A very bad man died recently

I speak of course of John McCain.  He was nicknamed by the establishment as a maverick because he agreed with the worst aspects of both the Democrats and Republicans.  That this tended to represent the establishment view on everything is what makes the nickname so absurd.  Simply being a partisan hack would be bad enough, but breaking with your party on the rare occasion when they’re actually right about something is a new level of evil and/or stupidity.

The last time McCain opposed a US military intervention was 1982 when he correctly criticized Reagan’s troop buildup in Lebanon.  Since then he has continued to criticize every US intervention, but his issue has always been that the Empire didn’t send enough troops, spend enough money, bomb enough buildings, kill enough people.  Never once, did this “maverick” take a step back and question why a local conflict in some far away, little understood corner of the world was any of his or the US State’s business.

McCain died despised by the majority of his own party’s base.  That makes me think there may some small shred of hope for the GOP in the coming years.  But despite all this, the average “conservative” in the US still has to spout the usual platitudes about him being a war hero.  This is complete rubbish.

Ask yourself,

What was heroic about volunteering for a military that had been engaged in the indiscriminate killing of civilians since at least 1942 (McCain entered the Naval Academy in 1958)?

What was heroic about bombing North Vietnam, with the full knowledge that helpless women and children were dying as a result, when they posed no threat to the United States?

What was heroic about being shot down?

What was heroic about being captured?

Ask yourself this.  If a foreign military was bombing your town, regardless of whether there was a Military base nearby or not, and one of their pilots crashed into your backyard, how would you react?

I know many otherwise honorable people served in Vietnam and other US Wars.  I know many were drafted and had very little choice in the matter.  But participation in an unjust war is not in itself heroic.  Being captured or tortured in the process doesn’t automatically make you a hero either.

And John McCain was not otherwise honorable.  He supported every unjust war that occurred during his lifetime and it wasn’t just lip service like some suburban soccer mom sporting a Support the Troops bumper sticker.  He was in a position to influence the US State’s War Machine and he used that influence for evil.

Let’s hope his death is the end of a very bad, violent, destructive era.

Cold War Debates

I listened to the Tom Woods Show interview with Kevin Gutzman today.  It was an interesting interview.  I have read a few books by Professor Gutzman which were excellent, and he’s clearly a much smarter person than I am.

But I need to take issue with some debate they had over the Cold War and Vietnam.  Gutzman is a conservative and defends both.  His argument seemed to boil down to a few points:

  1. If the US hadn’t “fought” the Cold War the Soviet Union would probably still be around today.
  2. South Vietnam would still be an independent country if it wasn’t for Watergate weakening Nixon and emboldening anti-war Democrats who abandoned them.
  3. South Korea and West Germany would have fallen to the Soviets if the US had abandoned them like they did Vietnam.

Although it’s impossible to know how history would have played out if American politicians had acted differently, I don’t necessarily think Gutzman is wrong about most of this.  But I still have a major issue with this line of thinking.

On point one, it seems entirely plausible that Reagan’s military buildup and SDI initiative hastened the collapse of the Soviet Empire.  But it’s not an argument to say that the Cold War was worth it because Russia now has a different economic and governmental system.  If Vladimir Putting called himself General Secretary instead of President would that mean I’m in danger all of a sudden?  Like many conservatives that came of age in that era he just takes it for granted that the USSR was automatically an existential threat to Americans and our way of life without having to actually justify it.

On point two, it’s basically a big fat who cares.  I’m sure the people of South Vietnam would have been better off if they hadn’t lived under communism all these years.  But they did, and nothing changed in America as a result.  However, the war itself led to great upheaval and an undermining of many of the values conservatives are supposed to care about.  So even if “we” had won, why would that matter to people who lived in the USA in 1964 who had never heard of Vietnam until their government invaded it?  Conservatives have no problem with people living under police states or dictatorships until the governments call themselves communists or Islamic.  Then all of a sudden it’s a moral issue or a threat to the world or something.

On point three, I’d have to argue that we, as Americans, would have been better off if our government hadn’t intervened to keep these half-nations “free.”  If South Korea had fallen to the damn commies, they wouldn’t be as prosperous as they are today.  But look what happened in Vietnam.  Maybe a united Communist Korea would have evolved more like Vietnam and the North wouldn’t be the horrible police state murder factory it is today.  And at any rate, from an American point of view, we wouldn’t continue to have 30,000 soldiers there acting as a human sacrifice to trigger a war should North Korea ever decide to invade South Korea.

