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Quote Dick Replybullet Topic: Interesting take on Afghanistan shootings
    Posted: 12 March 2012 at 2:25pm


Got it from www.whatreallyhappened.com




Latest Posts:
Obama Impreachment Scam Tied To Nethanyahu and Neocons
Murder in Afghanistan, the Coverup Begins (updates)
Pilger and Assange, The Theatre of the Absurd





Sunday, March 11th, 2012 | Posted by Gordon Duff

Murder in Afghanistan, the Coverup Begins (updates)

37


THE NEW LOOK OF "CHRISTIAN DEMOCRACY" TO THE WORLD'S CHILDREN

Sixteen Dead, Nameless “Lone Gunman,” We Have Heard It All Before



by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor



The village is Balandi, outside Kandahar in Afghanistan. Thus far the dead are 16, shot in their homes, not just said to be “women and children” but actually infants murdered in their mother’s arms and set afire.

The US claims the perpetrator to be an unnamed “Army Staff Sergeant who has turned himself in.” There are inconsistencies.

This is the report from Reuter’s today:


Afghan officials also gave varying accounts of the number of shooters involved. Karzai’s office released a statement quoting a villager as saying “American soldiers woke my family up and shot them in the face.”

“They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them,” Samad told Reuters at the scene.

Neighbors said they had awoken to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, who they described as laughing and drunk.

“They were all drunk and shooting all over the place,” said neighbor Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where killings took place.

“Their (the victims’) bodies were riddled with bullets.”

The village is outside the gate of an American base. A single soldier without a vehicle would have had to evade security and tunnel under the wire and walls to reach the village or, much more likely, this was more than one man?

This is how CNN has it as for the morning of the 12th. Story embellishment, as you will note involves a “bed count” and a “search patrol.” I believe the next story will include rocket flares and bloodhounds. We will wait for this one. To impart credit to the Army, their belated response is much more creative but as full of holes as a sieve. A minor thing to add here, of course, is that a Staff Sergeant, as the perpetrator or suspect, whichever you choose, “patsy” if you will, is a Staff Sergeant, rank E 6. At 3:AM, those of such rank typically do not “stand watch” on towers or in bunkers.

Then, of course, we will return to the forgotten jerrycan, taken off the nonexistent vehicle to burn the bodies of the dead. I did, however, feel a need to get this response added in so that readers in the Western Hemisphere would be better informed. Another minor error in the report below, noted in our earlier evaluation and reiterated here, above that text, is the nature of the armed response team.

They “came a runnin’” based on someone missing from a bed rather than from gunfire, screams and flaming bodies a short distance away. As is so easily noted, as one begins lying, one lie ties to another, one absurdity to another and, in the end, it is always a “malcontent” and “lone gunman.” By now we would have seen a list of antipsychotic medications but “legal” was already informed by pharmaceutical companies that there is already a rash of murder/suicides for those on medications the military and Departmetn of Veterans Affairs has prescribed for those suffering from combat stress ( or misdiagnosed as suffering from “personality disorders” or “pre-existing trauma”).

In order to leave the many “blameless,” this will have to be a singular occurrance of magical proportions, no pre-indications, no signs of any kind, no diagnosis and medical records entering shredders, being wiped from hard drives, flaming in trash cans as we speak. But for how many, one or four or perhaps more? CNN:


“We call this an intentional act,” Karzai said. He said the dead included four men, three women and nine children, calling the killings “acts of terror and unforgivable.” Another five people were wounded, he said.


Capt. Justin Brockhoff, an ISAF spokesman, said the wounded Afghans were being treated in ISAF facilities. The allied command did not give its own estimate of casualties.


Brockhoff said officials do not yet have a motive for the shooting, which is under investigation by both NATO and Afghan officials. And Maj. Jason Waggoner, another ISAF spokesman, said the soldier “was acting on his own.”


There were no military operations in the area, either on the ground or in the air, at the time, according to two senior ISAF officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. They said only one soldier, an Army staff sergeant, is believed to have been involved.

