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March 19, 2012


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New Lt. Calley, welcome to the new century.

The danger that Gen. Marshall perceived has clearly been exacerbated in these modern times. As Jon points out, our "war footings" of late have more in common with occupations and "police actions" than what has been normally understood (via the History Channel, for living generations) as conventional warfare (and this observer questions just how "conventional" war really has been, especially since the Industrial Age - Dresden and Hiroshima come to mind.)

Also, there is the "killology" thesis of Dave Grossman, which posits that, because of psychological training enhancements, the number of troops "willing to kill" has risen from 15-30% to 90% today (these numbers are in some dispute, but it is clear that they have risen.) These enhancements include using human-shaped targets, but the one that really grabs me as being relevant is the virtual killing world that modern computer gaming has given us. (It is no small thing to contemplate that this training begins before a child sets foot on an Army base - indeed many military-themed computer shoot-em-ups were developed by the military and/or contain recruiting adverts.)

An additional point worthy of note is that standard combat training models include urban warfare training, a landscape that is familiar when one returns home.

With such significant numbers of our fellow citizens "getting their bones" with blood on their hands, our militarized government is handing its citizenry potentially explosive social problems.

Since our country has devolved since Calley's time, I forsee this trooper becoming a future FOX commentator. No more money problems for him.

AzRebel -


Thanks Petro, I liked that link. Good music.

Emil is this a judgment?
"A lot of Rogue readers have yet to internalize the lesson"

By the way I ran into Sam Pulsifer today.

I just hate myself when I say,
I told you so.
And I have been saying this since around 88.

I quit hiking the Superstitions as I got weary of running into ex military with grease blakened faces, full battle dress and lots of guns.

Wonder what state the VA is in under Gen. Shalikashvili? This is the agency that'll be dealing with the Persian Gulf fallout for decades, right? Reference: my 66 year old brother's PTSD has put the brakes on his life since 'Nam.
We're dealing with broken lives and there's no sign that anybody much gives a damn except the friends and families involved. Thought we were better than that!

"Thought we were better than that."

At the same time that John McCain was shouting out "support the troops" he was voting against a bill to protect service members from predatory insurance practices.

At the same time that John McCain was shouting out "support the troops" he was voting to cut funding to the VA hospital system.

We may be better than that, but the folks in DC are not. To them the troops are cannon fodder.

In sports an injured player is no longer of any use to the team. In war, an injured trooper is no longer of any use to the war machine.

America the stupid. Praise be to God!

The US government learned a lot from its losing the Vietnam War. The first lesson was to control the media and news contrary to the war effort. It handled the media superbly for the Iraqi invasion. The embedding of reporters with troops was an effective way to take away any objectivity the reporters may have possessed.

Our Honorable Senator McCain has expressed support for bombing campaigns in Syria and Iran since his defeat in the 2008 presidential election. He was only against the US intervention in Libya because it wasn't American enough.

Can you imagine where this country would be had our honorable senator become president?

I was in "I Love Sushi" in Bellevue. Having saki and fish I struck up a conversation with Japanese businessmen.

It was unbelievable to them that the US general population was encouraged to possess handguns. Comparing homicide rates with other developed countries it is hard to rationally explain the gun policy in the US.

The US has technology and a lot of natural blessings, but the people are ignorant and backward.

Great rolling stone article

Two thoughts:

1) Do you suppose the flag-waving patriots are speaking out in favor of treating vets with the care and respect they've earned?

2) For so many reasons, McCain is a charlatan and a fraud but at least it was good to hear him diss the Republicans'most recent sideshow on womens' rights.

Chris Hedges had a similar post on Truthdig yesterday:


Tillman. Hero.

Chaney. Patriot.

Tillman did not support the Iraq war or the Afghan war. If he had lived he would have been a vocal critic of the whole mess.

Chuco35, are you referring to Lon Chaney? The actor? Or Dick Cheney, one of America's greatest traitors and war profiteer.

Chaney the failed war architect, and overall accomplished but smug loser.

This is SO Vietnam! And we have not learned a thing some 40 years later! Off topic "Who I share a barber with" I wonder if it's Sig's in Belltown- they'be been in the urban jungle forever,remarkably holding out for decades against being turned into a Condo!

Great op-ed, Mr. Talton. It's so difficult to improve upon, I don't think I'll try. (I'll have some additional comments, though, in due course.)

The one part that I react against reflexively is the part about Afghanistan becoming "an Iranian client state". Shia Muslims (the kind found in Iran) are only 19 percent of the population. The largest single group in Afghanistan consists of Pashtun Sunni Muslims, and there are other Sunni groups. In 1998 Iran actually began an abortive invasion after the Taliban killed 11 Iranian diplomats and murdered thousands of Shia Muslims.

