How to Fix the U.S. Military’s Lying Problem

W.J. Astore

In my last article, I noted the U.S. military’s pursuit and prosecution of wars based on lies. Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq are the most prominent and costly of these wars, though there were and are others. I argued that dishonorable wars were wasting the courage of U.S. troops even as they greatly weakened the U.S. military as an institution. And not just the U.S. military but the Constitution itself, to which all military members swear a sacred oath to support and defend.

I shared my article with a friend who teaches at a senior U.S. military school, and his one comment to me was a question: “How would you fix these problems?”

I’m flattered when my readers think I have the answers to fix major systemic problems that have existed and persisted since the Korean War, if not before. My colleague’s question was sincere, I am sure, and I assume he agreed with much of my analysis since he didn’t question or challenge my fundamental thesis.

Of course, I’m not the only person to have noticed the U.S. military has a serious issue with honor and integrity. Vox Populi posted my last article today with the following photo caption:

Leaders lie “in the routine performance of their duties,” and “ethical and moral transgressions [occur] across all levels” of the organization [Army]. Leaders have also become “ethically numb,” using “justifications and rationalizations” to overcome any ethical doubts, according to a 2015 study by Leonard Wong and Stephen Gerras, who are both professors at the U.S. Army War College.

The title of the Wong/Gerras study is “Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession,” published in 2019. Another powerful book is Tim Bakken’s “The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military,” published in 2020. Bakken teaches at West Point.

So, what is to be done?

I wrote to my colleague that he should put his question to his own students. Since he teaches at a senior military school, his students are mostly Army and Air Force colonels and Navy captains on the fast track to flag rank and stars. Many of them are America’s future generals and admirals. Surely they are the ones who have to come up with solutions, not me. I retired from the military almost two decades ago. I’m no longer part of the clan. Today’s officers are the ones who must challenge the lies, who must seek honor instead of dishonor, who must have the moral courage as public servants to speak up, to change things, and especially to tell the truth to the American people.

Are we as a nation challenging our public servants, including senior military officers, to be men and women of integrity? Are we insisting that they tell the truth when they testify to Congress? When they talk about wars, are they being frank and honest? Or are they evasive and dishonest? If the latter, are they being held accountable for their lies, both within the military and without it, by Congress and by people like us?

I didn’t attend a senior service school, but I did attend Squadron Officer School (for company-grade officers, which I did in-residence) and Air Command and Staff College (for field-grade officers, which I did by correspondence). From what I recall, there was some emphasis on history, on strategy and tactics, and on leadership but not much emphasis, if any, on moral courage, honesty, truth-telling, and integrity.

Fundamental to any military member is the need to honor one’s oath to the U.S. Constitution. We as a nation need to demand that military leaders serve with honor and integrity; this is far more important to the future of our military and our country than gargantuan military budgets and loads of exotic and expensive weaponry.

I remember exactly one discussion at the Air Force Academy when a roomful of officers started debating about which value was most important, the honor code or loyalty (with loyalty here construed in personal terms as support for one’s superiors, equals, and subordinates). The discussion grew heated in a matter of minutes before it was shut down by the senior officer in the room.

That’s exactly one time in six years that I recall a serious, if abbreviated, discussion of honor and truth-telling versus loyalty and the officer’s duty to both, and the challenge one faces when honor conflicts (or seems to conflict) with loyalty.

The failure to address such tensions is not confined to the military. Think of other hierarchical organizations such as the Catholic Church. As a priest, do you honor God’s commandments and the moral teachings of Christ or should you be loyal to your local bishop and the church? When your conscience tells you one thing and the church tells you something else, which one takes priority?

Readers here know I was raised Catholic. I am no longer a practicing Catholic due to the church’s betrayal of children at the hands of predatory priests and the coverups that followed, done in the name of protecting the church and its reputation. In protecting itself, the church betrayed the people. The church lied. The church lacked moral courage and brought dishonor upon itself. Worst of all, it allowed innocent children to suffer.

Whether we’re talking about military officers or ministers and priests, we must demand integrity and honesty, we must seek to inculcate virtue, and we must not tolerate lying, cheating, stealing, and similar crimes and sins.

It’s a very high standard indeed, and perhaps few will live up to it, but I’m not demanding perfection. Just honesty and accountability. A willingness to do the right thing and the courage to admit when the wrong thing is being done and to act to put a stop to it.

So, that’s my “fix” for the U.S. military: a commitment to righteous service where integrity and truth-telling is the priority, even when it hurts one’s career. Because you didn’t take an oath to your career or to your service or to your commanding officer: you took it to the U.S. Constitution, and your officer’s commission is granted by Congress in the name of the people. Serve the people, serve the truth, and remember that moral courage is rarer even than physical courage.

Update (10/3): Clearly, one way to incentivize truth-telling is to reward those who come forward with promotions. The military, however, tends to do the opposite, punishing those who tell “embarrassing” truths to the American people. Two cases in the U.S. Army are LTC Daniel Davis and LTC Paul Yingling. Davis wrote powerfully and honestly about the folly of the Afghan War, based upon his extensive in-country experiences there. Yingling wrote “A Failure in Generalship,” where he noted a private who loses a rifle suffers more repercussions than generals who lose wars. For their courage and honesty, both were ostracized and not promoted.

All service branches usually promote “the true believers,” those who conform, those who who bleed Army green, or Air Force blue, and so on. One gets promoted for doing a good job within the system, and especially for making one’s superiors look good. Davis and Yingling questioned the Army’s performance in the Iraq and Afghan Wars, based on their direct experience with those wars, and for that they were punished.

Other Army officers took note.

103 thoughts on “How to Fix the U.S. Military’s Lying Problem

  1. Bill, maybe those of you in the military could look to examples outside the military for these answers – from companies where truth-telling, accountability, and integrity are part of their Company oath. In the marine construction Company I worked for 30-years those three thing were tantamount to remaining employed and being promoted up the ladder. And for that, our company was a respected business leader in the community and I for one, and my fellow workers, were very proud to work there. And every job we did, be it for the military, or civilian, we did our best to remember the customer always came first.


    1. And of course in the private sector – failure to honor the Company oaths meant immediate termination and discharge.
      And BTW, retirees from our company retired with a great sense of serving their country, building the wharves, docks, container shipping terminals, small boat marinas, breakwaters, ferry terminals, dredging, Navy facilities, bridges, oil refinery unloading facilities, and under water pipelines that made our country great.


  2. A fix might work until you get a Commander-in-Chief who insists that the military lie because of his political wants. So what would the honor code demand? That the entire US military command staff resign? Well that would certainly be dramatic. I recall LBJ being told that if he “lost” South Vietnam he would forever be blamed for it. So the military consistently reported that we were winning. Until we lost. I can’t imagine the number of lies we are telling about Ukraine. But the command is still there.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ALEX in with my usual naivety, as a non-military person, I think a lot of the problems the American military has with truth-telling, accountability, and integrity stems 100% from the wars it chooses to fight.

      If the US military was always only engaged in defending American from an invader on its homeland, lying and propaganda would be unnecessary. Everybody would know the goal, and the honor of the military upheld by everybody as the enemy was repelled. No lies required.

