In 2012 an important transition occurred in America.
For the first time in 236 years of history, for the first time in all of American history, it is guaranteed that, no matter who becomes the next Commander-in-Chief, he will have had no military experience. The same is also true of whoever becomes Vice President. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone that the man who will command the most powerful military machine in the history of mankind will have learned all he needs to know about exercising that military power properly throughout the world by watching Hollywood movies and playing “macho” video games – in the comfort of their living rooms. And he will do that while also watching really huge chunks of that machine simply hacked off by Congressional budget-cutters who also don’t know anything about the military. As a professional military guy myself, I suppose that, despite all this, it’s a plus that none of these men seems to have nearly the level of visceral hatred of military people that characterized the Baby Boomer Clinton Administration. It’s also a little less alarming knowing that none of these candidates is a man-hating woman.
So why is any of this important?
The last critical period for military service in the US was 1965-1973, when the war in Vietnam saw major anti-war/draft movements in the US even as millions of other young men served honorably in the nation’s armed forces. That period came in the middle of the great black civil rights movement which deeply roiled the entire nation and finally began making long overdue and fully justified major race relation changes in our society. This was also the same period when American women decided to make noises about their own “issues” and started to re-engineer America to suit themselves, especially in employment and education. They were mostly oblivious to all the turmoil, suffering and dying among their “oppressor” men of all stripe around them or for countless generations before them. The age of “me” was born, and over the next half century, women never stopped complaining about the conditions they created. But conditions for men also changed.
Although not yet ratified by their respective political parties, the four presumptive 2012 candidates for the White House are Obama-Biden and Romney-Ryan.
President Barack Obama (51), turned 18 in 1979, the year he first left Hawaii for mainland US, where he attended university on a minority scholarship and then went into “community organizing” work (precinct politics) in Chicago with a lot of academic theory and other people’s money but no actual experience or record. Too young to have been exposed to the Vietnam era draft (or to the American black civil rights movement), he subsequently never volunteered for military service, either.
Governor Mitt Romney (65) a Baby Boomer whose age (18 in 1965) made him highly vulnerable to the Vietnam War draft, used college to avoid that draft and then in 1966 left for a Mormon mission (in France!), returning to get married in 1969 and to obtain more student deferments until graduating from Harvard law and business schools in 1975 – at age 28. Romney thus followed Baby Boomer President Clinton’s example, but without participating in anti-US war protests as an American overseas.
Vice President Joe Biden (70), whose age (18 in 1960) made him also highly vulnerable to the Vietnam War draft, used college and law school to obtain a succession of five student deferments (1963-68), immediately followed by political office (public defender, county council, US Senate) to avoid the draft and possible service in Vietnam – and yet he has always been among the forefront of those pompous asses forever wielding the royal “we” when describing the sacrifices and accomplishments of brave and capable others. (As usual with those throwing about the royal “we”, he knows next to nothing about the US military, except how to curry childish favor in order to buy cheap votes.)
Representative Paul Ryan (42), who wasn’t even born until 1970, was far too young for the Vietnam draft and thereafter, like President Obama, did not volunteer for military service. He was 31 and an elected US Representative when the current era of wars began in 2001.
None of these four men served in the Peace Corps, either.
(There’s been little mention lately of the Silent Generation’s Senator Ron Paul (77), the “last straight-talking adult” on the US national political scene and the only one to have served in the US military (as an Air Force flight surgeon, 1963-68, during the Vietnam War).)
In 1975, after a “reasonably insulating” pause following the departure of the last US combat forces, South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and their 34,000,000 citizens fell to brutal communist rule – 1,700,000 to be slaughtered in Cambodia alone and a million to flee into permanent refugee status from Laos. That year also saw another legacy of Baby Boomer demands. In the US the Draft ended, so all American men thereafter didn’t have to worry about “avoiding the draft”; all they needed to do was opt to “not volunteer”. Males were still required to register for the Draft, but the Draft would go into effect only if needed in a major national emergency. The registration process thus inexplicably remains a legally discriminatory responsibility that targets only males. Most like to imagine that military service is “beneath me”, but the hard truth is that today over 80% of young American adults can no longer qualify for Regular military service. (This pathetic reality requires the military to recruit from the top 20% – who can meet the minimum mental, physical, psychological, educational and moral requirements, as well as demonstrate an ability to learn quickly a wide variety of very challenging endeavors in a range of conditions – just in order to try out for basic training.)
So there will be no discussion about prior military service or military medals during this campaign for election to the highest offices in the land. There will be no accusations, investigations, exposés, negative advertising or smear campaigns concerning any of the candidates and their real or inflated military service backgrounds. All four of these men will spend the campaign concentrating solely on what American politicians do best – telling our majority women and their clones whatever they want to hear. The way is thus now cleared for those American women to anoint one of their own to ascend to the throne, never to be asked what she has ever done for her nation much less for anyone other than her own group. Our only hope is that she is not one of those self-involved, opportunistic, arrogant and “entitled” Baby Boomer women who couldn’t even be bothered to have and raise half enough children to eventually pay for their own lucrative entitlements, while simultaneously refusing to reduce those entitlements. In listening to them you’d think that their lives have been one long stations-of-the-cross crusade through hell. For them it’s been an entire lifetime of rights without responsibility, without even one second of thought to any potential military service or other obligatory duties to disrupt or alter their lives, plans, hopes and dreams.
