What If Iran…

As another “holiday” weekend draws to a close, Americans have again been bombarded with exhortations to thank the U.S. military establishment for their supposed freedom. This theme pervades all aspects of American culture. Uniformed military personnel are granted privileges on airlines, discounts at restaurants, hotels, and other business establishments. This past summer, I attended my daughter’s dance recital at the Tampa Performing Arts Center. At the midpoint of the performance, men in uniform were rolled out onto the stage and a long tribute follwed, including patriotic-sounding music and a special dance routine, with a pair of army boots spotlighted at the front of the stage. The militarization of American culture is inescapable. That no one seems to recognize the similarity between this cultural worship of the military and the same by another militarized society of not so long ago is truly horrifying.

It may not be fashionable to say so, but I am sick and tired of being told to thank the military. The idea that thanks is owed grows out of the inability of most Americans to recognize simple cause and effect relationships. As I’ve said before, Americans seem to be unwilling to ask themselves the most basic questions about precisely how U.S. wars have made them freer. What are the specific results that the U.S. military has either achieved or prevented in the past 70 years that have led to this supposed increase in freedom? How would we be less free if the U.S. government did not fight one or more of those wars? While I have dealt with this at length before, let me summarize briefly:

1. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Korea.

2. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Viet Nam.

3. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Grenada (does anyone really take this one seriously?).

4. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Somalia.

5. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Kuwait.

6. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Iraq.

7. U.S. citizens are not freer because the U.S. military invaded Afghanistan.

Now, I know that these statements are at odds with conventional wisdom and will be regarded as unpatriotic by conservatives and even most liberals. However, after completing the required ad hominem attack upon the author, I challenge anyone who disagrees to refute these statements logically, providing a reasonable argument that there is some cause-effect relationship between the cited wars and the relative freedom of U.S. citizens. It will be particularly difficult to make the argument in the case of Viet Nam, where the objective (to prevent North Viet Nam from taking over South Viet Nam) was not achieved. U.S. citizens should have been less free as a result. Were they? How?

Cause and effect. It is the first and most basic natural law of the universe. It is the first concept that human beings must master before they can begin to undertsand the world around them. This understanding is imperative when performing the simplest task, like crossing the street. An inability to understand the cause and effect relationships between drivers and pedestrians can get you killed. The danger is exponentially greater when considering spending hundreds of billions of dollars to send hundreds of thousands of armed men to some far-off land.

The so-called debate on Iran provides yet another example of the inability of most Americans to recognize cause and effect relationships. Assuming that the Iranian government is attempting to build a nuclear weapon, the government-media complex has presented a narrow range of options from which Americans are expected to choose, with all others off the table. They are 1. Bomb or invade Iran now, before they get a nuclear weapon or 2. Impose economic sanctions (i.e., a military blockade/act of war) and bomb or invade them later. All of this is predicated upon the assumption that Iran will immediately use this nuclear weapon the minute they build it. While even the most hawkish conservatives would probably concede that there is not much chance that Iran will develop an inter-continental ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S. anytime soon, they cite the possibility that Iran may use this weapon against Israel.

This is where Americans don’t seem to be able to call upon the most basic critical thinking skills. Let’s assume that the hawks are correct. Iran develops a nuclear weapon. Let’s assume that one sunny morning, they decide to fire it. What would happen next?

Israel has approximately 300 nuclear weapons in its arsenal and the most well-trained and equipped military establishment in the Middle East. Do the math. The idea that Iran would preemptively nuke Israel, resulting in its complete destruction, is preposterous. Yet, most American citizens either refuse or are incapable of engaging in this simple analysis and instead give their tacit or enthusiastic support to whatever destructive foreign policy  decisions their leaders make.

There is the argument that Iran is led by a government that is not reasonable and therefore would not consider its inevitable destruction before attacking Israel with a nuclear weapon. Of course, “not reasonable” is a label that would fit any government like an old pair of shoes , but is Iran’s government less reasonable than any other? Let’s consider a few facts.

Iran has not invaded another country in over 200 years. The last overt aggressive action that the Iranian government has taken against another nation is the taking of hostages from the U.S. embassy in 1979 (the Iran-Iraq War was a defensive one for Iran). If asked why the Iranians did this, I’m sure most politicians would respond with the “they hate us for our freedom” mantra. Unfortunately, most Americans are willing to believe that the leaders of foreign nations have the same motivations as the villains in comic books.

Assuming that the hostages were taken because the Iranians “hate us for our freedom,” a few questions should immediately spring to mind. Why did they not take hostages from the German Embassy, or the French Embassy, or the Dutch Embassy? Were those countries so much less free than the United States that the Iranians would not have similar hatred toward them? Americans are asked to swallow this nonsense without question and ignore the Iranians’ stated reason for the kidnapping: the U.S.-led overthrow of the democratically-elected Iranian government and subsequent installation and decades-long support of the brutal Shah.

U.S. taxpayers are now being asked to once again abandon cause-effect reasoning in order to support the next steps on the path to war with Iran. They are asked to assume that somehow the results of a military conflict with Iran would be different from the results of the military conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan. After 10 years and trillions of dollars, not to mention lost American and civilian lives, absolutely nothing has been accomplished by either of those wars. Neither has America been rendered freer as a result of them. On the contrary, Americans now live in what any lucid person would describe as an Orwellian police state, complete with electronic surveillance, warrantless searches and seizures, and summary execution of U.S. citizens – without trial or even indictment – at the order of an American dictator. These have been the results of the “War on Terror.” No sane person should expect anything but more of the same if it is expanded further.

Ron Paul was far too polite in responding to the “What if Iran…” question. It is time for Americans to stop worshipping their military establishment and start thinking critically about these issues. Whether they develop a nuclear weapon or not (which is their right as much as any sovereign nation’s), Iran is never going to initiate war with it. What is certain is that if the U.S. government is allowed to lead its country into another destructive war, Americans will be less free, further in debt, and more hated around the world than they are now. The last ten years should be all the proof we need.

Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

© Thomas Mullen 2011

49 thoughts on “What If Iran…

  1. Mike Schroeder

    Most of these so-called “heroes,” are routinely paraded in front of us by the media at every opportunity, joined the military for the money, not because they desire to do some sort of sacrificial patriotic duty. Most of these youths going into the service, without a college degree, could not command anything in the private market other than a minimum wage job, providing no benefits, if they could be employed at all. The difference in what one can make in a 40 hour a week, minimum pay job, with no benefits, and as an E-1 in the military, with less than two years service, is about $500/month. This doesn’t include hazardous or combat pay or basic allowances for food, housing, cost of living, clothing, etc., not to mention full medical coverage. When these are added in the difference jumps to well over $1000/mon. This is a very substantial sum at that level of earnings.

