Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 19, 2017

The U.S. Military - Pampered, Safe And Very Scared

The U.S. military is a socialist paradise:

Service members and their families live for free on base. People living off base are given a stipend to cover their housing costs. They shop in commissaries and post exchanges where prices for food and basic goods are considerably lower than at civilian stores. Troops and their families count on high-quality education and responsive universal health care. They expect to be safe at home, as bases, on average, have less violence than American cities of comparable size. And residents enjoy a wide range of amenities—not just restaurants and movie theaters but fishing ponds, camp sites, and golf courses built for their use.

Of course, some bases are better than others. But even the most austere provides a comprehensive network of social welfare provisions and a safety net that does not differentiate between a junior employee and an executive.

For those who stay on, the military provides a generous retirement pay.

"But life in the military is dangerous!"

Not so.

According to a 2012 study by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) the risk to ones life is lower for soldiers than for civilians:

In the past two decades (which include two periods of intense combat operations), the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years]. In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs.

The huge difference is quite astonishing. The death rate for soldiers would still have been lower than for civilians if the U.S. had started another medium size war:

If the age-specific mortality rates that affected the U.S. general population in 2005 had affected the respective age-groups of active component military members throughout the period of interest for this report, there would have been approximately 13,198 (53%) more deaths among military members overall.

Those working in the U.S. military, even when the U.S. is at war, have a quite pampered life with lots of benefits. They have less risk to their lives than their civilian peers. But when some soldier dies by chance, the announcements speak of "sacrifice". The fishermen, transport and construction workers, who have the highest occupational death rates, don't get solemn obituaries and pompous burials.

There may be occasions where soldiers behave heroic and die for some good cause. But those are rather rare incidents. The reports thereof are at times manipulated for propaganda purposes.

The U.S. military spends more than a billion per year on advertisement.  It spends many uncounted millions on hidden information operations. These are not designed to influence an enemy but the people of the United States. In recent years the U.S. military and intelligence services have scripted or actively influenced 1,800 Hollywood and TV productions. Many of the top-rated movie scripts pass through a military censorship office which decides how much 'production assistance' the Department of Defense will provide for the flick.

A rather schizophrenic aspect of its safe life is the military's fear. Despite being cared for and secure, the soldiers seem to be a bunch of scaredy-cats. The military's  angst is very ambiguous. It meanders from issue to issue. This at least to various headlines:

Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes. At the same time we are told that they are a bunch of woosies who fear about anything one can think of.

I find that a strange contradiction.


Posted by b on October 19, 2017 at 16:32 UTC | Permalink

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"October 13 - 8 Out Of 10 Will Only Read This Headline"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 19 2017 16:40 utc | 1

not pampered, but I assume that's a tongue in cheek argument.
Live under the rules of a tyrant and call yourself pampered.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19 2017 17:01 utc | 2

The US military.... losing wars since 1946 [unless you count Panama and/or Grenada]... But in fairness it was tasked with wars that were, by their nature, unwinnable wars. One of the 'grand lessons' of the 20th and 21st centuries is that empires will [almost] always lose wars. The American Empire will lose wars until it runs out of money and then it will quit. All the US needs is a border patrol and a coast guard. All the rest is imperial impedimenta.

Posted by: StephenLaudig | Oct 19 2017 17:15 utc | 3

where do i sign to join american socialist dream?

Posted by: la Cariatide | Oct 19 2017 17:19 utc | 4

Their propaganda depicts them as heroes

their suicide rate depicts them as conflicted.

Posted by: john | Oct 19 2017 17:21 utc | 5

try Venezuela, the United States is of America, it's not America. The "dreamers" all trying to get here.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19 2017 17:23 utc | 6

The amenities are good but the pay is low, and health care for veterans is below par.

Posted by: Ian | Oct 19 2017 17:23 utc | 7

the best soldiers the world has ever seen, like they like to call themselves. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Posted by: mischi | Oct 19 2017 17:26 utc | 8

Please don't confuse the fears of a lowly enlisted guy, like I used to be, with the published "fears" intended only to extract moar taxpayer dollars....

Posted by: Joe | Oct 19 2017 17:39 utc | 9

I thought North Korea had a pampered army treated better than the civilian population. Isn't that an Axis of Evil thing?

Posted by: Burt | Oct 19 2017 17:43 utc | 10

Well, and except for the whole Bill of Rights thing. But I guess that's a different conversation.

Posted by: mena | Oct 19 2017 17:43 utc | 11

Of course, the Free Market ideal is to replace as many soldiers with private mercenaries as possible, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 19 2017 18:03 utc | 12

Honestly, the military exists to respond to "threats", and that entails identifying those threats. The impact of volcano eruptions on jet planes is very real, to give one example, so it is rational to develop options when you cannot use such planes. And so on. I should read "The Airforce 4 biggest fears", just beforehand, I would guess budget cuts are number one. But expenditures imposed by morons in Congress should also be considered. That makes me curious what is number 3 and number 4.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 19 2017 18:15 utc | 13

"Members of the U.S. military live quite well. They are safe. Their propaganda depicts them as heroes."

Not quite as good as depicted b, but, none the less, quite better than the average workers in the U$A today.

IMO, the true heroes in the U$A today are the many workers who struggle daily on minimum wage, to provide for their family's welfare with no job security, and no health care..

Posted by: ben | Oct 19 2017 18:17 utc | 14

b, did you get some kick back for this promotional ad for the us armed forces? i hope so!

@6 stryker. i always get a kick out of when it is referred to as 'america' as if the usa is as big as many in the country think it is! meanwhile us lowly others who inhabit the 'americas' don't get much of a mention...

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2017 18:29 utc | 15

Even though I have a brother in the Navy who joined because of the shit economy, let me play on the devil's side here, even though I gemerally agree with you.

Ideally, these types of benefits would be welcomed by any country who were legitimately proud of their military. It just so happens that the military we are talking about here is the empire's world police. It really ISN'T the US military any longer, although it takes our cash this way and that for "defense" spending. Although down the list when it comes to defense spending as a per centage of GDP, the US still spends wayyyyyyyy too much. So we are altogether looking at a weird-ass example, b, and although you may be right when it comes to the pussification of our military, I look at it differently for two reasons: 1) as stated above, the US military is unique in their role for the empire; this has created the immense problem of explaining or warranting their existence in faraway lands for almost no discernible reasons. A scattered and bungling approach, meanwhile being stretched way too far, means certain morale and training issues; and 2) it is also a generational thing which ties into the shit economy run by technocratic elites who don't give one iota of a care for the lesser classes which they have massacred through globalization.

So while I think you are in the right to help deconstruct the myth of American military might, I would argue that it is a moot point really and the table is already set for the whole MIC pertaining to US spending to come crashing down once the economy goes tits up. After that, god only knows if militaries will even be useful. In the end, it is difficult for an American like myself to really see the purpose of a military adventure force due to our geographical location. OTOH, a soldier in India looking out from his post over Kashmir might know exactly his worth now and for the future.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 19 2017 18:46 utc | 16

The fears of the US Military are the best fears that money can buy.

Number 1!!!!!!!

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Oct 19 2017 18:50 utc | 17

I stopped watching most of the war movies dealing with ME conflicts.....a lot of propaganda bullshit.....

