The Continuing Shame of Veterans Day by Bill Buppert


Publisher’s Note: Another year rolls by and the gory parade begins of all the maimed and murdered young men and woman who fought overseas to prove empire and sustain the military-industrial money-laundering complex emanating for the corridors of coercive power in DC.

I spent most of my adult life in the Legions and like Smedley Butler left an unbeliever and disgusted with the whole wretched enterprise. Stand by for all the bad music, war fetishism, and convoluted apologia for bringing most of the troops back. I say most because no serving human in the military machine ever makes it back completely alive. Some return near whole but many return the worst for wear and haunted by the things they’ve done and witnessed in obeisance to political directives. Want to support the troops? Bring them soonest. It appears USSOCOM has approximately 7000 soldiers deployed to 84 countries (probably more if the rulers were more transparent in their machination) and active conflicts engaged and emerging in a dozen hot-spots around the globe as the American empire takes its intensely violent brand of world policing to different parts of the globe. And please spare me the pathetic mewling of a lack of patriotism for failing to get excited about maiming and killing men, women and children planet-wide so the mandarins in Mordor can play macabre chess with flesh and blood human pawns.

None of this imperial madness is new, Caesar was doing this against the Bituriges, Carnutes, Belgae and countless other tribes in the latter part of the Gallic campaigns in France to enrich his own personal treasury in preparation for his emerging consulship in Rome. He would posit “rebellions” and “uprising” to rationalizes more trespasses against the local population and mass looting of indigenous; mostly strip-mining hard assets and enlarging slave trains to Pax Romana.

The USSA has been at active war with the world since 1893 after the extermination campaign against American aboriginals was close to its bloody conclusion in the USA.

Chris Sullins wrote a very touching essay in 2009 on this subject as a fellow vet. And, yes, Jack Spirko, still hates my guts.

Any assignations of sadism on the part of some soldiers is not isolated to the US, warfare through the ages both East and West has been a stage for the psychopaths of every nation to ply their twisted trade.

War is certainly about power and control but ultimately all wars are fought over slave plantations and the jurisdictions for politicians, being violence brokers themselves, to maintain and expand larger taxpayer feedlots.

Read it and weep and realize that your entire government education was a lie. -BB

“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 Gods, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

“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

Bill Buppert
thirdgun@hotmail.com
48 Comments
  • MamaLiberty
    Posted at 14:41h, 11 November Reply

    No human being has the authority to initiate force against another human being under any circumstance, nor to delegate that initiation of force. Every living creature has the innate authority to defend their lives and others against such initiation of force, by any means necessary.

    It’s just that simple. And that is the law of the universe.

  • TigerLily
    Posted at 19:19h, 11 November Reply

    Great article.

    On FB, I posted a meme of military attacking the White House. The meme said, “If they were really fighting for our freedom, this is what it would look like.” With the meme I included these words:

    “I’m a vet, my husband is a vet, and I agree with this meme — so I never want to hear anyone thank me for my service. I didn’t do jack shit for your freedom and neither has any other vet!”

    While the majority of comments supported the sentiment, there were a few who were outraged at my “disrespect” for vets. Hopefully a few statists unfriended me. And good riddens 😉

    Thanks to social media and the blogosphere, I do believe there is hope to achieve a degree of freedom in the next generation.

    • Anonymous
      Posted at 16:06h, 19 November Reply

      Well Spoken……

  • David
    Posted at 20:22h, 11 November Reply

    Bill –

    Let me preface this by saying I agree with you 100% about Veterans Day and military service. Although I was only in for six years I am a veteran myself. Caught the tail end of the Vietnam debacle but was safely off the coast on an aircraft carrier. Back in 1999-2000 I went back and spent three month in Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand. What I saw destroyed the last vestiges of military idolatry. It was the beginning of my evolution to peace activist and supporter of the NAP. A couple of years ago I actually put my DD-214 and (not so) honorable discharge through the shredder.

    I actively discouraged my children and their friends from enlisting. So my question for you is this. And I am in no way being judgmental here but simply throwing this out. Do you accept retirement benefits / payments for your time in the military? If so, how do you justify that given your beliefs?

    I myself am getting very close to the time when I could qualify for social security if I choose to accept it. And honestly I don’t know if based on how it is funded whether I can do so with a clear conscience. I’ve read the Helvering v Davis and Flemming v Nestor decisions so have a pretty good idea about the mechanics of SS. That’s why I’m conflicted about whether to file for benefits. Given what you have written through the years and what you believe how do you feel about accepting military retirement benefits?
    David

    • Bill
      Posted at 11:25h, 12 November Reply

      David,

      I answer this substantively in these two posts:

      https://zerogov.com/?p=3062

      https://zerogov.com/?p=3943

      I do indeed accept retirement and use it. Much like my roads in front of the house and the other items of everyday living that are granted through my nonsensical “implied consent“.