Now everyone can sing “Land of the free, home of the brave” with no irony at all even as some fan fear for profit to turn the country into a police state under such ludicrously titled laws as the “Patriot Act” – protecting cowering “special me” under the subterfuge of “safety and security”. American Baby Boomer women bought a certain unique “logic” to America. Now everyone can use the royal “we” when bragging about someone else’s sacrifices and accomplishments “defending the nation” in war, mainly to pump up “my” self-esteem. Now we have to figure out whole new ways to flaunt our “patriotism” in a nation which the Boomers’ self-involvement and irresponsibility put squarely on the ropes. But literally no one seems interested in any program of mandatory national civil or military service to actually contribute something worthwhile to “all of us”. (Perhaps we should just trumpet our grandfathers’ service in wartime long ago. We certainly wouldn’t be the first to borrow such vicarious self-worth from long-gone ancestors.) Logic is unnecessary in a society ruled by emotionalism. Truth is irrelevant when perception is everything. What’s best for the nation, for all of us, is now buried deeply under what’s best for “me”.
“Don’t be absurd. Constitutional is whatever we say is constitutional!” The supreme arrogance of privileged Baby Boomer women, best exemplified by those like House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Former First Lady Hillary Clinton, with the super-majority of women voters solidly behind them, is simply breathtaking. They always knew that the vast majority of Baby Boomer men, those who had sent others to war in their place (and then pretended not to see their own complicity in the subsequent fate of the people of Southeast Asia), would never say anything about all their incessant demands. For such women it was all about seizing the opportunity to get what they wanted by screwing the other guy, when the other guy first was busy with other heavy stuff, and then later had become too cowardly to stand up even for his own sons in our deplorable women-dominated schools. These women have now muscled their way into the club of supremely arrogant “elitists” who still refer to soldiers as “troops”, to middle class people as “bourgeois”, to all people over whom they rule as “the masses”, to those who actually make useful things as “labor”, to themselves as the “intelligentsia”, etc.. Taking their cues from privileged European nobility, they are just incredibly insufferable jerks who view themselves as “superior” – on the basis of absolutely nothing (except perhaps their ability to adroitly buy enough votes to remain rich and in power). Baby Boomer “feminism” was never about equality; it was always about privilege.
But one thing is certain: Never once having been concerned about anyone else, a Baby Boomer woman Commander-in-Chief would never think twice about sending those hated men to war – just to demonstrate her own “machismo” – with the lives of others who definitely are not “me”. She can even whine queenly while doing it. It’s still all rights, with no responsibility. It’s still all about making demands of others, for “very special me”.
And soldiers are still worth more dead than alive.
(And they remain the single most disenfranchised group at America’s voting polls, while US male war veterans have the shortest life expectancy of any group in the Western World. Over 60% of American Vietnam Vets, for example, die before reaching age 60. And, no, no one knows, or cares, why this is. Between 2000 and 2007 alone, as a whole new generation of war veterans was being created, over 500,000 of Vietnam’s veterans died. In the US, powerful lobbies decide where medical research money goes, so it’s not surprising that they garner most of it for themselves, for medical issues which affect them or which affect those in very early or very late ages for whom they are saddled with care. At the very far top of the list for the past two decades, naturally, is breast cancer and AIDS, with “autism” and Alzheimer’s climbing fast. The noisiest axels always get the most grease.)
Boomers of both genders literally vanish in the shadow of their Greatest Generation parents in almost every possible light, and yet the pettiness of women’s whines grow in inverse proportion to reality, a reality created by their own choices and demands. Can you even imagine a political campaign that every five minutes has some guy coming on camera to whine about pathetic “men’s issues”? Can you imagine privileged whining men lolling in $1500 suits at incredibly expensive private universities on someone else’s dime whining that they need government to pay for their condoms? How does the prospect strike you of privileged men who have never accepted responsibility for anything standing there resplendent in thousands of dollars of ostentatious visual embellishment demanding ever more petty “rights” for themselves? Where does such incredible arrogance come from? In America!? It comes from unilaterally assumed unearned birthright entitlement that has never been challenged. Did you ever think about how majority women candidates are going to respond to such truly offensive whines from men? Women can’t censor out unpleasant truths, can’t keep making really irritating demands of others from the safe rear, forever.
After forty years of Baby Boomer self-involvement, politics in America is now all about “me” and “now”, damned the kids, damned anyone else, damned the future. This is light years beyond the liberalism advocated by President Kennedy near the end of the Greatest Generation’s reign. No longer do we ask what we can do for our country. Now it’s solely, “What’s in it for me?” Many Americans seem very concerned about “voter fraud”, when actually ALL of American politics is now about selling votes to the highest bidder. This is most especially true of American women, forty percent of whom declare that abortion is their greatest concern when voting for a President, the nation’s Commander-in-Chief. Think about that for a moment. Of all the thousands of things that concern a President, that are of grave concern to the country, to ALL of us, to our very viability as a nation, and THIS is the most important thing to 50,000,000 American women? Is it possible to get any more pathetic than that? Everyone knows full well that American women are always going to do whatever they want to do. And every day good soldiers die in really stupid wars that have no purposes and no end and no public interest. How much longer can American women, who have decided every election since 1980, keep screaming about all their rights while avoiding their just share of the responsibility for the colossal mess we are in? (There are well over 12,000,000 more women voters than men voters, in a country where elections are always decided by less than 2,000,000 votes. It is virtually impossible for men to overcome such enormous self-interests. This is why fewer and fewer men even bother to vote.)
One question I’d love to ask a woman candidate before I die is, “Just who is responsible for the nation’s colossally failing boys, and just what do you plan to do to get them back into proper and equitable balance as rapidly as humanly possible?” Another is, “Just what have you ever done to assist or champion my group?” And, “Do you have even the slightest inkling that thinking men’s most burning want is for American women to finally just grow up, shut up and assume their equitable share of responsibility for all of us?” How about?: “If you have all these choices, why do I have to pay for them and their consequences? Where are my choices? Why do you get all the rights, while I’m stuck with all the responsibility?” Or, “Why is our most critical and expensive industry, that women have dominated and controlled for a century, doing such a totally miserable job of educating our young, and most especially our boys?” This is America. In this country we elect accountable presidents who can lead; we do not bow to unaccountable kings or queens or other dictators who arrogantly rule (while whining ad nauseam).
