Posts Tagged military industrial complex

Insulting War and the Military Can Cost You

See, this is what happens when you insult the military industrial complex and their tools and means to an end: soldiers and veterans and the very war machine that keeps getting romanticized by the war mongers running this country.

More than three-quarters of voters have heard about Donald Trump’s spat with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Muslim Americans whose son died serving as an Army captain in the 2003 Iraq war that Hillary Clinton voted for.

And that’s not good news for Trump.

According to a new Fox News poll, 77 percent of voters knew of the harsh words exchanged between Trump and the Khans in the wake of Khizr Khan’s fiery anti-Trump speech at the Democratic National Convention. Nearly 7 in 10 of those who have heard about the controversy think Trump stepped over the line.

“I’m undecided now. I was leaning for him, but the last few days, what he’s been saying about that soldier and his parents, he’s made several comments I don’t like,” said Larry Fountain, a 67-year-old Navy veteran and retired pipe fitter from Starks, Louisiana, who listened to both Trump and Clinton speak at the VFW’s national convention in North Carolina last week. “I just don’t know.”

Trump said that Khan “viciously attacked” him in the DNC speech, and suggested Ghazala Khan, his wife,  hadn’t spoken because she wasn’t allowed (–> LOL at that. I’m afraid that Trump is, sadly, right on this one. When a friend and I were discussing Khan’s speech at the DNC and why Mr. Khan would sell his son’s memory  out to a candidate who voted for the very war that got him killed, his wife and her silence came into play. We agreed that the poor woman was probably just dragged there by her husband and that even if she had been against supporting a candidate whose vote is responsible for the senseless war that got their son killed, she was likely not allowed to say anything).

The Khans, and with that I mean Mr. Khan, continue to speak out, and Trump has continued to criticize them in response in the days since Thursday’s speech.

Not that I have any use for this sleazebag, charlatan, white supremacist piece of garbage Donald Trump, but I do think that he was right when he pointed out the hypocrisy here about Clinton being the one who voted for the Iraq war that got their son killed.

But in this climate and in this country, people do not want to know or face the truth when it comes to the military. They all want to romanticize war and military duty as this wonderfully amazing and heroic thing and revere soldiers as heroes who are fighting honorable, moral wars to save our country from evil.

No one wants to hear the inconvenient truth about the military industrial complex and the nature of war in general. No one wants to hear about the reasons why the War Department’s budget is so bloated and why and how there are strong monetary incentives for keeping us in a perpetual state of war. No one wants to talk about the human cost of war, in addition to the economic one. No one wants to talk about the the role defense contractors who pay off law makers and profit from war  play in this or even acknowledge the fact that the last legitimate war the US fought was World War 2.

Oh no. That would be unpatriotic and a betrayal to our soldiers. Instead, everyone wants to pretend veterans are heroes, instead of victims used by those in power to fight for dubious causes, such as for the benefit of the powerful and wealthy.  In this particular case, no one wants to acknowledge that Mr. Khan’s support for Hillary Clinton was hypocritical and that his son, Captain Khan, died in a senseless, fraudulent war perpetuated by corrupt politicians, including Clinton, and the military industrial complex.

Captain Khan’s parents, in addition to glorifying and romanticizing war as some heroic thing, sold out his memory to a politician who voted for the very fraudulent war that got their son killed; a politician who will continue military action and meddling in the Middle East to cause even more senseless deaths and harm to the very Muslim community Clinton pretends to care about when hiring a token Muslim, such as Mr Khan, to do her bidding.

These are the conversations leaders and the media do not want to have when they manufacture the consent of the public through propaganda and lies about the nature of war fare, the War Department and our foreign policy objectives. It is all hunky dory and anyone who says otherwise just hates veterans and America.

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Pearls of the Profound: Michelle Obama Urges Vets Struggling With Suicide To Not Do It

Michelle-Obama-Jill-BidenWhile her husband, President Barack Obama, has been obsessed with nothing else but attacking Syria and flying all over the world trying to sell a war like it was a bill of goods, Michelle Obama decided to ignore the proverbial giant pink elephant in the room that is her husband’s war mongering and urged military servicemembers, veterans and their families to make use of mental-health resources when they need help as a result of a war that’s fucked them emotionally.

