Book of the Month

War in Context

Two headline articles today that are worth reading. Military officers taught that mass slaughter will be necessary.

Buildup for coming oil war.


Read the full article at

Well, regarding the mass slaughter, it is interesting that once the content of the course came to light, the course was canceled.  Moreover,

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday ordered the entire U.S. military to scour its training material to ensure it doesn’t contain anti-Islamic content, Danger Room has learned. The order came after the Pentagon suspended a course for senior officers that was found to contain derogatory material about Islam.

The extraordinary order by General Martin Dempsey, the highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. armed forces, was prompted by content in a course titled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” that was presented as an elective at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. The course instructed captains, commanders, lieutenant colonels and colonels from across all four armed services that “Islam had already declared war on the West,” said Lt. Gen. George Flynn, Dempsey’s deputy for training and education.

“It was inflammatory,” Flynn told Danger Room on Tuesday. “We said, ‘Wait a second, that’s really not what we’re talking about.’ That is not how we view this problem or the challenges we have in the world today.”

Flynn disclosed that since an unspecified “revision” of the course in the summer of 2011, multiple officers who attended the course had raised internal objections about its presentation of Islam and Muslims. He estimated that about 20 officers attend each eight-week elective course, which is offered four times a year.

Flynn said he heard about the objectionable material on Friday after a colonel enrolled in the course complained about the anti-Islam lessons. “We looked at it and we found the material to be objectionable and we started digging into it to see, how did the course get this way?” Flynn said.

Here is some encouraging information on the cancelation of the class.

Whoops! Hadn't noticed that Trope had already posted much the same information.

But the officer who delivered the lectures, Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, still maintains his position at the Norfolk, Virginia college, pending an investigation.

And I see nothing to suggest the commandant of the school, Maj. Gen. Joseph Ward, has been stripped of rank and cashiered. Anyone who thinks this is an isolated case of a single "bad apple" instructor is deluding themselves. I have been reading for years about the infiltration of U.S. military training facilities by hard-core Christianists and other crazies. The air force being the worst example. An enormous nuclear arsenal is safeguarded by young men trained by these nutcases. When I think about it, I worry.

 I agree.

I worry, too. Which is why it is a good thing that all the materials have ordered to be scoured for similar sentiments.  And such an order came down from above because I am sure they are all well aware that it isn't just one bad apple.  Of course, one cannot discharge someone for just being a hard-core Christian.  Since it is an all-volunteer military, it becomes easier for those with such view points to dominate certain circles.  The only solution would be implement mandatory service for everyone, so the military would be more reflective of the society at large, and there would be more people willing to blow the whistle on the fanatics.  Doubt that idea would go over too well.

Like I suggested, the actual texts and materials involved are incidental to the problem. It is the superior officers in charge of the training. In dealing with this problem, the U.S. military behaves much like the Catholic church handles pedophile priests: cover up the incidents where possible, quietly conduct internal investigations, and take action or a public stand only when whistles have been blown. It appears 80 people went through this guy's course before enough "multiple complaints" accumulated to shut it down. Yet you take solace from the fact it's being denounced at the highest level.

It's a deeply ingrained problem of the U.S. military culture. Heads need to roll before other military academy brass get the message that this bullshit must stop. C'mon. This guy suggests to impressionable troops that Obama is a Muslim, tells them the United States is in a war to the death with Islam, and he gets to stay on staff "pending an investigation?" Are you kidding me? By their virtual inaction, military leadership is complicit in fostering these seditious ideas.

I wouldn't go as far as saying I take solace in it.  But it is part of the story.   To ignore it might lead one to conclude someone such as yourself just want to paint anyone in the military as some form of a whack job, that they're all in on it.  

Moreover, the fact he is still on staff pending an investigation is pretty much par for the course for any bureaucracy.

From our vantage point he is guilty, but I don't think you are recommending that any organization can just "fire" someone on the basis on an allegation from another party - or are you?  Or does is it just fine when the accused is a hardcore Christian?

You may also know as a fact the outcome of the investigation as to how this was allowed to occur and continue without being caught.  I don't.  I also believe there are those within that bureaucracy that have some ethics and integrity.  They may win out in this particular case.

Of course, there are officers with "some ethics and integrity" and "they may win out in this particular case." What I'm arguing is that the problem is systemic, the Joint Chiefs know it, and they are afraid to turn the rock over completely.

Since 2005, there have been major investigations at the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy and West Point. Any one of them should have led to the order that's just been issued to root out this bullshit. Yet it has continued. Nevertheless ...

Lt. Gen. George Flynn, Dempsey’s deputy for training and education ... said he heard about the objectionable material on Friday after a colonel enrolled in the course complained about the anti-Islam lessons.

As Dempsey's deputy, I see Flynn as the guy in charge of training and education for the whole bloody military. It's his job not only to know but to direct what's being taught. No f---ing excuse for this kind of dereliction.

Because there are real-life, real-death consequences. I think of the Wikileaks clip in which ill-trained kids at video consoles "light up" a party of innocent journalists in Iraq, or a stressed-out officer in Afghanistan strolls into a nearby town and murders a couple of random families, or a William Calley selects a Vietnam village to make an example of, and his men dutifully slaughter dozens of men, women and children. (Yeah, my memory is that long.)

I admittedly have a bias against warmongers and their enablers. Your country has a rogue military, Trope, and those who stick their heads in the sand about that reality deserve a big share of the guilt.

More news on this subject with slides from the course.

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