Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Life On The (PC) Military Lunar Base

BAB's A List, Foreign Policy, Military, War

By Myron Pauli

As I wrote in “Government Begets Government,” insanity breeds more insanity. Take Afghanistan (please!) – where we are closing out our 13th year of “bringing democracy” and propping up Hamid Karzai, “mayor of Kabul” and the Maliki Thieu Diem Distinguished Professor Viceroy of Local Corrupt American Suckupology. Not only that but the US pays protection money to the Taliban to enable us to supply the various “lunar bases” that we maintain remotely to “fight the Taliban.” But as Al Jolson said, “You ain’t heard nuttin’ yet”.

Bowe Bergdahl joined the US Coast Guard, which kicked him out 26 days later because he was a mental case and couldn’t be trusted to rescue swimmers or board a yacht to search for marijuana. Afterwards, he spends 2 years in a Buddhist monastery and after rejection by the French Foreign Legion, he finds the employer of last resort: the US Army! Yes, fat or blind; transgendered or prostitute; quadriplegic or retarde; elderly or toddler; jihadist or just plain NUTS – the US Army wants you to “protect our freedoms.” Today’s loony is tomorrow’s Sergeant York! Eric Shinseki can design a special colored beret for the mentally ill.

Once over in Afghanistan “protecting our freedoms,” Bowe Bergdahl exhibited two contradictory behaviors: (a) becoming disillusioned with the war [a clear sign of sanity!!], and (b) otherwise acting unbalanced. But remember that this is the US Army where Major Nidal Malik Hasan is employed as a psychiatrist (bonus question: Why do the armed forces need psychiatrists as officers in uniform?) and ranting publicly about jihad for a year while no one does anything (presumably it is just normal Army behavior!). So, let’s see, we have a discontented wacko in our lunar base here but let’s not ship him home out of harm’s way but keep him here in Afghanistan.

Bowe walks off the lunar base into Talibanland and gets captured by them. How does the Army handle this? They PROMOTE him from E-3 private to Sergeant E-5. Had they not handed over 5 jihadists to “rescue” Bowe, he could have been promoted to Army Chief of Staff while a prisoner of the Taliban!

Although the Republicans are perfectly fine with Israel releasing 1000 Palestinians who killed 569 Israelis right next door in mortar/infiltration range; they are mortified over 5 jihadists joining up with 1 million others who hate our guts 10,000 miles away. However, they think nothing about the Bush and Obama drone-kills on wedding parties most likely creating 5 new jihadists for each bomb dropped! Insanity breeds more insanity.

Seasoned, decorated warriors like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Steyn, Dianne Feinstein, and Ann Coulter all want Colonel (??!!) Bowe Bergdahl hung out to dry as the new Benedict Arnold. These seasoned superpatriots care less about those who have come home tragically with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder like Staff Sergeant Travis Twiggs. Twiggs watched his men mutilated in front of him by an improvised explosive device and came back home with PTSD, only to get overdoses of drugs but no real help from Bethesda Naval Hospital (Malik Hasan??). He wound up killing himself and his brother after a carjacking in Arizona. Suicides or homicides caused by PTSD struck veterans naturally does not count as “war deaths.”

Like that exemplary soldier Lynndie England of Abu Ghraib fame, Bowe will be scapegoated for “endangering our liberties” while the Rumsfelds, Hagels, Cheneys, and Bidens receive $10,000,000 for documenting their murderous memoirs and receive their “Medals of Freedom.”

Two weeks from now, on the 4th of July, we will all listen to the bloviating pundits praising the troops who are “preserving our liberties” – the old men in wheelchairs who fought for Diem and Thieu 50 years ago and the younger ones who got maimed on behalf of rival Shiite and Sunni religious fanatics in Iraq and Afghanistan. The occasional “nutcase” who says “Blessed are the peacemakers” usually gets ignored or crucified.

To truly understand the nature of war, watch this 5 minute video of the end of Bridge on the River Kwai on Youtube: where warfare is all summarized at the end: “Madness. MADNESS.”

******
Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


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The Military, The Mission And The Sunk-Cost Fallacy

Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military, Reason

Again and again one hears it repeated that our “brave men and women of the military,” having sacrificed for Iraqi “freedoms,” must be furious to see the gains they made squandered. Thus, goes the argument made by Stewart Varney (for example) of Fox Business, today, more resources must be committed forthwith in order to redeem the original (misguided) commitment of men, money and materiel to Iraq.