      I am pro-life from conception and I have many Christian pro-life friends who have arrived at that very conclusion for different reasons, yet they begrudgingly pay the taxes that fund abattoirs like Planned Parenthood and all the other butcher clinics nation-wide that murder innocents daily. The opportunity costs for protest are simply too much to bear for individuals who have families that rely on them.

      Peter Schiff’s father just died in a cage for doing this very thing. https://www.schiffradio.com/death-of-a-patriot/

      Bill

      • David
        Posted at 14:40h, 12 November Reply

        Bill –

        Thank you. I genuinely appreciate your feedback and the links to the two previous posts. Without getting too deep in the weeds I would tell you that I do everything in my power to not be a part of the system and reduce my taxable income for the reasons you articulated. Like I said, I’m a peacemaker with a Christian organization and don’t relish the idea that my tax dollars are going to support the military. Or abortion for that matter. It is more likely than not that I will file for social security when the time comes because in a sense I see it as restitution for a lifetime of theft. There is a part of me that will do it grudgingly however because I know how it is funded. Again, thanks.

        David

      • TigerLily
        Posted at 07:14h, 13 November Reply

        That was a heartbreaking story about Peter Schiff’s father. What I got out of it is this: Anti-tax protesters – or any protesters – must act covertly and with enough “fire-power” to defend herself from the “unbeatable” arms of the USSA.

        I think I would rather be killed at home like Jose Guerrena with my hands on my AR-15 than to be rounded up and left to die a slow, painful, lonely death.

        That said, it seems much more prudent to use wise words and careful, nonthreatening actions to persuade changes in the minds of the masses.

        Also, every USSA flaggot spewing patriotic hymns in support of veterans should recognize that their “service” was not for freedom, there “service” was to help the state punish peaceful people like Irwin A. Schiff.

    • MOLON LABE
      Posted at 15:08h, 12 November Reply

      Joining the military is tantamount to supporting Israel’s genocide policies.

  • TigerLily
    Posted at 23:02h, 11 November Reply

    Dear David,

    That’s a question that I, too, had about the morality of accepting stolen money.

    Before understanding NAP, I applied for and received a 30% service-connected disability pension. I almost gave up on the application process because it was rejected three times. Long story short, it was finally accepted. I took full advantage of the educational benefits and received my BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) degree as part of my compensation package.

    I since converted to full-blown anarchist and am an unapologetic anti-government activist. I still receive my disability pension and it initially conflicted me. But the way I see it is this: I am a slave to the system because I must follow every law on the books – even laws that violate NAP. I do not feel like I am “owed” anything – especially stolen money. And if – or should I say WHEN – our economic system collapses, like it has in Greece and other places, I will NEVER be one to protest.

    I didn’t create this immoral system but I live in it. I could attempt to be “pure” in my convictions and reject stolen money. But to hell with that. This is the world I live in and I’ll ride that train till it runs out.

    Had I understood NAP when I was 18, I never would have joined the military, and I would have done everything in my power to avoid paying taxes. But that wasn’t the case and I can’t change history.

    So today I only take under the table pay, I help people receive black-market services, and I encourage anyone who qualifies, to take stolen money (e.g. food stamps.) The sooner the bank breaks, the sooner we will get closer to freedom. I anticipate that it’s gonna be ugly! But I have done and am doing things to prepare for the inevitable.

    You have to live with your own conscience. If my logic doesn’t ease your mind then your choice to live by purely NAP standards is certainly commendable.

    My husband of 69 year old is a retired Marine Officer. He too, is a staunch ancap. And he has zero conflict in his mind in receiving his full pension and military retirement.

    If we have to get permission slips from Uncle Sam to even drive a fucking car, then we’re not gonna further “punish” ourselves by taking the high ground and rejecting benefits which the people with guns declared we are entitled to.

    A close friend who knows about our financial situation and our strong anti-government convictions asked us how we reconcile accepting government pay. My answer was this: “I don’t blame you if you feel it is hypocritical, but you can bank on this: when the funds run out, we won’t protest!” I should have added that if he took issue with that, then perhaps he should complain to someone who has the power to take away those so-called “benefits.” (Good luck with that.)

    Take your pension, enjoy it, use some of it to prepare for an economic collapse, and educate people around you about NAP, how to give the least possible to the ruling elite, and how to survive during a meltdown should one take place in our lifetime.

    Cheers!

