Today was “Who loves America’s Wehrmacht more?” Day.
Is it Donald Trump? Or Hillary Clinton? Hard to say, it’s almost dead even.
Politico notes the Clinton campaign is running a television ad in which Trump says “I love war:”
The 30-second ad, out Tuesday, is titled “I Love War.” It features Trump uttering the phrase, “I love war, in a certain way,” at a rally last November, and features snippets of him remarking that he “knows more about ISIS than the generals do” and calling “nuclear, the power, the devastation … very important to me.”
“‘I love war,’ putting nuclear weapons on the table. The Clinton camp says that’s irresponsible,” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos remarked to Kellyanne Conway at the start of their interview on “Good Morning America.”
It’s worth adding Stephanopoulos was part of the first Clinton administration, famously portrays in the documentary “The War Room.” I reviewed it this year here. 
In any case, someone trying to use the statement “I love war” against anyone else in 2016 America is so unintentionally hilarious as to reduce one to tetany. HRC, Libya, Iraq, Sec’y of State during years of our forever war.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are engaged in a contest within a contest right now. The bigger contest, of course, is to win the White House; the smaller contest is to accumulate the longer list of military supporters and thereby suggest to voters that the people who really know what to look for in a commander in chief have a clear preference.
The Trump campaign on Tuesday released the names of 88 retired generals and admirals who have endorsed the Republican presidential candidate, to which the Clinton camp responded Wednesday by announcing its own roster of 95 such backers.
Among the retired generals backing Trump is Jerry Boykin. Like Trump, he’s a bigot.
A long time ago Boykin was commander of the Delta Force. But for the last 16 years or so he’s travelled the country warning about Muslim infiltration, the alleged creeping onslaught of sharia law in the heartland and the badness of gay people. Boykin is nuts and he’s been mentioned frequently here.
On the other hand, I’m fairly positive that if you comb through HRC’s cast of military men you’ll find someone equally insane, only in a different way.
My pick, just on video evidence alone, is Marine General John Allen. At the Democratic Convention, allen delivered a rant that was epic. And not in any good way.
Watch the video at the link. The good parts are when Allen goes berserk, yelling that “our military” will have the finest weapons (don’t they already?) and that our enemies — “You will fear us!” The crowd chants “USA! USA! USA!” and the camera pans to blonde-haired boy waving a Clinton sign. Tomorrow belongs to us!
John Allen, like Gerry Boykin, is scary. He came off as disturbed, not as someone showing great zeal in public speaking
Who loves war more? Who can sing the loudest praises for America’s Wehrmacht?
An excerpt from Andrew Bacevich’s book, “America’s War for the Greater Middle East” would seem apt:
“It’s not that Americans today actively support the war in the same sense that their grandparents supported World War II. It’s that they see no particular reason to attend one way or another to the war’s progress or likely outcome. In a fundamental sense the war is not their concern….
“At the end of the day, whether the United States is able to reshape the Greater Middle East will matter less than whether it can reshape itself, restoring effectiveness to self-government, providing for sustainable and equitable prosperity, and extracting from a vastly diverse culture something to hold in common of greater moment than shallow digital enthusiasms and the worship of celebrity.
“Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance and security. If anything, it is having the opposite effect. One day the American people may awaken to this reality. Then and only then will the war end.”
Textron, the last U.S. company to build cluster bombs, announced in a securities filing this week that one of its subsidiaries would no longer produce the controversial and internationally derided munition, citing dwindling demand.
The Rhode Island-based company’s decision comes after the Obama administration halted a shipment of approximately 400 of their cluster weapons – called CBU-105s – to Saudi Arabia in May, following reports that the Saudis were using the weapons indiscriminately during their air campaign over Yemen …
Though the United States hasn’t allotted funds for cluster munition production since 2007, the CBU-105 has been readily exported to several countries since. Saudi Arabia purchased more than 1,500 of the weapons between 2010 and 2011, according to a report by the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.