Posted by: notlurking | Oct 19 2017 18:51 utc | 18

#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

Posted by: Liam | Oct 19 2017 18:59 utc | 19

I now added the /snark tag to the post. Seems necessary ...

Posted by: b | Oct 19 2017 19:07 utc | 20

"the crude overall mortality rate among U.S. service members was 71.5 per 100,000 [person-years]. In 2005, in the general U.S. population, the crude overall mortality rate among 15-44 year olds was 127.5 per 100,000 p-yrs"

Roughly two-thirds of all DOD active-duty military personnel were ages 30 or younger in 2015. Only about one-in-ten (9%) were older than 40.*

Compared to**:

15 to 19 years 20,219,890 7.2
20 to 24 years 18,964,001 6.7
25 to 34 years 39,891,724 14.2
35 to 44 years 45,148,527 16.0

So, the disproportionality of the age groups in the cited example would more than account for mortality.

Additionally, massive injuries including dismemberment, permanent brain damage and paralysis are not accounted for. That misrepresentation goes further than the general reader is aware, battlefield casualties that were once fatal are now, though initial response, being treated and the Soldier/Marine returned to society.***




Posted by: S Brennan | Oct 19 2017 19:09 utc | 21

#7 - I agree, the pay for enlisted soldiers is low and VA healthcare doesn't want to treat many chemical issues soldiers get from being around depleted uranium, toxic burn pits, etc. Still, it's a much better life than those bombed by them experience!

Posted by: WorldBLee | Oct 19 2017 19:17 utc | 22

@15 James, thanks for the feedback, not too many picking up on that yet.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 19 2017 19:37 utc | 23

The intellectual quality of the Outlaw US Empire's military serfs is reflected in their inability to see that the government they're in service to is the #1 Domestic threat to the Constitution they swore to uphold and protect, with the so-called Deep State tied to it like a shadow.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2017 19:38 utc | 24

A 1st Lieutenant over 3 years makes $4,682 base pay. Thats $30 per hour on average. That is well above most civilian pay. Then many businesses hand them a 10-15% discount.

A Sergeant over 3 5 years makes $2,725 base pay. That's about $17.50 per hour... Not so bad.

Then the get BAS (Meals) $246 for Officers and $347 for enlisted. BAH (Housing) $1291 per month Enlisted. They're hiding the Officers amount.

Then kick in free medical. No Obamacare for them!

And God only know the pension they get after 20 or 30 years. I knew a person receiving a military pension and a Post Office pension. The Post Office is very partial to military and dependents. Almost impossible to work for them full time as a civilian. My wife went to take the 'test' and was told she didn't stand a chance as there were too many military retirees vying for the job.

When I went in the Military in 1967 I made $78 per month. When I got out in 1978 I made $700 per month.

All government workers including military on average make more then civilian counterparts.

What's maddening is when I hear them poor boy everyone. Calling, wanting money for the military or cops.

Posted by: ken | Oct 19 2017 19:57 utc | 25

Aha! A hint of how the pampered rapists were left exposed in Niger. According to that bastion of oppression, truth and the amerikan way, Foreign Policy DOT com, the government of Chad is somewhat discomfited by the inclusion of Chad on the most recent iteration of Trump's 'Muslim Ban' list. Hah, Chad is pissed at the latest moronity from Agent Orange eh, at least they have a coupla followers of Islam there, imagine how the population of Venezuela feel since last time anyone looked those Venezuelans who still bought into old wives' tales were prostrating themselves in front of two chunks of wood attached in two dimensional perpendicularity I.E. a cruciform.

Still Chad is pissed and you can hardly blame 'em as for more than 60 years the Chad army has performed vital step & fetchit roles for advancing amerikan and french imperial interests - raping and looting villages from Maghreb to the Sahel, from Nigeria through to Mali whenever it seemed the innate right of amerika to plunder whatever pleases them was being questioned.

From assorted tidbits on offer from the usual corrupt sources, we are told that the band of butchers were visiting a village in Niger to provide a 'pep talk' on anti-terror. when they were attacked by as yet unnamed terrorists; apart from the notion that any group of indigenous persons who attack a gang of armed foreign invaders could ever be called terrorists there is a further irony - the pentagon also asserts that there was no indication of prior 'terrorist activity' in the area where the village was located. If that is correct WTF were amerikan troops going there to provide 'anti-terrorist' information for?

This previously pristine region suddenly filled with alleged 'terrorists' who then proceeded to lay waste to the squad of imperial invaders. Since we know now that this was right after Chad's government, pissed at their inclusion on 'The List', pulled its mercenary forces out of Niger, it would be fair to surmise that it was they, the Chad gang, who had been keeping the world safe for global exploitation in Niger, but that DC, not wishing to acknowledge the 'muslim ban' had caused such a major screw up, chose to ignore that reality and continued to send it's thugs out to 'disseminate information'.

"This wasn't in the brochure" whined one enabler of empire as he choked out his final words.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 19 2017 20:24 utc | 26

The USA's armed forces are deadly. We may mock them and while it is true, they don't "win" wars. However the damage they wreak is horrendous, the Armed Forces when unleashed will cause more damage than the mongols. People seem to forget the wars the USA did "win". It's wiped it's ass with the Dominican Republic and Haiti many times. Africa, Asia and Europe suffers under the boot of the G.I.
They don't win, but they don't really "lose" either.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Oct 19 2017 20:34 utc | 27

I do believe that the average soldier is a patriot who is a pretty decent guy or gal.

That said, I think our wars are largely political, of our own making (or choosing), are unconstitutional and cleanup for the World Bank, IMF and their various economic hit men; whose job it is to create economic chaos (hello Puerto Rico!) around the world. Once accomplished,the paramilitary troops and/or military move in to mop up for CONTROL.

Nut shell.

Posted by: JSonofa | Oct 19 2017 20:41 utc | 28

I was trying to figure out the purpose of this article. Since the author didn't list the downsides of serving in the military, I will assume the author has never actually served in the military. My suggestion would be for the author to join as soon as possible to gain access to that great military life and all those fantasic benefits. And since the author believes they are a force of wussies and scaredy-cats, the author should not have any problems getting in. Of course, after the author has spent his third tour humping the boonies in Afghanistan, survived his umpteenth road-side bomb or small arms ambush, should be interesting to see if he turns into a 20 year man so he can fully enjoy the good life.

The article was too one-sided, shallow and exaggerated to be written by anyone but a troll. Waste of time to read it.

