The Hazards of Military Worship

This country seems to have this love affair with the military….we trust them way more than we tryst the president or the Congress…..

Our history illustrates just how deep our love affair goes with the military…

When it comes to war, less is more.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey had genuine scholarly and combat bona fides. But consider him and a few others the exceptions that prove the rule. Which is why civilian control of the military, and of the policymaking process that goes with military action, is not just a constitutional imperative but desirable for thoroughly practical reasons. Which, in turn, is why the makeup of the current administration — with an unprecedented number of generals in key positions — raises some serious questions.

And yet the problem is so much bigger than that. Somehow — and this should be truly unnerving — Americans have gotten to a place where, it seems, they trust only soldiers. In June 2016, for instance, a Gallup poll found that 73% of Americans had “quite a lot” of confidence in the military, versus 36% for the presidency and 6% for Congress. Such disparities ought to inspire distress about the direction of our public institutions, but rarely do.

Source: The Hazards of Military Worship

A small dose of history can cure a lot of stupid.

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What Price War?

Many media mouthpieces have talked on and on about the price of war….the dollars wasted….the lives wasted…..we hear daily about the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan….all the wile we are still part of the war on Libya and make NO mistake…..it is a war….you may call it whatever you like….but a war by any other name….is still a WAR!

We cannot afford to educate our people or give them health care or…..well pick an issue and we are told that we can NO longer afford it…..with the exception of war….it seems we will always find the cash to fight a war….that in itself is pretty sad, IMO……

We are fighting 3 wars as I write this and more to come I am sure…….but we need to find a way to actually pay for a war and still have money for education or health care or ……….  Since the wars in the present actually effect only about 10% of the population we need to tap into all this fake patriotism to find a way to pay……….

With the debt supercommittee looking to slash the deficit, some in Washington are raising an old question, notes Walter Pincus in the Washington Post: What about a tax on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? “These wars ought to be paid for and not put on a credit card so that our kids will have to pay for this in the future,” Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern tells him in an interview. “It’s morally wrong for members [of Congress] to call for support of our soldiers and then not ask the rest of us to pay for it.” The idea of a war tax isn’t a new one: Iraq and Afghanistan are “the first wars undertaken by US presidents since the War of 1812 that have not been financed in part by a special tax,” writes Pincus. A 10% tax surcharge next year would almost cover the year’s $116 billion in projected war costs, says an economist, who adds that such a surcharge wouldn’t affect those who pay no taxes and “would add just 1.1 percent to rates of those who do pay taxes,” Pincus writes. A “war tax surcharge won’t solve the problem, but it is a step in a historically and morally right direction.”

I say BRAVO!  A Hell of a good idea……..if this becomes reality…watch how fast those so-called patriots start yelling for an end to these wars and to bring the soldiers home.  Hell this might be a better anti-war proposal  than re-instating the draft.

Change The Story Line!

From the VOMITORIUM

So far I have tried to stay out of the WikiLeaks story….I posted one about the comparison to the Pentagon Papers of my day……and recently there has been a concern that the Army PFC that has been accused of leaking the documents may be treated harshly for what he is accused of…..many stories have run that he is becoming disoriented and even catatonic to a small degree because of his treatment in the military brig….like solitary confinement for 23 hours a day….being put on suicide watch for a couple days which took away what little time he had in the air and made him strip down to his underwear and then there is the sleep deprivation….all in all a cruel and unusual punishment….and somewhere I think it is written that that is NOT suppose to happen in this democratic free country…..of course, I could be mistaken….

I will not go into whether what manning did was illegal or not…..or that the people may have the need to know what the government is doing….those will be questions for a trial….if there is ever one…..

Anyway…..these stories are putting the US and especially the military in a bad light….a light that they would prefer to be focused elsewhere…..and some in the media are doing their part to shut off that light on the military……the story is trying to be returned to focus on Assange……

Julian Assange’s wariness of government spooks ran so high that the WikiLeaks founder resorted to disguising himself as a woman when traveling, according to a profile published Monday by The Guardian.

As Assange’s entourage moved from London to the village of Ellingham, the battered red car they rode in periodically pulled off the road with lights killed to make sure it wasn’t being followed.

The media is portraying Assange as this sick paranoid…..all to throw off the media scrutiny of the brig and back on the man they have been trying to discredit in many ways…..and it looks like it is a bit successful….I have seen at least two stories so far about this on cable news media…..and none of the fate of Manning…..I mean some dude dressing like a woman is NOT news……a person that may be in a US military brig being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment IS!

Americans are ALWAYS quick to condemn and slow to seek the truth……if this story plays out as I expect it to….then the point is well taken……

Who Will Use Force?

The WaPo has this Robt. Kaiser article

The well-advertised differences between John McCain and Barack Obama on the war in Iraq may obscure a consequential similarity between their hawkish views on the use of American military force in other places.

Just two questions in the three debates between the two nominees touched on the subject, and neither has spoken at length on it during a fall campaign dominated by economic issues. Yet both have revealed a willingness to commit U.S. forces overseas for both strategic and humanitarian purposes. Both agree on a course of action in Afghanistan that could lead to a long-term commitment of American soldiers without a clear statement of how long they might remain or what conditions would lead to their withdrawal.

Both candidates favor expanding the armed forces, Obama by 92,000 and McCain by as many as 150,000. Both speak of situations when the United States might have to commit its troops for “moral” reasons, whether or not a vital American interest was at risk. Both accept what Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army colonel and professor at Boston University, calls the “unspoken consensus which commits the United States to permanent military primacy” — shared, Bacevich said, by leading figures in both parties

Neither candidate has spoken explicitly about how American and NATO forces would get out of Afghanistan.

