Words That Lie

All ideologies take certain words that have commonly understood definitions and give them new code word definitions with different meanings for those in the know.  When the ideologues speak, ordinary people get one message while followers of the ideology get another.  In effect, the words so disfigured become lies in themselves.

My favorite example comes from a debate held at Dartmouth College (before my years there) between the Socialist leader Norman Thomas and my favorite Dartmouth professor, J.C. Adams of the History Department.  The topic was, “Does the Soviet Union want peace?”  Norman Thomas made a long and eloquent speech arguing that it does, quoting extensively from the statements by the Soviet Union’s leaders.  Professor Adams demolished him in one sentence.  He opened the official Soviet dictionary and read its definition of peace: “The state of affairs prevailing under socialism”. In other words, when the Soviets said “peace”, they meant “conquest”.  In their mouth, the word “peace” was itself a lie.

Today’s cultural Marxists’ equivalent is the word “tolerance”.  Everyone knows “tolerance” means putting up with things you don’t like or don’t agree with.  But in their mouths it has a different meaning – one created by Frankfurt School member Herbert Marcuse in his essay on “liberating tolerance”.  There, he defines “liberating tolerance” as tolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the Left and intolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the Right.  This is why campus cultural Marxists can call for “tolerance” while physically attacking conservative speakers.  In their mouths, the word “tolerance” is itself a lie.

The same is true of their unholy trinity of “racism, sexism, and, homophobia”.  The suffix “-ism” is, as the coiners of these words explained, a statement that something is a construct, a mere castle in the air made of cobwebs, the opposite of facts.  But differences between races and ethnic groups taken as wholes are real.  Differences between men and women are real and their traditional social roles reflect their inherent differences.  And moral disapproval is not the same thing as a “phobia”, which means an unreasoning fear.  In the cultural Marxist’s mouths, the words “racism, sexism, and homophobia” are themselves lies.

Now there is a real racism and, to a lesser extent, a real sexism and homophobia.  Real racism is assuming that every member of a race or ethnic group shares all the characteristics of the group; in fact, individual variation is wider than group norms.  There is a small number of women whose wires are crossed at a point where they want to live the lives of men.  And some people who are nasty to gays do have an irrational fear of them.  But in the large majority of cases, what the cultural Marxists call “racism, sexism, and homophobia” are simply recognition of facts, not constructions.  Nothing can be both a fact and a construction; the two are opposed by definition.

Conservatives should respond to the Left’s charges of “racism, sexism, and homophobia” by accusing them in turn of “ismism”.  Ismism is a totemic belief that facts can be nullified by calling them names ending in “-ism”.  It is magical thinking, divorced from reality but enforced by the cultural Marxists where they can, which is mostly on college campuses (under the Trump administration, dare we hope that the federal government will cut off all funding including research grants to colleges and universities that enforce cultural Marxism?). Should the cultural Marxists ever take power nationally, God forbid, they would do what we have seen in Europe and in Canada and make any factual correction of their ideology “hate speech”.  In cultural Marxists’ mouths, “hate” is another word that lies; it means any defiance of cultural Marxism.

The history of the 20th century is a vast pile of skulls and bones, made up of the victims of ideology.  As Russell Kirk wrote, conservatism is the negation of ideology.  Let us hope the 21st century sees conservatism vanquish all ideologies and give us peace – real peace, not peace as the Soviets defined it.

The View From Olympus: A 4GW Opportunity for the National Guard

We are accustomed to thinking of the reserve and National Guard as back-ups for the regular armed forces.  In Fourth Generation war, those roles reverse: the regulars are back-ups to the home guard.  Why?  Because in a contest for legitimacy on a country’s own soil, the home guard is made up of local people, while active duty forces can seem like invaders.  More, the home guard’s usual function is to help people in times of disaster, so citizens see the guard through that lens.  Who is not going to welcome a couple of guys in uniform who show up at their flooded house to take them to safety?

We have seen this at play out in the flooding in and around Houston.  But we have also seen something that is in some ways more interesting, and that also offers the National Guard an opportunity to strengthen its legitimacy.  Many of the rescues and resupply missions have been carried out by ordinary citizens.  Some, such as the Cajun Navy of shallow draft boats, had organized and planned beforehand to respond to flooding.  Many other efforts have self-organized, as individuals with useful abilities have reached out to others, come together, and brought what they can do to Houston.