Or do we?
I guess that, if President Clinton was “the first black president”, then President Obama is “the first woman president”. It’s all become a case of “Nothing ventured, Everything gained.” It’s sort of like “affirmative action” institutionalized. It’s no longer who’s the best qualified leader based on their record of accomplishments on behalf of others or what’s best for the whole nation in a very tough world; it’s just who’s the most popular – like electing a prom king or queen – and will give “me” what I want by taking it from “someone else”. In politics, as in so much else in our society, demonstrated competence is far less important than appealing appearance. It’s not about results; it’s all about process. It’s not in what you do, but rather in how you do it, in whether you smile and speak nicely while you accomplish nothing. Success in politics is now totally dependent on your ability to always tell interest groups whatever they want to hear, even if it’s pure nonsense and totally contradicts what you told another interest group five minutes earlier. Women-raised Boomer Bill Clinton perfected the technique, and even the likes of Tony Blair were quick to copy it. This superficiality, of course, is why the nation has gone absolutely nowhere over the past forty years, has gradually decayed while drifting around in circles, becoming ever more polarized and fragmented and arrogant. “But who cares? We want to be lied to. It makes us feel good about ourselves. When we’re finished getting all we can out of this dying country, we’ll just throw it away and buy a new one.”
It’s a mind-set born of interchangeable husbands, germinated by the craving for ridiculous shoes and clothing and similar absurd embellishments required to impress other women.
Are “We” Still Fighting Wars?
Already the current on-going wars arising from the 9/11 attacks more than a decade ago are forgotten. Even though our soldiers still die every day, more of them die at their own hands than die at the hands of duplicitous “allies” (See Footnote #1.), and no one is really sure anymore just who the real “enemy” is or what our soldiers will have accomplished after a dozen years in a country in which they should have stayed no longer than six months. Are we at war with Afghanistan or Pakistan? What’s going on in Somalia? In Yemen? Is China the enemy, or Russia? Is Iran now the world’s bogeyman? Or the US? Is it still the “Cold” War? After they had given up their nukes, the US bombed Libya for eight months, so why won’t Iran give up its nukes? Does the US only destroy countries that don’t have nukes? Why do 120 “non-aligned” nations now support Iran’s nuclear program against US efforts to end it? Is Iraq a failure? Is North Korea going to shoot nuclear missiles at us? Why? Will rising ethnic tensions between Christian Armenia and Muslim Azerbaijan in the Caucasus near Chechnya and Georgia over a freed murderer lead to a major conflict involving “NATO”, Russia, Turkey, Europe and the US? Much of this, and much more, is just ignorant nonsense, of course, but it’s out there, everywhere, tossed about like so many spit balls among idle chatter. The Greatest Generation developed a brilliant overarching strategy that guided the nation honorably through a half century of great adversity in the world – without changing who we are and what we represent – a strategy that made sense and which most understood and embraced. Today our “strategy” changes every five minutes in response to whatever suddenly pops up and slaps us in the face, a strategy that makes sense only to a psychopath. It’s mostly emotional nonsense.
Our brave “allies” the Europeans, egged on by four American women pontificating from the safe rear, were eager to use US high tech weapons and shiploads of US taxpayer money to bomb an essentially defenseless Libya for eight months, but they sure don’t seem so eager to do something to end the never-ending slaughter in Syria where they might actually get hurt. But this is just par for the course for an EU that has both a population and wealth greater than the US. No one seems to mind that the United States of America now singles out people on the other side of the globe for summary execution by remote control from a very safe distance based on little more than their suspected involvement in endeavors with which “we” do not approve, that the USA is now officially in the assassination and murder business. No one considers what comes next after such lines have been so easily crossed – abroad or at home – as long as it doesn’t involve “me” (until the inevitable day, of course, when it’s turned around against us, and does involve “me”.) Because subjecting living prisoners to “enhanced interrogation methods” seems to assault our sensitivities, we’d much rather just blow suspects to smithereens in place and forego the intelligence, and the messy trials. (Just try getting the “torture is worse than murder” defense past a US courtroom, and we certainly are never going to give a pass from “war crimes” charges to foot soldiers who have a half second to decide whether to fire or die.) (See Footnote # 2.) A “nation of laws” now simply makes them up as it goes along, but only if they are advantageous to “me”. We care far more about fifty million dollar football players hurting themselves on a manicured playing field than be do about thousand dollar soldiers being killed or maimed on a dusty battlefield.
Here’s some common examples worth considering by all those macho Americans who need to pump themselves up by having their military run off to support our “allies”. In recent years, more Brits have gone off to voluntarily join distant ISIS than have voluntarily joined their local Army reserves. The duplicitous dictator of another “ally”, Turkey, routinely uses US-made war planes to cowardly slaughter the very best fighting partners on the ground (Kurds) that our soldiers could have. Rather than invade and fix the country, Mexico, that has consistently done more damage to our own than all the others combined, we routinely reward its thoroughly corrupt ruling class. Such people certainly aren’t worth my life.
Everyone thinks Hillary Clinton is doing a “great job” as Secretary of State, but no one knows what she’s actually doing, or why. (Has anyone seen her copy of a fortified and obscenely ostentatious Versailles Palace smack in the middle of Baghdad, flying the US flag?) Almost anyone can go around like a queen and enunciate tired old platitudes while handing out other people’s money and risking absolutely nothing. Over 95% of her popularity derives from the fact that she represents the country with the most powerful military, a military which she thoroughly despised when her like-minded husband was in office. (Politics makes for strange bedfellows indeed.) Even her position has become institutionalized as another permanent affirmative action slot for our “special” women. State Department is now full of positions for such women – all of whom are just great at representing American women. With zero experience and due solely to her husband’s coattails, she was simply awarded the job over a man who had spent his entire life actually earning it in the trenches all over the globe. And so Richard Holbrooke, who began by struggling with the war in Vietnam, finally died a half century later – where he began, trying to resolve another such war in Afghanistan – as discarded refuse on the ash heap of history. How could such unearned birthright entitlement ever become acceptable in a democracy supposedly based on equality, on merit, on fair play? Isn’t a half century of this nonsense enough?
