Taliban strength is growing. Are we the occupiers? Are they simply patriots?

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City in 1775-1776 all had,In today’s New York Times there is a lead off article entitled Taliban Open Up Front in Once-Quiet Afghan North which is self explanatory and tells us why we just need to leave that desert limbo and cut our losses. It is now obvious that the phrase "the Taliban" is a euphemism for Afghanis and Pakistanis that simply want the NATO and coalition forces occupiers out of their countries. Would not we want the same thing?

Are these people insurgents or patriots? We need to consider this seriously.

It is time for us to get real about what we have done. On Tuesday night the President is going to speak to us from West Point and tell us why we need to be in Afghanistan. He will attempt to explain to us why we need to spend more blood and money and broken young American lives on this outpost of desperation in western Asia.

My wish is simple. Get us out.

     

Whatever we were trying to do there in the last eight years did not come to pass. We need to cut our losses. We need to bring the troopers and the money home. We need them both here. We do not have money for this and the loss in American lives is insane.

Our experiment as a 21st Century version of the Roman Empire has failed. We need to face up to this and leave these people to their own version of tribal hell.

This is simply not worth anymore American blood and treasure.

In a piece that has tremendous promise for mentally disabled and shattered veterans, Surgery for Mental Ills Offers Hope and Risk , it seems that radical new surgical procedures being attempted at a hospital in Rhode Island offers hope for a normal life.

The piece is worth reading and has direct application to veterans with psychiatric problems.

The United Nation’s nuclear watchdog agency head, Mohamed El Baradei, has pretty much written off Iran as a liar. A normally soft spoken and circumspect scientist, El Baradei throws caution to the wind and accuses Iran of lying pretty much all the time concerning pretty much anything at all concerning its nuclear program.

That article, U.N. Nuclear Agency Calls Iran Inquiry ‘Dead End’ , is not good news for any of us.

Korean War veterans will take an interest in this next article entitled South Korea Admits Civilian Killings During War. It seems that UN Forces in Korea killed civilians because it could not be determined where their loyalites lie. Here is an excerpt:

"SEOUL, South Korea — In the opening months of the Korean War, the South Korean military and the police executed at least 4,900 civilians who had earlier signed up — often under force — for re-education classes meant to turn them against Communism, the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission announced Thursday.

The government killed the civilians out of fear that they would help the Communists who were invading from the north and forcing South Korean and American forces into retreat during the first desperate weeks of the war, the commission said.

Although the panel has reported on similar civilian massacres in the past, the announcement Thursday represented the first time that a state investigative agency confirmed the nature and scale of what is known as "the National Guidance League incident" — one of the most horrific and controversial episodes of the war."

May the dead rest in peace.

On the home front, as I am sure you have read by now, the Obama’s first state dinner had party crashers.

The Secret Service is embarrassed and investigating. That story is entitled Obamas’ Uninvited Guests Prompt an Inquiry . Obviously, this kind of security lapse around the President cannot continue.

In an ominous sign of where the global economy is heading explained in an article entitled Dubai’s Move on Debt Rattles Markets Worldwide, it seems that oil rich Dubai cannot pay the interest on its $60 billion dollar debt. This could be the first of many defaults.

If this is the case,  the world will never be the same on an economic level in our lifetimes.

To state this bluntly, the chickens have come home to roost. Our extravagance at the expense of our grandchildren is starting to eat away at the very fabric of the world economy. This will take generations to turn around if it sets off a domino effect of default around the world.

Simply put, the world’s elites and their sycophants in their own governments spent money that their people and their corporations never had for the exclusive benefit of the world’s elites themselves. 

People in power all over the world spent the people’s money on pipe dreams.

This is undoubtedly the first of many defaults. The only questions are, who will default next and how big will the defaults actually be? Stand by for worldwide economic disaster if this is a forest fire, and not a simple brush fire as economists are claiming.

In what may be a harbinger of things to come in our country, this article Stalemate in Legislature Has New York Near Its Last Dollar is self explanatory and chilling. New York State may be broke by the end of December. This is not an unusual situation in our country. State governments all over the Union are beginning to fail due to lack of operating funds.  State employee pensions are in danger in at least eight states.

Once again, "leaders" in government have spent money over a period of decades that we did not have available to spend. If you or I did this the bank would simply come and take the car and the house and if the kids could not be cared for, they would be placed in foster care.

Not so with government entities. These options for redress are not available to them.

What in the hell have we done to ourselves?  Why did we allow this kind of irresponsible government to evolve?

In an editorial entitled Immigrants, Criminalized the editors of the New York Times forcefully make the case that all immigrants are not criminals. We are heading down a road to legislation that comes perilously close to that premise. It is not healthy or fair or just or even typically American to do that.

In an Op Ed piece by Paul Krugman entitled Taxing the Speculators , we see that there is a need to tax the kind of irresponsible financial manipulation and speculative "buying and selling" on Wall Street that more or less caused the financial collapse of the world economy in October 2008. Oddly enough our government is against this!

