What Is the Purpose of the Military?

Laurence Vance, December 16, 2007

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.




174 Responses to “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.

  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.

  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.”

  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.”

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. ;)

  10. 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.

    Sigh.

  11. 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

  12. So true it hurts and I am Canadian>

  13. Just take over the whole planet and maybe then we can have some Peace.

  14. Do you mean this question normatively or descriptively?

  15. Defense is correct.

    No Muli Mariani in the meantime?

    Short-sighted.

    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.

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. “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.

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

  22. 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.

  23. Like making the trains run on time?

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. Gates didn’t say that, did he? Oh my gawd!

  27. hamza,
    How is the weather it Gitmo?

  28. 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

  29. Laurence and others,

    This seems to me to be a somewhat simplistic view of the US military. First, while I recognize that the military does lots of bad things, why can’t proper oversight fit the Army and other branches to the tasks Gates listed? Second, though the National Guard is certainly not above reproach either, its history in the United States has been generally positive. Finally, and I know plenty of people here will disagree with this, but doesn’t the military have some role to play in humanitarian crises? You don’t seem to be a pacifist, since you apparently believe self-defense against aggression would be justified–but aren’t there sometimes genuine international emergencies that could best be solved through military intervention? (Rwanda? Darfur?)

  30. 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.

  31. NO MORE STANDING ARMIES

  32. 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!!!

  33. 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.

  34. 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>

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. Hamza,

    Good for you! You are a good man. God bless you!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1807649,00.html

    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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. You don’t seem to be a pacifist, since you apparently believe self-defense against aggression would be justified–but aren’t there sometimes genuine international emergencies that could best be solved through military intervention?

    The problem with the “humanitarian” trope is that, as a highly emotive term, it occludes a serious historical examination of the situation at hand and reduces it to a one-dimensional “crisis” in need of a (martial) solution. “Humanitarian crises” are typically no more than civil wars capitalized upon for propaganda purposes by the West. There is no evidence that a genocide is happening in Darfur; it is little more than a conflict between warring factions, not a concerted attempt at ethnic extirpation. Moreover, the application of imperialist power to these situations invariably makes them worse, not better, since the interests of all those concerned rarely coincide (the typifying example being Yugoslavia). It’s nice to speak of “humanitarianism” in such an etic fashion, but being devoid of practical content it is a political chimera with no relevance to the real world. Foreign intervention is never conducted for moral or ideological reasons (whatever justificatory function these may serve), so all talk of “humanitarianism”, which is necessarily predicated on such premises, becomes moot. For these reasons, we should aim to circumscribe the scope and influence of the military whenever possible.

  48. 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

  49. Postscript: This is also why we, or at least I, am opposed to intervention by foreign powers, unless serious extenuating circumstances exist.

  50. 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”.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. I feel that under most circumstances the military should only be used to defend the nation from foreign threats. However, as a civilized nation there should come a time where we draw the line and say, enough is enough. What is the line? Genocide. Martin Luther King said “an injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere.” If we have the military power to stop a genocide we should use it. We should have used it in Rwanda. And we should use it in Darfur. We should tell Khartoum to cease and desist from supporting the janjaweed militias or we will hold the goverment leaders PERSONALLY responsible and their punishment will be delievered personally by the US Air Force and Navy.

  54. Oh for goodness’ sake. There’s no genocide in Darfur, and any attempt at ameliorating the conflict by military power will only aggravate matters. I suggest you read Justin’s column on exactly this subject:

    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=8922

  55. I don’t have a problem with people using their own money to help out the genocide in the Sudan, or to eliminate the so called ‘crazed fanatics’ in Iraq who want to create their own distinct culture. Just don’t rob me of my money, (through taxation of course), and use it on your “make the world perfect” pet projects. I believe that military intervention in a country that hasn’t attacked us will just create more problems in the long run for us. The problem with all of the supposed selfless “do-gooding” throughout the world with our military is that it never weighs the cost/benefits of the decision. For example, we will be pumping trillions of dollars into Iraq and Afghanistan before this is all over, thousands from the U.S. will have died, tens of thousand will be wounded physically or psychologically for the rest of their lives, and hundreds of thousands of civilians will have died from Iraq, and what are these glorious benefits? Well now Iraqi’s can live under a system of government where a couple of hundred people can rule over them, rob them, tell them how to live, instead of just one man doing it. Whoopee!!!!!

  56. 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?

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. Love your secession website, Carol Moore. Thanks. We are ready.

  61. “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.

  62. I suspect many comments do not originate from Libertarians at all.

  63. 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.

  64. 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?

  65. 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.

