Pussycats

For several decades now, Western armed forces—which keep preening themselves as the best-trained, best-organized, best-equipped, best-led, in history—have been turned into pussycats. Being pussycats, they went from one defeat to the next. True, in 1999 they did succeed in imposing their will on Serbia. But only because the opponent was a small, weak state (at the time, the Serb armed forces, exhausted by a prolonged civil war, were rated 35th in the world); and even then only because that state was practically defenseless in the air. The same applies to Libya in 2011. Over there, indigenous bands on the ground did most of the fighting and took all the casualties. In both cases, when it came to engaging in ground combat, man against man, the West, with the U.S at its head, simply did not have what it takes.

On other occasions things were worse still. Western armies tried to create order in Somalia and were kicked out by the “Skinnies,” as they called their lean but mean opponents. They tried to beat the Taliban in Afghanistan, and were kicked out. They tried to impose democracy (and get their hands on oil) in Iraq, and ended up leaving with their tails between their legs. The cost of these foolish adventures to the U.S alone is said to have been around 1 trillion—1,000,000,000,000—dollars. With one defeat following another, is it any wonder that, when those forces were called upon to put an end to the civil war in Syria, they and the societies they serve preferred to let the atrocities go on?

By far the most important single reason behind the repeated failures is the fact that, one and all, these were luxury wars. With nuclear weapons deterring large-scale attack, for seven decades now no Western country has waged anything like a serious (let alone existential) struggle against a more or less equal opponent. As the troops took on opponents much weaker than themselves—often in places they had never heard about, often for reasons nobody but a few politicians understood—they saw no reason why they should get themselves killed. Given the circumstances, indeed, doing so would have been the height of stupidity on their part. Yet from the time the Persians at Marathon in 490 B.C. were defeated by the outnumbered Greeks right down to the present, troops whose primary concern is not to get themselves killed have never be able to fight, let alone win.

One would think that, aware of the problem, the politicians and societies that so light-heartedly sent the troops to fight under these circumstances would do everything in their power to compensate them in other ways. For example, by allowing them some license to enjoy life before a bomb went off, blowing them to pieces; making sure that those put in harm’s way would be given a free hand to do what they had to do; allowing them to take pride in their handiwork; celebrating them on their return; and giving them all kinds of privileges. Was it not Plato who suggested that those who excelled in war on behalf of the republic be given first right to kiss and be kissed? After all, in every field of human activity from football to accounting it has always been those who enjoy what they do who do it best. Conversely, in every field those who excel are those who enjoy what they are doing. Is there any reason why, in waging war and fighting, things should be any different?

Instead, far from honoring their troops or even showing them respect, Western societies have done the opposite. During training and in garrison, they are surrounded by a thousand regulations that prevent them from doing things every civilian can do as a matter of course. That includes, if they are American and not yet 21 years old, buying a can of beer and drinking its contents. On campaign they are bound by rules of engagement that often make their enemies laugh at them, prevent them from defending themselves, lead to unnecessary casualties, and result in punishment if they are violated. Anybody who openly says that he took pride in his deadly work—as, for example, the legendary, now retired, Four-Star U.S. Marine Corps General Jim Mattis at one point did—will be counseled to shut up if he is lucky and disciplined if he is not.

American troops returning from a tour undergo obligatory testing for post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD, of course, is a real problem for some. However, as all history shows, it is simply not true that fighting, killing, and watching others being killed is necessarily traumatic. Suppose the Roman Army had dealt with PTSD as we do now; would it have conquered the world? Nor, contrary to what one often hears, is it true that historical combat was less terrible than its modern equivalents. Perhaps to the contrary, given that the combatants could literally look into each other’s eyes, hear the screams, see the spurting blood, and touch the scattering brains.

As I wrote decades ago in Fighting Power, the real origin of PTSD is found in a personnel system which, for reasons of administrative efficiency, treats the troops like interchangeable cogs, isolates them, and prevents them from bonding. Adding offense to injury, the abovementioned tests, introduced with the possibility of liability in mind, are humiliating. Wasn’t it Frederick the Great who said that the one thing that can drive men into the muzzles of the cannon trained on them is pride? Nor do things end at this point. Far from celebrating the troops’ courage and sacrifice, society very often treats them as damaged goods. Indeed things have come to the point where it expects them to be damaged.

An important role in all this is played by military women and feminism generally. In every known human society (even, as far as we are able to judge, in some animal societies) since the world began, whatever treatment was considered suitable for males has been seen as too harsh for females. Conversely, to be treated like women was perceived as the most humiliating thing men could undergo. By insisting on gender equality the way they have—even putting in place “equal employment opportunity officers” charged with hounding any man who dares “offend” a woman—Western armed forces have dragged their men’s pride through the mire. The more so because, as the distribution of casualties shows, it is the men who do practically all the fighting. At the same time they have often confronted women with demands that were too much for them. The proof of this particular pudding is in the eating. Proportionally speaking, far more female than male soldiers are said to suffer from PTSD.

Had the system been deliberately designed to sap the fighting power of Western armies, it could hardly have been improved on. This might well make us ask: cui bono? Who profits? There are several answers. First come thousands of “mental health professionals” hired to treat the people in question. Like the female psychologist in Philipp Roth’s book, The Human Stain, who asks a Vietnam veteran whether he has ever killed anybody (firing a machine gun from a helicopter, he has killed hundreds, perhaps thousands), most would not recognize a bullet if they saw one. Next come the corporations that produce all sorts of psychopharma (the standard method for treating PTSD is to drug the patients). Third are the media. Always eager to throw the first stone, very often they have a field day selling those suffering from the symptoms to a slavering public. Between them, these three make billions out of the enterprise.

Last not least are feminist organizations which always insist on “equality” (in reality, privilege) even if it means going over the bodies of many “sisters” and wrecking their countries’ military. Two points remain to be made. First, as their repeated victories prove, the Taliban, their brothers in arms in other countries, and non-Western societies generally know better than to follow the West on its self-destructive path. Second, societies that lose their fighting power by treating their troops in this way are doomed. Sooner or later, somebody will come along, big sword in hand, and cut off their head.

Let those with ears to listen, listen.

The View From Olympus 33: Islam’s True Face

Boko Haram’s abduction of some 250 Nigerian schoolgirls has again, with good reason, focused attention on the real nature of Islam. Even al Qaeda is reportedly trying to distance itself from Boko Haram. But this is dishonest. Boko Haram represents Islam’s true face.

