You Go To War With The Underwear You Got On*


One of the things that has always puzzled me about the left is that they assume wars are volitional, there is no reason at all behind them, and people just “decide” to go to war.

I used to think this silliness had started with the boomers and Vietnam, until someone gave me the collected, bound periodicals of World War I and I researched World War II, and nope, even then there were people treating war as a decision we could choose to engage in or not.

Sure, maybe WWI for America specifically (not for the rest of Europe) and maybe we should have stayed out of it (it seems odd for Europe to have lost most of a generation only to, 70 years later, give Germany what it wanted under another name.  Never mind.)

But that was a rare situation, and it certainly didn’t apply to WWII, where the enemy, filled with ideological evangelism, wouldn’t be satisfied unless they took on the world.  For the same reason, it doesn’t apply to the cold war or to the war started on 9/11, which some call the war on terror, thereby making as much sense as calling WWII the war on bombs.

Most of the time countries go to war for the following reasons:

1- their situation is unbearable.  This might be because of subjection to neighbors, or in more modern eras because it’s the only way to collect on debts; escape debts; OR get access to markets.
I know this is the part that the left thinks is “just because” because none of their collective have ever understood how business works.  Business, particularly for a country, can be the difference between starvation and prosperity for your people.  What’s more, economics rules always apply — always — regardless of whether your country has free trade or not, internally.  Because international politics doesn’t work by wishful thinking (nor does national but you can disguise it better.)

2- Disputed lands.  This was most of the reason for wars in pre-modern times, even when the disputed lands were minuscule, and didn’t seem to matter.  Again, the left views this as “just because” but it’s not, not really. Wait till point 4.

3 – To distract their people from the situation at home.  This is actually a common reason for totalitarian regimes, from fascist to communist to wage war.  It has the side benefit of bringing home consumer goods, which tend to fall off while a country is busily despoiling its own targeted citizens, be they Jews or Kulaks.  You know, if you took all the money of the 1% and redistributed it, it would be very little person.  And then it would be gone.  And then you’d have to come up with another plan next month.  This is why some nations go to war, but never, contrary to the lefty projection, constitutional republics.

4- To prevent people from attacking you.  This is something else the lefties never fully understand, but it goes like this: If you appear weak other countries will attack you.  Saying no country should attack another, is like trying to make one man responsible for #yesallmen or a woman responsible for #yesallwomen.  There is nothing you can do that will make sure no country falls into the insanity of totalitarianism, and no country ever misbehaves.  There will always be countries who need to do the dance in point 3, and if you look like an easy target, particularly if you’re fat and rich, they’re going to pounce on you.  So, sometimes point 2 is needed simply to avoid the appearance of weakness.  I.e. to prevent people from attacking you.

5- Because other countries are making noises like they want to attack you/bring you down/be a danger to your citizens.
Yesterday on TV I watched the circus of the usual demonstrators throwing a fit about the “travel ban anniversary.”
It’s …. cute.
If banning people from countries who have hated us for generations (hint, Great Satan is not a term of endearing) and whose compatriots have been caught trying to harm citizens of our country is forbidden, the only route left to us is to annihilate the country.
Yes, most people in that country/coming here are innocent.  But many who come here are de facto enemy combatants.  Is this a risk you wish to take with YOUR INNOCENT CIVILIANS for the sake of foreign nationals?  Yes?  Then don’t be surprised if after a few more attacks the answer pivots to “annihilation of the guilty with the innocent.”  Or you can shut up and let enhanced scrutiny go through.

6- In response to being attacked.  What we did after 9/11 was complicated by being attacked by non-state actors, but the threads leading back to supporters were there, sure enough, and beating up on those who attack your people is the most just of wars.

Unless you are a leftist, who thinks war is volitional — because so often their regimes are totalitarian and need it, perhaps? — and who therefore think there would be “peace” if people just decide not to fight.

Soft headed leftists, at least.  And those who pretend to be soft headed, and who want you to stop fighting so they can take over.  It’s not a coincidence that almost all the anti-nuke movements in the US were financed by the Soviet Union.

There is nothing we can do with these people.  They’re not amenable to understanding or explanation.  Laughing at them is the only possible response.

Except of course that they will do the same in private life.  They use “war” or in this case interpersonal conflict as a distraction from their truly crappy results when they take over an industry, a field or an institution.

This is why the first thing that happens after a collectivist take over of a country, an industry, a company, is the cannibal feast of denunciations, finger pointing and attacks.

And here, as in the greater conflicts between nations, they can only be distracted from eating their own by finding someone else to eat, someone else to attack.

So, when you get tired of their pounding on you, and you dare make a peep in response, they turn from their fellows into total war against you. Holy war, you could say.  They’re actually much like jihadists, believing paradise will come once they take over the world, and ignoring the fact they always fight among themselves and any place they take over is hell on Earth. (There is a post of mine going up at MGC in half an hour or so, speaking of.)

So, even at an individual level, war is not a choice.  Even for those who would rather read, write and ignore the *ssholes, they won’t let us ignore them.  They’ll come after us, our friends, our families, those to whom we have pledged loyalty.

And then we get off the desk chair (or on it, since it’s a war of words) and go to war.  Because the only way to be left alone is to win, and the left is famous for leaving people nothing left to lose.

You go to war with the underwear you have on.  And you fight to win, because there’s no other alternative: not because you want to; not because you enjoy it; not because it’s fun (it’s not.)

You go to war because there will be no peace till it’s won.


*Sentence for title gleefully stolen from Mark Alger, who is innocent of any association with me, save my reading him.

325 thoughts on “You Go To War With The Underwear You Got On*

      1. I figured, what the heck, there’s got to be stuff out there, right, and it would funny to pick an item to suggest.

        So I searched for “minions underwear adult sizes”
        Don’t. That which is seen cannot be unseen. Don’t search for these.

            1. Vagina dentata, it’s a wonderful phrase, vagina dentata, it’s no passing craze. It means sopppppprrrrraaaaano for the rest of your days! Vagina Dentata! (Sung to the tune of aucuna matata)

              1. Dang! You beat me to it.

                Vagina dentata
                What a wonderful phrase
                Vagina dentata
                Ain’t no passing craze

                It means no Weinsteins
                For the rest of your days
                It’s a problem free philosophy
                Vagina dentata

              2. *SNERK!*

                And now I have your version stuck in my head, AND I’m trying desperately not to crack up lest my coworkers and boss enquire about what’s so funny.

              3. Reminds me of the trope by THAT WOMAN: her telepathic Keepers (almost exclusively women) have an unspecified defense against rape. One is permitted to believe it would be some variation on a vagina dentata.

              1. There’s some horror movie about vagina dentanta that this rabid ultra-feminist that I went to college with thought was the greatest movie ever made. I’ll let y’all fill in the blank as to why.

            1. Maybe it’s my lack f knowledge of female anatomy, but I think the teeth may be in the wrong place for that.

            1. I believe that it has been previously observed that RES should be sufficient warning to put down all beverages and to view at your own risk with all due caution.

          1. “Why Hank!” exclaimed Tom, “what’s the matter?
            You’re pale and your teeth are a-chatter!”
            “We lay down for a kip,”
            Said Hank, “And a nip
            Showed my wife had vagina dentata!

  1. Don’t go to war with underwear. Regardless of the comfort issue, after the first near miss you’ll need to change them anyway.

    1. No, no, no. I will not agree to go to war with underwear. Sure it can be uncomfortable sometimes, but that is, in my humble opinion, nothing to start a war over.

      Oh. What? Never mind.

      Anyway, I would observe that for some of us having proper support makes a world of difference…

      1. Depends on the underwear. The ones in the picture that RES just posted? Well, I admit it is a desperate measure, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

    2. If you have to go to war with your underwear, you’re wearing the wrong brand, the wrong size, or the wrong type.

      And if your SO goes to war with your underwear, you’re going to need to buy more.

      1. Post Coffee this morning:

        I suppose SO could refer equally to either your significant other, or your senior officer. Either way, you’re going to need more underwear.

  2. Somewhat appropriately counter-pointing this Leftish confusion about the causes of war was a recent essay arguing that the Left is already engaging in a civil war in America:

    That is the provocative hypothesis put forward by Danial Greenfield at Sultan Knish. On its face it sounds hyperbolic, but Greenfield makes a rather sober case. You should read it all, but this will give you some of the flavor:

    How do civil wars happen?

    Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge.

    That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.
    The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this.

    The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.
    What do sure odds of the Dems rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win.

    It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections.

    That’s a civil war.

    There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.

    This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement.

    You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.

    Your very own dictatorship.

    The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to the left, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate.

    Greenfield argues that a “network” of leftists believe they are entitled to run the country, no matter what the voters think, and, in fact, they pretty much do:


    What are the Antifa protests, the withdrawal of government protection of civil rights (as has happened at Berkeley and Charlottesville) if not warlike acts against a disfavored portion of the polity?

    Sure, they deny that, but what reason is there for granting credence to their denials?

    I do not suggest we engage in open warfare against them, but I think it not inappropriate to call them out on their actions before we end up on our reservations.

    1. “[…] before we end up on our reservations.”

      Call me paranoid, but I don’t think their endgame involves putting us on reservations.”

      1. More like “Happy Fun Joy Camps”.

        Though “Reservation Camps” does have a certain ring to it.

        Maybe they’ll call them “Sanctuary Camps”.

          1. Y’all have to cheery a view of our Enlightened Betters. They don’t want to eliminate us, they just wish to put us in our proper place. You know, the way things used to be back before the War Between The States, except this time they won’t base subhuman status on skin color but on hateful ideologies.

            1. I dunno. I keep remembering that interview with the FBI agent who’d gone undercover in Weather Underground — and don’t forget that Bill Ayers is still a Golden Boy on the Left — who reported that Ayers and his ilk planned to “purge” anyone who would not or could not be reeducated. They estimated that they’d have to “purge” 25 million Americans. And this was allegedly their immediate priority upon gaining power. Not setting up a stable government. Not ensuring that the proles would have food, shelter, jobs, etc. Nope: Priority Number One was to eliminate any and all opposition to The New Order.

              1. If history is any indication whatever the number he suggested it would only be the initial purging.  Later would come various other purges, such as internal purges and punishment to set an example purges.  Once you are willing to start down that line the path you tread soon become slick with the blood of the dead and you never know when you will slip, fall and join the erased.

            2. Point of history:

              It’s a bit surprising when you read period legal codes and find that slaves were considered persons, as that plays havoc with some of our assumptions of what people were thinking in that place and time. Thus slavery was seen as the servitude of persons, and that persons could be property.

              Let that sink in a bit, as it gives us a window into how people saw things. True enough, there was a mem floating around about the ability of self-determination drawn along racial lines, and it was old by the 18th Century. Franklin, IIRC held to it until he saw evidence to the contrary, and changed his opinion. Lincoln held to it for a time. Davis, OTOH, allowed some limited self-determination on his plantation (keep that limited in mind – he was, after all, a Democrat). One of the objections among some white reviewers to Their Eyes Were Watching God was the idea of an autonomous black community. And perhaps we could speculate that the idea of the personhood of slaves was codified into law because of that mem. It’s a bit disturbing to realize that supporters of slavery required no dehumanization at all. It’s like the realization that the Beargardens were popular at one time, or that once people spent a pleasant afternoon observing human dissections. And yet, there it was.

              A big factor was the successful slave revolt in Haiti, and attempted slave revolts in the US led to all sorts of things, such as restricting assembly unless a white was present, teaching slaves to read, and restricting firearm ownership. Slave states rode the tiger, and they knew it. Those laws came from a fear of revolt.

              Now ask why the Democrats want to apply similar laws now to the entire US. And realize it takes absolutely no dehumanization at all.

              1. While it may require “absolutely no dehumanization at all” be aware that they are engaging in that, all the same.

                That is what the cries of “Fascist,” “Nazi,” “Sexist,” “Homophobe” and all the rest are about.

                1. I think it’s something more complicated. To regard someone as subhuman requires addressing group by birth. We’re all aware of nasty things done in the name of group by birth, so we don’t have to go wallow in that mire. But, by the same token, if someone regards a group by birth as subhuman, there is also the concept of no one has a choice in how they are born, and thus it is not fair to hold them accountable.

                  Note, however, the terms you used as an example. Fascist, Nazi, sexist, homophobe all have the implication of choice. Thus, if we consider the Plaid Party of Lower Slobovia as particularly vile, then what do we think of those who choose to join it? We’d likely regard them as reprehensible due to that choice. In other words, humans such as ourselves who chose to be vile.

                  One of the most basic human urges is to oppose what we see as evil. If we come to see a group as evil, then that gives license to oppose it. That’s what’s going on now. For if they regarded their opponents as subhuman, they might say “that’s just what they do” and go on about their business. But jf they regard it as a matter of choice, they are free to hate us based on what they see as evil choices.

                  It’s the license to oppose evil that’s the troubling thing, as it can be seen as a blank check. Something to keep in mind.

                  1. I think it’s something more complicated. To regard someone as subhuman requires addressing group by birth.

                    That would be the case in a more sane world, but the Left has shown evidence that their belief system doesn’t work that way. That you can, indeed, become subhuman, or perhaps can be born subhuman to human parents. The details of their denunciations show that they are intended to rob the accused of all agency, for no amount of change after being labeled can restore the accused to non-evil status.

                    In fact, the accusations are themselves a way to assign groups to the enemies of the Left. They cannot assign subhuman status by birth group, because that would leave them open to accepting those who disagree with their beliefs and aims, thus they are forced to use beliefs and status to make those determinations.

                  2. The black slaves were legally persons, but they were persons who did not obtain to full legal standing, just like a minor, their rights were limited and they were viewed as needing to be under the care and supervision of others.  

