Tag Archives: Special Forces

The US Special Forces as a lily-white military career, a post-mortem survey

The US Department of Defense finally released the list of US soldiers killed on the NATO MH-47 Chinook helicopter downed in Afghanistan.
30 Casualties of latest NATO helicopter crash, US Special Forces including Navy SEALs
Median age was in high 30s, which is unsurprising for highly trained Special Ops, but isn’t it interesting that the usual disproportionate percentage of Americans of Color as cannon fodder (see casualty figures) doesn’t extend to the higher-paid military career jobs?
 
Huge props of course to African Americans who decide against being career hitmen. And let’s not neglect the exclusively white composition of the Abu Ghraib snap shot perps, and the docket, however sparse, of other US soldiers accused of war crimes.

US casualties: better sooner than later, it’s the only way they’re coming home

Chinook helicopter interior
Massive setback in Afghanistan, Special Forces Chinook shot down causing a record number of American deaths, thirty, two dozen of them Navy SEALs. Is this Obama’s plan to draw down our forces, by attrition? The night raid truncation is the biggest withdrawal over ten years. Plus side of course, it’s fewer Afghan civilians those soldiers would have killed.

A record number of US soldiers killed at once. Yeah, we don’t usually get confirmation so early, but Afghan President Karzai bypassed the usual censors and announced the catastrophe. So war-cheerleaders are scrambling for a silver-lining, and this is what they found. They assure war fans that the shoot-down of the Chinook didn’t kill any of the SEAL Team 6 patriots who bum-rushed Osama bin Laden.

Because, I don’t know, would that have made it worse? Because we don’t want it to look like Osama was avenged? Unfortunately the specificity would seem to imply that Navy SEALs are more valued than ordinary soldiers.

Actually, it’s curious, because we’re not told who was on that team, nor who died yesterday, so who’s to know? The military doesn’t even know if they were gay or not.

Karzai circumvented the usual casualty reporting protocol that’s succeeded for a decade now in obfuscating the US death toll in our wars. Deny early reports, pretend you need more time to confirm the deaths, wait until actual expiration of fatally injured casualties, and if they’re under the command structure of NATO, pretend they’re not American at all. Such a process draws out the impact of having to declare the death toll when it occurs. If Karzai hadn’t intervened, the Chinook casualties could have dribbled out over a week. Three or four a day would be no great shakes for Afghanistan these days.

Remember when a truckload of female MPs hit an EID the first year in Iraq? I didn’t think you would. It was the largest group loss of female soldiers in US history, but it wasn’t, because the DoD confirmed the deaths individually over days.

If journalist wanted to report US casualties in Afghanistan honestly, they need only check with the other nations participating in the occupation. The US is the only partner which has declared a policy of not acknowledging its dead. In the event of unclaimed NATO casualties, they’re American.

The man-purse for behind enemy lines

IDF Israeli Paratrooper bagA staple of army surplus stores since the days Banana Republic was the Starbucks of olive drab, the Israeli Paratrooper Bag was marketed as the Swiss Army Knife of handbags. Beside the ludicrous notion that an airborne assault fighter would shoulder a single-strapped man-purse, the red logo of a winged parachute raises another incongruity. For what pretext does a nation’s defensive force have “paratroopers?” I know the US/UK imperial powers label their entire military as being for defense, but they’ve got client states to dominate. Every nation’s special forces are now synonymous with SWAT, basically unconstitutional deployment of paramilitary forces against their own populations. Even if we grant governments this tool of repression, they don’t use parachutes. Paratroopers are the advance team for an invading army, dropped behind enemy lines to demolish another’s defenses against the main assault. And that’s why Israel is so unsuccessful in defending itself, it’s attacking.

As was long suspected, then reported, and the reporters mocked..

Like when Dr Laura’s son was using MySpace to boast of war crimes in which he participated or fantasized about committing, denounced by Ms. Schlesinger and others on the RightWing Lunatic Fringe as being “hacked” onto his account… along with his bits about worshiping Satan…
But now it appears there are still more stories coming out of VietRaqiStan of soldiers, good old Red–blooded American Boy Scouts, killing for nothing more than the fun of doing it. But it’s true patriot Bradley Manning who’s facing a Life Sentence for exposing it, not any of the Murderers. Had there been no war crimes to expose there would have been no exposure.

