Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us


This is the US Air force in Japan, receiving their commander Donald Trump

These are freaking soldiers. Holding, to a man, holding their phones to record the speech. Like teenagers on a Justin Bieber concert. Like old housewives listening to Hillary Clinton. Fucking Soldiers of the Biggest Empire in the Fucking World. The occupation garrison in a very important vassal. Can't even stand still like men and listen to their commander in chief.

Sad. Just sad. And Trump should be ashamed of himself for not telling them to put down their damn phones. Very sad.


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  • Which raises the question: after two centuries in which multiple religious and ethnic factions tried to take over the Western Roman empire and restore its brand name to their own benefit, perhaps they realized around 476 AD that it was just too rotten to be of any use, and let it go? Certainly everyone wants to take over the American empire these days, in lieu of looking to defeat it.

    • Where have you been? "Defeat the American Empire" is exactly the typical leftard/libertard/paleotard position. Nrx is about the only ideological movement that both openly admits America is an empire and wants to reform it into something worth preserving.

      • Huh? Who said that? I certainly don't want to preserve the US empire in any shape or form. I hope every single one of your troops abroad goes back home, thank you. Beyond that I wish you the best.

        • I know you don't really identify as Nrx anymore, but preserving the western power structure has become the Social Matter line. I for one would much rather live in a world dominated by a Neo-Roman America than one broken into a bunch of impotent little nation states. Even if Europe goes full nationalist, Europeans are simply too decadent to fend for themselves. A fractured America would consist of Brazilified (at best) coastal states and impoverished flyoverstans run by cucks (for a while) until they're Brazilified, too. If you want to live in a West that remains great, you need the Empire.

          • I have friends in Social Matter and I don't think they agree Europe must remain an American colony. If you want me to not support the breaking up of the USA I can agree to that.

            • If Europe isn't going to remain an American colony then Europeans need their own empire. A Europe of small, weak nation states will end up dominated by the U.S. or Russia one way or another.

          • Can the U.S. afford the empire? Is it not too expensive to maintain? Besides, in relative terms, was Rome's rival Persia not weaker than America's rival China? (Rome's barbarian foes were stronger, but I do not speak of barbarians here.) I am skeptical that even a non-Brazilified U.S. could maintain the empire. Neither the British nor the Spanish could. Neither can the Americans. The burden is too great. The U.S. empire is real, alas, for now; but it is a pale, sickly thing compared to the great empires of the past. The trickle of tribute into Washington is too weak, for Washington has too many opportunistic dependents abroad and too few genuine tributaries. Arguably, America's chief tributary has been China. If so, the analogy thus fails, for Rome maintained her empire less with financial instruments (fiat money) and more with legions. Washington is a faux Rome. America's Asian dependents would seem to face a choice: arrange their own security at their own expense; or fall under Chinese domination. America is not dependable. NRx is lovable but, I think, mistaken. Most readers of this blog will live to see the end of the empire. More thought should be given to what comes next.

            • "The U.S. empire is real, alas, for now; but it is a pale, sickly thing compared to the great empires of the past." Or it's not really an empire. These word games with "empire" drive me nuts. "If you don't think the U.S. is an empire, then you're BLIND." "Alright, except it's not and never has been all that much like what we mean when we think of empires." "Right, that's because it's a weak, sick, stupid empire." "Then we can we just not call it an empire?" "Ha! How naive!"

              • The Roman empire before Docletian was also not a formal empire. It wasn't the Roman state getting tribute, it was Augustus and his retinue getting personal revenue from vassals abroad and using that to manage Roman politics. The US also doesn't get tribute as a state, but different private and public actors in the US have different vassals abroad from which they get money and advantages.

                • Maybe so. Interesting. I admit that, so far, I tend to think as Wency does, but this does not make you wrong. If a professional economist wanted to publish something really interesting, then he could account tribute against imperial expenses (or as Wency might say, against not-imperial expenses), along with forecasts of future profitability. As far as I know—which is not very far—America's tribute comes largely in the form of perverse U.S. trade deficits denominated in fiat U.S. dollars. America's imperial expenses would be largely military and naval. An American, I do not personally particularly want the empire, anyway; but that's just me. (I have read your words regarding "private and public actors" but cannot comment because I do not know the actors. I had forgotten about Diocletian. Good point.)

