The Balloon Seems Small

Nothing is ever really a surprise. There are always signs, though often even the most perceptive miss them. What is blazingly obvious in hindsight was actually there for all the world to see…it just wasn’t noticed.

Charles DeGaulle was asked shortly after Hitler came to power what France would do if Germany were to attack one of her neighbors. His response was along the lines of, “we shall have a limited or full call up depending on the circumstances and then, peering out from our fortifications, we shall witness the enslavement of Europe.” And that was just so very close because DeGaulle was, indeed, a very perceptive man. But even he missed the obvious – and what should have been obvious to a graduate of Saint-Cyr: there is no such thing as a defensive war. There is victory or there is defeat…and the side which stays in its fortifications loses. DeGaulle’s answer should have been, there will be a German victory parade in Paris.

This is not to condemn DeGaulle – after all, what patriot wishes to envision the destruction of his nation? To admit even to himself that his people are so weak and divided that they will throw up the sponge? He simply couldn’t imagine it – even after the great German breakthrough DeGaulle (and a very few others) were urging that several hundred thousand French troops be evacuated to France’s North African territory (along with as much military equipment as possible) to continue the struggle. To get there, get American aid (which would have been forthcoming) and just keep up the fight until German’s internal weaknesses gave the Allies the upper hand. It could easily have been done – but hardly anyone wanted to do it. They just wanted to surrender as quickly as possible and get back to their corrupt, little lives (the supposed fighting Premier of France was already feathering his nest and looking for a new post as he fled Paris).

But he still should have seen it. 1936 was the year – Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland with 3,000 troops. While the Krauts were working ’round the block to build up a military force, the bottom line was that in 1936 the German military was in no ways prepared for war (it wasn’t really in 1939, either; but it was a least vastly better prepared than 3 years previously). The French leadership called in the Generals and said, “expel the Germans”. And the Generals came back and said “we need full mobilization”, which would have taken weeks and cost huge sums of money – when all they needed to do was literally send in what they had at the border and it all would have been over in a couple days. Lots of excuses are made for why the Generals said that but mostly it is explaining it away – they didn’t want to fight. And neither did the civil leadership. So they essentially made a pact of cowardice and did nothing; even though they knew full well that allowing the German army back into the Rhineland posed a mortal threat to France. The reason it had been de-militarized was because there was no way France could match Germany in total military power…a demilitarized Rhineland was France’s shield. And they gave it up. Because they were all corrupt cowards, as would be most starkly shown 4 years later. Anyone really paying attention at that time (and Hitler was) knew that for all intents and purposes, France was removed from the European equation. And the French people were ok with it – because, by and large, they were as corrupt and cowardly as their leaders.

The balloon seems small. So did the Rhineland – most French and Brits were “they were only marching into their own backyard” about it. It was passed off as nothing and can we please just get back to our lives? The balloon seems small. But it was an enemy aircraft which was allowed unfettered access to American airspace and only shot down after its usefulness to the enemy was over. And it does flash into the mind: the Chinese told us not to shoot it down until it was in the Atlantic. How else to explain why it wasn’t shot down when detected over Alaska? And why weren’t we told about it until it was already 650 miles inside US territory? The balloon seems small – but what it foretells might be very large.

Nuclear Nightmare

I’ve talked a bit about the lies of our times (translation: yammered on endlessly about it), but something jumped out at me today.

There has been some chatter about the supposed threat of Putin using nuclear weapons in his war in Ukraine. Whether or not there’s anything to it, I don’t know. Could be just fear-mongering by our leaders to keep us on board with spending endless billions of never-to-be-audited dollars there. But it occurred to me that if, say, Putin were to use a nuke to destroy a Ukrainian division, just what could anyone do about it?

Ukraine gave up its nukes: so, no threat of retaliation from there. If there was to be a proportionate response, it would have to come from the USA, UK or France – the three nuclear-armed NATO powers. Which nation will risk a nuclear exchange with Russia over that? Nuke Smolensk and risk Nancy, Birmingham or Boston being wiped out in response? Not gonna happen – not in any conceivable universe of possibilities.

So, in the end, if Putin decided he has to use nukes, he’s got a free-fire zone. And that also got me thinking: just why haven’t nuclear weapons been used since 1945?

They kill lots of people?

Ok. They sure do. But so does conventional bombing: the conventional bombing raid on Tokyo March 10th, 1945 killed an estimated 100,000: about as many as were killed at Hiroshima. Dead is dead – whether in a nuclear flash or a firestorm. And nobody has been shy about killing since WWII – just between Korea and Vietnam about 6 million people were killed. And think of all the fighting all through the past 75 years! War after war after war and nothing is resolved and then some more war and killing because it wasn’t resolved and so on and etc. This is better than a nuclear bomb?

So, killing really isn’t the reason nobody uses them. But what about the long-term effects of nuclear war? Nuclear Winter! Land and water poisoned for thousands of years! Well…if you look into Nuclear Winter, if it is something which can happen (and there are doubts), then it is predicated upon thousands of nuclear weapons going off nearly at the same time. This is something which is very unlikely to happen. And as for poisoned land and water – well, as I’ve pointed out before, people never stopped living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even around Chernobyl they’re doing nature documentaries to chronicle how plants and animals are thriving in the absence of human activity. Think about that – the most deadly and poisonous nuclear accident in history…and they’re doing documentaries about how plants and animals are thriving. People live there now, too; some people have apparently lived there all along, and nobody is growing a third arm or having any other unusual physical actions.

