Something Is Rotten in the U.S. Military

W.J. Astore

Winning a war based on lies is truly a fool’s errand, which is why the U.S. military’s record since World War II is so poor. Yet no one is ever held responsible for these lies, which suggests something worse than a losing military: one that is without honor, especially among the brass. That’s the theme of my latest article for TomDispatch, which is appended below in its entirety.

As a military professor for six years at the U.S. Air Force Academy in the 1990s, I often walked past the honor code prominently displayed for all cadets to see. Its message was simple and clear: they were not to tolerate lying, cheating, stealing, or similar dishonorable acts. Yet that’s exactly what the U.S. military and many of America’s senior civilian leaders have been doing from the Vietnam War era to this very day: lying and cooking the books, while cheating and stealing from the American people. And yet the most remarkable thing may be that no honor code turns out to apply to them, so they’ve suffered no consequences for their mendacity and malfeasance.

Where’s the “honor” in that?

It may surprise you to learn that “integrity first” is the primary core value of my former service, the U.S. Air Force.  Considering the revelations of the Pentagon Papers, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971; the Afghan War papers, first revealed by the Washington Post in 2019; and the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, among other evidence of the lying and deception that led to the invasion and occupation of that country, you’ll excuse me for assuming that, for decades now when it comes to war, “integrity optional” has been the true core value of our senior military leaders and top government officials.

As a retired Air Force officer, let me tell you this: honor code or not, you can’t win a war with lies — America proved that in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq — nor can you build an honorable military with them. How could our high command not have reached such a conclusion themselves after all this time?

So Many Defeats, So Little Honesty

Like many other institutions, the U.S. military carries with it the seeds of its own destruction. After all, despite being funded in a fashion beyond compare and spreading its peculiar brand of destruction around the globe, its system of war hasn’t triumphed in a significant conflict since World War II (with the war in Korea remaining, almost three-quarters of a century later, in a painful and festering stalemate).  Even the ending of the Cold War, allegedly won when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, only led to further wanton military adventurism and, finally, defeat at an unsustainable cost — more than $8 trillion — in Washington’s ill-fated Global War on Terror. And yet, years later, that military still has a stranglehold on the national budget.

So many defeats, so little honesty: that’s the catchphrase I’d use to characterize this country’s military record since 1945. Keeping the money flowing and the wars going proved far more important than integrity or, certainly, the truth. Yet when you sacrifice integrity and the truth in the cause of concealing defeat, you lose much more than a war or two. You lose honor — in the long run, an unsustainable price for any military to pay.

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Or rather it should be unsustainable, yet the American people have continued to “support” their military, both by funding it astronomically and expressing seemingly eternal confidence in it — though, after all these years, trust in the military has dipped somewhat recently. Still, in all this time, no one in the senior ranks, civilian or military, has ever truly been called to account for losing wars prolonged by self-serving lies. In fact, too many of our losing generals have gone right through that infamous “revolving door” into the industrial part of the military-industrial complex — only to sometimes return to take top government positions.

Our military has, in fact, developed a narrative that’s proven remarkably effective in insulating it from accountability. It goes something like this: U.S. troops fought hard in [put the name of the country here], so don’t blame us. Indeed, you must support us, especially given all the casualties of our wars. They and the generals did their best, under the usual political constraints. On occasion, mistakes were made, but the military and the government had good and honorable intentions in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. 

Besides, were you there, Charlie? If you weren’t, then STFU, as the acronym goes, and be grateful for the security you take for granted, earned by America’s heroes while you were sitting on your fat ass safe at home.

It’s a narrative I’ve heard time and time again and it’s proven persuasive, partially because it requires the rest of us, in a conscription-free country, to do nothing and think nothing about that. Ignorance is strength, after all.

War Is Brutal

The reality of it all, however, is so much harsher than that. Senior military leaders have performed poorly.  War crimes have been covered up. Wars fought in the name of helping others have produced horrendous civilian casualties and stunning numbers of refugees. Even as those wars were being lost, what President Dwight D. Eisenhowerfirst labeled the military-industrial complex has enjoyed windfall profits and expanding power. Again, there’s been no accountability for failure. In fact, only whistleblowing truth-tellers like Chelsea Manning and Daniel Hale have been punished and jailed.

Ready for an even harsher reality? America is a nation being unmade by war, the very opposite of what most Americans are taught. Allow me to explain.  As a country, we typically celebrate the lofty ideals and brave citizen-soldiers of the American Revolution. We similarly celebrate the Second American Revolution, otherwise known as the Civil War, for the elimination of slavery and reunification of the country; after which, we celebrate World War II, including the rise of the Greatest Generation, America as the arsenal of democracy, and our emergence as the global superpower.

By celebrating those three wars and essentially ignoring much of the rest of our history, we tend to view war itself as a positive and creative act. We see it as making America, as part of our unique exceptionalism. Not surprisingly, then, militarism in this country is impossible to imagine. We tend to see ourselves, in fact, as uniquely immune to it, even as war and military expenditures have come to dominate our foreign policy, bleeding into domestic policy as well.

If we as Americans continue to imagine war as a creative, positive, essential part of who we are, we’ll also continue to pursue it. Or rather, if we continue to lie to ourselves about war, it will persist. 

It’s time for us to begin seeing it not as our making but our unmaking, potentially even our breaking — as democracy’s undoing as well as the brutal thing it truly is.

A retired U.S. military officer, educated by the system, I freely admit to having shared some of its flaws. When I was an Air Force engineer, for instance, I focused more on analysis and quantification than on synthesis and qualification. Reducing everything to numbers, I realize now, helps provide an illusion of clarity, even mastery.  It becomes another form of lying, encouraging us to meddle in things we don’t understand.

This was certainly true of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, his “whiz kids,” and General William Westmoreland during the Vietnam War; nor had much changed when it came to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General David Petraeus, among others, in the Afghan and Iraq War years. In both eras, our military leaders wielded metrics and swore they were winning even as those wars circled the drain. 

And worse yet, they were never held accountable for those disasters or the blunders and lies that went with them (though the antiwar movement of the Vietnam era certainly tried). All these years later, with the Pentagon still ascendant in Washington, it should be obvious that something has truly gone rotten in our system.

Here’s the rub: as the military and one administration after another lied to the American people about those wars, they also lied to themselves, even though such conflicts produced plenty of internal “papers” that raised serious concerns about lack of progress. Robert McNamara typically knew that the situation in Vietnam was dire and the war essentially unwinnable. Yet he continued to issue rosy public reports of progress, while calling for more troops to pursue that illusive “light at the end of the tunnel.” Similarly, the Afghan War papers released by the Washington Post show that senior military and civilian leaders realized that war, too, was going poorly almost from the beginning, yet they reported the very opposite to the American people. So many corners were being “turned,” so much “progress” being made in official reports even as the military was building its own rhetorical coffin in that Afghan graveyard of empires.

