Following Orders

The career field in which I served for twenty years was a small one, and one with some inherent peculiarities, one of which was possession at radio detachments of a library of pop music intended for broadcast on AFRTS channels. One of those things which was instilled in broadcast field recruits early on in our training was that no one of any higher rank (or degree of inebriation, often the case) was permitted to remove recordings from our library for personal amusement. Many were the tales of duty E-2s or E-3s refusing such orders from senior officers, who were operating under the (often alcohol-inspired) delusion that the AFRS library operated on the same basis as the local base library. This often happened late at night when the most junior staffers were on duty. That was an order that we had to and would refuse, no matter the rank, and degree of inebriation of the commander demanding it. In that, we could count on the complete backing of our broadcast command, especially when they were informed of it, sometime the following morning. No one, not even (according to some legends, the base or wing commander) was allowed access to the AFRTS library, much less to remove elements of it from the custody of the AFRTS outlet, even if that only custodian was a lowly first-hitch enlisted.

The end result, especially in my own case, was the awareness that one could and did have a clear duty and obligation to refuse certain direct orders from a senior ranking officer, and often that it was best to do so, with varying degrees of tact as the occasion called for it. That there was such a thing as an illegitimate order – and how to cope with such a scenario was one that I gave some thought to, over and above the AFRTS library situation. It’s a species of Gretchen-frage: that is – where do you stand, what will you do, if you know that what you are being ordered to do is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrongedy-wrong. If a senior officer or NCO gives you the order to do something wrong, contrary to your moral principles, contrary to military doctrine and practice … and you are on the spot … what do you do? It’s a test of character and a deucedly slippery one; a lot depends on the circumstances, the order itself, the intent and purpose of the authority issuing that order, the determination of the person giving that order, the fragility of the situation itself. In my day, the example of doing the right thing under trying and tragic circumstances was that of helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson, who with his crew was given credit for stopping the My Lai massacre cold.

What can you do, if given an order you believe to be illegitimate? Outside of a combat situation, like the one in which WO Thompson found himself, there is one option – a demand that the officer issuing such an order put it in writing. About the only other defense is a long-term, career project; that of being such a by-the-book, ethical straight-arrow that no superior would even dream of ordering you to do something suspect, skeevy, illegitimate and morally-suspect.

The last and final nuclear option upon being given an order which one believes to be illegitimate was to resign the officer commission on the spot, rather than obey it. Or even as one of my favorite military Vietnam era cartoonists had it: “I don’t suppose as a non-commissioned officer, I can resign my non-commission!?”

The debacle in Afghanistan is so complete, so total – that I honestly can’t believe that the abandonment of Bagram AFB, the withdrawal from Kabul – is due to incompetence. Sorry, the military that I knew and remember just did not swing that way. Orders to destroy or remove essential gear, orders to set up a system to evacuate American, Allied and Afghan employees – should have been given, should have been given weeks or months ago. Anyone of any degree of authority ought to have seen the hazards in the road to an orderly, efficient, and complete withdrawal – and so the logical mind has to fall back upon calculated malice. Which is it, people? Did the Biden administration calculate to give in to the Taliban for purposes of their own, and at the bidding of whoever has bought them? And why have not any of the military officers involved not resigned their commissions over receiving orders to kark up the withdrawal from Afghanistan? Have they all been bought and paid for with comfortable sinecures at various corporate and media establishments? Discuss as you wish and can bear it.

104 thoughts on “Following Orders”

  1. The guys who were academic drops from my Battle Staff NCO Course produced better operations plans than I’ve seen demonstrated in action here with Afghanistan.

    We’re going to hear from the guys who were there what happened, but my bet is that the reality is that the services have just degraded that much, and when coupled with the mendacity in the higher ranks, everyone just went with it.

    When I heard about Bagram, I was initially dismissive, thinking that the reports had to be wrong. Nobody could possibly be that stupid, but then again… Yeah. We did just see Kamala Harris lay a wreath at the monument to John McCain’s capture, which shows a man with eyes downcast and hands upraised in surrender, so… Maybe they really are that stupid?

    Doesn’t say much for us, that we put these people into power. Frankly, if there was ever a moment for an impeachment, this is it.

  2. On the other hand… Maybe Afghanistan is cover for what they’re doing in Congress right now?

    It’s interesting and telling to watch the priorities. If this had been happening under Trump, you better believe we’d be seeing nonstop Congressional hearings on everything. With Biden running the show? We’re using the ongoing disaster as cover to loot the treasury.

    Weimar will be an optimistic outcome, I suspect.

  3. The military has and maintains contingency plans for literally everything. How to bug out if ordered is one of the basic plans in any command/location. That there was such a cluster-copulation has to have intent. I have a feeling that we are seeing either the end of the republic and the Constitution, or the beginning of a life and death fight for it. Which way to Meriam’s Corner?

    Subotai Bahadur

  4. Perhaps it has always been thus. The difference now is we are noticing that those who claim to lead us have different priorities from us peons.

    Sean McMeekin’s excellent book “Stalin’s War” can make the blood boil at FDR, and his apparent war aim to make the world safe for Communism. Following Pearl Harbor, FDR effectively gave Stalin a blank check for Lease-Lend materiel support — even to the extent of short-changing the US military fighting Japan. In a rational world, that generosity should have given the US a certain amount of leverage over Stalin (or at least some respect as a co-belligerent). Then one comes to this passage (p. 438):

    “[Stalin] had all five crew members of a B-25 bomber that had participated in the famous Doolittle Raid over Tokyo on April 18, 1942, arrested and interned for an entire year. (Running low on fuel and unable to reach China, the plane had crashed-landed on Soviet soil outside Vladivostok). Several of the American prisoners, deprived of vitamins by Soviet camp guards, contracted scurvy and pellagra. Far from being released — it was Stalin’s position that, having violated Soviet territory, the American airmen were prisoners of war — in April 1943 the suffering American prisoners escaped confinement and bribed their way across the Soviet border into Iran.”

    FDR and his clique apparently thought that sucking up to Stalin was more important than having the backs of American heroes. And, to be fair, no US military officer at the time resigned his commission in protest — which brings us back to today. Maybe those of us who hang out in these parts delude ourselves with excessively high expectations.

  5. If poor enlisted slobs could disobey stupid orders from their officers then they’d never do anything, haha.

  6. The problem is that disobeying a stupid order lands you in the stockade/brig. Disobeying/disregarding an illegal order lands the officer in the brig/stockade. All to be decided at leisure and at great length in the future. And the list of illegal orders is pretty short.

    IANL but I’d bet the orders to bug out of Bagram fall under stupid. All the responsibility for accommodating allies and such is, as the saying goes, at a much higher pay grade than anyone actually on the ground in country. I’m not sure just who should be avoiding bus stops as things unravel, but that’s the next step in the process.

  7. The fail in Afghanistan is so complete, that I am honestly wondering if it was deliberately engineered to fall out this way. I am wondering if orders were given to deliberately leave behind gear, supplies and records, and to not carry through any evacuation plans for civilians and those Afghanis who had worked for us.

  8. @Sgt. Mom,

    I honestly can’t wrap my head around any of this. Deliberate? To what eventual end, with what motive…? Distraction for the bills in Congress? Revenge on Trump?

    No, I think this is just like WWI; it’s a multi-factor, multi-layer crevasse of incompetence, venality, and utter stupidity that we’ve fallen into. This isn’t deliberate planning, it’s deliberate failure to plan and then chaos taking over. I can’t see the staff folks going along with this as some deliberate action plan without it going public.

    That doesn’t mean that there’s nobody “making it happen”, though–Parties all the way to the top know damn well and good what happens with these things if there isn’t realistic planning and supervision going on. They withheld that, gave orders that they had to know would result in chaos, and let it happen.

    So… Deliberate in the sense that someone chose to chop off the rope Afghanistan was holding on by? Yes. Deliberate as in planning how the whole thing went down? I don’t see that…

    Kinda reminds me of the chaos surrounding the German withdrawal from East Prussia during WWII, TBH. And, that’s a horrible realization to have. I won’t be surprised when/if there’s a Wilhelm Gustloff-scale event along the way.

    This is honestly one of my nightmare scenarios, as a soldier: Stuck in the middle of Asia, no way out, hostile territory all around… And, my government has cut the limb off from underneath me. I think of the poor bastards on the ground over there right now, and since they’re all guys who came up behind me? I feel as though I failed them, even though I know damn good and well on an intellectual basis that someone else is actually to blame.

    I really thought I understood the Vietnam generation and what they went through as soldiers, watching Saigon fall. I now understand that I truly did not. The feeling of simultaneous helplessness and rage that I cannot direct at anyone in particular?

