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SOVEREIGN MAN

I finally need to say something about it

I tend to shy away from politics and policy.  Sure I’ve discussed taxes, privacy, and healthcare a few times, but I don’t normally whine about government too much because (a) it’s unproductive, and (b) living a ‘multiple flag’ lifestyle means that governments have little impact on me.

Last night, though, President Obama spoke to America’s emerging military leaders at my alma mater about his ‘new’ Afghanistan policy, and I think it’s worth having a discussion with some honest, clear thinking.

Conventional wars are fought against a tangible enemy; his forces are vanquished, his resources are plundered, and his ground is seized. To the victor goes the spoils, and in the case of World War II, for example, that meant global economic dominance for the United States.

Today, though, the enemy is ‘terror’, an abstract noun.  It’s like waging war on music– there is no tangible measure of victory and no defined enemy… and after 8-years, there have been no clearly-stated objectives– What is the mission? Who, specifically, are we fighting? Why are we fighting? How do we define success in the engagement?

These are basic military principles that comprise every operational plan.  In this case, all we have heard since 2001 are generic platitudes about freedom and security, and a false premise about WMDs in Iraq.

Last night, Obama outlined some clear objectives for Afghanistan… although it remains unstated what ‘victory’ in Afghanistan has to do with security for individual Americans and the larger war on terror.

The first objective is to deny al Qaeda a safe haven in Afghanistan. That may be fine and dandy, but to expect that al Qaeda would not be able to find safe haven in Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, or Western China is simply nonsense.

The second objective is to reverse the Taliban’s momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government.  The first part is a tactical operation, and that requires the appropriate military resources.

General McChrystal, the commander in Afghanistan, requested 45,000 troops to accomplish this mission. Obama is giving him 30,000, despite saying that “our security is at stake in Afghanistan.”

This is truly mystifying– a war should either be fully fought, or not fought at all.

Fully-resourced conflicts with clearly defined objectives (World War II, Persian Gulf I) are winnable.  Political wars with unclear objectives (Korea, Vietnam, Mexico in 1846) are quagmires.

Further to this objective, denying the Taliban the ability to overthrow Afghanistan’s government is simply impossible in the long-run. The country has a long history of coups, and while the Taliban as a military force can be neutralized, its ideology, like democracy in the west, is culturally ingrained.

Democracy, by definition, cannot be force-fed.  George W. Bush believed that God’s will is for humankind to live in a democracy.  Well, there are a hell of a lot of Taliban who think that God’s will is for humankind to live in a misogynist theocracy… and you can’t settle this debate at gunpoint.

Overall, even if these objectives are accomplished and both Iraq and Afghanistan become beacons of democracy, expelling terrorist/fundamentalist aggressors from their borders, the question remains– has the US ‘won’?

No. This is impossible without clear objectives and a defined enemy.

“Terrorism,” like crime, is a general, unorganized threat. Rooting out all the criminals in town, for instance, would require a house-to-house inquisition, and a lot of innocents being thrown in jail.  Even then, you still wouldn’t catch everyone.

Similarly, there are legions of people who wish to harm the US.  It is just as impossible to eradicate this ideology as it is to expunge the criminal instinct.

At the end of the day, Americans will simply have to live with the grim reality that there will always be groups of people in the world with an intent to harm… and there always have been.

Americans were just as ‘threatened’ by terrorists 25-years ago as today, but they didn’t feel the need to engage in an endless war back then… and yet, somehow, most people managed to live through the day.

Today, though, because a bunch of knuckleheads from Saudi Arabia hijacked four airplanes (as the story goes…), the US government has spent $1 trillion to ‘protect’ Americans from men in caves.

Even if we assume away that Iraq and Afghanistan can become stable without US presence, these men in caves will not go away… thus the greater threat to US security still remains.

This effectively leaves two choices.

First, the US can continue to wage an endless global military operation, country to country, house to house, rooting out ‘terrorists’ wherever they may be deemed to exist.

The second: force Americans to live with the reality that there are bad men out there, be they criminals, terrorists, corrupt financiers, or politicians. Then, end a string of woefully poor decisions that have landed the country in an absolute mess.

That string of bad decision-making has pervaded for decades across administrations, and it applies to just about everything in government– monetary policy, education, healthcare, energy, or anything else.

The only choice is for the government to walk away from these empty ventures– bring the troops home, close down our 170+ foreign bases, shut down needless departments/agencies, repeal the income tax, end the Fed…

… which brings me back to why I rarely discuss these issues here: the list of government errors is enormous, and nothing will ever happen to fix them.

That’s why I focus on what individuals can do– look overseas, set up multiple flags, generate real wealth, consider second citizenship, take back privacy, etc.

(in this case, for example, if you’re sick of war, you can spend time in a place like Costa Rica which has no military.)

I’d like to hear your thoughts about the war and the things you’d like to hear more about; I’m always open to discussion.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Pat

    You’re dead right, my friend. I love hearing you talk about ANYTHING, but I applaud your decision to focus 90%+ of your energy on things that we CAN fix / do correctly.

    Hoah.

  • John

    The hacks in Washington are similar to the Taliban – the largest employer in the U.S. wants to take more and more from the citizens to suport their ever-growing ‘gravy-train’ empire; why would they change when they have ‘Bumbling Bernake’, ‘Clueless Geithner’ + the likes of obama, franke, reid, pelosi et al sucking rthe blood out of this country “in the name of the People” ?

  • Scott

    Simon,

    What is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq is really no different than what happened in Vietnam. 40 years ago Lyndon Johnson, a Texas oilman with very strong interests in Bell helicopter at the time, escalated the war and kept it operating in order to make money. Both Bush administrations had this country in Iraq for significant periods of time. The Bush family is an oil family with relationships to Halliburton and the Carlisle group. I am not a big fan of coincidence in either case. War profiteering has occurred for centuries and I do not believe the current circumstances are any different. It is impossible to win a war with one hand tied behind your back which is the case currently and in Vietnam primarily because neither circumstance fits the definition of a war. We won the only true wars we fought and someone has made billions on the other “wars”. This is simply my opinion. Thanks for the observations. Please continue your efforts.

  • Steve

    Simon, perhaps these engagements are just good old fashion spoiler wars? The book “The Oil Card” by the way is a good read.

  • alfonso landa

    Bravo for standing up and speaking out. As a West Point grad you understand the topic of US military adventurism and the military-industrial complex. Everything you said was “dead” right. Too bad none of it will ever come to fruition. Nonetheless it was a courageous thing to do.

  • Graham Webster-Gardiner

    British Empire failed, Soviet Union failed, Barack and a few US troops will fail to control Afghanistan. If he wanted to really conquer the area it would require massive commitemnt of men and money. For what? Islamic terror is in USA not Afghanistan, in the 100s of cells waiting to operate. Bring all the troops home-what are they doing in Germany 19 years after end of Cold War? Save loads of taxes. Infiltrate the Muslims in USA. Scrap the TSA and stop the harassment of white grannies and babies

  • Jan

    Whatever one may think about Obama, one thing most people will agree on: he is a gifted speaker. There are many of those, but he is one of the best. His last speech is the result of long discussions with his advisers. But that does not mean that what he says is therefore the answer to the problems facing the USA. I believe his projected actions for the next 1 1/2 years are meant to show how to get out of the situation with the least amount of misery. He thinks walking out of there right now is not acceptable. If he is able to give his opponent one big hit on the nose and walk out before he recovers, it will be the best tactic he can use. But if this is indeed doable remains the question.

    • Alexander

      Sorry, Jan, you are 100% incorrect on that one. Our Teleprompter-In-Chief can only speak without moving to incessant rambling of the words “uhm” and “uh” whenever he has to speak off-the-cuff. If you paid any more attention that what the Mainstream media force-feeds you, this would be apparent to you.

      Although I am against wars in general, committing the low-ball number of troops that he did, even below the low of General McChrystal’s request, the strategy that they are using in Afghanistan seems similar to the strategy used towards the latter years of Vietnam. We should all know of the results of that.

  • Paul Travis

    Good stuff on the right track, but the dip pass seems a bit on the steep end of things to work with. No better suggestions, regards PT

  • David

    I am a bible believing follower of Christ and look forward to His return and living in His kingdom. I love reading your newsletters because it helps me see the big picture. I am in agreement with your perspective of the US government and the war on terror. Thanks for what you do.

    • Friend

      The Kingdom is now, my friend. Live it now…PT is passing through. Citizenship is what Jesus was talking about, when he said you can’t serve both masters. Referring to money, what is it that grabmint wants? Your money…Or/and your life. Either way, chose whom ye shall serve…

  • http://www.success-dna.com Dr Brian A Schwartz

    Simon,

    Though your powerful essay ends on a seemingly Libertarian note, your incisive analysis and conclusions are so very much worth the read. I am sending your message to one and all in my extensive network. As a college student I read Dalton Trumbo’s passionate novel, Johnny Got His Gun, which underscores your more measured analysis of what President Eisenhower termed the “military-industrial complex” that is taking our country and much of the rest of the world down the rabbit hole of planetary destruction, chronic human misery and the destruction of that sliver of humanism and political progressivism that grew out of the American Revolution and embedded in our Constitution. Personally, I have spent my youth fighting against the Vietnam War and for expansion of civil rights, my middle years opposing the perpetual imperialism of the Reagan doctrine and my later years opposing the walk to political fascism and fiscal irresponsibility of the little Bush. Sadly, I grasp your message and am planning to relocate to Asia to continue my work in talent development and human capital management and hope, in my own small way, to build the wealth of hope and competence in the next generations from that perch. Simon, keep up the good work. You are a valuable voice in the wilderness in very dangerous and distressing times. The USA has become bankrupt in the most serious way…in its soul.