In an an exclusive video for The Huffington Post‘s “Invisible Casualties” series, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Dr. Jill Biden to wholeheartedly and with compassion talk about the “unseen wounds of war” urging –  without compunction and a shred of irony – that those vets who do suffer from the terrible consequences of war and have suicidal thoughts as a result – make use of the various mental health services available to them – completely ignoring the fact that as we speak, her husband is planning yet another unjust war we, as a nation, can neither afford, nor have any business to engage in, and most importantly, do not want.

Shame has no boundaries. Even in the case of otherwise very smart, educated people like Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.

Dear Michelle, if you really care about those veterans, then maybe tonight,  when you take off your $600 a pair of Jimmy Choos and call it a day, you care to brief your hubby on not starting any more wars. Maybe you should advise him that sending young men and women off to fight in a couple of hellholes in the Middle East for oil, Israel and the military industrial complex, results in the kind of severe emotional and psychological trauma that makes them want to kill themselves; maybe you care to tell him that even though being caught up in that whole “patriotism” thing and putting ribbons on the backs of our SUVs was fun, maybe the best way to prevent emotional damage to people who  are sent to war and then want to go kill themselves as a result is to not send them in the first place.

Those brave men and women that have been used by this government, in the name of god and patriotism, to fight wars for power and money and other dubious reasons don’t need you to tell them to go seek help after they have been knowingly put in a situation that we all know causes those things. ifyou really want to help, then create a climate where they are not sent to those wars in the first place.

What Michelle Obama is doing is the equivalent of a company urging people that have become sick with cancer from its contamination of the water supply to please go seek medical help for the very contamination that they are continuing to cause.

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An Observation in Light of the Bradley Manning Verdict Tomorrow

Bradley Manning

Twenty Five year old Bradley Manning, who was held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for nine months after his arrest on May 29, 2010 and forced to sleep naked without pillows and sheets on his bed, and restricted from physical recreation or access to television or newspapers even during his one daily hour of freedom from his cell, all under the pretense that the private was a suicide risk, is awaiting his verdict tomorrow.

Manning was arrested in 2010 in Iraq and accused of providing WikiLeaks with 700,000 intelligence documents and videos, many of them classified and he was subsequently court-martialed.  He  faces life in prison if he is convicted of aiding the enemy, along with 21 other charges related to what has been deemed the largest leak of classified information in American history.

A few things:

Do people really believe it would be “just” or that “justice” would be served if this kid, who isn’t a violent offender, were put into jail for however many years where he will be violated and abused and psychologically damaged simply because, for whatever reason – naivety, idealism, youthful hopefulness, stupidity, patriotism, humanity  – he revealed our government’s dirty little deeds and lies and war mongering and a host of other undemocratic and dishonest practices that take place clandestinely in our names and which have serious consequences for us as well as others? Do people really believe that locking him up, as if he was the enemy,  would be the solution?

As if it wan’t bad and unconscionable enough that he had to endure the inhumane treatment in prison and as if it weren’t bad enough that he has already been robbed off three years of his life and youth, now we believe sending him to jail with a bunch of violent offenders and locking him up would be just?

Bradley Manning, in that case, would then be effectively nothing but a political prisoner.

Look, we all know what the verdict will be, and it won’t be just. And all those people who cite government and allegiance to government need to remember that a government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned. See: the United States government and its spying and our Congress members half of whom are millionaires and in bed with big industry that line their pockets and who are not accountable to anyone. Congress holds the purse, they can give themselves raises, they borrow money from social security and postal service retirement and never pay it back and then count it as part of the budget – as if they weren’t paid into systems – they set the laws, they chose when not to regard and obey certain laws as they see fit –  such as in the case of torture and the NSA spying and other civil rights violations – they approve secret courts that issue secret warrants and they are, in essence not accountable to anyone and thus notably ungoverned. And unless one these Congress members is caught doing it with someone who isn’t his wife, they are virtually untouchable too and stay in office forever so that they can continue to enrich themselves at our expense.

So let me ask again, who is the criminal here?

Transparency doesn’t always mean we need to know every little detail but we do need to know the motives of our leaders and the documents released by Manning and then WikiLeaks show us that the true face of government is very different from what we are shown. A third of your pay, if you are not part of the 1%, goes to that government, which uses it for reasons you don’t understand nor are likely to benefit from.

Finally, if we allow those that would give up their freedom to try to inform and bring understanding to the people of this nation regarding crimes being committed by the Government and the Military Industrial Complex to be found guilty of a crime then we, the citizens of this nation, deserve neither safety nor freedom.