To be sure, much of the response in Nigeria to the abduction is also an act. Sources inform me that Boko Haram was created by the Nigerian government, which retains ties to it. Why would a state create a Fourth Generation entity? Beyond stupidity and hubris, the apparent reason was so that Boko Haram could serve as a bogeyman, used by the Nigerian government to distract attention from its own crimes. Such is politics in black Africa’s pseudo-states, where the state is merely one criminal gang among many. No wonder the governor of Borno state, where Boko Haram is based, was quoted in the May 12 New York Times as saying, “Honestly, I am so desperate, if the Americans were to colonize, I say so be it.” The best times most of black Africa ever knew or ever will know was when they were European colonies.

Islam promises relief from the endless corruption of African states, but what it actually offers is the puritan tyranny Boko Haram represents. This is inherent in Islam. The problem is that the Koran is to be read literally. Biblical literalism in Christianity is both new and very much a minority view. While the statements in the creeds are to be believed literally, the church as a whole has always understood that the New Testament is heavily metaphorical. That is not the case in Islam. Any Islamic who does not take the Koran literally is a lax Islamic (peace be upon them). Taking the Koran literally, however, yields exactly the sort of puritanical brutality we saw in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, in the areas ruled by al Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria and in Boko Haram. If you read the Koran (as I have), you will see it is a long list of verbots, coupled with endlessly repetitive denunciations of unbelievers, some of which command violence against them. Take that literally and voilà!, you have Boko Haram.

Puritanism springing from Koranic literalism is in fact the Achilles’ heel of Islamic 4GW organizations. Violent puritanism alienates the population and also, as government, simply doesn’t work. I have previously referenced a superb monograph on this, one that deserves much more attention from the American national security establishment than it has received. The reference is to Terror’s Mask: Insurgency Within Islam by Michael Vlahos. Vlahos agues that Islamic puritanism creates an endless cycle. Puritan movements arise, take power from the corrupt (by Koranic norms) elite, become “corrupt” themselves because pure Islam cannot govern, and thus gives rise to new puritan movements. This cycle, coupled with a reinvigorated Sunni-Shiite civil war, explains a great deal of what is happening today in the Islamic world.

Because Islam commands violent, literalist puritanism, it is not compatible with other religions, cultures, or secular philosophies. It is, and must be, at war with them. Boko Haram is a warning to any society that tolerates Islam. What it has brought to Nigeria today it will bring to your soil tomorrow. In places such as the suburbs of Paris, tomorrow is not very far away.

PS: In my previous column I discussed some ways in which the Russian armed forces have adopted techniques from 4GW entities. An excellent paper published by the National Defense Academy of Latvia’s Center for Security and Strategic Research, Russia’s New Generation Warfare in Ukraine: Implications for Latvian Defense Policy by Janis Berzins offers a much fuller treatment of this subject. I recommend it strongly, despite the author’s error in attempting to identify technology-driven 5th, 6th, and 7th generations. One would expect people from former Soviet lands to know their Hegel well enough to realize dialectically qualitative changes, which is what “generation” means in this context, are rare.

Ethno-Nationalism Bites Back

One wonderful thing about the modern Right as a group is that we are willing to engage in debate and exchange ideas rather than resort to ad hominem attacks or emotional responses toward those who do not toe the party line as is characteristic of the Left. Ed Kozak’s critique of ethno-nationalism is welcome. Deeper analysis of the issue brings the Right closer to the truth of the matter and helps to keep fanaticism at bay. It also allows us an opportunity to clarify our position in regard to the role ethnic identity plays in building a society.

I will begin by addressing a couple of Mr. Kozak’s points and then lay out traditionalRIGHT’s position regarding ethno-nationalism.

Revolutionaries vs. Reactionaries, Traditional vs. Progressive

My first nit to pick is Kozak’s charge that ethno-nationalism is “wholly revolutionary.” The article, “The Flag of the World,” offered a commentary on the different attitudes and approaches taken by supporters of ethno-nationalism, not whether or not the issue itself is reactionary or revolutionary. Ethno-nationalism may very well be revolutionary—in fact, everything that dissents from the current order and modernity is—but that was not the point.

Kozak suggests that “ethno-nationalism is neither traditional nor Right; it is certainly not a traditionalist conservative belief.” It is true, ethno-nationalism is not conservative, but Traditional (capital T), it absolutely is. Conservatives derive their identities from their loyalty to abstractions: states, kingdoms, institutions. Traditionalists find their identities in concrete truths: blood, tribe, heritage.

Here is a longer quote from the critique:

“Although nationalism can also have a unifying effect, it is still revolutionary, artificial, and destructive. Take for example Germany and Italy, another two 19th century inventions for which ancient kingdoms, principalities, and dynasties were swept away; hardly a conservative endeavor.”

Again, I agree, ethno-nationalism is not conservative. To be conservative would be to cling to evil, decrepit institutions that have long since passed their expiration dates, which is why American conservatives continually try to “restore the Constitution.” traditionalRIGHT is not conservative, but Traditional. Conservatism died 200 years ago.

Definitions

Ethno-nationalism, at its simplest, is something virtually anyone can get behind. The ethno-state, if the state as an institution is to continue to exist at all in the future, is TR’s default position of support concerning geopolitics. I like John Derbyshire’s explanation:

“If a nation is to hold together, the great majority of its people need to be bonded by ethnic kinship—shared history, a shared outlook. One’s outlook arises from one’s brain, which is a product of evolution—including, we now know, historically recent evolution.

Because ethnies overlap on most traits, a particular Turk may become a good German … However, since we can’t tell in advance whether he will or not, a wise nation severely restricts settlement from foreign ethnies and vigorously deports those who prove incompatible.

A big ethnic minority with a different outlook spells national discord.”

Simple enough. The ethno-state minimizes conflict because its raison d’être is to act in the benefit of a specific group. The government is rendered less corruptible by special interests and competing groups that game the system for themselves at the expense of others. Ethno-nationalism offers a solid base upon which a civilization may be built and is not an end in itself.

There is nothing ideological about this. There is no magical invocation of “rights.” Ethno-nationalism only recognizes that different peoples have different interests and are better served by determining their own destinies.

