What Is the Purpose of the Military?

As I have written about over and over and over again, the purpose of the military should be to defend the country. That’s it. One would think that the Secretary of Defense would know that. Yet, in a recent speech before the Association of the United States Army, Robert Gates articulated the following role for the U.S. military:

“Army soldiers can expect to be tasked with reviving public services, rebuilding infrastructure and promoting good governance. All these so-called nontraditional capabilities have moved into the mainstream of military thinking, planning, and strategy—where they must stay.”

That is, anything but do what the military should do.

Author: Laurence Vance

Laurence Vance holds degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. He has written and published twelve books and regularly contributes articles and book reviews to both secular and religious periodicals.

7 thoughts on “What Is the Purpose of the Military?”

  1. Golly, what ‘Grinder’ Gates is saying sounds like martial law. What Gates is saying sounds like the end of American democracy. Wait a minute, American democracy IS dead. Oh well, never mind.

    1. Here’s a thought. I won’t speculate as to the depth and origins of Cindy Sheehan’s motivations. I don’t know her. From what I read, it seems that she rides on the coat tails of her son’s sacrifice. It disheartened me to read her declaration that her son “really did die for nothing”. How good of her to decide what her son died for years after the event. Despite the fact that he was a young man who decided to serve his country and live, for a short time, in service to his country and accept the missions he was tasked with. And trust me…that is what he did. He decided. It wasn’t a mischievous dog in a corner people can all point the finger at. I doubt Cindy told him “there will be no food on the table for you unless you join the military, young man”. When it all comes down to it, in the last moments of his life, those last few moments should belong to him. Not to his mother. I think it says negative volumes about her character, however, that she would take that and try and make it her own. As a military member I reject the kind of support you all seem to offer. Let us win thats what I ask. Let us achieve stability and security. Let us guide a young democracy in it’s first steps. Yes, we need to rebuild a whole country’s infrastructure. Yes, that will probably involve putting focus on oil. But what else would be appropriate to focus on in that country? Tourism? I know many Iraqis, do any of you? I have learned the arabic language to a High School level of proficiency in order to communicate better with the people that I encounter over there. Does waiving a “Hate Bush” sign equal in measure to that? I have participated in many successful efforts to rebuild the country of Iraq. I rebuilt athletic facilities and schools, delivered food to needy Iraqis for Ramadan, and paid city laborers their weekly wages. Have any of you? It is not all war and violence, gaining terrain or attacking objectives, though there have been those times they have been minimal in my extensive time spent there. I have met Islamic Extremists inside Iraq that need to be stopped, some with the showing of our good will and others with bullets. Make no mistake, many of these people have bullets ready to go for any non-muslim Infidel whether you opposed the war in Iraq or not. Don’t believe me? Walk up to a Shi’ite and make fun of a martyr named Ali and see what happens. Go try and have a gay rights parade in Iran or Syria. Make sure you take a bodyguard. Most of the anti-war movement in my opinion seems to come from old hippies who long for the 60s and 70s or from young people who encountered the hippie virus from parents or an influential guidance counselor. It’s misguided and spastic. The spoilled child to watch. If you all seriously think this kind of behavior gives me as a military member “support” please wake up. You all remind me of the guy who went to the South American Rain Forest to live in a tree for a year to save it from deforestation. Think of all the trees he could have been planting in that year.

      1. There’s no reason for us to be there and the war was pitched on lies. We have a 9.1 Trillion dollar debt and a good amount of it China holds. These so called al-qaeda extremists that you speak of that are in Iraq weren’t there before. They are coming almost exclusively from Saudia Arabia which we suport financially. Please stop supporing wars based on lies and become a true American. Thanks.

      2. “When it all comes down to it, in the last moments of his life, those last few moments should belong to him. Not to his mother.”

        Sounds like you are claiming them. According to his mother, Casey Sheehan was disillusioned with the Iraq “mission” and didn’t consider himself to be “serving his country” in any useful sense, having long seen through the lies you cling to, Mr Hamza.

      3. Hamza,
        It is nice that you got involved in rebuilding Iraq. It would have been far better for Iraq had your salary gone to a dozen Iraqis to do the job themselves. But that would work against our real purpose for attacking Iraq, which was to destroy the country totally and emasculate it. We did this out of revenge for 9/11, racist hatred of Arabs (picked up from our Zionist friends), and a selfish desire to control their oil.
        And don’t fool yourself about origin of anti-war types such as myself. I was not a “hippie” back during Viet-Nam, I was a hawk thinking that we were valiantly defending South Viet-Nam. My Lai woke me up to the evil we were doing. This Iraq War has been just one big My Lai.

      4. Ha, ha Ha ha ha! Hamza, I don’t know you but you have nice Muslim name.Is that your real one or one that you have used to convince the world that you are really concerned about democracy in Iraq.
        George Kurian is my real name and I am from India. I know Iraqis through my connection with them in other countries in the Middle East to which they have fled. One of them, a doctor, had this to say. “I myself hated Saddam but I prefer Saddam to the occupying American forces and their phony democracy”.I never expected an Iraqi to prefer Saddam over any one else.
        Your stated knowledge of Arabic is not enough of an argument to prove to me or any of my countrymen – neutral observers, if any – that the USA is in Iraq because of WMDs or Al Qaida (both lies died out long ago for lack of oxygen!) or for democracy! Democracy , my left foot. If you are so keen on Democracy why don’t you take those fledgling steps to help democracy in Arabia, which by the way has become the family property of the Sauds!! We all know that you are in Iraq for the oil. Even your big economist Alan Greenspan said so, albeit inadvertently. So, as you Americans say it – “Go tell that to the marines”.
        As regards gay pride parades, let the damn people in those countries decide whether they want them or not. Don’t push your values on them. It’s their country , see>

        1. Yes, its “their country” and they are free to torture and kill gay people and stone women to death for sexual crimes and give people lashes for insulting their peaceful Islamic religion. And we just should sit back and accept that like the good little moral relativists that we are.

        2. We should mind our own business. Nobody appointed the United States the Charles Bronson of the world. Are YOU PERSONALLY PREPARED TO RISK GETTING KILLED to effect change or are you just another loudmouth chickenhawk who wants someone else to pay the price in blood so you can feel good about yourself?

        3. Tim, please don’t get your history lessons from your outdated textbooks and Fox News. Please come and see these “uncivilised” peoples for yourself. When Europe was persecuting its Jews and gouging out their eyes, the Jews fled to the safety of the Caliphate in Istanbul. Look at Christian Germany sending Jews to the gas chambers. Look at Christian America hanging Blacks because they made small trespasses like choosing the wrong tree to stand under. Look at Christian South Africa’s praxtice of apartheid and the response of the “uncivilsed” blacks. Example the TRuth comission. White Christian superiority will have much to answer for when its so called civilised mask is pulled off.
          Further more gay folk have probably committed suicide in America than were killed in the streets of Baghdad or Tehran. 20,000 Jews live in Iran and they refuse to to go to Israel despite inducements. Why?
          Brother, go see the real situation in these countries instead of naking imaginary insinuations.

        4. Pictures and text regarding the “uncivilized” people skiing and celebrating Christmas in Iran.

          Also check out the other pictures in that series.

          The one and only way for people like Tim to portray them as evil and uncivilized is to ignore the real people and concentrate on isolated instances of repression and governments gone mad. As has been demonstrated repeatedly, the same can be done for America with far more and worse cases, but true blue nationalist hypocrites refuse to see both sides of any issue.