As for West Germany, it’s basically the same argument as Korea.  But I would also say I have my doubts that a United Germany could have been held in check as a Soviet Satellite for forty years.  So maybe not dividing it up after WWII would have hastened the end of the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe had the Soviets insisted on occupying the whole thing.  And if they didn’t try to occupy the whole thing, then the US didn’t need to defend them anyway  We’ll never know what would have nappened.  We do know, however, that the US wouldn’t have an incredibly expensive and permanent military beaurocracy in Europe that has far outlived its intended purpose if we hadn’t created it to defend West Germany in the first place.

And as a final argument against any of this meddling, I’d like to point out the following:

  1. The USA didn’t have to enter WWI.  There was absolutely no threat to North America as a result of the hostilities taking place in Europe in 1917
  2. Because the USA entered WWI, the allies didn’t have to reach a peace agreement with Germany, and Russia continued the unpopular war.  This allowed the communists, with the help of Germany, to take power and create the Soviet Union in the first place.
  3. It also allowed France and Britain to win a decisive victory and impose a harsh peace on defeated Germany.  This lead to economic chaos in Germany and a feeling of injustice that allowed the Nazis to take power.
  4. So US intervention in WWI lead directly to the circumstances that created WWII.
  5. The USA insisted on unconditional surrender in WWII so that the German government could not make peace without signing their own death warrants.
  6. The Soviet Union took over Eastern Europe and suddenly became a “threat” to the USA because they won an unconditional surrender from Germany in WWII (with the help of the USA).
  7. I’ll skip over all the bad things that happened during the cold war because I discussed some of them earlier in this post, but obviously it cost a lot of lives and money.
  8. To fight the evil commies the USA supported Arab terrorists in Afghanistan who were fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.
  9. Those same Arabs then turned on the USA over our government’s Middle East policy, itself a relic of the Cold War power struggle for resources.  They bombed the World Trade Enter in New York City.
  10. The Bush regime then launched the never ending Terror War that is still going on today.

No matter what motivations or reasoning anyone uses for an aggressive or militaristic foreign policy, it always leads to unintended consequences that then lead to calls for further interventions to counteract those consequences.  It never ends.  Don’t go to war (or fund a war) unless you are under a direct physical threat to your homeland.  It’s never worth it.  It never makes things better.

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day is one of the holidays I rather like.  Many that have no religious roots are simply celebrations of government or a government figure.  Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day have devolved into orgies of military worship.  Labor Day was basically a holiday to celebrate unions and now it’s just an excuse to not perform any labor for a day. Presidents’ Day is where we’re taught how great presidents are especially the ones that started wars or passed the most laws.

However, Independence Day is not, strictly speaking, a celebration of the US Government. The Washington regime we currently suffer under was not formed on July 4, 1776. That would be 1788 when the Constitution was ratified.  Rather, This holiday marks the day that thirteen separate states declared their independence from the British Empire.  It’s a celebration of decentralization, and that is almost always something worth celebrating.

Many of the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence went onto serve in the eventual US government that was officially created twelve years later.  So in that sense it’s a founding document of that same government.  But most, if not all of these men would certainly be disgusted with the monstrosity that Washington, DC morphed into.

I find it interesting that the media and many politicians have taken to calling this day simply “The Fourth of July.”  I believe this is done with a purpose in mind.  They want this holiday to be thought of as the birth of the current United State, rather than the actual history which is several states seceding from a larger central government mainly to lower their tax burden.

I prefer to celebrate the tax rebellion.  Sometimes I think we need another one.

We need another Warren Harding

I love this quite from 1920

“America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality”.

Can the peace candidate win?

I’ve made the case that Trump is staking out the position of peace candidate.  But can that strategy win?  After all, I compared him to Reagan who certainly wasn’t viewed as the peace candidate in 1980 when he won his first term.  I was an enthusiastic supporter of the non-interventionist Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012, and he didn’t stand a chance.

So can Peace win?  I figured why not look over the last few elections to see if being the bigger warmonger was a liability or an asset:

2012: Obama had been quite reckless in foreign affairs during his first term.  He escalated the Afghanistan quagmire and launched a foolish campaign against Libya based on lies. However, he was able to make the case that he ended the Iraq War (despite the fact that it never really ended and he had tried to extend it anyway).  When you factor in that Mitt Romney’s campaign was centered around the preemptive surrender of foreign policy to Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s clear Obama was the relative Peace Candidate. Conclusion: Peace Wins

2008: McCain is the most crazed warmonger to ever win a major party nomination in the postwar era, and that’s really saying something.  Obama managed to win the Democratic nomination by being the one candidate who could actually claim to have been against the Iraq War. Conclusion: Peace Wins

2004: Bush had just launched two expensive wars that showed no signs of ending.  Kerry was an idiot who would’t take a firm position on anything, but he was still the relative Peace Candidate. Conclusion: War Wins

2000: War and Peace weren’t really the defining issues in this campaign, but Bush lied and said he wanted to return to a “humble” foreign policy.  Gore represented a continuation of the Clinton regime that had been in a state of low-level perpetual war for most of the previous eight years.  So even though this was basically a tie, Conclusion: Peace Wins