    It’s going to be a long, long time before I can look at anyone professing to be a Democrat without utter contempt. I am really going to have to work on not letting that slide into hatred…

  9. Kirk: Like I’ve said before, the concept is that the supergeniuses in DC sat down and figured the Taliban would win a bloody civil war that could take a year or two and kill tens of thousands of people, perhaps more. So said supergeniuses sat down with the Afghan government and Taliban and said, how can we make a deal to prevent that? And what they came up with is that we would leave a bunch of stuff there for them, give them tons of cash, let some of the current government flee and some stay (Karzai, etc.) to be a part of the coalition government, and there would be no open fighting between us and the Taliban as we finish our withdrawal by Aug 31, and this would avoid a massive and horrific civil war.
    It’s mind-bogglingly stupid, but we still have a hard time believing how incompetent our leaders are, so people tend to think there must be a plan of some sort, it’s a bit more reassuring.

  10. @Brian,

    I’m with you on most of that. I think the whole thing is down to stupidity and incompetence on a stellar scale.

    Not the least on the part of the American electorate. With what’s going on in Congress right now, we all ought to be marching on DC with torches and pitchforks, but nobody cares enough to even pay attention.

    Remember what a scandal it was, when Reagan “let” the National Deficit go over a trillion dollars, the first time? Weeks and weeks of weeping outrage in the media, accusations that he was selling our kids into slavery…

    Today, Nancy Pelosi is forcing through a spending bill for just under 4 trillion dollars (on the surface–It’s probably a lot more…), and nobody blinks. No headlines, no attention, no outrage.

    Frankly, the more of this that goes on? I’m really reaching a point where I just don’t care, anymore. The apathy is so deep you can’t even begin to penetrate through to make anyone notice or care–People just refuse to see the consequence of what’s coming.

  11. Hopefully, the spending bill and HR-4 will die in the Senate as too outrageous even for some Democrats.

    I agree on the onslaught of bad news being a prelude to apathy. Look at Oregon for an example.

  12. The elite are just this stupid. This includes most of the GO’s and the up and coming want to be’s.


  13. @Mike K,

    The hope that even the Senate Democrats won’t swallow those bills is a forlorn one. And, even if they do, it’ll come back again and again until it passes, just like the Patriot Act–Because, this is what they do.

    Of course, they can’t do math, but… Yeah.

    And, it’s not the bad news that’s creating apathy–It’s the inability for the average schmuck to do anything about. I spent hours on the phone telling my Congressional delegation that Obamacare was unacceptable; they all still voted for it. You can’t care about what you can’t influence, and even though most people seem to recognize that they’re victims of a suicide pact they didn’t sign up for with this stuff, they also can’t bring themselves to care because they don’t see any way of stopping the idiots running things from doing what they’re doing.

    To my way of thinking, once you hit something on the scale we have, it’s essentially unmanageable. People can identify and cope with the things they actually control, but all the rest of the crap that they’ve got about as much control over as the sun rising in the morning…? That’s environmental; you can’t see a way to fix it, and they just ignore its reality as a way to deal with their helplessness.

    And, the elites have very carefully been trying to train in helplessness since forever…

  14. I often used to wonder what it must have been like for an ordinary citizen of almost any country living through the 1930s? It was so obvious, even at the time, which way things were heading. And yet, those poor ordinary citizens could do nothing effective.

    Yes, American citizens could vote for FDR’s 3rd term, even though it broke Washington’s precedent, because FDR was promising to keep the US out of European wars — all while he was finagling in the background to make the world safe for Communism. Perhaps some of the people who voted for FDR knew he was lying through his teeth, while others believed him. What else could they do?

    Well, here we are! No need any longer to wonder about what it felt like to live in the 1930s.

  15. @ Gavin,

    It’s a lot like being in a car driven by a drunken driver who you can’t wrest the steering wheel away from…

    Thing is, and what pisses me off the most? I don’t remember ever saying “Yes” to getting into the car in the first damn place.

    One of these days, the human race will mature, and this sort of arrant idiocy won’t happen because we’re going to look at the Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi types and say “Nope. Not you, not ever, and here’s a nice ice floe to get on…”.

  16. And what they came up with is that we would leave a bunch of stuff there for them, give them tons of cash, let some of the current government flee and some stay (Karzai, etc.) to be a part of the coalition government, and there would be no open fighting between us and the Taliban as we finish our withdrawal by Aug 31, and this would avoid a massive and horrific civil war.

    They could have arranged all of that and arranged to get everyone out in an orderly manner, including those California high school students, Afghan translators, and various NATO personnel.

    They somehow didn’t do that. Incompetence? Conspiracy to do as much damage to the country as possible?

    At this point, I don’t think there’s much difference.

  17. “They somehow didn’t do that. Incompetence? Conspiracy to do as much damage to the country as possible?”

    Obama said it best about Joe Biden… “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up.”

    Of course, this from the man who picked him as his Vice President, which doesn’t say anything good about him, either. First-rate minds do not pick fifth-rate ones to work together with…

  18. @Kirk
    iirc one Chicagoboyz interpretation of Barry choosing Joe parallels that of a more current interpretation of Joe choosing Kamala. Life insurance.

  19. @Kirk re “get the jab” order
    Yes to both your observations. I think Sgt Mom’s earlier made point right, too. That order will purge the NCO/career ranks of the sorts of people we’d want there, ie, dedicated, long-term specialists.

    I agree with that latter even tho I’m very much opposed to an all-volunteer standing army. The existence of such makes war too cheap. And degrades patriots as mere mercenaries, too.

  20. Xennady: “They could have arranged all of that and arranged to get everyone out in an orderly manner, including those California high school students, Afghan translators, and various NATO personnel.”

    One interesting question is — Who Benefits from the Biden Debacle?

    Biden et al? They get full air cover from their tame media to help divert attention from their disaster, but this is definitely not a benefit for them.

    Russia? It certainly makes their retreat from Afghanistan look masterful. Definitely (and justifiably) feeds Russian pride. It is a small positive for them.

    China? Anything that makes the US leadership look like the fumbling fools they really are is a positive for China in its future dealings with other countries. Plus, making sure the US will be too embarrassed ever to come back to Afghanistan helps with the Belt & Road deal to exploit Afghan mineral deposits.

    EU? Come on, man!

    Republicans? They could not make a positive out of any event. They are the only group less competent than the Democrats.

    Bottom line, Biden’s Debacle stems from the arrogance & ignorance of the credentialed fools in the DC Swamp. But the disaster may have been given some helpful nudges by a couple of external actors.

  21. @Anonymous, assumed to be Death6,

    I don’t think this is a case of deliberate planning, in the sense that they want the military to self-destruct. The plans they’re making will have that result, but they don’t grasp that those plans will have that effect, either.

    This is a lot more like what destroyed the Roman Republican military structure, where the boni wanted the land that supported the yeoman class, and did everything they could to ensure that they could run that class into the ground and then buy up the land, in order to form slave-operated latifundia which they’d profit from. The notion that the legions relied on those yokel farmers simply never occurred to any of them, and I’m not even sure that they fully realized what they’d done through their greed after the fact, once the cities were filled with the landless descendants of those yeoman farmers…

    The problem we really have here is that none of the idiots we have in charge of anything really understand how the organizations and institutions that they’ve been put in charge of running actually work.

    There’s a really blind little self-own out there, made by a former field-grade officer now working as a part of the “military historical complex”:

    I watched that video with an incredible amount of “WTF?!??!!”. The utter lack of awareness demonstrated was mind-boggling–He raises this issue about what everyone else and their dog would term “unintended third-order effects”, and it’s like… Dude… Have you ever actually walked around any Army unit or base with your eyes open? Do you not grasp that reality is not formed based on your email or memorandums?

    After observing that, and the various responses from the audience, I suffered an acute epiphany: None of these people understand how their organization actually works–They live in the world of the diktat, where what they say creates reality. Diktat has influence, but only a relative amount, entirely dependent upon the ratio of what you could call “noise” to what that diktat represents.

    The current situation in Afghanistan has been wrought by men who manage by email, memorandums, and wishful thinking. They have never stepped outside their office with open eyes, and looked at the actual environment that they are casting their precious diktat into, nor have they ever assessed how those various and sundry diktats have worked out, in practice. They’ve never been faced with the fact of them not working, and so cannot conceive of a world where their diktat does not hold sway.

  22. The farrago of fail just keeps getting worse, Kirk.
    My daughter is gutted – eleven Marines and a Navy corpsman dead in a bombing at the gates.
    I wonder if the FICUS, Chlamydia Whorish and General Vanilli Milley will have the nerve to show up at Dover, to console the next of kin when the bodies of those servicemen are flown home. I wouldn’t put past them to think it would be just the perfect photo op…

  23. I missed the bombing until I got to Sgt. Mom’s comment, again, who could have predicted this? (irony)

    More along the lines of the original post. I can foresee things getting very interesting along about Monday night when it’s plain that there are still many to be left behind and those ordered to leave refuse. Maybe I’m being unrealistic, we’ll see.

