Saturday, November 25, 2006

Will the real God please stand up?


With all the discussion on the draft and our all volunteer force there's this little tidbit:

PHILADELPHIA -- A Marine was deployed to Iraq this month after a military board rejected a recommendation that he receive conscientious objector status and a discharge.

The C.O. Status Screening Board noted that Marine Lance Cpl. John Rogowskyj Jr. requested the status after he learned that his Reserve unit was being sent to Iraq and suggested that the request "was simply a means to avoid a combat deployment."

But wait. It gets weirder.

Apparently his reasons for not wanting to be involved in the illegal occupation of Iraq are not of the theologically approved sort:

Rogowskyj describes himself as a religious humanist who does not belong to any organized religion.

"I believe that God has given man free will," he said in legal documents. "By surrendering my will to the military, I realize that I have willfully propagated violence."

That sounds fine, right? God doesn't want him to kill, right?

Ahhh but it's not the right God that doesn't want him to kill:

In April, a Marine captain who served as the hearing officer recommended the discharge. But in August, Maj. Gen. D.V. Odell Jr., commander of the Fourth Marine Division, said Rogowskyj's reasoning was "theologically confused and does not reflect any officially recognized faith group."

In September, the screening board agreed with Odell.

So let me get this straight. If Lance Cpl. Rogowskyj had perhaps said that he was "born again" or had "found Jesus" he would have had a better shot at CO status.

But because his beliefs did not "reflect any officially recognized faith," off he goes to war.

I don't know if this guy is a legitimate objector or not. And frankly, I don't care. If he doesn't want to deploy, throw him in the brig and then discharge him.

But don't send him to war simply because his faith is not of the "approved" sort.


Anonymous Nemo said...

... Rogowskyj's reasoning was "theologically confused and does not reflect any officially recognized faith group." ... ==== Considering how "theologically confused" the belief systems of *most* "officially recognized faith groups" are in relation to war, it's a wonder anyone could -- with a straight face -- merge these two phrases in a single sentence. As for the thinly veiled insinuation of "cowardice" conveyed, well, of COURSE it's an attempt to avoid a military deployment -- that's a GIVEN! The only truly *legitimate* issue is, WHY? And this frivolous argument baldly attempts to sweep that completely aside. If the dictates of one's conscience are supposedly "insufficient" to justify a refusal on moral grounds, then the term "conscientious objector" is itself a brazen misnomer. ==== However, the "Catch 22" inherent in this situation is also fairly obvious: if Rogowskyj had dubbed himself a "born again" or any other sort of Christian, FAR from being summarily exempted he'd simply have been referred to "religious couseling" (a la "just war theory") in order to "instruct" him regarding the "error of his ways". There are certainly ample "born again" Christians serving in Iraq, who've quite successfully deluded themselves into believing that killing Iraqis in America's name is not only doing "the Lamb's" work, but is a decidely noble effort, thereby "faithfully" demonstrating Voltaire's axiom: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." ==== Barring a canned, *formulaic* approach suitable for "rectifying" a merely *doctrinally* informed conscience (versus the *individual* morality of "free will", upon which Rogowskyj seemingly relies), the military in this case had no easy out, and simply defaulted to an utterly bogus rationale for denying the exemption status, claiming that the "round pegs" of Rogowskyj's personal convictions don't fit into its pre-determined "square holes" and therefore "don't exist".