      It’s when the military gets involved in wars in foreign lands, not minding its own business. Like in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and tomorrow, so help us God, maybe the Ukraine, that it all goes pear shape. Lies and propaganda become essential in these geo-political quagmires and the military can’t help but become sucked into the major systemic problems this entails.

      Maybe I’m just stating the obvious. But surely a MYOB (mind your own business) foreign policy would be a great place to help Bill and his military comrades answer the questions he asks in this blog. Surely it would be much easier to have a commitment to righteous service, where integrity and truth-telling is the priority, when you know that your service is not being squandered on abstract unrealistic hegemonic goals supported by lies in the first place.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agreed, Dennis. But the military is downstream of the civilian structure (President and his Cabinet). I doubt that the military really wants to be involved as we are in Ukraine, for instance (except for Milley who is a political guy now). Ukraine is just using up our arms supplies and taking money that could be used to build military stuff like more jets, etc. Why would the military want that?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ………”I doubt that the military really wants to be involved as we are in Ukraine”. I wish I knew the answer to this question ALEX. I asked this yesterday.

          Are the Pentagon Top Brass and the military just itching for the green light be given for them to get boots on the ground in the Ukraine? Is this what these career military guys want? Is this what they live for?

          Bill, are their influential military leaders you think who are in fact asking what in the hell do we want to get involved in what is essentially a civil war on the other side of the World? Are there military crazies who think the US can “win” a land war in Russia? Are there cooler heads who will prevail?


            1. There are sane voices out there. An English rocker, the co-founded of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd.
              Bill, not from the retired military that I can find. Colonel Douglas Macgregor is a sane voice – but retired
              And certainly none in the Anglo-saxon Western media narrative.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Ooops…I meant we have only heard from a few retired US military Brass who are nor Russophobes!

                There is another one coming out on the side of de-escalation – but I can’t recall his name, or find any of his YouTubes this morning. Can any of our fellow posters help here?

                And of course retired 4-star General and NBC News military analyst Barry McCaffrey said in April (!) that Putin had strategically lost the war already! And there are dozens of YouTubes of US Military expert big wigs proffering ad nauseum that categorically the Ukraine is going to “win” the war! And laughers like Former NATO Supreme Allied Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark explaining how in military terms the Ukrainians will “easily beat” the Russians in Eastern Ukraine – that was 5-months ago! LOL


                1. Are I found him! Another retired US military Colonel who not a Russophobe!
                  Richard Hayden Black (born1944) A Republican – served as a member of the Virginia State Senate. He served in both the U.S. Marines and in the U.S. Army JAG Corps. A total of 31-years active and reserve, rising from the rank of private to full colonel. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Command and General Staff College, and Naval Aviator’s Flight School.

                  This Senator should have been the Secretary of State formulating US Foreign policies eh!

                  Black has made appearances on Russian and Chinese state-run and Hezbollah-affiliated media critiquing US foreign policy. But you will never see him on US MSM TV.

                  Hes blaming the CIA for the gas pipeline sabotage.


            2. I don’t know either, Bill and that’s why the Historical record in The Kansas City Times of September 13, 1976, with the picture of me as a much younger man wearing my trademark #13 jersey, is relevant to the question.

              This site knows I have cited excerpts from the record, but not this precise part.
              The article continues in quotation marks, ¨There are 30 months before the fate of the world will be sealed with EITHER Destruction OR the Universal Brotherhood of Man,¨ he said. ¨The 30 month figure concerned a Treaty between Israel and Egypt.¨

              NOTE: This does not say Armageddon happens in 30 months from the article.

              Not 29 or 31, but exactly 30 months later, in March 1979, history shows a Treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed. The Camp David Accord.
              History shows talks broke down on the 12th day and no Treaty was to be signed. Begin and Sadat were leaving.
              It was on the 13th Day, as in the date of the Article and the picture accompanying it, an unexpected window of opportunity appeared and opened the way for the Treaty to be signed.

              This signified the Universal Brotherhood part of the quote.
              As to the destruction part of the statement?
              The Iranian Revolution happened a month before the signing of the Camp David Accord in 1979.
              If you can believe The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post and other news sources, the Destruction Option in the 1976 Kansas City Times is still on the table all these years later, with Israel having War games in an imagined War with Iran under the cover of the larger War over Ukraine.

              Obviously I had no power or influence to make those things come to be other than being a Messenger so I can’t boast, but watching from CanaDa it appears the chosen Option is on the Path of Destruction?
              I hope I’m wrong, but it certainly appears that way to me, and I have no control other than control of myself.

              The Lord Lives! The eye has not seen, nor has the ear heard, the things prepared BY God for those who LOVE God.


          1. That probably depends, Dennis, entirely upon who You ask that question to, what they do in the military, and what their experience has been in the US military since 9/11.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Sorry for posting so many video links on Bracing Views today Bill,
              But as ALEX points out there are cooler heads on YouTube – but you really have to search for them.
              I don’t think there is as much support for an ongoing war as we worry about. Hope I’m right.
              Just listen to the questions from very smart people on this video. Surely are not a minority?


        2. Every bit of those used up arms supplies to do Ukraine has to be replaced.

          And that is in a separate category of expense from developing and building new and/or more stuff. Stuff that needs to be replaced will be put on Uncle Sam’s credit card, and the beat will go on.

          Either way, the MICIMATT [including especially the MICC wing] wins.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. My guess is that the folks in the military most concerned about all the resources being sent to Ukraine are those who are in the preliminary planning stages of the war with China over Taiwan, and worry that the well will run dry when it’s their turn at the pump.

          Which is, of course, a totally baseless and unnecessary concern,

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You mean are most concerned about their wet dream of a land war against China on the Chinese mainland!
            When it’s their turn at the pump = suicide! Thay are a death cult eh!


            1. The objective would not be “win” any War with either Russia and/or China, Dennis.

              But simply to Have it.

              And to lay the foundation for the next War, the next Phase of The Forever War.

              Just like Orwell’s Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia: Perpetual War in the name of Peace.


              1. But surely no “sane” person, and I use the word advisedly, in the US military thinks a war with Russia/China will end in anything but MAD?

                There won’t be a war after the next one, let alone a Forever War eh?

                And even a Forever War on finite earth will run out of resources. Like fossil fuel, even if it does not go nuclear?


                1. Whether this War will be the last War depends entirely on exactly Who has control of the people who have control of the buttons that would precipitate MAD, Dennis. There is nothing “surely” about it.


                2. And the people involved in deciding Where, When, and How to have the Next War are not at all concerned about what happens when the world runs out of resources; especially fossil fuels. That is definitely not going to happen during their career [or even lifetimes], and they know it.


      2. Very well said, Dennis.

        But a “MYOB” Foreign Policy doth not an Empire make.

        And that is what we are talking about.

        Since at least the end of Vietnam ~ if not World War II ~ the people in America’s Armed Forces have not been serving to preserve and protect their Nation, but to first expand and enhance an Empire, and now to protect and preserve that Empire as it enters the early stages of Decline and Fall.

        i would argue that that may be one of the primary reasons why the military is having a hard time filling its recruitment quotas: Young Americans today KNOW that simple, ugly fact, and choose to have nothing to do with it.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Truth is still the 1st casualty of WAR and especially for this one as our Leaders are leading us to to the Brink of Armageddon/WWIII with US/NATO BRINKMANSHIP!
      Americans have been brainwashed to believe every lie and misrepresentation the government and the MSM, their Propagandists, say is 100% True when there are so many SINS of Historical OMISSION that led up to this War, and it’s not all Putin’s fault.


