a personal note about war and the military

bolivia-prepara-la-ley-de-la-madre-tierra

mr. wd and i often quip that it’s a good thing that over our lifetimes we’ve become major fans of irony (not always adoring fans, mind you), and in my own case, also seemingly coincidental synchronicity. so few things have borne out what we worked toward with such caring earnestness that we unspooled at times, including one very long dark soul of the night in which we were so frozen with horror that we were unable to laugh or even listen to music, much less play it ourselves.

some of you know that a few years ago our son married a woman with two teen-aged children.  now he had been a wildland fire-fighter for five seasons, and after their marriage, she objected to his plans to do another season.  after a long discussion, they hatched a plan that he’d continue substitute teaching, but join ‘the weekend warriors’; my guess is that it was largely at her urging, but i may be wrong about that, as he did like the rather militaristic camaraderie of wildland firefighting for the bureau of livestock and mining mis-management (BLM).   also, his biological father was a lifer in the military, so we wondered if part of his blood…might even be khaki.  (we’d adopted him as an infant; his bio mother is azteca, tragically deported back to mexico just ahead of the general amnesty in the mid-80s.)

the first irony in this story came when they arrived here for a rare visit (they live nine or ten hours away) and announced the news.  my first reaction was of the ‘holy shit’ variety: ‘i’ve been protesting war since i was sixteen years old!’  probing a bit, i did discover that they both seemed to know that against the posse comitatus act, Guards could be, and have been, sent overseas to help conduct wars.  then, pinging that many Guards were being deployed to help quell domestic ‘insurrections’, mr. wd and i both said in horror: ‘you might be facing us one day, and you’ll have a freaking rifle!

needless to say, the rest of the visit didn’t go all that swimmingly, although our son would at least discuss it all with us; not so his wife.  we’ve mended fences with her over the years, and she at least will call me some version of ‘ma’ now, and that’s a good thing.

a few months ago, our son told us that he’d be ‘being deployed’ overseas soon, and would begin more intensive training for that mission, which would commence the day before christmas.  train he has been, at bases all up and down the colorado I-25 front range corridor.   it was either ironic or horrific that we later discovered through another guardsman our daughter knows in colorado springs, that if our son was being deployed, he would have volunteered for it!  well, wtf, whoosh, and all that jazz, but i called him and he said that yes, it was so.  the long and the short of it was that his blended family was in constant strife with no end in sight, and that he needed to get out, but the rest of that story doesn’t need to show up here, as i’m sure you’ll understand.

our son is completely crap at staying in touch, but both mr. wd and i do stay in touch with our daughter-in-law in spurts, he by text, me by email.  but just recently, she had reported on some ‘leave’ dates that were quite in flux, or at least confusing.  so we called his cell yesterday morning, and he did call back.

this monday he and his team will fly to el paso, texas, and train some more at fort bliss, then fly overseas.  synchronicity: he was born in a midwifery clinic in el paso, and that’s precisely where his biological father was stationed for the few years before his birth.  it turns out he did remember that fact, and thought he might try to find word of his present location.  luckily, his name is burned into my brain, so i could remind him of it, partially because (irony of ironies), although statistically on about half of all adoptees in the u.s. want to find their bio-parents…he did, so i wrote a lot of letters to fort bliss to aid his quest long ago.  i was finally advised that they would forward our request to him (and the stamped, addressed envelope i provided at their request.  nope, nothin’ back ever, although he hailed from a southern state, and apparently has a family with children there.  crap excuse, but perhaps part of the reason he/we never heard back.

at any rate, reminding him of that history caused him to think that maybe he now has an inside track or something…  who knows?  admittedly, i’m not very inclined to ask about his guard doings, but mr. wd does hang in there for it, bless his anti-war heart.  i’d answered his call, asked if he knew what his ‘duties’ were to be.  he answered that he’ll be a paper-pusher; huge relief, so i said that at least he won’t be operating drone joysticks, or be plain old cannon fodder.  when i asked if he knew where they were going, he said yes; was he allowed to say?  yes: (our ‘partners in peace’) the united arab emirates.  holy crow.  yes, better than afghanistan or other more ‘kinetic’ war locations….