        5. Why is it that people who run to the defense of Islamo-Fascist regimes like Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia etc, all do so from the comfort of some other country, almost always the United States or some other Western nation that follows the English Common Laws and has a basic respect for human liberty?

          I am waiting to hear from someone this list, ANYONE, who is currently living in one of these God forsaken countries, to come and defend them. It is so easy to defend these countries from the safety of the United States or Canada or some Western nation. But if you really think that the United States and the West is “just as bad” why do you live here? You think Sudan or Iran are just as civilized as Great Britain or France? So why do you live in Western nations? Why not go forth and live with the barbarians whom you defend to no end? I will keep asking that question until I get a satisfactory answer. So far no one has been able to provide one.

      5. This is the part that screams for comment:
        “Yes, we need to rebuild a whole country’s infrastructure. Yes, that will probably involve putting focus on oil. But what else would be appropriate to focus on in that country?”

        Ask yourself the question, why do we need to rebuild a whole country’s infrastructure? Answer: Because the current administration choose to dismantle it. Why whould this involve putting a focus on oil? Answer: Because certain U.S. interests need to be satisfied for their investment in the current administration. What else would be appropriate to focus on in that country? Answer: Education and humanitarian aid to those who suffer because of U.S. military aggression, as well as bringing to justice those U.S. war criminals who initiated the aggression.

      6. Pardon me for reprimanding you, but Cindy Sheehan’s “motivation” was the pointless, senseless death of her young son in an illegal, unjust and unneccesarry war.

      7. Are you out of your f#$@% mind? How dare you attack a real patriot like Cindy Sheehan who has suffered real losses.
        Your country passed the barrier to Fascism about 5 years ago and you are now living in a police state that allows torture, attacks unarmed countries,kills millions of people in the name of spreading democracy and freedom,breaks the Geneva Conventions,and is rapidly creating a regime unlike any that I could have imagined growing up in the 60’s.
        What we need is a return of the government to the people , for the people and by the people. Good luck.

        1. vernon o’neill speaks the god awful truth. Love you Cindy. So sorry for your loss of Casey. Yes, good luck to the rest of us, to what’s left of the USA.

      8. I was in the Military in the ’60s,I was taught the spirit
        of the bayonet,and reminded to keep a ribbon of steel in front of me.The US Army went into Iraq in violation of Article VI of the US Constitution,they have been there longer than WWII.If you want to know what an Army is all about you should read Gen.Patton’s speech to his men on the day before D-day.In that conflict we bombed Germany into the stone ages,and we helped rebuild it.It was done by an ex-military man Gen.Marshall and the US State Dept.I’m glad you are going to school to learn language, but one thing you should have learned about American culture is when a mother looses a son, you give her comfort.If you don’t like what she says;look at your shoes troop.

      9. As a veteran I gotta tell you the US military doesn’t need people like you. You took an oath that you should obviously reread! That oath IS anti-war. No soldier who ISN’T anti-war is worth a damn, never has been and never will be. And your incompetent ideas about the people who make up the anti-war movement is totally ridiculous. Thank God that there are real soldiers, marines, sailors and airman out there who DO understand the US Constitution and the proper use of warfare. The Iraq occupation is totally illegal by US law and is nothing more then the use of US armed forces as mercenaries for private corporations. Anyone who isn’t against it isn’t much of an American. And that’s why 70+% of the American people ARE anti-war in the current situation, because they love their country. You speak of Iraqis who don’t like their culture ridiculed, did it ever occur to you that Americans are the same? You’ve ridiculed the Constitution and the writers of that Constitution in your comments and I don’t like it! Please uphold your oath and defend the Constitution instead of the deadbeat bush and the corporations that he’s a pawn of.

      10. As a 60 year old citizen of the U.S. who lived through the multiple wars of my lifetime, while refusing to participate, it is apparent that you have no ability to utilize the rational part of your brain. First, by attacking Iraq without justification we are involved in a criminal war. Second, criticizing Cindy Sheehan is just plain MEAN. She lost a son who was involved in the criminal enterprise, and it must be extremely depressing to comprehend how he was used. Third, you speak of the right wing extremist Islamists in Iran. Please understand that it is the U.S. which overthrew the secular regime in Iraq and installed these extremists. It is no different than our prior support of the Taliban and bin Laden in Afghanistan. We align ourselves with whatever criminal may be convenient to our global economic interests without any consideration of morality or principles. If your child is in the military and involved in Iraq or Afghanistan he is a criminal accomplice of the sociopathic and Zionist manipulated Bush administration. This is neither more nor less than factual. Ignorance is no excuse. My country, right or wrong? Support the troops, no matter what criminal actions may be involved? Stupid. Immoral. Criminal. Senseless. In the long term, this country has sustained what may be irreversible damage.

      11. Maybe she should have told him: “Do what your concience tells you to do regardless of what the brainless might say. Nationalism is probably one of the scourges of mankind. Look at what your government and country stands for now. American armed forces are committing atrocities in Iraq and other parts of the world. Do you want to be part of it? The military has a code of honor, it is true, but this government has twisted it all.”

      12. “Let us win thats what I ask”

        Hadn’t we already “won” once already?

        How will YOU know that you/we have “won” again? How we WE back at home know when this is truly achieved – and who can WE trust to tell us the truth?

        How long do you propose that we allow what President Dwight Eisenhower wisely- and rightfully called the “Military-Industrial Complex” to achieve what you call a “win”?

        And finally, what do you consider the maximum acceptable cost for the “win” of which you speak? If- and when that point is reached, and the “win” is still out of our grasp, will you be willing to admit it?

      13. Never minding the facts that :
        1. Illegal war based on forged documents and intelligence
        2. No WMD’s they claimed they knew where they were
        3. American Soldiers ordered to torture prisoners at Guantanamo and other bases ( against the Geneva Conventions Laws to which we are a member ).
        4. Illegal/ secret prisons ( against Geneva Conventions and other international treaties we are members of )
        5. Spying on Americans
        6. Suspending Habeas Corpus-right that an accused person detained, have the right to a quick and speedy trial/ legality of detention ( Guantanamo etc. )
        7. Jobs going overseas
        8. Unsecured boarders, six years after 9/11….they are still unsecured
        9. Billions of tax payers dollars a month being spent on TWO loosing battles, Afghanistan and Iraq….WITH NO END IN SIGHT AND NO PLANS !
        10. Afghanistan has the largest Opium crop ever, since we have taken over the failing Democracy.
        11. The top 1% of millionaires earned record profits again this quarter, while the middle class is disappearing !
        12. Failure to adequately respond to national emergencies domestically, Katrina.
        13. Outing CIA agents and protecting the guilty Scooter Libby from going to prison.
        14. Over 3,000 of my fellow soldiers HONORABLY have died….based on dishonorable lies to get us into the war.

        Now the skin head recruiters and other radicals can refer to these FACTS however they choose but the bottom line is….PEOPLE HAVE TO DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH ! RUSH, HANNITY AND ANY OTHER TALKING LIAR CAN’T AND SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO TELL YOU WHAT TO THINK!




      14. I think you missed the point wide and across
        The title is what is the role of the military
        In short is to defend

        What you are saying isn’t persuasive from an Iraqi perspective
        with your help and many like you if you understood your role and duty to you country is to defend it

        In the Iraqi case you invaded destroyed killed and created a quagmire of killing.
        NOw you are talking about rebuilding and helping.