  3. Here is Alexander Mercouris’s latest report.
    As you know, I think Alexander is by far and away the best military, and geo-political commentator on the Ukraine/Russia conflict. This type of commentary is not available anywhere else on the internet.
    If you want to get up-to-date commentary on what is going on, and where this all heading, you owe itself to watch Alexander everyday. This the closest you are going to get to the unpropagandized truth IMHO.


  4. I just added this addendum to my article

    Clearly, one way to incentivize truth-telling is to reward those who come forward with promotions. The military, however, tends to do the opposite, punishing those who tell “embarrassing” truths to the American people. Two cases in the U.S. Army are LTC Daniel Davis and LTC Paul Yingling. Davis wrote powerfully and honestly about the folly of the Afghan War, based upon his extensive in-country experiences there. Yingling wrote “A Failure in Generalship,” where he noted a private who loses a rifle suffers more repercussions than generals who lose wars. For their courage and honesty, both were ostracized and not promoted.

    All service branches usually promote “the true believers,” those who conform, those who who bleed Army green, or Air Force blue, and so on. One gets promoted for doing a good job within the system, and especially for making one’s superiors look good. Davis and Yingling questioned the Army’s performance in the Iraq and Afghan Wars, based on their direct experience with those wars, and for that they were punished.

    Other Army officers took note.


    1. My suspicion is that until the US government as a whole incentivizes truth-telling ~ as in REWARDING Whistleblowers ~ there is little, if any reason for the military to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The #US will fight to the last Ukrainian and to the impoverishment of last European.

    I like this comment: You mean: European people are subordinate to the local oligarchs; who are subordinate to EU; who are subordinate to NATO; who are subordinate to USA as represented by the real rulers in the empire – the military/industrial complex. Now, we’d take a commercial break (i.e., fighting till the last Ukrainian!)


  6. I would say that a Wong/Gerras-type study needs to be done on the Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure [let alone total Corruption] of the whole American $1 = 1 vote system of government and governance, and the governors who run that system.

    And the reason the Military gets away with all its Lies is because virtually every War this nation has ever been in was based on a Lie told by the Government and its Media to the American People.

    In our lifetimes, our Wars in Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen ~ to name a few ~ were, are, and will ever be based on Lies. And no doubt what our Government and its Media are telling us about Ukraine is another pack of Lies.

    You concern in this article, Bill, is with the Lies the Military tells and gets away with.

    Until the Lies that the entire Executive and Legislative branches of this Government deal in are dealt with, tho, nothing is going to change.

    And the only reason the White House and Congress get away with it is because the American People LET them get away with it. So nothing is going to change unless and until the American People Demand and Make it change.


  7. As regards Your “fix” for the U.S. military’s problem with “Truth,” Bill:

    The oath may be taken to the Constitution of the Nation, but the actual service is to the preservation and protection of the Empire. And by extension, to the Special Interests who own and operate and command control the elected politicians, entrenched civilian and military bureaucrats, and anointed political appointees who run the Government.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Empires can, and invariably do, end with a whimper Jeff.
          Is Italy, or the UK any worse off for having been an empire?
          Ending the American Empire will not be the end of America – unless it does something stupid with nukes.


          1. First of all, Dennis: What does “Empires end” have to do with either Bill’s or my Idealism when it comes to confronting and dealing with Facts?

            And second of all: My hunch ~ make that prediction ~ is that before The American Empire disintegrates, the United States of America itself will cease to function and exist as it is today.

            And that will not be because some external “Enemy” has invaded and conquered it. It will be because a critical mass of Americans will get totally and completely fed up with what passes for government and governance in this country, and determine to change that.

            And the problem is that there are several potential “critical masses,” all with completely different ideas as to what is wrong about the current political system, and what needs to happen to change and to fix it.

            And a better question than if Italy or the UK are “worse off” for having been Empires is: How much better off is the rest of the Planet because Rome and London were Empires? And how much better off was it when they stopped being Empires?


  8. “I confess I am on the side of peace..”
    – Jeffrey D. Sachs (Columbia university economics professor)
    “We are on a path of escalation to nuclear war, nothing less” – Jeffrey D. Sachs -Just 9-hours ago


  9. I think rewarding whistleblowers would be a good way to begin the process of change, except that our entire government is rife with total corruption and no one is stopping it. I am currently reading a book called “Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud” by Tom Muller published in 2019 with full documentation and footnotes. I’m about 2/3 through and have come to the conclusion that everything about this nation is rife with fraud.
    A chapter on nuclear arms titled “reaping the nuclear harvest” details how dishonest we have been with utter disregard to massive nuclear waste leaks at Hanford Nuclear in Wash. State. and more about our dishonesty with Israel and their nuclear bombs and so on. Now I’m reading a chapter called “money makes the world go round” which details among other things how the banks – and I mean ALL of them! – defrauded millions of Americans in mortgage loans in every possible way, causing the economic collapse of 2008 and how not one person was sent to prison. I’m only about half through this chapter, and the next section will have something equally awful, I’m sure. Every chapter so far has left me horrified with the evil behavior of the people in charge, and what they have done to the people who actually tried to stop it.
    Something is deeply wrong with this nation and the people in power. Most Americans are not like this but it seems that if you give them power they quickly turn into monsters – kind of like the famous university experiment that gave some students power over others in learning by rote and giving them electric shocks if they failed. Having the power to hurt someone turned out to be a very powerful motivation for most people, very few refused to do it when the shocks became overly potent. It appears that our elected officials and others who have made it to the “elite rank” are the same, particularly when no one is punished for it. When the only people punished for revealing bad behavior are the whistleblowers, and the criminals are left free what are we to expect?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Six years in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club (a.k.a., the United States Navy) — the last eighteen months of that penurious indentured servitude wasted in the now-defunct Republic of South Vietnam — imbued in me a life-long skepticism of fellow citizens, military or civilian, loudly proclaiming their own moral and ethical righteousness vis-a-vis the rest of suffering humanity. Phrased somewhat differently:

    Oath of Orifice

    You swore you wouldn’t lie or cheat or steal,
    or tolerate among you those who do:
    an oath expressive of a high ideal;
    but rare in practice as a flying seal;
    which is to say exceedingly unreal
    like body-counts and budgets, neither true;
    or “taking out” Jihadi Number Two;
    or weaponry that works when ordered to,
    regardless of effect on troop and crew
    who anyway have not the slightest clue
    why they should fight and die for such as you.

    In Orifice, that is, within the hole
    from out of which emerges turds and gas
    you decorated leaders on the dole
    persist in playing your anointed role:
    to slide and slither up the greasy pole;
    displaying proudly tits and balls of brass;
    while kissing up to some “commanding” ass;
    and kicking down upon the lower class;
    not giving one’s “commander” any sass.
    You “fight” by leading with your jaw of glass.
    Why so surprised at what has come to pass?