“Historically, sensor-fuzed weapon sales have relied on foreign military and direct commercial international customers for which both executive branch and congressional approval is required,” reads a Textron statement. “The current political environment has made it difficult to obtain these approvals.”
. “The War Room” is a movie worth watching in 2016, for how much things have changed for the world’s only superpower in obvious decline.
You’ll recognize the young and middle-aged stars of the last 15 years: George Stephanopoulos, Paul Begala, and — front ‘n’ center, James Carville, now an old man. Bill Clinton is the Big Dog, not as he is now, the frail old man trying to recall better days while pumping up his wife as the next president.
The doc is shot as the legacy. Bill Clinton, a people’s candidate.
There’s a moment from a speech by Al Gore in a campaign rally that could be exactly like something Bernie Sanders roarded at crowds. America was down, jobs and the economy, not fair. “The country’s gone el busto,” says Carville. “If you can’t fix it, get out of the way!”
To reflect on this longest of American wars is to confront two questions. First, why has the world’s mightiest military achieved so little even while itself absorbing very considerable losses and inflicting even greater damage on the subjects of America’s supposed beneficence? Second, why in the face of such unsatisfactory outcomes has the United States refused to chart a different course? In short, why can’t we win? And since we haven’t won, why can’t we get out?
With regard to the first question, one explanation stands out above all others. In stark contrast to the Cold War, American purposes and U.S. military policy in the Islamic world have never aligned. Rather than keeping threats to U.S. interests at bay, a penchant for military activism, initially circumspect but becoming increasingly uninhibited over time, has helped to foster new threats. Time and again, from the 1980s to the present, U.S. military power, unleashed rather than held in abeyance, has met outright failure, produced results other than those intended, or proved to be largely irrelevant. The Greater Middle East remains defiantly resistant to shaping.
Not for want of American effort, of course … — Andrew Bacevich, America’s War for the Greater Middle East
A disenfranchised white working class vents its lust for fascism at Trump campaign rallies. Naive liberals, who think they can mount effective resistance within the embrace of the Democratic Party, rally around the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who knows that the military-industrial complex is sacrosanct. Both the working class and the liberals will be sold out. Our rights and opinions do not matter. We have surrendered to our own form of Wehrwirtschaft. We do not count within the political process. — Chris Hedges, The Illusion of Freedom
Wehrwirtschaft: “The principle or policy of directing a nation’s economic activity towards preparation for or support of a war effort, esp. (Hist.) as applied in Germany in the 1930s.”
The United States has the best military in the world today, by far. U.S. forces have few, if any, weaknesses, and in many areas—from naval warfare to precision-strike capabilities, to airpower, to intelligence and reconnaissance, to special operations—they play in a totally different league from the militaries of other countries. Nor is this situation likely to change anytime soon, as U.S. defense spending is almost three times as large as that of the United States’ closest competitor, China, and accounts for about one-third of all global military expenditures—with another third coming from U.S. allies and partners…
Precision-guided bombs accounted for about ten percent of the ordnance used in the Gulf War. In recent conflicts, they have accounted for about 90 percent, with a dramatic impact on the course of battle. As a result, Pentagon officials now talk of a “third offset”—the hope, championed by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, among others, that it will be possible to rely on modern-day ISR and precision assets to counter, say, larger Chinese missile, aircraft, ship, and submarine forces in the waters of the western Pacific.
For all this progress, however, there are limits to what standoff warfare and advanced technology can achieve by themselves. To make precision bombing effective, for example, targets need to be located accurately—something that can be difficult if those targets are in cities, forests, or jungles, or are concealed or underground … — David Petraeus & Michael O’Hanlon — America’s Awesome Military
Those who measure security solely in terms of offensive capacity distort its meaning and mislead those who pay them heed. No modern nation has ever equaled the crushing offensive power attained by the German war machine in 1939. No modern nation was broken and smashed as was Germany six years later. — Dwight Eisenhower, 1949, in St. Louis
Oxnard police said Wednesday they arrested a man accused of placing a chemical weapon inside a Walmart store last month.