Posted by: Jagger | Oct 19 2017 20:43 utc | 29

Game over in Syria. After tripartite talks (Syria, Kurds, Russia) at al Qamishli over the Kurdish issue and the US bases in Syria, the Kurds have transferred control of the large Conoco oil facility to Russian ground forces. The Kurds no have no control of oil for financing the so-called 'state'. It looks like they have seen the US casting the Iragi Kurds aside and wondered - 'will the same happen to us?' and gone for the negotiated solution. No wonder Shoigu and Putin have gone on record as saying the Syria issue is nearly over.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 19 2017 20:57 utc | 30

I wonder if you included suicides or disability post service. WWI the military introduced metal helmets and mortality went down but brain injuries increased. My understanding is that brain injuries due to IED are very common. I would imagine the majority of soldiers returning from a war zone come home maimed in body/and or mind.
As the son of a 20+ year Army vet, I know these perks have been there for a long time. They were necessary to attract anybody before WW2. I imagine they have increased with the volunteer military. Mostly the Army is populated with the more competent people from the lower strata of American society. They have a choice of working at a fast food, convenience store, or motel along the interstate - or the Army - oh yeah being a prison guard is also an option as the burgeoning American prison population is housed in low income rural areas.
I imagine there is bloat in the officer corps - most of those golf courses you mentioned are for officers only. These officers are mainly not coming from low income families. The real bloat though, is in the military contractors - Eisenhower's military-industrial complex with an added national security complex. Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today. The US military is the bitch enforcer for global elite. The police are being increasingly militarized. Many of them trained by those human rights paragons - the Israelis.

Posted by: gepay | Oct 19 2017 21:01 utc | 31

Amazing how the US has gone from being basically isolationist before WW2 to the militaristic society of today.

Posted by: gepay | Oct 19, 2017 5:01:41 PM | 30

LOL Seriously?

This is only a partial list of US military actions in foreign countries. This list only covers the 50 years from 1890 to WW2


ARGENTINA 1890 Troops Buenos Aires interests protected.
CHILE 1891 Troops Marines clash with nationalist rebels.
HAITI 1891 Troops Black revolt on Navassa defeated.
IDAHO 1892 Troops Army suppresses silver miners' strike.
HAWAII 1893 (-?) Naval, troops Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.
CHICAGO 1894 Troops Breaking of rail strike, 34 killed.
NICARAGUA 1894 Troops Month-long occupation of Bluefields.
CHINA 1894-95 Naval, troops Marines land in Sino-Japanese War
KOREA 1894-96 Troops Marines kept in Seoul during war.
PANAMA 1895 Troops, naval Marines land in Colombian province.
NICARAGUA 1896 Troops Marines land in port of Corinto.
CHINA 1898-1900 Troops Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.
PHILIPPINES 1898-1910 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos
CUBA 1898-1902 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.
PUERTO RICO 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, occupation continues.
GUAM 1898 (-?) Naval, troops Seized from Spain, still use as base.
MINNESOTA 1898 (-?) Troops Army battles Chippewa at Leech Lake.
NICARAGUA 1898 Troops Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.
SAMOA 1899 (-?) Troops Battle over succession to throne.
NICARAGUA 1899 Troops Marines land at port of Bluefields.
IDAHO 1899-1901 Troops Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region.
OKLAHOMA 1901 Troops Army battles Creek Indian revolt.
PANAMA 1901-14 Naval, troops Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone; Opened canal 1914.
HONDURAS 1903 Troops Marines intervene in revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1903-04 Troops U.S. interests protected in Revolution.
KOREA 1904-05 Troops Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.
CUBA 1906-09 Troops Marines land in democratic election.
NICARAGUA 1907 Troops "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.
HONDURAS 1907 Troops Marines land during war with Nicaragua
PANAMA 1908 Troops Marines intervene in election contest.
NICARAGUA 1910 Troops Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.
HONDURAS 1911 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
CHINA 1911-41 Naval, troops Continuous occupation with flare-ups.
CUBA 1912 Troops U.S. interests protected in civil war.
PANAMA 1912 Troops Marines land during heated election.
HONDURAS 1912 Troops Marines protect U.S. economic interests.
NICARAGUA 1912-33 Troops, bombing 10-year occupation, fought guerillas
MEXICO 1913 Naval Americans evacuated during revolution.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1914 Naval Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.
COLORADO 1914 Troops Breaking of miners' strike by Army.
MEXICO 1914-18 Naval, troops Series of interventions against nationalists.
HAITI 1914-34 Troops, bombing 19-year occupation after revolts.
TEXAS 1915 Troops Federal soldiers crush "Plan of San Diego" Mexican-American rebellion
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1916-24 Troops 8-year Marine occupation.
CUBA 1917-33 Troops Military occupation, economic protectorate.
WORLD WAR I 1917-18 Naval, troops Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years.
RUSSIA 1918-22 Naval, troops Five landings to fight Bolsheviks
PANAMA 1918-20 Troops "Police duty" during unrest after elections.
HONDURAS 1919 Troops Marines land during election campaign.
YUGOSLAVIA 1919 Troops/Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.
GUATEMALA 1920 Troops 2-week intervention against unionists.
WEST VIRGINIA 1920-21 Troops, bombing Army intervenes against mineworkers.
TURKEY 1922 Troops Fought nationalists in Smyrna.
CHINA 1922-27 Naval, troops Deployment during nationalist revolt.
MEXICO 1923 Bombing
HONDURAS 1924-25 Troops
PANAMA 1925 Troops Marines suppress general strike.
CHINA 1927-34 Troops Marines stationed throughout the country.
EL SALVADOR 1932 Naval Warships send during Marti revolt.

You know, I hear they have this new-fangled thing call "The Internet" now.
The hipster kids tell me you can actually connect to it and do things like research a statement before you go and say something stupid.
Can't make head nor tail of it myself, but the local hipster voung 'uns swear by it

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Oct 19 2017 21:17 utc | 32

In terms of the most dangerous occupations b seemed to have omitted loggers. From life insurance data published about 30 years ago the most dangerous occupations are (number of deaths per 100,000):

commercial fishermen (about 100)
loggers (70-80)
construction workers (20+)
taxi drivers and 24 hour store clerks (~10)
fire fighters (5)
policemen (4)

With policemen the leading cause of occupational fatalities are from traffic accidents. Every time, any where in the US if a cop is shot by a criminal it becomes front page news across the entire country and their funerals are attended by hundreds of uniformed cops to great press fanfare. This is followed by outpouring of press discussion about the horrible dangers our policemen are exposed to.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 19 2017 21:28 utc | 33

If you look at battlefield injuries, the picture is not so good; in the Iraq occupation, injuries were often debilitating but not fatal. One also has to worry about being poisoned by burn pits or uranium. The military people who are truly pampered, with a royal lifestyle, are the generals.

Another American group that receives special privileges is the police. Have you heard of the law enforcement bill of rights?

This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 19 2017 21:41 utc | 34

One of the many "Socialist" benefits on offer to members of the USMilitary


This military socialism resembles Israeli socialism. A technique the Israeli state uses to grant benefits to Israeli Jews and deny them to Palestinians is to tie the benefits to military service which is denied to Palestinians. As a result, Israeli Palestinians pay more taxes but receive less benefits then Israeli Jews.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 19, 2017 5:41:16 PM | 33

Nationalist and Socialist?

A bit of a mouthful, maybe someone should come up with a snappy acronym for it. . . .

wonder what they'd call it?

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Oct 19 2017 22:21 utc | 35

"b" You just way out of your way to beat up the military. SO. The reason the "mortality rate" is so much lower is because better than 98% of us are not only armed, but are private fire arms owners at our homes and the criminal world knows that BUT YOU WENT OUT OF YOUR WAY TO IGNORE THAT! YOU "b" just took your credibility off the cliff, complete with a "snark" all the way to the rocks below. Yes, I served on SECARMY Staff in the E Ring at the Pentagon. So, "been there" all the way to the end. Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.