                  • Also, one would need to show that the trade-deficit tribute—that is, the international use of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, which use incidentally allows the U.S. Federal Reserve System to liquidate and export the cost of America's trade deficits—were causally linked to the military and naval expenses. Maybe the tribute and expenses are indeed causally linked, but that they were firmly causally linked is not obvious to me. In short, though NRx earns extra credit for style, my boxing scorecard has Wency ahead of NRx on points.

                • In a monarchy or dictatorship, the state and the personal household of the ruler are commingled concepts. During the middle ages, was the title King of England worth all that much compared to being the landlord of the royal demesne? Still, there are characteristics of the early Roman Empire that are not fully Imperial, which is why it's sometimes called the Principate. And the whole argument for the U.S. being an empire, as Howard is saying, seems to be that the dollar is the reserve currency. Is there any other economic benefit that you can point to? And a benefit that flows one way, not things that could just be called "trade". Meanwhile, a lot of things that look sort of imperial are done by other nations. We have megacorporations that do international deals and buy up natural resources, but then so do other countries, countries with no military clout to speak of. Our military doesn't seem to give companies like Exxon any particular advantage over, say, Statoil. There were reserve currencies before. Before the dollar, it was the British Pound. I really think when we refer to the British Empire, we should be talking about the places that were actually part of the Empire, maybe including a few places like Egypt that were dominated by it. But by the "U.S. is Empire" definition, the British Empire might include a lot of other places: any place where the British had some kind of influence on policy and benefited from their reserve currency status. This probably includes parts of Europe. Maybe even France.

            • Many Americans profit handsomely from their empire, likely including you. Do you think America would maintain its economic hegemony without political hegemony? True, the American empire as presently constituted is hugely inefficient and wasteful, but that's because the empire is poorly run, not because empire is inherently burdensome. It was the same story for the late Spanish/British empires. But Rome really does make a much better comparison than the old Euro colonial states. America is in that same awkward phase Rome was in between the Gracchi and Augustus. Political systems designed to govern yeomen farmers warp into grotesque shapes when used to administer world powers. Returning to a nation of yeomen farmers is just as futile for Americans as it was for the Romans. The only possible futures for America are the same as they were for the Rome of Caesar's day: radical restructuring and formalization of power or implosion.

  • they're kids. they're excited to be led by a non-pussy. imagine having to sit through an obama diversity speech all the while knowing he's restricting your ability to win? also, they're kids.

          • I have no doubt that if a proper army, masculine and effective, becomes necessary to the continued perpetuation of USG or USG's sovereign power, or sufficiently in USG's or USG's sovereign power's utilitarian interests to possess, then such an army will be deliberately and systematically produced — just as such an army was produced for each World War.

          • Probably it should. But that starts with recognizing manhood in 14-year-olds, and we're very far away from that, now.

      • Yes they are. we don't encourage young men to mature, we actively discourage it in fact and this includes many military people Its political (kids are easier to boss about for the power hungry and control ) and economic (we don't have useful work for young men) Also most soldier and airmen in safe garrisons are hardly in real danger, its not that different than doing any other job, its much safer and structured than being a store manager for lower ranks

        • Are they so safe Mr. Prosper? Those soldiers and airmen may be safe enough in Japan garrisons for the present but they're subject to extreme danger at any moment, have sworn oaths voluntarily to do exactly that so the store manager doesn't have to and are also frequently deployed to places that are more dangerous than your average store... As far as the lower ranks being in less danger that's directly contradicted by the casualty figures for some time. They're in more danger unless they're Army or Marine Junior officers who have been quite decently dying at the honorable rate. As opposed to the higher ranks which have not. As far as maturity if that room were called to attention it would be as silent as a church and not a soul moving. They were placed at ease and encouraged - as they have been since the dawn of war - to cheer their commander.

          • I don't disagree with you actually though unless you are deployed in a war zone, being in the military is a pretty safe job. Thus the phrase safe garrisons. People in the gulf and Afghanistan face danger though deaths are around 7% of those of Vietnam in a similar time frame . Maiming are a lot higher though.

  • This sounds a lot like what Larry Auster would say in reaction to the same image, and I mean that as a compliment.

