Equality and the American Public by Norm Imberman

 

One of the reasons why our nation has prospered is that we have been able to capitalize on our individual abilities, abilities that are diverse and unequal. It’s the differences and “unequalness” among people that allows for innovation, invention, new technology, growth, prosperity and progress. To enforce equality upon the populous is not only unnatural (equality does not exist in nature), but it prevents the very prosperity we all desire, resulting in class warfare. It’s no accident. As more “equalizing and redistribution legislation” becomes the law of the land, more poverty and class warfare develop. This will continue until the populous empirically learns the hard way that the State, no matter which party is in power, is their enemy and learns to withhold their consent at the voting booth by abstaining. Most people hate monopoly power (even the non-coercive variety), but the populous gives the State the monopoly on the use of force without even a whimper. With such power over the individual, the State will use that monopoly power to enslave us until we collapse into the Orwellian dark ages or war annihilates us all. Most people know about the danger of stepping into the lion’s den or getting burned when they play with fire, but to most people these are only allegories with no relevance in their own lives. However, all voters assume a similar great danger when they step into the voting booth. They are collaborating with their own enemies who present them with lots of goodies to lure them in, but eventually make them offers they can’t refuse, “Godfather” style. To add insult to injury, the voters revere those very same enemies with donations to their elections, and name buildings and bridges after them and build statues of their likenesses in the public parks all over the land. As long as the populous values equality over freedom and relies upon the voting booth to try to establish that equality, the societal deterioration will continue, as can be seen in today’s climate of unrest, unemployment, despair and insecurity.

Some argue that it is not equality that the voters seek but equality of opportunity. There is no such thing as real equality of opportunity since we are all born unequal. Take two people, for example, Bill Gates and myself. We were born with equal “legal opportunity” but actually we were born with reality-based unequal opportunity. By birth we started out in this world with unequal opportunity by virtue of the fact that Gates was born smarter, more committed to his goals, and able to take greater risks than I. I had the same “legal opportunity” to accomplish what Gates accomplished but I failed to do so. Our inequality illustrates the difference between Gates’ accomplishments and my accomplishments. Does that make Gates an undeserving evil exploiter of us all? On the contrary, Gates’ success made life better for me as it did for everyone else on the planet. The same holds true for Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan, most of who were born extremely poor, but with great intellectual abilities. They didn’t invent or create poverty, since poverty is a natural condition of all life. They helped cure poverty for millions of people. Where the average person sees no opportunity, these great benefactors of mankind saw opportunity and were willing to take extreme risks that most of us are not willing to take.

When one analyzes the motives of the “true believers” in “equality,” we see that what they really want is equal results, which is beyond utopian. An ideology of equal results is insane and immature, an ideology that can only be implemented by law, (at the point of a gun). The one who points the gun in fact creates immediate conflict between himself and the victim, and a multitude of conflicts have flared up right before our eyes over the past 50 years. Government means guns and the more government, the more guns and the more guns, the more conflicts. It’s no coincidence that as government has grown since WWII, we have found our country involved in external and internal conflicts at a continually increasing rate.

When one nation aims its guns at another nation it is considered an act of war. When one’s own government points its guns towards its own unarmed citizens, in the attempt to coerce equality it is just as much an act of war. At least countries at war have the ability to agree on a truce and the fighting will stop. However, within a nation, a truce is never offered since the guns of the law are forever present. They hang over the necks of all of us just waiting for someone to step out of line in order to rationalize its use. Like the Sword of Damocles we now all live with a sense of foreboding engendered by a precarious situation, especially one in which the onset of tragedy is restrained only by a delicate trigger or chance. Presently our precarious situation involves our economic system veering closer to the edge of a cliff. While this very dangerous situation continues, the legislators call for more equality and redistribution legislation, condoned and sanctioned by most of the population. The delicate trigger in this case is continuing on the same path of coercive legislation.

