Category Archives: Military

Coughing up catchphrase strategic hairballs

In light of President Trump’s decision to order airstrikes in Syria against Assad forces this past week, I’ve been awaiting some hint of a comprehensive regional strategy for, not only defeating ISIS, but for the gigantic strategic elephant in the room (power vacuums across the region), that assure continuing fertile ground for Islamist nutjobs to reseed and grow for decades to come.

ISIS was Al Qaeda in Iraq.  The belief that driving them out of Raqqa holds some sort of magical strategic power eludes me.  The belief that ousting Assad opens some magical door to peace in Syria and a grand opportunity for the people of Syria, also eludes me.

The regime change cadre, like General Keane, John McCain, and  Lindsey Graham are ecstatic, but these are the same people who place a lot of trust in Elizabeth O’Bagy and the Institute for the Study of War’s analysis with their “Syrian moderates” magic carpet ride.

I was going to await General McMaster’s appearances on the Sunday shows, before commenting, but here’s how I see the pros and cons from Trump’s actions.  The pros:

  1. Pushing back against Putin and Iranian power plays in Syria bolsters U.S. credibility as a world player, not afraid to act.  Count that as very positive.
  2. Grounding Assad’s air assets is also very positive with more U.S. troops on the ground in Syria
  3.  On purely symbolic PR grounds, Trump’s actions showed strength and resolve.

Now the cons:

  1. Escalating military action without clear, well-defined ends leads to mission creep and can very quickly turn into a complicated strategic Gordian knot (like the one we’ve been choking on for over a decade). We are still coughing up catchphrase strategic hairballs.
  2. There doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive regional strategy.
  3. Building a strategy on false beliefs leads to very poor strategic outcomes.

That #3 is where we screw-up most often, by believing things that are not true.  Since 2012, there has been a vocal chorus among some US pundits and strategists for regime change in Syria.  There has been a belief that a large part of the insurgents in Syria’s civil war are “moderates”.   They are all varying shades of Islamists – that is a FACT.  And that FACT should cause everyone some pause.  Islamist insurgents assure that if they succeed in seizing power in Syria there will be another state run by Islamists.  Why the US should be gung-ho for establishing Sharia compliant states, I don’t know.  If past is prologue, nothing is simple in that region of the world.

Without all the “Rah, Rah, Go USA” cheerleading… I want to know what the comprehensive strategic ends are and how this dramatic miliary escalation fits into that strategy.

Just an added thought about articulating a strategy… the clearest American message isn’t coming from the White House, the State Department, or the Pentagon.  It’s coming from the United States ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.  The rest of the Trump administration should follow her lead on how to craft a clear, principled, unified ” strong American voice” on Russia, Syria and Iran.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Military, Politics, Terrorism

Learning From Mistakes

A small embroidery booklet that my mother gave to me when I was around 8 or 9 years old (circa 1968-69).  The booklet has a copyright of 1964 listed.

While sorting and organizing in my sewing room, I came across this embroidery booklet, which I have been using since the late 1960s.  When I first started learning embroidery, my mother gave me an embroidery hoop, embroidery floss, needles, small scissors and this booklet.  My great-grandmother had a closet full of boxes of fabric scraps for her quilting and she subscribed to a needlework magazine, Workbasket, which had iron-on embroidery patterns.  She gave me fabric to stitch on and let me pick out some iron-on patterns.  My mother and great-grandmother, both spent time showing me how to embroider and helping me when I ran into problems.

I ran into problems often, because I am not naturally talented at needlework (or much else for that matter).  What I am good at is practicing.  Even as a child, I set up a routine to practice things I really wanted to learn how to do or improve at doing.  I stuttered and couldn’t even spit out my name.  I spent years reading the dictionary, almost daily, and practicing how to pronounce words.

Needlework was the same frustration when I first started stitching, where instead of my tongue twisted into knots over how to pronounce words, I was spending more time dealing with tangled embroidery floss, than I did stitching.   I practiced… a lot.

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Large dictionary I spent years reading as a teenager – in need of binding repair.

My mother gave me that booklet, so that I had a reference to reread, when I forgot how to make the stitches. As my stitching improved, I began to tackle harder stitches in the booklet. I clung to that booklet and handled it carefully, because it became as dear to me as the large dictionary that came with the set of World Book Encyclopedias my parents purchased in the early 1970s.  Before having this large dictionary to study, my mother had given me a paperback dictionary to use.

The thing about learning the value of “practice makes perfect” is that even if you never achieve perfect, your skills, at whatever you’re practicing, improve.

And that brings me to foreign policy.  Along with rereading my childhood embroidery booklet, I’m reading a book that I had started a few years ago and didn’t finish.  National Security Dilemmas: Challenges & Opportunities by Colin S. Gray is one of those books that returns you to the basics of national security strategy, by reminding you constantly of the “lessons learned” that we keep forgetting.