      • See above. They were placed at ease and cheered on their commander. They were undoubtedly called to attention first. Of course I can't tell now if Spandrell is sarc-ing now or not...but I still think he is...

  • Interesting. When it came to motivating men, Wellington despised Napoleon's "theatrics" and regarded British soldiers as "scum". One time, the men cheered as Wellington rode by - he was not pleased with this outburst of emotion. He said, in effect, that if they cheer when they are happy they will yell when they are not. The British flogged their men. Napoleon was different and did all sorts of things things to gin up morale (inspections, conversations with rankers, jokes, rewards etc). What Trump is doing is building up morale. He may need their support....... Remember, in a democracy you need to be popular.

    • I'm not against cheering and having fun; I'm against recording a fucking speech on a smartphone. Let them grab beers and sing with Trump that they'll put Hillary in prison. But put your damn phones in your pockets and stand like men.

    • The canard about Wellington calling his men ‘scum’ is quoted out of context. He was making a point, going on to say, ‘It is only wonderful that we should be able to make so much out of them afterwards.’ On another occasion, after describing them as ‘the very scum of the earth’, he continued, ‘you can hardly conceive such a set brought together, and it really is wonderful that we should have made them the fine fellows they are’ (Earl Stanhope, Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington. 1831–1851, 14,18). With no such point to make, he opined differently, as in an 1812 letter to the Earl Bathurst where he described his men as ‘the finest and bravest soldiers in the world’ (The Despatches of Field-Marshal The Duke of Wellington, 324). As for flogging: hard men, harsh times. Wellington’s army was composed mainly from the dregs of society—not so dissimilar to today as it is rarely society’s elites enlisting in the ranks (his courage is admirable to say the least, but it is disappointing that this brave son of an RAF Air Commodore (NATO OF-6), languishes as a lancejack (NATO OR-3)). Is flogging really much worse than removing a soldier from duties for months at a time by imprisoning him? Anyone acquainted with old soldiers from the pre-PC British Army will often hear tales of NCOs offering erring soldiers a choice between a punch or going before the CO—and every time they chose being punched. Better a quick punch than going on CO’s Orders and ending up with a stiff fine, a month of show parades or a week in the guardroom nick. And did it work? One need only compare the conduct of the French army in Spain with the British in France. There is a reason there is no French equivalent of Goya—no atrocities to paint. And for all his patrician aloofness, his men appreciated him: after the Battle of Albuera (1811) where William Beresford commanded, Wellington visited some of the wounded, telling them, ‘Oh, old 29th, I am sorry to see so many of you here’; and the reply was received, ‘Oh, my lord, if you had only been with us, there would not have been so many of us here’ (Peninsular Sketches, vol.2, 331). While the bourgeois Napoleon airily dismissed the French dead after Austerlitz (1805) with the comment, ‘the women of Paris can replace those men in one night’ (Bernard Cornwell, Waterloo, 23), blue-blooded Wellington lamented after Waterloo: ‘My heart is broken by the terrible loss I have sustained in my old friends and companions and my poor soldiers. Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won. The bravery of my troops has hitherto saved me from the greater evil; but to win such a battle as this of Waterloo, at the expense of so many gallant friends, could only be termed a heavy misfortune but for the result to the public.’ (W.H. Davenport Adams, Memorable Battles in English History, 400) In stark contrast, refusing Metternich’s peace proposal in 1813, Napoleon said, ‘I grew up on the field of battle. A man like me cares little for the lives of a million men’ (Frank McLynn, Napoleon: A Biography, 558). Give me a blue-blooded patrician who would not dream of drinking with his men, who would have a soldier flogged for failing to salute, but who actually cares about their lives any day; as opposed to a nouveau puissant upstart who will slap you on the shoulders with a smile then sacrifice you and a million others on the altar of his vanity and ambition.

      • You are quite right. Point was that in the system that Wellington worked in he could afford to be aloof - that and the fact he was not also the leader of the country. The remarks you made about "taking a punch" are interesting and probably true across the board. In fact, we support the return of corporal and capital punishment. We will have more to say about Wellington later on our blog because, in fact, Wellington was an extraordinary man - one who has much to teach us.