    • Chris

      Response to Dr. Schwartz’s comments– Hey Doctor….what do you call what’s happening now? Stop being such a pussy and while you’re at it go ahead and save the world.
      I think I remember you and all of your stupid demonstrations and building sit-ins. We got to go home early freshman year because of all of you shutting everything down and the sissies that ran the place decided to kiss your asses and give in. You were the fascists and you still are.

  • Ken

    How can you “train competent Afghan security forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight” when Afghan soldiers and police are paid the equivalent of $5USD per day??? (The Taliban pay the equivalent of $12USD per day.) That is not enough for an Afghan to live on. There are no benefits and his family will not be looked after should be injured or die? $1 billion USD per year would raise their pay to minimum wage – a huge improvement. Where is the humanity? Should a surge “stabilize” the region, what is the longer term plan for Afghan stability? This is a 3rd world country with centuries of conflict and no obvious solution to their impoverished people.

    • Friend

      Give a man a fish…Teach a man to fish….What did the mayans do? They left…

  • Ken

    Here is an interesting article that blames the 2005 change in bankruptcy laws for exacerbating the housing crisis and then jumps to the conclusion it should be reversed. To me at least, it seems that the attempt to reduce moral hazard – making it more difficult to get second mortgages written off, reducing the time you can sit in your home without paying – is now being cast as a bad idea! This sure flies in the way I was raised. Am I reading this wrong or is no one culpable anymore?

    http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/4313

  • Thomas McWilliams

    You are correct in your last few comments…IE: close down the 170 military bases…close down gov’t agencies…eliminate the income tax(starve the dragon) and end the fed…but it won’t happen
    The best solution is for every person working to put 10 dependents on their w2 form at the company and then don’t file a return. If 80 million people did this the house of cards would collapse and then we could start again…there is no other way to stop the monster

    • Friend

      But then people would have to learn to depend on themselves, instead of an “employer”. Don’t you know the industrial complex is in bed with their protectors? Look at Warren Buffet.

      Even Donald Trump knows the city of NY is bigger than he is. But he likes his billions.

    • http://Liberty4Free.com California Girl

      Very Good Thomas.

      You are right. Cut of the Dragon at the Feed Trough.

      It is safer to put 9 instead of 10. When you put 10 the form is sent in to the IRS for examination. Not that they have any jurisdiction over what you claim, but 9 flies under the radar.

      and see http://www.losthorizons.com for real tax solutions.

      Aloha

  • http://NA Tim

    Your right! As a an indigenous person (not an Indian) in the US, we have seen this for so long, when will the wars end? I agree with you totally but unfortunately those knuckleheads in Washington have a different agenda. I am still working on my personal sovereignty or being Sovran. My plight is much like yours we can only worry about our personal communities and taking care of our families. Traveling abroad and doing business is definitely on my agenda and I am glad there are people like you in the world, keep writing your words.

  • Keith Rushing

    The war on terror is an interesting concept but totally without boundaries when trying to define. It is my understanding that we went into Afghanistan because we went after Osama Bin Laden. We failed to capture or kill him so why are we still there?

    Iraq did pose a threat from the standpoint Saddam did wage chemical warfare on the Kurds and on Iran and no one really knew the extent that that threat. He committed atrocious acts of terror, torture and death to the Kurds which were more or less our alley (their commitment to us was greater than our commitment to them) . He was an evil force in the midst of other evil sources. Bush’s goals were to remove Saddam, remove any threat of WMDs and to free the people from the tyranny of Saddam and his family.

    Democracy was his tool to help insure freedom to the Iraqis. Herein lies the problem. Islam and democracy are incompatible. The western world does not understand properly the goals and objectives of Islam with respects to the rest of the world especially Israel and the western world.
    As a result, we have a police action in Iraq primarily to protect the Kurds (which was there at the time of the invasion) and a form of democracy. It is time to remove our troops and let them work out their own issues. It seems to me that if we are not pursuing Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan and Pakistan, we need to be out of those countries and again let them deal with their own issues. And if they want our help to define what kind of help they want and what they want to accomplish. We can then decide if we want to help or not.

    As you have so clearly pointed out, there is no definable outcome therefore we can never know when we have won or lost. I would seem that the resources and energy could better be spent ridding the US of the terrorists cells that are being trained to exercise Jihad against America.

  • Jim

    Simon – Your observations, comments, and conclusions are that much more cogent and valuable given your background having worked within the “military system.” Your words speak to me a lot more than some lecture from some idealistic peace-nik, although it’s nonetheless interesting to me that you both may arrive at many of the same conclusions about the wisdom of avoiding being embroiled in unwinnable conflicts. Thanks for speaking up.

  • Friend

    Hi Simon.
    For those that don’t “qualify” immigration wise to go live where there’s no Army, (C.R., Panama etc.) what do you recommend? Internationalizing and multiple flags if fine, but what if you need to run a small farming enterprise in your location? It has been said the reason more people don’t do the flags etc. is they don’t have the money. They’re not millionaires.
    So border running does’t work where they don’t want you to stay more than 6 months a year, like Colombia!!!! Any ideas?

  • Doug H.

    Simon:
    I would rather see more of your analysis of what USA investors (individuals who manage their own IRAs, stock accounts, metals, etc.) can do to stay ahead of the changes by the Obama administration.
    The war in Afghanistan is for another place, in my view. I want to know more about what countries’ economies are growing, how to invest in that, and how to recognize and understand events in the USA markets that affect our investment holdings.

  • DOUG

    The Obamanoids’ tireless refrain is that Guantanamo is a “recruiting tool” for the Taliban, Al Quida, and other Islamic terrorists. But the Taliban’s greatest recruiting tool is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nothing, but NOTHING, would curb Islamic terrorism more than a fair resolution of that matter. Although I can hear murmurs of “anti-Semite”, the widespread perception in the Islamic world is that the United States sanctions gross Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinian Arabs, and the United States is paying a dear price for that perception.

    Israel has overplayed its hand by breaking up the West Bank with Swiss-cheese-like Israeli settlements, to the extent that the much vaunted two-state solution obviously is no longer viable. There is no longer a contiguous Palestinian territory to call a state. The only peaceable solution now is a ONE-STATE solution, with equal rights for Palestinians, and this is what the United States foreign policy should be. Otherwise, the Taliban, Al Quida, et al., will keep recruiting terrorists and the United States will keep spending itself into financial, military and moral bankruptcy.

  • keith

    it has never been about the $, democracy, liberation, but about
    the NWO on track to setting up the controls. Whats another 30billion on top of all the other electonic debt. So many sites discussing all the situations but not addressing an action plan to stop the world control freaks. The REAL NEWS is not on the news
    The banksters / Fed, Rockin-fellas …. have in the past , actually thanked the Post / Times for never exposing the truth…!!! There is nothing Federal about them – nor is there a reserve. Wake up people. Jesse Ventura is being allowed by the media moguls to open up the conspiracies in a new show… then what? Bullet, debate, revolution?
    I guess those 650 concentration prisons build by Chenney, with rail road tracks leading in – with FEMA on the payrole as I type this….. may soon get filled. Google … US concentration camps, FEMA coffins… ??
    Or maybe they were all built in case the USA gets invaded by millions of foot soldiers attacking from all shores?

  • Carl

    Simon, as an awakened former military officer too, I applaud the sentiment expressed in your above article. Like yourself, I have an aversion to getting side tracked with politics and prefer to focus my efforts on the part of my life that I can control — individual responsibility. Also, I am incorporated and have already established a modest multiple flag operation in Asia. I am so glad that I discovered your blog as it contains much practical wisdom and actionable ideas. The ancient greeks highly valued “practical wisdom” in their generals and called this strategic leadership quality “phronesis”. You are a kindred spirit in the sometimes lonely world of this modest transnational entreprenuer in Asia. Sovereign Man, keep posting your practical wisdom. Respect

    • Steve Krajewski

      Dear Carl,

      Greetings from another former military officer, probably not very awakened, but have a similar world view as yourself. Found your comments interesting and I may be back in Bangkok for an extended period now and would like to spend my free time with some civilized, entrepreneurs with a world view for occasional, stimulating, fine dining and discussions. Of course, if you don’t reside in the region, we would only be crossing paths while traveling, but I feel occasional contact with positive, forward-looking people is still preferable to steady contact with individuals less interesting. At a minimum, if you need a contact or information about Thailand, I might be able to assist down the road.
      In the interest of brevity, I will close and let you consider whether a few more emails might interest you. This is not a business contact (not that there is anything wrong with those), but a handshake from a like-minded person. I wish you all the best.