So, just maybe the dangers of nuclear radiation are a bit overblown?

Now you have to think back a bit – and be over the age of, say, 45. People younger than that simply won’t have a memory of how we were positioned in the last part of the Cold War. At our peak, we had more than 31,000 nuclear warheads. And we didn’t just have the nukes – with rockets, bombers and subs, we had the ability to deliver these weapons with pinpoint accuracy in literal minutes from the word “go”. Old time veterans like me can remember SIOP: Single Integrated Operation Plan. That was military shorthand for how to wipe out the entirety of the Soviet Union in about thirty minutes.

But here’s the real kicker – and is once again something we know but we don’t know. Any of us of the right age who looked into weapons and capabilities of the USA and USSR knew at a glance that any nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union was only going to have one outcome: a wiped out USSR. Sure, the Russkies would try to respond but given their technological and organizational level (which was low – see Invasion of Ukraine for an example of Russian combat effectiveness), they’d have been lucky to get one or two shots off at us before they were utterly destroyed. Dirty little secret of the Cold War was that most Russian ICBM’s were not launch-capable at a moment’s notice. It is actually tricky to keep a liquid fueled rocket ready to go and the Russians just didn’t have the skill to do that. Their liquid-fueled rockets were usually standing empty and it would have taken hours or days to get them ready…and we would have seen that with our satellites giving us plenty of time to attack before they could even launch. This is why the Soviets invested so much money in mobile nuclear launchers…they needed to keep something they hoped we would miss (we wouldn’t have – any rocket which can go between continents is large and noticeable from the sky). Their bomber force was obsolescent before it took to the air – and they never mastered the American ability to build a genuine penetration bomber which would have a solid shot of making it to the target. The Cuban Missile Crisis was caused by the Russian desire to have at least some missiles with a decent shot of hitting the United States before we could destroy them on the ground.

But we never thought of it that way, did we? Even after sizing up capabilities, we were still frozen in the concept that a nuclear exchange meant mutual destruction. Nobody wins. Everyone is dead. Civilization is wiped out – and the few survivors are living in a Mad Max dystopia. Just can’t do it! And we got to that mental attitude early on – about the time MacArthur was suggesting that the best way to deal with a million ChiCom soldiers massing in Manchuria would be to drop an atomic bomb on them. You can’t! It would be mass murder! The Russians would nuke us in response and we’d all die!

Well, can’t see as sparing those ChiComs nuclear destruction was all that helpful – not to them or to us. Nobody knows how many Chinese soldiers died in Korea: Chinese government assertions on it are quite useless and while we made estimates, we never really counted. But, rely on it, they were enormous. Again and again the Chinese leadership sent masses of their soldiers straight into American firepower. Their deaths must have been in the hundreds of thousands. And then there’s the deaths they inflicted – ours, South Korean, other UN allies. Over a three year slugging match in horrible conditions for both sides. So, a nuke in Manchuria is the morally inferior choice? Even if it brings with it the possibility that the mere threat of nuking might have got the ChiComs to climb down? Or, if it didn’t, bring the war to the same, swift end it brought to WWII? With a lot fewer of ours dead? And does anyone really think that if we nuked the People’s Volunteer Army in Manchuria that Stalin would risk Moscow for the chance of nuking New York City?

Where’s the downside here?

But we were told that to even contemplate it was immoral. And who said so? Well, the usual suspects when we discuss any historical restraint placed on the application of American power – the American left and Establishment was against it. But why were they? It isn’t like we’ve found these people over time to be opposed to death. Oh, sure, they don’t want to die themselves, but again and again they have sent people they don’t know into the shambles of war…had them fight and die for no purpose and then awarded themselves medals and commendations for doing it. So, I can’t see that morality is what got them to advocate against nukes. And, in fact, the only thing a refusal to use nukes helped was…the enemies of the United States. Here you have this Super Power with overwhelming force which can make all your bravery quite useless…and that Super Power pledges not to use it against you. You can do whatever you want: start wars, murder people, loot and imprison…kill as many Americans as you can! And rely on it, no matter what you do, that Super Power will never take the easy way out of his problem by simply exterminating you with a few bombs well placed.

I just have to believe that the campaign to make nuclear weapons unthinkable emerged from the USSR. Had to: it only helped them. It allowed them to feel safe from destruction while also make it seem like they were a power equal to the United States.

But now it is 2022. Things are different. And serious people with actual knowledge of how nuclear weapons work are in power and to them it is a mere calculation: a cost-benefit analysis. We might find out soon that plenty of players around the world are willing to use nukes against the nuke-free – because the target can’t hit back and none of the nuke-armed powers are going to risk themselves by retaliating in the name of the victim. What I’m saying here is that after quite a long while of living a pipe dream about nuclear weapons, we might have to live in the real world of them.