Because these volunteers get no pay, often incur major costs (including time off at work), and sometimes put their own lives on the line, their legitimacy is off the charts.  If the National Guard could tap into that, it would gain legitimacy itself.  In 4GW, legitimacy is the bitcoin of the realm.

How could the Guard do that?  Not by trying to take over the volunteers’ efforts — that would turn many ordinary people against the Guard — but by offering them helpful support.  The Guard could usefully undertake a study of how it could best support volunteer’s efforts in time of emergency.  But it is not difficult to identify some capabilities the Guard could offer.  In return for volunteers simply signing up on some kind of register, either beforehand or when disaster hits, the Guard could give them:

  • Legal immunity.  Some states have “Good Samaritan” laws that protect ordinary people who are trying to help in an emergency from being sued for injuring someone in the process. But not all do, and a certain type of lawyer may be following the rescue boat.  People on the Guard register could be protected from that.
  • Communications and coordination.  The Guard could put volunteers in touch with others offering similar capabilities, help them coordinate and tell them on a real-time basis where the help is most needed.
  • Nationwide notice of need.  While many volunteers will be local, some specialized capabilities could usefully be mobilized on a nationwide basis.  For example, in the Houston flooding, floatplanes could be highly useful.  Given airplanes’ speed, the Guard could notify floatplane owners on the register across the country that they were needed, and even reach overseas (The Japanese Navy still has big flying boats, and Russia has excellent aircraft for fighting forest fires).

As 4GW grows on American soil, which regrettably seems likely, keeping our nation together will require national institutions that still have legitimacy as the Federal government as a whole loses legitimacy.  I cannot think of another institution that could fill that role as well as the National Guard.  In turn, any steps we can take now to further strengthen the Guards legitimacy are of strategic importance (including separating it completely from the regular army, with “National Guard” rather than “Army” on the uniforms, and giving the Guard its own budget).  One such step would be for the Guard to help and support the volunteers who are making so much of a difference in the Texas floods and will in disasters yet to come.

The View From Olympus: A Strategy for Disaster

Last week President Trump laid out his new strategy for Afghanistan.  Actually, it wasn’t his and it wasn’t a strategy.  His strategy, one he talked about numerous times during his campaign, was to get out of what he correctly called a futile war.  The “strategy” he laid out last week was, as his speech made clear, not his but his generals’.  He abandoned his (usually right) instincts and deferred to them.  He might want to ask Kaiser Wilhelm II how that worked out for him.

The generals’ strategy reflected what the Pentagon defines as strategy, which is to do more of the same thing tactically.  This is the classic, Second Generation war “strategy” of accumulating kills in a war of attrition.  We will “take the gloves off”, put more long range, remote firepower on more targets and thereby move more quickly to defeat at the moral level.  There is no surer way to lose a Fourth Generation war.  But it is all the U.S. military knows how to do.  It’s a one-trick pony, and its one trick is to poop on its own head.

If this were all the president had laid out, it would add up to nothing.  Unfortunately, there is more.  And that “more” is a recipe for strategic disaster.

President Trump was correct in saying the key to defeating the Taliban is cutting the cord that links it to Pakistan.  As I have pointed out in previous columns, so long as Afghanistan is allied to India, Pakistan has no choice but to support the Taliban.  A Taliban government will de-allign with India and ally with Pakistan, which is all that can save Pakistan from being caught in a two-front threat.

But instead of calling for Afghanistan to sever its Indian connection, President Trump, acting as the mouthpiece of his generals, said we are going to try harder to engage India in Afghanistan.  Nothing could do more to push Pakistan and the Taliban closer together.  Our new Afghan “strategy”directly contradicts itself.

If the only result of that contradiction were to make our Afghan war even more futile, that would be bad but not catastrophic.  Regrettably, it points to an American defeat far worse than anything that can happen in Afghanistan.  It promises further pressure on an already-fragile Pakistani state, with the potential of causing that state to collapse and turn Pakistan into another happy hunting ground for Fourth Generation entities — a happy hunting ground where the game is nuclear warheads.

