The View From Olympus: The Worst Possible Choice

In selecting John Bolton to be his National Security Advisor, President Trump has made the worst possible choice.  His decision is so bad it is likely to destroy his Presidency and perhaps a good deal more.

I do not know John Bolton personally.  But I do know he is a neo-con, and by reputation neither the best nor the brightest of that loathsome brood.  The neo-cons, in case you have forgotten, pushed another President with limited international experience into the disastrous war with Iraq.  And they are unrepentant.  They still think the war in Iraq was a good idea, despite the enormous boost it gave to 4GW Islamic entities such as al Qaeda and ISIS.  They want more such wars.  John Bolton will now be in just the right position to start them.

From his past statements it appears Mr. Bolton most of all wants wars with North Korea and Iran.  The President does not seem to want the former, although Bolton may try to push him into it.  But the major danger looks to be a war with Iran.  Here, Bolton’s view and the President’s may reinforce each other, with potentially disastrous results.  I have written in other columns about how such a war could go wrong.  Even if we won, the result would likely be a break-up of the Iranian state and another big victory for 4GW.  And a war in the Persian Gulf could be the spark that sets off a global debt crisis, which would mean a long-lasting, world-wide economic depression. 

Given the miserable results of our previous and continuing wars in the Near East, how could anyone want another one?  Why would they expect any outcome other than another failure?  Regrettably, neither the neo-cons nor the President know much about wars or militaries.  That has left them prey to the baloney the U.S. military feeds itself and the American public, and in turn expects the public and federal officeholders to feed back to it.  You have often heard it: “The U.S. military is the greatest in all of human history.  No one can beat it; no one can even fight it.”  Its only problem is that, with a measly trillion-dollar budget, it just doesn’t have enough money. 

It is, as I said, baloney.  The U.S. military is a lavishly-resourced, technically well-trained Second Generation military.  It can win against other Second Generation state armed forces.  Were it to come up against a Third Generation state opponent, it would go down fast, for the same reasons the French did in 1940.  Against Fourth Generation opponents it has a consistent record of failure.

But when speaking of the neo-cons, the consequences to the U.S. of a war with Iran may be unimportant.  Collectively, the neo-cons are agents of a foreign power, and specifically a foreign political party, Israel’s Likud.  They created the war with Iraq as part of a strategy for Israel they helped put together for Likud.  That strategy called for using the U.S. military to destroy any Arab state that could be a threat to Israel.  Iraq was the first target.

Israel’s Likud Prime Minister, “Bibi” Netanyahu, has been described in Israel as a tactical genius and a strategic idiot.  But even he figured out, after the Iraqi state was destroyed and Islamic 4GW spread throughout its ruins, that those 4GW entities were far more dangerous to Israel than were the Arab states they replaced.  Israel now has a quiet alliance with most remaining Arab states against the forces of Fourth Generation war.

But since its founding Likud’s objective has been an Israel stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.  It has carefully sabotaged any and all possible two-state solutions, to the point where that possibility is gone.  But a one-state solution means an Israel with an Arab and a Moslem majority, which Likud also finds unacceptable.  So Likud needs to ethnically cleanse Palestine of Arabs.  And to do that, it needs a big war in the region, big enough that only the U.S. can create it, to give Israel cover.  If the war is big enough, no one will notice the ethnic cleansing until it is done.  Ironically, that’s how the Holocaust happened.

The assignment of American neo-cons is now to start a war with Iran, as their previous assignment was to start the war with Iraq.  And one of their number is now President Trump’s National Security Advisor.

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Danger Ahead?

President Trump’s acceptance of North Korea’s request for a summit meeting was exactly right.  Summits have their risks, but far better the risks of a summit than the risk of another Korean war. 

But if the Korean situation now appears to be moving the right way, our position on Iran may be doing the opposite.  I do not know why President Trump has such a dislike for Iran.  Iran is leading the Shiites in their war with the Sunnis, but what is that to us?  Our only interest in that war is that they kill each other in the largest numbers possible, so there are fewer of both to fight us.

If the President withdraws the United States from the deal that halted the Iranian nuclear program for a time, as he threatens to do and as the new Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo, may encourage him to do, our position is likely to worsen, not improve.  The other major power signatories to the agreement will not withdraw.  If the Iranians are smart, they will also continue to adhere to the deal.  The effect will be to isolate the United States and put Iran in the morally advantageous “victim” position.

