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Top Marine General on America’s Way of War—Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Conference

Jamestown Foundation [1] is an old-line think tank founded during the Cold War to encourage and help Soviet defectors. Today it is a large, respected think tank with continuing hard-line views on Central Asia and former Soviet lands. It focuses on Eurasia and global terrorism. Publications include Terrorism Monitor, Eurasia Daily Monitor, China Brief, North Caucuses Monitor, and Militant Leadership Monitor. Wikipedia reports “it has been alleged that Jamestown is neoconservative agenda driven… with ties to the CIA & U.S. Government.” Its directors include former top intelligence and military personnel. This writer, a long time anti-communist, participated in a Jamestown team of journalists and experts on Soviet Russia who served as observers for President Putin’s first election in 2000.

When the keynote speaker at Jamestown’s annual conference [2], a four-star Marine Corps general, analyzes America’s way of war from a realist perspective, his criticisms are well worth knowing. His views must be widespread in the military, although not in Washington’s civilian establishment. Gen. James N. Mattis [3] (retired) followed General Petraeus as commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2010-to-2013, responsible for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and 18 other nations. Earlier he commanded the First Marine Division during the initial invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. He also served as NATO supreme allied commander from 2007-2009.  He served for 42 years, and the Marine Corps Times has called him the “most revered Marine in a generation.”

Some of General Mattis’s statements and reasoning follow; my comments are in italics.

–America doesn’t lose wars, it loses interest.

change_me

–We have no overall strategy about how to defeat our enemy. (Just killing them is not working because, as I wrote years ago, the proper analogy comes from Greek mythology, Hercules’ adventure where, for every enemy soldier he killed, ten more sprung up in each one’s place)

–We don’t understand our enemy. (This refers to Sun Tzu’s classic [4] dictum for war, “Know Thyself and Know Thy Enemy.” Americans have scarce interest in understanding the Muslim world’s history, wants, and fears.)

–Violent Jihad is gaining, not losing ground.  (House and Senate intelligence panel chairs say terrorists are gaining [5]. Half of Americans believe us less safe today [6] than prior to 9/11.)  

–We need a strategy which does not drive young Muslims to al-Qaeda.

–We must develop a persuasive counter narrative to that of our enemies. (With communism America held the moral high ground; today our Middle East wars have taken it away.)

–Al-Qaeda’s narrative is vulnerable, its strategy has its own poison pills.  The IRA is an example of how a group’s own extremists can cause disaffection among the public. They eventually caused the Irish public to abandon them as they competed to prove who could be the most violent and brutal using indiscriminate terror. A franchise operation is not controlled, factions will do things wrong—think of al-Qaeda in Iraq murdering so many Sunni civilians for not conforming to Sharia law and subsequently being defeated.  (Remember also that every free election where most Arabs could show their beliefs, only a small minority supported al-Qaeda’s religious fundamentalism.  Most want safety, prosperity, and security. The calumny that most want to establish Sharia law in America is a propaganda of Washington’s war party.)

–Irregular warfare must become a core competency of our military; also our new weaponry must be focused on this new kind of war.  (Most military training and procurement still concerns the strategy of World War II.)

–We must be more attentive to our allies’ sentiments and needs. We ignore them and then wonder why they won’t later do what we want.

–We must do a better job explaining and talking to the American people about our objectives.

–Palestinian peace process—two-state solution –Washington must address and promote this issue. (The conflict weakens and discredits America in the whole Muslim world. Mattis follows previous CENTCOM commanders, Admiral Fallon [7] and General Petraeus, in stating the same judgment.)

–First think how we are going to end the fight before getting involved in wars.  Democracies don’t know how to end wars.  How much longer will there be public support for the war?  American are not war weary, but rather are confused.

General Mattis reportedly spoke of his concerns during discussions over attacking Iran and thus fell afoul of the Washington establishment, so President Obama hastened his retirement. Foreign Policy‘s Thomas Ricks reported [8]:

Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way—not because he went all “mad dog,” which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, “And then what?”

Washington did have a “strategy” when it attacked Iraq, the neoconservative one.  This was to intimidate the Muslim world with massive bombing, “Shock and Awe” [9] we called it, so all Muslims would be afraid of us and then do what we ordered. Then we planted giant, billion-dollar American air bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. These would, they thought, give us hegemony over Central Asia, intimidate Russia and Iran, while Iraq would turn into a friendly, modern democracy dependent upon Washington. Other Muslim nations would then follow with democratic regimes which would co-operate and obey Washington’s plans.