                    Although it might seem an anathema to us today, such attitudes were seen as ‘observing reality’, never mind they were creating that reality.  They were later supported with Social Darwinian arguments.  People can and do justify terrible things when they put their minds to it.

                    1. This, very much so. Keep in mind that curtailing rights was done primarily from fear of revolt, though, as mentioned, the mem of self-determination along racial lines was alive and well.

                      I don’t think history textbooks give sufficient time to the fear of revolt. Oh, they usually touch on it, but don’t really look at the implications. That shaped all sorts of attitudes and reactions all around. You had fear, restrictions passed due to the fear, reactions due to the restrictions, and so forth and so on. The Jim Crow laws have their roots in it, as do events that brought about the 14th Amendment. Probably best not to go there here, as the Reconstruction period and soon after are so nasty, they make a cesspit look clean.

        1. Well, IF we created the camps, we could call them “Safe Areas” and the kooks would run like heck to get in. 😈

          1. We probably wouldn’t need to set up a camp. Just get the Dems to agree to CalExit (Version 1.0, where Cali leaves the Union) and they’d declare the new territory as The Ultimate Safe Space.

            1. I’ve got a book around here somewhere called Ectopia. Pure fantasy as it runs on a 98% efficiency solar cell technology that can be built in anyone’s garage.

                1. A remark about sticking that power grid where the sun don’t shine occurs, but not the proper way to set it up. Sigh – I yam devastated.

        2. I remember an issue of The Forever People, in Jack Kirby’s 4th World Saga, where Darkseid creates a concentration camp on Earth disguised as a theme park called “Happyland”.

      2. Somehow I don’t think that the doctrine of at will immigration that the left currently espouses would be allowed for conservatives trying to leave the country to escape being sent to a camp.

        1. Oh they can leave. They cannot take anything more with them than the government decides is theirs and not the people’s-by-right. This will get rather tricky when someone decides that what is included in the people’s-by-right is the fruit of the education that the person received.

          1. No, there will simply be a brief period of mandatory labor sufficient to repay the government for those benefits previously received.

            It is only fair.

    2. Agreed, except for the bit about not engaging in open warfare against them. Perhaps not automatically a shooting warfare, but we most definitely need to stand up and say, “We will no longer countenance your unlawfulness. If the local authorities will not enforce the laws, we citizens will.”

      1. And those local authorities only hold their position of enforcement because we, the free citizens, placed them there. The responsibility is ours, anyway.

      2. In which case, those same local authorities WILL move against you, as the threatening party. We’ve seen it repeatedly in the last few years.

          1. “Perhaps not automatically a shooting warfare, but we most definitely need to stand up and say, “We will no longer countenance your unlawfulness. If the local authorities will not enforce the laws, we citizens will.””

            Your quote, sir. Before you say any such thing, you better be sure you’re prepared to fight and win a shooting war against the authorities and their un-uniformed auxiliaries. Because there WILL be one. Bluff only gets you so far.

            1. If it comes to that time, you can be sure that there will be groups prepared for that shooting war. The state of things isn’t escaping the notice of many folks who’ve sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

              1. I should also mention that there’s prior history behind this, in my part of the country. Look up the Battle of Athens (TN).

                1. Read about that — it doesn’t make it into the history books at school — wonder why that is —

    3. Meh. This isn’t new, it is what they did in 1860. Lincoln had less than a majority of votes. The Democrats are democrats, not republicans. Small r republican values are not theirs, and they don’t feel emotionally bound by them.

  3. “We won’t start it… but if we must, we WILL finish it. Now… think it over.” And yet…

    As said earlier… the “Palestinians” are damned lucky their ‘enemy’ is one with a memory, conscience, and empathy – else THEY would have been driven into to sea long ago.

    Iran is lucky the USA is NOT Satan… or Iran would be bits of glowing glass and a few feral animals – some them, perhaps, bipedal and resembling humans. (Hits a bit close to home, yes… but ox not THAT slow!).

    As has been said here before, in one way or another, should the USA ever get Truly Irritated and Have Had E-Nough… and things go full magnetic superconducting alignment / population inversion lasing… much of the rest of world will be WISHING the USA would have settled for a merely empiric behavior. USA-ians don’t like MANAGING problems. They want problems SOLVED. And them to STAY SOLVED. A supposedly solved problem that recurs? You poor bastage.

    1. > SOLVED

      A European, upset at my comment about one of his political posts, said, “You Americans… you think there’s a solution to every problem!”

      Why, yes, we do. He and his country knew full well what the solution to that particular problem was, but they weren’t willing to pay the price.


      1. Just reply to such: “Yup, we do so believe. Now get out of our way while we solve your problem. Again.”

        1. There is no intrinsic reason why the US solution to the “National Socialist German Problem” or the “Imperial Japanese Problem” in 1945 cannot be repeated, there or elsewhere, if sufficient provocation is presented.

          This observation should be a refrain of US diplomacy as various actors contemplate various provocations.

          1. You mean aside from an active Fifth Column inside and outside the government that would actively sabotage any attempt, like they did after 9/11?

          2. And isn’t it interesting that our solution to WWII was much more acceptable than the Nazi’s ultimate solution.

        2. There is a distinction to be made between acknowledging “Rust never sleeps” and declaring that removing the rust and painting as temporary restraint on its encroachment is not worth doing.

          We only need look beneath the News to observe how well the Europeans’ strategery of not addressing problems is working.

          1. Perhaps we should just declare that since the Europeans seem unable to prevent violent foreigners from overrunning their societies, we are reinstituting strict visa interviews of any of their citizens wishing to enter the US and will reject any we consider threats to our society.

            1. So long as it is expressly stated that “will reject any we consider threats to our society” includes those who would sap our martial spirit of vigorous defense.

              We do not need to import appeasers, we grow enough of our own.

      2. A European, upset at my comment about one of his political posts, said, “You Americans… you think there’s a solution to every problem!”

        Hmph. If there’s not a solution, you’re not using enough explosive.

    2. Stolen from somewhere else.

      “I’m an engineer. You task me to solve a problem like Maria, I’ll solve it. It may take a while, cost a lot and may not be pretty, but it will be solved. “

          1. Lol, I had that on a whiteboard at one of my previous positions.

            Other winners:
            The longest journey begins by packing plenty of C-4, .308, and .45

            You can take the boy out of the infantry, but not the infantry out of the boy.

            I’m still amazed they didn’t take my board away.

  4. Thinking back over my existence, it’s interesting to see which wars were protested by Western Civilization and which ones weren’t. There were marches against Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so forth. All USA or NATO involvement (Well then there were a few minor protests about the Balkans, but Slick Willy….). Soviets in Afghanistan? Not a single word boo about it from the usual suspects.
    War isn’t necessary, except when it becomes immediate.

    1. FWIW, with the possible exception of WWII, all wars fought by the US have had some level of internal opposition. The widespread support during WWII was more of an anomaly than the norm, and even then there was some internal dissent of varying degrees.

        1. I know of conscientious objectors who worked as medics. I also know of a man who, in WWI, called himself Bonnie Jesus, let his beard grow out, and was arrested in Texas as a draft dodger. But what I was thinking about was the War of 1812 and New England states considering secession; of opposition to the Mexican War; of Copperheads in the Civil War; of naysayers in the Spanish American War; and so forth and so on. And I thought of a story of a man rumored to be supplying U-Boats in WWII, and while the FBI came close, they never managed to catch him.

          1. In the War of 1812 many in New England not only dissented, not only seriously considered secession, but actively aided and abetted British forces.

          2. Yeah, but as medics they were also not free to engage in political activity outside of the war. I don’t think any other wars had anywhere near as comprehensive a system for civil and military service conscription that could be as easily weaponized to squash effective dissent.

      1. It might be purely a coincidence that we were fighting on the same side as the Soviet Union during WWII.

        (During the early years of the war after the Hitler-Stalin pact, many of our Lefties believed that we should stay out of it. Then, after Hilter broke the pact and attacked the USSR, almost overnight the switch flipped to the belief that Hitler was evil incarnate and we desperately needed to get involved.)

        1. There was a strong “Never again” sentiment in the US – until Pearl Harbor. You can see the same thing in regards to various episodes in the Indian Wars, and it was certainly widespread on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. That can be summed up in three words: “Whatever it takes,” with full understanding of what that might be. I don’t know if Yamamoto actually said what his character did at the end of Tora! Tora! Tora!, but it was spot on.

          Oddly, while some Americans don’t realize that, Yasir Arafat did. He quickly squelched spontaneous celebrations on 9/11, and was behind demonstrations of support for the US on 9/12. Arafat knew Americans very well.

          1. Yeah, I remember watching Yassar being interviewed. My dad was with me in the living room and I turned to him and said, “He’s white, he knows what’s going to happen next.” Arafat was scared spitless.

            1. Remember when terrorists would take credit for attacks that they had nothing to do with? That ended on 9/11—and I knew it. I told a coworker that afternoon that we were going to war. (She didn’t understand what I was getting at—and neither did most of my coworkers. They were all still in the “how could this be possible?” phase and I’d moved straight into “this happened, and there’s going to be horrendous fallout.”)

          2. And that little turd FDR went all-out denigrating and attacking the character of some real American heroes who were members of the America First movement prior to Pearl Harbor.

            1. FDR was a Democrat. He’d weaponize any disaster. Not to mention that Pearl Harbor was Grade-A negligence on his part.

          3. Kadaffi as well. He got on international TV in ’91 and again in ’01 and let everyone know that he had absolutely nothing, nada, zip, zilch to do with the attacks/invasion. And he had witnesses and receipts to prove it.

            1. And gave up his nuclear weapons program a few years later.

              That didn’t protect him, though, when Obama decided he needed to look like a tough guy.

              1. You mean when he decided that a short, victorious war would burnish HRC’s foreign policy credentials ahead of her presidential run?

                1. I think it was some of both. IIRC, it was Hillary’s last big hurrah while still at State. And Libya had been a favorite target of Reagan, which meant that taking Ghadaffi out would put Obama one up over Reagan.

                  When that didn’t generate the buzz he’d wanted, Obama tried again with Assad in Syria. But the Republicans in Congress resisted Obama’s attempts to initiate some form of regime change in that country.

                  1. He kept pussy-footing around, trying to “regime change” Assad without, you know, doing anything that might look like he went in and DID something.

                    Drove me utterly NUTS, it was like he thought the world was some sort of primed welfare slum where he could come in and start yelling, and they’d all go with him and do the dirty work while he got his picture taken.

                    1. Obama wanted the “glamour” of being the “Leader OF The World” but didn’t want the work involved (assuming that it was even possible”. :twisted”

                    2. it was like he thought the world was some sort of primed welfare slum where he could come in and start yelling, and they’d all go with him and do the dirty work while he got his picture taken.

                      IIRC, that was also reputedly his technique when he was a Community Organizer. Didn’t work then, either.

        2. Lefties believed that we should stay out of it.

          Correction: Lefties were instructed by Moscow to believe that we should stay out of it. When Moscow changed the instructions, most of the Lefties changed their “beliefs.”

        1. Yeah, the memories of “national unity” are pretty much pure myth and wishful thinking. Most of the “unity” was only there in hindsight, much the way the French were all suddenly “members of the Resistance” after the Allies rolled the Germans out…

          1. The memories of “national unity” are pretty much pure myth, propagated by those who want to deny the present need for war on the grounds that “unlike before” we lack national unity.

          2. Something of a variation on “history is written by the winners” — suddenly all the losers want to look like they were winners all the time, but if they had actually won, the story would be different.

  5. In response to being attacked. 

    When I see the bumper sticker reading, ‘War is not the Answer,’ I think, ‘Who asked?’  There are times when someone else has made a statement, i.e., ‘I am at war with you.’  Then you have to decide if you are going to engage or surrender.

    There just might be a market for ‘Surrender is not the Answer.’

      1. I have a dear friend at Church who has that bumper sticker.
        “So, if war isn’t the answer, what should we have done about Hitler?”
        “Um, the sticker doesn’t apply to all questions, Holly!”

        Yes, she knows me pretty darn well.

        1. So in other words, it actually means, “War is sometimes not the answer, in specialized circumstances. Otherwise, it usually is the answer.”

            1. But perhaps it’s good to ask what wars are not just.

              Yes, it is good to ask this. Preferably before becoming involved.

          1. More like, Heaven help us, tell the Youth Group that war is not the answer to should we have games at our pizza party? (Yes, actually, it is, or at least Battleship is, and Scrabble gets downright nasty here at First United Methodist of Lake Woebegon, Idaho. )

        2. I shouldn’t have, but decades ago, when someone dropped by to witness for a certain denomination asked “Wouldn’t it be great if there was no more war,” I responded with “I don’t know; I might have stock in arms companies.”

        3. I was walking through a mall parking lot a few years back, and there were two cars with bumper stickers parked in close proximity. One had “War is not the answer” sticker, and another had the “Jesus is the answer” sticker, and I couldn’t help but note that in both cases, it really depends upon the question.

          1. it really depends upon the question.

            For example, in such venues the most commonly urgently pressing question is “Where’s a convenient place to park?”

            War is definitely not the answer, but I do not think Jesus does valet parking (although in many parts of the nation your valet parker may, indeed, be named Jesus.)

    1. The reply ought to be, “Nope, war is pretty much always then answer when you’re forced into it. And more than that, unconditional victory is the goal!”

    2. No one has yet quoted RAH on this?
      Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.

      1. The very few times some imbecile has told me “violence never solves anything” (my Liberal friends know me too well to do that) my reply has been “You mean ‘violence does not provide the kind of solutions I would prefer’. Which is a legitimate position, but rather different from ‘never solves anything’.”

        Somehow, none of them has ever made a comeback to that.