All that currently holds Pakistan together is its military.  If, as President Trump suggested, we are going to ramp up pressure on Pakistan to do what it cannot and renounce the Taliban, that pressure is likely to include cutting off money and weapons we now provide to Pakistan’s armed forces.  Unless someone else steps in to fill the gap (perhaps China), that will weaken the only glue holding Pakistan together.

We have seen the disaster that results when we help destroy a state in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria, and in Afghanistan itself, where before 9/11 the Taliban had proved the only effective government since the monarchy fell.  But the collapse of the Pakistani state would be far worse.  In addition to loose nukes, we would face tens of millions of refugees, competent soldiers now for hire, mass murder on a vast scale (with Pakistan’s Christians first on the list) and God knows what else.  As they saw their state disintegrating, Pakistan’s generals might decide to take out their old enemy India with them and nuke every Indian city.  I am told the Indian military realizes that a failed state in Pakistan would be much more dangerous to them than is the Pakistani state, and for that reason have opposed a conventional war with Pakistan they know they would win.

      But our generals do not seem to be as smart as Indian generals.  The “strategy” they have foisted on a reluctant president is self-contradictory, potentially disastrous and just plain stupid.  The president would have done better to take strategic advice from the good ladies who clean the White House, the nut cases in Lafayette Park, or the cabbages in Mrs. Obama’s White House garden.  Or, better yet, listen to his own instincts.  Had Kaiser Wilhelm II done that, the House of Hohenzollern would still be on the throne in Berlin, just as God intended.

The White Right Rises

One reason Donald Trump won last year’s election was that he was widely perceived as the white candidate.  This marked something more important than his election: the rise of white political consciousness.  As other racial and ethnic groups have done for some time (“La Raza” means “The Race”), whites are increasingly defining themselves by race rather than class.  Like other groups, they perceive they have group interests as whites and they are willing to work and vote for those interests.  This is entirely legitimate. 

But why are whites seeing their interests best served by the right rather than the left?  Because the left is now dominated by cultural Marxists, and cultural Marxism defines all whites as evil “oppressors.”  Just as classical economic Marxism labelled all capitalists and landlords as evil, regardless of what individuals did (many cared about and for their employees), so cultural Marxism considers all whites bad to the bone (unless, maybe, they are gay).  Whites are supposed to do nothing but grovel endlessly in the dirt before “people of color”, apologizing for being white. 

Not surprisingly, a growing number of whites aren’t buying it.  It is not conservatives but cultural Marxists who have created the rise of white political consciousness.  If you keep kicking a dog for being a dog, eventually it does what dogs do and bites you.  Cultural Marxists would do well to remember that when whites get mad enough to bite, the bite is often fatal.

That brings us to recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Lost in all the howling and weeping about “hate” (in cultural Marxism’s lexicon, “hate” is any defiance of cultural Marxism) is what sparked white outrage in the first place: an ideologically-driven, ahistorical decision by the town government to remove a statue of General Robert E. Lee from the city park.

It is understandable why many white Southerners were angered.  Lee was no fire-eating pro-slavery agitator.  He opposed Virginia’s secession.  Lincoln offered him command of the Union armies.  But when Virginia did secede, Lee felt he had no choice but to go with his state.  Like many people of his time, his primary identification was with his state, not the United States.

Lee contributed greatly to the nation’s healing after the Civil War by refusing to endorse plans to continue the fight with guerrilla warfare.  That could have given the country another decade or more of war.  After the conflict was over, Lee was respected in the North as well as the South.  Who do the cultural Marxists on the Charlottesville city council think they are to attempt now to turn Lee into “another Hitler”?

In this and other instances of assaults on statues and markers commemorating the Confederacy, Southern whites are right to organize, protest, and demonstrate.  However, unlike in Charlottesville, they should never initiate or escalate violence.  Doing so will almost always work against them and their cause.

Understanding why this is so requires knowing how Marxism (both versions) works.  Marxism takes certain Christian virtues, such as concern for the poor, carries them to extremes and then turns them back on traditional society as weapons.  Until there is no poverty, no misery, no unhappiness even, the fight for “social justice” must go on.  Since perfection is impossible, the assault must continue forever.  In cultural Marxism, these attacks fall under the label “critical theory”.