Bradley Manning has attempted to enlighten the citizens of this nation…better put, he has enlightened the citizens of this nation and the citizens of the world as to how horribly wrong war and some acts committed during war can be and are. I mean the atrocities committed were not being committed against paper dolls, those are real human beings whose lives are just as important as the lives of the people in this nation.

Manning should be found not guilty and should be given an honorable discharge from the military instead of sentenced to jail for one year or 20 or 15 or 100.

Wouldn’t we be sending a better message to the world- both as a nation and as a peoples  – if we lived in a world where the judge gave Manning immunity because “the American people are not the enemy“? Instead, we live in a world in which someone like George Zimmerman murders an unarmed black teenager and gets away with it while Bradley Manning who exposes crimes committed by our government gets locked up. This is your America.

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Book Burning Is Usually Not a Sign You Have a Winning Argument

rolling-stone-magazine-Jahar-Tsarnaev-boston-bomber-cover-1…or any argument at all.

Case in point, the stink everyone is raising over Rolling Stone’s cover featuring the Boston Marathon bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Not content with simply not buying Rolling Stone’s latest issue, one man is actually calling for the magazine to be burned in public. How so very 1933 Hitler of him.

This strong, and frankly misplaced reaction of people is so random. I mean we had George W. Bush on the cover of many magazines before and Dick Cheney and those are war criminals who have more blood on their hands than the Boston marathon bombers could ever have. I mean let’s be real here. And no one ever protested that. No, they even voted the crooks back into office. How many lives have they destoryed, directly or indirectly, as a result of their policies – domestic and otherwise?  People are so easily swayed by titles and appearances. I mean shit, even Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize and he is still using drones that kill more innocent people than the bad guys.

There is overt violence, in the form of what the Tsarnaev brothers did, and then there is covert, structural violence, which is what Bush did with his two wars and atrocities under fraudulent premises, not to mention his devastating domestic policies that have lead to “too big to fail” and the meltdown with millions of people losing their jobs, livelihoods, retirements, futures and houses while the ones who helped destroy them were escorted out with fat bail out checks paid by the very tax payers they spit on.

Bush and the military industrial complex that line Congresses pockets lead us to wars that cost a lot of innocent people their lives. But no one sees that. Instead people are offended at a cover photo and want to burn it. Where is the rhyme and logic behind that?

Priorities people. This nation got none.  Everyone hates the cover…no one reads the article, how very….American.

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Food Stamps in the Way of Republican Plans to Increase Entitlements for Military

Paul Ryan’s plan for helping the poor is to cut programs for the poor.

Now this is the kind of logic and policy advise Mary Antoinette and Louis XIV could have used to prevent having their heads chopped off: in order to help the poor suffering from lack of opportunity and destitution, keep cutting programs aimed at helping them out of poverty. Now why didn’t they think of that back in 1789 when people were starving and instead said something intelligent like “let them eat cake.” This is much more effective. And smarter.

See folks, being poor is a pleasure and choice many people consciously and willingly make. As we all know, there is nothing more fun than being poor and struggling to make it and being at the mercy of anyone without much choice or autonomy. And yeah, nothing beats that $200 a month in food stamps, which means something like a whopping $7.21 a day for food. Now that is what I call taking advantage of the system. Those food stamp recipients are getting away with highway robbery. After all, there ain’t nothing better than sitting on your ass getting those great food stamps sent to you so you don’t starve.

And as we all also know, welfare recipients in a country with a practically non existent safety net already have it so good: they get to send their kids to top notch schools on tax payer dollars, they live in the best residences in the best neighborhoods in this country, also funded by tax dollars, they have the best health due to the immense and affordable health care resources at their disposal and let’s not even mention those food stamps they use to eat and not starve.

Since they do so much better than anyone else could ever imagine, we have to put a stop to that; we have to put a stop to these people living in the lap of luxury wanting food, health care and jobs. We need to do such things so we can give more tax cuts to people making $250k or more a year and millionaires, since clearly they need the money while these poor mooches don’t. They worked for it remember, while most people don’t work for it.

So what you live in a poor neighborhood and go to a shitty, underfunded poor public school with 100% racial minorities and metal detectors at the door; you can totally move upward if you put your mind to it. This is America.

You are hungry from not having enough money to pay for your food at the school cafeteria? Go ask daddy to dip into your trust fund and help you out (by the way you should remember this for when you get into that Ivy league school with those amazing grades you totally had the chance of getting in a school falling apart at the seams and metal detectors at the door – if you can’t pay for it, just ask your parents, silly). This is America.