A U.S. military official told CNN later Sunday that the suspect is from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. The official said the soldier is assigned to a Special Forces unit.


A third ISAF official said Afghan troops spotted the soldier leaving his combat outpost around 3 a.m. Sunday and notified their American counterparts. The U.S. military did an immediate headcount, found the soldier was missing and dispatched a patrol to go look for him, the official said.

The officials said they have no knowledge at this point whether he had any previous medical or mental health issues in his record.


The patrol met him as he returned and took him into custody. He said nothing, and it was unclear whether they knew what had happened, the official said.

“We don’t know what motivated this individual, and we’re not sure where this is going to take us,” Capt. John Kirby, an ISAF spokesman, told CNN. But he said ISAF’s commander, Gen. John Allen, “has made it clear this investigation is going to be thorough. It’s going to be done rapidly, in an expeditious way, and we’re going to hold the perpetrator of these attacks to account.”

Why? Only a vehicle with more than one man, one that could claim it had been tasked with some sort of “rendition” or “search and destroy” mission could have been allowed out by security.

Otherwise, it would have been identified as a criminal operation or, more unlikely, a single individual, driving into what the Army told the Associate Press was “a Taliban infested area” on a private mission of “passion and lust.”

I think that highly unlikely.

Thus, this is what we can safely assume:

■More than one American was involved as no single soldier would have been allowed outside the compound, heavily armed with a vehicle.
■Gate security received authorization for the “mission” from the watch officer at the “Combat Operations Center” at the base, the 24 hour nerve center than coordinates both offensive and defensive missions for even the smallest commands.
■No “reaction force” was sent to investigate though this was right outside the gates. Radio contact would have been attempted, and there would be recorded records of this and all other activities, as required by normal procedures.


How could someone just walk out the gate at night?

Again, we repeat, authorization at the gate, obviously more than one person, a vehicle, radio communications, gunfire overheard, all things that make the story we have received not just unlikely but childish, superficial and an obvious lie to anyone with experience in the military, something 30 million Americans have.

Then, so recent in our minds, is the supposed killing of Osama bin Laden, the contradictory stories, the convenient death of those involved, and, of course, the singular similarity between both operations. Don’t Americans’ throw Muslim dead into the sea?

As this act was so criminal and barbaric in nature, the murder of small children, setting bodies on fire and the reports of multiple soldiers involved, we are beset with questions.

The fire is proof, started with gasoline from a jerrycan. Vehicle means gate which means vehicle which means team which means radios and authorized operation.


It isn’t just that we have so many exhausted soldiers suffering from PTSD in Afghanistan, this isn’t the problem. As in Vietnam, such troops more often turn on their officers and senior NCOs, not local women and children, at least with one exception, My Lai, and that was under direct military command from Captain Ernest Medina.

Who commanded this fiasco?

HOLY WARRIORS OR HELLISH GHOULS?

Next we can ask, what kind of person does this? That I can clearly answer, this is the act of someone with strong religious and political beliefs. Years ago, initially Pentecostal and then broader Dominionist/Dispensationalist theologies under the broader term of “Christian Evangelism” has been behind the atrocities.

Some are tied to doomsday cults, others toward “racial cleansing” and more fall under the influence of politicians.


Santorum

Those currently are Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

Previously, they were the entire Bush administration, which used communist “brainwashing” techniques on troops to encourage them to torture and kill as part of their patriotic and religious duty.

These messages were instilled during training and continually reinforced through televised psyop sessions on the Armed Forces Network and Pentagon Channel.

Such rhetoric has largely disappeared during the Obama administration with the exception of that which is normally part of the daily broadcasts on Fox News with its extremist pundits.

Their message, of the threat of Islam with its high birthrate, stresses extremist methods. Our “churchgoers” and “conservatives” are taught Islam, even small children, are the “enemy of our blood,” as though we all carried a Torah in our pockets.


Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch, an Israeli citizen tied to the ultra-nationalist Likudist party. Murdoch and his publications have been under attack in the US and Britain for wiretapping, bribery and blackmail.

This incident, in many ways, reminds me of the “accidental killing” of former footballer Pat Tillman. Tillman, whose activities prior to his death began to show signs of antiwar activism, was accidentally shot by fellow soldiers 4 times in the forehead while the military claimed his death was the result, initially at least, enemy action.

From the film, Full Metal Jacket:


YouTube - Veterans Today -

No individual has been punished though it is believed the order for the Tillman slaying originated in the White House.

I don’t believe the same of this incident but these things are clear:

■The base involved specialized in “Black Ops”…often late night attacks on homes searching for “Taliban suspects.” Such attacks had been cited repeatedly for bad intelligence, civilian casualties and total incompetence. The command involved in this action is one of the commands cited.
■The burned corpses were an attempt to destroy evidence of an authorized operation probably compromised.
■Less likely is that this was a planned “revenge attack” based on the belief that someone within this village had been supplying information to the Taliban that led to the death or injury of one or more Americans. Such attacks are so common that they have happened hundreds of times, often brought on by rumors, stress, anti-psychotic medications and, of course, propaganda.
■Every word the Army has issued is false.
■Every imaginable effort is now being made to “prove” this to be a “disgruntled lone gunman” who “ex-filtrated” the base and had been showing signs of “Lee Harvey Oswald” syndrome.
■Failure to sell this cover story, and by selling we mean paying millions in bribes, will put US involvement in Afghanistan at an immediate end.

SHAME RUBS OFF




A Smiling Dufster(R) - Summer of '69

Well over 40 years ago, I was a Marine serving in Vietnam. During part of that time, I was required to enter homes, their inhabitants frightened out of their wits, concerned for the lives of their children, while looking for “rice” or weapons.

When we would find weapons, we were also presented documentation that authorized the weapons as part of civilian defense forces.

I saw my first Browning Automatic Rifle during one such search, an ancient weapon from the First World War, but one of curious beauty. Today, such a weapon would cost as much as an automobile.

We were told it was our job to gain the trust of the civilian population and not think of them as “gooks” to be slaughtered. Vietnam was a slaughter, a hundred times more devastating than Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Because of My Lai and the hundreds of women and children who died there at the hands of the Army’s Americal Division, all Vietnam veterans have worn the stain of “baby killer” these long decades.

We were told we were there to protect civilians. We were told thousands had been slaughtered.


YouTube - Veterans Today -


General Smedley Butler

In Afghanistan, troops trained for years, paid ten times what we were, well fed, oversupplied, by our standards “pampered” are continually committing such acts in a war with little combat and few casualties.

As with Vietnam, an honest assessment is that we are on the wrong side.

It always seems to be that way now, as warned of by Marine General and Medal of Honor winner Smedley Butler.

“I was a gangster for Wall Street.”

The military today, 500,000 of them “broken” veterans, and those serving are the children of our Vietnam generation, some quite literally.

I have one friend who cares for a brain injured child, a veteran of Afghanistan, a task that takes up his life.

What do we learn? The dependence on our volunteer army and over-dependence on “special operations” or “tier one” troops has helped dehumanize our military even more.

War is bad enough as it is.





WHEN “SPECIAL” ISN’T ALL IT IS CRACKED UP TO BE

A good friend, retired Special Forces flag officer, related a meeting he had last year. He was hiking outside an American base in the Southwest when he came upon several younger Special Forces troops. Though retired and outranking them by extreme measure, he found their demeanor both threatening and unbalanced.

This went far beyond disrespectful. Identified as Special Forces who had served in Thailand at one time, my friend, who had also been in Thailand, answered in Thai and they answered back.

Then…they began to move, believing themselves “predators.” I laugh thinking about this.

He told me that he gave consideration to the Smith and Wesson Model 28 .357 magnum revolver he carried with him on such walk, as is the habit in those regions.

