WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS MOST …IS A LAW AGAINST WAR

Although provocative, I believe the following to be a human impossibility – Human nature being what it is.

But it’s nice to ponder.

 

Guest Posting by: J. Moore

We have plenty of laws on the books making it illegal to take, or even endanger life. Why not go the logical limit and enact a law making it illegal to start, or even engage in a war, the most notorious life-taker of all? Crazy idea? Of course. But hope springs eternal.

The amount of blood shed in these past ages would hardly fill an ocean; and the pile of bodies killed in action since then would make Mount Everest look like a sand pile. And we forgot, these were flesh-and-blood human beings, folks, with families, friends, occupations, objectives and dreams. Which brings me to the reason I wrote this article.

In WW 1, my father, a soldier in the American army, was fighting in Germany with the French. Because he was a musician they made him a stretcher-bearer. While “doing his duty” a shell landed near him and filled his back with mustard gas. It was in this war that the town of Verdun became famous as the longest battle of the war. Within the first four days, the French divisions had suffered 60% casualties, and German losses almost as heavy.

With a German death toll of 143,000, and a French and American toll of 162,440, Verdun would come to signify, more than any other battle, the grinding, bloody nature of warfare on the Western front during World War I.

Yes, I said grinding and bloody; and I might add bestial, hateful, and ungodly. But that was war in 1916. Fighting another human being in a two-foot, rat-infested, mud-deep trench, with rifles, pistols, daggers, anything that would tear a man’s guts open, disfigure his face for life, or cripple him and left him to die in the stinking trench. If you saw “ All Quiet on the Western Front”, you saw WWI as only the doughboys at war saw it. And if that didn’t turn your stomach and shock your mind you must have had on a different channel.

Man to man combat to the death in tight quarters surrounded by other bodies
is strange to us. Even our so-called modern wars with bigger guns, night glasses, hundred-pound packs, jet planes, and an invisible enemy, is critically different than the wars that went before; particularly WWl where hard-core, man-to-man, no-holds barred clashes were everyday expectations.

But today’s wars with their armor-piercing ammo, drones, long-range rockets and other high tech equipment have made a deadly impersonal game of war.

But in this game, one thing is missing. Human beings. In today’s wars we seldom if ever get to see human beings, real living, breathing human beings. Yesterday’s wars, however, were different. Men struggling hand-to-hand in mortal combat fighting face to face, had to know—he was trying desperately to kill another human being before the other human being killed him—both men not wanting to kill anybody, but in this case, having no choice in the matter. Kill or be killed.

Down where man meets man, no soldier or sailor really wants to go to war.
Only the greedy men see war as a way to assuage their greed: greed for money, greed for territory, greed for revenge, greed for religious differences.

We can’t rid the world of greed, but we could rid the world of war, by enacting a law against war. Before you say, “This could never be done, so why try?”, think hard about the human toll of fighting and dying in the trenches.

Syria: Should We or Shouldn’t We: American Neutrality is Not Isolationism

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

Syria is neither a friend nor ally. The conflict in Syria is a civil war, an internal struggle, not a war of international aggression or imperial colonization. Yet those of the “we must do something” crowd are insistent of our entanglement and brand all others as “Isolationists”.

 

Once again, our governmental brain trust would be well served to consult our own history. More often than not, the answer can be found.

 

As The Heritage Foundation asserts, it is helpful to define what is meant by “isolationist.” The term isolationism applies to a policy of abstaining from economic and political relations with other countries. By this definition, the best examples of isolationist foreign policies are offered by 17th century China, 18th century Japan, 19th century Korea, or 20th century North Korea.

 

Let’s not confuse or commingle military abstinence with economic and political isolationism.

 

During an Independence Day speech, John Quincy Adams fervently argued that America had no inherent responsibility to intervene abroad (emphasis added):

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.”

 

Policies set forth by the founders were born of affection for republican self-government and their desire to preserve the country’s sovereign independence.

 

Washington advocated for a foreign policy that would allow America to, “choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.”