I’m not ready to do a book report, but the thing Dr. Gray often asks, when confronted with catchphrase strategic notions that permeate among the Washington policymakers and punditry class, is “So, what?”  He is analyzing based on his wide-breadth of historical knowledge and decades of meticulous research of STRATEGY.  I’ve read several of his books and many articles he’s published over the years.  He always gets down to the essence of strategy  – the basics, if you will.

Strategy basics are just like needlework basics.  If you forget the basic stitches there’s no way you can master the complex stitches.  I hadn’t done hardly any needlework since 1998, so I’m back to basics and decided several weeks ago that I need to start doing a lot more practice on basics to regain my stitching proficiency and confidence.  We still haven’t done that with our national security strategy.

The Trump administration’s national security strategy seems as immured in “catchphrase” strategic-thinking as the Obama administration’s “narrative as strategy”.  President Trump likes to hide behind the “we don’t want to tell the enemy what we’re doing”, trying to sound strategically savvy, but really just avoiding having to explain what his ISIS strategy really is.  I suspect it’s about as well-thought out as his “murdering ISIS family members to scare ISIS terrorists into submission” war crimes strategy he doubled-down on in the GOP primary debate.

In recent weeks, I’ve become concerned that his ISIS strategy, in essence, is Mission Creep.   More American troops here, more American troops there (like in Syria) and so far, little in the way of explanation.  There doesn’t seem to be any sort of laying out American national security ends and building  a big picture regional strategic framework to achieve those ends.  President Trump’s strategy seems tied to PR sound bites more than to securing America’s national interests.

Does the Trump administration have a clear strategy to defeat ISIS?

I doubt it.  Any who question President Trump are brushed aside with constant reminders that General Mattis is running the Pentagon and General McMaster is a strategic genius.  That doesn’t explain the strategy to me.  That is citing “experts” to validate a strategy, that has not been explained.  It’s a dodge.

So, I’m very wary of  President Trump’s foreign policy and at the same time, I am heading back to the basics… in both my needlework and studying strategy.

More later.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Military

Threads of Civic Virtue

“God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to defend it.”

– Daniel Webster, 1834

I’ve been spending more time sorting through sewing and craft supplies lately, trying to organize my sewing room, than following politics and the news. However, being an inveterate news junkie is a habit that isn’t easy to break, so I’m still reading some news online daily.  Watching the endless scorched earth battles of President Donald Trump pitted against the Left, the Democratic machine, and the mainstream media disgusts me and fills me with great concern for America’s future.  I wonder, “Who are we and what really matters to us?”

This post isn’t going to be about needlework, but needlework is the thread with which I’m going to try and sew the larger issue of liberty and personal sacrifice to preserve liberty into a blog post.

Through watching needlework videos from around the world on YouTube, I came across some “community” of counted cross-stitchers called “floss tube”, who post videos about their counted cross-stitch projects.  The usual floss tube video seems to be about an hour, divided into sections of show and tell about finished projects, works-in-progress (WIPs), and “Haul” (more cross-stitch junk purchased).  Then there are a few floss tube contributors, like the expert needlewoman , Mary Rose, named after Mary, Queen of Scots, who present much shorter, highly educational and deeply thoughtful videos that deal with much larger life lessons.

The poem she is referring to is a poem, The Life That I Have, which she stitched and is combining with a floral design.  Sounds silly and pointless, until you consider the poem:

The text of the poem, by Leo Marks:[1]

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_That_I_Have

Mary Rose explains the history of the poem and how it became famous, in the WWII movie, Carve Her Name with Pride, which is based on the true life story of British spy heroine, Violette Szabo, who was just an ordinary young woman working in a department store in London at 19:

“Just four years before, she was Violette Bushell, a pretty, Paris-born girl selling perfume at the Bon Marché department store in South London. Then she met Etienne Szabo, a charming, 31-year-old officer with the French Foreign Legion, at a Bastille Day parade, and they married five weeks later. But Etienne soon shipped off to North Africa, where General Erwin Rommell and his Panzer divisions were on the move through the sands of Egypt. Szabo was killed in October 1942, during the Second Battle of El Alamein. He would posthumously receive the Croix de Guerre, the highest French military award for bravery in battle, but he would never see his daughter, Tania, born to Violette in London just months before he died.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/behind-enemy-lines-with-violette-szabo-1896571/#6ADyiWlgBSWG0i4T.99
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This young WWII widow, with a young daughter,  joined the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).  She was captured by the Nazis after being injured parachuting into France on a mission.  She was executed in 1944 in the German concentration camp, Ravensbrück.