And that makes me wonder: it has been a long time since we built or tested a nuke. Just how effective is our arsenal? Because if it isn’t up to snuff – and our enemies have fully penetrated our government and probably know to the last detail the condition of our nuclear force – then we might find a nuclear sabre rattled at us.

We might be in for a very difficult time – and all because, ultimately, we allowed ourselves to be conned on this and so many other issues.

9/11 at 21

I’ve been puzzled about what to write regarding 9/11. It has been a long while and a lot has happened.

The horror of it all still lives in the mind, but we must keep in mind that unless you’re over 30, you don’t have any real memory of it. A very large portion of the American population already views 9/11 as, say, I viewed Pearl Harbor…only through the eyes of older people.

However one views the event of 9/11, the basic result for the United States has been unmitigated disaster. We are weaker and far more divided than we were on that September morning.

First off, many of us complain about the Deep State and our complaints started to surface as Trump took office in 2017 – but now, with hindsight, we realize the Deep State has been screwing things up for a long while. We can’t escape the fact that the hijackers were let in by the Deep State. Allowed to train by the Deep State. Allowed to board the planes by the Deep State. All our military, intelligence and law enforcement, combined, couldn’t stop a few idiots with box cutters from killing 3,000 of us. And then not a single person in the Deep State paid for it.

In an honest, healthy society a lot of people would have been shot or imprisoned for that failure…as it is, I don’t recall anyone getting so much as a reprimand. We all had to come together, right? And we did – and we let them skate. Because we thought their failure was just bad luck. It wasn’t. No, I’m not saying they deliberately allowed it to happen – but I am saying they made the conscious choice to not see what was coming. Seeing what was coming meant having to take action to stop it…and it was much easier to just look the other way. And, so, they did.

Secondly, we went to war – and we expended thousands of lives and trillions of dollars…and killed untold numbers of foreigners. And, for what? For the Taliban being back in Kabul and the Mullahs in Iran now about to get massively rewarded by us for…for I really can’t tell why we’re rewarding them. But, mark it, we’re about to give the store away to them allegedly to stop a nuclear program but we all now it won’t…but the store will still be given even though, on balance, it would be better for us to just give them nothing and let them build their nuke because they won’t use it…not against us or Israel because in either case the retaliation will be far worse for them than any damage they do to us, if they can even successfully launch a nuke at Israel with her Iron Dome.

And now the Patriot Act created supposedly to fight the enemy is being turned on us – as our own government tells us that we’re worse than the perpetrators of 9/11 and that some white, Christian guy is worse than a child-trafficking Taliban terrorist.

So, what am I supposed to think? Am I supposed to get misty eyed. Raise high the flag?

I just don’t know – there’s a sickness in our nation and I’m coming around to thinking that curing it is more important than anything else.


With Ukraine in the news I’ve been pondering a lot about our general view of the world. One thing that has been striking a jarring note for me is the assumption that we bear some sort of responsibility for Ukraine. That Ukraine as an independent nation is something that we must secure.


To be sure, some say that in Ukraine’s deal to give up nuclear weapons, we pledged ourselves to Ukraine’s defense. But, we really didn’t: we pledged to rush right off to the UN if Ukraine was attacked – a UN which, of course, has a Russian veto and so the whole thing was quite toothless from the get-go. But even supposing we had an agreement to come to Ukraine’s defense, does this then relieve Ukraine from the obligation to defend herself?

Seems to me that if I were a Ukrainian patriot with a neighbor like Russia, I’d put a high priority on national defense. I realize that Ukraine is poor, but the Israelis were dirt poor in the 1950’s and their first priority was a military second to none because they had hostile neighbors who could attack at any moment. A Ukraine filled with people committed to the Ukrainian national ideal would have a very powerful army, thickly layered defenses and a reserve force made up of the entire adult population in arms. You know – be so well armed that even a successful foreign invasion would drown in blood. Do that, and the chances of that foreign attack diminish remarkably.

Ukraine’s active military is a little more than 200,000. Reserves about 250,000. To defend 230,000 square miles and 41 million people. That’s not a lot. That’s not nearly what you need. It isn’t nearly what you’d have if the Ukranian people really gave a damn. To give you a comparison, when Israel was attacked in 1973, out of an Israeli population of about 3 million, the Israelis mobilized about 400,000. That’s 13 percent. That can’t be sustained for long (your civil economy starts to collapse), but when your life is on the line, you do it. You’d think that 41 million Ukrainians could have 4 million ready to mobilize in a life-and-death emergency. And they would, if Ukrainians really cared – because Russia is right next door and the President of Russia believes that Ukraine is an integral part of Russia.

And if the Ukrainians won’t do it – won’t even show willing to do it – why in heck does anyone else have to care? Because wars of aggression are wrong? Well, yes they are – nobody ever has a moral case for starting a war, or setting things up so that the only way out is for someone to start shooting. But lots of things are wrong – the way some Arab countries treat women is wrong. What China is doing o the Uyghurs is wrong. The slave trade in Africa is wrong. The drug lords running rampant in Mexico and Central America are wrong. Lots of things are wrong which war, successfully prosecuted by good guys, could set right. But do you want to?

