Return to a ‘Benevolent Military’
by James Hufferd, Ph.D.
Coordinator, 911 Truth Grassroots Organization
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Dr. James Hufferd is the author of 9 published books and 3 others awaiting publication, including his most-recent novel of ideas, Colonel Crystal’s Parallel Universe, excerpted here.
Those of us who stayed awake in history class will recall that the founders of this country railed, for as long as they could, against the idea of any more “standing armies”, preferring to rely instead on local militias (the stated reason for the Second Amendment) and a strictly merchant marine fighting force at sea instead of a navy. The governing class finally agreed, reluctantly, to authorize a professional military of optimal size to adequately defend the country’s territory and resident citizenry, but certainly not designed to force the allegiance of or redesign the entire world. And our country, not weighed down by debt, thrived and grew.
In my forthcoming novel, Colonel Crystal’s Parallel Universe, the main character, a retired Iraq and Afghanistan top flight commander, Air Force Colonel Alva A. Crystal, living in seclusion on a deserted stretch of the Florida Gulf Coast, dreams of and tries to promote through a series of talk radio appearances a return to an overall, downsized, strictly defensive mission for the U.S. military, leading to the re-creation of a “Benevolent Military”. For committing this grave “heresy” against the M.I.C., he ultimately pays with his life.
One chapter from the book, in which a neighboring Baptist preacher comes by to help him pick up debris and repair damage after an irate vandal’s attack on his home, as well as lead him back to responsible, less-infuriating behavior, will serve to illustrate the book’s main points of argument – which I believe originalists and both the right and left should adopt for different reasons.
Feedback from VT readers will be very much appreciated.
He’d started his merciless dreaming again – there was no other way to describe it – of the astral object looming ever more menacing in the deep view field again viewed from the unknown observatory. The object by now appeared so colossal and so clear he fancied he saw beings of some sort – though miniscule at the immense distance – moving, perhaps on migratory paths, over its surface.
This dream invariably flitted to the always same next one, in which he saw and then found himself inside a plane, at first slowly spinning upside down infinitely high above the ground in Iraq, but a faint speck from ground level in a deeply blue sky, steadily releasing bombs straight down onto a certain point amid tent villages and normal migration paths perhaps of family groups on roadways, all smudges far too obscure through blue distance and haze to make out from such high altitude.
He awoke in the morning to a staccato rapping at his front door and then, when he went and looked, he glimpsed a figure disappearing, a backside in shorts over shoddy heels vanishing into foliage in the adjacent lot.
Swinging around, he saw that word about his activity had spread, as he had dreaded. The front of his house was streaked in the yellow and red of tomatoes and eggs, the back the same. Alongside the front door, a crude 5-foot high charcoaled hammer and sickle besmirching the outer wall. Cans and bottles, dog dung, toilet paper, torn scraps of cardboard boxes, bottles and shards of glass, tin cans, broken shingles, laths, contents of bedpans, all littering the yard. At least, whoever hadn’t yet resorted to arson or property-breaking.
He was first seared by a mounting wave of despair, then furious, and viscerally rocked by a bolt of resolve and earnest.
Darting back inside, he hurriedly made coffee and exchanged his robe for a shirt and skimpy shorts. Then he grasped a trash barrel and rake from the porch and set out to face the mess – finding himself joined with startling immediately in the task by Jonah Jules, the pastor at Fireside Baptist Church two doors down.
“Hello, Pastor Jules,” he managed through gritted teeth.
“Call me ‘Jonah’.”
“All right. Hello, Jonah.”
“I see that you have a problem here.”
“It does seem so, yes.”
“Let me help you pick this trash up.” (Pastor Jules was carrying his own gigantic rake and trash bag).
“You know you didn’t have to cause all of this.”
“What?” He stared at his newfound friend and feigned a laugh. “I’m about as peace-loving as anyone you’ll ever meet.”
“Oh, I’m sure you are. But, you, a retired high-ranking military officer, can’t go out of your way saying bad things against our fighting men and women – including those who have laid down their lives to protect our country. At least, you can’t in this part of the country.”
“Pastor… Jonah, let’s ask ourselves for a minute, let’s take stock. What is the military for? What is its purpose?”
“Well, to protect America from her enemies.”
“From being invaded or attacked militarily within our borders? Noting that the Middle Eastern group ISIS, no matter how directed, has never actually struck anywhere near the United States. Just a few tenuous and internet-influenced stringers allegedly have.”
“Yes, I suppose that would be it. And to very bad effect.”
“So, how many times, going back forever, has the anticipated actually happened – that the sovereign United States has been invaded or attacked militarily?”