    • Jim Klein
      Posted at 23:29h, 11 November Reply

      To me on this sub-topic, the relevant point is that all values are individually held and each person makes the judgment for themselves, on whatever basis they choose. Hopefully that basis is rational but even if it’s not, it’s nobody’s business but theirs. That principle trumps all, and implies that what someone chooses or believes is irrelevant…at least to anyone else. It can be relevant to the good, through trade and mutual benefit and all, but no person can devise a principle–any principle–that can rightfully be imposed on another person. None.

      I know you weren’t saying otherwise, TL; you never would! In the case at hand, I’d say the problem isn’t whether people choose to take the loot or not. The problem is that the loot exists.

      • TigerLily
        Posted at 08:09h, 12 November Reply

        Exactly, Jim. It’s like the immigration debate. People – even so-called “ancaps” like Stefan Molyneux are on Donald Trump’s bandwagon calling for the state to control immigration. My position is that instead of “hating” the illegals, ancaps should be “hating” the statist laws that encourage the “freeloading.” Goes to show, even the most “enlightened” ancaps are susceptible to gravitating toward the state to fix their issue de jour!

      • Randy
        Posted at 08:58h, 13 November Reply

        I think that as long as people choose to take the loot the loot will exist. As long as people continue to take the stolen blood money the theft will continue. Rationalizing the acceptance of these monies does not change the fact that once you accept it, and having full knowledge of the scheme, you are now a willing participant in the theft. In my view accepting these monies with the knowledge of its origin is much worse then those that willingly participate yet are truly ignorant of its mechanization’s. Gandhi said live the change you want to see. Voluntarily participating in government schemes is not living that change.

        • Bill
          Posted at 09:15h, 13 November Reply

          Randy,

          I admire your spirit and intent but impossible to live that way in USSA. You can’t swat a fly without disclosing your Socialist Security number and no above-grund business can be engaged in without the all-seeing bureaucratic eye getting into every aspect of your business.

          Bill

          • Jim Klein
            Posted at 21:53h, 13 November

            In a money-based economy, there”s a distinction between accepting money that indirectly comes from the government–all of it does, effectively–and spending money for, say, stolen goods. The first is a choice to deal with the world as it is; the second is affirmatively supporting the engagement of force. While it’s true that even paying a tax is “supporting the engagement of force,” an act should be judged on the basis of the motivations of the actor, not what someone else does. Buying stolen goods is seeking to get value from the initiation of force.

            OTOH an act causes what it does, not what was intended. That’s why this shit better get stopped.

        • TigerLily
          Posted at 12:50h, 15 November Reply

          Randy,

          Can you rationalize why you would use public roads and services that are made with and maintained with “blood” money?

          Do you pay “the man” to be licensed and registered to drive?

    • David
      Posted at 19:47h, 12 November Reply

      TigerLily,

      Thank you for the lengthy note. It is genuinely appreciated. I’m with you and Bill for the most part. Like about 99.999%. We certainly don’t have much choice when it comes to the system. Voluntary consent is a joke. So more than likely I’ll just do what I can, live within the system to the best of my ability and work like crazy to offset some of the damage being done by the state. Like you I will not gripe when the system collapses which is inevitable. I’ve come to the conclusion that in many ways it’s all an illusion anyway. The economy in its entirety is based on fraud. Our currency is loaned into existence and highly leveraged with fractional reserve banking practices. This makes the value of any dollar denominated asset bogus. It’s all fake if you think about it. As a Christian abolitionist (thanks Bill, I now use that instead of anarchist) I will continue to tilt at windmills and educate people about the wickedness of the state.

      Take care,

      David

      P.S. – And I do practice what I preach – http://www.bikingforpeace.org

      • TigerLily
        Posted at 07:22h, 13 November Reply

        David,

        Indeed, the fact that our money is nothing but an illusion is a great point. And if my knee wasn’t so jacked up by all the times I’ve dropped my motorcycle on it, I’d consider joining your biking for peace organization. LOL

  • Mark Nelson
    Posted at 08:41h, 12 November Reply

    Apparently the 85 groups and thousands of people on the sidelines as well as the thousands of veterans in yesterdays parade in my town don’t agree with this post. What is being celebrated and honored is people doing what many won’t and that is standing up for the government and presumably the citizens of the US when called to do so. Was the war right or wrong? Only time will tell. But to tell those who defended us that they are in someway bad and should not be honored or remembered is pathetic.

    • Bill
      Posted at 11:47h, 12 November Reply

      Mark,

      What are all of these extraterritorial wars doing for the safety of US subjects?