 

During Thomas Jefferson’s Administration, the United States, acting in our interest chose war, joining forces with Sweden and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies during the Tripolitan War against the Barbary Pirates. Such foreign military cooperation was essential in defeating the Muslim privateers (terrorists), loosely associated with the Ottoman Empire (surprise; present day Iran). It was the new nations first foreign war.

 

From the beginning, the primary purpose of U.S. foreign policy has been to defend the American constitutional system and the interests of the American people.

 

Jefferson summed it up in his First Inaugural Address as “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations—entangling alliances with none.”

 

And thus was a difficult decision to be made by our first president. The rebellion during the French revolution solicited Americas help as a military and political ally. The Marquis de Lafayette, who had been George Washington’s aide-de-camp during the American Revolution and had become a close personal friend, had personally requested the assistance of Washington and the Americans. Yet Washington knew that supporting France would likely drag America into a disastrous war against her will.

 

So in April, 1793, George Washington signed a proclamation declaring America’s neutrality, although the word neutrality is found nowhere in the declaration. In short Washington, like Jefferson feared an entangled alliance. He also did not wish to involve America in another nations internal struggle.

 

In 1822, President Monroe officially recognized the independence of Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. The United States was the first established nation to welcome these new republics into the community of nations. Thus was the Monroe Doctrine.

 

President Monroe stated of the Monroe Doctrine, “The occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.”

 

The Monroe Doctrine would hardly be considered isolationist and it was the last major declaration blessed by both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Must have been nice and quite convenient to be able to seek direct council from the Authors of the both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. How cool is that?!

 

With the Monroe Doctrine, the U.S. attempted to ban imperial ambition from one-third of the globe’s surface, thereby delegitimizing the accepted system of imperialism and attempting to fundamentally alter the international order – hardly an isolationist policy.

 

So how does all this “history” equate or relate to the upheaval in the Middle East? What would the founders have advised us to do?

 

That’s easy; stay out of it. We had our chances long ago to support freedom and liberty and we sat back and did nothing. Now all these uprisings have been high jacked by one terrorist group or another. There are no good guys, no freedom or liberty to support.

 

This is also an internal struggle. If Washington was able to say no his dear friend, The Marquis de Lafayette, during France’s bloody revolution, we sure as heck can say no to Syria, who are neither friend nor ally.

War is Hell

LIFE magazine war photographer, Larry  Burrows, covered the fighting on the front lines during the Vietnam War and is  now being remembered for his extraordinary work as the 41 year anniversary of  his death approaches.

Mr Burrows captured the compelling images of  Operation Prairie, the U.S. offensive against the North Vietnamese near the  Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), that lasted from August 3 to October 27, 1966.

His photographs of the bloody aftermath of  the attack, juxtaposed against the lush and picturesque scenery of the Southeast  Asian nation, are being revisited on LIFE.comas the  London-born photojournalist is remembered.

Scroll down  for video.

U.S. Marines
 U.S. Marines carry the injured during a  firefight near the southern edge of the DMZ, Vietnam, October 1966
American Marines
 An American Marine during Operation  Prairie

 

During Operation Prairie
American soldier
 Marines carry an injured soldier back to the  medics for treatment following an assault on Hill 484, Vietnam, October 1966  (top). An American soldier (bottom) with a bandaged head wound looking dazed  after participating in Operation Prairie just south of the DMZ

An estimated 1,329 Americans were killed  during the operation. More than 58,000 Americans lost their lives in the  conflict in Indochina that ended in 1975.

One of the most famous images in the  collection by Burrows is the shot ‘Reaching Out,’ the moment when  wounded  Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Purdie, photographed with a blood-stained  bandage tied  around his head, is drawn to his fellow soldier, who lays  wounded on the  ground.

Though some of the pictures by the  renowned  war photographer did appear in the magazine in the 1970s, some  never made it to  publication and are being seen for the first time  in theLIFE.comgallery.

The war correspondent has been praised for  his indefatigable commitment to chronicle the conflict through pictures that  communicated the horror of the fighting and honored the lives lost in the  conflict in a way words just never could fully transmit.

