Apr 15Liked by Bill Astore

The reason why the US only commits "mistakes" or "errors" but never war crimes is because, under the ideology of "American Exceptionalism," we are always virtuous, moral, and just. Therefore, if our wars, which are intended to "spread freedom and democracy," cause death and destruction, it is all for the greater good. And if the wars do not exactly go as planned, well it is only because mistakes and errors were made. This is the narrative always presented by the US political class. In short, unless and until the entire mindset and ideology of "American Exceptionalism" is excised from the US body politic, not a damn thing is ever going to change. The cause for all the endless/eternal wars, obscene military spending, war criminals never being prosecuted, the revolving door between the Pentagon and the weapons merchants, etc....all of these are symptoms. The cause is the ideology of "American Exceptionalism." Like all diseases, unless you eliminate the cause, the disease continues to fester and spread.

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The US is constantly kicking hornet's nests wherever "we" want to make problems that need solving. I do not believe that the lack of reflection is a failure, it is purely intentional. War, for the War Dept., is just job security. It is a fundraising exercise. It is their path to glory. The only way to end it is for the public to complain. As long as most people remain silent, this will go on indefinitely.

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Apr 15Liked by Bill Astore

Mission still not accomplished. It never is.

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The people back home never seem to get that the US military is "ruthless" and our armed forces haven't ever been the good guys, at least in this Vietnam veteran's lifetime.

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Bill, I think the military is and essentially always has been an organization designed to promote power and greed. History tells us that - look at Roman, Greek or Persian history and on through the ages to Europe and all the wars the kings fought for no apparent reason other than greed and power. It goes on to America. I'm sure you've read Smedley Butler's book "War is a Racket" where the most decorated soldier in the world at the time wrote that all the wars he fought in were for big American corporations - as they are today. I note that any General or Admiral today who speaks the truth about not going to war with China or Russia is no longer around to speak out. Are there any left in any of the military sections -Army, Navy, Marines? The current foreign policy under Biden,Blinkin and CIA Jake is so childish and ill considered that I wonder if there are any adults left in our government or the military. I sure don't see many examples in our Congress, though there are few, but their attempts are awfully timid. The MSM is totally missing when it comes to comment on war or the environment, they want to talk about Trump (for or against). Millions of us protested against the Iraq war 20 years ago even in small towns as well as major cities and D.C. It didn't do any good I know - I marched in several of them. I appreciate the fact that you are out there trying to get people to grow up, but do you think there is any hope?

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The idea that there are lessons to be learned presupposes that the people in charge are interested in learning lessons rather than just flexing their muscles. In our case that's probably a mistaken assumption.

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It is not the function of the U.S. military, Bill, to question, second-guess, or evaluate the decisions made in the White House and rubber stamped by Congress about why, when, where, and how to go to war. It is the function of the military to go to war when, where, and how ordered.

And to learn lessons from those wars ~ at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels ~ so that the next one can and will be more successful. That is the purpose of the After Action Review or AAR; to answer the questions: What happened? What went right? What went wrong? And what needs to happen to make things better next time?

Nor is it the function of the military ~ as an institution ~ to learn anything about How and Why a particular war was or is based on lies, is illegal, immoral, and evil [to say nothing of undeclared].

That is the function of the INDIVIDUAL SERVICE MEMBER AS AN INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEING, who has to then decide whether she or he will continue to be an accomplice to the crimes committed by the military as directed by whoever is sitting closest to the red buttons in the Oval Office.

And it is not the military who hasn’t learned the “Lessons of” Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and so forth.

It is, first and foremost of all, the American People who have learned absolutely nothing, and continue to have their individual and collective heads comfortably jammed up their asses when it comes to what the American Empire has been doing all over the Planet since first 9/11, and then since the end of World War II.

But America’s Ruling Political Class [RPC] has learned a great deal about how to get away with all this BY keeping the American Peoples’ heads posteriorly inserted. And it has been and is learning how to do it more and more efficiently, effectively, and optimally efficaciously every day. Case in point: The Chinese Weather Balloon Goat Fuck last January and February.

The only way the American military could refuse to go fight another war ~ to keep the MIC awash in profits and the RPC comfortable in their delusion that the American Empire is not failing but just going thru some “challenging” changes ~ would be to overthrow the government in a military coup. Or for a critical mass of mission-critical service members to go out on strike.

On the other hand, there are any number of ways that the American People could bring all this bullshit to an end. But that would take a critical mass of conscious, concerned, and committed Citizens united against The War Machine. And that ain’t gonna happen any time soon. Or at least not soon enough.

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Tactically the neocons should stick a missle up their arse

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I think it started with Vietnam. We put our foot in the quicksand under Eisenhower, and Kennedy was reluctant to act courageously for fear of being painted red by the fervent anti-communists. (Truman set the stage at the end of WW2 by refusing to support Ho Chi Minh, choosing instead to support French colonialism.) The domino myth drove US policy, so we continued to escallate, never questioning the mantra that technology could negate the righteousness of the cause, determination of the VC and the brilliance of their leadership. When a significant anti-war movment arose in the US, our military and politicians "solved" the problem by eliminating the draft. After our withdrawal, the military industrial complex learned an important lesson from the "peace dividend": diversifying base and factory locations so they could pressure every Congressional Representative amd Senator with the prospect of lost jobs in the event of budget cuts. There was never an admission that we lost the war, and even today many labor under the delusion that we won. To the extent that the reason for our defeat were studied, it involved taking a page from Hitler's book, blaming protesters and pacifists for the outcome. This set the standard for future behavior.