The equality ideology is to a nation what hurricane Sandy was to the Northeastern states and what hurricane Katrina was to New Orleans. It will annihilate whatever good that has been produced by the builders, creators, inventors, innovators and investors of the past, leaving misery in its wake—witness the attitude of laziness and desire for more free stuff and equality by the people of Greece today as Greece slips into possible oblivion. America is on the Grecian path. It’s only a matter of time.

There is no middle ground between equality and freedom. For equality to even be attempted, freedom must be sacrificed upon its alter. At its very inception, the first “equality” law had to take away the freedom of someone or coerce someone to take an action that they would not have taken if they were free to follow their own judgment. The fact that equality must be coerced proves that it defies the laws of nature. The attempt to coerce equality is the very factor that will lead to its failure. Unfortunately the damage will be done in that attempt. In the long run, if 100% freedom does reign, optimum equality will take care of itself by providing prosperity and contentment to the citizens. When the entire nation is enveloped in prosperity, security and contentment, inequality stops being an issue. We must not be fooled into thinking that we have already tried freedom and that it failed. It is not freedom that failed. It has been the absence of real 100% freedom that failed.

Since the State has had control over the education system of the nation it has been very easy for the State to misrepresent what is taught. Our schools have been teaching that we live in a “free” country and everyone seems to believe it. Like the “doublespeak” mentioned in the novel “1984”, our schools teach that our coercive political system has created and is maintaining “freedom”, thus obfuscating the true culprit in the battle between freedom and slavery. That culprit is the ideology of Statism itself.

We must choose one or the other. We can’t have both at the same time. It’s either freedom or slavery. It’s true that equality will be the outcome of Statism, namely the equality of poverty, equality of despair, equality of unemployment and extreme national debt, which is the natural consequence of a system whose coin of the realm is coercion. Is that the equality we all want? It’s either peaceful co-existence among human beings or perpetual disharmony. It’s either freedom or Statism.