This is the sunk-cost fallacy, as explained by the Skeptic’s Dictionary:

When one makes a hopeless investment, one sometimes reasons: I can’t stop now, otherwise what I’ve invested so far will be lost. This is true, of course, but irrelevant to whether one should continue to invest in the project. Everything one has invested is lost regardless. If there is no hope for success in the future from the investment, then the fact that one has already lost a bundle should lead one to the conclusion that the rational thing to do is to withdraw from the project.
To continue to invest in a hopeless project is irrational. Such behavior may be a pathetic attempt to delay having to face the consequences of one’s poor judgment. The irrationality is a way to save face, to appear to be knowledgeable, when in fact one is acting like an idiot.


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UPDATED: Oh For Hussein’s Reign Again

Foreign Policy, History, Iraq, Islam, Jihad, Neoconservatism

What’s unfolding in Iraq, with ISIS, is no more than a progression along a predictable continuum, the starting point of which was an American invasion that unseated a very effective law-and-order leader: Saddam Hussein. The lawlessness we brought to Iraq with our messianic “faith-based initiative” has facilitated the manifestation of “divisions that have riven the region for four millennia.”

As much as I wanted to say something new about the predictable progression of Iraq, under American tutelage, from rogue state to Islamic state—I found most of what needed saying in a column dated December 2006, titled “At Least Saddam Kept Order”:

… If Iraqis appear ungrateful or disoriented, it is because they are busy … busy dying at rates many times higher than under Saddam. In the final days of Saddam’s reign of terror, i.e., in the 15 months preceding the invasion, the primary causes of death in Iraq were natural: “heart attack, stroke and chronic illness,” as the Lancet reported. Since Iraq became a Bush object lesson, the primary cause of death has been violence. …

Hussein’s reign was one of the more peaceful periods in the history of this fractious people. What a shame it’s too late to dust Saddam off, give him a sponge bath, and beg him to restore law and order to Iraq.

Secretly, that’s what anyone with a head and a heart would want. We could promise solemnly never to mess with him again—just so long as he kept his mitts off nukes, continued to check Iran (which he did splendidly), and minimized massacres. To be fair, Saddam’s last major massacre was in 1991, during which only 3,000 Shiites were murdered. That’s less than Iraq’s monthly quota under “democracy.”

No one is praising Saddam, yada, yada, yada. But even the Saddam-equals-Hitler crowd cannot but agree that Iraq was not a lawless society prior to our faith-based intervention. Even the war’s enablers must finally admit that under our ministrations Iraq has gone from a secular to a religious country; from rogue to failed state.

Put yourself in the worn-out shoes of this sad, pathetic people. Would you rather live under Saddam—who was a brutal dictator, but did provide Iraq with one of the foundations of civilization: order—or under a force made up of ideological terrorists, feuding warlords, and an “Ali Baba” element, all running rampant because they can, and where not even mosques provide a safe haven from these brutes and their bombs?

MORE.

Recommended: “INK STAINS AND BLOOD STAINS.”

UPDATE (6/13): There is one thing that is not allowed on the Facebook Timeline: adjudicating afresh the crimes against Iraq. I did serious time on this—years. And I feel very strongly about the distortion of this reality—still. The writings are archived, easily accessible for those who are still morally confused.
One of our Facebook Friends has used particularly bad language to describe the crimes against Iraqis. I don’t love Aditya’s language. I believe we do have younger, more impressionable Friends on the Timeline. But his passion is spot on. So his post stays, and he is asked to keep it cleaner next time. And frankly, what was done in Iraq by the US is immeasurably filthier than mere words.


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The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)

Capitalism, Elections, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Healthcare, Hillary Clinton, Hollywood, Military, Uncategorized, War

“The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Hillary Rodham Clinton has done some “conscious uncoupling” from reality. The term was disgorged by a celebrity, Gwyneth Paltrow, to announce a separation from her spouse. In the same breath, the actress bemoaned her gilded, glamorous life, and offended America’s military sacred cow by comparing the cyber-attacks she endures to the experience of war.

As heir to a political dynasty founded by a powerful man, Hillary has received millions of dollars to write books. Over the years, she and husband Bill Clinton have made hundreds of millions from both book deals and speaking engagements. Yet in a recent ABC interview, the former “First Housewife” complained about emerging from the White House not only “dead broke, but in debt”: “We had no money when we got there and we struggled to … piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.” …

… But on CNN, love is in the air. Viewers have expressed a belief that Hillary would restore the country to the Clinton years of peace and prosperity. Bill Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998, as well as a Sudanese pharmaceutical company that turned out to be the main manufacturer of medicines and vaccinations in Sudan. And he strafed the Serbs in 1999. Stateside, Bill butchered 76 men, women and children in Texas. Alas, so long as Hillary steers clear of another Waco, and confines her murderous sprees to killing far-away people from high above—few boots on the ground—her countrymen will consider her a peace-maker.