The city’s police and fire departments responded about 11:45 a.m. June 18 to a report of a suspicious device inside the business at 2701 Saviers Road, Oxnard police said. Authorities found a bowl containing a mixture of chemicals that was connected to an electrical cord plugged into an outlet, authorities said. The device was identified as a possible improvised chemical weapon and remove it from the business, police said.
Area surveillance footage showed a man leaving the store about the time the device was found, police said. Martin Reyes, 31, of Oxnard, was identified as a suspect in the case and was interviewed Tuesday in county jail, authorities said. He previously had been booked into the facility on an unrelated offense, authorities said.
During the interview, Martinez confessed to investigators that he made the weapon and was aware it could create a harmful gas, police said. He told authorities he researched how to make the device on the internet, authorities said.
Reyes was arrested on suspicion of the unlawful possession and manufacture of a chemical weapon of mass destruction, police said.
Customers and employees were evacuated from the store for about six hours and the incident cost the retailer more than $120,000 in revenue, authorities said.
One becomes suspicious of lameness and over-cooking the threat when there is no specificity as to the nature of an alleged weapon.
The only thing that came to mind, as an expert, was the generation of chlorine gas by electrolysis of salt water.
But I’m not going to get into the details of why a bowl of salt water hooked to a wall outlet is a laugher, at any speed.
There are fairly obvious ways to generate chlorine with common products. The other way to do it with of the shelf of the store products, on the spot, is through sodium hypochlorite used to sanitize backyard swimming pools.
Again, however, the idea that you can make a WMD from a small bag of bleaching powder or liquid bleach just doesn’t merit that level of concern.
One hundred twenty thousand dollars in lost business, it’s claimed. And bail set at half a million for a WMD offense.
Check the pictures of the alleged perpetrator. Tell me what you think. Even out of an overuse of abundance of caution, nah.
Look, people who are mentally diminished can become trivial public nuisances. It doesn’t make them capable of making a WMD in a bowl because they read some shit on the internet.
Omar Mateen’s calling of 911 from the toilet of the Pulse and subsequent declaration of allegiance to ISIS was just a smokescreen. Mateen knew he was going to be killed and tried to set the story. In this he was successful.
In my estimation, Mateen was a loathsome and apparently very vain American man who just happened to be Muslim. He blew a spoke because he was gay or bisexual, couldn’t be a human being about it and so decided to kill a lot of gay people at a club he frequented. Using his paramilitary/police training and weaponry. Self-radicalized, my butt.
Mateen’s obsession with selfies was and is nothing less than nauseating. It’s not the picture of a Muslim terrorist. It’s the picture of someone, very disagreeable, in love with himself. Mateen probably sent them to many people he wished to hook up with (it now appears this is so), unbidden, who woke up to the news of his massacre and said to themselves, “Oh, jeezus, that guy!”
This story will come out. There were people at the club quite familiar with Mateen but now circumspect in what they have to say, understandably so, because they don’t want the FBI, Homeland Security and the media crawling all over them.
This is most probably the central truth of the massacre, one that our six figure media explainers and terrorism experts simply won’t want to attribute without wasting everyone’s time concocting some long, stupid and convoluted story about ISIS and its inspiration to those not yet fully realized terrorists.
“Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reacted to the Orlando shooting with evidence that they can agree on at least one thing: bombing people,” reads The Intercept. “Both candidates called for an escalation of the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.”
You would expect nothing else.
Right on schedule, sales of AR-15s/M-16s jump. The real national character is defined by the image of the assault rifle, one aimed at your head.
A small detachment of the White Gun Bully of America Army has started the rebellion and asks for your help in continuing the war against tyranny in the outback of Oregon. Grab your AR-15s and ammo, your Don’t Tread on Me yellow flags, jump in your truck and help fan the spark seen round the country into a mighty flame.
It’s time for heavily armed middle-aged white men in camos and funny hats and who are really angry at everyone not like them to take back a national forest state park established by famous dictator Teddy Roosevelt.