      Bill

      • Mark Nelson
        Posted at 20:04h, 12 November Reply

        It kind of depends on what you believe. In WWII Hitler conquered country after country and used their population for soldiers and waged war on others. Russia was trying something similar with the Baltic states but that fell apart. China backed the Communist wars in Korea and Vietnam partly to test the US to see what we could do and partly to pick up the pieces after the war, which they did. They are all Communist now you know. China currently is testing us by building aircraft destroying ships and missiles. If we had clearly won in Korea and Vietnam, I don’t think they would be so quick to implement those weapons. Just my opinion of course.

    • Paul Farah
      Posted at 13:12h, 12 November Reply

      “Was the war right or wrong? Only time will tell.” Absolutely wrong. In any run-up to war, one can spot the lies if one looks hard enough. In fact, there are principles, drafted by St. Augustine, and adopted by Western culture, as to when a war is justified. In the history of the United States only one of its wars can possibly be considered a “just war” and that is the South’s defense of itself in the war of Yankee Aggression.
      Every single other war fought by the US military was unjust & unjustifiable, and it was obvious to the people of the USA at the time.

      • Mark Nelson
        Posted at 19:32h, 12 November Reply

        Great. Just so I can educate myself, kindly post a link to St. Augustine’s principals.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 19:23h, 12 November Reply

    Mark Nelson’s whole argument fell apart when he claimed veterans “defended” us. Now that’s pathetic. I didn’t stand on the sidelines. I’m a 63 yr old Vietnam Navy vet and ashamed I was duped but then most 18 year olds who enlist aren’t using critical thinking skills. I’ve since been enlightened thank God. May all nation states collapse one day.

    • Mark Nelson
      Posted at 19:56h, 12 November Reply

      Well I am 68, not that age means much. I am a veteran of the Vietnam era war serving on Okinawa and Japan in the 1960’s. As no one shot at me I really can’t take kudos, but I do give honors to those who had been shot at.

      As for my claim that our veterans defended us:

      Starting with WWII, if we had lost you would either be speaking Japanese or German, or not even be here at all. As for the Korean war, vets saved millions of people in South Korea, though technically the veterans were not defending the USA. Apparently this does not matter to you but it does to them as what they would have become is what North Korea is today, a Gulag.

      Vets fought in that war principally due to a treaty we had via that which I believe was the defunct South East Treaty Organization (SEATO). It was the same for Vietnam. We could have won that war and had it covered, but the political war at home was lost. It was believed that if Korea and Vietnam fell, a domino effect would occur and many other countries would fall to Communism. I think that pretty much happened. Though I haven’t studied it, I believe it is true. So, it depends on what you mean by “Defend us.”

      You may have issues with the why’s and wherefores of war(s), but don’t take it out on the people who went to war. Take it out on the politicians who sent them there. The soldiers thought they were doing the right thing. Whether you believe that they did the right thing or not is not as important.

      • Steve
        Posted at 00:33h, 13 November Reply

        “Starting with WWII, if we had lost you would either be speaking Japanese or German”

        Complete rubbish! Germany couldn’t invade Great Britain so what are the chances they could have invaded the US much less occupy it long enough to obliterate the English language?

        Get this- the US government is a murderous institution that exploits soldiers as cannon fodder. Look at how the VA treats its soldiers after they are no longer able to kill people for the state.

        As the author has pointed out here, the American state has been at war for almost every year since inception. For the most part all for empire and conquest.

        “It was the same for Vietnam. We could have won that war and had it covered, but the political war at home was”

        The US government killed something like 300 million Vietnamese over 15 years or so, some of the poorist people in the world. Rice farmers. Pathetic. And for what?

        There are still US landmines in Vietnam that still blow limbs off people to this day.

        Won the war, what a joke! What would we have won other than more money for haliburton?

        “Take it out on the politicians who sent them there.”

        No, we ought to take it out on people like you who support the politicians and defend their murderous policies.

        • Mark Nelson
          Posted at 09:57h, 13 November Reply

          “Complete rubbish! Germany couldn’t invade Great Britain so what are the chances they could have invaded the US much less occupy it long enough to obliterate the English language?”

          And so if England lost the war what would happen next? I don’t think England would have lasted long if Europe fell (which it didn’t because of our help) especially because Germany was on the fast track to the atomic bomb and the cutting edge of jet aircraft which England was not.

          Whether we would literally be speaking German/Japanese or not, we would certainly be under their domination. What do you think would have happened if we had not entered the war a all?

          “Get this- the US government is a murderous institution that exploits soldiers as cannon fodder.”

          This just depends on what you value. Want to hide in a corner and hope the bad guys go away or do you want to stand up and fight for your home and family?

