Some Veterans Figure It Out

I seems like every week we creep closer and closer to yet another “war”…..I will admit that I am an anti-war person or as I was called back in the day a ‘peace-nik”…..when I returned from Vietnam I started down my path to try and get people to see that wars are not always what they are told…..that there were nefarious reasons for war…..and it had little to do with “God and country”….

I read this piece in the LA Progressive and thought that it was something that everyone should read….

Source: Some Veterans Figure It Out

My two tours of duty in Vietnam helped me to become an activist….war changes people sometimes for the better…..only someone that faced death in a war zone will understand what I am saying….it is not something that can be explained to someone who was not there….when I was sent to talk with a therapist I would ask one question…..”were you there”?  If the answer was no then I would walk out…..opinions are like assholes….everybody has one but if you have no first hand knowledge then your opinion carries NO weight.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox…..any comments?

Congress Goes To Work?

Hahaha……sorry could not write that without making myself laugh.

Are you shocked?  Well sort of….did you know that in 2016 the House of representatives will work 111 days total?  And get paid for full time work?  Great job if you could get it….and you cannot….you are not wealthy enough.

We have a new Speaker (Yawn)……and nothing will change…….maybe Ryan will get less time in the gym to work on his bod….but beyond that it will be business as usual….boring and worthless.

The House Foreign Affairs and House Homeland Security panels will hold a joint hearing on Wednesday on the “Rise of Radicalism: Growing Terrorist Sanctuaries and the Threat to the U.S. Homeland.” Witnesses include former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen, along with New America Director Peter Bergen.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Affairs Committee’s terrorism panel examines terror financing, with a particular focus on kidnapping and antiquities smuggling. The House passed legislation in June to crack down on looting in Syria, but it is stuck in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The House Armed Services Committee meanwhile holds a hearing Tuesday seeking “Outside Views on the Strategy for Iraq and Syria.” Witnesses include John McLaughlin, former acting director of central intelligence, and former Ambassador to Syria and Iraq Ryan Crocker.

The hearing will shed light on this weekend’s meeting of world powers in Vienna concerning the future of Syria. The United States and other countries with a stake in the war’s outcome agreed on a timetable for a transition government in six months and elections in 18 months…….

Hearings….is that not a performing arts course at university?  If you ever watched one of these dramas it is nothing but yahoos performing for the cameras….very little ever comes out of these with the exception of news sound bytes…..

But there is some that have a problem with Obama’s newest announcement of troop deployment…..

In a rare bi-partisan action a group of 35 Congresspeople have decided that there needs to be something done about our newest use of force…..

A bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives have issued an open letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R – WI), calling for a vote on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS, citing “deepening entanglement” in the conflict by President Obama.

Under the War Powers Act, the president must seek Congressional approval for any overseas military operation within 60 days. The launching of the war against ISIS in summer of 2014 put that vote in the middle of a mid-term election, and most Congressional leaders on both sides simply chose to ignore the law.

The new letter particularly draws attention to the recent White House announcement of ground troops being deployed to Syria, something previous AUMF attempts explicitly ruled out, saying this is a “significant escalation” of the war and proof that Congress needs to at some point vote on the matter.

Though the authors of this letter are in opposition to the ISIS war, some proponents of the war are also seeking an AUMF, believing Congress should at the very least sign off on the matter on offer some guidelines on the scope of the war. At present, however, most of the leadership appears to remain opposed to a vote, and the White House seems comfortable with continuing the war indefinitely without any legal basis at all.

Again a valiant effort or maybe just a part of the play that is now being produced in Washington…..personally this is something that needs attention because I can smell…..”MISSION CREEP”!

 Wars America Should Never Have Fought

I do enjoy my history…..and I hope that my readers appreciate it when I try to give them a little more knowledge that they may already possess….

There are those, which include me, that thinks that the Gulf War of 2003 was a huge mistake and the repercussions are being felt today.

But history has shown that Iraq is not the only war we should have avoided with a passion……actually history has shown that our misadventures in war goes back as far as 1812.