Some in Washington may say, “So what?”  With some skill and a bit of luck, the Iranians may be able to parlay their strengthened position into a major break between the U.S. and Europe.  Presumably, the U.S. will follow its withdrawal from the agreement with new sanctions on Iran.  Those sanctions will punish European banks and firms that do business with or in Iran.  But that is a violation of European states’ sovereignty.  So far, they have gone along with American overreach.  But they will have their backs up and over our pulling out of the nuclear deal.  They might well meet American sanctions with sanctions of their own directed in retaliatory fashion against American companies and banks.  Under international law, they have the right to do so.  Such a major rupture between the U.S. and the other signatories to the nuclear agreement would leave Iran smiling like the Cheshire cat.

If Iran were to do the opposite and meet American withdrawal by denouncing the agreement and resuming its nuclear program, we would be on course to war with Iran.  A war in the Persian Gulf could have disastrous effects on the world economy.  We could again have gas lines as we did in 1973 and 1979.  And we could lose such a war.

The Pentagon may calculate that an American war with Iran would be mostly or entirely a naval and air war.  Iran’s navy and air force are weak, and I suspect would, respond asymmetrically by handing us a ground war we do not want and are in no position to fight. 

The United States now has somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 troops in Iraq and Syria.  They are surrounded by Shiite militias controlled by Iran.  If we think Iraqi state armed forces will protect us, not only are they also Shiite but they are in many places weaker than the Shiite militias.  Iran could quickly capture many if not most of those American troops, all of whom would be used as hostages. 

Similarly, Iran could attempt to capture American troops in Afghanistan.  Iran and the Taliban have been mending, to some degree, their historically bad relations.  The U.S. is in no position to face Iran with the threat of a major ground invasion.  So the bulk of the Iranian army could be sent into Afghanistan to join with the Taliban in defeating the current Afghan government and capturing as many Americans as possible. 

If an American attack on Iran ended with Iranian nuclear facilities bombed, their navy and air force destroyed, and Iran blockaded but with Iran also holding thousands of American troops as hostages, what would our next move be?  Would that count as a win for us?  I don’t think so.

President Trump needs to remind himself that he ran on an anti-war platform.  He denounced our foolish adventures halfway around the world and said it was time for us to come home.  That was and remains a central part of “America First”.  An unnecessary and avoidable war in the Persian Gulf is the sort of blunder we would expect from President Hillary, not President Trump.

The View From Olympus: Setting the Agenda

Both in Europe and in the United States, it looks more and more likely that sometime within the next decade the real Right will come to power.  It did so in part in the U.S. with the election of President Trump.  The past week saw it succeed in the elections in Italy, where real Right parties won a majority (whether they can put a government together is another question), and in Germany, where the Social Democrats voted to commit political suicide by joining the faux-conservative CDU in another grand coalition.  That leaves the real Right party, the AFD, the leader of the opposition in the Bundestag, which positions it well to surpass the Social Democrats in the eastern German States.

In his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke said, “Before you ask me to congratulate the French on their liberty, let us see what they do with it.”  The same caution applies to the real Right as it moves toward power.  What will it do with it?  Will it have a workable, positive agenda?

That question is particularly acute when it comes to foreign and defense policy.  The right has an unfortunate history of damaging or destroying itself by engaging in unnecessary wars.  France’s participation in the wars surrounding the American Revolution gave us our liberty, but it also left France with such a burden of debt that it eventually brought down the Bourbon monarchy. World War I, an unnecessary war for every participant except Austria-Hungary and Serbia, destroyed the three great conservative, Christian monarchies of Austria, Russia, and Germany, opening the door to Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler.  Mussolini’s unnecessary entry into World War II, over the passionate objections of his Foreign Minister, Count Ciano, destroyed both his government and much of Italy.

From that perspective, the past week’s major event, President Trump’s agreement to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, was good news.  Summits have their risks, and I doubt North Korea will give up all its nukes unless China leaves it no choice in the matter.  But an unnecessary war in Korea could derail the rise of the real Right in the U.S. very quickly, given the likely casualty count.  As Churchill said, “Better ‘jaw jaw’ than ‘war war’.” (It’s a pity he did not take his own advice.  Britain might still have an empire.)

Less reassuring was a report in the March 10 New York Times on Stephen K. Bannon’s European tour.  He is of course right to share his expertise with the European populist parties and movements.  But the Times wrote that:

He [Bannon] said that the reason it was so important to get populist nationalist governments in place was to prepare for a coming great-power clash with an axis of ancient Turkish, Persian, and Chinese civilizations.

If Bannon is warning about Huntington’s “clash of civilizations”, he is correct, although we should make every effort to ally Western and Chinese civilizations.  Islam is an opponent, whether in its Turkish, Persian, or other contexts, and it must remain so until it stops demanding the whole world submit to the Koran.  But to see the coming clash in great power terms, which is to say within the context of wars among states, is outdated.

