Mar 132015
 
post consumer man

Jerome Grapel

 by Jerome Grapel…

(This essay was written at a time when the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was making its way into the world’s consciousness. More than a decade later, the horrifying chaos now prevailing in the region is sickening proof of the colossal blunder the American invasion was.)

    As I write this essay, the second Bush Oil War has become the fiasco it always deserved to be. The latest piece of firewood thrown onto the flames of this madness is the graphic international diffusion of the inhuman treatment of Iraqi prisoners. The few days it has taken me to digest and turn this material into some kind of life giving substance has produced the following thoughts: War is bad. War dehumanizes. War is the single most aberration man has ever conceived of. War should only be entered into after the most exhausting efforts are made to avoid it … and even then, don’t we all know that something has gone terribly wrong, that we’ve failed miserably, that we’ve let ourselves down, that the idea of good guys and bad guys, in a real war, becomes less and less relevant until everyone involved is reduced to a brute animal state that should have been exorcized from the human condition long ago?

     The acts of gross humiliation perpetrated against the Iraqi prisoners seem hardly abnormal when one considers the venue they took place in. War is madness. War is a breathing organism of squizophrenic behavior. The unacceptable becomes routine in such an environment. Everything we’ve ever been told to respect and hold dear is not just ignored, but reversed. Any nation that does not try to avoid war with every fiber of its being, is committing the ultimate act of immorality.

     Although it generally goes unnoticed or overlooked, there has never been a war anywhere where this kind of bestiality has not taken place. Why all this fuss for the normal behavior of such an abnormal setting?

     For those Americans who have not traveled abroad lately, I will grossly understate the case by saying that this war is not looked upon favorably outside the “homeland”. (Ever since 9/11, Americans seem to have discovered this word. Doesn’t it have a Nazi-like ring to it?) Even in the one place it is given some veneer of legitimacy — the United States — a substantial part of its population finds this conflict repugnant. Everywhere else, even within the ranks of the countries that make up the “coalition”, the rank and file almost unanimously revile and repudiate it. This war is so universally despised, that any opportunity to further chastise it is seized upon with the same zeal a gossip columnist might break a story about Brittany Spear copulating with a horse. Further sweetening the pot is the hypocrisy of America’s rhetoric: democracy, freedom, human rights, the “liberation” of the Iraqi people, and other such lumpy porridge put forth to justify this war. One has to wonder what the Iraqis may have been subjected to if we had not come as their “friends”.

     My indignation for these unfortunate acts of sub-human behavior is not directed at those who carried them out. I feel more pity than hate for these people, whose negative celebrity has now been circulated around the globe. They are the scapegoats, the guinea pigs, the little people who will have to take the rap for the monstrous vileness of their leaders. There is one image in particular that sticks in my mind: an attractive young lady informally clothed in military attire is smiling brightly, as if she were adding a photo to her vacation album, as she humiliates a bent over Iraqi prisoner. There is a Marquis de Sade quality to it all, a jovial kind of erotic perversion that might be seen in a porno flic. But it is not a porno flic.

     This young woman has descended to a level of consciousness that she never knew was within her. It was sucked out from the deepest, most hidden recesses of her being, like the oil so deeply encased beneath the parched sands of the Iraqi desert. It was not easy to reach this hidden layer of her emotional make up. It took an extraordinarily vitiated atmosphere to do so. Under almost any other circumstance, this black spot in her almost sub conscience — a black spot we all must have somewhere — would have lain buried and forgotten, far from the light of day. Undoubtedly, if you worked with her from 9 to 5; if you met her in a bar on Saturday night; if you interacted with her in a reasonable setting, she’d seem no different from the great mass of humanity going about their lives as best they can — working, eating, playing, loving. I’m sure many would find her attractive and could even fall in love with her. But the hurricane she found herself in was so confusing, so neurotic, so disorienting …

     No … my indignation is not directed at her. My indignation, my scorn, my repulsion goes straight towards those who sent her into such a perverted environment, for those who created it.

     Perhaps the intense conflict the idea of war wages with our more typical behavior can best be put into focus by emphasizing our normal reactions to pain, suffering and death.

     Not long ago, I was standing by the tennis courts of our local park, waiting my turn to play. Like many public parks in America, the shadowy presence of that strombotic class of people known as the “homeless” is well represented. It might even be said it is their park and the rest of us are just passing through. Their presence has a phantasmal quality as they shuck and shuffle along in the background, like pieces of furniture or props in a real life play.

     So there I was, waiting to play, when I heard a thud behind me like a sack of potatoes dropped from a window. I turned and saw a middle-aged man lying face up on the ground just under a telephone booth. He was probably trying to use the phone when the precocity of his physical condition could no longer maintain a standing position.

     From about 20 feet away I stood and gazed at him for about 15 seconds. He was not moving. I approached slowly, as if he were a wounded enemy I did not trust. There was an ugly gash running from just within his dirt-encrusted hairline to just above the bridge of his nose. I noticed a smear of blood on the sharp metal edge of the phone booth. He must have fallen head first into it, slicing his forehead in two.

     By now his head had tilted slightly to his left. His face was covered in dirt and the blood began to make its way down his forehead like a red river between its brown banks. It then started to drip steadily off the bridge of his nose, passing before his left eye before splatting to the ground beside his face. His eyes were wide open. I bent down to get a bit closer. Sometimes we say stupid things. “Are you OK?” His cracked lips seemed to be trying to form a smile. A few guttural sounds escaped his mouth.

     This man not only meant nothing to me, he meant nothing to anybody, not even himself. His absence from the earth would probably go unnoticed. He was little more than an alcohol fetted piece of flesh with no value to anyone. He was a barely living organism that had still not passed from existence. An ant had more relevance to life on this planet than he did.

     I then asked another stupid question, stupid because this man was beyond making decisions. “Do you want some help?” His eyes remained open. Did they see anything?