Imperium Europa

TR’s Perspective and the Future

Culture, loyalty, and patriotism, or “God, king, and country”—the primary conservative values—are undeniably important and can certainly be powerful unifying forces. But they are secondary values. The plain truth is that blood and soil create culture. The institutions that we (Traditionalists and conservatives alike) value so greatly came from within a people.

Indeed, these are interesting times. Defenders of Tradition have never really had to consider ethnicity’s effects on society at large. Surely not as intensely as they do now. Political globalism, multi-national corporations, mass communications, and high-speed travel have brought historically disparate peoples and cultures together like never before. Third-world peoples are settling in first-world lands. And who can blame them? The West is a wonderful realm in which to live.

The question for conservatives, though, is this: how can you maintain a first-world country if it is populated by third-world people? We can “assimilate” foreigners, but each passing generation of the new integrated nation will be a cheaper and thinner imitation of the true West.

traditionalRIGHT’s objective is to preserve Western civilization. The prerequisite for that goal is to preserve Western people. As immigration of the third-world into Western nations continues to increase and the state progressively weakens, it may become necessary to form non-state entities to defend and provide for the European diaspora. Only a coherent Western consciousness will facilitate such an effort. Supporting ethno-nationalism as a general principal for all peoples is a step in that direction.

Victoria: Chapter 10

If the Christian Marines were to be the general staff for our side in what was coming, I needed to figure out just what and who our side was. I wanted to get to know them, and, more importantly, let them get to know me. That was the first step in establishing trust.

So one April evening in the year 2017 I drove down to Waterville. When I got there, I could tell Spring was coming to Maine. I could smell all the winter’s dog poop melting on the green.

The local chapter of the Tea Party was gathering that night to hear one of their top leaders up from Washington. I knew enough about the Tea Party to realize it was on our side. Many of the folks in it later became brothers in arms and leaders in the Recovery. But like all such groups in the last days of the American republic, it had a fatal flaw, the nature of which I was to learn that evening.

The fellow from Washington, whose name I long ago forgot, gave the usual pitch the “Inside-the-Beltway” types fed to the local yokels. The gist of it was that the future of the country depended on them (in fact, by that point, it had already been determined); they should respond to what their leaders asked them to do (when it should have been the other way around); and, most important, send money.

After he’d made his pitch, there were a few questions, a bit of discussion of this and that. Then a tall fellow in back stood up. He was dressed in about the year 1945: well-cut brown double-breasted suit, wide tie, holding a brown fedora. By Maine standards, he had a good bit to say, and he said it well.

“I appreciate you taking the time to journey all the way up here,” began Mr. William Hocking Kraft. “But frankly, you represent the problem, not the solution.”

“The problem, put simply, is this. Our leaders always sell us out. Maybe they start out thinking like we do, I don’t know. But once they get to Washington, and see how nice life can be once you’re a member of the club, the Establishment, their goal becomes joining that club. But our goal is to close it down.”

“They—you—always end up getting sucked in to the Republican Party,” Mr. Kraft continued. “It holds the keys to the club. And it sold us out long ago. Sure, it tells us what we want to hear, but it snickers and winks the whole time it’s talking. The only people it delivers for are those on Wall Street and in the country clubs.”

“The fact of the matter is that you can’t create what we believe in, a country that follows the Ten Commandments, from Washington. The people in Washington follow only one commandment: Promote Yourself. You have to create it here, not by what you say, but by how you live.”

Kraft’s words brought to mind something my friend who worked for a Senator had said to me. He said the difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party was the difference between Madonna and Donald Trump.

The fellow from Washington slid and slithered as best he could, but it was clear Kraft had said what others were thinking. And he was right. No matter what the group was, it ended up with leaders who wanted to join the club. Those leaders sold their own folks out, because that was the condition of club membership.

I was struck by Kraft’s definition of what we wanted: a country that followed the Ten Commandments. That was what the Christian Marines wanted, too. And we needed action, not just words. So when the meeting broke up, I introduced myself.

His reply to my introduction was a surprise. “I already know you, or at least know about you,” he said. “I have some friends in the Corps—I’m something of an amateur military historian—and I heard about your raid on the feminists at Expeditionary Warfare School. You showed the rarest of qualities in the American officer corps: moral courage. I would be honored if you would join me for dinner at my home, if you’re free.”

I was, and Kraft was clearly someone I wanted to know better. We walked out together to his car—an immaculate 1948 Buick Roadmaster. “I’ll wait for you here,” he said. “Just follow me.”

His house was a typical 1920s bungalow, nothing special from the outside, but when I walked through the front door I got a shock. It was like going through a time lock.

Everything was as it might have been seventy years ago. Everything—the big floor model radio (no television), the Brussels carpets on hardwood floors, the appliances, the 1948 calendar on the kitchen wall (as always in Maine, we came in the back door, through the mud room), even the way his wife and children were dressed. It had been a long time since I had dropped in on someone and found his wife in a nice dress waiting to serve dinner.

He introduced his wife as Mrs. Kraft, his young son as Master Billy and his daughters as the Misses Evelyn and Lula Bell.

I expressed my hope that my unexpected arrival for dinner was not a problem.

“Not at all,” replied Mrs. Kraft. “I always prepare enough so that if Mr. Kraft brings someone, we have plenty. That is, after all, one of the duties of my sphere.”

The feeling of having gone through a time warp was growing stronger.

We sat down in the dining room, with its 1930s floral wallpaper and oak wainscoting, polished mahogany table and built-in breakfront, and Mr. Kraft said grace—in Latin. Mrs. Kraft, and only Mrs. Kraft, served, from the kitchen. Somehow, it all felt right, even though my generation had been taught it was wrong.

“This is sure a change from most places I visit,” I ventured, being somewhat unsure how much notice I should give to what then counted as eccentricity, at the least.

“Thank you,” said Mr. Kraft. “It has taken some effort on our part, but we have created a home where you can leave the 21st century at the door. Here, at least, things are as they were, and should be.”

“We’re Retroculture people,” added Mrs. Kraft.

“I don’t know how much you’ve heard about the Retroculture movement,” Mr. Kraft said.

“I’m afraid we lead a rather sheltered life in the military,” I replied. “The only culture we get is the kind that grows on old bread.”

“You may remember what I said earlier this evening, at the meeting,” he continued. “You cannot create, or, more precisely, re-create, the world we want simply through words, least of all through the words of politicians. You have to do it by how you live. The Retroculture movement is people—individuals, families, sometimes whole neighborhoods—striving to live again in the old ways, following the old rules.”