As I have written many times, Fourth Generation war makes war between states counterproductive.  The danger is high that the losing state will disintegrate, creating a worse threat than existed before the war.  The enemy in the 21st century is disorder itself, and one of disorder’s products: movements of vast numbers of immigrants and refugees, in some cases whole peoples, that threaten to invade and overwhelm the few remaining places of order.  This is what finally brought down the Roman Empire, and unless Europe gets populist, nationalist governments, it will bring today’s European civilization down too.

Why can’t existing European governments defend Europe?  Because they have all either bought into the ideology of cultural Marxism or they are afraid to confront it.  Cultural Marxism allies itself with anything that will help it destroy traditional Christian, western culture, including hordes of immigrants.  The real reason we need genuine conservative governments here and in Europe is to remove the cultural Marxists from power.  They should remain free to believe whatever idiot philosophy they want.  But they should no longer be able to force it down society’s throat.

That’s the game, and it looks like the real Right is going to win it.


Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: The Lone Shooter and Fourth Generation War

The recent school shooting in Florida raises an interesting question:  are “lone shooters” an aspect of Fourth Generation war?  Unfortunately, I think the answer is yes.  I say “unfortunately” because that suggests we are likely to see more of them as 4GW grows, mutates, and spreads.  At the same time, 4GW theory may help us see the threat more clearly and devise better responses to it.

Writing about the lone shooter problem in the November/December 2015 issue of The American Conservative, I argued for a solution based on this country’s long militia tradition.

We need a militia that ideally includes all male American citizens.  In a world where the state no longer has a monopoly on war, we must return to a pre-state world were every able male is a warrior.  The Latin word “populus” originally meant “army”.

Unlike our colonial militias, however, these new militiamen would have neither weapons nor organizations.  Rather, they would take a pledge that whenever they encounter a “lone shooter”, they will stop him using whatever they have at hand:  throwing rocks or chairs, tackling him, beating him unconscious, running over him with their car.  If they happen to be armed, fine; if not, they attack anyway.

Drawing from Col. John Boyd’s work, Fourth Generation war theory stresses the importance of the moral level.  If all men attack any lone shooter, the shooter loses at the moral level of war.  The fact that some of those attacking him will probably be killed or wounded adds to their moral power.  The narrative shifts from weeping and lighting candles for those killed to celebrating their heroism. The shooter recedes in importance to an evil shadow.  That shift alone may dissuade some potential shooters because part of what they are seeking is importance.

Fourth Generation war theory also offers some insight into the operational level of the lone shooter threat.  As Martin van Creveld has said, war exists because men like to fight and women like fighters.  Young men in particular like to fight, and until recently they could easily find venues for fighting, or at least preparing to fight, by joining state militaries.

But those venues are now disappearing as states feminize their armed services.  The presence of women throughout an armed service, women who are empowered over the men because if they charge a man with “sexual harassment” he is presumed guilty until proven innocent, destroy the masculine culture young men who want to fight are seeking.  How can they validate their manhood if they must obey orders from women, gays, and the “transgendered”?  And most of the women in the military are not there to fight.  As many as twenty years ago a survey done by the U.S. Army found two-thirds of its women and one-third of its men disagreed with the statement, “The Army’s main purpose is to fight.”  An Army of pussycats, indeed!

If young men cannot find what they are seeking by joining the military, they will find other ways to fight.  Some will join gangs.  Many will immerse themselves in violent video games, with dire psychological and social consequences (see David Grossman’s work on this subject).  And some will become lone shooters.

An operational-level response is easy to envision:  create an all-male military service that is the first to fight.  Let it welcome young men who want to fight, validate their masculinity, build their daily lives around training to fight and, when the need arises, cheer them on as they fight, kill, and die.  The obvious choice for such as service is our traditional “first to fight”, the United States Marine Corps.

The only obstacle is political.  The cultural Marxists, especially their feminist wing, will howl to the devil because women are excluded.  Their goal is to make every nook and cranny of our society comfortable for women, which is to say uncomfortable and alienating for men.  What are those alienated men, if they are young and want to fight, to do?  A growing number will find 4GW ways to fight, including acting as lone shooters.


Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Building SMS Pinafore

An article in the January 13-14, 2018 issue of The Wall Street Journal, “Germans Engineer Faulty Warship”, reported on the debacle with the lead ship of Germany’s new F125 class frigate.  In December, 2017, the ship failed its sea trials.  The Journal wrote that

The 7000 to Baden-Wurttemberg frigate was determined last month to have an unexpected design flaw: it doesn’t really work.

Defense experts cite the warship’s buggy software and ill-considered arsenal – as well as what was until recently its noticeable list to starboard – as symptoms of deeper, more intractable problems: Shrinking military expertise and growing confusion among German leaders about what the country’s armed forces are for.

