Category Archives: Military

Our National Obsession

We like our nation … We love our nation … We stand for our nation … and we die for our nation. That’s not enough … We think many others around the globe should die for it too, or at least for what we believe is for our nation’s standards.

Think that’s too harsh? Well the facts seem to support it.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday confirmed that the Trump administration is making contingency plans for U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, but he refused to say whether the administration would seek congressional authorization first.”

White House acknowledges the U.S. is at war in seven countries

Roman Eagle

Eagle with stretched wings symbolizing the authority of the Roman empire

So, how many different places do we have active military operations? I’m not referring to how many bases, but how many places are we actively fighting? If you thought, well over 100, you would be right.

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[ Click on the map for better detail ]

Standard boot camp picture in dress blues

Me 1971

I’m a Vietnam era veteran, having served six years in the Marine Corps. That’s not an implication of authority or exceptional patriotism, merely a point of reference to the more casual reader who might make assumptions.

What I’ve learned in hindsight is the relative ease with which leadership assumes the right and objective of placing young men and women into harm’s way. Many times that’s under false pretense. These events leading up to, and stirring the initial support of the public, can be historic and accurate, or they can be created under the skillful machinations of “spycraft” or “false flag”.

notefalse flag is a covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the actual source of responsibility.

The Vietnam escalation under President Lyndon Johnson was prompted by a false flag operation. The provocation and justification for the rapid ramp up of our military was based on the “Gulf of Tonkin” incident.

The original incident, sometimes referred to as the U.S.S. Maddox Incident, involved the destroyer U.S.S. Maddox supposedly engaged by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats as part of an intelligence patrol. The Maddox fired almost 300 shells.

President Lyndon B. Johnson promptly drafted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This became the legal justification for military involvement in Vietnam. The event(s) were contrived and President Johnson was aware of it.

The NSA’s historian, Robert J. Hanyok, wrote a report stating that the agency had deliberately distorted intelligence reports in 1964.

The Iraq War or Gulf War Round II.
Under President George W. Bush, guided by his Vice-President Richard Cheney, the Iraq incursion and subsequent war which lasted longer than Vietnam, was based on a report of Iraq possessing “weapons of mass destruction”. Code words for, Saddam has a bomb … and if we don’t act soon, he’s going to launch a nuclear bomb at us. That too was a false narrative.

from the Marine Corps art collection

We’ve been practicing invasion of the Middle East since at least 1973

This was an effective justification for launching an invasion against Iraq. We were going in to prevent another 9/11. The events of 9/11 have not only scarred but scared America into doing things against their own citizens, let alone the world. We’ve had global and national surveillance ever since Homeland Security was created.

Colin Powell, acting as Secretary of State, went to the U.N. to drum up International support for active military initiatives leading us and several other nations, into another Gulf War. Colin Powell went on to learn that he was given inadequate, and misleading intelligence, and he deeply regrets his promotion of it.

[ The following quote comes from Info Wars. Not my favorite source for information but helps identify the false flag initiatives ]
In his lecture at Contact in the Desert, Richard Dolan noted that a distinguishing characteristic of a false flag operation is that the official narrative IS NOT questioned by the media. There are often legislative, ideological and sociopolitical power plays waiting in the wings, which the government can immediately implement.”

“The most striking example of this is the Patriot Act, which was written well before 9/11 but seemed to correlate entirely with the events that had transpired.

An excellent background understanding as to the depths we will sink in order to promulgate a huge international lie, is the Valerie Plame Affair.

Under the presidency of George W. Bush, the vice president’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, got caught leaking the name of clandestine CIA agent Valerie Plame, an act of retaliation spurred by Plame’s ex-diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, and his undermining the White House’s claims about Iraq with more accurate testimony of his own — the “Deep State” conspiracy of the mid-2000s. There was a special counsel and an indictment, albeit not for the underlying crime but for lying to investigators, and while everyone pretty much knew something like this wouldn’t have happened without at least a wink from up top, no one above Libby ever faced a trial.” – [ Counterpunch – Lessons for Progressives from Bob Mueller — and the Valerie Plame Affair – April 2019]

Our military, our clandestine CIA, and various 3rd party military contractors have sought out and participated in active military combat operations, assassinations. We’ve come to accept that, and it’s telling the world, not in a good way, how we conduct ourselves in a global neighbor way.

Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War with Iran?

Because of the human and financial cost of a military intervention, domestic political support can erode if success doesn’t come quickly and smoothly. Television, the internet, and social media have greatly increased citizens’ access to information about the nature and progress of wars. A lengthy humanitarian intervention is harder to justify domestically than one based on national interest. It helps to spread the personnel and financial burden across a coalition of countries.”  [ lanekenworthy.net – US military intervention abroad ]

Overall we’ve become a nation of war, or at least on a war footing since the 18th century with increasing tempo in the 21st century. It’s one of our largest exports. We have an entire economy based on the creation of weapons, the maintenance of them, and “Global Security”. If we saw any other nation act as aggressively as we do, we would probably be at war with them too; and in that case, we might be singularly justified.
________ Oahu 1975 ___________
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Why Think For Yourself?