One outgrowth of “critical theory” is that there can be no higher moral category than “victim”.  When whites initiate or escalate violence, they give “victim” status to anyone on the other side that gets hurt.  Since many Americans have been psychologically conditioned by cultural Marxism, they identify with these “victims” — and cultural Marxism wins another round at whites’ expense.  This is why, as one of the founders of cultural Marxism, Antonio Gramsci, said, it cannot be defeated by violence.

Whites who rally against cultural Marxism, in defense of Confederate history or anything else from America’s past, must be prepared for violence.  As we have seen on too many campuses, elements of the left will physically attack conservatives if they think they won’t get their backsides kicked.  If the left starts the violence, it forfeits “victim” status and we can win (unless we escalate).  If Southern whites want to win our second civil war, the war against cultural Marxism, they have to know their enemy and fight smart.  The South cannot afford a second defeat.

Death and Taxes

Two major issues bedeviling the Trump administration are health care and tax reform.  The key to resolving both is remembering that President Trump was elected a populist, not a Republican.  So far, what the Republican Party has offered on both issues has been its usual disinterest in the problems of people who are not from the .1%.  That includes most people who voted for President Trump.  Kicking your base in the butt is usually not smart politically.

What might the White House propose if it sought to offer populist solutions?  The key to health care is attacking the root of the problem:  vastly excessive prices.  Just as with the word “military”, if you can label something “medical” you can move the decimal point: everything costs ten times as much as it should.  I have a hospital bill sent to my grandfather, Bill Sturgiss, in 1952, his last year.  Everything except medications (which he got at half price as a druggist) came to $10 per day.  Accounting for inflation, that would equal about $200 a day now.  But a hospital room is not $200.  It is many thousands. 

I know of only one way to rein in costs:  Medicare for everyone, including prescription drugs.  I have been on Medicare for five years, and it works well.  It does not cover everything;  I also have supplemental private insurance.  But it covers the basics, which is what people most need.  That is what populist policies seek to do. 

How does Medicare control the cost? Simply. The provider bills x amount, but medicare says, “We only pay x-y.”  The provider cannot charge more.  Medicare for all would extend this pricing power to prescriptions.  If some profiteering scumbag buys a patent on an old, inexpensive medicine and raises the price by a factor of 500, Medicare would say, “Sorry, you will take the old price and like it.”  Any provider who now takes Medicare would have to accept the new, expanded Medicare.  Of course, people could pay from their own pocket for treatments beyond what Medicare considered justified.  But, again, for the people who voted for President Trump, the basics would be covered.  He would have delivered for his base.

Medicare also has the clout to take on a big and expensive problem into today’s health care: keeping people alive who have reached the end of their natural lifespan.  Often, the treatment is pure torture for the people involved.  They know it is time to go.  But the hospital will not let them.  And after torturing them uselessly for weeks or months, when the release comes, the provider sends an enormous bill to Medicare.  Who benefits?  Certainly not the patient.

One step in the right direction would be to allow people to choose hospice care over life-prolonging treatments when they want to.  Now, a doctor has to certify that further treatment is hopeless.  The decision should belong to the patient, not an entity that makes a great deal of money from prolonging treatment.  This is not assisted suicide.  It is just letting nature take its course while providing relief from pain.

On taxes, the White House could propose a populist tax bill with two basic elements.  The first is a series of reforms to the tax code, including large cuts in corporate taxes, that stimulate investment and create good-paying jobs.  There are policy institutes in Washington that specialize in determining how tax cuts should be structured to foster economic growth.  Not all tax cuts do so.  And some taxes, such as the federal gas tax, should be raised.  Our highways are falling apart and we need money to fix them.

What would make this tax bill populist is that it would raise, not lower taxes on the rich.  It should include a tax rate of at least 75% on all earned incomes over $1,000,000 a year.  Who needs more than $1,000,000 a year to live on?  Are they feeding the cat caviar?  The tax should not cover unearned income because that would discourage investment.  But the President’s populist base would get it that he is not just proposing tax cuts for the rich.

By adopting a populist rather than a Republican agenda, President Trump could potentially remake politics for a generation.  The next big political realignment will be uniting the anti-establishment elements in both parties, .i.e., the Trump voters and the Sanders voters.  A populist agenda can do that.  It is going to happen, from the left if not from the right.  It is in President Trump’s interest, and ours, that it be done from the right.

