Dominating Everyone Everywhere All At Once

W.J. Astore

Defense? Nonsense. It’s All Offense.

Terminology is so important.  There was a time when America spoke honestly of a Department of War. But not everyone is keen on war, even Americans, so in 1947 the national (in)security state slyly changed its name to the Department of Defense (DoD). And who can be against “defense”?

The problem is that America’s fundamental vision is offensive. We speak openly of global reach, global power, global vigilance. We never speak of regional or hemispheric defense. Regional power? Forget about it! Everything has to be “global.” Indeed, not just global but soaring above it into space. And not just outer space but virtual space and inner space, into one’s mind, so-called information dominance. For that’s what “full-spectrum” dominance is all about. To be safe, to “defend” us, the DoD must dominate everywhere, so we’re told.

This vision serves to generate yearly budgets that consume more than half of federal discretionary spending. It’s used to justify 750 military bases around the world. It’s consistent with dividing the globe into commands headed by four-star generals and admirals, e.g. AFRICOM, CENTCOM, NORTHCOM, and the like. It generates U.S. involvement in wars that few Americans know anything about, e.g. Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. It’s a vision consistent with a state of permanent warfare driven by imperial ambitions. 

I don’t think there’s ever been a military more ambitious and vainglorious than the U.S. military and its various straphangers (industry, congress, intelligence agencies, the media, academe, think tanks, hence the term MICIMATT).1 No wonder its “thought” leaders keep demanding and getting more and more money: at least $858 billion for FY2023 alone. The DoD is supposed to be a means to an end. Clearly, it’s become an end in and of itself; it may yet lead to the end of everything.

He who has the gold makes the rules—and no government agency gets more gold to dominate rule-making than the DoD/Pentagon. It’s a golden fleecing of America, as the Pentagon after five attempts has yet to pass an audit. The war on terror, including failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost America as much as $8 trillion, yet those failures have already been largely forgotten, with no senior officials called to account.

Our future is being stolen from us by wanton military spending.  At the same time, our past is being rewritten.  Lincoln’s ideal that “right makes might” and Washington’s ideal of the citizen-soldier have been replaced by might makes right enforced by warriors. Orwell rules the moment as war is sold as peace, surveillance as privacy, and censorship as free speech.

I remember my military oath of office: to support and DEFEND the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I still believe in defending the Constitution. I just don’t see that we’re doing it when we spend $858 billion (and more) on a global quest to dominate everyone everywhere all at once.

Defense? Nonsense. It’s all offense.

1

MICIMATT: military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think-tank complex. Awkward acronym that has the virtue of capturing the size and scope of Ike’s old military-industrial complex.

16 thoughts on “Dominating Everyone Everywhere All At Once

  1. A new acronym for those who love inclusion and reject dissent: BOMB-BaselessOpportunistsManagingBullshit…now with more Science!

    [use of BOMB may invite interest from WHOREs-WeaponizedHumansOptioningRealisticEngagement-in BluffdaleUT, YakimaWA & FtMeadeMD]

    Stay away from anyone and any institution that usually delivers the expected failure-America is a work in progress, as it should be, and boilerplate responses might generate heat but they always leave me chafed.

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  2. With apologies to the Mamas and the Papas:
    We can go where we wanna go, do what we wanna do, with whoever we wanna do it with ….

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  3. Hey Bill: Not sure if You are aware, but apparently Substack is down. Any attempt to reach any Substack blogspot like BV gets only Error Messages.

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  4. Thank you so much for writing (saying) this! I’ve been waiting a long time for someone to put this fact out there. I appreciate all the recent essays you’ve put out – like the previous one. It would be wonderful if a few others did too – maybe like Danny Sjursen or Andrew Bacevich. It’s time that we stopped worshipping our Generals and Admirals. There may have been a time when they were worth all that admiration – but not so much now. My uncle in WWII trained one of the first squadrons of bombers and then led bombing squadrons in Europe and Africa throughout the war. I’m sure you know just how difficult that was with cold freezing your oxygen mask to your face and flying close formation before power steering was invented. They wanted to make him a general at war’s end but he said no, and went home. Maybe that’s what happened to the ones who would speak out about how you don’t bring peace with bullets and bombs. Those who don’t care about peace, stay on and get lots of money and a priviliged rank? We need to get rid of the so-called “defense” dept, which anyone who has paid attention to the news over the past 50 years, knows is a crock, as we attacked Vietnam, and then Serbia, and on to Afghanistan, and Iraq and then Syria and Libya. And all of it more or less blamed on Russia because they were communist (remember the totally insane Vietnam “domino theory”?)
    The 100s of millions of lives lost or totally ruined as a result of our leaders’ love of warfare is mind boggling, and it is mind boggling that it is still going on, despite the fact that most sentient humans in this country and elsewhere want it to stop! So keep on writing about this and maybe we will start to elect people who agree with you and will say it out loud.
    Happy holidays!