    1. Herbert McDuffy

      Dear Mr. Schroeder,

      Based on my observations made during a 20 year Army career, most of it in front line combat units, i assure you that young men and women don’t stay in the military for the money. They don’t do a complex cost benefit analysis.
      Besides, you can’t put a price on living with fear and death…..

      They stay because they are committed to the concepts of service.
      They fight for each other. That is the way it has been since ancient times.

      Politicians and businessmen chose where they fight.
      We elect them. We buy their stuff. In so doing, we empower and support their decisions.
      We reap the benefits of freedom, stability and prosperity that soldiers have earned for us.

      Think before you write…

      1. Tom Mullen Post author

        Herbert – I won’t argue with you on the motivations of the soldiers. If your assertion isn’t true of all of them, I’ll buy that it’s true for most.

        Here’s where I am looking for some proof: “We reap the benefits of freedom, stability and prosperity that soldiers have earned for us.”

        How have the soliders earned freedom, stability, or prosperity for anyone alive today by fighting in any war from 1950 to the present? Specifically how has any of those wars caused us to be freer or richer? I argue that those wars have not made us freer. Why am I wrong?

  2. Ray

    Great article Thomas!

    I am eternally baffled by the utter stupidity and lack of thinking that Americans do…it’s really starting to wear on me. I just want to wring some necks and wake people up. But one by one, little by little, they are waking up. So keep doing your part, I’ll do mine, and the momentum will keep growing!


  3. Troy Walters

    Forgetting one thing, aren’t you? DETERRENCE! It’s not a matter of thanking the military, it’s a matter of thanking the men and women who serve(d) and SACRIFICE(d) for spoiled whiners like you Tom Mullen!
    I served with my share of people who signed up for college benefits – not the money – you get paid better out of the military! But I’ve also served with amazingly dedicated people who served and died for a cause. Not just OUR freedom, but basic freedoms for others as well. Tom Mullen – you are free to rant, I support and defended that right. But the fact that our US military IS, and that there are still men and women willing to serve and SACRIFICE for the “Tom Mullens” of this country, in spite of Tom Mullen, IS THE REAL POINT.
    The US government is controlled by politicians who currently do not have to live with the consequences of their decisions (for the most part) since they have set themselves apart from WE THE PEOPLE. That’s another post…
    So go ahead Tom Mullen, and refuse to thank the PEOPLE who sacrifice so you can pose for pictures and type little stories, and get on the radio and rant and rant and rant… and those of us who have sacrificed, and those who are sacrificing right now, will continue in spite of your arrogant, pathetic, spoiled, whining! GFY!

    1. Tom Mullen Post author

      Troy – what did the US military deter by invading Iraq – or any country on that list? Tell me what would have happened if we did not invade them.

      1. Troy Walters

        Tom – your article begins: “As another “holiday” weekend draws to a close, Americans have again been bombarded with exhortations to thank the U.S. military establishment for their supposed freedom.” And again, I reiterate: it’s not about the GOVERNMENT or the MILITARY – Veteran’s Day is about those PEOPLE now serving and those PEOPLE who have served! Considering you start the article making such a huge error, it didn’t surprise me that the rest sounds incredibly ungrateful, but mostly stupid!
        As for the misguided idea that military personnel get perks from airlines and restaurants and hotels being any form of compensation for not being able to see one’s family for months at a time; not being able to sleep in a bed for days or weeks or months; not having access to a toilet and a shower – you are one pathetic individual! You are completely clueless to reality. What happened, did you get bumped off a flight, a hotel was too full or you had to pay for your own meal so you decided to take a shot at the military? It’s still the PEOPLE you are trying to slam.
        Mentioning a school program featuring US soldiers to compare the Nazis – in ANY form – to the US military proves what a mental defect you truly are. You seriously have no clue! Let me guess, mommy and daddy are rich and you’ve never had to live in the real world. I’m sure there are a large majority of victims from Nazi hands that would gladly walk up and punch you square in that arrogant, ignorant mouth of yours. Have you ever met a concentration camp survivor? I have. You are offensive! But, somehow – obviously not due to our nation’s military (according to you) – you are free and able to post this incredible piece of garbage!
        You missed a few “conflicts” on your list, by the way. But how could you know that – the media didn’t bring details of every conflict our military personnel were sent to endure so that you could post about how un-freeing it was for you.
        To save time, I refute ONE point: Kuwait. You should know that The United Nations Security Council UNANIMOUSLY voted to take action – not to defend Kuwait, mind you – even though control of Kuwait gave Iraq control of 20% of the WORLD’s oil! No, it was to protect Saudi Arabia! It was IRAQ that was after oil – and the WORLD. That is enough. There doesn’t need to be any more. Your whole rant crumbles – period. Thirty-two nations were involved! It was NOT a US invasion of Kuwait. The US-led because we happen to be the biggest and the best, and the world knows it. The fact that our military is such a deterrent is what keeps this country more free than any other. America is NOT free – another flaw in your thinking! Tell those service men and service women, who put their personal rights on hold to serve, that this is a free country. OUR politicians have done this NOT the men and women serving THEIR agendas! War SUCKS – but there are times when WAR is indeed the answer. It’s not an all or nothing situation – never was, never will be!
        As for your warped idea that Iran is intelligent enough not to use nukes at their disposal, once again – you apparently do not think… at all. [Almost] NOBODY thought anyone would be crazy enough to fly passenger jets into buildings on US soil either. Or try to blow stuff up. And what’s scary is that those who thought those things up are not the ones to do it! They got their little “sheep” (sheep – like your buddy Tad Wesley) to do the deed for them! And that’s all they have to do – get someone to do it for them.
        NONE of this is new – NONE of it. It’s just more immediate and better known. There was a time when “news” organizations understood that FULL DISCLOSURE is not always a good thing.
        You can reply – I don’t care – you couldn’t possibly convince me you have anything useful to say. I just happened upon your little spewing at lunch because of a well intentioned post on Facebook by a Ron Paul supporter. Yes… an emotional response. I’m human; sue me (it’s your right, after all).
        People like you are as frightening, if not more-so, than those politicians and/or terrorists playing puppeteer with the lives of those who they can convince to do their bidding.
        You’re a disgrace on a lot of levels! You’re wrong and you’re further poisoning the well. Circumstance – Choice – Consequence.
        We all face these three things almost every moment of every day. You might want to work on the second C.
        Close your laptop and walk away before you really hurt someone!

