By Gordon Duff and New Eastern Outlook, Moscow

– First published 27 July 2019

A short time ago, President Donald threatened to obliterate Afghanistan with nuclear weapons stating that, at the last moment, he thought killing millions of innocent people might well be “wrong” in some way. Here is exactly what he said:

“If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.

I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth, it would be gone.”

According to legend, the Roman Emperor Caligula planned to name his favorite horse, Incitatus, a Consul of Rome. Historians generally agree, despite Caligula’s reputation as perhaps the most despotic and insane ruler in history, this story is unlikely.

With Trump, however, the tale is a different one. Trump “trumped” Caligula in the “lunatic” category and did it in front of live television audiences around the world.

In general, the media ignored Trump’s gaf and failed miserably to gauge responses around the world, running from incredulity to horror. After all, Trump told the audience, with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan at his side, that it wasn’t his idea in the first place.

America talks military power but fails miserably when it plays “strongman” in Asia and elsewhere, now moving to softer methods, propaganda, false flag terrorism, fake democratic movements, sanctions and now utterly insane threats.

Are America’s threats insane? As America wins battles now and again but invariably loses war after war after war, is nuclear annihilation of the defenseless now the “go to” expression of waning American power?


Is it insane to threaten wars America is simply militarily unprepared to fight, threatening nations that are utterly aware the threats that continually come from Trump, Bolton and Pompeo are not just vacuous but “goofy?”

Donald Trump, thus far, is “0 for 3” in his attempt to portray himself as a wartime president. First North Korea, then Venezuela and now Iran, all making a mockery of American invasion threats. Why is this, what is America’s real military capability and why is a nation that has bankrupted itself throwing money at its defense industry “neutered?”

It didn’t start with Vietnam. It’s true, 15 years there, stumbling up and down the peninsula once known as Cochin China, was a great military disaster.

After losing 20,000 men and controlling only 5% of the country, the then new American president, Richard Nixon, announced America’s surrender under the guise of what Henry Kissinger called “Vietnamization.”

Of course, the Vietnamese were never really taking part in the war, had never built a real army and hadn’t, as the US had done, instituted a program of military conscription. Those in Vietnam who wanted to fight for their country were doing so already.

They were called the Viet Cong and they fought against the United States.

Once the Nixon/Kissinger announcement was made, that the US would leave, it was no longer necessary for the Viet Cong to hold territory or defend anything. Thus, they turned to another tactic, that of slaughtering Americans wherever they found them, killing another 35,000 and wounding 20 times that number.

Few are aware the US lost 5000 combat aircraft, excluding helicopters, over Vietnam. From Veterans Today:

“Do remember, we lost 5000 combat aircraft in Vietnam including 31 B 52s. The rotting airframes of 500 Phantom II’s are still in the Vietnam jungle.

America doesn’t have 5000 aircraft anymore. Add to this 5200 helicopters lost by the Army alone, 10,000 aircraft. Hey, the US lost 95,000 aircraft in World War II, a figure we lie about also with deaths in that war twice what we report, well over 1 million.

Our losses in Vietnam, depending on stats used, 58k or 1.3 million. When you add the slower Agent Orange deaths, it hits 2.2 million.”

We can probably go back to the Korean Conflict, as it is called now. As with Vietnam, the rationale for US involvement was always misrepresented to the American people as “communist aggression.” In this case, the Korean people were resisting the continued rule by the remnants of their brutal Japanese occupiers and their “Quisling” leader, Syngman Rhee.

While Japan was being “de-militarized” under US occupation by General MacArthur, quite the opposite was going on in South Korea, with the democratization movement brutally crushed by a CIA puppet government.

This, of course, was exactly what happened in Vietnam as well, all part of the Marshall Doctrine established in 1947 intended to surround the Soviet Union and China with “free democracies,” no matter how brutal or fascistic such “democracies” actually were.

Both wars, of course, were losses. America’s military might, placed on the ground in Asia, repeated mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in later decades. From the American Conservative:

“On April 28, 1961—a decade after General Douglas MacArthur was fired for defying Harry Truman on Korea—the controversial commander hosted President John F. Kennedy at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where MacArthur and his wife lived in a suite on the 37th floor. The contrast between the two could not have been more obvious: MacArthur, then in his early eighties, was mottled, frail, and walked with a slight stoop, while the newly inaugurated Kennedy was young, fit, and vibrant. The two sequestered themselves in MacArthur’s suite, then posed for photographers, the young president obviously proud to appear with the aging legend.