          “Look at how the VA treats its soldiers after they are no longer able to kill people for the state.”

          It is true that the VA via the government treats its soldiers poorly. Some of this is due to the current administrations dislike of the military and would rather give our tax money to people who hate us rather than to aid the soldiers who fought for this country.

          “The US government killed something like 300 million Vietnamese over 15 years or so, some of the poorist people in the world. Rice farmers. Pathetic. And for what?”

          Your numbers are a bit off. According to Wikipedia:

          Guenter U. Lewy (born August 22, 1923) is an American author and political scientist who is a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His works span several topics, but he is most often associated with his 1978 book on the Vietnam War, America in Vietnam, and several controversial works that deal with the applicability of the term genocide to various historical events.

          Guenter Lewy in 1978 estimated 1,313,000 total deaths in North and South Vietnam during the period 1965–1974 in which the U.S. was most engaged in the war. Lewy reduced the number of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese battle deaths claimed by the U.S. by 30 percent (in accordance with the opinion of United States Department of Defense officials), and assumed that one third of the battle deaths of the VC/NVA were actually civilians. His estimate of total deaths is reflected in the table.

          Allied military deaths 282,000
          NVA/VC military deaths 444,000
          Civilian deaths (North and South Vietnam) 587,000
          Total deaths 1,313,000

          By contrast:

          Pol Pot via the combined effects of executions, strenuous working conditions, malnutrition and poor medical care caused the deaths of approximately 25 percent of the Cambodian population. In all, an estimated 1 to 3 million people (out of a population of slightly over 8 million) died due to the policies of his four-year premiership.

          From your point of view we should just let this happen.

          “There are still US landmines in Vietnam that still blow limbs off people to this day.”

          There are still unexploded shells from WWII in Okinawa that blow up people to this day. Most are Okinawian fishermen who try to extract the powder to use as an explosive to detonate underwater to increase their “catch,” but if they make just one mistake they then become a newspaper article. There were notices all over the island when I was there. I was also told that there were a couple of underground booby trapped Japanese motor pools that the Americans sealed off after the war. Entry to those and other dangerous places were roped off. So you see, it wasn’t just the “evil” Americans who left war liter around, but because of people like you they get blamed for everything.

          “Won the war, what a joke! What would we have won other than more money for Halliburton?”

          According to my Vietnamese friends who were actually there, what we would have won would have been the lives of their friends and families. One particular friend arrived here in the US with his shirt, pants and a few letters under his shirt an that was all. He lost his shoes while running across the tarmac to jump onto one of the last planes leaving for the US. He met his future wife in a resettlement camp. As it turns out she was one of the people who escaped Vietnam via a helicopter from on top of the US embassy.

          When the Vietcong took over the former military offices, they went through every record and listed every Vietnamese person who was in any way associated with the Americans, rounded them up and executed them or put them in forced labor camps. As a custom in the orient, especially with the Chinese, they went back three generations for retribution.

          “No, we ought to take it out on people like you who support the politicians and defend their murderous policies.”

          Humm, so you would rather not take it out on those responsible but those who would fight even if it were for a cause that you would support. Good thinking moron.

          I am reminded of a time a few years ago that I was sitting in my Scottish American Military uniform in a restaurant when some guy walked up to me and profusely apologized for being one of those ‘hippies’ who protested the war in the sixties and seventies. Apparently he had seen some light in the intervening time.

          As for taking it out on me:

          I live in Prescott Arizona. Let me know when you will be here and you had better be ready. While I don’t have any guns, I do have a Samurai sword, a Bo and Nun chucks and I know how to use them. If you just want go at it bare knuckles, cool! I am all ready and looking forward to it. Come on out, make a name for yourself 🙂 If you don’t show I will then know why the rooster didn’t cross the road —–

          Wait for it —–

          It was because he was a CHICKEN! Ha, ha. 🙂

          • Bill
            Posted at 10:24h, 13 November

            Mark,

            You should pay attention to your own citations. I agree the 300 million number is absurd probably a typo, much closer to 3 million per Rummel on the very page you cited.

            Like every US military excursion since 1893, all are of a pastiche of running roughshod over native self-determination to liberate them from home rule.I can’t agree with the hippie you cited, I simply wish more had chosen to evade the slavish conscription and left it to the politicians to duke it out themselves instead of sending proxies to do thei8r dirty work. War would be quite different if politicians (violence brokers) were full fledged combatant status in every conflict initiated by a country.

            Pol Pot via the combined effects of executions, strenuous working conditions, malnutrition and poor medical care caused the deaths of approximately 25 percent of the Cambodian population. In all, an estimated 1 to 3 million people (out of a population of slightly over 8 million) died due to the policies of his four-year premiership.