The poem above is a poem code, which Leo Marks used as Violette Szabo’s code to send messages.  Leo Marks was a British cryptographer in World War II.

Violette Szabo, didn’t have the education or background to be a likely choice for a SOE agent, but in that day recruiters for the SOE were looking for unique people, with unique character and skill sets.  The Smithsonian Magazine article, Behind Enemy Lines with Violette Szabo, describes her:

“…she was fluent in French and, though just 5-foot-5, athletic and surprisingly strong for her size. She was already a crack shot in a family comfortable around guns and target practice; under rigorous SOE training, she became an accomplished markswoman. Reports described her as a persistent and “physically tough self-willed girl,” and “not easily rattled.””

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/behind-enemy-lines-with-violette-szabo-1896571/

Like so many of her generation, Violette Szabo, knew liberty is precious and worth fighting to preserve.  How she lived though, by courageous self-sacrifice, says more than all the focus-group tested speeches, ever delivered  by self-serving, pompous, iconic feminist windbags, like Hillary Clinton.  This 23 year-old war widow, with a tiny daughter, parachuted into France and here’s how she conducted herself:

“Two days after landing, a car transporting Szabo to a rendezvous was stopped at a German checkpoint. With weapons and ammunition in the car, Szabo and the resistance fighter accompanying her had no choice but to open fire and try to flee in the confusion. Szabo twisted her ankle, but urged her companion to go on without her while she sheltered behind a tree and provided covering fire. According to two of her biographers, Szabo held off the German pursuers until she ran out of ammunition, when she was captured and taken away for interrogation, still defiant and cursing her captors.”

http://www.theweek.co.uk/64502/violette-szabo-how-ww2-heroine-earned-her-george-cross

How important messages are sent and received matters.   Leo Marks used his original love poem as a secret code.  Violette Szabo’s selfless courage speaks of a civic virtue, desperately needed, but rarely found in our rudderless trash culture these days.

In today’s world, where checking the “right” boxes for educational background and resumé or knowing the “right” important people matters more than actual character or talents, I doubt our intelligence “experts” would even notice the talents of a heroine like Violette Szabo.  Assuredly, assessing character is a rare ability in America, where the two major parties’ 2016 presidential candidates were both pathological liars and willing to say or do anything to win.  That millions of people cheer on two such morally-bankrupt characters speaks volumes about we, the American people, and what we think matters.

My blog is just my opinions.  When I write posts, often I walk away not sure I expressed what I really intended to say.  Storytelling isn’t my strong suit.  In fact, in most things in my life, I don’t have a great deal of talent.  That’s the truth.  I love needlework, but I’m not a “natural” at it and I don’t produce any heirloom-quality pieces.  Most of what I stitch are small or medium, not highly complicated patterns and I try to keep the back of my work as neat as the front.  My writing is much the same… a great love of writing, but not nearly the skills and talent, that I wish I had.  With just about everything I have done in my life, I had to practice… a lot, to become even halfway decent at it.  So, I stitch things that I like, even small, simple things, like this, that I want to turn into a small quilted wall-hanging for in my I love America room:

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Being willing to listen, with not only an open mind, but an open heart matters.  Often, not only messages come in surprising ways (like via a needlework video), sometimes they are delivered by highly unlikely messengers, like Mary Rose, sitting in her  “stitchblisscorner” chatting about needlework.




Here’s a link to a 2015 news story about Violette Szabo’s medals:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11755734/WWII-heroine-Violette-Szabos-George-Cross-fetches-260k.html

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Filed under Culture Wars, Food for Thought, General Interest, Inspirations, Military, Things That Matter

A repost of a blog post from June 4, 2013:

 

Military leadership 101: Set the standard

 

Politicizing the military chain of command continued full-throttle with today’s Senate Armed Forces Committee grilling of the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the recent spate of high-profile sexual assault cases.  (Reuters report here).  The most idiotic comment came from Senator Kristen Gillibrand, from New York, who stated, ““Not every commander can distinguish between a slap on the ass and rape.”   The political solution that Gillibrand proposes adds a layer of bureaucracy between commanders and their troops – a special third-party entity to handle sexual harassment and sexual assault issues.  This will further erode trust between soldiers and their chain of command.  This smells like one more effort to turn the military into a politicized social engineering project of the left-wing politicos.  

