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Breeder
October 3rd 06, 12:33 AM
"Not Today, Sir."

Awaiting The Rebellion




October 1, 2006


101st at Tuy Hoa, 1966 Photo: Jim Coyne

When, one wonders, will mutiny begin among the troops in Iraq?

Recently I talked by email about the war with Jim Coyne, an
airborne-infantry friend who served two tours as a gunship door-gunner
in Viet Nam and then made a career in journalism. I asked, "Do they
[I meant the officer corps, the official military] actually believe the
optimistic twaddle this time around? Do they really not know what is
happening?"

Jim's response: "In my opinion, they really don't know; they may
not even want to know on some level. You know as well as I, these are
mission-oriented folks; can do folks; failure and its introspective
handmaidens are not options to them. And in a tactical mission-oriented
world our military doesn't really fail very often; in a strategic
military/political world such as the Mideast and Iraq, however, we
simply cannot win.

"Again, as in Viet Nam, the career officer corps salutes and marches
toward the sound of battle. Eventually however (and it won't be long
now) it's the grunts who will begin to revolt, first in small ways (as
in the 101st in late 1968, "No sir. We are not going up that hill
again.) and then, quickly thereafter (As in 1973, "**** you, asshole.")
By that time the media may get wind of things and spin it exponentially
out of control. That's what I think."

So do I,

We have two sharply differing versions of Iraq. One comes from the
professional officers. It holds that the military is making progress
and the insurgents losing ground. The Iraqi people love us and want the
benefits that we will bring them. The increasing attacks by insurgents
are signs of desperation. Things seem bad only because the media
emphasize the negative. The officers see light at the end of the
tunnel. The body counts are great; the bad guys can't much longer
take the pounding we are giving them. Onward and upward.

The other view comes from enlisted men (and from a lot of reporters
before being edited to say whatever the publisher believes). These
assert that the Iraqis hate us and we, them; that the insurgency is
growing in strength, that we are not making progress but going
backward, that our tactics don't work and we can't win.

The pattern is so common in recent wars as to be routine. The enlisted
men know that the US is losing. The officers do not know it, or refuse
to know it. This will eventually have consequences.

When men die pointlessly in a war they know cannot be won and that
means nothing to them, when they realize that they are dying for the
egos of draft-dodging politicians safe in Washington-they will
revolt. It happened before. It will happen again. But when? Next year,
I'd guess.

It is important to understand that officers and enlisted men are very
different animals. For example, enlisted men do things (drive the tank,
repair the helicopter) whereas officers are chiefly administrators. But
the important difference is psychological. Enlisted men are blue-collar
guys or technicians. They carry little ideological overburden. They
want to fix the tank or finish the field exercise and then go drink
beer and get laid.

Above all, they are realists. If the new radio doesn't work, or
Baghdad turns out to be a tactically irresolvable nightmare, the
enlisted guys feel very little urge to pretend otherwise. This is why
officers do not like reporters to be alone with the troops. And they
seriously don't.

The standard response of the officer corps is that the troops cannot
see the Big Picture. (Unless of course the enlisteds say what the
officers want to hear, in which case their experience on the ground
lends irresistible authority). But the Big Picture rests on the Little
Picture. If a soldier sees slow disaster where he is, and hears the
same thing from guys he meets from everywhere else in the country, his
conclusions will not be without weight. Sooner or later, on his third
tour with a pregnant wife at home and seven friends killed by bombs, he
will say, in the crude but expressive language of soldiers, "****
this ****."

By contrast, officers can't conclude anything but the positive. There
are several reasons. Career officers, first, are politicians. You
don't get promoted by saying that the higher-ups are otherworldly
incompetents. An officer's loyalty is to his career, and to the
officer corps, not to the country or to his troops. If this sounds
harsh, note how seldom an active-duty officer will criticize policy,
yet when he retires he may suddenly discover that said policy resulted
in unnecessary deaths among the troops. Oh? Then why didn't he say so
when it would have saved lives?