  24. @Sgt. Mom,

    My condolences to you and the Daughter Unit. I’ve been reading your work long enough that I think of you guys as nakama I haven’t met, and I really wish I had words of comfort in these times of betrayal. I am rendered speechless by what I’m seeing, however, and about all I can communicate is that I feel what you both feel. My dead also litter the ground of Iraq and Afghanistan…

    I have a feeling I’m going to be drinking heavily for quite some considerable time. Alcoholism may well be in my future.

  25. Thanks, Kirk – I’m a little better armored against all of this, having seen it once before, and listened now and again to Vietnam vets get drunk and uncork about their experience – and I did work in 1975-6, helping to resettle Viet refugees, most of whom proved to be worthy of the effort, in spite of how they had been screwed by a Dem party reaction to the Viet-Commie offensive against South Vietnam.
    The Daughter Unit has friends who are still trying to deal with the shock of the collapse in Afghanistan, and the knowledge that it all was for basically nothing at all … tossed off so that the FICUS could make a nice speech on 9-11-2021, while our higher military echelons were pursuing the Great White Supremacism Whale.
    I don’t recommend drinking heavily, though. A good home or garden reno, in which you work yourself stupid is a good sub.

  26. Here’s another data point on the road to civil war…

    I watched that little twit-with-stripes, and it was sickening. She’s obviously looking forward to lording it over her fellow citizens, and killing them for not complying with her orders. At this point, I’m pretty sure we’re headed towards a South American-style military that’s sole purpose is civil repression. The fact that this little girl thinks that she’s a “soldier” and that she’s in the right to say these things, plus feels safe putting them out in public? While in uniform?

    Watch to see what happens to her. In my day, I’m pretty sure that someone doing this would have been subject to heavy UCMJ action, censure, and probably thrown out of the Army. What this creature is doing wearing NCO stripes, and who thought was a good idea to promote her deviant little ass to a leadership position…?

    That’s a sick, sick puppy right there. Fully consonant with the men who served in the German Einsatzgruppen. Who she will probably believe she’s fighting against, all the while doing precisely as they did, killing their own people.

    Democide, here we come.

  27. Miguel… That “Kirk” is not the one posting here. I’ve never even seen that blog, before.

    Although, I’ve got to admit… That sounds like something I’d say.

    If that was what you were asking, that is…

  28. The brass hopefully will realize that the answer isn’t to squash this guy, as the fact that even a single person was willing to do this indicates massive discontent in the ranks.

    In that twitter thread, he says he was fired, and won’t have anything more to say until he exits the Marine Corps.

    I take that to mean he intends to run for office, which I think is an appropriate action for him to take.

    His name, btw, is Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller.

  29. “In that twitter thread, he says he was fired, and won’t have anything more to say until he exits the Marine Corps.”

    Sadly, about what I expected. I also expect that that Army sergeant who so badly wants to kill American civilians will wind up promoted to senior ranks very quickly.

    It’s a marker for how badly the system functions that all of the officers and fellow NCOs I wanted to work for when they attained their senior ranks and unit commands were all guys whose careers ended in non-selection and/or retirement before attaining those positions, while all the guys I knew who made Courtney Massengale look like a military paragon wound up getting battalions and brigades…

    System’s broke, yo…

  30. Well, They had to fire him, I suppose, but the fact is that everyone knows that They are a bunch of craven hypocritical scumbags.
    Hear that deafening silence? That’s the GOPe demanding hearings, accountability, impeachments, etc. This O5 has bigger brass ones that anyone in the Pentagon or on Capitol Hill. A complete purge is what’s needed, and it’s clear that They haven’t a clue what’s coming.

  31. Also, anyone heard a peep from “Mad Dog” Mattis? He got the vapors over the notion that unapproved troops in Syria might be withdrawn and had to quit, but not a peep about a dozen of his beloved Marines getting blown up in this complete fiasco.

  32. Same thing I was just wondering… After all, he and Milley were key to preventing Trump from withdrawing troops from both Afghanistan and Syria… So, what gives? I wonder why nobody is looking him up for interviews.

    Oh, wait… That’s right; American media.

  33. I can’t express how disappointed my daughter and I are in Mattis. The Daughter Unit thought the world of him, for being a true Marine, almost the last of the dedicated breed. And instead – he’s just another two-faced political general, pretending to be an eagle-globe-and-anchor Sam Damon.

  34. I had a really high opinion of him based on what I watched him do in Iraq. Then, he turned into an utterly disloyal shitweasel of a SecDef, and here we are.

    I have to wonder how the hell it is we have all these guys who project so well, like Powell used to, and then who turn out to be actual venal frauds? I mean… Damn.

    One bright light: That LTC Marine who just got fired. Dude did just what I expect of an officer in this situation, and paid the price like an utter mensch. His honor, at least, is intact.

    Everyone else’s? Not so much.

    I kinda fear we’re going back to the days after Vietnam where military service was an embarrassment you didn’t tell people about. God knows I’m not feeling as much pride-in-service as I used to, watching all this. I feel a lot like a Judas Goat, assisting the butchers get the cattle into the damn chute at the slaughter house.

    On the other hand, whenever this sort of subject came up, I pretty much laid it on the line for the troops: Don’t trust the bastards, and remember what they did to the Vietnam-era veterans. It was nice while it lasted, though… Wasn’t it?

  35. I also expect that that Army sergeant who so badly wants to kill American civilians will wind up promoted to senior ranks very quickly.

    This could happen. I admit that upfront. But predictions are hard, especially about the future. My guess is that Sgt. Karen has made herself famous and not in a good way. My prediction is that she’ll be invited to depart military service quickly, with a reward of some nice political sinecure where she will be required to keep her mouth shut about her murder fantasies.

    It won’t work, though. The blood is in the water, so to speak- and Donald Trump was only the first shark interested in taking a bite, although a megaloDon, ha ha. Get it?

    This Lt. Col. is another. My guess is that he’s politically ambitious, and not pleased with events. Nothing wrong there, in my view. But if he thought the political winds were such that the public was pleased, he’d have kept his mouth shut.

    He did not.

    The whole thing is coming down, and everything is on the table. U.S. Grant was a grocery clerk in 1860, then President a few short years later.

    This is The Fourth Turning in action, and I think everyone should read that book. If they did, it would make the upcoming upheavals much less surprising for them.

    But of course most people won’t, so everything will be a stunning surprise. Alas.

  36. @Xennady,

    Regardless of her fate, the mere existence of that so-called NCO is a signpost, a symptom of just how dysfunctional the system has become. She mouthed the words of her Oath of Enlistment, never comprehending what they meant, or the deeper meanings and obligations behind the actual words.

    I don’t expect everyone to fully grasp that stuff to that depth, but the way she so easily says what she says? That’s an indicator that there is a severe breakdown in the selection, assessment, training, and acculturation process, one that shows we’re creating monsters rather than citizen-soldiers who look out for their fellow citizens. She’s self-identified herself; how many others are there out there in the forces that share her thought patterns?

    That’s the sort of person you need to identify and eliminate from positions of responsibility, because it’s the same sort of mindset that produces Lieutenant Calley’s and units like the German WWII Reserve Police Battalion 101. And, we are clearly not doing it. Perhaps deliberately.

  37. Oh, this is evolving just swimmingly

    Over/under on how long until all the branches are doing this? A week? Days? Think you’ll see your pensions threatened, fellow retirees? I bet money that’s coming.

    Let me get out in front of this: Fuck Biden and the clown crew involved with this shitshow. If that means I’m gonna be living under a bridge, so be it. I’ve got one picked out, already…

  38. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller

    A forecast — in the future, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller will be as remembered & recognized in China as that guy who stood in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square is in the US. A brave man, doing the right thing, fully aware of the personal consequences.

    My guess is that the Chinese guy is almost unknown in China, officially forgotten, not mentioned in polite company. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller? Will he be remembered & honored in the US, or will we let the Powers That Be memory-hole him?

  39. Regardless of her fate, the mere existence of that so-called NCO is a signpost, a symptom of just how dysfunctional the system has become.

    It’s incandescently obvious that the system has become woefully dysfunctional, on myriads of levels. I can list many examples and so can you.

    That’s why the regime is now attempting to tell military retirees and others to keep quiet. Shut up, they explain.

    Do you think it will work? Will retired Colonel Kurt Schlichter drop his column and retreat into silence, for example?

    I don’t think so. That’s another aspect of The Fourth Turning– people eventually quit obeying the regime, noting the obvious failure.

    For what it’s worth, I also think the Afghanistan catastrophe has moved the timeline up a bit. You can’t fail this obviously and as thoroughly without consequences. And this is just too big for the media to bury on behalf on their masters.

    My guess is that the Chinese guy is almost unknown in China, officially forgotten, not mentioned in polite company.

