Our New Friend, al-Qaeda

The wars go on!

We’re not against them. We might as well be against stomach gas – it will happen whether we like it or not. Real wars, as we’ve been exploring recently, are glorious and moronic. But zombie wars are just sordid are pathetic.

A new item in the Wall Street Journal tells us that our enemy’s enemy is becoming our friend.

 

“In the three-way war ravaging Syria, should the local al-Qaeda branch be seen as the lesser evil to be wooed rather than bombed?

This is increasingly the view of some of America’s regional allies and even some Western officials. In a war now in its fifth year, in which 230,000 people have been killed and another 7.6 million uprooted, few good options remain for how to tackle the crisis.”

 

These are not real wars. There are no real war aims, no enemy worthy of the name, and no real victories. Instead, they are zombie wars. They go on and on… with changing targets and shifting alliances. Why do we never win?

 

 

gg
Vetting process …

Cartoon by Steve Breen

 

Because too many people benefit from losing… The media, the military, the contractors, the politicians, the lowlife defense contractors in Northern Virginia, the grandstanders in Congress, the CIA, the NSA … all have been zombified.

Jon Basil Utley in the American Conservative:

 

“America doesn’t “win” its wars, because winning a war is secondary to other goals in our war making. Winning or losing has little immediate consequence for the United States, because the wars we start, Wars of Choice, are not of vital national interest; losing doesn’t mean getting invaded or our cities being destroyed.”

 

Instead, the contracts get rolled over. The promotions keep coming. The money flows. Politicians get elected. And the zombies prosper. In some ways, these zombie wars are better than real wars. Fewer people are killed – at least fewer of our people.

But it must be hard for a real soldier to fight a zombie war and retain his self-respect. He must pass the statue of Marshal Michel Ney, hang his head, and “hold his manhood cheap.”

 

 

Ten years ago, Blackwater contractors and US troops unleashed two battles to take control of Fallujah. Thousands of Iraqis and scores of Americans were killed. Ten years later, Al Qaeda is back in charge, underscoring the utter pointlessness of war.A blast from the past …

Cartoon by Ted Rall

 

A Real Hero

Ney – there was a real fighting man and a real hero. His life is almost fantastic. So many battles. So many close encounters with death. So much raw courage. So much bravado. And so little regard for his self-interest.

It was on this day 200 years ago that Ney was leading the charge in a magnificently lunatic campaign. The irresistible force of his cavalry divisions met the immovable object of the British infantry squares – bristling with rifle bayonets – in the final clash at Waterloo.

But among the hundreds of other battles and skirmishes in which Ney almost died, Napoleon’s Russia campaign stands out. Ney was one of the 300,000 soldiers who invaded Russia… and one of the 10,000 who got out alive.

Ney went all the way – to Moscow and back – fighting the enemy and the freezing cold the entire way. He got his fourth wound, in the neck, at Smolensk and then was wounded again at Leipzig.

On the retreat, Ney commanded the rear guard, as the army desperately tried to make its escape. Temperatures fell to -22°F. Food ran out. The wagons sank in the mud during the day and froze in the mud at night.

The soldiers of the Grande Armée were shot, hacked to death, starved, and frozen… battling against fierce mounted Cossacks and regular Russian troops… over thousands of miles of barren territory.

And there, always on the move, was Ney – fighting, organizing, leading, and driving his men onward… while charging the enemy to drive them back. It was Ney who covered the retreat over the Berezina River into Poland. And it was Ney who was the last Frenchman to leave Russia. Napoleon named him the “Prince of Moscow.”

 

retreat-800px-adolphe_yvon_1817-1893_-_marshall-ney-supporting-the-rear-guard-during-the-retreat-from-moscowMarshal Ney supporting the rear guard during the retreat from Moscow

Painting by Adolphe Yvon

 

After the Guns Went Silent …

Back at Waterloo, it was Ney who charged the British cannons and dispersed their defenders. But Ney didn’t muster infantry or artillery support. And he failed (nobody knows why) to spike the British cannons when they were in French possession… which would have rendered them useless for the rest of the battle.

Did Ney charge too soon? Should he have coordinated better with his infantry and artillery divisions? Was he responsible for losing the battle?

After the cannons went silent and Napoleon limped back to Paris with what was left of his army… the complaints against Ney multiplied. And then, Bonaparte gave up. And the war was over.

The new government, once again under the Bourbons, wanted Ney’s head. He was tried for treason and found guilty. But unlike David Petraeus, who got nothing but a slap on the wrist for betraying his nation’s secrets, Ney got the firing squad.

Ney took command, just as he had always taken command of the troops before him:

 

“Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her… Soldiers, fire!”

 

executionThe execution of Marshal Ney inspired a great many paintings. In this one, the soldiers seem reluctant to do the deed.