  66. Tim R,
    How about we intervene militarily into a situation where an ally of ours occupies land that is not their’s, seals off the occupied territory’s borders preventing access in or out, confiscates their tax moneys, will not permit the natives access to water, food or medical care consigning 1.5 million people to slowly starve, and all the while thumbs its nose at numerous UN mandates to stop its inhuman actions. Sounds like an even worse situation than Darfur to me. What if I told you that not only will we not pressure this “ally” to let up, but we allow this “ally” to have a hand in choosing our next elected government and we provide this “ally” unlimited access to our treasury? You should be shocked, but I bet you look the other way.

  67. 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.

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

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

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.”

  73. Last time I checked, the land in question belonged to Jordan. Jordan attacked Israel in 1967. Why should a nation have to give back land it aquired in the course of defending herself? And for those who persist in their delusion and distortion of history and say that it was Jordan who was attacked, even so, there is such a thing as the law of conquest. Sadly, nations have been attacking one another for thousands of years and they have a war and the winner generally aquires title to the land. It is a legally recognized way of transfering title, see Chief Justice Marshall’s reasoning in the Johnson V. M’Intosh case.

    Why hold Israel to a higher standard? Is that fair? By your logic all of Florida should be given back to the seminoles, most of Georgia back to the Cherokees, most of South Dakota back to the Lakota Sioux, etc. Where are the UN resolutions for that? The Native Americans suffer some of the highest rates of alcoholism and poverty in this country, yet who is saying the US must relinquish title to all these lands? Only Israel is picked on in such a way. And to compare the Palestinians to Darfur is utter nonsense. Almost 400,000 people have been deliberatly killed in Darfur. If an Israeli bomb killed even 400 Palestinians there would be an international outcry.

  74. Tim R,
    Last time I checked, Jordan relinguished all claims to Palestine west of the Jordan River, about 40 years ago. How could you possibly not know that? And your Law of Conquest? Oh, that would be so convenient!
    Things that happened in the 1800s are beyond resorting out, but Israel is committing atrocities as we quibble here. And, international outcrys- these have occurred about Israeli actions, but you know, in America, we seem to be deaf to those; all the while looking for more politically convenient problems like a Darfur rebellion in an interesting region (interesting in a potentionally promising petroleum way, that is).

  75. That’s fair, though I disagree, probably because I think those extenuating circumstances exist more often than you do. But my first two points about oversight and the National Guard seem to be more in line with what Gates was suggesting–the use of the military for domestic projects… Seems like the Army would be ideally suited to state projects requiring lots of highly-coordinated labor. Just because they’re trained to use weapons and kill people doesn’t mean they aren’t trained to do other things, too.

  76. 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.

  77. By “extenuating circumstances”, I mean an existential threat to the people as well as the regime conducting the intervention. Nazi Germany’s military operations warranted support for imperialist power, if only because the alternative was so much worse. It’s true that there are many atrocities afoot in the world, but I must reiterate my initial point that the United States will simply use them to further its own ends, with disastrous results for the local population- witness Iraq.

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

  79. Huh. So on your view an intervention has to not only defend innocents from harm, but also to defend the intervening state from harm. Not sure I see why, but I’m willing to let that go. But it does seem possible that national interest might coincide with the right thing to do; imagine if Germany had had loads of oil, but the US had never been attacked or threatened with attack. If the US had gotten involved in WWII for the sake of oil, and needed to defeat the Axis to do it, wouldn’t intervention have been the right thing to do even if it wasn’t been for noble purposes?

  80. Tim R,
    I forgot to add that if you have any interest in how Israel’s occupation of Palestine looks to someone on the scene, perhaps an Israeli with a conscience, checkout Uri Avnery’s editorial (right here on Antiwar.com) entitled “To Die with the Philistines”. I am not Jewish by faith but I am ethnically Jewish and was married into a Jewish family that fled Nazi Germany so it disgusts me when the government of Israel acts like something out of a fascist gutter. And now they have America acting the same way.

  81. Well of course. The United States wasn’t entering the Second World War for noble purposes anyway- it was a response to the Nazi economic policy of autarky, among other things. In contrast to many of the people on this site, I would still have supported it, even though it arguably had many bad consequences, for want of an alternative. The United States entered the war for purely economic reasons, but it was a rare occasion where the interests of imperialism and the masses coincided. Of course, we must also remember that once Hitler took control of Europe he would be unlikely to limit his designs to the Old World.

  82. 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.