5 wars that the United States could have, and should have, kept out of.

Source: Misfire: 5 Wars America Should Never Have Fought | The National Interest

There are a few ‘minor’ wars that I feel we would have been well advised to avoid that will not be counted by most……the wars of Grenada and Panama come to mind handily.  Both of those wars were fought to prove a point not necessarily to solve a problem.

There may be others……Please if you can think of others throw them out there and we will discuss them.

Is A US Empire Inevitable?

I am always in search of topics that I can offer my readers with the hope it will set them to thinking and in the end respond to my questions and insertions.

I read an article in the American Conservative (that is correct…I read a conservative source) that got me to thinking about the US and what appears to be the beginning of a possible empire….

For instance…….The United States’ State Department recognizes 195 independent countries around the world and of those countries the US has troops operating in 147 of them….

“In the last decade, Green Berets have deployed into 135 of the 195 recognized countries in the world. Successes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Trans-Sahel Africa, the Philippines, the Andean Ridge, the Caribbean, and Central America have resulted in an increasing demand for [Special Forces] around the globe,” reads a statement on the website of U.S. Army Special Forces Command.

The Army’s Green Berets are among the best known of America’s elite forces, but they’re hardly alone. Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos, Army Rangers, Marine Corps Raiders, as well as civil affairs personnel, logisticians, administrators, analysts, and planners, among others, make up U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF). They are the men and women who carry out America’s most difficult and secret military missions. Since 9/11, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has grown in every conceivable way from funding and personnel to global reach and deployments. In 2015, according to Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw, U.S. Special Operations forces deployed to a record-shattering 147 countries – 75% of the nations on the planet, which represents a jump of 145% since the waning days of the Bush administration. On any day of the year, in fact, America’s most elite troops can be found in 70 to 90 nations.

Also we have major deployments elsewhere in the world like Germany, UK, Korea, Japan, etc…….a total of 147 countries…..if my math is correct that is over 75% of the world’s nations have an American troop presence.  At the height of the British Empire there was not that many nations that the British troops were involved in…..(check out the article in American Conservative….)

Source: Is Empire Inevitable? | The American Conservative

The US seems to be trying to out do the Romans and the Brits as far as occupation of foreign lands go…..

How long before the world starts calling our involvement for what it appears to be…..Empire building?

Syria: Here We Go Again

Do not pay the ransom…I escaped!

Finally the toads at my cable company have found the problem……now on to better things…..

Syria is on everyone’s lips….most of us are concerned about the refugees fleeing from the conflict or that ISIS will win there and move on to other lands and peoples……some of us are worried that the US will commit US troops to the nation and that will spiral out of control (of this I am one of those that worry)……

I am a Viet vet and I know what can happen when American special ops people are sent to “advise” another nation or faction…..we had advisers in Vietnam from 1950-1965……

The U.S. military advisory effort in Vietnam had a modest beginning in September 1950, when the United States Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam, was established in Saigon. Its mission was to supervise the issuance and employment of $10 million of military equipment to support French legionnaires in their effort to combat Viet Minh forces. By 1953 the amount of U.S. military aid had jumped to over $350 million and was used to replace the badly worn World War II vintage equipment that France, still suffering economically from the devastation of that war, was still using.

By 1961 the steady progress of the insurgency was near crisis levels. The new Kennedy administration increased American support for the Diem regime to prevent a collapse. By December of 1961, 3,200 U.S. military personnel were in Vietnam as advisors, supported by $65 million in military equipment and $136 million in economic aid. Military assistance was reorganized as the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), formed under the command of General Paul D. Harkins in February 1962. MACV was there to support the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) to defend the country. MACV included Army Special Forces (Green Beret) instructors and CIA personnel organizing the Montagnards in the mountains.