        1. William Schooler

          Troy you are so set in your decision you cannot see or hear. There are results in abundance that say we are the best at stealing from the citizenry, the largest military presence in the entire world, the most ignorant spenders of borrowed money ever known to man and you sit there like none of these are in front of you, what a sham. Nothing like a blind man leading the blind is there?

          Personally if you call these great results you are the idiot. Further more I respect those that have had to go to war but not those that pointed the way. If you think war is such a great thing get your ass over there and fight in it or shut up.

          This article starts with real honesty by observation, its not false if you have eyes and look, but since you are only into putting others down in some attempt to prop yourself up, it is not working. Instead of worrying your little head about what everyone else is doing find a mirror look in it and figure out what you are not doing. Is this A Republic or Democracy? You don’t even know the answer do you because you are so wrapped up in being right about something rather than investigate yourself.

          Show me with full proof said individuals flew into these buildings? You cant because the real evidence has been swept away hasn’t it, but go ahead you keep assuming without the investigation and pretend you know anything. Its cool we are familiar with ignorance because it surrounds us on a daily basis.

          1. Troy Walters

            William – so you defend a guy who compares the US to Nazis?! That’s all I need to know about you!

            I’ve not said anything about great results. Can you read and comprehend? Seems not. I’ve not been defending “those that pointed the way” but those same people you claim to respect. I spent nine years serving – and that was over 20 years ago!

            “…real honesty by observation” – I’m amazed I’m even giving you the time of day.

            This is a Republic! Problem is – the POLITICIANS have corrupted EVERYTHING! WE THE PEOPLE (lazy as we are) are supposed to be in control but have willingly given control to the most self-serving group of individuals in history!

            It’s good you recognize that ignorance surrounds you on a daily basis – it’s you!

            Again… Veteran’s Day is not “Military Day” – it’s about those who serve and have served.

            I obliged Mr. Mullen and pointed out the flaws in his thinking about Kuwait as a single example. Mr. Mullen is obviously close minded and convinced he is right in his thinking. He is not.

            Don’t agree with war – I don’t. I would have preferred we spent the billions spent overseas to build our defenses here; feed our hungry here; house our people here; put our people to work here.

            The article was about disrespecting the men and women who serve and have served. Mr. Mullen’s comment: “I am sick and tired of being told to thank the military” is sickening. People like that are the first to scream for help WHEN things go wrong.

            I hope all people like you consider me an idiot. It means I’m still right in my mind, so… thanks for the compliment!

    2. Tad Wesley

      Troy, your emotional response is a little over the top. It’s not the job of the American military to defend the freedoms of other nations. That’s the job of THAT nation’s military.

      I respect and appreciate our people in uniform. What I don’t like is how our government chooses to send them all over the world, on my dime, to do things other than their stated purpose, which is to defend the United States. Tom’s list is pretty good – think of all those wars. Did ANY of those nations REALLY present any kind of actual threat to the United States. Seriously? And did any of them ever actually declare war on us?

      The only one you can make any kind of case for is Afghanistan in my mind, and that wasn’t the government so much as rogue elements within the country. As he said, in none of the other cases there are we as a people “freer” because of those activities. In fact I’d say we’re less free – the increased threat of terrorism from people we have attacked is why we have to be groped before we get on an airplane (another post entirely).

      Calm down, take a deep breath, and try to be semi-rational before posting next time. 🙂

      1. Troy Walters

        Tad: seems to me that you need to grow up enough to grow a beard before you try speaking at the adult table! That’s all I have to say to you – now run back to your X-Box in mommy’s basement!

        1. Tad Wesley

          You don’t know a thing about me, so stop trying to pretend to. Again, rational over emotional is what will get you somewhere, and you’re not doing it. Ad-hominem attacks are easy. If that’s all you’ve got, maybe it’s YOU who needs to go sit at the kids table.

        2. Vae Victus

          Troy, you are avoiding the central issue of Tom’s piece and setting up straw men.

          Tom never said there was no need for a U.S. military, or questioned the need for defense, nor the sacrifices of those who gave in our defense. But THAT is the issue!

          Every conflict we have engaged in since World War II has been OFFENSIVE and not DEFENSIVE in nature. We have set a dangerous precedent most recently by embarking on PREVENTATIVE invasion. Every conflict since 1945 has been about lands and people other than our own. Tom simply highlights how this truth is incongruent with the oft-asserted claim that we owe our “freedom” to the U.S. military.

          Also, you may want to consider the true meaning behind Veteran’s Day.

          Veteran’s Day began as Armistice Day, to commemorate the peace on Nov. 11th 1918 that ended World War I. For most people, this was seen as the “war to end all wars,” and thus the 11th was a day to remember how destructive and terrible war was, and to avow to avoid it in future at all costs.

          The 11th of November is now used as a day to celebrate military service, and regrettably, any of its old anti-war ethos is now gone. Instead of remembering that we should minimize war and the losses of men and women involved, we now use the day to celebrate the sacrifices and ‘glorious deaths’ of service people; the day does not bemoan war so much as it celebrates in the “glory” of death in combat.

          1. Troy Walters

            Vae – Had we fought World War II OFFENSIVELY, it very well could have been a very different war! Nope, the US sat back and ignored pleas from others around the world until we got kicked in the head. Then we joined in.

            We certainly do not owe our freedom to critics on the internet comparing our military to Nazis. That’s not only offensive, it’s simply idiotic! It’s the actions of a spoiled child screaming for attention!

            Christmas may have began as a pagan holiday, but that’s not what it’s about now – is it? It’s about COMMERCE… you know, GREED.

            I don’t know anyone who is or has served that is an advocate of war – I certainly am not. And your perception of what Veteran’s Day is about is pretty twisted!

            The day WILL come when the US must stand up and defend our own soil, of that I am certain. The problem will be that those “in power” at the time will be the ones who simply don’t get it. And that will be the time when those who do will be responsible for freedom, and probably will not be part of the US military. The will be Americans defending freedom.

    3. Mark Are

      Troy, the last time any of you people defended or stood for freedom was in the 1860’s when some stood in defense of the SOUTH. Since then? You are only doing it because you are programmed to believe lies and accept them as truth. “Our” job as a people isn’t to go around the world and pretend we are bringing them freedom while the freedoms we have lost here in the US seem to be compounded like interest annually. So get your head out of that place where the sun doesn’t shine and wake the EFF up. In my 57 years here, I’ve forgotten more than you are ever going to learn at the rate you are going.

      1. Troy Walters

        Mark – “you people” WOW! You may have really stepped in it with that comment!