      15. You need to read General Smedley Butler’s Book: “War is A Racket” Poor misguided, brainwashed to the max person, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. It’s not about defending Democracy and all that crap. It’s just propaganda. It’s about The War Profiteers (the banks, corporations) who are the only ones who benefit from all these Imperial Wars of Aggression. War is the only enterprise where profits are measured in dollars and losses are measured in blood. Your blood and all others like you who live in denial and ignorance of American History and Foreign Policy. Try reading “Addicted to War” also. Maybe, just maybe, you might wake up, and stop criticizing those who struggle for a better world, a world without war. You’re just an expendable item to the elites who start and benefit from these wars. Of course no one wants to admit that they have been used, and hence that is the source of you’re denial

      16. The rantings of an ass braying the nationalistic line of the good German. Cindy suffered the loss and for pointing out the reasons his death meant nothing (read the 1997 PNAC statement its 75 pages so don’t just read the title page) then come back here and amend your post, for only then will you see the Hegemony they want to lord over the people of those countries. Like the crusades of old kings do these things not presidents of free republics. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3249.htm article here

      17. sir, you don’t get points for helping out the little old lady that your friend just beat up unless you do something about your friend. The bad stuff can’t just be ignored. This is a cognitive error called mental filtering.

      18. The purpose of the US military is defense of the borders. All the other tasks you would like the military to take on are fine in theory, even admirable, but in practice they get very, very messy, very bloody, and very soon balloon beyond anyone’s comprehension or expectation. If you want to do good in the world, do it on your own good time, not as a representative of the nation in a military theatre thousands of miles beyond our shores. My definition of what is good and noble will undoubtedly be different than yours, and I don’t want to have to pay for your “nobility” out of my own labor, nor do I wish to donate the life of my son for your sterling vision. Just defend the borders, OK? That turns out to be more than enough of a job for any military person in any country in any era of history!

  2. “Reviving public services, rebuilding infrastructure, and promoting good governance” is exactly what an empire’s military does.

    The United States has been an empire since its inception as a “spin off” of the British Empire. Certainly no one can argue that the US has been an international empire since 1892.

    Looks like the empire is “coming home” to the “homeland”. Rome redux.

    1. The British Empire, for all its mistakes and flaws, did great things for this world. The world is a better place for it! Any nation that follows the principles of the English Common Laws is a nation you know is not totalitarian and you can live freely. Similary, the United States, despite all of our mistakes and flaws, has done great things for this world.

      1. A very few individuals benefited from the British Empire. The majority in Britain and the great majority of subjects did not benefit. That’s why, Ireland, for example, revolted repeatedly.

        Zhu Bajie

      2. Yes, that is why America broke off from the BE very early.
        Listen. We do not want you “civilising” us, ok. You guys need civilizing. You cannot tolerate pluralism (No one is allowed to wera a veil or a turban to school), your press is embedded (read Naom Chomsky) and worst of all you think your values are the best in the world and need to be imposed on everyone else.
        Let me give you a list of what the British did. No, it is too long.
        Suffice to say that they drew borders and caused eternal wars to occur. North and South Ireland and India nad Pakistan are examples. The State of Israel was created in a country which was not theirs and Churchill, that fat, bloated, florid racist, was behind it Even as late as 1942 the British created an artificial famine in Bengal in which millions of people died.

        1. Ok George, and where you don’t have the British or the Americans “civilizing people” What do you get? You get Sudan a few weeks ago where they wanted to kill a woman, or at least give her lashes and jail for naming a teddy bear, Mohammed. You get Saudi Arabi and 200 lashes for a rape VICTIM.

          Thank God for the British and the civility that they brought to the world.

        2. What do you get?

          A better outcome than generally results from such “civilizing” efforts as inflicting horrific famine on the general population (the British Raj), sectarian violence (America’s regime in Iraq), and sponsoring savage death squads (Reagan’s policy in South America).

          Oh yeah, and for the record, Khartoum is considered an “ally” in the “war on terror”. Funny how the “civilized” countries have a habit of supporting the most murderous regimes. Funny also how they don’t do likewise with genuinely democratic movements in other countries (the RAWA in Afghanistan; the EPLF in Eritrea). Rather, what we have is a spread of decivilization, with barbarisms previously unknown to non-European peoples becoming commonplace with the irruption of Western power.

        3. Hey kids: Want to see how Britain “civilized” its colonies? Think those damn darkies are just too much of a nuisance, what with their tacky demands for self-determination and a right to manage their own internal affairs without being repeatedly gang-raped by the familiar American/IMF/World Bank triad? Check out democracy in action under Britain:


          Sure, it may have had its iniquities, but better to have autocratic stewardship under the auspices of the Master Race than democratic governance by the natives.

      3. Any nation that follows the principles of the English Common Laws is a nation you know is not totalitarian and you can live freely.

        And what nation would that be? Certainly not the United States, which has for the last six and a half years been in the process of shredding the very document upon which that “common law” is given life.

      4. If the British Empire is so wonderful why did Americans fight a war to be rid of it? If it brought so many wonderful benefits to it’s coerced subjects why isn’t it still around? As for America it’s intervention in WW1 was the greatest disaster in modern history. It led to Bolshevism in Russia, Lenin and Stalin, the NKVD, collectivization and the gulag. It led to Versailles, Hitler, WW2 and the holocaust. America’s foreign interventions are universally an unmitigated disaster.

  3. Pernicious Pavlovian appears to be correct. How can the remarks of Gates be distinguished from those who oversee the military in a military dictatorship? I would bet the same remarks were made by the military leaders in Thailand recently. The other spooky thing about the military leaders is their use of “good” (here Gates says “good governance”) and their use of “bad” (see how the Iraq press releases often just say that the US military found some “bad guys” today). This is their fantasy Rambo vs Lex Luthor world. There can be nothing in between “bad” and “good” and as one of their big boosters said, “You are either with us or against us.”

    1. So we can safely say that you are definitely “against us”(“us” as in the Elite Class that holds power in the US) then?

  4. We are living in an Orwellian Nightmare.
    First, the people in charge of war were called “The War Department.” Then, they were changed to the “Department of Defense”, even though they haven’t defended anyone since 1945.

    Let’s carry it to its logical conclusion: We’ll call it the “Department of Peace.”

    1. We have defended the corrupt governments of South Korea South Viet Nam and the Saudis. And some would argue that this latest misadventure is a defense of Isreal and trans-national corporations. So we have defended plenty of people just not the US.

  5. The Army should take over the Post Office and deliver my mail. Only then will their mission be complete.

    1. As a citizen, I demand that Army provide me with a platoon of soldiers to be my assistants in the carrying out of my civic duties. Because routine household chores cut down on my time in the political and civic arena, the soldiers will be put to profitable use in hauling away garbage and other refuse, oiling my firearms, cleaning my toilets, repairing my out-buildings, painting my house, mowing the grass, digging irrigation ditches, milking the cows, feeding the pigs and harvesting the wheat. The delivery of my mail can be carried out by discharged soldiers. ;)

      1. Gates could not elaborate what the military should be doing as a department of defence it seems far fatched when you add your semi-elaborated list of the defender of a state.
        In reality the DoD first duty is to smash the country infrastructure. Iraq Afghanistan Vietnam are few examples.

        The Gates comments comes in rebuilding “democracy” helping the needy “the victims of shock n Awe”

  6. The purpose of militaries is to keep all the territories that did not want to enter, or are having second thoughts about entering, the union, federation or confederation from seceding from it.