Posted by: ERing46Z | Oct 19 2017 22:23 utc | 36

Every dozen or whatever months I get this spam phone call from this big booming American voice asking me if I would be good enough to contribute to a charity for medical care and/or support of the loved ones of police officers slain or injured while on duty. It's pretty much sort of a shake down, since they do have my number.

This pisses me way off!

So I politely explain to them that my cat, Curly, has severe epilepsy and I must spend $2,000 a month for this Vimpat medicine to keep Curly from having dreadful seizures. So of course I have no leftover money for charity.

Screw them!

<== Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
Yup. Don't waste any more time reading this. (You didn't read the fine print on your auto insurance either, did you?)

Posted by: blues | Oct 19 2017 22:26 utc | 37

One day when the dollar fails and is no longer the petro dollar, then the military cuts will happen like the old USSR. This may be sooner than later after how Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Hezbollah and others stuck together in Syria and now Iraq.

This has scared the shit out of the Saudis. The Saudi king ran to Russia to meet with Putin. The petrodollars days are numbered.

Posted by: Boyo | Oct 19 2017 22:36 utc | 38

Deployments, sand, live fire convoys and all.

Posted by: ERing46Z | Oct 19, 2017 6:23:14 PM | 35

Balls too?

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Oct 19 2017 22:38 utc | 39

Good post b.
Looks like the yanks are out in force justifying/finding excuses for the numbers.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 19 2017 22:41 utc | 40

all those innocent people, not to mentioned the armed forces people being exposed to depleted uranium, and none of them are a statistic.. thank you barbaric usa..anyone who thinks the usa looks after their vets- i don't think so...

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2017 23:06 utc | 41

james @40--

One only need view the film Born on the Fourth of July to learn how vets were treated then and now. My partner's dad has a host of ailments, PTSD amongst them, and ought to be in a VA Nursing Home, but they are almost nonexistent nowadays--they were once called Old Soldiers Homes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 19 2017 23:19 utc | 42

b, your post raises many good questions.

At what point does a military become mercenaries, out for their own good? Who has incentive to make them mercenaries? How can we tell when a military has been compromised? How can society guard against the slippery slope? Etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 19 2017 23:48 utc | 43

United States of America = Americans?
In Europe, none of the countries are called Europe and the people collectivly are called Eropeans.
In Asia, no country has the name Asia, but collectivly the people are called Asians.
In Africa, South Africa has Africa in its name, and the people of South Africa a called South africans. Easy to say and people who live in Africa a collectively Africans.
The Americas. Only one country has America in its name, but who the fuck is going to say "United States of Americans" when refering to the arseholes that inhabit the place. Much easier to just say Americans, Canadians, Venezuelans - whatever.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 20 2017 0:17 utc | 44

How do the life expectancies of adult an adult 'A', 'B', or 'C' compare? Who is most likely to be murdered soonest by Heine gang? Hard to know...most A's are off the map, shut off from any large scale publicity or commerce or media coverage. While the status of 'B' and 'C' is secret. Heine gang shortens the life expectancy of all in a significant way, but I don't know how the current stats would play out.

Posted by: Josh Stern | Oct 20 2017 0:32 utc | 45

@34 Just Sayin,

That comparison gets made more often these days. In some ways the Israelis are worse then the Nazis.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 20 2017 0:53 utc | 46

I guess if it's a country you like the soldiers are patriotic and morally upright.

If you don't like the country then they're all low-life scum looking for a free ride.

Posted by: peter | Oct 20 2017 1:07 utc | 47

As expected the closet militarists cannot handle anyone questioning their 'gold star' status and seek to be considered heroes for behaving like mercenaries.
Consider the 4 blokes offed by indigenous people of Niger defending their land from foreign invasion. Everything I have been able to discover about them leads me to conclude that that entire deployment had been 'in country' for many months before they were attacked by local troops, so what was going on in the brains of those 'poor amerikans' before they came over all kia?

1) they were fighting a war - how so? amerika has never declared war on Niger.

2) They were protecting amerika from an attack - yeah right; trouble is, amerika is a long way from Niger with oceans, mountains and plenty of enemies in between, that just isn't a credible sell

3) Niger is chocka with commie assholes who are determined to destroy truth, mom & apple pie - these blokes had been in Niger long enough and had met enough locals to know that is a total crock

4)they are getting paid to shoot n*****s just like grandpappy - well that likely worked for some, maybe even some african american cannon fodder who have been brainwashed sufficiently to despise fellow african americans, but it wouldn't cut it for many others

5)They have the same attitude about this as they had when they enlisted, that is, as long as you do what you are told, it's not a bad life for a young fella who, thanks to the rapacious actions of the greedheads in power, have made life so tough for ordinary human beings. Plus of course you can crank up the old cognitive dissonance and convince yourself as well as others that murdering, looting and raping African villagers, is actually a good thing to be doing - so good you can consider yourself a hero - if you say it the correct way with yer eyes all scrunched up to block out extraneous views of poor people screaming for mercy, some respite from yer cruelty.

IIRC correctly (& lemme know if I have this wrong b) b has done a lag in the military, as most German blokes of a certain age have - not that b is the sort of bloke to wank on about it, as he's never struck me as the type of individual who regards his compulsory service as either "the best years of his life" or as some sort of badge of honour which can only be comprehended by 'other real men' who have also 'served'.

That sort of "you have to have been through it yerself to understand" bulldust is in the top 5 most effective tropes used by recruiting arseholes to suck in mugs, it mostly reminds me of the stunt much beloved of chronic junkies who, in their eagerness to dissipate any feelings of doubt or self loathing by indoctrinating others into self-destruction as a lifestyle choice are forever offering to 'turn on' some naif.

No one can trot out the "I simply didn't understand' back door. when confronted by evidence of their complicity in greed motivated butchery any longer - information about both the viciousness and the lack of honour that is innate to amerikan conflict is all over the net as well as many alternative communication vectors. If potential recruits haven't absorbed that shit in 2017, that is because they were either too uncaring to bother, or didn't want to infect their wayward decision with the termites of doubt - whichever it was their complicity in butchery remains undiminished.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 20 2017 2:02 utc | 48

The nonsense has started again. I have posted the same epistle twice and both times the missive has disappeared into the black hole, I shan't do it again until I'm certain the original has gone forever -in the meantime no one should be surprised if they both suddenly reappear.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 20 2017 2:17 utc | 49

OK. give the reprobate Donald credit (maybe)...he was quoted in saying to the dead soldier's mum: "It's what he signed up for...",blah,blah. But, the Donald called it: Special Forces are nothing but trained assassination teams...they go in, off their target, fly out, end of story. Only this time, the buggers got caught with their shorts down, and...casualties...oh, boo-hoo. All these young bodies that sign up for the US military some time in their enlistment will be posted to "bases" that they didn't even realise existed. And so they get educated, really fast. Then those who go further in their military careers decide to go for the "elite" units: hard-core training, propaganda, "know your enemy",how to murder stealthily, etc. Then, after many "kills", they themselves get's how the game is played, yo. So, bottom-line - Trump let out the BIG secret: "We" kill, and should expect to be killed in return...who can cavil with that?