let’s see; what could i remember about the UAE?  ooof, yes: one emirate, and the capital: abu dhabi, the place where the masters of the universe reckon they can survive ‘limited nuclear war’, plagues, pestilence, and the food and water scarcity that’s comin’ down the track.  and nearby dubai of the towering architecture for the uber-wealthy.   what u.s. base is there, or is there more than one?  turns out that the only publicly stated base is al dhafra air base…20 miles south of abu dhabi.  abu dhabi?!?  crazy.  when the kids were wee ones, i kinda (cough) pretended that our teevee didn’t get all those warlike-cartoons that their friends watched at their houses.   but one of the few cartoons we watched was…’Garfield and friends’.  remember how garfield was always threatening to send ‘nermal’ the pampered cat to abu dhabi in a box?  there must have been a jingle for it: a-bu dha-bi, abudhabi, cuz our son would sing it, and so would we.  well, some of you may be too young to have watched it, but anyway…

united-arab-emirates-political-map

oh, yes, and look where it is: on the persian gulf, nestled right in among qatar, iran, oman.  ‘join the guard, see the world!’, visit that bastion of human rights, the UAE!  our friends, our partners!  Will the guard ‘leaders’ teach them the local customs and how not to get emmet till-ed?  of course that the UAE has the seventh largest oil reserve on the planet, as well as the seventeeth largest natural gas has no bearing whatsoever on usa foreign policy alliances and friendships.  oh, yes; al dhafra is also home to a drone base.

but i digress.  when mr. wd got on the phone, he’d asked how things were in the family, and more irony: ‘going well’, and he’d spelled out the reasons for that, and that’s a good thing, of course.  but does he wish now that he hadn’t sent himself to abu dhabi?  (insert relevant platitude here____.)

as i listen to what’s going on with the only two electable, but utterly deplorable presidential candidates, both feared and loathed by one side or t’other, or even by most, and grasp the enormity the consequences of this fake-ass election in this fake-ass democracy, all i can wish now is that by dint of what happens next is that more and more people wake up to the fact that the bidness of the empire is war for fun and profit, proxy wars for resources, and of course war by other means (including by silent coups in the global south, and war on its dissenting citizens.  gladio 2, sibel edmonds calls it.  oh, and wars for global supremacy, of course.

nuclear disaster is one slip of a button away as geopolitical tensions escalate, and while the UN voted recently to allow the general assembly to vote on beginning talks toward ‘making nukes illegal’, some say that the talks will be more about ‘expanding nuclear arsenals’, so I can’t say.  but note which nations voted ‘nay’, which abstained, and their (ahem) lying, self-serving reasons for doing so.  click in and you’ll see on the right side bar: ‘US military successfully tests electrical brain stimulation to enhance staff skills’.  The Pentagon has been busy since 2011 creating ‘super soldiers’; wonder how that’s going, Darpa?

one last major irony in my/our personal story is that our son knows most of this, as he graduated with a degree in history, and does seem to pay a certain amount of attention to geostrategic chickanery.  might it be his warrior blood ruling him…for now?

so for the next year we’ll try hard to laugh, love, dance, tithe food, smudge our son in absentia with sweet grass smoke…pray in our own ways for him, keep track of the celestial shows at night, greet the critters who come to visit, and try not to worry.  but i do reserve the right to cry when i’ve got the tears, as when listening to this; joni sang it right so very long ago.  and i cry not just for him, but for this nation and for those it annihilates so easily, including…this gorgeous big green ball of a planet.

35 responses to “a personal note about war and the military

  1. thank you for sharing w.d. it is very sad, and very telling, the only real sense of adventure, purposefulness, camaraderie, etc., on offer in our society is thru war.

    I posted that James Bond link in the previous thread for several reasons, but mainly about unintended consequences from hubristic & ill-conceived actions. (all these “intelligence” agencies, and everyone so stupid!) refugees, assassinations, invasions attempted & carried out, pushing Russia to take extreme measures of self-defense, putting all of life at risk.

    i was talking to a financially-struggling environmental photographer & asked her how she dealt w/the things she sees & knows and what we are “supposed to do” [which i’m now convinced is precisely the wrong question]. She said, “the first thing you must do is grieve. Grieve for the loss to the world. Grieve on behalf of the world.” Very wise. & the opposite of what typically we USaian Elon Musk-o-philes want to hear. oh no, give me something to do, or better yet, shoot at.

    peace, w.d. gotta run & do some more meaningless middle class BS. vanity of vanities…

    • grieving often means weeping; tears release endorphins. except for scratchy eyes until one sleep, i love to cry. as an aside: i never used to let my clients cry alone.

      not the only camaraderie and adventure, as i’d said about wildland fire-fighting, and i reckon there must be others. i will say i’m glad that our son doesn’t seem to want to order other folks about; that’s too often prevalent in chain-of-command institutions. bullies who can be bullies, iow.

      thank you for your peace wishes, and i return them to you. now: go forth and multiply… consumers!