But of course, telling impressionable very young adults, older children actually, that killing is necessary, and fun, training them to do it effectively and to ENJOY the thrill of putting a gun to somebody’s head and removing his brain from the skull violently, some way, somehow, would NOT and could not possibly lead to some of them doing it for fun. Especially since the normal Rules of Engagement, the Geneva and Hague Conventions, and the laws both of the United States and the UCMJ (at least the ones which prohibit Murder and other deliberate War Crimes) circumvented by a presidential executive order of non-prosecution, that wouldn’t lead anybody to do what they’re commanded to do and allowed to do.

Laissez-Faire in the battlefield would work just as splendidly as laissez faire in the Marketplace.

Well, I’ll concede they’ve had equivalent results. Especially as the former is done to promote the latter. Soon, if the Capitalist BigPigs get anything approaching Victory in Afghanistan, they’ll be using the same Killers and the same Killer Methods to indoctrinate Americans into the subservience they demand of Afghans, and Iraqis, and Guatemalans, and Costa Riquenses, and Panamanians, and anyone else living under the “enforced liberty” of the Free Market, backed by Military might if the people object to being treated as “free” market slaves.

They already do it at Union actions. Either the Military or the Deputized Constabulary PIGS show up with guns to intimidate the workers to get back in Corporate Line.
De Oppresso Liber, Ad Oppresso Ultimo.
Which unless my Latin is WRONG that would be the Greenie-Beanie Motto “free from oppression” with “unto greater oppression”. Kiss it, SF. It’s what you really stand for.

That’s right, boys, make your Mommas real proud.
Just like Dr Lauras son did.

What are US Special Forces doing in the Philippines? Killing Filipinos.


At a recent party, I ran into a friend who mentioned her son was in the Philippines. “He’s in the Special Forces,” she explained tentatively in view of her audience, adding disarmingly “who knows what they are doing there.” I couldn’t help but snap back “They’re killing Filipinos is what they’re doing.”
 
I instantly regretted my cheap shot but spent the ensuing days rationalizing why the Philippines in particular should not have to abide American shoulder-shrugging.

What right has civil society to insulate itself from the unpleasant details about how it maintains order?

If her soldier had been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, I would have held my tongue, in the context of unrelated festivity at least. Whether you support the current occupations or not, the violent facts about who’s doing what are not disputed, generally. I’ve no business facing off with a lone mother who more than likely has mixed feelings about the wars, although put on parade it’s a different story.

Perhaps too, other US interventions prompt only vague comprehension of their nature, of the true evil which our country is perpetrating. But we can say the same thing about commercial enterprises which comprise the capitalist global onslaught. None of it party talk.

Few examples match the longevity of US imperial atrocities in the Philippines. There our public ignorance has no right to be ambivalent.

US military activities in the Philippines may as well be the Indian Wars for all the American public understands them, as racist and despotic, and ongoing. Our specialists have been exterminating Filipino insurgents for over a century. When we are not committing the atrocities ourselves, our military advisers are directing them for what has never risen above a client state. The rebels of Mindanao have been trying to fight off foreign occupation since the original Spanish invaders. They are the Philippines’ indigenous Taliban, and we keep trying to put them down.

The insignia of the 4rth Cavalry still commemorates what we call the “Battle of Bud Dajo” but what was in reality a massacre. where US Marines scaled an extinct crater to mount machine guns to fire into a Moro village and exterminate thousands of men, women and children.

The antiwar, anti-imperialist movement of the early 1900s knew the barbarity which our boys were visiting on the Filipinos. It was US soldiers who popularized “waterboarding” there. But since the facade of granting the islands their independence after WWII, Americans have absolved themselves of what is an ongoing occupation.

Will this be the future of Afghanistan’s puppet regime? Continued suppression of the Afghan’s efforts to fight for their liberty?