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View Diary: Book review: Jake Tapper's 'The Outpost' (112 comments)

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  •  Battle on the cheap (18+ / 0-)

    War on the expense account.  Just as in almost every other war the gap between what "leaders" receive in the rear and what guys get a places like COP Keating is huge.  Only in Afghanistan there were fewer excuses because of the nonlinear nature of the fight.  The front could be 1 KM away or 100KM away.  Doesnt matter, the guys doing the fighting always get shafted.

    No one hates war more than soldiers.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:20:21 AM PDT

    •  There is no "front" there. Any more than in Vietna (24+ / 0-)

      m. There is only STUPID, from the idiot policies of the "anti-communism excuses everything" that put GIs in the same asymmetric situation with no possibility of "victory" except for the careerists and contractors, who were playing another game altogether, still are, the game called "wealth transfer," now with the ante upped by adding "creation of a world-spanning 'security' apparatus" to the mix.

      We go invade some place and expect the "gooks" and "wogs" to love us and become "democratized," when our own "democracy" is a sham and the gulf between the ideal and the real is not only palpable, it's crushing.

      Horror movies and books get to us because of the creatures with power over our lives who cannot be defeated or killed. Guess what it's like to be sent to play shoot-em-up with people who own the terrain, who may not be very nice but whose society in all its unstudied parts there is not a snowball's chance of building up, up, up until, in the words of a long-dead warhawk senator, it's just like Kansas City? And to have these brass hat fuckers and dickheads in think tanks taking advantage of the GI's patriotic impulses and brand loyalty by sending them on endless futile errands with a damn good chance of getting killed or getting sucked into atrocity-land...  

      And all we got is to cite books to each other that display the horror and feed our sense of futility. Time to call a halt to the whole fucking idiocy.

      Two reading list suggestions to feed your sense of the futile: Krakauer's "Where Men Win Glory," the life and fraudulently misappropriated friendly-fire (what a sick term) death of NFL great Pat Tillman, and "First In: How the CIA Spearheaded the War On Terror in Afghanistan," by a CIA operative named Gary Schroen. That latter one has everything you need to see and know about how things are really, actually done in Afghanistan to know that "we" were totally fucked, the "guys" and the hate-to-say-it stupid gals who just wanted to get in some real combat experience.

      Yah, we could do better. The betting, because of where all the money is, is that "we" won't. How many of you are really cool with the idea of starting another WAR OF CHOICE with IRAN? Because why, again?

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:06:27 AM PDT

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      •  Well stated, jm214, and thanks for the book recs, (9+ / 0-)

        especially the Schroen volume. Obviously, we've had a major CIA problem for decadess. Unfortunately, I don't see anything changing for the better under PBO on this score. Here's a snip from a Glenn Greenwald piece in the Guardian in January

        Prior to President Obama's first inauguration in 2009, a controversy erupted over reports that he intended to appoint John Brennan as CIA director. That controversy, in which I participated, centered around the fact that Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush's programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program. As a result, Brennan withdrew his name from consideration, issuing a bitter letter blaming "strong criticism in some quarters prompted by [his] previous service with the" CIA.

        This "victory" of forcing Brennan's withdrawal proved somewhat Pyrrhic, as Obama then appointed him as his top counter-terrorism adviser, where he exerted at least as much influence as he would have had as CIA Director, if not more. In that position, Brennan last year got caught outright lying when he claimed Obama's drone program caused no civilian deaths in Pakistan over the prior year. He also spouted complete though highly influential falsehoods to the world in the immediate aftermath of the Osama bin Laden killing, including claiming that bin Laden "engaged in a firefight" with Navy SEALS and had "used his wife as a human shield". Brennan has also been in charge of many of Obama's most controversial and radical policies, including "signature strikes" in Yemen - targeting people without even knowing who they are - and generally seizing the power to determine who will be marked for execution without any due process, oversight or transparency.

        Regarding Afghanistan: we need to bring our troops home.
        •  The challenge now is to educate, re-educate actual (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee, kurt

          ly, enough people to compel some kind of actual real healthy change --

          No more bully bullshit! no more ripping lies! If we keep up this business, the whole country dies!

          We've seen where Empire leads, like Rome, the various Reichs -- the sorry fuckers who have taken us down into this long dark valley are doing, personally, just Great! when it comes to money and influence and people calling them for advice. Is there any stupid reason, other than stupidity and bovine acquiescence at being slaughtered to lard the already groaning tables of the Few, after we trample out other peoples' vineyards?

          Remember that the Bourbon aristocracy took their wealth to Austria before the guillotines got to work. And of course the Nazis, after pumping up all that nationalist shit about the Exceptionalism of the German Volk, took as much of the portable wealth of Europe, including art treasures and tons of gold from the teeth of those they suckered their tools into gassing and cremating, as they could stuff into aircraft and submarines and "neutral ships" and toddled off to Argentina and of course the US, where many of them became "valued assets" of the OSS/CIA...

          Spread the word. Spread the word. Spread the word. Even the shock troops for the Tea Party are capable of getting really pissed off at being "had" by the few, if only they can be made to listen and see...

          "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

          by jm214 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 12:10:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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