Too bad wars aren’t won by “spin.” If they were, the U.S. military would be undefeated.

Two Books to Help Us See the Lies

Two recent books help us see that spin for what it was. In Because Our Fathers Lied, Craig McNamara, Robert’s son, reflects on his father’s dishonesty about the Vietnam War and the reasons for it. Loyalty was perhaps the lead one, he writes. McNamara suppressed his own serious misgivings out of misplaced loyalty to two presidents, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, while simultaneously preserving his own position of power in the government. 

Robert McNamara would, in fact, later pen his own mea culpa, admitting how “terribly wrong” he’d been in urging the prosecution of that war. Yet Craig finds his father’s late confession of regret significantly less than forthright and fully honest. Robert McNamara fell back on historical ignorance about Vietnam as the key contributing factor in his unwise decision-making, but his son is blunt in accusing his dad of unalloyed dishonesty. Hence the title of his book, citing Rudyard Kipling’s pained confession of his own complicity in sending his son to die in the trenches of World War I: “If any question why we died/Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

The second book is Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak Out Against America’s Misguided Wars, edited by Andrew Bacevich and Danny Sjursen. In my view, the word “misguided” doesn’t quite capture the book’s powerful essence, since it gathers 15 remarkable essays by Americans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and witnessed the patent dishonesty and folly of those wars. None dare speak of failure might be a subtheme of these essays, as initially highly motivated and well-trained troops became disillusioned by wars that went nowhere, even as their comrades often paid the ultimate price, being horribly wounded or dying in those conflicts driven by lies.

This is more than a work of dissent by disillusioned troops, however. It’s a call for the rest of us to act.  Dissent, as West Point graduate and Army Captain Erik Edstrom reminds us, “is nothing short of a moral obligation” when immoral wars are driven by systemic dishonesty. Army Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, who blew an early whistle on how poorly the Afghan War was going, writes of his “seething” anger “at the absurdity and unconcern for the lives of my fellow soldiers displayed by so many” of the Army’s senior leaders. 

Former Marine Matthew Hoh, who resigned from the State Department in opposition to the Afghan “surge” ordered by President Barack Obama, speaks movingly of his own “guilt, regret, and shame” at having served in Afghanistan as a troop commander and wonders whether he can ever atone for it. Like Craig McNamara, Hoh warns of the dangers of misplaced loyalty. He remembers telling himself that he was best suited to lead his fellow Marines in war, no matter how misbegotten and dishonorable that conflict was.  Yet he confesses that falling back on duty and being loyal to “his” Marines, while suppressing the infamies of the war itself, became “a washing of the hands, a self-absolution that ignores one’s complicity” in furthering a brutal conflict fed by lies.    

As I read those essays, I came to see anew how this country’s senior leaders, military and civilian, consistently underestimated the brutalizing impact of war, which, in turn, leads me to the ultimate lie of war: that it is somehow good, or at least necessary — making all the lying (and killing) worth it, whether in the name of a victory to come or of duty, honor, and country. Yet there is no honor in lying, in keeping the truth hidden from the American people. Indeed, there is something distinctly dishonorable about waging wars kept viable only by lies, obfuscation, and propaganda.

An Epigram from Goethe

John Keegan, the esteemed military historian, cites an epigram from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as being essential to thinking about militaries and their wars. “Goods gone, something gone; honor gone, much gone; courage gone, all gone.” 

The U.S. military has no shortage of goods, given its whopping expenditures on weaponry and equipment of all sorts; among the troops, it doesn’t lack for courage or fighting spirit, not yet, anyway. But it does lack honor, especially at the top. Much is gone when a military ceases to tell the truth to itself and especially to the people from whom its forces are drawn. And courage is wasted when in the service of lies.

Courage wasted: Is there a worst fate for a military establishment that prides itself on its members being all volunteers and is now having trouble filling its ranks?

Copyright 2022 William J. Astore

100 thoughts on “Something Is Rotten in the U.S. Military

  1. Another great book that explores this question is The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris and Failure in the U.S. Military by Tim Bakken, a law professor at West Point. – Nicolas J S Davies 

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      1. Another book worth reading is A Vietnam Experience: Ten Years of Reflection by James Stockdale. Many of his essays focus on ethics, honor and leadership.

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  2. There is the expression “Thank you for service” that arose over the last 20 years of the “war of terrorism” (use of “of” was deliberate).

    Civilians, encountering anyone in the military or former military (I’ve had it said to me and I served 40 years ago), could sound off a quick “TYFYS” and be done with it – and avoid the embarrassment of having to talk with someone who spent time in the military or had been deployed to one of this country’s never-ending wars. No need to ask anything or how someone felt about what they had been through.

    After all, they were serving with “honor” – the admirals, generals and politicians all said so. They were the “war fighters” and they needed the “best weapons money could buy”. The same admirals, generals, corporate executives and politicians grew rich off a procurement system built seemingly only for the transfer of wealth from the populace to the elites.

    And the national security establishment is filled with people who arose from this system – disconnected from any personal experience resulting from their theories or decisions. In a time of rising tensions with China and Russia, this is terrifying.

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  3. Bill, I have never been in the military, let alone the American military. But I am always interested in what you have to say about the military. And of course, who could disagree that it is distinctly dishonorable waging wars kept viable by lies, obfuscation, and propaganda. As we are seeing in spades with the current conflict in the Ukraine.

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  4. “The Senate on Thursday approved a stopgap funding bill needed to avert a government shutdown that includes up to $16 billion in new aid for Ukraine.

    The legislation passed the Senate in a vote of 72-25 and is expected to be passed quickly by the House so it can reach President Biden’s desk by Friday night.

    One provision in the bill is for a $12.3 billion aid package for Ukraine. It includes $4.5 billion in direct budgetary aid for the Ukrainian government, $2.8 billion for the Pentagon to pay for troops deployments in Eastern Europe, $1.5 billion to replenish US stockpiles sent to Ukraine, and $3 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). The USAI allows the US government to purchase weapons for Ukraine.

    The stopgap funding bill includes a separate authorization for $3.7 billion in presidential drawdown authority, which allows President Biden to ship Ukraine weapons directly from US military stockpiles. So far, the US has given Kyiv over $12 billion in arms using this authority since Russia invaded.

    Defense News reported that Republicans were pressing Biden to use $2.1 billion in presidential drawdown that was leftover from the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill that was signed into law back in May. That aid expires on September 30th, and Republican leadership in Congress is not happy that Biden didn’t use the $2.1 billion.