Why is Russia worried about events in Ukraine, about an incredibly intrusive “NATO” that keeps pushing its military might right up to the Kremlin gates? Why are Japan and South Korea bickering over an island in the East China Sea? Why are a half dozen countries rattling sabers over big expanses of the South China Sea? Why is any of this our business? Russia’s quite natural primary interest is its own national security. China, using our own twentieth century playbook, is doing an enormously more astute job in foreign affairs, commerce and trade to shore up a secure future for her people than we are, while also systematically building a military force that will be capable of protecting herself, her global reach and her partners down the road – just like our own Greatest Generation did. But for us, this is the 21st century, and we need to finally start doing our own thinking for a world that no longer matches the Greatest Generation’s answers. We need to be thinking far ahead, not still relying on yesterday’s answers that we found in old school text books.
No one knows why we want to poke around in places like Egypt, Syria, central Africa, and a dozen other places, rather than just stand down and let those people sort out their own affairs. No one knows that our “NATO” ally Turkey routinely slaughters with new US-made and -provided aircraft our ostensible friends the Kurds, who have nothing more than hand weapons – even as the US condemns Syria for doing the same thing with much older Russian aircraft. No one knows that the US has been killing more people in Pakistan, where there is no war, than it has been killing in Afghanistan, where there is a war. No one knows that Pakistan’s closing the Khyber Pass to the US military supply train forced the US military to quickly craft the most complex (and expensive) supply system in the history of warfare. No one knows that Russia kept our forces in land-locked Afghanistan alive and viable for seven months by granting a dozen different supply routes throughout Russia and providing massive amounts of fuel from Siberia when Pakistan got upset about US drones killing her citizens deep inside her sovereign nation. But everyone does know about a group of offensive women punk rockers defiling the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Moscow – an act condemned by over 70% of the Russian population.
Still, it’s best not to mention such things during an election campaign, especially when no one cares. With a population like ours, the most powerful military in history is the most dangerous thing on the planet – requiring nothing less than the most experienced, wise and astute of elderly statesmen commanders-in chief humanly possible. But the sign says, “No experience needed.” Rearranging the globe, dramatically impacting the lives of many hundreds of millions, is a parlor game for ignorant contemporary Americans – the same Baby Boomer men who went to extremes in their “anti-war” fervor to avoid the draft when they were young, the same Baby Boomer women who never even thought about such things when they were young. Not one of them today has enough sense to ask even the most glaring fundamental question of all: how it’s possible for an enemy without one single ship, plane, tank, missile or drone to still be killing our soldiers, members of the most powerful military machine in history, after eleven long years of war. These are the same Boomers who go into apoplexy whenever a child gets its hands on a loaded gun. How do they think I, and the rest of the world, feel about them, and the cavalier way they wield the biggest gun in the universe? “Defending the nation” has become a cheap shallow cover for affirmative action women in very high places risking nothing and for all the snarky little political appointee “advisors” with their own agendas lurking in the shadows “getting off” on playing God, according to “me”,” and then “leaking” national defense secrets to the whole world to show how “important” they are.
Apparently even wars no longer have to accomplish anything – except waste our best soldiers and pump up “our” self-esteem. That’s the power of domestic politics and its sophisticated propaganda, constantly re-writing truth and logic to sell perception and emotion to an ignorant voting audience. At least Iraq set in motion the “Arab Spring” and began the inevitably messy process of allowing a quarter of the globe’s population to re-shape their environments according to their own wishes. The act of removing a universally hated dictator and his apparatus of ruthless control in Iraq followed by three successive free elections, even amidst the chaotic turmoil of war, showed them all that, “Yes, we can” govern ourselves. Afghanistan has just been a corrupt killing ground primarily for the sake of killing – one of those “glowing accomplishments” of a popular Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the inexplicable “high priority ball” which “the Bush Administration took its eye off of.” Afghanistan is just an excuse to find something for “NATO” to do – by having the US bear the full burden of war and “nation building” while almost all of the others remain safely in the background accomplishing nothing except vicarious self-esteem.
Why are we poking around in places where people are trying to sort things out for themselves? In Libya and Egypt especially, it was bad enough that we simply invoked emotionalism and theory and never gave thought to what comes next, to the practical considerations of “nation-building”, to how warring factions could be united in common cause to form actual countries, to how we could avoid assisting our terrorist enemy, but the longer we poke around in domestic disputes, the more likely it is that we will remain the ever convenient patsy for whatever, inevitably, goes wrong – so that we end up exactly where we began, the target of everyone’s vitriolic animosity.
But all of this is now just yesterday’s “news”; attention deficit disorder Americans have moved on to other bouncing baubles to dazzle them for a few minutes – at least maybe until election time. We’ve buried most of the 6,900 dead soldiers; now those tens of thousands who survived maimed and crippled (but alive, thanks to enormously improved body armor) form lines outside VA medical centers run by callous unions that see those soldiers as a way to extract money from phony politicians for “me” – while accepting zero accountability for its members running the assembly lines. Old story, one born in the Baby Boomers’ youth with Vietnam, and one quite boring to the “special” people.
What Are The Current Foreign Policy Stands?