That they may well have been considering ambushing someone who had been an A Team leader in Vietnam nearly two decades before they were born, and were underestimating someone who would have left them with stomach wounds in 3 seconds while he very slowly dialed for emergency services, I now wonder if their survival of this encounter was a good thing.

Personally, when a top intel officer tells me he has met a group of criminal psychopaths, I take it seriously.

When I have to relive, not just the undeserved shame of Vietnam but the unending tragedy and insanity of our current wars, 31,000 discharged wrongly as “unfit,” a similar number of military and veteran suicides, many murders of family members and a path of torture and murder across the Middle East…


Then there is the unasked question, how 97% of the world’s heroin supply is flown out of American held territory, tacitly with the approval of Richard Holbrooke and now, who approves, who cashes the checks, who loads the planes? By these standards, my friend and I were rank amateurs at war it seems.

He was trained, as was I, in working with the local population, earning their trust and, in doing so, winning, not just the “hearts and minds” but the war as well. This was and supposedly is the heart of special operations, not killing children, urinating on the dead or burning holy books.

DON’T LET MARINES COME HOME!




The Roosevelts

It is said that Eleanor Roosevelt was concerned about Marines returning from World War II combat in the Pacific.

Such brutality was needed to defeat the fearless Japanese that troops who had been there, who had faced that enemy, were thought to be a danger to society.

Her statements at that time, if she actually made them, were deeply scored by most Americans.

Today’s incident is not one American. It might be 3 or it might be 8 but it certainly isn’t one. We don’t know what happened and, one thing for sure, we never will.

The Army lies.

How do we restore the respect for life we seem to have bled out of so many of our young? Do we duct tape Newt Gingrich? Do we close our heretical “churches?”

Do we silence the Fox Network and the thousands who have become addicted to their hate and prejudice?


Do we scour Washington clean of this stain, rooting the sociopaths from our military, our courts, our congress, our police, or even further?Who do we blame? Do we start with ourselves?

Editing: Jim W. Dean
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Quote Hughes Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2012 at 10:43am
Wow, I guess that's how rumors are started, eh?
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Quote schmikbob Replybullet Posted: 16 March 2012 at 10:33pm

Shouldn't this garbage be in the conspiracy theory section.  At least there I know what crap not to read.

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Quote Dick Replybullet Posted: 22 March 2012 at 12:09pm
French Terror Attack: All the Hallmarks of an Intelligence Psy-op and False Flag





















Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
March 21, 2012


Mohammed Merah, the suspect in the killing of seven people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, fits the pattern of an al-Qaeda intelligence asset. According to the BBC, he was on the radar of French authorities because of visits he made to Afghanistan and the “militant stronghold” of Waziristan in Pakistan.



More specifically, Merah was handled by France’s DCRI intelligence service “for years,” according to Claude Guéant, the interior minister.

Merah, a French citizen of Algerian origin, was arrested on December 19, 2007, and was sentenced to three years in jail for planting bombs in the southern province of Kandahar in Afghanistan.

In April of 2011, the United States admitted it has operated secret military prisons in Afghanistan where suspected terrorists are held and interrogated without charges.

The notorious Bagram airbase detention center is operated by the Joint Special Operations Command and the DIA’s Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC).

The DCHC “will be responsible for developing an ‘offensive counterintelligence operations’… capability for the Department of Defense, which may entail efforts to penetrate, deceive and disable foreign intelligence activities directed against U.S. forces,” Secrecy News reported in 2008 after the government announced the creation of DCHC.

The Pentagon and the CIA specialize in creating terrorists as part of a so-called covert and unconventional war doctrine dating back to the end of the Second World War (see Michael McClintock’s Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism, 1940-1990 for an in-depth examination).

Mohammed Merah called France 24 before shootings.