Israel as Goliath:The Giant Falls and Fails by Bill Buppert

“The IDF was not ready for this war.”
-         The Winograd Report
Now that Israel has declared war (again) on Gaza, its last foray in 2006 against Lebanon bears closer examination.
Hezbollah occupied an emerging intermediate spectrum capability between irregular and conventional conflict through careful preparation, intense knowledge of the threat they faced and a careful examination of past behavior to influence stratagems employed to defeat the Israeli enemy. Hezbollah employed a dual strategy to literally rain terror on Israeli settlements proximate to the Lebanese border and draw the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) into a quagmire to establish their stalemate or defeat.
The small number of non-state actors who conducted the fighting numbered at approximately seven thousand against a modern first world army and air force numbering orders of magnitude greater.  Hezbollah sought to own the operational fight and most likely succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. COL John Boyd would contend that the Hezbollah architects of the conflict compromised the enemy’s decision cycle and never let go.
Hezbollah had several advantages:
  •  They owned the defensive turf and made judicious use of years of intense preparation of the killing fields to drive home their advantage.
  •  Conducted a dual-purpose stratagem to terrify Israeli civilians through rocket attacks to draw a response and lure the forces in to isolate them and destroy in detail.
  •  Intense training and a keen doctrinal knowledge of IDF tactical behavior both mounted and dismounted.
  •  Clausewitzian friction would ensure that the un-forecasted benefit to Hezbollah would be the severe doctrinal dissonance and confusion that would cripple the IDF at the operational level.
  •  A very sophisticated information operations campaign to amplify every victory and use every setback as a means to emphasize the underdog position of the victims of the “invasion”.
The IDF had fought a self-identified successful counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign against the Palestinians in the contiguous problem areas to Israel.  Its entire force had fallen to exclusively orienting the forces to irregular warfare efforts while ignoring the full spectrum operations implications of atrophied training in conventional mechanized and armor warfare much less the basic notions of light infantry tactics beyond the practice of call for fire.  This continues to plague most Western armies even after the morbid lessons that the IDF provided for military observers around the world in 2006.
“In fact, Hezbollah inflicted more Israeli casualties per Arab fighter in 2006 than did any of Israel’s state opponents in the 1956, 1967, 1973, or 1982 Arab-Israeli interstate wars. Hezbollah’s skills in conventional war fighting were clearly imperfect in 2006—but they were also well within the observed bounds of other state military actors in the Middle East and elsewhere, and significantly superior to many such states’.” [1]
This from non-state actors, no less, and the implications for future operations by both Israel and Western nations engaging the Arab world may pause and take note.  This especially in light of the fashionable Revolution in Military Affairs the IDF foisted upon itself through the adoption of an Effects Based Operations (EBO) doctrinal shift which proved disastrous not only for its shoddy implementation but the sheer martial poverty of a vision that placed much more emphasis on expectation than tangible delivery of fight power as Van Creveld would advise. “Unfortunately, the new IDF doctrine failed to incorporate a large land maneuver component into its effects-based approach.” [2] The employment of exclusive use of air assets also assured the Israelis of tremendous civilians’ casualties both real and exaggerated which turned into a public relations nightmare for the attackers and an unexpected boon to Hezbollah.
The Israelis deployed an army and air force which entered a quasi-conventional campaign unprepared for that spectrum of conflict blinded by poor intelligence and logistical shortfalls that quickly transmitted a global picture of a once-vaunted and historically feared army reduced to a military shambles barely able to get out of its own way much that of harm.
Hezbollah had not transitioned into a world class fighting organization for its size overnight.  Through decades of careful observation and grooming of cadres and development of operational arts suitable to their notions of combat effectiveness and capability, orchestration of the offensive and defensive parameters were crafted and retooled.  One may suggest that some study was given to the first Battle of Grozny by their Islamic brethren fighting a similar mechanized and armored threat in an urban enclave:
 “ Many outright errors were committed during the hasty preparation of the force as well. For example, the operations plan omitted technical support resources (such as communication equipment) and there was no coordinating agency linked with the president’s administration to resolve political problems. The administration’s information/propaganda machinery also failed to prepare the mass media to report positively on the reasons for the intervention or to illuminate the national interests at stake. Thus, Russia lost the political and information battles in the first days of the conflict. Many of these problems were aggravated by the fact that at the time of the intervention, Russia did not have a national security concept, and only an outdated military doctrine.
In addition, three powerful ministers (Defense, Internal Affairs, and Internal Security) all had troops in the fight but failed to integrate their efforts. As one source noted, “The enormous losses of the early days were caused by the poor level of professionalism of the command/staff element, which underestimated the enemy and was staggeringly negligent in coordinating actions among individual units and subunits as well as among the various types of forces.” [3]
The Russians fought with an old and anachronistic doctrine that did not account for the enemy or terrain and the IDF fought with a doctrine that was untried and found to be severely wanting.  The doctrine made the fatal error of trying to take one operational arm, in this case, air and make it the exclusive vector of success instead of combining and synchronizing the dimensions and operating systems of battle. An over-reliance on “precision munitions” resulted in civilian casualties that simply compounded the military incompetence into a political disaster for Israel worldwide obviating their storied ability to play the underdog in any conflict.
Hezbollah prevailed through both a mostly brilliant operational plan tethered to a strategic vision and quickly adapted to opportunities the martial incompetence of the IDF presented them.  None of the authors cited in this essay find the Hezbollah forces without fault in some ways but the entire short war proved that the Western powers need to stand and take notice of the increasing operational savvy of non-state actors and armies.The recent green-on-blue violence in Afghanistan is yet another variation on the theme of an occupied or aggrieved non-state force grabbing the decision cycle at the operational level and helming it decisively.
The campaign of Hezbollah in 2006 is simply a harbinger of things to come.
[1] Stephen Biddle and Friedman, Jeffrey, “The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy.” Strategic Studies Institute, 2008.
[2] Matt Matthews, “We Were Caught Unprepared: The 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War.” The Long War Series Occasional Paper 26, U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute Press Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

[3] Thomas, Timothy. “The Battle of Grozny: Deadly Classroom for Urban Combat.” FMSO. http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/battle.htm (accessed October 16, 2012).