Romney’s statements on foreign affairs so far are typical of Baby Boomer conservatives who still rely on their fathers and grandfathers to do their thinking for them – in an entirely different world – so it sounds like so much silly juvenile status quo nonsense from thirty or forty years ago, a simplistic tri-polar world view of the US, Russia and China that is simply ridiculous today. (Conservatives are always thinking grand global conflict; they would do everyone a really big favor if they tried for once to think mutually beneficial cooperation, with new partners, to look far ahead instead of far backwards.) And, yes, it IS possible to make major cuts in the defense budget. It’s just incredibly stupid to keep using the people’s money to build hundreds of massive M1-A2 tanks just so they can be mothballed in the desert in the hope that they might be useful somewhere around 2048. Ditto with all those super-ships and super-planes. (There just isn’t any credible enemy out there, or anywhere on the horizon, that could possibly warrant such humongous waste. All those civilian defense contractors would do everyone a really big favor if they just switched to making things that contribute to America’s infrastructure.) What America needs most is its scarcest commodity – very well educated, highly trained, dedicated and brave ground soldiers.
To repeat the brainless 50% personnel cuts made at the conclusion of the “Cold” War is just as incredibly stupid as building machines no one needs or wants. We fired almost a million people and shifted huge sums to major weapons development – even though there was no nation state that could challenge us for the next thirty or forty years. We favored machines over people, conventional warfare over unconventional. It was only a decade later when we saw that the threat facing us was the one threat we were told we would not have to face again – that from an opposing ideology, and one involving not a nation state, but a really huge number of humans spread over vast expanses of the globe unbound by national borders. Just about anyone who understands basic logic had to know that the only way to challenge a conventional single super-power is unconventionally. And unconventional warfare inherently is enormously personnel intensive. We need very capable people far more than we need powerful weapons systems. Besides, the nation can no longer afford to play World Cop. We need to be able to defend the United States, a mission that is actually allowed by the US Constitution, and that alone is enough of a very major challenge.
To do the things that all the chest-thumpers and political baiters want done in the world would require one-fourth less machines and at least five time more ground soldiers in our Regular forces than we currently have. (Just try recruiting that number of ground soldiers from among the top 20% of today’s American youth – if you can pry their noses out of those glowing toys long enough.) The smart asses all demand a “plan to defeat ISIS”. Well, this is the first step in any such plan. Who wants to sign up? Or should we just institute a universal Draft that finally includes women, too? Just what is your plan? And just why must it be a plan only for America? What is the plan for all of our pampered “allies”? (No, Junior, it’s not possible to defeat an ideology among large populations by bombing it; all that stupidity accomplishes is to create even greater problems.)
Obama has a much more realistic and forward looking broad world view, but he has four women running that show (Clinton, Rice, Powers and Albright) who learned everything they know about the world from ivory tower text books and thus have absolutely no concept of how to place theoretical wishful thinking into the proper context of time, space and, most importantly, actual human people. They perceive men as expendable but themselves as special – all absurdly in a society theoretically based on equality. They view the world as their own home, to be furnished and decorated and organized and ordered by lowly artisans according to their very own arrogant mistress demands so that it meets “my” ideal according to “my” timeline. They actually think that the rest of the world is as stupid as American men, that it will just jump up and salute some arrogant twit’s self-serving dictate. These American women have zero tolerance for those who may have a completely different ideal that suits them better. (Even worse, there are few things more ludicrous than privileged American women, who have never in their lives risked anything for anyone, who have zero sense of responsibility for anyone beyond themselves, using the lives of US soldiers to make cheap political points while throwing around the queenly “we” – all on the basis of absolutely nothing except unearned birthright entitlement.)
In the background is the ever ignorant American voter who thinks everything can take place according to their exceedingly naïve view of human events, that all they have to do is wave a royal “we” wand according to some childishly idealistic notion, and voila! instant “democracy”, global peace, and total human harmony (in which, of course, “someone else” risks life and limb). They are kept that way by equally ignorant politicians using vague notions of “American interests” to influence elections that actually have domestic politics as their far greater objective. No one ever asks such bloviators to precisely define what the “US interests” are, why they are “US interests”, what those “US interests” cost, what other options are available, what the price or benefit would be of simply striking any particular item from the list of “US interests”, whether what’s being discussed involves today or ten years from today, etc.. Nine times out of ten it’s just transitory emotional nonsense that simply can’t stand up under disciplined logical analysis. It almost always involves “me” and “now” rather than a very well thought-out and more manageable situation we are striving to leave to our children and grandchildren a long way down the road. And it’s all subject to a public attention span that is measured in minutes.
The same stupid mistakes the naïve liberals made with Russia during the 1990s are the same mistakes they now wish to “implement” overnight in the Mid-East, but it’s still better than the conservative instinct to dive right in, screw it all up and end up right back where we started. (Hint: These things take time – maybe twenty or thirty years of time – just to begin to show positive results. Between here and there many small wars and revolutions and atrocities and deaths are absolutely guaranteed to take place – over which we will have absolutely no control, and for which we undoubtedly will be blamed. These people are century-long experts at using the US as the Eveready bogeyman for their own ulterior objectives, and, in the end, they will decide for themselves what they wish to become. And it will NOT be what we would wish.) It was more than enough that we set the “Arab Spring” process in motion in Iraq; now it’s time to allow that process to play out according to the dynamics of the people involved throughout the Muslim world. Were I running the show as Command-in-Chief, I would follow Obama’s view of disengagement from the Mid-East (just more slowly and far more smartly), and then strike out on my own to take a long shot at the future by working out grand arrangements with both Russia and China, with Brazil and India as junior partners. I would also disengage from that silly last-century anachronism “NATO” and force the Europeans to finally defend themselves as grown-up adults.
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” — Isaac Asimov. In America there is no excuse for ignorance, except willful stupidity. There should be a law that says no one can vote in national-level elections unless they can answer correctly nine of ten questions on important national and international current events. No nation that claims global leadership as a super-power can afford to depend on voting citizens who are ignorant idiots interested only in themselves while electing marginal herd followers who buy their votes by promising whatever the ignorant herds want for themselves.