Posted by: barrisj | Oct 20 2017 2:53 utc | 50

@34 Just Sayin,
I'm still chuckling....

@42 Jackrabbit,
This is hugely important. Ditching the draft in the '70's wasn't for any altruistic reason, nor to make the US military "more professional." In draft days, even though most wealthy families could buy their way out of being impacted, a significant cross section of the citizenry could expect to find themselves contributing their pride and joy to some crazy war effort in some far off place. There had better be a damn good reason for it. One of the big lessons the Establishment learned from Vietnam was that even the terminally passive American people could become violently anti-war when it was a life or death situation for them personally. So the move was made to an "all volunteer" force, which would generally draw from a less politically powerful cross section, and there would automatically be less bitching because "those guys wanted to go fight--that's what they signed up for." And as Jackrabbit points out, haven't indeed you at least started down the road to mercenary when your current army must admit they're there for the money, and maybe the promise of adventure, not because they were drafted and just fulfilling their duty as a citizen and eager to get home to the plow?

This is doubly troubling, because now your soldiers are vastly more mercenary than before (and of course will be recruited as true mercenaries upon ETS to meet the growing demand for true mercs), but are fewer and more socially isolated, so they are getting 3, 4, MORE tours in some sand pit where they are basically a walking target and are rightly hated as foreign occupiers, so even the best of them cannot help but become resentful and sociopathic. But at the same time, the Deep State has divorced the military from the citizenry at large, so citizens care less and less how many wars the US is engaged in, how many destroyed young men come home, and not only does protest of wars evaporate, warfare is mythically transformed into something heroic and to be desired, not feared. All empires have gradually been forced to employ more and more mercenaries (or slaves) to maintain their wars, but it never ends well.

Posted by: J Swift | Oct 20 2017 3:07 utc | 51

Hey B, there is good reason why US soldiers should be afraid, very afraid. Look at these headlines:

"Alleged rapes by U.S. soldiers ratchet up anger in South Korea" (October 2011)

"S. Korean Students Firebomb US Base In Protest"
(The incident referred to in the story is now known as the Yangju highway incident.)

"Okinawan Women Demand U.S. Forces Out After Another Rape and Murder: Suspect an ex-Marine and U.S. Military Employee"

"Japan asks U.S. to finally stop military-related rapes, deaths"

Posted by: Jen | Oct 20 2017 3:42 utc | 52

I was trying to figure out the purpose of this article.Posted by: Jagger | Oct 19, 2017 4:43:46 PM | 28
... The purpose of the article seem to be to solicit comments. The comments seem to reflect the deep dark jungle of ignorance those who signed up must have been naive at the outset, regretful. resentful at the exit, but none commented, regrets for super-sized wage and retirement rewards. nor did anyone mention the cost of super sized retirements..which must come from the pockets of everyday Americans who have jobs, families to raise, health matters to attend to.and whose domestic jobs supply, support or train those who join or retire from the military,etc.) .. review the contents.. to me, the comments evidence the massive number of places the USA has its costly armies ("mount super burden"?). Regime changing, sanctioning, blockading, destroying infra structure and quality of life, in some foreign land, to make some oil company rich is not something I think supports the need for a super sized retirement.
Mr. @ 47 Dedsisdead don't you agree that when comments interfere with propaganda goals, the comment should be removed.. ?

Posted by: fudmier | Oct 20 2017 3:44 utc | 53

Peter 46

In many countries their militaries are called defence forces and they generally defend their country in time of war.
The US military is called a defence force "Departmet of Defence". So the US military is justy defending the US by destroying Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan ect, the constant drone assasinations, the 700 to a 1000 bases across the world, the exercises on the borders of far off countries...

The US military is an offence force, sent to faraway places to conduct wars of empire, to destroy those countries that may be a threat to US$ hegemony. The military personal are mercenaries, fighting, killing for monetary profit. Perhaps they are young and don't know better? Same as kids on the street that kill sombody for fun or profit. They pay the price. Fuck em.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 20 2017 3:57 utc | 54

It's easy for retarded civilians to yap about the military, because (like the anonymous "/snark" -- they're always anonymous, aren't they?) don't know anything about it.

Lots of blubbering here about how cushy military folks have it. It's true a (large) military installation is a closed community -- it is so on purpose. In order to exclude them, and thereby save them, from your civilian shit. Why should a military installation be subject of and enslaved to the anarchy of the civilian cesspit that surrounds it? Commissary and PX "undercutting" of the local civilian criminal enterprises? Yup. And fuck you.

There was a (sane) age when Western Civilization was ruled by a military caste. Then civilians rebelled against their betters. And now we are living in a hellish shithole.

SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

Posted by: Steven M Barry | Oct 20 2017 4:06 utc | 55

retired mercenary 53

Well at least you're an open an honest mercenary. Most US mecenaries crap on about protecting US citizens, keeping them safe ect, but here you are saying the military is the elite and civilians are garbage.
It is always good news when there is news of a US casualty or two in their wars of conquest.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 20 2017 4:17 utc | 56

Well the sheep are better to be shorn rather than skinned.
Apparently flensing of the funky monkeys is in order.

Posted by: Duck1 | Oct 20 2017 4:29 utc | 57

When I was young, anything on WWII in school, in reading material that was available, on TV, was about US beating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and supplying Soviets with planes and stuff.
As I grew older and had access to more information, I find it was Soviet Union that destroyed the German armies, with total losses of over 20 million and a huge amount of territory and industrial capacity lost they still produced 13,000 tanks and thousands of yak fighter planes that were a match for the German airforce.
In the pacific, The US was a naval and air power. Destroyed the japanese navy and airforce, but become bogged down in the ground fighting of the southern Japanese islands.
After transfering its land army from Germany to eastern Russia across the 9000km trans siberian railway, the Soviets overun two million japanse troops across a largbe area in China in two weeks.
The US may have been the world leading sea power and manufacturing power in WWII, but even then, it could not fight a land war with a near power.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 20 2017 4:55 utc | 58

Please don't confuse the fears of a lowly enlisted guy, like I used to be, with the published "fears" intended only to extract maw taxpayer dollars....
Posted by: Joe | Oct 19, 2017 1:39:26 PM | 9

There, fixed it for you...
(Maw: The mouth, throat or gullet of an animal, especially carnivorous)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 20 2017 5:01 utc | 59

Ivan Sidorenko and others often put up pics and a fairweell to the materes as they are called in Syria. People from all walks of life, religions, ethnic groups ect, Fighting the US backed jihadists, sometimes attacked directly by the US and Israel.
They are a true defence force, giving their lives to defend their country, unlike the few US mercenaries that have commented here. Much on Zahreddine at the moment, but he was a proffesional soldier. I have much respect for him for the defence of Deir Ezzor, but it is the ordinary people I think of. Those that would be shop keepers, tradesmen or a proffesional career that have died fighting the US backed whabbis.
The US mercenaries, like the odd one or two that have commented here are are only fit for a doormat for the people that have had to fight the no rules war in syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 20 2017 5:57 utc | 60

Yanks crap on about the Alamo when they were land grabbing some territory from mexico. The fuckers got wiped out. Big deal.
The defence of Keweirs and Deir Ezzor, (even US/ISIS working together coud not take that) is something that should be remembered.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 20 2017 6:07 utc | 61

There's a delicious contradiction lurking in b's exposé of US hypocrisy.

