From The Stand (1994). Masks don’t work.
President Biden gave lip service to “unity” in his inaugural address, yet in his first day begins to roll back Trumps moves that helped the economy. He also says nothing about the House impeachment and coming Senate trial…to try and throw someone out of office who IS ALREADY OUT OF OFFICE! But hey, apparently this is what the low information voters wanted (with the help of some fraud), now they will get what they asked for…and I will sit back and laugh/cringe.
Passion: Music from The Last Temptation of Christ by Peter Gabriel might just be the best 1hr 7min of music to ever grace my ears. The movie it accompanied was ostracized in some circles for it’s depiction of Christ. Funny thing, at the time I saw the movie I was an atheist, and I remember telling someone if I turned to Christianity, that movie would be a contributing factor. The naysayers didn’t see what I saw. I did drop the atheist mantle, but that’s another contributing factor. The reason for the season is far deeper than inanimate objects under a tree.
New tag line for people wanting out of the Middle East…isolationists. See if we leave ISIS regains strength and then we have to deal with refugees. WRONG! The Middle East has to deal with refugees…we do not let them in our country. We want to keep stacking our cities with Muslims and get more Ilhan Omars, have “no go zones” like in London and Paris?We will not change that region, they are what they are, always have been, and always will be. The Barbary Wars (Libya) was over 200 years ago. 40 years ago the Islamists overran our embassy in Tehran. 36 years ago Islamists blew up the Marine barracks in Beirut. 29 years ago was Desert Storm. Afghanistan war at 18 years is our longest war ever. How in the hell has our involvement in the Middle East and North Africa done us one bit of good.
The old line “no blood for oil”, well I don’t think it’s all about oil…but if there was no oil there would we even care what they do to each other? I already don’t care.
That said, they kill innocent Americans and they will feel a wrath from the sky like they’ve never felt. Who says we need troops in the ground…we can make life very very miserable for them just by bombing the hell out of them.
I really am sick of that place.
Thanks for reading
Has been quite a while since I’ve written anything here, but time to get back in the swing of things. More to come.
“Washington and Military Assistance Command, Vietnam assessed the war through the rose-colored glasses of body counts. In so doing they violated the basic principles of fighting wars that the Marine Corps had lived and died by for more than 190 years: war is ultimately a test of wills, in which the human and moral dimensions are far more vital than the technological and administrative ones.”
– from a section about the Vietnam war in the book American Spartans, by James Warren
Is this ringing true again, except in the Middle East.
I’m torn on the Middle East, should we give a flying crap about them building a caliphate, and becoming a giant force? What if their goal is to become powerful enough that everyone will quit inserting themselves into their business. We love freedom, as I’m sure a lot of them would love to have…but what if the majority is fine with business as usual? It’s tricky, do we try to enlighten them to western ways by squashing those who oppose freedom?
The problem arises here, they don’t want just the Middle East, they want it all, and always have. Martel stopped the Muslim advance in the battle of Tours over 1,300 years ago. The Crusades were partly in response to the Muslim push into Europe. The Ottoman Empire was huge and ruled a large swath for hundreds of years…oh, and the current Middle East map is a result of the west redrawing the map to their liking.
If they would stick to screwing with their own, oh well, that’s the way they’ve always operated. BUT, they are screwing with everyone else…and for that they MUST be crushed down to the person doing the dishes for the radical Islamists.
This harkens back to the book quote…do we understand smart bombs won’t do it? Do we understand throwing a bunch of troops at it isn’t enough? We NEED a leader who can tell the world the human and moral dimensions we champion are why we have to crush this enemy of the civilized world. If the people feel it IS the right thing to do, then it can be done. But I fear our weak kneed half ass approach will be our ultimate downfall. This goes back far before Obama, what did Carter do about the Iranian embassy takeover? Nothing. What did Reagan do after the Beirut bombing? Nothing. Did Bush 1 finish the job in the gulf war? No. What did Clinton do after the Cole, after the Mogadishu debacle? Nothing. What did Bush 2 do about 9/11…not nearly enough. What is Obama doing about the domino effect taking place now, the ISIS butchers around the world? He is using technology (and limited)…nothing about the human and moral dimensions ever comes out of his mouth. He has so little stomach for war (and love for Islam) that he can’t even muster an attempt to convince us to squash this brutal enemy of the whole world.