Some gross errors since 9/11: Neither Afghanistan or bin Laden was vital to the grand scheme of things; we should have left Afghanistan after six months and did far less chest-thumping about finally “getting” bin Laden (who was quickly replaced). The original mission there was simply to route the Taliban so as to deny al Qaeda a training base and kill or capture as many of the 9/11 gang as possible in the process. We never should have fired the entire Iraqi army and left our ground soldiers with less than a quarter of the number of forces needed to secure the country. We should have remained in Iraq at least one more year to shore up some major loose ends and better enable the country to move forward as a stable center amidst boiling conflict. We were stupid to bomb the hell out of Libya after its leader had given up its nukes: we left a country that is incapable of even being a country, an open invitation for al Qaeda, and shot ourselves in the foot in naively trying to get Iran to give up its nukes. A destroyed Libya also provided the mother lode of arms to Muslim extremists all over northern Africa and the Mid-east. We should have kept in place strong support for the US-trained Egyptian military to hold the country together on a moderate path until the civilian politicians figured out how to govern the country equitably for all. We should have forced the UN and the Europeans to take some powerful positive action to end the slaughter in Syria while we remained quietly outside continuing to ensure the survivability of Israel without conflict. These and many other recent errors in strategic judgment could have been avoided if we (1) actually had a grand strategy for the future, (2) did not allow ever-shifting domestic politics to determine foreign policy, (3) finally stopped making absurd untested affirmative action appointments to positions that are simply far too critical to the nation’s future, and (4) did not rely so heavily on the past, on old textbooks, to do our thinking for us in a completely different world. We need great experience and wisdom on the level of a Henry Kissinger or Colin Powell (or Allen Dulles, George Marshall), not popular celebrities who have zero understanding of the real world out there, zero understanding of the US military, never saw a dangerous situation in their whole lives, never accepted responsibility for any group beyond their own, and have absolutely no concept of proven leadership, from the front.
Meanwhile, On The Home Front
And, oh yes, somewhere around 26,00,000 Americans, about 20,000,000 of whom are men, are still looking for jobs; no one wants to lend us more money to pay our bills; the value of homes has dropped through the floor while taxes on them remain higher than ever; the government is printing money and importing babies by the trainloads just to keep the nation afloat, etc.. Preferring to waste their money on a plethora of toys, spoiled Americans today have almost zero of their own savings to see them intelligently through inevitable tough times, not to mention the third of their lives they intend to spend in comfortable retirement. One side vilifies immigrants while the other side champions them, while everyone conveniently ignores the pathetic fact that the nation simply cannot survive without either very major adult entitlement sacrifice or incredibly huge numbers of future immigrant taxpayers to compensate for the total lack of responsible future planning on the part of native-born Americans. The situation is so desperate that assisting as many immigrants as possible, regardless of their legal status, to become taxpayers has now become our greatest “infrastructure” need – after we figure out how to educate them properly and then provide productive jobs for them. If you don’t want to be bothered having and rising enough future taxpayers to pay your own humongous bills, then you have to reduce the size of those bills yourself or import others who will have and raise healthy and well-educated children – of both genders. Only the Baby Boomers, in their own self-involved minds, could ever turn welfare systems designed to briefly assist in caring for the elderly parents of the working generation into a system that they paid into for “me” for the last third of “my” life. Despite childish delusions, there is no free lunch, and every one of us does have responsibility – for themselves and for others. But the chance of any politician saying such truths in America is zero.
Yet everyone wants to know such critically important things as what percentage of income Romney paid in taxes since 9/11, but not the really huge dollar amount of taxes he paid, or how much more he paid in charity to greater-good causes of his own choosing. (“It’s only important if there’s some way for me to get my hands on it, for me to decide what use is made of someone else’s money.”) This from a population that was given a tax cut to blunt its anticipated criticism of a new war. Just imagine – we actually now reduce taxes to pay for wars fought by “someone else”! “Don’t like paying taxes? Start a war! You can’t lose! No draft! Someone else dies! You get a new HD TV!” And then you get to demand that a candidate release to the whole world his tax returns for the past twelve years so every little such twit can pick over some of the most personal details of his private life. That “constitutional right of privacy” obviously only applies to women who kill their unborn children. There’s that certain unique kind of “logic” again, a “logic” that conveniently ignores the fact that, incredibly, half of the people in this country don’t pay any income taxes at all. This asinine diversion even assaulted us with the shameful spectacle of the
most juvenile of street-corner baiting tactics using completely implausible and unsubstantiated accusations on the floor of the US Senate – by none less than the Senate Majority Leader, a creepy cartoon creature who has lived his entire adult life – 45 years – buying votes with other people’s money and still somehow managed to become a multi-millionaire without ever releasing to the public even one of his own tax returns. (This gutless weasel, naturally, also used college, law school and political office to avoid the Vietnam era draft.)
There is one other thing certain about this election: For those educated well enough to understand such things, it will be one of the very clearest choices in American history, one that will establish the future course of America in the 21st century. Despite all the misleading, absurd and boring rhetoric, despite all the very careful tip-toeing around the truth, despite all the pandering to women, despite all the slick propaganda and key words directed at interest groups and their lobbies, this election is a very stark choice between Obama’s socialism and Romney’s capitalism – as the way forward. With foreign affairs and matters military weirdly completely off the table, for the Greatest Generation this election would be a landslide for Romney, but today’s Americans “think” differently. Not since the Great Depression has politics in America been so clearly differentiated (and so internally focused), but the hard truths about entitlements, debts and deficits would cost Romney the election, and Obama will continue to sell pipe dreams that defy fiscal realities to stay even. And so, once again, hard truth will remain elusive. With this twisted dynamic it’s a guarantee that the women’s vote will again be decisive, and that they will vote strongly for socialism, for taking it away from “someone else” and giving it to “me”. Obama, Pelosi, Biden, Reid and their buddies really love to play that vote-buying game. (See Footnote #3.) And now even the Republicans have no choice but to follow suit with the same despicable pandering to our majority spoiled children. All of them just don’t seem to understand that there’s very little left to take, very little of our inherited wealth left to “redistribute” among so many whining takers.