Who wants kids from Ohio and Alabama to head off to the Donbas to keep the Russians out of lands largely populated by ethnic Russians? Or send them off to Xinjiang to liberate the Uyghurs from China? Or even clear out the drug lords from Ciudad Juarez? If anything, I’d rather help the Mexicans dispose of the cartels – but before I hazard American blood on anything, I’d like to know for certain why we’re doing it and what we get out of it.

The first thing to keep in mind about the world is that it isn’t neat and tidy. There isn’t a completely right answer in purely human affairs. Often, there’s just a least-bad answer. The unification of Italy and Germany into nation-States was an utter disaster for the world and, most especially, Italy and Germany. The freeing of the peoples of the Austrian Empire was a disaster for the peoples of the Austrian Empire. I mean, I dig that Poles didn’t like officious Austrian overlords (who would?) but the officious Austrians kept a cavalry barracks at Oświęcim, not a death camp at Auschwitz. I guess what I’m saying here is think carefully about what you want before you act.

What I want, first and foremost, is a free and independent United States. If I’ve got that, then I am very satisfied with the world. Naturally, I understand that the United States cannot live in isolation from the world. People and trade flow around and ambitious people with wicked minds are here, there and everywhere. I do have to keep an eye on things. I will, at times, be forced to fight. But when I fight and how I fight must refer back to my first principle: a free and independent United States.

Now, as I consider Ukraine I note that it was firmly under Russian rule from 1776 until 1917 and then, again, from 1921 until 1991. At no time during those periods was Russian rule in Ukraine a threat to American freedom and independence. It just wasn’t. Sure, from a geopolitical standpoint it would have been advantageous to the US to have an independent Ukraine all through the Cold War…but it wasn’t a necessity as proved by the fact that all through the Cold War we didn’t have an independent Ukraine. If Russian rule is reimposed in Ukraine, what ill effect will this have on American freedom and independence? I can’t see any.

“But Russia might go on and attack more!”

They might. Baltic States, Poland. On and On. I note that Poland was under Russian rule from 1791 to 1918 with no ill effect on American freedom and independence. I’m very sympathetic to the Poles as they have put up with a lot. But does my sympathy for Poland extend to sending American kids to die there? Make your case, if you’ve got one. I can’t. I could not look an American kid in the eye and tell him that his death along the Bug River will keep America free and independent. I couldn’t say it because it wouldn’t be true.

Don’t get me wrong, there can be existential, global threats. Communism was such, as was Nazism. They both proposed the whole world as their jurisdiction. Fantastic as it sounds, the USSR considered the American Communist Party as the legitimate American government and Hitler had named Goebbles to be Gauleiter of America. Fighting such things anywhere is what you have to do because if they win anywhere, they are step closer to overthrowing American independence and freedom. But Putin is no Hitler or Stalin. He does not represent a global ideology at permanent war with all dissenters. He may be a bastard twenty different ways, but he’s not an existential threat.

I agree there are non-existential threats which still must be confronted. Radical Islam. Chinese imperialism. And even a bit of Russia’s aggression are causes of concern, sometimes grave concern, which could make fighting them necessary. While I don’t think Ukraine rises to such a level, I do hold that Russian meddling in the United States is a problem. But far more than Russian meddling I find the threat in Chinese and Islamist meddling to be a huge threat – especially given how much money Islamists and Chinese have to bribe Americans to betray their own.

In wanting to contend with such threats, I can agree to enter into mutual defense pacts with other nations. I can agree to military action and even full scale war. I do believe that if China attacked Taiwan, that is worth us going to war over – because of China’s meddling in the United States such a conflict, successfully concluded by China, would simply put us in a worse position vis a vis China and so allow them to interfere in our internal affairs even more.

It would, naturally, be to Taiwan’s advantage to accept our aid against China. If we win, they win. But even in such a clear cut case of fighting for American interests, I still want a clear goal and a clear payoff for our expenditure of treasure and blood. We can’t go out to bleed and die just to help – we have to be compensated for our efforts.

Suppose we had to go to war with China. Fine. It would be a years long and very expensive war in blood and treasure. I believe that even as ruined as we are right now, we would prevail in the war (China isn’t nearly as powerful as advertised). And that would be good. But we can’t do it like we did after WWII. That was a horrendous mistake: we helped our defeated enemies return to the world of competition with us. No. No, no, NO!. They had to pay. Heck, that war cost so much they should still be paying. We go to war with China and win, then for a century China should be paying us.

I’m deadly seriously here – after a war with China, I’d want every bit of gold and silver and art turned over to us and a 10% tax on China’s GDP for a century paid to us. Maybe even take some land from them: move the Chinese out and Americans in. The main thing is that they pay us for putting us through the trouble. We do not want to own the world. We do not want the world to do what we say. Yeah, maybe from mid-century on we’ve had some jerks who dreamed of such, but that wasn’t the American people. We just wanted to be left alone to hold our own. My view is that if you do things to us which force us to go fight you, then you’re going to pay. You’re not just going to lose the war, you’re going to be humiliated and then forced to work very hard to send money to us for a very long time.