        I don’t doubt you’ve forgotten a lot – you prove that point very well.

  4. William Schooler

    WOW! Mr. Mullen,

    This is a very honest article, thank you. I do appreciate good honesty and I am aware many have no clue what that is. But this is the meat and potatoes on the idea of war.
    You made all valid points and from a producing American perspective I have no argument and total admiration.

    Thank you for being genuine,
    William Schooler
    A Producing American

  5. Joe Hacherl

    I do have a great respect for our soldiers. And I believe we do owe them great honor and gratitude. They have always done what was asked of them, usually in very difficult circumstances, in a very professional way. They do put themselves in harms way, bravely.
    I also support the notion that war does not make us freer. In this area, the United States needs to be the leader. I believe you will agree that the best way to lead is by example. If we Americans want a peaceful world, then we must demonstrate that desire for peace in the world by our own actions. Which doesn’t mean we make ourselves vulnerable, simply, letting go of the role of the world policeman. And yet, we should be willing to assist a nation that asks for our help, or when our reps in Congress say it should be so.

    1. Mark Are

      Boy do you need to do your homework. Ever hear of Mai Lai? How about the nutcase in Afghanistan that was leading a group of those professional soldiers as hit teams on civilians that just got life imprisonment?

      I make the effort to share this information because it gives me, at last, a plausible answer to a long-unanswered question: Why, no matter how much intelligent goodwill exists in the world, is there so much war, suffering and injustice? It doesn’t seem to matter what creative plan, ideology, religion, or philosophy great minds come up with, nothing seems to improve our lot. Since the dawn of civilization, this pattern repeats itself over and over again.

      The answer is that civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have been built on slavery and mass murder. Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, cheat, steal, torture, manipulate, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse, in order to establish their own sense of security through domination. The inventor of civilization – the first tribal chieftain who successfully brainwashed an army of controlled mass murderers – was almost certainly a genetic psychopath. Since that momentous discovery, psychopaths have enjoyed a significant advantage over non-psychopaths in the struggle for power in civilizational hierarchies – especially military hierarchies.

      Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate power. And as their power grows ever-more-threatened, the psychopaths grow ever-more-desperate. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the overworld – the overlapping criminal syndicates that lurk above ordinary society and law just as the underworld lurks below it.

      During the past fifty years, psychopaths have gained almost absolute control of all the branches of government. You can notice this if you observe carefully that no matter what illegal thing a modern politician does, no one will really take him to task. All of the so called scandals that have come up, any one of which would have taken down an authentic administration, are just farces played out for the public, to distract them, to make them think that the democracy is still working.

      One of the main factors to consider in terms of how a society can be taken over by a group of pathological deviants is that the psychopaths’ only limitation is the participation of susceptible individuals within that given society. Lobaczewski gives an average figure for the most active deviants of approximately 6% of a given population. (1% essential psychopaths and up to 5% other psychopathies and characteropathies.) The essential psychopath is at the center of the web. The others form the first tier of the psychopath’s control system.

      The next tier of such a system is composed of individuals who were born normal, but are either already warped by long-term exposure to psychopathic material via familial or social influences, or who, through psychic weakness have chosen to meet the demands of psychopathy for their own selfish ends. Numerically, according to Lobaczewski, this group is about 12% of a given population under normal conditions.

      So approximately 18% of any given population is active in the creation and imposition of a Pathocracy. The 6% group constitutes the Pathocratic nobility and the 12% group forms the new bourgeoisie, whose economic situation is the most advantageous.

      When you understand the true nature of psychopathic influence, that it is conscienceless, emotionless, selfish, cold and calculating, and devoid of any moral or ethical standards, you are horrified, but at the same time everything suddenly begins to makes sense. Our society is ever more soulless because the people who lead it and who set the example are soulless – they literally have no conscience.

      Google, Beware The Psychopath My Son to read the REST OF THE STORY.

  6. Renee Camille

    Please fix this sentence in the second paragraph: “How would be less free if the U.S. government did not fight one or more of those wars?” – it doesn’t read right. I want to link to it in various emails and other online venues, but I just want it spotless of errors. :p

    A very honest and wonderful piece, I agree with it 100%.

  7. Troy Walters

    I’m amazed that so many believe this unique to the US. There are many other countries around the world fighting in the same wars. There are people from around the world who are fighting and being killed fighting for your freedom. This is not a US only issue.
    The original story is sensationalized for attention and full of inaccurate and offensive ideas.
    The biggest fight is against the enemy within!

    1. William Schooler

      Troy I realize you are so above me, how could I possibly know as much as you. One, I don’t believe anything, I get all my information from the results that sit in front on me, then I go find the causes of such stupidity.

      These ideas may be offensive, but sensationalized or inaccurate many of us who VIEW from results know better.
      You just keep telling yourself the same thing over and over, we already realize your own decision. The fact you are unable to see outside yourself is exactly why we are in this situation. So many want to know it all without doing the homework, to assume and then spill the crap on others.

      I was in the military too jack ass, so stop complaining you are the only one on planet earth. It is good to have a military to protect our nation from intruders. But first you have to totally prove you have some and WAR is a destructive act against life which you are, if you don’t like it you take you out.

      As far as honoring those that went to war I cannot disagree, but they are not painting this picture they were just doing what so many are trained to do; what they are told and do not question it. Ya, look how that is going and again is something you REFUSE to look at. But go ahead and keep lying to yourself because when you write it down we are sure who is confused and who is not.

      And you are very wrong on what A Republic is and this is because you did so much home before you spoke didn’t you?

  8. Claire M

    I think we do owe some of our security and freedom to our ability and willingness to enforce treaties, such as the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty– and to enforce international resolutions against hostile actions by dangerous governments.

    To take your argument to its logical conclusion, we would have to admit that such treaties and resolutions are meaningless, because they will never be backed by force. We would have to give up on trying to prevent nuclear proliferation, for example. Do you really want every state and every terrorist organization to be equipped with nuclear weapons? Hasn’t history taught us that there will be irrational and homicidal who are more intent on destruction than anything else? Or opportunistic leaders who prey on the weakness of neighboring states? Imagine if Chamberlain had resolved to help the French enforce the treaty ov Versailles. You would no doubt have reviled him as a warmonger, but on the other hand he might have averted WW2 and saved countless lives. Unfortunately he gave Hitler too much credit: surely no one could be as crazy as the Fuhrer was being made out to be….

    Who’s to say that our aggressiveness (in Vietnam among other places) didn’t deter the USSR from nuking us during the cold war? Who’s to say whether any given ideology can override people’s reason and lead to actions that sane people don’t understand? We’ll never know. But we can learn lessons from history, one of which is that abject pacifism is very dangerous.