I know, as a sovereign citizen who believes in the natural rights of our people, you’re ready to fight. As incentive, we’re handing out free copies of The Turner Diaries, each signed by the Bundy family and their patriotic lieutenants.
Here at Retired from WhiteManistan, we’ve seen it all for years, about two decades worth. The White Gun Bully of America Army is now at full wax.
And it should come as no surprise that one of the ring-leaders is a member of a demographic covered at length here: White people who self-publish end-of-America fiction featuring doom through electromagnetic pulse and the subsequent ritual of purging of all the infidels that occurs when the leftover real Americans fight for what’s right. And their families.
Lavoy Finicum is one of the leaders of the cohort that has taken over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, according to TPM.
And Mr. Finicum has written an end times novel entitled Only By Blood and Suffering, one that falls in with the hundreds of other self-published books, by right wing white supremacists and preppers, about the fall of the United States after an electromagnetic pulse attack throws the country back to the time of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
It is an allegedly five star book.
One reader enthuses:
After reading more than 650 such novels, I can say without a doubt that this author is much more than a great author. He is a great philosopher and his knowledge of mankind and history is vast. I agree 100% with him that this novel could come true. He KNOWS the good and the evil in man. He is man of honor, and his portrayal of evil is startling. All this happens in America. Everyone should read this book and KNOW that we may be looking at our future! The Federal agencies that have STOLEN our freedoms while we have been asleep have done and in time of national disaster such as an EMP will act just as depicted. Already the Government at all levels is ignoring the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. I am risking my freedom even posting this review, but I do not care! I am old and remember when we had more freedom and were mostly left alone. Read this novel and see our future should a terrorist country take down the grid (which the Feds refuse to harden, but spend our taxes on non-essential projects.) The author is a TRUE PATRIOT in the manner of our FOUNDING FATHERS.
Another, equally fulsome:
Only By Blood and Suffering is both entertaining and eye-opening. It is one of those truly impactful books that stays in your thoughts for a long time after reading it. I was able to visualize everything that happens in the book very well and that for me is the mark of a good book. The first half of the book is captivating, as it relates the various accounts of family members journeying home during a crisis. “Preppers” will love the survival experiences and dilemmas described. If you’re not a prepper, reading this book will turn you into one. The hopeful aspect of this book is that we can prepare in advance and ease the difficulties that inevitably will come, and this author completely succeeds in that effort.
The main theme of this book is the fight for freedom. Finicum doesn’t just tell the reader why this is important, but he shows over and over again how slippery and dangerous this threat is and how to regain it. This book is uplifting and realistic (while still being appropriate for all readers).
The second half of the book focuses on the hero and freedom fighter, the father and his strategic defense of his home and family. I highly recommend this book to anyone, those who love apocalyptic literature, of course, but especially to those who wouldn’t consider themselves avid “end of times” readers, because I sense the cause for which the book was written, was to truly warn and help those who are in the dark about these things.
Gun nut, sexual athlete and ex-antivirus mogul John McAfee just went full electromagnetic pulse crazy. I suppose it had to happen although on the scale of all things McAfee, it’s not very original.
In a recent syndicated column (yes, someone gave him one), McAfee parrots what the extreme kook right and survivalists/preppers have been going on about for the last fifteen years, electromagnetic pulse doom:
My first thought upon hearing Obama’s proclamation [on the Roseburg massacre and gun violence) was that I was in the middle of an acid flashback and I had no benzodiazepines to mediate the trip. My second thought was: what possible single issue, in this complex society of ours, would merit a “single issue” status?
I assumed that the single issue would be the tragic issue of our national security. This issue would clearly be the rampant illiteracy of our elected leaders in the science of cyber security. Experts agree that an all out cyber attack, beginning with an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on our electronic infrastructure, would wipe out 90% of the human population of this country within two years of the attack. That means the death of 270 million people within 24 months after the attack.
Yet our leaders are nearly all ill prepared for this near certain, not-too-distant event. If I were forced to choose a single issue, this would obviously be the issue.