By 1963, U.S. military advisors in Vietnam had grown to 16,000 and the Americans were firmly identified with the oppressive Diem regime. Outrage over the Diem regime in Washington was communicated to South Vietnamese military leaders, indicating U.S. support for a new government. The Kennedy administration, through the CIA and Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, encouraged a coup in early November 1963 in which Diem and Nhu were assassinated. General Duong Van Minh took over the government and the U.S. was obligated to support him and the series of weak governments that followed. Later than same month, President Kennedy was himself assassinated in Dallas, TX and President Johnson assumed office. Hanoi thought that the new President might be looking to exit Vietnam and calculated that an increase in violence would be the lever to push the U.S. out.

Then the Gulf of Tonkin incident and, as they say the rest is history……

Why did I give this short history lesson of advisers in Vietnam?  A great question.  We are about to start this process all over again……

Washington (CNN)The United States is set to deploy troops on the ground in Syria for the first time to advise and assist rebel forces combating ISIS, multiple officials said Friday.

A senior administration official said that the U.S. would be deploying “fewer than 50” U.S. Special Operations forces to Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria. The American troops will help local Kurdish and Arab forces fighting ISIS with logistics and are planning to bolster their efforts.

The deployment of U.S. Special Operations forces is the most significant escalation of the American military campaign against ISIS to date.

The U.S. Special Operations forces will first be deployed to northern Syria to help coordinate local ground forces and U.S.-led coalition efforts to fight ISIS, the senior administration official said.

All that info sounds all too familiar to me and anyone else that has been privy to the history of Vietnam……

Here is something to think about…..we are sending in troops to help the rebels and Russia is attacking the rebel positions….what could go wrong there?

No more thing…these are troops we are sending not a pair of inanimate boots….call them what they are….American troops!

After hearing this news….all I could think or say was…….Here We Go Again!

This blog told you this would…..CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?


Iraq: You Asked For It And You May Well Get It

While you had your head stuffed into some fantasy football thing…the world is getting a bit more complicated……at least for our troops…..

The title is aimed at all you war hawks that feel that the answer to every problem is to throw troops at it……..who may have won this round of their empire building agenda……

Speaking of military adventurism……..

Recently the first American trooper was killed in a raid in Iraq against a stronghold of ISIS……troops are NO longer in the wings….now are they?

In the past the Obama admin has taken lots of gruff from people like me that feel that the plan to weaken ISIS through airstrikes is a short-sighted plan that will do nothing substantial to end this conflict……

So with all that criticism what is the answer that the Pentagon is coming up with….at least for now……

Having sent US ground troops on a raid mission against ISIS forces, and seen their first soldier slain in ground combat in the latest Iraq war, the Pentagon has feverishly spent the last week trying to spin trading gunfire on the ground with ISIS as an “advisory” mission.

It doesn’t seem a very credible argument, but the Pentagon seems to be testing just how much combat they can get away with while still nominally claiming their ground troops are only engaged in a “non-combat” operation, with the latest reports suggesting the Pentagon is again considering embedding troops directly into Iraqi combat units.

For old farts like myself….this sounds all too familiar….there was another conflict that spiraled out of control using this exact same tactic……can anyone say….VIETNAM?

Is it possible that the neocons are winning this debate?

These people have lambasted the Obama plan since the troops came home from Iraq…..pushing the scenario that we need to be physically present in Iraq to prevent war….to say nothing about the loss of revenue from from the war by the M-IC……looks like we are doomed to be a wartime presence in Iraq for many years to come….and in that time the chances of more American deaths rises exponentially as the number of troops deploy to the country.

It is as if the Pentagon and the M-IC are playing a role in the Star Wars (good movie reference, right?) epics……

Source: The Neocon Hunger for Universal Empire by —

The common slogan is that we are safer thanx to all this intervention throughout the world…….sorry sports fans…..I do not see and neither does a wealth of analysts.

Regardless of the endless slogans to confuse and convince….we are not safer today than we were 10 years ago……

Source: Endless War Makes Us Less Safe –

I want to see how the media will play this out in the nightly news….my guess it will be downplayed to avoid any negative blowback…..possibly it will be ignored until it becomes the 500 lb elephant in the proverbial room…..

What say you?