Sun Nov 26, 06:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Some thoughts on this notion of reinstating the Draft from the illustrious Mister Hartmann. While I disagree strongly with the seeming magnitude of his concurrence with Rangel's views, and find the arguments presented in this case (atypically) strikingly non sequitur at points, the essay does offer serious food for thought and some valuable historical insights: Rangel and Jefferson Agree on a National Service Program, by Thom Hartmann. ==== Myself, I find the notion of *a* Draft -- NOT the system we currently embrace -- a potentially acceptable one in general, but only under certain, rigidly defined circumstances suggested to me by the article. ==== For starters, if the US truly wished to maintain a *legitimate* defense force, it could do so relatively easily, even with volunteers, by simply redesignating the National Guard as a *homebound* milita ONLY, providing its members rigidly binding, legislatively *unalterable* contractual guarantees upon enlistment that would strictly forbid involuntary deployment abroad. The National Guard was originally *conceived* as a Home Guard -- an outgrowth of prior state militias, if I recall -- and should have *remained* such. As things stand now, any "distinction" between the various branches -- Regular Armed Services, Reserves, and National Guard units -- is virtually non-existent, with the result that joining *any* of them is quite literally selling oneself into bondage under the Imperial powers that be. ==== IF the National Guard were restored to a strict militia status as described above, I could accept a Draft -- into the Guard ALONE, or community service -- as feasible and possibly even desirable, provided adequate compensation were given. And that's a bona fide way to ensure *genuine* defense, while stripping the Elite of their self-proclaimed "authority" to arbitrarily involve Americans in utterly dubious wars of conquest (= "military interventions") that serve the "needs" of the "Ruling Class" exclusively. ==== There is no shame in defending one's country against armed aggression. (The Swiss system that Again referred to is praised highly in the article.) The SHAME is in cynically subverting that phrase, "defending one's country", into a pseudo-patriotic sham for pursuing opportunistic armed aggression abroad against *legitimate* defenders, whom this government characteristically dubs "terrorists" in a striking example of propaganda double-talk. ==== One last thing I'd insist on: the above scenario also cries out for binding prohibitions on any arbitrary deployments of the Guard to *forcibly* quell putative "domestic unrest". Free speech and/or natural disasters are NOT armed aggression, and should not be dealt with militarily. Even outright riots are not an "invasion", and should elicit a strictly minimalist, policing response aimed only at "restoring the peace".

Sun Nov 26, 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

"theologically confused and does not reflect any officially recognized faith group."
What a shame this country became. He was better off telling them he was agnostic.
How can you be "theologically confused" knowing these guys will be playing sitting ducks in Iraq? Faith has never been about sacrifice, it is the reality of people who do not want to go to Iraq because they are being asked to beleive into something, therefore faith. In the US it means it is the faith that allows to achieve freedom abroad, isn't that sad?

Sun Nov 26, 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

Here is one of the most bizarre articles I had ever translated:

Back to 1914, on worse

Let’s seize the occasion of an article of Defense News (of November 20, 2006) for some observations on a new aspect of the “crisis of technology” in the field of the military activities. The article sticks to reports and judgments varied on the activity of Tsahal (Israeli armed forces, or IDF) during the second war of Lebanon, in July-August, against Hezbollah. (See on this site, the experiment of Tsahal this summer, among other texts: “A fatal summer”.)

The subject of the article relates to the effect of the central system of control and command (what the Israelis call “plasma”) on the effective command of forces. One attends a rupture of the human relationship between the command and the forces, and that with a significant number of levels, up to the level of the division row combat units, and even the brigades. The effect is catastrophic. One could advance the assumption that this point constitutes the central cause — the term is welcome — in failure of Tsahal last summer.

Some extracts of the article giving the case:

«A key casualty of this war, experts here claim, is the war-fighting ethos of Follow Me!, that age-old principle of hands-on, take-charge command adapted in 1919 by the U.S. Army Infantry School in Fort Benning, Ga. In Israel — as at Fort Benning, where a 3-ton bronze image of the commander in front continues to inspire future wartime leaders — Follow Me! has become synonymous with decisive, accountable and effective leadership.

»But in Lebanon, Israel’s first digitized ground war, after-action probes found egregious cases where commanders relied on situational awareness provided by the sensor-fused data streaming into command centers instead of moving forward to assess critical points in the evolving battle.

»“This war underscored the limitations of plasma, especially when it is accorded disproportionate priority over training and discipline,” said Matan Vilnai, a retired major general and former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) deputy chief of staff, now a prominent member of Israel’s Labor Party.

»In post-Lebanon War Israel, “plasma” has become derisive shorthand for the virtual command and control provided through networked operations and the dangers of digital-era interpretations of the Follow Me! principle.

»Examples of such dangers were found in the wartime functioning of two critical divisions, where both brigadier generals were assailed for lack of hands-on contact with forces under their command.

»In the case of IDF 162 Division, the commander managed the entire war from deep inside home territory, venturing only twice and for very brief periods beyond the Lebanese border. Whether by sheer misfortune or as a direct result of the hands-off command style, the 162 Division’s 401 Armored Brigade and Nahal Infantry Brigade were involved in one of the war’s biggest blunders, which claimed the lives of 12 Israeli soldiers.»