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

  84. Inconceivable that Hitler could have ever occupied the whole of Europe. The USSR was too tough a nut to crack and Germany had no sealift capacity to invade Britain. Actually by Dec 41 with the repulse at Moscow, the ferocious winter, Siberian counterattck, 800,000 casualties (25% of invasion force) Germany was already strategically bankrupt. Even if Germany had SOMEHOW won the war it couldn’t have HELD the continent down. Look at the trouble Yugoslavia ALONE gave Germany. The fatal mistake most observers make is to overestimate German strength and underestimate the Soviet Union.

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. If that is the case, the US intervention in WWII was unjustified.

  88. “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?

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

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

  90. Just what are you intimating here, Eugene?

  91. “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”.

  92. Point taken. Would you like to give us a typology of power?

  93. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. What Scott Horton said above about these stooges!

  98. 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.

  99. Richard Vajs,

    Double check your dates, Jordan did not relinquish claims to the West Bank until the late 1980’s, certainly not forty years ago.

  100. Actually there's some pretty good economic history to the effect that coercive force generally winds up in the hands of the elite. Not sure if that makes the military's "purpose" to protect the elite, but that does seem to be its function, historically. Note, though, that a society can be arranged in such a way that the wealth and power of the elite depends crucially on the freedom and well-being of everyone else; in those cases, the military protects the elite by protecting the whole society.

  101. Tim R,
    If you knew that, why on earth did you say “Last time I checked the land belonged to Jordan”? I may have been sloppy about the date, but at least I don’t put out stuff that I know is not true or don’t care whether it is or not.

  102. 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.

  103. Hear hear! Time to defund Israel!

  104. Well… not that astonishing! Fear has always been a better motivator than noble ideals. BTW, I see people use the word ‘imperialism’ a lot these ways, and I think they mean different things by it. Just curious: what do you have in mind here?

  105. I’m not sure if the Russian Defense Minister was right or not, but consider the source: the Russians definitely want to restart Cold War antagonisms. Whether the US would have much to gain from such nostalgia is an open question. Maybe instead of “asymmetrical” he meant “disproportionate?” Countries with nuclear weapons and a modern military don’t have much use for asymmetric warfare.

  106. “No one else can get here?”

    Like, they forgot how to cross the ocean?

  107. It is rather astonishing when one takes a longer view. Ancient despotisms of all sorts at least justified themselves by overt ideologies of a divinely-ordained hierarchical arrangement- in short, positive justification. This particular modality seems to have no inherent legitimacy, which is historically unusual. Rarely does one get regimes ruling purely by dint of a putative external threat.

    I see people use the word ‘imperialism’ a lot these ways, and I think they mean different things by it. Just curious: what do you have in mind here?

    The use of coercion or violence, whether military or diplomatic, to widen the geopolitical purview of the offending polity. Undertaken for reasons that are ultimately, though not solely, economic.

  108. Richard Vajs,

    Perhaps my wording was imprecise. What I meant to say was that the land in question most certainly belonged to Jordan as of 1967. ( Jordan relinquished claims to it as of 1988)

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

  110. 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.
    15. SIX YEARS LATER AND…….WHERE THE H3LL IS OSAMA ! OH…..DUBYA SAID HE DOESN’T REALLY CARE WHERE HE IS !!!!!!!

    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!
    STOP BEING LAZY, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND DEVELOP FACTS THAT PROTECT AMERICA NOT YOUR POLITICAL PARTY !

    FOR ALL WHITE MEN THAT FEEL, OR HAVE BEEN TOLD THERE IS REVERSE RACISM, AGAINST YOU….THESE ARE THE FACTS AND BEING BIASED AGAINST PEOPLE DIFFERENT THAN YOU IS NOT THE ANSWER.

    AS AMERICANS LET’S ALL PLACE WHAT’S BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY FIRST !

    EDUCATION IS GOING TO BE THE KEY TO GET US OUT OF THIS MESS !

  111. 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.

  112. Hey Simon,

    Is this your idea of pro-active self defense?

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/margolis12.html

    If it is, take a hike!!

    AMERICA FIRST !

  113. 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?

  114. 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.

  115. Sounds like colonialism is OK
    I wonder why US revolted against the Britihs.

  116. 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”

  117. 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.

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

    The usual crap

    “anti-semitic”

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

    Israeli are just as human as the rest.

  119. 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

  120. 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

  121. 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

  122. 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.

  123. “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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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

  126. I believe the one made by “Brian” above epitomizes the general trend.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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?

  131. “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.

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

    http://www.opinion.co.uk/Newsroom_details.aspx?NewsId=78

    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:

    http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/071213_oif-oef_airpower.pdf

    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.

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

  134. 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.

  135. 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 ?

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

  137. 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” …
    http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/iraq1/2002/1100weap.htm

  138. 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….”