     It was up to the rest of us, embodied in me in this particular instance, to make the choice for him. I walked back to the tennis courts, picked up a cell phone and did what almost all of us would do, even that young lady now famous for her sadistic treatment of Iraqi prisoners: I called 911.

     I don’t know if doing such a thing is taught to us, or culturally induced, or is simply a part of our genetic make up by now, millions of years into our evolutionary journey. This is what humans do. This is what makes us “humane”. We don’t just let people agonize, suffer or die if we can help it. This is called compassion, and we are the only animals that possess it.

     I could never be described as a “bleeding heart”. I lose no sleep over the fact that thousands of people have no roof to sleep under. I don’t sponsor starving children in Africa or South America. I give no money to panhandlers. These situations are stains on the human condition that denigrate us all, that individual acts of kindness do little to eradicate. My commitment is a more universal attempt to change our ideology so as to make these sordid instances of human degradation less prevalent.

     But I don’t let people bleed to death on the sidewalk, no matter how little their worth in the cosmic scheme of things might be. And neither would you.

     And that is why war is such a bad thing. It is a complete negation of everything we’ve striven to be since we’ve begun to have consciousness of ourselves. It brings out everything we’ve been trying to flee from since the dawn of time. These horrible pictures of our young men and women reduced to an animal state are frightening proof that no one ever “wins” a war. Even if it had been easy and we had installed our puppet government and secured the cheap fuel necessary to continue with this drunken spree of bigger SUV’s, and the latest Nike sneakers, and the ephemeral joy we might receive from the next DVD, in the long run, everyone has lost again. All we’ve done is perpetrate an ancient form of barbarism that degrades us all — “conquerors” and “conquered” alike — until someday we will be the ball and somebody else will be the bat, still hopelessly trapped in a stagnant orbit of fear and violence, wasting our specie’s remarkable talents in an endless spiral of regressive death and destruction.

     When a small cadre of people, for their own selfish reasons, go out of their way to create a war, they have done the greatest disservice possible to humanity. They have retarded our emotional and spiritual growth. They have created an unbearable psychic tension on those forced to participate in the fray, because such an environment is in a pure state of conflict with their normal impulses. It has created a cerebral short circuit …

     … but I don’t blame these unfortunate young men and women. One has to go way further up the chain of command, back down the Persian Gulf, through the Suez and out Gibraltar, all the way back to the Potomac and Pennsylvania Avenue to find the real culprits. These people have degraded us all.

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Jerome Grapel
Jerome Grapel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1945 and raised in the New York City area in what could be called a vintage middle class upbringing. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia where he played baseball and graduated with a B.A. in history in 1967. With a "noticeable lack of vocation for anything, and not knowing what else to do," he continued at Temple Law School, graduating in 1970.
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More articles by Post Consumer Man prior to November, 2014.
 March 13, 2015  Posted by at 3:05 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #105  Add comments

  46 Responses to “Why War is Bad”

  1. Jerome, your view of homeless people is proof once again that “we” are not all created equal members of one human family, or, “we” don’t remain equal members. Yet, I, who has lived on the street in Key West, and elsewhere, who has slept in homeless shelters, who has been in Florida Out Reach Coalition’s homeless rehab program, in Key West, view trying to fix homeless people about like you seem to view it: a waste of time, if they are using their narcotic of choice. Typically alcohol, but today spice is popular among them, and other exotics chemicals. In the situation you described, I would have done the same thing, and having done that, moved ahead. I wonder if that poor soul was a veteran of an America foreign war, or was just a veteran of a variety of wars in the American homeland?

    I wish I’d had the good sense and guts to demonstrate against the Vietnam war, which was just as stupid, evil and corporate profit-driven as the more recent wars. I knew 9/11 was bait, a trap. I knew on that day, that whoever was behind it wanted America to invade a foreign country. I told many people that. And, for the most part, I was told America had to retaliate. It was the right thing to do. It was God’s will, religious people told me.

    So, unlike you, I do not lay all of the fault on the so-called leaders of this country. I lay the fault on all Americans, who wanted America to be in Vietnam. On all Americans, who wanted America to save Kuwait. On all Americans, who wanted America to invade Iraq. On all Americans, who wanted America to invade Afghanistan. On all Americans, who still “support the troops” in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The way to support the troops is to be screaming for them to be brought home.

    And, my goodness, why come the troops have not yet figured out what is going on? How come their generals and admirals have not said, “NO MORE!?” How come they do whatever the current idiot in the White House orders them to do?

    I told many people before Barack Obama was elected the first time, that he was as bad news as John McCain. And what did Obama do after being elected? Instead of stopping the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, pronto, which many of his lemmings had hoped he would do, he continued those wars. Then, beyond any glimmer of personal conscience, he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, instead of rejecting it, because it was awarded to him by idiots, because of the color of his skin. And then he was reelected. How many people in America still worship him?

    Here’s what’s going on, Jerome. Here’s what’s behind what you lament. Mass demonic possession. In the G.W. Bush/Republican camp. In the B.H. Obama/Democrat camp. In any camp in America, which backs any of the wars named above, or any other wars in which America is involved currently.

    How do you cure mass demonic possession? There is no human cure for demonic possession. The only cure is supernatural. Is America willing to receive THAT cure? Not a chance. Will THAT cure be imposed on America? I would not hold my breath.

    You, I, others, can pontificate on America at war until hell freezes over, and it won’t make one iota of difference. But if we don’t pontificate, we sell out, we are accomplices, we are part of the mass demonic possession. Maybe the Catch-22 of all Catch-22s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuUBCF3KKxc

    (Country Joe & the Fish, Vietnam song)

    I can’t wait to see how the other “usual suspects” (blue paper readers who regularly pontificate under blue paper articles) rise to the chum line (bait) you have so kindly provided. Especially the readers who use pen names. I especially enjoy hearing from those bravehearts.