“Well, 9/11 wasn’t exactly that, but… And I guess in 1812, in this area of the country and…” (Pause).
“A couple of times max, then?”
“Well, successfully in so far as mounting an invasion, yeah. But how many have we stopped in the bud?”
“You tell me, Jonah. How many?”
There was an uneasy pause.
“OK, then, a couple of times,” Colonel Alva went on. “I’ll accept that, for purposes of the discussion – with one questionable. Why do you think it’s been so few times, in almost two hundred and fifty years?”
“I suppose because they wouldn’t dare.”
“Because they are aware of the overwhelming strength of our military.”
“So, do you think Canada might have been invaded more?”
“No. What are you getting at?”
“Canada doesn’t have a comparably powerful military, on the scale of ours.”
“Yeah, but they have us to protect them, too.”
“Right. Our taxpayers – not theirs, at least generally – are on the hook to pay for defending them, too, as well as other places too numerous to mention. I suppose there’s something to what you said. So, OK, let’s take Australia or New Zealand, on the other side of the earth. They haven’t been invaded a lot, either. And our military protection of them would be just a little behind the general curve, considering the distance and logistics problems, wouldn’t you think? Just slightly more exposed than other places. But all the necessary R & D could still go ahead.”
“And also, what would anyone really stand to gain by invading them? I mean, China might like to resettle some of their population, but…”
“Great point! Other than that particular nightmare-to-manage scenario, why would anyone seriously want to invade such basically peaceable countries? Let me ask you another question: How many outright military invasions of sovereign countries do you think the U.S. has mounted since the end of World War II?”
“Well, the best count, based on a reliable listing I’ve seen, is 69countries invaded or bombed by the U.S. military – more than a third of the United Nations.”
“I never would have… But these countries were clearly in the wrong.”
“In all sixty-nine instances? Have you examined them all?”
“No, but… And in some of those cases, it was to prevent them attacking here.”
“At least, that’s how it’s always announced, if it is, and justified, isn’t it?”
“But, of all of the countries the U.S. invaded or bombed, what if some of those had invaded here first, in order to keep their countries from being invaded – following that same logic our leaders claim to use?”
“Well, they wouldn’t dare try!”
“OK. So, what you’re saying is that the U.S. can invade them at will, because we’re tough and we can get away with it? Might makes right, in other words?”
“Well…, not exactly. But I see where you’re going.”
“And what if I told you the U.S. itself supports and/or implants horrific death cults – including al-Qaeda and ISIL / ISIS – with charismatic leaders, routinely, in countries it targets? Trains and arms and commissions virtual and for-real death squads? Instigates and directs conflicts, like the many ‘color revolutions’ to overthrow and implant groomed and servile leaders? Pays and honors treasonous informants in the countries? That the U.S. right now has silent troops and/or missions operating, assault rifles, anti-aircraft guns, and howitzers at the ready and blazing, openly or clandestinely, in nearly every country on earth – and on more than 700 known assorted, obtrusive, offensive, revealingly authoritarian military bases? Plus, an unknown number more that are totally secret – very likely, a whole lot of those, some nuclear, scattered here, there, everywhere? Deliberately provocative, falsely-described and justified forward missile system deployments?
“Plus, the known, and more than likely, hundreds, or even up in the thousands or even more secret special-forces lethal missions being carried out routinely, who knows where or why, with or without anyone’s permission or perhaps even awareness? Plus, world-dominating U.S.-based international death-dealing arms sales, now easily totaling $100 billion annually. All of this is the empire – not yours, or of or for the American nation – but an empire for world control by a tiny, eccentric, wildly-dangerous, self-serving multi-billionaire élite. Obeying, serving, fabulously enriching none else! Do you know what ‘objectification’ is?”
Pastor Jonah passed on the last question with a bitter chuckle. “Well, that would seem just a bit too much, if it were all of it true.”
“Oh, I can assure you, Jonah, it is true. Offensive war and intrigue are as irresistible to this super-military power crowd that mandates it as its schedule of games is to a sports team – perpetually super-engaged, to feed the whole ravenous permanent war business. It’s all they live and die for.” He shook his head. “And they will do anything, anything to get more and more of it. And you know what else? You are paying for it, for basically all of it, from the aspect of government expense, giving all of the advantaged contractors their pay and the venue at which to operate their enormously-rich supporting concessions and sales of every kind of service and equipment – all costing you – just as if it was a gigantic fair – a hideous fair, a festival of death, perhaps as all wars are – not blaming our foot-soldiers, grunts, expendables – and, again, all of which you pay for. That, basically, is what it’s for, though they perhaps don’t always think of it that way – to fleece you, without you having any say, for their perpetual aggrandizement, and to salvage their shameless excuse for a normal economy – where only such as they can prosper. Think about it – it’s a system far too neat, systematic, to be accidental.