One of my favorite celebrity freaks, McAfee then flails around for a bit before offering up the statistic that “85 percent of all mass shootings have happened while Democrats were on watch.”
Of course. McAfee continues that this needs looking into.
[The] report, entitled Challengers from the Sideline: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right, analyzed right wing domestic terrorism for contributing factors. The strongest correlator was the number of seats held in the House of Representatives by Republicans.
Simply, right wing violence escalates when their are more GOP Reps. The report reasoned this might be because those perpetrating right wing violence feel supported ideologically by Republicans in that body.
The other possibility, of course, is that the rhetoric emitted by the Republican Party in control of the House creates an environment in which some people feel empowered, or moved, to violence against the government.
The other contributing factor was legislation, specifically that having to do with gun control. The Brady Bill, or Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, signed into law in 1993 during the Clinton administrations, caused a spurt in militia growth and related right wing violence in that period …
And today we know that for the entire duration of the Obama administration, the National Rifle Association has mounted a concerted campaign that has little other purpose than to gin up paranoia and fear about gun confiscation by the same administration. Even though there has been absolutely (or virtually) no gun control laws of any kind enacted during the period.
So if we are to take Mr. McAfee at his word, yes, it certainly looks like most of the slaughters look like they take place when Democrats are in charge. And one of the drivers appears to be because white gun nuts have been repeatedly told Democrats are coming for their guns, among many other things.
As the paranoia of the gun crazy right wing in America rolls on newspapers continue to publish features on the local white guys who believe it’s all going to come crashing down from electromagnetic pulse attack. But they’re going to be ready with their off-the-grid homes, ammo, guns, gold bars and pemmican, ready to preserve their American way, if not democracy, in the inevitable ritual of purification.
Mark Rinke — a 32-year-old, married father of two in Olathe who worries about TEOTWAYKI (The End of the World As You Know It) — declined to be interviewed at his home for a strategic reason.
“OPSEC,” said Rinke, floating the military jargon for operations security.
In other words, should the United States ever fall into social chaos through war, economic collapse or some other calamity, Rinke would rather, for security’s sake, not reveal too much regarding the details of his stockpiled energy, arms, water and food.
“WHAT WE’VE SEEN IS NOT ONLY THE PROLIFERATION OF APOCALYPTIC IDEAS BY THE INTERNET, BUT THEIR PROLIFERATION IN POPULAR CULTURE IN ALL FORMS.”
— Michael Barkun, Syracuse University professor emeritus of political science
“I think it [electromagnetic pulse doom] is a pretty decent concern because it doesn’t necessarily take a country making a decision to do it,” Rinke said. “It can be a rogue thing with a homemade rocket. One day a guy pulls his contraption out of his garage and shoots it off. Our grid goes down.”
Should that day arrive, Rinke feels confident he will be among the prepared.
We’re all renting space in Ted Nugent’s Land when it comes to guns. Most reasonable people probably gave up all hope of any change after Sandy Hook and 20 dead children brought about explosions in gun and ammunition sales. And even the the most trivial legislation to restrict deadly weapon ownership went down.
To be sure, Ted Nugent and people like him are a minority. Nugent is venomous, plainly psychotic during his waking hours and with views, on everything, not just gun ownership, deeply unpopular to a majority.
Regardless of the President’s disappointment and fury yesterday, or the calls to political action filling up your in-box, the only course of action after Sandy Hook failed to achieve anything was to give up. Slaughter is the norm.
In late August, just after the last public gun massacre (I think), the LA Times ran a story on why the US is the exceptional nation when it comes to gun slaughter.
It boils down to social and psychological studies of the character of the country. Americans are delusional about what they can expect for themselves, what they believe to be important and what “success” means. Briefly, they believe in fictions like the American dream, that they can have it all, and that fame and money are always within their reach. When most of it never pans out, it produces mental stressors that have to be lived with on a daily basis. Those with mental problems can crack.
Easy access to guns, the instantaneous nature of the American telecommunications infrastructure and the certainty that launching an armed assault on the public somewhere always leads to global (in)fame guarantees it.