  7. Well the purpose of the military is simply a show of power and budget miss control. To protect ourselves would be the ideal reason behind it, but in today’s world, we really have no reason to have to do so, other than when we decide to go into someone else’s nation and mess up their stuff, no matter if we have a good reasoning or not. The best thing to do would be cut military budget in half, and get some of these kids educated so that they don’t have to join the military to make money for college and end up getting killed before they can. It’s 100% just bull that they say they’d do it for nothing, no one ever does anything for nothing.

    I joined the Air Force to not have to fight in a war, and I’m not, I was educated enough to know that, I’m lazy and I’m not a patriot enough to incite violence onto someone else, I’ll protect the country as an all-well and good, but I’m not about to go and fight someone else first.

  8. Laurence Vance offers no clue as to whether Gates meant this ‘new role’ to be a foreign vs. domestic one. Why not? Seems like a pretty important starting point for any serious discussion.

    Justifying his screen name, “Pavlovian” shrieks something about martial law, and heads start bobbing.


  9. A silly question, this. Even John Hagee and Avigdor – or is it Joe – Lieberman know that the purpose of the military is to achieve “lebensraum”.

    John Lowell

  10. Defense is correct.

    No Muli Mariani in the meantime?


    Getting rid of most of the Air Force, except tactical, and what is necessary for a second strike might win a few justly entered wars in self-defense, who knows?

    The Air Force is losing them now, not that any of them are justly entered at all.

  11. I do agree about the Army Engineers–domestically they have been an unmitigated disaster for fifty years.

  12. Come on now. The purpose of the military is to control the civilians. Where are you guys getting this stuff about war, peace, defense?

  13. Boy, apprantly the military’s role has changed since I was in. My job years ago (I.E. USMC, infantry) was to eliminate enemy personnel, period. That was my entire task and all of the training I received revolved around that single objective. Now, it seems that the military’s role over all, both domestically and internationally is to be another Government sponsored social/welfare provider. What Gates described is the same sort of ideals that Socialists hold.

    1. Just curious Joe, but when you were in the military how did you figure out who the real “enemy” was? Excuse me, but judging from your comments, you still don’t have a clue who the real enemy is.

  14. There used to be a mock recruiting poster: “Join the Army! Go to far-off countries, meet interesting, exotic, people, and kill them!”

    Zhu Bajie

  15. The purpose of the military is not only to defend this country (we have not been invaded since the War of 1812) but also to provide employment to those who may not be considered to be employable in the civilian economy. War also invigorated communities which formerly had no economic advantages by turning deserts in airfiels, army bases and the side-benefits to the local communities from such activities. If this opinion sounds harsh then all anyone needs to do is to read the outrage and clamor whenever an attempt is made to close such facilities. Even protests in Germany where we have had a sizable military presence ever since 1945. Steve, uSN,WW2

  16. Let’s call always Genoside..It is a rich land that UK/US stole and now leasing it to kings-CEO’s-UNcountries to DO WB control.

    Where is Bush relegion on the MAP!!!

  17. The purpose of the military? Sounds like some kind of parlor game. Q:”What is the purpose of the military?”
    A:”To protect the country.”
    And what exactly is a country, anyways, ’cause I’m not exactly sure that I have one. I mean I spend my life trying to make a federal reserve note, and pay my dues (taxes) and not get hassled by the authorities. No, I don’t think that I have a country.

  18. The problem as I see it, is that with the collapse of the USSR the military-industrial complex is unable to justify it’s existence and is desperate to create an alternative.

    1. Really, it’s quite astonishing when you realize that the very legitimacy of American imperialism rests almost entirely on negative rationales- it’s “against terrorism”, “against tyranny”, “against” whatever syncopated threat happens to surface in the headlines of yellow press. It is apparently unable to justify itself on its intrinsic merits, and relies on an endless concatenation of crises to perpetuate and consolidate its very existence.

      1. Well, I remain stubbornly non-astonished! And now that I think about it some more, I’m not convinced that present American ‘imperialism’ is only justified in negative terms. Whether or not you think it’s prevarication, the Bush Administration was ‘for freedom,’ ‘for safety.’ But note that these are simple the converse of being ‘against tyranny’ and ‘against terrorism,’ etc. I guess I don’t think the negative/positive distinction really sheds light on anything.

    2. Getting warmer. So why not, after Bush and Cheney and the Zionists, start a new Cold War.

      In the speech of the Russian Federation Defense Minister released yesterday, he accused the U.S. of doing exactly that.

      There was, however, an interesting phrase that some reporters did not follow–he said the Russian response would be “asymmetrical”.

      1. There is no “new” Cold War. The last one never really ended, all the creations of the “last” Cold War are still in place, meaning it is still on. The “objectives” of the “last” Cold War were not accomplished. It simply entered a new phase.

        The word “asymmetrical” has become a favorite word of the Russian Government if you have been paying attention. The response to everything is “asymmetrical”. I’m not even sure they know what they are talking about.

        Their “asymmetrical” response has so far been: send turbo-prop bombers on a predictable course towards the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans and head home. This accomplishes nothing. Not like they are Stealth bombers, they are always detected. This response actually shows fear, when you don’t have much in your corner you try to mask your fear and weaknesses with such moves. And NATO/US knows this. This is why they keep advancing into the Russian sphere of influence, NATO/US are confident they have the advantage.

        As to Russia benefiting from a “new” Cold War, they have yet to recover from the last one! What does Russia have? Nothing. Qatar has Oil and Natural Gas too, that does not make them a “Superpower”. Pakistan is not a Superpower even when it has nuclear weapons, it also has a huge population, which is not enough. In every aspect Russia is behind. And this is directly related to the Yeltsin years, who the US Government promoted 100%.

  19. The Military job is kill and destroy property thats the job, first and formost to protect the goverment from a revolution , therefore troops are to kill and destroy property of its own country , THEn to protect the country from overseas , Create wars in other countries that justifies haveing a military thats needed really to protect its own goverment

    I say let the UN have the army, navy and airforce to protect sovereign nations

    1. “Protect the government from a revolution”?

      One does not deny the Watermelon Army, or that at the end of the 19th Century and beyond troops were stationed close to urban areas like Chicago against the possibility of massive unrest.

      On the other hand, a close reading of the Second Amendment suggests that was not, and still is not, any legitimate and constitutional function of the “military”.

      The old Soviet Union had many vices. It also had virtues–no Russian, for example, ever easily considered the purpose of the Red Army to be to fire upon civilian masses–in the USSR proper at least.

      So Yeltsin.

      The events leading to the overthrow of the Czar were too fresh in mind.

      It is sad that the Constitution among many Americans is so much a dead letter that the military is now considered first and foremost a means to keep King Georges in power.

  20. We don’t have a Department of Defense. We have a Department of Offense.

    We could abolish the military altogether without the least threat to our security, and be under a lesser threat of terrorism. Neither Canada nor Mexico has the capability or intention of invading us, even less of occupying us, and they would be quickly expelled if they tried. No one else can get here.

    We could maintain a Department of Nuclear Deterrence, if it would make people feel better.

  21. There are great articles on Antiwar but whenever I read the comments Libertarians sound more disgusting and further away from reality than the Republicans combined. Why is that?

    1. Some of them take the cause of “promoting democracy” at face value in an attempt to discredit government as a whole- its failure to attain its stated objectives is attributed to fecklessness rather than duplicity. Mind you, I object to most forms of state intervention for moral, rather than practical, reasons. I just don’t think its necessary to try to delegitimize the state in this way.