It is time we got out of the dream world. All this UN, NATO, treaties and arms limitation garbage since WWII has been the answer provided by dimwits who never understood the world. The world is a real place. People do things in it. Good and bad. We can’t cure all bad and we don’t have the right to, anyway. Our primary duty is to look after ourselves – to make only temporary alliances at need, to make sure they are reciprocal (our blood to defend them, their blood to defend us) and when we defeat an enemy we don’t occupy and rebuild them…but we do make them pay. Through the nose. With usury. In blood and treasure.

The End of American Faith

I believed, my friends. When I joined the Navy in 1983, my faith in America was boundless. And it stayed! I believed that the generals and admirals were good. I believed that most people in law enforcement and intel were good people. I swallowed the whole thing hook, line and sinker.

But I don’t believe any longer.

Back in 2011, I wrote this article arguing that if the Afghan government wouldn’t get on the side of civilization, it was time to abandon it. I was right! But, not nearly as right as I should have been.

We’re all rather stunned at the speed of the Taliban victory. We’ve seen the videos of Taliban with captured America equipment. But less remarked on is that the Taliban was able to mount this offensive this quickly…and then you see the Taliban clean, well fed…not like they’ve been hiding for 20 years in caves under intense pressure from a powerful enemy ready to strike hard at a moments notice. And then you ask: just what the heck were we doing there? Did we even fight them? Those videos we’ve seen of bombing attacks and claims of high value targets being killed…was any of that true? I just don’t know – and I can’t ask the government or MSM because they are all known liars.

And then you take a further step back from it…and place yourself in the boots of a battalion commander who wants to get his combat duty ticket punched but who also doesn’t want to wind up charged with a war crime it things get dicey out there and the troops kill the wrong guy, or even kill the right guy but on video which looks like (or can be made to look like) the shooting wasn’t justified. Given this, perhaps you just go through the motions? If an easy and clear targets serves itself up for you, fine: but getting down and dirty in it which might lead to a career ending mistake? Give it a pass.

And the senior officers probably won’t look too closely at it – they know the game, too. They played it years before and got through it with a star on their shoulder and now look forward to a post-military career as a lobbyist or TV talking head. Maybe even get a book deal out of it…with their picture on the cover in a uniform with more decorations on it than Patton and MacArthur combined had. Hold the pose: that stern look of command (the photographer will get the lighting right for that), eyes off into the distance. The viewer mentally hearing the Star Spangled Banner. Life is good! Don’t think about those guys who got nearly burned to death by an IED…

After really pondering it, I’ve come to the conclusion that it has all been utter sh**. Pardon the language but sometimes an old swabbie has to say it like it is. They never fought to win. Not the officers. Not the civilian leadership. None of them. They just wanted to be seen to be doing something which could be put up in public as brave…as they merely worked the system for advancement. The only person who cared about the troops, as such, was Trump…and you’ll notice that the senior officers, violating their oath (and they will stand before God one day to answer for that: mark my words), undermined him at every turn. He risked the game: the game of never win, get advancement, get rich.

I looked at the pictures of my father and grandfather yesterday – grandpa in his WWI Army uniform and dad in his WWII Marine uniform and I wondered what they would think about it? And then further wondered what they would do about it? Have we all become such cowards? I do think that dad and grandpa would have started shooting by now. People are dead. Thousands of them. Ours and theirs. And for what? So that defense contractors can make money and four star cowards can get rich? Admiral Byng was shot pour encourager les autres simply because he wasn’t aggressive enough against the enemy. What should be done with generals who weren’t aggressive at all? And the politicians who set it up that way?

How did we get to this? How cowardly did we have to be to allow this to happen? Was the bribe of a big screen TV and a Super Bowl enough? Sadly, it was. Using fake money the Ruling Class allowed us to purchase amazing luxuries to keep us distracted while they sold us out. Look in the mirror, folks, to find who is responsible for this.

But, now we know. We can’t go back: the lies have been exposed. We know. We can’t be fooled anymore. Now it turns about and becomes the responsibility of very specific people who are trying to keep this con going. And we, in our turn, must hold them accountable. They must be punished for what they have done. We have been betrayed by the very people we placed our faith in. Time will tell if these traitors get their proper wages.

Brennan and the Collapse of America

John Brennan Tweeted out an announcement of his forthcoming book. My response to that was to Tweet:

John, you are precisely the sort of person who has f***ed everything up for the past 75 years.

Leaving aside his clear role in trying to destroy President Trump, the fact remains that Brennan spent 25 years at CIA, often in the top reaches with access to the President (he was Clinton’s daily briefer). He was there, possessing the data and offering the advice for decades, winding up as Obama’s CIA director. So, when people like President Clinton, President Bush and President Obama said they were relying on “advice”, Brennan was that “advice.” The President gets to make the final call, of course, but only between options provided by the guys giving the advice. In reality, permanent bureaucrats like Brennan are the people who behind the scenes run our country.

How’s that been working out?

