Beyond Sick: Canada Mourns A Fallen Psycho Warrior

The American way of war has come to Canada, and it's incredible what a dose of manure can do, even in the cold!

Here's a case study in the process by which a government can take a menace to society, put him in a uniform, and ship him halfway around the world where he can be a menace to some other society until he gets himself killed there and comes home a national hero.

You can read the rest here and/or comment below.


newjesustimes's picture

great writing

as usual!



Actually, if you go back a

Actually, if you go back a bit in history, up to and including WW2, Canadians were generally more than happy to jump into the fray in the defence of the British Empire.
A brief respite, followed by current service to the American Empire.

quite true

but the hero worship was never like this!

A Lifetime Of Propaganda

WP Great article.
I've been thinking about that lately. People leading their entire lives based on propaganda.
Have also been wondering whats up with Afghanistan and exactly why the US is there apart from the recent pipeline so this is helpful. Any good video links would be cold. Just youtubed afghanistan but as per usual the video I found (secrets of the CIA) missed he bit about how the US baited the USSR into that war. Am really tired of having to settle for half the truth and wish you and Chris Floyd would get into documentary production except that might be a bit too dangerous. Am relieved I won't go to the grave in complete ignorance and that there are some people (not very many) in the world who will tell the truth as best they can.

No Immediate Plans

I have no immediate plans to "go to the grave" any time soon.

From "Casablanca"..

To paraphrase Rick Blaine-"Yesterday he was a drunk driver,looking to up the body count in the local graveyard, today he is among the "Honored Dead".
Great piece of writing, thanks for all your efforts.

spiv's picture

War and propaganda...

Being constantly bombarded by the pure propaganda spewed forth by our mainstream media (in my case here in the UK) I sometimes start to feel I am the only person in the world sickened by all this. I feel alone, frustrated, filled with pure anger directed at Blair, Brown, Hoon and the many politicians (including Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and others in the US and other countries) who have ordered the invasions of foreign countries under the veil of lies. I just want these politicians to be rounded up and charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, as I can see no difference whatsoever between these criminals and Hitler and his regime.

Yet everyone around me, including my own family, just seem to go about their lives without a thought - war is all quite normal, as normal as brushing their teeth, as normal as that little report in the middle of the news that another 'brave soldier' has been killed. And no-one wants to discuss the real issues. Is it just me, am I a lunatic, have I just 'lost the plot'??

Then I come on your blog and realise that there are many of us who feel the same, and it lifts my spirits. Keep up the great work. One day, in the distant future, the children of our grandchildren will be learning, in their schoolbooks, of the crimes, the rising up of the people, the struggle to change public opinion, and, I would like to feel, the hangings of the war criminals.

You Got That Right...

"yet everyone around me, including my own family, just seem to go about their lives without a thought - war is all quite normal, as normal as brushing their teeth" said a "mouthful"...maybe it's the fluoride in the water and in the toothpaste? Maybe it's all the tons of pharmaceuticals we're ingesting from the water and subliminal flashes of "it's OK" from da newz. I only know of one household in my neighborhood that have their sunglasses on. Shocked the crap out of me while at a party she said out loud "but where did the 2.3 trillion go on September 10th"? I ALMOST dropped my beer. good job Sure as the sun came up this morning there were snickers and sighs and mean looks all around. That poor woman. All alone in a house full of vultures and rednecks, ready to choke the life out of her with a 'murican flag. This is where we must act and show support for the few. I've lost many friends over this very subject and I will continue to lose friends as long as I speak my mind and what I know to be the honest truth. I am not one of those people who shout and scream their arguments at each other, I did my part and studied psychology and debate before I ever open my mouth. The minute you loose your cool is the minute you loose the debate. This is what really gets under the skin; grace under pressure.
It really is nice to know that someday this truth will come out and all the pressure will be released. I don't know when or if it will even be in our lifetime, but it will come. Just like in physics, energy is never lost it is only transferred. The pressure will be released into those that have mocked us.
Peace be with you.