    From everything I’ve ever read, the entire Tianmin Square event is almost unknown in China, because the totalitarian regime works very hard to keep it that way. Our own PTB are quite happy to help, because reasons that have nothing to do with the money flowing into their bank accounts, nothing at all.

  40. Oath of Enlistment
    I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

    One could wish for the sake of clarity and brevity that the simple word lawful had been substituted for all the gobblety gook about the UCMJ but it’s clear enough the allegiance and fidelity is to the Constitution , not to any person. All we can do is hope that the military remembers this.

  41. Well, on the bright side… If there is a point where it rises to armed resistance to the illegitimate government, the people running the fight on the other side will be creatures like Milley, Austin, and Mattis.

    I seriously expect a Cromwell to show up on the scene, TBH. The current situation reminds me more and more of the English Civil War, wherein the existing authority (King Charles I, for those of you who attended school here in the US…) rendered itself illegitimate, and then provoked armed conflict with the commons. Right now, we have the Executive, Congress, and the Judicial branches all taking the role of King Charles I, and I don’t think that they’re going to come out of this with their legitimacy intact.

    There’s someone like Scheller out there who is pissed enough to do it, and I’d wager that once he’s pushed far enough by these ass-clowns, we’re going to see it happen. Military insurrection ain’t going to be run from the Pentagon; it’s going to be run from some base out in the hinterlands or a Reserve/National Guard training center… And, it’s gonna be run against the Pentagon and the oligarchy that’s taken illegitimate authority over us all.

    I will not be surprised to see Congress-critters dangling by their necks from the cherry trees surrounding the Mall, along with a lot of Executive Branch unelected bureaucrats and Judicial types. If the local mood is anything to go by, people are getting more than a little pissed-off at all the venal incompetence.

  42. Indeed, indeed. The bodies of the troops killed in Kabul are supposed to arrive sometime in the next day or so at Dover AFB. I don’t think the FICUS or Giggling Kamala will make an appearance there, ostensibly to console the next of kin.
    From the reports on the Daily Mail, the next of kin are spitting furious. And if it was my daughter (who was an E-4 in the Marines, as two of the casualties are) in one of those tin coffins, I’d be beside myself in rage and grief – just as I imagine that all those parents are at this moment. In their place, I don’t imagine I could even be courteous to the Commandant of the Marines himself.

  43. The optics are horrible. And, I fear it’s going to get worse–The idiot class has set us up for decades of terrorist strikes here and abroad, plus they’ve given them plenty of arms and encouragement.

    Even if BidenCo manages to eke out a “pass” on this last week or so, it’s going to get worse. Crisis after crisis will blow their credibility out of the water, and with his immature over-reaction, I really hope someone has a good handle on The Football, as well as targeting. I could see this group of idiots doing something really, really stupid with a nuke strike, just to “look strong”, because that’s what cowards do when you back them into a corner. Hopefully, the guys at SAC’s successor command and who run the Navy’s boomers will run interference for this with some common sense… Then again, judging from who we’ve promoted to the senior ranks, these days…? Plus the crap I’ve heard about the lack of due diligence with the nukes themselves…?

    Oh, boy are we in for some interesting times. The hand-wringers were worried about Trump having control over the nukes? LOL… Grampa Joey Grabass is who they should have been concerned about.

  44. The current situation reminds me of the last days of the Soviet Union. We’ve got an idiot central government, ruled by a senile functionary chosen by the entrenched bureaucracy, letting client states slip away because the regime simply can’t hold on to them any more- politically, economically, or militarily. The “loss” of Afghanistan reminds me of how ex-spetsnaz soldier and defector Victor Suvorov described how the USSR lost Eastern Europe- they had to let it go, because it was like a suitcase with no handles, and it became too heavy to hold.

    My guess is that precious few Americans ever wanted to continue the endless multi-trillion dollar foreign aid expedition to Afghanistan, any more than the citizens of Russia wanted to continue the endless spendy occupation of Eastern Europe.

    But the future of their adventure was out of their hands, as has been ours. Both ended only because they became impossible to sustain.

    My further guess is that this a prelude to the end of NATO and other promises made long ago by the regime to defend various other foreigners against their various enemies. At one time this was a trivial burden to the United States, but no longer.

    For example, I feel bad for Taiwan- but why haven’t they long since obtained their own nuclear weapons?

    My extra-further guess- they expected American to forever remain willing to make it such that they did not have to. We’d guarantee their freedom, because…


    Well, let me come back to that. I can’t think of a reason right now why I should care more about the freedom of Taiwan than Afghanistan, but maybe later.

  45. “I feel bad for Taiwan- but why haven’t they long since obtained their own nuclear weapons?”
    How long do you think it would take Japan or Taiwan to assemble a nuke–half an hour or so?

    It’s been an online obsession that China is about to invade Taiwan for at least two decades. Maybe things are different now, though I doubt it. I suspect China will use economic pressure and corruption, rather than military force.

    It’s very obvious Trump is going to run again. Who knows what the Deep State will pull if he wins again. Do you think they’ll let him clean house at the FBI, CIA, Pentagon, etc? I sure don’t.

  46. The question that keeps reoccurring is why they did something so monumentally and transparently stupid as the abandonment of Bagram before the withdrawal was a fact and in such a way as to deny it to the Afghan government..

    A possible answer came to me during a conversation today. If we had maintained possession or had made it possible for the Afghan government to do so, It would have made it possible to reenter the country without the cooperation of one of the countries with a land border. Return is rendered impossible now without retracing the steps that secured us in the country in the first place if that is even possible.

    We are out of Afghanistan for good and that isn’t an accident.

  47. Brian: “I suspect China will use economic pressure and corruption, rather than military force.”

    That gets my vote too. Bombs & bullets are not the most useful weapons for “peer competitors”.

    Our Best & Brightest are stuck in the 20th Century, not realizing that an economic attack can be as crippling as a military attack. Despite all its solar panels, cloudy Germany would collapse in a winter if Russia cut off the gas. But there won’t be any need for Russia to do that — simply a few quiet words to the right people in the German government will make them realize their only choice is to come to heel.

    In the case of the US, it is the Trade Deficit which is unsustainable. And it would take years, maybe decades, for the US to once again manufacture the goods for which we now depend on China. Even if we had politicians and bureaucrats who were not already on China’s payroll, they would still have to kowtow to the boss rather than face a cut-off.

    War against other nations — No. Internal war — possible. Lt Col Scheller is a reminder that Resident Biden* cannot assume his nukes & F15s will be used against those fearsome “White Supremacists” rather than against his own crew.

  48. Our political class hasn’t had to worry about a real internal military threat for so long that they no longer grasp that such a thing as betraying the rank-and-file of that military could possibly rebound on to their precious selves.

    The elites act as though the military were some sort of monolith that will always be at their beck and call, bowing and scraping. The reality is, the military does not consist solely of the perfumed princes dwelling around the Potomac; it also includes all the PFCs and captains out there, along with the mid-grade types they haven’t managed to cull for not being sufficiently politically correct.

    I think there’s a real potential for something like what happened in Liberia, where it was a freaking Master Sergeant that wound up leading the coup that toppled the government. It’s not a question of what rank the guy has that you need to worry about; it’s the question of charisma and whether or not they can generate the followers to do the job. Additionally, imagine what happens if someone out there in the hinterlands manages to get on one of the social media sites, and is convincing enough that they raise a followership that decides “enough”?

    One of the things that I don’t think the idiots in charge have quite thought through is what happens when you’ve got an alienated military that you’ve fundamentally betrayed, and which decides at the lower levels that it’s no longer following the ass-kissers the betraying civilian leadership saw fit to delegate things to… We’ve never seen a military coup here in the US, and I don’t think that if we do, that it will look like what we’re expecting from classical examples. It won’t be top-down driven; it will likely be bottom-up, and I’m expecting some form of moral purist akin to a Cromwell coming on the scene that’s tired of all the venality and corruption. Right guy, right message, right time? You could very well see the end of the Republic as we know it.

    Hell, I’m too old and out of it to participate, but if I were still on active duty…? God knows I’d sure be tempted, especially after a night spent with some of my ghosts who left the mortal coil in service of these serpents. I think I’d be sorely tempted, were I still running troops, looking into their eyes every morning, to do what was best on their behalf–And, that isn’t standing there silent while creatures like Biden send them to their deaths.

    That’s the kind of thinking that these idiots can’t comprehend. It’s all about the grift, for them–The idea that someone might want to hang them by the neck until they’re dead over their greed for graft having gotten good men killed to no good purpose? That’s beyond them; they won’t even get it as the nooses go over their heads.

  49. It’s very obvious Trump is going to run again. Who knows what the Deep State will pull if he wins again. Do you think they’ll let him clean house at the FBI, CIA, Pentagon, etc? I sure don’t.

    I was frankly surprised that he was not assassinated. That female USSS agent who said she would not take a bullet for him was only the start, The Secret Service was corrupted by Obama, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it began with Hillary but they sure seem to be a mess with drunken supervisors and parties in Columbia. I was hoping he would keep his personal security guy.