    Two decades in Afghanistan you spent.
    Like Vietnam, a loss that means “success”
    because back home few own while most must rent.
    So who cares if you didn’t make a dent
    in propaganda “goals” you never meant?
    What counts is that you’ve made a bloody mess
    without the slightest sweat or strain or stress.
    You’ve taken much but given only less
    for which the bible thumpers shout “Gawd Bless!”
    saluting while they beg for more duress
    which you’ll see that they get. So just swear: “Yes!”

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2022

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or, unveiling the schema in ottava rima:

      Oath of Avarice

      I pledge allegiance to the corporation:
      A “person” as the judges have proclaimed,
      And place this “him” or “her” above my nation
      Whose Constitution “he” or “she” has maimed
      Pursuant to no legal obligation
      Except immunity, however named,
      For those investors in their campaign suites
      Who’d rather that we call them our “elites.”

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2014


    2. And for those of my fellow citizens who can still believe a single syllable escaping from between the lying lips of America’s corporate/military/congressional/media oligarchy:

      The Boobie Pledge of Subservience
      (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America’s post-linguistic retreat to Plato’s Cave)

      I offer my obedience
      I pledge undying love
      To any symbol formed to serve
      The needs of those above
      Who rightly feel that I deserve
      The fist inside the glove

      I stand and mumble publicly
      With fear upon my brow
      Lest some mistake my silence for
      An insufficient vow
      Let all who see and hear me know
      How easily I cow

      Authority need never fear
      I swear I know my place
      I pledge to take the gauntlet slapped
      Across my beaten face
      The Seizure Class knows I’ll accept
      Chastisement with good grace

      About such things as freedom, I
      Have not the slightest clue
      By birth and class it’s come to THEM
      I know that it’s THEIR due
      To hand me down instructions as
      To just what I must do

      And so I promise faithfully
      To play my scripted part
      Each day I’ll chant Two Minutes’ Hate
      To finish, from the start
      Until I love BIG BROTHER from
      The bottom of my heart

      I swear to do as I am told
      I will not think too deep
      I’ll huddle in conformity
      Just like the other sheep
      To take my whipping like a slave
      And utter not a peep

      I pledge to stand up every day
      Within my schoolroom class
      And mouth my mantras on demand
      Without backtalk or sass
      Until the program makes me a
      Compliant, docile ass

      I swear upon my loyalty
      To stuff my head with fat
      And place my nation “under” “GAWD!”
      Supinely prone and flat
      With me then going “down” “beneath”
      And “lower” “under” that

      I swear to go to Sunday School
      Upon the public dime
      Each morning in my homeroom class
      I’ll mouth my dreary rhyme
      And if I leave out words
      THEY can Indict me for my crime

      I pledge and vow and promise that
      I’ll swear from dusk to dawn
      And never fail to chant or moan;
      To never blink or yawn
      And with each cry of “GAWD IZ GRATE!”
      My own soul I will pawn

      The Papal bulls and fatwas tell
      Me all I need to know
      Which isn’t much because I see
      I’ve nowhere left to go
      I swear to never set my sails
      Against the winds that blow

      The Popes, Imams, and Rabbis tell
      Me what and where and how
      The master’s overseer tells
      Me which row I must plow;
      To toady, genuflect, and crawl;
      To grovel, scrape and bow

      I’ll train to “hurry up and wait”
      And do the Bulgar drills
      To stand at rapt attention dressed
      In military frills
      Just point me and I’ll drop the bomb
      No matter whom it kills

      I pledge and promise on my word
      To do the things I ought
      To work for lower wages
      So my labor comes to naught
      I swear to vote Republicrat
      To prove I can be bought

      The Party keeps us all at war
      Which makes us quake with fear
      And so we give up all those rights
      Our ancestors held dear
      Which saves our enemies the need
      To take them from us here

      But I won’t think of bygone days
      The past I’ll just rewrite
      I’ll call my history “old news”
      To make it pat and trite
      Which sleight of mind will help me keep
      Its lessons out of sight

      With this capitulation I
      Agree to sell my pride
      Before I even own it or
      It grows too big to slide
      Into the shabby, craven cave
      Wherein I must reside

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2005


  11. Excerpt from an excellent comment on an excellent article – linked below:

    The US led “rules based order” is literally nothing more than “Do as I say, not as I do.” There is absolutely no strength in that whatsoever, just selfish interest. And day by day, those purely selfish interests are more and more on display. The mask is slipping and America sabotages herself. As the greed increases, now without limit, so does the self-harm. As the saying goes, “Be careful or you just might end up where you are headed…”


  12. How to change the direction of the US military through individual effort contradicts the nature of the beast, just as is making business honest by offering business school courses in “ethics in business.”

    In the military, the oath may be to defend the constitution, but the emphasis is on obedience to command. In business the hope may be to get a service/product for a fair price, but the emphasis is on profit. In the military or business seldom is an individual who calls out what he or she thinks is wrong behavior valued.

    Dennis mentioned a business that he is proud of that was honest and honorable and I’ve no doubt that there are more such cases, but as a general rule squeaky wheels get fired. I think it fair to say that the unionizing attempts we are seeing show workers trying to get businesses to do the right thing by coming together to create a counterforce. These workers know from experience the BS that is the typical response to unionizing by business; that the concerned company wants to work with employees one on one to resolve problems individually.

    What to do? The military, institutionalized force, will not tolerate a counterforce. There will never be military unions. The best that can be hoped for is strong protection for whistleblowers. There is so much indoctrination in loyalty to the unit within the military that any potential whistleblower has to pay a much higher psychological price for “squealing” than does a person working for a company.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, good post CLIF. The difference between militaries and businesses is well taken.

      ……..”In business seldom is an individual who calls out what he or she thinks is wrong behavior valued.”… You know that at Toyota car plants in Japan every single worker on the assembly line has the authority to shut down the line when he/she thinks something is wrong. In fact, that is required and expected of them! And with emphasis not being solely on profit, Toyota makes the most reliable cars in the industry by a long shot!

      And this backward American idea that Unions are a “counterforce” to management is a crippling one. To use the auto business again, in Germany their plants are unionized, and the unions are equally represented in managing the plants. On all the committees. And very successful. On the other hand, in VW’s Chattanooga Tennessee plant the old-Detroit political machine was not allowed come between them and their employers. And the plant is non-Union. The large construction company I worked for on the American West Coast was all Union (it essentially had to be to be able to work on Federal jobs). We worked hard to not allow the old-Detroit model of antagonistic Unions working against management, but as equal partners in management. And we made it work. So I am not anti-Union. There is a place for them. But where so much importance is put on hierarchy and obedience to chain of command as in the military – it would not work. Agree?

      CLIF, one thing I have been wondering reading all the comments on this topic? Does the Canadian Military have the same problem with leaders who lie in the routine performance of their duties, and ethical and moral transgressions occur across all levels of their organization? And leaders who have become ethically numb. What about the Australian Military? Or the UK military? Or the Russian military? I don’t know the answer to that. Do you, or any of our regular fellow posters have knowledge of that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dennis, thanks for your comment. The idea of power sharing, while it may be a factor in other countries, generally is not in the U.S. I think the small unionizing efforts we are seeing right now are very worthy, but in the glory days of U.S. unions, power went to their heads and some pretty outrageous demands were made, the public and the company be damned. I’m not claiming inherent good behavior for either side, but in America keeping labor down is a long standing practice as is admiration for very wealthy owners. Government action was necessary to try to establish a balance after a very long period of gov’t authority weighing in for business to bust unions with public approval.