    But the Biden administration said that the $2.1 billion was factored into its request for the $3.7 billion in presidential drawdown authority. Meaning, the White House asked for $1.6 billion in new presidential drawdown authority, and the leftover $2.1 billion was added to that amount.

    Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and other Republicans still weren’t happy and thought $5.8 billion should have been approved for presidential drawdown authority. On the Senate floor on Thursday night, Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-KY) called for the US to provide Ukraine with “more tanks, fighting vehicles, longer-range rockets, artillery, and air defense systems, more HIMARS, more drones, and preparatory training in western fighter aircraft.”

    The 12.3 billion aid package and the new presidential drawdown authority will bring the total authorized for the US to spend on the war in Ukraine to $67.5 billion. To put the figure in perspective, Russia’s entire annual military budget for 2021 was $65.9 billion.

    https://news.antiwar.com/2022/09/29/senate-approves-up-to-16-billion-in-ukraine-aid-as-part-of-funding-bill/

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  5. Could it be reasonably argued that if this $67.5-billion had not been spent on this conflict – both sides would have done better. Both the Russian and Ukrainian people. With less loss of lives and property destroyed, and the war ended sooner. The only entity that would have suffered would have been the American military-industrial-complex. Is that a valid argument?

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    1. I think a lot of this money hasn’t been spent yet, Dennis.

      I do think that U.S. support of Ukraine, along with NATO, is keeping Ukraine at war. Some see this as a good thing, i.e. Russia launched an “unprovoked” invasion; Ukraine is the victim; Putin must be punished; you know the narrative.

      I see this war as a disaster for Ukraine and Russia too. The longer it lasts, the more people suffer and die. And the greater the chance of a wider, far worse, war.

      The U.S. should be working to broker a peace, not to fan the flames of war ever brighter.

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      1. By the time this War and its successor Wars are finished, Bill, it will be a disaster for the United States and Western Europe, as well as Ukraine and Russia. In many ways, it already is; and promises only to get worse

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  6. And I have been thinking Bill, is it fair for the American military to be accused of being dishonorable in this conflict? After all, not one American soldier has been deployed to fight in the Ukraine. Surely the dishonorable are the civilian politicians who are waging a war of lies and propaganda. I don’t know. How much sway and influence do the Military Top brass and the Pentagon have on these politicians? Do you think the Generals are in favor of escalating this war?

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    1. Agreed, Dennis. The civilians are in charge. The military obey orders. If the civilians say “make up false narratives” then the military does so. But most lying narratives come from the civilians. In this case our Commander-in-Chief is our Liar-in-Chief. And yet 40% of the voters still approve of the job he is doing. They will do so regardless of how many lies he tells.

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        1. As a person with a severe onset of dementia – could Joe Biden even fulfill the role of “Liar-in-Chief’?
          I mean really – we non-Americans are seeing as barely being able to put two sentences together.
          Does anybody think he can think critically?
          And if the 25th Amendment is invoked, could Kamala Harris?
          The US has a bit of a problem on its hands.

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            1. Yes I agree Jeff, and all this talk about using “small” (yeah right!) battlefield tactical nuclear weapons is very scary! I trust Putin and the Russian military to have the situation under control. The out-of-control crazy American military under Commander-in-Chief Biden – all bets are off!

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          1. He’s doing a great job so far, isn’t he? How many Americans have been out in the streets protesting our War with Russia in Ukraine? And/or demanding that Congress stop bankrolling it?

            As of late last month, only an average of 51.8% of Americans DISAPPROVED of how Biden is handling the War. That gives a pretty good indication as to where Americans’ heads are on all this, doesn’t it?
            [ https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_biden_approval_on_handling_of_russia_ukraine-7572.html ]

            And all he does is read his scripts prepared by his handlers on behalf of his owners and operators. Just like POTUS Maxximmuss XLV, Obomber, Cheney/Bush the Lesser, Billy Bob, and so forth.

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            1. And you know, who knows whether these “small” battlefield tactical nuclear weapons will work as being advertised! And how many “small” = “big”?

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        2. The press makes a huge difference. NY Times and Washington Post are strongly Democrat and unfailingly support Biden’s policies. Most of the rest of the press follow. Biden’s lies become accepted truth. Not so with Trump, for instance.

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          1. So THAT’S why all of Trump’s lies never became “accepted truth,” eh?

            Is that also how all of Cheney/Bush the Lesser’s and Obomber’s lies did become accepted truth?

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    2. The military, when not explicit in supporting the lies, is complicit in advancing them. And let’s not forget the revolving door in the MIC. Some of the “civilian” politicians are retired generals (Lloyd Austin; James Mattis). There’s a lot of overlap among the senior civilians and those in uniform, and indeed many, perhaps most, generals and admirals are basically politicians themselves.

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      1. i would say that the only way many ~ and indeed, very likely most ~ of those folks got to be generals and admirals in the first place was by being very successful politicians. They certainly didn’t get there by winning any wars, eh?

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  7. Did I mention the Pentagon? Oh dear! The Pentagon decides to train and equip the Ukrainian military I see. Not politicians in Washington, eh?

    “WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is preparing to overhaul how the United States and its allies train and equip the Ukrainian military, reflecting what officials say is the Biden administration’s long-term commitment to support Ukraine in its war with Russia.

    The proposal would streamline a training and assistance system that was created on the fly after the Russian invasion in February. The system would be placed under a single new command based in Germany that would be led by a high-ranking U.S. general, according to several military and administration officials.

    Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the top U.S. officer in Europe, recently presented a proposal outlining the changes to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the officials said. Austin and his top aides are reviewing the plan and are likely to make a final decision in the coming weeks, senior U.S. officials said, adding that the White House and the Pentagon favored the approach. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe confidential discussions.

    Just as the Pentagon has committed more than $16 billion in military aid to Ukraine — a combination of immediate shipments from stockpiles as well as contracts for weapons to be delivered over the next three years — the new command signals that the United States expects the threat from Russia to Ukraine and its neighbors to persist for many years, current and former senior U.S. officials said.”

    “This is the proverbial David and Goliath scenario, right?” Command Master Chief Peter Musselman, the senior enlisted Special Operations soldier in Europe, said at the security forum. “And David is holding his own pretty good right now.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/pentagon-plans-to-set-up-a-new-command-to-arm-ukraine-officials-say/

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    1. The Pentagon trains and equips the Ukrainian military when instructed to do so by the President thru the Secretary of Defense, subject to having it put on Uncle Sam’s credit card by the Congress.

      So Yes, Dennis: Politicians in the White House and Congress decide THAT Ukraine will get trained and equipped based on proposals submitted by the Pentagon. The Pentagon then determines exactly HOW the Ukrainians need to be trained and equipped; and then it figures out HOW, WHEN, and WHERE that equipping and training is to be initiated, proceed, and made to happen.

