Armistice Day

In America November 11th is a celebration of war, not peace. It’s Veteran’s Day, not Armistice Day.

I doubt a single soldier has died in my lifetime to protect America.

Sure…

America invaded Viet Nam to…well, you know 1;
America inserted itself into the Persian Gulf in the ’80s to…well, you know 2;
America invaded Afghanistan 17 years ago and is still there fighting because…well, you know 3;
America invaded Iraq 15 years ago to…well, you know 4;
America seems intent on stoking a war with both Iran and North Korea because…well, you know 5.

America has fought countless battles across the globe since my birth, but not until America breaks into an outright second Civil War will an American soldier die to protect our country.

Wake up, people. 6

Armistice

Show 6 footnotes

  1. Dominoes!
  2. Oil
  3. Reason long since dead, and in another country to boot
  4. Oil…and Shrub’s ego
  5. This to assuage The Generalissimo‘s sneaking suspicion that he doesn’t matter.
  6. It’s worth noting that in America these days being patriotic is like going to the movies; you must suspend your disbelief.

Little Wars

It is a century since HG Wells published the first proper set of rules for hobby war games. There’s a hardcore of gamers who are still playing in his style.

Pine tips are stuck in the grass to represent trees. Roads are laid out with trails of compost.

This is the Battle of Gettysburg, with Union soldiers on one side and Confederates on the other. But the soldiers of this new Gettysburg are 54mm (2in) tall and mostly made of plastic.

The battle is taking place between a group of enthusiasts in a garden at Sandhurst military academy under rules derived from Little Wars, devised by HG Wells in 1913.

War was then looming in Europe and Little Wars was both an expression of Wells’s passion for toy soldiers and to his fears over the coming slaughter. The science fiction author even believed that war games could change attitudes.

“You only have to play at Little Wars three or four times to realise just what a blundering thing Great War must be,” wrote Wells. 1

Little Wars

Show 1 footnote

  1. Emphasis ours.

The Whole World Quakes

Brian Williams’ tone deafness, while deplorable 1, does not upset me as much as OMP‘s eagerness to prove his manhood. 2

I expect when told that tossing that many 3 Tomahawks Syria’s way would “only” cost a hundred mil, and that there was zero chance of US casualties (and only a slightly larger likelihood of Syrian civilian deaths), OMP adopted his best “manly” pose and offhandedly responded “Let’s do this thing.”

OMP is exactly the type of short “fingered”, low intelligence bully most likely to lead us into World War III simply to assuage his ego, “There, Melania! See what happens when you don’t move into the White House with me?!”

If the jackass tries something similar with Dear Leader’s offspring, all bets are off.

The Whole World Quakes

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Not to mention wholly out of context.
  2. Remember how he went on and on about how Clinton would start World War III over Syria? Not to mention the useful distraction it would provide while she looted the presidency for her friends and allies?  Ah, such sweet reminiscences…
  3. 59? Who came up with number? What, we’re too cheap to make it an even 60? Although, even for am airfield, nearly 60 Tomahawks seems like overkill.

Panicked Cowards

On Thursday evening, a 40-year-old man — with dark, curly hair, olive skin and an exotic foreign accent — boarded a plane. It was a regional jet making a short, uneventful hop from Philadelphia to nearby Syracuse.

Or so dozens of unsuspecting passengers thought.

The curly-haired man tried to keep to himself, intently if inscrutably scribbling on a notepad he’d brought aboard. His seatmate, a blond-haired, 30-something woman sporting flip-flops and a red tote bag, looked him over. He was wearing navy Diesel jeans and a red Lacoste sweater – a look he would later describe as “simple elegance” – but something about him didn’t seem right to her…

Then, for unknown reasons, the plane turned around and headed back to the gate. The woman was soon escorted off the plane. On the intercom a crew member announced that there was paperwork to fill out, or fuel to refill, or some other flimsy excuse; the curly-haired passenger could not later recall exactly what it was.

The wait continued.

Finally the pilot came by, and approached the real culprit behind the delay: that darkly-complected foreign man. He was now escorted off the plane, too, and taken to meet some sort of agent, though he wasn’t entirely sure of the agent’s affiliation, he would later say.

And then the big reveal: The woman wasn’t really sick at all! Instead this quick-thinking traveler had Seen Something, and so she had Said Something.

That Something she’d seen had been her seatmate’s cryptic notes, scrawled in a script she didn’t recognize. Maybe it was code, or some foreign lettering, possibly the details of a plot to destroy the dozens of innocent lives aboard American Airlines Flight 3950. She may have felt it her duty to alert the authorities just to be safe. The curly-haired man was, the agent informed him politely, suspected of terrorism.

The curly-haired man laughed.

He laughed because those scribbles weren’t Arabic, or another foreign language, or even some special secret terrorist code. They were math.

Yes, math. A differential equation, to be exact.

Had the crew or security members perhaps quickly googled this good-natured, bespectacled passenger before waylaying everyone for several hours, they might have learned that he — Guido Menzio — is a young but decorated Ivy League economist. And that he’s best known for his relatively technical work on search theory, which helped earn him a tenured associate professorship at the University of Pennsylvania as well as stints at Princeton and Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

Seriously? How stupid did the blond bimbo have to be to not recognize maths:

a) `(d^2y)/(dx^2)+((dy)/(dx))^3-3x+2y=8`

And that looks like…what? “…cryptic notes, scrawled in a script she didn’t recognize“?

Blondie apparently pissed herself because she couldn’t stay awake in High School long enough to recognize the format of algebraic equations.

Not only have we become a nation of panicked cowards, we’re stupid, to boot.

Panicked Cowards

Piss On Them

A tiny excerpt/update from our eternal wars:

Several Marines gathered around Richards’s mother. It was late, and everyone had been drinking. His platoon commander started to tell the story of the video — a story that he has told dozens of times over the past two years. This time he picked it up at the moment when they were all standing over the Taliban fighters’ blood-stained corpses, just before the camera began recording. “Someone said, ‘Piss on these guys,’ ” he was remembering. “And someone else was like, ‘Yeah, you know what, let’s piss on them.’ ”[…]

There was a relentlessness to their war. But, on some days, there was also a joy to it. After shooting a Taliban fighter, Richards and Deptola would often slap hands. Sometimes Richards would do a little celebration dance. “To the average guy, you’d look like a complete psychopath,” Deptola said. Over there, he said, “It made perfect sense.”

The down time between missions — recuperating and waiting for another assignment — was often the hardest part. “We’d be like crack addicts,” Deptola recalled. “We were on that adrenaline drug. We’d get our high when we killed people, and the only way to get our high was to kill. We were honestly addicted to killing people.”

The more Taliban they killed, the more praise they received from the top brass. The commandant of the Marine Corps set aside a morning to have breakfast with them and laud them for their work. Richards’s commanders recognized his battlefield valor by nominating him for a Bronze Star. […]

The snipers were buzzing with joy, anger and adrenaline as they approached the enemy dead. Then came the moment just before the video. Then came the 38 seconds, and now several years later, Deptola was explaining why they decided to urinate on them.

“Because killing them wasn’t enough,” he said. “That wasn’t enough justice.”

Well, there you have it. And it’s much as we opined in the immediate aftermath of Richards’ public castigation. And we’re still of the same opinion – piss on it. There are far worse things our troops could be (probably are) doing.

And if president Obama gets his way and we string out our endless wars for another decade, you’ll get to read about them as well.

Please click-through to read the full article in today’s WaPo. While you’re reading remember: Richards, pre-deployment, was just another American male.
Piss On Them