Between the Lines: Same Shit, Different Week

Welcome to Between the Lines, where, just like that jerk in the front row of a magic show who won't stop pointing out how they do the tricks, I take a look at the Army's propaganda and do my level best to figure out where they're hiding the rabbit.

First up, A look at the "Opinion" piece that the Army is choosing to run as "Opposing Side". Headlined as "Army Should Focus on more than what will we wear" This article by a soldier is surprisingly telling, providing you're willing to read past what the spin the corporate press is putting on it.

"Shut Up and Do your Job" seems to be the watchword of all high leadership in the military, as they swan about trying to secure their corporate credentials by showing how much "Synergy" and "Branding" they can create for the Army, rather than focus on winning wars. Of course, what this Sergeant leaves out is the differing priorities between high level leadership and low level. The average high officer wants to be able to point to their Powerpoint presentation and be able to point to all the numbers being up. The Average Captain and lower wants their soldiers to all come home, which means training, working on morale, and learning the freaking job, rather than catering to the political whims of the moment.

What this commentary points to is the VERY real morale problem within the service. Every complaint that this soldier makes is valid from a boots on the ground point of view. At a time when the Army's mission is expanding beyond all possible reasonable uses, a morale problem of this magnitude is one fragging away from disaster.

And the American Empire plans to expand into the middle east PERMANENTLY. Yes, I know the article is about grooming standards. The big tell is about halfway down when it's remarked that the Army Research Lab is testing our gas masks on people who subscribe to Islamic standards of hygiene and dress. Yes, we can expect to be recruiting from the locals in occupied territories. Combine this with the recent creation of SFAB units, and we have a situation where we are going to have colonies in everything but the name.

And officially, we're letting the Kurds twist. Yep, we're only going to be giving guns to Local Cops and "Security Forces". Which means, you know, we're not actually NOT giving weapons to the people in the area. Just NOT giving them to a group. And actually we're totally going to be taking back stuff... And wait, no we might still be giving them things.

Essentially, what we should take from this is we're going to be in Syria, for a long, long time. The official story tells you nothing, except that some weapons manufacturer will still be getting their money, so nobody in the MSM needs to particularly give a shit.

And just like the White Collar Criminals in the American Justice System, High Ranking Officers get just as small slaps on the wrist. You want to talk ACTUAL treason? This is about as close as you can reasonably get. Yep, totally sold out the Navy to a foreign power, effectively stealing almost 35 Million... and No Dishonorable or anything else specified. Apparently he got to plead guilty and get off scott free.

I still remember the E-7 in my unit who got caught with ONE crate of Ak47s that he had actually paid good money for, in a country where it was legal to own them. Of course, bringing them back to the states wasn't legal, but I do think the dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to E-1, and 6 months in addition to the seizure of the goods was a tad excessive. The point is of course, that just like everywhere else in America, we have effectively a caste system in place as far as the justice system is concerned.

And that's about it. It's not the most insightful week, since the facts remain that the military is being pushed harder and harder, and yet those at the top refuse to tell the politicians to go fuck themselves and lay out why we can't have troops in every fucking country in the world simultaneously.

Oh, and I'm aiming for the 16th or 17th for the PDX meetup for discussion. If that works for folks, the Lucky Lab is our usual spot. I have tentatively two or three folks who are interested, and hope that the date will work for everybody.

up
16 users have voted.

Comments

Lookout's picture

https://www.part-time-commander.com/how-to-improve-soldier-morale/

They just need to be given a company coin. Yeah right. If this typifies officer attitudes, no wonder our empire is falling.

From the Nation's article on the decline of our empire:

By 2020, according to current plans, the Pentagon will throw a military Hail Mary pass for a dying empire. It will launch a lethal triple canopy of advanced aerospace robotics that represents Washington’s last best hope of retaining global power despite its waning economic influence.

https://www.thenation.com/article/decline-and-fall-american-empire/

My state of Alabama provides fodder for the military. In this third world state, many see the military as their ticket out of poverty. We lag slightly behind FL and GA
http://ijr.com/2015/02/251918-data-shows-highest-numbers-united-states-m...

I know a family of folks that escaped a life of sharecropping by joining the military. This was 40 years ago. We do what we have to do to survive and thrive.