      • yes, not the only. is there no camaraderie & adventure at, e.g., Standing Rock?

        • i was thinking more of the war on terra’ off-continent, but sure, i expect there’s comaraderie and some sense of adventure at standing rock. worse, as i’ve mentioned before, one also sees enjoyment of their barbarity. the new twist seems to be that agents provocateurs may now be among the protectors in black bloc masks. the give away during occupy was ‘boots’ all of a kind, with vibram soles.

          given the multi-state, multi-police agencies involved, one might suspect some of them are indigenous, no? it’s rare to see close-ups, but this photo may contain one tan face. latino? hard to know. one cool thing is that fred hampton, jr. is there with ‘panther cubs’, or representing them. as i’d resized tweets and videos in the css code, ya have to click on a tweet to enlarge it.

          on edit: i’d also been thinking ‘peace corps: see the world, help others, and become a cia asset!’ did you ever see the youtube w/ gloria steinem speaking briefly about her stint w/ the agency?

          • yes. our “herd instinct” being used against us? two very different kinds of solidarity on display in that hopkins tweet.

            • yes, as we know, for most, zipping on a police or military uniform requires that ‘enemies’ are ‘the other’. and in this case, how much of their dedication is about ‘those thievin’, murderin’ redskins’ having been taught or implied in school? similarly for blacks, but in a different way, given the acculturated larger society. and yes, i’m also remembering the hordes of disgusting (at best) comments on msm articles on blacks and the police state.

              in the middle east, no problem: the crusades are likely locked into the genetic memory of most westerners. i will go read your link on the other thread, but could you say more about this question, please? “so awesome. who owns fertility? the family? the state? the father?” as in: the progeny?

              • my reading of the poem is that he is combating the notion of children as possessions and mini-me’s. inter alia. we humans invest so much ego esteem in the things (we think) we possess, children above all, for most of us (btw, i claim no children on my taxes, and none have come looking for me.) families, maybe esp. the nuclear family i don’t know, can look at children as both the reproduction of the parent(s) & longed for perfection or at least improvement of the parent. so parenting becomes molding the child into a better version of one’s self. or an object on which to project one’s frustrations, one’s worst self. same thing.

                the typical liberal, having drunk deep of freud consciously or not, wants the state to intervene in the family b/c, hey, parents they fuck you up. better to have children produced on an expert-tested-and-approved assembly line, to have all the hillbilly & crazy educated out of them. or drugged out of them. children as property of the state.

                the word “prole” btw means “offspring.” the proletarius in a Roman census is a male w/o any property qualifications. Except children, real or potential. in greek & latin, a slave is often called “child”, like calling someone “boy” today, insultingly or affectionately. and well, you know, woman is the world’s slave & all that. a traditional Roman father would use the word “tollo” meaning either “i raise up” or “i destroy” at the birth of a child, one or other meaning his acceptance or rejection of “‘his’ property.”

                child (or woman) as possession of the family (esp. the males) vs. possession of the state (again, males) are often in conflict w/each other. the state’s organization of warfare obviously requires massive intrusions into the “ownership” rights of the family. but both the family & the state in these scenarios do similar things: treat the child as a means to an end the child has no control or say-so over. the “father figure” of the parent or state is reproducing itself into the child, not bringing forth a distinctly new human life.

                anyway, i think it’s fascinating that in the genesis myth, adam’s first words are: “this is mine,” at the “birth” of Eve. and Eve repeats those words at the birth of the 1st infant. me, my, mine.

                • thanks for the full thoughts, so i must have misinterpreted gibran’s meme: ““Life’s longing for itself”, then. but did you mean this comment to go downthread under juliania’s, mine…? if so, can you copy paste it where you’d like it?

          • no to the g steinem question. is it worth googling, finding on the theirtubes?

            • not terribly informative or forthright, esp. seeing looking for it on ‘theirtube’ (i love it) that there are a lot of steinem/cia videos saying ‘steinem targets black women’. in fact, one is playing on through right now… ‘ms magaine’ was funded by the cia’. down the list, there she is with bell hooks, go figure.

  2. Thank you for this update of the irony of parenthood.
    Can I make a pollyanna statement about this? At least Abu Dhabi is nowhere near Standing Rock.