        1. Just tell them, “On the contrary, violence very often solves the immediate problem. You just often dislike the solution.”

        2. “You mean ‘violence does not provide the kind of solutions I would prefer’.
          — I suspect that violence is quite acceptable if it did provide their preferred solution (see: Antifa, BLM, etc.). Cue my all purpose Benjamin Franklin quote:
          Violence is always the solution in the first person -our violence; it is only in the third person – their violence — that it is not a solution.
          Depending on who you are talking to, you might be in with the first persons or the third persons.

          1. As one who knows many a true Quaker, let me tell you that there are those who are pacifists of true principle who are not only against war as a proposition, they also are entirely disapprove of rioting and other acts of violence by whoever does it.

            1. FWIW, my family were Quakers. During the American Revolution, our ancestor took up arms, but the local congregation took exception not because it was against the British, but because it was violence. Long story short, we’re no longer Quakers.

              1. After the Battle of Guilford Courthouse many of the local Quakers took in the wounded, not asking them on which side they had fought. This later got them in trouble for giving comfort to the enemy from both pro-British and the pro-rebellion factions.

      2. I usually tell people to ask the Carthaginians what they think about the idea that violence never solves anything.

    3. Generally, war is not the answer to the question, “What should we have for breakfast?” and similar others, but I think they are missing the fact that the questions are not always so innocent of consequences.

  6. Some people, you can’t just show them the stick. You have to beat them with it occasionally to show you’re willing to use it.

    Same applies to countries and cultures.

      1. Kniiiiiiives….Shiny, sharp, poinnnnnnnnnnnnnty…. Why yes, my eyes are shining like lighthouses. You can quote me on that.

    1. I wonder if that is part of the issue with the modern Left in the US? They call us racist and violent but they do that knowing that the majority of us are not going to take violent offense at these insults. (If we even bother to notice).

      1. They not only know that we’re, well not nicer necessarily (I have never claimed to be a nice man) but…more restrained, than they are. They count on it.

        And the “they” in this case extends to anybody who attacks the American non-Left (right, libertarian, whatever, just not leftist) whether foreign or domestic.

        In cases like this I always go back to an issue of The Fantastic Four. Sue Storm facing Doctor Doom: “Do you have any idea how dangerous my force fields would be if I decided to play by your rules?”

        Do they have any idea how dangerous we will be once we decide to play by their rules?

    2. When you’re walking out at night and some homicidal maniac come after you with a bunch of loganberries don’t come crying to me.

      1. We used to do a version of this at summer camp. I say “a version” because this was before the internet (well, before the internet had useful information such as transcripts of Monty Python), so it was from memory, crossed with whatever fruit we had on hand that week, the needs of a summer camp, and a hefty dash of improv.

        We even did a running gag with it. The man with the pointed stick made an appearance, and his stick was about the size of a pencil, at which point the trainer ran screaming, and we had him interrupt a skit later in the week by being chased screaming across the stage. And still later, the man with the pointed stick was, in turn, frightened off by a guy with a watermelon.

        There’s a lot of scope in those skits. (I think they even did the Dead Parrot sketch at one point, suitably bowlderized.)

        1. Ahh, summer camp skits. Old when I went to camp; would have been old when mom went to camp, but that would have been WWII years & just after. I really got a kick out of my husband the first 2 summer campfires he finally got to attend (he had to take time-without-pay to do the camp week, so when camp location was close enough he drove in). Very obvious, as much camping & outdoor experience he had, he’d never attended summer camp. Most skits were “older than the hills”, to him they were brand new. Our unit’s favorite was the “director & the purple pancake emergency”, all we had to do to set anyone off was “ring’th, ring’th” & “woo’th, woo’th, woo’th” (Shakespeare phone ring & siren), there were a few real hams. We finally made the kids retire that one for awhile.

          1. I want to hear of this sketch now.

            My summer camp is actually decently well-known for its campfire skits, especially in terms of designing them. The hardest part is in getting them down, because it’s too dark for good video.

            One of the most popular was “A Day in Summer Camp”, which was read directly from the 1978 BSA handbook. It was written in the second person and has a lot of scope for ridiculous interpretation.

            1. Purple Pancake Disaster Skit for Patrol:

              Patrol starts fixing breakfast, today it is “purple pancakes” (FWIW, started out green-eggs-&-ham which patrol had made, tasted good, looked awful). No actual props used, just words for flipping pancakes, etc., then one scout takes a bite of pancake, & starts “dying”. Standard first-aid is initiated, with “call 911”, scouts attending “victim”, now are quietly doing something. Another scout calls 911, which answers & sends emergency crew with sirens running. Emergency scouts show & ask what’s wrong. Scouts answer he’s “dying”. At this point a patrol member in the audience steps in & says “no, no, all wrong, try it again, like the (pick a characteristic* type). They repeat above in the characteristic type (highly hammed up). Repeat total 3 or 4 times. Each character type getting more & more ridiculous. What kept it fresh was non-repeating character types (often Scoutmaster, & other known common adults in their lives). They always ended with Shakespearean characterization. Very wooden, formal movements, but first words spoken then were: “Flippith, Flipith, Flipith”, “Eatith”, “helpith”, etc., calling 911 becomes “Ringith, Ringith, Ringith”, “911-ith”, and finally “wooo-ith, wooo-it”.

              Get youth (FWIW since our troop includes Venture’s, it was co-ed) that can really ham up the latter part, & it is hilarious; even my son got into performing the skit, & normally put on the spot to perform, nope, not happening. Granted by the time it was performed at the end of a (very) wet cold weekend (Oregon Valley), 10-day hot week of dusty summer camp, or last day of extended backpack (10 days & 80+ miles – yes, I am a saint of a mother) most of us (at least adult contingent) were likely punchy with exhaustion, & these are our kids, but whatever. Yes, it WAS undoubtedly “stolen” from somewhere more professional. Feel free to use.

              *non-local personality characteristic types are generally fictional or regional accents (Star Trek Scott Scottish, Canadian – every word ends with ‘eh); plus adult “targeted” knew they were going to be a target.

              1. Ah! Based on an improv game, Scene Three Ways, where you create a scene (playing it straight the first time) and then do it over in different modes. I got to be in one of those that ended with “Pulp Fiction style”—and I hadn’t seen the movie. So I mostly worked off the iconic poster and a certain amount of entitled snark and apparently nailed it.

                (I miss improv. But mostly because of the people in it, so doing it now probably wouldn’t answer—especially since I never quite got to “show level.”)

                1. “Improv Game”. Sounds like it. Never knew what it was called. Not particularly talented myself. Well okay kid is not the only one to shutdown on stage (he inherited it from somewhere) 😉

            2. One of my Woodbadge Bobwhite patrol member wrote up our patrol skit based on Powell’s “Letter Home”, only it was “Letter Home from Woodbadge”, actors on stage went through motions quietly, and skit was narrated “off-stage” by the rest. We’d read through that for hours, & we barely kept it together (okay, we failed). Had the rest of the camp falling off their seats. The guy who wrote it was good; he started writing it as soon as the Powell Letter Home was read, & we had been told the week ending skits were being done. Even having the script wouldn’t do anyone else any good, because it was 100% situational with what happened the 7 days of the training, the staff, & patrols.

              1. I’ve transcribed A Day At Summer Camp (since most people won’t have access to that edition of the handbook), but the glory of that one is that just about every sentence is easily adapted to the local performers.

  7. War is hell, and victory in war is still hell. Lefties love to say that stuff.

    I say, consider defeat.

      1. Granted, war is hell, victory is hell, defeat is hell, being conquered without raising a hand in one’s defense (see: Holocaust) is almighty hell. If we’re going to Hell, let’s at least try to stick to the outer circles, eh?

          1. Paraphrasing Patton: it isn’t your job to die for your country; it’s your job to make the other (insert expletive) die for theirs.

    1. War is an ugly thing.
      But not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which things nothing is worth war is much worse. The man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal, safety is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by better men than himself.

      John Stuart Mills

      1. Peace is normally a great good, and normally it coincides with righteousness, but it is righteousness and not peace which should bind the conscience of a nation as it should bind the conscience of an individual; and neither a nation nor an individual can surrender conscience to another’s keeping.

        — Theodore Roosevelt

        1. neither a nation nor an individual can surrender conscience to another’s keeping

          And yet TR’s progressive grandchildren insist that the U.S. submit our warmaking to UN control

          1. Which is why I don’t think TR’s Progressivism has anything to do with Modern Progressivism.

  8. Wars happen when one side wants something they can’t get via peaceful means and the other side objects.

    Since war is “evil”, then the other side should give them want the first side wants. [Sarcastic Grin]

  9. One of my least favorite bumperstickers;

    “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”

    Absolutely great, IF you can arrange it. But if ‘they’ give a war and you are the only one who doesn’t show up then it’s 1939, and your name is Poland.

      1. That’s the point of the phrase. What they miss is that for it to be true…for war to not happen, ALL SIDES must fail to show up. Other wise those who showed up customarily carve up those who did not like so many Christmas Geese.

        1. Well, if they gave a war and only one side came, it also wasn’t a war. It was just a conquest of a supine population.

          1. Exactly my thought – if only one side wages war, it is called conquest, potentially genocide and/or ethnic cleansing depending on the motivation and results.

    1. “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”

      “Well, the Czechs, among many others, know what happened when they gave a war and only the Germans came: Not so good.”

      1. And what could have been a small, quick, local war with Nazi Germany the losers would up instead as a long, really drawn out world war with much death and destruction.
        Chamberlain doesn’t get enough bad things said about him.

        1. In Chamberlain’s defense, the Brits had allowed their military to deteriorate out of the delusion that people with guns wouldn’t come around to take their butter.

          Yes, he had let the defenses degenerate, but the public had elected him not Churchill, so they were getting what they asked for.

          1. I remember hearing that Chamberlain had started the process of building up the British military at the time of Munich but he hadn’t completed the task.

            Of course, looking at how well the British & French did later, I wonder if “declaring war then” would have ended much differently.

            1. It’s the opinion of William Shirer that if the allies had stood up at that point, there was a possibility of a coup by the generals at best, or at least a loss of prestige for Hitler, which would have ended the aura of invincibility.

              1. I’ve heard that if the Munich agreement had been even delayed some, the generals would have gotten enough support for a coup.

                1. I’ve also heard that after surveying the terrain post-Munich, Hitler realized that it was probably a good thing he hadn’t gone to war with the Czechs.

                  As for Chamberlain, I tend to cut him a little slack these days (but only a little). Great Britain has traditionally relied on its navy for defense. And the only threats to Great Britain’s naval supremacy came from the US and Japan. As a result, the British army shrank significantly between the wars (much as had been the case when World War I broke out). The British didn’t need it. After all, they had the navy to protect them. Then when Germany started to get bellicose, Chamberlain belatedly realized that he might need to send the army somewhere else.

                  British fighter production actually overtook German fighter production before the Germans invaded France. But the British were coming from so far behind that it was a while before they could make up the difference.

                  1. Well, remember that only the good guys had bothered to obey all those post-WW1 treaties they signed about limiting the size of their militaries.

                    1. The land treaties, maybe.

                      But the Treaty of Washington was a different matter altogether. That’s the one that imposed the naval limits. The Japanese were eager to ditch it when they finally did, as they believed doing so would allow them to challenge the naval supremacy of the US in the Pacific.

                      Unfortunately, what the Japanese didn’t realize at the time was that the treaty was more of a leash on the US than on Japan. And that leaving the treaty restrictions in place meant that Japan had an excuse to not spend bank-breaking amounts of money on their navy.

            2. Actually, the French deserve an equal share of the blame, since they actually had troops available when the Rhineland was re-occupied in 1936. The German Army was well aware they couldn’t have resisted.

        2. Chamberlain was backed almost unanimously by Parliament, which enthusiastically sponsored and approved of the treaty with the Germans, and gave him parades when he came back, because he brought back the exact piece of paper they’d asked for.

          After the Germans reneged Chamberlain became an untouchable, and his backers not only wouldn’t talk to him, they’d never agreed with him on any point ever.

          Uncle Adolf yanked Chamberlain’s shorts up over his head and beat him like a rented mule, but Chamberlain wasn’t the first – or the last – to come out on the short end of an agreement with the Reich.

          1. ” they’d never agreed with him on any point ever.”
            Ah — they were against the war before they were for it?

        3. If Chamberlain was utterly ignorant of some of the behind the scenes things going on in Germany, then he’d have an excuse.
          But, there were a whole lot of folks telling him that a bit of backbone would cause Hitler to back down, and he ignored that.

        4. **WARNING: Story Germ Idea Ahead**

          An alternate history thought exercise:
          What if… Hitler HAD gotten his butt kicked sometime between 1933 and September 1939? Someone moves in lightning fast, takes out the budding Fascist war machine, and Germany is put back on a path of semi-democracy. More important than what happens in Germany, what happens to the Soviet Union?

          There’s no buffer between Stalin and the rest of Europe if he wants to seize Eastern Europe. But there’s no Lend-Lease, either – or is there?

          Also, what happens to Fascist Italy, with no Hitler to drag them into war? What happens in North Africa, with no NAZIs?

          What happens to the Ark of the Covenant with no NAZIs to motivate Indiana Jones to find it first?

          1. You will want to read Vladimir Rezun, who made quite a name for himself by writing as “Viktor Suvorov” after his defection from the Soviet Union, back during the Cold War. He was a GRU (military equivalent to the KGB) officer who published a lot of different stuff, some of which intimated that Stalin was planning an invasion of Europe to take place in ’42 or ’43. He made his claims based on things he claimed he saw in the GRU archives, and on word-of-mouth from older officers of the GRU.