Technological rupture, psychological rupture

The case is enthralling. It is not a question of a simple technical rupture but of a technical rupture leading to a psychological, in particular explainable rupture by the fact of the existence from now on of two quite distinct worlds. The world which the command sees, leaning on its attractive and high-speed machines, is not that where the forces evolve/move. This rupture, made possible by technology, induced a rupture of the perception of the world, with psychological effects with measurement, which are considerable. The command does not judge any more reality of the world (even if it acts on the reality of the world). It is about a typical case of virtualism.

It is all the more interesting as, by “command”, as one saw, it is necessary to include/understand many levels until those of large and average units. (It is seen that the examples also relate to those of units like the 162th division of the IDF.) The rupture and the blindness are not only pyramidal, but pyramidal and horizontal (not only on the level of the general command but also on the level of the commands of units placed in the same horizontal field). In each constitutive structure of the army, while stopping all the same with the smallest units where the organic proximity between the chiefs and the soldiers is too large, one finds this rupture between the two worlds, — the virtualist world of the technology which is the reference of the command to order the action and the real world of the war in progress. Of course, it is the virtualist world which gives orders to the real world to intervene in the real world.

This evolution is obviously in the direction of the philosophy implied by the technology of computerization and reconstitution of the world in an absolutely controllable and malleable artifact. It is in logic of this philosophy of war (for this case, but found in all the other spheres of the human activity) which seeks definitively to draw aside the unverifiable character of the war to ensure a total control of the events by the most radical way, — to create the events, which exempts by definition of the search for their control.

The result is a complete blindness of the command; but not by blindness, which is a physical handicap that the technology rejects absolutely and which could be neat, but by pure and simple rejection of reality. In the field of reality, what we seem to privilege to include/understand the reality of the world, the current situation brings us back to the one of 1914 in worse.

The situation of 1914, which lasted throughout the war but was broken in the end in particular by the introduction of new exploited offensive technologies by a strategy to measurement, was imposed on a blind command during the operations. We define this blindness in the extract of a work, in this case on the Large War, which we are realizing (we will publish soon this work in his entirety), — in this way:

“After mobile warfare which was marked by losses precisely raised because of the presence of these new weapons, after the inspired battle (the Marne [September 1914]) which broke the initial dash of the invasion and reversed the course of the war, exhaustion, tiredness, the reduction of the forces forced with the choice of the static position. The mechanics which had compromised the movement had prevented the ultimate phase of the battle of reversed movement, of the battle leading to the exit of sublime, — the exploitation of its ultimate strategic victory by the overcome tactics of the countryside. The French strategic victory had been the supreme reaction of the will against the empire of the mechanical power. The logic of the war in what it can have of sublime, — when military science makes volte-face to become art of warfare and joined transcendent justice, — this logic was perverted, ridiculed, broken and reduced. The war was deeply different. The world changed, or rather it rocked. Whole armies were paralyzed; their soldiers underwent the grapeshot without being able to do anything other than undergoing the worst, until the fate of a terrible and paralyzed death. When a General wanted to break this infernal containment, it caused a monstrous slaughter. One often reproached and one always reproaches these Generals for being butchers. The argument is easy and gives a good humanistic conscience; it gives you free spirit and allows you to orate; you are pacifist without engaging; you are antimilitarist without scrambling with the Hotel of the Invalids and the Saint-Dominique Street. In one word, you are irresponsible.

”One finds the technical explanation which makes the case that it deserves of this brilliant pleading in the recent work of a military historian, Sir John Keegan and his First World War (1998 and 2003). The book does not bring anything on essence in addition to presenting an extraordinarily British vision of the war (the war like a great England-Germany confrontation, France like useful complement here and there). Certain details are useful, as that which I quote here. The argument is based on the conjunction of two factors, with the imbalance of complementary progress: on the one hand, extension of the battlefield beyond the visual field, forcing the commanders of theater to rest on the communications to have a vision of the battle which would enable them to lead it and to offer the decisions which import at the time which imports; in addition, the vulnerability of these communications (by wire), which led in the majority of the cases to their destruction to the beginning of the battle (the artillery crushing and cutting wire) and made the chiefs blind and deaf. The errors are inevitable if not inescapable and they are multiplied by the enormous fire power of the static factor defender (artillery and machine-guns). Fire becomes terribly fatal when the attack develops as a blind man and without coordination. “The iron curtain of the war is descended between the commanders, whatever their rank, and their men, writing Sir John, cutting from/to each other as if they were on different continents. […] As long as the necessary resources to the modification of a battle (reliable armoured cross-country vehicles, portable transmitter-receivers) are missing (and they will cruelly continue to do it time to develop, which will take several years), the Generals are blocked by a technology O how much suited to the destruction of massive life, but completely inapt to give them the flexibility of control which could maintain these massacres within the limits of the bearable one.” “