    Best to all of you on this turn of events. Trust that your and Mr. WD’s training comes out at critical moments.

    • heh. well, i did type ‘insert platitudes here’, so sure it’s fine. nor is standing rock overseas, nor is it occupy oakland and others i’ve forgotten, nor is it baltimore and many other police state protests.

      when i smudge him with smoke (and many others as well) before i sleep, my message/prayer is rather to contact his inner authentic self. if that includes what we tried to teach him and/or model for him, that would also be a good thing. ;-)

      i do remember that you and miz thd faced some irony while parenting, as well. but yes, we had several conversations about not doing anything against either his moral/ethical code nor anything he knew to be against constitutional law. and i will send his wife the human rights section in the uae wiki so he can read it, lest he not learn how much sharia law rules there.

      • When you face such irony, it is hard to get beyond platitudes. Even in retrospect.

        • i see i hadn’t typed a smilie, dagnabbit. but no, it IS hard to reach beyond platitudes, so it’s fine, darlin’, really. but the ones i’d been imagining i might use were the goofy ones like: ‘things always work out for the best’ or ‘things always happen for a reason’, lol. well, yes, but not like divine intervention, ‘fate’, or somethin’.

          and shucks, i hadn’t sent the UAE human right (cough) wiki to the lioness yet, either. i will; i could be important, yes? best to miz thd, as always; she’s a peach.

  3. Dear wendye and Mr. wd, we parents, what can I say except I know? I went searching for words, found this:

    On Children
    Kahlil Gibran

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

    • i know that you know well, juliania, and gibran’s prose is so very apropos. is it from ‘the prophet’ by chance? it’ been decades since i’d read that.

      i read it to mr. wd, he loved it as well. i’m sure we’ll read it more, and how nice it will be to go to sleep with that imagery behind my eyes. ‘they have their own thoughts’ indeed; that made me smile. he might even have said ‘so many secrets’, too.

      sleep well, but before bed, look to the northeast sky. orion is coming up, a sure harbinger of winter.

      • Good morning, wendye. I’m not sure if that is from ‘The Prophet’ – I just searched on ‘poem our children’ to find it. And I will take your word on Orion – my orientation is on the north-south axis, and I love that the North Star is always over my front gate, where I can look far northward thanks to the road dipping down beyond. But northeastward tall houses cluster with the Santa Fe escarpment behind so even the eastern sunrise takes its time to get to me. There is, however, already snow on the Sangres, a lot of it, from two days of cold rain here over the weekend. I saw it from southward shopping yesterday. Can’t see it from here, but as you go south, up they rise.

        And heralding winter the sandhill cranes are flying south as well, and there were numerous clusters shaping all the letters of the alphabet yesterday afternoon, soft bugle voices accumulating. Daytime living signs of the zodiac I guess you could call them: I wish them well. Bosque del Apache is their destination; I’ve never been, but someday maybe. I’ll be out ‘craning’ my neck to watch them today before I head off downhill to vote, Don Quixote style. Unfortunately, no sign of the Zodiac I.

        Winter is indeed on its way.

        • i just let my fingers do the walking, and it turns out that is from ‘the prophet’. this page shows a portrait of his sister that khalil had drawn. (it says ‘painted’, but it looks like charcoal to me, and no mention of the i.d. of the the pale head: a funeral crypt plaster cast? his bow and arrow metaphor is great, isn’t it?

          ah, well, orion will be overhead soon enough, but just now the three stars of his belt are standing straight-stick up into the night sky, with an oddly twinkly betelgueuse, very bright and changeable in size, to the northeast of his belt. space.com says that astronomers watch it avidly, and believe it will go nova in a few thousand years (a very ‘kinetic’ star. now that’s some time horizon to consider, isn’t it? who on this planet might be left to witness it?

          i do hope you get to the bosque; it always seemed too far for a trip from here, and when close, we were always on our way…somewhere else. but i love to watch the videos, hear the sounds. quixotic voting, indeed. at least it may be over soon.

          • Only one small group of cranes travelled above as I walked down to vote; quite a contrast to yesterday’s throngs. I don’t know what that portends,* but there’s a lovely sunset and my toad (I think) is singing. These, to me, are infinitesmal parts and parcels of the ‘Life’ Gibran references in the line, only by distance far from your Orion evening-dawn. Yesterday under (and confused by) the crane symphony, a small yellow finch disguised itself in my apple tree sitting very still and hoping not to be noticed among the mottled leaves.