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  5. In the Spirit of the Christmas Season
    ‘Not by military force and not by physical strength, but by My spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts.
    And he shall judge between the nations and reprove many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

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  6. ‘NATO’s confrontation with Moscow, army modernization, and operation in Ukraine: Key points from Putin’s speech’
    The Russian president recently addressed the nation’s top military commanders, covering a number of national security issues
    Russia is facing nearly the entire military potential of NATO in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday during an extended meeting of the Board of the Ministry of Defense.

    The Russian president also commented on what led up to the current conflict with Kiev and noted the importance of modernizing the country’s nuclear potential in order to maintain sovereignty.

    Here’s a recap of the main points from Putin’s speech.

    Confrontation with West
    Putin said Moscow’s “strategic opponents” have always tried to “cut down” and “break up” Russia because they believe the country is “too big” and poses a threat. He noted that this was something the West had been trying to achieve for centuries.
    Russia, meanwhile, has always hoped and tried to become a part of the so-called “civilized world” but has come to realize that it is simply not welcome there, according to Putin.

    Ukraine as brotherly nation
    Russia spent years doing everything it could to build not just neighborly, but brotherly relations with Ukraine, and nothing worked, said Putin, noting that “we have always considered Ukrainians to be a brotherly people.”
    Putin outlines the scale of the challenge in Ukraine READ MORE: Putin outlines the scale of the challenge in Ukraine
    “I still believe that. Everything that is happening is a tragedy. Our common tragedy. But it is not the result of our policies,” the president said.
    He added that Russia’s geopolitical opponents have started to use a wide range of means to further their goals, including meddling in the internal affairs of the former Soviet republics, especially Ukraine, which ultimately led to the ongoing conflict with Kiev. Thus, it had become “inevitable,” the president concluded.

    NATO against Russia 
    Putin stated that NATO was currently using the military potential of nearly all of its member states against Moscow.
    However, he noted that Russia had learned a lot from its mistakes in the past and would not harm itself by militarizing the nation.
    “We will not militarize the country and we will not militarize the economy,” Putin proclaimed, stressing that Russia’s current level of development simply doesn’t require such measures.
    He added that Russian military leaders have been tasked with studying NATO’s tactics and capabilities and have been asked to consider this information in the training and equipment of Russia’s own forces.

    Nuclear triad
    Russia’s nuclear arsenal is the key guarantor of its sovereignty, Putin said, noting that new weapons will soon enter into service and commit to the development of the country’s defensive capabilities.
    READ MORE: Russia will continue to modernize nuclear arsenal – Putin
    The president said Russia will continue to maintain and improve its nuclear triad, which comprises missiles fired from aircraft, submarines, and ground-based mobile launchers and silos.

    Modernizing the Russian military 
    The president emphasized the need to bolster the use of drones in the Russian army and pointed to the country’s experience in developing underwater unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which he said should be improved upon to create more advanced air and ground drones.
    Defense minister announces major expansion of Russian army READ MORE: Defense minister announces major expansion of Russian army
    He suggested modernizing communication systems and incorporating artificial intelligence technologies across all decision-making levels, noting that fast and automated systems have proven to be the most effective on the battlefield.
    The president also approved a number of structural changes proposed by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in response to NATO bolstering its forces on the border with Russia and potentially extending membership to Finland and Sweden.

    RT

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  7. THE STORY OF THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914—AND ITS ETERNAL MESSAGE: Even enemies can become friends when we reject violence and see people as they truly are—as individuals. The British and German troops who on Christmas Eve enjoyed a night of joy amid the carnage of 1914 could attest to that. by Jon Miltimore 122122

    War had already been waging in Europe for months when Pope Benedict issued a plea from Rome on Dec. 7, 1914 to leaders of Europe: declare a Christmas truce.

    Benedict saw how badly peace was needed, even if it was only for a day. The First Battle of Ypres alone, fought from October 19 to November 22, had resulted in some 200,000 casualties (mostly German and French soldiers, but also thousands of English and Belgians). The First Battle of the Marne was even worse.