        This is to say that in this country confrontation is the norm. Companies moving to poor parts of the country and getting either non-union or compliant union labor is not surprising. Labor generally is kept in the position of having to accept what is given. A big plant opening where jobs were scarce is always welcome. It is competition for labor that gives unions power and makes companies eager to flee. I don’t think it an accident that the current unionization effort is progressing at the same time that one sees “now hiring” signs in many places.


  13. We hired an ex-Russian Military officer Immigrant Civil Engineer into our Management Team in our Construction Company in Seattle. He was a great guy with extraordinary people management skills. Much admired and respected in our staff, and feared by our customers who tried to negotiate with him!

    One day he told me. “Dennis, we had a saying in the Russian military.” “If you are assigned a task by the Top Brass never be in too much of a hurry to execute the plan because by tomorrow they will have changed their minds and have a different plan!” ” LOL How true eh?


  14. WHY … when anyone points out anything wrong with anything … is the go-to reply “How would you fix it?” Like noticing that there is a problem means that you have an answer to the problem.

    Ya know what this is? This is a way to discredit the person making the complaint. If you don’t have a way to fix the problem, then you have no right to say anything at all.

    I always thought that was complete BS.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It would be nice if they said: “Thanks for identifying a serious and real problem. I agree with you. How can we work together to solve it?”

      But the tendency often is to ask, somewhat sneeringly or condescendingly: “Well, how would YOU fix it?” Which puts the other person on the defensive, often distracting from the issue/problem at hand. And that’s often the intent.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Asking someone if they have any ideas as to how to fix the problem they have pointed out doesn’t assume that the Problem Pointer-Outer has a solution to the problem. Or that the only people who can point out problems are those who also have available solutions to offer.

    It is simply asking the PP-O if she or he Does have a solution.


    1. It’s a good idea that when you identify a problem, you’ve also given some thought to possible solutions, especially if you’re bringing a problem to your boss. Because it is a natural question: Any idea how we fix this? And being prepared with an answer is a great opportunity for you to show you’re a problem-solver, not just a whiner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point, Bill. i’d say that any Boss who doesn’t ask that question probably doesn’t deserve to be the Boss,


  16. A moment of candour by Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark 4 years before the start of the Syrian World War in 2011, with so many Nations having a hand in stirring the pot.
    For all the Times I’ve seen him on the MSM since the Ukraine War started in February, he’s not allowed to talk about ‘blowing the whistle’ on the US WAR PLANS brought out and put on the table just 2 weeks after 9/11.


  17. The Historical record shows Russia entered Syrian World War only in 2015, a year after the US/CIA orchestrated the Coup in Ukraine replacing the elected Russian friendly government with an UN-elected virulent anti-Russian government.

    The Syrian regime change phase of the US WAR PLANS General Clark talked about in 2007 was just about completed as the ‘terrorists’ were about to accomplish the 2001 US goal in it’s WAR PLAN.
    That was until Russia stepped in and put a stop to the US WAR PLAN by actually bombing the terrorists on the ground US smart bombs missed.

    It’s morale boosting, misleading US/Ukraine WAR Propaganda saying Ukraine beat back Russia at Kiev.
    I believe Scott Ritter’s assessment that was a tactical move to tie up Ukraine Forces so far from the Donbas to defend their Capital so they could not resupply their forces in the East and South.

    Regardless of the US/Ukrainian claims, the strategy worked as evidenced on the ground with Russia having achieved it’s limited goals of establishing land joining Russia with Crimea.

    This is that same General Clark in March fear mongering Putin taking Ukraine is only the 1st step to pushing NATO back Unified Germany. The only Russian attacks in Western Ukraine were precise missile attacks to destroy NATO WAR materials.

    Vladimir Putin, “Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.”
    New York Times 20 February 2000;

    I’ll have to check out just coming across this interview with the General.


    1. Is the same former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark who explained on the Today TV Show how the Ukrainians will “easily beat” the Russians in Eastern Ukraine – that was 5-months ago! LOL


  18. The NS I & II pipeline blow up has already disappeared from discussion in the MSM despite all the implications and the leading indicator it is of where THIS Material World is heading.

    I think this is accurate and the most probable analysis of what’s actually going on not reported by the MSM having no genuine Investigative Journalists on Staff that dares to jeopardize their jobs by reporting the Truth in this WAR of LIES.

    ‘Who profits from Pipeline Terror?’
    The War of Economic Corridors has entered incandescent, uncharted territory: Pipeline Terror. A sophisticated military operation – that required exhaustive planning, possibly involving several actors – blew up four separate sections of the Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipelines this week in the shallow waters of the Danish straits, in the Baltic Sea, near the island of Bornholm.

    […] Every crime implies motive. The Russian government wanted – at least up to the sabotage – to sell oil and natural gas to the EU. The notion that Russian intel would destroy Gazprom pipelines is beyond ludicrous. All they had to do was to turn off the valves. NS2 was not even operational, based on a political decision from Berlin. The gas flow in NS was hampered by western sanctions. Moreover, such an act would imply Moscow losing key strategic leverage over the EU.

    Diplomatic sources confirm that Berlin and Moscow were involved in a secret negotiation to solve both the NS and NS2 issues. So they had to be stopped – no holds barred. Geopolitically, the entity that had the motive to halt a deal holds anathema a possible alliance in the horizon between Germany, Russia, and China…………………………………………………………………


  19. Thanks for posting that link Ray.
    There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that the USA sabotaged this pipeline.
    Sadly the Official investigation will do all it can to exclude Russians from the investigating Team, and a kangaroo court will be convened to declare that the Russians blew up their own pipeline into which they had invested millions. The truth will never be known.


    1. Ray, I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know my Canadian friend,
      But all these Anglo-Saxon websites, newspapers, TV and YouTube videos on the Ukrainian conflict are worthless and will lead one down the garden path to invalid conclusions.
      If not outright propaganda, they are always completely wrong on the facts on the ground. But you know this.

      The only site that posts the truth on a daily basis, militarily and geo-politically, is Alexander Mercouris
      I don’t know what his sources are, but he is unfailingly correct in his analysis. Brilliant and prescient.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. And speaking of “conspiracy theories”… :


    The western political/media class has been dismissing as “conspiracy theories” all claims that the US is likely responsible for last month’s sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, even while leveling the exact same accusations against Russia without ever using that term. Which probably says a lot about the way that label has been used over the years, if you think about it.

    At a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, US envoy Richard Mills repeatedly accused Russia of promoting “conspiracy theories” in its Nord Stream accusations against the United States, saying that “our Russian colleagues have decided to instrumentalize the Security Council meeting to spread conspiracy theories and disinformation.”

    “It’s important that we use this meeting not to foster conspiracy theories, but to focus our attention on Russia’s blatant violation of the Charter and its crimes in Ukraine,” Mills argues, after saying that “the United States categorically denies any involvement in this incident” and that there is no justification for “the Russian delegation raising conspiracy theories and mass disinformation in this Council.”