    1. Vae Victus

      The USSR was deterred from nuking us because of Mutually Assured Destruction.

      Our superiority with land and submarine based ICBMs, our advanced early warning system, and long range bomber fleet assured that any nuclear exchange would be asking for extinction.

      The final nails in the coffin were the development of stealth technology and Star Wars. Although Star Wars program was not as nearly viable as the Soviets believed, the mere idea that we may get it functional, as well as the stealth capability, assured that the U.S. had a first strike option the Soviets simply did not possess.

      What does a land war in asia in the name of propping up a corrupt dictator have to do with any of that?

      Besides, as Mullen already pointed out, we failed in our objectives in Vietnam. So, shouldn’t that have been taken as a sign of ineptness or weakness by teh Soviets? How did us failing in our strategic aims in Asia keep the USSR at bay?

      Also, the entire ‘if we had been preemptively aggressive in the 1930s, we could have stopped World War II’ is a tired notion that statists and progressives have been throwing around for decades. It’s just as untenable as your Vietnam views, however.

      For one thing, no one stops to consider that interventionism on the part of the FDR presidency actually led to conflicts. Japan came to see that there was no other option than to eliminate our presence in the Pacific rim after we had spent years funneling millions of dollars and tons of military equipment to the Chinese in their war against Japan. We also imposed extremely heavy sanctions on Japan where we cut off all their iron and most of their petroleum trade. Being a land with few indigenous industrial resources, Japan naturally sought them through building their “East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere,” i.e. Empire.

      Even long before FDR, it is very evident that Japan was put onto the path of aggressive expanionism by Western powers. Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Japan was content to exist isolated in perfect equilibrium with its indigenous resources. The U.S. under Perry, along with the French and British, forcibly put Japan into the world system.

      All efforts were made to mold Japan into a “model imperial power.” Japan saw what was happening to China in the Opium Wars and what the French were doing to Indo-China and decided it must not fall prey, so devoted all national resources to militarism. By 1895 it was becoming evident to what extent that was true, and was completely clear in 1905 when Japan defeated Russia.

      By 1919, Japan was invited into the ‘Great Game’ of world domination by getting its share of the spoils from the defeated Central Powers in the Versailles treaty.

      The West literally created a monster, so there is interventionism for you.

      As regards Germany and the Nazis, it is often forgot that Hitler did not just start out by invading Poland or France. Before those steps, he took Czechoslovakia and Sudetenland when he was still very weak. He is recorded as stating himself that he could only do such maneuvers because both the French and British government gave him the green light for these operations.

      Everyone knows what “Appeasement” was, but they only see half of it. People such as yourself, Claire, look and say “if force had been used earlier, war could have been averted.”

      However, you fail to recognize that it in fact WAS the use of force which allowed for Hitler’s build up. In short terms, it was the fact that the French and British ambassadors told Hitler they would not use their military to honor the defense of Czechoslovakia which allowed Hitler to annex that country: from the Czech perspective, it wasn’t that force hadn’t been used to stop disaster, but that the Nazis, with the assurances of force behind them, moved assuredly along with their plans.

      What you essentially had was what we have today: powerful nations playing with the destinies of weaker ones. The solution for peace wasn’t to have more war earlier, it was for nations to stop playing God with each others’ sovereignty.

      The U.N. similarly sold-out Ethiopia and Eritirea to the Italians: Italy invaded not because other nations failed to make war upon them, but because they in effect had already declared war on Ethiopia by saying “you have no sovereignty.”

      Even irrespective of all the above, the fact was that Japan attacked the United States, and Germany declared war on the U.S. shortly after. World War II was a defensive war for the U.S. and totally justified in way none of our current conflicts even remotely compare are. That should be sufficient to the argument.

      But when people attempt to use World War II to justify ‘Preemptive Strikes” or whatever, they are forgetting that there is a flip side to the coin.

      Did not Hitler believe strongly in Preemptive War? Did he not justify his move into the Low Countries on the idea that they would inevitably side with the old Entente powers?

      Did Japan not establish a client state in Korea because they believed they needed to preempt invasion by the same? Did Japan not establish Manchukuo because they felt they needed to preempt further British or French imperialism in China?

      And most of all, was the attack on Pearl Harbor not in fact a preemptive strike on U.S. naval forces because Japan felt conflict within the Asia sphere of influence was only a matter of time?

      So you should be able to see the problem. All needs be done is change a few words in your own language:

      “Hasn’t history taught us that there will be irrational and homicidal who are more intent on destruction than anything else? Or opportunistic leaders who prey on the weakness of neighboring states?…You would no doubt have reviled [insert leader name here] as a warmonger, but on the other hand he might have averted [X or Y war] and saved countless lives.”

      The German and the Japanese people certainly felt this way. And they felt their leaders were justified in going after the “irrational and homicidal,” or the Jewish war mongering elite according to the Germans and the Western Imperialists according to the Japanese.

      The problem with Preemptive War doctrine is can be used by anyone, for whatever cause, just or not.

      The only reasonable recourse, especially in a republic with a written constitution of supreme law, is to fight just wars in the name of wrongs already committed, not on ones that may be committed in future; to fight enemies that exist and are violating our sovereignty, not threats that may or may not materialize at some uncertain point.

      Taking all of that together, then Mullen’s approach to the Iranian “problem” or “threat” is the only reasonable one we can pursue. Everything else is just committing acts of war in the name of stopping war, and of further erosion of liberties here at home in the name of defending them abroad.

      1. Old Guy

        How about this. Lets let all the military men and women come home from the current wars we fight everywhere, and stop all the dying for the susposed cause. Let the Iranians and the Afgans and the Somalis and the rest alone while we solve our own economic problems. Lets stop giving trillions away to the banksters and corrupt politicians and rebuild the America that was fought for in WWI and WW2. The sooner we end what Eisenhower called “the Military Industrial Complex” the sooner we will get the 50 million people off food stamps, the 25% of our unemployed off the rolls, and will be back on the road to a true democracy and republic.

      2. Claire M

        I understand your perspective. You feel we have provoked every war against us, that if we had only been nicer, or perhaps weaker, if we had only minded our own business, everyone would be our friend and we would never have to worry about being attacked. How far would you take this argument? Do you deny that sometimes states attack other states for the wrong reasons– that is, because the targets are weak or otherwise vulnerable, or because of “culture clash”?