Wounded Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Purdie
Wounded Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah  Purdie (center, with bandaged head) reaches toward a stricken comrade after a  fierce firefight
American Marine gets bandaged during Operation Prairie
 A dazed, wounded American Marine gets bandaged  during Operation Prairie
Four Marines
Four Marines recover the body of Marine fire  team leader Leland Hammond as their company comes under fire near Hill 484. (At  right is the French-born photojournalist Catherine Leroy)

 

 

 

Burrows himself suffered a tragic end as he  worked on the front lines, he was killed on February 10, 1971 over Laos  when  his helicopter was shot down. He was 44-years-old.

Fellow photographers Henri Huet, 43,  of the  Associated Press, Kent Potter, 23, of United Press International  and Keisaburo  Shimamoto, 34, of Newsweek were also killed in the crash.

Ralph Graves, then LIFE magazine’s  managing  editor, remembered the Englishman as ‘the single bravest and most  dedicated war  photographer I know of,’ in a moving tribute he wrote following Burrows’ death.

‘He spent nine years covering the  Vietnam  War under conditions of incredible danger, not just at odd times but over and  over again.’

‘The war was his story, and he would  see it  through. His dream was to stay until he could photograph a  Vietnam at peace,’  Mr Graves added in the 1971 issue dedicated to the  fallen  correspondent.

 

U.S. Marine Phillip Wilson
 U.S. Marine Phillip Wilson as he fords a  waist-deep river with a rocket launcher over his shoulder during fighting near  the DMZ. Five days after this photograph was taken, he was killed in  combat

 

American Marines
American Marines tending to a wounded soldier  during a firefight south of the DMZ

 

Though the lost photographers were  mourned,  their remains were not discovered until 37 years later thanks to the tireless  effort spearheaded by AP writer Richard Pyle.

The remains of Mr Burrows, Mr Buet, Mr  Potter and Mr Shimamoto now sit in a stainless-steel box beneath the  floor of  the Newseum in Washington, D.C., part of a memorial gallery  honoring  journalists killed in the line of duty.

A total of 2,156 individuals, dating back as  far as 1837, are included in the museum’s memorial.

War correspondentWar correspondent: Terry Fincher of the Express (left)  and Larry Burrows (right) covering the war in Vietnam in April 1968

 

Larry Burrows Vietnam War
Larry Burrows Vietnam War Photographs
In memory: The remains of Larry Burrows and the three  other war photographers killed in the helicopter crash over Laos in 1971 were  finally discovered some 37 years later. They now reside at a memorial (bottom) to  fallen journalists at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Attribution: Leslie Larson, Mail Online

We’ve Never Been Closer……Yeah Right

Official: Clinton’s comments may put Iran at ease

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent comment that the US is “not setting deadlines” for Iran could have the effect of putting the Islamic Republic at ease, a senior Israeli government official said.

The statements show signs of heightened tension between Jerusalem and Washington over the Iranian nuclear issue.

“Without a clear red line Iran will not cease its race toward a nuclear weapon,” the Israeli official said, breaking Jerusalem’s silence on Clinton’s comments, made during an interview with Bloomberg Radio.

“These sorts of statements will not stop Iran’s centrifuges from spinning; unfortunately the opposite could be true,” the official said. “This won’t deter Iran, but could put it at ease.”

Clinton’s comment raised eyebrows in Jerusalem, as did her statement that the US still considered negotiations as “by far the best approach” to preventing Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

Her words came just hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that Jerusalem and the US were discussing what kind of “red lines” needed to be drawn to keep Iran from pursuing its nuclear program.

“I think what is important to realize is that Iran will not stop unless it sees clear determination by the democratic countries of the world and a clear red line,” Netanyahu said. “I don’t think that they see a clear red line, and I think the sooner we establish one, the greater the chances that there won’t be a need for other types of action.”