The meeting itself was the subject of news stories and featured on national newscasts that same day. Later, the meeting provided grist for two generations of Kennedy-besotted commenters who debated whether the young president, had he not been assassinated in Dallas, might have recoiled from committing tens of thousands of U.S. troops to a winless war in Southeast Asia—a course of action taken by Lyndon Johnson, his successor.

It turns out that Kennedy’s memo of the Waldorf Astoria meeting (now at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum) is crucial for historians for a number of other reasons. It offers not only a glimpse of how the young president intended to navigate the treacherous waters of the Cold War, but suggests how one of America’s most celebrated military officers viewed what might be called the grand strategy of the American Republic: that is, whether and how the U.S. might win its dangerous struggle against the Soviet Union. Finally, the Waldorf Astoria meeting tells us how MacArthur’s most famous warning—to “never fight a land war in Asia”—has come down to us, what he meant by it, and whether, in an age of American troop deployments in at least 133 countries, it retains its meaning.”

Such background material begs for historical vignettes. In our first, MacArthur was US co-commander against the Japanese in World War II. His “other half,” as it were, was Admiral Chester Nimitz.

MacArthur, a 5-star Army general, commanded “ground forces” in the larger land campaigns, New Guinea, Burma, the Philippines and others, while Nimitz commanded the “island hopping” campaign. MacArthur fell under criticism for moving slowly and holding down casualties, while Nimitz ran up massive casualties targeting heavily defended islands that well should have been bypassed, like Iwo Jima, among many others.

When we look at that period, America’s primary ally in Cochin or Indo-China was the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh. In China, the US negotiated cooperation between Chiang kai Shek’s Kuomintang and Mao’s People’s Liberation Army. Suffice it to say, Mao’s forces did 90% of the fighting against the Japanese, while Chiang took his massive US financial aid and bribed dozens of right-wing US politicians, all of whom were big fans of Adolf Hitler before the war and, to an extent, “during.”

In Vietnam, we had a different story, but not so different. Rather than supporting Ho Chi Minh as the US had promised, as leader of a United Vietnam, the US financed the return of France as a colonial power, gifting France the military hardware, then stored on Formosa, intended to be used for a land invasion of Japan that never transpired.

France chose to use largely foreign mercenaries for this conflict, including thousands of former German SS who had joined the French Foreign Legion in order to avoid war crimes tribunals.

Germans were always popular for their military prowess, as Chiang had, during his “encirclement” campaigns during the Chinese Civil War (1927-35), used German generals who commanded during World War I to command his forces.

The real story, of course, is why American threats against Iran, Korea and Venezuela, not “Asian” we admit but the lesson applies there as well, are “nuts.”

Let’s add to the group Afghanistan. In a White House conference with Pakistan’s Imran Khan, Trump announced he could “win the war in Afghanistan in ten days.” He said he wouldn’t do it but, according to news reports, Pentagon commanders had presented Trump with a plan to do exactly that.

What wasn’t reported is that the plan presented involved the use of 3 dozen thermonuclear weapons used on the civilian population, something Trump confirmed to Khan, when he stated that the Pentagon’s plan would involve millions of civilian deaths.

The Pentagon recommended a nuclear war on Afghanistan because the Taliban has handily defeated the US for 19 years. The reason for that?

America went into Afghanistan in 2001 supported by drug lord tribal leaders from Tajik and Uzbek minorities seen by Afghanistan’s Pashtun majority as foreigners.

Sadly, the Taliban, most former Mujahideen once allied with the US, never hated the US but simply refused to be ruled by what they call “puppets” and “dancing boys” imposed on them against their will.

Do remember, General MacArthur was fired by Truman in April 1951 when he told the President that Korea could not be held against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army without the use of nuclear weapons.

That story was just repeated in Washington under Trump, though the lunatic or lunatics at the Pentagon, possibly General Joseph Dunford himself, are managing to hide from public scorn.

Why are Trump’s threats not just rhetoric, but empty rhetoric?