        I happen to think that the majority of conflict in the world is unprovoked, when viewed through a rational lens– that is, that most wars are fought for no rational reason. I think you would acknowledge that this happens at least some of the time. After all, you accuse the US of acting irrationally… From your perspective, are we the only ones who do this kind of thing? Is it absolutely impossible that we might be the target of wars or terrorist attacks even if we behaved in the most scrupulous manner? Do you really assume that everyone is the world is as rational as you want this country to be?

        My concern is that terrorist groups or “rogue” states– that is, states where the government is not accountable to the people, who are known to sponsor terrorist groups such as Hezbollah or Hamas, and who have stated a wish to destroy other states such as the US or Israel– that such states and non-state actors might one day soon possess nuclear weapons. Are you so naive that the thought of, say, Pakistan allowing their nukes to fall into the wrong hands, or an Iranian Ayatollah with his finger on a nuclear trigger doesn’t bother you in the least? Are you so naive as to believe that if we demonstrate absolutely non-interventionist intentions for the future, that we will be stricken off everyone’s hit-list?

        It seems to me that Tom’s preferred strategy moving forward is to stop trying to keep track of nuclear weapons around the world, allow anyone who so desires it to arm themselves to the teeth, and wait and see what happens. I am convinced that if we do this we WILL be attacked again, but this time it will be a nuclear weapon detonated in one of our major metropolitan centers. Is this really the price you want to pay in order to preserve our moral high ground, as you see it? Wouldn’t you rather have us keep track of nuclear weapons around the world as best we can, and to prevent their spread?

        One more thing. Since it may seem ridiculous to you and Tom that anyone might hate us for our freedom, you should both consider this: The Marxist Soviets realized early on that the best way to sustain communism in the USSR would be to impose it on the rest of the world, because the very existence of freedom somewhere else makes communism look like a terrible way of life. After all, if communism was so great, why couldn’t they just have it in the USSR and gloat to the rest of the world about how great they were? But the US was booming, and people here had a standards of living that the Soviets could not even have dreamed of. That had to change. So we had the cold war, as well as efforts to propagandize communism in the US. When that Soviet strategy failed, they turned inward, locked down the borders and cut off communication with the outside world, so the Soviet people could not see what kind of life they were missing.

        The same goes for those who want to establish an Islamic Caliphate in Europe– one of the stated aims of Al Quaeda, and a goal shared by the leaders of Iran and other Islamic states. In order for that to succeed, the Islamists must defeat their ideological competitors, one way or another. In Europe, they are waging a demographic war of attrition, seeking to undermine Western culture from within, and this strategy is showing some success, partly because of the concentration of Muslims there, but also because of the lack of real ideological competition from indigenous Europeans. Europeans value freedom a lot less than Americans; they are more socialistic, and less averse to mountains of regulations. So European cities don’t have to be targeted by terrorist attacks, at least as long as Europeans are going along with the Islamic program on their own. Europe is going to be a crappy place to live pretty soon, if it isn’t already; no real competition there.

        For America, however, land of the NRA, Evangelical Christians, Nascar and what have you, other strategies must be used; mainly to kill our citizens and try to terrorize us into submission, because we are not going there without a fight. This cultural confidence is what the Islamists must destroy in order to have their caliphate. We stand for freedom, and the more successful we are, the worse Islamic theocracy looks by comparison. In short, The Islamist theocrats feel the same way about us as the Soviet leaders did. We are the ideological competitors, and all things being equal we would undermine their system by offering a better alternative. So they try to destroy us.

        When you take human nature into account, these things become pretty clear. I think that given the fact that the world is not people by clear-headed Vulcans it is better to use common sense than to be rigid about non-intervention.

          1. Claire M

            Many countries would take away our nuclear weapons if they could, but thank goodness we are still too strong for that to happen– thank goodness, that is, that the majority of Americans still appreciate the value of strong national defense. How does this make us different from our enemies? Most of the countries that would like to see us disarmed are run by dictators who are not accountable to their subjects. That, to me, is the main distinction between us and them. Our enemies run systems where speech and association are stifled, and in which rationality is therefore not allowed to operate as it should, and they are therefore very dangerous to us and to the rest of the world.

            Just as we have enemies, we also have allies– other free democracies, in which the rights to life, liberty and property of citizens are protected by law. None of these are perfect systems, of course, but there are degrees of freedom, and in general the citizens of our friend states are much freer than those of our enemies. Friends and allies want each other to be strong, so that when threats occur we can band together to defeat them. Most of the other (relatively) free democracies in the world are happy for us to have nuclear weapons, because nuclear weapons in our hands protect freedom. The tyrants of the world, on the other hand, would like for us to be weaker, to prove to those they want to subjugate that there is no alternative to their tyranny. As long as we continue to thrive, we are a thorn in their side, so they will always want to defeat us– so, no, they would not “allow” us to have nuclear weapons. Lucky for us and for freedom, the tyrants and dictators of the world are not the “allowers” or the “preventors”– we, and our (again, relatively) freedom loving allies are. Let’s keep it that way.

          2. Tom Mullen Post author

            Claire, it never ceases to amaze me that someone with your capability for flawless reasoning can leave the reservation so thoroughly when it comes to this subject. On this issue, you will buy whatever the government sells you, no matter how ridiculous, no matter how obviously and patronizingly insulting to your intelligence, as long as you can conclude that we must continue to make war on these destitute idiots. The willingness of stupid people to believe the government doesn’t scare me half so much as the willingness of smart people to do so.

        1. William Schooler

          A question I would like to get answered is this; how long have Christians and Islamist been at war over each others ideology? Is this new?

          Here we are with thousands of year old ideologies preaching the love of God while killing life, I have always asked the question how does this exemplify Gods love?

          So few are really willing to answer this question but they should. I don’t have the heart to kill a soul but I sure have the heart to love the life around me that wishes to live and allow to live. Man I wonder what that makes me?

          Any group advocating the killing of others as well the hatred has definitely missed something with the expression of God in the same sentence. So many carry on about the after life because they have done so poorly at their present life.

          I think the mirror serves the best when looking at the subject of life because when you are standing there looking at yourself it is really hard to deny you do not like living and if we focus on life and stop the focus on death life could actually take place.

          I know a ton about life but then I have done a full study of myself and what a mess that was before I finally discovered me, now I cannot get enough.

          Some how I equate irrational and the unwillingness to explore self one in the same. Here is an example; if I have no respect for myself will I share any? Yet most people are always looking at everyone else’s bad achievements and saying how bad they are and not once looking at themselves to see what they are so proud of or so disappointed over.
          Personally its is tiring because it happens over and over and over and over and it will not stop because it is always someone else causing the disappointment. Have you ever wondered what a bad habit is and how they are formed? You should because blaming others for what you are not willing to change about yourself constantly is old, really old and can only be changed by one individual and no others, that almost makes its choice-less doesn’t it?