The problem of poor warship design is not limited to Germany.  The United States is currently building the first Fordclass aircraft carrier, which also doesn’t work.  The new-design, hi-tech catapult and arresting gear not only do not work, they cannot be replaced with the tested and proven steam catapults used by other carriers because the ship’s power plant cannot deliver the required steam pressure.  The U.S. Navy bet the ship on an untried system and lost.  Perhaps it’s just as well; the main combat aircraft the Ford is intended to carry, the F-35, has been found “unsuitable for carrier operations” by Navy test pilots.  So we have the perfect Leibnitzian monad: a plane that cannot be flown from carriers for a carrier that cannot launch or recover aircraft.  But don’t worry: Congress has already approved two more Fordclass ships.  The money will keep flowing even if it’s straight down the toilet.

The German F125 class frigate is emblematic of a type of warship built all around the world that is useless for combat.  Its armament is tiny – one gun, a few missile launchers and no torpedo tubes for a 7000 ton ship.  It has essentially no armor and no ability to take hits, especially with its tiny crew of just 120 men, too few for damage control.  It is to cost 650 million Euros, which means only four can be built to replace eight F122 class ships.  It adds up to SMS Pinafore, a comic-opera ship best suited for snapping its fingers at the foeman’s taunts while riding at anchor.  The Kaiserliche Marine would have laughed at such a “warship”.  Today’s German Navy would be better off building Mackensen-class battle cruisers.

As Senator Gary Hart and I argued in the early 1980s in our book America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform, the modern warship is a commercial hull and propulsion plant with modularized weapons and sensors.  Such ships can be large and survivable; merchant tonnage is cheap, and most of it can be filled with something fireproof that floats.  Merchant ship propulsion plants can give you any speed you want.  With modularized weapons and sensors, these ships can fill any role and quickly adapt from one role to another.  The ARAPAHO program showed they can easily serve as aircraft carriers with VSTOL aircraft.

The Wall Street Journal rightly goes on to look beyond ship design to the issue bedeviling not only Germany but all European countries: what are state armed forces now for?: “But experts say military efforts have also been hampered by the lack of a strategic vision for Germany’s armed forces, resulting in vague, hard-to-execute briefs.”

The strategic environment for which Germany’s armed forces and those of the rest of Europe should be designed will be defined by a new era of Volkerwanderung, of the migration of whole peoples.  Germany has already found itself in this new era, and could not have handled it worse.  Thanks to Chancellor Merkel Germany welcomed a million foreign invaders.  It is now paying the price in a million ways, including the loss of safety for Germans in public places.

But Germans, with other Europeans, are rebelling against the cultural Marxism that demands they invite in the new barbarians.  So what should be the mission of the German armed forces when Germany gets a government that wants to defend the country?  Obviously, preventing Volkerwanderung from rolling over Germany.  For the German Navy, that means ships for sinking the migrants’ ships and boats and a strong amphibious capability for sending home those who get through.  The strategic picture could not be more clear, and the tactical capabilities are easily met with adapted merchant ships so far as surface warships are concerned.  Germany will also need long-range U-boats; it will sometimes be useful for migrants’ ships to be spurlos versenkt.

Maybe the F125 class frigates can be sold to China.  The Chinese appear willing to buy anything.


Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: The Greatest Strategic Danger

Director of National Intelligence and former U.S. Senator Dan Coates recently told Congress that the greatest threat our country faces is our own vast and growing national debt.  During the 2016 Presidential campaign JCS Chairman General Joseph Dunford gave the same message to both candidates.  No one, it seems, is listening. 

When I served on Capitol Hill as a staffer in the 1970s and 1980s, the two parties fought fiercely over whether to fund more domestic programs and cut defense spending or do the opposite.  Now, that fight is over.  Both parties in Congress agree that we will just give everyone whatever they want and borrow the money to pay for it.  The latest budget deal is merely one example.

Nor is the practice of buying whatever anyone wants and piling up debt to pay for it restricted to government or to the United States.  It is a world-wide phenomenon, and it is as marked a practice in the financing of private individuals and households as of governments.  In China, the twin piles of government and private debt have built the two tallest pagodas the world has ever seen.

Apart from a few spoil-sports, everyone agrees we can ignore history’s warnings about the dangers of debt because, well, this time is different.  That is the title of an excellent book on three hundred years of financial crisis.  People always think “this time is different.”  It never is.