It is a rare leader who can get the bureaucracy to do anything it doesn’t want to do. Now, to be sure, most people who rise to the top in politics are part of the team: there really isn’t much friction between a President or Prime Minister and the permanent staff. Most of the time, they are on the same page…but in those rare instances where the boss wants something that the bureaucracy doesn’t, the bureaucracy comes out on top. This is usually be delay: back-burner it until the boss losses interest. To force a bureaucracy to move, you must pester it.

Churchill was like that: he was forever simply calling up the bureaucrats or sending them notes demanding to know the status of the order he gave. Eventually, just to get him off their back, they’d do as ordered. As for President Trump, he is only just now getting a measure of control over the bureaucracy. Even more so than Churchill, Trump is the outsider and he’s got a whole bunch of plans the bureaucracy opposes. Even absent the partisan angle, they’d be fighting him tooth and nail. That the bureaucracy is largely made up of hyper-partisan Democrats just makes the battle more intense.

And Trump’s fight here is crucial to the future of the United States: we must excise the Brennans. They simply have to go. Not because they’re partisan Democrats. Not even because they are corrupt. They have to go because they are no good. They suck. They are lousy at their jobs. They don’t really understand anything. Brennan has a degree in Political Science and a Masters in Government. There is, of course, no science in politics and what the heck is a Master of Government? What, exactly, have you learned? I don’t know: but the output of people with such degrees is pretty bad. Our government and military is littered with people with degrees in political science and government and what we get are the Department of Education and military plans which send guys to fight terrorists and then charge them with war crimes when they kill terrorists.

This doesn’t seem to be an ideal situation.

Right now, as we’ve all seen, just about every poll shows Biden in a walkover. Even Rasmussen has Biden up big (though, unlike the rest of the pollsters, Rasmussen is quick to point out that at this exact time in 2016 they had Hillary up big). I’m still getting voter registration data and VBM return data which indicates great strength for Trump out there. Add to that the spontaneous demonstrations in favor of Trump and we look at the polls and then file them away. But win or lose, the key thing for us is to get after and get rid of the Brennans in our government. If we have to fire everyone and start over, we can’t refuse the duty. We can’t persist as a free nation if our bureaucracy is both incompetent and corrupt.

These people took a United States in 1945 from the pinnacle of power to a debtor nation which is dependent upon Chinese tyrants for its manufactured goods. Not only that, but because we have become economically dependent upon foreign tyrants, these tyrants are more and more calling the tune in the United States. For fear of losing money in China, corporation after corporation toes the Chinese line…and because the tyrants have money, ever more Americans are willing to tailor their public actions to suit Chinese desires. Either these people go, or the United States goes.

I expect Trump to win on November 3rd. That will be great – but even four more years of Trump won’t do what we need. We need twenty or thirty years of power to reform this nation from top to bottom, and our problem is to figure out how to get that.


From the “see, it isn’t just me” files:

Stealth is one way to keep from getting hit, and the United States leads the way in the development of stealthy destroyers. But stealth defeats the purpose of a FONOP (Freedom of Navigation Operation), which is to be seen. An old-fashioned battleship is a ship to be seen—and in a big way. But there’s no need for the Navy to build an old-fashioned battleship in the twenty-first century when it can build a new-fashioned battleship instead.

A contemporary battleship would combine advanced armor materials with automated damage control to produce a ship that is virtually unsinkable. Its offensive armaments might be mission-specific, but its key attribute would be survivability. It would be a ship that could be put in harm’s way in the reasonable expectation of coming home in one piece.

This “battleship of the future” could solve the challenge posed by China’s emerging anti-access / area denial (A2/AD) strategy for excluding the United States from the western Pacific.

I think we made a bit of a mistake by disposing of the battleship – and, in a real sense, also disposing of what was once called a “heavy cruiser”.

It is completely understandable why we went with a carrier Navy – carriers won the naval war of World War Two. Well, carriers and submarines (little noticed in the American mind is how our submarines successfully carried out the massacre of sea-borne trade in the Pacific that the Germans failed to do in the Atlantic). Battleships in WWII were only really useful for shore bombardment and while the Marines still grumble about the Navy not having a solid short-bombardment weapon, it was decided that the Navy money we spend will be spent on carriers and their attendant ships and equipment. And, to be sure, this is a wise investment – and, in fact, I think we should have 15 active carrier battle groups rather than the 10 or so we have now. But I also think we need very big, massively armed and very survivable ships in addition to carriers. We need battleships.

A modern battleship will not be a mere duplicate of the Iowa class ships – the last battleships we built. In dimensions, they might be similar, or even larger – but I doubt we’ll need 12 inches of armor plate given modern materials. Nor would we need 16 inch guns; eventually we’ll have a railgun or something similar, but meanwhile advances in technology probably would allow us to have an 8 or 10 inch gun and be able to simply clobber whatever needed clobbering with guns. But the main armament of such a ship would be missiles. Anti-ship missiles. Anti-air missiles. Anti-sub missiles. Lots and lots of them. It should be nuclear powered. Capable of well more than 35 knots speed. It should be built with a maximum of automation to keep crew numbers as low as possible. And it should be able to take a punch as well as throw one.