“I’m sure you’ve been told, ‘You can’t go back,'” Mr. Kraft went on. “Like most of what you are told these days, it’s a lie. The one thing we know we can do is what we’ve already done. We can live in the good, wholesome, upright ways our forefathers followed.”

“So there is more to this than furniture, clothes and manners?” I asked. The manners were obvious: we were holding an adult conversation at a table that included three children.

“Of course,” Mr. Kraft replied. “Things are important tools; our furniture, our clothes, my Buick, all help separate us from the modern world, which is what we want to do. We’re like the Amish in that respect. But also like the Amish, the essence of Retroculture is our beliefs, morals and values. We believe what Americans used to believe. We hold the same values, follow the same moral rules our ancestors followed.”

“What era do Retroculture people want to live in?” I inquired.

“Any time before 1965,” Mr. Kraft responded. “That year marks the beginning of the cultural revolution that destroyed America. Our period is the 1940s, though many of the things you see here are older than that; back then, people didn’t throw out their furniture every ten years.”

“Many Retroculture people have chosen the Victorian era as the time they want to live in, and for good reasons. The Victorians were astoundingly productive people, building, inventing, creating, conquering, all the things we need to do if we are ever to amount to anything again, other than a Third World country. The basis of their success, of course, was their strong, Christian morals.”

“But other Retroculture folks have chosen the 1950s as their era, or 1910, or even the colonial period,” Mr. Kraft continued. “The specific time period does not matter, so long as it is a time when traditional American culture was strong.”

“Each person, each family decides for itself just how Retro it wants to go. There’s no set of rules, except that it must be before 1965 and must include the values if it is to count as Retroculture. Most people follow the simple rule of common sense.”

“The colonial period would interest me,” I said, “though as a Marine, I was told that bleeding was bad for the other guy, not good for me. I’m not sure I’d like depending on 18th century medicine.”

“Don’t worry, you wouldn’t have to,” Mr. Kraft replied. “We had our children vaccinated against polio, I assure you. We have no desire to bring back the tiny braces and little iron lungs. On the other hand, we don’t want modern medical technology to keep us alive when our natural life span is over, so we can waste away in some nursing home. When my time comes, I want the doctor to come to the house with his little black bag and give me some morphine to ease the passing, just as he would have done in the 1940s.”

“Good luck finding a doctor to make a house call these days,” I replied, wondering just how practical Retroculture was.

“We have such a doctor,” Mrs. Kraft said. “He’s in the Retroculture movement too. When one of us is sick, he comes to the house in his black Detroit Electric automobile from the 1920s.”

“You’re lucky to have a wife who goes along with all this,” I said to Mr. Kraft, thinking how most of my friends’ wives would have reacted to the idea of going back to the past.

“The good luck is mine more than his,” Mrs. Kraft replied. “These days, women are told they were oppressed and mistreated in the past, and that they will be happier if they can live in the business world, the world of men. That is another modern lie.”

“As a wife of the 1940s, I have my own sphere where I am in charge: this home, my family, and my community, where I do a great deal of volunteer work, as women did in the past. It is a more important sphere than the business world where Mr. Kraft works, because it is the sphere where babies grow into children and then into men and women. I, as the woman of the house, hold the future in my hands.”

“I agree with that,” Mr. Kraft said. “Unless women create good homes and raise the children right, those things go undone. They are not natural to men. We see all around us what kind of children come from homes where the wife is not a mother and homemaker. As Arnold Toynbee warned, our barbarians have come from within.”

“As far as all the nonsense about women being oppressed by being given charge of the home,” Mrs. Kraft added, “I find quite the opposite is true. Creating a good home is a greater challenge than most matters in the business world, and it allows more room for creativity. The home you are enjoying now is my achievement. How many women in business achieve so much? Or are so loved and honored for their achievement as I am by Mr. Kraft and our children?”

“That you are indeed, Mrs. Kraft,” Mr. Kraft replied.

They had a remarkable home life, as I could plainly see. It was the sort of home most people of my generation knew about only from books or plays or family memories. But it was exactly the kind of home we all wished we could live in—not just for the beautiful things, but for the warmth and contentment and absolute solidness I could feel radiating from every corner.

After an ample and excellent meal, Mr. Kraft and I adjourned to his den while Mrs. Kraft did the dishes. As he busied himself filling and lighting his pipe, I started to think. Maybe this was the answer to the puzzle I was facing of how the Christian Marines could explain what we were fighting for. In a broad sense, we knew the answer: a nation where the Ten Commandments ruled. But I knew our program, our goal, had to be developed beyond that to be understood by other people.

The danger facing us was falling into an ideology. Retroculture avoided that danger, because unlike an ideology it was not based on some abstract scheme of ideas. It was simply recovering what we used to have and used to be, which was the ultimate in concreteness. And we could know it would work, because we knew America had worked in the past. Logically, what worked once should work again.

“Just how many of you Retroculture people are there?” I asked Mr. Kraft.

“Tens of thousands,” he replied, “and growing fast. You don’t hear about us much in the general media, because we represent a rejection of everything it stands for. But we have our own magazines, books, clubs, and societies. We come in all varieties – there is even a group of non-Amish who live like the Amish, what they call, “plain.” There is growing talk of founding new towns where everyone would live in a certain time period and there would be nothing out of place for that time.”

“It kind of makes you wonder what a whole Retroculture country might be like,” I mused.

”It would be splendid, as America itself once was splendid, before the squalid sixties,” Kraft replied. “Remember, we had a country that worked.”

“That is hard to remember now,” I responded.

“But people do remember,” Kraft said. “Take a look at this—and it is from more than twenty years ago.”

He handed me a copy of a poll taken in 1992 by Lawrence Research for something called the Free Congress Foundation. It was a survey of people’s attitudes toward the past, and the findings were remarkable. 49% said life in the past was better than it is today; only 17% said it was worse. 59% said the nation’s leaders should be trying to take the country back toward the way it used to be. 61% thought life in the 1950s was better than in the 1990s. 47% said their grandparents’ lives were happier than their own – and the margin was 15% higher among blacks, whose grandparents had lived under segregation.
When given a menu of times and places in which they could choose to live, a typical suburb in 1950 came in first with 58%; in last place was Los Angeles in 1991. When asked for a second choice, the winner, with 32%, was a small town in 1900; modern LA again came in last.
56% of those polled had a favorable impression of the Victorian period. 45% said they saw signs of people and things turning back toward the past—and that it was a good thing.