“Now, just ask yourself, how have all of these unspeakably barbaric and costly operations of ours done up to now at creating any more peaceful or safer world, as is their stated purpose? Which is why they scheme to scare us, to claim to subdue what they first scare us sufficiently with. The whole Middle East and all of Europe are now destabilized. Things on such a scale didn’t happen in or out of the Mideast before we barged in to fix things. Well, it mortgaged our future (for our hundreds of millions of regular folks, I mean), but we fixed things, alright. And we’re still shouting orders and cajoling, our old, ugly warriors itching to jump right back in, fomenting hate, fear again. Let me remind you, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran – our designated state enemies there – have basically not invaded anyone. Iraq, yes – but due to our urging and trickery. ISIS is strong precisely in the territory where they began. Russia? Its ‘aggression’ has amounted to adjustments within their one-time family – in support of large supplicating Russian minorities, or majorities, under attack – only, over the last sixty or so years, that is, if there’s actually been any genuine Russian aggression at all, something extremely doubtful – and we know there’s been plenty of American. Russia’s supposed ‘invasion’ of Crimea amounted to them dispatching troops to bases they already had there, by the way.
And, as concerns the main part of Ukraine, which they didn’t enter themselves at all, do we, the U.S., after all, ever hold troop exercises near but inside the borders of our own country? Think about it! Or, could it be that you simply like paying lots and lots and lots of taxes for all these lethal, giant-field games, both here and abroad? Even if we can’t, any of us, rightly claim that doing so is achieving, any good at all, and might just be stirring things up, financing our own U.S. aggression, and especially, bottom line, upward income-shifting to the interested, heavily-involved super, super-rich? Could it be you just like paying lots and lots and lots of taxes, Jonah?”
“I ask you: other than what I just told you, do you have any idea, Pastor Jules, just how it is that this country of ours, which we both love, can be so super, amazingly productive economically, year in and year out, and yet most everybody you and I know – the vast majority of Americans, especially in the most bypassed and depressed areas – are living practically hand-to-mouth now, more so every passing year, scheming and lying awake nights trying to figure out just how they’re going to get by and pay their bills? How on God’s earth could that possibly be, Jonah? Many bemoan it, and no one ever dares to explain it, how that could happen. You know that it’s true! So, how could it be?”
Jonah shook his head and sighed, ostensibly baffled.
“And, how can there be gangs of trained killers – made whole-cloth out of yours and your neighbors’ kids – and allied dirty tricksters and support, in your name and mine, well fanned out all over the surface of the world – which is what our military and special services are mostly about, bottom line? Although, again, not all enlistees, to be sure, are specifically in the attack forces. But there were and are armed gangs of superbly-trained targeted killers, between the carpet-bombings, going door-to-door in Baghdad, Ramadi, or in towns or cities in Afghanistan, and just maybe Syria, and/or who knows wherever else that we’re not, either of us, at least as of yet, even aware? And civilian drone casualties, officially admitted, far and away above the awful number of U.S. mass shooting gun violence deaths?
“Look, of course, there have been some kindnesses, as show up on 60 Minutes, sometimes incongruous nobility practiced, as has been very frequently highlighted for the public. And, not to infer for a moment that others – our chosen opponents – are angels. But… I mean, what kind of diabolic insanity kills literally or figuratively millions of innocents in a country and sends millions more packing, homeless and naked in terrorized families, just to oust one single, solitary old man from his job? For whose well-being? We’ve done that over there three times now, this round. And we might not be done yet! Evil lunacy! Un-American! Not really very neighborly, do ya think? Certainly not the result out change-up Judeo-Christian ethics are supposed to produce at all. What do you think leads to all the military suicides? (True, sometimes it’s unbearable pain.) And, all of it’s costing all of us the moon, too! With what result?
“And, U.S. and U.S.-trained fighters – including special ops, etc., these days, I’m sure, still much more likely than not, unless the military has turned over an amazing new leaf in the last couple of years – are, and have all been, found employed, used, I might say again, far more predominantly in neighborhoods, amid houses and hovels, just mowing down, inside and all around outside, and sometimes lethally spraying, every adult and child neither Christian or Jew, every aged matriarch, crone, patriarch, that dares move, or even doesn’t move, but who somehow – go figure – don’t like their neighborhoods being invaded, down block after block across whole neighborhoods, whole villages – sometimes under explicit or understood orders, and sometimes it’s been, shamefully, just to take out the soldiers’, our troops’, frustrations, paranoia, to dispel boredom? How is that, indefensibly tragic, even lamented as it occasionally has been, doing anything – even one iota – going to ever actually protect anyone in this country, to defend our freedom or our own country? Which is, after all, is it not, the only legitimate mission for our military. Except treaty obligations – which we could still meet, maybe in a more concentrated manner, if push came to shove? You tell me.” He paused. “Some people are hooked on the comradery of military life, but there would still be plenty of that for them – mostly without the more macabre aspects.”