  50. I don’t know what to expect from Trump, TBH. That’s part of his charm.

    I think he knows he’s a stalking horse; it could well be that his plan is to do a head-fake run, and use that as an interference run for someone else he’s putting forward. The man strikes me as a genuine patriot looking out for our national interest, and I think that after his first four years, he’s figured out that fixing everything means a deep cleaning that’s gonna take at least two administrations or more. So… Maybe he says he’s running, gets the oligarchy all spun up going after him, and then at the last minute, he steps aside and up pops the guy he’s running interference for.

    On the other hand, from where I sit? Who the hell knows? Maybe Trump is in on it with them, and all this crap has been more DemoRepublicrat fakery for the masses. I’m growing jaded and cynical; I don’t think anyone that has anything to do with the current set-up is at all likely to be on “our side” as mere citizens. I still think Trump was shocked to actually win back in 2016.

    The situation in regards to who is actually running this country, which has not been and is not in the general best interests of the majority of its citizens, is so freaking confusing and contradictory that it is difficult to even begin wrapping your head around it. If I woke up in charge of it all tomorrow? I wouldn’t even know where to begin trying to fix it, or who the hell to consult about doing so. I think there’s a point of scale and complexity that we’ve gone long past where things are simply inherently unmanageable, and the best thing may well be to dissolve the whole thing and start over smaller.

  51. I don’t see how one could look at Trump’s life and think he won’t run again. He has huge strengths and massive weaknesses, and it would be really awful to have another campaign be about Donald Trump instead of the huge problems the country has, but I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re going to get, for better and for worse.
    I’ve said before, I don’t think he realized that being President of the United States wasn’t going to be like being CEO of Trump Enterprises, because there wasn’t a cabal of people in the latter actively opposing him at every step. And it seems like even until the very end he didn’t really fully realize that he had very, very few people on his side in the system. His most catastrophic mistake was at the very beginning–firing General Flynn–you can’t discard a loyal supporter at the behest of your implacable enemies, for no reason. He never recovered from that weakness.

  52. His most catastrophic mistake was at the very beginning–firing General Flynn–you can’t discard a loyal supporter at the behest of your implacable enemies, for no reason. He never recovered from that weakness.

    I agree, in part. He assumed that the government was not a third world cabal intent on maximizing its own desires, financial and otherwise. Flynn was his only ally. It was an impossible situation. Three years from now, the impending financial and foreign policy disaster may have occurred. I don’t think 2024 will be a normal year or a normal (not 2020 in other words) election.

  53. yes when I saw the flynn play, it was exactly like the whole plame flimflam, but they kept the evidence hidden, general flynn had a granular understanding of afghanistan, from when he wrote up the counterinsurgency strategy for mccrystal, like brutus or cassius, I can’t tell which, with his info op, they are still defaming senior chief gallagher in some screed, drek like the Russsian bounties, game through bellingthecat, maybe even the Russians provided the dezinforma, seeing how well it worked,

  54. bellingthecat is european fusion, which thinks the Russians are behind everything, except apparently the nordstream pipeline which bribed all the right players,including the Big Guy, the Brits had this experience with Aden, Colonel Mitchell had won the battle of the Crater, yet Wilson told him to pull out, South Yemen went communist then became an Al Queda hub, with the fighters ‘the Crocodile’ had sent to Afghanistan, then had him fight his civil war,

  55. that’s what this january 6th kabuki is about, to discourage any would be challengers, but i’m sure someone might volunteer himself for the daniel shays role, fwiw, after the failure of playa giron, there was an insurgency against the castro regime for nearly five years in the escambray mountains, until double agent (reputedly) rolando cubela betrayed them,

  56. of course the taliban, who have arranged a deal through qatar, to give exclusive access to the turks, know they have an ace in the hole in malley, hala jabr, and a whole host of critters from langley to the old executive office building (qatar owns the other half of washington, china doesn’t

  57. Trumps problem was Ness’s problem in the untouchables, when he tried to recruit his team, all the top men (and many of the middle rank) officers are garbage, senior chief gallagher was one of the exceptions, of course they are still trying to railroad him, even after the jag frame failed, mattis looked good on paper (if you ignore the theranos board)

  58. He should have said, I know who Mike Flynn is, who is this Sally Yates person? Can you prove whatever it is you’re saying? Then he should have gone public with the fact that the FBI was spying on his advisors, and that he wasn’t going to tolerate it. Instead he backed down, presumably because some other advisors either told him to trust the IC, or at least not fight them. Fatal mistake. The only approach to take is Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead…

  59. he fired sally yates, but there was three layers of tripwires, at main justice, at fbi and the company et al, there is a long standing tradition in the deep state, dulles and co, who were mueller’s inlaws, and other relatives, abandoned my cousin at playa giron, the likes of rip richardson and gray lynch knew better, but they were mere knuckledraggers, the bitterness ran deep for him, and that was when they were not ostensibly against us, ymmv, lansdale managed diem reasonably well, then halberstam blew up a whole minor fracas into a pretext to get rid of him, that cake was baked in before the marines landed at pleiku

  60. Flynn — Remember the Russia! Russia! lies the Deep State/Democrats and their media shills were flooding the zone with at the same time. President Trump was on the back foot from the start.

    Sadly, there will never be an honest election in the US again. Even if there were, the only answer to the kind of insubordination which stymied President Trump would require not one President but an entire committed political party. The Republicans would have to campaign for Congress on draining the Swamp — changing laws so that senior bureaucrats could be fired and charged with crimes; eliminating the revolving door between government and lobbyists; nuking K Street. Congress would have to pass laws giving the Executive the power to clean up the government.

    Chances of the Institutional Republicrats signing up to that kind of clean up? Zero.

    Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger showing up in Sacramento with a broom, to sweep out the incompetence in corruption — and remember how that ended up, at least in part because he was powerless against an entrenched Democrat mafia.

  61. So general milley vannili, one of those cigar store indians, thought the removal of asper and co, with chris miller was a coup ‘from a certain point of view’ he was right, although even chris miller, eventually failed on that score, the dni the company, the joint staff is all about it’s own prorogatives,

  62. Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger showing up in Sacramento with a broom, to sweep out the incompetence in corruption — and remember how that ended up, at least in part because he was powerless against an entrenched Democrat mafia.

    He meant well at first but made a rookie mistake. He scheduled a special election for his reform propositions. Nobody votes in a special election unless their ox is to be gored. The teachers’ union mortgaged their Sacramento headquarters to raise enough money to fight his teacher reform. He could have scheduled the props for the primary in June, 6 months later, and they would have passed. Once he lost that, he gave up and partied.

  63. My opinion on Trump in 2016 was that he did not expect to win, and so did not prepare seriously for victory. He also drastically underestimated the opposition in the deep state. He did not expect them to be doing what they did, and treated them them the way any “average American” would, not expecting or planning for base treachery from his own government.

    Next time around, if Trump wins…? It will be at the head of a crusade, and that crusade is going to be monumentally ugly. It’s also why I don’t expect him to win, and if it even looks like it might be close, the same cabal will take him out, one way or another.

    I don’t think things are really going to change, until something breaks. What that break looks like? Dunno, but I fully expect it to have to be something major before all the entrenched assholes either flee the consequences of what they’ve wrought or they get driven out before a mob with pitchforks and torches.

    Which is why I think the “Cromwell-from-the-hinterlands” thing is a potential outcome. Predicting what form it takes will not be easy–Romans would have had a hard time seeing Caeser or Octavian coming along before they did, and nobody would have predicted either of those two managing to turn Rome into an Empire. Someone else? Maybe; a Roman prognosticator might have said “Pompey” or one of the other “great men”, but never the two that managed the feat.

    What can’t go on… Won’t. We’re at the very top bit of where the slippery slope starts to get really, really steep and unmanageable. The oligarchy seems blind to that fact, and does not recognize the threat in any way. They think they run the world from their perches around the plate in DC, but the reality is, they rely on the consent of “the rest of us”. People stop believing in their bullshit, then the problem becomes “How do we force Muncie, Indiana to send us their taxes and their kids to serve as bully-boy enforcers in the co-opted military, going home to beat Granny and take her house…?”.

    The current lot of idiots running things in DC has never operated under a scenario where they’ve lost the general consent of the public, nor can they conceive of such a situation. They’re literally not set up with that concept, mentally–And, more importantly, they don’t have the coercive tools they’d need to do it.

    Same point I’ve made with a bunch of my acquaintances in the law enforcement world–There are not enough cops in the US to force people into compliance with the law, and once you’ve lost the willing compliance with the law, guess what? All too many of these idiots operate as though they go home every night to some secure safe zone or bunker, where they and their families are untouchable. Reality? They’re living right in the middle of the people they’re pissing off and killing without consequence. Right now, it’s a small percentage of the “ghetto populations” that are fully against the police; what do you suppose happens when that nice neighborhood that Ashli Babbitt lived in goes the same way? What happens when there are no “safe harbors” for the cops to go home to, at night? Think they’re still going to play bully-boys for the “regime”?