      Without orders from the White House and Congress paying the bill, the Pentagon can do nothing.

      So that makes the Real Question: So who do the President and Congress get THEIR marching orders from?

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      1. Your final sentence is an excellent question. Let me address the situation regarding the White House. We well know the lobby power in Congress.

        Administrations are driven by political philosophy and that seldom originates with those elected to office. An excellent example is the power of the neocons in the GWB years. Though a politician is needed to order things to be done, that being “the decider” GWB himself, the White House was filled with advisors, intellectual ideologues from think tanks and academia whose common underlying idea of American exceptionalism and the need to set the middle east on a new course starting with American intervention drove the frantic lying on WMD’s in Iraq.

        These ideologues wait for the vessel, the candidate, with which they can ride into power. GWB was an exceptionally good illustration of this because of his intellectual lack of fitness for the office. He was the front for an agenda. Dick Cheney took effective command with the invisibles behind him such as “Scooter” Libby and David Arrington. Another excellent example of such behind the scenes ideologues is John “I’ll see you in Tehran” Bolton. David From is another from the Reagan years. Milton Friedman yet another from earlier times.

        Democratic administrations are equally subject to this category of people who are invisible to the public, but have the ear of the president to the extent that their ideas are controlling not necessarily of each specific action but of the goals of the administration. After all, presidents want to see those around them be people whose ideas they respect. Though sometimes cabinet heads can appoint aides that argue against the administration’s philosophical current, the usual case is a common effort to follow a course, not surprisingly causing tunnel vision and rejection of all other ideas coming from outside.

        The MSM press traditionally, but much less so recently has tried to find out what was going on behind the scenes in each administration but what makes what I’ve said above clear only comes from reading the histories of administrations after confessions and admissions have been made and biographies written that tell the truth that can never be clearly known at the time. The American voter has no idea of the depth of this ideological foundation nor the principal actors that create and sustain it.

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    2. “The proposal would streamline a training and assistance system that was created on the fly after the Russian invasion in February. The system would be placed under a single new command based in Germany that would be led by a high-ranking U.S. general, according to several military and administration officials.”

      Gee…. That sounds hauntingly familiar to that thing called the Military Advisory and Assistance Command, Vietnam back in the early 60s. Anybody remember that?

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  8. That was an astonishing article stating what very few people would say out loud, especially those who have achieved high rank in the military. Thank you!!! I don’t know what the fallout will be, but I know a lot of people will have read this since it was not only in Truthout, but also in Common Dreams and consortium News. I’m happy it got a wide publication, and I hope you’ll tell us if there’s any feedback from the Pentagon. It would be nice if it had some effect on our elected reps in Congress but that isn’t likely unless we start writing them and letting them know we don’t want to spend so much on unusable airplanes, killer drones, ships that have no real purpose and on bases all over the planet, along with wars that have no point.
    I hope more people will start speaking out, and maybe those generals and admirals who sit on boards of arms producers will start to feel some shame – that is if humanity hasn’t totally dried up in them.

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    1. i agree with You 100%, Ranney, that this is a very significantly important article. i indicated as much when i commented on the article here on BV when it first appeared on Tom Dispatch on September 29 [WHY BURN BOOKS WHEN YOU CAN STOP THEM FROM BEING PUBLISHED?].

      And that the article has been distributed to lots of people thru Truthout, CD, CN, Sheerpost, etc, is wonderful. But it raises the same question i asked in my comment:

      “How does this message get to the People who need to hear it most? Which requires answering a first question: And exactly Who are these People that need to read it?

      “Who are these People who need to read, react, and respond to it? And if it IS Bell Ringer for them, what do they plan to do about it? Or more precisely: What COULD they do about it if a Critical Mass of these folks got together and decided and determined to CHANGE that?”

      My gut hunch is that the people who Need to read this, think about it, and then actually, really DO something about it don’t spend a lot of time reading Truthout, CD, CN, and so forth.

      So the Question remains: “How does this message get to the People who need to hear it most? And exactly Who are these People that need to read it?”

      Do You have any thoughts on that, Ranney?

      Does anybody here on BV have any thoughts on it?

      In any event, i wouldn’t count on “shame” having too much of an influence on those Admirals and Generals sitting on those Boards. If it didn’t impact them on their rise thru the ranks when they were directly involved in all this as it happened over the past 20-30 years, it’s unlikely to affect them now.

      In addition to being “politicians,” as Bill noted, they are also shameless; and have been their whole careers. That’s how they got to where they are.

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  9. So Jeff, in my naivety I assumed that because the US Military did not have boots on the ground in the Ukraine, it was not involved in the war. When actually they are up to their ass in alligators facilitating the Ukrainian military. (Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, “We are continuously assessing and refining our internal posture and processes to ensure we provide Ukraine with timely, relevant security assistance to meet its most urgent needs on the battlefield and to build its enduring strength to deter future Russian aggression.”)

    Just like the US Air Force was not involved in the Saudi/Yemen war, just refueling Saudi Arabian aircraft fighting Houthi rebels.

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        1. Well we helped win the two world wars. Korea was a tie. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan were loses. NATO has mostly loses. So, like any failing government program, they are getting even more money to expand.

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  10. We’ve all been taught to think of three branches of government: the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. And that they’re roughly equal, checks and balances, etc.

    But there is a fourth branch of government: the national security state. And it is at least as powerful as the other three.

    Most of you have heard the acronym MICIMATT, or military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think-tank complex, pronounced Mickey-mat. I know, it’s awkward, but it does capture the size, influence, and power of this Complex.

    What we see in the media, what we learn from academia, what we hear from think tanks, what Congress enacts, what intelligence agencies pursue, is driven by corporate and military imperatives of power and control. To this power complex, or “deep state” as some might say, the president is basically a figurehead (almost literally so in Biden’s case), the political parties are distractions, and the judges are enablers because most of them are corporate-friendly since they were basically picked and groomed by the powerful.

    So, when we talk of lies and lack of honor, we’re not talking only about the military but the whole MICIMATT structure. It just so happens that only the military has an honor code in all this, and it’s mainly military troops who fight the wars and die for those lies, while the rest of us suffer or profit in our own ways.

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    1. Well Bill, You can include me among those “not most of” us who had heard the term “MICIMATT.” This is honestly the first time i ever saw or heard it. And i look forward to exploring what the term’s inventor ~ retired CIA Analyst Ray McGovern ~ has had to say about this alternative term to “Deep State.”