Let me offer a quick refresher on debt crises.  They are not mere garden-variety recessions.  A debt crisis usually creates, first, a deep, long-lasting depression.  The depression comes from the fact that lenders are no longer willing to make loans at interest rates anyone can afford.  Consumption, public and private, must shrink to whatever revenues can support.  More, a great deal of what revenue remains must be used to pay interest on the mountain of debt.  In the late 1780s, interest on France’s debt claimed more than half the state’s revenue.  Good King Louis XVI had to call France’s parliament, the Estates General, into session for the first time since the 1600s because only the Estates could raise taxes. The Estates General quickly proclaimed itself the National Assembly, sidelined the King and, well, the rest is history.

Worse, both states and individuals have to cut their consumption below what their revenues can support in order to pay back the debt.  But states have another way out.  They can inflate the currency and pay the debt back in worthless money.  At that point, the unhappy state’s citizens have the worst of both worlds: a depression and hyperinflation that wipes out their savings.  Economists will say you cannot have a depression and inflation at the same time.  History begs to differ.

In the face of looming disaster, the very least states ought to do, along with putting their financial houses in order, is to avoid actions that are likely to set off the crisis.  At the top of the list is war.  War is the most expensive activity in which a state can engage.  War’s outcomes are unpredictable, as are their boundaries: many a war has spread far beyond the place where it began.  If I were betting, I would wager that the two wars most likely to push the world’s financial system over the cliff are wars in east Asia or the Persian Gulf.

Here we see the broadest picture of the folly of those in Washington pushing for war with both North Korea and Iran.  Either war can go wrong militarily.  Neither is likely to improve our strategic position.  But if either were to set off the international debt crisis, we would have put the existence of this state and many others in jeopardy over trivial causes.

For many years, I have warned that what is at stake in the 21st century is the state system itself.  Nothing can more quickly or powerfully sharpen the crisis of legitimacy of the state than an international debt crisis.  Most of the world’s peoples, in rich countries and poor, will find themselves and their families and businesses ruined.  Their anger will run deep.  Who will be to blame other than the state?  What state will then retain its legitimacy?

As the Orthodox Church prays, God curse those who would bring on the apocalypse.


Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: More Strategic Blindness

The Washington defense and foreign policy Establishment is once again beating the war drums on North Korea.  In doing so, it is showing a strategic blindness that seems to be its foremost characteristic. 

Most analyses of a potential new Korean War focus on the tactical/technical level.  At that level the dangers are many and apparent.  North Korea could dump massive firepower on Seoul with little or no warning, killing thousands of civilians.  It could plaster the area where American military dependents are concentrated with longer-range fire.  It could strike before South Korea could mobilize.  It could make its operational Schwerpunkt a light infantry advance down Korea’s eastern side with a turning movement south of Seoul, which could catch us mal-deployed in anticipation of an armor thrust down the west coast.  In sum, at the tactical/technical and operational levels there are many ways a Korean War could go badly for us.

But what about the strategic level?  Here the picture, which Washington cannot see, is no better, even if we assume (probably rightly) that North Korea would not be able to destroy an American city with a nuclear strike or fry all the electronics in our homeland with a high-altitude EMP blast.

To see the strategic danger, let’s assume that on the tactical and operational levels the war goes well.  With either a pre-emptive strike (Bismarck described preventive war as committing suicide for fear of being killed) or an immediate and overwhelming response to North Korean action we collapse the North Korean regime, destroy its missiles, quickly end the bombardment of Seoul and win.  The South suffers little damage.  We have few casualties.  North and South Korea reunite.  Birds soar, choirs of children sing, and we all dance around the Maypole.  What then?

At that point, I fear the danger of “catastrophic success” on the strategic level is high.  A reunited Korea would be an immense threat to Japan.  That would be true even if it was de-nuclearized.  As long ago as the 1970s, when I was in Korea with a U.S. Senate delegation, South Korean officials told me openly that the South Korean navy and air force are designed for a war with Japan, not North Korea.  The enmity between the two peoples goes back centuries.  Koreans want revenge for Japan’s occupation early in the 20th century.  They know Japan is militarily weak.  The temptation to attack, or at least dictate to, Japan would be overwhelming.

In response, Japan would have to re-arm.  If a united Korea retained North Korea’s nukes, Japan would have to go nuclear.  If not, she would still have to build up her “self-defense” forces to the point where they became the Imperial Navy and Imperial Army in fact if not in name. 

That in turn would be seen as a major threat by China.  Here too policy is determined at least in part by memory.  China’s nuclear weapons make a Japanese attack on China impossible, even if Japan wanted a war, which it does not.  But Chinese memories of Japanese invasion are recent and vivid.  They are stoked by rising Chinese nationalism.  A Chinese government that did not respond forcefully to Japanese re-armament would lose legitimacy.