 

The Myth of Unconditional Surrender by Bill Buppert

The notion of unconditional surrender for either Germany or Japan is a popular notion and it in fact extended the length of the conflict. Like all of its historical antecedents, it stiffens the spine of resistance and more so in cultures attuned to a warrior ethos. Peace entreaties from the Japanese government emerged as early as January 1945 and they were apparently ignored. It looked like this:

Specifically, the terms of the Japanese peace offers of late January 1945 were as follows:

  1. Full surrender of the Japanese forces, air, land, and sea, at home and in all occupied countries.
  2. Surrender of all arms and ammunition. 
  3. Agreement of the Japanese to occupation of their homeland and island possessions. 
  4. Relinquishment of Manchuria, Korea and Formosa.
  5. Regulation of Japanese industry.
  6. Surrender of designated war criminals for trial.
  7. Release of all prisoners. [1]

I suspect Truman’s intended audience for the nuclear bombs was a cautionary tale for Russia since even he realized a bipolar world was emerging and he knew who the contestants were. The revisionists and mainstream historians both argued over the casualty figures proffered by the Truman administration after the war.

If you look at the annihilation of huge Japanese forces on the mainland in Russian East Asia in the Soviet-Japanese campaign in August 1945 you see the scale of conventional force dissolution the Japanese were suffering.

There are a number of revisionist challenges to the conventional interpretation and I find them compelling.

“The revisionist challenge to the traditional interpretation became a source of fierce debate after the publication of Gar Alperovitz’s book, Atomic Diplomacy, in 1965. He contended that the United States used the atomic bomb primarily for diplomatic purposes rather than for military requirements, particularly to impress and intimidate the Soviet Union in the emerging Cold War. The argument that Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Japan primarily as an anti-Soviet weapon for fighting the Cold War became a prominent, though not unanimous, feature of atomic bomb revisionism.” [2]
We have to be careful to suggest casualty figures as high as one million when even MacArthur scoffed at their accuracy.  I am not even proposing an invasion would have been strategically sound but at our level of inquiry it is incumbent upon us to always remain skeptical.

I recommend a careful reading of Walker, very instructive.
[1]  McLaughlin, John. “The Bomb Was Not Necessary.” The Cutting Edge. http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=12499&pageid=16&pagename=Opinion (accessed September 21, 2012).

[2] Walker, J. Samuel. “Historiographical Essay Recent Literature on Truman’s Atomic Bomb Decision: A Search for Middle Ground.” Diplomatic History Winter 1990 (1990),

The Shame of Veterans Day by Bill Buppert

Here are some numbers to celebrate:

Total war dead acknowledged since 9/11/2001:  5.225

Total battle wounded: 50,159

Total amputees: 1,572 (486 with multiple amputations)

Total PTSD (Army): 73,674

Traumatic brain injury:  Overall, 253,330 servicemen and women have suffered traumatic brain injury on the battlefield or elsewhere, including 3,949 with penetrating head wounds and 44,610 with severe or moderate brain injury.

The data released Wednesday indicates that 2,542 servicemen and women have suffered traumatic burns; 142 have lost at least one eye, and five lost both eyes in combat.

A hearty thanks to all the politicians and bureaucrats who made this government program possible.

Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/iraq-afghanistan-amputees_n_2089911.html

“Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service” or “thanks for protecting our freedom.”

What!  I hear this familiar refrain again and again every November.  I am appalled whenever this unthinking salutation is proffered.

I am a retired career Army officer and like USMC General Smedley Butler before me, I find these sentiments to be hogwash.

The only service rendered was to the American political power structure in the dishonorable hands of the Democrats or Republicans; the former, despite their protestations to peace, have gotten America involved in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Starting with the shameful expropriation of the Mexican territory from 1846-48 to the War of Northern Aggression from 1860-65; the United States went into hyper-colonial overdrive in 1893 in the Hawaiian Islands and has not stopped since. The entire history of American arms on Earth has been a shameful and expansionist enterprise culminating in the first ever post-WWII (the Japanese attack on American territories in the Aleutians during the War to Save Josef Stalin and the minor coastal skirmishes in Oregon) attack on American state soil in 2001 .  I am frankly astonished at the length of time it took for a substantive attack of any kind to be initiated on American soil with the breadth, ferocity and long sordid history of American mischief and mayhem abroad.