The View From Olympus: The Identitarians

In Fourth Generation war, the most dangerous type of invasion is invasion by immigrants who cannot or will not acculturate. America has been fortunate in that most of our immigrants are Christians and can, in time,  become Americans culturally as well as legally. We do need to slow the rate of immigration greatly to permit acculturation.

But in Europe, the invasion is far more dangerous because most of the immigrants are Islamic. Many of them will not acculturate. They are there to change Europe’s culture into their own by offering the usual Islamic choice: convert or get your throat cut. Europe’s invasion by immigration is a threat to its historic, Christian identity.

Fortunately, a new political movement is rising in Europe to defend that identity. They call themselves Identitarians, and they are beginning to take direct action to curb immigration from North Africa. 

Several columns ago, I cautioned that if European governments will not act to defend their countries’ historic identities, their citizens will start doing so on their own. Virtually all of western Europe’s governments are dominated by cultural Marxists, which means they will put out the welcome mat for immigrants from other cultures (“multiculturalism”).  Cultural Marxists’ goal is to destroy Western culture and the Christian religion, goals set by Gramsci and Lukacs in 1919 and faithfully adhered to ever since. They will ally with anyone who will help them attain those goals, even people who will cut their own throats.

The July 21 New York Times carried a long article about the Identitarians titled “Italian Youths Find Mission in Disrupting Immigration”. The piece tells the story of a young Italian, Lorenzo Fiato, who helped man a small boat that attempted to block another boat that intended to “rescue” immigrants at sea and bring them to Italy. Many of the rescue boats are operated by left-wing non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). The Times reported that “More than 93,000 migrants, the majority sub-Saharan Africans, have been rescued and taken to Italian ports so far this year. There is a concern the  arrivals could top 200,000 by year’s end.      

The key paragraph in the Times article notes that

Mr. Fiato and his allies around Europe suspect aid ships of colluding with human traffickers and believe immigration amounts to a Muslim invasion. They wanted to disrupt and monitor the operations of rescue vessels and make sure they did not cross into Libyan waters, cooperate with human traffickers, or bring more migrants to Europe’s shores.

The Times added, “In Italy, members of Parliament have excoriated the mission. . .” Of course.

As Thomas Hobbes reminds us, the state arose for only one reason: to bring order. Immigrants from other, often primitive and hostile cultures bring disorder. If states refuse to keep them out and insist their own citizens just accept disorder and live with it, those states will lose their legitimacy. Fourth Generation war will spread as citizens do the only thing they can do to defend themselves, their communities, and their nations and take direct action against invaders. Their government will become irrelevant or a hindrance and people, especially young people, will transfer their primary loyalty away from the state to other entities, including movements such as Identitarians. The state has no one to blame except the cultural Marxists who make up the ruling class.

This is especially true in Italy where a solution lies ready at hand. Italy has a good navy that includes a strong amphibious force. That navy can easily make a lodgement on the Libyan coast, which is where most of the immigrants sail from and where, NATO having destroyed the Libyan state, there is no effective beach defense. Round up all the illegal African immigrants and dump them on the beach the navy has seized, then go back to sea. Not only will this save Italy from invasion, it will stem the migration as word spreads that you can no longer get to Italy. Lives will be saved because the African hordes will no longer put to sea.

Of course, the Italian government will do no such thing.  It doesn’t actually give a fig for the migrants’ lives (the Times, quoting the Italian interior minister, says about 2,000 have drowned this year).  All it cares about is destroying the Christian West by submerging it in an alien sea.  Can anyone still find Tarpeian Rock?

The View From Olympus: Misdefining the North Korea Problem

President Donald Trump is reported to be frustrated by the lack of good military options for dealing with the North Korea problem. This is not the fault of the U.S. military. It stems from an inescapable military reality: geography. Seoul, South Korea’s capital and most important city, lies close by the North Korean border. North Korea has thousands of artillery pieces, both guns and rocket launchers, within range of Seoul. If the U.S. takes any military action against North Korea, intended to delay or destroy its nuclear and long-range rocket programs, North Korea can roll those artillery pieces out of their caves and revetments, bombard Seoul for, say, 20 minutes, then roll them back in before we can attack them from the air. Then its our move: do we reply by starting an all out Korean war? What else can we do? We’re back to the current situation where all military options are bad.