    2. I concur with the quality of the articles here at antiwar.com, and no, I don’t consider myself libertarian exactly. Regarding the question of being close to/further from reality, politics is its own strange world– the people with direct experience for the most part are also the most ideological– that’s my two cents.

    3. here are great articles on Antiwar but whenever I read the comments Libertarians sound more disgusting and further away from reality than the Republicans combined. Why is that?

      Can you cite some specific examples?

  22. This only reflects the fact that this government has become so dysfuntional that the military is the only organizartion it can rely on. And as far as outsourcing to private contractors forget it–the companies to which the projects are outsourced are just a bunch of incompetents and outright thieves.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. Take Blaackwater Security, just as an example. Not only do they contribute to US military casualties in Iraq, they are, apart from all the other nastinesses, a prime National Security threat as well.

      Under the friendly Sturm Abteilung exterior–incompetents.

  23. I’m not sure our economy can function without a war in progress, and apparently neither do the folks in Washington, Democrat or Republican. Counting the Cold War, we have been in a state of war since 1939 or ’40, not counting all the hot wars that occured during those years.

    When the Soviet Union ceased being our enemy, it simply scared hell out of the central planners in Washington, so they quickly found another enemy they labeled as terrorism.

    By destroying Iraq and ratheting up a confrontaion with Iran, Russia, and eventually with China, the pentagon is doing exactly what it was designed to do, and that is to keep the economy chugging along nicely.

    You can forget about national defense, none of this has anything at all to do with it.

    1. That is, I am sure, exactly behind Bush’s and Cheney’s (and some of their backers’) push to begin a new Cold War with the Russian Federation.

      It is a wild guess–but are there Oxonians in the economic mix as well?

      No doubt there are also Israelis, though their bias is more Realpolitik than Political Economy.

      The “U” folks, for example, who recommended a small hut tax in former Tanganyka, not for the revenue but to produce “workers” who needed the new “coin of the realm” to pay taxes.

      At any rate, that is why the Russian Federation Defense Minister’s recent comment, about the Russian response being “asymmetrical”, is so significant.

  24. The purpose of armies, the military, has alwaye been to protect and preserveand power and wealth of the elite. That has not changed.

    1. Your position is ideologically founded no doubt, not historical or experiential. There have been exceptions, for a time at least.

  25. The purpose of armies, the military, has always been to protect and preserve the power and wealth of the elite. That has not changed.

    1. That goes without saying. It merits scrutiny of just what the “power and wealth of the elite” entail.

      1. Not a bad start–imperium, potestas, auctoritas.

        The ancient Romans, among others and unlike many Americans, had more than one word for snow.

        1. “Power” is simple-minded in English especially, and especially when applied to “the state”.

          Not all Roman “power”, just for one example, was concentrated in what one might now call the hands of the wealthy or the elite.

          Even the word “consensus”, except as used by a few specialists, in anthropology for example, carries no specific meaning in English. The concept, however, in many societies, hinges on another Latin word and concept, “veto”.

        2. In fifty words or less, and in my spare time? No thanks.

          As I said, imperium, potestas, and auctoritas are not a bad place to start.

  26. But even here one must not be too literal, and look for “veto” only under the word.

    In many ways the most revolutionary aspect of the American War of Independence is the way the First Amendment is phrased. In a political context, it is surely the greatest and most revolutionary “No!” in known history, though the ancient Greeks shared a similar bent, in relation to speech at least.

  27. Gates is gone, braindead–owned by the neocons and globalists. He’s still fighting the Soviet Empire in his head. He was drummed out of the CIA a long time ago for misrepresenting (slanting) comments from his own analysts.

    Gates has been anointed the Secretary of Offense by the same globetrotting elitists that gave us Bush and Cheney. It’s just more of the same, more of the Old World Order Mapmakers who are trying to survive in a world that is well above their level of competence and ability to change.

    We must rid ourselves of these stooges.

    1. I am dependent on the English translation.

      Besides the use of “asymmetric”, however, I also found it interesting that the RF Defense Minister specifically addressed “colleagues ” in the Pentagon.

      He also intimated that the Russian response would not include massing troops on the border of Eastern Europe.

      A good chessplayer would have resigned after Putin’s visit to Tehran.

      Instead the Neo-Con and Christian Zionist Fascists are waiting for a blunder in a hopeless, expensive, and losing endgame.

  28. More and more articles are appearing on the military acting within the boundaries of the U. S. Oh, sure, it is all for “good” reasons with all the “benefits” we, the people, will accrue. This is pure, unadulterated bovine scat. We are being prepared mentally for when the U. S. military will be stationed among us, guns pointing AT us, assuring we do exactly as we, the sheep are told. Our days are numbered.

  29. The purpose of the military is to defend the country alone. That I agree with. Sometimes, however, defence does not mean sitting idly by and allowing events to shape you rather than vice verse. Equally, it is in our defensive interest to spread freedom and liberty across the globe and to face down tyranny and opression wherever we meet it. Our only true allies are democracies. Tyrannical regimes which brutalise their own and other populations are enemies – full stop. They create instability and are havens for those who would destroy our liberal values. Defence does not mean passing the buck. Defence does not mean ignoring our obligations as great powers. Defence can be proactive – indeed it must be. Defence is not just of our geographical borders, but also our values. I agree the military is for defence – but I fundamentally disagree with your definition of that word.

    Incidentally, some of the anti-semitic comments on this board are disgusting to say the least.

    1. The USA does not have my family’s permission to helterskelter attack other countries for any of the reasons stated by Simon above.

    2. Quote: it is in our defensive interest to spread freedom and liberty across the globe and to face down tyranny and opression wherever we meet it “end quote”

      Bush is the world numba one TERRORIST
      Why not start with his click
      He stole two elections
      Invaded two countries
      And spent 2 trillions on unecessary wars
      responsible for 4000 US soldiers death
      30 000 injured US soldiers for life
      4 millions Iraq escaped their homes and country
      One million Iraqi death
      and 911 is a US attack on its citizens to justufy the above.

      I don’t think any country would like to be invaded by USA for freedom and democracy one they take a look at nowadays Iraq.

    3. Quote:Incidentally, some of the anti-semitic comments on this board are disgusting to say the least.Simmon Hodge ” end Q”

      The usual crap


      Be realistic Simmon
      The zionist are the most hatred bunch on the planet beside Bush

      Israeli are just as human as the rest.

      1. “Be realistic Simmon
        The zionist are the most hatred bunch on the planet beside Bush”

        So you hate Zionists more than you hate the Islamo Fascists who murdered 3,000 innocent Americans on a single morning? People like you are truly bewildering to me. You know who I hate? Well, I should not say hate, that is a harsh term, but you know who I really can’t stand? People like you who are basically treasonous and hope that America loses.

        1. So you hate Zionists more than you hate the Islamo Fascists who murdered 3,000 innocent Americans on a single morning?

          Instead of affixing “fascism” to every movement that runs afoul of Washington, why not be more precise in your use of political terminology? “Islamic fundamentalism” will do quite nicely, or “Islamism” if you think the former too unwieldy. No need to insert power words like “fascism” when less evocative appellations will do, especially when the theopolitics of Bin Laden et al have little in common with those of the erstwhile German dictator, revolving as they do around a transnational Islamic “umma” that views the nation-state as a means to an end, at most, and is not racially or culturally specific, whereas fascism fetishizes the state and seeks to extend its control to every aspect of life. Speaking of which, when are we going to hear you decrying the Christofascists (I exaggerate, of course) who were responsible for the deaths of 1.2 million people in Iraq with the same vigour? For that matter, why not the uncanny convergency of American and Nazi political language? The racist tropes and ideological malapropisms which you bandy about and your habit of mentally lumping all your enemies together under a single category (“anti-American”) bear a certain likeness to Nazi propaganda. The visible ideological homologies multiply daily. The latter day Himmlers are abetted by the likes of yourself, not us.