I hope you and your kids are thriving, and all the best with the C99 gathering!

up
10 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

detroitmechworks's picture

@Lookout reads like a Corporate Manual.

The points add up to:
1. Be a Martinet
2. Give awards to individual soldiers in accordance with regulations.
3. Be a Martinet
4. Unit Coins. For when you want to give even more awards in accordance with Regulations.
5. Have Brand-Name "FUN" with your unit.
6. Give long winded speeches at formation that the soldier's HATE.
7. Don't actually care, but LOOK like you care.

I always said to my fellow soldiers that if I was ever given command, this would be the entirety of my assumption of command speech.

"Thank you for the opportunity to be your commander. It's hot as hell out here, and I hate standing in formation too. All those without watches or other prescribed duties are released for the weekend. See you back here Monday, ready to kick some ass."

Boom, formation done, I get back to doing my job, they get back to doing their job, and everybody knows that I'm not going to waste their fucking time and energy on ritual that means less than nothing from a command standpoint.

The Tech crap... well, it ain't going to solve the problem. You only win a war by wanting it more than the other side, and all the money in the world can't make a soldier fight for a cause that he doesn't believe in. Hence why propaganda is one of the Army's big expenses.

And yes, it's tragic that the poor and downtrodden are so often given no way out other than joining the military. Hell, Native Americans serve at a higher rate than any ethnic group, and they've been fucked by the US harder than any other group you can name.

Doing ok, hope the meetup does go well too, and thanks for the additional info!

up
9 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

ggersh's picture

“We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” Georg Wilhelm Friederich Hegel.

up
9 users have voted.

“Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who DO study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.” Unknown.

detroitmechworks's picture

@ggersh but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up.

up
8 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

ggersh's picture

@detroitmechworks if only we had more like that.

up
3 users have voted.

“Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who DO study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.” Unknown.

detroitmechworks's picture

@ggersh silenced by the whims of those that control the presses. The need to appeal to the commercial generates couplets in praise of toothpaste.

I wonder whether the destruction of poetry as a viable medium has anything to do with the greater and greater loads of bullshit we are required to swallow to accept a poet as "Legitimate".

up
4 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

ggersh's picture

@detroitmechworks I'm sure many of the old guard families that
were in favor of Hitler our leading the way today.

up
2 users have voted.

“Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who DO study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.” Unknown.

Any articles or sense how the military is prep'ing lower ranks for a conflict with Russia?

up
5 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@MrWebster But the fact that the Sergeant in the first article mentioned it is telling.

I think the lower ranks expect a conflict with Russia or China, which is not a good thing. As of right now, I'll continue to watch military towns and watch for deployments that look iffy.

As it is, I know for a fact the higher ranks wouldn't acknowledge it if it was being prepped for.

up
5 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

@detroitmechworks

up
3 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

@detroitmechworks

up
2 users have voted.

“Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who DO study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.” Unknown.

up
2 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@lizzyh7 A little later in the week.

up
2 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

earthling1's picture

into civilianspeak, DMW.
Would love to make the meet up, but presently on the road. Won't be back till after New Year. Hope you have a great turnout.
Gold Bluff Beach, Ca.20171201_082052.jpg

up
4 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@earthling1 and the journey. I'm planning on getting down to CA in Feb next year, and seeing how it's changed...

up
2 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

enhydra lutris's picture

that the military is finding its way clear to accept those who have done pot. In the past I've noticed seeming lowerings of other "standards". Perhaps they are getting hard up for cannon fodder. To me, that means that everybody should be out there selling the idea of not joining, not enlisting, not serving, etc. Try to starve them for bodies, and maybe they'll be a little less crazy for war.

up
4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

detroitmechworks's picture

@enhydra lutris As it is now, they're waving bonuses around and lowering standards. Officially they aren't because that resulted in "Personal and Discipline Issues" when they did it last time.

In other words, they hired soldiers who weren't dumb as shit, clean cut, brainwashed kids who believed everything they were told. There were a LOT of older, wiser and all around less pliable soldiers enlisted.

If they had any brains whatsoever, they'd start recruiting homeless. Who else can live in a tent, survive on only a few dollars a day, and would love the chance to shoot back at people who regularly give them shit? If they need a repression force here in the states, they've got one ready made.

up
4 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!