      Regards,
      Steve

  • Kim

    I would like to say first off I love reading your articles. That being said I’m sure the rest of what I have to say will not be articulated quite as well. I whole heartedly agree with you’re thoughts and I am actually shocked that you would speak it, but I do applaud you for it. I’m not financially secure by no means…I work week to week for a paycheck which covers almost all my bills. I’m working backwards with no true way out that I can see. This I blame on our government and myself for poor choices. My husband works as a contractor over in Iraq, he’s been there 2 years. I have pretty much accepted the fact that he will not come back to the US and to me and my children. He also has strong convictions when it comes to this war (if that’s the appropriate word). I love reading about other places and maybe some day I’ll go visit more…I would like to hear more about the work force in different countries, the education quality…not sure if either is up your alley or even if you would want to speak on that. I would love to pick up and just go, get out of the US and the drama and over pricing. If you ever want an apprentice I surely would love to learn everything you know. Poor and dreaming in a poor dead end state Michigan.

  • Jason Martin

    Thanks Simon,
    That’s a wonderful, concise synopsis of the drivel that was yet another articulate, but empty Obama speech. Your ending is perfect and practical; what can we do for ourselves? The personal choices are there to be made and acted upon. The alternative is to do nothing and continue to pay for endless wars of fancy. I pity the voters who turned to Obama for belief that he would end the war. He just moved it.

  • John F. Page

    Just simply great

  • Andy

    Simon, as always you hit the nail on the head. I especially agree with your assessment that we are at just as much risk from groups that wish capitalistic and/or western societies harm as we were 25 years ago. But, we weren’t chasing ghosts through the desert then because we still had the cold war. Now there is this mentality held in the upper echelon that a prolonged occupation by men in ACU’s with M-4’s will somehow win over the hearts and minds of a people that just a few years ago allowed the existence of a regime that didn’t allow men to shave. And a “surge” to reverse the forward momentum of the Taliban, all the while discussing “negotiations” with the Taliban, the guy’s in Washington are absolutely nuts, and the American people in my opinion are just as bad because they don’t use their Constitutional Rights to fire these guys.
    Again though, great insight, I can really appreciate your insight my self being a Military pawn caught in the whirl wind of political agenda on an imperialistic front.

  • Victoria J.

    I agree with your list of actions offered as “the only choice” for saving America, with two exceptions.
    1) I would add legalization of drugs. The war on drugs is futile and hideously expensive; it enriches hardened criminals and makes criminals of otherwise innocent people with a weakness for intoxicating substances. Part of the money saved could be used to help people overcome drug addiction/dependency.
    2) Flat tax instead of no tax. I believe any evolved society must have some social programs to assist the truly needy. Social services spending has just got out of hand.
    Is it so farfetched to imagine a new third party or a revived Libertarian Party springing up as a grassroots movement? Poor old Howard Dean got pretty far with such tactics. Maybe Susan Eisenhower could be persuaded?

    • John Connor

      How about Ron Paul and his Campaign for Liberty. There were many social programs that didnt involve gov’t. Ppl went to family, when family was really family. They went to their church. So many hospitals in this country were founded by the Catholics or other religions to care for their fellow man. There was a time in this country, when neighbors knew their neighbors and helped each other. This one area the Amish and Menonnites have it right. Whenever you have social programs by gov’t, the ppl are giving their sovereignty over to the gov’t. That is the crux.

      The Constituion doesnt provide for personal income tax, but for corporate taxes, excise tax, etc. 1913 was the time when socialicism took full root with the Federal Reserve Act, the IRS established, and the personal income tax instituted. Of course a year later WW1 started and Wilson was itching to get in the fight to put our country into slavery of debt. Then largest socialist FDR came into power. Nixon defined socialism into soft Fascism. Bush began to perfect the Fascism and Obama took it to another level. “If you give up liberty for temporary security, you will not have liberty or security” – Benjamin Franklin The same powers we give the gov’t to fight foreign wars is the same powers to domestically enslave the ppl into giving up their freedoms/sovereignty.

  • Roland

    …”if you’re sick of war, you can spend time in a place like Costa Rica which has no military.”

    Substitute war for crime. Expats have been moving out of Costa Rica because of more violent crime against Gringos. Even using shotguns in some cases and abductions. Expats have been jumping the border into Panama and other S.A. countries. Not a fun place anymore, much as the Gov. and eco tourism dept. there want you to believe. Of course, no place is totally safe, perfect these days. As Cat Stevens used to sing- “Oh baby..it’s a wild world..hard to get by just upon a smile!”

  • david benson

    Dear Sir, could you say something regarding the best places tolive for personal privacy of all kinds? You mentioned recently that you would.Thankyou.

  • John Connor

    I agree with Simon and commenters, just added info.
    Let’s not forget Alexander the Great got defeated by the Pashtuns, and so did Genghis Khan – two more empires.

    Ron Paul must have been Simon’s and everyone’s choice of Presidential candidates. Obama only made it because of Oprah’s tv production team. Yes we can! drivel. I agree with the gent of visa problems and setting up a farm for personal income. Doug Casey does it in Argentina, but he is a multi-millionaire and his closed community at Estancia de la Cafayete is way overpriced even for the luxury. You may as well set up your own and hire local hands for your ranch/vineyards and have personal services brought to you – imho.

    I love all the lip service in Washington. Guantanamo closing…. wait it hasnt. Strong dollar…… wait it at all time lows. Health care…….. insurance and pharma raising prices to lobby and lawyers lining up for guaranteed profits eternally. Nobel peace prize, wait 30,000 more troops to escalate war, poking the eye of China, Iran, NK. See the recent saturday night live skit on youtube. i was shocked they were so candid. i think the audience was blown away, lil laughter – but oh so true. it is priceless. let the empire collapse soon, so we can have peace and rebuild our country from the Consitution. But, until then Simon is dead on correct of multinational.

  • Stephen

    The names change but the game remains the same. Obama is simply a puppet serving the same masters that all the Presidents have for years. Likely since the founding of the US. As long as money and power are in play there is zero probability that any of the insightful recommendations made by Simon will be undertaken.

  • http://www.tomlincoln.com Linc2010

    I would love to hear more about “living with multiple flags.” Where does one begin?

  • Chris

    Simon,

    I couldn’t agree more with your article. A war with an unclear objective is a recipe for disaster, as history continues to teach us. I spent more than two years in Iraq, and learned firsthand that without a clear strategy, we were just spinning our wheels. Fortunately, on my second deployment, I was an advisor on a Military Transition Team and was able to work closely with the Iraqi Army and Police. By then (2008), we had finally figured out that we needed to start handing over more control to the Iraqis. By assisting them, we would be seen as facilitators, not as an occupying force. I hope we can continue to use this approach for Afghanistan as we strengthen their defenses and ours.

    I’m very new to the idea of the sovereign man, pt, etc. and was excited to see a fellow Army Officer doing what I hope to one day do. As a recent convert, I’ve been doing a lot of research but find I have way more questions than answers. To find a destination, I’ve been using the CIA World Factbook extensively, and comparing unemployment, HIV/AIDS rates, crime, natural hazards, etc. Do you know of other resources that can help in my search to find the perfect place?

    Chris

  • Jana

    “The American way of life” is something worth fighting for if American’s pull out of being global bully-police and develop a mature, high integrity economy built on developing sustainable life-supporting systems. If post-carbon technology was developed as in an “Apollo Project” then positioning oneself on the chessboard over pipelines, allies and enemies becomes a wasted effort. Not only a waste of life, money, and moral standing…but it is an escallation of the potential for nuclear war. The shadow government already has antigravity…so why are they increasingly bankrupting the US and the world for an obsolete fuel source…so the enemy doesn’t get it…so they can control their rate of growth?

    Obama is an appologist for the military industrial complex. It’s the same ol’.

    We can’t waste our energy on that though. We must set about with the new world without the poor socalled leaders that have obviously lost their way…and lying through their teeth to protect their investments.

    • http://rauschenbach.us Möpsi

      Jana, if the Kelly Skunk Works did in fact crack antigravity as some suspect, then the bankrupting of the peasants (the real enemy?) could be seen as a mere widening of the gap between peasant and feudal lord, to preserve those power structures that are always threatening to start wobbling. If that’s the way they feel about it, then so be it. No point in worrying about trying to change their mind. But, since every soul is entitled to its own sovereign opinions, we can have it all as well, and much more, if we want, and I fully expect that we will. Furthermore, we can put it to use wisely, which should put them to shame, because of being such a radical departure from the usual fare.

      • http://www.biologyofkundalini.com Jana

        Hi Mopsi,
        The US antigravity propulsion systems started in the 1940′s continuing on from the Nazi flying saucer program and Victor Schauberger’s work. The Texan’s may have actually killed Victor. Then Wilhelm Reich died in jail (around the same time of Victors death 1958) after he had written his book on antigravity. No doubt the occult-gov/military has use of Stan Meyer’s water-fuel system…after they killed Stan to prevent him getting his tech out to the people. Not to mention Tesla, John Worrell Keeley etc…. http://www.youtube.com/user/AlienScientist
        Conference coming up on energy suppressions:
        ADVANCED ENERGY WHISTLEBLOWER CONFERENCE-DECEMBER 12/13, 2009-WASHINGTON, D.C. 20015

  • California Girl

    Amen!

    Simon for President 2010

  • Mr M

    Good article, Simon.

    One item generally overlooked is that the government needs war. It needs to divert the American publics’ attention away from the domestic mess. It accomplishes the agenda for those looking to weaken the USA and achieve other objectives.