1996: Americans weren’t focused on foreign policy in 1996.  Clinton was probably still seen as the peace candidate compared to Bob Dole.  Clinton’s interventionism and been under the radar in his first term compared to his second, and Dole was still seen as an old school Cold Warrior.  Hard to say it was the decisive factor, but the perception that Clinton was a 60’s era peacenik didn’t hurt him at all.  Conclusion: Peace Wins

1992: Bush had just wrapped up the Gulf War when the ’92 campaign got underway.  The war was very popular, but Americans were more concerned with NAFTA and other domestic issues.  The ex-hippy, draft dodger Clinton was able to beat the war hero Bush despite the (false) victory against Saddam Hussein.  Conclusion: Peace Wins

You could make the argument that the Bush/Reagan/Nixon victories in 72, 80, 84, 88 were all somewhat anti-peace, but that truly was a different era.  Basically from 1920 until the Cold War ended, the Republicans were seen as “realists” on the international stage while the Democrats were the ones prone to foreign adventurism.  So while McGovern was clearly the peace candidate in 1972, Nixon was reaping the benefit of having ended the Democrats’ unpopular Vietnam War.

As you can see it gets a little murky if you go back into the Cold War era, but Carter was definitely the peace candidate in 1976.  Nixon, believe it or not, was the peace candidate in 1968 after Hubert Humphrey stole the Democrat primary.  Johnson was incorrectly viewed as the peace candidate in 1964.  Kennedy was actually a bit of a warmonger in 1960. Eisenhower was the peace candidate in 1952 and was reelected on that reputation in 1956.

There’s normally a bi-partisan consensus on perpetual war, but if you look at what was the perception in presidential elections since 1952, I would say Peace has the edge.  The warmongers usually only win when foreign policy is relegated to the sidelines in favor of some new welfare entitlement or an economic crisis.  When given a clear choice between war and peace, peace usually wins.

I think  the Donald is onto something.  At least he’s making this election much more interesting than 2012.

All WWII vets were not saints

I follow someone on twitter who uses the handle Screwed by State.  He (or she) seems like quite a consistent libertarian on most issues and I’d urge people to follow him to get the latest on the battle over Net neutrality and other topics.  However, he tweeted something this morning that bothered me.  It was this picture:

An American sailor of the U.S. Navy rings in 1942 with a companion while on leave. New York City, New York, U.S.A. 31 December 1941. Image taken by Otto Bettmann.:

and the tweet was “A sailor on leave with his girl, New Years eve, New York, 1941.”  A quick google search reveals he copied this image from Pinterest and the caption there is “An American sailor of the U.S. Navy rings in 1942 with a companion while on leave. New York City, New York, U.S.A. 31 December 1941. Image taken by Otto Bettmann.”

So there is no evidence that the woman in this picture was the sailor’s “girl” unless  “girl” means the woman he was drinking with on New Year’s Eve in New York City.  Screwed by State apparently wants his followers to imagine this was some brave soldier having one last romantic evening with his future wife before he went off to war to defend his friends and family from the evil Nazis.  It’s at least as likely this is just some woman out having a good time who was attracted to a man in uniform.  I’d say there is probably about a 50% chance these two never saw each other again after New Year’s Day 1942.

Now I don’t care if young men and women want to have a few drinks and sleep together. More power to them as far as I’m concerned.  But why do Americans of seemingly every political outlook have to go around canonizing soldiers, particularly those from the “greatest generation”? Why do so many people assume that American soldiers in the 1940’s were the one military in all of human history who were well behaved and never did anything bad or immoral.  If you saw this same picture, but the man was in regular street clothes, would you really jump to the conclusion that this couple was in some committed relationship?

I have news for you.  Servicemen from World War II weren’t all brave.  They weren’t all good.  Most of them never fought anybody.  They certainly weren’t defending America as they rampaged through Asian jungles or the European countryside thousands of miles from home.

Here are some other images people might want to take a look at:

In this undated image released by the Yokosuka City Council in Japan, U.S. sailors gather in front of a Yasu-ura House “comfort station” in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo.

By the late summer of 1944, soon after the Invasion of Normandy, women in Normandy began to complain about rapes by American soldiers. Hundreds of cases were reported.