“For America, that poll represents nothing less than a cultural revolution,” Mr. Kraft said. “From the days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony onward, Americans have been future focused. We have always believed that the future would be better than the present, and that the present was better than the past. We don’t believe that any more. We believe—in fact, we know, because unlike the future, the past is knowable—what we once had was better than what we have now. Caught as America is in an endless downward spiral of decline, decay, and degradation, we have no reason to hope for our future—unless that future can be a recovery of our past.”

“Thanks to a certain professor from Dartmouth College, I’ve read a bit about our past,” I said. “Not just America’s past, but the history of our Western culture. My impression is that through most of history, we were past-focused. We saw the past as a model we should try to recapture and emulate. Is what we’re seeing here a return to normality?”

“Yes,” Mr. Kraft responded. “Most of our culture’s great leaps forward have come from attempts to return to the past. The Renaissance is a good example. The Renaissance was an attempt to recover the classical world of ancient Greece and Rome. Of course, such efforts don’t exactly recreate the past; 15th century Florence was not the Roman Republic. But the attempt to recapture the classical past created a new synthesis that was brilliant—and that could never have been created by looking only to the future, which is, after all, a void.”

“Do you think an attempt to recapture our own past—Retroculture—could give us a renaissance?” I asked.

“Again, the answer is yes,” Kraft replied. “Retroculture is something solid, something real people can put their hands on and understand. Most people know how their grandparents or great grandparents lived. They know they were good people who lived decent, satisfying lives. They can grasp the fact that we can live that way again. Once they realize it is possible, once they realize that the saying, ‘You can’t go back,’ is a lie, it is something they want to do. And if they do it, as we have done it in this home, in our lives, they find it works.”

“One final question, if I may,” I said. “If some people were willing to fight for a country where Retroculture could flourish—not one where it was enforced by law, but where people could live Retro if they wanted to, without any hindrances from the government—would you be willing to help?”

“Of course,” Mr. Kraft replied. “At present, Retroculture can’t go much beyond home life, because all kinds of government regulations and regulators and lawyers come down on you if you try. As I said, some of us would like to create whole new towns and communities where everyone would live in a certain time. But we know the government would prevent that, because one or another of these ‘victims’ groups would protest.”

“Retroculture isn’t political,” he continued. “Retroculture is about escaping politics and government and all that nonsense. It’s about simply living a normal life, the kind of life Americans used to live. It seems to me that if we’re going to talk about a new country, that’s the kind of country we should want.”

I thought that summed it up pretty well. After drinking a glass of good Port and smoking a cigar to accompany Mr. Kraft’s pipe, I bid him good night and headed home through the April slush. Another piece of the puzzle had fallen into place.

The View From Olympus 32: 4GW Lessons for Russia

Russian operations in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine show that the Russian military has learned some tactical and perhaps even operational lessons from Fourth Generation fighters. An article in the April 22 New York Times, “New Prowess for Russians,” states that Western experts

 see a military disparaged for its decline since the fall of the Soviet Union skillfully employing 21st century tactics that combine cyberwarfare, an energetic information campaign, and the use of highly trained special operations troops to seize the initiative from the West…

Military experts say that the sort of strategy the Kremlin has employed in Ukraine is likely to work best in areas in which there are pockets of Russians to provide local support.

By using small numbers of highly trained men whose uniforms have no national insignia, the Russian military is showing its understanding of the advantages 4GW elements gain from not being state armed forces. As John Boyd argued, ambiguity works as well as deception, and the ambiguity of the “green men” allows Russia a wide variety of options, military and diplomatic. Critically, it allows its forces to avoid the delegitimizing designation of “foreign invaders,” a designation the American armed forces suffered from heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan. If an operation fails, Russian prestige is not on the line, because it can deny ownership. If it succeeds, Russia can give the credit to the locals, strengthening the legitimacy of the elements it supports.

As the Times noted, the current Russian approach depends on a supportive ethnically Russian population. Here Russia has drawn on another aspect of 4GW, namely the fact that ethnic loyalty increasingly trumps national loyalty. By leveraging loyalty to “Mother Russia” among ethnically Russian citizens of Ukraine, Russia has been able to maintain a light footprint, reducing the diplomatic and economic price of her actions.

This, however, is a double-edged sword for Russia. The Russian Federation includes many peoples  who are ethnically non-Russian. Others can use them as the Kremlin has used ethnic Russians.

Here we begin to see a lesson from 4GW which Russia has not yet learned: once the disintegration of a state is set in motion, it is very difficult to halt or reverse. Russian actions are destroying an already fragile state in Ukraine. The Kremlin appears to believe it can spur or reign in state disintegration in eastern Ukraine, pushing it far enough to prevent Ukraine from joining the West but halting before the east becomes anarchic. That may be optimistic.

While the West assumes events in eastern Ukraine are driven by Moscow, just as Moscow says events in Kiev are driven by the West, there is increasing evidence that, green men or no, local Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine are not taking orders from anyone. Local struggles for power and loot are becoming more influential than any outside actors. A “Brinton thesis” cascade of small coups, leading ever toward the greatest extreme, may already be underway. If so, chaos will spread, deepen, and defy all efforts at control, regardless of who is behind them. Moscow needs to remember that it can no more order the tide to retreat than can Washington.

For states, playing with 4GW is playing with fire. Some tactics and techniques may be drawn from it and used effectively by states. But states need to remember that those tactics and techniques work best in a weakening state and also contribute to a state’s dissolution. The emergence of new stateless regions is in no state’s interest. However clever its tactics, if Russia finds itself facing prolonged stateless disorder in eastern Ukraine, it will have failed strategically. A higher level of war trumps a lower. Stavka should know that, and so inform President Putin.

What Difference Does It Make?

“What difference at this point does it make?” When the Sea Hag brayed that objection last year before a Congressional hearing on the 2012 Benghazi attack, I knew immediately the Republicans would latch onto that quote and attempt to squeeze every possible ounce of political theater they could out of it, despite having to take it out of context to do so.