Painting by Edouard Armand-Dumaresq

 

(c) Museums Sheffield; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationThis painting of Ney’s execution is full of symbolism. The dead body of Ney is lying in the dirt, while the army he once led is turning its back on him …

Painting by Jean Léon Gérôme

The above article originally appeared as “Our New Friend, al-Qaeda” at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

 


 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • Gold Sector: Positioning and Sentiment
      A Case of Botched Timing, But... When last we wrote about the gold sector in mid February, we discussed historical patterns in the HUI following breaches of its 200-day moving average from below. Given that we expected such a breach to occur relatively soon, the post turned out to be rather ill-timed. Luckily we always advise readers that we are not exactly Nostradamus (occasionally our timing is a bit better). Below is a chart of the HUI Index depicting the action since the January...
  • India: The next Pakistan?
      India’s Rapid Degradation This is Part XI of a series of articles (the most recent of which is linked here) in which I have provided regular updates on what started as the demonetization of 86% of India's currency. The story of demonetization and the ensuing developments were merely a vehicle for me to explore Indian institutions, culture and society.   The Modimobile is making the rounds amid a flower shower. [PT] Photo credit: PTI Photo   Tribal cultures face...
  • The Long Run Economics of Debt Based Stimulus
      Onward vs. Upward Something both unwanted and unexpected has tormented western economies in the 21st century.  Gross domestic product (GDP) has moderated onward while government debt has spiked upward.  Orthodox economists continue to be flummoxed by what has transpired.   What happened to the miracle? The Keynesian wet dream of an unfettered fiat debt money system has been realized, and debt has been duly expanded at every opportunity.  Although the fat lady has so far only...
  • March to Default
      Style Over Substance “May you live in interesting times,” says the ancient Chinese curse.  No doubt about it, we live in interesting times.  Hardly a day goes by that we’re not aghast and astounded by a series of grotesque caricatures of the world as at devolves towards vulgarity. Just this week, for instance, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters tweeted, “Get ready for impeachment.”   Well, Maxine Waters is obviously right – impeaching the president is an urgent...
  • Welcome to Totalitarian America, President Trump!
      Trump vs. the Deep State If there had been any doubt that the land of the free and home of the brave is now a totalitarian society, the revelations that its Chief Executive Officer has been spied upon while campaigning for that office and during his brief tenure as president should now be allayed.   Image adapted from the cover of “Deep State #5” - depicting an assassin from the future   President Trump joins the very crowded list of opponents of the American...
  • Searching for Truth
      Heresy or Truth? RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – In the fifth century, Christian scholars counted 88 different heresies. Arianism. Eutychianism. Nestorianism. If there was a way to “offend” God, they had a name for it. One group of “heretics” argued that there was no such thing as “original sin.” Another denied the trinity. And another claimed Jesus was not divine. Which one had the truth?   Depiction of the first Council of Ephesus in 431 AD, convened by Emperor...
  • Why the 21st Century Sucks - Turtles All the Way Down
      A Truly Sucky Century BALTIMORE – What an awful century! Worst we’ve ever seen. Household incomes are down. Employment is down, with 7 million people in the U.S. of working age without jobs. Productivity growth is down. GDP growth is down – to only about 0.5% per capita last year. Even life expectancies are down. Drug overdoses are up. Suicides are up. One out of every eight children lives in a family getting food stamps. One of out every eight adults takes psychoactive drugs...
  • Gold and the Fed's Looming Rate Hike in March
      Long Term Technical Backdrop Constructive After a challenging Q4 in 2016 in the context of rising bond yields and a stronger US dollar, gold seems to be getting its shine back in Q1. The technical picture is beginning to look a little more constructive and the “reflation trade”, spurred on further by expectations of higher infrastructure spending and tax cuts in the US, has thus far also benefited gold. From a technical perspective, there are indications that the low at $1045.40,...
  • The Unstable Empire – A Campfire Tale
      Campfire Tale   Caesar: The Ides of March are come. Soothsayer: Ay, Caesar, but not gone. — Julius Caesar, Shakespeare   GRANADA, NICARAGUA – Today, we stop the horses and circle the wagons. For 19 years, we have been rolling along, exploring, discovering. We began with the assumption that we didn’t “know” anything - so we kept our eyes open. Now we know even less.   Famous people who knew nothing and were not shy to admit it: Sergeant Schultz...
  • Off the Beaten Path in Mesoamerica
      Greeted by Rooster There’s an endearing quality to a steadfast rooster call at the crack of dawn when overheard from a warm country farmhouse.  There’s a reassuring charm that comes with the committed gallinaceous greeting of daybreak that’s particularly suited to a rural ambiance.  The allure of a morning cock-a-doodle-doo somehow falls flat in all other settings.   Good morning everyone! Before meteorological forecasts were available on TV and smart phones, people...
  • Why Silver Went Down – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Rumor-Mongering vs. Data The question on the lips of everyone who plans to exchange his metal for dollars—widely thought to be money—is why did silver go down? The price of silver in dollar terms dropped from about 18 bucks to about 17, or about 5 percent.   Reportedly silver was already assassinated in the late 19th century... so last week they must have assassinated its corpse. [PT] Illustration taken from 'Coin's Financial School'   The facile answer is...
  • Systematic Trading - Unwrapping the Onion
      Lumpy but Robust   [ed note: this article has originally appeared at the Evil Speculator and was written by trader and ES contributor Scott. We provide a link to Scott's past articles below this post for readers who want to get more familiar with his ideas and/or any unusual terminology used in this article]   One continual theme in my trading is that every time I think I have it figured out, I get punched in the face by an unexpected problem. The tendency is to go more...

Austrian Theory and Investment

Support Acting Man

Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Archive

j9TJzzN

350x200

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com