Russians Dig In

Thousands of Georgians angry at the presence of Russian troops on the outskirts of the strategic Black Sea port of Poti took to the streets Saturday waving Georgian flags and urging the Russians to leave.

The protest came as a top Russian general said his country’s forces would keep patrolling Poti even though it lies outside the areas where Russia claims it has the right to station soldiers in Georgia

On Friday, Russia said it had pulled back forces from Georgia in accordance with a EU-brokered cease-fire agreement. Russia, though, interprets the accord as allowing it to keep a substantial military presence in Georgia — a point hotly disputed by the United States, France and Britain.

Russian troops were taking positions Saturday in trenches they had dug near a bridge that provides the only access to Poti. Tanks and APCs were parked nearby. They had hoisted both Russian flags and the flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS, the union of former Soviet republics that Georgia recently announced it had left. Emotions ran high, though direct confrontation was avoided.

McCain And The Military

Republican presidential candidate John McCain wants the U.S. military to be much larger than current expansion plans envision, an adviser to the Arizona senator said this week.

The Bush administration has begun expanding the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to create a combined strength of around 750,000 active duty troops — a process backed by McCain’s Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

But McCain believes an Army and Marine Corps with a combined strength of up to 900,000 troops is necessary, said Randy Scheunemann, an adviser to the candidate on foreign policy and national security.

The U.S. Army and Marines have been severely strained by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many troops have served multiple tours in the war zones and currently spend only 12 months at home before they deploy again for another year.

As a member of the U.S. Senate’s armed services committee, McCain has built a reputation for scrutinizing the costs of big weapons programs and he has pledged to pursue that approach in the White House if he wins November’s election.

Obama and McCain have a very similar vision for the service to the country.  So if that is one of your guidelines for picking a candidate, then flip coin.

McCain And The Experience Thingy

This will be the last time that this will reported on in Info Ink, in the last couple of days I have been blasted for my piece on the Clark McCain experience piece, so I decidied to comment one more time.

Stopit! Stop it! Before we go forth please take a moment to flush the emotional BS down the toilet.

I do not think that Wes Clark or myself are impuning McCain’s service to this country–to do so would be political, societal and cultural suicide. Because there is no definitive definition to the word patriotism or national hero, it is purely subjective. To use an obscure concept to say that is experience to be president is absurd. Even McCain has admitted this in past conversations.

As I have said before, a uniform does not make one a patriot, but rather a soldier. The National Hero label is a label and nothing more. To call someone a hero just because they served in the military is to belittle those who have actually done heroic acts.

Few people who have been president have actually had the experie3ncxe to hold the title of president. To get emotional because someone questions another’s experience claim is just dumb and usually comes from those who have no answer to the “real” question of experience.

Try to move past the BS and on to the issues that are most important to the American people. You know those silly issues like the economy, health care, education, war, etc–if we allow the candidates to keep circumventing the issues, then we will have 4 more years of the same BS that we live with today.

America! Get over it! Move on!

Will The Iraqis Ever Be Ready?

In Iraq for 25, 50 100 years?  With stories like this, then I would say there is a good possibility unless someone has the cajones to end it!

Iraqi security forces are unable to maintain order following operations targeting al-Qaida fighters in the northern city of Mosul, officials said Thursday.

U.S. and Iraqi authorities view Mosul, the provincial capital of Ninawa, as one of the last remaining al-Qaida strongholds in Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered a military crackdown in the northern city in May.

The gains from these operations, however, have disintegrated as militant groups re-entered the city and gunmen reportedly are roaming the streets in force, the Iraqi daily Azzaman reported.

Ninawa officials said there was an insufficient number of Iraqi troops to maintain security following operations in May.

“Residents are hopeless once again after shortly enjoying the faint light at the end of the tunnel,” officials said on condition of anonymity.

Officials said they are also concerned about the presence of the Kurdish Peshmerga force, which guards their political districts in the largely Arab city.

At least 18 people died and nearly 80 were wounded in a car bomb attack in Mosul Thursday that targeted the offices of Ninawa Provincial Governor Duraid Kashmula.

The media has successfully pushed Iraq to the back burner and not reported on the war as it should be.  There are still Americans dying in this country and for this president so I believe that anything that happens in the country of Iraq is newsworthy.  Our troops deserve better treatment by the media.

Environmentally Friendly Bombs?

Sorry when I read the story my first reaction was WTF?

TNT, RDX and other explosives commonly used in military and industrial applications often generate toxic gases upon detonation that pollute the environment. Moreover, the explosives themselves are toxic and can find their way into the environment due to incomplete detonation and as unexploded ordnance. They are also extremely dangerous to handle, as they are highly sensitive to physical shock, such as hard impacts and electric sparks.

To make safer, more environmentally friendly explosives, scientists in Germany turned to a recently explored class of materials called tetrazoles. These derive most of their explosive energy from nitrogen instead of carbon as TNT and others do.

In initial experiments, G2ZT and HBT produced fewer toxic byproducts than common explosives. Still, they did generate some dangerous hydrogen cyanide gas. But mixing these compounds with oxidizers not only avoids making hydrogen cyanideThe research was financially supported by the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, the European Research Office of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, and the Bundeswehr Research Institute for Materials, Explosives, Fuels and Lubricants., but also improved performance, Klapötke said.

After reading I had a good laugh, but really is not that an oxymoron or something like that?  An environmentally friendly bomb?