        • Being leader, believed Wellington, was Bonaparte’s ‘one prodigious advantage—he had no responsibility—he could do whatever he pleased; and no man has ever lost more armies than he did. Now with me the loss of every man told. I could not risk so much; I knew that if I ever lost five hundred men without the clearest necessity, I should be brought upon my knees to the bar of the House of Commons.’ (Stanhope, Conversations, 31). Even the Tsar of all the Russias was more accountable than Bonaparte: with Alexander I’s father (Paul I) and his grandfather (Peter III) assassinated, he would have known that any domestic or foreign policy perceived as wrong—be it warring unsuccessfully or submitting to avoid war—would see the same fate visited on him. WRT to corporal punishment in the military and get away from the dreaded pseudonymous personal anecdote, Lt.-Col. W. Gordon-Alexander in his Recollections of a Highland Subaltern; during the Campaigns of the 93rd Highlanders in India, under Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde, in 1857, 1858 and 1859 (1898) describes a soldier receiving ‘fifty lashes for assaulting a non-commissioned officer’ at the end of which the man defiantly shouted, ‘Dae ye ca’ that a flogging? Hoots! I’ve got mony a warse licking frae ma mither!’ Gordon-Alexander continued: ‘Moreover, both the man whose case I have cited and two other men in my own company alone, were eventually all flogged into becoming exemplary characters, all three men having died more than ten years after the period I am referring to in possession of several good-conduct badges—one of them obtained four, I think—reformed, steady characters, as well as the clean, smart soldiers they had always been. If corporal punishment had been abolished at that time, all of these men would, during the earlier years of their service, have been shot for gross insubordination in the field, where the only substitute for flogging in every army in Europe is death.’ (pp.5,6–7) In comparison, the current sentence in HMF for ‘violence against a superior officer’ is up to 10 years imprisonment, and the ‘Guidance on Sentencing in the Court Martial, Version 4’ suggests they will hammer any poor sod finding himself in front of them on this charge: ‘Unlawful violence displays a lack of discipline and can corrode unit cohesiveness and operational effectiveness, particularly when directed at Service colleagues. Deterrent sentences are often necessary particularly where violence is associated with excess alcohol. … Where the violence is directed at superiors … the aggravation may justify heavier sentences than the SC guidelines …’ (p.39) This site, if trustworthy, purports to reproduce a 1946 Daily Mail article describing two of Orde Wingate’s Chindits being caned. Trying to find details of Wingate allowing corporal punishment under his command (cf. Royle, Trevor. Orde Wingate: A Man of Genius 1903–1944. 1995. Barnsley: Pen and Sword, 2010), all I could find was that site. It at least has the ring of truth: I can well believe a soldier preferring 12 strokes of a cane to 28 days’ field punishment along with loss of 25 days’ pay.

  • Spandrell you exhibit too much Sinology and not enough Roman Empire awareness: Caesar would approve of how Trump is handling his troops. Imagine how his troops will cheer when he tells them to sack & pillage FaceBook, Google, Harvard, Yale, CNBC, and the rest of the Swamp, encouraging them to take no prisoners. Dan Kurt

    • Can you imagine Caesar's legions recording his speeches on smartphones while they should be at attention? Cheer, yes, but the typical modern use of electronic devices in all situations is very unmanly.

  • It's a failure of leadership. When the first phone came out an officer needed to say put your goddamned phone away. Once they didn't it spread like a fucking disease. On the more substantive point, once the Pentagon got on its penchant to enlist as many women and trannies as possible, it's been clear to me they don't think individual soldiers will play any important role in the outcome of future wars. Or they've affirmatively decided to lose future wars. Either proposition is frightening.

    • The Pentagon is a bureaucracy. Its purpose is not to win wars, it is to defend its bureaucratic turf, especially its budget. Who really cares about winning a war -- whatever that even means in COIN operations? Not many people. It would be a boost for morale for a short time in a few circles, but it wouldn't solve many problems. Red-meat Republicans will always favor a larger military, apparently. Trump has been saying we need additional aircraft carriers, we need this, we need that. Possessing 80% of the world's naval power isn't enough, I guess. So the Pentagon's bureaucratic objective is to win over Democrats. Hence trannies and so on. I was once involved with lobbying in DC for an oil-and-gas company. How much time do you think we spent trying to persuade Republicans? Almost zero. We just had to say, "This is what we think would be better for the economy," and they were instantly on board. All our work went towards trying to get Democrats to our position. Maybe if we had just put out a press release talking about how much we love trannies, we could have saved ourselves some time.