Simply put, the US lacks the resources to invade Iran, something the US promises continually. America’s regional allies, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, have been fought to a virtual standstill by poorly armed rebels in Yemen. Additionally, those nations, though their military is well financed, have no experience in real combat operations whatsoever, and are subject to massive retaliation from Iran that would be, minimally, devastating.

Moreover, any war on Iran would spread to an attack on Israel, one Israel is incapable of enduring without very heavy losses, and the virtual erasure of America’s military in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, along with any naval vessels in the region.

Similarly, America’s threats against Venezuela are past “empty.” Here it isn’t the powerful military that Iran possesses, but rather that Venezuela is simply “unreachable.” You can’t land on their coast; you can’t approach from land; you can’t drop paratroopers on a nation that has modern air defenses – and this is the real story behind Venezuela.

In North Korea, America’s attempts first to threaten and then to “talk to death” have led to rather than disarmament, a military buildup. Here, worst of all, America chooses to ignore what goes on, rather than openly admit humiliation. Admitted or not, the humiliation is noted around the world – same as with Iran, same as with Venezuela.

This leaves the US with its policy of economic war and starvation, one that led the US to have Britain seize an Iranian oil tanker believed to be heading for Syria, a nation that needed oil to warm its homes last winter. You see, Syria’s domestic oil supplies are currently being stolen by US-backed Kurds and sold through Turkey with money supporting the oligarchs of Erbil and their “bankster” allies.

Similarly, America’s embargo on Iranian oil has pushed oil prices up $20 per barrel, enriching America’s own breed of oligarch, long partnered with military contractors and the hedge fund billionaires who make up much of Trump’s cabinet heads.

There are endless secondary issues as well, some going back to the beginning of time, that seem to deem all institutions as corruptible.

Throughout the Middle Ages, religious persecution, “crusades” and frenzies of mass murder driven by religious hysteria killed millions.

The industrial revolution, combined with the spread of central banking and debt-based currencies led to centuries of war for profit that continue to this day.

These concepts have survived, while those predicting the ascendance of mankind toward betterment through democracy and individual initiative have fallen to the wayside under the merciless regime of fractional reserve banking and the elimination of sovereign money.

What we address here is the role military power plays when said power has, through advances in technology, become “improbable.”

Once generals led armies from the front. Now generals are nameless bureaucrats and “grocery clerks” who lead nothing.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of  Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


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13 COMMENTS

  1. the bluster and threats might indicate that the US does not want to spread itself thin. If there is a battle to choose it must net maximum benefits to Israel and also find the greatest coalition of the willing, not to mention proxies, and a national dynamic ready to depose the current regime. Venezuela does not fit that bill, neither does Afghanistan. In fact, if I understand correctly, the poppy trade is an integral component of Pentagon funding. North Korea not only does not fit the bill, but it comes with the possibility of confronting China. That leaves us with Iran. if the Iranians think that the US was feinting attacks on NK and VZ, they might be caught more off guard when the US unleashes shock and awe. The coalition of Israel, SA and some EU countries make Iran much more bankable. But, then again, Russia is firmly going to back Iran. Israel definitely wins if Iran is attacked, in theory. Iran has plans to wipe Israel off the map in half an hour.

  2. In late 69, the CIA started interviewing Marines with high GCT scores to attend “50 cal gunner school” and fly on what I assumed where their CH34 drug runs. I was on their list but showed no enthusiasm. The deal they offered with $18k per deposited offshore, “big money” then.

    Oh…as this is real information…it might be fun to see how many others made stuff up.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong but like Afghanistan, Vietnam was another massive drug smuggling operation disguised as a “war”.

      Back when I used to work in Drug Rehab we used to joke that we could see the direction that US Foreign policy by the drugs sold on the street.

  3. Remember pathetic Bush I crowing on about kicking that “ol’ Vietnam Syndrome in the butt” meaning the hard lessons learned about “foreign entanglements”?

    The irony is that the casualties related to the Persian War didn’t come until after that turkey shoot when many who were involved began dying from radiation sickness from the Military’s own DU weapons. In other words the US Military killed more American troops than the Iraqis.

    Another interesting point is that the tactical nuclear bombing of the Murrah Federal Building happened just when many Americans were beginning to figure out what was really going on.

