"Redeployment:" A primer for the neocons who walk among us

"Redeployment:"  A primer for the neocons who walk among us
image: AP/Janet Van Ham

Redeployment is a collection of short stories by Iraq war veteran, Phil Klay.  There are, arguably better books in that genre, but this one does the job as well as any book could, given that neocons are an historically challenged bunch.

In truth, any one of the books written by veterans of our Middle East conflicts would serve the purpose, if the Paul Wolfowitzes of the world could just put aside their notions of Audie Murphy and John Wayne in The Green Berets.

First and foremost, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no lasting military solution  for peace in the  Middle East.  If you think there is, you're as delusional as Donald Trump, who fancies himself as the "biggest and best at the military."

You may be as misguided as Ted Cruz, who thinks we can "carpet bomb (ISIS) into oblivion."  Then again, Ted Cruz cooks his bacon on the barrel of a machine gun.

In all things, from the personal to the international, history should be our guide.  When viewed objectively, without the coloration of agenda, history is truth, something in which you can believe.

The question for our leaders is this:  How many times must you grab the blistering handle of a heated pan to realize that you are going to get burned the next time you reach for it?

Why do we even bother with history?  We never learn from it.  We screwed Cambodia and gave the world Pol Pot.  We put the Shah of Iran in power, then wound up with the Ayatollah when the shah was deposed.  We armed the mujaheddin who turned into the Taliban.  We took out Saddam and wound up with ISIS.  Need I go on?

We can't micromanage the world and our intervention only seems to make things worse.  You got that, Bill Crystal?

In the Middle East you can never defeat one group without giving rise to another and the next in line always seems to be worse.  ISIS was inevitable.  If HW (Bush 41) would have taken out Saddam in the first Gulf War, ISIS would have been the problem of Clinton or GW (Bush 43).

It's always just a matter of upsetting the balance of power enough to make room for a more brutal band of thugs to arise.

image: secretsadvertising.com

image: secretsadvertising.com

Clearly, these neocon douche bags have neither the interest nor the ability to put forth any kind of reasonable approach to any problem whatsoever.  Like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who thinks Windex is the answer to all of life's problems, the neocons know only to beat the drums of war.

It's a catchy tune, but a very costly one.

How is possible that the ones yelping the loudest about our $20 Trillion national debt have no issue with piling the cost of unlimited warfare on top of that debt?

G.W. Bush never funded any of his little wars and the cost of those wars is still a bit of a mystery.  It's a big number, though, as in more than one trillion dollars.

"Why are wars so expensive?" you ask.  Good question.

There's the cost of all the hardware we need to fight any given enemy, much of which will be left behind when we bring our troops home.  Other costs include, but are not limited to fuel, food, transportation, combat pay, the bombs we use to blow things up, rebuilding things we blow up, independent contractors, medical supplies, bullets and CASH.  Lots of cash.

Please don't ask where all that cash goes, someone will show up at our doors and smite us.

The "gift that keeps on giving" is the continuing medical care of our veterans.  They are returning to us with unimaginable and previously unsurvivable injuries, most of which require extensive surgeries and ongoing rehabilitation.

And PTSD.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, one of many psychological conditions affecting returning combat veterans.  The human cost, one which seems completely meaningless to the warmongers.

The first chapter of Redeployment is really all you have to read to get a gist of the affect these wars have on our young men and women.  Later chapters go into different aspects of the emotional damage inflicted and bring up issues like suicide and life as a disfigured, wounded warrior.

If they're unaffected by the first chapter, though, they're not going to be affected by those that follow.  Neocons don't do subtlety.

For neocons on a tight schedule, the first three words of the book should suffice.  Redeployed begins with the declarative, "We shot dogs."

If you don't ask yourself, "What the heck are we doing to our kids that they're sitting around shooting dogs in some God forsaken hellhole?" then you should be out there yourself.

To all you neocons-you know who you are-we are not just sending "troops" to do your useless, costly bidding, we are sending children.    While I am sure they are not YOUR children, they are someone's, nonetheless.

The war on drugs was a bust.  The war on poverty proved futile.  The war on terror, while costing only about one percent of our $600 Billion defense budget is not getting the job done.

Wars either linger interminably or lead to new wars.  World War I was dubbed, "The War to End All Wars," yet, clearly it didn't.  As Steven Erlanger noted in 2014, "World War I destroyed kings, kaisers, czars and sultans; it demolished empires; it introduced chemical weapons; it brought millions of women into the work force."

The one thing it didn't do was prevent more wars.

As I said in a previous piece, anyone who wants to put boots on the ground in a foreign, hostile land should be required to have the feet of someone they love in at least one pair of those boots.

Bloggers note:  For combat veterans, struggling with a myriad of issues facing them as they try to reclaim their place in mainstream America, I recommend a book with a similar name as the one discussed above:  Redeployed: How Combat Veterans Can Fight the Battle Within and Win the War at Home  was written by Brian Fleming (U.S. Army) and Chad Robichaux, PhD (USMC).

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