    Ciao, Sloan

    • Sloan, Thanks for your comments, always appreciated. Perhaps it is sad to admit, but I kind of share your general state of pessimism in the human race. It is a horrifying panorama, isn’t it? But we must go on and the only way for me to do so is to keep trying to make sense, to keep trying to see if someone can enlighten me or be enlightened by me. For me, there is no other choice. If I am to discrep with you on anything, it is your saying that our leaders are no more guilty than the masses they lead. Yes, the masses fall for it, but it is our leaders that are supposed to get us somewhere positive. Most of us are simply not equipped to make good choices; most of us are very busy just trying to survive, to raise our kids, to enjoy life a bit, to just get by. It is our leaders that set the tone, not just politicians, but business people, financiers, media moguls, etc. It’s complex, hard to decode and the average person can’t take all the blame for making bad choices. They are simply led astray by powers to be with the tools to do so. Sorry, I blame the guys who willingly started this Iraqi war, more than the masses who fell for it.

      • Jerome – I, too, blame G.W. Bush and his cronies for the Iraq war, and for the Afghanistan war. And I blame the unseen people behind the scenes pulling Bush and his cronies’ strings.

        Behind that is something else entirely, and it ain’t human. It goes by many names, the Devil is as good as any, although Lucifer is what I call it. Not metaphor. I deal with it all the time, by engaging its human proxies, most of whom are not aware of what really is happening. The same thing has blinded the masses, who support these leaders, who merely are puppets, unawares or awares.

        Hitler and his top cronies were aware of what was running them. G.W. Bush probably had no clue. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were another matter. Yet even they were clueless, compared to Hitler and his cronies, who made a conscious pact with Evil. I think Barack Obama is clueless, too.

        I’m not talking here about the Illuminati working behind the scenes. I’m talking about something supernatural. It promotes all wars. It feeds on the human psycho-spirit energy wars produce. Cut off from the God energy, Evil has to manufacture it’s own food. War is one big way it does that on this planet. There are many other ways it produces food, by stirring humans to do things they ought not do, and not do things they should do.

        The Spear of Destiny, by Trevor Ravenscroft, speaks to how Hitler and his cronies made a pact with Evil, and how that was confronted by one Grail Knight in particular, Rudolph Steiner. That book was my introduction to what very few people I have known wanted to know about. I read it in 1994. And, an introduction to demonic possession, Hostage to the Devil, by Father Malachi Martin. Chilling. Then began my training in that arena, and the training was horrific, and was different from how the exorcist priests in Martin’s book went about it.

        Evil has endless, creative ways of duping human beings. The masses are very easy to dupe. To the point, the New Age, in which I once spent a great deal of time, getting to know it, does not even believe Evil exists. Whereas, Christendom believes Evil exists, but thinks it is immune because of salvation through Jesus. Islam also believes Evil exists, but believes it is above that, since it is God’s true religion, just as Christendom believes it is God’s true religion. Evil loves religion. Feasts in it.

        I indeed am pessimistic, because I see all too clearly what very few people see. However, I do not know the future; I do not know what angels of God have up their sleeves. I’m not speaking here of religion, but of actual beings, with which I have had dealings for many years now, to the extent they allow me to have dealing with them, on their terms, nearly always mystifying to me, and nearly always difficult tests for me. They changed how I see, hear, think, behave. They are still changing how I see, hear, think, behave.

        I wish they would do the same to/for humanity. Oh, my, would each person then have a change in thinking, priorities, behavior. War would cease. As would lots of other behavior you probably wish did not happen. Meanwhile, it’s kinda like pandemonium, and kinda like Pandora’s open box, and kinda like a great action movie, and kinda like a Stephen King special, and kinda like As the World Turns, and, who knows?, maybe the Second Coming will get it all straightened out.

        Meanwhile, we think, therefore we are; we feel, therefore we exist; we breathe, therefore we live; we get on about our lives, therefore we cause things to happen. Age 72, I don’t fret about lots of things I used to fret about. I have all I can say grace over just dealing with what is dead in front of me. Today and yesterday, your article is one thing dead in front of me.

  2. Constitutional Breaches by our Civilian Leadership have established a series of Uber-Presidencies that have opted for war as an answer/solution: “Only Congress Can Declare War”.

    Congress has shown themselves to be a flaccid, partisan and corrupted body unfit to adhere to their specified duties enumerated in our Constitution. It is a catch-22 enterprise fueled by the military industrial complex.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of this destructive threat approximately 65 years ago. Who voted for Bush; who voted for Obama. The flavor may be a little different, however, they are one in the same when it comes to slaughtering innocent men, women and children.

    I have more to say on this topic.

    As usual, brilliant, well-thought out and beautifully presented. Thank you Jerome…

    • John, I was particularly interested in your participation this week because of your first hand knowledge of war. I’m just trying to decipher this venue but you are truly an expert. Anything you could add to the subject would be greatly valued. I think it would be relevant to note that most of us who backed Obama over Hillary did so because he opposed the war in Iraq, in fact, it could probably be said that he won the nomination precisely for that fact. In his defense, it could be said that he is doing all he can not to get further entwined in something like that again and his attempts at diplomacy with Iran are very important. If it is blown up by the Neanderthal wing of American politics … well, I’d say there would then be no hope for this country. Thanks John

  3. Hi Jerry,
    While I generally agree with everything you write, I do have to take exception to one statement in this essay, which is that humans are the only animals known to be able to display compassion. I think a further examination of the animal kingdom will reveal that many other species, including elephants who have been shown weeping at the loss of a loved one, dolphins who have been seen apparently reaching out and kissing humans who have rescued them, and whales who have been filmed cavorting in wild celebration after being freed from entangling fishing lines and then coming over and staring into the eyes of the rescuers in obvious thanks are all exhibiting compassion towards others.
    I think that this idea that humans alone are capable of compassion is, in fact, a very dangerous idea, in that it is used to justify and rationalize our domination of the “lesser” species because of our supposed moral superiority over all others. Taking it a step further, I also feel it is used to justify the persecution of other humans who are different in any way, be it in skin color, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or any other way that humans can find to discriminate against one another, because of the favored group’s alleged superiority over all others.
    Perhaps I have overstated my case, nevertheless, I do believe there are many cases of other species exhibiting compassion to other members of their species, and yes, even to humans.
    Peace to you, Jerry….