  • I think Spandrell is trolling us. In the context of relentless drumming that Mr. Trump doesn't know how to be president and that Trump is tone deaf and that Trump is senile and needs to be replaced under the 25th Amendment, he sure knows how to work a crowd. Presented with a leather "bomber jacket", of course he is going to put it on, but he first asks for permission from the assembled enlisted personnel. Our soldiers are perhaps the last element in our society who are obedient, and of course there would no smartphones up in the air of the Commander-in-Chief in the least bit did not want it that way. Can you imagine the smartphones held overhead with President Obama reviewing the troops? I think we have already seen this with them standing at stone-faced attention. I find it heartening to see this reaction to President Trump, especially since I had no idea how he would be received among the soldierly ranks in light of the shade thrown on him from the Senior Senator from Arizona for not being his roommate during the late 60's. Spandrell is showing us this video for a purpose and making remarks about the smartphones held high is being coy.

    • No I'm not. Adult men grabbing their phones to record stuff in a crowd like teenagers are disgraceful. That's the beginning and the end of this post. I'm cool with Trump and I'm very happy the troops like him. But he should've told them to put down the phones and listen. With a joke or something: "Hey my guys are recording this anyway, I'll send you a DVD. Do they still make DVDs in Japan? I guess not".

      • "like teenagers" Most of them ARE teenagers. 17, 18, 19. You want them to behave like men, start telling them teenagers are men.

      • There was an old joke (I’m sure I got it from one of Joseph Wambaugh’s) from pre-internet days when Japanese tourists were famous for being strewn with cameras and snapping everything in sight. A policeman is describing how a bus full of Japanese tourists was held up and robbed: ‘We’ve got no descriptions of the perps but we’ve a thousand photographs.’ We could update that joke to a bus full of… just about any Westerners, but esp. teens: ‘We’ve got no descriptions of the perps but we’ve a thousand photos and videos and we’re just waiting for them all to be uploaded to their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.’

    • @Inquiring Mind, I totally agree, this post totally misses--but I don't think it's trolling so much as that Spandrell has had an 'archaic moment', which is understandable because the ubiquity of smartphones is like 'The Day of the Locusts'. Much as I hate to admit it, Brehon is also right, but only about that part--because in this, a 'soldier subject', he is going to know, whereas when he talks about 'elites', he's not. Point is--in the 'Chair Force', of course they're going to have phones just like almost everybody else. You think a single one of them thinks he can afford to NOT have one like me? I don't know, though, my father was in the Air Force in the Pacific War, and he could be accused of nothing frivolous. It's not that Trump should have told them not to use the phones, it's that Trump is totally frivolous about everything. He loved the red carpets in China even more, made him feel like he might at least get a Golden Globe.

  • Everybody is addicted to phones now, officers and enlisted, politicians, blog writers... you name it.

  • If you happened to be writing an article, or thinking of writing an article, on Xi Jinping's Oct. 18 speech, such an article would interest me. I mean the big speech Xi gave to his party congress. Xinhua's fluent English translation of the speech looked pretty straightforward to me—it didn't read like translational taqiyya, like a tricky mistranslation prepared for the purpose of misleading foreigners—but of course I cannot read Chinese and thus would not know. U.S. media have hardly covered the speech. The lack of interest strikes me as odd.

  • To be fair, these might not be soldiers. If they're from the Air Force, they'd be airmen, not soldiers, who are in the Army. The Air Force is looked down upon by the Army, Navy, and Marines as not being part of the real military. It's considered more like a corporation with lots of comfortable desk jobs and the most benefits and amenities in the military. That's why they call it the "Chair Force", because it's mostly guys sitting in chairs all day.

  • Apropos of nothing, I was in the Army late Vietnam era. The lower em were mostly as goofy if not worse. I volunteer among the great washed at a classical music venue. The people are informed that taking pictures in the hall is not allowed. Up at the back, the cameras come out almost immediately. These are not youngsters, but probably affluent members of the professional class.

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