There is a curious moral cowardice among officers. They will fly
dangerous missions over Baghdad, but they won't say that things
aren't going well. They don't go against their herd.

Further, and I want to say this carefully, officers often are not quite
adults. They can be (and usually are) smart, competent, dedicated, and
physically brave, and some are exceedingly hard men. But there is a
simple-mindedness about them, an aversion to the handmaidens of
introspection, a certain boyishness as in kids playing soldier. A lot
of make-believe goes into an officer's world. Enlisted men, grown up,
see things as they are. Officers are issued a world by the command and
then live in it.

Note the heavy emphasis of the military, meaning the officer corps, on
ritual and pageantry. It is adult kid-stuff. Three thousand men
building a skyscraper just show up, do their jobs, and go home. The
military wants its men standing in squares, precisely at attention,
thumbs along the seams, with brass perfectly polished. It wants
stirring music, snappy salutes, and the haunting tones of taps, "Yes
sir, yes sir, three bags full, sir." This is justified as necessary
for discipline. It isn't. A gunny sergeant has no difficulty
maintaining his authority without the hoop-la

Officers remind me of armed Moonies. There is the same earnestness, the
same deliberate optimism-by-policy. Things are going well because
doctrine says they are. An officer is as ideologically upbeat as
Reader's Digest, and as unreflective. This is the why they don't
learn, why the US is again flailing about, trying to fight hornets with
elephant guns. "Yessir, can do, sir." Well, sometimes, and
sometimes not. It is not arrogance, more like a belief in gravitation.

And so we hear phrases that embody the eternal precedence of oo-rah!
over realism: "There is no substitute for victory," or "The
difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer,"
or "Defeat is not an option." But sometimes it is an inevitability.


I think Jim is right. Sooner or later, a unit won't go up the hill
again. Then it will be over.

jean-yves hervé
October 3rd 06, 03:51 AM
In article . com>,
"Breeder" > wrote:

> October 1, 2006
>
>
> 101st at Tuy Hoa, 1966 Photo: Jim Coyne
>
> When, one wonders, will mutiny begin among the troops in Iraq?
>

I was--and still am---convinced that this war was not only stupid but
criminal and criminally stupid (and I am glad that my country, France,
opposed it), but this kind of messages really **** me off. Whatever you
may think of the US military, the notion that US units would mutiny
because things are not going well in the fight against "insurgents" is
just plain ludicrous and disrespectful too. Sometimes I really get the
feeling that some of you guys actually rejoice whenever roadside bomb
casualties are announced, as in "bad news is good news". There has to
be a way to oppose this war without going down to this kind of ****.

Sorry for the rant but this has been annoying me for a while.

jyh.

Carey
October 3rd 06, 06:21 AM
jean-yves hervé wrote:
> In article . com>,
> "Breeder" > wrote:
>
> > October 1, 2006
> >
> >
> > 101st at Tuy Hoa, 1966 Photo: Jim Coyne
> >
> > When, one wonders, will mutiny begin among the troops in Iraq?
> >
>
> I was--and still am---convinced that this war was not only stupid but
> criminal and criminally stupid (and I am glad that my country, France,
> opposed it), but this kind of messages really **** me off. Whatever you
> may think of the US military, the notion that US units would mutiny
> because things are not going well in the fight against "insurgents" is
> just plain ludicrous and disrespectful too. Sometimes I really get the
> feeling that some of you guys actually rejoice whenever roadside bomb
> casualties are announced, as in "bad news is good news". There has to
> be a way to oppose this war without going down to this kind of ****.
>
> Sorry for the rant but this has been annoying me for a while.
>
> jyh.

Better get used to it Bro- you'll be hearing more of it (reality, it is
sometimes called) every day.

jean-yves hervé
October 3rd 06, 06:42 AM
In article m>,
"Carey" > wrote:

> Better get used to it Bro- you'll be hearing more of it (reality, it is
> sometimes called) every day.

If by "it" and "reality" you mean stories of US troops getting close to
mutiny, I think you're just plain crazy. If on the other hand you refer
to US casualties in Iraq, then of course I expect a lot more of that to
happen.

jyh.