            You look at the deployments, and the timelines of equipment fielded, plus the training that was going on to replace the officers that Stalin had purged, and he makes a lot of sense. Circumstantial evidence argues that Stalin was planning something, so… Odds aren’t too bad that he would have invaded, had Hitler fallen.

            I’ve often wondered what it would have taken for the Nazis to come out on top as the “saviors of Europe/civilization” they saw themselves as, and this pretty much is the path I’d go down if I wanted to write fiction so distasteful. Have Hitler overthrown and out of power after the French or others stopped his remilitarization of the Rheinland and other adventures, leave Germany to stew in a melange of Weimar-like political indecision during the aftermath, and then have Stalin pull off his invasion of Europe. He’d likely steamroller Poland, and be on the borders of Germany within weeks, and that would engender a panic like you’ve never seen. The Germans would be looking around for a “man on a horse”, the Nazis would still be around to say “Told ya so…”, and hey! Presto!, they’re back in power.

            In the aftermath of a Communist invasion of Europe, were the Nazis successful in leading the resistance, elimination of the Jews would be a piece of cake, due to the large number of them in the Soviet hierarchy and Communist party. You’d simply characterize the whole thing as a conspiracy of the Jews, and likely, the rest of Europe would be rounding them up as Fifth Columnists, and shipping them off to destructive labor camps in the East as “reparations” for causing or at least, aiding the war with the Communists.

            You could work with this, and make it seem pretty damn plausible as a counter-factual history.

      2. IIRC from Churchill’s book, he believed that Chamberlain was playing for time to complete a military buildup.

        Give the man this much, he essentially worked himself to death in service of his country when the war broke out.

          1. “And we shall hit them over the head with beer bottles, because that’s the only thing we have.”

            Churchill supposedly covered the mic and said that at the end of his famous “We shall fight them” speech. It wasn’t just the UK what was ill prepared for war; the US was reduced to using wooden stand-ins for weapons in training troops. There was a huge disarmament movement after WWI with the idea that if all the nations destroyed their weapons, there would be no more war.* As the storm clouds of war gathered, there was some resistance toward rearmament.

            Does that exonerate Chamberlain? Don’t know. His name was almost a swear word when I grew up. But the UK and the US were trying to ramp up to war when they found themselves in the middle of it.

            *I learned this during the fervor for disarmament in the 1970s. Made me wonder about why some wanted to try it again. This was before I learned of the “Once more, with feeling” phenomenon.

          2. Not properly modelling the enemy’s probably strengths and reactions is a failure, and one with potentially horrific consequences. It does not make one evil.

    2. Up there on the stupid scale with “fighting for peace is like f*ing for virginity.”

      Always wanted to knock on the windows of those cars and inquire if they were aware of where babies came from.

    3. TO cspschofield | January 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm |
      All of the history following your comment is correct, and your interpretation is also a common one, but I understood that at the time (back in the seventies IIRC) as being a meme for “speaking truth to power” (a much later phrase) or “sticking it to the Man” back in the day — that is, “they” are the old white patriarchal oppressors with privilege, and “nobody” is the common people (young white wannabe oppressors, as it turned out later) who reject their warmongering (presumably in all countries involved).
      You get the same results that way as not showing up when “they” is a country bent on subjugating you, and “nobody” is your leaders who think Chamberlain is a Good Example, of course.

      1. Your estimation of the subtle intelligence in play back in the late Sixties is charming if misplaced. You’re talking about a generational segment that Turned On, Tuned In (to an alternate reality) And Dropped Out! For Krissake, those twits were trying to get high by smoking bananas! Deep Thought was beyond their capacity.

        I Vas Dere, Chollie.

  10. I read an article recently about the acceleration of the U.S. as a failed state (I didn’t agree with the writer’s conclusions, which were mostly “more socialism and harder”, so I haven’t shared it around), starting with the 11 school shootings in the first 23 days of the year. (Which is highly appalling.) The writer brought up a couple of interesting points, mostly dealing with the breakdown of social expectations. (I mean, we didn’t used to have school shootings with even more guns around, so obviously there’s something social or cultural going on.)

    The part where the writer failed in imagination is in thinking that these signifiers, as bad as they are, hint at an accelerating collapse. Homelessness is at truly awful levels, but India shows that massive amounts of dire poverty can be stable on a generational basis. And his conclusion that people were getting more heartless than they have been in the past is pretty laughable to anyone with a working knowledge of history.

    I bring up this article, vague though I am about the details, because it made me think about what needs to happen if we want a better society—and it’s not what this writer thinks. The last few decades (at least) have been tearing out the underpinnings of society, the codes of conduct and so forth that the culture agrees to follow. When you tear out the foundations, why is it so incredibly surprising that the structure is showing signs of falling apart? When you change the definitions of what a person “is” to what their job is, and then trash the economy to the point where people have extreme difficulty getting stability, is it all that crazy that people latch onto nasty group movements to get a sense of self? And honestly, laws mandating civility and “sharing” are never going to be as effective as actual internal sense of obligation and civility.

    1. Quite right. Most of the problems we see today stem from the breakdown (actually, the targeted destruction) of the social contract. If you refuse to accept that there are codes of behavior that all residents are expected to observe then you tacitly allow any behavior at all. And the left has been working diligently through the schools and the mass media to promote just such a refusal among the people at large.

      On a slightly different note, a case can be made that there were fewer school shootings in the past precisely because there were more guns around…

      1. More guns then &/or the picked on, social outcast, disinherited, went west, either made it on their own terms, or became “the wild bunch”. Problem now going west or east (depending on which coast you are on), to a wild west, is not really an option. So they found or find their own “wild bunch” (gangs). Ultimately the wild bunch route, then as now, the end is either a rope (state sanctioned incarceration or death) or bullet (by rival gang or suicide by cop).

    2. It’s my understanding that most of those 11 school shootings were suicides that occurred on school property, tragic of course, but primarily a mental health issue. But gun control is and always has been the cause celeb of the left as a disarmed public is ever so much easier to control by those who inevitably will gain their rightful power and authority. Or such is a basic tenet of their belief system.

      1. I was wondering about that number. It sounded like one of those where, when you look more closely, their definition of “school shooting” (or “mass shooting” or “sexual assault” depending on the topic) bears no resemblance to what most people think of when hearing the word.

        1. It depends on what the meaning of “Is” is. Where have I heard that before. Liberals/SJWs have a fondness for Humpty Dumpty’s word definition technique.

      2. Not all suicides, though a couple were. A couple more were gang shootings, a couple were drug deals in the middle of the night, and one was not even on the school property, but just near it.

        1. I decided to investigate further, so this from the Washington Examiner:

          Rather, there have been approximately 11 incidents since Jan. 1 in which a gun of some form, including a pellet gun, was discharged on or around school property.

          The “11 school shooting” statistic includes at least two suicides, a 32-year-old man shooting at a school bus with a pellet gun and a student accidentally firing a real gun in class after mistaking it for a training weapon, as noted by the Washington Examiner’s Siraj Hashmi.

          The whole point being that, as we here are well aware, headlines can be and most often are agenda driven rather than seeking to convey pure fact.

    3. That article sounds as if the writer began with a conclusion and then assembled the evidence.

      It would likely be pointless to point out that much of the evidence with which he condemns the USA is a result of adoption of the policies of his preferred state.

      Such writers as this will always declare any state other than a socialist one to be “failed” and will never acknowledge the failure of any socialist state. They can safely be ignored as serious commentators and ought be treated as the pestiferous vermin they are.

    4. “And his conclusion that people were getting more heartless than they have been in the past is pretty laughable to anyone with a working knowledge of history.”
      There’s a level of concern for historic abuses that only prosperity brings. When you are prosperous, you can afford to care that strangers have been oppressed, and should have a fair go at opportunities to be successful.

      But, that kindness has been exploited, used, and is now seen as an entitlement. Instead of wanting a fair go, people want full on preference & lifetime monetary support because their great-grandfather was insulted once, or they have “high cheekbones”.

      So, that kindness is running out. People are sick of giving tax money to the loudly ungrateful, who respond with insults about “privilege”. Bite the hand that feeds you, and they’re less inclined to feed you again.

    5. Of course, the 11 school shootings in the first 23 days of the year is an abject lie.

      If you want to see a breakdown of civilized norms, Canada provides the latest example where the media will really try hard not to report the reasons behind the crimes or what the victims (and the perp) all have in common.

      1. Bruce McArthur was exhibiting a lot of classic serial killer and abused behavior before he converted to Islam. His first wife was the daughter of an Islamic terrorist; she divorced him because he was too weird and violent.

        Let that one sink in.

  11. When deciding whether or not to fight a war, you could sum it up thusly: If someone declares they want to kill you (it doesn’t matter what their reason is), you really have only three options:
    1) You can let them kill you. For most sane people, this is not a viable option!
    2) You can try to talk them out of wanting to kill you, but when that fails, you are left with option
    3) You kill them before they can kill you.


    1. In the words of Elie Wiesel, “When someone says they want to kill you, believe them.”

      If nothing else it will discourage loudmouths from puffing themselves up with such twaddle.

      1. Exactly why I don’t understand all those who insist that islam means “peace” and what Islamic mullahs and ayatollahs and imams and others who determine what mainstream muslims believe who call the United States The Great Satan really don’t represent islam. If the preachers of islam don’t represent islam- WHO DOES?

        1. “Salaam” means peace.

          “Islam” means submission, the submission of the slave to the master.

          It explains much.

        2. “If the preachers of islam don’t represent islam- WHO DOES?”

          Have you ever read Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer? It’s about Mormon acts of violence (historical and contemporary), not Islam, but the structure of both religions is decentralized, which means they have the same strengths and weaknesses. The specific interesting one is that when anyone who is a preacher can be the ultimate authority just by saying they are (YMMV; most Mormons default to the leadership in SLC, but there’s always a few outliers in any group), you’re going to have the potential for religiously-sanctioned violence blowing up quickly. IOW, yes, the Roman Catholic Church could get violent, but it would be visible for a long time because it’s like turning an aircraft carrier with an itty-bitty rudder. Decentralized religions can turn on a dime, in segments.

          Also note that there’s a large peaceful Islamic population in the U.S.—and they’re mostly the folk who fled the idiots in the Middle East back in the 70s or thereabouts.

          1. Just to note, Krakauer gets a lot of things wrong in his book, but that does not invalidate your general point.

        3. If the preachers of islam don’t represent islam- WHO DOES?

          In our mediated society it is the job of the MSM to determine who is a duly anointed representative of any and all groups.

          That is why the people representing the TEA Party bore so little resemblance to the actual TEA Party organizers known to so many of us, and why Jesse Jackson rather than, say, Wyatt Tee Walker, became the heir of Martin Luther King, even though Walker, King’s right-hand man, key strategist and executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference had “crafted the strategy of active confrontation with segregation through boycotts and demonstrations and played a key role in organizing the historic 1963 March on Washington” as well as sharing a cell with King in the Birmingham jail.

          Why, without the MSM designating who is and who is not the “authentic” voice of a people, African-Americans might suffer the trauma of people like Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Shelby Steele speaking on their behalf!

    2. What if they don’t want to kill you? What if they just want to take over your country and turn you into “their” subjects?

      After all, even the jihadists would be mostly ok with us just paying the dhimmi tax.

      1. If they don’t want to kill you, you have the advantage. They’ll hesitate when it comes to live fire and you are much more likely to take them out.

    3. And when they’ve established a track record of killing their opposition, as the Left has, 3) is better exercised sooner.

  12. But if ‘they’ give a war and you are the only one who doesn’t show up then it’s 1939, and your name is Poland.

    Britain and France didn’t show up very promptly in 1939 either. Only Germany and then the USSR were ready and willing to go at it. Poland was doomed even if they had been ready and well equipped, which they most definitely were not.

    1. I have to disagree.

      Poland could have held its own, much as it did against the Soviets during the Twenties. The problem was that they were fighting a two-front war against both the Germans and the Soviets in ’39, and that both of their enemies were ahead of them on the resource/technology curve. Had they been “ready and well-equipped”, odds are pretty good that they would have done what they did in ’21, and at least have torn both invading forces a new excretory orifice. Polish soldiers fought well above their weight class in both the Battle of Britain and the battles in Normandy. Had they been “ready and well-equipped” during the fight for Poland, I don’t doubt but that they would have performed equally well.

      Anyone doubting Polish resolve or military skill-at-arms should really take the time to go digging through the actual history, and ignore the “conventional wisdom”. Had they had the time to prepare, and the equipment they were procuring, the story would have ended far differently than it did.

      1. I think the problem is 1) we tend to look at Polish history backwards, as in using 1939 to judge everything by and 2) Polish history has that long break from the late 1700s to 1918. So if you use 1776 as the Beginning of History, then yeah, Poland was the perfect victim. And all public school grads of the last 30 years know that between 1918 and 1939 all was peace, love, and harmony in Europe as long as you were not in Germany after 1933. *snort*

        1. The attempts by Lenin and Stalin to move on Germany were mostly stopped dead by the Poles and a bunch of German “volunteers” that we all forget about. There are US military officers who are completely ignorant of the Polish campaigns against the Soviets, and who think that it was all “sweetness and light” in Eastern Europe during the interwar years.

          I have to blame the various history departments of the schools that educated them, because most of these guys got only the slightest hint of anything outside the general run of what they teach. Hell, the one guy I’m primarily thinking of here had a freakin’ minor in military history, and he was stone-ignorant of just about everything that went on in the East from Napoleon forward. Could cite chapter and verse about the Western campaigns in WWI, knew nothing of the Eastern ones except the highlights like Tannenberg.