    Interestingly it isn’t even mentioned in the 9/11 Report probably because mentioning it would bring up questions about it being another Israel False Flag Op like the two Israeli engineered attacks on the WTC.

  4. The more hollow the rhetoric rings, the credibility wanes and childishness exposes the lack of honorable intentions. Is this our current highest threat to national security, the temper of one or two rigid people ?
    Trump and his clown bus full of swampy creatures, are a filthy disgusting infestation, he should really get some bleach and a few rat traps. What a mess.

    Just a random thought, I never got why they call them “think tanks”. Tanks are only used for violence, isolation and containment of liquid most commonly septic tanks.

    • Pardon me if I get this wrong Gordon, but isn’t one of the big reasons we were in Vietnam the poppy fields in the golden triangle? The whole war just a front for an enormous smuggling operation, just like Afghanistan now? Or is it something the CIA stumbled upon, and discovered that they now had their own money supply independent of Congress? As for the aircraft losses, even back then I suspected that the UH-1’s were deliberately built to be easily shot down because of their rotor slap. Even then I still volunteered to fly skinships (I was already doing rescue work here). They wouldn’t take me because of my eyes, even though I was a “natural” in helo’s. Ironically, I later spent a lot of airborne time with old Air America pilots. Great guys, and quite the characters.

    • Very Informative issues. One thing which I consider completely upside-down and insulating to the people of Afghanistan or former Khorasan is your take on Tajiks and Pushtuns. I supposed that you got your information from some Pushtuns or their patrons in Pakistan ISI.
      The so called Afghanistan, a British invented colonial name is as artificial as the history of Afghanistan. This land called before Khorasan a Persian name. Tajiks are Persians, they talk the original version of Persian language. Some of the great men of human history are Tajik Persians as Rumi the most read poet even in today’s America, Avicenna father of modern medicine, Biruni, Ferdawsi the author of most famous book of Persian World, Shah ama. Pushtuns are tribal people who invaded and plundered Khorasan and settletd there some 2-3 centuries ago, as the zionists doing in Palestine. As Jack Heart detailed the brutality of Pushtuns in his article on VT, we can see clearly what happening in today’s Afghanistan. Pushtuns Taliban became the face of death in the eyes of Afghans. Please do not insult souls of all those murdered in the hands of these tribal fascists forces which are a wahabi extremist movement supported by Saudis. This is the paradox of VT some times. In one hand fighting the wahabi ideology in Syria but in some very strange way approving Taliban Wahabi butchers.
      At the end of the day, we are all human, and no body is complete, and no body can have every thing right, and Gordon is also a human.

    • Didn’t China invade then the NVA counter-attacked with light infantry and literally kicked China’s butt back into China. Also it was Vietnam the cleansed Cambodia of the CPK in 79.

  5. https://nypost.com/2019/07/27/dad-who-left-twins-in-hot-car-is-a-social-worker-described-as-an-amazing-father/ Quote:
    “By all accounts, he was a doting dad to his year-old, twin son and daughter, setting up a bouncy castle in the yard for their recent first birthday party and dressing them in their latest cute outfits while his wife made breakfast in their Rockland County split-level.
    Then, on Saturday, Juan Rodriguez, 39, was hauled handcuffed before a judge, charged with the babies’ hot-car deaths.

    He forgot to drop them off at their day care Friday morning, Rodriguez has told cops — and didn’t realize they were still in the back seat when he parked at the Bronx hospital where he’s a social worker, court papers reveal.
    Eight hours later, the twins, Luna and Phoenix, registered an internal temperature of 108 degrees when coroners examined their bodies in their car seats.
    “I assumed I dropped them off at day care before I went to work,” Rodriguez told cops at the scene, according to the criminal complaint against him.
    “I blanked out!” he cried.
    “My babies are dead! I killed my babies!”
    Rodriguez was still sobbing at his arraignment Saturday night before Bronx Criminal Court Justice Patsy Goldborne.
    A disabled Iraq war veteran, he still wore the same turquoise blue polo shirt he’d worn Friday as he cared for homeless and ailing vets at his job at a VA hospital in Kingsbridge — oblivious that his twins were in the back seat of his Honda Accord in the parking lot.”

    • Isn’t this what our Military Monster has become as Gordon Duff so eloquently describes? All they can do is obliterate all life from the planet!