The prime minister, who has carefully avoided spelling out exactly what he means by red lines, said they could be “a clear delineation of a line which Iran cannot cross in its pursuit of the development of nuclear weapons capability. If Iran saw that, there is a chance, I won’t say it’s guaranteed, but there’s a chance they might pause before they cross that line.”

When Clinton was asked if the Obama administration would lay out sharper “red lines” for Iran or state explicitly the consequences of failing to negotiate a deal with world powers by a certain date, she said Washington was not setting deadlines.

“We’re watching very carefully about what they do, because it has always been more about their actions than their words,” she said.

While Netanyahu has never asked outright for the US to set a deadline – his red lines have been widely interpreted as benchmarks so the Iranians know that if they take certain actions they will face a predetermined response – the reaction from the government official in Jerusalem was a sign of continuing deep frustration with the Obama administration’s approach.

This frustration came to a head last month when Netanyahu got into a sharp diplomatic exchange with US Ambassador Dan Shapiro over the issue during a meeting with a visiting congressman, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan).

Rogers said that he walked out of the meeting feeling that Israel was at its “wit’s end” over the issue.

The response was similar to the reaction in Jerusalem earlier this month to a comment by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, that he would not want to be “complicit” in an Israeli attack.

One official termed Dempsey’s comment “strange” and said it contradicted the White House’s continuous statements that security and defense cooperation between the two countries had never been closer.

Clinton, in her interview, said there were clear differences between Israel and the US regarding the timeline for talks.

“They’re more anxious about a quick response because they feel that they’re right in the bull’s-eye, so to speak,” she said. “But we’re convinced that we have more time to focus on these sanctions, to do everything we can to bring Iran to a good-faith negotiation.”

Clinton added that the sanctions “are having an effect.”

She also indicated that world powers involved in negotiating with Iran – the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – would be meeting over the next month to “take stock of where we are.”

“It is a very challenging effort to get them to move in a way that complies with their international obligations,” she said of the Iranians. “But we believe that is still by far the best approach to take at this time.”

The secretary of state acknowledged that Israel felt an Iran with nuclear weapons posed an existential threat and said “no nation can abdicate their self-defense if they feel that they’re facing such a threat.”

In a related development, Netanyahu met for 90 minutes with President Shimon Peres for the first time since Peres said weeks ago in a television interview that Israel should not attack Iran without US support. Those comments elicited angry responses from sources close to the prime minister, who said the president had overstepped his bounds.

Attribution: HERB KEINON, Jerusalem Post, Bloomberg

Our Hundred Years’ War

by: John Myers

with a few comments thrown in by the Common Constitutionalist [ ]

The race for the Presidency has been interesting, not because of what either GOP nominee Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama has said, but because of what has been ignored.

The most notable taboo topic is the Nation’s continued involvement in Afghanistan as well as the progressive deterioration of American strategic goals for the Mideast.

Neither candidate has been candid on a geopolitical blunder in Afghanistan that continues to rack up hundreds of billions of dollars in additional debt and potentially thousands of American deaths.

Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of Ending the US War in Afghanistan: A Primer, contends that neither candidate has a way for America to extricate itself from Afghanistan. [ I do. Like every superpower before, admit it is a fools errand and leave ]

In an interview1, Bennis said:

Candidate Obama has now stopped talking about Afghanistan this time around. Candidate Romney has said that Obama is not tough enough, but what he has called for has not been different in any substantive way. He has said that we should keep troops there, not pull out right away. President Obama is not pulling out right away, so there’s very little substantive difference.

What is inescapable is that this month marks the beginning of the 12th year of war in Afghanistan; it is America’s longest war. What has been ignored by American strategists is that Afghanistan is a desolate, Stone Age nation that refuses to be civilized and has successfully resisted past and present superpowers, a group that includes not only the United States but also the British Empire and the Soviet Union.