            From your point of view we should just let this happen.

            Indeed, none of our business but you are welcome to go and do your best, just don’t force your neighbors to attend and stop taking money and resources forcefully through direct taxation, regulation and unfunded debt obligations such as the trillion dollar sinkholes in Iraq and AFG. There is a whole planet for you to liberate. Leave me out of it.

            Per your last sentence, I don’t think anyone was bodily threatening you so you can stand down although I caution against bringing blades to a gunfight. I too am in AZ.

            Bill

          • Mark Nelson
            Posted at 11:42h, 13 November

            Hi Bill,
            You said: “You should pay attention to your own citations. I agree the 300 million number is absurd probably a typo, much closer to 3 million per Rummel on the very page you cited. ”

            I don’t get it. Where did I go wrong? I personally did not make a statement as to what the number was did I? Instead I quoted what many believe to be an expert.

            As for the number 300 million being a typo, he would have to had entered two zeros by accident, which I doubt.

            I don’t really believe he was challenging me to anything face to face either. But you point out the problem of bringing blades to a gunfight. Good point. I was only offering what I had available just in case he had something similar. It also gave me a chance to try out a new chicken joke the kids pilled on me the other day,

            So, may I ask where in Arizona are you? Maybe we could get together at the OK Coral in Tucson? 🙂

          • Bill
            Posted at 15:33h, 13 November

            Mark,

            Rummel’s figures are higher and more accurate than Lewy in my estimation. Robert Conquest was the voice in the wilderness for the longest time per Communist slaughter numbers and it turns out his figures were far closer to archival evidence once the USSR took the silver medal and crashed off the stage in the Collectivist Olympics (the USSA takes the gold). I read Lewy decades ago and appreciated what he did but he didn’t take the conservative critique of government far enough hence his confirmation bias on underestimating the corpse stack during the brief but hyper-violent American interregnum in Indochina.

            Loved the chicken joke.

            Prescott is gorgeous. OK Corral is in Tombstone and the place bores me to tears but I would be happy to meet you in Tucson if we so happen to be there at the same time.

            Bill

          • Mark Nelson
            Posted at 21:28h, 13 November

            Thanks for the info. I’ll look into Robert Conquest .

            Glad you liked the chicken joke.

            As for the OK Coral, we could have our shoot out there 🙂

            But is you are in Prescott, let me know and I’ll buy you a coffee.

          • Jim Klein
            Posted at 22:03h, 13 November

            “If you just want go at it bare knuckles, cool!”

            Wow, “cool”…really? Better or worse than skiing?

          • Mark Nelson
            Posted at 22:08h, 13 November

            ” Better or worse than skiing?”

            It depends on if you get hit or not.

            I am wondering when this window gets down to one letter width what it will then do.

          • Jim Klein
            Posted at 22:21h, 13 November

            I keep hoping someone will change the nesting limit.

      • Bill
        Posted at 08:27h, 13 November Reply

        Mark,

        Starting with WWII, if we had lost you would either be speaking Japanese or German, or not even be here at all

        I hear this time and again and it simply does not stand up to any scrutiny. Please show me the strategic sea lift and airlift not to mention strategic bombing legs that would have allowed for an invasion, beachhead, expansion, defeat of homeland forces in CONUS and consolidation of Axis forces.

        I go into more detail here.

        Per Vietnam, horrific conflict that made the USSA much worse than it was beforehand. Read this book.

        Impossible and WWI led to WWII (the War to Save Josef Stalin). The US minding its own business and not meddling would go far in securing freedom than the hundreds of incidents since the end of WWII where the US has supported wretched dictatorship after dictatorship for its necro-monger empire.

        • Mark Nelson
          Posted at 21:24h, 13 November Reply

          As I am not a war strategist, I cannot give you the Nonexistent invasion plans that you asked for. But I would like to point out that the distance and logistics weren’t much of a problem for the British when they fought the colonists, even though they lost. But I can speculate what would have happened if Adolph managed to conquer Europe, then Russia. If that had happened it is a short step to England. With his ruthlessness do you think he would just hang around Europe?

          Thanks for the links, I will look into them.

          “…the US has supported wretched dictatorship after dictatorship for its necro-monger empire.”

          This unfortunately is true. Marcos comes to mind.

          • Bill
            Posted at 22:44h, 13 November

            What threat did the Nazis have to the US? Both the USSR and Japan had spies in the US too to include a sizable espionage effort from the UK esp (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1574882236?colid=3GKGZ62JB17U7&coliid=I2C9Q2213C2QE4&ref_=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl) in Hollywood.