          The value of a university degree in this country is extremely erratic. I’ve run into folks with degrees in things that should have implied both knowledge and expertise in specific areas, and I knew more about their subject area as a well-read layman than they had ever been exposed to in college. They might have been able to blow me out of the water with details about things like the campaign for Verdun, but the general run of WWI? Lord love a duck, I’d run into some really bizarre holes in their knowledge bases. And, I don’t consider myself either a scholar of the war, or an expert, either.

          The really scary thing is, all too many of these guys do not recognize that they’re ignorant of basic facts. They’ve got their degrees, they’re experts… And, that’s where they leave it, once they leave university.

          I really can’t think of that many officers that I met on active duty who were still educating themselves during their entire careers–It was like “I’m out of school, enough of that study thing…”. And, if the subject or area wasn’t taught or emphasized in school…? Forget about it.

          Case in point–I can show you a definite thread of common history between IED/mine/rear area warfare on the Eastern Front in WWII through the Korean War to Vietnam, Southern Africa, and nearly every major conflict of the Cold War. The Soviets developed, used, and taught the tactics, operational techniques, and strategy of denying movement and communications (in the sense of “ground communications” transport) to nearly every one of their client insurgencies. Has anyone in the US military noticed this fact? Oh, hell no. I’ve pointed that set of facts out innumerable times to innumerable people, and about the most I’ve ever gotten from the commissioned officer class is “Oh, that’s interesting…”, and a pat on the head for being a precocious little senior NCO. Precisely zero interest in following up on the idea, or in actually analyzing the issue for inclusion into doctrine.

          You go look right now, and you’ll find out that they’re steadily returning to the status quo of the period before 2003, because they’re taking apart the specialized route clearance units, as well as dismantling all the personal security detachments we had to have to allow battlefield circulation for the commanders. The idiots running the show think that what went on in Iraq and Afghanistan was an aberration, and “…we’ll never fight a war like that, again…”. Which is a set of assumptions that a blind man could refute, going back to Korea. Denial and interdiction of rear-area movement is a standard Soviet tactic/operational/strategic technique that we will see again, because it’s so damn effective. And, when we ignore the potentials it offers up…? Oh, hell yes, we’re going to take it in the shorts.

          I swear that I’d have had a stroke or something by now, if I was still on active duty. It’s like the lessons are right there, written in blood on the walls, and they’re steadily ignoring them as they walk on by, looking for their fantasy war. Which, I can promise you, they’re not going to get.

            1. Man, I wish I had a concise bibliography to give you, but it’s scattered all through a bunch of different sources.

              The place to start is the Soviet partisan effort on the Eastern Front, which has some doctrinal continuity going back to the battles between the Reds and the Whites during the Russian Civil War. After Barbarossa, they dusted off the old “lessons learned”, modernized them, and then started infiltrating operatives and equipment to the overrun troops that were still fighting, as well as inserting a bunch of others. You can trace what was going on through the German war memoirs, and if you are looking for it, the contiguity with what went on during the Korean War and Vietnam is unmistakable. And, documented really, really badly–I only noticed this stuff because I was struck by the similarities between the campaigns, and I don’t think anyone else has really bothered to pay close enough attention to note how very similar the tactics and operational techniques actually are.

              Similarly, there’s a lot of similarity between what went on in the Southern African campaigns in Rhodesia and Angola. Enough so that I think the IED aspect of modern war is going to be with us for a long time to come, because the the techniques are so easily taught and implemented, as well as being relatively high-payoff since the US military isn’t particularly interested in this prosaic sort of thing.

              The most irritating facet of this, to me, is that the US fought in Vietnam completely unprepared for this sort of war, which was pointed to during Korea. During Vietnam, we did little to actually provide countermeasures, and the usual route clearance technique was to put a draftee with a mine detector out on foot in front of unarmored trucks to look for mines and what were actually IEDs. Arguably, the most technically sophisticated army in the world, and we ended the conflict doing the same damn thing that we’d been doing during WWII, just with slightly improved equipment.

              Contrast that with the Rhodesians and South Africans: Same period, very similar threat and operational conditions. Rhodesia was under sanctions, but still managed to produce a whole range of specialized armored vehicles and equipment that basically made what the guerrillas were doing a complete failure. The South Africans built off of that, and produced even better gear for their bush wars of the 1970s and 1980s. Meanwhile, the US did… Zip. Anyone paying attention to the reality of “war as she is fought” during that period should have seen the handwriting on the wall, but like I said, they just ignored it. And, it’s not like people within the US Army weren’t telling them all about this stuff, either–Which I know for a fact, because I was one of them. The general attitude we got from the hierarchy in the bureaucracy was “…we don’t want this capability to be developed, because if we have it, then someone will want us to do it, and then the important stuff in our budget won’t get paid for…”. It sounds incredible, but that is exactly what I heard back from the Engineer School on the subject of route clearance and humanitarian de-mining, both.

              Looking back, it is absolutely mind-boggling. And, what they’re doing now? Equally mind-boggling. It’s like they’re consciously throwing out everything we’ve learned, and going back to their fantasy of a “big war, with lines and stuff…”. Which ain’t gonna happen, folks: Ain’t nobody stupid enough to tackle the US under “Big War” conditions. It’s all gonna be like Iraq; initial fight, capitulation, guerrilla resistance, hopeful eventual departure of the Americans. Trying to take on a full-bore US expeditionary force just ain’t plausibly doable, unless you’re either the Russians or Chinese, and even then? Believe me, they’re going to leave or infiltrate stay-behind forces to screw up our rear areas, which really don’t exist in any meaningful form anymore. You can’t control what you don’t have troops sitting directly on top of, and that’s just a fact of life. The Germans learned it in WWII, and the Soviets have been trying to teach us that ever since. We’re just slow learners… Really slow learners. Like, kids in the short bus learners, who eat an awful lot of asbestos-flavored paste learners…

              1. So to summarize, it hasn’t been studied and the roots go all they way back to 1917 or earlier. So this is going to require some real in depth research of different sources piecing things together.
                Thanks for the heads up on this topic and area of research.

                1. Yeah, that’s pretty much the case. A good starting point for the whole thing is probably Peter Stiff’s Taming the Land Mine, which goes over the whole Rhodesian/South African experience. From there, I’d go to the various memoirs of the Russian Revolution, followed by the German WWII experience of rear-area battle on the Eastern Front. The outlines of what they were doing to the Germans can be discerned in Korea, during the later phases of the war.

                  I assume there were Soviet instructors teaching the techniques and operational strategies, because they look so damn similar; you can template what the hell happened to a lot of US forces up in the hills of Korea off of what happened to various Wehrmacht elements during their campaigns in the east, and then see the same basic techniques used by the Viet Minh against the French.

                  You want to see what the Soviet partisan forces were trying to do against the German rear areas, go look at the fate of Groupement Mobile No. 100 in the battle of Mang Yang Pass. The Viet Cong spent a lot of effort and time trying to do the same thing to US forces during our turn in the tumbler, but we had enough firepower and aviation assets to make those attempts very expensive, which was why they took it down a notch and tried to do it long and slow through attrition and small-scale attacks. One of the big things we missed in the whole deal was just how close we really came to losing the ground war in Vietnam due to attrition and interdiction of ground communications.

                  If we hadn’t have had the aviation assets we did, then we likely would have had the same thing happen to us that happened to the French: Loss of freedom of movement in the areas between our forces, followed by starvation of the outposts and piecemeal destruction as we had to move. As it was, aviation saved our asses, but prevented us from really learning the lessons that were there.

                  Soviet advisers tried the same crap in Southern Africa, and that’s where it ran into its first real counter, which were the specialized armored vehicles produced by the Rhodesians and South Africans.

                  As well, you have to recognize that the mine/IED thing is just a part of the whole “rear area battle” issue. The basic implication of modern war is that there is no longer a linear battle area, in any sense. Conflict runs everywhere the enemy can reach, and you can see the outlines of this same approach to war today in Ukraine and anywhere else the Russians are working their strategic operations. The idea that you’ll have safety anywhere is and has been obsolete since WWII. Full-spectrum war is going to have operations going on deep in what we consider the “rear”, and we have to face that fact. I can guarantee you that there will likely be strikes on targets here in the US, probably and most likely directed at things like UAV pilots and their families living off-post around the bases. My guess is that there are already considerable dossiers being built that contain everything from names to the floor plans of their houses, and we may even already have infiltrators ready to go to strike at these targets. If I were the guy doing force protection planning for Nellis, that’s the way I’d be assuming things were gonna go. My bet, however, is that anyone with that much common sense is likely being ignored, because admitting to that particular vulnerability is one of those things the system just won’t admit to itself, until it’s too damn late.

                    1. Somebody needs to. It’s a huge blind spot, and one that should be carefully studied. I’d love to have a look at Soviet archives, and the portions of the German experiences in the East that nobody thought important enough to translate or ask questions about.

                      The area of German countermeasures to this stuff…? What little bit I’ve been able to find was fascinating; they were training their troops in mine avoidance, for example, going to the extent of holding operations orders inside minefields as a means of raising morale, to show that it was possible to avoid getting killed in minefields. It’s nuts, but it apparently was actually done, and it worked.

                      As well, when they were initially in the East, they did much as we did in Iraq–When logistics elements were hit by ambush or mine, which usually came together, their doctrine was for the logistics element to do as we normally did in Iraq, and “blow through” the ambush/attack. The idea was that they’d call on “real combat troops” to deal with the partisans in sweeps of the countryside, while letting the logistics bubbas get on with their jobs. After all, a mechanic’s job is to fix things, and a truck driver should be driving his truck, no? Thing was, that didn’t work; by the time the “real combat troops” showed up, the partisans were back in their swamps and forests, generally with a good chunk of that logistics unit’s supplies and equipment.

                      If you served in Iraq, you might recognize certain aspects of this from the “insurgency” period.

                      German solution? Command went out, along with a lot more weapons, to those logistics units: You will engage and fix any enemy engaging you, until you’ve either wiped them out, or you hand it off to another unit. There was no more differentiation between “real combat troops” and “logistics troops”. You got engaged with the enemy; you dealt with the enemy, and if you didn’t kill him, you’d better be able to show you’d done your best to do so, and be able to survive the ensuing court martial. German officers were cashiered, or even executed, for failure to show sufficient aggression when attacked in rear areas.

                      After a bit, the Soviet partisans got a lot less effective.

                      My thought is that had we implemented similar operational rules and tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan…? Well, instead of our “real combat troops” hitting dry hole after dry hole, we’d have instead fixed the insurgents in place when they attacked our logistics elements, and then run them to ground with reaction forces that actually were ready and on call to go deal death and destruction. As it was, the logistics guys usually put their pedal to the metal, blew through the ambushes, and that was the only time the enemy raised their heads. We were basically running a damn finishing school for them, allowing them to start small with “little ambushes” with small arms, graduating to more complex and effective attacks as they learned how and got more confident. Had we made it policy to run every single one of the little bastards to ground when they dared so much as fire a single shot at us…? Yeah; I think there would have been a lot less enthusiasm for the “insurgency”.

                      Problem was, the “combat troops” didn’t want to sully their noble efforts by escorting and accompanying the logistics elements, and the logistics guys didn’t want the “distraction” of having to engage and run to ground the assholes shooting at them. My point in all that was, well, gee… These are generally the only times we’re getting the enemy to show himself, so… Why aren’t we engaging him, hitting him hard?

                      Instead, all too often, the “real combat troops” were out running in circles, looking for the enemy. Meanwhile, every damn night, the enemy came to us on the MSRs… And, the logistics guys were ignoring them.

                      It’s a wonder we didn’t get run out of Iraq, to be quite honest. Had I been running “their side”, knowing what I do about US operations…? We’d have been done in by about 2004-5ish. Fortunately, as Moshe Dayan noted, it’s a good thing to be fighting Arabs…

                    2. And the Disloyal Opposition didn’t want us to win, so the inevitable civilian casualties when you have people violating the Geneva Conventions by staging ambushes from behind the civilians would have been all anyone saw.

              2. Kirk, if you ever want to do a book on this – I’ll work with you on publishing it. (My teeny publishing bidness specializes in things like this. Specialized stuff – military history.) Put a MS together, I’ll walk you through publishing it, with my editing and other services at below cost.

                1. I’ve actually thought about it, Celia, but… I get so pissed off even thinking about this stuff that I can’t even see straight. And, I’m not kidding, either–I’ve actually checked my blood pressure just before running into a discussion on this issue that came up over on Weaponsman, before he passed, and after I got done venting my spleen over the issue, my blood pressure had spiked like thirty points, and I had a massive headache.

                  The issue is still too close, and too damn personal for me to look at it objectively, to be honest. It needs other eyes, ones that don’t start thinking about all the body bags we’ve filled through this stupidity.

                  1. Kirk,

                    What you know might make all the difference the next time around. Some uniformed bookworm might actually put that precious information to good use.

                    Don’t, please don’t, let that opportunity pass. Don’t squander the chance.

                    Find some catharsis in arranging for autographed copies to be delivered to selected boneheads at the proper time, but

                    Write that book.

                  2. Understand. It’s deeply personal … but give it a thought. Consider the potential lives that might be saved, in channeling fury about a situation into … something which might turn out to be useful. You might not know where, or when … but the focus may prove useful.

              3. oh, we’ve designed a bunch of high tech mine clearing gear and vehicles, its just we rarely *bought* them.

                1. Ermmm… Nope. Didn’t happen, not here in the US. Mine clearance and everything else in the fields around that was a dead letter between the end of the Vietnam War, and about the time we went into Bosnia. The corpse stirred a little bit then, but nothing effective was done.

                  There was a bunch of crap that went on, but… It was like the MICLIC. The fact that the Army was “persuaded” to buy that gargantuan POS after testing clearly showed that Giant Viper from the Brits was a more effective solution for actual breaching of minefields…? Yeah; symptomatic.