          If you do not wish to be in war yourself you do not want war and making up some reason to have it is making up some reason and is far from reason itself.

        2. Vae Victus

          If you think that Al Quaeda

          (which doesn’t even exist in the way you think of, i.e. there is no “Al Quaeda network,” there are only disparate and diverse Islamic jihad groups that the CIA collectively terms Al Quaeda, there is no central bureaucratic or organizational mechanism for them or a ‘nation state of Al Quaeda’)

          can establish an “Islamic Caliphate in Europe,” I can question how grounded you even are in just basic reality.

          Seriously, at least the Red Scare had some major military hardware and millions of people to justify it: how anyone could even dream that a few hundreds of terrorists could affect regime change throughout the continent of Europe, let alone try and actuate such a dream, is totally beyond me.

          You said, “In Europe, they are waging a demographic war of attrition, seeking to undermine Western culture from within, and this strategy is showing some success, partly because of the concentration of Muslims there…”

          So what’s this, the Dying Race theory of the 1920s-30s revitalized? “Demographic war of attrition?” We must reinstate the Lebensborn! Quickly, before the rats sap the strength of the Ancient Race! Give me a break.

          You said, “I think that given the fact that the world is not people by clear-headed Vulcans it is better to use common sense .”

          No kidding.

          1. Vae Victus

            Claire one last thing; you’re increasing number of tangents doesn’t even speak to the original issue.

            Blathering about how others in this world may “hate us for our freedoms” or anything else is moot: none of it addresses the original point. The issue isn’t if people will hate us for one reason or another, it is how do we deal with that?

            That being, is the fear about Iran justified and do we react to it with Preemptive Action?

            I provided a pretty detailed proof showing how Preemptive War would not have solved anything in World War II : indeed it was a subscription to such a doctrine that caused the war.

            You have yet failed to rebut that argument.

            In so far as that remains, your original assertions, and thus your attacks on Mullen’s piece, stand voided.

          2. Claire M

            It’s not about race. It’s about religion and ideology. There are people of all races who practice Islam. Most of them are nice, non-violent people who don’t wish to follow the Koran and the Hadiths to the letter, and who take fatwas issued by foreign clerics with a grain of salt. These people (of all races) are generally loyal to their home countries in Europe, and I have no problem with them. But a sizable percentage of Muslims in Europe would like to live under Islamic Sharia law rather than the current laws of the home countries they live in. The numbers of these ideologues has grown in recent years and continues to grow. They do not need to be in the majority in order to Islamize Europe– there just needs to be a critical mass of them. Pay attention next time you hear about pressure to institute laws curtailing the freedom of speech in the name of preventing the “defamation” of Islam, or pressure to institute special family courts for Muslims that would treat women according to Sharia law, and you’ll see what I mean.

            The solution would be not to get rid of Muslims in Europe (or to make citizenship contingent on European ancestry), but rather to make it clear to all citizens that in European countries men and women are equal, homosexuality and sex outside of marriage are not crimes, and that individuals may decide that there may be other gods besides Allah, or no gods at all, for that matter. If Europeans were more like Americans, I think they would have an easier time assimilating people from different cultures into our Western culture. But Europeans are too committed to “multiculturalism.” They are inordinately self-deprecating about their own cultural heritage (which values the free individual), and lack the confidence necessary to challenge other beliefs about the place of the individual in society.

          3. Vae Victus

            Now you are talking about what European domestic policy should or should not be.

            Aside from the fact that you naively think in terms of a pan-European identity and culture (i.e. if you try applying your theory of ‘Islamicization’ to the Balkans as opposed to France or Germany, you’re going to be frustrated), you are just launching on another tangent.

            What the Europeans “should” do or not about this “problem” is entirely moot: what does any of it have to do with THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA?

            Let’s say, in the very unlikely scenario, Europe DOES come to embrace sharia law, i.e. “European culture” (again, I cringe at even saying that: there is no such thing) becomes “Islamic.”

            So what? Why should that worry us anymore than Muslims should be worried about the United States embracing predominantly Protestant Christian outlooks?

            As long as there is commerce, peace and self-determination, then I fail to see why we should be even remotely worried.

            You take the view that it is not a peaceful transition that you fear, as you say:

            “Most of them are nice, non-violent people who don’t wish to follow the Koran and the Hadiths to the letter, and who take fatwas issued by foreign clerics with a grain of salt. These people (of all races) are generally loyal to their home countries in Europe, and I have no problem with them. But a sizable percentage of Muslims in Europe would like to live under Islamic Sharia law rather than the current laws of the home countries they live in.”

            So you say that the Islamic cultural adherents are not in themselves a threat, while simultaneously asserting that there is a dangerous minority of fundamentalists that is growing.

            Again, I ask what the difference is between that and our own cultural situation in the U.S.?

            Shouldn’t Muslims fear that, while the majority of Christians in America are tolerant and peaceable, that there are a ‘sizable percentage of Christians who would like to live under Talmudic / Hebrew/ Puritanical law rather than the current laws of the home countries they live in?’

            There is no difference. We have many in the U.S. who would gladly scrap the Constitution for Fundamentalist Dictate.

            These are often the same people who advocate torture, Preemptive and Undeclared War, abandonment of the 4th and 5th Amendment, Prohibitions of all kinds, Un-Qualifiied Support for Israel, and other dubious things on no basis other than their Minister or Preacher is telling them every week that they are ‘At War with Islam’ or that ‘Islam is the Devil’ or there is ‘A Clash of Civilizations.’

            We hope that our country will not fall prey to these kinds of people so long as we hold to the Constitution and to right reason.

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  10. Mike Bouchard

    Great article Tom. I have never understood why the United States has to invade these third world countries that have a hard time feeding themselves. You would have thought that Vietnam would have been the final lesson for us, Fifty thousand some odd deaths (not counting the wounded and the native population deaths) and we ended up leaving and the inevitable end happened anyway. What an awful tragedy and we still have not learned our lesson.

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  12. Observer

    It is exactly the same propaganda THE USSR used to brainwash their society about their military which also killed Thousands of innocent people while the ignorant populace cheered.
    US is no different building an empire with blood of the innocent people in places all over the World while in the same time interrupting the country.

  13. don

    Your military is installing the banks and corporations in the target countries. These are the same banks and corporations that are screwing the people at home. Smeldy Butler, the most highly decorated US Marine, 33 year veteran of the US Marine core, told you so in the book War is a Racket 80 years ago you morons… Get your head out of your ass and maybe you can figure something out.