But let’s go there. Let’s pretend Hill-dog was really asking, as Conservatism, Inc. wants to suggest, “What difference…does it make [if four Americans were killed in Benghazi]?” The sad, disappointing reality is that their deaths were in vain. In fact, the events that transpired that night (there were multiple attacks, a botched evacuation, and some suspicious CIA involvement) will likely make no difference whatsoever in American foreign policy or in the 2016 presidential election. Absolutely no one involved will be held accountable or brought to justice.

Without a doubt, the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods make a great deal of difference to their friends and family members. Of course it is grossly dishonorable that the military was given an order to stand down and not attempt to intervene or rescue the U.S. personnel involved. It is downright insulting that the federal government peddled the lie that the attack was simply a protest gone bad (over a poorly made YouTube video that no one had ever seen)—nothing to see here, citizen, move along. But this is the United States of America. It is by its nature a dishonorable, deceitful, corrupt, organization that operates solely to benefit and increase the power of the villainous oligarchs at the top.

The four deaths in Benghazi, tragic though they are, also need to be put into perspective. Those men are but four more tallies on the scoreboard of the fraudulent Global War on Terror. The United States has sent thousands of forgotten servicemen, most of whom are barely old enough to be called adults, to die on unnamed wastelands in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond to accomplish absolutely nothing. No outrage. No demands for justice. No calls to rethink strategy. Just business as usual. And characteristic of the GOP, in their eagerness to pin a cover-up scandal on the Obama administration, Republicans have blinded themselves to the bigger foreign policy failures at play.

A bit of investigation reveals, no thanks to the administration’s allies in the media, that the Benghazi attack, carried out by Islamic fighters, was likely the result of a weapons deal gone bad, the details of which have yet to be publicly released. As it turns out, the reason Ambassador Stevens’ consulate and the CIA annex were assaulted that night was because American agents were funneling arms, including heavy weaponry such as heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles, to rebels in Syria. And who are the primary fighters in the Syrian rebellion? Al Qaeda. Yes, that al Qaeda. The same al Qaeda that killed 3,000 civilians on 9/11 and who is actively shooting and bombing American troops in Afghanistan. The United States government has betrayed not only the four Benghazi victims, but every 9/11 victim and the untold thousands of U.S. troops whose efforts and sacrifices they undermine every single day. This is a scandal goldmine, but the best the Republicans can muster is a bumbling complaint about being lied to about a protest.

The whole event is rather similar to the Operation Fast and Furious debacle, in which the ATF was running guns to Mexican drug cartels and one of the weapons turned up when a Border Patrol agent was killed in a gunfight. The aftermath? Zero U.S. officials were held responsible for supplying arms to drug lords. Brian Terry is dead. Eric Holder is still Attorney General. Barack Obama claimed ignorance. Case closed. America’s short attention span moved on.

The same results will happen with Benghazi. There will probably be a few more hearings, but nothing will happen, especially under this Justice Department. Vengeance looks mighty bad politically, so a future Republican Justice Department will not touch the issue either. Expect the 45th president to walk away scot-free.

The lessons here are simple. There is no honor in the United States government. It is an endlessly corrupt institution with no concern for the men and women they send off to do their fighting, to say nothing of the average citizen. No matter how much mental energy you spend worrying, physical effort you spend campaigning, or hard earned money you pour into the Tea Party dream candidate’s coffers, precisely nothing will change. Prepare for many more Benghazis, Fast and Furiouses, NSA wire tappings, Solyndras, IRS thugs, and executive orders. There is simply nothing left here for you.

Before you spend another minute trying to take your country back ask yourself honestly, “What difference does it make?”

Victoria: Chapter 9

To understand what followed, you have to picture what the United States was like in the early 21st century. That’s hard to do, because life in the old U.S. of A. had departed so far from everything normal, everything natural to mankind, that any analogy, any description sounds hyperbolic. But it isn’t.

Real life, as countless generations had lived it, had essentially vanished into a “virtual reality” devoid of all virtue.

Husband and wife and children, home and household and community, field and farm and village, the age-old lines and limits of our lives, had been shattered into a thousand fragments. Reality was what came through an electronic box, not what you saw out your own front door. Not that you looked out your front door, for fear of what might be looking in, carrying a gun. It might be a stranger, or your own kid, or both.

Everything was political. You chose your words politically, your clothes politically, your entertainment politically. If all three were clean and dull, you were on the right. If they were dirty and suggestive, you were on the left. You had to be one or the other, because everything was.

You lived a lie, one or another, because everything was political and politics was all lies. We were told we were free. It was a lie, because the tentacles of government had a sucker on every sucker. We had elections, and they were lies because all the candidates were from the same party, the New Class.

America’s New Class was the French aristocracy of 1789, without the grace. Like that aristocracy, it performed no function beyond living well. Instead of “Let them eat cake,” it said “Let them eat free trade.” Instead of Marie Antoinette, who had charm and innocence, it gave us Hillary Clinton, who had neither. The French aristocracy held balls, ours held elections. Neither changed anything, but the French gave us good music.

The national sport was voyeurism, done electronically. Day and night, the television, Satan’s regurgitation into our souls, paraded the sad lives of other people for our entertainment. No need to peep in the neighbor’s windows – just turn on the box. Lucky the citizen who got to do the parading, as he or she thus became real.

Despite our fears, 1984 never came. We got a Brave New World instead.

We stopped making things, and kept getting poorer, but no one put the two together as cause and effect. The GNP continued to rise, because the government kept the statistics.

The solution, we were told, was more technology. We knew less and less, but computers would transmit our ignorance faster. Schools taught our children how to peck at the blue dot on the machine to get a piece of corn.

Or, the solution was big business. The New Class on Wall Street would drive down in their Mercedes to save us from the New Class in Washington. People would find dignity and security by being reduced to commodities. It was more efficient than slavery. You couldn’t sell an elderly slave, but you could fire one.

The New Class—cultural Marxists all—told us there weren’t any rules, then they set rules. They reached down into society’s gutter, plopped whatever they found there on the civic altar and demanded we bow down and worship it. So long as it was sewage—moral, cultural, behavioral—it was fine and good and worthy of adoration. Those who would not bow were ruled out.

We were, of course, collectively mad. There’s nothing new about that. From Athens under Cleon through the Tulip Bubble to Party Day at Nuremburg, collective madness has been part of the human tale.
The way to such madness is always the same. Create a false reality, through fine speeches, dreams of wealth beyond avarice, ideologies of revenge and redemption, video screens, whatever.

