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The GWOT Medal and More with Jeremy Bentham
“Something to think about” - Questions & Answers  


Thanks, Jeremy, for this extensive answer. Yes, I used that rhetorical tone because I know that my friend who was shot in the flank in Peru running cover for a DEA operation, and the one who was shot in the shoulder in Burma supposedly where "not there." I really only care about the fighting men and think service should be recognized, not just for the men but for the unit, and publically, even if the military has to wait a until operations are over.

Also, since the service people are not conscripts and are professionals, I see no reason why the contractors should not be recognized, rather than being used to soak up casualties that don't have to be reported in the news and become part of the cited tally. It does piss me off that when a 'retired' American fighting alongside a less experienced active duty soldier gets killed he doesn't matter just because he was wearing a generic uniform.

I'm glad to hear about the medal for the guys in out of the way places. At least the war on terror did that. These guys did get purple hearts for their injuries but weren't supposed total about their deployment nd years down the road felt sour enough about it to tell someone they thought would listen.

 

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

- George Orwell

 

“We have to put a stop to the idea that it is a part of everyone's civil rights to say whatever he pleases."

- Adolf Hitler, from a conversation with Martin Bormann, February 1942.

 

Here you go James the rest of the story: questions and answers to “Something to think about”:  http://www.jameslafond.com/article.php?id=6673

 

OK James I’ll bite. As a retired military man I will reply to some of your queries. First off, James, you ask many different questions and in no particular order. Furthermore, given the nature and tone of the questions I must presume that they are mostly rhetorical. As rhetorical questions then you must believe that you already know the answers to them, much as a lawyer cross-examining a witness on the stand never asks a question to which he doesn’t already believe he knows the correct answer. Thus you pose these questions to provoke, shock and/or embarrass the person or persons to which you ostensibly direct the questions. Given that your questions appear to be rhetorical in nature I must infer, and not without cause, that America’s military involvement around the world, whether overtly or covertly, bothers you. That it bothers you a lot and on many different levels for many different reasons. That you care about what is happening. Therefore to answer your questions adequately I must first peal back the onion. I will begin by asking YOU this question James: WHY DO YOU CARE? Please James, don’t tell me that you do not care. It is all too evident from the way you’ve framed your questions that you do care, regardless of your stated policy of non-involvement in politics and general enmity to the institution that is the USA. Quite frankly James many of your questions don’t make sense to me. Therefore to answer them I must either restate them or ask for clarification on them.  But I’ll play the straight man and endeavor to give you straight answers.

 

  Next question (in no particular order) - .” Is there a designation for these shadow nations among military men?” What “shadow nations”? What ARE “shadow nations” exactly? Any U.S serviceman involved in combat anyplace in the world that is not Iraq (2003-2011) or Afghanistan (2001 to today) is awarded the Global War on Terror (GWOT) Expeditionary Medal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_War_on_Terrorism_Expeditionary_Medal Anyone who served on active duty within the USA or abroad from September 11, 2001 to this very day is awarded the GWOT Service Medal. The Afghanistan and Iraq Campaigns have the own unique medals. Servicemen who served in the initial stages of the Afghan or Iraqi campaigns may wear either those campaign medals or the GWOT Expeditionary Medal, but not both. U.S. servicemen currently serving in Iraq in the fight against ISIS are awarded the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal. It IS a “global“ war on terror after all, so combat service everywhere in the world is currently recognized by the U.S. military. This is no secret even though many individual operations are undertaken in secrecy. As they ought to be. As I am running out of space I will continue on another posting, James. Stand by…

 

Next question: Why doesn't the God Emperor, just say, "Look, we have professional killers kicking down doors in thirty-plus nations so that your soft ass can sleep soundly at night. Don't go and negate all that by inviting the younger brothers of the guys we shoot in their beds into our homeland?"

 

I don’t know. You’ll have to write God-Emperor Trump and ask him. I am not saying that to be flippant either. Although I presume that this is a rhetorical question. Seriously though, perhaps he needs to. Perhaps he needs to say such a thing in those exact words to make more of the American people understand what the stakes for their country are. Actually I think God-Emperor Trump has said this already in different words. Most of your sentiment is self-evident to a great many Americans (the ones who voted for Trump. Hello!), believe me James. Obviously though the radical Left wants to destroy this country so they still want to invite the terrorists’ younger brothers (and fathers, mothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents) to settle in this country. Then there are other Americans who are incredibly naïve, lead sheltered lives and are unable to think critically about issues. For example once at a teacher’s forum once I showed a woman (a conservative woman no less) the U.S. Army Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Skill Level One as example of how to organize a lesson plan. She thumbs through the manual and looked up at me and said “Everything you do in the Army is about killing, isn’t it?” Well Duh! Yes, I replied being prepared to fight and win wars so our country will survive as an independent entity is the primary job of the Army. The CT manual describes the basic war- fighting skills in which every individual soldier is expected to have minimum level of proficiency (available through Amazon). Although day to day a soldier or officer may never do any of those tasks. A soldier is more likely to spend his day doing the same sort of tasks that any civilian office or service worker might do, even in a war zone. This woman wasn’t someone you would normally judge to be “stupid”, so it was astonishing how uninformed she was about basic military matters. But that’s the way many American’s are, aren’t they? Those Americans possess a remarkable talent for completely ignoring things that do not interest them and/or do not immediately affect their lives and livelihoods. They will become concerned about an issue when they are darn good and ready, not one minute sooner. So long as the people perceive we are a safe country that is, which a lot of Americans (the ones who voted for Trump) don’t anymore.