But saying that all military options are bad is not the same thing as saying we have no good options. There is a diplomatic option that can get us out of our current frustrating situation.

To see that diplomatic option, we must first understand that we are misdefining the North Korea problem. The problem is not that North Korea is developing nuclear weapons to mount on ICBMs that will be able to hit American cities. Britain, France, and Israel all have submarine-launched missiles that can hit American cities with nuclear warheads. We don’t lose much sleep worrying about those weapons. Why? Because we have good relations with Britain, France, and Israel. If we were to develop good relations with North Korea, its missiles and nuclear weapons would not worry us any more, for the same reason. In other words, the problem is a policy and diplomatic problem, not a military problem. 

Can we develop good relations with North Korea?  It is certainly worth trying. There is no reason to think that Kim Jong-Un is irrational.  His primary objective is to remain ruler of North Korea. So long as the United States is his most dangerous enemy, that means deterring any American military action designed to unseat him. The best way to do that, from his perspective, is to be able to put a few nuclear weapons on American cities. That is a rational calculation.

Were we instead to offer to normalize relations with North Korea, his calculation should change. With the U.S. no longer a threat, he would have the option of stabilizing his rule by improving North Koreans standard of living. China shows that doing so can legitimize a ruling class.

Under its new president, South Korea would probably welcome an attempt by the U.S. to normalize its relations with North Korea. North Korea, in turn, is facing a disastrous drought and potential famine. It has every incentive to accept an American offer that would include substantial food aid. 

Donald Trump was elected President to bring change to Washington. He has said he would be willing to sit down with Kim Jong-Un over a hamburger and talk. When the Cold War ended, the Korean peninsula lost all strategic meaning for the United States. There is no reason we should have American troops stationed there. Normalizing relations with North Korea would lessen our international liabilities, save us billions of dollars annually, take thousands of American troops and dependents out of harms way, and make North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs irrelevant to us. 

It is not true that we have no good options in North Korea. We have a good option. Can the Trump White House look beyond the military options that have become America’s first choice in all situations? It was elected in part to do so. Before we find ourselves in a disastrous war, President Trump should call Kim Jong-Un and see what he likes on his hamburger.

The View From Olympus: Another Move Forward for Maneuver Warfare in the Marine Corps

In late June I attended a Marine Corps conference sponsored by Training and Education Command (TECOM) on the subject of how to teach maneuver warfare. This was the second conference in a series; the first was last fall. Both have been run on a civilian-clothes, no-ranks basis, which is necessary for frank exchanges. And both have been productive.

Last fall’s conference concluded unanimously, and correctly, that the Marine Corps has not institutionalized maneuver warfare. “Islands” of it form, based on commanders who get it. But when those commanders leave, the Second Generation sea usually sweeps over the island, obliterating it. The result is an eternal sine-wave and a Marine Corps that can talk about maneuver warfare but for the most part can’t do it.

This June’s conference addressed the question of what needs to change in training and education if Marines are to learn to do maneuver warfare. Training and education are not alone enough; the personnel system must also change in major ways. But TECOM has no control over that, so it rightly focused on what it can change.

One of the highlights of the conference was hearing from junior Marines, many of them Staff NCOs, what they are doing to teach maneuver warfare on their own initiative. Using case studies, tactical decision games, and field exercises, they are putting young Marines in situations where they have to make military decisions, then have their reasoning critiqued. Not surprisingly, the students love this approach to instruction–which all too often is still based on memorizing “learning objectives” and spitting them back on multiple choice tests–and they retain what they are taught.

The conference’s findings were boiled down into a three-slide brief for TECOM’s new commander, General Iiams. As with the previous conference, the findings were not a white-wash. The brief stated the problem frankly:

Our training and education system does not bridge the gap between theory and application, that is, between our warfighting philosophy and how we apply it.