During the Second World War, the demand from servicemen grew so large that most of the better brothels on Hotel Street simply stopped seeing local men altogether.  To speed things along, a “bull pen” system was instituted:  Hawaiian matrons guarded the doors, turning away any man who was drunk or looked like a troublemaker.  Each then paid his fee and received a poker chip, then waited for an available room where he undressed and waited for the whore who was working in the next room; she would come in, collect her chip, inspect him for signs of venereal disease, quickly wash him and do her work.  He had three minutes to achieve release, after which she said “aloha” and was off to the next room while he washed up and got dressed.  Most brothels required girls to see at least 100 men a day and to work at least 20 days per month

So there are just a few examples of some unsavory behavior by our sainted WWII veterans.  The point isn’t that American soldiers are exceptionally bad.  They’re just not exceptionally good despite all the propaganda.  That includes the “Good War.”  Give a bunch of 18-26 year old men guns and tell them to invade and occupy some foreign country and it will be the same thing every time.  Some will rape women.  A small number will commit war crimes.  A lot will visit prostitutes.  Don’t pretend otherwise just because they wear an American Flag patch on their shoulder.

Armistice Day

97 years ago today, after a string of military defeats, the German Empire signed an armistice with the British and French Empires.  So Germany stopped fighting the Allies a few hours later, and this marked the end of what later came to be known as World War I.

The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.

We now know the day as Veterans Day in the United States as all Americans are urged to heap praise on anyone who has ever been employed by the US military and refer to them as heroes without knowing any details about their “service.”

Americans should really focus more on the origins of this day and be educated about the last hours of World War I.  Perhaps libertarians and anti-war types can make some inroads with the flag worshipers if they learn the truth about Armistice Day and the psychopaths who ruled western states a hundred years ago.

The armistice was signed at 5 am and went into effect at 11 am local French time.  So the combatants knew the war would end in a few hours, and yet they fought to the last minute. They were following the orders of their superiors right on up to the Prime Ministers and Presidents.  There were over 10,000 casualties on that last day and close to 3,000 deaths. What exactly is heroic about this?  Knowing the war is about to end, but sending troops to kill and die so that their strategic position was a tad better just in case hostilities resumed at some later date.  Was it heroic for the politicians to allow their generals to oversee these atrocities? Was it heroic for the Generals to order their troops to continue killing after four bloody years of war were finally about to come to an end?  Was it heroic for the troops who followed these insane orders to continue killing others and risking their own lives for literally no reason?  For a few feet of dirt in France?

The Germans, while not having formally surrendered, were undergoing revolution at home and their Emperor had abdicated.  They were going to be unable to continue the war and negotiated the Armistice from a position of weakness.  They had requested that the Armistice go into effect immediately, but the Supreme Allied Psychopath, Ferdinand Foch, refused.  He wanted to kill a few more of them.

The last man killed in World War I was 23 year old American Henry Gunther.  He was a German-American who hadn’t wanted to enter the war to kill Germans.  He was drafted and became a slave of the US government which sent him to war to kill Germans.  He wrote a letter home to a friend saying the war was terrible and warning him to avoid being drafted.  This resulted in a demotion in rank which he foolishly tried to reverse by charging the German lines in the minutes just before 11 am.  He was killed at 10:59.   I wonder if his family celebrated this “holiday” in the years following the Great War.

Harry Truman was still ordering troops under his command to murder as many Germans as possible right up until the eleventh hour on November 11, 1918.  This was a sign of things to come, as he murdered hundreds of thousands of Japanese in 1945 rather than allowing them to surrender.

A Congressional Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”  This is the same Congress that just three years later, gave the criminal Franklin Delano Roosevelt the Declaration of War he had been so desperately seeking, plunging the United States into the even more bloody World War II and sending another generation of young men to die and murder on behalf of the government.  Many of these young men were enslaved or as the State likes to call it, “drafted.”  I guess the “cause of world peace” didn’t have staying power in the US Congress.

After World War II, Armistice Day became Veterans Day.  Happy Fucking Veterans Day.

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

According to the United States Government, today is Columbus Day.  Christopher Columbus was allegedly the first European to set foot in the New World.  Evidence suggests he was quite cruel to the indigenous inhabitants of the lands he helped conquer.

To the “Native Americans” in the United States, Columbus is a symbol of their eventual defeat by the evil white Europeans.  So the solution to this feeling of shame is to get the government that was founded by those evil white Europeans who regularly committed atrocities against them and violated treaties made with them, to recognize a holiday in their honor which will be known as Indigenous Peoples Day.

I wonder if Europeans in Europe can have an Indigenous Peoples Day to commemorate what their cultures were like before Angela Merkel launched her Muslim invasion of 2015. No that would be racist.

The Confederate Battle Flag is not the Stars and Bars

I was incorrect when I referred to the Confederate Battle Flag as the Stars and Bars.  This is the actual flag of the Confederate Government which was known as the Stars and Bars

Flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1863).svg

I discovered this reading a piece by Boyd Cathey where he discusses the controversy surrounding the Battle Flag and delves into Civil War revisionism in general.  I’d urge people to read it to get a better understanding of why the Civil War took place.