            I’m a poor comforter at best. The universe, indeed, does it much better without even trying.

            * Maybe just that Life’s longing has nothing to do with politics :))

            • i’d tried to respond an hour or so again, apparently i’m a blogging idjit. lets see if this works: from earlier:

              must make haste as mr. wd has another meeting to attend. jason seems to agree w/ you that i got it wrong. for now, love, wd

              on edit: nope, dinnae work. i’d thought if i hit reply, to a comment by jason. and the comment became an url, my link would go right to it.

              anyway, somewhere up yonder i’d asked him to explain a comment, and he started with: “my reading of the poem [gibran’s i assume] is that he is combating the notion of children as possessions and mini-me’s. inter alia. we humans invest so much ego esteem in the things (we think) we possess, children above all, for most of us (btw, i claim no children on my taxes, and none have come looking for me.) families, maybe esp. the nuclear family i don’t know, can look at children as both the reproduction of the parent(s) & longed for perfection or at least improvement of the parent. so parenting becomes molding the child into a better version of one’s self. or an object on which to project one’s frustrations, one’s worst self. same thing.” there’s more about a third of the way don the thread. it seems i need to learn more. ‘so much to learn; so little time’

              on edit: cool on the finch. there has been such sweet song by birds too wee to see, but reckoning tie of year and all, i hit the cornell bird site to see if it might be warblers. no luck, as they dinnae have any s western warblers, but oh…how inspirational their songs are. a large stag has been savaging trees as the rut commences, and even tore apart my doggie rock alter, the brute.

              yes, nature comforts…if we let it and can witness it; folks in cities seldom can.

    • so awesome. who owns fertility? the family? the state? the father?

      “I, also, have a possession,” Eve, at the birth of Cain.

      seek not to make them like you

      • “Life’s longing for itself” takes my breath away, as did when I first heard the Hebraic translation, “. . .and the grass grassed. . .”. Eve is the mother of all life, so called by Adam, who is, not least to say, the namer.

        Here are some of Dostoievski’s words: “. . .This is the lot that befalls you, mothers, on earth. And do not be comforted, you should not be comforted, do not be comforted, but weep. . . And you will be filled with this great mother’s weeping for a long time, but in the end it will turn into quiet joy for you, and your bitter tears will become tears of quiet tenderness and the heart’s purification, which saves from sin. . .”

        Dostoievski was facing the death of his own little son from epilepsy inherited, he felt, from him, from his own disease. Out of this comes his great novel.

        • hmmm. while ‘longing’ is such a poignant and evocative verb, i’d taken that line to be akin to ‘desiring to immortalize ourselves’, a thought one hears from so many males of the species, especially. ‘extend the family line and name, male children are a must’.

          now the dostoievski (okay, this USian woman’ll take your spelling) passage in a way echoes my sentiments on the cleansing tears can bring, leading to a richer heart, soul, and spirit life, including then, empathy for our brothers and sisters. bless his heart, i’d forgotten about his son. but the passage is a bit french as well, no? the grief, the sorrow, and the eventual almost treasured sweetness when (or if) one comes out the other side, and can draw breaths w/o such struggle.

          i heard once that there’s a chinese word for a sorrow so deep that it even precludes tears. that was another facet in mine and mr. wd’s twin long dark nights of the soul: no comforting tears, only frozen, suspended in time, living life like automatons.

          i liked the suppleness but stability of the bow, but then i’m sagittarian, sign of the archer. ;-) again, chinese, iirc: bamboo grows in such a way that it is strong, bends with incredible resilience, but rarely breaks. if adam said that, good. much like ladonna brave bull allard had explained why the grandmothers at standing rock are so resolute: women understand that water IS lie, we bear our children through water (and more). the tree of life, iconic in so many earthy cultures.

    • sorry. sometimes it’s difficult to avoid things that actually make one stupider, like this election.
      ———————–
      my reading of the poem is that he is combating the notion of children as possessions and mini-me’s. inter alia. we humans invest so much ego esteem in the things (we think) we possess, children above all, for most of us (btw, i claim no children on my taxes, and none have come looking for me.) families, maybe esp. the nuclear family i don’t know, can look at children as both the reproduction of the parent(s) & longed for perfection or at least improvement of the parent. so parenting becomes molding the child into a better version of one’s self. or an object on which to project one’s frustrations, one’s worst self. same thing.