1. Totalitarian Capitalist AmeriKKKa's SWAMP was already insanely anti-Communist in the McCarthy era.
2. The SWAMP's definition of Communism is "Too many socialist freebies for the bottom 95% and too few privatisation opportunities for the top 5%."
3. Most, if not all, of AmeriKKKa's wars have targeted countries with govt policies deemed by The SWAMP to be too socialist/anti-privatisation; especially if the money being wasted was oil revenue.

So it's a bit of a shock to discover that the active service personnel in the SWAMP's anti-Communist Enforcement Death Squad i.e. the US Military, enjoy a cosseted existence in a Socialist Utopia.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 20 2017 6:29 utc | 62

Honestly, people... EVEN AFTER b added the /snark tag @20, many of you still can't see his article IS about fear-porn headlines and IS NOT the 'easy' military life? Didn't 'scaredy-cat' soldiers tip you off? Did you actually read any of the links? Here's the first few:

The U.S. Military Fears Russia's Electronic Warfare Capabilities
Our countermeasures suck against Russian EW so BAE got millions from DARPA to develop a supposed solution to unknown future threats. Like a time machine.

Air Force Fears New 'Drug Craze'
Some guy at Air Force News called bath salts “the latest drug craze affecting service members,” (2010) but had no evidence because there wasn't any.

U.S. Military Fears Volcano Could Harm Jets
Civilian air ban lifted after Icelandic volcano stopped spewing. Air Force not so sure. Several F-15s sent out to investigate ash cloud. Aircraft returned fine, but one pilot did see some haze in the area.

U.S. Military Fears Outcome of Rape Trial
The 2006 Mahmudiyah child rape and subsequent murder of her and her family by US soldiers in Iraq is something the military really preferred US and Iraqi citizens didn't know anything about.

The rest of the articles have similar tabloid-type headlines but are either nothing of substance or just obvious. US military leaders fear nothing except for budget cuts or bad PR. They will jump at the chance to remind the US how terrified they should be of 'threats'. And terror sells newspapers. It's a symbiotic relationship.

The average soldier's fear/lack of fear on any of the issues listed is irrelevant - that's not what sells newspapers and nobody really cares.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 20 2017 6:43 utc | 63

@ Just Sayin' | Oct 19, 2017 5:17:18 PM | 31

not all those were foreign intervention.
Idaho was admitted to the Union prior to the miners' strike.
The concept of isolationism is in reference to foreign policy and the desire not to be drawn into world conflicts.
No excuses, just sayin', you do better listening to them young'uns.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 20 2017 6:47 utc | 64

Paveway 61
b's post may have been snark, but looking at US wars of the past, the US has never been invaded and had to defend itself, has never won a land war against even a near peer adversery on its own. It is a very pampered military that would not knowe what hit it if somebody hit back.
The US are agressive alright, works well on third world countries, but that is not always enough against a peer player. WWII. Battle of Midway could have gone either way. Both forces were equal. well led. Well equipped. It was only luck that the US sighted the japanese carriers first. If luck had been the other way, then the US carrier fleet would have been destroyed.
This is the only time the US has fought a neer peer, or equal.
Now we are into the nukes and MAD? But the US military? It has not been through what Russia and China have been through.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 20 2017 7:13 utc | 65

If you think the millitary has a "pampered" "socialist" existence, take a look at what those Randian "freemarket" warriors are living so high on...for this example lets take a look at Jeff Bezos and the Gaultic warrior class sucking at Amazons many orifices. Apparently these capitalists cant "compete" without $600 billion dollar welfare payments, er,um, "incentive packages"from the state :

and there are over 100 cities offering public money bonanzas for the "privilege of sucking and fucking Amazon. The people who live on the site of Amazons original "HQ" , Seattle, now call the deal their city made "Armageddon". The return for such lascivious handouts apparently doesn't make them worth it. And Amazon is hardly alone.In fact, all large businesses expect tax handouts (including up front cash payments as "credits") free land and improvements, and on and on , and this is a global phenomenon - not just in the US............Capitalism sucks. It's time has finished. Let's evolve for fucks sake . Lets all live like the hero's in the army, and like Jeff Bezos and his fellow capitalists do - on the public dime!

Posted by: solerso | Oct 20 2017 7:45 utc | 66

PavewayIV says:

The average soldier's fear/lack of fear on any of the issues listed is irrelevant

someday in the distant(?) future DARPA and the military industrial pharmaceutical complex will 'gene tamper' warriors to feel no pain, fatigue, or hunger, and with beta blocking drugs to subdue all feelings of remorse they'll even be able to reintegrate harmoniously with family and friends after an unemotional bout of slaughter on the battlefield.

i guess that's the plan, anyway.

Posted by: john | Oct 20 2017 9:37 utc | 67

I just saw FOX Business news lament the gutting of the military under Obama and Gen. Jack Keane agreed that this is the cause of the spate of naval accidents.

This was all in the context of 'how to fix the federal budget' segment where they drag out Social Security and Medicare blindfolded to be summarily executed as the real fix to the problem while crying over our depleted military. Social Security and Medicare have never contributed a dime to the deficit, so how can gutting them fix the deficit? If you eliminated 100% of both programs then the payroll tax would go to 0%, benefits would go away and we would have the exact same annual deficit.

Maybe one of the reasons that Washington hates Putin so much is that he loves his country more than they love the United States. Putin knows that Defense spending was one of the things that destroyed the Soviet Union so he watches it like a hawk and refuses to allow it to eat up too much of their GDP. He manages Defense spending carefully for the real needs of his country and does not allow his ego to get in the way.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Oct 20 2017 12:02 utc | 68

A few years after the invasion of Iraq a US soldier said on TV how his patrol was let down by a private security company which pulled their escort away from the patrol and drove off elsewhere (happened outside Abu Ghraib prison). That's the first time I heard the US military is protected by private security.

How can they call themselves soldiers?

Posted by: Michael McNulty | Oct 20 2017 12:40 utc | 69

@35: Gun ownership is not why there is lower mortality among military personnel than the population at large. I own various myself, but have no illusions as to this...

Remember the physical from your intake? Screen the population at large to a sub group with that degree of physical and mental fitness, then compare the mortality results for the two now RATHER more comparable groups.

I do support the US military. The ones who are not flat out mercenaries and willing enablers of the US MIC, That includes just about all of the enlisteds. Any of the officers who are still committed to their troops over their personal advancement in the system. Anyone with more than one star AND good prospects for advancement under the present system? You are on your own.

Posted by: Whyawannaknow1 | Oct 20 2017 13:02 utc | 70

In reply to:
Whyawannaknow1 | Oct 20, 2017 9:02:27 AM | 68

Yeah and it kind of puts a gaping hole in the "socialist paradise" hypothesis. These mercenaries are for sale to the highest bidders, more apt would be label them solicitors or prostitutes. But there's one factor maybe being overlooked. A mercenary has no duty to its country, it's all about the money.

Personally I thought the /snark tag was redundant, but I was wrong. Some people really need that kind of guidance.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 20 2017 15:23 utc | 71

If what you say is true, is it not ironic that the military is a socialist enclave supported by a capitalist society? Why the heck is everybody on the right so damned afraid of anything socialist?