The thing is, our military needs more money and we need to take that money off the back of those pesky food stamp recipients referenced above.  It is not enough that we have a military spending that is greater than that of the next ten nations combined. We need more.

Think of all the defense contracts we will get to issue to places like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon  – corporations that pay little to no taxes while posting record profits – to build more weapons and ships we don’t need, but which we can sell to other nations so they keep killing people we do not approve of.  Or heck even to people we do not know anything about. Business is business and war is great for business. Food stamps aren’t. Why spend money feeding the poor and children or any human beings for that matter if we could spend that money to wage wars and take lives? Don’t you know what America stands for? We are a peace loving nation.

You have to understand that the Republican efforts to slash the food stamp program is based upon the conservative belief that low paid soldiers will fight harder for their starving families.

Poor defense contractors not being able to make the payments on their yachts or refurnish their second dream homes on the private islands that they own, on the other hand, is the real tragedy here. It is a real shame to ask the rich to be responsible enough to provide food for the starving among us. We really would not want the rich to suffer because they deserve so much.

So what you have become ill and had to stop working, have no insurance because no one will insure you for any amount and lost everything – going from a $60,000 a year income to something like maybe $14,000 a year and now have to feed yourself on less than $200 a month in food stamps. So what you walk into the grocery store and eat a mostly non-meat diet since meat is so expensive for someone who has a less than $200 budget for food every month and become anemic. And so what the $14,000 you do make are considered “too much income” for all those cozy benefits they want to slash becasue “lazy” people do not know how to be responsbile and starve to death with dignity.

Go beg rich people to help out and be at their mercy for a loaf of bread, access to health care and a roof above your head. We do not need to have compassion and a safety net for our hard working fellow Americans in need of those benefits becasue of the policy decisions the likes of Ryan and Romney push for.

In addition to waging wars against a number of nations on our hit list of nations we do not approve of, it is especially fun to wage wars against decency, women, reason, Hispanics, blacks, freedom, gays, democracy, students and the 99%. Paul Ryan is a true Christian and human being in that regard.

Remember, we cannot place any burden on the wealthy. Sure their causes and policies are what created the recession but that doesn’t mean we cannot go after the elderly, the poor, the Medicare recipients, those damn starving parasites on food stamps,  hard working middle class wage earners and students to clean up and pay for the mess the wealthy created. This is totally what Jesus would have done.

Paul Ryan’s Christ Like Path to Prosperity Begins With Throwing Everyone but the 1% Under the Bus 

So as Paul Ryan suggests, to avert the above mentioned from happening,  cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps, in place of looming cuts to defense spending are necessary and just the first step because the buck doesn’t stop there.

Here are some of Paul Ryan’s truly humane and conscionable cuts everyone in the lowest tax bracket, hedgfund millionaires, the 1% and Jesus himself completely endorse:

1) Paul Ryan’s most recent budget proposal would save those making between $20,000 and $30,000 just $246 in taxes, compared to savings of $265,011 for those who make over $1 million, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

2)  The “Path to Prosperity” would cut $2.4 trillion from Medicaid and other health care programs for people with low or moderate incomes, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

3) Under Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” as many as 44 million fewer people would be covered under Medicaid, according to CBS News

4) Ryan would raise the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. If the Affordable Care Act was repealed, something Romney has pledged, that means many 65- and 66-year-olds would be left uninsured, theCBPP reports..

5) Under Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” senior citizens would have to pay as much as 68 percent of their health care coverage, up from 25 percent today,

6) Ryan’s proposed “Path to Prosperity” includes $134 billion in cuts to SNAP, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, CBS News reports.

7) A single mother of two working full time at the minimum wage would have her Child Tax Credit cut by more than $1,500, assuming she made $14,500 a year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

8) Compared to the most recent White House budget proposal, Ryan’s budget spends 33 percent less on education, training, employment and social services according to the Washington Post reports..

9) The current government worker pay freeze would be extended under the “Path to Prosperity,” meaning public-sector employees wouldn’t get a raise until at least 2015, the Washington Post reports

10) Ryan also plumps for his Medicare reforms as a solution to inequality. As you’ll remember, his budget proposes converting Medicare into a voucher system where seniors would be given a check and sent into a regulated private market to purchase insurance. The plan saves money because the check would grow at the rate of inflation, while health-care costs often increase three times faster than inflation, so, quite quickly, the check would cover only a small portion of an individual senior’s costs.