I graduated high school in 1971. Like many of my peers, and as I’ve listened to other people around that age, we don’t necessarily have a life plan when we’re that young. It’s not unusual for many to think recklessly, or think they have a long time to live. Hopefully, most had enough time and experience, sensible ideas took over their thoughts.

Not knowing what I wanted to do long term, I saw a need to make a commitment and start out with a set of steps that could enhance my future. I wasn’t terribly patriotic, however I saw the divide which had been brewing for some time. That divide was primarily over the Vietnam war, but it also included civil rights, and a host of other grievances people had. I saw many of my contemporaries believe their government had wronged them and some would protest, while others refused to stand at high school football games when the flag was presented and a pledge of allegiance might be recited.

Standard boot camp picture in dress blues

MCRD San Diego 1971

I was already forming an opinion about the world around me, and knew I had limits to my sphere of influence. I knew I could make choices about my own life, which reflected how I thought. I knew actions were far more important than rhetoric, and in the summer, I enlisted in the Marine Corps.

I didn’t really know what to expect. I entered without support from my mother. She thought I would be killed in Vietnam. Her brother, my uncle had a son that became a Marine about 10 years before me, and my uncle said I wouldn’t make it. With those ringing endorsements, coupled with a high school friend who said he was going in with me and backed out, I had my concerns. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my own abilities.

Me - recruit side profile

As a new scared recruit

What followed were 13 weeks of learning more about myself, than I knew before going in. I found out I could do a lot more physically and mentally than previously imagined. I owe some of that to a Staff Sergeant and lead Drill Instructor. He kicked, punched and choked me into becoming a Marine. I know that sounds terribly harsh to those who never had the experience, but there’s more to it than just that description. Physical challenges, and the choice knowing you can drop out if you can’t “hack it”, were actually motivational.

Over the next four years, I was awarded honors by being first in my class. I gained promotions and given greater responsibility. I look back and recall how fortunate I was from this experience.

comm-elec-school-marines-b

Training was ongoing throughout my time. The Marine in the lower right didn’t have much longer in the Corps at that weight.

That winter of 1972, I returned home to Minnesota. I ran smack into that divide of opinions over the military, with or without the uniform on. I even had a car full of young men pour out to attack me while waiting in my car at a traffic light.

Caravan of Fools – John Prine
Love and devotion
LP-record-imageDeep as any ocean
Don’t play by anybody’s rules
With your carousel of horses
And your own foreseen forces
You’re running with the caravan of fools

baseball_dirty_1This blind anger by people who didn’t know me personally, oozed its way around me and others who were in the military. A real eye opener was when I volunteered for color guard duty and was 1 of 3 Marines in a brief pre-game flag presentation. We marched 3 abreast around the inside perimeter of Anaheim stadium. The center Marine, a sergeant carried the colors, I and one other Marine flanked him, carrying ceremonial M-14 rifles on our shoulders.

While passing the “fans”, threw things they had in their hands. We were paid very little salary each month. All I could think of, when some of the food or drink cups hit my uniform, I have to pay to clean this after these bums are finished. It made me more angry than humiliated.

There was a little comeuppance that day. The final score:
Milwaukee Brewers 4 California Angels 2

anti-military-protestors-pentagon-67

These foolish people were simply following the prevailing mood, and what they saw others do, in the news. It caused them to become pawns in a routine game of public manipulation through peers and the Television news.

This mindless hatred lasted for several years after I was separated from active duty. People swore at me, assigned behavior and activities to me which I never performed. Perhaps, as the saying goes, time wounds all heels, and I moved forward from one opportunity to the next. The mood of the country changed, primarily led by TV news and the attitudes from peers.

An all volunteer military went a long way towards this change in attitude. People started to recognize there were a lot of young people performing duties and responsibilities which many of them either couldn’t or wouldn’t do.  Some of our national leaders were former protestors. Even their opinion changed when it suited them.

Every American ought to find a way to serve, somehow. It doesn’t have to be in the military. I like the idea that everybody ought to give back something.” – John Kerry

He said that, among the lessons from Vietnam, was that “Americans must always treat returning veterans with dignity and respect regardless of whether a war was popular or unpopular.”

mike_marines_cap_aThat anti-military attitude has changed about 180°.  If I’m wearing a baseball style cap with the Marine Corps logo on it, or people see my license plates with veteran status, I usually hear something quite positive. I don’t live in California, perhaps the prevailing mood there is different.

There’s another populist idea promulgated on Americans that those who have been disadvantaged in some manner of our society, need a wealthy spokesperson to aid their cause. I’m not impressed.

Marines_color_guard_sacrifice_meme

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Why so Much Conformity in the News Media?