          You know who I hate? Well, I should not say hate, that is a harsh term, but you know who I really can’t stand?

          You know who I hate? Cowards like you who appropriate the legacy of the Enlightenment to rationalize bigotry and profess “patriotism” while refraining from actually fighting in a war in which they so fervently believe.

          People like you who are basically treasonous and hope that America loses.

          “Treasonous” is an empty word. It assumes a moral obligation to categorically serve one’s government where none exists.

        2. “You know who I hate? Cowards like you who appropriate the legacy of the Enlightenment to rationalize bigotry”

          The Enlightenment? There is a laugh. You think Thomas Jefferson thought all civilizations were equal? You think John Adams admired the Muslims? You think Jean Jaque Roussau would think highly of Saudi Arabia or Iran? You think John Jay believed in “diversity” and thought all religions were just as good as Christianity? Read Federalist Paper Number 2.

        3. That’s a pretty weak argument when one considers that the Islamic world took the lead in science, culture, and economic development for centuries.

    4. Simon Hodge,
      So you find “anti-semetic remarks” disgusting? I’ll tell you what is more disgusting by a factor of a thousand – conning America into killing a million Iraqis, and losing American lives and treasure just to get Saddam because Saddam was helping the wretched Palestinians. And for what noble end purpose – so some goniffs from Brooklyn can steal land that is not theirs.
      Get used to being disgusted, pal, its going to happen a lot more when Joe Sixpack gets wise.

  30. hamza your wasting your time. your never gonna convience the majority of people in this room of the truth. no if bill or hillary were the president it would be ok. it just like global warming. if you told them you didnt believe it it would be as bad as saying you didnt believe in God 200 years ago

  31. The purpose of today’s American military is to provide protection for corporations, world wide and with no difference whether they are located in the USA or elsewhere for tax purposes, such as Haliburton which is head quartered in Dubai where 30% of the world high rise cranes are located due to a building boom. Curiously, with its stringent banking laws, whether or not the graft and corruption money of the American taxpayer which has disappeared from Iraq is not investigated as to whether it is fueling Dubai’s boom. Defending the country doesn’t even fit into the Pentagon equation anymore, it’s the after service careers for the retired military that is the purpose of today’s military.This is done by using the American military as their private army’s paid for by the American taxpayer. These corporations should pay for their own protections, but this is American where it’s socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor, working and middle classes. Just listen to the wealthy whine and squeal if their government welfare subsidies are threatened.Fascism

  32. The purpose of a military is for self-defense. The purpose of America’s military is to promote global messianism, giving the people a focal point to rally around. Some self-defense.

  33. Kenneth and Richard Vajs claim we, the United States, murdered over 1,000,000 Iraqis. Can you please suppport this claim with solid evidence? The law defines murder as the intentional killing of another human being without legal justification. But even without the legal definition, are you saying that we purposefully killed all these people? What evidence can you specifically cite to butress that? Also, most of the killing in Iraq is between Shia and Sunni, in other words they are killing EACH OTHER, but I suppose we are responsible for that too? Also, while under sanctions, Saddam and his henchmen were able to live lavishly and build ornate palaces, do they not share any of the blame for the children who starved to death or did not not get proper medicine?

    1. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2170237,00.html


      There is the raw data about deaths in Iraq since the beginning of the war. Some, of course, can be attributed to sectarian activity (which is mostly financed by the US). Here are the stats on the air war:


      The air war was, incidentally, conducted with the explicit intent of getting Iraqi civilians to “cooperate”- the textbook definition of terror.

      Also, most of the killing in Iraq is between Shia and Sunni, in other words they are killing EACH OTHER, but I suppose we are responsible for that too?

      Yep. The United States purged the civilian bureaucracy and replaced it with extremist elements such as the (pro-Iranian) SCIRI and inducting the (oddly enough, Iranian-trained) Badr Corps into the Iraqi Special Police Commandoes while suppressing nationalist elements like Moqtada al-Sadr at every turn. Particularly damaging to national unity, however, was the institution, contrary to the will of a solid majority of Iraqis, of a federalist constitution that created a structurally sectarian political system by giving priority to regional over federal law in legal disputes, distributing oil on the basis of production rather than equity (creating the grounds for the Sunni insurgency and subsequent Shi’a reaction), and enabling individual provinces to unite on a plebiscitary basis. The continuing support for the Kurds and their military (read: “genocidal”) activities also acts as a centrifugal force on Iraq as a whole.

      Also, while under sanctions, Saddam and his henchmen were able to live lavishly and build ornate palaces, do they not share any of the blame for the children who starved to death or did not not get proper medicine?

      Quite possibly, though that depends on how much of the national product Saddam’s sumptuary expenditures accounted for. The fact remains, however, that but for the bombing of Iraq during and after the Gulf War and American-imposed sanctions, one million Iraqi children would not have died.

      1. Thank you, Kenneth, for taking time to explain the ways in which we, the US, are responsible for the present day fighting between the Sunnis and the Shias.

      2. Thank-you Kenneth for answering Tim R; I have little personal interest in trying to debate Tim R – I have a busy life. Tim R just throws out any horsesh-t that he heard on Fox News or from Rush. You answer him with the truth and he ignores it and throws out more horsesh-t. He is a seemingly endless supply. Thank-you for undertaking the job of cleaning the stables of Augeias.

        1. Tim R just throws out any horsesh-t that he heard on Fox News or from Rush. You answer him with the truth and he ignores it and throws out more horsesh-t.

          This seems to be the general template for such arguments, but I return the gratitude for your encouragement. Thanks.

  34. My, my … “civilization” indeed — Has it really been so long since the witch hunts that they have been forgotten ?

    When Gandhi was asked what he thought about “western civilization”, he replied that he thought it would be a good idea. Maybe he was thinking about the witch hunts.

    Those savages — it is SO MUCH MORE CIVILIZED to kill with cluster bombs, cruise missiles and moabs. And nukes — let’s not forget that there is only one country ( “civilized” ) that has used nukes.

    Does “civilization” have ANYTHING to do with respect, tolerance and getting along ? Or is it just about indoor plumbing, running hot water and beer on tap ?

    1. Apparently “civilization” is whatever facilitates capital accumulation nationally and globally.

    2. K. Balasubramanian writes,

      “Those savages — it is SO MUCH MORE CIVILIZED to kill with cluster bombs, cruise missiles and moabs. And nukes — let’s not forget that there is only one country ( “civilized” ) that has used nukes.

      Does “civilization” have ANYTHING to do with respect, tolerance and getting along ? Or is it just about indoor plumbing, running hot water and beer on tap ? ”

      Some very good points. I agree that the deliberate killing of innocent civilians is always, categorically wrong. No matter who does it or how its done. However, I guess I am naive because I do not believe that the United States deliberatly kills innocent civilians, perhaps we can be wreckless but it is not deliberate. By contrast, the Muslim fanatics kill deliberately, purposefully, with malice aforethought.