                  To recap that, MICLIC is a US-built system designed for the Marines to use in a surf zone to clear mines and the sort of beach obstacles you see in the opening of Saving Private Ryan. For that, it has a heavy, short charge line that weighs around 2,000 lbs, and only does about 100 meters on a really good day when the wind doesn’t stretch it out diagonally across your target. Giant Viper, on the other hand? Smaller, longer charge that does 300 meters. Average depth of Soviet doctrinal minefield, conventional or scatterable (artillery, or machinery) is…? Oh; yeah, 300 meters.

                  You have to fire three-four MICLIC charges to get across one minefield, putting in one lane. You do that by gathering up every system in a mechanized task force, putting them in one place, and then going for it while the enemy laughs their ass off, and calls for artillery. Meanwhile, the armor bubbas are out getting blown up looking for bypasses, you’re getting your MICLIC teams blown the f- up in the breach lane, and… Well, it’s poorly thought-out idiocy, driven by a desire to “Buy American!!!”. We did some kludges by strapping two MICLIC onto the top of an Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge tank hull, and with one towed behind it, you can maybe put in one breach lane, slowly, and without an iota of surprise. Think: “BIG BANG”, pause while the system moves into the minefield proofing the lane with rollers, “BIG BANG”, pause for movement, “BIG BANG”, pause for movement through, proofing again to the (hopeful) far edge of the minefield, and then you’ve got 45 minutes worth of work on each MICLIC system to reload, presupposing that the whole Rube Goldberg device that is the “Armored Vehicle Launched MICLIC” hasn’t been blown to hell by the enemy who’s been laughing their asses off while observing your plodding breach attempt. With Giant Viper, you make one shot, you proof, and you’re through.

                  Tactically, the MICLIC should have been kept in the environment it was designed for: The surf zone. Unfortunately, despite the fact that Giant Viper was the clear winner for the Army, the “Not Invented Here” syndrome took place.

                  Everything else mine-related? LOL–The AN/PSS-12 was an Austrian-built system from Schiebel, and about the only really good thing I can think of that they finally pulled off after forty years of low-priority work was the ground-penetrating radar handheld mine detector. Everything else? South African, or some other foreign country. The US did exactly dick that got into the field, and wasted a shit-ton of money following up on things we already knew didn’t work. Countermine warfare was emphatically not a priority–I can show you the Field Manuals, if you don’t believe me. Vietnam-era versions? 3 chapters on route clearance, copiously illustrated. Slightly post-war? 1 chapter, maybe three half-ass diagrams. The ones that were in force by the time I was mid-career? It was a chapter sub-section, no illustrations. That changed in the immediate aftermath of Bosnia.

                  Couple of data points: We left everything we had, in the way of records and historical data in Vietnam, turned over to the South Vietnamese. Everything. All that data, all that distilled experience, all the blood it represented? It was simply abandoned, and the lion’s share of it wasn’t even thought important enough to copy and bring back Stateside.

                  During the first Gulf War, some bright light had the idea that it would be super-cool to try to find land mines in the sand of the deserts via thermal imaging. In theory, the thermal cameras should be able to tell where the mines were at, and informal experiments were run. Promising, yet not confirmatory results were gained, and a contract was let with Hughes Aerospace after the fighting was over to investigate more scientifically.

                  Now, here was the interesting thing: There exists a study of the Vietnam War-era mine warfare world done by Rand. They did that while we still had access to the archives in Vietnam, and it represents the only link to much of that data. In that report, it details Vietnam-era tests and experiments with thermal imaging for mine detection, tests that indicated the technique just didn’t work. Now, at the time, my boss was very interested in this “new thermal-imaging technique for mine detection”, and had me do some research on the tests Hughes was doing there in the early ’90s. Called up, talked to the civilian program manager, and got a hell of a surprise: They thought they were the first ones to do it. Despite the fact that it was Hughes doing the work back in the late ’60s and early ’70s, they had no clue that they were going back over work they’d already done, and the Army itself was apparently unaware that they were paying for duplicative work, when they should have just been paying to see if newer technology made any difference. In the event, it didn’t. It was fun, however, to point that program manager at the company archives, and hear him swear his ass off a couple weeks later when we talked again, after they’d produced the reports from deepest archival storage.

                  Oh, and the copy of that Rand report that was held in the Engineer School library? It was checked out exactly twice after accession to the library, once when I did it, and again by some Second Lieutenant back in the 1970s. Other than that, nobody appeared to even know about it. I think a few folks got wind of it after Bosnia, and I told them to go looking for it, but… Who knows if it ever got looked at again, before being thrown out?

                  Another thing–Go ask the Engineer School library for any of the older manuals on the subject. They don’t have them, ‘cos you don’t need that old shit cluttering up your shiny new library, now do you? You cannot do research on the “old school”, because the manuals which were issued then were thrown out and/or pulped. I wanted Vietnam-era countermine manuals, I had to go out on the civilian militaria market to get them. When we needed to bring back the mine dogs again, after 2003, the poor bastard who was tasked with standing up the first company had to re-invent the wheel, ‘cos the manuals that detailed that crap? Not available, for love nor money. They’d been thrown out, you see–Nobody in the Army had copies of the damn things. They were out searching historical displays, and begging any veterans they could find who’d worked with the dogs, but to no avail. When they finally completed the re-invention of the wheel, some state historical society found a copy of the original manual in a footlocker that was part of a display, and got that back to Fort Leonard Wood, where they found that they’d done a good job of re-invention–The modern MTOE looked identical to the Vietnam-era one, and they’d covered all the bases.

                  I ran into the guy who was in charge of that nightmare, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him I happened to have a copy of the final Vietnam-era manual in my papers. He was so proud of what he’d managed to pull off, rightfully so.

                  But, that’s how much attention this area of warfare got from the folks running the show between Vietnam and about 2003: Close to f-ing zero. It sure as hell didn’t get any damn money, unless someone else was paying for it, like the Armor guys who paid for the thermal imaging crap.

                  Yeah, you prick me on this subject, and you’re gonna get drowned in the resulting bloodbath of data. There are reasons I’m so damn pissed-off, most of the time, and it has to do with stupid, unnecessary crap like we dealt with during the opening phases of the IED campaign. All that crap was old news, but the Army treated it like they’d never seen that shit before, or even heard of it. And, that was patently untrue…

          1. The big factors are modern communications and centralized command… which lets swivel-chair officers at the Pentagon micromange battlefield operations they should have no part of.

            1. Mmmm… Maybe. A little.

              The actual problem is not the communications or the centralized command, both of which would actually do good things, properly implemented.

              The actual problem, as I see it, is the sclerotic bureaucracy we’ve allowed to grow up in our armed forces. The knowledge is there; the will to actually do what is necessary in a timely manner isn’t. I could do case history after case history, showing examples of how the reality of “war as she is fought” did not penetrate the bureaucracy to become institutionalized knowledge.

              My major expertise is in mine/IED warfare, with a side note of small arms. With regards to both areas, I can point out dozens of places where the right answer was known, but the people who knew it weren’t in a position to do anything about it, and then the wrong decisions got made to put into effect.

              Why? It’s the bloody bureaucracy, in my opinion. We do not do organization at all well, to enable truly effective and timely response to changing conditions.

              Examples abound: How did we wind up with the 7.62mm NATO round, and the M14, both of which saw the shortest in-service of any small arms system as an individual weapon in the history of this country. What went wrong, that that happened? Why didn’t the lessons of WWII “take”, and why did we go into the Vietnam conflict in the 1960s with an individual weapon arguably optimized for fighting WWI?

              Simple fact was, the guys who’d done the fighting in Europe got out of the Army as quick as they could, and the “lessons learned” were not effectively captured by the “system”. Instead, a bunch of guys who thought they knew how the war had been fought, and who had actually never been down on the line, doing the fighting… Well, they worked themselves into positions in the bureaucracy of the Ordnance department, and made what they thought had been going on the baseline on which decisions were made for which weapons the US and NATO would adopt. Unfortunately, they were mostly wrong, and we then jumped to another half-ass solution, the 5.56mm/M16 combination, and screwed ourselves yet again. And, entirely by accident, that turned out to be a longer-lasting solution than anyone could have predicted, and the combination is now our longest-serving individual weapon of the modern era, in an arguably modified format.

              Root problem? The “system”. There’s no real “bottom-up”, no real “capture” of information flow from the guys out on the bloody end of the stick, and we’re all too fond of the top-down solutions that the anointed ones come up with. The US military is fond of buzzwords, and one of the biggest jokes among those buzzwords is when I hear the brass call themselves the heads of “learning organizations”. The organizations emphatically don’t learn, and are delusional about the realities they operate in. The Navy and Air Force are both as bad or worse than the Army, in this regard–Look at the lack of emphasis on naval mine warfare, for example, in both services. The Navy can’t clear ’em, and the Air Force can’t deliver ’em. Likewise, with a bunch of other stuff–Air Force logistics being one major one. We have no where near enough airframes for logistics, and they’re doing nothing about that. Same-same with regards to the Navy’s entirely delusional LCS program…

              Communications and centralized command ain’t the problems; it’s what we’re doing everywhere else.

              1. Peacetime militaries are first and foremost bureaucracies.
                The type of personality that makes one a good soldier or sailor usually isn’t the type who does well in peacetime. Go long enough without war, and the crap rises to the top. Chickenshit wins out over actual useful knowledge and practice.
                And then, when a war does break out, there comes a painful period where the old guard military has the deadwood burned way, and usually via high casualties and loss. Witness the defeats at Bataan, and Pearl Harbor. Only then are lessons learned, and those who actually have the talent and skill to properly fight come to the fore.

                1. There are bureaucracies, and then there are bureaucracies… The ones the US has had grow up in the defense establishment are really, really dysfunctional in some important ways. Other areas? Really good; I don’t think anyone can outdo the US on really large-scale logistics, for example.

                  But, the stuff that goes into the areas I rail on and on and on about? Dear God… The sheer, purblind stupidity that’s overwhelmingly prevalent. And, it’s nothing to do with “peacetime” or “wartime”; it is, instead, endemic to the institution in both peace and war.

                  Another case study in sheer moronicism: During the 1990s, the Army was working on a new family of tactical trucks, the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. This was to be a set of replacements for all the cross-country logistics vehicles used across the Army for transportation and some combat operations (yeah, despite the shiny-happy BS, some Combat Engineers were still slated to be operating off of 5-ton dump trucks as late as the 2000s…), a program that was to see fielded vehicles by the late 1990s and early 2000s.

                  You would think that people would go and look at how folks like the South Africans had actually been fighting wars, but… Noooo… We knew better.

                  Key thing about the FMTV program, here: They chose a cabover design for the trucks, which puts the front axle right under the crew cab. Right under the driver and co-driver, as a matter of fact… Now, go look at the South African version of vehicles in that class, the SAMIL family: Conventionally designed, with the front axle well out ahead of the crew capsule, which was a bloody damn armored compartment, folks. When one of my bosses addressed the FMTV program manager about these issues, and pointed out that having the lead axle (generally voted “most likely to set off explosives” in high school…) right under the cab was kinda stupid, the response we got back was that “…these are not combat vehicles, and we do not foresee any need for either armor or any form of protection against mines…”.

                  Funnily enough, what were we pulling out of our asses during the period 2003-2005? Oh, yeah; armor kits for these vehicles, which had to be significantly heavier than they really needed to be because of that idiotic axle placement decision…

                  Another convenient design feature of the SAMIL trucks was something else we recommended, which was basically a “blow-away” design to the exposed axle components. The SAMIL family can take a blast from a set of stacked Soviet TM46 mines, and after you unbolt the wreckage from the armor, you bolt on another wheel station and it’s all good. The South African military claimed they could recover one of those trucks from a mine strike in like 30-45 minutes with organic company-level equipment, if I remember right. They actually carried spare axles in the company trains, like they were spare tires… You blow up an FMTV, even an armored one, and it’s likely going to get coded out, and you’ll be waiting weeks for a new one to show up from Theater. You sure as hell aren’t putting one back into service with less than an hour’s worth of work by your company mechanics…

                  1. “The ones the US has had grow up in the defense establishment are really, really dysfunctional in some important ways.”

                    You just reminded me of a story my dad used to tell. He was retired from active duty in the Air Force, and was still working as a “civilian contractor,” but had a working rank of Major IIRC. He got a new colonel boss in who tried to implement some monetary policy or other, and my dad went in and told him why it was a stupid idea. Now, my dad was not a swearing type (he used the term “bull hockey”, honestly), but he was also stubborn and apt to use short, pithy words, and he was not afraid to tell someone when they were being a stupid idiot (possible actual phrase.)

                    The colonel started introducing him to people as ‘the Major who chewed me out.” And that is how my dad started going to the Pentagon on a yearly basis, in order to explain budgetary requests in language that could be understood—and to people who almost certainly outranked him.

                    Because deference to authority is in the military for good reason—but many people don’t realize when it needs to be bypassed.

                  2. Having been born there, and seen Buffels and so on first hand, I was absolutely amazed that NOBODY in NATO had bothered to learn the lessons. Up here in Canada, we bought a whole bunch of 10 ton logistics trucks, no armour, cab forward etc etc.

                    Logistics troops got minimal combat training initially and little ammo to practice with. Small arms training manuals differentiated between combat arms and non-combat arms in terms of courses of fire and points required to pass.

                    I couldn’t understand it then, and still don’t now. Never mind COIN, modern conventional war theory since between the wars (Fuller, Tukachevsky, Guderian), all talk about deep penetration and fighting in the enemies rear. Every vehicle in the military should be armoured against at least small arms and mine/IED resistant. The true rear area is back at base, and COTS civilian pattern vehicles are fine, but anything that is ever ridden in by troops that may conceivably be engaged in combat should be SOuth African style.