  139. Somehow I always knew the parallels existed…

  140. found it here ( there are more )

    http://www.swt.org/share/ancientciv.htm

  141. 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.

  142. maybe they are plants to discredit the site.

  143. 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.

  144. 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:

    http://bp1.blogger.com/_JNlxgs6qm2M/RfkvFQhVhuI/AAAAAAAAALI/O9HzZA9UMII/s1600-h/Iraq+attacks.jpg

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

    http://bp0.blogger.com/_JNlxgs6qm2M/RfkriAhVhsI/AAAAAAAAAK4/XNUOppiK-qQ/s1600-h/Iraq+electricity.jpg

    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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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

  147. 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

  148. 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.

  149. 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.

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

  151. 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…

  152. 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..

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

  154. 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.

  155. 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.
    Why?
    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.

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

  158. 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!

  159. 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.

    [http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/12/12/ajc_poll/]

    _______________________________________________

  160. ” Tim R. ”
    I’m not a progressive or a liberal..Here’s a new word for you “paleo-conservative” ..No recent relatives in that terrorist organization known as the IDF or it’s uglier offshoots? That’s the part that bothered you? So you would enjoy video of Israeli soldiers pack-raping a 14-yr old arab girl ( one of the girls in question was shot afterward by the brave Israeli soldiers who are such wonderful allies ) ?
    Wow, seems like you’re the real scary one..

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

  162. Anyone see Charlie Wilson’s War? Boy, talk about party politics and getting laid. Anyone know who they cast as Osama Bin Ladin?

  163. Is one allowed to conjecture that Charlie Wilson’s War was perhaps planned and timed to appear just as Bush and Cheney have succeeded in reegineering the beginnings of a new Cold War–perhaps even something warmer than that–with the Russian Federation?

  164. Coincidences happen, naturally. If it is not a coincidence, however, tracking down the investors and financing might be of some interest.

  165. You are right about the military… however! Our governments sole purpose is to protect Us from foreign invaders (via through the Military)… and protect it’s citizens from harming eachother. That’s it… Right??? But the people fell asleep in this Country, and didn’t heed the Warning of Our Founding Fathers… therefore the Government has become Far Beyond what it was intended to be! Our Military now… has been expanded to protect the interests of the people in this Country of Ours. Grant it… there are those that have alterior motives… but the Military still has the Sworn Duty to Protect it’s Citizens irregardless what activists or the talking heads think!

    Without Our Military… You can Kiss Your Freedoms Goodbye!!! Like it or not… We have Many Privliges because of Them. You have the Right to speak out and protest against Them… because They have Given All of Us that Freedom to do so, by laying down Their Lives… just so You can have that! Maybe we all can just sit down and talk it out… till we all understand one another. That way… peace will abound. Yeah… Right???

  166. You are right about the military… however! Our governments sole purpose is to protect Us from foreign invaders (via through the Military)… and protect it’s citizens from harming eachother

    I believe that is the function of paramilitary organs such as the police.

    Grant it… there are those that have alterior motives… but the Military still has the Sworn Duty to Protect it’s Citizens irregardless what activists or the talking heads think!

    The military can make all the oaths it likes. Until we get a material demonstration of this “protection” (which was not forthcoming in New Orleans), votive proclamations of this sort will remain so much hot air.

    Without Our Military… You can Kiss Your Freedoms Goodbye!!! Like it or not… We have Many Privliges because of Them. You have the Right to speak out and protest against Them… because They have Given All of Us that Freedom to do so, by laying down Their Lives…

    The military is made necessary by others like themselves who wield undue influence abroad.

    Maybe we all can just sit down and talk it out… till we all understand one another. That way… peace will abound. Yeah… Right???

    That’s called “solving one’s problems like an adult” and is generally held to be the backbone of civil society.

  167. The Legions serve the Empire and its Consul and Proconsuls, who today wield more power than the Sovereign of the land. The Legions can crush internal rebellions caused by the wrath of the god Neptune on the southern ports and those caused by weary laborers who are tired of war and conquest. They also crush the enemies of the Empire. Like the conquest of the occupied nation of Grenada which had been under the control of the barbarian craftsman from the island of Cuba.

  168. Having a Military is fine. A National Guard of citizen soldiers and a Coast Guard of volunteers can protect the nation from invasion. BUT, what the US Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have become are nothing more than Specialized Imperial Legions. They are not the Swiss Army.