It recommended some “High Payoff Targets” to begin to change this. The list is worth reviewing (words in brackets are mine, not the brief’s).:

  • Emphasize the primacy of force-on-force free play exercises. [Free-play training is the single most powerful tool to promote maneuver warfare, because those who operate maneuver-style usually win and Marines hate losing.]
  • Increase decision-making opportunities in schoolhouses, focusing on critical thinking rather than the order-writing process. [The German training literature says, “Don’t worry about the form of the order.”]
  • Improve the quality of instructors by improving instructor development. [Instructors now get so little preparation that they are put in a position where they have to teach what they do not know. The result is the blind leading the blind. It’s not the instructor’s fault, it’s a systemic problem.]
  • Ensure manning of critical billets with highly qualified individuals. [On a visit to the Führungsakademie several years ago, the head of the Ground Tactics Dept. told me, “I have the personal support of the Defense Minister in getting anyone I want as faculty, and a successful faculty tour brings highly-sought follow-on assignment or early promotion or both.” In contrast, our personnel system just spits out a warm body for a faculty tour and it’s considered a career-killer.]
  • Establish a professional adversary force at MAGTF-TC. [I have been calling for this for decades. As it stands, Marines leave 29 Palms thinking the French fire support coordination exercise they do is real war. That’s true only if you are fighting tires. Teaching tactics requires a free-play opponent, and until 29 Palms has an “aggressor” for non-live-fire free-play, we will continue to have a Second Generation Marine Corps.]
  • Provide top cover and support to current islands of success. [Again, this requires changes in personnel policy. You can only protect islands if new commanders are maneuverists. But at present, the personnel system does not even look at tactical ability in making assignments.]
  • Conduct training and education experimentation to address hard problems. [As the conference showed, we know what works: constantly putting students in situations where they have to make military decisions. The hard problem is getting Marine Corps schools to do that instead of teaching war by process.]

The brief’s concluding slide read:

The collective impact of these immediate actions will begin closing the gap between our maneuver warfare philosophy and habitual action, re-focusing on tactical cunning rather than technique and procedure.

General Iiams has the brief. In our meeting with him he seemed to agree with it. The question now is what, if anything, he will actually do. Das Wesentliches is die Tat.

 

PS: A Navy SEAL friend who was at the conference gave a great definition of the difference between education and training: “Which would you rather your daughter get, sex education or sex training?”

Snufflegate

The headlines of both the New York Times and The Washington Post were the same. In the largest type that could run in one line they screamed in outrage, “President Trump Blows His Nose!”

The Times reported that “In an action without precedent in the history of the Presidency, or at least without any precedent we find it convenient to remember, President Donald Trump yesterday publicly blew his nose.” The Times focused on foreign reaction:

America’s allies both in Europe and in Asia were dumfounded by the American president’s latest bizarre action. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that ‘this astonishing act was obviously preplanned, because the President was carrying a handkerchief. That makes it all the more puzzling.’ Soon to be ousted Prime Minister May of Great Britain, trying to excuse the president’s action, said ‘At least he didn’t do it, then call an early election.’ President Macron of France offered the usual Gallic sneer: ‘Is his head now completely empty?’ When asked if his comment might worsen relations, he shrugged, ‘You know we French are only polite when we are occupied by the Germans.’ Russian president Putin held a mic to his ass and farted. ‘At least I give you something worth writing about,’ he said.

The Washington Post as usual tried to shape domestic political reaction. It reported the House and Senate Democratic leadership saying, “We are shocked and appalled by this heinous action and we demand a full investigation of this matter. Why did the president not use his sleeve as Democrats do? Does President Trump not eat boogers? They taste kind of like oysters. Try it, you’ll like it.” The Democratic leadership had not actually said anything at that point, since the Post had not given them their lines. There is now rumor of a slight re-write.

The Republican Hill leadership affirmed the president’s right to blow his nose. “The president’s action is not unprecedented,” said Representative Paul Ryan. “It may happen less often than a presidential campaign talking to foreign governments–Israel anyone?–but President Lyndon Johnson is reported to have done it several times in the oval office while terrified Democratic Senators fought over his snot. President Bill Clinton is also reported to have blown, forcing a female intern to wipe it up with her blue dress. It is true most of us just swallow our snot, but if the president of the United States wants to blow, he can blow.” Asked by the Post if that included blowing up the world, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Well, we hope not. Now if he wants to take out France, that’s okay. France is kinda close to North Korea, isn’t it?” Senator John McCain, Chairman of the the Armed Services Committee, added, “Is somebody talking about a war we’re not involved in? Where? Who? I want us in! I want us in now!” Senator McCain’s close associate Senator Lindsay Graham croaked, “Ribbit.”