    So close to the anniversay of the assassination of JFK, look at what the first result was of his death. The government ramped up operations in Vietnam and undid a lot of initiatives Kennedy implemented.

  • Larry

    As a Vietnam vet, I completely agree with your observations and comments. But, the “real root” of why we have a government that’s out-of-control and constantly creating terrible problems and hardships for America and Americans is, sadly, the irresponsibility of American voters.

    Most voters know little-to-nothing about the candidates they elect. Instead, they rely on their emotions, feelings, impressions, presumptions, and actually believe the rhetoric spouted because that’s what they want to believe! They continue to elect wealthy career politicians instead of statesmen and patriots who do understand the problems of Americans.

    As an example, Did you know there are 238 millionaires in Congress?
    That’s according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics, which shows that more than 44% of Senators and Representatives are in the seven-figure club, compared to about one percent of all Americans.

    Just as startling: 50 members of Congress boast estimated wealth of at least $10 million, according to 2008 data. And 7 are worth more than $100 million! Now, just what do you think these people have in common with most Americans? Moreover, due to their wealth, they have little-to-no incentive to do the “right things” for America. They are more concerned about catering to lobbyists and increasing their personal net worth. And they have been doing just that, at our expense!

    So, until Americans use the most powerful weapon they have — their VOTE — and make a mass-cleaning of Congress, starting next year; demand term limits; and be able to distinguish between career politicians and statemen/patriots, nothing will change and the average American will continue to shoulder more hardships from undefinable and unwinnable wars, to increased unemployment, to increased taxes, to a devalued dollar, and a crumbling economy.

    • http://rauschenbach.us Möpsi

      It is tempting to blame the voters, but on the other hand, they are human beings, which are somewhat like machines, and experts are using psychological tactics on them to exploit their weaknesses that come from being human. I think it is a bit far-reaching to expect that everyone should become an expert in psychology and political ponerology in order to protect themselves. In such an uncivil dog-eat-dog society, every man would be for himself. I would prefer a civil society that makes provision for the mentally weak, the elderly, and the innocent-minded ones. For example, when WorldCom extorted $5,000 from me over a $10/month dial-up account, I think the correct response is to think of them as criminals who should be held accountable for their crime, as opposed to blaming me for my guard being down, and unwilling/unable to drop what I was doing in order to take them to the mat. After all, my daughter had a tumor at the time, and I was “weak-minded” and vulnerable at the time, which should not automatically qualify me for Darwinian selection. If a society cannot be at least that civil, then it is worth shoving over the edge.

    • http://www.theostrichhead.com Peter

      Blame the voter????

      Ah, yeah, like voting in George W? Or is it that John McCain would have used a different teleprompter when talking about freeing Iraq and Afghanistan?

  • Frank

    The JFK Assiination was the important seminal event in our history that changed our government forever. Every US President after JFK knows what will happen to them if they do not heed the orders from the cabal that really controls and runs this country. JFK was shot down in the street like a dog at high noon and his alleged assasin was killed two days later in a police station by a Jewish saloon keeper who had underworld ties. Jack Ruby said he did it out of the goodness of his heart to save Mrs. Kennedy from reliving the event in a courtroom. Then there is the magic bullet theory. The press and Govt were involved in the coverup. We believed it happened the way they told us to believe. Shame on us. From that time on every president knows who they must appease….they know…..

    • Frank

      The JFK Assiination was an important seminal event in our history that forever changed our government.

    • Frank

      This adulation of the Kennedy’s represents the hight of public self delusion. Dean Martin tried to warn Sinatra, telling Frank that once he wins the Presidency he’ll have nothing more to do with you. Frank asked why he felt that way and Deno said “because they’re the degenerate kids of a degenerate rum runner”.

      I’ve always likened them to the Grachi brothers of ancient Rome.

  • http://gillesdaquin.blogspot.com/ Gilles Daquin

    Interesting view, however you might want to consider one aspect well worth looking at here.

    Permanently engaging the enemy, preventing him to set stable infrastructure, keeping him on the move, in short keeping him busy and on the run is already wining in the sense that you dictate a low intensity warfare instead of allowing him to grow for much meaner actions back on American soil or anywhere else for the matter.

    This is a difficult sell to the public opinion as there is no clear “victory” or “defeat”, but still a sensible approach when facing a non conventional war.

    West point grads have great potential to become tomorrow’s leader, however there is still a phase of experience, maturity that needs to be gained and is acquired through time, trial and error, learning what life has to offer. As a West point graduate, you live in a golden age. Long and difficult challenges but defining moments for yourself, home and country.

    thanks for your service

    • Cathy

      Simon,

      Kudos for a wonderful essay today.

      As for a reply to Gilles Daquin:

      If I hear this “thanks for your service” garbage one more time i will scream. Can’t you see the propaganda purpose of that inane statement? Being in the military of this illegitimate regime is every bit as much a crime as the crimes of the regime itself. It is not some spiritual calling. It is the filthy, blood-thirsty job of carrying out their evil plans. Without the dupes and pure tax-feeders signing up for military dole, these endless wars would not be possible. Thanks for your service BALONEY. It is far better to say, “Grow up and get a real job.”

      • Gilles Daquin

        I’m sorry you feel that way about people who serve the policy of a democratically elected government whether they like the policy or not

  • Manfred

    Highest National Priority: Balance the Trade Balance
    We will loose everything we cherish, unless we can create again jobs at home. No stimulus package or tax cut will do it. We need to balance trade to equilibrium. How? Create a system of credits. For every export the US exporter/manufacturer receives a credit which he can sell to a US importer on an exchange. This is a US open exchange where supply and demand will dictate the price of the credits. Imports can only be done after purchasing on the exchange the above mentioned export/import credits. This idea is from Steve Forbes. It is a credit system, like the proposed cap-and-trade for CO2, which however will primarily create higher costs and will therefore destroy even more jobs. Is the above export/import credit system anti free-trade. Yes and no, we still have free trade, however now with the condition and a mechanism forcing annual trade balances to approach zero. It will make imported goods more expensive, but will make exports cheaper and more attractive to foreigners thereby creating domestic jobs. Will China and emerging economies love us for this? No they will hate us. But for me jobs at home come first.

    Manfred

  • WorldCitizen

    The war in Afghanistan-Pakistan is “unwinnable” in the traditional sense as the enemy is not a “traditional” enemy. If, however, the objectives are clear, the military strategy is sound, and the resourses are sufficient, there is no reason the enemy, if not totally vanquished, cannot effectively be neutralized as a major threat to Americans in our homeland. The problem is there is no clear policy and objective. If the objective is to build a Western style democracy in a region of goat shepherds and cave dwellers…the war is lost. If the objective however is to kill as many Islamists as possible on THEIR home soil so they cannot kill us on OUR home soil…well then…that is difficult perhaps but definitely “doable.” It is all academic anyway…to win a war of any type the populace must be on board and the Americans jumped ship on this one as soon as Iraq went in the tank.

  • Susan

    “Democracy, by definition, cannot be force-fed. George W. Bush believed that God’s will is for humankind to live in a democracy. Well, there are a hell of a lot of Taliban who think that God’s will is for humankind to live in a misogynist theocracy… and you can’t settle this debate at gunpoint.”

    Well, it depends. There were a hell of a lot of Japanese who also thought that the will of “God” (not a part of their real vocabulary; both state Shinto and Buddhism, even in its Easternmost variations, believed in multiple deities–not to mention the problem of the Emperor himself), as interpreted by the warmonger nobles, meant that they could freely live in a theocratic misogynistic dictatorship, without interference from outside forces, even after attacking the U.S.

    The difference, as Ruth Benedict so well elaborated in The Sword and the Chyrsanthemum, is the inherent difference between “shame” and “guilt” societies. Japan, as a deeply “shame” society, lost all face in defeat, and had to acquiesce to U.S./USSR imperatives, at least on the surface. Below the surface–perhaps several layers below–the real Japan remained, and still does, albeit codified in a Western-shaped political tradition.

    But Japan, thanks to the arrival of the “Black Ships” of the US, and the Meiji Emperor’s fateful decision to open Japan again to the West, was already, even by the time of the Russo-Japanese war, an emerging developed country, with modern technology, and educated elites.

    Afghanistan offers a totally different scenario. This is a country in name only, imagined by the British who divided Pashtun families at will between areas the Raj controlled and those they did not. The border is still immensely porous, with no real attempt made at changing this. Half of the Pashtun population lives on the other side–the Pakistani/nuclear side–and the Pashtun population is the well of the Taliban. It is a guilt culture, like ours, but much more so. It is uniquely tribal and territorial, much as the Scots were into historical times. It’s a refuge for terrorists.

  • FD

    Simon, You are spot on

  • ed martinez

    Wholeheartedly agree with you. Wrong battlefield, wrong cause. I have a suggestion: The Durand Line should be moved to demarcate a new state, Pashunistan, which would include the troublesome tribes on the Pakistan side. (Some people have no idea of Taliban influence in Pakistan; these are ethnic Pashtuns, 42 million of them in the region.)
    Only because it’s none of our business, have the U.N. do all the work. Is there any other way we could pull out without “losing face”? It’s time to make them earn their keep. Unconventional? Better than subsidizing the opium farmers, which by the way, should not be off the table either. Any options which would save American lives should be open for consideration.