      the typical liberal, having drunk deep of freud consciously or not, wants the state to intervene in the family b/c, hey, parents they fuck you up. better to have children produced on an expert-tested-and-approved assembly line, to have all the hillbilly & crazy educated out of them. or drugged out of them. children as property of the state.

      the word “prole” btw means “offspring.” the proletarius in a Roman census is a male w/o any property qualifications. Except children, real or potential. in greek & latin, a slave is often called “child”, like calling someone “boy” today, insultingly or affectionately. and well, you know, woman is the world’s slave & all that. a traditional Roman father would use the word “tollo” meaning either “i raise up” or “i destroy” at the birth of a child, one or other meaning his acceptance or rejection of “‘his’ property.”

      child (or woman) as possession of the family (esp. the males) vs. possession of the state (again, males) are often in conflict w/each other. the state’s organization of warfare obviously requires massive intrusions into the “ownership” rights of the family. but both the family & the state in these scenarios do similar things: treat the child as a means to an end the child has no control or say-so over. the “father figure” of the parent or state is reproducing itself into the child, not bringing forth a distinctly new human life.

      anyway, i think it’s fascinating that in the genesis myth, adam’s first words are: “this is mine,” at the “birth” of Eve. and Eve repeats those words at the birth of the 1st infant. me, my, mine.

  4. …hi wd

    …I recall from back during the FDL days your having written about your son having chosen to join USian Empire military and how his doing so was cause for concern and a range of plus/minus thoughts and feelings…Hopefully all will go safe and well for him as he fulfils his military duties and service.

    …We USians have had militarism and imperialism woven into our so called ” indispensable exceptional democracy ” from very early on with USian Empire’s post emergence from the ” revolution ” we threw up against the British Empire back in 18th century.

    …As it was the quest held by USians to be ” free ” was and remains a very conflicted and convoluted premise. See what many USians and USian Empire did to Native Americans or Africans ( …errr…ummm…still is doing ) or inflicted on the Hawaiians or Filipinos or Koreans or Iranians or Vietnamese or Afghans or Iraqis or Libyans or now upon the Syrians.

    …The Bernaysian/Orwellian constructs as voiced quite recently again by WarMonger and WarCriminal Barack Obama about USA being indispensable and exceptional are thrown and strewn ceaselessly. This being the same Barack Obama who has stated there is no such thing as USian Empire. Hmmmm….imagine that….is Barack Obama just simple/stupid or willfully willing to be this duplicitous? Shall we ask Moscow or Beijing or Tehran?

    …When one sees USian Pentagon going full Eddy Bernaysian with buzz marketing/recruiting slogans like “a force for good ” we can see and know how the Germans and Japanese people were likely led into WW2. Sadly so many USians have been fully HollyWoodized via HollyWood war porn that tells and sells USian Empire Big Lies, myths and fabricated USian militarism misdirection.

    …I have long held the thought that it was a very bad idea to eliminate the Draft back there in the 1970’s as it allowed USian Empire to defuse adverse real world political opposition to USian Empire militarism by stage dressing USian militarism as a jobs and higher education benefits venue. Far better that all ( all being eligible regardless of social status ) young USians were compelled to facing conscription and seeing first hand what was being done by USian Empire to who and why. These days we see USian Empire using brown skin humans across ME and Asia to serve as USian Empire shock and storm troops to avoid the politics of forcing all young USians to do it. Easy to imagine how this may end quite badly.

    …Many USians know how bad G.W.Bush and Richard B. Cheney were but somehow Barack Obama continuing doing what Bush and Cheney were doing since 2009 is excused by the dumb shit Obamapologists and IOKIYAAD D hacks and zealots which is why I now very much despise the D’s and UniParty R vs. D junk politics.

    …So here we are again today facing a ” electoral win” ( or fixed to be a ” win ” ) by Hillary Clinton who by rights should be facing being put in a cell next to Chelsea Manning with Barack Obama’s scornful approval. The dumb shit D’s don’ t get this tho…imagine that…

    …Hoping your son will be safe and one day return to civilian life whole in mind, spirit and body wd…hoping all humankind will outlast the shoddy politics, insane warmongering and making/death dealing and economic and social mayhem that are being shovelled about these days on a global basis….one must hold to hoping so …

    …best wishes always wd…until again …take care …sta ;-)