Thanks again WP great

Thanks again WP great writing, like the snark.
I too feel Like spiv, why doesn't anyone else see what is happening. Frustration reigns!

We have lost 5 soldiers in Afghanistan, haven't seen anything quite so' propagandish' , mostly young family men from the SAS.


The martial hero

This piece is a wonderful illumination of the incessant media spin in support of the war machine. I don't know how you keep up the energy!

It also hints at the cultural and sociobiological inputs that for the most part go publicly unexamined, except perhaps within the walls of academia. But you may be sure that they are being considered within the offices of the advertising agencies hired by the Pentagon to handle public relations.

The military maintains a stable of sociologists and anthropologists whose focus is not upon, say, the ways of Afghan tribes but upon us.

In that regard you may find interesting this story in Monday's NY Times that appeared, not on the front page, but as usual in the business section--

A few excerpts--

FOR the last two years, the Army has presented itself to potential recruits as the way to become “Army strong.” Beginning on Tuesday, Veterans Day, the Army will seek to make its pitch stronger by making the campaign more relevant to the desired audience of Americans ages 17 to 24.

One new feature on a redesigned version of the Army Web site ( called “Straight From Iraq” states, “Now you can find out what it’s really like to be deployed in the Middle East from the men and women stationed there.”

The goal is to provide those considering the Army — along with parents and others who influence their decisions — with “verifiable information about what being a soldier is really like, what combat is really like,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commanding general of the Army Accessions Command in Fort Monroe, Va., which is overseeing recruitment.

The changes in the “Army strong” campaign place more emphasis on the Internet, event marketing and other methods that connect with young Americans on a closer, more personal level.

The changes include an additional theme for the campaign, “Strength like no other,” which will appear along with “Army strong”; a focus on the skills that recruits can learn in the Army, to make a stronger case about how serving can bring personal and career success later in life; and new information about becoming an officer.

The “Army strong” campaign is produced by nine agencies, eight of them part of the McCann Worldgroup division of the Interpublic Group of Companies. The Army ad budget from 2006 through 2011 is estimated at $1.35 billion.

Here's the part that really dovetails with your post--

In addition to the new content on, there will be new TV commercials, meant to help drive traffic to the Web site. The first ones compare the Army to a company, a team and a school by showing young men and women in settings like an office building, a gym and a campus. The scenes shift into scenes of soldiers performing military tasks like marching and saluting the flag.

In the gym commercial, young athletes are seen working out, then stacking sandbags. “There is a team like no other team in the world,” says the narrator, the actor Gary Sinise, who took over the narration work for the campaign last year from the actor Josh Charles.

“When they raise their flag in victory, you will know what these men and women are fighting for,” Mr. Sinise says, “and you will feel fortunate to be counted among them.”

In the office commercial, young workers in business attire suddenly start climbing walls. “This company is filled with dreamers,” Mr. Sinise says, “but they also have courage, strength and honor, and when they leave this company it will be with a thousand opportunities and the respect of millions.”

At least you get a parade.

And no stone is left unturned--

The other McCann Worldgroup agencies working on the campaign are: Casanova Pendrill, for ads aimed at Hispanics; the IW Group, for ads aimed at Asian-Americans; Momentum, for event marketing and sponsorships; MRM Worldwide, for the Web site, digital marketing and direct marketing; NAS Recruitment, for medical recruiting; Universal McCann, for media planning and buying; and Weber Shandwick, for public relations.

Another agency, Carol H. Williams Advertising, is creating ads aimed at African-American recruits.

thanks, Handy Fuse

that's really ... um ... good to know! ;-(

Charlie Wilson's War

As I was reading your account of Afghanistan, I was thinking of the movie Charlie Wilson's War and how different it is from your account. In Wilson's War, the US are heroes saving Afghanistan.

I also thought of A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise asks Nicholson for the truth.

It turns out they were both written by Aaron Sorkin who also wrote The West Wing.

Comparing Wikipedia's description of Charlie Wilson's War to your description and ruminating on the "truth" speech in A Few Good Men is a bit sickening. Sorkin tells partial truths which masquerade as full truths in which liberal values are well represented and acted upon. Just more two-party diversions.