  • http://sayangmalaysia-sysalq.blogspot.com SY SULAIMAN ARIFFIN

    Dear Simon,
    History shows that western countries commit war crime since long ago. If they can not find ‘external enemies’ to fight, then they fought among themselves (simply just read history books to have a look on it) because they have guns. The embarrassing part of the history is that they keep on conquering what they called ‘The Third World Countries’ which most of them are Muslim countries and took nearly every resource they found and also try to spread Christianity. ‘Super Power’ among them keep on (until now) to STILL show their strength and keep on “stealing” their resources. They have been recruiting their agents in each countries to make sure everything is OK atu The Status Quo. Western countries are too afraid if these “invaded countries” if they start to retaliate. Under globalization phenomena only few governments (including – non Muslim) left which officially opposing western political views, other are becoming friends (they are in “Common Wealth?” – aren’t they?). So, retaliation come from group of people (not countries – they also b orderless people) that feel something must be done to stop this. What you all, having now is actually the ripple effect of your own sin, and fail to mend it. You are actually trying to restore back what have been being done BUT unlucky its all are rotten already.

    May GOD help all of us to make peace.

  • Clement

    Thank you simon on this informative analysis of the real motive of the war in Afghanistan. It is sad to hear that good resources/ wealth/finance that would have been used to fight poeverty in undervloped countries of the world like papua New guinea and many others.
    The American together with the allied forces occupy Papua New guinea (PNG) and the pacific with wars; and we still have the scars of the war and the relics here in PNG and the pacific.
    Time for The US administration to consider saying sorry to the people of PNG and the pacific. With demonstrated economic packages for the developing PNG to eliminate AIDS, Poverty and many inequalities we face in beautiful PNG.
    we all aspire for freedom to create wealth and peace on this planet. Why can we all stop the war and promote peace worldwide.
    Thank God we still have our customary landownership rights that is our big safty net in feed us as Jehovah God intended in His wisdom in creating manking and everything on this planet.
    So do not worry, we who believe in a Powerful creator, whose personal nemae is Jehova will soon rid those suppressing manking and restore paradisic living conditions on this planet.
    In the new earth where peacefull loving people will live for ever, without dying and no pain (Revelation21:1-4).

  • honestann

    Good sensible article.

    No administration or congress or federal court in the past 50+ years has beleived in democracy, and this most certainly includes Obama, the Bush presidents and Clinton. All these folks are very ardent and active supporters of totalitarian global government with them and their gangster-bankster new-world-order comrades in control. They are, for practical purposes, neo-nazis (or neo-fascists, or neo-commies, or whatever aggressively nasty totalitarian approximation you prefer). They are indeed quite similar to the Taliban.

    Though I applaud the liberty movement in the USSA (and worldwide), I too believe the powers-that-be are too strong, too entrenched, and too thoroughly in control of the mainstream media, education and [probably] military to have much hope a homeland solution is more than a fantasy.

    Therefore, I too encourage every advocate of liberty, ethics, justice, freedom and individualism to move to some country with the most laughable government possible (hence less inclination, likelihood and capability to harm us). Become self-sufficient [as possible]. If you can, pay now for solar-panels, windmill, generator, battery-banks, rain-water or well-water collection and purification system, create a garden capable of [barely] feeding yourself and family if food become unavailable or insanely expensive, and so forth. At some point, the importance of forming small communities composed of like-minded individuals (rather than random neighbors) will become exceptionally beneficial. If you have any funds left over once you have established a self-sufficient life, buy and operate equipment and facilities that produce real physcial goods (the more fundamental and necessary are the goods, the better).

    And good luck to all.

  • Isabel

    Down the feds! down wars, down taxes, down any disconfort; Vive la Liberté!
    Travel the world and get many flags. This is a wonderful idea, but not realistic, just utopic, because after wandering around, and see many things, and nations, and people, and ways of living, you will realice that no other place is better than home.

    As the wise king said: “There is nothing new under the sun”

  • Don Kennedy

    You pretty much express my sentiments and thoughts about the present federal system and its policies since 1964 with some semblance of pragmatism with Ford and Carter. But the Imperial America folks took over with Reaggie and we have been on the steep end of the downslide to the end of the ‘Beast’ with two horns that would come out of a wilderness area of the Earth-the United States of America. Oh how I believed in that Constitution and individual liberty and freedom of religion. Now we have basicall lost both of the foundational unalienable rights. I too think of safe havens to move to. But you know, Simon, there ain’t no safe havens if theUSA goes down the tubes. The Chinese are a treacherous people. They bred like flies and suck up resources to survive in a nation that has no food. If America goes down the tubes will the Chinese support individual liberty and religious freedom. I can see the Pope making a deal with the Commies to dump liberty. You seem like the type who believes in liberty and are willing to fight for it because that is what I have decided to do. The one organ of our federal system that is not working is Congress and that is mostly due to the Senate. It has stymied solutions to our problems for too many years now. It has to be changed. I am putting together a campaign for President in which my main goal will be to furlough Congress as my first act and re-write the Constitution to remedy the mistakes made by our Founders. Our nation was founded by God. America is one of two nations of the world which was prophesied by God to come about. The two horns of the ‘Beast’ were individual liberty and religious freedom. There is a real war going on in the world. It is between the forces who wish to destroy liberty and those who wish to preserve it. There are many enemies of liberty right here in America. The first order of business once we re-write the Constitution is to defeat the enemies of liberty within the nation. We have the weapons to make sure no other nation gets foolish while we put our house in order. We do not have nation yet. We must complete the job of creating a true Republic of representative government controlled by the voters who have control of policy making through an accountable, effective, efficient, responsive and responsible legislature. The leader of the Congress needs to be elected by nationwide popular vote. All federal elected officials must be subject to recall. Congress must have control of the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government. The leader of Congress will have total control of policy making and war making. ONe person needs to be accountable for federal policies. The President will carry out the policies of Congress. The President and Speaker of the House will control the military. Both will be subject to recall and both will be elected by popular national voting. Individual citizens will be expected to provide themselves with economic self-sufficient living. Businesses will pay a livable income to their workers so that the free market economy will always be in growth pattern. Citizens must not depend on government to take care of their basic needs. Individual economic self-sufficiency is the overriding national objective for each American. With men like you, Simon, America can be salvaged and become more powerful economically than ever, but it cannot be done without you and people like you. It may take a civil war to accomplish this transformation of America to a true Republic but it is worth dieing for as far as I am concerned. The group that takes control of the transformation will need a group of fighters for liberty. It could get bloody. But to me an America with liberty, freedom and justice for all is worth fighting for if necessary. Let’s hope that a majority of Americans will vote to transform America into a true Republic before the enemies of liberty install a fascist dictator!!!!!!!!!… The Taliban and al Qaeda have as much chance of destroying America as a snowball in hell has a chance of surviving. The enemies of liberty within America have already put America on its knees. Time is of the essence and it is 2012 that we must take control with the votes of most Americans behind us. I am 78 in January. I have worked in DC for Unk for 10 years. I lived there for 20 years and observed the Congress frequently firsthand. There were times when I wanted the Capitol to be destroyed and Congress dismissed. The time has come to transform the Constitution and remedy the mistakes of our Founders. 2012 is the time!!!!!!![7].

    Sincerely, Don Kennedy

  • thomas

    Unfortunately, your article is simple to read and understand. This being the case, you can not expect congress or the men that actually call the shots to react with interest or curiosity. Common sense and experience does not exist in Washington. The desire for power and money trumps everything. I appreciate what you have written, and I pray that somehow something good will emerge.
    I’m a combat vet of Vietnam. I see blood coming from my men and I feel tears fillimg my eyes when I try to sleep. The realization that this war is being fought the same as Vietnam is just as personal to me now as then. Again, thank you. God Bless Our Heroes

  • Isabel

    I was only sarcastic. I am sorry if somebody misunderstood my comment.

  • francesco

    When the government lacks entitlement for being too stupid or too corrupt or too inefficient or simply redundant, then it INVENTS an enemy to provide a reason for its existence. In fact it seems impossible to wage a war without a government.

    If a war on terror seem ridiculous it is only because they could not find a better enemy this time. But when the economic depression gets stronger and longer, it will be easier to invent more relevant enemies.

    The strange fact is that people believe and accept the lies government tells to justify wars. It is certainly a strong group instinct that force people to overlook government lies, specially in this overcrowded world. The government knows that and uses that.

  • Allan

    The Taliban is an invention of the Pakistani ISI. It was created after the Soviets failure to destroy the tribal structure in Afghanistan. The Taliban had nothing to do with chasing the Soviets out of Afghanistan since they did not exist at the time of the Soviet occupation. The basic tribal Afghan does not like the Taliban. The only credit they give to the Taliban is that there was no war.

    Afghans want security and our forces are providing that where we can. The extra troops will permit that security to expand.

    Afghan vets with who I talk are convinced that the Taliban can be defeated and they tell me there are three levels of Taliban. The die hards who will die for their cause, the middle group which supports the idea of a Taliban regime and the third group are paid henchmen.

    Whether that will play out will depend on the intelligence of the command structure in Afghanistan.

    AS for the argument that the Afghan government is hopelessly corrupt, what country in that part of the world is not corrupt?

    I have no illusions about the outcome, it all depends on whether Karzai can recreate the Loya Jirga structure that served previous Afghan governments well.