The sheer number of military expeditions the US has embarked on over time is breathtaking.  One worthy notes there have been 234 military expeditions from 1798-1993.  Another posits 159 instances of the use of United States armed forces abroad from October 1945 through December 2006. “This list does not include covert actions and numerous instances of US forces stationed abroad since World War II, in occupation forces, or for participation in mutual security organizations, base agreements, and routine military assistance or training operations.”

Good God, if I were a Martian who landed on Earth ten years ago and found myself attending government schools, to include college, and watching television for any additional cultural education,  I would not be aware of any of this.  The constant drumbeat emanating from the State is the Orwellian chorus about America making the world safe for freedom and liberty and never using force abroad except in self-defense.  The history proves otherwise.

America, next to Rome in the Western world, ranks as one of the world’s most aggressive nation states when one examines the evidence.  A country sheltered from the tempestuous and constant warring on the European continent by one ocean and the turbulence in Asia by another ocean yet it simply cannot mind its own business nor resist the temptation to maim and murder abroad for expansion of political power and control whether for mercantilist or colonial aspirations.

One can even see that the brutality practiced by American soldiers abroad is not recent but a long-standing tradition.

Afghanistan, now:

All told, five soldiers were charged with killing civilians in three separate episodes early last year. Soldiers repeatedly described Sergeant Gibbs as devising “scenarios” in which the unit would fake combat situations by detonating grenades or planting weapons near their victims. They said he even supplied “drop weapons” and grenades to make the victims appear armed. Some soldiers took pictures posing with the dead and took body parts as trophies. Sergeant Gibbs is accused of snipping fingers from victims and later using them to intimidate another soldier.

He also pulled a tooth from one man, saying in court that he had “disassociated” the bodies from being human, that taking the fingers and tooth was like removing antlers from a deer.

Sergeant Gibbs said he that was ashamed of taking the body parts, that he was “trying to be hard, a hard individual.” But he insisted that the people he took them from had posed genuine threats to him and his unit.”

Philippines, then:

“Like many of their officers, American troops also showed incredible callousness toward the Philippine civilian population.  A man named Clarence Clowe described the situation as follows in a letter he wrote to Senator Hoar.  The methods employed by American troops against civilians in an effort to find insurgent “arms and ammunition” include torture, beating, and outright killing.

At any time I am liable to be called upon to go out and bind and gag helpless prisoners, to strike them in the face, to knock them down when so bound, to bear them away from wife and children, at their very door, who are shrieking pitifully the while, or kneeling and kissing the hands of our officers, imploring mercy from those who seem not to know what it is, and then, with a crowd of soldiers, hold our helpless victim head downward in a tub of water in his own yard, or bind him hand and foot, attaching ropes to head and feet, and then lowering him into the depths of a well of water till life is well-nigh choked out, and the bitterness of a death is tasted, and our poor, gasping victims ask us for the poor boon of being finished off, in mercy to themselves.

All these things have been done at one time or another by our men, generally in cases of trying to obtain information as to the location of arms and ammunition.

Nor can it be said that there is any general repulsion on the part of the enlisted men to taking part in these doings. I regret to have to say that, on the contrary, the majority of soldiers take a keen delight in them, and rush with joy to the making of this latest development of a Roman holiday.[16]

Another soldier, L. F. Adams, with the Washington regiment, described what he saw after the Battle of Manila on February 4-5, 1899:

In the path of the Washington Regiment and Battery D of the Sixth Artillery there were 1,008 dead niggers, and a great many wounded. We burned all their houses. I don’t know how many men, women, and children the Tennessee boys did kill. They would not take any prisoners.[17]

Similarly, Sergeant Howard McFarland of the 43rd Infantry, wrote to the Fairfield Journal of Maine:

I am now stationed in a small town in charge of twenty-five men, and have a territory of twenty miles to patrol…. At the best, this is a very rich country; and we want it. My way of getting it would be to put a regiment into a skirmish line, and blow every nigger into a nigger heaven. On Thursday, March 29, eighteen of my company killed seventy-five nigger bolo men and ten of the nigger gunners. When we find one that is not dead, we have bayonets.[18]

These methods were condoned by some back at home in the U.S., as exemplified by the statement of a Republican Congressman in 1909:

You never hear of any disturbances in Northern Luzon; and the secret of its pacification is, in my opinion, the secret of pacification of the archipelago.  They never rebel in northern Luzon because there isn’t anybody there to rebel.  The country was marched over and cleaned in a most resolute manner.  The good Lord in heaven only knows the number of Filipinos that were put under ground.  Our soldiers took no prisoners, they kept no records; they simply swept the country, and wherever or whenever they could get hold of a Filipino they killed him.  The women and children were spared, and may now be noticed in disproportionate numbers in that part of the island.[19]”

And countless incidents small and large in between from the only nation state in the Western world that not only endorses the use of torture but makes it an official means of projecting power abroad.

I have often remarked that cops are the only reason freedom and liberty is and has been in the hazard in America, and unfortunately, the same standard applies for military power abroad.

The only just war is one fought to defend one’s own soil from invasion.  There is no other.  Every other conflict reeks of statist opportunism and yen to expand tax jurisdictions and the power to rob others of their wealth and resources.  Some may mistake this for a pretense of the Left.  Not only do the progressives and the collectivists in America have a rich history of cheer-leading wars such as WWI and WWII but they also wish to employ military-style violence domestically to achieve their government supremacist dreams.

The notion that foreign wars and entanglements are wrong still emanates from a sparsely populated philosophical quarter that has no majority presence in the academy or the government–media complex.  It is a true voice in the wilderness.  That voice has one signature message:  you cannot thank a veteran for your freedom because they have actively done nothing more than endanger its very existence.  In fact, American military power abroad (and increasingly, at home) has made civilians more unsafe than they have ever been.  The threat not only emerges from aggrieved victims of American brutality abroad but a government desperate in bad times to ensure that not one dollar of military expenditures is reduced.  America is now a national security garrison state.  Think about that the next time you take a flight.

Veterans don’t need gratitude but a self-realization on their part that the machine they worked for was never an engine for liberty but a device whose single purpose was aggrandizement of American political power at home and abroad.  And that political hammer always extinguishes liberty and never expands it.

And that hammer is coming home.

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?”

– Gandhi

 

Plantation Owners Renew Lease for Four More Years As Plantation Dwellers Consent Overwhelmingly

That is all you need to know.

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.” 

– Alexander Fraser Tytler

Thanks to PNAR for the delightful images above:  http://www.pnar.org/

There Is Only One Moral Choice

Skyler Collins of Everything-Voluntary wrote a great column on non-voting:

Late tomorrow night will mark the end of the latest show of the political circus here in the United States (pending another hanging-chad-like controversy). Millions will go to the polls to vote on Federal, State, and local politicians and issues. The “changing of the guard” will commence, and unpopular rulers will be replaced by new ones. If the media is any indication, most Americans participate, thereby consenting to the entire political process no matter the outcome. It is true, that “most” Americans do participate, but in actuality “most” hovers around 55%. Of all elections, roughly half vote for Democrats and the other half Republicans. That means that of everyone of voting age in the United States, 25%~ give their consent to Democrats, 25%~ give their consent to Republicans, 5%~ give their consent to a third party, and a whopping 45% keep their consent for themselves. An interesting statistic, and the primary reason that so many engage in “Get out the vote” campaigns. Our rulers know they are illegitimate. Voluntaryists know they are illegitimate for a myriad of other reasons, but what I wanted to examine here is the voluntaryist’s position to abstain from electoral politics. The following arguments are the fundamentals of the nonvoting position.

See the rest: http://www.everything-voluntary.com/2012/11/the-fundamentals-of-nonvoting.html

Some great quotes:

“I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where’s the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.”