    The entire country is being spun out of control by the various flavors of power-freak in the DC area and government elsewhere. They don’t have enough force on hand to flip the switch and put us all into permanent lockdown, and once people stop believing in the power of what they say, it’s all over. That’s why this situation is so dangerous, because the illusions are getting shattered, stripped away from everyone’s eyes.

    Enough of the general public stops believing in the pony, the whole damn circus comes apart.

  64. I meant to include something that I forgot, a comment once made to me by another senior NCO who’d joined me after I arrived in a really dysfunctional unit. The incumbent commander and leadership cadre in that company were extremely bad, almost Captain Queeg-like. The also-new battalion commander was dealing with the situation by replacing the entire leadership team, as soon as he could.

    The comment the other new guy made to me has stuck with me for a long, long time, and it was something he said to me after we witnessed the incumbent commander/First Sergeant doing what they did best–Which was, apparently, piss off everyone with capricious and really uncalled for actions. We’re sitting there, not having taken our new jobs, standing behind the formation and listening to these two penny-ante martinets shriek and howl at the troops like a pair of jackasses, and my new best buddy in the unit turns to me and says quietly “Y’know… There’s only so much “obey” in a man, and I think most of this company is running on empty…”. He was absolutely right–If you’ve ever heard the terms “Irish Democracy” and “White Mutiny”, you’d know what the next six months were like, and I have to say that most of the junior troops in that unit were utterly ruined for further service in the Army by their experiences. You could not regain their trust, no matter what you did. The abuse and BS they’d been through with the previous set of “leaders” ruined them, much in the same way that a dog which has been scientifically abused can be ruined. It was simply more time- and cost-effective to tell those guys “Hey, we know you went through some shit, and you can’t trust anyone wearing stripes or brass on their collars ever again, so maybe we all should call this a wash, and let you end your time in the Army now…”. Which is what we wound up doing with all too many of the guys.

    The idiot class running things in this country is a lot closer to doing that with the electorate than they realize, and they also do not understand that what they are doing cannot end well. They think there’s an endless well of trust and willingness to obey the “authorities” and follow the “instructions of the elites”, when the reality is, you burn through all that built-up credit with the people you lead, you’re ‘effing done. Period.

    I seriously doubt that any of these idiots have ever experienced that sort of thing, or if they had, that they learned anything from it.

  65. Until Flynn was fired, the Russia thing was a joke. But that made people think that there must be something there, and gave the Deep State hope that they could take anyone down. It was the biggest mistake he made, and led inexorably to the Mueller/Weissman committee, which paralyzed his administration for years.

  66. The thing that I have trouble with is the sheer naivete and trust-in-the-system that Flynn displayed. How do you get to that level without knowing what the rest of the shoddy edifice is like, what they are willing to do?

    Flynn’s biggest mistake, in my book? He pissed off the FBI way before Trump; when he signed off on supporting that agent who was suing over sexual harassment? He did the right thing, but he also got on the wrong side of some very dishonorable people. I think someone has termed what we’ve got going here as “gangster government”, and that’s not too far off the mark. It’s actually worse; the real gangsters treat their “made men” with some respect, and only stab them in the back when necessary. They also have some restraint, knowing that if they go too far, the authorities will quit looking the other way. Unfortunately, our government lackeys are the authorities, and they think they’re literally untouchable by anyone outside the circle they’ve formed with their like-minded crooks.

    The whole thing is teetering on the edge, and it won’t take too much to push the mass of it all over the side. If you’d have asked me at age 18 if I could ever see myself as a revolutionary against my own government? I’d have spit in your face. Me in my late fifties…? I’m kinda looking at things and wondering if I’m gonna have to do the necessary as one last service to the Republic I believed in and thought I served…

    If nothing else, but to give it a decent burial.

  67. apriori, the same crew that let peter robbins, the real russian spy in special forces, remain in their systems, kent halper andrews dearlove, harassed general Flynn, accusing mrs lokhova, a whistleblower against sberbank, of being a russian spy, it’s absurd beyond imagining, jonathan winer who was isikoff’s second source worked for apco, repping for uranium one,

  68. Kirk: “I don’t think things are really going to change, until something breaks. What that break looks like? Dunno …”

    You are right, something will have to trigger a change. Once that trigger happens, the whole unstable financial structure will collapse, which will result in other political-legal-social changes that are impossible to predict.

    My guess at that something — the exchange rate of the Dollar. It is outside the control of the Swamp Creatures, and relies on foreigners having continuing confidence in the US — the very thing that Resident Biden* is destroying.

    Likely scenario — some exporter somewhere (not necessarily a Chinese company) demands payment in its own currency, not Dollars. Dollar exchange rate drops a little. Triggers a market stampede as foreigners rush to sell US bonds, stock, even property. Imports to the US collapse to the much lower level which can be paid for with US exports. Panic buying in US stores, leads to violence & looting. That is the point at which the new Cromwell steps forward — to widespread support from a large segment of US society.

    Please, make it soon!

  69. Flynn’s biggest mistake, in my book? He pissed off the FBI way before Trump; when he signed off on supporting that agent who was suing over sexual harassment? He did the right thing, but he also got on the wrong side of some very dishonorable people.

    Exactly. The villain of course was McCabe.

  70. My opinion on Trump in 2016 was that he did not expect to win, and so did not prepare seriously for victory. He also drastically underestimated the opposition in the deep state. He did not expect them to be doing what they did, and treated them them the way any “average American” would, not expecting or planning for base treachery from his own government.

    Next time around, if Trump wins…? It will be at the head of a crusade, and that crusade is going to be monumentally ugly. It’s also why I don’t expect him to win, and if it even looks like it might be close, the same cabal will take him out, one way or another.

    I agree that he did not expect to win and was not prepared although he assumed that those in government, especially in his own party, were patriotic and would try to govern,

    If he wins in 2024, it will be over the rubble of the collapse and the temptation will be hard for him to resist.

  71. Gavin,
    One thing complicating your scenario is that much of world commerce is denominated in Dollars, especially oil. Most of the rest is Euros and little if any in Yuan. Nearly all import/exports contract will specify the medium of exchange for the life of the contract.

    So, if China was somehow to switch over to requiring Yuan for imports instead of dollars overnight, they would soon run out of dollars for things like raw materials and oil.

    Over the longer term, the seller has the right to demand any price, in any form he desires, the buyer has the right to go elsewhere.

    If the world loses confidence in the dollar as a basis for exchange, they would then have to switch to something else. The Euro is the obvious choice, but it suffers from all the problems of the Dollar with a significant added political risk.

    The Chinese economy is completely dependent on exports. They might be able to crash the Dollar, but not without considerable cost to themselves. Any disruption of trade with the U.S. would very quickly throw millions of Chinese out of work, this would be further magnified when they were forced to use the new, cheaper Dollars to buy what they need on the world market. Remember they can’t even feed themselves without importing massive quantities of grain.

    At some point, a new equilibrium would be established, very possibly to our detriment but the short term disruption could easily be more than the Chinese economy could stand. There are increasing signs that, notwithstanding the shiny trains and tall buildings, the Chinese economy is rotten. The Chinese government is painting as fast as they can to cover up the problems. Ultimately, appearances will be maintained until the underlying structure is tested by some load and it all will dissolve into a cloud of dust.

    Especially now, it feels strange to be defending the transparency and accountability of our government. It’s not that there isn’t rot but that there hasn’t been as much time for it to penetrate. Whatever advantage we have won’t be the fault of the Biden administration or either the Democratic or Republican establishment but of the majority of the people and the actually very limited power of the Federal Government over them. They really are very few and widely scattered. Why do you think a few hundred people in hats and a few costumes caused Pelosi to have a mental breakdown?

  72. How long do you think it would take Japan or Taiwan to assemble a nuke–half an hour or so?

    If you believe they would submit to the CCP due economic pressure, why would they do so? I am fully aware that both nations and plenty of others are technically capable of constructing nuclear weapons, but haven’t. I think a key reason why many of them haven’t is because they believe the US will defend them from their nuclear-armed enemies, either due to explicit treaty obligations or implicit promises made in days of yore.

    Wanna bet they’re rethinking that now? If not, they should. I suspect Japan certainly is, and I’ve long figured that the proper way to announce the existence of a Japanese nuclear deterrent would be after some significant number of weapons had already been produced and deployed.

    Maybe that was discussed privately in that recent meeting between Japanese and Taiwanese officials. Perhaps Taiwan isn’t interested in submitting to the butchers of Beijing, and is looking for assistance other than from the US.

    I hope so, and good luck to them both either way.