While prosperity during the Clinton years was due less to Clinton-economics than to Reaganomics and a Republican Congress not yet completely comatose—in fairness, Bill does grasp something about prosperity. “This is good work,” he famously said about Mitt Romney’s much-maligned work at Bain Capital. Hillary, conversely, has no economic acumen. “There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries,” she grumbled at the Clinton Global Initiative, in 2012. According to economist George Reisman’s cogent analysis—and contra Mrs. Clinton’s crushing ignorance—“a highly productive and provident one percent provides the standard of living of a largely ignorant and ungrateful ninety-nine percent.” As for Obama’s putsch for a North-Korean style health care: Instead of aborting it, Hillary will guarantee that Obamacare reaches full-term gestation.

Another wily fox called Bill (O’Reilly) has defended Mrs. Clinton’s riches as capitalism’s reward for hard work. Not quite. Hillary has accrued wealth by using the predatory political process to wield power over others. Although she has pudding for brains, Gwyneth Paltrow, on the other hand, has made a living in the honest, productive, non-predatory and salutary ways of the free-market. Paltrow’s affluence, unlike Hillary’s, is a reward for assets she peddles to people who choose to purchase them. …

Read the complete column. “The Paltrow Of Politics (Minus Looks & Ethics)” is now on WND.

Our German readers can now follow this column and other worthy writers in the JUNGE FREIHEIT, a weekly newspaper of excellence.

Editors wishing to feature the “Return to Reason” column in their publications, pixel or paper, please contact Bookings@ilanamercer.com.


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Praying To The Military Moloch

Foreign Policy, Government, Jihad, Military, Terrorism, The State, War, Welfare

“Praying To The Military Moloch” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“… At the center of the Bowe Bergdahl contretemps—a story that grows in the telling—was a passion to ‘learn about other cultures.’ This motivated him to join the army. Poor Pashtuns are certainly more interesting than the generic granny from the Midwest. Our soldiers, after all, are groomed as ‘citizens of the world.’ ‘We pay their wages,’ this column ventured in ‘The International Highway to Hell,’ ‘but their hearts belong in faraway exotic places with which Main Street USA can hardly hope to compete” for their affections.

There’s a problem with the American military’s sentimental flirtation with internationalism: The Constitution these men and women swear to obey brooks none of this stuff!

Who then grooms this army of avowed internationalists? Aided by the military’s upper echelons, Uncle Sam does. Commanded constitutionally by the commander-in-chief, the military does the government’s bidding. Although limited-government advocates refuse to consider the military as a division of Leviathan, it is just that. As was further argued in ‘Your Government’s Jihadi Protection Program,’ ‘The military works like government; is financed like government, and sports many of the same inherent malignancies of government. Like government, it must be kept small. Conservative can’t coherently preach against the evils of big government, while exempting the military mammoth.’

Better still, if the military is government—and it is—fanatical militarism is a facet of statism. And if the military is government—and it is—then the missions on which the government sends the military must be questioned. An equally distinctive characteristic of the current military statism is to extend the worship of The Man in Uniform to His Mission. We worship the men and women in uniform and their mission without question.

Conservatives question government programs. War is a government program. … ”

Read the rest. “Praying To The Military Moloch” in now on WND.

UPDATED: Here Mark Levin prays to “our beautiful, precious, wonderful men and women in uniform.” Two minutes and 12 seconds into the monologue come these words of worship. Now, there was certainly one gorgeous man among Ggt. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon members, interviewed by Megyn Kelly. But they aren’t all wonderful beauties.


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Bowe Bergdahl’s Story Grows In The Telling

Foreign Policy, Military, Terrorism

From being treated like a caged animal to enjoying the privileges of a comrade, the odyssey of Taliban hostage Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl just gets weirder. Down to his progressive, off-putting parents, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, traded “five fierce-looking Muhammadans from Afghanistan’s Jihad Central,” conjures John Walker Lindh, alias Abdul Hamid, a 20-year-old American who had been captured by U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan, during the 2001 invasion. Walker was a combatant, fighting for the Taliban.

Reports James Rosen, a very credible reporter at Fox News:

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam, according to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News.
The reports indicate that Bergdahl’s relations with his Haqqani captors morphed over time, from periods of hostility, where he was treated very much like a hostage, to periods where, as one source told Fox News, “he became much more of an accepted fellow” than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times.
The documents show that Bergdahl at one point escaped his captors for five days and was kept, upon his re-capture, in a metal cage, like an animal. In addition, the reports detail discussions of prisoner swaps and other attempts at a negotiated resolution to the case that appear to have commenced as early as the fall of 2009. … MORE.

No wonder Bergdahl looks so lost and pitiful in the clip of his release (via the New York Times). The military is home to some confused individuals. This poor guy thought he was joining UN Peacekeeping.


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