    Mills then hilariously spends the remainder of his remarks insinuating that it is actually Russia who perpetrated the attacks, mentioning the word “infrastructure” no less than nine times in his arguments to establish that in Ukraine, Russia has a history of attacking critical civilian infrastructure similar to the pipelines.

    Continued at .


  21. Jeff I’ll repeat what I commented to Ray above in case you did not read it, and I’m probably not telling you either anything you don’t already know my friend.

    All these Anglo-Saxon websites, newspapers, TV and YouTube videos on the Ukrainian conflict are worthless and will lead one down the garden path to invalid conclusions. If not outright propaganda, they are always completely wrong on the facts on the ground. But you know this.

    In particular the lies told by US envoy Richard Mills at the UN Security Council meeting on Friday, were vomit inducing and incredulous – and I hope did not fool anybody!

    The only site that posts the truth on a daily basis, militarily and geo-politically, is Alexander Mercouris
    I don’t know what his sources are, but he is unfailingly correct in his analysis. Brilliant and prescient.


  22. Comments are straying here. I’ve heard enough about Ukraine, the pipelines, and various conspiracy theories for this particular piece, thank you.

    Again, please don’t post comments that are longer than my original piece. Brevity! Use links for details. Thank you.


  23. Right now I am watching this live stream on the internet.
    I find these guys believable.
    And they sure have some topical subjects being discussed today.
    Its always interesting to take the pulse of the many commenters on these live streams.
    Mostly people tired of the BS they are being fed. and tired of having their point of view shouted down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link, Dennis. If I didn’t have enough to read already, I subscribed to Redacted as another News source.
      Now I have well over 100 email and FB News Feed notices every Day to read this or that.

      Ecclesiastes is right, ‘much studying is a weariness of the flesh’


  24. An interesting 2 hour discussion with Scott Ritter.
    I find a lot of credibility in his experience based analysis of what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine with lots of details the MSM never reports, and the armchair Warriors don’t grasp.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope not. I’ve had the thought if I push the envelope enough I could disappear. I explained that in an earlier discussion of the Queen’s Canonization by the MSM as a Saint.

        A News Reporter critical of Marcos just disappeared being found dead.
        Being in the US orbit there’s no media outrage over that, or over an Israeli sharpshooter killing the clearly marked Shireen Abu Aqleh as PRESS.
        Many more Palestinians being shot dead is on the increase in the Israeli Military Dictatorship governing Palestinians in occupied Palestine as they focus exclusively on outrage in Iran.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “As for Russia’s doings in Ukraine, the Donbas oblast elections are a done deal. Mr. Putin has not yet responded to the extreme provocation of the Nord Stream vandalism. I doubt he will make some histrionic tit-for-tat act of retaliation against any critical infrastructure of NATO or America itself. Rather, he will now methodically proceed to wipe up the floor with Mr. Zelenskyy’s army, eliminate whatever American missiles and other ordnance are stockpiled around the place, complete the occupation of the Black Sea coastal territory from Kherson to Odesa, and put that troublesome backwater of Western Civ in order. The hallmark of the operation will be a measured and businesslike approach. Russia will just get it done, put out the dumpster fire, and refuse to allow the USA to start World War Three”


  25. ‘US Debt Tops $31 Trillion for First Time’
    $10,000,000,000,000 just in the last 5 years alone. What trajectory is that for the near term?

    Maybe the only way out really is in The Lord’s Prayer, ‘forgive us our debts as we forgive those indebted to us.’
    Many living the lifestyle of the rich have a lot of debt they need forgiven.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank You, Ray. i was just going to note that milestone by posting U.S. Debt’s latest at .

      They also note that Total U.S. Government UnFunded Liabilities [Social Security, Medicare, Federal Debt Held By The Public, and Federal Employee and Veterans Benefits] stands at $171.8 Trillion and counting.

      And that the Total U.S. Debt [Household, Business, Financial Institution, and Local, State, and Federal Government Debt] is at $92.4+ Trillion and counting.

      That’s $92,400,000,000,000+ : A million times more than it is miles from the Earth to the Sun.

      The Questions that remain to be answered are: 1] Whose Debts get to be forgiven? 2] Who gets to pick up the tab when they all come Due anyway, despite being “forgiven”? 3] But before all that: Who gets to be the Decider on Debt Forgiveness?

      For example: Who is going to pay for all those Student Loans in the works to be forgiven? But before that: Who will make that determination? And Who has the Constitutional authority to be that Decider?

      And finally: It is not just those “living the lifestyle of the rich” who have debt. Lots of folks living the lifestyle of the so-called “Middle and Lower Classes” ~ whatever that means any more ~ also have it.


      1. Jeff, seeming an economics degree is not in your resume, you might Google Professor Michael Hudson and study his work which answers every single one of your questions. He has studied all this in depth and has answers that don’t mean the end of the World as you seem to think they do. There will be a test later.


        1. i just Kindled Hudson’s latest book, Dennis, and look forward to seeing how he answers “every single one of my questions.”

          But i have to admit that its title gives me a sense of what to expect: The Destiny Of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism OR Socialism. [EMPHASIS added.] It reminds me of Piketty’s TIME FOR SOCIALISM: Dispatches from a World on Fire, 2016-2021.

          i look forward to what he might have to say about Classical Liberal Free Market Laissez-Faire Capitalism. And if he includes Crony Capitalism in his discussion of Finance and/or Industrial Capitalism.

          And that’s true, Dennis: i have no Economics degree [or any other, for that matter]. But i have read and studied quite a bit of the theory, history, and practice of Economics, particularly as presented by folks like Menger. von Mises, Hazlitt, Rothbard, and others of the so-called Austrian School.

          Which of Hudson’s books have You read?


          1. I have not read any of Hudson’s books Jeff.
            Have you ever tried to “read” a book on economics? It puts me to sleep in 5-minutes. I’m an Engineer! LOL
            But I have watched a lot of his videos – and can see where he is coming from.
            This video is a good a one I think. And the concept of Debt Jubilees is not only espoused by Hudson.


            1. Try Henry Hazlitt’s ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON, available for free download at .

              “Henry Hazlitt wrote this book following his stint at the New York Times as an editorialist. His hope was to reduce the whole teaching of economics to a few principles and explain them in ways that people would never forget. It worked. He relied on some stories by Bastiat and his own impeccable capacity for logical thinking and crystal-clear prose.

              “He was writing under the influence of Mises himself, of course, but he brought his own special gifts to the project. As just one example, this is the book that made the idea of the “broken window fallacy” so famous. Concise and instructive, it is also deceptively prescient and far-reaching in its efforts to dissemble economic fallacies that are so prevalent they have almost become a new orthodoxy.
              [ See for the Broken Window Fallacy. ]

              “This is the book to send to reporters, politicians, pastors, political activists, teachers, or anyone else who needs to know. It is probably the most important economics book ever written in the sense that it offers the greatest hope to educating everyone about the meaning of the science.

              “Many writers have attempted to beat this book as an introduction, but have never succeeded. Hazlitt’s book remains the best. It’s still the quickest way to learn how to think like an economist. And this is why it has been used in the best classrooms for more than sixty years.” [ ]


              1. Engineering is a science.
                Economics thinks it is – but it isn’t!

                “The first major reason why economics is not a science is that a lot of it is not based on evidence. If you study economics you will spend a great deal of time studying perfect competition, a state of affairs that almost nowhere exists.