    Consider how many US Military Bases there are around the globe. Over 600, even subtracting Embassies and Missions of similar purpose you are still left with about 400 facilities. 400 bases with US troops around the globe, almost twice the number of actual countries! Just in Germany the US has around 80,000 ground troops, enough to attack a fairly large European nation. These bases serve no “benevolent” purpose, their purpose is simple, CONTROL. The US can influence German politics because it has a whole Armored Division within driving distance of Berlin. You know why there is little love for France? They won’t allow US Military bases(this might change with Sarkozy). Most of the US “allies” have US military bases within their borders, so it should be no surprise that those countries “fall in” with US policies, they are not being generous, the US has them by the balls.

    Essentially the US Military Forces Globally serve EXACTLY THE SAME PURPOSE as the Roman Legions, yet on a much more grander scale. The Roman Empire looks like a joke compared to the US Empire(which stretches across the whole globe). They expended 1,000’s of troops to control North Africa and the Middle East, excluding Iraq and Afghanistan(which were never actually conquered by the Romans), the US does this with about 2,000 total. Iraq and Afghanistan are currently the only places where the local population is actively resisting US efforts to conquer them. And this requires over 170,000 troops to “pacify” the locals.

    The Romans never captured Germania successfully, but with extensive Soviet help the US was able to claim 1/3 of Germany. And now 62 years later the US has absolutely no plans to leave. The garrisons are in place. Like the Romans, the only way they are going to leave is if the Empire collapses and other “invaders” take over.

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

  170. The similarity to a Bush speech is almost scary.

  171. 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%.

  172. US involvement in WW2 was just a matter of time. The US had exercised significant influence on the Pacific Ocean since the Spanish-American War through Naval power. The British Empire was declining and the Japanese Empire was rising as one of the greatest Naval powers of the Pacific, this could have been predicted in the Russo-Japanese War, when Japan defeated a European power. Japan was part of the Axis Powers, so its allies had to align with its foreign policy. This foreign policy after WW1 became aimed at expanding Japan’s territory and Japan launched several “pre-emptive” strikes against Korea, China, and the USSR, except for the last the first 2 were successful “nation-building” operations(the Expedition against the Soviet forces in Mongolia was a disaster). US Corporations were hit hard with these “regime change” wars as they had invested Millions of $ in Asia and saw these evaporate. This is where the US could have chosen to do nothing and slowly increased its troops numbers across the Pacific. It embargoed Japanese oil imports, the result of these actions was obvious, Japan would be forced to make a “surgical strike” against US Military forces in the Pacific and would have to seize its own oil resources.

    If the US had done nothing the result might have been the same. Today this is simply speculation and Alternative history. Japan could have ended its full China campaign(which was draining huge amounts of resources and killing and wounding Millions of Japanese soldiers) and withdrawn to Manchuria and used local “anti-Insurgent Security forces” formed from expendable Manchurians to defend against Mao’s PLA and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Army attacks, which were quite ineffective when both tried to go on the offensive. Korea could have become the secondary defensive line along the Yalu river. After Japan had built up a force of at least 6 to 8 Aircraft Carriers the threat the US posed would have shifted to 1st place as the US was the only nation with 3 of their own in the region, even without Japan German U-boats were wiping out British capital ships so the UK would have been unable to concentrate its Naval resources in the Pacific. In fact the Japanese might have been able to make some kind of deal to release British troops captured in Malaysia and Singapore in exchange for a Cease-fire with the UK, they really would have few choices until maybe 1943. The Japanese likely would have gone for containment of India and Australia while skirmishes would continue in Manchuria.

    Shifting combat hardened troops to the Kurile islands after a short break they could have begun forming an invasion force for Alaska. A 100,000 men Expeditionary Force could land on the western shores of Alaska by early 1942 and form a beachhead on American soil, simultaneously Japanese subs could be tasked with locating US Navy Carrier assets, and once found an Air strike from their own Carriers could sink these. Without these there would be no Battle of Midway, no victory in the Pacific. Hawaii is quite a long way from the US, a coordinated Japanese Air assault much larger than the Pearl Harbor attack could theoretically do great damage to the US bases on the islands. And so the entry into WW2 would be accomplished. Within weeks there would likely be street battles and urban combat in Anchorage, Alaska with both Japanese and US bombers hitting various sections of that city with bombs and US National Guards troops trying to hold off the likely superior armed, equipped, and experienced enemy. And it it possible Hawaii would be invaded and likely captured.

  173. The military has not provided the United States with Freedom of Speech, nor any other freedom. The recognition of these freedoms as pre-existent to government in the Constitution, and in the Bill of Rights especially, provides and maintains such freedoms, including Freedom of Speech.

  174. i looked up this cause my dad & older sis are fighting over wat the purpose of the millitary is.though,my sis is right by reading this sight.