    • Frank, As always, it is an honor to receive a comment from you, and this one is particularly brilliant. Frank, I never felt comfortable with the statement you criticize and have often felt that maybe I should change or eliminate it. I completely empathize your your attitude. Although I do not strictly adhere to a vegan diet, I lean that way primarily because I think not killing other animals would help change our attitudes about killing each other. If I may defend myself on this point (just a little) let’s just say that humans may exercise compassion to a greater degree than other animals. Good stuff Frank, Jerry

      • Jerome, others –

        The night of 9/8-9, I was asked in my sleep by a familiar voice, “Will you make a prayer for a Divine Intervention for all of humanity?” I woke up, wondering what that was about?. and I prayed for a Divine Intervention for all of humanity. On 9/11, I knew why.

        A few days later, leaving the Key West post office on Whitehead Street, I was told that America should get out of the Middle East altogether, and to stop giving aid to Israel, and to let Israel and Islam work it out, or fight it out, an in that way learn which of them are God’s chosen people.

        I published all of that many times, and also, that I was told in my sleep after Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton in 2008, before the presidential election, that he, Barack, had the potential to be the anti-Christ. That, too, I published many times, and that, after he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, my bowel locked up for a month, and finally released after violent poetry about that he’d done erupted out of me at a Key West Poetry Guild monthly meeting.

        I, too, have seen President Obama seems wary about America getting further enmeshed in war in the Middle East, and wary of Israel. And I see the right beating the rums of war and backing Israel, as if their very lives depend it. I also see war in Iraq revving back up, and I see America still involved there, and still involved in Afghanistan. I can’t say I see any end to America at war in sight, with either Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush in the White House. They both are hawks. Just different-colored plumage.

        I wonder what kin of message would be sent in the next presidential election, if people who want America to get out of the war business, for that’s what it is, and addiction, to write into the place for president on their ballots, “Peace”, or “No more war”, or “No One”?

        I have told my friend John Donnelly many times, because of his war experiences in Vietnam, that I wish he, and American veterans like him, will lead the charge against America at war. Who, other than American war veterans can best lead that charge?

        Last week, under the blue paper’s will police wear body camera’s article, I said, in answer to an invitation from John for blue paper readers to say that they think was behind police brutality and them getting away with it, I wrote it was mass demonic possession. John wrote back that I was dead on the money, he could could feel it, it was palpable.

        What’s behind America’s war addiction also is mass demonic possession. I can feel it. It’s palpable.

  4. “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.
    Douglas MacArthur”
    ― Douglas MacArthur

    Members of our Armed Forces are representative samples of the society and culture from which they come. A cruel and insensitive world consumed with an extraordinary dependence upon violence for their recreation, amusement and entertainment (videos, movies, music, sitcoms) produces like minded soldiers.

    Boot camp does not eradicated these tendencies, for the very drill instructors and commanding officers come from a like minded persuasion.

    Add an inferior school system and a view of the military as a way out unpleasant circumstances; in many instances you are not attracting a genteel and sophisticated raw recruit.

    Politically correct promotions and corrupted leadership at the top can cause chaos, ineffectiveness and an absence of command control.

    UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) is clear and specific on the law regarding the handling of prisoners and acceptable conduct outlined in the rules of engagement.

    Leadership, discipline, obedience, adherence to the law and performance are critical to the success of a combat or peacetime unit.

    Every private and PFC, right on up to the president of the united states bears the responsibility of crimes committed during combat or prisoner detention by any military unit.

    Right there, on the ground, in real time, any misconduct stops. If not you are culpable in the commission of said crime. The tone is set in every way on everyday by the NCO’s (enlisted men and women) charged with the mission at hand.

    Thanks again, Jerome.

  5. THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY COMMIT THE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY HAVE MORE CULPABILITY THAN THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE THE ORDERS.

    GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULLS.

    THE FACT THAT YOUR MOMMY AND/OR DADDY DID NOT TEACH YOU RIGHT FROM WRONG DOES NOT EXCUSE YOU FROM UNDERSTANDING AND ACTING ON THE DIFFERENCE.

    • The Nazis who ran the death camps said they were acting under orders. That defense didn’t wash. The folks who gave the orders to build and operate the death camps, and send Jews, Gypsies and others, I suppose, to the ovens set it all into motion, starting at the top, with Hitler. Their minions were more culpable?

      G.W. Bush, being the American president, shared similar Hitler role and responsibility in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as did his cronies.

      I keep recommending The Spear of Destiny, by Trevor Ravenscroft, and I don’t seem ever to get any takers. It explains what ran Hitler and his cronies. Fast forward, same thing ran G.W. Bush and his cronies, during their wars. Fast forward, same thing running President Obama and his cronies, during their wars.

      I gather, John Donnelly, from what you posted above, and have posted at other times, that you don’t see US generals, admirals, line officers and enlisted men have any responsibility for American wars, but only are responsible for fighting wars without committing atrocities.

      Alas, the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars were/are atrocities in and of themselves. Their karma is horrific. The Iraq and Afghanistan karma is increasing.

      • Sloan, That last paragraph perhaps sums this all up. it’s going around, it’s coming around, and if we as a nation never understand this; that “good guys” and “bad guys” can be the same thing, then we are doomed. I don’t share in your more metaphysical comments, but do not consider them silly or out of line either.