For rich seniors, this wouldn’t much matter. They could easily afford the cost of private insurance. For middle-income seniors, or lower-income seniors, it would be a disaster. Ryan offers them some subsidies, but not nearly enough. The cost of coverage would quickly outpace the resources many of them have to pay for it.

Republicans Aren’t Pro Life For No Reason

We are a government that deeply cares for its citizens, after all, we need them to pay taxes so the rich and corporations don’t have to, we need their kids as soldiers in wars that the rich kids don’t have to go to (that is, by the way where being anti abortion and “pro life” comes in handy *wink*), we need them as low wage workers in corporations whose stockholders and corporate executives are enriched by their labor, and if they get sick, hungry, disabled or become homeless well… tough luck. This is America, don’t you know.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are both deeply religious, god fearing  men to whom life is precious and begins at conception.  Exploiting people is the American Dream and the Christ like thing to do.

And if you end up not being able to pull yourself by the bootstraps you do not have, well then your demise is collateral damage for the wealthy and smug politicians who always get the best health care, nice pensions and benefits paid for by those warm bodies we call the middle class and the poor.

Do not mistake the GOP’s hostility toward the majority of the population as a sign of them not caring. They do. They want you to not abort a child so there is one more source of tax revenue for them to pay for all the programs that benefit the 1%. They need you to work long hours without benefits so they can keep getting richer at your expense. This is all part of the compassionate path Paul Ryan keeps endorsing.

So see you insolent fools, the real enemy here are starving people on food stamps and single mothers and college grads, not to mention the elderly. We do not want to create a society where people have rights, are well fed, get an education without going bankrupt, have access to quality and affordable health care and job prospects with fair wages and benefits. Such a world would make it so hard for the wealthy to keep exploiting everyone – which is their god given right after all. Remember, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god“…er, no wait.

Just remember that all the Republican policies referenced above  are nothing but a sign of love and care and respect for the American people and this grand nation, this beacon of light at the end of the tunnel, under the flag, guns and a cross.

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Making Excuses for Executioners and Murderers. Case in Point: Robert Bales

On March 11, 2012, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales  –  a worthless human being for whom pretty much every excuse under the sun is being currently used to justify the massacre he committed –  after drinking on a southern Afghanistan base, crept away to two slumbering villages overnight, shooting his victims and setting many of them on fire. Nine of the 16 killed were children and 11 belonged to one family.

Because the perpetrator is an American, true to form, every news media outlet in the US is making an array of excuses for this guy, from citing his personal money and job problems, to a concussive brain injury, alleged Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) brought upon by his three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as well as marital problems.  The man has not even been charged yet – as if there was some sort of a dispute exactly as to what he did – and in fact they are still trying to determine what the charges ought to be.

It is interesting to note that this violent murderer and executioner is being held in the same maximum security military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where they just a few months ago held Pfc. Bradley Manning, a non-violent individual whose only offense allegedly is leaking materials documenting war crimes, among other things, to WikiLeaks.

Bale’s defense attorney, John Henry Browne, 65,  whose clients range from serial killer Ted Bundy to Colton Harris-Moore, is said to probably not try to argue for a complete acquittal of Bales but instead work to ratchet down the charges. A full acquittal would require that Browne convince a military jury that his client “was unable to perceive the wrongfulness of his or her acts.”  More likely, Bales’ defense will argue that his client’s acts “were not premeditated.” That could possibly expose him to lesser offenses, such as second-degree murder or even manslaughter.

I must say that the thought of this executioner and murderer getting off the hook and being set free with something like second degree murder or manslaughter after shooting and setting on fire nearly a dozen children and women turns my stomach and makes me lose any kind of vestigial hope I may have had in humanity.

When the Whole Country Makes Excuses for Murderers and Executioners

As his legal preparations get under way, the news media, Bale’s family and friends as well a colleagues and every commentator in this nation are working hard to paint him as the real victim here under the guise of everything they could come up with doing a quick internet search for “getting murderers acquitted”.  As if what Bales did really couldn’t be true and something else was going on there. Everything but personal accountability.

