’s” agreement about how to behave during armed conflict. There are many stories of US and German soldiers who went to great lengths, even risking their own lives, to protect and give aid to each other.

    The incident of 2nd Lt Charles Brown, a B-17 commander and Luftwaffe pilot Franz Stigler has been well documented; instead of shooting down the crippled bomber, Franz Stigler escorted the B-17 crew to safety despite disobeying direct orders to the contrary. Professional soldiers understand and respect each other even in these terrible conditions.

    The problem today is we no longer have a defined enemy who wears a recognized uniform and respects human dignity even in such horrible conditions. We have terrorists, who don’t align with a recognized government and who’s only goal is to murder and brutalize innocent men, women and children in the name of their so-called religion.

    • There were plenty of horrible things done by soldiers and units in WW2. Their respective military commands did not rush to the microphones to declare that “this is not who we are” and then throw the soldiers into prison. They quietly addressed the matter in a way that served their military and patriotic ends.

      • They never do and never will. But it doesn’t take anything away from individual soldiers do the right thing as in the case noted above. Soldiers are human beings pushed into the worst and most horrible situations they otherwise would not intentionally go.

      • Recent Iowahawk tweet:

        “if a guy’s 92 there’s a pretty good chance he killed a Nazi with a flame thrower.”

    • The Geneva Conventions have specific requirements which must be met in order to qualify for the protections of the Convention. Chief among those requirements are that the persons wear uniforms or other insignia that identify them as soldiers, are part of a command structure, carry arms openly, and that they observe the laws of conflict.

      The Bush Administration initially concluded, correctly, that the Taliban and other terrorists captured did not qualify for the protections afforded under the Geneva Convention. This was the famous Status of Forces Memorandum by Jay Bysbee.

      Interpreting any legal document in accordance with the plain meaning of it’s explicit language is unacceptable to the political left if it results in outcome that is contrary to their belief system. So their legal apparatus swung into action and filed lawsuits on behalf of prisoners in Guantanamo arguing that in America’s tripartite form of government, the branch of government best suited to make this determination was the judicial branch, due of course to the vast military experience of the Judicial branch. (/s)

      The Supreme Court agreed 6-3, the Bush administration capitulated and changed policy, and thus began the release of prisoners from Gitmo and the treatment of terrorists as POWs or common criminals endowed with due process protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution. Insane.

      • “The Geneva Conventions have specific requirements which must be met in order to qualify for the protections of the Convention. Chief among those requirements are that the persons wear uniforms or other insignia that identify them as soldiers, are part of a command structure, carry arms openly, and that they observe the laws of conflict…”

        Good point. Maybe THE point.

    • Because you made the distinction between uniformed traditional combatants and the bastards we are fighting today, I think you get off course.

      Yes, they are evil murderous bastards who, by all western ideals, are butchers committing heinous crimes.

      However, from warrior to warrior, it’s possible to respect their physical and mental toughness as well as the commitment to their cause. Anyone who doesn’t respect the tactical ability of some of them is unfortunately going to get a rude awakening.

      I can respect them for having the balls to be a combatant in the arena. This doesn’t mean that I am not trying to find every possible loophole to kill as many as possible.

      Right now it’s business, at this point they aren’t an existential threat (like they are becoming in Europe.). If it got to that point then loopholes be damned. Vlad Tepes may have been on to something.

  15. The Iraq war *was* a cakewalk. The US invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003. Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003. That’s less than three weeks to overthrow a sovereign country halfway around the world. American forces suffered 139 deaths in combat. British suffered 33. Iraq suffered 9200. By any reasonable standard that is a overwhelming military victory.

    Then Bush appointed Paul Bremer, who was certainly no Macarthur, and the neocons completely fucked up the occupation for all the reasons you articulated above. Almost fifteen years later the country is still a disaster.

    Iraq would be in far better shape today if Bush had installed a military occupation analogous to that implemented in Japan after WWII.

    • The object of war is not a pile of skulls.

      Beating the Iraqi army is the means to an end,

      What end?

      A functioning Muslim democracy according to Bush.

      A pointless war that could never accomplish what it set out to do. Muslims don’t do democracy.

      • The Japanese didn’t do democracy either, until the Allies forced it on them through military occupation and MacArthur’s sheer force of will.

        Japan was under military occupation from 1945-1951 and MacArthur was effectively a dictator in Japan from 1945-1949. Importantly, MacArthur kept the US State Department’s influence in Japan in check during the occupation.

        Iraq was under military occupation for 14 months. It took the neocons at the U.S. State Department exactly one month to get Brenner installed as the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), and the State Department took over Iraq. Chaos ensued, resulting in massive profits for the cronies of the neocons.

        The U.S. Military knows precisely how to win wars. The U.S. State Department has no clue how to win the peace. Iraq would likely be a very different and much better place today had Bush rejected the neocons and left the Military in charge of the occupation.