Where does all this leave the United States?  We are allied to Japan.  So at the strategic level we would have traded a threat from North Korea brought about by our alliance with South Korea for a threat from China brought about by our alliance with Japan.  China is a far more powerful and potentially dangerous adversary than North Korea.  More, to confront effectively the rising Fourth Generation war threat around the world, we need an alliance with China (and Russia).  So there would be a high strategic opportunity cost.    

This is what catastrophic success looks like.  Even if we win, perhaps especially if we win, we lose.  There can be no greater strategic failure than losing by winning.  It tells us the whole strategy was wrong from the outset.  Which it is.


Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

A Culture of Cant

“Cant” was one of Dr. Samuel Johnson’s favorite words and least favorite things.  In his usage, “cant” meant the third definition offered by my American Heritage dictionary: “hypocritically pious language”.  Thanks to the cultural Marxists, America is now immersed in a political culture of cant.

President Trump’s comments about some Third World countries recently brought forth a veritable festival of cant.  The President somewhat undiplomatically referred to Haiti, most African countries and El Salvador as “shithole” countries and suggested we would be better off getting immigrants from Norway than from those places.

Well, of course we would.  Immigrants from Norway are far more likely to contribute to our society than immigrants from Haiti.  At the same time, immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and most of Africa are more likely to end up takers, people who cost us more than they contribute.  Their low skills, large families, and propensity to crime (El Salvador is one of the most violent countries on earth) make this almost inevitable.  And yes, these countries are shitholes.  The only way in which President Trump was slightly at error is that in Haiti and most of Africa there usually isn’t a hole.  Even in India, a country far advanced over Haiti and most of Africa, a third of the population craps in the open like dogs.  They don’t call it the Turd World for nothing. 

The cultural Marxists’ response to the President speaking the truth was to howl to the heavens.  They trotted out every “-ism” word they could think of.  They found one Haitian woman who had done well in the U.S. and pointed her out (as a wholly atypical example).  I’m sure they tried to find a Norwegian mugger but quickly found that in Norway the muggers are mostly Somalis whom the Norwegians were dumb enough to import as “refugees”.  Norway had to publish a pamphlet in Somali saying no, it isn’t OK to rape Norwegian women because they were out in public without a male relative.

Here is where the cant comes in.  Everyone in this country, including the most avid cultural Marxists and people from the countries he called shitholes (who left because they are shitholes) knows that what the President said is true.  Their protests are entirely and wholly cant.

The Left has been in love with cant for a long time.  To pretend races and ethnic groups within races are all the same is cant.  To assert that men and women are interchangeable and that women make fine firemen and soldiers is cant.  To say all cultures are of equal value is cant.  Who was the Mozart of the Hottentots or the Palladio of the Apaches?

What makes the Left’s blather cant is that they know what they are saying is lies as they say it.  So deeply are they immersed in cant that their very vocabulary has become it’s language.  “Sexism”, “racism” (as they define it), “homophobia”, and above all “hate” are words that canter along at a remarkable pace.  The cultural Marxists are themselves champion haters.  They hate the Christian religion, Western culture, the White race, men (unless they are gay), non and anti-Feminist women (a majority), conservative blacks, Asians (because they are competent and thus not “victims”)— the list goes on forever.  Ultimately, they hate God.  But in their language of cant, none of this counts as hate.  Why?  Because by their definition only the Right can hate.  Again, they know all of this is B.S. as they solemnly pronounce it.  That is the essence of cant.

The rise of populism in the U.S. and in Europe is driven in part because ordinary people are starting to perceive the cant.  They increasingly understand that when the cultural Marxists and Establishment politicians spew the blather the Left demands, they know they are not speaking the truth.  They are speaking entirely in “hypocritically pious language”, i.e. cant.

In contrast, when President Trump and real conservatives in Europe call shithole countries shitholes, the public knows they are not canting.  They may on occasion be wrong (President Trump was not), but they are saying what they genuinely think.  The populist rebellion is in many ways a rebellion against cant.  For both the cultural Marxists and the Establishment, that is very bad news because they have nothing to offer but more cant.


Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

His Majesty’s Birthday

I usually telephone my reporting senior and oberste Feldherr Kaiser Wilhelm II on his birthday, January 27, to offer my best wishes.  But His Majesty is fond of surprises.  This year, he gave me quite a surprise.

A fortnight earlier, on January 8, I received a peremptory telegram from Berlin: “Report to His Majesty January 26 at Nordholz.”  That set off a wild scramble.  I grabbed the first train from Cleveland to New York, where to my great good fortune our Doppelschifffschrauberturbinenschnellpostdampfer (H.L. Mencken’s favorite German word) Kronprinz Wilhelm was sailing for Hamburg that evening.  I informed the captain that I was a General Staff officer traveling on personal orders from His Majesty the Kaiser and he poured on the coal.  We made it into Hamburg with time to spare, and a quick train ride took me to Nordholz.  When the Imperial train pulled in on the 26th, I was on the platform.