Dave Hazelwood
October 3rd 06, 07:11 AM
On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 01:42:26 -0400, jean-yves hervé >
wrote:

>In article m>,
> "Carey" > wrote:
>
>> Better get used to it Bro- you'll be hearing more of it (reality, it is
>> sometimes called) every day.
>
>If by "it" and "reality" you mean stories of US troops getting close to
>mutiny, I think you're just plain crazy. If on the other hand you refer
>to US casualties in Iraq, then of course I expect a lot more of that to
>happen.
>
>jyh.


mutiny can take many forms and it has already started. soldiers not
wanting to reenlist. soldiers grumbling about multiple tours of duty.
soldiers fighting half heartedly doing the minimum to stay alive. in a
war where they were fighting for their homeland there would be queues
a mile long to fight but to die for gw bushes glory ? no freaking way.

what we have in iraq is an army that does not WANT to fight. that is
mutiny enough. who would want to fight for a guy who lied to put them
there ? a guy who was too chicken to go and fight himself in Nam but
is more than happy to send other people kids to their death ?

Isaza
October 3rd 06, 05:35 PM
Dave Hazelwood wrote:
> On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 01:42:26 -0400, jean-yves hervé >
> wrote:
>
> >In article m>,
> > "Carey" > wrote:
> >
> >> Better get used to it Bro- you'll be hearing more of it (reality, it is
> >> sometimes called) every day.
> >
> >If by "it" and "reality" you mean stories of US troops getting close to
> >mutiny, I think you're just plain crazy. If on the other hand you refer
> >to US casualties in Iraq, then of course I expect a lot more of that to
> >happen.
> >
> >jyh.
>
>
> mutiny can take many forms and it has already started. soldiers not
> wanting to reenlist. soldiers grumbling about multiple tours of duty.
> soldiers fighting half heartedly doing the minimum to stay alive. in a
> war where they were fighting for their homeland there would be queues
> a mile long to fight but to die for gw bushes glory ? no freaking way.
>
> what we have in iraq is an army that does not WANT to fight. that is
> mutiny enough. who would want to fight for a guy who lied to put them
> there ? a guy who was too chicken to go and fight himself in Nam but
> is more than happy to send other people kids to their death ?

I don't know, Dave. The military mind is very different from yours.
There might be some of what you're saying, but I'd bet it's a small
minority.

drew
October 3rd 06, 05:51 PM
Breeder wrote:
> "Not Today, Sir."
>
> Awaiting The Rebellion


Good article. When I get annoyed at poor administration and working
for incompetent bosses I'm so thankful I've never been a soldier who
might die because his boss is an idiot.

I'm surprised they can get anyone to fight in Iraq. I know they
recruit a lot of poor people who could never afford a Mediterranean
cruise or a trip to Persia.

FlyGuy
October 3rd 06, 06:33 PM
In article >,
jean-yves hervé > wrote:

> In article . com>,
> "Breeder" > wrote:
>
> > October 1, 2006
> >
> >
> > 101st at Tuy Hoa, 1966 Photo: Jim Coyne
> >
> > When, one wonders, will mutiny begin among the troops in Iraq?
> >
>
> I was--and still am---convinced that this war was not only stupid but
> criminal and criminally stupid (and I am glad that my country, France,
> opposed it), but this kind of messages really **** me off. Whatever you
> may think of the US military, the notion that US units would mutiny
> because things are not going well in the fight against "insurgents" is
> just plain ludicrous and disrespectful too. Sometimes I really get the
> feeling that some of you guys actually rejoice whenever roadside bomb
> casualties are announced, as in "bad news is good news". There has to
> be a way to oppose this war without going down to this kind of ****.
>
> Sorry for the rant but this has been annoying me for a while.
>
> jyh.

yup. Both republicans and democrats have their terminally dumb. Who
was the conservative talk show host who said that government officials,
should be shot in the head, so as to avoid their body armor?