                Utility is another concept which plays a huge part in economics that is so vague and undefined that it is hard to know if it exists or how you can possibly maximise it. Rational actors, efficient markets, supply and demand are all concepts that are assumed without evidence to be true.

                There is also the very important fact that economics has a strong political element (to the point that in the 19th century it used to be considered the same subject as politics). My textbooks used to pretend that economics was value free and that economist’s job was merely to create wealth, it was up to politicians to decide what to do with it. It cannot be ignored that some of the most important issues in politics (especially at the moment) are economic issues. Questions such as how best to end the recession, deal with budget deficits, unemployment, the public sector, immigration, poverty etc are all a combination of economics and politics. It is mere fantasy to pretend that economists can act as neutral judges above political bias. Everyone has a bias, a viewpoint, a series of ideas and assumptions upon which they interpret the world.”



                1. Dennis: Apparently You are objecting to the use of the term “science” at the end of the third paragraph of the short blurb on the book.

                  Have You ever heard of the distinction between “Natural Science” [Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, etc], on the one hand; and “Social Science” [Anthropology, Geography, History, Linguistics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, etc], on the other?

                  There are indeed many [if not most] professional Economists stuck with so-called “Physics Envy,” as noted in Your article.

                  But none of the Economists i mentioned earlier [Menger, von Mises, etc] did. And especially Hazlitt ~ the author of ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON ~ most definitely did not.


                2. And if the author of Your article really had “textbooks [that] used to pretend that economics was value free and that the ECONOMIST’S JOB WAS MERELY TO CREATE WEALTH, IT WAS UP TO POLITICIANS TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH IT,” then I can see why he might be a little confused about things. [EMPHASIS added.]

                  It is not the Economists’ job to “create wealth.” Their primary function is to understand how Wealth is created thru the production, distribution, and consumption of what Human Beings need in order to move beyond merely Surviving to Thriving.

                  And if his textbooks claimed that “it was up to the politicians to decide what to do with that Wealth,” then i can see why he might be Very confused about a lot of things besides Economics.

                  Hopefully, he has moved beyond the Economics he learned from his textbooks and classes.


                3. Another perspective… :

                  SCIENCE VERSUS SCIENCE: Is Economics a Science? [Extracts] by Sheldon Richman

                  This question of whether economics is a science arose last summer [in 2003] when The Royal Society, Britain’s prestigious scientific academy, elected to fellowship its first modern economist, Sir Partha Sarathi Dasgupta of Cambridge. The Royal Society was founded in 1660 and boasts among its previous fellows Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein.

                  Dasgupta’s election caused some excitement because economists have been considered social scientists and thought to be ineligible for fellowship. But that is not quite clear. The Royal Society says its definition of science has expanded to encompass economics because of its “advanced math and analytical techniques.” …

                  … Regardless of the confusion, we may still ask, IS ECONOMICS A SCIENCE? While the social philosophers in Adam Smith’s day studied the consequences of people’s conduct, this was a descriptive, not a normative, endeavor. As Ludwig von Mises later wrote, that a legal price ceiling on milk will, other things equal, create shortages is not in itself an argument against the policy. The economist’s role, Mises said, is simply to teach that price controls will make milk less, not more, accessible. ALTHOUGH ECONOMICS IS ABOUT THE PURSUIT OF VALUES, IT IS NONETHELESS VALUE-FREE, IN THE SENSE THAT ECONOMIC LAWS, LIKE PHYSICAL LAWS, OPERATE INDEPENDENT OF OUR WISHES.

                  Similarly, for F. A. Hayek ECONOMICS IS SCIENTIFIC IN AN OLDER SENSE OF THE WORD BECAUSE IT FEATURES “THE GENERAL SPIRIT OF DISINTERESTED INQUIRY.” But the word “science” narrowed during the nineteenth century and essentially came to mean physics. In addition, the “hard” sciences were accorded a prestige as especially rigorous that was denied to other disciplines. These two developments, Hayek notes, unfortunately LED OTHERS TO IMITATE THE PHYSICISTS in order to win respect as real scientists.

                  THE PROBLEM IS THAT NOT ALL PHENOMENA ARE OPEN TO THE METHODS OF PHYSICS, for example, how people improve their lives through production and exchange. When we study molecules, all we can do is watch, from the outside, what happens under natural and experimental conditions.

                  Human action we know from the inside. We understand that when people act, they choose ends and the means suited to achieve them. We know they act entrepreneurially: with imperfect knowledge, they imagine preferred future conditions and undertake risks to make them real… .

                  Full article at [EMPHASES added.]


  26. The American Military has a lot more problems than just Lying [and not having won a War in 77 years]… :


    During the Global War on Terror, the term “thank you for your service” became a way for the majority of Americans who lived their lives unaffected by the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to show their support for America’s sons and daughters in harm’s way without actually doing anything.

    Now two lawmakers have introduced a resolution that would supercharge this well-intentioned albeit meaningless gesture by having the House of Representatives support the term “THANK YOU FOR OUR FREEDOM” as a better way for Americans to show their appreciation to active-duty service members and veterans.

    Because the measure is non-binding, it cannot be enforced if it is eventually passed by the House, making it purely symbolic.

    “This resolution will help ensure those of us blessed to call America home understand the personal importance of our servicemen and women’s sacrifice for our Nation,” Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), said in a Sept. 24 statement after introducing the measure along with Rep. J. Luis Correa (D-Calif.).

    However, given Congress’ enormous powers — not the least of which is determining how much money the Defense Department receives every year — there are far better ways that Congress can thank troops and veterans for their sacrifices.

    THERE WAS A TIME WHEN LAWMAKERS HELPED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS THAT THE MILITARY COULD NOT FIX ON ITS OWN. Partially in response to the military branches’ difficulties coordinating with each other during the 1983 invasion of Grenada, Congress eventually passed the Goldwater–Nichols Act, which gives combatant commanders the responsibility to carry out operations.

    RIGHT NOW, THE U.S. MILITARY IS FACING SEVERAL SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS THAT IT IS EITHER UNWILLING OR UNABLE TO GET ITS ARMS AROUND. The ongoing scourge of sexual assault and sexual harassment is a stain on the military’s honor and its soul. Both soldiers and Marines are forced to live in moldy and overheated barracks. Privatized military housing continues to be plagued by disgraceful conditions. And the Navy cannot keep jet fuel out of its drinking water.

    And yet MILITARY LEADERS ARE NOT ALWAYS FOCUSED ON THE MOST PRESSING ISSUES FACING MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM. Consider that a top Space Force commander was recently worried that an enlisted airman had undermined the entire concept of good order and discipline by referring to an officer as “brother” instead of his rank. TOP MILITARY LEADERS ALSO TEND TO SHY AWAY FROM FIXING DEEPLY ENTRENCHED AND SYSTEMATIC PROBLEMS, SINCE IT’S MUCH EASIER TO JUST BLAME THE MEDIA INSTEAD.

