Seems right

From Instapundit:

“Some days back a friend asked me what we have learned twenty years after 9/11. I sent these answers:

1) That our enemies have taken our measure, and we never took theirs. Bin Laden’s strategic predictions vis a vis Afghanistan and the United States have been vindicated: 9/11 was for the other side a massive, generational strategic success.

2) That the entire American governing apparatus is incapable of real strategic thought.

3) That the federal government of the United States is much more inventive, determined, and relentless in curbing its own citizenry than it is in curbing those who would slaughter that citizenry.

4) That the federal government of the United States will allow foreign-power interests — specifically Saudi and Pakistani — to override and eclipse the just interests of the American citizenry.

5) The preceding item exists, of course, because we are ruled by an elite with much stronger social ties to other elites than to the people of our republic.

6) That our generational response to 9/11 guarantees that 9/11 will happen again and again.

This twentieth anniversary is even more depressing and cruel than they usually are. We didn’t suffer as a lot of Americans did that day — my wife made it out of Lower Manhattan alive, for one thing — but because we are Americans, we suffered. Our leadership class was utterly incompetent to the moment, and remained so for the succeeding generation. Today we have inflicted upon us the twin bookends of blundering who mark the two-decade span. In Pennsylvania, President George W. Bush speaks: the man who cared more for Saudis than Americans while the fires still burned, who abandoned the hunt for the immediate perpetrator mere weeks after the massacre, and who cynically leveraged the moment to pursue his own disastrous projects. In Manhattan

, President Joe Biden speaks: the lone figure of significance who opposed the raid to get Osama Bin Laden, and the man who presided over the shameful humiliation of defeat in Afghanistan.

A healthy and virtuous republican citizenry would shun them, and erase their names from the record.

Some questions arise. Now that we’ve decided it’s fine for Al Qaeda and the Taliban to have a country of their own again, can we at least abolish the TSA? Now that we’ve given Al Qaeda and the Taliban a stupendous cache of arms and ammunition, can we eliminate all federal gun-control law? Now that we’ve decided we have a community of interest with the Taliban — including its Al Qaeda elements — can we release everyone jailed on account of January 6th?


, just asking. It hardly seems unreasonable for Americans to ask Washington, D.C., for treatment as generous as Washington, D.C., accords the terrorist movements who slaughtered thousands of us in our own streets.

Eric Paliwoda is dead, and for what.
Kim Hampton is dead, and for what.
Classmates are maimed, and for what.
Friends are wracked with PTSD, and for what.

What did we learn?

Twenty years later, we learn that the enemy won — and our ruling class was on their side.”


To all, oh, six of you.

Giving Afghanistan back to the Taliban has made me very sad. Not because Biden, Austin, and Milley are incompetent tools, but because two good friends veteran sons suicided that week, one on the anniversary of his 16th “Alive Day,” and an Afghan vet buddy suicided the week after.

I’ve totally lost the jones. Which, of course, is exactly what Joe, Lloyd, and Mark want. For us to shut up, accept that they are the be-all and end-all of competence

, and accept the boot.

Heh. They *are* the end-all of competence.

I do need to pick back up on the Medal of Honor posts, but, fukkit.

It’ll be weird, when I do put the Medal posts back up – because I’ll date them for the event dates

, which means they’ll fill in in front of this post like they were always there. That’s all about the SEO aspect of things.

Heh. I even shut off my Facebook page today – so that Zuckertool won’t make a dime off of me, and I won’t get even sadder because of the day. I did get the flag to half-staff.

Oh – yeah, you guys don’t know this. In the military, if you are recalled from retirement or administratively punished after retirement for some UMCJ-punishable act, they can administratively reduce your rank to the last rank at which “you served honorably”. The most recent example of which is the formerly-MG(R) Grazioplene, who was convicted in civil court of sexual abuse of a child (his daughter). The statute of limitations had run out on the military side. I don’t believe the final decision on grade has been made yet, but since the abuse started when she was very young, he might well end up 1LT(R) Grazioplene, with the concomitant pay.

So, given the utter balls-up by the senior political and military leadership of the United States this last 20 years (and really long before that) I have administratively reduced the “government” to the last time it performed honorably. Meaning, until I get over myself (this is all ego-driven, I know) I’m only flying the 48-star flag here at the Castle.

No knock on ODS or Vietnam vets – ODS was a campaign, not a war, and the political and military leadership arguably ended it too soon. Any of you who were over there as trigger-pullers or SCUD-bait did what you were told to do as the Vietnam vets did – this is all aimed, quixotically, at a leadership who will never notice and wouldn’t understand it, regardless.

I’m reading The Afghanistan Papers, by Craig Whitlock. I recommend it. For those of you who read the old blog since 2003… I told you so. But did they listen? Nope.

Kandahar falls. The news makes me sad.

In Vict’ry the Generals, statesfolx, and politicos get promoted, fete’d, fawned over, bemedalled and bedecked with honors, write books with massive advances, and enjoy cushy retirements and high-paying second careers as “warfighting experts”, while the soldiers get a parade, some free beers, and hassled by the VA C&B folk, then get to fade away to the VFWs, nursing the PTSD, creaking joints, and a fading indifference, committing suicide, until the next “Great Personage” has a Grand Idea! “War-War is better than Jaw-Jaw! Follow those guys to Glory for Me, there’s a Good Lad!”

In Modern America, In defeat, the Generals, statesfolx, and politicos are promoted, fete’d, fawned over, bemedalled and bedecked with honors, write books with massive advances and enjoy cushy retirements and high-paying second careers as “warlosing experts” while the soldiers get some free beers (offered by their veteran predecessors) and hassled by the VA C&B folk, and get to fade away to the VFWs, nursing the PTSD, achey creaking joints, NSAID-ravaged kidneys, and a fading indifference, committing suicide, until the next “Great Personage” has a Grand Idea! “War-War is better than Jaw-Jaw! Follow those guys to Glory for Me

, there’s a Good Lad!”

Dulce et Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in

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And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.