  6. Sloan,

    Very Good Point.

    A child, young man, brought up in a household where his father landed on Normandy and was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, while all of his uncles served in similar capacities throughout Europe and the South Pacific; along with both grandfathers being wounded in action during WW1, there was a patriotic influence (reverence for the military sacrifices made by my immediate family and their fallen comrades).

    Nothing forced. Just a natural and authentic display of respect to the institution and soldiers they served with. The strong Irish presence in NYC provided the fighting 69th Infantry Division (WW1) with plenty of soldiers.

    Now these citizens had lives before both wars. The draft caused them to discard all that they loved and cared for to travel around the world and kill people; or be killed and wounded themselves. I’m certain that they would have preferred a diplomatic (peaceful) resolution to the problems at hand. The civilian leadership was not able to broker a deal or secure a peace.

    Fast forward to the start of the Vietnam War (1959). A little over 10 years since the successful conclusion WW2. A patriotic theme was maintained in the majority of American households.

    There wasn’t that much distrust of our government. Remember Kennedy and Camelot were on the horizon. I had scholarships to college, however, in keeping with my childhood experiences I chose to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. Believe me, I wasn’t sold a bill of goods, I decided to find out for myself what was going on over there. Some of my very close friends decided that they didn’t want to participate in that conflict. They used every manner of deception to be ruled unacceptable for the draft. I never ridiculed or judged them for the decisions that they made. I liked and loved them. They made their choices and I made mine.

    Now, an individual who was a pacifist or because of religion reasons could not kill another human being; there was a ‘conscientious objector’ status that could be granted. I don’t know if the application process was credible, fair or legitimate.

    The bulk of any fighting force, those that do the killing and heavy lifting, are the enlisted men. If they’ve been drafted or volunteered they are deployed where the civilian leadership decides to send them.

    The Uniform Code of Military Justice is the law of their land. At this stage of the game you are all in. How you conduct yourself in combat and lawfully discharge your duties, along with the rules of engagement and the treatment of civilians and prisoners; must be in keeping with the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. That’s how we did business during my tour in Vietnam. No exceptions to the rule.

    Now the top down leadership in the military is another matter. The generals, admirals and other ranking officers have a lot of power and influence. Coordinating their efforts not to exceed the wishes of their civilian bosses is another matter. Remember in Korea, Truman had to contend with and fire MacArthur, and Johnson had to deal with Westmorland’s corruption in Vietnam.

    I’m a simple man. As a civilian leader, If you disobey my orders or conduct combat operations that violate the UCMJ, no matter what your pay grade, I am going to have you arrested and imprisoned, while I investigate and build a case against you. You would have to do this very infrequently, as I would make certain the word was gotten out, that severe consequences awaited rogue or renegade general officers.

    War in itself is an atrocity. It is unnecessary, it is the ultimate insanity. As a child I knew how to broker deals and construct peace accords with rival gangs, races and ethnicities. What is the problem with the buffoons before us.

    Unfortunately, we have been surrounded by such civilian idiots and imbeciles for so long, that we’ve become immune and conditioned to the incompetence and criminality of our government. The military and its extended network, salivate at the thought of gamming and playing their civilian counterparts.

    War increases military promotions, while exacerbating the value and worth of generals and their subordinate officer corps.

    Remember how Johnson and McNamara selected targets to be bombed in Vietnam, while strewn across a davenport in the Lincoln bedroom. Military leadership looked upon them as a joke. This bone head behavior by the commander-in-chief was one factor that led the generals in Vietnam to develop the ‘body county’ measure to gage success in combat. It was easy, they felt that they could get away with it and it was job security.

    Perhaps if no one joined the Military it might decrease the chance of engaging in a war. However, I believe it might even be worse; as gadgets, drones and unmanned weapon delivery systems would take over. All having the very real potential to significantly increase innocent death and destruction.

    Our civilian leadership is responsible for getting us into wars. They are also responsible for any atrocities engaged in by our military on the battlefield. The buck stops with the commander-in-chief, our president. He or she is the one that sent the troops into harm’s way. He or she and their civilian staff, are the only ones that have the power, oversight responsibility, control and situational awareness over all placements and conduct of personnel on the ground. The officers and NCO’s are proxies of the president.

    Take it a step further. Every American citizen is responsible for the behavior of the men and women they send into combat via their selection of the civilian leadership. A ‘government of, by, and for the people’ may be culpable in the killing of millions of children and innocent civilians. Let their God be their judge.

    Evil flourishes because good men and women do nothing.

    • Yes, and that’s why I keep saying I hope you, and other American war vets, and the US Military, top to bottom, revolt against rich white American men’s, mostly, wars for profit..

    • John, I do believe one of the problems lies in the “volunteeer army”. None of this would be going on if their was a draft. I know. As a middle class kid (contrary to people like you, who generally fight our wars) I dodged the war in VNam just like all the other kids like me, or the rich kids, like Cheney and all the rest of them. I heard a great comment on TV last week. The speaker was the ex right hand man of Colin Powell (his chief of staff, I think it was) a man named Col. Wilkerson. Wilkerson, as a military man, hated the war in Iraq, and all the rest that has gone on recently. When told that something like 62% of Americans favor some kind of troops on the ground against ISIL, he said this: well fine, then let’s have a draft so those 62% can show how much they support this. Touche!

