The Ghosts of Direct Action

Always in war we hear about some atrocity committed by this side or that…..so when I read this story I thought that I would post it….I do not know whether this is some sort of propaganda tool or not…..if it is not then it is disturbing….

At first I thought it was a piece about some sort of protests where the participants are directly involved in the shaping of the protest……I was mistaken.

This is a report by a Ranger about some of the things he did in Afghanistan….like I said originally…if true then it is too disturbing for words…..

In early 2009 I was walking away from a compound a platoon from the Second Ranger Battalion had just assaulted when a staff sergeant I knew held up something in the dark.  I couldn’t tell exactly what it was.  It was small and he was bragging about it.  I tried to make it out but was soon distracted.  It wasn’t until I got back to Forward Operating Base Salerno and saw his pictures that I realized that he had been showing me a square piece of flesh that he had cut out of a dead woman’s neck.

Mutilating the corpse of a female noncombatant was just the final act in a horror show that night put on by this young Ranger.  He had killed several people.  One was a military-aged male, the rest were women; one looked to be about thirteen.

Source: The Ghosts of Direct Action – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

I know for a fact that shit happens during war….however there needs to be a point where things are not tolerated…..I realize that this may not be an accurate depiction of the situation….but it is one person’s first hand account of what happened…like it or not…

I cannot wait to see how the mentally challenged will try and spin this into something positive….that is what knuckle draggers do.

What The Military Thinks Of The Candidates

The convention circus has begun………

I know some think that I go on a bit at the lack of substance and quality of the two candidates that we have to choose from in this election…..but guess what?  I am not alone!

American military personnel favor Donald Trump for president over Hillary Clinton by more than a 2-to-1 margin in an exclusive survey conducted by Military Times ahead of the Republican and Democratic national conventions, but a strong majority of respondents say they are wholly unimpressed with both candidates.

More than 61 percent indicated they are “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with Trump as the Republican nominee, including 28 percent of those who intend to vote for him. More than 82 percent said the same about Clinton, the Democratic nominee, with 30 percent of those pledging to vote for her voicing displeasure with the choice.

Source: By and large, the military thinks Trump and Clinton are total losers

I am so excited to witness this election (sarcasm)…..I cannot wait to see just how f*cked up this country can become……the sad part is with these two a/holes the military will have to do the heavy lifting while everyone else sits on their asses criticizing some one some where…

Africa, The Dark Continent

I remember in my youth I heard Africa referred to as “The Dark Continent”…..I was never sure if that was a racist statement or just a statement on the limited amount of knowledge of the continent….I’m still not sure what is meant by the description.

Just what is US troops doing in Africa?  Are we fighting terror?  Maybe we are just a stabilizing force for some dictator?  What is the mission?

The Intercept has gained access to some papers that may help to explain our involvement in Africa…….

Across Africa, 1,700 Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other military personnel are carrying out 78 distinct “mission sets” in more than 20 nations, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

“The SOCAFRICA operational environment is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous,” says Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, using the acronym of the secretive organization he presides over, Special Operations Command Africa. “It’s a wickedly complex environment tailor-made for the type of nuanced and professional cooperation SOF [special operations forces] is able to provide.”

Equally complex is figuring out just what America’s most elite troops on the continent are actually doing, and who they are targeting.

Source: In Africa, the U.S. Military Sees Enemies Everywhere

Again….what is the specific mission of troops deployed to Africa?

There is a line in a movie about Africa….”It is Africa….No body cares about Africa”…..that was accurate until oil was discovered in Nigeria and the world salivated and became concerned….the vision of dollar signs danced in their eyes…..

Obama Alters Plan

In case anyone is interested….NO American troops died on foreign soil last week….

I have been reporting that the troop levels in Afghanistan, due to wind down this year, would stay in place or be expanded….well the prez has made it official….

President Obama is slowing the drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan, leaving 8,400 troops there into next year, he announced Wednesday. Originally he had planned to drop troop levels from 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of 2016. The numbers reflect a compromise between Obama’s original plan and what many military commanders had recommended given a Taliban resurgence, reports the AP. Obama says the security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious and that Afghan security forces are not as strong as they need to be.

Last month a group of more than a dozen former US ambassadors and former commanders of US forces in Afghanistan wrote to Obama urging that he sustain the current level of troops through the remainder of his term in office, per the AP. “Unless emergency conditions require consideration of a modest increase, we would strongly favor a freeze at the level of roughly 10,000 US troops through January 30,” they wrote in a June 1 letter. “This approach would allow your successor to assess for herself or himself and make further adjustments accordingly.”

That was the news out of Afghanistan and now how about the news out of Iraq?

The US will send 560 more troops to Iraq to help recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday on an unannounced visit to the country. Most of the new troops will be devoted to the buildup of the newly retaken Qayara air base, about 40 miles south of Mosul, and include engineers, logistics personnel, and other forces, Carter said in Baghdad, per the AP. They will help Iraqi security forces planning to encircle and eventually retake the key city. “These additional US forces will bring unique capabilities to the campaign and provide critical enabler support to Iraqi forces,” Carter said. He revealed President Obama’s decision during a talk to troops at the airport in Baghdad.

Carter called this weekend’s recapture of Qayara a key strategic victory. Speaking to reporters before he arrived in Baghdad, he said US advisers are prepared to accompany Iraqi battalions, if needed, as those units begin the siege of the key northern city, which was taken by ISIS in the summer of 2014. “That’s its strategic role, and that’s its strategic importance,” he said of the air base’s proposed function as the hub. US officials said a team of American troops went into Qayara for a quick site assessment Sunday and left. One potential job is helping Iraqi troops use highly technical bridging capabilities to get across the river into Mosul. The troop increase brings the total US force authorization in Iraq to 4,647 and comes just after Obama slowed the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

All this goes unnoticed….why?  NO ONE cares as long as it does not effect them directly……for they like scratching at that one scab until it becomes infected….