But they do understand that domestic politics easily trumps foreign affairs and military matters among women voters. Concerning foreign affairs, it’s solely a matter of “whether the Europeans like us when we visit them on vacation”. After fifty whole years of incessant demands of others, a half century of favoritism and affirmative actions everywhere, three generations of everyone else always bowing to their wants, these women are STILL pathetically trumpeting finally muscling their way into a private men’s golf club – rather than forming their own golf clubs, supporting their own soccer leagues, creating their own global corporations employing hundreds of thousands – companies run by women that men can complain about. With a whole society running on mindless auto-pilot focused on its own glorious navel, you’d think it was still the juvenile pettiness of 1962, a half century ago. After a century of “equality” demands, the most dominant characteristic of our society has become permanently institutionalized childish dependence.
While liberals are much smarter in buying up large groups of dependent voters, conservatives spend far too much time living in the past. They talk endlessly about “Main Street America”, a premise that today barely exists in relevance. Over 58% (and rising) of American women have never been married and never had children, and well over half the children born in this country are born to single women. American women have been rapidly exchanging dependence on small town Main Street husbands and fathers for dependence on big city Daddy Government – and it’s now with such women, exercising their rights of choice, that the really big vote numbers are. The ONLY thing that interests such women is “me”. (Just look at all the total loser sons they “raise” at home and in school; it’s small wonder their better educated daughters are foregoing marriage.) The only way to buy their votes is to lie to them while promising them anything they want for “me”. Why Big Daddy will even pay to support their freely elective behavior. American women have long been garnering twice as many university degrees as American men – all while still burying everyone in propaganda that is a half century old. Main Street for decades has been for political losers, and the numerical superiority of women voters is now really huge.
With government drones circling over their heads and government supercomputers storing every last detail of their personal lives, it’s still all about “me”. “Someone else will take care of the other stuff.” They just can’t get their heads around the fact that “someone else” is now “me”. A majority of those women are now no different from similar men and should therefore be judged by the exact same standards, required to meet the exact same responsibilities, yet all those single women exercising their “right of choice” are mostly unprepared to assume the responsibility for raising those children without government assistance and with little concern that their sons become responsibly productive and well-educated men rising above what their mothers teach them by example. They all hide behind an image of the “traditional family” that hasn’t existed for a generation. (See Footnote #4.) Ever complaining about “misogyny” from men, they take out their own misandry on boys – from birth onward – and create the men their daughters love to hate. (I can’t stand them, either.) It’s just self-serving insanity.
Why am I required to fund the lifestyle choices of others, choices that operate directly against what’s best for all of us, best for the nation’s future? Where are my choices? “Equality” assumes equal responsibility, too.
Despite all the pandering to women, the differences between the two parties on domestic politics these days is essentially that if you give to government, you vote Republican, and if you take from government, you vote Democrat. Soon it will be totally impossible to beat the Democrats.
Maybe the youngest of the lot, Paul Ryan, can achieve a novel breakthrough with some actually adult truth that doesn’t “roll grandma off the cliff”. How refreshing would that be? This very bright Gen-X politician seems to have adroitly separated himself reasonably well from the spoiled Boomers and their clueless Gen-X children and even seems ready to have our youngest Gen-Y Americans assume some adult responsibility right out there on the table before God and everyone, damned the mess their parents and grandparents made of everything. After forty years of nothing, it certainly is about time.
Let’s all hope that those voters under thirty, whose numbers now equal those self-involved Boomers basking at or near lengthy retirement, young voters who now include really huge numbers of recent immigrants, actually go out to vote – for their future and that of their nation. It’s long past the time for the hardest of adult choices, and young Americans have been bequeathed nothing but truly staggering burdens, real calamity just around the bend.
The two generations ahead of them failed them miserably.
This, too, is a first in American history.
Afterthought: I often wonder where I would be today if I or my father or my grandfather had just excused our own lives by blaming the extreme bigotry and deprivations and atrocities inflicted on our Famine Irish ancestors, both in Ireland for centuries and in America from 1840 on, including the many tens of thousands discarded on the fields of battle over slavery. An adult in America must stand on their own accomplishments in a dramatically improved society which those who went before made possible. Dead at 32, my dad left me nothing except an honorable name and a better world, and that was a lot. My ancestors paid the price; now it’s my responsibility to honor that sacrifice and move forward solely on my own merit, without excuses, just as they did. There are simply no excuses for a healthy adult in America who does not leave their children a better future than they first encountered, regardless of anything that went before them and regardless of how difficult that mission is. America’s most critical gift is opportunity in freedom; it is up to the individual to take advantage of that opportunity. Those who wallow in their “eternal victimhood” and expect government to carry them forever are simply a repugnant drag on society contributing nothing to our forward motion. Everyone has an equal role to play, an equal responsibility for all of us, without exculpation. There is no “special” in “equal”, the past is no excuse, and more of other people’s money redistributed by confiscatory government for “special me” is not the answer.
(See “The Upstart Winner”, and “Julia, The 2012 American Woman“, posted separately.)
(See “Smiling Faces And Purple Fingers – And Egypt”, posted separately, for answers to some of the questions cited above.)
(See also “Premises And Conclusions” and “The Most Important Import” posted separately.)
Footnote #1. More soldiers killed themselves last year (278) than died in combat in Afghanistan (247), but those killed in Afghanistan over the last eleven years now total over 2,000 – twice as many as all the other “NATO allies” combined. (Fifteen of those American men died inside Pakistan.) And tens of thousands more have been severely and permanently maimed and will pay the price every day for the rest of their lives. For the past five years, about half of our casualties have resulted from improvised explosive devices (booby-traps). For what? “Never mind.”