  7. There is yet another major player in this tragedy, who is very loud by her absence: the feminine, Eve, Christendom’s Holy Ghost. Her absence in humanity is the cause of all wars, including all man-made wars. Her absence in humanity is the cause of nearly all diseases: physical, emotional, mental. Lucifer is delighted she is absent, for if she were present, humanity would behave very differently. If she were present, articles like yours, Jerome, would not be written, because the wars would not be happening. A bit more ruminating about that in today’s “women are fine, as long as they walk three steps behind the men, and other little recognized secrets to happiness and ending wars and other human miseries – Key West Church of Heresies and Other Little Known Prophesies” post at http://goodmorningkeywest.com/?p=29087, which should be ready for viewing by 10 a.m. today, Saturday, March 14

  8. To All Who’ve Participated Here, There is so much to digest here and I am so honored to have created this discussion. All of it has its merit, none of it is stupid or naive or ignorant. There is much to say on the subject of war and how we as human beings are consistently led into it. Basically, as I will bring up in a later entry to this publication, we are a very group oriented, social species and the message received by the group is usually what we end up adhering to. I always say: person to person, face to face, we are a wonderful species. It is the “collective” that runs astray, but the collective is necessary, thus the dilemma — how do we get the proper message to the collective? Certainly, our over aggressive, overly competitive, overly materialistic society does not do that. Saying more at this point would be counter-productive, so I’ll just say thanks so very much again.

    • Jerome, how do you distinguish between the species and the collective? They seem one and the same to me.

      As “engineered”, Earthlings are a beautiful species, in the soul and potential sense. Perhaps at one time, they were beautiful in the physical sense, but a trip to a fast food restaurant, Wal-Mart, or even the KWPD, indicates some to a great deal of mutation away from physical beauty, and perhaps away from other beauty.

      In each person is huge, even supernatural, potential, but tapping into it is rare, I think. I still see no solution war, other than a Divine Intervention into the species, collectively and individually.

      About 4 years ago, I was asked to pray for a Divine Intervention of the feminine into USA, which prayer I made. One of her attributes is, she is introspective, looks in the mirror at everything reflected back: the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. That’s a major undertaking, for any person. It can take years. And longer.

      As Jesus said it, First, take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to help your brother (or your sister) remove the beam from his (her) eye. As Gandhi said it, Become the light you wish to see in the world.

      If America’s military and war veterans do not revolt against the wars invented by American political leaders, how can you, I, or any other American stop America’s war addiction? That brings me back to the Divine Intervention method, which might not make very many people happy – perhaps a huge understatement :-).

      I think Bozewell got pretty close below, to hitting the nail square on the head.

      I met a fellow in Key West some years ago, in the Unitarian Universalist Church, who said he was in the CIA back when the French were trying to retake Vietnam, after the Japanese were defeated in World War II. While outwardly America was backing France in the international arena, his group’s mission was to help Ho Chi Mihn defeat France. Why? America wanted access to Vietnam’s rubber trees. Several people heard this recount, but only I was jolted by it. The others went on as if they had not even heard it, despite my several attempts to engage them over what they had just heard.

      Some years before that, I heard the CEO of the National Geographic say, the Geographic had war correspondents in Saigon when a huge street demonstration occurred: thousands of Vietnamese carrying posters written in English, begging America to save them from North Vietnam. The Geographic’s correspondents spoke Vietnamese and interviewed many demonstrators. None spoke English. None knew what was on the posters they carried. None knew why they were demonstrating. All had been paid money by the Saigon government to be bused in from the countryside, to demonstrate. The Geographic CEO said, that demonstration was all over American TV. It turned the tide of American sentiment against intervening in Vietnam, to intervening. The Vietnam war, as it would become, began. The Geographic’s CEO said the Geographic dug around and learned the money to pay the demonstrators was furnished by the US Government and US corporations. This occurred in a Rotary Club meeting in my own town. You could have heard a pin drop in the room. Nearly all of the older members were Korean and WW II combat veterans. One was my father. He looked like he was going to throw up.

  9. I was very suspicious of 911 and I have never believed the explanation on why that third tower fell when it was not hit. I watched “Loose Change” and in slow motion I saw things that were contradicting what the media told us. Then we declare war whether officially or unofficially, go after suspected terrorists, deny them due process and then torture them. It was obviously Un-American. We then get hipped up for revenge, maybe not called revenge but obviously that is what it is. With the lies we are brainwashed to believe we must go after the bad guys and who they are. We are told this is to protect the world from evil. Look what has happened since we invaded Iraq. We now know that our leaders were the evil ones. They manipulated us with lies and deceptions. Are we better off now than before 911? Do we still have the same rights and freedoms? Is the world a better and safer place? All of the answers are NO. The United States is the reason we have more terrorists. We fueled terrorists groups like ISIS. And, I believe it was deliberately done for the sake of MONEY.

  10. This video/interview pretty much sums up the complete retardation of the masses.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raFHlwVp4LI

  11. Sloan, Two things here: first, your remarks about the feminine, though they may sound outlandish to many, ring a bell for me. I’ve always been disappointed by the so called woman’s movement or Feminism, not because I do not see women as complete intellectual equals with men, but of how women themselves see their movement. The feminist movement can be distilled down into little more than this: women wanting to emulate masculine roles. This to me is dangerous because the masculine has done enough damage on this earth by now. I’d much prefer women demanding a softening masculine role rather than a hardening feminine role. I’d rather see more heterosexual male ballet dancers than more female athletes. As for Vietnam — I have a wonderful French friend in Spain who flew jets in the French Air Force during their Indo-China war. At this stage in his life he is fully ashamed of what he did there. He told me the following anecdote: when their role in this war was winding down, he remembers a night when some of the first American “advisors” began showing up. At dinner one night, the Americans joked with the French, telling them that now that they were taking over, you’d see how to run this war. What a sad story this is, isn’t it?

    • Yes, sad. And Tragic. And it keeps repeating. And I see no resolution by human methods; the species is not up to it; America is not up to it. And I can’t say I really care; I just keep doing what is in front of me, because it’s what I do. Might be fun, perhaps not, but it might be, to just disappear, nobody knows where I went, and try something entirely new.