Washington has ignored this historical truth and has so far invested nearly over a half a trillion dollars in fighting a losing struggle that has cost us more than 2,000 dead. [ Not so fun fact: 1) Cost of Afghan war in 12 years is over $580 billion, but over $360 billion has been spent in just 3-1/2 years under Obama. 2) More than 2,000 U.S. soldiers killed; 69% killed in just 3-1/2 years on Obama’s watch ]

Obama has promised to end the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan by December 2014, although the United States has pledged to continue some undefined military and economic support well beyond that date. How far the United States will offer support beyond that date is open to speculation. Given the growing conflict with millions of radical followers of Islam, it doesn’t seem impossible that right now America has a future President who is in college and who, decades from now, will be deciding his strategies to defend America from an ever-expanding Muslim mob. [ Myers is right and that is sad. The way I see it, we either stay and finish the job, which can’t be done, or pack up everyone and everything and leave. So I guess that’s really only one choice ]

Afghan war strategists in the Obama Administration agree there is little chance of negotiations with the Taliban that would bring a political settlement to the war.

The question is why would the Taliban want to negotiate with the United States? Some 12 years into this war, American soldiers on patrol can’t determine who the biggest threat is: the enemy fighters in the countryside or their Afghan allies who once protected their backs but have increasingly been taking aim at them. [ The real question is, why would we think we could negotiate with them? What would we negotiate? That they would be so kind as to kill us last? ]

Gareth Porter, a historian and investigative journalist on U.S. foreign and military policy, said: “The Taliban have been able to carry out spectacular attacks on U.S. bases that have gotten much farther and done much more damage than anything the Vietcong and North Vietnamese were ever able to do during the Vietnam War.” [ Of course they have, considering how pitifully weak and restrictive our rules of engagement are ]

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper2, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen admitted the killings of almost 50 allied troops this year by Afghan security forces has damaged the relationship between the international forces and the Afghan police and military. [ Damaged our relationship? Screw our relationship. Our all-volunteer heros are being murdered ]

The Much Bigger War

Unspoken by both Presidential candidates is how America can win the war far beyond Afghanistan, a war without borders against elusive enemies with unspecific goals united only in their hatred of the United States. [ They have very specific goals; kill all of us ]

“The enemies we face in the future will look a lot like al Qaeda: transnational, globalized, locally franchised, extensively outsourced–but tied together through a powerful identity that leaps frontiers and continents,” wrote Mark Steyn in America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.

“All dominant powers are hated–Britain was, and Rome–but they’re usually hated for the right reasons. America is hated for every reason. The fanatical Muslims despise America because it’s all lap-dancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it’s all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it’s controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too godless, America is George Orwell’s Room 101: whatever your bugbear you will find it therein; whatever you’re against, America is the prime example of it.” [ As usual, Steyn is dead-on right ]

We no longer face a monolithic enemy like communism. What we do face is an enemy that will persist in its extremism and its hatred of the United States long after the upcoming occupant leaves the Oval Office.

And yet our policymakers continue to be like old generals and persist with fighting the last war. That war was won by outspending the enemy. Eventually, the Soviet Union imploded because that empire simply could not afford the cost of the Cold War. Today, America’s strategists are spending even more money on everything from nuclear aircraft battle groups to ultra-sophisticated fighter-interceptors like the Raptor F-22 which costs $420 million per plane.

Expenditures on these types of weapons put the Pentagon’s budget at $670 billion this year, about 18 percent of total Federal spending. The dollar amount has more than doubled since 2001 when the United States began its wars against Islamic extremists. It is hard for me to see how jet inceptors or nuclear submarines can effectively combat the growing radical contingent within Islam which continues on its jihad. [ They can’t, but Jihadists won’t always be the only threat to America. As long as there are communist countries we will need to also retain those convential forces ]

From Yemen to Libya, revolt rolls forward. Not long ago, nations like Egypt were our vanguards, influencing at least some stability on the region. In the past three years, one regime after another has been toppled, and there is growing radicalization inside the governments of almost each of these former allies. That could, as Steyn suggests, leave America alone. [ I might add, as bad as these regimes were, their successors are worse, and virtually all have been toppled with the help of our idiot government. We have absolutely no business getting involved in any of these overthrows. We have no stragetic or national interest there ]

When I was a kid, there was a joke about the IQ test for dummies. One of the questions was: Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb? Another was: How long did the Hundred Years’ War last? This second question isn’t so easy because it turned out to be a series of conflicts between England and France that lasted from 1337 to 1453.