Nordholz is the great base of German naval aviation.  Located close to the North Sea (and Britain), its heart is an astounding, vast hanger that holds two Zeppelins and revolves.  To see something that big move is quite astonishing.  The purpose is to enable the navy to launch airships regardless of the direction of the wind.  Getting a Zeppelin out of its shed in a crosswind is not something anyone tries a second time. 

After greeting His Majesty on the railway platform and offering my best felicitations on his coming birthday, I asked where we were off to the next day by Zeppelin.  I expected a raid on London.  We and the Brits still bomb each other in heaven, but the bombs contain food rather than explosives.  Still, a six-hundred pounder filled with with Teewurst makes an impression on Whitewall.

“We are going to Hell,” the Kaiser answered.

“Which Hell does Your Majesty have in mind?” I asked.

“If it’s the one in Washington, I’d just as soon stay here.  I’ve seen enough of that one to last a lifetime.”

“Which Hell?  The real Hell, of course.  I want you to hear what the master strategist Satan is up to, and I want you to hear it direct from him.”

Great, I thought.  From an America going to hell in a hand basket I’ve come to Germany to go to Hell in a Zeppelin.  Max Hoffman to the contrary, life on the General Staff is not all sausages and Champagne.

The next morning the Imperial party boarded L11, with Kaleu Mathy as ship captain, a reassuring choice.  Strasser wanted us to fly with him on L70, but His Majesty wisely declined.  “That didn’t work out too well last time, Peter,” the Kaiser reminded the old jinx.  His Majesty gave the order “Up ship!” And we rose majestically in the cool morning air.  It was nice to be flying as God intended, not in a cigar tube that falls out of the sky if the engines fail.

Out of His Majesty’s hearing, I quietly asked Kaleu Mathy how our hydrogen was likely to react to Hell’s flames.  “You have forgotten your Dante, Herr Oberst,” he replied. “Hell is cold.”

Cold it was, bitter cold, worse than Cleveland in January.  We had picked up our guide, Virgil, in Limbo, and he wisely was wrapped in more than a toga.  Our journey ever downward was swift, far swifter than Dante’s; he was walking and we sailed through the fumes that passed for air.  The engines didn’t like them much but being Maybachs they kept running.

“Won’t Satan and his devils spot us?” I asked Virgil.  “We’re not exactly small.”

“Fear not,” he replied.  “With all the politicians raining on Hell these days, no one will pay attention to one more giant gasbag.”

Even through Hell’s frigidity, as frigid as a female fighter pilot, my first sight of Satan frozen in the ice pierced me like a dagger from Mordor.  Mortals are not meant to see such sights.  We cut the engines and we drifted in close.  “Good timing,” the Kaiser said to me.  “He’s lecturing a group of new Joint Staff officers on Hell’s strategic plan.”  I did know service on the Joint Staff was hell; now I knew why.

“Like all good plans,” the Devil began, “my strategic plan is simple.  No matter what course humans choose, what path they take, what door they open in the world I own, they come to me.  Do they embrace politics on the Left as a way to help the poor?  I have twisted that desire into Marxism, the destroyer of churches.  Do they turn to the Right?  I smeared all that was good there with the mud of fascism and Naziism.  Thank you for your good help Herr Hitler.”  Satan nodded to the Fuhrer, who was sharing an eternal plate of gefiltefisch with Stalin and Roosevelt.  The Fuhrer did not look pleased.

“Perhaps they seek to find the good causes such as environmentalism or ‘animal rights’,” the Devil continued, munching on a PETA member.  “I am twisting environmentalism into the most anti-human ideology yet conceived, and I use pets to absorb the love people should have for their own kind.”

“Of course, most humans, sheep without wool that they are, just follow the herd in seeking pleasure and entertainment.  The sensual pleasures, carried now to such extremes as to know no limits, have always been mine.  In consumerism, I have built a world economy on the sin of covetousness.”

“Even many of the Enemy’s churches are now mine.  Instead of worshipping Him Whom We Name Not, they tell the poor fools who go there, “We’re all about you.  We want to make you feel good about yourself!”  And so instead of the Enemy they worship themselves.

“Even this might not have given me victory.  But Hell Laboratories have in recent years created what philosophers call a meta-level:  the Internet, to give it its true name.  Now, whatever poor mortals seek, they seek through their computers, phones, and the Internet, which is to say me.  So powerful is this tool, whereby the image displaces the Word, there can be no escape.  Conditioning through images and, soon, through HL’s latest brilliant stroke, genetic engineering, will destroy human free will altogether.  And that will be my final victory, for it will mean that when the Enemy returns to Earth, there will be no creatures made in His own image there to meet him, at least not among the living.”