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As such, we demand, we need,

we hunger and thirst for,

we live and die by Answers.

And not Questions.

We depend for our livelihood and well-being,

-- for our sanity and security,

for our sense of our Self and the Real --

we depend on the expert, the anchorman,

the spokesperson, talk show host,

reliable source, and, ultimately,

The Leader [or hero, savior, guru]

who provides us with All the Answers.

This way, we can make an immediate determination

as to whether or not his [seldom her] Answers agree

with ours.

And, if they don't, then, without having to bother

with the process of thinking,

We can dismiss his Answers out of hand

and continue our search for The Answers

that agree with Ours.

A curious people indeed….

A gnome, a pitiable creature of sorts,

stopped looking for the right Answers

to The Terror Event of September 11

when he realized exactly how ready and able

the government and its media were to provide

exactly those Answers.

That happened on the morning of September 12.

And that happened again with Saddam's WMDs in 2003,

the 2008 financial "¢risi$," The COVID Event,

January 6, and most recently, Ukraine.

So….. Instead, he chose to focus

on finding the right Questions.

Because, he reasoned, if you can ask the right Questions,

you will ultimately get to The Truth.

Because out of the right Questions

The Truth must inevitably emerge.

If, on the other hand, your focus is on finding the right Answers,

all you can get are the Answers you were looking for

in the first place.

And what you will get are the Answers

that the Answer-Man on the White Horse

intends for you to embrace.


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Workers for Peace

In our workplaces and poverty lines across our world, plutocrats and fake union bureaucrats collude to persuade us to see other workers as competitors and enemies. We are pushed by powerful, corrupt Big Labor sellouts to believe that it is now the business of trade unionism to put our brothers and sisters out of work. We see how this dog eat dog attitude towards all workers, with whom we have everything in common, is on the same evil, competitive continuum as war.

War is the ultimate, evil competition.

We say that war is the eventual outcome of dog eat dog competition.

We see that competition against other workers diminishes those workers in our eyes.

We see that in war, soldiers - the production workers of war - lose not only their jobs but also their lives while the rich profit.

We call on workers everywhere to stop the competition between us and to fight for a world based in solidarity.

Everyone can at least talk and we ask that our talk include what we can all do to make the world a safe and happy place.

We call on workers to simply talk about returning to the traditional DIY tools of the labor movement.

We call for an international conversation about redeveloping our traditional weapons - slowdowns, sitdowns, work to rule, and strikes - to bring down those who kill our work, injure and kill us and ship our jobs to slaves.

We want to protect our work, equalize wages and working conditions at the highest possible level throughout the world.

If we must fight, let us fight against those who constantly divide us and play us against each other for their own profit even to the point of forcing us to kill each other.

If we must fight a war let it be a war against selfishness and poverty. Let us fight to unite all workers against the warmongering, dictatorial greedy and to see that those who have the least everywhere in our world, gain equality in wages, health care and education and the right to a happy life. Let our war begin with the peaceful exchange of words and ideas. A simple conversation started amongst workers who believe in the working class values of solidarity, equality and democracy can change the world.

Let's talk about that.

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Thank you for your comment Denise. Perhaps I should have been clearer about greed and power. The land grabs I believe were exactly done for both power and greed, and when you look at it almost all wars in the past were done for that, even the religious wars like the crusades.

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Might makes right because it frees the perpetrators from responsibility while giving them the vicarious means of enjoying power at the expense of their fellow citizens who join the military lower ranks. They literally cannot do wrong. GWB is a war criminal, among many, but there is no power that can hold him accountable, least of all his conscience. He dabbles in painting with a supremely sunny disposition, as removed from what he directed as someone might be who went to Las Vegas and, darn it, didn't win. For those at the top, tomorrow is always another day completely removed from yesterday.

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When people think of the Pacific as a Theatre for War, they automatically think back to Japan and World War II, and now of China and Cold War II. They tend to forget ~ or ignore ~ that our enemy in Ukraine, Russia, has significant military capacity of its own in the Pacific, and not just in Eastern Europe… :

DAILY MEMO: RUSSIA’S PACIFIC FLEET ON HIGH ALERT; China's Defense Minister Will Visit Moscow Next Week. by Geopolitical Futures 041423

SNAP DRILLS. Russia’s entire Pacific Fleet was put on high alert on Friday for snap drills in the Far East region. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the exercises were necessary “to work out methods of action to prevent the deployment of enemy forces in the operationally important region of the Pacific Ocean.” Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov called the surprise check a “usual practice.”

Meanwhile, China announced that its defense minister will visit Russia from April 16-18 for talks with Shoigu. The growing collaboration between the two countries is causing concern in the West, especially after the Chinese military announced last month its readiness to cooperate with Russia.

Further details at https://geopoliticalfutures.com/daily-memo-russias-pacific-fleet-on-high-alert/

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Sounds like a great instructions as we ramp up our militarization in the Pacific. #leavechinaalone

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