If Military socialism has not led to an overthrow of our government by the uniformed proletariat, then it is hard to see what there is to fear from socialism. After all, nearly all federal agencies support socialist programs like pensions, medical care, farm cooperatives, free education, etc.

PS: I am retired military. The reason people in uniform have lower mortality rates than civilians despite the danger of our jobs is simple. Military people are less reckless. They are also better educated and in better physical condition. Drug abuse results in job loss. Being reckless on the job will get you fired too as we recently saw with the McCain incident in the Pacific.

Posted by: Tomonthebeach | Oct 20 2017 15:47 utc | 72

Why doesn't anybody think and write about, what these hundred thousands, or millions of people,if you count the whole military complex, who are not in the moment fighting a war, who have no real work, are doing every day? Are they all day long planning and exercising, how to kill other people? How long can any person do that? I think, a decent person can't. Are they already insane, when they enter the military? Or are they "just playing"?

Posted by: Max | Oct 20 2017 15:53 utc | 73

Lies Lies Lies among the cry of VICTORY:
Check this :

and this:

"liberation of Raqqah by non-regime forces"

and yet only 64% of Raqqa was liberated by SDF/YPG- the other parts by SAA

Posted by: Yul | Oct 20 2017 15:57 utc | 74

@41 karlof1

i am sorry to hear of your dads partners situation.

@ peter au1. you are fairly animated on this particular thread..i like much of what you say..

Posted by: james | Oct 20 2017 16:02 utc | 75

The average grunt gets $24,000 + combat pay. The average General or Admiral gets $250,000 + housing, utilities, chaffeur, pension for life AND continues to receive that whether they have a duty station, or just playing golf every day. There are 1,000 Admirals and Generals, enough for an Admiral on the bridge of every ship and fuel barge, enough Generals to lead individual platoons. Yet there are overseas bases (that I served at) with drinking clubs and golf courses in base, right next to horrific servicr labor ghettoes, people sleeping 12 to a room in shifts and the principal cause of death is smuggled-alcohol poisoni g and self-hanging.

Posted by: Chipnik | Oct 20 2017 16:11 utc | 76

I also served at a number of research labs. If you read MIC contractor job ads for work at these labs, they are open to any US citizen, Green Card holder or refugee. This reveals an incredible secret. There are 100,000s of foreign nationals at US 800 overseas bases, earning petrodollars and paying no taxes. Nobody at those OCONUS bases pays US taxes. When these foreign nationals have served 5 years with the US military civilian contractors (and trust me, none of them are breaking their humps), they get a Green Card, and immidei

Posted by: Chipnik | Oct 20 2017 16:16 utc | 77

john@65 - "i guess that's the plan, anyway" More like the reaction. The DoD struggles to understand the incredible suicide rates of it's service members and vets. First, they vastly under-count the actual rates (no way of tracking most vets). Then they do study after study, and never once managed to connect it with the questionable logical and ethical justification for pre-emptive foreign wars to prevent either dictators we don't like or 'terrorists' from somehow possibly attacking the US. They try to claim the high suicide rate is from the stress of being repeatedly deployed in a combat zone, but that doesn't explain the equally high suicide rate for National Guard and Reserve soldiers who's units have never been sent to Afghanistan or Iraq.

By far, the most interesting VA study (never completed, references deleted) was the one that looked at the suicide rates of FATHERS of soldiers that died in Iraq or Afghanistan. It started with fathers that were also vets and using the VA medical facilities because those files were easy to obtain (for statistical studies). The initial results were so alarmingly high that whomever sponsored it wanted to expand the study to look at the suicide rate of all parents of all the Iraq and Afghanistan casualties. There was no way the DoD was going to let that ever happen. You're suppose to be proud that you lost your son/daughter because they died doing their duty for God and country. It was suppose to be worth it. Apparently a lot of fathers didn't think so. When's the last time you ever heard that on CNN or WaPo?

White House Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly lost his son in Afghanistan and refuses to even talk about it. Yet he just sits there and nods when his boss 'allows' another 3000 US solders to be deployed into that useless, soul-destroying meat-grinder. He has to - to argue otherwise would be to admit his son died for nothing - or died for reasons that have little to do with US national security. I hope he doesn't have any guns at home.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 20 2017 16:17 utc | 78

...and immediately chain-migrate to the US, working for MIC until they can use minority hire laws to unfiltrate government positions, and eventually rise to hiring positions, then take over entire departments (in my expaerience). There'snow $754B a year disappearing into the MIC Green Card job-for-life pipeline,...and Trump excoriates Mexicans, because one of his grand plan Mexican hotel:casino deals failed. What a sick country.

Posted by: Chipnik | Oct 20 2017 16:20 utc | 79

Less than 10% of the population ever serve in the military and those that do serve deserve to be properly cared for and protected both while they are serving and in gratitude after they get out.

I my opinion EVERYBODY should be required to serve in some capacity for at least a couple of years. I don't think you should be allowed to vote unless you have an honorable discharge and have earned the right to have a say in this government.

Posted by: JimC | Oct 20 2017 16:23 utc | 80

More US troops commit suicide than die in combat, and the majority of military suicides never saw combat.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 20 2017 16:26 utc | 81

Been on base lately? Admittedly, it's been a while for me. But when I was there, free food tasted like bleach and gave you the squirts, free housing was a barracks hallway with a shitter in the middle of the hallway (not unlike a cell block actually), pampering was 6 months in the field and 6 months extra duty per year, good pay was $100/month minus taxes, generous retirement was an offer to buy into 401k (😒), so,.... yeah,.... We very well may be talking about two entirely different armies here,.....

Posted by: Josh | Oct 20 2017 16:30 utc | 82

Typo,... $1000/month... My bad,...

Posted by: Josh | Oct 20 2017 16:31 utc | 83


Social Security Trust Fund is the buyer of last resort for US Treasury debt. There will be a sharp reckoning coming soon for the infirm and the elderly in USA. Having said that, I enjoyed and survived three economic downturns serving in MIC, as a White given much higher responsibility than in private life rat-race. MIC is 9 to 5 and fahged abahd et and no income taxes OCONUS. The O-caste of primarily White officers lives very well, the E-class of enlisted Browns and Poor Whites does all the labor, but nobody dies unless they fall overboard or get drunk and swim outside the reef or roll a POV off a cliff.

Posted by: Chipnik | Oct 20 2017 16:35 utc | 84


My MIC service got me sent to OEF-A-KDR, and the contrast between a war zone and the playland Pacific bases I served at was really stunning, you have to wonder what they do at Kadena all day long, or Hickam, lol, watch luau girl videos?

Posted by: Chipnik | Oct 20 2017 16:44 utc | 85

The US military now, post-Black Hawk Down, is a terrified band of brothers who do use chemicals to stiffen their spines when inserted into a combat mission. "Go" pills, anyone? Panama was fought on meth. Thus the massacre in the barrio. All covered up by US/Panama.

Generally, the front line is of two zones. Insertions "behind the lines" and "at or inside bases and green zones".