      The first question i have is: Does mass, warrantless Surveillance by the US Government of American Citizens’ private correspondences and communications come under “Intelligence”? If not, it certainly should be as an acknowledged and included separate part of The Beast in the room. Our Panopticon could easily be tacked on to turn the acronym into “MICIMATTS,” eh?

      And i would suggest that the Real Fourth Branch of this Government ~ before MICIMATT or the National Security State ~ is The Federal Reserve. That’s the only way this Ponzi Scheme called US Government financing of the MICIMATT [the Fifth Branch] has been able to carry on for so long and gotten away with.

      At least so far.

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      1. To get a very good feel for what MICIMATT is, listen to what Mr McGovern has to say… :

        WHY RUSSIA MUST BE DEMONIZED by Ray McGovern

        January 01, 2021 “Information Clearing House” – I had a chance to devote the first 7 minutes of an interview to explaining why the MICIMATT (including Wall St., Silicon Valley, & the Democratic Party) have all joined together to portray Russia (and now also China) as the enemies it desperately needs in order to “justify” spending more than half of the discretionary budget on “defense”. It is necessary, of course, to be able to “explain” — defense against what?

        The interview is available at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/56119.htm . And note that this interview happened three weeks before Biden became President.

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  11. Thanks for your post on MICIMATT Bill. You have been excelling yourself lately my man!

    Jeff, I know you are not a big fan of Alexander Mercouris
    But for me, a non-military person, he is the best take on YouTube of what’s happening.
    Both militarily and politically.
    He’s worth spending 30-minutes with everyday just to keep you informed – without all the propaganda.

    Like

  12. I wonder how many Americans read the English language Chinese Newspaper, The Global Times.?
    The link to it above will not work with my server in New Zealand.
    But I found this Op-Ed from it on another site.
    Very well written from a Chinese point of view:
    (Sorry it’s so long Bill.)

    Russia and Ukraine conflict has continued to escalate, as Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed documents to accept the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions into Russia following referenda while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a bid for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance on Friday and ruled out talks with Putin, striking back at Moscow’s latest move. Meanwhile, China urged all sides to leave space for diplomatic negotiations in efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

    Chinese analysts said that the current situation is deteriorating and the conflict will definitely continue, and the earlier the negotiations restart, the less losses Ukraine and Russia would suffer.

    Unfortunately, as the US has always involved and has successfully interrupted the previous peace talks, continued to fan flames with supply of new weapons to Kiev and fresh sanctions on Russia, causing the crisis to come to this stage with irreversible damage to both sides, so for the future peace talks, the key is that how Russia and the US could reach consensus at some point, experts said.

    The treaties signing ceremony took place on Friday in the Grand Kremlin Palace, Moscow, and Putin delivered a speech about the “joining” of four Ukrainian regions to Russia.

    Putin said “We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire and all hostilities; to end the war it unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, as we have said more than once,” according to Kremlin’s website.”

    But the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will not be discussed. The decision has been made, and Russia will not betray it, Putin said.

    This means that Russia will treat the four regions as its own territories no matter what other parties have to say about it, and the conditions and bottom-line of the negotiations have all been changed compared to the previous peace talks. If Kiev would like to return to the negotiation, it means it’s accepting the change of its territory, so it’s clear that the peace talk at this moment is very unlikely, analysts said.

    Zelensky has responded to Russia with an attempt to speed up the process of joining NATO. In the previous peace talks, “Ukraine will not join NATO” was a precondition presented by the Russian side. According to Reuters, Zelensky signed the NATO application papers through video link clearly intended as a forceful rebuttal to the Kremlin after Putin held a ceremony in Moscow to incorporate the four Ukrainian regions into the Russian Federation.

    “We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” Zelensky said in the video on the Telegram app.

    But now, as per Zelensky ‘s words, Ukraine is already a “de facto NATO member” as it has received massive military assistance from NATO, especially from the US, so such move won’t affect Russia’s determination to complete its military operation, experts claimed.

    Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that “Although Ukraine has received military assistance from NATO, it is still quite far away from truly becoming a NATO member. It can be said that Ukraine is currently only a NATO ally.”

    If Russia enters a conflict with a real NATO member, it will trigger their collective defense mechanism, and Russia will be in fact having war with all NATO members, so a NATO ally and a NATO member are different, and maybe this is why Zelensky desperately wanted the NATO membership, as he wants to force the whole of NATO to join the war and help Ukraine take back what it has lost, said experts.

    Given the tit-for-tat atmosphere, the conflict will likely further escalate, said Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator. The key to a possible negotiation now is how Washington reacts, as the US has interfered in the previous rounds of talks, leading them to end with no results.

    The earlier the negotiations can restart, the less loss both parties will suffer, Song noted.

    It is likely that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the eastern part of Ukraine will continue and remain at the level of conventional war, as is the current situation on the ground. Russia’s partial mobilization will increase the intensity of the conflict and consolidate the eastern regions in Ukraine it currently controls. The conflict will continue to maintain such a state of war of attrition and stalemate.

    Instead of creating conditions for cooling down the tension, the US has continued to fan flames. On Friday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill which includes an additional $12.3 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine. On the same day, the US imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia over its formal recognition of the four Ukraine regions joining Russia, targeting hundreds of people and companies.

    China calls for peace

    Apart from the combat zones in Ukraine, the struggles between the West and Russia are also intensifying in the UN. Russia on Friday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution which described its attempts to hold four regions of Ukraine under Russian control earlier in the day with a formal ceremony in Moscow, as “a threat to international peace and security”, demanding that the decision be immediately and unconditionally reversed.

    The draft resolution, circulated by the United States and Albania, was supported by ten of the fifteen members of the Council, including the US, France and Britain, with Russia voting against it. Four members abstained, Brazil, China, Gabon and India, according to the UN website.

    “China calls on all parties concerned to exercise restraint, refrain from actions that exacerbate tensions, and leave space for settlement through diplomatic negotiations,” Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said in his explanation of China’s vote on a Security Council draft resolution on Ukraine.

    China’s position on the issue of Ukraine is “consistent and clear.” The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be safeguarded, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be observed, the legitimate security concerns of all parties should be taken seriously, and all actors conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis should be supported, Zhang Jun said.

    China believes that “the pressing priority is to make every effort to de-escalate the situation, and guide the parties to restart diplomatic negotiations as soon as possible to open the door to a political settlement with legitimate concerns brought into the negotiations and viable options put on the table, in an effort to achieve an early ceasefire,” the ambassador said.

    Like

    1. I wonder how this ends. Previous American wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) ended because people in the US got tired of US casualties. But there are few if any such casualties in Ukraine. Zekenskyy’s money and support depends on the US so he will do as they say. The people of Ukraine see themselves as being attacked and are not likely to give up. The 4 oblasts will shortly be part of Russia so Russia won’t give up. We could be in for a very long war. Or perhaps the final war.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WWI was supposed to be the War to end all Wars.
        It’s a Century late but the War to end all Wars and possibly Human Civilization itself is at the threshold.