– George Carlin

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

~H.L. Mencken, 1956

“In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.”

~Charles de Gaulle

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

~Emma Goldman

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”

~Karl Marx

“Voting is not an act of political freedom. It is an act of political conformity. Those who refuse to vote are not expressing silence. They are screaming in the politician’s ear: “You do not represent me. This is not a process in which my voice matters. I do not believe you.”

– Wendy McElroy

Why You Shouldn’t Vote:  http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/non-vote-arch.html

Between the Crescent and the Anvil: HQN Ascendant by Bill Buppert

Not only has the Haqqani Network (HQN) contributed to the instability of the AfPak region against the occupation forces but appears to employ a global reach through a sophisticated network that facilitates and orchestrates both the auxiliary and military functions to contribute to a global jihad.  The decades long existence of the HQN creates a rather impermeable cellular organizational structure that reaches deeply into both non-state functionalities and investment in government relationships in Pakistan and beyond.

HQN appears to be masterful at “bridging” factional gaps to apply fighting power where it is needed most and takes a rare hands-on interest in suicide bombing and other harassment in Kabul.  Like so many emerging entities around the world, it is giving nationalist aspirations a back seat to non-state independence; this may be a harbinger of things to come. These tribal entities that straddle the Durand line are nation-state agnostic and will use whatever Machiavellian intrigue or means necessary to secure their goals and satisfy their strategic aims.  I would suggest that HQN even employs a grand strategic framework to paln for future operations. The tribal and blood-centric subsidiary structures that comprise the disparate resistance organizations in Afghanistan/Pakistan and the global outreach programs for jihad are extremely resilient and resist Western penetration at every turn.

The singular focus on the Quetta Shura Taliban by the Coalition forces in Afghanistan have left the HQN networks relatively intact and increased its strength and influence by actively degrading the Taliban.  Some observers nonetheless see the HQN having a tremendous regenerative power no matter how badly mauled by Western forces. Power loves a vacuum and the Coalition has behaved in the normal fashion of caring not for second and third order effects of pressures applied in certain regions of the Afghan theater.

“The Haqqani Network represents the most severe threat to U.S. national security interests and objectives in Afghanistan. The network’s practical and ideological partnerships with international terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and their affiliates will undoubtedly continue and likely even increase as U.S. and coalition forces begin to withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Haqqani Network’s growing geographical footprint in concerning because it will allow for the facilitation and sheltering of al- Qaeda and its affiliates on a much larger scale. The Haqqani Network’s cross-border linkages with the Pakistani tribal areas will allow for the maintenance and expansion of a robust facilitation pipeline between the two countries in order to allow for regional and international terrorists to reconstitute and re-energize after years of punishing attacks from U.S. and coalition forces on both sides of the border.” [1]

Rassler and Brown are even more emphatic about the threat it poses to future Coalition activities in Afghanistan:

“Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan the Haqqani network has been essential to the rise — and geographic spread — of the Taliban insurgency inside Afghanistan. The value of Haqqani network contributions to the Taliban has been acknowledged by senior Taliban leaders, such as Mullah Dadullah, who — before his death in 2007 — confirmed the Haqqanis important role: “There is no doubt that Shaykh Haqqani and his son lead the battles and draw up military plans.”131 The Haqqani network’s leadership of the Miranshah Shura, and its representation on the Rahbari Shura — the Taliban’s central coordinating body, highlights the organization’s value to the Taliban as a trusted partner with primacy in Southeastern Afghanistan.” [2]

All of this assumes a continued US/Coalition presence in Afghanistan and the region which leads to observer effects and influences on the behavior of regional players to include the HQN.

HQN continues to yield a disproportionate influence in the region and by extension the world.  In the end, HQN may grow to be a more potent threat to American and Western interests than al-Qaeda especially if the US continues to think that meddling in the internal affairs of Middle Eastern nations is the only way to secure its safety or wield its influence.

The HQN provides an instructive model to resistance organizations around the globe.