And the only thing that seems to surprise and pain his family is not the fact that 16 people were brutally killed and torched at his hands, but how such a sweet, dedicated little golden boy who did such unique things such as being a high school student once and engaging in extracurricular activities, could have possibly done such a thing. They are said to stand behind the man they know as a “devoted husband, father and dedicated member of the armed services.” It is almost like children who just cannot believe Santa Clause isn’t real.

No tactics aimed at evoking sympathy for this murderer are spared. His victims remain faceless and nameless, seen as nothing but a bunch of dirty Arabs and terrorists no one cares about (note to the reader: Afghans are not Arabs). Bales is remembered fondly by everyone; neighbors recite his “gregarious, chatty and engaged” attitudes as a teen, his army colleagues describe a sunny man, using words like “solid,” and offering up photos of him wearing a broad grin, and his commanding officer Maj. Brent Clemmer describes him as “a really good” soldier and “one of those guys who was always positive”. In fact, in what appears to be a moment of keen character judgment, Clemmer once nominated Bales to receive a medal of valor for his conduct in the battle of Najaf in 2007.

With the high esteem everyone seems to have for this guy it surprises me they haven’t put a medal on him already.

Needless to say I am pissed.

I really can’t believe how the news media in this country and journalists and this guy’s friends and family and pretty much everyone it seems are trying to make excuses and almost feel sorry for him: “he had money problems“, “he had job problems“, “poor baby was under stress“, “he once saved people “, “he was such a nice guy“, “he was deployed to war” blah blah blah. Are you kidding me? I don’t care what your problems are and what stress you are under, you don’t go torching children and innocent civilians.

We all have problems, we are all not feeling great; in fact, not feeling great is the reality for everyone after childhood ends.  In recent years, a lot of people lost their homes and retirements and livelihood; we are all somehow having issues of varying degrees – from the traumatic and serious to the mundane –  but we don’t go on killing sprees setting people on fire.

Behaving Like the Enemy

If the situation had been the other way around, as in an Afghan soldier had torched and killed over a dozen of American children and families, you bet that no one in the US news media would be sitting here reciting to us the story behind the Afghan soldier’s childhood and tough personal circumstances in attempts to evoke sympathy for him or make his atrocities more “understandable”.

But since the perpetrator is American, everyone is making excuses for him instead of seeing this as what it is: the cold blooded massacre of innocent people by an individual who belongs locked up for the rest of his life for his crimes.

From citing the military industrial complex, the way our troops and veterans are treated, to the Bush administration as well as the rationale behind the war – all legitimate points on their own merit – everyone seems to think that it is everyone else’s fault but his.

While it is important to take the mental state of a person committing a murder into account, in a gruesome case like this and of such proportions where the facts speak for themselves, it is seems asinine to be employing the cowardly tactics of defense attorneys who represent the Ted Bundys and Scott Petersons of this world to somehow absolve this guy of any wrong doing.

Glimpses of a Darkness in Bale’s personal life

A New York Times article shows that Bales was not really the stable, swell and upright citizen everyone is falsely painting  him out to be.  Bales’s past includes an arrest on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a woman, which was dropped after he completed anger-management counseling; an accident in which he overturned his car, something he attributed to falling asleep at the wheel; and an accumulation of rejections and disappointments.

He also seemed to be enjoying his deployments. During his June 2006 to September 2007 deployment to Iraq, Bales injured his foot. When he returned to the Tacoma area, he was limping, neighbors said, but also working hard to rehabilitate his foot because he wanted to return to full duty. “He was a gung-ho Army guy,” said Tim Burgess, 59, a retired trucker and warehouse worker who lived next door to Bales at the time. “He still wanted to see action even though he had been wounded.”

By August 2009, he was gone again. It was a quieter tour, with more nation building than combat. In a Facebook exchange with a childhood friend, Steven Berling,  Bales called the deployment “boring” and “pretty dumb,” then lamented the lack of fighting. “Giving money to Hagji instead of bullets just don’t seem right,” he wrote, apparently misspelling Hajji, a term used by soldiers, often pejoratively, in referring to Arab people.

Bales does not strike one as a peaceful non-violent man or as someone suffering from PTSD. He appears to be harboring a history of violent tendencies and disdain for the citizens of the countries he is deployed to.

Shame on America and everyone who attempts to make excuses for murderers and executioners, such as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales: former high school teenager with hobbies, loving husband and father (except for that time he assaulted a woman),  patriot to his country, always eager for the next deployment; loser first class on all other accounts, murderer and executioner of children, women and other innocent civilians.

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