    In light of this carnage, the pope asked “that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang.”

    The European leaders ignored his plea.

    Then something miraculous happened on the eve of Christmas. From No Man’s Land—the area between the trench works of Allied and Central forces—German troops, in a spontaneous act, put down their weapons and invited English soldiers to celebrate Christmas with them. It’s remembered today as the Christmas Truce.

    The British cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather was one of many who chronicled the event. A machine gunner in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Bairnsfather was shivering in the muck of a three-foot trench on a cold night, munching on stale biscuits and chain-smoking, when he heard a noise at about 10 p.m. Via History:

    “I listened,” he recalled. “Away across the field, among the dark shadows beyond, I could hear the murmur of voices.” He turned to a fellow soldier in his trench and said, “Do you hear the Boches [Germans] kicking up that racket over there?” “Yes,” came the reply. “They’ve been at it some time!”

    The Germans were singing carols, as it was Christmas Eve. In the darkness, some of the British soldiers began to sing back. “Suddenly,” Bairnsfather recalled, “we heard a confused shouting from the other side. We all stopped to listen. The shout came again.” The voice was from an enemy soldier, speaking in English with a strong German accent. He was saying, “Come over here.”

    After some back and forth talk, British troops laid down their weapons, climbed out of their trenches, crossed the barbed wire, and joined the Germans. They traded handshakes and songs; they chewed tobacco and drank wine and laughed together—these men who earlier that day had been doing their best to kill each other.

    Some accounts describe German and British soldiers playing “football” (soccer) on makeshift fields. Others mention British soldiers setting up barbershops and offering haircuts in exchange for cigarettes. The one thing all the accounts have in common is a general feeling of merriment among the soldiers.

    “There was not an atom of hate on either side,” Bairnsfather recalled.

    Afterwards, not everyone was pleased with the gaiety. Some military leaders reportedly seethed over the Christmas truce. But Bairnsfather suggests the soldiers themselves cherished the moment, which they sorely needed.

    “For those who participated, it was surely a welcome break from the hell they had been enduring. When the war had begun just six months earlier, most soldiers figured it would be over quickly and they’d be home with their families in time for the holidays. Not only would the war drag on for four more years, but it would prove to be the bloodiest conflict ever up to that time.”

    I’ve always found the Christmas Truce moving, and also telling. While the leaders of Europe may have loathed one another, the German and English people clearly did not, at least not once they met one another.

    On that Christmas night, the nationalism that had divided German and British soldiers evaporated when they met face-to-face, traded, laughed, drank, and discovered their common humanity.

    I recently read Stille Nacht (Silent Night): The Story of the Christmas Truce—a new children’s book written by Rory Margraf—to my youngest son. He had many questions, but mostly he wanted to know why the soldiers were fighting in the first place. (I suspect many soldiers—Belgians and Germans, French, Englishmen, and beyond—themselves wondered this very same thing many times during that war.)

    I didn’t have a good answer for him. But I’ve thought on the matter some since, and I think THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE HOLDS A CLUE ABOUT WHY WE FIGHT.

    People who for weeks and months had been shooting and bombing one another found themselves laughing, singing, and trading—and they did so because they defied their orders. THE SAD TRUTH IS NATION-STATES—WHICH THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE DONE A MAGNIFICENT JOB OF CONVINCING HUMANS THAT PEOPLE THEY NEVER MET ARE THEIR ENEMY—OFTEN ARE NOT PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN PEACE.

    “War is the health of the state,” the radical writer Randolph Bourne famously noted.

    The truth is WAGING WAR IS WHAT GOVERNMENT DOES BEST, AND THE PEOPLE WHO WAGE THEM AND WIN ARE THE ONES LAUDED IN THE HISTORY BOOKS. THE LOSERS, OF COURSE, ARE NOT; WHICH MAKES WINNING A WAR THAT HAS BEGUN ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT. (IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT THAT THE PEOPLE WHO DECLARE WARS RARELY SEE THEIR OWN BLOOD SPILLED DURING THEM.)

    I don’t wish to oversimplify something as serious and terrible as war, but I do wish to demonstrate there is another way. THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE SHOWS US THAT PEACE IS ACHIEVED BY REJECTING STATISM AND NATIONALISM AND COLLECTIVISM IN ALL FORMS; IT IS WON BY EMBRACING OUR COMMON HUMANITY AND THE THINGS THAT BRING US TOGETHER.

    Even bitter enemies can become friends when we reject violence and see people as they truly are—as individuals. (Especially on Christmas, a holiday that celebrates the birth not of a conqueror, but of a lamb.)