    • Since I’m not sticking to my self-imposed ban, here’s some more…

      Some facts about the CIA funded Feminist movement whose main objective is to break up the family, leaving everyone feeling anxious and powerless.

      http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2012/05/01/black-feminism-the-cia-and-gloria-steinem/

      On your divine intervention Sloan…no one, God or man can make another CARE, which is the root of the feminine. The divine has given us free will to maintain and cultivate our feminine care principle, or not…as witness in The Cremation of Care ceremonies at Bohemian Grove yearly. You are wrong and perpetuating satanic thought to insist that it is not up to us humans to invoke our principles of feminine care.

    • Jerome,
      Your French friend’s story reminds me of the film, “We were Soldiers”. At the end of the long battle with the Americans, Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu An says. “Such a tragedy. They will think this was their victory. So this will become an American war. And the end will be the same… except for the numbers who will die before we get there.” Not a Mel G. fan, but he does make good movies.

      • I don’t now recall if it was the fellow who told me he was a CIA agent in Vietnam, or I read it somewhere. Ho Chi Mihn wanted to align with America, he was not a communist, but America wanted too much, so he aligned, not with next-door neighbor China, which he did not like, or trust, but with the Soviet Union. And thus began a proxy war between the Soviet Union and America in Vietnam.

        When after Bill Clinton won the Democrat nomination, I wrote to him and said, if he won the presidential election, since he had opposed the Vietnam war when he was in college, his mission as president would be to make a national US apology to Vietnam. During his second term, he did that. I felt that might have been why he was like teflon, and everything the Republicans did to try to be rid of him, failed.

      • Alex, Great comment, but I don’t think MG makes good movies. They are usually the same “good guys-bad guys”, heroes and villains stuff that glorifies this military debauchery.

        • Jerome, Good vs evil is as old as love and hate and is part and parcel of the human condition…Mel has not cornered the market. “Apocalypto” is one of my fave flix of all time.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngWBddVNVZs

          Sloan, I also was under the impression Fidel asked the US for help with the corrupt/criminal Batista government, but was told to buzz off and that is when he went to the Soviets…Any truth to that?

  12. My son recently had an Army recruiter come to his class. The recruiter stated to the class something along the lines of…”I may not agree with everything the government does but since I can’t do anything about it, I may as well benefit from it.”

    And this is what we teach our young.

  13. Oh, Sister, I would love to see the feminine take over humanity, but I doubt humanity, women and men, would care for it.

  14. Throughout the ages, ‘Warriors’ have held a renowned, distinct and revered position in all societies since the inception of Man. History has recorded many thousands of prolific ‘Warrior Queens’ from every race, ethnicity and culture. Such has been the state of our human experience.

    Early on, ‘Warriors’ were identified as being the individuals most able to secure and maintain a peaceful existence for their people.
    Wars were fought to obtain a ‘Peace’. So that all could return home, make love, raise a family and till the soil, while they hunted for food and clothing, as they explored intellectual and spiritual pursuits.

    Warriors were credited with possessing God like qualities, because of their disciplined, energetic, determined, focused, grounded, deliberative, maternal, nurturing, principled, productive, resourceful and skillful qualities.

    Their self-confidence, fearlessness and selfless characteristics were the foundations upon which many civilizations were built.

    Jesus Christ suggested that there was another way one might want to live their life. Few have taken on the teachings of Jesus Christ. The struggle continues.

    Many celebrated schools of thought have scientifically concluded that we are in an ascending cycle of enlightenment. A Yuga Cycles take 24,000 years. We are in Kali Yuga period, cycling towards a Satya Yuga period where virtue gradually increases. During this cycle a complete change, both externally in the material world, and internally in the intellectual and spiritual will take place.

    We shall see.

    It does not take 16 years of killing every type of person (living thing) in a small agrarian society, with napalm and every other type of sophisticated weaponry, to determine the outcome of a War (Vietnam). Who profited because of this war?

    12 years of War in Iraqi. 14 years of War in Afghanistan. Does it really take that long to determine an outcome? What type of insanity are we involved with here?

    Let’s keep insulting one another, calling each other names, pointing fingers and blaming one another for the ills of the world. That will surely make things better.

    When we get tired of that let’s denigrate and scorn liberals, conservatives, republicans, democrats and libertarians. That’s a resourceful expenditure of energy.

    Trying to solve society’s problems without overcoming the confusion and aggression in our own minds, will only exacerbate the problems that we face.

    We must exert discipline and self- restraint on our unruly natures, Warrior like qualities.

    The battlefield that really concerns me, is the one between my ears. If I want world peace, I start with myself and I think peaceful thoughts. Focused and concentrated thinking; like a Warrior. If I want to lessen the suffering in the world, I selflessly surrender myself to the needs of my Brothers and Sisters; just as a Warrior places the needs of his people before his own. I can disarm an enemy without striking a blow, if I really want to, by calling upon the Power I’ve acquired through living a principled life. It has always worked, even when I was not up to the task.

    My presence, energy and vibration are constantly changing the cosmos, for the better or worse. When I make a mistake, I admit it, make an amends and incorporate the lessons learned into my consciousness. Just as a proficient Warrior, I am a quick learner. However, I must admit that sometimes I have to learn the same lesson over and over again.

    We must get beyond defaming and pigeonholing individuals because they don’t think as we do. Making and creating enemies is a counterproductive role in life. That being said, I will call out anyone that I am directed to confront. Here we go again; a manifestation of the Warrior Spirit.

    Corrupted and Murderous Civilian leadership, has perverted the purpose of our military.

    A highly trained, efficient and well skilled military force, that is combat ready, able to quickly eradicate all enemy opposition; in the hands of Self-Realized and Self-Actualized leaders, will NEVER HAVE TO BE USED…

  15. Jerome, your article, and the reader comments to it, and your additional thoughts therein, is the best fleshing out of America at War as I’ve ever seen.