America’s “gun culture” … is deeply rooted in the idea that broad gun-ownership is a bulwark against the emergence of tyranny. And those roots continue to lie close to the surface, he wrote: A national survey conducted in 2013 found that 65% of Americans believe that the purpose of their right to bear arms remains “to make sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny.”
Tyranny, a word that American usage has wrung all meaning from, now only signalling that the most appalling acts of bloodshed are acceptable and that everything else must come to a full stop.
How do you escape the tyranny of Ted Nugent Land? And will you wish you could shoot the first person you read or hear mentioning the word “heal” today (do it quickly because the next shooting is coming fast) or tomorrow? Rhetorical questions, obviously.
When and where: Hulu, free, marked as a documentary on police militarization, dated 2007. Apparently, first distributed in 2000-2001, where it went straight to video. Possibly updated much later.
Summary: A snapshot, anywhere from eight to almost fifteen years old, one useful in illustrating how much worse things are now and that, yes, this country is a police state.
A bunch of things to know:
1. Stan Goff, a staff sergeant expert in urban warfare trained Los Angeles Police and others in civilian suppression tactics, the worst of which is euphemistically called Dynamic Entry. Dynamic Entry was developed for use in killing people in house-to-house fighting, at night, in a war zone. Now it’s the common tactic in no-knock police raids. If there is something in someone’s hand when a raid is conducted, they are to be immediately neutralized. This means being shot. Twice. Goff tells the audience, years ago — remember, that this means a lot of problems when used on civilians. No kidding. There is a segment, now dreadfully familiar, in which an African-American was riddled by gun-fire in such a raid, while he was in the process of calling 911 because he heard the SWAT team outside.
2. MRAPs have gotten a lot bigger and more ubiquitous. In Urban Warrior they’re about half the size you see now.
3. Posse comitatus was essentially dead, the public just didn’t realize it, when Urban Warrior was shot.
4. Non-lethal and less-than-lethal weapons have strict envelopes for usage. For example, many are not to be used on children, the disabled, the mentally ill or the elderly. Chemicals are not to be used in barrages. People are not to be shot in the eyes, head, face or other soft parts. All that has been out the window for ten to fifteen years. Non-lethal weapons are used to start fires, asphyxiate, knock people unconscious through concussion, or blind them.
5. Steve Aftergood, someone we all know, is in it, giving him a listing at IMDb. At the end, a short discussion about 9/11 is tacked on. How the military can be used at home after terrorism is becoming “fluid,” he says. Now, we might say, it is a swirling toilet in which we, but especially African Americans and the poor, can be flushed down the hole by paramilitary action that comes in the dead of night.
6. The Battle in Seattle, or the protests against the World Trade Organization, which had already gone very poorly, was escalated by authorities and police because the President, Bill Clinton, was coming to town and the city center needed clearing.
7. If the people who made Urban Warrior had had the time to add a segment on what the future might hold if Americans continued to choose illusions of security over civil liberties and fairness, videotape from the riots and police responses in Ferguson and Baltimore would have fit perfectly.
8. Then as now, the brunt of police paramilitary operations has been born by the African-American population, the poor and the easily stigmatized.
That alleged slow down on police militarization has certainly gone well.
The only thing that will save you — the you being the old white paranoid people in the studio audience — will be an old flivver, a water filter, and the electric generator whatsis he taps on. Plus, one the power fails and society breaks down, all the criminal drug addicts will raid your retirement homes for your medications and pills. Really!
All these people are delusional Christian right wing extremists, a big part of the Republican Party.
Ted Cruz, Republican Presidential hopeful (from USA Today— no link) :
If this deal goes through, we know to an absolute certainty people will die. Americans will die, Israelis will die, Europeans will die. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, the single greatest risk is they would put it on a ship anywhere in the Atlantic and they would set off what’s called an EMP, an electromagnetic pulse. It would take down the electrical grid on the entire Eastern seaboard, and kill tens of millions of Americans.