                    South Africa had armoured mine protected ambulances and even horse transports for god’s sake.

                    1. Oh, you have no idea… I was charged with being a closet white supremacist because I was such an advocate for the whole range of South African mine-proof stuff. Just reading about it? LOL… “Raaaacist”.

                      That might be a goodly chunk of the explanation for why it was so slow to be taken up, to be honest. Well, that, and the fact that the various idiots in all the different countries were basically convinced that they’d never see combat in the rear areas to the point where it would be justified.

                      Me, I read the Spetsnatz doctrine we had in translation, looked at the histories which were pertinent, and went “Uh… Guys? Guys…? I don’t think we’re gonna be able to rely on sacrosanct rear areas, when the shooting starts…”.

                      Back when, there were people who were predicting what happened to the 507th Maintenance Company, and who were roundly ignored. Hell, even the idea of injecting more realism into training or play at the National Training Center with regards to logistics movement in the rear areas was anathema–“We’re not here to train anyone but the combat arms soldier…”.

                      People were raising the issues that the fate of the 507th highlighted as long ago as the 1980s. It was just that they did “budget triage” on the training money, and hoped for the best. Didn’t work out, and to tell the truth, I’m sort of surprised that the only unit that actually paid the price was the 507th, because there were a hell of a lot more out there who were equally inept at combat tasks.

                    2. I was a commo tech, and was flat out telling people “if we get attacked in the ‘rear area’, we’re going to be shot in our shack by others or potentially ourselves while fumbling with our M-16s in an area the size of a bathroom”

                    3. DRaven… Yeah, I know how you feel. I used to ask all sorts of questions about who the he’ll was supposed to be providing security up at the retrans sites and the node centers, but always got that hand-waved “We’ll figure that out when we have to…”.

                      To my knowledge, they never really did.

                    4. well, the idea was we were going to have PDWs, but they decided M4s were good enough… they aren’t, according to my nephew who is ironically an Operator for pretty much the same MOS i was a Repairer for.,

          2. College history seems to zoom in on a limited place and time more than an overview. There’s an emphasis on US history in the US, of course, but I don’t recall any European history overviews. As a result, most of us here in the US are only aware of a smattering of events in Europe that didn’t directly impact the US.

            Even with US history, the narrow focus is such that people just don’t seem aware of what went on outside of their narrow field of study. Saw some book on Amazon that had some major howlers, and apparently no editor realized it.

            That does raise the question of how we can get an overview of European history. Really, for world history, because everything is interconnected.

      2. Kirk,
        I did not say the Poles could not fight. I just said they were doomed anyway it was cut. Neither France or the UK were willing to send troops to help, especially France who had a huge army on the German border. Poland had to fight a war on two fronts with enemies much larger than they were and better equipped. They had very little industrial infrastructure, mobilized way too late and tried to defend their borders at all points instead of falling back to more defensible positions before counter-attacking. once the Germans had pretty much destroyed them, then the USSR stepped in and finished them off.

        Even if France had stepped up to the plate and sent their army crashing over the German border, all that would have been accomplished would have been to give the entire nation over to the Russians. Soviet weaknesses were not exposed until they took on the Finns in the Winter War and no one wanted a war with a nation that measurably had the largest military establishment in the world in 1939.

        1. No, what you said was that they were doomed “…even if ready or well-equipped…”, which was the crux of the problem. If they had been ready, and if they’d had even the minimal re-equipment program they had going completed, which was supposed to be ready by ’42, the fight they would have been able to make would have been significantly different. Unfortunately, as the phrase went, “the bear blew first…”, and we got what we got.

          The Poles were not the laughable caricature which has become the popular image. Those cavalry charges against tanks? Never happened; that was all German propaganda. Even with the fact that they weren’t fully mobilized, and were at least a generation or two behind the Germans in equipment, the battle for Poland was hard-fought, and the Polish Army did a lot more damage to Germans than the Germans really wanted to admit to anyone.

          One of the things that a lot of folks don’t realize, or pay attention to, is the fact that the German Army learned a hell of a lot on the Polish campaign that they later applied to the battles in the West and against the Soviets. If the Poles had been what they are usually presented as, that would hardly be the case, now would it? The Wehrmacht took a lot of hard blows from the Poles, which taught them a great deal about how to conduct warfare properly with what they had. The propaganda story they put out was what we remember, mostly because of the whole racial thing about the Slavs and Poles, but the facts of the matter were quite different.

          If the Poles had had the time and money to finish the preparations they were in the process of making, the Germans would have likely had a much harder time with them, and the outcome would have been much different than it was historically. Hell, look at the damage the Polish pilots did to the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, once they got themselves into some decent aircraft, or what the 1st Polish Armored Division did on the Western Front later in the war.

          1. Side note: the Poles did actually pull a couple of cavalry charges against mechanized units.
            Said charges also succeeded, because the Poles weren’t stupid.

            1. Mmmmm… Well… Technically… Kinda… If you squint your eyes, and ignore the fact that the “armor units” in question were actually the logistics support elements that weren’t actually in tanks, at that moment, and that the Poles were basically doing the cavalry charges into unprepared base camps that didn’t actually have manned, combat-ready troops in them.

              Personally, I’m not going to equate that with being so foolish or excessively brave as to take on actual manned and active tanks in a combat setting, which is what the popular memory is, stemming from German propaganda efforts. “See how stupid these genetically inferior Polacks are! They actually charged our Panzers with lances and horses…”.

              The reality was, they predominantly used their cavalry as mounted infantry, and only charged with the lances when appropriate, which was (if I remember right…) only about once or twice. The rest of the time, it was pistols, rifles, and light machine guns…

              I could list all the high-tech things the Poles had going, but not enough of, and take several paragraphs. Everyone forgets that the Poles are the ones who did the lion’s share of the work cracking the early Enigma codes, and gave the Brits the tools to finish the job. Then, there were the Polish mine detectors that everyone else wound up copying, and a host of other stuff that everyone has forgotten. Hell, they even had an improved copy of our BAR that was in production, and it’s a better gun than the one we issued right through Korea…

              1. Don’t forget that the lion’s share of German logistics involved horses pulling carts.
                Or that the Soviets used mounted Cossacks during the invasion of Germany in 1945.

                1. “12 Strong (also known as 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers) is a 2018 American war drama film directed by Nicolai Fuglsig and written by Ted Tally and Peter Craig. The film is based on Doug Stanton’s non-fiction book Horse Soldiers, which tells the story of CIA paramilitary officers and U.S. Special Forces, in addition to USAF Combat Controllers, sent to Afghanistan immediately after the September 11 attacks.” – Wikipedia

              2. The British Bren gun was, IIRC, a Czech design (BRno-ENfield). Also IIRC, much of the so-called ‘cavalry charges’ were actually dragoons (mounted infantry) deploying in the defense.

    2. If memory serves, Poland supported the Nazi’s desire to take Czechoslovakia, which seriously backfired. That just meant they had more German border after the Munich agreement.

      1. Yeah, there was a bunch of stuff they did that wasn’t necessarily wise, but which looked like a good idea at the time. The regions of Czechoslovakia they grabbed had a bunch of ethnic Poles, and those folks had been getting a bunch of grief over the years from the Czechs and Slovaks about language and so forth, so… It was kind of a messed-up situation.

        The mess Wilson made of things at Versailles didn’t just stop with the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The encouragement given all the little ethnic groups, and then the failure to draw borders around reasonable areas while also conducting a gentle “ethnic consolidation” created more damn problems than it solved–Much as it did in the Middle East and later in Africa. Half the international conflicts of the 20th Century could have been minimized or at least mitigated, had someone with some damn sense been involved with drawing the lines. Instead, it was all about the post-war benefits to the victors, with little thought given to long-term stability and ethnic consolidation. I don’t know how you could have fixed everything, for a given value of “fixed”, but what they did was not anywhere near what they should have done, if they wanted stability and maximum benefit to the people of all those countries.

        1. IIRC, Wilson was concerned that the Versailles treaty would backfire because it was punitive rather than giving German a vested interest in compliance. That’s from hazy memory, and I won’t swear to it.

          1. Well, he pushed for ratification in the US but that may solely have been because the formation of the League of Nations was part of it.

      2. The Poles had an alliance with Romania. The Poles didn’t trigger it when the Germans invaded, because the Poles knew they needed supply lines to hold out until the French could attack Germany. Supplies would be able to come through Romania (Romania has ports on the Black Sea), and so long as that country stayed “neutral”, the Germans likely wouldn’t be able to interdict those lines.

        When the Soviets invaded, the Poles made it clear that they knew any Romanian intervention was hopeless at that point, and instead asked the Romanians to act as a safe place for the surviving Polish army units to intern.

        Which they did.

        Most of those Poles then “escaped” from the internment camps that the Romanians were holding them in, and made their way to France and Great Britain.

        I find it somewhat ironic, given which side the Romanians ended up on when they finally entered the war.

        1. (Nods) The saga of Romania is one of the many reasons why I suspect that, if the Whites had won the Russian Civil War instead of the Reds, Germany’s inevitable re-attempt to claim hegemony over Europe would have been much easier to deal with, largely because Eastern Europe wouldn’t have been forced to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.

          1. Maybe. Or, the Whites would have pulled off a far more humanitarian industrialization of the Central Eurasian steppe-lands, and been strong enough that the Germans wouldn’t have been able to. And, maybe without the Tsar screwing things up, they’d have been able to pull off making alliances with the smaller Central European states.

            Not to mention, without the looming threat of the Soviet Union and Stalin, it’s damned unlikely that the German industrialists and elites that paid off Hitler and the Nazis to oppose the Communists would have felt the need, and the Nazis might never have taken off. Which, admittedly, could mean that the Communists would have been able to take over Germany, instead…

            Whole issue is full of imponderables, really. But, the Whites winning doesn’t automatically equate to Germany even starting WWII. Other factors would flow from a White victory, changing things beyond recognition.

  13. “There is nothing we can do with these people.”

    Actually there is, but people start shouting “monster” or “heartless” on the less-severe ways of dealing with them and “genocide” and “atrocity” when you go with the more-severe ways.

  14. A classic cause of war is a country that sees it is losing ground to a competitor that it fears and decides that its only hope of long term safety is a surprise attack now – before it loses any more ground. Germany is a classic example of this, because its only plausible successful strategy involves a quick win on at least one of its borders. This is why nuclear subs are a really big deal – they make successful surprise attacks impossible.

  15. Because international politics doesn’t work by wishful thinking
    Sadly, that’s the entire basis for the U.N. (and the League of Nations, before that).

    1. I don’t call it “wishful thinking” so much as “smoke and mirrors”. It might be wishful thinking for many in the US. But it seems clear to me that much of the world views the UN as a place to posture while ignoring everything that’s going on back at home.

      1. Not just posture. See Miss Sarah above, they are machines for corruption. Or if you prefer, a place of higher education for con men, for fleecing the rubes on a really large scale. See: Climate change, hysteria about, economic reality of (where the money goes, and what real effects), and always, who profits. See also: Aid programs to Africa. See also: Palestine, true history thereof. And so on.

        Posturing is merely a side show, in my opinion. The smoke and mirrors is what you see on the surface. Beneath that, money and power, and a room full of semi-polite thugs vying with each other to steal the biggest piece of pie, and voting censure on the autistic boy in the room while hoping he won’t wake up and crush them. See: resolutions (by the hundreds) voting against the U.S., such as when we moved *our* embassy to Israel’s real capital…

  16. Sadly it’s not just the Left that doesn’t “get it” but the Big “L” Libertarians and entirely too many small ‘l’ libertarians as well. While they may believe in self defense they restrict it to basically giving the other guy a free first shot at you. They forget that you don’t have to wait until the other side’s attack materializes. You can act on a credible and immediate threat, when a “reasonable man” believes that an attack is coming and use of force justified to stop it.

    1. To be fair to the various flavors of libertarian– hey, don’t laugh, I do try!– one of the major appeals of the philosophy is that it *doesn’t* involve judgement. That’s why I spend so much time yelling at various versions who declare that when they ARE forced to make a judgement call, it isn’t really a judgement call. 😀

      When a major strength/arguing point is “unlike your failing theory, ours is simple and mathematical!” it’s hard to give it up, even when it’s so very obviously a Bad Idea and very few would live by it.

  17. I would say that you left out of your list the biggest one, that prompts a few of the others as response:
    They want all your stuff, or your people or your land.
    Basically, they just want more. Not disputed land, mind you. There’s no way to argue they have any right to it. They just want it. Now.

    Even in the cases of “disputed territory” a lot of those are just excuses for “Gimme yours! Now!” History is long enough that I can find some grievance to exploit if I want your stuff. But it’s really just a desire for land or power.

    1. Not sure where I heard this ditty:

      “This land is my land
      This land’s not your land
      This land is my land
      This land’s not your land
      I’ve got a shotgun
      And you ain’t got one.
      This land belongs
      To only me.”

      1. I heard: “I got a shotgun. And you don’t got one. This land is made for me and my friends.”

      2. I heard it like this:
        “This land is my land;
        It sure ain’t your land.
        I got a shotgun,
        And you ain’t got one.
        I’ll blow your head off
        if you don’t get off:
        This land belongs to only me.”

  18. The other limit is that you go to war with the country you have. And different nations have different strengths and weaknesses. The United States is incapable of staying focused over a long war. We’ll fight like lions for 36 months…then the American people will demand to see either victory within reach of a disengagement being attempted. It’s a pattern that has happened over and over again – the Civil War, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Iraq campaign. It puts bounds on what can be done, and those bounds aren’t often faced up to.