  73. There are not enough cops in the US to force people into compliance with the law, and once you’ve lost the willing compliance with the law, guess what?

    Over my years on the internet I’ve happened to see various leftists express their opinions on how resistance to gun control would go. At some point it occurred to me that every single one of them, to the best of my recollection, imagined that a swarm of police would surround the lone gunman who refused to comply and kill him in his house, while he was all alone.

    Perhaps none of those leftists were cops, or at least smart cops.

  74. MCS: “If the world loses confidence in the dollar as a basis for exchange, they would then have to switch to something else.”

    Remember that all trade is ultimately barter. We have allowed ourselves to confuse the means of exchange with the purpose of exchange. We can grow soy beans, but can’t make high-tech computer gear; China needs more soy beans and can make high-tech computer gear. Hence the trade. A currency accepted by everyone makes the trade easier — any currency.

    This gets back to the “gradually, then suddenly” concept of disaster. Once the exchange value of the Dollar starts to decline a little, lots of sellers will decide they don’t want to take the exchange risk, and hence require payment by the US importer in their own currency. This would not necessarily be a big deal, except for the reality that the US now runs an unsustainable Trade Deficit and needs vast quantities of imports, while depending on the willingness of exporters to accept IOUs in exchange for Real Goods & Services.

    Whatever stories we tell ourselves about how other countries need to continue to accept Biden*’s freshly-printed paper, we will be surprised at how quickly the Dollar sinks once the decline starts. And we will be shocked by the ramifications of reduced imports.

    And the above is based simply on the reality that long-term Trade Deficits are unsustainable. Add to that the possibility (certainty?) that someone in the Forbidden Palace has determined that it would be much less costly for China to bring the US down through absorbing the problems of lost exports than through fighting a nuclear war.

    Do not sleep easy in your bed!

  75. Until Flynn was fired, the Russia thing was a joke.

    Nope. If Trump hadn’t fired Flynn, the scandal would have been that he hadn’t. Then, the pressure would have continued until he did. Then, once he had been forced to fire Flynn, the scandal would have continued roughly as it did in reality.

    I’m reminded of that grade school riddle- two bacteria can divide every minute and fill a test tube in 60 minutes. How long would it take one bacteria? 61 minutes.

    There was always going to be a scandal, and then a next scandal, ad infinitum.

    The real issue was that the so-called leadership of Trump’s supposed party, the Gee Ohhh Peeeee, wanted him gone above any other objectives.

  76. @Xennady,

    I think it’s well past the time that we all recognize that there is no GOP, there is no Democratic Party. There is “them” and there is “us”, “them” being the Uniparty scum who’ve taken over everything before our unwitting gaze, and who’ve suborned the system to benefit themselves. It’s fairly obvious that the only people in Washington DC who believe hard enough in “the GOP” to put any faith in it as a bulwark against Democrat tyranny are the idiots like Flynn who think that things haven’t changed. Outside of DC and more than a few state capitols, it makes sense to discuss the GOP and the Democrats as different creatures. Within the environs of the corrupted halls of government? There is no such thing; it’s all Uniparty, all the time. All “the GOP” is at the national level is a remnant matador’s cape of a party, useful for doing things like distracting and absorbing the attention of the rubes like the Tea Party. The sole purpose it serves, as demonstrated with what McCain did after “the GOP” returned to power under Trump, is to rubber-stamp the Democrat’s gains at our expense.

    Note that after campaigning on repealing Obamacare, he refused to do anything. Data point. Note that with the Executive, the House, the Senate, and a balanced Judiciary, all that “the GOP” could come up with to do was sit there, obfuscate, and not do a damn thing with their victory. THERE IS NO OPPOSITION. NONE.

    They’re on the same side: Theirs. Nobody else’s, and most particularly, not their constituents. To even speak of “the GOP” at the DC level is dangerously myopic, naive, and–To be blunt, stupid. You can’t miss this fact, you can’t ignore it, and if you do? You’re guilty of wishful thinking. The bastards are all in this together, and everyone you send to DC as a member of “the GOP” winds up co-opted and participating in the fraud. Rare exceptions like Nunes exist, but how long can they hold out against the blandishments of Satan? Give him a few more terms, and even he’s probably going to be one of them. The Uniparty is like the Borg; they will assimilate you, no matter how hard you struggle.

    What we’re to do? Not a clue, but we have to admit the problem before we can solve it. The current situation and system are completely compromised by the likes of Pelosi and Nadler. And, all the so-called Republicans that are no more than opposition in name only, who are more collaborationists than anything else. Fixing this means doing what one of my old Democrat friends told me he expected: Hunting them through the streets, with dogs.

    Looking back at that guy and that specific conversation, I think he was way more prescient than even he knew. When I knew him, he was a DA civilian, and a very active Democrat. Good guy–More a Scoop Jackson National Defense Democrat than anything else. He was moving up the party hierarchy, working as a precinct captain or other such manager there in Tacoma. Right up until he went off for some national-level convention back east not too long after the Clintons came to power–He returned a changed man, a lot less vocal partisan of the Democratic Party. He almost immediately stopped proselytizing for them, along with pulling back with his involvement. You could tell his enthusiasm had gone, utterly. Eventually, I worked up the balls to ask him what was up, and he eventually told me that he’d seen some things during his trip that utterly disillusioned him about the Democratic Party, and that he was convinced they were headed off to very bad things, if they weren’t actually already there. One of the comments he made to me was something to the effect of “…they’ll be hunting Democrats through the streets with dogs, before it’s over… And… They’ll be right to do it.”.

    Never quite forgot that, and I wish I’d gotten out of him exactly what it was he saw that made him reach that conclusion. I never got it out of him.

    More I see of what’s going on, the more I think he was frighteningly prescient.

  77. “How long do you think it would take Japan or Taiwan to assemble a nuke–half an hour or so?”
    “If you believe they would submit to the CCP due economic pressure, why would they do so?”

    Go ahead and debate with your hallucination of what I said, because I said nothing like that.
    I wrote “I suspect China will use economic pressure and corruption, rather than military force.”, I didn’t say Taiwan would submit, I said what China will attempt. I don’t know their politics or people at all well enough to know what will happen. I doubt they’ll just knuckle under–why would anyone their watch what’s happened to Hong Kong and do so?

  78. “Nope. If Trump hadn’t fired Flynn, the scandal would have been that he hadn’t.”
    Nope. The ridiculous Steele “dossier” had already been published in full, and it was a total joke, completely discredited by the pee-tape nonsense. Remember that Jake Tapper was furious that it had been published, as it totally undermined the attempt to make it seem legit thought leaks and innuendo. If Trump had stood his ground and fought back, no one except insane Dem partisans would have taken the Russia nonsense seriously. By firing Flynn, he made it seem like there was definitely some shady business going on.

  79. I’ve remembered this Peggy Noonan column ever since it came out. She’s of course gone insane now, but she used to be worth reading.
    “Do people fear the wheels are coming off the trolley? Is this fear widespread? A few weeks ago I was reading Christopher Lawford’s lovely, candid and affectionate remembrance of growing up in a particular time and place with a particular family, the Kennedys, circa roughly 1950-2000. It’s called “Symptoms of Withdrawal.” At the end he quotes his Uncle Teddy. Christopher, Ted Kennedy and a few family members had gathered one night and were having a drink in Mr. Lawford’s mother’s apartment in Manhattan. Teddy was expansive. If he hadn’t gone into politics he would have been an opera singer, he told them, and visited small Italian villages and had pasta every day for lunch. “Singing at la Scala in front of three thousand people throwing flowers at you. Then going out for dinner and having more pasta.” Everyone was laughing. Then, writes Mr. Lawford, Teddy “took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. ‘I’m glad I’m not going to be around when you guys are my age.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.’ “
    Mr. Lawford continued, “The statement hung there, suspended in the realm of ‘maybe we shouldn’t go there.’ Nobody wanted to touch it. After a few moments of heavy silence, my uncle moved on.”
    Lawford thought his uncle might be referring to their family—that it might “fall apart.” But reading, one gets the strong impression Teddy Kennedy was not talking about his family but about . . . the whole ball of wax, the impossible nature of everything, the realities so daunting it seems the very system is off the tracks.
    And—forgive me—I thought: If even Teddy knows . . .”

  80. Very very very interesting from Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller:
    “You have no idea what I’m capable of doing. To all the congressmen, senators, every media station, across the globe, to all the rich philanthropists, I appreciate the support and I’m going to need your support. … I don’t need a single dollar. I just need every single person that’s willing to go back outside the wire every single day to wear a blue collar and just go into work every single day and feed their families, those are the people that I need. Follow me and we will bring the whole fucking system down. I am honorable. You can ask any Marine who served with me for 17 years. I dare you to ask them all and find out what I’m made of. We’re just getting started.”