Pastor Jonah Jules shook his head, looked down.
The ex-Colonel was rolling now. “Jonah, have you ever heard of a little book by a retired Marine commander named General Smedley Butler, the most famous U.S. soldier of the 1930s, entitled War is a Racket? No? Well, you should. Because, Smedley Butler had it just about right. He said, and backed it up with plenty of examples, that the U.S. military’s primary mission was, already back then, to serve the interests and designs of U.S. big business and global investment cartels – the multi-multi-billionaire families, the giant war contractors, the oil consortia, and especially the investment bankers on Wall Street, down the line, who were a big part of all of them – the corporate so-called brain-trusts, of whom couldn’t care less who ends up dead and who picks up the tab for them. They just want the exorbitant profits and clout that war, and especially perpetual war, endows them with. And they make and break politicians at will, depending on who securely delivers that immense profitability to them, in one form or another. And now, they’re even deep into weaponizing space: ‘full-spectrum global dominance’.
“And, in return, they – and we the constituents and involuntary bankrollers back here in the ‘Homeland’, unless we look real hard – never have to actually see the human cost in snuffed out, disfigured and broken lives, displacement and devastation, permanently scarred, maimed, mangled, killed, splattered, and mind-devastated brave still-young people. They demand, you know, there be no pictures or fuss at Dover where the fresh-filled body bags are delivered. I mean, these are supposed to be sovereign nations we’re violating. Is that just a fiction? We have no legitimate business even being over there, hostile, in the first place, just manipulative self-interest of our super-criminal élite – falsely claiming the Iraqis had WMD – and still we stayed when it was clear to us all that was bogus. Well, Jonah, did you ever think of all of those things and just smile to yourself, ‘I’m for that?’ I ask you, what good does any of it do for you or me, to make anybody any safer? It coarsens our lives and our culture, and it continually robs us and dishonors us before the whole world. Despite all the glorification and threats, most people are sick to death of it long since. Am I right? Am I? And yet, the incidents, threats, and justifications for more and more war, ever strengthened hostile involvement, keep coming at us daily, I submit, really conspired into being from the inside, the top.”
He continued. “Look, you ‘support our troops’? Well, I don’t, because I can’t support what they’re doing, here or there, and in fact, damn near every part of this world anymore. We can benefit ourselves and everyone else if we stop being a sinister, overweening force damn near everywhere. Sorry for the bad word.”
Pastor Jonah Jules had fallen silent and was sucking in his breath. He looked like a man with a lot to think about. But then, a new wave of doubt came over him and he looked perplexed. “But, why are you doing this now? I thought that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had wound down, that our troops had mostly or all been taken out of there,” he said, “with nations closer by urged to take up the slack over there now. Did I get that wrong?”
“All of that’s true,” Colonel Crystal nodded, “but even if we disregard the fact that there’s already some announced incremental movement by U.S. forces back into Iraq, and now into Syria, plus a moratorium on U.S. forces leaving Afghanistan, and an unceasing call for more U.S. frontline involvement to battle ISIS and false-flag terror incidents, the warmongers are not about to let up. And the purveyors of propaganda have their tried and true ways of pumping the citizenry up by ratcheting up fear and anger again –always, or almost, fear and anger is being engendered through more flagrant lies, such as that ISIS is independent of our founding and not-too-secret support. And all of the secret, behind-the-scenes and beyond the radar stuff still continues. Because people by and large never seem to catch on. And the neocon warmongers never stop beating the drums for more and permanent, sustained and guaranteed military engagement.
“If you look it up, the military and related special budgets have not decreased appreciatively with the declared end of those two major wars to the contrary, just as they didn’t decrease after the Cold War – and there always have been more wars and designated enemies, more occasions for maximizing military action going forward. It’s the way it’s worked every single time. So, as long as the virtually permanent majority of the people who would be for dramatically ending the cycle of military adventuring, what I’d call ‘mega-state piracy’ largely defining our military mission now, fundamentally changing and adapting to reality, can be duped and out-muscled one more time and once more again as we go along, such surges of our overseas military operations and violent deployments will continue.