The war on the ground is special forces or logistics support. There is no real infantry. Even Raqqa, the Marines mostly applied long range artillery. Another form of US 'bombing'.
The war in the air is bombing or missile launching, usually over no fly zones with very weak AA or Missile Defenses. When was the last dog fight? Top Gun?
There is no naval war. Nor will their be.
So, the threats of casualties are from missiles, artillery, and IEDS, VIEDS. And snipers.

And the US fighting when locked in a tactical locale is usually done by PMCs and/or proxies like ISIS, AQ, al Nusra, or Islamic mercs all in the name of US/NATO/coalitions. It's been that way since Yugoslavia, and especially, Libya and Syria.

The US military has surrendered its allegiance to the People of the USA to neocons, Russophobes, Khazarians and Nazis. Most of them do not know it.

Individually, I offer my thanks for their loyalty, misplaced though it is, not for their actions. They are brave and courageous. But they are ignorant, often. They don't understand what they are doing or who they are doing it for. It sure as hell is not for the American People. And hasn't been for a long, long time. Not Korea, Nam, or the endless parodies of "war" the military, CIA and State Dept. has construed as vital national security and national interest events.

It's a racket. It's been so since empire overtook America and that was 1898.

The latest version of chaos and death-making in Syria has turned out a bummer for the US once Russia showed up.

Ukraine will be worse. But, particularly if they press hard before the World Cup in Russia in 2018, the blitz US and NATO and the nazis of Kiev will receive might stun them worse than any event in American history. Russia is ready for their attack or false flag and Putin is calm. Don't poke the Bear.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 20 2017 17:23 utc | 86


thanks for expanding on the study, i guess...

talk about a brave new world!


Posted by: john | Oct 20 2017 17:36 utc | 87

The best place to be in a fascist military dictatorship is in the armed forces. The Nazis knew that, too. That is, until the tide turns. When you have created so many enemies, that they will hunt you like a coyote a squirrel. Until all Americans are either dead, or in prison camps.

In regards to 'Socialism', the government has been socialist for a long time. Someone that cuts the lawn for the county vets paid more than the minimum wage earners in the tourist industry and receives free universal healthcare, cheap car insurance, cheap mortgages, and does not have to wait years for housing assistance.
It's socialism for all regime employees and predatory vulture capitism for the masses.

Who could have a problem with that? Not the armed forces and armed tax collectors, armed 'law' enforcement, armed park rangers and armed social security office protectors.

But who cares anyways? Not those who are bribed into complacency.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Oct 20 2017 17:36 utc | 88

Gen Kelly: "He knew what the possibilities were ... because we're at war."

War!? Did Congress declare war on Niger?

And this was only ONE of several misrepresentations that left me shaking my head:

>> the Congresswoman didn't eavesdrop surreptitiously;

>> people don't serve ONLY from selfless devotion to the country;

>> lamenting that nothing is sacred actually makes a mockery of service/sacrifice, doesn't it?

>> choosing to answer questions only from people with a connection to the military disrespects the constitution that he is sworn to uphold.

Lunatics in charge of the asylum?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 20 2017 17:38 utc | 89

It's a technicality. The US leadership has declared a state of emergency. Enemies are whoever they say they are, and war is the rule rather than the exception.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 20 2017 18:02 utc | 90

In reply to: Chipnik | Oct 20, 2017 12:35:17 PM | 82

The SSTF contains no Treasury debt. It's empty.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 20 2017 18:28 utc | 91

Hey Paveway Iv - is this some USA Spec Ops boys pretending to be Kurds? They have a green flag and red star flag on their upper arms? 24 second video.

Posted by: Boyo | Oct 20 2017 18:59 utc | 92

@ Jackrabbit 87
It's the 'War on Terror.'
--re: The War on Terror

The US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has admitted that Washington has no way of knowing whether it is winning or losing its "war on terror" and predicts "a long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan, in a leaked document published yesterday.
In his memo the defence secretary takes a long-term view of the counter-terrorist effort and wonders whether terrorists are being recruited in religious schools [madrassas] faster than US troops can kill or capture them.
"Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror," Mr Rumsfeld concludes, demanding more original thinking. . .here, Oct 22, 2003

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 20 2017 19:22 utc | 93

There is no money anywhere. It is ink on paper and digits on screens. Its value is an illusion which is enforced by bullets, rockets' red glare, and white phosphorus burning holes through the live bodies of brown-skinned children in a school yard with their teachers.

You and I can toil for enough digits to trade for our daily needs. The CEO's of the MIC get piles of it. Much of it spent on cocaine which is sniffed from the lovely curved asses of teenaged prostitutes.

Karl Rove's favorite band hired for the RNC COnvention: "Hookers and Blow"

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 20 2017 19:51 utc | 94

@Debs @26

The soldiers from Chad were in south-east Niger at the border to Chad for some local issue. The were called back for some local political reason.

The U.S. soldiers were in north-west Niger at the border to Mali allegedly after some supranational "terrorists".

Those two places are some 700 miles apart - a 24 hour drive. The issues had nothing to do with each other.

The FP piece is typical bollocks of some idiot who can not read a map.

Posted by: b | Oct 20 2017 20:01 utc | 95

Red Ryder @84--

The original 13 Colonies were an appendage of Empire, the became one in their own right upon declaring independence. Limits placed on expanding the Empire were one of the main reasons for declaring independence. Why do you think most of the First Peoples sided with the British? One of the greatest Imperialists in US History is Thomas Jefferson. His undeclared war against the Spanish in the Floridas was the second such war entered into by the fledgling Outlaw US Empire, the undeclared war against France during Adams's term being the first--unless we count the undeclared war against Revolutionary War veterans by Washington and Hamilton. The point being the tradition of waging undeclared wars began at the nation's beginning and isn't some recent trend.

Vets have always been treated very shabbily beginning with the reasons behind both Shay's and Whiskey Rebellions, Civil War vets from both sides, and WW1 vets' Bonus Army, all of which helped enable the enactment of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944--known as the GI Bill of Rights--which despite its benefits was very poor and discriminatory legislation, although better than what FDR proposed, Documentaries based on the Big Lie, like the recent Ken Burns series on Vietnam, also denigrate the common soldier who was sent to die for a series of Big Lies which are still not acknowledged for what they are. I didn't get crap for my six years aside from a unique education.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 20 2017 20:02 utc | 96

Now about that Niger thing. I was thinking it must be related to the UN mission in Central African Republic, but like has been pointed out, they're pretty far away from each other.

Posted by: Stryker | Oct 20 2017 20:24 utc | 97

Don Bacon @93

"The War on Terror" is a misnomer. It's a fanciful name to signify the strength of the commitment. Like the "War on Drugs". Its not a real war. It's a police action.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 20 2017 21:35 utc | 98

This is nothing compared to what retirees and contractors get and how well off they can be. It's one reason I scratch my head about homeless veterans. It is a racket and rackets attach to it like the charity DAV.

Posted by: Curtis | Oct 20 2017 22:12 utc | 99

The misuse of the phrase "we are at war" seems to be gaining popularity.

Just last month actor Morgan Freeman told Americans the same wrt Russia: "we have been attacked . . . we are at war". Last time I checked, a Hollywood actor doesn't have the right to make that determination.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 20 2017 23:10 utc | 100

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