Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Afghan mission is turning into a soldier's nightmare.

I'm not a big fan of the Wars to say the least. It's very sad to me that families have to be separated... let alone lives destroyed for this screwed up mission... that really is for nothing. Only a few will advance, a few career military officers will get promoted and billions upon tens of billions will be thrown away... sprinkled with lives. Not just killed, some wounded, many wounded on the inside.

Several recent articles have pointed out the unmistakable stench of what is next. Sending soldiers into battle... but just like in Vietnam... not letting them do their job. And to me this is the final straw of how to break the morale of any fighting force. You can't ask the guy on the bottom of the totem pole to put his or her life on the line when the guy on the top is only worried about PR points.

According to this first article, CNN is reporting that nightime raids will be curtailed and the requirements for use of force have been beefed up after a recent incident that killed 27 civilians.There's no doubt this is a bad deal but this is really not a operational fault... this is supposed to be a War... it's a leadership fault. They should either be there or not. A leader that sends his unit into battle better take it seriously. And one that sends his troops in half-hearted is courting for disaster.

The second article is in regard to the state of the Afghan forces. Supposedly they were to take the lead on a particular operation... yet failed miserably. After nine years and billions upon tens of billions ...upon hundreds of billions you would think you could have trained these units to a razors edge (I mean most combat arms training for a typical recruit in the USA is 12 to 16 weeks). They might be green but their at the minimum combat effective. Nine years??!!! And nothing??!! Trained by the Green Beret... and this??!!!

I would love to talk to the guy in charge of training! Just a casual conversation over a few beers... I bet by the end of that conversation I would know definitively what our course of action should be... and I don't need a coin flip to know what I think I'd be concluding. Just as in Vietnam, this War will ultimately destroy the morale and effectiveness of our military. Especially those on the ground. I fault the command for this...every staff officer that allows this charade to continue... is doing a disservice to their uniform and those under them. And it's very disappointing to me to watch this happen. There's just no need!

Initially I was for the Wars. Being a soldier at one time... I volunteered to enter a War zone. I didn't have to but I had trained long and hard for it... and I knew I could make a difference. So when 9/11 occurred, I had an idea of what the typical soldier was facing this time around. I followed each of the initial battles closely hoping for a quick victory... which to my happy surprise I thought we got. However... when the WMDs didn't turn up... and Saddam was captured... and I started to hear some of the haphazard planning and execution by the civilian authority... I started to grit my teeth. And by 2005 I had had enough of the political bull. I knew soldiers didn't make good policemen and asking them to do so in a foreign country... with a language barrier was setting up for failure. And the rhetoric... of the chickenhawks (those who during the Vietnam War cowered when duty called but were now directing soldiers into battle) ... really got my blood boiling.

Many in the real world... and apparently in the Pentagon as well don't understand why the military does what it does. Soldiers who are professionals don't look at this profession as something they want to do. It's something the have to do. Many civilians have never thought about hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. The worst rarely happens. So why worry? But a soldier is there for that very reason... to prepare for the worst. Needless to say... when the worst does happen. You want to deal with it quickly, effectively and efficiently. And that is what our military did and did it well up until these wars were extended indefinately...

War, like most violence is a last resort. It represents the failure of man to think creatively. To communicate properly. And to value the lives of those potentially lost and injured. So, when that line is crossed... the leadership better have done their job. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

So someone... somewhere is going to have to. Someone in the chain of command is going to have to suck it up and their going to have to say...'Wait a minute!' 'Hell NO!' Otherwise the espirit de corps is going to be lost and our military is going to be broken.

As a veteran, I have to speak for the soldiers. The one's at the bottom that can't speak for themselves.

Pat Buchanan on Liquidating the Empire.

Michael Scheuer on When Troops and CIA Officers Die for a Fantasy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ron Paul's Weekly Update Feb 22, 2010

 The real Unemployment number is close to 20% , The government is fabricating numbers!