    The British and German troops who on Christmas Eve enjoyed one night of joy amid the carnage of 1914 could attest to that.

    Additional Reading:

    WWI’s Christmas Truce: When Fighting Paused for the Holiday, A.J. Baime & Volker Janssen in HISTORY https://go.fee.org/e/808113/author-aj-baime-volker-janssen/m9v14/345856125?h=dl46oa1PtXhJm0L9R2aXgQR6PPMzkF1cqm39i5nq-a4

    Stille Nacht (Silent Night): The Story of the Christmas Truce, Rory Margraf https://go.fee.org/e/808113/3WxXvpt/m9tzq/345856125?h=dl46oa1PtXhJm0L9R2aXgQR6PPMzkF1cqm39i5nq-a4

    The Christmas Truce of World War I, William N. Grigg in FEE https://go.fee.org/e/808113/hristmas-truce-of-world-war-i-/m9v17/345856125?h=dl46oa1PtXhJm0L9R2aXgQR6PPMzkF1cqm39i5nq-a4

    Source: https://go.fee.org/webmail/808113/345856125/391eb21131150efa876f18cc7f3e72abf033c9cf489daea0bf9443f27548b10d [EMPHASES added.]

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  8. From The Book of Others:
    CHAPTER 8
    1 And all the poor bastards who never had a chance will probably never get one either,
    2 Because now the ones who didn’t get imprisoned or enslaved or killed are stuck with what the Chosen Nations gave them,
    3 Including the desire for material possessions,
    4 And the lust for power,
    5 And fanatical beliefs about politics and religion,
    6 And corruption,
    7 And disease,
    8 And famine,
    9 And pollution,
    10 And bastard cultures full of poverty, despair, and violence,
    11 Not to mention missionaries,
    12 And debts,
    13 And dictators,
    14 And wars,
    15 And a lot of patronizing lectures about what it takes to be civilized,
    16 From the people who know the most about civilization,
    17 Namely, all the Chosen Nations who ruined their lives in the first place.
    18 Poor poor bastards.

    CHAPTER 9
    1 But history keeps on going,
    2 No matter who gets hurt,
    3 And that’s the way it will keep on going,
    4 Until the world ends,
    5 Because some Chosen Nation goes utterly insane,
    6 Which has happened before,
    7 Or because some other Chosen Nation chooses pride over compromise,
    8 Which has happened before,
    9 Or because some other Chosen Nation just can’t stop wanting what it hasn’t got,
    10 No matter what,
    11 Which has happened before,
    12 And will happen again,
    13 Like everything else in history.
    14 And the only thing certain about any of it is,
    15 No matter how it starts or where,
    16 The next time everyone will pay for it equally,
    17 And there won’t be any more Chosen Nations,
    18 Or any Others.
    19 Poor bastards all.
    ~The Boomer Bible

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  9. Thank You, Just Another Vet, for introducing me to The Boomer Bible. In just a few moments of scanning. it has quickly become another one of those books i wish i’d heard about and read a long, long time ago. For others who may find it worth dipping into:

    A fully-hypertexted version of TBB is at https://theboomerbible.com/tbbtoc.html.

    And the Author Robert Laird explains “Why Is There A Boomer Bible?” in a free Kindle Unlimited book at https://www.amazon.com/there-Boomer-Bible-Robert-Laird-ebook/dp/B01976IPBS .

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  10. I don’t belong to twitter or facebook or any of those things, so I don’t know how to “Like” something by computer Just wanted to say that I “liked” all the comments, especially the review of Putin’s remarks, the story of the the Christmas truce and the poem about how the world ends.
    I noted that Putin said that the west thinks his country is too big, and he maybe right, particularly here in the U.S. I think most citizens are so clueless that they look at the size of Russia on the map and assume the population is comparable. They don’t know that Russia has roughly 150 million and we have roughly 350 million – big difference. It’s a huge amount of land but not many people to fill it. I think of it as sort of like Montana, where I used to live. It’s area is larger than most European countries, but the population now barely reaches one million, if that. I wonder if people understood the difference in population, if their opinions would change?

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      1. Thank you Ray, I enjoyed your story. And it sounds like Montanans; they are on the whole helpful to travelers in trouble. I think it is because of the sparse population. For example they’d never leave a person stranded with a broken car on the highway, because who knows if anyone else will come along to help? In Mt that’s kind of the the rule of the road – you find someone needing help, you help.

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