    Thank you for your insight into our military adventures. I served in Vietnam with the Special Forces and MACV. I know what working with indigenous folks is.

  • Offshore_guy

    “… which brings me back to why I rarely discuss these issues here: the list of government errors is enormous, and nothing will ever happen to fix them.”

    You are correct. Nothing can be done to fix the errors of the federal government.

    The very best thing to do is to leave the country behind. America is reaping the consequences of 95 years of central banking, fiat currency, fractional reserve banking, deficit spending, and the politics of envy and covetousness.

    It can’t be fixed or repaired.

  • Eldon B. Mitchell

    Simon, Your comments are,of course, absolutely appropriate and correct in terms of the war on terror and sending more men to Afganistan. What a waste of men, time and resources. Let root the bastards out of here first. There seems to be plenty of cells to go after. Then let’s seal our borders once and for all. Then let’s find and send back every illegal alien in this country. We’ll have plenty of military manpower to help round them up and ship’em out. Oh and when they leave they need to be given a warning that if they are ever caught in this country again they will be shot on site. Now we are making progress. Saving bilions that we don’t have and starting to get a handle on things. But wait we’ve only just begun…Congress is next. We must oust every member except Ron Paul and start over. He is the only one that is has the balls and the brains to understand just how far gone this country is. This must be accomplished by vote or by force if necessary. It has to happen to preserve this union. There are several people that should be tried for treason, Barney Frank for his handling of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nancy Pelosi, for compromising the CIA and pushing the healthcare debacle. Al Gore for the fraud of Global Warming and coming up with the solution that rewards him personally and costs the rest of the world billions for absolutely nothing. Ben Bernake for paying trillions of dollars to foreign countries and then not giving any kind of record as to who got what or why to the American people, Timothy Geithner, tax cheat turned finance secretary, what a joke. We need Tarp now and a year later the money hasn’t been spent thank God. What a sham. And of course Obama, the Muslim in a high priced suit who bows to dictators everywhere, and is the most dangerous man since Hitler bar none. Let’s stop him now before it is too late. It is one failed policy after another and his only real agenda is to truly spread the wealth. Only, it will never work. The people with real wealth will be giving up their citizenship and heading to countries where real wealth and entrepeneurship are still respected.
    Only if and when we can regain Congress with true American citizens not 5 term politicians will we have a chance to save this country. The clocking is ticking we have 2 years or less to take this country back. Check Youtube for DVD’s from Lindsey Williams. We cannot fail in this endeavor.

  • Jonathan Bello

    Sir:

    Your comments are correct. But your parameters
    need to be widened.

    The purpose of this war is not to win. It is rather

    (1)to give employment and capital to the military
    industries of this country and any other interna-
    tional corporations that service this war.

    (2) In addition, it is in combination with interests
    in Pakistan and Iraq, to deny any meaningful
    volume of cheap energy ( oil-Iraq) to current
    and future economic competitors to the US
    ( China especially, India) and to capture
    usage of Iraq oil reserves for the Western
    financial cartel, since the value of the dollar
    is tied to control over oil. Lose control over
    cheap oil and you will lose the dollar as the
    reserve currency. I believe that is happening
    and that is why the US and Europe are trying
    to accelerate the idea of world government
    through the accelerated transfer of national
    privileges and authority to international
    organizations such the World Bank, IMF,
    UN, WTO. And the introduction of a virtual
    currency- the fiat currency to end all
    fiat currencies.

  • HAL

    Simon: Since Obama is certainly well educated, why is it, at his peril, that he blithely ignores this truism: “Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it” ?

  • http://jana-sovereignstate.blogspot.com/ Jana

    It is show biz. It has no substance. The guys that are selling us the war are the perpetrators of 911. They play with the ignorance and emotions of Americans obscenely…note the location of the terrorist trials and the Westpoint pep talk. NY is being screwed royally, but they don’t seem to mind as they are mesmerized by the movie, and it makes for good gossip. Thank God Obama actually looks like a movie star, so we can somewhat follow the plotline without going to sleep.

  • Dave

    Good summation of the issue. What is interesting is your position has support from different political spectrums, although the basis for the support may be different. Present wars do not pay, i.e. “the business model fails”. Assuming our leaders are not foolish or stupid raises another whole set of questions. Why foreign involvements? Who profits – economically and politically? Is it another distraction from the “economic” issues at home? Each of us has our own perspective, but the bottom line is there are going to be more losers than winners in this endeavor.

  • Sam Huskey

    Simon ,
    I enjoyed your article and agree with you on closing the bases and pulling the troops back home . If you want to kill a rat put his favorite bait in an area you can look over and then sit tight and let him come to you and he will come . Pull back the men to the US soil and wait on these people to come to pull and plan their attacks and take the gloves off our soldiers . This is my sixth year here in Iraq and I can tell you now the entire Middle East think we are weak . Pull back to the states , put people inside these cells and when we catch terrorist, don’t put them in prison , put them on national TV , lined up against a wall with a large hole dug near by and shoot their asses right then and there . But you will have to go father than this to deter these people and that is where the big hole comes into play . After throwing the shot terrorist in the hole you kill a pig right then and pour the pigs blood in on the terrorist along with the pig and bury both together . You show this on national TV along with a message that this is the punishment for any terrorist act in the US and it will stop on Us soil . Sure you will get flak from every Muslim on the face of the planet , but let them know in no uncertain way we are not weak and this is what anyone will get for a terrorist act against the US . This is the only thing that scares these people is Alli not accepting them and the pig blood on them takes away everything they want and live for their entire life . Death does not scare them , but to be turned away by Alli . This is very simple and some would say barbaric , but these soldiers I live with , eat with and talk to everyday are not weak , only restrained , ship them home and turn them loose no holes bared and see what they do . Thank you for letting me vent this morning. Keep up the good work.
    Sam

  • Staffan

    You miss one point – the “War on Terror” has been an excuse for the US to set up military bases around the world, many in former Soviet Union countries, effectively encircling Russia and to have forces within ready striking distance from all the worlds major oil suppliers. Behind the “war on terror” are also big financial interests (Goldman + i e big oil) who want to secure future energy sources for the US. It is all a lot about oil! The US had a deal with the Taliban about pulling an oil pipeline through Afganistan, but when the Taliban wanted special considerations, the US changed foot on them to demonstrate who actually decides in the world!! And the Taliban were originally armed by the US – to throw out the Russians!

  • Bill Hollander

    Great article. I’d like to suggest a couple of things that might straighten out our government an make ours a true participating democracy.

    1) Make a strong one term limit for any government position. And I’m talking about one term in any and all offices. In other words if someone runs spends one term as dog catcher he/she would no longer be able to run for Governer. One term in any position. This would make it much more likely that elected officials don’t waste their time in working toward the next election. It might even open some doors to let the average citizen spend time in public office. When/why did politician become a profession.

    2) Another radical Idea I’d like to put forth is, doing away with elections at all levels of government. Perhaps we could use something like the system to choose jurers. If that system is good enough to determine life or death it should be ok to choose a president. Heck, it couldn’t be worse than our current system.

  • Gibby

    Couldn’t agree more that our presence in that part of the world only fuels resentment toward us. But where did you come up with the number of “170+ foreign bases?” Chalmers Johnson (who probably knows as much about the subject as anyone can) mentions in his excellent book “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic,” that the US has over 737 foreign bases. That’s not a misprint; 737 bases! Disgusting.

    I’ll throw out another reason that we’re in Afghanistan. We’ve turned it into the largest narco-trafficker on the planet. All those billions of drug dollars pay for endless, lawless Black-Ops programs that are kept off the books and scrutinized by no one.

    • MattB

      I believe he meant “shut down our foreign bases in 170+ countries.”

  • Yogacharya

    I liked everything you had to say … up until the end where you were essentially encouraging us to pack up and run away from the problem. Just like wars are not won, neither are problems solved by avoiding them or heading for the hills and hiding away somewhere where you don’t have to deal with them.

    If America is broken, then it needs good, honest, hardworking and intelligent people to roll up their sleeves and start working out a way to fix it. The ship may be listing badly, but it can be saved if enough people are determined to do it and not resigned to abandoning ship.

    Peace …

  • Mark

    I agree with most of what you say, however, I don’t think we should give up and say our government can’t be fixed. I think we and our State Legislative bodies have not used one tool at our disposal to force the Federal Government to do the right things. Yes, I did say force. We all complain about taxes, the wars, the deficit, health care costs etc and we all feel helpless. As you clearly say, we have been letting the Federal Government make stupid decisions that affect our lives in a negative way for a long time. We need to take the bull by the horns and start using Article 5 of the Constitution to make changes. For those of you who do not know about article 5, it forces the Federal Government, by law, to hold an ammendment convention if two thirds of the State legislatures wish to add ammendments to the constitution. If three quarters of the States ratify any ammendments, they become law. In fact, this has already been tried and the Federal Government has refused to hold a convention, essentially breaking the law, and nothing is done about this. In fact, the Federal Government has been taken to court over this by one man and the Supreme court validated many of his arguments but refused to take action because he was only one man and did not have the “stature” to take the Government to court. Shame on us and our States. Yes this is a big deal but the stakes are high and something needs to be done. This is not treason, this is the law as set forth in our Constitution. If the Federal Government is not willing to do what is right then the States of this great nation should excercise some oversight by using this tool. It is our responsibility. Ben Franklin said in the Federalist papers that Article 5 was arguably the most important part of the constitution in that it provided a means of checks and balances for the States to fight tyranny. To me, this feels like tyranny. The Federal Government would like everyone to think they are the only ones that are allowed to make laws or change the constitution. That is simply not true. Are you not tired of our Federal government giving billions of your tax dollars to foreign countries, big corporations and corrupt politicians who gladly take our money and laugh at how stupid we are? Just think what we and our States could accomplish and how we could turn this country around if we ammended the Constitution with regards to taxes, requirements to declare and finance endless wars, balancing the budget, affordable health care and social security. Our Federal Government tells us there is not enough money to fix our problems at home, No kidding. They spend it all on wars and bribes in the name of fighting terror and protecting our interests abroad. What about our interests at home? If we spent our hard earned tax dollars here at home we could fix all of our own problems. It is time for us to direct our attention and resources on the once great United States of America for a while.