      And yes, civilization has everything to do with tolerance, respect, and gettling along. Too bad, most Muslim nations don’t agree with us. I submit to you, if the nations of the world, particularly the fanatical Muslim nations would just adopt the 1st Amendment of the US Bill of Rights we would have peace throughout the middle east and much of the world. Nations that value freedom, tolerance, and “just getting along” don’t usually go to war with each other.

      1. Yes, you are most certainly naive. You have no basis for this believe other than personal conviction. The casualty ratios coming out of such places as Fallujah (6000 civilians dead to 1200 insurgents) and the air war I just described do not suggest a great effort to reduce civilian losses. Instead of recycling the same boilerplates on the topic, why not list concrete steps that the US has taken (you won’t find many) to minimize the death toll? It would certainly be instructive to compare American tactics with those of the Iraqi resistance. Case in point:


        Casual observers will note that the overwhelming majority of resistance attacks are directed at military or paramilitary targets. Also revealing is this:


        Notice a pattern? Where the resistance is strongest in influence, the electrical grid functions most. It is precisely the American bulwark, Baghdad, where the greatest mismanagement occurs.

        Too bad, most Muslim nations don’t agree with us. I submit to you, if the nations of the world, particularly the fanatical Muslim nations would just adopt the 1st Amendment of the US Bill of Rights we would have peace throughout the middle east and much of the world.

        Well, this is certainly a pleasant change of tenor from your previous “all Muslims are incorrigibly violent” thesis, but it’s a hopelessly facile characterization of international diplomacy, not to mention political economy. The authoritarianism of states is inversely related to their capabilities and directly related to their ambitions. The Arab despotisms are not weak and violent because they are unfree; they are unfree because they are weak, violent, and lack legitimacy, and thus must turn to force and repression to achieve their ends. Until the economic and class foundation for such reforms exists the result will be dysfunctional civil governments of severely attenuated institutional strength, much like the current crop of democracies in Africa.

  35. Sanctions …

    “…In 1991, a few months after the end of the war, the U.N. secretary general’s envoy reported that Iraq was facing a crisis in the areas of food, water, sanitation, and health, as well as elsewhere in its entire infrastructure, and predicted an “imminent catastrophe, which could include epidemics and famine, if massive life-supporting needs are not rapidly met.” U.S. intelligence assessments took the same view. A Defense Department evaluation noted that “Degraded medical conditions in Iraq are primarily attributable to the breakdown of public services (water purification and distribution, preventive medicine, water disposal, health-care services, electricity, and transportation). . . . Hospital care is degraded by lack of running water and electricity.”

    According to Pentagon officials, that was the intention. In a June 23, 1991, Washington Post article, Pentagon officials stated that Iraq’s electrical grid had been targeted by bombing strikes in order to undermine the civilian economy. “People say, ‘You didn’t recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage,'” said one planning officer at the Pentagon. “Well, what were we trying to do with sanctions — help out the Iraqi people? No. …”

    VERY “civilized” …

  36. Excuse me, I’m on a roll here ….

    “…”We have no interest in oppressing other people. We are not moved by hatred against any other nation. We bear no grudge. I know how grave a thing war is. I wanted to spare our people such an evil. It is not so much the country [of Czechoslovakia]; it is rather its leader [Dr. Edward Benes]. He has led a reign of terror. He has hurled countless people
    into the profoundest misery. Through his continuous terrorism, he has succeeded in reducing millions of his people to silence. The Czech maintenance of a tremendous military arsenal can only be regarded as a focus of danger. We have displayed a truly
    unexampled patience, but I am no longer willing to remain inactive while this madman ill-treats millions of human beings.”

    — Adolf Hitler, April 14, 1939, justifying the German invasion of Czechoslovakia….”

  37. We should not forget our entry into World War 2 ended the Great Depression with 16 million people put in the military which easily replaced the previous 13 million who had been jobless. Deserts with no economic viability were soon converted to tropical oases by the building of bases, airfields which aided and created a booming economy for the local towns. It could be said the Department of War (the former name of the DOD before Orwellianism replaced it) was this nation’s first Jobs Corps. In fact, former Secretary of State, James Baker, called this to our attention when the senior George Bush started this fiasco in 1990 with his intervention in the Kuwait-Iraq borders disputes. Steve, USN, Ww2

  38. I’ve been in Iraq since April 2007. I am part of the surge. During that time, the area I was in was southern Baghdad(Dhoura) province. There Al-Qaeda militants taken over the area and kicked families out of their homes. Rolling thru that area was like rolling thru the wild west. Since then, when we entered and cleared it out life improved people returned back to their homes. Then my unit moved to Baqouba after operation Arrowhead Ripper.

    Baqouba is a completely different world. Al-Qaeda had the entire city at one point and turned it into their own little nation. Forcing women to stay in doors, closing down shops and killing people in the middle of the street in broad daylight. When I arrived here this place was more shot up than Dhoura. Life has improved. Al-Qaeda is too afraid to fight us head on now because we crushed them. They regrouping however and planning to attack as we see everyday with suicide bombings.

    Fact is, you people know nothing about Iraq. Get shot at, get blown up, spend the little free time you have in this crappy place passing out rice and medicine to locals. Sacrficice everything you own and have for these people then come back to me with a freaking real opinion based on fact. This doesn’t feel like a war now, it feels like a humanitarian mission. Where is Al-Qaeda? They are afraid right now. They lost their safe havens in Dhoura and Baqouba to us and now we brought life back to these areas. This is Iraq. It’s their country not ours. We are here to assist

    1. You’re obviously not on the ground in Iraq, otherwise you’d know that al-Qaeda has a relatively marginal presence in the country. Not every Islamic fundamentalist group is part of “al-Qaeda”, which comprises, at most, a few thousand individuals.

    2. Anonymous proclaimed soldier, would you care to identify yourself by name, since the facts you state above do not sound plausible.

    3. Encounter any “Al Qaeda” Mechanized Divisions? These guys are quite efficient for somebody who has 2,000 guys in Iraq max.

  39. Listen brothers and sisters; just ignore “Tim R. ” who doesn’t even have the courage to put down his whole name..He’s not here to dialogue, just to yank your chain with his neo-con piddle..”Tim R” and his high-minded intervention revolves ONE country and that’s Israel…
    A nation he loves so much he’ll even attempt to re-write history for it..Israel was the aggressor in the 1967 war..Israel has been the aggressor since before it’s founding..The only good about that pariah nation is that it will NEVER celebrate it’s 100th anniversary…And that will be a good thing for America..because Israel is only a burden ( morally, financially and even strategically )..
    Tim mentioned the ’67 war..during which Israel intentionally attacked a harmless USN Communications Intercepting ship, killed dozens of sailors, wounded 172..The plan was to sink it, blame Egypt and then drag the U.S. into the war…now that’s a hell of an ally..Fortunately their radio trans btwn their pilots and commanders was picked-up by our embassy in Athens..
    Then there’s the Lavon Affair in the summer of ’54 when Israeli Sec of Def ordered the detonations of US and UK diplomatic facilities in Egypt by Mossad..not to mention Israeli national hero Jonathan Pollard..
    The infamous “Tim R.” probably has a congenital hatred of arabs..probably has an Uncle in Mossad..Probably grandfather Schlomo was in the Stern Gang and participated in the massacres of arab civilians in the spring of ’48..Menachem Begin called the butchers ” heroes of the new Israel “..
    If “Tim R” saw Israeli soldiers pack-rape a 14-yr old arab girl ( it’s happened many times ) he would probably giggle and clap..If he could have seen the Israeli Lieutenant break a 10 yr old boy’s hand ( while he was playing in his sand-box ) he would probably orgasm..
    That’s the kind of person you’re dealing with..If he ever met me in a bar he’d probably crawl under a table and dial 9-11 on his cell phone…

    1. Bill Federkiel,

      You are a scary man. Your right, if I met you in a bar I would be afraid of you. You seem like a person who could become dangerous. I have met plenty of allegedly “tolerant” and “progresive” liberals who use profanity and tend to get violent if you challenge their worldview, you strike me as that type.