    • Sloan, How amazing! As I got to your last comment, after reading what John had to say, I was thinking how proud I was to have facilitated this conversation. I want to thank you all for your participation, it has filled me with a sense of purpose, with a sense that maybe what I do is worth something. Beautiful stuff people, maybe all is not lost after all?

  16. And to summarize boys and girls…

    “It ain’t my fault”.

  17. Your’e welcome, Jerome. Alas, I don’t see any hope for humanity, or America, turning around, absent what many would call a miracle. Individuals can swim against the collective current and evolve forward. A road less traveled by, often quite lonely, and often quite difficult. Even more difficult, if I am attached to people agreeing with me, changing to my point of view. I just put it out there, and move on to the next thing before me. Doing the best I know how, and in keeping with my spiritual training and the steady input and corrections from the trainers (angels), who have been on my case since early 1987. Leaves me in a peculiar position, since I don’t know all that many people (maybe 2), who acknowledge angels are training and correcting them. I remain of the view that the people who should be opposing war, are the soldiers and veterans of wars. I do not agree that they can say they are just following orders, regardless. I say they should not follow orders, if they do not feel those orders are wise, or moral, or justified by the facts and the circumstances. Vietnam taught us that the national leaders cannot be trusted, when it comes to making war. That’s still true today.

    • Sloan, I think most veterans, after participating in such confusing, counter productive, mistaken military actions, would rather delude themselves into thinking they have done something worthwhile, and their culture in general encourages them to think just that. How often does our noise machine thank them for “protecting our ftreedom”, or call them “our heroes” etc? That is propaganda in its most low grade form. I’d like to know what John thinks of that if he sees this.

  18. Recognized by metaphysicians and quantum physicists: “The cumulative actions of human beings within communities, nations, or the world as a whole constitute mass karma, which produces local or far-reaching effects according to the degree and preponderance of good or evil. The thoughts and actions of every man, therefore, contribute to the good or ill of this world and all peoples in it”.

  19. “The sudden cataclysms that occur in nature, creating havoc and mass injury, are not ‘acts of God’. Such disasters result from the thoughts and actions of man. Whenever the world’s vibratory balance of good and evil is disturbed by an accumulation of harmful vibrations, the result of man’s wrong thinking and wrong doing, you will see devastation”….

    “The world will continue to have warfare and natural calamities until all people correct their wrong thoughts and behavior…When materiality predominates in man’s consciousness, there is an emission of subtle negative energy; their cumulative power disturbs the electrical balance of nature, and that is when earthquakes, floods and other disasters happen. God is not responsible for them! Man’s thoughts have to be controlled before nature can be controlled.” Paramahansa Yogananda, in “Man’s Eternal Quest”.

    • John, Amen my friernd. I’m not sure if man’s bad kharma casuses the earthquakes and such, but I’m sure they cause the socio-political disasters we can’t seem to get past as a species. No doubt about that! Thanks man

  20. A fine article, Jerome, and thank you to all for a painfully honest conversation.

    Cynthia and I attended the weekly protests against the Iraq war on Eaton/Duval every Sunday at noon for a year and a half. We did so because we civilians, especially grey-haired white men like myself, make the decisions to send our young to kill and die. As a symbol we wanted to say some of us really hate what our country is doing, and to apologize to both our warriors and the people whose countries we decimate

    There were about 10 of us. Had there been say a thousand in Key West and millions across the nation, it might have meant something. As it was, all we did was salve our personal consciences. I feel utterly helpless in the face of our nation’s increasing propensity for war.

  21. Rick, I remember those small demonstrations. I was always working on Sunday but in passing I remember thinking how much I respected what you and the others were doing. You have always walked the walk Richard, there’s not a cowardly bone in you. Thanks for the comment.

  22. A dream last night, in a hand of bridge, a low diamond (the feminine) trumped the queen of clubs (the Holy Spirit). The feminine more important than even the queen of Judeo-Christianity is only way I know to read that dream. The feminine vibration, essence.

  23. I have been told in the past, by my spirit handlers, absence of the feminine is the cause of all wars on this world, including all man-made wars.

  24. Jerome,

    Please forgive my delay in getting back to you. As usual, superb article and extraordinary comments, thank you.

    I’m putting the finishing touches on my response to the ‘sniper movie’ and the celebrated status that it has received. I believe my ‘guest column’ will blow the socks off of those inclined to read it.

    For now, accept my limited take on your comment.

    Not much delusion in the killing of another human being. The ‘worthwhileness’ of said action is that you are alive and your opponent is dead.

    I believe the cheerleaders and noise machines encouraging the violence of war, for the most part, have little, if any propaganda impact upon the psyches’ of Warriors doing the killing.

    The intensely personal and horrifically violent experiences of combat, deeply penetrate a soldier’s entire being. Far beyond the power or influence of any human being.

    Perhaps there are some psychopaths and sociopaths that have made their way to the battlefield. I’m unaware of, and have not served with, anyone so identified…

    Blessings & Respect

  25. I hoped, John, that you and other US combat veterans, and the US military, will lead the charge against patently bad US wars. I asked you many times before Jerome’s article was published, to put as much time and energy into that, as you put into righting wrongs inside America. I continued under Jerome’s article, to ask you to do that. I don’t see that you have ever directly responded to my many requests. I can only conclude your position is the US military’s duty is to follow the US President’s orders, regardless. That is what the US military historically has done, which is both sad and bizarre, because it knows more about war than anyone in America, except for American combat veterans. Instead of looking out for both its own troops and America, the US military is a drone, which does not think, but is just a mindless weapon following orders from the current idiot in the White House, and his/her cronies. Kinda reminds of mass demonic possession.

  26. John, Thanks again for this comment, it was eagerly awaited and does not disappoint. Only a combat veteran like yourself could give me this kind of insight and it makes perfect sense. A question: perhaps with the passing of time, 20, 30 years later, a combat veteran might fall for the sound machine war glory rhetoric? I eagerly look forward to your article on the sniper movie.