I’m a military guy, spent eight years in the Marine Corps, served in the Gulf War. I didn’t see actual combat, didn’t see killed or wounded, only had rockets fired in the direction of our bomb dump that sent us running for the bunker numerous times. We did spend a lot of time loading munitions on helicopters that expended it on Iraqi soldiers. I want to share the following stats with you. The stats from each encompass all branches of the military.
War Length Served Killed Wounded % Total on Disability
WWII 3.5 yrs 16 million 450,000 671,846 8.6%
Korea 3 years 1.8 million 36,751 103,284 5.0%
Vietnam 10.8 yrs 3.4 million 58,303 153,303 9.6%
Gulf War 6 months 700,000 293 467 25%
Iraq/Afghan 8.8/13.2 yrs 2.4 million 6,802 52,000 31%
Does anyone besides me see a pattern here?
Jim Benson, a VA public relations officer, said the numbers are higher now days because “we have a greater ability to assess combat and theater related injuries”. What kind of injuries is he talking about? Not the physical, that’s for sure. He is talking about PTSD type “injuries”. Now I don’t deny the existence of PTSD, people can experience some brutal stuff in war and not deal with it well. But look at that list of wars, the three previous to the Gulf War were meat grinders that made the Gulf War and Iraq/Afghanistan look like a preschools preschool.
There are one of three things going on here, or maybe a combination. 1. They are over diagnosing war related mental issues just to increase the government dependency roster ($129 to $2,816 a month are the range of disability payments). 2. The general population, to include the military, wants freebies. 3. We are becoming a nation of complete wusses, and the wussdom is crossing over to the military. Personally, I think it’s all three, or different combinations of those three.
There are plenty of bad asses still serving, guys who will go above and beyond to help their buddy, county, or to defend the little guy. Naturally there were cases of people who mentally couldn’t handle what happened in the wars they served, but by and large veterans from the wars before the Gulf War sucked it up, they fought, endured some horrible crap, then they came home and forged ahead, had families and made a lives for themselves.
Final thought. Out of the total served in each conflict, how many were combat troops, and how many were in supporting roles far from the action (Air Force), or out on a ship, away from IEDs and flying bullets. Me for example, I was in theater, but I was working in a bomb dump 20 miles from the Saudi/Kuwait border, in other words, a kind of supporting role.
I don’t deny the existence of God, neither I or any human is smart enough or knowing enough to to say one way or another (atheists are clearly smart enough though). I will say this though, I think all religions are stupid. They were created by humans to control people, and for thousands of years have been very successful. I could go down the list of the vastly different doctrines and ridiculous beliefs they push on their adherents, and try to push on non practitioners…but there are too many. A few good ones though…baptizing after death by proxy, world created in six days, soul moving from one body to another, any contrary teaching of the bible chapter and verse is not true, members of one religion can live under another but must submit to the majority, denial of God (yes, atheism is a religion)
Each religion believes theirs is the correct one and others are incorrect. I think all religions are stupid.
Have I offended anyone’s deeply held beliefs enough to warrant some form of consequence? A verbal thrashing? A beating? Death?
OK, I’m going to start with assuming I’m becoming anti military, as I’ve kind of hammered at them a bit from time to time. I am a huge military supporter, I just wish the civilian bosses would let them actually fight a war, not play patty cake and dance around ridiculous rules of engagment. What follows is my take on the widely touted suicide rates and disability claims reportedly running rampant.
First disability. During the combined Iraq and Afghanistan wars there has been 50,000 physically wounded troops, that’s in 21 years of combined warfare (we had 30,000 wounded in 82 days of fighting on Okinawa). For some reason out of 2.5 million who have served in those conflicts, 900,000 are reported on disability or have claims pending. That’s an astonishing 36% are on disability or have claims pending…especially when only 2% were actually injured. What is the story behind this? I think if you come back and say you have a headache, they say it’s service/war related. That number is just wrong on many levels.