      This may shock you Bill, but for the record I think Jonathan Pollard is a traitor and have nothing but contempt for him. His sentance however is disproportionate to my understanding. He should be stripped of his US citizenship and deported to Israel.

      And no Bill, no members of my family ever served in the Israel Defense Forces, I’m fourth generation American buddy.

      1. I have met plenty of allegedly “tolerant” and “progresive” liberals who use profanity and tend to get violent if you challenge their worldview, you strike me as that type.

        Why do you instantly assume anyone critical of American imperialism or Zionism must be “liberal” or even leftist? Most liberals are cheerleaders for Zionism, not opponents of it, so the epithet is an extraordinarily inapt one given the context. I do, however, agree with you on one key point: liberals are not the independent, enlightened beings they fancy themselves. Beneath an anti-conservative gloss they are handmaidens of the establishment and all its attendant dogmas. They are a cancer within the antiwar movement, as they direct the effort of earnest anti-imperialists toward empowering their preferred political faction and thereby diffusing any meaningful push for change.

  40. Wow Lowry, don’t mean to seem unappreciative of your sacrifice but:
    1. Saddam was an enemy of Al-Quaeda-not an ally,
    2. There was no WMD left fm the stockpile that we and our allies supplied him with..
    3. We had less of a right to invade their country than Saddam had of invading Kuwait; which was once governed out of Basra AND was slant-drilling into Iraqi oil fields..
    Oh to be young and idealistic…I know it, I was a young Marine once..

  41. And some prejudiced oafs are on someone’s payroll. Thanks for the facts and the sentiments, when true.

  42. Dear Tim,
    I hesitate to say it but the government of your country has deliberately killed innocent people and pretended that they were doing it with good intent. K Balsubramaniam has enough data to prove this and has shown you the evidence. Can you refute this? I would add that it was not only this Government but previous governments as well. It does not mean that Americans are evil as a people. It only means that powerful governments like powerful individuals easily become corrupted and believe that they can play God. Bertrand Russell wrote about this long ago. Power corrupted the British in their time and corrupts the American and Israeli governments in the present.

    To Lowry,
    Please understand that the Iraqis did not invite the US there. As the US led occupation has generated the atmosphere that led to the deaths of 650,0000 Iraqis, you are guilty by participation.

  43. It is a shame that a youth had to die before someone close to them ask why. Cindy asked and no one can provide an answer.
    There are close to 300,000,000 answers in the US alone, now add in the coalition of he willing and the cowardice of the unwilling and you geta lot more.
    Here are my answers;
    “The purpose of the military is the military.”
    “The nation state is no longer viable, the corporate state is without borders.”
    “The military has become part of a corporatized world economy and in fact is but a corproation.”
    “Today, in the US it is still public/private and has so far been capitalized by the populace but has grown into an organization that is world wide and integrated with so many other militry entities, these include armaments firms international and domestic, it is almost to the point it does not need US public support and can survive by selling its services on the worlds open markets.”
    “Its services are indeed what Gates says ,and such services will be done by its employees for a fee, it has not given up its main focus militry dominance in any environment, though at present it si forming smaller units for Special Operations those units are for protection of politcal interest more than for national Interest, and is in competiton with smaller firms such as Blackwater, for those contracts.’
    “The all volunteer militry is a right to work organization and employees sign a contract that is either fullfilled or penaltys are assesed.”
    They are truly a Mercenary Force.

  44. This was forwarded to me today, and in the context of some of the comments on this thread, I think it appropriate to post:

    New poll reveals how unrepresentative neocon Jewish groups are

    By Glenn Greenwald

    A new survey of American Jewish opinion, released by the American Jewish Committee, demonstrates several important propositions:

    (1) right-wing neocons (the Bill Kristol/Commentary/ AIPAC/Marty Peretz faction) who relentlessly claim to speak for Israel and for Jews generally hold views that are shared only by a small minority of American Jews;

    (2)viewpoints that are routinely demonized as reflective of animus towards Israel or even anti-Semitism are ones that are held by large majorities of American Jews;

    (3) most American Jews oppose U.S. military action in the Middle East — including both in Iraq and against Iran.

    It is beyond dispute that American Jews overwhelmingly oppose core neoconservative foreign policy principles. Hence, in large numbers, they disapprove of the way the U.S. is handling its “campaign against terrorism” (59-31); overwhelmingly believe the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq (67-27); believe that things are going “somewhat badly” or “very badly” in Iraq (76-23); and believe that the “surge” has either made things worse or has had no impact (68-30).

    When asked whether they would support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran, a large majority — 57-35% — say they would oppose such action, even if it were being undertaken “to prevent [Iran] from developing nuclear weapons.” While Jews hold views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which are quite pessimistic about the prospects for Israel’s ability to achieve a lasting peace with its “Arab
    neighbors,” even there, a plurality (46-43) supports the establishment of a Palestinian state.

    In the realm of U.S. domestic politics, it is even clearer that
    right-wing neoconservatives are a fringe segment of American Jewish public opinion. By a large margin, American Jews identify as some shade of liberal rather than conservative (43-25), and overwhelmingly identify themselves as Democrats rather than Republicans (58-15). And, most strikingly, by a 3-1 margin (61-21), they believe that Democrats, rather than Republicans, are “more likely to make the right decision about the war in Iraq,” and by a similarly lopsided margin (53-30), believe that Democrats are “more likely to make the right decision when it comes to dealing with terrorism.” They have overwhelmingly favorable views of the top 3 Democratic presidential candidates, and overwhelmingly negative
    views of 3 out of the top 4 GOP candidates (Giuliani being the sole exception, where opinion is split).

    Contrary to the bottomless obssession which most neocon pundits and office-holders have with All Matters Israel, the principal political concerns of most American Jews have nothing to do with the Middle East. Thus, they identify “economy/jobs” (22) and “health care” (19) — not Terrorism — as “the most important problem facing the U.S. today.”

    Still, most American Jews agree that “[c]aring about Israel is a very important part of [their] being a Jew” — a common, innocuous and indisputable attribute that typically triggers noxious charges of anti-Semitism if pointed out by those who oppose the neoconservative agenda.

    One of the defining traits of war-loving neoconservatives is that their unrelenting and exclusive fixation on the Middle East places them loudly at the center of any foreign policy debates. That tenacity — combined with their reckless exploitation of “anti-Israel” and anti-Semitism
    accusations as instruments in their political rhetoric and their corresponding, deceitful equation of their own views with being “pro-Israel” — often casts the appearance that they are some sort of spokespeople for the “pro-Israel” agenda or the Jewish viewpoint.

    Manifestly, they are nothing of the sort. Even among American Jews, they comprise only a small minority, and their generally discredited militarism is widely rejected by most Jews as well. It is always worth underscoring these points, which are so frequently (and deliberately) obscured, and this comprehensive poll provides potent — actually quite conclusive — evidence for doing so.



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