    • i did write about it, sta, hoping to hide the fact that it was our son, not a friend’s (for privacy reasons; didn’t work, lol). gawd’s blood: ‘our son, my son’, as if that’s who he is, not his own person, but i didn’t even want to use his initials, though i expect i could have used one of my many nicknames for him; drat. ;-)

      fun you put “revolution” in quotes, but yes. i’ve loved the bourgeoning trend of athlete and band members dropping knee during that nasty ‘star-spangled’ tribute. pfffft. in a nation born of capitalistic first american genocide, slavery, and ‘manifest destiny’ to do so…it’s nice to see folks waking up about that, isn’t it? you’ll appreciate the headline on my msn this a.m.: ‘clinton tells crowds that love trumps hate’, speaking of orwellian.
      “Shall we ask Moscow or Beijing or Tehran?” well, one just has to peek into nato on twitter. zounds, whassup? not many recent tweeties.

      ha! bernaysian hollywood; jason follows spyculture, and offered a cia/james bond link on the last thread. i’ll grab if i can remember for three minutes… yep, in many ways O’s been worse that bush, and if elected, atilla the hen will surpass him, the war criminal liar. ooopsie: msn only features ‘trump lies’. (he’s a putin pawn, doncha know?)

      american wars: wm. blum has a bit of a rant about that today, with lists; i’d considered bringing it. the media parsing of the proxy war in syria is hard to watch in the extreme.

      i hope he returns in that condition as well, my friend. always great to see you, hope you come back in case i do manage to fetch the link. blessings on you as well..

      “What connects JFK, Allen Dulles and the CIA’s invasion at the Bay of Pigs to the movies Thunderball and Goldfinger? The answer is the relationship between the CIA and James Bond….? spyculture.com

  5. The Anti-Empire Report #146’, A collection of thoughts about American foreign policy, by William Blum November 6th, 2016

    “In September 2013 President Obama stood before the United Nations General Assembly and declared, “I believe America is exceptional.” The following year at the UN, the president classified Russia as one of the three threats to the world along with the Islamic State and the ebola virus. On March 9, 2015 President Barack Obama declared Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.
    Vladimir Putin, speaking at the UN in 2015, addressing the United States re its foreign policy: “Do you realize what you have done?”

    Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:
    1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
    2. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
    3. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
    4. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
    5. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.*
    6. Plus … although not easily quantified … has been more involved in the practice of torture than any other country in the world … for over a century … not just performing the actual torture, but teaching it, providing the manuals, and furnishing the equipment.

    nope, can’t manage to bring the bevy of historical quotes from our political elites, although he features a few dissenters of the realm. you’ll even have to click to see the links in that list.

    NATO announces largest troop deployments against Russia since Cold War‘, By Alex Lantier, wsws.org

    “NATO will place hundreds of thousands of troops on alert for military action against Russia in the coming months, top NATO officials told the Times of London on Monday.

    The US-led military alliance is planning to speed up the mobilization of forces numbering in the tens of thousands and, ultimately, hundreds of thousands and millions that are to be mobilized against Russia. Beyond its existing 5,000-strong emergency response force, NATO is tripling its “incumbent response force” to 40,000 and putting hundreds of thousands of troops on higher alert levels.

    The Times wrote, “Sir Adam West, Britain’s outgoing permanent representative to NATO, said he thought that the goal was to speed up the response time of up to 300,000 military personnel to about two months. At present a force of this size could take up to 180 days to deploy.”

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, “We are… addressing what we call the follow-on forces. There are a large number of people in the armed forces of NATO allies. We are looking into how more of them can be ready on a shorter notice.” According to the Times, Stoltenberg explained that NATO is looking broadly at methods for “improving the readiness of many of the alliance’s three million soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.”

    for the obvious reasons: massive military buildup in russia, massive russian propaganda afoot, massive force against neighbors (okay he didn’t say massive on the neighbors one).

    NATO: exceptional. (exceptionally stoopid and provocative) big must be in hog-heaven.

    • …hi wd

      …USian Empire thruout the 19th century was largely premised on claims, myths and outright falsehoods that sadly the brutal and mass death inflicting War Of Southern Seccession only exacerbated more.

      …It is knowable what the USian Empire’s duplicitous dealings, treaty making and breaking mixed with bouts of persecution, wantonly done cultural obliteration, killing, genocide and repeated forced exiling with Native Americans were and led to. When Barack Obama claims USian Empire is exceptional and indispensable does he tell and repeat that Big Lie because he is does not know the truth or does not care about the truth or simply because he is the USian Empire current chief terrorist in charge and does not give a shit?