These met conditions again of the technological and americanized postmodernity of the conditions of blindness imposed in 1914 implies by no means a real return to 1914, if not a return to 1914 “in worse”. It is not about the astronomical losses of 1914 since the war and the weapons technology completely changed. It is rather about, for example, of civil losses much more significant at the enemy with catastrophic indirect strategic consequences. History will say if it was 1914 in worse. In the meantime, we transformed our psychology until the certainty which is in fact a complete sufficiency and arrogance. The proof is that the quoted article of Defense News, describing this catastrophic evolution, finishes on the insurance that, the fatal error being completely shown, we will continue roughly speaking in the way of this error…

« …Maj. Gen. Udi Shani, the outgoing director for C4I on behalf of the IDF General Staff, lamented the negativity surrounding the concept of plasma, insisting that digitized, networked forces are a critical requirement for modern fighting forces.

»“Plasma is positive,” said Shani, who is leading an internal probe into the performance of the IDF’s leadership during the recent war. “It’s a metaphor for bringing information to the end-users. And we did this during the war with unprecedented success.”

»Shani said the “bad press” accorded to the concept of plasma has more to do with what IDF leaders did with the information and how commands were translated and implemented by subordinate forces.

»“All I can say at this point is that the drive toward a networked, interlinked force is correct,” he said. “But information provided by the net should complement, not replace, more traditional means of command and control.”»

Sun Nov 26, 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

This evolution is obviously in the direction of the philosophy implied by the technology of computerization and reconstitution of the world in an absolutely controllable and malleable artifact.

technology of computerization is only the most modern result of our (human) growing understanding of the deterministic parts of universe - but since Kronos this understanding is always dominated by wishes - the deep longing for controllability simply because that's the foundation of our survival

and exactly that is the reason, why no one wants to know what Information is - especially the fuehrers and generals hate the consequences of Information - because if you know what Information is, you know that the world is NOT (perfectly) controllable because it is NOT (perfectly) determistic. Time is the basic nature of the universe, not space - but to accept this would mean that all the wishes for determinism, shaping our philosophies, religions and faiths since 5,000 years could not be fulfilled

and because war only makes sense if you believe in your ability to control fate - even against brute force and exploding action as overwhelming violence is - war makers always and ever tend to this mental weakness of underestimating the power of randomness (remember "The Frictions of War" of Clausewitz trying to explain that power?)

so it easily might be that this weakness (blind longing for determinism) combined with another precondition for war - self-overestimation, lack of objective self-criticism - is the worst enemy of modern generals: the wish as father to the thought is and was never a good consultant

Mon Nov 27, 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

Check this out, actually I read this POS in a newspaper:

The main winner of the recent election is the Islamo-fascist who desired and got the party of pacifism, wimps, cut-and-run cowards, open borders, terrorist-backers, defeatism, anti-religion, anti-property rights and pro-abortion on demand: The Democrats.

The Democrats should change their name to the American Communist Party to match their agenda and their rhetoric.

They are the party that wanted to give the right to vote to criminals, illegal/undocumented aliens, terrorists and anyone who wants to become a government services addict and government zombie. It is a party that wants people who can't think for themselves.

God is punishing America for turning away from Him and his teachings and laws.

They are working the United Nations to destroy our national sovereignty and to discard the Constitution for a one-world, socialist order that will outlaw God, Judaism and Christianity.

We are going the way of Greece, Rome, and other republics.

The biggest winner

Mon Nov 27, 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...


For the case of Israel, this little appreciation mistake may be the start of a collapse over the time. At one point of the time in History, people want to defy logic and its reasons: the exhausting and crushing power of Israel defied all their expectations. I can understand the position of Israel after WW2, but unlike the author I am not quite sure it is only a problem relating only with Israel or the US. I think it might be the key of a cultural western phenomenom tinted with a sense of overexaggeration with the choice of their technological weapons (bombs) that was first inadequate, and secondly perfectly challengeable against their own radars. We rely too much on information without really relying on whether the real source of this information is useful or not.

Mon Nov 27, 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

I found this info in the french newspaper "Le Monde" from today; I translated the text:

A french agent of the secret services killed in Iraq

A DGSE officer was killed on November 21 by a local militia during a control at a checkpoint in Bassora, in the south of Iraq, announced, Monday November 27, the ministry of defense.