  14. Sherry

    Perspective is a wonderful thing. In reading the militant exchanges taking place between otherwise reasonable people, I can’t help but be conflicted and sad.

    I love our military volunteers because I know with what patriotic innocence they have volunteered and desire to be of value to God and to country. I love the truth whereever it is proclaimed, therefore I must love both Tom’s honest assessment of the practical realities of the relative harm caused by imperialist war strategies designed to empower the power mad with more power; and I must love the truth of our responsibility to honor those who were willing to give their lives (no matter how vain the goals) to protect and serve us by protecting and serving the people we have elected to represent us in upholding, protecting and defending the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.

    The issue is: Can we accomplish the restoration of the true goal of restoring this nation to a place of respect for God and for the Constitution by failing to acknowledge the value of a standing military and the value of the Constitution at the same time?

    The value of a standing military defense is very high. The value of an imperialistically offensive military is a very big negative. The value of the lives of the people who make up the military personnel, is beyond words. The problem we must face is the ability to reconcile the emotional defense of the lives of our military heroes (heroes because they are willing to lay down their lives for us) while at the same time standing against the intrusive government exploitation of our love of God and of others. When we reconcile both sides of the issue, we come to the place of peace and of safety, for ourselves and for our posterity.

    1. Vae Victus

      “I love our military volunteers because I know with what patriotic innocence they have volunteered and desire to be of value to God and to country. I love the truth whereever it is proclaimed, therefore I must love both Tom’s honest assessment of the practical realities of the relative harm caused by imperialist war strategies designed to empower the power mad with more power; and I must love the truth of our responsibility to honor those who were willing to give their lives (no matter how vain the goals) to protect and serve us…”

      I find myself more and more unable to accept that first premise.

      When the wars first began in 2001, I understood that many felt it was the right thing to do, to go after those who attacked us on September 11th. I felt this way as a 16 year old, and told myself I would join up once I had graduated.

      By the time I was receiving my diploma, it was the spring of 2003, and the U.S. was invading Iraq. I had already had doubts leading up to that war as to the veracity of the reasons behind it, but when I saw how the affair was actually handled, I had made up my mind it was not just or even pragmatic. So, that fall I went to college instead of signing up as I had planned when I was 16.

      During my time at university and in my work, I have interacted with many vets from all different branches. Many of them signed up after September 11th 2001, or a little before. Many of them truly were of ‘patriotic innocence’ who ‘volunteered and desired to be of value’ to the country.

      However, I was aware of the fact that the world continued to turn in the meantime, and that more came to light about these conflicts.

      To be concise, I can understand someone’s patriotic innocence in 2001, or even 2002 or 2003, and most definitely prior to 2001. But I cannot understand the innocence of someone who joined up in 2005, or 2007, or 2010.

      How can one claim “patriotic innocence,” in the light of Abu-Grahib, secret prisons, propping up corrupt poppy lords, farces like the Pat Tillman coverup, no WMDs, wanton drone attacks on neutral nations, etc?

      How can one claim “patriotic innocence” after a decade of eroded civil liberties, where TSA behaves as they do, Americans are monitored with warrentless wiretaps and GPS trackers, the DHS classifies Constitutionalists and returning vets as “probable future terrorists,” and where American citizens can be tortured or even assassinated on nothing more than presidential order?

      With all of the data and evidence that has come to light which throws the official story of 9/11 into doubt, confirmations of attempted false flags to get us into war with Iran, and now all of the rabid saber rattling to make open war on Pakistan, Iran or anyone else, not to mention our behavior regarding Libya, how can anyone claim “patriotic innocence?”

      I simply don’t buy it. If I and many of my vet friends saw where the country was going wrong as far back as 2003, then anyone can.

      If someone joins the military today, or has recently, that’s within their rights. Tell us they did it for the benefits, pay or a desire to simply be in the profession of arms. But don’t say they did it out of “patriotic innocence.”

      If anyone at this point thinks serving in these current wars, let alone the ones that the elites are trying to start soon, comprises patriotic duty, then they are not innocent: they are living in a completely delusional state of mind.

      They need to be woken up, not falsely praised.

      1. Republic Reminder

        Hi, I liked your response. I guess I would have to say the young men still join out of patriotic innocence because they are still very young men! By the time 2005, 2006, 2009 rolled around — you were no longer a very young man. You were a wise young man to begin with (I do congratulate you on that).

        Sadly, I confess that I am 58 years old. I was in the Navy during the Vietnam War but I was stationed in Washington, D.C. I was blind to what was actually going on mostly because I didn’t have the knowledge base to understand anything that was going on. I learned from history books what happened because by the early 70’s I had already come to the place where I did not trust the news media to do anything other than indoctrination journalism.

        Libertarians are right in their assessment of conservative ignorance, they are generally wrong in their assessment of conservative motivations. I have been a conservative all of my life. Sincerely, hoping and praying that God would raise up a righteous person to be President. I hoped and prayed President Bush would be that President. Within months of his oath of office, I was beginning to lose hope. I did love his speeches. I hated many, many, of his policies. I did not know why he could sound so good and do so badly. I also didn’t know why that “crazy Ron Paul” kept such an “extreme” position. I was completely ignorant of what that position was and would still be today if I had not lost my job over 2 and 1/2 years ago and started spending my days “trolling” the internet. This nation is headed in the wrong direction because of ignorance. But, the ignorant don’t know they are ignorant. And they will never discover the truth if we don’t stop name calling and start revealing the truth to them.

        The MSM will not get the job done. The unemployment may help since there are bound to be other unemployed people who are forced to get on the internet. But, the average Conservative who is still holding a job, taking care of his family, going to church, will not have the time to invest in the digging I have been doing. They are still lambs to the slaughter. They will remain so if we do nothing to get the message to them.

        1. Republic Reminder

          I guess I should have said “generally right” about ignorance. We are all ignorant about certain things and in certain areas. In general we tend to exalt ourselves in the areas in which we are the least ignorant and against the areas in which we are the most ignorant. That is what creates factions and name calling. But, there is a need to identify strains of doctrines that tend to gather certain types of followers. The more we can overcome our tendancies to negate the other person’s grasp of the truth the more we are able to grab hold of all truth (not just those particular strains of truth with which we are the most familiar).

  15. smillsbc

    Tom, this is without doubt, one of the best articles I have ever read. I agree with you 100%. The American people need to wake up and stop worshiping at the military alter, so to speak. Enough of wars and nation building. Anyone for peace? Again, thanks for being courageous enough to state the obvious.

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