FlyGuy
October 3rd 06, 06:35 PM
In article >,
Dave Hazelwood > wrote:

> mutiny can take many forms and it has already started. soldiers not
> wanting to reenlist. soldiers grumbling about multiple tours of duty.
> soldiers fighting half heartedly doing the minimum to stay alive.

Why would anyone do the minimum to stay alive? I would do the maximum
to stay alive.

drew
October 3rd 06, 07:29 PM
Isaza wrote:

The military mind is very different from yours.
> There might be some of what you're saying, but I'd bet it's a small
> minority.

Military intelligence is an oxymoron. There's no life like it as they
say.

Dave Hazelwood
October 4th 06, 12:50 AM
On 3 Oct 2006 09:35:48 -0700, "Isaza"
> wrote:

>
>Dave Hazelwood wrote:
>> On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 01:42:26 -0400, jean-yves hervé >
>> wrote:
>>
>> >In article m>,
>> > "Carey" > wrote:
>> >
>> >> Better get used to it Bro- you'll be hearing more of it (reality, it is
>> >> sometimes called) every day.
>> >
>> >If by "it" and "reality" you mean stories of US troops getting close to
>> >mutiny, I think you're just plain crazy. If on the other hand you refer
>> >to US casualties in Iraq, then of course I expect a lot more of that to
>> >happen.
>> >
>> >jyh.
>>
>>
>> mutiny can take many forms and it has already started. soldiers not
>> wanting to reenlist. soldiers grumbling about multiple tours of duty.
>> soldiers fighting half heartedly doing the minimum to stay alive. in a
>> war where they were fighting for their homeland there would be queues
>> a mile long to fight but to die for gw bushes glory ? no freaking way.
>>
>> what we have in iraq is an army that does not WANT to fight. that is
>> mutiny enough. who would want to fight for a guy who lied to put them
>> there ? a guy who was too chicken to go and fight himself in Nam but
>> is more than happy to send other people kids to their death ?
>
>I don't know, Dave. The military mind is very different from yours.
>There might be some of what you're saying, but I'd bet it's a small
>minority.


hey, there are already many top generals speaking out against Bush.
not one or two or even three, but many.

you don't think that's mutany ? You don't think if the brass is
unhappy the troops aren't more so ?

bush has destroyed many things. our armed forces are just another one
of many.

Dave Hazelwood
October 4th 06, 12:56 AM
On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 10:35:00 -0700, FlyGuy > wrote:

>In article >,
> Dave Hazelwood > wrote:
>
>> mutiny can take many forms and it has already started. soldiers not
>> wanting to reenlist. soldiers grumbling about multiple tours of duty.
>> soldiers fighting half heartedly doing the minimum to stay alive.
>
>Why would anyone do the minimum to stay alive? I would do the maximum
>to stay alive.


no. they do the minimum they are required to do to be seen as obeying
orders but are not agressive in fulfilling a mission. take no chances.
then you get layers of this on top of one another from the officers on
down and in the end what happens on the ground is a lot less than what
would be if this was a moral war and they really were fighting for
their homeland.

Dave Hazelwood
October 4th 06, 01:01 AM
On 3 Oct 2006 09:51:18 -0700, "drew" > wrote:

>
>Breeder wrote:
>> "Not Today, Sir."
>>
>> Awaiting The Rebellion
>
>
>Good article. When I get annoyed at poor administration and working
>for incompetent bosses I'm so thankful I've never been a soldier who
>might die because his boss is an idiot.
>
>I'm surprised they can get anyone to fight in Iraq. I know they
>recruit a lot of poor people who could never afford a Mediterranean
>cruise or a trip to Persia.


it's bushes form of ethnic cleansing. the poor, the black, the
uneducated all get to die so halliburton can skim tens of billions for
inferior work to enrich the bush/cheney cronies.

its a win win as far as dubya is concerned.