        • Japan was a unified, civilized, homogeneous, disciplined society. Iraq has not been any of those things for centuries.

          When the Emperor ordered them to lay down their arms and cooperate, they did.

          • I would suggest you read up a bit on Japan. It was absolutely *not* a unified, civilized or disciplined society. It was effectively an imperial military dictatorship in which the Emperor was a figurehead who provided moral authority to the military leaders.

            The Japanese Military attempted a coup the night before the Emperor surrendered, and it was entirely unclear whether the Military would accept the surrender. Some holdouts did not.
            MacArthur’s first directive was to disarm the population under force of Allied arms.


            In any event, the main point is that the U.S. Military knows how to do post-war occupation and rebuilding. Witness Japan and Germany. The State Department does not. Witness Iraq and Afghanistan. The Bush administration blew it by capitulating to the neocons in the State Department.

          • “When the Emperor ordered them to lay down their arms and cooperate, they did.”

            You are correct sir. If the Emperor had not ordered the Japanese people to “bear the unbearable”, the US occupation of Japan would have been far bloodier and nastier.

            “Guest” has no idea what he is talking about.

        • “The U.S. Military knows precisely how to win wars. The U.S. State Department has no clue how to win the peace.”

          Sorry, the State Department’s function is not to win the peace.The are engaged in “perpetual war for perpetual peace”. Keeps the currency spigot going full blast. If enemy combatants get a hangnail in captivity, allow them to pursue claims in court. You can waste more money this way. You have to understand that the function of government anymore is not to maintain conditions for the freedom, security, and pursuit of happiness of its citizens. Its purpose is to borrow money into circulation. That’s why every bill introduced is a laughable travesty. They will all result in more waste of money. The bills are designed this way and they are passed.

        • This isn’t true, the Japanese had democratic elements within the existing Meji government being governed by an Imperial Diet comprised of a house of representatives and peers.

          It also bears repeating that the only reason why the Japanese occupation went so smoothly was due to the order of the emperor, and the threat of nuclear annihilation by the US government. I wonder what have happened if instead of retaking Falluhah the US merely opted to obliterate it.

        • If MacArthur’s army could pacify a country like Iraq today’s U.S. military certainly could not. They are more concerned with being welcoming to trans genders and promoting females to places where they can screw things up.

        • Two things:

          a) Japan has an average IQ of between 10 and 15 pts higher than Iraq.

          b) the current middle east is about as inbred as our species has seen in many thousands of years. Japan is less inbred by orders of magnitude.

          You simply can’t compare the two

        • No the Japanese did not do democracy but they did something else that made democracy possible. That is except at the top aka emperor, there is cultural divide between the religion and the operation of the State.

          Muslims on the other hand operate under Sharia which melds the two functions together. “Give unto Ceasar” is not operative in the Muslim mind.

        • “…Then Bush appointed Paul Bremer…”

          I think it very likely that Bremer did exactly what he was supposed to do. Break up Iraq with chaos so it would not a threat to Israel. The Israelis wrote a strategy report well before 9-11 claiming that was the way to defeat the forces against them and that’s what happened. There’s also the small matter of the British SAS forces caught dressed as Arabs caught setting up a car bomb. They were caught directly and I’ve read rumors that US troops would stop Arabs at checkpoints and search their cars. During the search the trunk would have explosives put in it and they would be directed to go to certain areas or be arrested. When they got there their car would explode.

          All the 9-11 wars are wars for Israel.

      • Muslims don’t do democracy.

        Premise rejected.

        The object of war is a larger pile of skulls than what we achieved. 9200 should have been Lesson One, not the whole book.

        By setting the bar too low, we enabled those who threw off their uniforms, and the Geneva Conventions, who then transitioned into an endless guerrilla war, with an underlying civil and tribal war. QED.

        The Japanese were religious fanatics who didn’t do democracy either. In 1940.

        In 1945, they sang a different tune, and the lesson has taken hold well and truly.

        Iraq and A-stan simply weren’t firebombed into enough submission.
        If the medicine kills the patient, that’s still a win for the treatment modality.
        For bonus points, we sucked a lot of jihadis in over there from regional neighbors that were suddenly too busy to come over here and try WTC 3.0. It can never be eliminated (unless they all are – hear me God), and unless we show some discipline in not importing more, but it can certainly be whittled down to a once a year thing, rather than once a day times fifty cities thing.

        But we’re too squeamish to properly deal with them at the firebombing level now, because we let pussy communists in the media, and the Leftist leaders who opposed the war before, during, and after, and wanted to surrender from the get-go, tell us how to think and referee how we fight. Recipe for the exact current unmitigated disasterpiece theater we’ve watched for 15+ years.

        This wasn’t rocket surgery. But putting idiots in charge never works.

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