Stoke the fire hot enough that no one can look away from it. Drive the dance faster and faster, so it entrances, mesmerizes, draws all into it. Think and you’ll miss a step and fall. Fall and you’ll get trampled. Beat the tom-toms quicker and louder. Dance the Ghost Dance long enough, hard enough, and the bullets will pass through you without touching you.

Thud.

Reality always wins. The farther a people has danced away from it, the more they’ve done the danse macabre.

Americans had done quite a dance by the time we found ourselves in the 21st century. The gap between our virtual reality of techno-driven life-as-entertainment cultural freak show and reality itself was the size of the Mariana’s Trench. When America’s virtual reality collapsed, as it would, the implosion would be stupendous, as it was.

My task, as I settled back into the remains of a Maine winter in 2017 as Commandant of the Christian Marine Corps, was not to bring about the collapse. The nature of man would provide that, all by itself.

Rather, I had to think through what to do when it came. What did we want to rescue out of it? Could we rescue anything? How could a general staff of civilized men who understood war—really understood it, from history, not just by virtue of having had rank in some military bureaucracy—make a difference?

One thing I understood from the outset, again thanks to having some acquaintance with history. The answer did not lie in ideology, right or left, old or new. All ideologies failed and always would fail, because by their nature they demand and create a virtual reality. They all require that some aspect of reality, economic or racial or sexual or whatever, be ignored—more than ignored, deliberately not seen. That was a fatal error, always, because whatever part of reality you don’t see is the part that kills you.

A meeting in Waterville showed me the way around that problem, and also what we could fight for—not just against.

The View From Olympus 31: Blue Angels vs. Red Devils

The Blue Angels are the Navy/Marine Corps precision flying team. They put on a spectacular air show, as many Americans have witnessed. The flying they do, performing complex maneuvers at high speed in incredibly tight formations, is highly dangerous. Both American and foreign precision flying teams have suffered serious accidents with dead pilots.

Men who do dangerous jobs develop a uniquely masculine esprit du corps. Its atmosphere is unabashedly male: rough, humerous, and testosterone-fueled. It laughs at the foibles of women, gays, nerds, and anyone else who does not do a dangerous job. So nature has decreed, and no secular power can overcome it–though it may destroy it, and with the atmosphere, the unit and its abilities.

That is the future that fate, in the form of cultural Marxism, aka “political correctness,” now has in store for the Blue Angels. The April 24 Washington Post reported that a former commander of the Blue Angels, Capt. Gregory Mc Wherter USN, has been relieved of duty (ending his career) as the Navy investigates “allegations that the elite team of pilots was a hotbed of hazing, sexual harassment, and other forms of discrimination…”

There is no need for any investigation: of course it was. That is the culture of all teams of men doing dangerous things. It has to be. Case closed.

The problem is not the masculine culture of the Blue Angels, but the fact that cultural Marxism, as ignorant as it is arrogant, is determined male culture shall not exist. If that destroys the Blue Angels or any other organization, the cultural Marxists regard it as a good thing. Everything male is to be destroyed by being made comfortable for women, which is to say turned into a boudoir. Very few cultural Marxists go to air shows in the first place.

In the larger scope of things, the coming destruction of the Blue Angels is not of vast importance. But the moral collapse of our military’s senior leaders in the face of cultural Marxism, of which this is just one example, is important. We see it any time the military is accused of “discriminating against women,” which is to say recognizing that men and women are differnt, as they are. Forcing women into the service academies continues to do those insitutions great harm, because every woman cadet or mid knows she can ruin any male cadet or mid by accusing him of sexual harassment. Putting women into the combat arms will do enormous damage as unit cohesion is destroyed by men’s competition for the favors of the women. The politicians, with no resistance from the senior military, repeatedly put young men and young women in intimate situations, say “Tut tut now, no hanky-panky,” then crucify the men when nature takes its course. We need King Canute to take them all down to the seashore and demonstrate once again that governments do not have the power to hold back the tide.

Since nothing can now save the Blue Angels from the culturally Marxist Volksgericht, here’s an idea: let’s replace them. Dissolve the Blue Angels and replace them with the Pink Angels. In the Pink Angels, all the pilots and all the mechanics who work on the airplanes will be women. Given most women’s problematic grasp of spacial relationships (see who leaves their shopping carts in the middle of the aisles in the grocery store) and the difficulty of fixing delicate electronics by inserting a bobby pin, the results should be highly entertaining. Pink Angel precision flying will thrill audiences everywhere with spectacular sound and light effects. By all means go to see them. From a safe distance.

Wandering Off The White Liberal Plantation

Justice Clarence Thomas, a black conservative serving on the Supreme Court, has recently been castigated by the mainstream media for his role in voting to uphold Michigan’s prohibition of affirmative action in their public universities.

Thomas ironically benefited from affirmative action himself, so this is a major point of contention that liberals have used to declare Thomas’ views as hypocritical. The other bit of irony is that if nothing else, liberals who are opposed to his views have only themselves to blame for promoting the affirmative action policies that placed Thomas in the schools that got him to where he is today.

Thomas did what was right, because American culture generally believes in meritocracy—the idea that people must earn their place in life. Though there is plenty of reason to believe that actual meritocracy is a myth, it is at least something to which folks pay a little lip service. For decades conservatives have argued against the idea of affirmative action on the basis that it leads to discrimination against more qualified individuals, in favor of promoting an ideology.

Affirmative action as we know it today comes from the 1964 Civil Rights Act, when it was enacted by, ironically, a racist white liberal. Lyndon Johnson knew that by giving minority groups “goodies” such as welfare and civil rights, he could control their vote and maintain power. When asked why some of the racial policies of the Great Society reforms were so important to him, he said bluntly, “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

Liberal racism is a constant theme in American politics. It’s the idea that blacks should vote for policies written by their compassionate white masters, because “we know what’s best for you.” When a minority has an opposing view, they are hunted down with a whip, and dragged back onto the plantation.

This liberal chauvinism extends to other “victim” groups as well. If women oppose abortion or feminism, they are derided as idiots. If immigrants oppose mass or illegal immigration, they become nothing more than stooges doing the bidding of the evil, racist, “old, white males.” When liberals don’t get their way after demonstrating their generosity and empathy, they ironically remind minorities to obey their white liberal masters or else risk condemnation.