    1. Nope. Wrong. Total mis-read of the history.

      The US stayed focused over the entirety of the Cold War, which lasted decades. We kept troops in Europe in significant numbers until the early 1990s, and Korea still has a heavily reinforced brigade and support units. If that’s not “patience”, I’d like to know what is.

      What the US doesn’t have is tolerance for poorly-run campaigns. We’ve been in Iraq and Afghanistan for what, close to 15 years now? And, the only real opposition to the conflict stemmed from the period when those campaigns didn’t seem to be being run properly. Meanwhile, the troops keep enlisting, and stepping up to the plate to do the job, just like they did back in the early days of the Philippine War–Which was still seeing fatalities into the 1920s.

      The idea that we don’t have the patience for long, drawn-out wars is entirely incorrect. We want them done, done properly, and over with as soon as possible. As far as “staying capacity”, well… Like I point out, we’re still in Germany, Korea, and Japan. Had we not fallen prey to a traitorous portion of the electorate, who chose to put a traitor into presidential office, we’d likely have the foundations for a similar stay in Iraq, and be stabilizing that region quite nicely, much as we did Central Europe and Northeastern Asia. But, that’s a different discussion…

      1. I’ve read the generational dynamics stuff from John Xenakis, and he thinks the next war will be a Generational Crisis type. Those end with an event so horrifying that the survivors vow to do everything possible so that it won’t happen again. They manage to do so, until they die off.

        WWII was a Crisis war, with Hiroshima/Nagasaki the final events. Xenakis thinks it will be China/Pakistan/Sunni versus US/Iran (presumably post mullas)/Russia (see WWII). He thinks we’ll lose some cities, while China will be analogous to Japan in 1945, but more glow-in-the-dark.

        Not sure I buy all his ideas, but I can definitely see China/US and Saudi/Iran as big wars. If I’m reading this right, Crisis wars run til they end. Horribly.

  19. Why wars? Tom Clancy wrote, in one of his novels, that most wars are “armed robbery, writ large”. World War II – at least, the Pacific theater – happened that way. Japan wanted resources and invaded China to take them, and was threatening the Dutch East Indies. The US cut off oil and steel shipments to Japan, and there’s your provocation.

    WWII Europe; the stated reason was “liebensraum”, or living space. Germany absorbed Austria (well, there were some ethnic Germans in Austrian, who needed to be brought home…) and then Hungary (and the Skoda arms factories) and finally Poland before France and England had had enough. See? Armed robbery.

  20. It’s always an All You Can Eat buffet … but an hour later they’re again ravenous!

    Margaret Atwood is the Next Course at the Feminists Cannibal Feast
    By Sarah Hoyt
    It is no big secret I bear no love to Margaret Atwood. I will confess too what most annoys me about her is something over which she had no or little control.

    Sure, she could have done a better job of world-building in The Handmaid’s Tale, say, by researching actual Christian sects, or coming up with some idea of why Christians are behaving like Muslims, or even why there is a vast theocratic state based out of – snort, giggle – New England. Trust me, there are ways to tell the most improbable tale, but make it sound plausible with a wiggle of world building and a bit of future history. In her case, all she had to posit was the influence of Islam spreading worldwide and infecting Christianity with some of the same attitudes, as it has in other times and places, like most of the Mediterranean countries in the Middle Ages.

    But what really upsets me about her is the incessant fawning over what is really rather pedestrian science fiction and all the claims of “brilliant” and “insightful” about a book where she doesn’t seem to be aware there is — or ever was — more than one Christian sect, or that inside-Christianity disagreements can often be worse than outside.

    And truly, it’s not any writer’s fault if they are what I call a “darling” whom the publishing establishment has decided to gift with a ride to the top. Establishment publishing moves the way it does, and often whimsically. Except… well… they favor the left and frankly feminists.

    So Margaret Atwood had that going for her, of course.

    But apparently, the schtick has gone sour on her. Apparently, she’s now being called a bad feminist.

    What is her crime, you ask? I’m so glad you asked. …

  21. Very good seminar in military history. Given the discussion on how the Polish situation has been so badly mangled in the Received Wisdom, I wanted to post a similar story I ran across earlier today, about the Ukrainians.
    No vetting, no vouching, but something to think about.
    “…While I was observing this section of “Yad Vashem”, two young students drew everyone’s attention. One was crying hysterically, and the other attempted to calm her.

    I approached them and asked why she was crying.

    “How can I look calmly at this? It was there, in Auschwitz, that my grandmother died, my grandfather, aunt, my uncles on both my father’s and mother’s side… This is terrible barbarism! Horror! For you perhaps, it’s hard to believe this… You can’t imagine…

    “Not only can I imagine it, but I saw it with my own eyes, I personally experienced it,” I said, and showed her the concentration camp number on my arm. She jumped up, threw herself on my neck and began to kiss me passionately.

    “You were there? You’re one of them? You yourself endured that hell?!…”

    “Yes, but I’m not a Jew, I’m a Ukrainian”.

    She froze, not believing her ears. She recoiled; her arms fell.

    “How so, Ukrainian? You were a prisoner, you have a number on your arm, and Ukrainians were with the S.S., helping the Gestapo murder Jews!”

    She, her companion and others gazed at me with an expression of the utmost wonder and disbelief.

    “You are, possibly, a Ukrainian-Jew; or your father or mother were Jewish…”

    “No,” – I said. “I am a full-blooded Ukrainian and all my ancestors from the time of Moses were full-blooded Ukrainians. You are the victims of anti-Ukrainian propaganda. Hitlerians conducted propaganda to the effect that the Jews murder a Christian boy every year, to use his blood for ‘matzah’. And Russians and other Nazis conduct similar propaganda against Ukrainians, as if Ukrainians helped to murder Jews. I myself was in Hitlerite prisons and concentration camps for four years. There were thousands of Ukrainians like me and thousands of them died. The Germans destroyed, as you read here, six million Jews. Also three million Ukrainians. They shot Jews by hundreds and gassed them in concentration camps. They worked Ukrainians to death in the prison camps, shot them, publicly hung them in all the towns and cities of Ukraine…”

    1. My stepfather was Ukrainian during the war, and was captured and sent to a farm in Czechoslovakia. The farmer was told not to feed his slaves, but he disobeyed orders (I suspect he was thinking it was stupid to waste free labor) and $STEPFATHER died.

      My mother married him at the beginning of my senior year in college, so I didn’t get to know him that well (between school and moving west afterward, I didn’t see family that much), but I was told this. From what I’ve read, if he returned to the Ukraine after the war, Uncle Joe would have killed him off, so he ended up in the US. So, yeah, it’s quite plausible.

      1. $STEPFATHER died.
        My mother married him at the beginning of my senior year in college
        Just how old are you? (I think a word went missing there, maybe?)

        1. Mom re-married on my 21st birthday. Dad died a few years before. I might be a bastard, but not that kind of one. 🙂 🙂 🙂

          1. You make it sound like he died while a slave of the Czech farmer. So, you had to be entering college while WW2 was ongoing. I could be misreading that first paragraph, but that’s the way it came across.

            1. Oh! My father was born in Chicago, served in the 8th Air Force on Okinawa (another way to confuse people), and fathered my brothers and me after the war. (Truman was still president when I was born, but Ike was getting ready for the election.)

              Dad died in 1970, and Mom met Petro a couple of years later. Petro survived the Czech experience, but came to the USA as a displaced person, AKA refugee. They married on my 21st birthday, making it convenient to remember anniversaries and b’days. Stepfather might be pushing it a bit, but “my mother’s second husband” seems a bit cold. 🙂

    2. My grandparents were from that part of Europe. (Hungary when they lived there pre-War, but those cities were ethnically Ukrainian and are now in the Ukraine.) And no, Ukrainian collaboration with the Nazis was not Russian propaganda. Sure, there was resistance too, and no doubt folks caught at or suspected of that ended up in the camps or dead, but as a rule the Ukrainians were quite enthusiastically cooperative with the Nazis in murdering their Jewish neighbors.

      (Not as enthusiastic as the Lithuanians, but then even the SS were not as inventive and enthusiastic as the Lithuanians.)

      1. What happened in Eastern and Central Europe vis-a-vis the local majority ethnicities and their reaction to the Nazi Jewish policies and “final solution” has to be looked at in situ in order to even begin to understand what the hell happened. The conventional wisdom is that “those people” were just murderous thugs that the Nazis released upon the innocent Jews, and that whole “thing” was sheerest, nasty humanity at its worst.

        Well, it was. That’s undeniable. But, and it is a huge “but”, there were contributory reasons that went into the whole question that don’t get mentioned at all by the usual suspects. Even a lot of the Jews who were victims of it all don’t “get” what the hell happened, or why it did.

        First and foremost, you have the fact that the Jew in Eastern and Central Europe was mostly a creature of the town and city; they were there because they were deliberately channeled into trades and professions that put them there, and where they could take their bookish tendencies and make the most of them. So, for the regional despots, the Jews were convenient money lenders, merchants, and “manipulators of the economy”–With the added side benefit to everyone that you could periodically declare a pogrom, and erase your debts to them. The nobility loved this, and kept it going, because the whole thing was very helpful. Raise the taxes past the point of affordability? Why, that was because of those nasty town-dwelling Jeeeeewwwwsss… Here, why don’t you guys go kill a few of them (making sure to eliminate the ones who hold the local noble’s debts, of course…), and work your frustrations out?

        So, you had generations of the Jew being the scapegoat, and simultaneously a tool of the oppressor. The divide between town and country, back then, was something you could use as a wedge to keep the whole thing split up, and avoid having centers of power that could challenge the nobles. Not for the Eastern and Central European aristocracy to allow any such stupidity as the independent cities of Germany and Holland…

        So, you had the scapegoat Jew as a creature of the town and city, and then Socialism and Communism came in, which were commonly seen as creations of those nasty, nasty educated Jews who were out to screw the common man yet again, and Stalin committed the State to the Holodomor in Ukraine, followed by Hitler… Well, if you know the milieu, the surprising thing isn’t what happened to the Jewish populations in the region, but that any of the locals rescued or hid any of them at all, from the Nazis.

        Huge part of why the Jews are so hated across that region stems from stuff like this, and the dichotomy between the “smart” and the “common man”. The aristocracy needed the Jew to serve as the money man, in terms of money lending and mercantile management, and that put them into a position where they could be used as a convenient scapegoat pressure-relief system for the iniquities of the rest of society. There’s a reason the “country bumpkins” all hated the Jews, and that stems from things like the way nobody likes the guy who’s smarter than they are, and worse yet, uses that to exploit them. Which was, sadly, the way it was all seen by the “average Ivan” former serfs.

        You can see the same sort of thing going on in the former Yugoslavia, with regards to the Serbian hatred of the converted Muslims who served as the front for the Turk. Again, city vs. country, educated vs. uneducated, sophisticated managerial class vs. exploited peasant class… You get the idea.

        Truthfully, after the Communists and how there were so many urban Jews who served as theorists, “activists”, and the front face of the regime…? Any Jew who was lucky enough to survive that whole thing is a lucky, lucky person. I knew a couple of Ukrainians who survived the Russian Revolution and the Holodomor, and I’m here to tell you, for them? Hatred of the Jew was non-negotiable; they saw only a continuation of the war on the country by the city, and the faces of the Jewish urban types that came out as commissars to confiscate their food and leave them to starve in the winter cold. Those stories are still resounding down the generations, and probably won’t damp out for a few more.

        The conventional line is that the average Jew in the East was a passive victim, undeserving of their fate. Well, by-and-large, that was true, but… There were reasons that the rest of the population turned on their neighbors so quickly and thoroughly, ones that get left out because nobody wants to mention them. It doesn’t excuse squat, but it does explain the unexplicable-to-us of “Why the hell did that happen…?”.

  22. Late to the game, but I wanted to express my gratitude for your theft of my meme, although my intent in coining the phrase was somewhat different than yours. I attribute it to Dolly (my MC) as a sarcastic take on the apparent lack of tactical savvy evidenced by the clothing, armor, and gear shown in fantasy illustration of “fighting” women. The full quote is, “Life doesn’t always give you a chance to get armored up in the middle of the night. Sometimes you just have to go to war in the underwear you have on.” The point in attributing it to her is that she’s a “superhero” whose super power is being, essentially, a lingerie model.

      1. Must admit, I had never heard of GURPS. My gaming being limited to all-night sessions of Risk with fellow cabbies in the ’70s. Had to look it up on Wikipedia.The idea of Protective Nudity does appeal. When Dolly flashes her bewbs at you, the distraction factor is epic.

    1. I concede that when I envision a barbarian warrior maid I think less Red Sonja and more …

      … Alex Karras with tits.

      1. Ah, but Dolly is no barbarian. She’s a purely kick-ass American chick, though she does owe more than a bit to Maureen Birnbaum.

    1. Regarding his concern that he may be out of a job after the CIC sees the picture of him out of uniform, it may be that Pres. Trump, apparently being fairly mission-oriented, might appreciate his dedication to the response to an attack on his position that he didn’t stop to put on his trousers. As long as there wasn’t any mission-essential equipment in them, he probably didn’t adversely affect the combat readiness of his unit. Though the red T-shirt does kinda stand out against the desert terrain potentially compromising the concealment of his position, this was apparently an assault upon a fixed defensive emplacement so that issue may be moot. Now his *immediate* superiors may take exception to his situation. And what kind of unit SOP lets you sleep in your underwear? Even in the Guard, whenever contact was possible we always slept ready to rock.

      1. That story was from 2009, and the young man in boxers had absolutely nothing happen to him. I can’t remember the details, but I’m certain he saw no negative repercussions from that event.

      2. Also, he was in the barracks when the base came under fire.

        The army head’s grand total recorded response was “wow, what an advancement in psychological warfare.” (Pretty sure it was a joke, but text.)

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