[1] Dressler, Jeffrey. “The Haqqani Network: A Strategic Threat.” Understanding War. http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Haqqani_StrategicThreatweb_29MAR_0.pdf.

[2] Brown and Rassler. 2011. The Haqqani Nexus and the Evolution of Al-Qaeda. Harmony Program. The Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point.
https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/attachment/191745/Announcements/6ddb329a-20be-46e6-965b-7d067fe69c48/CTC-Haqqani-Report_Rassler-Brown-Final_Web.pdf .

 

Ill Winds by Bill Buppert

City folk pride themselves on their lack of self-sufficiency. The urban hipster comfortably lives in a cocoon where everything he wishes to partake in is readily available.  The relatively tight confines of large urban enclaves are wedded to a higher standard of living and cost associated that allows a disposable income larger than most such as Los Angeles and New York City.  Since most humans tend to be lazy when other provisioning is available they will not bother to put back emergency supplies or increase the size of their food larder.  In some cases, the outrageous sums demanded for properties in the cities also restrict the storage potential of apartments’ or townhouses.

Restaurants replace refrigerators and cabs replace private transportation or worse yet, the government transit systems that were recently shut down en masse when Hurricane Sandy threatened the large urban megalopolis in New York-New Jersey axis.  Since time immemorial, the urban landscape has been the primary intellectual incubator for large and expansive government and the birthplace of millions of humans for whom dependence is not only reality but creates a sophisticated rationalization of entitlement living at the expense of others as a natural order of society.

The fragility of this arrangement has just been tested by nature and found severely wanting. The government response has been the bureaucratic bungling, over-reaction, and heavy-handedness one has come to expect of the faux Soviet aspirants that pepper the city halls on the Atlantic seaboard. Fuel rationing, clownish ineptitude in emergency preparedness at the highest and lowest levels of officialdom and the automatic fallback to police brutality that always seems to be the final word on government reaction to crisis.

It’s amusing to see the inevitable reports of privatized looting when unaccredited criminals or gangs start to take people’s property and the usual suspects in the journalistic world never make the connection that these looters are simply using a cruder means than the tax policies orchestrated a little more thoroughly by the rulers in the city halls and state houses.

You will also see official resentment toward folks who may have either prepared for the emergency or be correspondingly accused of hoarding. You will certainly see the apparatchiks in New York start to impose short-term prohibitions that will create long-term disincentives to prepare for future emergencies. Why would that be? A readiness mindset that examines future contingencies and pre-emptively prepares for these events is one of them most direct threats to government authority. If you discover that your plans and preparations are superior to the provisioning of the government, you may just start examining every aspect and discover that not only is the government counter-productive but also you simply don’t need them anymore.

It will be amusing to watch all the collectivist pundits trot out their tired shibboleths about global warming, decaying infrastructure, anti-hoarding laws and calls for increased funding of government emergency bureaucracies to further manacle and stymie efforts to better prepare for these natural and man-made events in the future.  The government supremacists will use fair and foul weather to constantly mewl and chatter about their nefarious policies to further enslave mankind as they erect new and improved Rube Goldberg contractions to snuff human liberty and advance the cause of serfdom

Hurricane Sandy was not the sole creation of hot air in this instance.

Sandy Strikes the Shiftless by Lilo Gray

My wife penned this gem as an homage to the hapless and dependent masses mewling for help in New York and New Jersey.  Remember that city folk pride themselves on their lack of self-sufficiency. -BB

Listen my people, and you shall hear,

The cries of New Yorkers yelling, “Hey! Where’s my beer?”

New Jersey is flooded. New York has no lights.

The police are out on the streets controlling the fights.

Everyone’s short on power and gas,

The mini apocalypse has come at last.

The elevators powered down,

People stuck in their buildings.

Guess they’ll just have to walk,

But they’re sadly unwilling.

If help doesn’t come they might die of thirst.

I’ve just one thing to say,

”Should’ve prepared first!”

Even New Yorkers can fill up a tub.

Or waddle to the corner and fill up on grub.

To all of my people, this here’s your lesson.

The apocalypse just came .

Better get preppin’.