  • Barney

    Great summary of what has transpired.
    I always felt the 911 terrorists should have treated as criminals but, then
    again, we need an enemy to keep us from thinking about the real problems. As someone once said, “Never underestimate the collective
    stupidity of the American people.”

  • Frank

    Simon your article an is an extremely well written analysis of the present situation……. that is at first glance it is. When one takes a moment to compose one’s mind, instead of going into an emotional tirade like most of the comments made here, a clear mind will come to the conclusion that all your advising people to do is lets all move to Costa Rica ( or places similar ) and hope the monster eats us last.

    I’m afraid you haven’t done your historical homework. This concept of Jihad against Western Culture did not begin in the Middle East or because of the existence of Israel. The location of its Genesis was actually 1947 Greeley Colorado, where an exchange student from Egypt studying at Colorado’s school of Education was so repulsed by seeing what he referred to as “the animal like mixing of the sexes”, our societies preoccupation with materialism, music and sports that when he returned to Cairo he began penning manifestos that called for not just the end of colonialism in his part of the world but for the actual destruction of western culture and replacing it with a misogynistic world wide caliphate. One of his best students was Ayman al Zawahiri OBL’s second in command. His name was Sayyid Qutb. He was hanged in 1966.

    We didn’t win WW2 because we could make more toys. We won because we made the “other poor dumb son of B___H die for his” country and beliefs an masse. The only rules of engagement were destroy the enemy with great prejudice. Now a soldier can return fire only when the enemy first empties a clip at him and even then only with his superiors permission! How absurd is that.

    If these Muslim nit wits possessed collectively just half a brain they’d cease fire sit back and just wait for they’re eventual victory. Just based on birth rates alone, which are three times that of the west, we are breeding our self’s into impotent minority status and they are breeding themselves in dominance.

    To those who think that they have only a snow balls chance in hell at achieving their goals I would point out that such despicable social systems such as Nazism, Communism, and Fascism all began with manifestos preached by small groups of nut that were also given little chance of success.

    Also if they can establish cells here what makes anyone think they can’t do the same in Costa Rica. I certainly hope I go there from time to myself. Hope however is not a useful plan.

    • Thomas

      Hey fRank, thanks for the history lesson with a serious bend. i won’t comment on why i disagree with your analysis, but simon is not telling everyone to move to Costa Rica. Read the letter. he’s saying that costa rica doesn’th ave an army.

  • alfonso landa

    are you planning to comment on the election of the communist to the presidency of uruguay?

  • Puzzled

    To be sure, Iagree with you. My Question is: Why can’t we do something about it? What is stopping the American Public? We can vote these idiots out of office! Join Dick Morris/John Beck, start calling congress, Faxing=write your own fax. Let our Congress know We have had enough! If they don’t listen to us & continue to be crooked, they will be fired! We need to set two term limits. S.S pays us a fraction of what they give Congress. No more $1,600. per term for Congress/Judges, from S.S.
    Puzzled-No-More

  • m2camh

    lol @ puzzled..

    methinks Sire Black has less stress than most upon accepting human nature eliminates potential wide social changes as described.. hence me fanship of his ‘individual freedom combined with control of one’s destiny and privacy’ perspectives.

    here here i say lads.. ;]]

  • Pat Erickson

    Thanks for such clear headed thinking and realistic assestments of the situation. Heading out for lower cost of living places sure makes sense to me.

  • Rikki

    I’ll refrain from discussing politics due to the volatile nature of the topic and the irrational nature of humans in general. However, I would like to comment that your writing style is very pleasing to read. :)

  • Diego

    How can you have a “multi flag” life when the US doesn’t allow you to give up being an American

    • Gibby

      Who told you that?

  • John Cleeve

    Nothing wrong with what you say. Well & succinctly put.

  • Peter Tang

    I think Obama is falling into the trap of Bin Laden. This is a master plan by Bin Laden long before he planned the 911 terrorist project on US soil. In fact, 911 is only a bait to lure the Americans to mountainous Afghanistan and turn the territory into the graveyard of American soldiers. Bin Laden welcomes American soldiers there, the more the better. They have enough burial ground for millions of Americans. Like the Vietnam war, Bin Laden will drag the American economy to hell. America is destined to go broke and lost the war with all disgrace. There is no way back now. America is going to Afghanistan to be buried.

  • Filipino-American

    Simon, kudos for your excellent thought-process. I always loved your alma mater. I spent nine months as an aviation cadet in the Philippine Air Force Flying School. I was aware that our system was patterned after West Point. We respected the same Honor Code. Lying and cheating was abominable and a cadet could be washed out by his own peers. Without the brotherhood we would never have been able to be rid of the tyranny of Ferdinand Marcos. My classmates and lower classmen who found themselves on either side joined together because there was truth in People Power. I was already a naturalized American citizen then but I shed tears of pride for the cadet system that helped bring about the defeat of injustice.

    I hope one day members of both Houses would think like you do. Then the quality of our laws might begin to benefit this nation again the very same way the creators of these United States were able to accomplish.

    The United States started out with a collective, unselfish love that evaded self-aggrandizement and entitlements for which today’s politicians have a proclivity in their thirst to keep themselves in power. There is no clear thinking as to what would strengthen the nation as a whole. Most of the recent legislation pander to special groups, e.g. what’s good for the labor leaders is not necessarily good for the laborers. As a result we are headlong into socialism that will not diminish the defense of this nation. “I don’t think abortion (killing our young) is wrong but I will resist and vote against it’s inclusion in healthcare bills because in my state (or my region) I am up for reelection this year and I have a constituency that is pro-life.”

    The President thinks he can please both sides of the liberal-conservative divide by agreeing to McCrystal’s surge but lowering the requested number by a third. If the Allies did not assemble a most formidable landing force in Normandie, don’t you think Eisenhower might have had to publish his “…all my fault and no one else’s..” failure apology. Quibbling with military numbers and, of all the idiotic notions, of setting a withdrawal timetable gives justifiable hope to the other side. War is obliterating the enemy so completely he cannot get up from the floor before the bell.

    On the other hand this Commander-in-Chief might be really smarter than the obvious. To be fair his intent could be to motivate Karzai to clean up corruption by setting a short leash and then after eighteen months keep the surge in place and disappoint the Taliban. But knowing how the cavemen are, I liken it to Yamashita’s troops carrying meager rations in Malaya and overpowering the larger British force.

    I pray for the smaller force because it will be more vulnerable than an overwhelming one. It is an expensive proposition either way for the nation and if Madame Speaker gets her way, here comes her War tax.

    Lastly, seeking dual citizenship is selfish. It doesn’t solve the problem. If you have that attitude, pick another country, move there and give it your complete allegiance. I came to ths country to make a difference. I turned my back on the land where I was born because in my lifetime I would never see improvement, where corruption was top to bottom and the slow stain of the Catholic hierarchy’s venality was spreading. The patrimony of the nation was placed in the hands of the oligarch to the detriment of the people who owned the land. Power truly corrupts, in the Philippines and here in these United States but everywhere else.

  • Bill

    I was in strong agreement with you until you went into the do away with the income tax part. That is the only “fair” tax we have. All others are disproportionately hardest on the poor. If we want to get around to fiscal responsibility we need to end the transfer of wealth that has happened over the last thirty years from the middle class to the very top due to the marginal tax rate adjustmemts that started with Reagan and continued on through G. W. The result has been that in 1980 the top 1% held 8% of American’s wealth and now they hold something like 28%. Not good for an economy, and not good for a society.

    • Mark

      Bill, I am not sure if you were replying to me or someone else concerning doing away with taxes. If you were replying to me, I agree with you. I do not advocate doing away with the federal income tax. I agree we need to end ,and even reverse, the transfer of wealth. The middle class is what keeps the economy going and we are shrinking. I think there is some merit to the idea of higher taxes on the very wealthy. Yes, they may have worked hard to get where they are, but this does not mean they should not help the less fortunate and just keep everything to themselves. There are also a lot of very rich sports stars, movie stars, entertainers and socialites (who inherited wealth rather than earn it) who offer nothing to society other than entertainment. They should thank God for their good fortune and help out the less fortunate.