        My comment in this article New York Times this am,
        ‘Putin Is Trying to Outcrazy the West’
        Ray Joseph Cormier | Hull, Quebec

        What is crazy is the US is the only Nation to have used 2 Nuclear bombs to kill over 200,000 Civilians in War, and since then, invaded and bombed ONLY poor, 3rd World Nations, and couldn’t get a win in any of them with the most expensive Military Force in the History of Nations.
        The frantic exit from the $2 TRILLION 20 year occupation of Afghanistan, one of the poorest Countries on Earth the World witnessed last year is the latest humiliating defeat.

        On the way out, the last violent act of the US we know about was the killing of a Civilian family of 10 with 7 Children by a US remote controlled drone and no Accountability.

        The header of this article has more than a grain of Truth to it saying Putin is trying to OUTCRAZY THE WEST. Not being able to win any US WAR with poor Countries that couldn’t hit the US in retaliation, the US is CRAZY enough to be blind and oblivious to the FACT Russia CAN HIT THE US MAINLAND in this US WAR with Russia over Ukraine in NATO just so US troops can be right on Russia’s Border?

        New Army command in Wiesbaden to coordinate war support for Ukraine, report says’
        The Day of Reckoning is coming when all restraint will be gone and Putin starts acting like the US is presenting Russia with an EXISTENTIAL THREAT much more immediate than Israel faces with it’s Nukes.

        Then all gloves are off, and Armageddon/WWIII could be over in hours in this Nuclear Missile Age.

        Like

              1. I negotiated a really good deal for my subscription to the NYT at $2 Canadian per month. Comments in The Washington Post appear immediately. Comments in the NYT are moderated for approval, and by the Time it appears, there are an additional 100 comments, and most people won’t go back that far to follow the discussion.

                Like

      2. When did the American People get tired enough of US casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq to demand that and force their government to end those wars? i must have missed that when it happened.

        Which politician got elected over the past 20 years who was against “The Forever War”?

        And that’s exactly what the MICIMATT wants and is working toward: A Long War that they are confident will not degenerate into the Final War. Which ~ at this stage of the game ~ may be easier said than done.

        Like

        1. Our Iraq and Afghan wars ended for some reason. Money or casualties. Or maybe our officials just got bored with what seemed to be stalemate or worse. I don’t really know as I had no say in the matter.

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          1. The primary reason those wars ended was because Russia and China were ready to move center stage and challenge America’s 30-year reign of global unipolar hegemony, Thus, cranking up Cold War II, which we now have in Ukraine and probably Taiwan.

            The Forever war was a halftime show after Cold War I and the demiase of the USSR and European Communism to keep the troops deployed and employed, the arms manufacturers profitable, and the American people comfortably numb with protracted conflicts in places most of them can’t find on a map of the world.

            Like

  13. ‘Nord Stream explosions are a ‘tremendous opportunity’ – US’

    Washington can now step in as Europe’s top supplier of LNG, the Biden administration explained
    Nord Stream explosions are a ‘tremendous opportunity’ – US
    Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference with Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly in Washington, DC, September 30, 2022 © AP / Jacquelyn Martin

    The US views the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines as a “tremendous opportunity” to wean EU states off Russian energy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Friday.
    With winter approaching, Blinken said that the US wants the bloc to use less fuel.
    Washington has for years been trying to convince EU leaders to swap Russian gas for its LNG.

    The severity of the damage to the undersea conduits now means that the bloc is “indefinitely deprived” of Russian gas via this route, Russian energy operator Gazprom stated on Friday……………………………………..

    https://www.rt.com/news/563861-blinken-nord-stream-opportunity/

    Like

    1. Both Biden and Victoria pledged that Nord Stream 2 would never be put in service. And now it can’t be. Hmm. NATO is “investigating”. Do you think the German people will be upset with the US? Or will we just buy them off? We have endless money after all.

      Like

      1. That’s an illusion. The US government, it’s Businesses and People operate on BORROWED MONEY that is about to be called in.

        That’s the Day of Reckoning when the American People will pay the Price having more guns in private hands in private hands just as the US is the BIGGEST ARMS MERCHANT in the History of NATIONS enriching US Oligarchs with every bomb and bullet dropped ‘over there’ since WWII.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That “illusion” is exactly what i was talking about when i suggested to Bill that “Real Fourth Branch of this Government ~ before MICIMATT or the National Security State ~ is The Federal Reserve. That’s the only way this Ponzi Scheme called US Government financing of the MICIMATT [the Fifth Branch] has been able to carry on for so long and gotten away with it. At least so far.”

          Like

      2. The official investigation of the pipeline sabotage will exclude Russian participation by all means possible. Then a kangaroo court will rule that the Russians blew up their own pipeline. That’s baked in the pie.

        Like

    2. ‘More Evidence Points to US-NATO Sabotage of Nord Stream’
      If you live in Germany, you may want to begin scouting out firewood before winter.

      Increasingly, there is little doubt who is behind the Nordstream pipeline leaks, now numbering four. The corporate media is lamely attempting to blame Russia for blowing up its own multi-billion dollar pipeline and its expensive cargo, but as usual, the corporate propaganda media provides no evidence to back this up.

      From that oh-so-reliable news source, the Express:

      The massive leak in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which many suspected to be an act of sabotage, could be Russia’s way of sending a horrifying threat to Europe, experts have warned. They say he has the prowess and firepower needed to damage other pipelines. Over the past few days, four leaks have been discovered along the 1,234km-long Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany. The pipelines, which bypassed Ukraine and Poland by transitting gas via the Baltic Sea, started leaking on Monday, which experts from Denmark and Sweden have confirmed occurred after strong explosions.

      Indeed, I am certain Russia does possess such technology. However, so do the US and NATO, both with more incentive to blow up the pipelines than Russia. It doesn’t need to do this. Russia can simply turn off the tap on its end, as it has partially accomplished in response to Germany and Europe sending munitions to kill Russian soldiers………………………………………………………..

      The German Defence Minister was in Ukraine TODAY pledging more shipments of weapons to Ukraine.

      Like

      1. The Nordstream pipelines were blown up in NATO controlled water.

        Tit for Tat is standard in International and Diplomatic relations.
        US dominated NATO is in denial calling it in unison “Putin’s WAR” when it’s the US War with Russia in the planning since the end of WWII.

        Europe would be really fucked if somehow, some way, the pipelines in the Black Sea under the control of Russia were blown up delivering the energy to Poland? What then?