Clarence Thomas has been called all manner of racist, pejorative terms in the past few days for opposing an unjust policy of racial discrimination. For Thomas, having his own views that diverge from the liberal or progressive narrative can be tantamount to social suicide, as he well knows.

It begs the question of what kind of country we live in currently. Do we live in a democracy that allows freedom of speech and opinion, or one that is run by bureaucratic elites who only allow freedom of speech if that speech supports their ideals and not yours? The Western world is steadily becoming more authoritarian when its citizens don’t support the policies promoted by liberal social engineers.

Is our destiny to become like Sweden, where expressing an opinion that criticizes the elites’ policy platforms can lead to public persecution and even prosecution? It seems so. In Sweden immigration critics are regularly tracked down by “Anti-racist” groups and publicly exposed, even harassing their employers in order to ruin their livelihoods and enforce “economic discipline”—metaphorical public floggings. They are branded as evil racists, prosecuted for hate speech, often losing their jobs or worse, all for daring to criticize the dramatic changes occurring in their nation.

The kind of racism seen in Thomas’ instance, a much more insidious one, is the kind which insists that minority groups ought to know that white liberals know best, that their policies are best for minorities. You are not free to choose what is best for you; the establishment must do it for you. We saw this in the treatment of Latinos like Ted Cruz, who were treated with absolute disrespect for opposing illegal immigration. Because they dare to have an opposing view to the progressive narrative, they are punished in the media by white liberals and the rest of their Republican lackeys that kowtow to the progressive narrative. The message of white liberals to minorities is clear: don’t wander off the plantation, because your master knows best.

James Harmon is a college-level instructor, artist, and writer. His blog is located here.

Victoria: Chapter 8

After the battle, I figured I’d done what I could in Boston and got ready to head back to Maine. I still faced this problem of finding work. But before I left, Gunny Matthews wanted to get the Christian Marines together again for a “hot wash” critique and to figure where we went from here.

We gathered once more at Tune Tavern. Trooper Kelly led off the critique.

“The reason we won here is simple,” he said. “We prepared carefully, but did not try to exercise too much control once things began to move. The decisive action, the march on Judge Frylass, was something we did not foresee. But we were smart enough to let it happen anyway. By the middle of the week, everyone knew what we were trying to achieve—cutting the scum off from their supporters in the Establishment. So people could take the initiative, yet all their actions worked in harmony.”

“This is what the Germans called ‘mission type orders,'” I added. “In the German Army, an order didn’t tell you what to do, it told you what result was needed. You were free to do whatever you thought necessary to get that result. That’s why the Germans were able to win so many battles, usually against superior numbers. Mission orders turn everyone’s initiative and imagination loose, which is very powerful—far more powerful than an army of automatons with everyone doing only what they are told.”

“I was an MP in the Corps,” a Boston city cop said. “For most of my time, we were told exactly what to do and how to do it. Then, just before I retired, we got a new CO who understood this German stuff, what the Corps called ‘maneuver warfare.’ He told us, ‘I want you to cut speeding on base by at least 50%. How you do it is up to you.’ And we were much more effective, because each of us did it differently.”

Gunny Matthews jumped in at this point. “There are a lot of folks all over the country who want to fight for what is right,” he said. “The last time we met here, we did more than plan one battle. We decided to make a difference in the outcome of the whole war. The understanding of war that we share—mission orders, Third Generation war, maneuver warfare, call it what you will—is what the folks out there who believe as we do need in order to win. The question is, how are we going to provide it to them?”

Kelly had an answer. “Captain Rumford had it right when he said we Christian Marines should be the general staff. Remember, German general staff officers weren’t commanders, they were advisors. We can’t and shouldn’t try to muscle in on what other people are already doing to take back control of their own communities. They would resent that, and rightly so. But many of them would be glad to get advice from people who understood war. Because this is war, let’s not kid ourselves. And people out there are beginning to realize that.”

A cop I hadn’t heard from before, Lasky, raised what proved to be the key question. “I agree, but who is going to do the work? I’ll put some time in, but I have a regular job that doesn’t leave me a lot of time. If the Christian Marine Corps is to be a real organization, we need at least one person to work this full time.”

“Don’t complain,” I replied. “At least you have a job. I’m finding it mighty tough to get one.”

“Maybe there’s our answer,” Kelly said. “Skipper, you’ve got the time, you know how to think militarily, you’re willing to make decisions and act. You ought to do it. You should be the first Commandant of the Christian Marines.”
Great, I thought. A job with lots of responsibility, facing well-nigh impossible odds, risking arrest for sedition, all for no paycheck. But I also realized this was the critical decision point if I wanted to help take our country back. “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,” the old Anglican hymn says. For me, this was it.

“Well, I do have the time,” I replied. “And I was the one who proposed this new Marine Corps, so I also have the responsibility to do what I can to make it real. But I have to tell you, my family fortune ran out around 1870. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can take this task on and still make enough money to live?”

Kelly did have an idea. “There are now twenty-one Christian Marines, besides yourself. If we each put in $50 per month, that’s $1050 per month for you. Can you live in Maine for that?”

“I reckon I could,” I said.

“Can the rest of us pony up that much?” Kelly asked.

“Let’s face it, we each spend that every month on donuts,” Meyer answered. “Just call me one generous Jew. I’m good for it.”

So were the others, though McBreen looked a little pale when he thought of doing without donuts.

“So that’s settled,” said Trooper Kelly. “Skipper, now it’s up to you. You can call on each of us for help, and we have a responsibility to look for situations where we can make a difference, not just wait for direction from you.”

“But if the Christian Marine Corps is to mean anything beyond this one battle in Boston,” Kelly continued, “from here on out, it’s sweat, toil, and tears, and probably blood too in the end. This is the point where most movements die. The exciting part is over, we all face the press of everyday concerns, and building an organization is slow, dull, frustrating work. It’s also the work that makes the difference between talking around the bar and changing history.”

“Well and truly spoken, Trooper Kelly,” I replied. “In the old American militia tradition, I move we elect our officers, and I hereby nominate you to be the CO, Massachusetts Christian Marines.”

The vote was unanimous, and Kelly accepted the post at which he later fell.

“And in the Marine tradition, I propose a toast, gentlemen,” I concluded. “To the Christian Marine Corps, and confusion to our enemies.” Appropriately, it was drunk in Sam Adams beer.