Iran actually supported American foreign policy goals (entirely coincidentally, of course) by assisting anti-Taliban ethnic rebel groups (Hazaras, Uzbeks, and Tajiks -- about 30 percent of the population) instrumental in the overthrow of the Taliban in the wake of the U.S. military campaign. The U.S., I believe, also supported such groups.


I especially agree that post-tramautic stress disorder, while it might encourage violent and erratic behavior that one is already predisposed to, or influence an escalation of existing tensions (e.g., during or after an argument with fellow soldiers or commanders), it cannot make someone methodically plan to leave a military base after hours, hike to a village, and massacre women and children that one recognizes as non-combatants. "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves."

Cal, I responded to your comment in the previous thread, where it belongs. General Rogue readers may also find it of interest.

The US has technology and a lot of natural blessings, but the people are ignorant and backward.

The U.S. military had a soldier with $506,250 in mortgage debt. We must ask ourselves: Who is complicit in both atrocities?

Emil, Excellent decision.
"Great op-ed, Mr. Talton. It's so difficult to improve upon, I don't think I'll try."

Lastest news on the SSgt is that he was saddled with a $1.5 Millon judgment for defrauding an investor and barred from trading securities in Ohio before he enlisted after 9/11. He and his wife had previously walked away from a home before this latest mortgage fiasco.

An interesting prior take on insurgency:


Gary Brecher's bulk of work can be found at The Exiled.

Side note: a couple of replies to eclecticdog re Chinese oil disruptions and South Sudan, in the previous thread.

P.S. My apologies to Mr. Talton: I read his new blog item in a hurry last night and (unless it has been updated) I seem to have switched "Iraq" and "Afghanistan" around. He said nothing about the latter becoming an Iranian client state.

I added something about "Arizona innovators" in the Green Shoots thread.

We are a country that sends its troops around the world to kill the hell out of anyone who even looks at us cross-wise. Yet, here at home we are a bunch of fraidy-cats.

The article in the AzCentral about Iranians in New York doing "surveillance" has readers peeing in their pants.

We have systematically turned this country into the sissies we hated growing up, yet we are the biggest threat to life on this planet.

What a dichotomy.


Everybody conducts surveillance in New York City. The United Nations is headquartered there, among other things. It's friggin' Spy Central.

The suggestion here is a bit more disturbing than ordinary spy games: a whiff of terrorism, according to Fox News and its sources.

But if you look at the details, here's the factual core:

Mitchell Silber, the NYPD's Director of Intelligence Analysis, says that since 2005, at least 13 individuals "with ties to Tehran" were seen taking pictures of NYC landmarks.

By way of example, "tips led the NYPD to six people on a sightseeing cruise who were taking pictures and movies of city landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge."

Well, imagine that: out of the tens of thousands of Iranian visitors to New York over the past ten years, at least 13 of them have had "ties to Tehran", whatever that might mean.

And six of them, on a sightseeing cruise, took pictures and movies of the Brooklyn Bridge and other landmarks. Golly! The Hezbolla terrorist squad needs fully six (count 'em, six!) reconnaisance agents -- on a SINGLE CRUISE, possibly because they don't trust one another; or maybe it's like one of those Polish jokes (How many Iranians does it take to photograph the Brooklyn Bridge, which has already been photographed ad nauseum and in the kind of technical detail which is publicly available to any intelligence service); or maybe they're very, very afraid of defectors and have calculated that six is the minimum number of backup agents needed to insure that at least one of them is loyal enough to intimidate the others out of a double-cross.


One thing I don't quite understand, with regard to the Afghanistan massacre which is the subject of this thread, is how this soldier, alone, armed with a rifle, and acting well after everyone on the base (except for the sentries) was expected to be asleep, managed to exfiltrate himself.

True, he was wearing a U.S. serviceman's uniform, but then, so might suicide bombers and assasins. Apparently he didn't walk out the main gate, having no business in doing so at such an hour, unless of course the sentries were even more lax than it appears.

Don't they have perimeter surveillance set up at night on a base in Afghanistan surrounded by hostiles willing to sacrifice their own lives and perfectly capable of donning a serviceman's uniform as a disguise?

Why wasn't this individual detected, stopped, and challenged?

A minor point, but perhaps telling.

Paraphrasing Charles Fort in The Book of the Damned, the signs of unreality are everywhere...

Now Emil that was funny!!

Azrebel to update your spy info I suggest reading "Triple. Cross'

Unreality, indeed, Emil!

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

90% of the world's supply of heroin now comes from Afghanistan. Prior to 2002 with the Taliban in control, exports were 200 tons per year. They are now 8000 tons per year. Final street value is about $125 billion of which the farmers get about $1.5 billion.. it is the heroin profiteers in and out of government who are perpetuating this war. We could buy and destroy the entire crop from the farmers for a few billion per year but choose instead to let it enter the world market. The general media slence on the massive crime is most telling. The US Gov't has become the greatest Drug Lord in the world. We have lost the war in Afghanistan by spreading heroin widely and causing widespread addiction and death.

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