  81. Let’s just hope he’s not another Mattis.

    Like I’ve been saying… The situation is ripe for a Cromwell, and if we’re lucky, that’s what we might get. Unlucky? A demagogue who leads us even deeper into the morass.

    People are pissed-off. People have noticed this, even ones who didn’t have time for politics or national affairs before. I got buttonholed today by someone who knew I’d a bit of knowledge and background, and it was someone I never would have thought to have had the interest. They were incandescent with rage over the Afghanistan thing, and did not like hearing the things I had to relate, which I encouraged them to go corroborate with some research.

    Most people don’t pay attention to national affairs. It’s all beyond their interest, usually–The powers-that-be, however? They have drawn attention to things, and now the unengaged are starting to pay attention. I don’t think the entrenched idiots are going to like it when people start paying attention, and they’re really not going to like it when those new attention-payers start asking pointed questions and demanding answers.

    Ye gods… I really did not expect that conversation from that person. I’ve known them since I was a high-school student, and I kinda thought they just didn’t care, and were more-or-less oblivious to these things. Apparently not, and that’s not a good sign for our elites.

  82. Gavin,
    I’m not arguing the situation is stable, rather the opposite. I am pointing out that there’s quite a lot of inertia built up over the years that will prevent much from happening overnight. The Chinese are perfectly capable of doing economic damage to us, but just as with attacking Taiwan, not without possibly fatal damage to themselves. That won’t change unless they can move their economy away from the present model that functions on the basis of low labor cost.

    China has the ability to attack Taiwan and possibly, but only possibly, prevail by virtue of a tremendous buildup of resources directly across the Formosa Strait that is irrelevant to their capability anywhere else. Their ability to deploy forces as far as Japan is puny. Japan possesses more than enough power to overwhelm any force the Chinese are capable of mounting. That’s not going to change soon. Russia, on the other hand, is walking distance.

    If the Afghan debacle forces our erstwhile allies to make a realistic assessment of and to address their own defense, it will have accomplished something.

  83. Let us also not forget that China has its own internal issues, not the least of which are the CCP trying to crush any innovation along with any competition as power centers within China.

    Odds are that conquest of Taiwan would be relatively easy compared to digesting it all. I look for serious repercussions down the road for what happened in Hong Kong, in terms of motivating other people to take up opposition. There’s also the whole social credit idea, which I think is going to rebound about as well as the “one child” policy did.

    Part of the problem with systems like the Chinese ones? It is way too easy for really bad ideas to get implemented and then have them turn around and bite you in the ass. Mao famously said “Kill all the sparrows…” and it was done. Then, they woke up with an inundation of insects that those sparrows used to eat, and discovered that they lost even more crops to them than they did the sparrows…

    China is going to be a living, breathing example of why monolithic total state power is a really, really stupid idea. Won’t be apparent tomorrow, but it sure as hell will be one day. It’s like the way that the Emperor decided to shut down international trade, back when. All the Zheng Ho treasure fleets were sunk, trade was shut down, and then what? Did that decision rebound positively? Anywhere but China, that order would have been ignored–Only because of a totally powerful Emperor and the surrounding matrix of “authority” could that have happened. I doubt that even the Romans could have done that sort of totalitarian bullshit and made it actually happen. But, it happened in China… To their everlasting detriment.

    Totalitarians are mostly idiots. They think they’re smarter than the aggregate of everyone else, and what you see in terms of performance is what you got in Germany during WWII, which was a host of irrational bad decisions about the war and their economy. You saw the same things in the Soviet Union, only it took longer to play out due to the resource base being so much bigger. One guy or even one group making all the decisions…? It is to laugh.

  84. MCS: “I’m not arguing the situation is stable, rather the opposite.”

    We are in complete agreement there. And I would be among the first to say that we don’t know how or when that instability will play out. My big concern is that I have difficulty seeing any outcome that is good for the US in the near term. I hope I am wrong — but I doubt it.

  85. Attention citizens:
    “Update on LtCol Scheller situation: USMC says tonight they’re “taking appropriate action to ensure the safety and well-being of LtCol Scheller and his family” indicating concern over his mental health”

    We can assure you that Hero of the Republic Lt. Col. Scheller will be receiving all the treatment he needs, and that he always has and always will love the system. Carry on citizens, make sure to take your medicine, your government is protecting you and keeping you safe.

  86. Back on subject…

    From Michael Yon’s Twitter, and other sources around the internet that corroborate this shame:

    Comments based on the horrifying and disgusting assumption that this is true, based on the number of sources I’ve seen:

    Back when we did NEO (Non-combatant Evacuation Operations) for Europe, during the mid-1980s? Had something like this happened with the guys I worked with, where some mid-grade dipshit told us to turn back American citizens from the airfields?

    I’m pretty sure that there’d have been a moment of silent consensus among the senior NCOs, and that asshat Colonel giving the orders would have been disobeyed, and if he’d come out to the gates in order to enforce his orders, there’d have been an “accident”, leading to his remains going into the grave registration system. Or, just an impromptu hasty burial out in the German forest near one of the back gates to the airfield, if that.

    I cannot believe what the Army I served in has come to, and in less than 14 years since I retired from it. Obama’s legacy, I guess… I can’t fathom American troops standing for this. My generation would have mutinied, done what we thought was right, and then continued the mission. I seriously doubt that anyone would have had the balls to prosecute us, either… More than likely, we’d have gotten a back-channel “thank you for cleaning up our mess” message from that Colonel’s higher, but we’re living in sadly diminished times.

  87. @Brian,

    Yeah, they weaponized the psychologists a long, long time ago. I suspect the next time we see LTC Scheller, he’s going to be chemically lobotomized with happy pills, and likely a grinning, babbling idiot.

    Funny how nobody ever thought to provide similar “medical support” to Major Nidal Hasan, ain’t it? I mean, when it would have done some good, before he killed 13 of us, and wounded another 30…

    Oh, wait a minute… He was one of the psychologists. Like they would have brought in to “treat” LTC Scheller.

    Kafka and Orwell were not writing “how-to” books, people… Pay attention: They’re putting the finishing touches on the dystopia they’ve made of our country.

  88. By firing Flynn, he made it seem like there was definitely some shady business going on.

    Because until that happened, everything was going along swimmingly for Mr. Trump and his relationship with the rest of the globalist grifters who make up the American political class.


  89. “Because until that happened, everything was going along swimmingly for Mr. Trump…”
    He had just been elected President, hadn’t he?
    No one cared about that stupid “dossier” outside of DC.
    Suddenly everyone read that Trump had fired his national security advisor for shady Russian contacts.
    He never recovered from that.

  90. Well.
    They did it.
    They gave the order to close the doors and go wheels up while knowing hundreds, probably of thousands, of Americans, were left behind.
    And the order was followed without any objection from anyone down the line.
    How many of those Americans do you think watched that last plane fly away?
    This government is filth.

  91. One of Ross Perot’s big beefs was that the US Government had knowingly left large numbers of POWs behind in Vietnam — a complaint that was completely ignored by the Establishment.

    That does not make what Biden*’s crew are doing in Afghanistan right. It just tells us that this pattern has been in place for a long time.

    Hell! In WWII, when Stalin was very heavily dependent on Lend-Lease supplies from the US, FDR and his crew did nothing effective to stop Stalin treating US pilots who landed on Soviet territory as prisoners of war.

    The more we look into things, the more it seems that it has been a very long time since the clique in the US government was truly on the side of the US people.

  92. (Coming to this thread late, as I’ve been out of town on family business)

    I think most of how the Afghanistan evacuation unraveled, is that the State Department was calling most of the shots, not the Pentagon. Heck, they probably weren’t even asking the Pentagon for input. The shutdown of Bagram in favor of the Kabul airport indicates this. The latter was a few blocks away from the embassy, just a short hop away, while Bagram was 25-30 miles outside the city. To a State Department guy, one airport is just like another. The fact that Bagram was more capable and more defensible is lost on these guys.

    As for conducting the actual bug-out, State does not have any idea of the degree of planning necessary to conduct a retrograde action — it’s just not part of their culture. They likely figured the military would simply pull a rabbit out of its helmet. Bad assumption.

    As for the performance of our troops at the airport gates — not letting anyone in — I think they were simply mentally/emotionally overwhelmed at the massive clusterf*ck, recognizing the hopelessness of the Afghanis we were leaving behind. (FWIW, I’ve read some stories about individual soldiers and Marines pulling folks in over the wire.). Not being there, I can also imagine the terror they felt, looking out over the wire and seeing thousands of armed, vengeful Taliban walking about.

    Could our military have been more forceful about pushing back on State? Dunno. I’ll bet a big part of the after action report will highlight the breakdown between the Pentagon and State, and how the Best and Brightest at State were making amateur assumptions that later handcuffed the military.

  93. except michael yon gave proof to jon solomon, the officers knew what was being done was wrong, mind you they evacuated random civilians but left the translators and our wounded afghan allies,

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