“Michèle Alliot-Marie, Minister of defense, chaired this morning in Perpignan the ceremony of the military honors for the victims”, specified the ministry in an official statement. However this last statement does not give any indication on the reasons of the presence of this agent in Bassora and does not specify his identity, in accordance with the rules of operation of the French information service.
According to the Point, the victim, a member of the Action Service of the DGSE in charge of protecting a French diplomatic mission in Iraq, was killed by bullet. A second agent, also member of the Action Service was seriously wounded and repatriated in France on Saturday, the weekly magazine specified.
The two men were driving in a car when a member of a local militia opened fire at a control checkpoint “despite their quality of diplomats”, according to the Point.
The Action service of the DGSE had been in charge of recovery with the French journalists, hostages in Iraq, George Malbrunot, Christian Chesnot and Florence Aubenas.


What are doing the french secret services in Iraq anyway?

Mon Nov 27, 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger politiques USA said...

What are the french secret services doing in Iraq anyway? (barbarian language).

Mon Nov 27, 10:35:00 PM  
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Anonymous Nemo said...

Viva Morales!: Bolivian Senate OKs Sweeping Land Reform ==== Bolivia's leftist president won passage of an ambitious land redistribution bill and signed it into law to the cheers of impoverished Indian supporters, who stand to benefit from what eventually could be the confiscation of private holdings the size of Nebraska. ...

Thu Nov 30, 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

And AGAIN Iran's leader makes infinitely more sense than our own, proto-simian "president" is remotely capable of! Yet this semi-literate White House has the gall to describe the missive merely as "rambling", from which I deduce that the Presi-dunce, once again, simply didn't bother to actually READ it!: Letter to Bush, by Mahmood Ahmadinajad.

Thu Nov 30, 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...

I received the visit of Halliburton on my blog. Here is why:

Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran

Thu Nov 30, 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

And HEY! There's even a letter written specifically to us: Message of H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, To the American People, by H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Thu Nov 30, 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

I deduce that the Presi-dunce, once again, simply didn't bother to actually READ it!

reminds me of the following (sorry, if you already know the link) - the more i watch the unsubstantiated arrogance of your Dear Leader, the more i feel like living in the times of the French Revolution - and forgive me, i still don't think that you can solve problems with cutting off heads - but i really DO understand why the French couldn't help themselves but "remove" these heads with these smirking self-loving, self-convinced (without the least reason!) faces , just "divine" by birth or by the mercy of the money

Son also rises in testy Webb-Bush exchange

"Webb, a decorated former Marine officer, hammered Allen and Bush over the unpopular war in Iraq while wearing his son’s old combat boots on the campaign trail...

Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source."

a reply worthy of an The Unfeeling President

Fri Dec 01, 02:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Again: I hadn't read of that exchange, but it doesn't surprise me in the least. Bush's little snipes -- a la "WE are not amused" -- at presumed "commoners" are notorious by now. The man is an arrogant bastard of epic proportions! But I think the headline may have flubbed its allusion slightly -- seems to me that "Here Comes the Son King" would have been more appropriate. ==== I share fully your sympathy with the victors of the French Revolution; our own smirking "aristocracy" simply BEGS for a Reign of Terror to terminate once and for all its fictitious "War on Terror". (Of course, the introduction of the guillotine *was* a deliberately humane gesture, far more beneficent than what BushCo itself has meted out to hundreds of thousands of innocents in the name of "spreading democracy". Perhaps following the tribunals of the Bush Reich, we should consider re-introducing -- BRIEFLY -- "cruel and unusual punishment", before actually *restoring* the Constitution to its rightful status.)

Fri Dec 01, 06:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Despite the obvious absurdity of Dumbya's own utterance (in the context employed), there are actually some genuine "Islamic Fascists" -- the Indonesian government, for one -- with whom the Bush Regime is, in fact, indisputably *cozy*: A forgotten cause ==== Friday marks independence day for West Papua. But, since 1961, it has been occupied by Indonesia - to the eternal shame of the UN. ==== For further information, see Free West Papua [UK], WEST PAPUA NEW GUINEA NATIONAL CONGRESS [Oz], or West Papua, the forgotten Pacific country [NZ], among others. ==== The history of this vicious colonial occupation is astonishingly brutal. This December 1, though only in my heart, I too raise the Morning Star in solidarity with the people of West Papua!

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