    BY ANY MEASURE, THE ENTIRE MILITARY COULD USE SOME OUTSIDE HELP, BOTH IN TERMS OF RESOURCES AS WELL AS GUIDANCE IN REPRIORITIZING THE MANY CHALLENGES FACING EACH BRANCH INDIVIDUALLY. There is certainly a lot that Congress could be doing to provide substantial help to both troops and veterans, said Tom Porter, who runs the Washington, D.C., office for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America… .

    … The U.S. military faces a litany of problems that are not getting any better, and JUST AS CHANGING THE NAME OF FRENCH FRIES TO “FREEDOM FRIES” IN CONGRESSIONAL CAFETERIAS DID NOT HELP TROOPS IN IRAQ, another symbolic measure of gratitude for troops and veterans will simply ring hollow.

    Full article at {EMPHASES added.]


      1. Heh. i don’t think Task & Purpose is in the joking business, Bill. Are You familiar with it? i wonder if they would post this and Your previous post.

        Like i said about “SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE U.S. MILITARY”: There needs to be some way to get this message to the people who Really need to read it; and T & P appears to be such a venue. Another possibility is War On The Rocks at


  27. re: The National Debt…; some numbers:

    In 2009 at the beginning of Obama’s reign, the National Debt stood at $11.9 trillion and was 82% of America’s GDP.

    In 2017 at the beginning of Trump’s, the Debt was $20.2 trillion [an increase of 70% from 2009] and 104% of GDP.

    In 2021 at the beginning of Biden’s, the Debt was $29.6 trillion [an increase of 47% from 2017] and 124% of GDP.

    If this isn’t a road map for a collision course with Reality, i’m not sure what is.



  28. Continuing your Michael Hudson education Jeff.
    On the National Debt
    This is a long discussion – and you have to listen carefully to what he is saying.
    The US does not listen to this school of economics at its peril says the professor.
    He agrees with you that the US is on a collision course with reality – not because of the debt- but because how it is treated by the oligarchs. He thinks Obama was the worst president in 100-years in this respect:


    1. Thanks. So how’s Your Michael Hudson education coming along, Dennis?

      Assuming You watched those almost two hours of video that You recommended to hear what the man has to say, can You ~ in Your own words ~ briefly describe what his answers are to my three questions about: Whose Debts get forgiven? Who pays for those Debts being forgiven? And Who makes that decision?

      And i’m curious: Did he rate Trump’s performance in the Oval Office? Particularly when it comes to being owned, operated, commanded, and controlled by those very same Oligarchs as his predecessor[s]?


  29. Pepe Escobar tells it like it is in this piece, the excerpt below being the essential reality everyone must think about seriously and deeply, in choosing which side to support in the latest developments of this unfolding World War to END ALL WARS and possibly Humanity itself?

    “Moscow was not “threatening” Europe with anything conventional or otherwise; it was trying to do business, and the Americans blocked it with a vengeance, even resorting to Pipeline Terror.

    This American tactical victory was achieved in only seven months, and cost next to nothing. The results may seem impressive: US hegemony over the whole EU spectrum is now undisputed, as Russia lost its economic leverage. But that will only deepen Moscow’s resolve –as stressed by Putin’s speech – to take the fight against the Empire and its vassals to the limit.

    On the Ukraine battlefields, that means forcing them to the negotiating table on Russia’s terms. And then force them to agree to a new European “indivisibility of security” arrangement.

    And to think that all that could have been accomplished with a simple phone call in late 2021, when Moscow sent letters to Washington proposing a serious discussion.

    In fact, it’s the US that has “already lost the war”: at least 87% of the world – including virtually the whole Global South – has already concluded this is a rogue, rudderless empire.

    “Losing”, Kissinger-style, also means that in only 7 months, Russia annexed 120,000 km2 – or 22% of Ukrainian territory – that produces nearly 90% of GDP and has over 5 million citizens. Along the way, the allied forces basically destroyed the Ukrainian army, which they continue to do 24/7; billions of dollars of NATO equipment; accelerated the demise of most Western economies; and evaporated the notion of American hegemony.

    As for Stupidistan Unplugged, the Oscar goes to Secretary Blinken, who gave away the game by saying the blow-up of the twin pipelines was a “tremendous strategic opportunity”.

    Just like 9/11 was a “tremendous strategic opportunity” for indiscriminate invasion/bombing/killing/plunder across the lands of Islam……………………………………………….”


  30. ok fellows, the playground is closed. you bully-boys need to take a cold shower, gather your acrimony-inducing toys, go home, study for your exams, kiss your loved-ones goodnight, and go to bed. your lengthy, argumentative, nit-picking screeds are becoming tiresome, hovering on the cusp of fruitless nullity, despite your feigned, ineptly disguised comity. your bumptious condescensions, irrelevance to wja’s laudable article, and the demiurgical importuning of the discussion he hoped to engender are becoming inutile.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. well-meaning, diplomatic intermediaries like wja should be the cynosures for every ‘playground’, jg.


        1. Ahhh. But, Jeanie: Is that :cynosure” as in “That which serves to guide or direct; a guiding star”? Or as in “Something that is the center of attention; an object that serves as a focal point of attraction and admiration.” [ ]

          Wouldn’t that depend almost entirely upon: 1] The purpose of the playground? 2] Who is playing in it? 3] Whose playground it is?


          1. the former interpretation of cynosure, not the latter, jg. however, as you descry, all lexical components, whether in singular or phrase form, are complex, fungible, and pluripotent.


            1. This is interesting paragraph excerpt out of this, ‘The great game in Ukraine is spinning out of control’
              In June 1963, Kennedy uttered the essential truth that can keep us alive today: “Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy–or of a collective death-wish for the world.”


              and this!
              ‘John Bolton wants US to ‘change regime’ in Russia’
              A coup in Moscow is the only way for Washington to achieve its goals in Europe, the former national security adviser says

              Former White House national security adviser John Bolton insisted on Wednesday that only “regime change” in Moscow can achieve long-term US objectives in Europe. He proposed funding Russian “dissidents” who could team up with mid-level officers to overthrow President Vladimir Putin in a coup…….



              1. in the polish writer joseph conrad’s sparse exhortation, “the horror!”. thank you, rj, for reminding us of jfk’s contributions to helping effect a saner, safer planetj. it is a ‘tragédie des biens communs’ that his successors’ advisors were supplanted by the horror of john bolton and his consociate troglodytes.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeanie makes a valid point. The best comments are concise, related to the article, while adding something, e.g. a related illustration, an informed critique, etc.

      Acrimony, tangential arguments, overly long comments related to various personal commitments and agendas, quickly grow tiresome.


      1. what i find so appealing about your site and articles, wja, is how congenial, civilized, and ‘comitas’ they are… quite the contrary for so many other sites which often devolve into acrimonious assaults or subauditum insults. you must have been blessed w/ supernal parents, wja.


  31. Its a free world jeanie. I hope you find another site to comment on where you enjoy commenting. I hope those fellow posters have their dictionary and thesaurus at the ready! Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It may be a “free world,” but this site has a policy on comments, and I’d like all my readers to follow it if they choose to make comments. Thank you.


      1. on the contrary, it is not ‘a free world’ for any of us. everyone is subject to prevenient expectations about behaviour in the salmagundi of realms in which each of us endeavours to survive. this is the craton of all eusocial species wherein the newell post is cooperation. conflict is less productive.


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