As a female in the Army decades ago (circa 1980), I was sent to a Pershing missile unit, as I’ve mentioned before.  My battalion had less than 100 women and around 1,ooo men.  The Army back then had a pretty bad drug problem in Europe too, so things were a little rough.  Since this in my blog, I’m going to speak the truth.  I love the Army and I learned so many important lessons that have carried me through life and truly taught me how to face challenges head-on.  The integration of women into the military rates as a mixed bag of results.  One of my sisters completed a very successful career in the Air Force and she never experienced anything remotely what I did when I arrived to my Pershing unit.  Each service grappled with how to integrate women into the ranks amidst a great deal of politicized decision-making , where actual military excellence has always taken a backseat to the feminist-driven objectives.   Many women do excel in the military and certainly our military benefits from having as many of our best and brightest young people serving in uniform, so I’m not against women in the military.  What I’m going to say, is my opinion, based on my own personal experiences and observations – not some poll or what someone else said.  I’m going to speak about the real life problems that persist by integration being about politics, not what’s best for the mission or the soldiers.  It’s the real life proverbial elephant in the middle of the room that no male soldier dare speak about

In an earlier post I sort of tongue-in-cheek referred to my experiences in a battalion with so many men and so few women as the best diversionary tactics training in the world and you know what, it really was!  The minute I arrived at my battery, men started swarming around me and I guess the most accurate description would be, they were talking a lot of shit.  Yes, men talk a lot of shit, that’s a fact.  A young man grabbed my arm and I grabbed him by his shirt and slammed him against the wall and told him, “Don’t touch me!”   The other guys started laughing and talking more shit, but not a single one of them ever touched me again and the one who did grab my arm became a friend.  A female sergeant walked me down the sidewalk, past the next battery and on to the end of the parade field (those German kasernes usually have central parade field with the barracks arranged around the perimeter) .  The men were hanging out of the windows screaming vulgar things at me and the female sergeant told me not to look up and to just keep walking.  We went and retrieved my TA50 (field gear) and then she marched me back to my battery.  I was very scared my first few weeks there.

I have always felt thankful I was assigned to a battery with a good battery commander and an outstanding first sergeant.  My first sergeant (in the Army he’s called Top) was a Special Forces Vietnam vet, who taught me how to be a soldier.  The first time I met him, I was standing in front of his desk and he asked me where I was from and he looked me up and down and said, “Young lady, you don’t belong here!”  He was at a loss with how to deal with women, but he assigned us tasks, just like the men, and one thing I learned very quickly with him was if you worked hard and did what you were supposed to, he made sure to praise your efforts.  After several months there, some commander decided they should have a female M60 gunner to impress the NATO evaluators who observed many of our field training exercises.  Top picked me to be a machine gunner.  And the morning he told me that  I was going to become a machine gunner, this cocky infantry sergeant (Mr Hotshot 82nd paratrooper) said, “Top, girls can’t be machine gunners!”  Top told him, “Sergeant, you’re going to train her!”  So, I became a machine gunner and that sergeant took me to the range and as many times as I said, “I can’t do this” and I told him, “I’m scared of guns!”  He told me, “the mind controls the body, the body does not control the mind!”  Well, I learned.  Top made sure I learned a lot of other stuff when we went to the field too and to this day, I rank him as one of a handful of men whom I respect the most.  That cocky sergeant later became my husband.

Now, what kind of stuff happens when you’ve got so few young women and so many men – lots of drama and the men would make comments about why most of these women were pregnant and the rest were lesbians, totally oblivious to their roles in events.  Here’s another thing that seems to be part of the male mindset – they divide women into categories and treat them accordingly.  I behaved like a lady and was treated respectfully.  Once a few men determined I was a “nice little country girl”,  they insured other men treated me respectfully.  Men do some sort of internal policing from what I observed.  A typical occurrence would be some man would say something vulgar to me and other men would jump in and tell him that he couldn’t talk to me like that.  I quickly had many men “protecting” me and I felt safe almost anywhere on post.   I observed that many young women arrived there and went to the club and got into bad situations quickly, because men perceived them to be sluts.  Men really do divide women into groups.   One friend of mine was a young woman, who arrived at the same time I did, and she got involved in a few abusive relationships with men and after several months, she joined what I referred to as the “lesbian alliance” – it sure seemed more like a safe sex group from my viewpoint than it seemed to be about some heartfelt “sexual orientation”.  I asked this young woman why she decided to become a lesbian and she told me about her bad experiences with men and how this was safe sex and she didn’t have to worry about being beat up.