            What about coordinated UK spies in the US sent in 1940 via BSC. Hell, RedDR secretly funded Camp X in violation of the Neutrality Act.

            Have you read the Venona transcripts on the gigantic and sophisticated efforts of the USSR to penetrate the political fabric of the US?

            Are you familiar with Soviet efforts to get the non-interventionist US in the second half of WWI with Operation Snow?

            And the USSR was treating its citizens better than the Nazis?

            But a more important question that speaks to the nuts and bolts of an actual threat. Again, how could the Nazis have sufficient strategic airlift and sealift to establish a lodgement in the US mainland, keep it and expand the beachhead and go on to invade the US proper? How could this be done when they could not even cross the channel to take the UK in Operation Sea Lion?

            The Nazis and Communists were kissing cousins wedded to the maximum state and the Offal Office under Roosevelt felt the USSR was a better bet for winning since he had common cause with the communist ideal.

            I would also urge you to read why the Nazis and fascists loved the New Deal despite the later unrequited love as RedDR embraced Uncle Joe (I would go so far as to call it a man-crush).

            The FDR and Hitler mutual admiration society:

      • Randy
        Posted at 09:31h, 13 November Reply

        If America would have never entered WWI you would not know who Adolf Hitler is.

        President George Washington given in his farewell address, delivered to the nation on September 17, 1796. President Washington said:

        “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world…. Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humour or caprice?’

  • Phillip
    Posted at 06:02h, 13 November Reply

    My wife, who has never served though I did and retired, generally responds to these remarks about vets fighting for our freedoms with one retort. Name one freedom which has increased because of all the military excursions worldwide. The conversation dead ends at this point for the statists.

    • David
      Posted at 20:45h, 13 November Reply

      Phillip – That sir is the most concise and lucid argument on this thread. Bravo for saying much in few words.

  • Mark Nelson
    Posted at 10:09h, 13 November Reply

    To summarize what I posted previously: It depends on what you value. Do you prefer that the families in countries like Korea be executed or placed in a forced labor camps, and as their country has then fallen they become a threat to us? Think N. Korea. So, if it were that those nations became larger by conquest and as they were backed by China, they either politically or in fact will become part of China. Currently China is a threat to us with their military build up while we are stupidly doing trillions of dollars in business with them.

    So perhaps the answer to your wife’s caveat is freedom itself (in the general sense, again ref N. Korea), which seems to be chiped away day by day by our own government.

    • Jim Klein
      Posted at 22:15h, 13 November Reply

      I enjoy epistemology Mark, so I wanted to disclose that it was interesting seeing the dozen instances in this thread where you used, “depends.”

      On the one hand I like it, because I agree that everything we think–and value and choose and do–depends on what goes on in our minds.

      OTOH it’s also basic to me–axiomatic, technically–that what goes on outside of our minds, doesn’t.

  • Mark Nelson
    Posted at 22:30h, 13 November Reply

    I am not familiar with the acronym “OTOH” but I am glad you recognize that everything depends on something else.

    As an engineer I have found that one can analyze a problem to death, then come to a conclusion, format a theory then apply it to the problem and the malfunctioning program or device still doesn’t work. This is because of false ideas held in the mind and they do not work in the real world. Careful analysis ultimately does though.

    There is another thing in the engineering world that works as well: It is called “feedback.” One applies ones theory as to how people work on other people and observe their reactions to it. If the theory does not fit the facts observed, then change the theory and not the facts. To change the facts, as so many do, causes one to live in a delusional world which can lead to a psychosis. This does not work in the engineering world as no matter what one thinks a non working device will still not work. Just FYI 🙂

    • Jim Klein
      Posted at 08:48h, 14 November Reply

      “…everything depends on something else.”

      That’s what’s throwing you off on these matters. The problem isn’t that it’s false; the problem is that it says nothing at all. It’s fully synonymous with the hippy, “Everything’s everything, man.” That too is accurate, but totally useless. You should be able to follow that because engineers tend strongly toward pragmatics as well as a good understanding of context, although usually it’s implicit and not explicit..

      I could write a book on this–causal action–but I’ll just offer a single example and try to extrapolate the point. My buying a gallon a milk depends on a zillion conditions. The hierarchically primary one–because it’s willful human action–is that I decide to buy a gallon of milk. But it also depends on my car having gas in the tank, the car starting, the road not collapsing, a terrorist not dropping a nuke, the store being open, the store having a gallon of milk to sell, my not be robbed going into the store, the Sun not exploding, etc., etc., etc.