Soldier deaths in Afghanistan from other countries: UK – 425; Canada – 158. France – 86; Germany – 53; Italy – 47; Denmark – 42; Poland – 35; Spain – 34; Australia – 33; Netherlands – 25. (A majority of continental European deaths in Afghanistan have been due to self-inflicted accidents; most of the rest are due to their vehicles hitting IEDs. Very rarely have they resulted from engagements with enemy fighters.)
Over 4,700 US soldiers died in Iraq.
Footnote #2: For the record: I am not and have never been a fan of Osama bin Laden, and am definitely not sorry that he’s gone. While I am no more a proponent of torture than I am of assassination, especially by remote control from a very safe distance, I do object to the alternative to “enhance interrogation methods” that we as a nation have chosen. We have made targeted assassination, the summary killing by remote control with “acceptable levels of collateral damage”, admissible* – even where there exists no formal state of war. The United States of America has now made it “legal” for others to employ the same rationale and methodology against us, including our own government. We have also forgone any intelligence value that may be gained from prisoners, via “enhanced interrogation methods” or from far more sophisticated and time-consuming interrogation methods. Furthermore, assassination without due process is not “justice”, it is pure and simple “revenge”, and should not be shrouded in nice terms just to make us feel better about ourselves.
And, lastly, as I have been saying since 2002, killing bin Laden, while it may bring a certain sense of satisfaction to Americans, will not change anything on the battlefield. The only thing that will ever change things on the battlefield is a truly massive Muslim support base ever less willing to render support to the relatively few militant extremists among them. That absolutely critical process was begun in Iraq, not Afghanistan (or, absurdly, in Tunisia, either). It will play out, rather chaotically and unpredictably, over the next twenty or thirty years among Arab Muslims themselves. It will include frequent outbursts against America and the West, and it will not conclude the way we may have wanted it to, but rather the way the Arab Muslim people want it to. How we as a nation conduct ourselves between now and then will determine the shape of the world we leave for our children and their children to face. Although we have correctly and strongly encouraged it wherever possible, our objective must not be to instill “democracy” in their world, but rather to assist in removing the most immediate and greatest cause of their animosity against us – the ruthless dictators we previously supported who kept them from realizing their own objectives via means of their choosing.
*Collateral Damage: Just what is an “acceptable level” of innocent civilian deaths in war? For three and a half days, between 1-4 July 1863, around the tiny town of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, two huge armies waged constant bloody skirmishes day and night, until one side withdrew and the other side stood down. Although subsequently determined to be the turning point of the American Civil War, the indecisive battle resulted in 8,000 dead soldiers and 30,000 wounded soldiers, divided approximately equally between the two sides. Those numbers in a country of only 13,440,000 would today equate to 184,000 dead men and 690,000 wounded men – in one single battle. Many of the dead and wounded were illiterate Famine Irish serfs conscripted very soon after their arrival in America – either from those tens of thousands rounded up by the British and shipped to America or from those tens of thousands who had managed to survive escaping Ireland on their own. The “collateral damage” for the Battle of Gettysburg was 1 – a young lady tragically hit by a stray bullet while making bread in her kitchen. (Over 3,000 cavalry horses also died at Gettysburg, which had a population of about 2,400.) Some have suggested that the Irish be included in the “collateral damage” figures, since they were essentially used as cannon fodder by both sides throughout the Civil War, but many of their names, and even their numbers, were immediately lost to history – in America.
Footnote #3: “American government is a deviant subculture. Its leaders stand on soapboxes and polarize the public by pointing fingers while secretly doing the bidding of special interests. Many public employees plod through life with their noses in rule books, indifferent to the actual needs of the public and unaccountable to anyone. The professionals who interact with government—lawyers and lobbyists—make sure every issue is viewed through the blinders of a particular interest, not through the broader lens of the common good. Who’s in charge? It’s hard to say. The most powerful force in this subculture is inertia: Things happen a certain way because they happened that way yesterday. Nothing can get taken away, because that would offend a special interest.” – Philip K. Howard, TheAtlantic.com, August 2012
Process is everything; results are irrelevant. Forty years of inertia. And no special interest group on the planet is more powerful than the majority that is extremely vocal and totally self-interested American women. Just look at our schools, at our boys, at our legions of loser men, at our staggering bills.
As an honorable lifelong member of the ONLY minority in America that has NEVER had an interest group lobby – “white heterosexual male”, not to mention “professional American soldier” and “descendant of persecuted Irish serfs” – I daily give my middle finger to them all. “Shut up, and DO something! Who are you going to blame when I’m gone?! At least start bailing!” The hardest thing to find in this country has become men like me. I know: I look hard every day for worthy partners. Hope springs eternal. When I began I was just a naive speck in a vast sterling army; now I’m a scraggly survivor of the last ravaged battalion, scattered across the battlefield.
Footnote #4: In 2012, 40% of American women say that abortion is their most important consideration when voting for a President. Abortion. Think about that a monent. 40% is 50,000,000 women. Regardless of who the President is, or even what the law says, what idiot believes that American women are not always going to do whatever they want to do? What man would ever dare to tell American woman what choices to make? Everyone knows that women get all the rights, all the choices, while men are just stuck with all the responsibility to give women whatever they want. If 40% of American women are so concerned about such a thing as “my right to kill my unborn child” when deciding on a leader for all of us, just what does that really say about the incredible smallness and self-involvement of American women? Is there nothing more important in this world than the right to kill your own child – AFTER you have also exercised your right to make the choice to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse? (The right to an abortion is actually inherently the second of TWO rights – the first also being a matter of choice.) Of all the things in the world that are of concern to an American president, is THIS the most important thing to 50,000,000 American women? Is it even possible to get more pathetic than this? Don’t American women have a responsibility for ANYTHING? Is it ALL about “special me” and “my” rights? Just who do they think is going to come along and steal their rights? Hell, no one can even get our women to accept their equitable share of the responsibility.