We Americans can be proud that we will have yet more chances for Americans to die for no other reason than the M-IC profits….and the next president can do the right thing or extend our troops even further….my money is on the later.

How about you?

Endless War, Endless Greed

Anyone that visits this site already knows just how much I dislike the M-IC….these toads start wars for one reason only….profits.  I know…I know most of this post is common knowledge….but we Americans need things hammered into our minds before we grasp it.

After reading this piece my hatred is just strengthened…….shameful to use the violence of war to make a buck…..and pathetic to use American lives as their cash account……

These days, lamenting the apparently aimless character of Washington’s military operations in the Greater Middle East has become conventional wisdom among administration critics of every sort. Senator John McCain thunders that “this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem” in that region. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies bemoans the “lack of a viable and public strategy.” Andrew Bacevich suggests that “there is no strategy. None. Zilch.”

After 15 years of grinding war with no obvious end in sight, U.S. military operations certainly deserve such obloquy. But the pundit outrage may be misplaced. Focusing on Washington rather than on distant war zones, it becomes clear that the military establishment does indeed have a strategy, a highly successful one, which is to protect and enhance its own prosperity.

Source: Endless War, Endless Greed: The Pentagon Is Lining Its Pockets with Taxpayer Dollars | Alternet

Where does this all end?

I apologize if I sound like a stuck record…but I will continue this pursuit as long as the American public turns a blind eye to the real reasons for all these conflicts that the government feels we MUST fight.

Afghanistan: Confusion Persists

When Obama was elected he promised to end the US involvement in Afghanistan by 2016…..and as we approach the end of his term the confusion is as deep as ever on what the intentions are regarding Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama aims to complete by July the Afghanistan plan he will hand over to his successor in 2017, including a decision on the number of American troops to leave in the country after he leaves office, according to U.S. officials. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

As the United States braces for an especially bloody summer fighting season in Afghanistan, President Obama inched closer this week to allowing American forces to once again directly battle the Taliban, loosening restrictions on airstrikes and on ground combat in support of Afghan forces, the administration said on Friday. – New York Times

With all that said it still appears that we could be pulling the majority of our troops out and sending them home, right?

You would assume incorrectly…….

In addition to a planned increase in airstrikes, reported yesterday, the White House today confirmed plans to loosen restrictions on ground troops, particularly the special forces in occupied Afghanistan, with an eye toward increasingly their direct combat role.

Press secretary Josh Earnest says that the US troops will be “more proactive” in their operation, and while the US is still officially listing the troops engaged in the occupation as non-combat “advise and assist” troops, they will also engage in “occasional” combat operations alongside Afghan forces.

While plans had at one point been to end the occupation by now, the US has put troop withdrawals “on hold” repeatedly as the Taliban gains more territory. With the Afghan military’s losses mounting, the new US commander, Lt. Gen. John Nicholson was keen to ramp operations back up.

This is a prime example of why the American people have NO idea what is going on in the world or with our troops……if they keep the American people confused and distracted then they will lose interest and anything can be done at that point.

America’s Habit of Fighting Unnecessary Wars

Yes Irene…the old hippie radical reads the American Conservative….it is a shame that more so-called “conservs” do not do the same thing……they might improve their standings with the people….just a thought.

While I may not agree with them on too much still it does not preclude them from offering some intriguing thoughts…..

I have pointed out on numerous occasions that the US is too involved in interventionism….that some of our wars are totally unnecessary to preserve the sanctity of our republic…..and yet we find situation after situation that will involve our troops and the chances of an escalation.

I read a couple of really good articles in the American Conservative that need to be read and understood….not that I will lead that parade….but I offer them up with the hopes that someone will take the time to see what our leaders are doing to our country.

Max Boot offers some typically wrongheaded thoughts on America’s foreign wars. He alleges that the U.S. has a habit of losing “won” wars:

What do all these betrayals of trust have in common? A failure by the American population and politicians to sustain a long-term commitment that would build on battlefield gains [bold mine-DL].

In every case Boot cites, he faults the “population and politicians” for their unwillingness to persist in prolonged conflicts or long-term postwar political projects that weren’t part of the original reasons for the war. If this keeps happening, it is probably because the public can’t see the value in sacrificing more American lives in unnecessary wars that had little or nothing to do with U.S. security, and it is probably because no one expected that fighting a given war entailed making a decades-long commitment to remaking the country in question. If that were understood in advance, Americans would likely be much less willing to support those wars, which is one reason why supporters of each new war always minimize how much it will cost, how long it will last, and how much the U.S. will have to keep doing once the initial campaign has ended.

Source: America’s Habit of Fighting Unnecessary Wars | The American Conservative

Predictably the war hawks will use terror as a tool to keep one intervention after another…..they use every event as a stepping stone to yet another intervention and yet more use of American troops….

Last month, several Baghdad bombings attributed to ISIS killed more than a hundred civilians and wounded hundreds more. The attacks are a tragic reminder that Iraq is still a nation in turmoil. But they should also be a reason—more than 13 years after the decision to topple Saddam Hussein and undertake nation-building in Mesopotamia—to reevaluate U.S. policy in Iraq.

The occupation of Iraq has cost more than $2 trillion. The cost to deploy a single soldier there is estimated at roughly $775,000 per year; with nearly 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, that’s almost $4 billion per year. And the cost of airstrikes is about $8 million a day—or about $3 billion per year. Are these costs worth continuing to bear?

Source: Permanent Mideast Intervention Won’t Stop Terror | The American Conservative

Americans need to look beyond the candidates and the election and see what is in store for this country in the near future……it is not a pretty picture and by ignoring it we will only make it worse.