Although virtually ignored by the corporate media, it is an established fact that the CIA and Pakistani intelligence created what is now known as al-Qaeda out of the remnants of the Afghan mujahideen following the CIA’s covert three billion dollar war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

It was the so-called Safari Club – organized under the CIA and with the participation of intelligence agencies in France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and (under the Shah) Iran – that ramped up the largely contrived threat of international terrorism prior to and during the CIA’s manufactured war in Afghanistan (see Peter Dale Scott, Launching the U.S. Terror War: the CIA, 9/11, Afghanistan, and Central Asia).

Intelligence agencies have specialized in the covert – and not so covert – creation of terrorists which are then used to provide a cynical raison d’être for launching military intervention around the world and also providing a pretext to build and expand a domestic surveillance police state.

A textbook example of this process is the Christmas Day, 2009, underwear bomber fiasco – subsequently exposed as a false flag event – that was exploited to push for installing dangerous radiation-emitting naked body porno scanners at U.S. airports.

The fact Mohammed Merah was in the custody of the Joint Special Operations Command in Afghanistan – and his supposed jail break at the Sarposa Prison was reportedly orchestrated by the Taliban (also cretaed by the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI) – certainly raises questions about the attack in France, where a national election will soon be held.

The Telegraph reports that the attacks of the supposedly al-Qaeda connected Merah will play into the election bid of National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, who is unlikely to ever become the president of France.



It has, however, provided Nicholas Sarkozy with a pretext to put the southern part of the nation on high alert and cancel the campaigns of presidential contenders. Sarkozy stands to benefit from the terror attacks and play the role of a strong leader during a national crisis.

“In the short term it is likely that President Nicolas Sarkozy will benefit. Very quickly he took charge. He rushed to the scene. He suspended his campaign. He spoke as the president of the republic,” writes Gavin Hewitt for the BBC.

Related:

Al-Qaeda 100% Pentagon Run

BREAKING: Kurt Haskell Exposes Government False Flag

Hillary Clinton Admits US and Al-Qaeda On Same Side in Syria

Operation During Underwear Bomber Sentencing

The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda: Debunking the Terrorism Narrative

Israel, U.S. Exploit False Flag Attacks to Ramp Up Propaganda Campaign

Notorious Double Agent Gadahn Apologizes for al-Qaeda Murders

Syrian Girl: Why al-Qaeda is al-CIA-da

U.S. and Israel Set Stage for False Flag and Iran Attack

Tarpley on Libya Rebels: A CIA Secret Army of al-Qaeda Terrorists

US Intel Director Prepares Public for False Flag Event

Evidence Shows Norway Terror Attack a False Flag

‘West plans false flag ops in Syria’

Gladio reprise: More False Flag Operations


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Quote Dick Replybullet Posted: 22 March 2012 at 12:52pm
Villagers: Deaths were retaliation for bombing




By Deb Riechmann and Mirwais Khan - The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Mar 21, 2012 8:35:46 EDT



KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Several Afghans near the villages where an American soldier is alleged to have killed 16 civilians say U.S. troops lined them up against a wall after a roadside bombing and told them that they, and even their children, would pay a price for the attack.

Residents have given similar accounts to both The Associated Press and to Afghan government officials about an alleged bombing in the vicinity, which they said occurred March 7 or 8, and left U.S. troops injured. The residents also said they are convinced that the slayings of the 16 villagers just days later was in retaliation for that bomb.

Although the villagers' accounts could not be independently confirmed, their claim that the shootings by a U.S. soldier may have been payback for a roadside bombing has gained wide currency in the area and has been repeated by politicians testifying about the incident to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.


Related reading

Soldier’s lawyer plans trip to Afghanistan (March 20)

Accused soldier had shaky business dealings (March 20)

Lawyer: Bales recalls little of shooting spree (March 19)

Money, job strife dogged accused Afghan shooter (March 18)

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, is suspected of leaving a U.S. base in Panjwai district, entering homes and gunning down nine children, four men and three women before dawn on March 11 in the villages of Balandi and Alkozai. Villagers said the earlier bombing occurred in Mokhoyan, a village about 500 yards east of the base.

A lawyer for Bales in the United States also suggested that Bales was motivated by a bombing in the area.

However, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan declined to give any information on the bombing or even confirm that it occurred, citing the ongoing investigation into the shootings. He also declined to comment on the suggestions that U.S. troops had threatened villagers with retaliation.

"The shooting incident as well as any possibilities that led up to it or might be associated with it will be investigated," Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, the spokesman, said Tuesday.

One Mokhoyan resident, Ahmad Shah Khan, told The Associated Press that after the bombing, U.S. soldiers and their Afghan army counterparts arrived in his village and made many of the male villagers stand against a wall.

"It looked like they were going to shoot us, and I was very afraid," Khan said. "Then a NATO soldier said through his translator that even our children will pay for this. Now they have done it and taken their revenge."

Neighbors of Khan gave similar accounts to the AP, and several Afghan officials, including Kandahar lawmaker Abdul Rahim Ayubi, said people in the two villages that were attacked told them the same story.

Mohammad Sarwar Usmani, one of several lawmakers who went to the area, said the Afghan National Army had confirmed to him that an explosion occurred near Mokhoyan on March 8.

On March 13, Afghan soldier Abdul Salam showed an AP reporter the site of a blast that made a large crater in the road in Panjwai district of Kandahar province, where the shootings occurred. The soldier said the explosion occurred March 8. Salam said he helped gather men in the village, and that troops spoke to them, but he was not close enough to hear what they said.

Ghulam Rasool, a tribal elder from Panjwai district of Kandahar province, where the shootings occurred, gave an account of the bombing at a March 16 meeting in Kabul with President Hamid Karzai.

"After the incident, they took the wreckage of their destroyed tank and their wounded people from the area," Rasool said. "After that, they came back to the village nearby the explosion site.

"The soldiers called all the people to come out of their houses and from the mosque," he said.

"The Americans told the villagers, 'A bomb exploded on our vehicle. ... We will get revenge for this incident by killing at least 20 of your people,'" Rasool said. "These are the reasons why we say they took their revenge by killing women and children in the villages."

Bales' lawyer, John Henry Browne, has said that his client was upset because a buddy had lost a leg in an explosion on March 9. It's unclear if the bombing cited by Browne was the same as the one described by the villagers. After a meeting at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Browne said Bales told him a roadside bomb blew off the leg of one of his friends two days before the shootings occurred.

Karzai's investigative team is not convinced that one soldier could have single-handedly left his base, walked to the two villages, and carried out the killings and set fire to some of the victims' bodies. The U.S. military has said that even though its investigation is continuing, everything currently points to one shooter.

Villagers in Mokhoyan, meanwhile, are convinced that the shootings were a case of revenge.

Naek Mohammad, who lives in Mokhoyan, told the AP that he heard an explosion March 8 and went outside. As he and a neighbor talked about what happened, he said, two Afghan soldiers ordered them to join other men from the village who had been told to stand against a wall.

"One of the villagers asked what was happening," he said. "The Afghan army soldier told him, 's*****p and stand there.'"

Mohammad said a U.S. soldier, speaking through a translator, then said: "I know you are all involved and you support the insurgents. So now, you will pay for it — you and your children will pay for this.'"

None of the villagers could identify the soldier who they said issued the threat.

Riechmann reported from Kabul.
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Quote schmikbob Replybullet Posted: 23 March 2012 at 9:15pm
Wow, these facts are all so convincing.
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Quote Dick Replybullet Posted: 25 March 2012 at 9:29am

The Folly of Soldier Worship

John Glaser, March 22, 2012

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State doctrine holds that soldiers are intrinsically honorable. It is a conviction held by most of the public that those who wear a military uniform are to receive automatic society-wide praise for their service, irrespective of who they are or what they’ve done. If one dissents from the blind nationalist approval for America’s wars, it is fine to criticize the politicians, but soldiers generally can’t be at fault.