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, or the stimulus bill, passing into law. While the debate over its success has been focused on whether or not it is stimulating the economy and on various questionable uses of funds, in my estimation this legislation is accomplishing exactly what it was intended to accomplish grow the government.

Those of us concerned about the ever increasing level of government debt gasped at the astonishing $787 billion cost estimates for this bill. True to form it has actually cost 10 percent more at $862 billion. We heard over and over that government could not sit around and do nothing while people lost their jobs and houses. The administration claimed that unemployment would not go above 8 percent if the stimulus bill passed. Now, a year later, the government estimates that unemployment is over 10 percent. The real number is closer to 20 percent. It appears that those promises were total fabrications in order to close the deal.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Security guards stand and watch as woman is severely beaten and robbed


These types of outbursts are the sign of things to come. There are reasons behind this. It's not just an individual out of control. This is being encouraged by those "in control" at the top. No, they didn't whisper in the ear of the perpetrator to commit a heinous crime... what they have done is to create an atmosphere that puts a large part of the community at a point where they feel they have no choice but to strike out against any one they perceive as a threat. They are given a feeling of helplessness, a frame of mind that has them backed into a corner with violence as the only obvious answer.

The production values of this video are poor but the information is worthwhile.

For the rest of us, this violence creates a need for "security", a need for intrusion into our lives and a distraction from our pursuits. This also serves to divide us into opposing groups by the slightest difference.

This story has been repeated again and again throughout history. And as I said, these types of outbursts are the sign of things to come if we don't recognize it for what it is. I want to point out a particular example in history because it shows the power of the mental state that can be created given the correct circumstances.The event, Rwanda 1994. This is effectively described in a BBC documentary called 'The Five Steps to Tyranny' I have included the entire program which I would highly reccommend watching in it's entirety, but if you wish to skip directly to the segment, it's at 21:30 to 28:30. If you say 'It can't happen here!'check out the Stanford study at 47:30.

How this tyranny is being manifested in our society is apparent. We are constantly being separated into groups. The Us vs. Them is always being reinforced in the media. Left vs. Right, Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, black vs. white, Christianity vs. Islam, on and on. The regular dehumanizing of opposing groups and the acceptance of ignorance and stupidity over principle should give each person pause when looking at our society. Especially the actions of our government in our name.

If you look at this Attitude Scale you will probably note that in many ways we are encouraged to remain on the bottom. And if you look at the actions of the government you see that they dwell on the very bottom in a great deal of instances.

Violence is being perpetuated in our society mainly through TV and Video games... and although I believe in a free society I also believe in people being aware of the dangers of this constant exposure in addition to the creeping similarities between video games and the real world. The predator drones are effectively just like a video game. The increasing use of these weapons on the battlefield alone is disturbing but the fact that these are now being used by civilian and police forces here in the United States should really raise some eyebrows.

In recent years violence has actually dropped. This may be because several gun control laws have been struck down and gun sales have gone up dramatically ie people taking responsibility for their own safety. But I fear that the media still can have a great deal of influence as to which way we go next. With economic and social pressures mounting due to the sour economy we could easily experience a significant rise in violence.

Solutions are out there. Individuals and groups need to recognize that there are a great deal of options to solve violent behavior. As pointed out in the 'Five Steps to Tyranny' video, the risk of large scale violence is greatly reduced in societies that allow and recognize dissent as important. Therefore, speaking out against violence and taking a proactive approach is important but what may even be more important is making people aware of the other side of the scale. That there is a great deal of opportunity to enhance peoples lives through positive actions proactively. Be aware though that self-preservation is a human right and protecting oneself is necessary, each individual should be prepared to do so in the uncertain times we face.

Obviously, in this instance with the three security guards standing there as a woman is beaten senselessly, relying on others is not always enough.

Take Charge of Your Life

There's no time better than now to start making your life better. So why not start now?

Realize you have a choice... that you have the ability, the attitude and the determination to change your life and change the world... Not choosing is a choice as well and only leads down a road to disappointment.