A ship like that, added to a carrier battle group or operating as a battleship force would be a distinct deterrent to anyone wanting to challenge us on the seas. Short of a suicidal nuclear attack, sinking such a force would require so much effort as to be not worth the cost. The bottom line for me is that the United States Navy is the first and last line of defense of the United States. All the other armed forces are important, but only the Navy secures us against invasion and ensures our ability to project power around the globe. A US fleet cruising off the Chinese coast is something to give even the most aggressive pause…and as long as our fleet is supreme, no one really dares engage in cross-ocean military actions.

Let’s build some battleships.

Syria Strike

Just was watching Twitter for an extended period of time tonight – astonished at the wide variety of heart felt, differing opinions about it. Some Trumpsters upset, some Never Trumpers finding a strange, new respect for Trump. Honest questions. Sincere hopes. Support for the troops without cheap rah-rah patriotism. It was refreshing.

I don’t know what will come of this – I’m not sure I support the action (though I support the actions of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, of course). I hope there is a plan behind all this – there could be, and it might work out to a brilliant stroke of diplomacy backed by military force (the only sort of diplomacy which actually works, by the way). We’ll just have to see.

The Realities of Fighting a War

A lot of people are getting bent out of shape over the prospect of waterboarding being resumed, at least in theory, under a Trump Administration. Just to let you know – plenty of my fellow Catholics have been loudly proclaiming the Church’s absolute prohibition against any sort of torture. I, of course, subscribe 100% to Church teaching – I routinely fall short of it, but I believe it to be correct in all respects and that everyone should do their level best to live up to it. I would have it that we would never use waterboarding, or any other terrible thing. But if you were suddenly made President of the United States and found that we had captured people who had immediate knowledge of a pending terrorist massacre, what would you do? I thank God I’ll never be in that position – but if such a situation arises and a President (any President) decides to use forceful measure to obtain information, that President won’t find me in the line of people condemning the action, or calling for a war crimes trial.

And that brings me to the subject of war crimes. The basis of them are various international agreements entered in to which prescribe the ways and means a nation can behave in war time – against enemy soldiers and against enemy populations. It is all very admirable stuff and if everyone would at all times obey such rules then war, while still being a cruelty, would be a lot less worse. But the plain fact of the matter is that international conventions about warfare don’t work in the breach. We only refrained from using poison gas in WWII because the enemy refrained – had the Germans or the Japanese used them, so would we have. And even without enemy first-use, as the Battle of Okinawa ground on and our losses mounted, there was an official request from the military to use poison gas against dug in Japanese forces. It was vetoed at the highest level – but had there not been an atomic bomb and we had invaded Japan, my bet is that we would have used it, if the defense of the Japanese homeland had been in any way like the defense of Okinawa.

The gold standard for how to deal with war crimes remains the Nuremberg trials in Germany after World War Two. But while there was a grandeur about them, the fact that Soviet judges participated made them not what they should have been. Stalin’s regime never packed people into gas chambers to murder them, but millions were still done to death by Stalin’s henchmen – it is hard to find a crime which the Nazis committed and the Soviets avoided. And even in things like charges about plotting aggressive warfare and engaging in unrestricted submarine warfare, our side was guilty, too…with the Brits only being beaten by the Germans invading Norway by a matter of hours, and our unrestricted submarine campaign against Japan being vastly more effective than the German’s campaign against us and the British (indeed, German Admiral Donitz was helped to a lesser sentence by no less a figure than Fleet Admiral Nimitz, who wrote a letter to the Nuremberg judges advising them that the submarine charge against Donitz could be equally applied to Nimitz).

War is cruelty and you cannot refine it – so said General Grant. By one means or another, in war you are seeking to kill and destroy. It is better for you if you use only the minimal force necessary, and that you treat a defeated enemy with mercy. But especially when faced with a cruel foe who makes no distinction and seeks to win by any means necessary, you may at times be forced to brutal methods, yourself. And it is not for us to judge the men and women, forced into horrible circumstances, about the decisions they made. If you aren’t the person making the decision – in a swift, terrible moment when you cannot possibly have all necessary facts at your disposal – then you are not the person to judge. Only God can do that.

Today, we are faced with a very cruel enemy who sticks at nothing to win. It is to be hoped that our government and military leaders will come up with a good plan which will help curb and, perhaps, eventually destroy the wicked enemy and bring peace to the world. But one thing they don’t need is high-minded virtue-signalling from those of us who don’t have to make the decisions and carry them out.

When I Agree With “The Nation”…

We know we’re in strange times:

In 1977, Carl Bernstein published an exposé of a CIA program known as Operation Mockingbird, a covert program involving, according to Bernstein, “more than 400 American journalists who in the past 25 years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.” Bernstein found that in “many instances” CIA documents revealed that “journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”

Fast-forward to December 2016, and one can see that there isn’t much need for a covert government program these days. The recent raft of unverified, anonymously sourced and circumstantial stories alleging that the Russian government interfered in the US presidential election with the aim of electing Republican Donald J. Trump shows that today too much of the media is all too happy to do overtly what the CIA had once paid it to do covertly: regurgitate the claims of the spy agency and attack the credibility of those who question it…

Do read the whole article. I find it astonishing that the MSM – and the larger left – is taking the CIA’s word as gospel. This is the same MSM – and larger left – which for the past 40 years has assumed that anything the CIA says is a lie. James Carden – the author – keeps that tradition alive, but he seems a pretty lonely voice on the left these days.