Wikipedia description of Charlie's War:

A friend and romantic interest, Joanne Herring, encourages Wilson to do more to help the Afghans, and persuades Wilson to visit the Pakistani leadership. The Pakistanis complain about the inadequate support of the U.S. to oppose the Soviets, and they insist that Wilson visit a major Pakistan-based Afghan refugee camp. Deeply moved by their misery and determination to fight, Wilson is frustrated by the regional CIA personnel's insistence on a low key approach against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Wilson returns home to lead an effort to substantially increase funding to the mujahideen.

Aaron Sorkin

I hate to ask, but: Where did Aaron Sorkin come from?

I don't simply mean "what is his citizenship?" and "what is his religion?" ... although those would be interesting questions ...

I mean "where did he start out and how did he get to where he is now?"

I tend to ignore writers of fiction most of the time, so I have no idea. What's his background? Does anybody know? Has he always been a great big gatekeeper? And is it true that the character of Josh Lyman on West Wing was modeled after Rahm Emanuel?

Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski

The CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan

Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser

Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

thanks ... and here's more:

from March of 2008:

Horrifying: Obama's Brilliant Speech Of Hope And Unity Scares Me Half To Death

QUOTE (from WP):

Barack Obama doesn't want you to know any of this. He can't allow the topic to enter into the national discourse. The reasons are many, but one is enough: The creation of the mujahadeen was the brainchild of Barack Obama's foreign policy advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

What was he thinking? Wikipedia puts it this way:

QUOTE (from Wikipedia):

In 1998, Brzezinski was interviewed by the French newspaper Nouvel Observateur on the topic of Afghanistan. He revealed that CIA support for the mujaheddin had started before the 1979 Soviet invasion and was indeed designed to prompt a Soviet invasion, leading them into a bloody conflict comparable to America's experience in Vietnam. This was referred to as the "Afghan Trap". Brzezinski viewed the end of the Soviet empire as worth the cost of strengthening militant Islamic groups.

ENDQUOTE (from Wikipedia)

The text of the interview is here; this is the most interesting passage:

QUOTE (from

INT: How did you interpret Soviet behavior in Afghanistan, such as the April revolution, the rise of... I mean, what did you think their long-term plans were, and what did you think should be done about it?

ZB: I told the President, about six months before the Soviets entered Afghanistan, that in my judgment I thought they would be going into Afghanistan. And I decided then, and I recommended to the President, that we shouldn't be passive.

INT: What happened?

ZB: We weren't passive.

INT: But at the time...


INT: Right, describe your reaction when you heard that your suspicions had been fully justified: an invasion had happened.

END QUOTE (from gwu)

See how it works? We weren't passive. But we won't talk about what we did while we weren't being passive -- while we were trying to provoke an invasion!

In any case, on July 3, 1979, U.S. President Carter signed a presidential finding authorizing funding for anticommunist guerrillas in Afghanistan. The Soviets invaded in December.

QUOTE (gwu again):

INT: Reflecting on that whole situation in Afghanistan, do you think it was worth all the suffering that was involved?

ZB: I think the Soviets made a tragic mistake, and therefore it wasn't worth their while to go in. I think it would have been a tragedy if we had allowed them to overrun the Afghans.


In other words, Americans recruited terrorists in a foreign country[*], armed and trained them and then infiltrated them into a second, so they could attack a third. And they never thought anything of it -- as if it were somehow America's divine right to foment all the terrorism it likes in foreign countries. Pakistan and Afghanistan [*] are still suffering daily from the madness unleashed there almost 30 years ago by Brzezinski and his "human rights" president, Jimmy Carter. But now the facts of this "misadventure" -- of which its architects are still quite proud -- don't belong anywhere in our national history, except possibly under the rug.

[* The preceding paragraph was clean and clear-cut but overly simplified in several important ways. Terrorists destined for Afghanistan were recruited from all over the Middle East, not just from Pakistan. Many of them were sent to America for training. And, of course, the list of countries which are still suffering daily from the madness thus unleashed is much longer than I have indicated. For more details on this part of the story, see my "other other blog", Visas For Terrorists.]