Why?

In an Op Ed piece by Roger Cohen entitled Iranians in Exile we read about the only Iranians who can really make a difference there. Unfortunately, they are spread all over the world in a Persian disapora that makes healing in Iran almost impossible.

In the On This Day Section of the Times we read the following sentence.

"On Nov. 27, 1973, the Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald R. Ford as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who’d resigned."

That was not a good day in this Republic, or was it? Was this a sign of shame for us or was it redemption from obvious criminal behavior in the Nixon White House? Did we learn anything from those days? I hope so.

In today’s Washington Post we read that the Obama Administration appears to be taking steps to recapture federal advisory panels from high paid lobbyists who have held them captive for generations. The story entitled Lobbyists pushed off advisory panels, is a good sign that government is attempting to hand the reins of power back to the people, if only in a small way.

In this story, Dubai woes hit world stocks again; Asia down most, we see that trading in Asia on Friday in the aftermath of Dubai’s request to place its debt repayment on hold has dragged the dollar down to 84 Japanese yen. A weak dollar is good for U.S. exports but perhaps not so good relative to convincing the rest of the world to use the dollar as its trade currency.

This story, War crimes envoy has personal touch, is a profile on Stephen Rapp, the U.S. Ambassador at Large for war crimes.  This is a good story for those of us who hold out hope that we can return to our egalitarian roots in this republic.

And finally, there is this story concerning episcopal malfeasance within the Catholic Church in Ireland and its devestating effect on Irish society.  This holds many, many lessons for us as veterans.  In short, the guys in charge of  the program have helped to destroy it.

In this story, Experts: Bishops covered up priests’ child abuse, we have a piece aimed at the release yesterday in Ireland of the Abuse Report concerning the Catholic Church and child sex abuse horror in the Dublin Diocese, the largest church division in Ireland.

It is a case study on entrenched "leaders" in a Western country using their position within society to tacitly support an entire subculture of sexual abuse of marginalized children, who always make easy targets. I was abused physically and on two occasions sexually by both nuns and to a much smaller extent priests in grammar school, high school and once in college. It colored my perceptions of power and religion and social leadership.

It taught me how incredibly easy it is for a "leader" to take advantage of a powerless serf while on the manor and holding all the power and influence. The homeless guy has no chance in the court of public opinion against a state senator. This is more or less the same thing and it applies directly to disabled veterans.

Without knowledge of our surroundings and how to respond to the dangers, we are powerless.

American veterans can see this story not so much as a religious issue but one of entrenched power brokers in a Western country taking advantage of the helpless in order to do no more than protect the interests of their most depraved supporters among their rank and file.

This is really not all that different from the Bushites and a half dozen administrations before them placing "ringers" inside the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that a sort of deviant ideology was followed, i.e., that laws were broken, in order to enforce a hidden agenda.

That agenda was and remains the illegal enforcement of "entitlement control" by illegally and unethically taking any and all means to either destroy records so that disablility cases cannot be adjudicated or to willfully downgrade them while adjudicating them.

Catholic bishops all over the world either sequestered damning evidence for decades in secret vaults at the Chancery Office in their dioceses or destroyed evidence so that the police could not take action once pedophile priests and nuns were accused.

The same is true of DVA employees. This is just a Catholic and Irish version of the same idea; whoever holds the power makes the rules. Whoever makes the rules can change them at will.

Once you have that kind of power without any real oversight, the chances of extreme abuse of power are inevitable. We know that quite well don’t we?

The bishops knew full well for a time period that almost certainly stretches back to the very beginnings of the Christian church that the priests and the elders and the presbyters and the "chaste" women in convents were abusing children. Canon law within Roman Catholicism stretches back to about the 3rd Century A.D. and even then there are prohibitions in church law against harming children sexually. So this is not a new problem.

The bishops knew about this for almost two millenia.  That is without doubt.

I find the abuse of children in the Catholic Church throughout the world to have an immediate and direct relationship to what is going on among the disabled veteran community in this country. Unfortunately I have experiences in both camps.

Both groups depend entirely on "elders" to take care of their needs. Both groups have been raped quite literally because those elders have taken advantage of their positions of power to enforce a hidden and unspoken agenda. The Department of Veterans Affairs employs renegade ‘bishops’ also, they just have different job titles.

And just like priests who have been caught sexually abusing children it is my opinion that government appointees or employees at DVA that have taken advantage of their positions to abuse disabled veterans by illegally enforcing a hidden agenda of stopping entitlements need to serve prison time.

I am quite serious. Rape is rape, no matter how it is arranged. It is time we had our own "abuse report" delivered to the people of this country relative to abuses in the DVA since its inception.

What do you think?

Get informed and stay informed. It is our only hope for change.

An informed veteran is a comfort to his friends, and a danger to his adversaries.

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)

 

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