Army experiences can vary even in the same battalion and the biggest difference is in the quality of your chain of command.  I felt very fortunate to be in a battery with good order and discipline.  The friend mentioned in the previous paragraph ended up in a battery where there seemed to be little order or discipline and we had a couple of batteries like that in our battalion – in fact, I dreaded even walking into those batteries in broad daylight and going to the orderly room for official  business.  I sure wouldn’t have walked in there after duty hours.  I had another female friend who lived in a battery where the standards weren’t like in my battery.  Top had the female soldiers on the first floor with a female CQ at our end of the hallway and there was a male CQ down by the orderly room.  I felt safe in my room.  Now, this female friend, her first sergeant stuck the women on the top floor with only an unlocked door and a female CQ sitting there.  I walked up to her room only one time by myself and after that I always had a male friend with me.  You don’t ever want to get cornered on a stairwell.   My female friend who lived there was barely 5 feet tall and I bet she didn’t even weigh 100 lbs and she had to walk up that stairwell several times a day and sleep knowing only one female soldier was guarding her from a battery of men (many who used drugs and got drunk frequently).  As an aside, most of the females I met were from blue-collar or below backgrounds.  They weren’t the Hillary Clinton “experts” on women’s issues, but their very personal safety was impacted by these feminist harpies, who continue to push their idiotic feminist agenda on the military.

We had an old school battalion commander and since my public affairs job had me in close contact with the command group, I got to know the entire command group well.  My battalion commander took me along with him for many German/American events and he treated his driver and me fantastic.  He spoke fluent German,  could explain German history as well as he could military history and I loved listening to him explain things.  I had a battalion executive officer, who was a whiz at explaining how Pershing missiles actually worked and he could explain our entire nuclear posture in simple terms, where it all made sense.  I liked talking to him too.  My battalion commander nicknamed me, Fräulein Wunderbar, and he hadn’t quite grasped the female soldier thing.  He always stood up when I walked in his office and one time he had some young officers in there and he told them, “you stand up when a lady enters the room!”.  He made one of them give me his seat.  One time I had to travel with him to a Combat Alert Site, where the firing battery had been there a long time.  He had his driver stop at a nearby village and he bought us dinner in a nice German guesthouse.  When we were ready to leave he handed me over to a German lady and he told me that I was staying in this German guesthouse for the night and he would have his driver pick me up in the morning.  I told him I would be fine at the CAS site and he said, “I wouldn’t dream of having you stay there, those men have been out there for 3 months!”  He treated me like he would treat his daughter.  However, the gap in this is each of those firing batteries had a handful or so of female soldiers, so one can only imagine how they fared.  I can say that I never saw any female soldiers who were physically strong enough to be a Pershing missile crewman, but the Army had them.

I learned to handle a machine gun, but was I strong enough, if I had to pick up that machine gun and move quickly with it – hell, no!.  Yet, I could max the female PT test.  Therein lies the main rub with all this integration hoopla – the feminist harpies in political circles want women in every job in the military, yet they possess not a lick of understanding about these jobs or about unit cohesion, or about how we fight or how to win wars.  All they care about is their lame feminist agenda and waxing on about smashing glass ceilings.  There are females in the military like this too – totally centered on being the “first female” this or that – with no regard for the big picture – how their feminist agenda affects the whole team.  No one ever speaks honestly about the problems of women serving in positions where there are two different sets of physical standards for the same job, yet everyone has to pretend there aren’t.  No male commander can mention how pregnancy in actual deployments creates a gap in mission performance, nor can he impose any sensible policies for fear of the feminist harpies who monitor women in the military issues.  (ABC news story of one such attempt)

When we went on field training exercises, I spent many hours being a perimeter guard and I slept in a two-man tent with my machine gun partner, who luckily for me was a young man whom I could trust and who never said a single inappropriate comment to me.   So, when he was sleeping, I was on guard duty and the thing these feminist harpies fail to realize is their idiotic decisions could cause someone’s death in real war.  When we went to the field they used the few infantry soldiers we had to play the opposing force.  One young infantry sergeant would toss a stone near my guard position at night and whisper my name (he always approached from in front of my position).  He would come sit a few minutes and talk, then he’d head back to be the opposing force.  Now, that cocky 82nd sergeant, he’d approach my guard position from behind me, which meant he already had breached our perimeter.  He would often whisper my name in the dark too and then he would come over and he always checked that machine gun first to make sure I had it set up properly, then he asked me if I remembered this and that and after that he would sit a few minutes and talk.  He would then say, “Okay, back to fighting the war.” and he’d head back into the dark.    I always heard the young infantry sergeant long before he tossed a stone, but that 82nd sergeant, well most of the time I didn’t hear him until he whispered my name and by then he was close enough to take me out.  I would sit there in the dark after he left, telling myself, “I jeopardized our mission again!”  And I would try harder, but I thought about if we were at war against the Soviets – any Soviet infantryman could have killed me in a  heartbeat if it came to one on one fighting and I would think about my partner sleeping a few feet away and his life would have been at risk too.  I always knew that no matter how much I trained, the physical advantage was on the man’s side.  Smart armies should want the strongest men to be infantry soldiers – they best fit the mission.