“Because, it’s all to sustain and satisfy that certain plutocrat élite who want and demand nothing less than permanent war, and have largely convinced themselves that that’s what the country needs to have any chance of permanent economic survival. It’s at least good for them. They are indispensable, so they think. If anyone suggests it’s about the planet-wrecking oil, our civilization now has the means for getting out of all that when and if we actually want to – and, except for a handful of those same profiteer warmonger controllers, all of us desperately do.”
He sighed. “But, are we, the massive, overwhelming majority, morally strong enough to force downsizing to the limited military mission our hallowed forefathers so reluctantly agreed to? We won’t even need an apology, just human intelligence.”
Then he continued, with resolution: “They – that self-same controlling élite – now exercise perennial – permanent – heavy influence on the direction and factors of U.S. military deployment, and you can bet they’ll be right back at it forever, insisting and arm-twisting, hell-bent on more bases and postings. They’re totally dead-set and won’t be deterred unless they’re overwhelmed by us.”
“But even then, they would never stop scheming, dreaming of the glory, and what they could do,” the pastor suggested. He seemed to be getting it.
“Right! Just as the mob would never stop dreaming if they were put completely out of business… same thing, entirely the same rules (though concealed from the public), just a bigger playground, bigger everything! Because, they absolutely can’t lose the leave and pardon of this country’s citizenry to continue unabated.”
The ex-Colonel paused. “And, the fact is, millions of lives, homes, and budgets, really, are at stake going forward, depending on us abandoning with our forced, sustained acquiescence, just as we did to end the Vietnam War, despite that radical élite’s fervently desired continuance. Now, our thus illegitimately super-bloated military outlay adds up to almost a third of our entire federal budget, combined with servicing all the necessitated borrowing at high interest, doubtless from many of those same people – mainly institutions and corporate – prominently including obscenely-high revenues in fact most unnecessarily needed to fund it all, thought to prevent us annually from drowning. And what trillions of that is spent for, we’re under absolutely no circumstances ever told.” He paused yet again for effect.
“And so it is that I have concluded that somebody,” ex- Colonel Crystal continued, “with the guts and the background, has got to tell the country – this whole country – exactly what I’ve just told you, and explain what a colossal difference restoring out original benevolent, that is, indispensable, purely defensive military could make – even though it would no longer continue to produce the stupendous ‘windfall’ profits so cherished by our élite. And, I guess I’m that somebody. So, that’s what I’m doing. It’s called ‘Project Benevolent Military’.
“Because,” he added, “I’m firmly convinced that, even if perhaps a dozen or a score of American lives are saved, that would otherwise be lost, by our trillions-of-dollars violent and itself massively terrorizing and deadening worldwide infestation of American power decade after decade, which I seriously doubt, the easily hundreds of thousands eventually untold millions of lives that are lost or wrecked beyond salvaging in the process, are manifestly not worth it. I’m convinced that switching or phasing back to a just as potent strictly-defensive military stance and structure can give us back an at least as adequate national defense, plus once more an America that is what America was intended to be. That is, a great nation in which everyone can have the means to prosper again, without having the fruit of our labor ripped away and blindly handed over to Daddy Warbucks. So that we can become once again truly the super-successful land of the free and realm of prosperity and opportunity for the whole world to again envy, admire, and emulate – which was the original vision of our founders.
That is, if we are wise, determined enough, and, in my humble opinion, brave enough to embrace the virtue of restoring our proper original emphasis and purpose and renouncing our nation’s error of steadily, stupendously, increasing its useless, unrelenting, intransigent belligerence and hectoring in exchange for warranted and necessary defense preparedness quite sufficiently alone. Because, who else today inflicts their power globally as I described, and strives to dictate at gunpoint to all others? To the other 95% of this world? Absolutely no one. What other nation’s economy is forced to restrict permanently its capabilities and quality of life to finance publicly such a god-awful, grossly misadvertised fool’s errand as we do? No one! And the inevitable finality with these notions, if opposed globally, is thermonuclear threats followed by catastrophe. Reality? That’s reality!”
He stopped again to catch his breath. “So, what do you think. Jonah? Am I crazy? Or, perhaps worse, just silly? A traitor? Or what? You tell me.”
Pastor Jonah smiled thoughtfully, but still doubtfully, feeling as if he’d been run over and then hit hard up side his head. He was still trying to process the flagrantly far-more-than-earful he’d listened to, as any ordinary patriotic American with family responsibilities would who was, after all – or maybe before all – a taxpayer.
“O.K. Let’s just get this trash out of here,” Jonah spoke softly, but with finality.
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.
He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.
Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.