 

Next question: I'm wondering why the Commander in Chief does not come out and say, "We've been fighting a global war since the days when you actually wanted a blow job from Madonna?"

 

I thought God-Emperor Trump did so already, eh? He has even been critical of how that war on terror has been managed, or mismanaged by his predecessor both Obama and W. Bush. He said more than once he believes the Iraq War was a mistake. If people you have talked to are unaware of this I must imagine that they are individuals who are good at ignoring subjects that do not interest them. None of this is a secret, you can look it up online either on official government news outlets (https://www.defense.gov/News/dodnews)  or commercial/private news services and websites. Maybe you need to write God-Emperor Trump about this as well and encourage him to make a point of it during his next speech or press conference.

 

I sense an implied question here: Most U.S. citizens don't read Jane's or Soldier of Fortune and have no clue that those 900-plus U.S. military bases have a function and that the U.S. is engaged in more deployments in third tier nations than the British Military was 150 years ago, when the "Sun never set" on the British Empire.

 

Why does America send so many troops around the world to include Africa and South America? Because we have been fighting a war against radical Muslim terrorists since before 9-11, since the 1979 Iran hostage crisis at least. Because we are fighting a war on drug trafficking against smuggling cartels that have their own private armies, air forces and navies, complete with submarines. Because it’s a legacy of the Cold War which isn’t completely resolved yet. Lastly and most importantly America troops are stationed around the world because other countries ASK for them. Just like a lot of people would like to have a police car parked in front of their home and/or place of business on a full time basis, many countries would like to have American troops stationed on their soil. Most of these deployments are “advise and assist”, training missions, because the host nation asked for help training their own military personnel. In fact a primary mission of U.S. Army Special Forces is to train indigenous forces to fight on their own. You know Canada sends its troops around the world on terrorist fighting, peace-keeping and training operations too. There are 200 Canadian soldiers on a training mission in Ukraine as this is written: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/troops-prepare-to-leave-for-ukraine-amid-uncertainty-over-missions-future. The idea that Canada keeps entirely to itself is nonsense. Why does Canada send its troops around the world? Because the people who run Canada want their country to “matter”, to “make a difference” on the world stage. Judging from the articles in Canadian newspapers and news web sites Canada has much the same percentage of its service personnel disabled by PTSD as the USA as a consequence of its international involvement.

 

  Now it’s up to President Trump to formulate our foreign policy and decide whether these overseas deployments and training assistance missions continue to serve American interests or whether they have become a counter-productive waste of time and money. America is broke after all, 20 Trillion dollars in national debt, so we can no longer afford to prop up other countries. The people who elected God-Emperor Trump voted for him because he promised to always put America first.

 

  Another implied question: Two months ago I saw a casualty report buried in the back of a newspaper, which treated the slain "contractors" as if they were not Americans, yet surely the men who killed them saw them as Americans.

This is a head-scratcher for me James. I don’t know what makes you think these private military contractors (PMC), whether “trigger-pullers” or technicians who are killed overseas are not treated like Americans? Certainly they are not counted as part of the active U.S. military, the size of which is prescribed by Congress, but that is mostly a matter of book-keeping and other technical legalistic considerations. I am not counted as part of the active military, even with my 30 years of service in the active and reserve components of the U.S. Army. If I am killed by terrorists I will NOT be counted as a military casualty. The Army didn’t even issue me a gun and ammunition with which to protect myself. I had to buy my own. The Army could conceivably recall me to active duty if they chose, but otherwise I’m on my own, like any other private citizen. The Supreme Court has ruled it is not even the job of the federal government to protect individual citizens from terrorists and criminals who sneak across the border. Is there any “title ten” support that you believe the U.S. Armed forces owes PMCs?

 

 Finally: You can tell this guy is an American military man—a marine at that—at a glance.

Oh yeah? How? He looks more like the bouncer at the biker bar than the Marine at the local recruiting station. LOL! I’ve seen plenty of people who look like him that never served a day in the military.  Maybe you have sharper eyes than I’ve got now, as I didn’t see any “USMC” or “Globe and Anchor” tattoos on the man. For that matter military retirees with sleeve tattoos and soup-catcher beards must be a recent development, eh? Was it that his tattoos were of better quality than the average prison tattoo that was a giveaway?  Maybe I’m just being parochial, old-fashioned and obtuse here.