That is trivia. But there is another question we should all be asking: How long will America’s war with Islam last? Tragically, we are into the second decade of this conflict and there is no end in sight.

War May be Imminent

by: Scott Sholar

The Coming Storm

September 26, 2012

I just received this email, yesterday, from a reputable source, and I would like to share it with you.  The original author of this email that was forwarded to me begins:

I got this from one of my employees who has a brother in Israel and believe it 100%. Something is coming.

I don’t know if you follow such things but…

My brother and his family live in Jerusalem – he is a minister – and a former Navy SEAL – his office is close to one of Israel ‘s largest underground military bases.

He called me last night which is very unusual – usually it is email.

He called to tell me that he is sending his family back to the US immediately due to what he is seeing happen within the last week and what he is being told by his military contacts in both the Israel and US military.

He said he is seeing with his own eyes military movements the likes of which he has never seen in his 20+ years in Israel.

What he called a massive redeployment and protective tactics of forces is underway.

Over the last two days he has seen anti-aircraft missile deployments throughout the Jerusalem area including 3 mobile units that he can see from his office windows.

In addition, he has seen very large Israeli armored columns moving fast toward the Sinai where Egypt has now moved in armor.

There are reports of the top military leaders meeting with Israel ‘s Sr. Rabbi which is something that has happened preceding every prior military campaign.

His admonition is to watch carefully and pray for Israel and its people.

He is convinced that barring something extraordinary Israel will attack Iran – with or without the US – and very soon.

It is the belief in Israel that Obama does not stand with Israel but with the Arab countries.

He has told me before that Israel will saber-rattle from time to time, but that this time is very different from what he is seeing and hearing.

He was at the Wailing Wall 2 days ago and there were hundreds of IDF soldiers there. As he was leaving, he passed at least 20 military buses full of soldiers en route to the wall.

He has never seen this before either.

Just thought I would pass this along. My brother is not an alarmist by any means.

When he talks like this it gets my attention for sure, and usually I find he knows more than he shares.

There are reports that Israel is asking Obama to come to Israel immediately but they are being answered with silence.

My opinion is that I see the making of the perfect storm.

War Buddies

A war veteran who thought his comrade had been killed in battle during the Second World War was left stunned after bumping into his old friend at a military show last month.

Stan Hodge, 87, believed Bert Hadrill to have died in 1944 after being badly injured by a mortar round as they served along side each other in Normandy..

Mr Hadrill sustained severe abdominal injuries in a battle to take the village of Maltot, where 250 Allied soldiers lost their lives. Mr Hodge, of Ashford, Kent, England was unaware that his friend had been rescued by paramedics, posted to Scotland to recuperate for the rest of the war and was now living in Bristol.

So it was a huge surprise for him to realize that the man wearing their regimental uniform at the War and Peace military vehicles show in Paddock Wood, Kent, was Bert himself. He said: ‘I recognized his regimental uniform and the thought gradually came back to me, “You look a bit like Bert”, so I went up to him and asked him.

.

‘I couldn’t believe it was him. Could you after 68 years?

‘We talked about that day, so many years ago. One minute we were talking and the next he was blown up by a mortar bomb.’

‘You can’t describe to people who weren’t there what it was like – all hell broke loose.

‘Many times you had the thought of giving up and you never knew if you were going to be the next one to bite the bullet.

.

‘You got hardened to it, the next day became easier and the next one after that until, eventually, you were one of the old boys before long.

‘But blokes came and went, and disappeared all the time during the war, and I thought Bert was probably dead.’

“It was a moment of joy to see him again.”

‘We talked about what we both did for the rest of the war and afterwards, and have made plans to stay in touch.”

The pair were fighting in the 4th Battalion, The Dorset Regiment as part of the Allies’ Operation Overlord to retake German-occupied France.