      When it comes to immensely complex human actions–particularly those engaged by multitudes of humans like countries–we pick and choose the causes we wish to see. We can’t see all of them of course, so we pick the ones upon which to focus. Often this results in whacked-out conclusions because we have chosen not to focus on the facts we don’t believe to be causal. So the commie-lib says, “It’s bad for children to die, therefore it must be right to take the next guy’s earnings to see to it that children don’t die.” After all, it’s true that it’s bad for children to die; the problem obviously is that all the bad stuff about being a thief is ignored in this analysis.

      An interesting side-note is that the truth of any matter is irrelevant to how we should proceed socially.. It shouldn’t be of course–we all SHOULD be rational–but it’s likewise a fact that we’re all not. It’s why liberty is so critical—for the rational to be free, the irrational must be free too. This is a simple truth which should be readily seen by you. If it’s not, I can explain it easily.

      I don’t know if the point is clear. Basically it’s that, “To a hammer, everything is a nail,” with regard to human action. So on the war stuff, you’re seeing true aspects of the story, but you’re missing the other 99%. That’s why you should pay attention to Bill’s take on this stuff. He too doesn’t have all the causal explanations–nobody does–but he has a damn sight more than any person you’re ever likely to meet. Of course it’s up to you whether you want to create your judgments and conclusions based on facts and rational analysis. Usually, engineers do. But also usually, they thoroughly suck at analyzing human action because their thinking tends toward the linear with regard to causality, and not hierarchical. ALL things cognitive are hierarchical.

      This is long enough. I’ll try to answer any questions you might have.

      • Mark Nelson
        Posted at 16:16h, 14 November Reply

        You said:
        “An interesting side-note is that the truth of any matter is irrelevant to how we should proceed socially.. It shouldn’t be of course–we all SHOULD be rational–but it’s likewise a fact that we’re all not. It’s why liberty is so critical—for the rational to be free, the irrational must be free too. This is a simple truth which should be readily seen by you. If it’s not, I can explain it easily.”

        Every value or “truth” can only be understood by referencing it to some known thing. For instance; pick a color, let’s say “blue” and describe it to me. If you said “Sky Blue” or “Robbins egg blue,” then I have an idea of what you are trying to describe, but it is only an approximation of what you see. In human terms one can say; “he was happy as a kid in a candy store” and there are many others as you know. Therefore, as I have said, everything depends on something else.

        Engineering is the art of compromise whereby many elements of a project are traded off at the expense on one to enhance another. It is the art of the blending that makes a successful engineer.

        You said:
        “Usually, engineers do. But also usually, they thoroughly suck at analyzing human action because their thinking tends toward the linear with regard to causality, and not hierarchical. ALL things cognitive are hierarchical.”

        There are linear and non linear engineers. I previously posted a piece about feedback and how it can be used in human terms. You apply some reasoned situation to your kids, family or the public and look at the feedback and adjust one’s theory according to get the results that you expect. Einstein is supposed to have said; ‘Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is a sure sign of insanity.’ I don’t know if he actually said that but it serves to illustrate this point and that being the person who is expecting different results is a person who is not listening to the feedback.

        Of some note is that in engineering, the part of feedback that is most important is the use of negative feedback. Positive feedback drives a system to its extreme limits while negative feedback keeps the system centered. It is similar with people. A person who surrounds themselves with “yes men” tend to go way off center and ultimately believing their own rhetoric while a person who listens to their dissenters as well will get a better picture of the event.

        I don’t use engineering as the basis for my life or for my interaction with people, but I do use it as a tool.

        You said:
        “It’s why liberty is so critical—for the rational to be free, the irrational must be free too.”

        I certainly agree as what is “rational” changes over time. It was rational to wear a powered wig at one time I understand. 🙂

        • Jim Klein
          Posted at 13:03h, 15 November Reply

          “I certainly agree as what is “rational” changes over time.”

          That’s true but only because some facts can change over time. It goes to what was my original point.

          In your verbiage, “It depends on what one means by ‘rational’.” I mean, “correspondent with the facts.”

  • Steve
    Posted at 00:39h, 14 November Reply

    “I live in Prescott Arizona. Let me know when you will be here and you had better be ready. While I don’t have any guns, I do have a Samurai sword, a Bo and Nun chucks and I know how to use them. If you just want go at it bare knuckles, cool! I am all ready and looking forward to it.

    I couldn’t care less which rock you live under. Just like the government, all you have is violence and lies. No merit to your argument, just threats and violence.

  • Mark Nelson
    Posted at 16:17h, 14 November Reply

    Thank you for those kind and thoughtful words. You really should read the whole post. Poor thing.

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