There’s not much choice when it comes to your daily news diet. Most International and national news is aggregated through Associated Press (AP) and Reuters.
Cutbacks at rival United Press International in 1993 left the AP as the United States’ primary news service, although UPI still produces and distributes stories and photos daily. Other less often used English-language news services, such as the BBC, Reuters and the English-language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.
[CLICK ON THE LINKS TO FIND OUT MORE]

Associated Press is a Not-for-profit Cooperative.[1] Steven R. Swartz is the Chairman. Gary Pruitt is the President and CEO. He was the CEO, president, and chairman of the board of the McClatchy Company. The AP has counted the vote in U.S. elections since 1848, including national, state and local races down to the legislative level in all 50 states, along with key ballot measures. AP collects and verifies returns in every county, parish, city and town across the U.S., and declares winners in over 5,000 contests.
Corporate Headquarters
200 Liberty Street
New York City, New York

Steven R. Swartz became president and chief executive officer of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest diversified media, information and services companies, on June 1, 2013.

Hearst’s major interests include ownership in cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; global ratings agency Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; 31 television stations such as WCVB in Boston and KCRA in Sacramento, Calif.; newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Albany Times Union, more than 300 magazines around the world including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR and Car & Driver; digital services businesses such as iCrossing and KUBRA; and investments in emerging digital and video companies such as Verizon Hearst Media Partners, Complex, BuzzFeed and VICE.

In 1994, London-based Associated Press Television (APTV) was founded to provide agency news material to television broadcasters. In 1998, AP purchased Worldwide Television News (WTN) from the ABC News division of The Walt Disney Company, Nine Network Australia and ITN London.

In April 2013, AP stated that it had dropped the term “illegal immigrant” from its stylebook. AP follows ABC, NBC, and CNN in not using the term. Jose Antonio Vargas commended The Associated Press for its decision.

Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Christopher Newton, an AP reporter since 1994, was fired by AP in September 2002 after he was accused of fabricating sources since 2000, including at least 40 people and organizations. Prior to his firing, Newton had been focused on writing about federal law-enforcement while based at the Justice Department. Some of the nonexistent agencies quoted in his stories included “Education Alliance”, the “Institute for Crime and Punishment in Chicago”, “Voice for the Disabled”, and “People for Civil Rights”.

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people every day.  Michael Friedenberg has been President of Reuters News and Media Operations at Thomson Reuters Corporation since December 3, 2018. Previously, he served as global CEO of IDG Communications, a media, data and services firm, leading the company across 147 countries.
Corporate Headquarters
333 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2R2 Canada

A Few Billionaires Own America’s News Media Companies

In May, 2012 Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Company announced the purchase of 63 newspapers, including 23 dailies, from the debt-ridden Media General Company. The transaction was a course reversal for Buffett, who earlier had said he wouldn’t buy newspapers, and created a major new player in the industry. It also left Media General-whose history with newspapers dates back to the mid-1800’s-with only one remaining daily, the Tampa Tribune, which many predict it will still try to sell.

Prominent journalists like ABC’s Christiane Amanpour and former Washington Post editor and now Vice President Len Downie serve on boards of operations that receive funding from George Soros. This despite the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethical code stating: ”avoid all conflicts real or perceived.”

6 Corporations own almost all of the TV and Cable Outlets. There used to be almost 90.
{ This is an update to the graphic linked in this post. }
Verizon owns AOL & Huffington Post
Comcast purchased NBC from GE.

illusion_of_choice
Have you ever committed a “HATcrime?” It’s the new crime of wearing a hat that “triggers” deranged people.

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[1] One primary difference between a cooperative corporation and a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation is how money flows back into the organization. A tax-exempt nonprofit organization cannot distribute profits to members or investors, while a cooperative corporation generally distributes profits based on members’ participation.

The Veteran

USA_armed_forcesAnyone who served or is currently serving in the military realizes they’re doing a job that most won’t do. It’s a 24/7, 365 day committment.

They come from diverse backgrounds. They are volunteers who do the things that allow everyone else the freedom to say and become what they want.

At the time of their induction, they have given an oath which says they’re willing to lay down their life if necessary to preserve yours.

How many people do you know that will protect you from every threat imaginable in order for you to keep living the life you choose?

They don’t make policy. They’re often used to carry out policy which can be good or bad. It’s everyone’s responsibility to be informed well enough to make good decisions at the ballot box, and to select people who choose wisely how the military is used.

Freedom is full circle choice. To act as if it’s someone else’s job, is to think in ignorance. We all preserve it by learning to be responsible for our own actions. The military is a reflection of our own lives carried out on a massive scale.

If you or I are only interested in ourselves, our wants, to the exclusion of all others,  this will become the work, the policy of our nation. The military will act on that policy and our relationship with the rest of the world community will have the same impact abroad as we have at home.

veterans_day_2018

If you want peace in the world, find a way to live it locally so it will be that way globally.

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