(I used to know how to format this stuff here but I don't remember. Sorry about that!)

spiv's picture

BBC Have Your Say

Interesting reaction on the BBC's "Have Your Say" page regarding public attitudes towards pulling UK troops out of Afghanistan.


I've just done a little

I've just done a little "tour" to verify an allegation I'd come across years ago; the claim that the pro-Soviet Afghan government, which came to power in 1978 through a coup, had called upon the Brezhnev administration for military assistance to help combat right-wing Islamic fundamentalists [Taliban] who were preparing to topple the emerging government.

And, well, there seems to be a good deal of truth to the claim. The episode coincides with Carter's Operation Cyclone, which may have been a 'bear trap' from the US's standpoint, but the Soviets felt they had been invited to help support a fellow socialist government. -- the common assumption that the USSR "invaded" Afghanistan with malicious intent is to miss an essential part of the picture.

[quote] In 1978, the U.S. apparatus found itself in accord with the Muslim clergy, landlords, and monarchists who opposed the pro-Soviet revolution in Afghanistan, which introduced land reform, trade unions, and education for women.

The CIA abetted the coming together in Afghanistan of rightwing Islamic groups from all over the world, including Osama bin Laden and his followers. It then funded and trained these outfits to fight a civil war that reduced the country to rubble.
By the time the war was over, with the Taliban in power, it was clear that Islamic religious extremists were determined to fill the vacuum of populist leadership in the Middle East. [/quote] link

Yet, by all standards, things were looking up for Afghanistan in the mid-1970's. The king, Zahir Shah, had been deposed, women had acquired unprecedented freedom, education was improving, the economy was picking up. And then, western powers swooped in to cripple Afghanistan, once again!, for the most vile of commercial interests.

In sum, what I hadn't understood were the strong socialist underpinnings of the 1965-1979 emergence of Afghanistan, as they were taking hold, as well, further west, in the post-WWII Arab world. That progressive movement was replaced, through manipulation, by ersatz religious extremism, which is about as contrary to the nature of Islam as anything can be.


To those who express bewilderment at the US/Nato's ongoing acts of violence in Afghanistan, it is, as ever, expression of a devious geopolitical game for wealth acquisition. Take a look at what has been going on in Africa. Same phenomenon, same process.

Thank you, WP, for all that you do, but most particularly for your reporting on Afghanistan.


That's a great comment on the history of Afghanistan, going back farther than I usually go, and I appreciate your words of support, too.

From an even wider viewpoint, US opposition to social progress in Afghanistan made the Afghan revolution more pro-Soviet than it otherwise would have been. And that's been a standard feature of American foreign policy for a long time: any land-reform or pro-peasant political force of any kind, any popular government or movement anywhere in the world during the Cold War was necessarily pro-Soviet, because the Americans were targeting them, and they needed help. Where else could they turn for help?

It was a deliberate ploy by American Cold Warriors to generate enemies, in my view.

Americans would foment nationalist revolution (in a place like Cuba, for example, or Vietnam). When the revolutionaries won, they would turn to the USA for help, but the Americans would tell them to get lost. So then they would turn to the USSR for help, and as soon as they did, the Cold Warriors would say, "Look, they're cozying up to the Russians." And then we'd be invading, or subverting in half a dozen other ways with a view to subsequent regime change.

I could go on and on but I won't. Not this time.

"One more ticket and no more

"One more ticket and no more Afghanistan..."
Sounds to me like the guy wanted out of the army and the motorcycle, whether consciously or unconsciously, was his way of trying to get out.

Get out of what?

Get out of what?

yeah, sure!!

... and that's why when they told him "one more ticket and no Afghanistan", he put his bike AWAY!

I get it! He was trying to use the bike TO GET OUT OF GOING to Afghanistan, and that's why when they threatened him HE BURNED HIS TIRES AND PUT HIS BIKE IN STORAGE!!!

Tell me another lie. I'm all ears.

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