Friday, July 17, 2009

MILITARY SUICIDES

MORE REAL DOTS

Associated Press reports that Harvard, U/Michigan, and a couple of other schools are going to be studying the military suicide rate, now the highest in American history.

I’m all for studying things. What are the frontal lobe capacities for if not for learning useful and factual information upon which We might base serious and maturely-reached decisions affecting untold numbers of human lives?

But that’s not guaranteed here.

After all, there are all sorts of factors that most very probably contribute to this monstrous problem but that cannot be discussed because many ‘elites’ – Hahvahd not the least among them – in universities and the Beltway created the very factors that have now burned together into a lethal synergy.

Yes, of course, the egregious frak Bush and his posse actually cooked up this war (now several wars). I’m not spending time on this point because it’s been rather widely put out there.
I’m interested in the hidden factors that cannot be discussed because they were created and imposed by the so-called (but hardly) ‘liberal’ elites. As Alberto Gonzales could not have thought up on his own the idea that the Constitution had become “quaint”, so too Bush & Co. only built upon the conditions handed to them by the Clinton years and much of the Democratic record of the past several decades.

The Bushisti took to heart Madeleine Albright’s observation (which she got from Hitler and possibly channeled through the Israelis): “What’s this great military for if not to use it?” Yeeeeeeee-hawwwww! Lit’s git soldierin’! Where oh where was Rhett Butler when We really could have used him, standing in the middle of an elite cocktail party and saying – over a cigar, if I recall rightly – that chest-pounding doesn’t win wars and ‘we don’t have what it takes to win this if we start it’. Rhett, Rhett, we hardly knew ye … oy.

In the first place, for decades now, the hard and serious realities of the adult world have been downplayed in a concerted push to make America kindler, gentler, and more child-friendly. Which somehow worked out – starting with the Boomers – into assuming that ‘the kids’ actually know more about life and living than the grown-ups do. (The Boomers were impressionable, film and TV-soaked youngsters when Jim Backus’s feckless dad was unable to do anything to help James Dean’s cute but angst-ridden son in “Rebel Without A Cause” in 1955.)

Ideological Feminism’s assault on ‘male’ and ‘macho’ wound up going after ‘serious’, ‘mature’, ‘careful’, ‘rational’ and ‘deliberate’ for good measure. ‘Thoughtful’ ceased to be a synonym for ‘rational’ and instead meant that you sent the appropriate card and flowers when occasion demanded. ‘Mature’ know meant over-the-hill, fuddy-duddy, stick-in-the-mud, obstructionist, and was proof positive that you just don’t get it.

Cohorts and then generations of kids were raised either without fathers or with fathers whose masculinity was constantly impugned by the media and even by the national legislature, supported by all sorts of legal impositions approved by the courts. The government – and then the President – became the functional replacement for God, responsible for making everybody feel ‘safe’ and even ‘happy’. Nor did the government – unwilling to piss off moist-eyed voters – want to retain God’s traditional insistence on ‘sinfulness’ that makes this world – and thus human life and human affairs and human history – an actual Vale of Tears for which one must prepare oneself.

Medications, junk food, and all sorts of distractions, diversions, and substitutes for actual accomplishment were slathered onto the young like a too-sugary frosting on a badly-baked cake.
Education became less concerned with teaching facts and how to think (there was no ‘reality’ anyway, only ‘perception’, so ‘thinking’ was not only ‘masculine’ and ‘elitist’ but also useless – thus brayed the elites). Instead, the satisfaction of mastery – even of the self – was replaced by the lathering on of ‘self-esteem’, as if that hugely valuable quantum was merely a commodity that could be given to a child like any other ‘gift’.

In the military, this emphasis on being ‘nice’ had particularly lethal effects. Of course, ‘war’ was now a thing of the past in any sense that implied violent, sustained contact with other human beings who sustained a competent resistance against you. So, it was said by the oh-so-confident ‘elites’, America could afford to lose a 20-percent loss of combat effectiveness because no other country in the world (the USSR was on its very last legs) could stand up against Us.

Recruits were now prepared for ‘careers’, even at the Service academies. The objective of military training was not to achieve a mastery over oneself – body, mind, emotions, and spirit – so as to be able to sustain effective combat operations and bring them to a successful conclusion. Instead it was to provide a ‘fulfilling work experience’; the goal of training was to provide a sense of satisfaction, not to achieve actual mastery of the self so as to master the battlefield.

Standards went by the boards. ‘Failure’ was too awful to inflict on kids, and they should be protected from it. Strictness, firm adherence to objective standards that measured and graded performance … these were part of the ‘macho’ military that had to go. The plan was to “reduce greatly the influence of white, male attitudes in the military”. Recruits were given little cards that – when waved – forced drill instructors to stop applying what little pressure was still permitted so that little Rufus or Muffy could have a nice ‘time out’. Sigh.