 

Ok, well I got that all off my chest. If you have any more military related questions let me know James.

 

  I can dig it that you’re of an isolationist bent and are probably upset about the way America’s interventionist foreign policy has been managed, or mismanaged as the case may be. Although as the Russians would say, the devil isn’t always as black as he’s painted.  Some things aren’t good or bad, they just are. Nevertheless, a great many Americans also have come to feel we’ve long ago moved past the point of diminishing returns on our overseas adventures and alliances, we are certainly not seeing the return on investment in terms of benefits for America and Americans they feel we have a right to accrue. Which is why they voted for a radical outsider like Trump, so they would see some real changes in the way the country is being run. So far God-Emperor Trump is delivering. Certainly he is enacting more Conservative policies than any other Republican President since Ronald Reagan. The Leftist Deep State and the Cuckservatives are fighting back against him savagely and even agitating for his removal from office, which means they fear that he will keep on delivering real change.

 

-Jeremy

 

P.S. Happy President’s Day James!

Add Comment
PRFebruary 24, 2017 4:51 PM UTC

There's a fundamental problem when so many Americans are disconnected from their own defense. Less than 1% of the US population have served. We need some sort of regimental system where young men join national guard units associated with their hometowns and report to their local member of congress annually about training and readiness. The idea of having this professional, voluntary expeditionary force is just letting Americans have safety they do not deserve. It also allows the elites to use other people's sons for their wars.
responds:February 25, 2017 1:17 PM UTC

You are absolutely right, PR.

The most impressive performance against the odds on home soil was by the Confederate Army, which was raised as you suggest. For that matter so was much of the Union army.

With our geographic isolation all we need is militias backed by the air force, navy, marines and special ops. If we were not so concerned about offense war overseas the regular army could be disbanded and the weaponry allotted to state and local forces—that is, if we actually had a "defense" department rather than a war department.
Jeremy BenthamFebruary 22, 2017 1:27 AM UTC

James, I understand it may seem to you that private military contractors (PMC) are getting a raw deal because they are not granted the same official recognition for their service and sacrifices on behalf of the country as official members of the U.S. Military. However, keep in mind there are trade-offs to being a PMC here, and not insignificant ones either. For example since PMCs are not official members of the U.S. Military they are not subject to U.S. Military discipline, so they don’t have to follow all the “chickenshit” rules service members are required to observe. For example, Steve Gern, the former Marine in the video, would not have been allowed to grow the luxurious beard he sported were he on active duty as a Marine. Even Special Forces can’t always get away with the kind of “relaxed grooming standards” PMCs are allowed to follow on a regular basis since they are civilians. Further when Steve Gern got caught talking out of turn on the internet he was merely fired and sent back to the states rather than court martialed or subjected to non-judicial punishment (NJP) under Article 15 of the UCMJ. Plus if you are a PMC and you decide that you’ve had more fun than you can stand in the theater of war, you can quit and your company has to repatriate you. Not to mention the fact that PMCs are paid very handsomely for their time, tax-free too. It’s why people sign up for the job. The deal is that it is cheaper for the government to hire PMC’s as temporary help for specific purposes in these operations than it would be to expand the Army, even though the PMCs are paid more individually than service members, because the government does not by law owe the PMCs all the Title Ten and VA benefits it would owe military recruits once their service with the government ended. It’s not good or bad it just is. Every PMC who signs up understands what the terms of employment are. Like Lynn says, we are volunteers not conscripts, military and PMC alike. We volunteer to serve for action and adventure and because we believe in the Cause. The tax-free money doesn’t suck either. I for one wish people would quit trying to “save” us and that the politicians would let us win.

Oh and my bad, it is the “Eagle, Globe and Anchor” (EAG) that is the official U.S. Marine Corps emblem.

"The problem is not winning the war, but persuading people to let you win it." – Winston Churchill
responds:February 22, 2017 11:46 AM UTC

Thanks, Jeremy.

Thorough as always.
Sam J.February 21, 2017 3:22 PM UTC

A lot of the present overseas military force structure is as you say but the major portion of it is purely fighting for Israel with a sprinkling of multi-national corporations thrown in.

I'm not foolish I know we may have to intermittently go abroad and tamp down some fires but I'm basically isolationist as compared to internationalist. Sometimes the only way to stop bad habits is to go cold turkey.
LynnFebruary 21, 2017 2:14 PM UTC

Thanks, Jeremy. Very interesting and informative. We have an all-volunteer military, and contractors are even more so. They are all individuals with their own motivations, and their own responses to the challenges and traumas of service.