        Like

  14. Another incisive analysis
    ‘SCOTT RITTER: The Onus Is on Biden & Putin’
    We are, literally, on the eve of destruction. Now is the time for the kind of political maturity leaders rarely demonstrate.

    Wars should be avoided at all costs. Nuclear conflict should never be contemplated.

    These two truisms are often spoken, but rarely adhered to. Wars occur all too frequently, and so long as nations possess nuclear weapons, their use is contemplated on a continuous basis.

    The ongoing Ukrainian-Russian conflict has put the world’s two largest nuclear powers on opposing sides, with the U.S. supporting a Ukrainian military that has become a de facto proxy of NATO, and Russia viewing its struggle with Ukraine as including the “collective West.”

    Since the initiation of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, both the U.S. and Russia have played their respective nuclear cards.

    Russia has made it clear that any intervention by NATO would be considered an existential threat to the Russian nation, thereby invoking one of the two clauses in the Russian nuclear posture in which nuclear weapons could be used. (The other would be in response to a nuclear attack against Russia.) ………

    https://consortiumnews.com/2022/09/30/scott-ritter-the-onus-is-on-biden-putin/

    Like

  15. I have heard there’s talk of putting a monument in DC to either the Afghanistan War or the Iraq War. While I understand the desire to honor the fallen, these two wars are not in the same category as WW1 and WW2. The Vietnam War memorial is, I think, the best one of all for its design that does not glorify, but descends and then rises according to the number who died there. It recognizes that war is not something to celebrate. I am stumped as to how any memorial to the most recent wars could be designed that would pay tribute not just to the fallen but to the truth.

    Like

  16. Before President Biden can initiate military action in the Ukraine, the Constitution requires that the Congress of the United States has to declare war on Russia.

    Do Bracing Views readers think this will be done? Or will Congress shirk its duty once again?

    Like

    1. Who sez that before Biden can initiate military action in Ukraine, Congress has to “declare war on Russia”?

      Were these the same people who said the same thing about a President initiating military action in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and who knows where else?

      “The Constitution requires…” does it? The last time that happened was on December 8, 1941.

      And it’s not only Congress that is shirking its duty. The only reason any of those Wars happened and keep happening the way they did and still do without any Constitutionally-mandated Congressional Declaration of War was and is because the American People let the President and Congress get away with it. And keep paying for it in Blood and Treasure.

      “We have given You a Republic; if You can keep it” Ben Franklin declared the day the Constitution was sent from Philadelphia to the States for ratification. One can only wonder what Ben thinks the chances are of Americans keeping it today, 1,371 days [and two elections] from July 4, 2026, America’s 250th birthday.

      Like

      1. Really the only legal way to stop a President from taking non-Constitutional actions is to impeach him and remove him from office. And to cut off funding. The only time that I can recall that such a funding cutoff happened was when Gerald Ford was President and he wanted to attack the North Vietnamese troops that were about to take Saigon. Congress withheld funding and it didn’t happen. Although I don’t think more modern Presidents would let a little (sarc) thing like funding stand in their way. And if his party controlled Congress the question would never come up. Like now.

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  17. I see the New York Times is still suggesting to its readers that Putin is losing the war and he’s the biggest threat to use nuclear weapons first:

    “WASHINGTON. Oct1 — For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, top government leaders in Moscow are making explicit nuclear threats and officials in Washington are gaming out scenarios should President Vladimir Putin decide to use a tactical nuclear weapon to make up for the failings of Russian troops in Ukraine.

    In a speech Friday, Putin raised the prospect anew, calling the United States and NATO enemies seeking Russia’s collapse and declaring again that he would use “all available means” to defend Russian territory — which he has now declared includes four provinces of eastern Ukraine.

    Putin reminded the world of President Harry S. Truman’s decision to drop atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, 77 years ago, adding, “By the way, they created a precedent.” On Saturday, the strongman leader of the southern Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said Putin should consider using “low-yield nuclear weapons” in Ukraine, becoming the first prominent Russian official to openly call for such a strike.

    Senior U.S. officials say they think the chances that Putin would employ a nuclear weapon remain low. They say they have seen no evidence that he is moving any of his nuclear assets, and a recent Pentagon analysis suggests the military benefits would be few. And the cost for Putin — in a furious international response, perhaps even from the Chinese, whose support he needs most — could be tremendous.

    But they are far more worried about the possibility now than they were at the beginning of the Ukraine conflict in February. After a series of humiliating retreats, astoundingly high casualty rates and a deeply unpopular move to draft young Russian men into service, Putin clearly sees the threat of his nuclear arsenal as a way to instill fear, and perhaps to recover some respect for Russia’s power.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/in-washington-d-c-putins-nuclear-threats-stir-growing-alarm/

    Like

    1. Doubtful that Putin would use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, regardless. Much more likely that NATO would use Russia’s “weapons of mass destruction” as a pretext for sending planes and/or troops.

      Like

  18. ALEX, seems to me there is no point in having nuclear weapons unless you threaten to use them. That’s there only use eh! As a deterrent. That’s why Pakistan and Israel* has them, and little rocket man is developing his very own, and why Iran wants them.

    And Putin is just reminding the US that he has a shit load of them! 5,977 it is purported – though this is thought to include about 1,500 that are retired and set to be dismantled.

    *Due to a US ban on funding countries that have weapons of mass destruction, Israel would lose around $2 billion a year in military and other aid from the US if it admitted to possessing nuclear weapons.

    And did you know it’s the monarchy in the UK that has ultimate authority to use them! The PM has to ask Charles III first! Also under NATO nuclear weapons sharing, the United States has provided nuclear weapons for Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey to deploy and store. And the US used to have nuclear weapons deployed in South Korea and Japan – but no longer does. Okinawa hosted ‘hundreds of nuclear warheads and a large arsenal of chemical munitions,’ for many years.

    Like

      1. Google is you friend Jeff!

        States that formerly possessed nuclear weapons are South Africa who developed nuclear weapons but then disassembled its arsenal before joining the NPT and the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, whose weapons were repatriated to Russia.

        Like

            1. I don’t think it was sudden in North Korea’s case.
              The US dropped more bombs on North Korea than were dropped in the entire Pacific War. There was nothing left to bomb and still they wouldn’t surrender.
              General MacArthur wanted to drop a nuke on north Korea to terrorize them into surrendering. At least Washington has the good sense to deny the General’s request realizing the Public Relations Nightmare it would have cultivating their image as the good Nation in this World.

              The best the US got out of that War was a Truce that has lasted to this very Day. After the Military hostilities ended, the US continued the War by other means, Economic Sanctions to retard North Korea’s development, forcing them to creating their own nukes.