  • http://ColoradoBiometricsUSA.com Robert Moore

    Above comments to wit, I am searching for solutions not things to be critical of. In that light, this is the legislation that needs to be passed immediately:

    Lender Side Usury Tax: John Dillinger said he robbed banks because that is where the money is. When asked recently about credit card profitability, a banker said they were not making huge profits but obscenely huge profits. This is being done at the expense of those who can least afford it and affects their ability to pay mortgages and health care expenses. No wonder we have mortgage default and health care expense problems. The lender side usury tax would tax all consumer debt interest revenue from credit cards, department stores, gasoline cards, etc., at a rate of 100% for all interest and all other fees in excess of eight per cent annual percentage rate. This will provide the government revenue to pay off the bailouts, fully fund social security, and pay off the remaining national debt quickly. And smart lenders would decrease their rate to eight percent, or less to be competitive, to avoid the whole red tape mess. No changes in banking regulations would be needed. This tax would be much more effective.

    Captains of Industry Incentive Plan: The management of the private sector and the government sector have both become lazy and over paid. This program would provide incentives for productively retaining and increasing people resources. For each one percent of annual maximum national unemployment or portion thereof, all line managers (anyone with direct reports) and up in private and government sectors would pay a three percent tax against all forms of their personal compensation. For each additional direct report hired in a tax year, the there would be a three percent reduction in the tax, down to zero. For each direct report lost, there would be a three percent increase in the tax, with no maximum. Both would be based on average daily balance of direct reports for the tax year. Management would once again “find a need and fill it”(Henry Kaiser) to produce returns on investment. With the resulting near full employment, the world’s best and brightest along with those mentioned on the Statue of Liberty will again be welcomed to legally cross our border and become citizens of the United States.

    Full Interest Deductions: As encouragement for consumers and with the Lender Side Usuary Tax providing significantly more revenue than this gives back, Americans should be able to deduct all interest paid not just mortgage interest from their taxable income. Car sales and other consumerism would increase.

    Return to Hydroelectric: Thousands of sites with huge hydroelectric potential are being ignored while other technologies are being developed at higher cost and higher environmental impact.

    On The Move Electric Vehicle Charging: Electric Vehicles ascending hills and traveling long distances need on the move charging. Thus overhead or guardrail mounted electric lines should be available to charge vehicles and help them over hills and mountain passes. Such lines would also more quickly advance the use of long haul electric freight hauling trucks. Mountain passes are also places where hydroelectric plants used to be located for rail use. Let us get them generating again.

    COBRA Reform: COBRA health insurance coverage has been turned into a profit center for corporations laying off workers in my opinion. The coverage should be available at the same price as employees pay, with the same corporate participation. And it should be available for ten years. Lazy employers would try a little harder to retain productive employees if this pricing model was used. And Health Care Reimbursement Accounts should cover an entire tax year, not just to the last day worked. Money is being orphaned in these accounts that should be available for paying medical expenses when people need it most…when they have no job.

    Minimum Savings Account Interest Rate: Four percent should be the minimum interest rate for no minimum balance savings accounts. This should be true for banks, credit unions, brokerage accounts and all other cash type accounts. It should also be possible to over pay credit card and other charge accounts and obtain this rate so consumers get paid interest.

    Uniform Closed Captioning: This is already scheduled for Jan 1, 2010. All television broadcast in America must have at least English closed captioning available. Any additional international closed captioning is welcome. This would help international immigrants assimilate into American culture. Current international broadcasts that do not have English language closed captioning are only prolonging the isolation of international populations that live in the United States. And in the last few days, international language broadcasts are also being encrypted so Americans have no chance of listening even if they read the international language. This looks like international entities putting command and control capabilities in place for a takeover of the U.S. government.

    Sincerely,

    Robert D. Moore, 1971X
    rdmoorecs@hotmail.com
    719 481-9347

    • Peter

      Robert, you are a genius. If only we had more politicians of your caliber.

      Your lender side usury tax idea is brilliant. It would certainly stop banks lending willy nilly to those who can least afford to borrow. And of course it would generate a huge amount of revenue, because banks are so badly managed that they would forget to drop the interest rate and then pay the 100% tax.

      Again, your Captains of Industry Plan is spot on. The important wars being fought to preserve our freedoms need to be paid for and those lazy managers sitting in their corner offices firing people should be in the front line paying for them. With 10% unemployment, an extra 30% should be a huge windfall and show the world that we Americans can manage our finances competently.

      The Full Interest Deductions is another great way of changing the market mechanism to funnel money to the people who banks forced into debt. This would absolutely increase the sale of TVs and appliances, which is the backbone of our economy.

      Return to Hydro: Again, green and cheap. Privately run power companies obviously don’t know how to make their own decisions: some DEFINITELY need to be made for them.

      Healthcare reform: Nice one. Employers should live up to their responsibilities. In fact, I’d go one step further, and propose that employers should guarantee lifetime employment with full health benefits for their families. This would definitely encourage more employment.

      Minimum savings rate of 4%? I think it should be even higher. Let’s say 6%. That would still allow banks 2% profit and encourage savings. Of course, banks might not want to take deposits, so we’d have to introduce a law enforcing compulsory deposit taking by banks.

      Uniform Closed Captioning: I think you fell short of what really needs to be done. America is an English speaking country. All shows not in English should be either dubbed into English or banned. You are correct in your assessment that North Korean and Arabic shows being broadcast in the US contain triggers and hidden messages.

      In addition to the above, one more solution would be to have a one off tax on all Americans for 30% of their net worth. This would force the tax dodgers such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to pay their share and we’d have the national debt paid off in no time!!

  • Flaming Elmo

    America… haha

  • David

    Simon,

    I concur on all counts. My oldest is in the Air Force and my youngest in the Navy. They are in for two reasons.

    Military discipline
    To learn system… just in case

    David

  • Harry

    This sort of seems like attending a town hall meeting on health care – lots of heat, some light, but not much in the way of balance. Could it be that the limited objectives of Obama’s plan could be achieved? The odds are long, I agree. What is “needed” is to push the terrorist enemy into the hands of the Paks, while convincing the Paks that it’s a good thing to punish these people and build a more viable government of their own.
    That said, the irony of the Peace Prize speech cannot be overlooked. George Orwell couldn’t have said it better – War is Peace.
    Lots and lots of other problems in our government, no doubt. The genius of our system is that it is designed to move only incrementally, and that may be our downfall as well. Whatever the shortcomings of the current Health Care Reform debate, it certainly has exposed the sausage makers at work. It would be hard to encourage your kid to go into government after watching.
    Go live somewhere else if you want, but don’t think you will find a paradise there. You’ll have to work hard there to reform their faults also. We’re all humans – let’s work together to make it better and not expect perfection.

  • geoffrey

    Just because your house will always tend to get untidy and dirty does not mean you should not up keep it on a daily regular basis even though it is an endless task. Just because solving crime to become non-existent is impossible does not mean we should give up attempting to keep it under control to our best abilities or dismantle our police force.

    Just because the Terrorists will always persist means we should actually go the opposite to show them and their supporters no quarter or mercy in every circumstance that arises. Targeting innocent civillians to kill in numbers via cowardly methods of sneak attack on the most unsuspecting and unprotected who are not even engaged in conflict and are not geared for it … civillians, women and children … cannot and must not be tolerated. Even if fully eradicating it is impossible, making those who perpetuate it pay in the worse way would be the best method to keep it minimized.

  • Adrian

    How come no one is saying anything about the oil pipeline from the Caspian thru Afghanistan and Pakistan? It was the sole reason for the Soviet Union’s invasion. They spent 7 years building it. But it never went online because just before operations began the Afghans blew it into kazillion pieces. This is also why the Soviets left. It is my understanding that a similar project was begun shortly after the Soviet Union West aka the USA invaded.
    I am no expert. I am just asking does anyone know anything about this?

  • Peter

    Adrian. Shhhh! We all know the Iraq war was about oil and the Afghan war is about Caspian sea pipelines (so they don’t have to flow through Iran or Georgia — two more targets for oil wars).

    Of course, it comes down to Simon’s point about there being no clear military objectives. I disagree with Simon here — the objectives are the pipelines and the pipeline route. Of course this isn’t spelled out to the American people and may not even be made perfectly clear to the military commanders, although I can’t believe they are THAT naive.

    It is, after all, about terrorists. Remind me again how many Afghans or Taliban were involved in 9/11?

  • Dave

    There will always be some form of war. It is ingrained in mankind. The USA will always have enemies and will always fight a rear guard action against terrorism while simultaneously advancing its own sovereign nation. This is true of every nation that is built upon the love of life and individual liberty. The enemy will never give up the fight, and so the freedom loving nations must accept the enemy’s time horizon. It is infinite. Accept it.

  • nick pearson

    Wise advice, but I’m afraid that it will be considered heresy by most Americans who have allowed themselves to become brainwashed over the years. I saw the writing on the wall years ago and began a search for another country to establish a relationship with. After trying out Costa Rica a couple of times and finding myself disturbed by the onslaught of Americans taking up residence there, I went to Ecuador on the recommendation of a friend. Fell in love with the country on my first full day there, and have never fallen out of love with it. I’ve spent over two years there since ’96, had a resident visa for a couple of years and expect to get one again. The US is hell bent on continually shooting itself in the foot in both domestic and foreign policies. It has become a model of dysfunctionality. Anyone interested in surviving and thriving ought to be looking for a place to escape to when the real collapse happens here.

  • Joe

    What is a ‘multiple flag’ lifestyle?

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