There has been plenty of commentary on the political and media treatment afforded to Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who massacred 17 Afghan men, women, and children in cold blood. As far as criminal acts by military men, Bales is among the worst. But even for him there has been an excited effort to rationalize his unprovoked slaughter of innocents and to paint him as the victim. This is really just an illustration of the sickly dogma of this country to valorize its soldiers: merely by virtue of their military service, soldiers are held to be courageous, noble, heroic.

Like most aspects of state doctrine, this precept contradicts basic truisms and abundant facts. For example, numerous studies have concluded that violent sexual assault is rampant in the U.S. military. In 2008, an estimated 41 percent of all the women serving in the military were victims of sexual assault, a problem Rep. Jane Harman called “an epidemic.” In a January 2012 Pentagon report on “rape, sexual assault, and forcible sodomy” in the military, it was found that these crimes have increased 64 percent since 2006. The vast majority of cases go unreported though, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta estimated the number of cases was close to 19,000 in 2011. Rape and other forms of sexual assault are among the most derided and abhorred crimes in society, but their high occurrence within the military is ignored so that anyone in a uniform can be indiscriminately praised for their “service.”

Similarly, there is apparently a significant street gang representation in the U.S. military. Recent FBI investigations found that “Gang members have been reported in every branch of the U.S. military,” constituting “a significant criminal threat.” As of April 2011, the FBI has “identified members of at least 53 gangs whose members have served in or are affiliated with U.S. military,” including the Asian Boyz, Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings, MS-13, Sureños, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Hells Angels, and many more. Hard statistics were not released in the FBI report, and this is not to say that all or even most of the U.S. military are or were a part of street gangs – of course not. But these findings are curiously absent in the public dialogue because people serving in the military lose their individuality to be arbitrarily elevated to hero-status regardless of their actual behavior.

But the society-wide inclination towards soldier-worship is a rot that runs much deeper than that. What does it say about a culture that idolizes and fetishizes a commitment to kill on the orders of politicians in Washington? Even setting aside what soldiers actually do throughout the American empire, that is an odd thing to admire. Politics is often ridiculed by the public as a fickle, foolish enterprise, but that criticism vanishes once the issue is war and those paid to carry it out. Then, state policy is the divine manifestation of goodness and freedom and honor. Nationalist themes uphold this system of belief, as I’ve written.

It is even more striking, like in the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, when soldiers commit plainly savage atrocities and still receive the benefit of esteemed status resulting from the fact that they wear fatigues. The fate of Bales remains to be seen, but as I wrote immediately following the news of his crimes, U.S. soldiers have got off easy in the recent past for comparable acts.

To take just the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as examples, soldier worship breaks down on the most cursory analysis. Every single Bush administration justification for invading Iraq in 2003 has been discredited and very few people, civilian or military, can articulate why we’re waging a war and occupying Afghanistan. Together, these two wars caused the death of many hundreds of thousands of civilians in addition to all the unspoken horror and suffering for which there are no statistics. How can it be that politicians are the only ones to blame for this and not those who actually carried it out?

In the famous funeral oration delivered around 490 BCE for fallen soldiers in the Peloponnesian War, the ancient Greek politician Pericles unwittingly revealed how completely senseless is the uncritical glorification of the military. He said, “even those who come short in other ways may justly plead the valor with which they have fought for their country; they have blotted out the evil with the good, and have benefited the state more by their public services than they have injured her by their private actions.”

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JLS · 2 days ago


The public actually do that even worse with cops.


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+8

Strider55 73p · 2 days ago


Actually I've found that most people now have a lot of distrust, if now outright contempt, for cops. Usually as the result of one or more encounters with a badge-toting bully looking to fill his ticket quota. Cops are a lot closer to the people, so run-ins with those bad apples are a lot more common than with their military counterparts, especially if there's no base nearby. When Camden, NJ recently laid off half of its police force due to budget cuts, local wags supposedly commented that crime would drop substantially as a result, since the cops were the town's #1 criminal element.


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schmikbob
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Quote schmikbob Replybullet Posted: 25 March 2012 at 12:42pm
Spoken like someone that has never ever served their country.
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