              Even with the Love In between Trump and Kim, the US insisted North Korea should unilaterally disarm before there would be any Sanctions relief. Naturally Negotiations were put off.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Air forces of the United Nations Command carried out an extensive bombing campaign against North Korea from 1950 to 1953 during the Korean War. It was the first major bombing campaign for the United States Air Force (USAF) since its inception in 1947 from the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). During the campaign, conventional weapons such as explosives, incendiary bombs, and napalm destroyed nearly all of the country’s cities and towns, including an estimated 85 percent of its buildings.[1]

              A TOTAL OF 635,000 TONS OF BOMBS, INCLUDING 32,557 TONS OF NAPALM, WERE DROPPED ON KOREA.[2] BY COMPARISON, THE U.S. DROPPED 1.6 MILLION TONS IN THE EUROPEAN THEATER AND 500,000 TONS IN THE PACIFIC THEATER DURING ALL OF WORLD WAR II (INCLUDING 160,000 ON JAPAN). NORTH KOREA RANKS ALONGSIDE CAMBODIA (500,000 TONS), LAOS (2 MILLION TONS), AND SOUTH VIETNAM (4 MILLION TONS) AS AMONG THE MOST HEAVILY-BOMBED COUNTRIES IN HISTORY.[3]

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_North_Korea [EMPHASIS added.]

              Liked by 1 person

      1. While I’m somewhat disappointed the stats to my Blog tell me not one person from here clicked on the link, everyone can see the picture.

        Another coincidence out of so many in my CV!
        Just going to ‘Nothing’s More Important Than Avoiding Nuclear War: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix’ the only picture Caitlin Johnstone has in it, is the very same one you see here.

        Like

  19. This is a guy we ought to be listening to.
    We know if the New York Times says something about the conflict – you can bet the opposite is true!
    Thanks for your effort’s Colonel Douglas Macgregor.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The New York Times…oh dear!
    After a series of humiliating retreats……astoundingly high casualty rates……a deeply unpopular move to draft young Russian men into service… Yadda yadda yada – all propaganda and bovine excrement!

    Like

  21. I’m a New Zealander, yeah our accent is ridiculous and our politicians think we’re part of Europe.
    But not all of us voted for this lady. She’s another Obama. All speech – no action. Gold star for UN speech’s!
    And more and more of us think Aunty Cindy definitely needs a reality check.
    Which she will surely get in the next election eh!

    Like

    1. And what does this have to do with today’s topic? Nothing
      Just giving my fellow posters another reason to make fun at my expense! LOL

      Like

  22. Just came across this long but interesting read, in Zerohedge. Some points I had to read several times to get some of the 23 points of ‘Luongo: The Curious Whodunit Of Nordstreams 1 & 2’

    In the discussion here on the question of ‘who done it?’ in retrospect, we were kinda superficial compared to the depth of Tom’s analysis and speculations. The Apostle Paul is recorded to have said “when it’s time for strong meat, the churches are being fed pablum”

    “The old world broke this week. It was blown up cynically by someone who thought this would advance their agenda the most.
    The act of vandalizing a major piece of physical infrastructure, targeting civilian populations, isn’t unprecedented in history, but it does signal that everything we thought we knew about the rules of the current game was wrong.
    […]And in that game we’ve reached an inflection point where some factions are coalescing and others are splintering. The faction that is unwilling to compromise on their future is the most dangerous one at the table.
    […] Make no mistake, I’m not about to absolve ‘The US’ of any malfeasance here. Some aspect of ‘The US’ was involved. To think otherwise is also terminally naïve.
    No, what I’m going to do is remind everyone of the motivations, incentives and deficiencies of the players in the West and give you what I think is the best answer we will ever get (and why) as to the curious whodunit of the demise of Nordstream.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/luongo-curious-whodunit-nordstreams-1-2

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i wonder how many Americans there are for whom even suggesting ~ let alone proclaiming ~ US malfeasance in the whole Ukraine Goat Rope [let alone the Nord Stream “sabotage”] is off the table for them, as well.

      Like

  23. Colonel Douglas Macgregor talks sense again.
    If this Colonel believes it was not the Russians – so do I.
    He has not been wrong on one thing yet in this conflict.

    Like

  24. Speaking of the Oriental strategic board game Go; Or, it’s always nice to get validation… :

    On 1 October, i posted the following comment to Bill’s previous article “WHY BURN BOOKS WHEN YOU CAN STOP THEM FROM BEING PUBLISHED?” :

    “The operative conceptual model of post-World War II geopolitics was, and the model for post-Cold War I has been, and the model for Cold War II as it unfolding now is Brzezinski’s THE GRAND CHESSBOARD: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Chess seems to be an obsession in all the centers of Wealth and Power on the Planet, as well.

    “The thought i’m just in the initial stages of exploring is that THE GAME that is actually being played is a lot less like Chess than it is like Go. If for no other reason than that in Go, there is no one single critical piece [the King] to be killed in order to win the game. In Go, the winner is who controls the most territory on the Go Board when the game is over.

    “Another reason to suspect that what is and has been going on in the realm of global geopolitics is more like Go than Chess is that, in terms of relative complexity, Go is to Chess as Chess is to Checkers.”

    The article above cited by Ray Cormier “The Curious Whodunit Of Nordstreams 1 And 2” by Tom Luongo begins as follows:

    “The old world broke this week. It was blown up cynically by someone who thought this would advance their agenda the most.

    “The act of vandalizing a major piece of physical infrastructure, targeting civilian populations, isn’t unprecedented in history, but it does signal that everything we thought we knew about the rules of the current game was wrong.

    “Well, for most people anyway.

    “When I spoke in June at the Ron Paul Institute Conference on Foreign Policy I DESCRIBED THE GAME OF GEOPOLITICS AS A SEVEN-PLAYER GAME OF THE ANCIENT CHINESE GAME, GO.

    “AND IN THAT GAME WE’VE REACHED AN INFLECTION POINT WHERE SOME FACTIONS ARE COALESCING AND OTHERS ARE SPLINTERING. THE FACTION THAT IS UNWILLING TO COMPROMISE ON THEIR FUTURE IS THE MOST DANGEROUS ONE AT THE TABLE.

    “My conclusion then was that those ‘who think they are entitled to run the world’ will flip the game board.

    “They will change the rules of the game without remorse or a care in the world for those they harm and the aftereffects of their actions. In fact, the chaos they engender is preferable to them than losing.” [EMPHASES added.]

    Mr Luongo’s June 22 address to the RPICFP [“The Great Game of Politics is Not What You Think”] is available at http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/july/23/the-great-game-of-politics-is-not-what-you-think/ , and goes into very clear detail as to exactly How and Why he declares that the best game to understand geopolitics is the ancient Chinese game called Go.

    Like

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