theresa
October 4th 06, 02:17 PM
Dave Hazelwood wrote:
>
> On 3 Oct 2006 09:51:18 -0700, "drew" > wrote:
>
> >
> >Breeder wrote:
> >> "Not Today, Sir."
> >>
> >> Awaiting The Rebellion
> >
> >
> >Good article. When I get annoyed at poor administration and working
> >for incompetent bosses I'm so thankful I've never been a soldier who
> >might die because his boss is an idiot.
> >
> >I'm surprised they can get anyone to fight in Iraq. I know they
> >recruit a lot of poor people who could never afford a Mediterranean
> >cruise or a trip to Persia.
>
> it's bushes form of ethnic cleansing. the poor, the black, the
> uneducated all get to die so halliburton can skim tens of billions for
> inferior work to enrich the bush/cheney cronies.
>
> its a win win as far as dubya is concerned.

It also might all be psychological -- here is an excerpt from a
study on the odd way people often cope with betrayal:

Many conservative voters, especially fundamentalist Christians,
are convinced that their core values, those most central to
their moral and personal identity, are under attack by "godless"
liberals. As individuals, they feel helpless to counteract this
attack. They are forced to depend on powerful others, most
especially leaders like President Bush, to do so for them.
According to Betrayal Trauma Theory, once this psychological
dependence occurs, betrayal blindness is likely to follow. It
would then become more difficult for these voters to notice the
administration's deceptions and fabrications at the time they
are being uttered, or to remember them clearly at a later date.
Perceived emotional closeness may be an important factor in this
political scenario, as it is in the prototypical interpersonal
scenario of childhood abuse by a caregiver. For the abused
child, the dissociation, the needing to "not know," derives
directly from the need to maintain the attachment bond.
Another factor that Freyd (1996, p. 140) predicts will lead to
betrayal blindness is "alternative reality-defining statements
by [the] caregiver."Often these statements have an Orwellian
quality to them, in that they completely reverse the truth.
Perpetrators will tell a child that the abuse is an expression
of love, and the child enjoys and wants everything that is
happening.
In an in-depth account of the dynamics of the Bush White House,
Suskind (2004) provided a quote from an unnamed Bush aide that
quite explicitly articulated the administration's desire to
control the definition of reality. The aide dismissed Suskind as
being part of "the reality-based community," comprising people
who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of
discernible reality." The aide continued, "That's not the way
the world works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act,
we create our own reality. And while you're studying that
reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other
new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things
will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you,
will be left to just study what we do."
The more dangerous the world becomes, the less we may be able to
distinguish truth from lies. If the situation in Iraq continues
to worsen, feelings of insecurity and the need for protection
are likely to increase. Assuming the Bush administration
continues its deceptive practices, one should not expect
conservative Americans to suddenly notice that they are being
lied to. Because of the increasing feelings of threat and
insecurity, betrayal blindness will likely be even stronger than
it is now. Ironically, because the American soldiers and
civilians in Iraq are especially dependent on the U.S.
government for physical protection (e.g., in supplying suitably
armored vehicles), they may accept administration deceptions as
easily as does the rest of the country, in spite of the fact
that many of them have personal access to evidence contradicting
statements made by the administration.

drew
October 4th 06, 03:27 PM
theresa wrote:
>> It also might all be psychological -- here is an excerpt from a
> study on the odd way people often cope with betrayal:
>
> Many conservative voters, especially fundamentalist Christians,
> are convinced that their core values, those most central to
> their moral and personal identity, are under attack by "godless"
> liberals. As individuals, they feel helpless to counteract this
> attack. They are forced to depend on powerful others, most
> especially leaders like President Bush, to do so for them.
> According to Betrayal Trauma Theory, once this psychological
> dependence occurs, betrayal blindness is likely to follow. It
> would then become more difficult for these voters to notice the
> administration's deceptions and fabrications at the time they
> are being uttered, or to remember them clearly at a later date.
> Perceived emotional closeness may be an important factor in this
> political scenario, as it is in the prototypical interpersonal
> scenario of childhood abuse by a caregiver. For the abused
> child, the dissociation, the needing to "not know," derives
> directly from the need to maintain the attachment bond.