Things progressed rapidly. Congress and the Executive, after all, had their eye on voters, and women and children (could 17 year-olds somehow be allowed to vote?) were the most important demographics to be kept happy.

Did it require three or four ‘mixed gender’ sailors to do the task of two males? So what? We can afford it and they won’t be in harm’s way anyway. Did it take five female firefighters to crew a crash-truck that required only four males? So what? We can afford it, and how often do military aircraft crash anyway? Do we have to redesign the bolt of the basic infantry rifle so females can draw it? So what? We can afford it – and anyway, when will they ever really have to use the things?

Where grizzled military veterans insisted on preparing troops and sailors for the awfulness of a combat that had never yet been banished from human history, the cadres of Correctness overruled them or got them booted from the armed forces. Nobody got anywhere in the military unless they were ready to do kinder-and-gentler. It was a replay – in no small way – of Stalin’s purge of the officer corps in the mid-‘30s, which did not turn out so well for millions of hapless Russian troops when Barbarossa came a-calling in June of 1941.

Don’t misinterpret this. I hold war to be hell and I further hold that no human being simply comes back from sustained combat ‘the better for it’. It was not for nothing that the early Church required all Christians returning from military service to undergo a period of restorative repentance: those ‘quaint’ ancient folk rightly figured out that soldiering requires the doing of awful things, and if you survived you probably had done them better than your beaten and deceased adversaries. Repentant reflection – within the support of a coherent believing community – was undeniably called for if you were to ever be able to re-organize yourself and conduct a civilian life again.

But to send – and they now truly are – ‘mere babes’ into the maw of sustained combat is a form of youth-abuse that leaves Our recent brouhahas over ‘abuse’ in the dust.

So it’s a frak-up from hell now.

Females who were assured that they were equal to the challenge if they just ‘perceived’ themselves to be are now subjected to a Fourth-Generation War (rapidly evolving into a Fifth) that chews up anything and anyone not internally strong enough to withstand its myriad assaults on the human self.

And such internal, characterological incompleteness is hardly limited to females. Generations of young, un-fathered males are equally at a loss.

And what capable buckaroos actually do get to the field therefore have to carry the weight of sizable bunches of characterologically-insufficient unit-mates. Which burns them out at an incredible rate.

They keep saying We have 150,000 troops over there. Perhaps, in actuality, We have far far fewer.

And, getting back to the subject, suicides are reducing those numbers. And there are no doubt many times the number of actual suicides who have simply put up their little card and told Life and War that they don’t want to play anymore and want a ‘time out’.

Can anyone seriously think that all this hasn’t monstrously degraded Our military capacity?
And that’s even before you get down to the serious matters of strategy and tactics, not excluding Our increasing entanglement in ‘the graveyard of empires’, which most recently chewed up the Red Army in its own backyard. The Commies joined a long line of trophy heads-on-pikes that goes back to Alexander.

And We think that We’re going to do better?

And We expect these kids to do better? After what they have been deprived of in the name of Political Correctness for the past several decades?

Let Us not be so quick to laugh at those among Us who hold their lives together in the sure and certain belief that the earth is 6,000-some-odd years old, and that Adam had a pet dinosaur in the Garden of Eden or shortly thereafter. (An eerie echo of Fred Flintstone, no?)

We seem to be of the opinion that you can bathe children in some sort of permanent replay of early childhood, and expect them to hit the deck running when adulthood and reality start to trumpet their war-calls.

And, like the later Roman Empire, We find the solution in bringing in non-citizen mercenaries who were raised in less ‘civilized’, less Correct places, where a day’s work was the alternative to starving and where blood and sweat and tears weren’t just the name of some old band your parents liked.

Can it be any wonder that on top of the frustrations of a failing imperial occupation in the face of wily resistance, troops are falling to the pressures of sustaining a self that can metabolize such unpasteurized buckets of bloody reality?

And what senior commanders are left now – after the culling of the last decades – who will stand up for their troops?

We are the Red Army in 1941. Only without the vast reserves of scruffy but solid kiddoes who can handle the job if just given the tools. And maybe without any truly competent major commanders like Zhukov.

And let Us also take to heart Stalin’s shrewd observation: American money will take us only so far, comrades.

It’s one of the few things about which We can agree with him.

NOTE

You might want to read one or both of the following books. 1) Stephanie Gutman: ‘The Kindler, Gentler Military’: New York, Scribner – 2000. 2) Brian Mitchell: ‘Women in the Military – Flirting With Disaster’: Washington, D.C., Regnery – 1998.

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