The answer to the sexual assault and rape problems isn’t to get Congress involved or to have more sensitivity training.  The solution is to train better leaders in the ranks – we need to get back to basics and away from all this politicized claptrap and turning the military into a political correctness experiment.  Back to good order and discipline, back to treating soldiers fairly and consistently, back to focusing on setting high standards.  And most of all we need to decide all missions based on what best fits the mission ( in some cases that will mean men perform those missions) !

And here’s the truth about women and men, we need to get back to teaching them to be ladies and gentlemen, especially in the officer ranks.  Teaching respect at every level in the military will set the standard, so that every soldier will have confidence in the chain of command again.

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Filed under Civility, General Interest, Military, Politics

Having your cake and eating it too

The U.S. Marine Corps is now under fire for a sex scandal.

At the center of this scandal is a facebook group called Marines United, with 30,000 followers.  Marshall Chiles, a former Marine, spoke out about the good things the group does.  From The Daily Beast:

““Marines United is a group of males coming together who can understand each other. The purpose of the group is to create camaraderie, creating that same feeling that we had when we were all in the military,” he said.”

And:

“Marines United was created with the intention to fill a void in the wake of the multiple scandals, long wait times and claims for compensation that took years to approve by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Chiles said. Additionally, the private Facebook chat room was there to assist struggling veterans and active-duty members who were having thoughts of suicide or just simply struggling with their day-to-day lives. 

“Taking out the negative that is overshadowing Marines United right now, there were a lot of positives that came out of the group. You had Go Fund Me pages set up for funerals or just helping out a veteran or service member or a food drive because the VA is not accessible and some veterans have to drive over a hundred miles just to get to a VA hospital,” Chiles said.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/16/marines-united-spokesman-nude-photo-scandal-shows-why-women-shouldn-t-serve.html

On March 6, 2017, CNN reported:

“The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has opened an investigation into the online posting of potentially hundreds of explicit photos of current and former female Marines and other service members, CNN has confirmed.

A private Facebook group called “Marines United” contained a link to a Google Drive folder, where the photos were being stored, a US defense official told CNN. Members on the site solicited others to submit photos of women without their knowledge. The cloud storage folder has been removed at the request of the military, the official said. It was not clear to the Defense Department how many current and former Marines may be involved in potential wrongdoing. A former Marine originally brought the matter to the attention of the Marine Corps last month.”
U.S. senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who touts herself as a champion of women in the U.S. military, lashed out at Marine Corps, commandant, General Robert Neller:

“New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called Neller’s testimony unsatisfactory and called into question actions that have been taken to hold Marines accountable for reports of cyber harassment that date back years.

“I don’t have a good answer for you,” Neller said. “I’m not going to sit here and duck around this thing. I’m not. I’m responsible. I’m the commandant. I own this. And we are going to have to, and I know you’ve heard it before, but we’re going to have to change how we see ourselves and how we do, how we treat each other

Neller addressed subculture that enabled the sexual harassment and exploitation of female Marine. “We all have to commit to getting rid of this perversion of our culture,” he said. “We will take action to remove this stain on our Marine Corps.””

Alas, the Marine Corps leadership faces political pressure by politicians, like Gillibrand, feminist activists (many of them ensconced in the Defense Department civilian positions) and many hard-core feminist service members (most of them in the officer ranks, who view everything through their own career advancement).  What always takes a back seat to feminist objectives, pushed by these feminist “equal opportunity” zealots, is making decisions based on the best war-fighting capabilities.

Modern feminism is a total con game.  It’s a belief system that belies human nature and the real world of male and female interactions.

Modern feminism requires you to set aside all the things you know from experience and pretend that males and females are interchangeable parts in every field of work.

A few weeks back I wrote a “book report”  blog post on Charles Eric Maine’s 1958 dystopian novel, World Without Men, which centered on our world, 5,000 years into the future, that evolved into only female babies being born.  He grounded this idea on birth control creating artificial sterility in women (this was written before The Pill) and over time nature started overcompensating,  by producing more and more females.   Eventually, the situation reached crisis point with so few males being born, that scientists were feverishly working to maintain calm and to figure out ways to keep babies being born.  Eventually, males stopped being produced, but scientists were able to artificially inseminate women, who kept producing all females.  He used the demographic statistic about how after major wars, where many young men die, a larger number of boys are born, to build this plot device around.

Of course, his nightmare scenario hasn’t happened, but many countries, where abortion and birth control drastically reduced family size, a different demographic crisis is taking place.  Many countries don’t have a birth rate to sustain their countries.  In Maine’ novel, a lie is perpetuated to convince women that men became obsolete.   Without men, there are no more wars and  “peace” is maintained… rigid conformity to rules, rigid indoctrination and international committees, that use computer intelligence to help make the “best” decisions to maintain stability.  In this world, women are sent to centers to have babies, when the government informs them it’s their duty to reproduce.  Family structure has been eradicated in this world and mothers do not ever see or hold their children, with government-run centers rearing all children, to be good citizens.  In this all woman world, euthanasia has become a government function too, where  the Department of Mortic Revenue controls who dies and when they die.