Interesting. I've noted similar professional deception that is
swallowed hook, line and sinker by university students and medical
professionals working for the 'system'. If the lier is an authority
figure who represents an even bigger authority, even intelligent people
will tend not to question the lie or the lier.


> Another factor that Freyd (1996, p. 140) predicts will lead to
> betrayal blindness is "alternative reality-defining statements
> by [the] caregiver."Often these statements have an Orwellian
> quality to them, in that they completely reverse the truth.
> Perpetrators will tell a child that the abuse is an expression
> of love, and the child enjoys and wants everything that is
> happening.

>From a layman's point of view I would say that the best bull****ters
are those who don't allow any of the truth in. They completely invert
the equation. There are two responses to this. Of course the
ridiculous bull**** is usually discarded by all but children but the
more sophisticated bull****ters do create this alternate reality that
tempts even the cynical to believe. I've seen this is mentally ill
hospital patients. If you didn't know that they were admitted with
delusional psychosis you might believe their stories.


> In an in-depth account of the dynamics of the Bush White House,
> Suskind (2004) provided a quote from an unnamed Bush aide that
> quite explicitly articulated the administration's desire to
> control the definition of reality. The aide dismissed Suskind as
> being part of "the reality-based community," comprising people
> who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of
> discernible reality." The aide continued, "That's not the way
> the world works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act,
> we create our own reality. And while you're studying that
> reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other
> new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things
> will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you,
> will be left to just study what we do."

Well at least this particular bull**** artist was decent enough to
respect his audience and reveal the magician's methodology.

> The more dangerous the world becomes, the less we may be able to
> distinguish truth from lies. If the situation in Iraq continues
> to worsen, feelings of insecurity and the need for protection
> are likely to increase. Assuming the Bush administration
> continues its deceptive practices, one should not expect
> conservative Americans to suddenly notice that they are being
> lied to.

The American people have been gullible in the past but it's like Dubya
himself tried to articulate, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me
twice.........(here he's thinking of a tune in his head).....we won't
get fooled again."

aandrews
October 5th 06, 04:21 PM
FlyGuy wrote:
> In article >,
> jean-yves hervé > wrote:
>
> > In article . com>,
> > "Breeder" > wrote:
> >
> > > October 1, 2006
> > >
> > >
> > > 101st at Tuy Hoa, 1966 Photo: Jim Coyne
> > >
> > > When, one wonders, will mutiny begin among the troops in Iraq?
> > >
> >
> > I was--and still am---convinced that this war was not only stupid but
> > criminal and criminally stupid (and I am glad that my country, France,
> > opposed it), but this kind of messages really **** me off. Whatever you
> > may think of the US military, the notion that US units would mutiny
> > because things are not going well in the fight against "insurgents" is
> > just plain ludicrous and disrespectful too. Sometimes I really get the
> > feeling that some of you guys actually rejoice whenever roadside bomb
> > casualties are announced, as in "bad news is good news". There has to
> > be a way to oppose this war without going down to this kind of ****.
> >
> > Sorry for the rant but this has been annoying me for a while.
> >
> > jyh.
>
> yup. Both republicans and democrats have their terminally dumb. Who
> was the conservative talk show host who said that government officials,
> should be shot in the head, so as to avoid their body armor?

G. Gordon Liddy, with inspiration from the murder of Randy Weaver's
wife in the Ruby Ridge standoff, on how to properly off an ATF agent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._Gordon_Liddy
August 26, 1994 - Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms.
Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests." ...
"They've got a big target on there, ATF. Don't shoot at that, because
they've got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head shots.... Kill
the sons of bitches.

Jim Janney
October 6th 06, 12:01 AM
"Breeder" > writes:

[ snipped article ]

If you're going to post that, you should at least credit the source:

http://www.fredoneverything.net/Mutiny.shtml

While I think Fred is always worth reading, I wonder to what extent
Vietnam-era experience applies today. The army has been reorganized
since then, not just once but several times.

--
Jim Janney