Now for the suicide. These numbers are even more astonishing, and hard to believe. The national suicide rate is about 46,000, which is a .0001 suicide rate. The odd thing is the suicide rate of veterans is claimed to be 22 a day, 8,030 a year, or .00002 of the total national population. There are 22,600,000 vets in totality in the country, that includes me and anyone alive who served in the military. So the rate of suicides committed by veterans vs the entire veteran population is about .0003. The 22,600,000 is equal to 7% of the nations population, yet that 7% of the population lays claim to 19.8% of the annual national suicides?! I’ve known a lot of vets in my life, and I’ve never known of one who committed suicide. I don’t buy the numbers at all, there is an agenda. It makes me think of the heat Tom Colburn, republican senator from Oklahoma is taking. Sen. Colburn is being criticized for blocking the Clay Hunt Bill (named after a vet who committed suicide), a bill that will add 22 million to the VA budget to study and combat suicide. He is blocking it because he said the money is redundant, that those type of programs already exist, and because there are no offsets…we can’t just keep tossing money at things. I happen to agree with him, again, because I don’t by the numbers.
Look, I’m not a shrink, I can’t determine what is going through a person’s mind, but something isn’t right. History has had various terms to cover what we now call PTSD, such as “battle fatigue”, “shell shock”, the “thousand yard stare”. I don’t deny those things exist, but I do think they are handing out that diagnosis like candy at a parade. Drone pilots are being treated for PTSD for crying out loud. The former Marine who was recently locked up in Mexico for accidentally crossing the border with a carload of guns and bullets claims he was in San Diego for PTSD treatment. His mother blamed his wrong turn on “directional dysfunction” as a result of his PTSD. Yet he was able to drive from Florida to Southern California, was able to find a parking spot at the boarder, walk across, find his way to a “right of passage for Marines in Tijuana”, and walk back to his vehicle with no problem. I forgot, as a Marine Sgt. he would have had more than basic training in land navigations, in other words, reading a map. Then he gets lost and makes a wrong turn. My personal opinion was he was buzzed and that’s why he made the wrong turn, but they pushed the story about PTSD and “directional dysfunction” to deflect the real reason, and drum up support…but I digress.
How in the world can our military claim to be the best on earth and be made up of the best people, yet they are mentally unstable and killing themselves at astonishing rates. For one, I don’t believe the numbers. The government is doing their best to push as many people as they can into dependency mode, and in my conspiratorial vein, they will eventually push to disarm PTSD veterans. Another thing, follow the money, disability means a check from the government…an anti suicide plan means a check from the government…which means more tax money out of you paychecks, and leverage over people.
Foreign policy is just that to this administration, foreign. Let’s look at the list of foreign policy accomplishments for the last five years, and I’m sure I will miss some. These will not be in a timeline format.
1. The Arab Spring.
2. Tunisia falling.
3. Egypt falling (twice).
4. Libya falling. Hillary’s famous quote “we came, we saw, he died” referring to Muamar Qadhafi (spelled a dozen different ways, so I made up another version)
5. Unable to make a deal for a residual force in Iraq after nine years of war…not terrorists are gaining strength, and have taken a city we lost over 100 Marines in a fight for in 2004.
6. Drawing a “red line” in Syria, then doing nothing (not that I thought we should to begin with).
7. An American consulate being attacked in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were murdered, including a US ambassador. To this day no one has been caught and no retaliation has taken place.
8. Selling guns illegally to Mexican drug cartels, which we immediately lost track of, and then they were used by the cartels to murder a US Boarder Patrol agent.
9. China has increased their air patrol space for no apparent reason, other to flex their growing military muscles (and to put Japan on edge).
10. Killing a missile shield deal with Poland and Czechoslovakia…to appease the Russians with the new “reset button”.
11. Giving the Russians the above mentioned “reset button”…and it was an actual cutesy button.
12. The mayhem in Ukraine, in which the president again threatened a country about not crossing a line…and since that threat the Russians have built up their troop presence in the Crimea region of Ukraine.
13. Warming up to Israel by telling them they need to go back to the pre 1967 boarders, essentially cutting their country in half.
Then there is the simple stupid things.
1. Giving an iPod to the queen of England that contained a list of your favorite speeches.
2. Removing a bust of Winston Churchill.
The list of the stupid things could probably go on, but I think you get the point.
President Obama’s foreign policy, with Hillary Clinton at the helm of the State Department, has been an absolute failure. BO went into office thinking the world would grovel at his feet, faint during his speeches, and just cower and do whatever he wanted, just because he wanted it. Well, guess what, the world can be a rough place, and full of players who will play the game their own way, unless there is a strong presence in the office of the most powerful and influential country on earth. A person unafraid of taking a tough line, and pushing back when someone wants to push us, and pushing back in such a fashion, they will think twice or three times about doing it again. I just wonder what further mayhem will happen on the world stage over the next three years.