In that book report, I wrote:

“The feminist revolution spawned not just a battle for women to have equal access to jobs and equal pay for equal work, but an endless war against the patriarchal system (code for western civilization) and at its core a hatred and complete disdain for men and all things that are traditionally considered masculine, manly, or male attributes, beyond mere differences in genitalia.

I reject feminism, because it’s not just some benign battle for “fairness” in the workplace or expanding opportunities for women, it’s about tearing down the entire framework of western civilization.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2017/02/27/an-extreme-feminist-utopia/

I served a short time in the U.S. Army and integration of women in the military has gone through endless cycles of programs to find ways to integrate women into more career fields in the military.  The military has also had to cope with endless problems with sex scandals, pregnancy when servicewomen are deployed, single-parent issues and other social problems with having young males and females living and working in close confines for extended periods of time.

Feminist activists, who promote women in combat, as the last barrier to “equal opportunity” in the military,  don’t place  war-fighting capability as the number one concern in all military operations.  For them, it’s always about feminism first.  Many female service members serve honorably and with great distinction, so my point is not to diminish their contributions.  My point is that policy decisions should  be set with the priority being whatever promotes the best war fighting force PERIOD.  If females aren’t as strong as men and there are grueling brute force jobs (like combat jobs), then they should remain all-male units.  There are enough studies that pinpoint where the female anatomy falls short in these skill sets, so why pretend males and females are interchangeable?

With this latest Marine Corps scandal, the news reports mention female Marines having their photos and sex videos put online by old boyfriends, something referred to as revenge porn, by male Marines (mostly former Marines), who are all part of an online social media group.  It must be stated that this entire sexting culture is repulsive and detrimental to young people, especially young women, but this too is an off-shoot of the modern feminist movement, where female liberation involved sexual liberation, and  demolishing the sanctity of marriage.

Here are some things I believe,  from being a female in the military.  I believe most men in the military believe women in the military are sluts or lesbians.   I experienced male soldiers, whom I did not even know, coming up to me and saying sexually provocative things.   I noticed that due to the extreme numerical imbalance of so many men and so few females, that you could have been the ugliest girl in America and in that environment, many men would still be hitting on you.  I noticed that many girls became more sexually promiscuous in that environment than they probably would have at home.  I noticed that male soldiers often talked very disparagingly about all the pregnant female soldiers, yet none of those female soldiers became pregnant by immaculate conception.  I told men who said inappropriate things to me that I am a lady and don’t appreciate being talked to like that.  By conducting myself like a lady, most men treated me respectfully and they even told other soldiers to watch their language around  me.  All this I observed over 30 years ago and yet the same problems persist in the military.

The sexual culture among young people today is way more promiscuous, casual, and without social stigmas and societal norms to rein in the excesses.   In this brave new world, young women making sex videos and sexting are “normal” behavior.   The language in America has coarsened a great deal in the past 50 years.  Cultural norms no longer exist as guideposts to civil discourse and behavior, in the civilian world.

So, here we are with the U.S. military in the midst of more social engineering, thanks to President Obama and the mainstream media and liberal pundits cheer.  The feminist activists cheer too.

From this amoral American culture,  young men and women volunteer to serve in uniform.  They bring all their social mores (or lack thereof) with them.  Many of our best leaders have left the military, discouraged and disillusioned with President Obama’s military transformation.  We have serious readiness problems, we have serious leadership problems.

Commanders always get beat up about why they haven’t fixed all these recurring male/female problems in the military or why men would treat fellow female service members like this.  Well, because everyone has to pretend that all the young men and women in the military are “professionals” and interchangeable parts.  Everyone has to pretend that men and women don’t consider some female behaviors (like making porn videos) sluttish or that some male conduct is that of a cad ( like posting nude photos and videos of an old girlfriend online without her knowledge or consent).  Those beliefs about sexual conduct and decorum were supposed to be vanquished by the sexual revolution… but they weren’t.

Commanders can’t speak honestly about the integration problems that crop up, because to call bullshit to the feminist crap is career suicide..