But it was Post columnist Snidely Whiplash who broke the big story. “We have learned through our usual source, the Putzfrau who cleans our office, that the FBI is investigating President Trump for obstruction of nasal passages. Clearly, this is a much more serious matter than whether the president tried to give direction to the FBI, something routinely done by past presidents. Is there a single schoolchild in Kansas who thinks LBJ or FDR never told the FBI director to lay off? Come on. But collecting snot and putting it in his pocket, undoubtedly for nefarious purposes, well, that’s huge. Huge. White House insiders are already calling it Snufflegate. Is it an impeachable offense? Special Prosecutor Mueller is asking that question, or he will be after my column runs. Hey, so he wants good press. Who in Washington doesn’t? Is that a crime?”

The View From Olympus: Britons Strike Home?

“Britons Strike Home” is an 18th century naval song, a product of an age when Britain knew how to avenge insults to her soil and her people. She has now suffered three such insults in the last three months, and it is clear Britain’s ruling class hasn’t the ghost of an idea of what to do about it.

Of course, they have their rituals. There is weeping and gnashing of teeth, candles and flowers and balloons, benefit concerts and twaddle from politicians about “getting tough”. Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gave a perfect example of the usual crap. According to the June 5 New York Times, he said in response to the London attacks,

We are all shocked and horrified by the brutal attacks in London. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have died and the many who have been injured. Today, we will all grieve for their loss.

Weakness drips from every line.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who is to Maggie Thatcher as Napoleon III was to Napoleon I, was no better. Saying “things need to change” and “Enough is enough,” she offered no action, just words. It seems that instead of “Britons strike home,” all the British elite of today can offer is “Britons strike your flag.”

What could be done? The British government surely knows which mosques preach Islamic puritanism. Shut them down and expel their entire memberships and their families. Similarly, when an Islamic terrorist is caught, expel his entire family, down to and including his most distant cousins.

Such measures and other like them would hold Britain’s Islamic communities responsible for policing their own. If they fail to, then they would pay a price. That price could and should be ratcheted upward for as long as Moslem terrorists who live in Britain carry out attacks there. Could it reach the point of expelling whole communities? If those communities cannot or (more likely) will not police themselves, then that action might be necessary.

Of course, the British elite is capable of none of this because it would violate its doctrine of “human rights”. Members of the elite believe such rights are absolute and cannot be tied to responsibilities. But rights without responsibilities are a recipe for chaos. Just look at America’s black inner cities.

The state arose to bring order, and if a state cannot bring order it loses its legitimacy. I think Britain is on the cusp of just such a development. How will it manifest itself? In a growing number of incidents in which ordinary Brits attack members of the communities from which the terrorists come.

It is easy to forget that the British working class, and the “permanent dole” class below it, like to fight. Along with rural Brits, they have provided the hard-fighting men who made the Royal Navy a winner for centuries. (They fought equally hard in the British Army, but British generalship usually undid them.) They fight to this day, in bars, soccer stadiums, and anywhere else they can. They enjoy it.

They will enjoy it all the more when their targets are non-British centers and sources of disorder in Britain. In narrow legal terms, most such people are British subjects (monarchies do not have citizens; they have subjects). But in the real world they are not British. They are not British in their ethnicity, in their culture, in their behavior, or in their religion. They are easy to recognize, and as more incidents of terrorism come from their communities, they will become targets. Britons will strike home.

This is not a good development, in Britain or anywhere else, because it means yet another state is weakening and moving toward collapse under the pressure of Fourth Generation assaults. It may be hard to envision the state collapsing in Britain, but if it cannot maintain order and public safety, that is where it is headed. I do not know how many more massacres by Islamic terrorists it will take, but at some point attacks on British Moslems will start to happen on a significant scale. The only way to stop it is for the elite to show it can act effectively against Moslem terror. But that is exactly what it cannot do, because its own ideology (of cultural Marxism, a.k.a. “multiculturalism”) prevents it.