      …William Blum has put together some essential facts and truths with the needed overview(s) and sot connecting. William Blum is very likely not someone Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would seek out for counsel or for better positioning(s) of perspective(s) of what the Spanish-American War was about. Or what WW1 and WW2 were fought over and about. Or the what and why reasons of USian Empire doing what it did or still does to Philippines, Korea, Iran, Vietnam or Iraq, Libya and Syria and now Russia again. Thanks for posting about William Blum and The Anti-Empire Report #146 wd.

      …Barack Obama is worse than Richard B. Cheney being Barack Obama has been much slicker in conduct and more slickly marketed. Those who would peddle the notion that Barack Obama is not so are some very misleading and contemptible Obamapologists.

      …What USian Empire has been doing to China and Russia since 2009 leads directly to Barack Obama and his Obama WH run CIA, Pentagon and DoJ and State Departments. Who put Hillary Clinton in as SoS and now is helping her to become POTUS? Barack Obama did and is.

      …What USian Empire has been doing in and to Russia since 1988 has qualities of malevolence, perfidy and treacherous told lies that now have brought to late 2016 the genuine spectre of atomic war and Planet Earth being depopulated of several billion humanbeings. Evidently Barack Obama views this being so as acceptable. Barack Obama is a charlatan, a liar and bringer/dealer of death.

      …sta

      • insofar as what i can grasp of what your commentary: yes. the only correction i can offer to your last comment is that he should not serve w/ chelsea, rather she should be let out. for the second time while in solitary for trying to commit suicide (against the rules, yanno) , she has tried to take her own life.

        re: china, i hadn’t watched, but john pilger is on trrn with the opinion that ‘both’ candidates will ramp up the south china sea issue, bring us again to…the almost unspeakable. may the military save us from that.

        i’m sorry, but i gotta go now, at least for a bit.. hegg-ache that keeps building. all my best heart to you and your love.

        • …What Barack Obama has condoned being done or callously inflicted upon Chelsea Manning has been and is despicable in light of how Barack Obama has greenlighted the pathetic conduct of Hillary Clinton as SoS regarding her email ” system ” and the many genuine examples of communication(s) security sloppiness, negligence and intent to hide emails or what possibly may have been going on / was or still is going on with Clinton Foundation and ethically challenged / illegal ” pay to play ” actions and gamings that Hillary Clinton was well aware of and trying to hide.

          …Chelsea Manning was persecuted and jailed wrongly and should not be in jail today. What was done to Manning by Obama is not what Obama has done to Hillary Clinton. To clarify I think what Barack Obama allowed to be done to Chelsea Manning was/is contemptible. How Barack Obama squares his actions towards Manning with how Obama is greenlighting HRC seems to have not been challenged. How could/can the Democrats square it?

          …They Can Not.

          …best wishes always wd …sta

          • heh. wikileaks had a poll a couple weeks ago asking who would obomba be more likely to pardon his way out the door: manning, clinton, assange, and maybe…snowden. well, guess who won? some still hope he’ll pardon leonard peltier, who is very ill, on the same par as mumia al jamal, i guess, only peltier is far older. i can’t think it’s even a remote possibility.

            jayzus: a light bulb goes on: (took me long enough to find the cursed diary): ‘If Trump is the price we have to pay to defeat Clintonian neoliberalism – so be it.’ – Mumia Abu-Jamal”, cafe babylon

  6. taking to long to the load the last open thread so i’m posting here. well worth reading:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/11/09/oreg-n09.html

    • thanks for bringing it, amigo. i’ll try to read it when i have time. the water protectors at standing rock are only too aware of the case, and ladonna bull heart allard mentioned it in a guardian essay that thd had brought. some very good quotes from her, as always. plus it was paiute land the bundy’s were ‘occupying’, and they desecrated graves with abandon. but maybe the wsws piece notes that; if so, sorry. if i can find the time i’ll dig up the allard essay. anyhoo, thd had said that the jury used nullification of the law’ to find them not guilty. a good move in some cases, but phooey on this one.

      oh, phooey, it took no time at all to find it. and you’re almost worth it. ;-)

      • wsws didn’t note that about paiute land in this piece, but maybe in an earlier one. the main thing in this piece was the fbi infiltration of the bundy clan. 9 of the gang were w/the fbi, incl. the one leading the charge for “military tactics.”

        • forsooth? bundys needed agents provocateurs to gin them up? but mebbe the authors weren’t aware that it was paiute land. yanno: invisible induns ‘cept on the silver screen? ach, i’m being to cynical, aren’t i?

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