The real joke is that what the feminist harpies, like Gillibrand, demand is they want males in the military to behave like gentlemen and uphold chivalrous conduct… which modern feminism killed…

They want to have their cake and eat it too and the cherry on top for a snide feminist, “champion of women in the military”, like Gillibrand, is to grand-stand, berating a Marine Corps general, who has no choice but to sit there and take it like a, ummm, gentleman

Stay tuned… more to come on “modern feminism” in future posts

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Info War… Russian-style

Blogging about the current  American political information war, just like the endless spin cycle, replete with scorched earth character assassinations, is repetitive, predictable and disheartening.  While the mainstream media and Dems hurl accusations against President Trump’s wild tweets, that allege President Obama abused his powers and wiretapped Trump Tower, the Russians launched a nuclear information war strike yesterday.

Do the mainstream media and entrenched partisans realize the scope of the Russian comprehensive strategy to destroy America’s credibility as a world leader?  I doubt it.  The media would rather fixate on Trump and aiding the Left in delegitimizing his presidency.  Trump assists them in their efforts with his own self-absorbed, Reality TV presidency, replete with endless dramatic Twitter attacks on the media.

Several blogs, which appear to be Russian front operations, allege the CIA has used vast hacking tools to orchestrate hack attacks that look like they’re from other countries.  Wikileaks released more documents on this:

“A vast portion of the CIA’s computer hacking arsenal appeared to have been exposed Tuesday by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, which posted thousands of files revealing secret cyber-tools used by the agency to convert cellphones, televisions and other ordinary devices into implements of espionage.

The trove appeared to lay bare the design and capabilities of some of the U.S. intelligence community’s most closely guarded cyberweapons, a breach that is likely to cause immediate damage to the CIA’s efforts to gather intelligence overseas and place new strain on the U.S. government’s relationship with Silicon Valley giants including Apple and Google.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/wikileaks-says-it-has-obtained-trove-of-cia-hacking-tools/2017/03/07/c8c50c5c-0345-11e7-b1e9-a05d3c21f7cf_story.html?utm_term=.80ae1cd53198

The Russians wasted no time parlaying Trump’s latest unproven Twitter attack against the FBI and US intel agencies, as being corrupt tools used in cheap partisan political dirty tricks by President Obama, into potent disinformation dumps meant to fuel Americans’ distrust of their own government.  The Russian disinformation effort also niftily used Trump’s reckless charges as the basis for their huge stink bomb, meant to steer foreign governments away from trusting the United States.  This attack also follows a long Russian disinformation theme of casting US intelligence agencies as immoral and international pariahs in the world.  Of course, it also deflects attention away from the Russians ruthless disinformation and intelligence operations.

American credibility took another hit, thanks to Trump’s myopic focus on himself and his image.  Trump lashed out at the media and scored some cheap partisan points.  The Dems and media feigned outrage, but they’re backpedaling away from their assertions of FBI wiretaps on Trump associates and transcripts of phone calls between Trump associates and the Russians, as fast as they can.   While Trump, the Dems and the media wage Twitter attacks and counter-attacks on the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency and Russian influence, the Russians have used this latest partisan scorched earth media circus diversion, as cover for  a global disinformation nuclear strike.

American intelligence officials were supposedly caught totally unaware by this Wikileaks hit

Americans needs an investigation into the entire corrupt 2016 election scorched earth debacle to restore confidence in the American electoral system, but who do Americans trust at this point?  Kevin D. Williamson wrote about that: The Problem with Investigating Trump.

The Obama administration escaped serious mainstream media scrutiny on their corruption of executive branch institutions.  Every Obama administration scandal ended up portrayed as Faux News or a partisan, racist witch hunt, so don’t expect any mainstream media honesty in reporting.  The media which reports every tantalizing bit of  Trump dirt they come across… without serious fact-checking…. is running away from Trump’s wiretapping charge.  Andrew McCarthy at National Review and Law Newz have covered that angle:

Yes, There Could Be Serious Legal Problems if Obama Admin Involved in Illegal Surveillance

While You Weren’t Looking, the Democrat–Media Election-Hacking Narrative Just Collapsed

Take note that Trump has not responded forcefully to continued Russian and Iranian interference with US ships and planes in international territory.   He can rage and bluster on Twitter about unfair reports in the media, but he hasn’t done anything to allow American forces to respond forcefully to Russian and Iranian provocations.

Sure, investigate Trump campaign connections to Russia, investigate Clinton pay-to-play and Congressional Dems Pakistani IT people, expose the details of Weiner’s laptop with over 600,000 emails, BUT never lose sight of the fact that while America play checkers, the Russian are still at their long-game, big picture chess game to destroy  Americans’ trust in American civic institutions and government AND to usurp America’s leadership role on the world.

The Russians aren’t trying “to help” Trump, no matter how much Hillary and her minions say that.

The Russians want to DESTROY America… FIRST.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, Foreign Policy, General Interest, Military, Politics, Public Corruption, Uncategorized

Speech by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster

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Filed under American Character, General Interest, Military, Politics