Smirking in self-satisfaction, Satan asked, “Any questions?”

Far in the back, a small claw rose tentatively into the icy miasma.  “Yes?” The Devil indulged.

A very junior imp, probably a National Guardsman, ventured, “Sir, what if people just decided to go back, you know, just dumped all the technology and ideologies and the rest of the modern stuff and returned to the old ways of living?  I think there are some people who do that, called the Amish.  If lots of people started doing it, how would your strategy work?”

With a snarl of rage, Satan lashed out, grabbed the offending imp, and bit his head off.  “Any more questions?” The Devil asked.  Most Joint Staff officers knew never to ask questions.

“That’s it, time to head home,” His Majesty ordered.  Kaleu Mathy dumped water ballast, the engines kicked over, the elevators swung and L11 rose fast, as only a Zeppelin can.  Virgil thanked us for a much easier trip than his last one — the Kaiser graciously offered to send the airship whenever he wanted to travel — and in no time we were dropping the landing lines at Nordholz.

“A most instructive trip,” I said to the Kaiser.  “I can truly say I’ve been to Hell and back.”

“Just wait until next year!” His Majesty replied.  Der Reise Kaiser indeed!


Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Another Strategic Blunder

Last week Washington committed another strategic blunder.  On Thursday, January 4, President Trump announced a cut-off of almost all military aid to Pakistan.  This was an unfortunate and unwise strategic decision that contradicts three basic realities. 

First, the action was driven by Pakistan’s continued support for the Taliban in Afghanistan.  This is a classic strategic error, putting a lesser goal before a more important one.  Pakistan is far more important strategically than Afghanistan.  Afghanistan is a strategic backwater.  Success or failure of our efforts there means little beyond the borders of that unhappy country (Al Qaeda long ago found better bases elsewhere).  Pakistan is highly important for the whole region.  It is a nuclear power.  It has one of the few competent Islamic state militaries.  The ultimate nightmare scenario is that the already weak Pakistani state disintegrates and 4GW elements grab the nukes.  Cutting off military aid to Pakistan moves us closer to that strategic disaster.

Second, Pakistan cannot do what we want and move against the Taliban so long as the Afghan government remains aligned with India.  As I wrote in an earlier column, we should long ago have given the Afghan government an ultimatum: either de-align with India and become a very loyal ally of Pakistan or we are pulling out.  The Trump administration is correct that Pakistan holds the keys to success in our endless and largely pointless Afghan war.  But the Afghan government holds the keys to Pakistan, in the form of its alignment with India – an alignment we have encouraged, in a strategic blunder so elementary it suggests the inmates are running the asylum.

Third, we cannot support our war in Afghanistan without using logistics lines, air and ground, that run through Pakistan.  Does no one in Washington have a map?  There is an alternate (longer and more expensive) logistics route through Russia, but the same ninnies who want to weaken Pakistan have also led the charge to alienate Russia.  Do we expect to support our forces in Afghanistan from space?  Action by Pakistan, Russia, or both that finally forced us to leave Afghanistan would probably be a favor to us, since we seem unable to face reality (we’ve lost) and get out on our own.  But our troops still need an exit, unless they want to do what the British army did and remain in Afghanistan forever.

The recurrent question is how our foreign policy establishment can be so inept.  It has nothing to do with political parties or who is in the White House, although some of us voted for President Trump in hope that he would not listen to the Establishment.  The problem is that the foreign policy Establishment as a whole acts as if it is made up entirely of children.  It does so because you cannot become a member of that Establishment unless you see the world through a child’s eyes.  Our planet is a playroom in Miss Millicent’s Academy for Especially Annoying Children and Washington’s job is to make sure all the children play nicely.  We are to accomplish that impossible task by forcing democracy, consumerism, and our garbage popular culture down everyone’s throat, using the U.S. military as our long-handled spoon.  When other countries and cultures spit the poisonous mixture back up, we call in the drones and the bombers.

The only solution is to send the whole foreign policy establishment packing.  Give them a big sucker, a beanie with a propeller on top, and a swift kick out the door, with a parting suggestion they go play in the cat’s favorite sandbox.

In their place we need the sort of people we had at the Cold War’s outset, realists like George Kennan and Dean Acheson.  If it were up to me, the Foreign Service exam would consist of one essay question:  Why should every diplomat worship at the feet of Prince Bismarck?  Eating fois gras to the sound of trumpets in heaven, I’m sure the old man is laughing.

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.