To be sure, I don’t hold with the general leftwing concept of the CIA – which Carden does hold: you know, making out that the CIA is this nefarious group overthrowing government’s at will, etc. Even in things like the Iranian and Chilean coups, my reading of it is that the CIA merely helped local forces who wanted to oust their particular governments and as those governments had a distinctly anti-American bent, it was something worth doing, given the overall situation during the Cold War. On the other hand, I don’t trust the CIA as far as I could throw it. This stems from the realization that the CIA was cobbled together at the start of the Cold War and got a lot of it’s personnel from the WWII-era Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was riddled with Communist agents. Histories I’ve read indicate that the new CIA vetted itself – which is about the dumbest thing an intelligence agency can do at the get-go, and which in my view pretty much ensured that at least some Soviet agents were employed from Day One at CIA…and over the years would just keep ensuring that other traitors were employed. Add to that the fact that the CIA has become another ossified bureaucracy chock-full of the same sort of Progressives that staff the rest of the federal government and all I can say about the CIA is that we’d better abolish it. But at least Carden is maintaining a healthy doubt – including, to his great credit, doubt about a CIA report which works out politically to the benefit of his own political side. Credit where credit is due – and sticking to genuine principal is getting rare these days. My hat’s off to Carden.

Carden goes on to write about the bizarre defense being offered for the CIA – essentially, people are holding that respecting a CIA rumor is the only patriotic thing to do, and that criticizing the CIA is somehow un-American. But Carden notes that even laying aside partisan politics for a moment, the CIA doesn’t exactly have a stellar record as an intelligence agency:

…Consulting the CIA’s historical record, one is confronted by a laundry list of failures, which includes missing both the break-up of the Soviet Union (during the 1980’s a CIA deputy director by the name of Bob Gates called the USSR “a despotism that works”) and the 9/11 attacks.

In the years following 9/11, the CIA has been caught flat-footed by, among other things, the lack of WMD in Iraq (2003) {Ed Note: methinks Iraq had the WMD, but they were moved out before the war…but, the CIA should have caught that, too, and didn’t); the Iraqi insurgency (2003); the Arab Spring (2010); the rise of ISIS (2013); and the Ukrainian civil war (2014).

More recently, CIA Director John Brennan made false statements before Congress over the CIA’s hacking into the computers of Congressional staffers.

I recall that the CIA assessments of the USSR appeared absurd in the 80’s, and the fall of the USSR confirmed my view – me, just a then-20-something nobody who bothered to read history a bit was coming up with more realistic assessments of the USSR’s viability than the CIA was. Remember, the CIA was telling us that the USSR was strong, rich and permanent. Flew apart at the merest push, of course…and was found to be a bankrupt kleptocracy once the Iron Curtain came down (did not a single CIA agent even bother to read The Gulag Archipelago? Solzhenitsyn clearly detailed how the statistics produced by the USSR to show what they were doing were complete fantasies). The prime thing, of course, for the CIA is to detect foreign threats – the thing was created, after all, to prevent another Pearl Harbor – and yet with all the CIA’s resources, they completely missed the 9/11 attacks. That right there proved to me the uselessness of the CIA. But here in 2016, the word of the CIA is golden, per the left…simply because some elements at the CIA cooked up a “hack the election” story which fits in the Progressive Narrative about Trump.

It would be hard to convince the American people that we don’t need a CIA – too built-in to the public mind. But trying to figure out what the enemy is up to is enormously difficult…and by having a secret agency trying to ferret out enemy intentions, the chances of getting an intelligence agency willing to play domestic politics becomes too large as that is easier than coming up with the next target of a terrorist attack. I do believe we need military intelligence, but even then only to figure out the military capabilities of foreign forces…figuring out their intentions is entirely a political matter which doesn’t require a spy agency but, instead, people in political leadership who know their…well, you know what from a hole in the ground (this is a rare commodity…but having an intelligence agency which has probably got it wrong inform a dimwit who doesn’t know what is going on doesn’t really work to our advantage, either). Bottom line for national defense is to maintain such a powerful military force that everyone knows that attacking us is a death sentence…and then showing the world that, indeed, it is a death sentence, even if the State actor is using a third-party cut-out to attack us. We’d only have to do that sort of thing rarely – and done properly probably not more than once in 50 years. We keep getting attacked simply because those who attack us don’t pay a high enough price…make them pay that price and the next trouble maker down the road will back off.

Be that as it may, it is going to be a strange four to eight years – I am determined through this time to keep to one, solid principle: too seek and tell the truth, as best as I can determine it. The people on the left are drowning themselves in lies about Trump, but so are many on the right…of course, with exceptions (like Carden, here). I want to live in the real world – I’ll see what Trump does. If I think it good, I’ll praise him – if I think it bad, I’ll condemn him. The last thing the world needs is yet another blogger/writer/pundit who is going all out trying to make facts fit his or her Narrative.