With the neocons discredited, no other strategy has replaced theirs except to “win” and come home. This is not unusual in our history. In past wars American “strategy” has usually been to return to the status quo ante, the prewar situation. Washington violates nearly all of Sun Tzu’s dictums for success. Endless wars for little purpose and with no end strategy are thus likely to continue. They are, however, profitable or beneficial for many Washington interests.

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#1 Comment By Uncle Billy On January 3, 2014 @ 7:45 am

You cannot use military force to solve a political or social problem. It did not work in Iraq, it is not working in Afghanistan, and it will not work in Syria.

The Neo-con reflex to use American military force to invade and occupy every nation in the middle east does not work. We cannot force “democracy” on people who do not want it, nor are capable of understanding it.

Again and again, we fail to understand our enemy. We fail to understand the problem, much less how to solve it. We have foreign service people in the middle east who do not speak Arabic, nor the language of the people of the nation they are stationed in.

We don’t bother to know our enemy, because it is too much effort. We would rather use PowerPoint presentations to tell each other what we want to hear.

#2 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 3, 2014 @ 8:12 am

The revelations of U.S. torture sparked a rethinking about largely unquestioned and unexamined beliefs about what the government was actually doing. At the time, although Sun Tzu’s Art of War is required study at U.S. war colleges, I quickly found a dozen or more instances where U.S. policy violated every time-proven precept. Nine or ten years on, a big one is, “A long war has never profited any country, great or small.”

The only reasonable explanation left for these egregious lapses is that they have served parochial interests not coincident with the actual ones of the nation’s population. That is, the financialist-military-industrial donorist complex has purchased the foreign policies that have best profited itself, while harming not just the democratic form of governance the United States notion of country is founded upon, but the well-being of its citizens.

Once again, our failed recent leadership, military and civilian, isn’t up any longer to even Chinese standards of accomplishment, ancient or new.

#3 Comment By Michael On January 3, 2014 @ 8:36 am

Jon, to me Mattis’s comments were based on a hidden assumption that the Al Qaeda (or better, the violent Salafist) problem is fundamentally an American one and that America’s response should be global and comprehensive. He kept stating that we lack a strategy. Of course we have one–it is to keep foreign jihadists out of the U.S. and to take away their capacity to harm U.S. interests. This is working. Now the jihadists are focused on the near enemy. That’s a good outcome for the U.S.

#4 Comment By Michael N Moore On January 3, 2014 @ 9:07 am

Since our wars appear to have little foreign policy meaning, they must be carried out for domestic reasons. The most obvious are that the remnants of our industrial economy are based on spending for war and our primary industrial export is weapons systems.

#5 Comment By Aaron Paolozzi On January 3, 2014 @ 9:51 am

Anyone who stops to think is unwelcome in the current leadership of America’s military. The current regime wants yes men and when those in leadership will no be those yes men they will retire them and try to find their yes men. And believe you men, they find them, they always do.

Sad thing is that it is not just this regime, but the last one started the seriously dangerous idea that you cannot disagree with your superiors. The current regime has just taken it and ran way away with it.

Some generals have been frustrated and vented to the wrong sources, such as General McCrystal. But when we shame them for a lack of propriety we never ask what drove them to this point. What drove a 3 or 4 star general, someone with many years of service and obvious holds the right credentials otherwise they would’ve never been there in the first place, to go all “mad dog” and attack the civilian government.

Bad decisions that result in soldiers being killed for no reason, the inability to think things through, and the aversion of taking any responsibility for decisions made will do that.

#6 Comment By William Dalton On January 3, 2014 @ 11:36 am

Would someone explain why “irregular war” should become the primary focus of our military? The only occasion for fighting against guerrilla armies and militants engaged in terrorism is when we are in the business of invading and occupying foreign countries. Why should we be invading and occupying foreign countries? Middle East oil will find its way to the market, no matter who owns or controls it. Why have we invested so much of America’s wealth – human and material – as well as squandered our good name in the world trying to direct who are the rulers there?

By developing and concentrating upon the means to fight “irregular wars” you may give the brass in the Pentagon the means of keeping astronomical budgets, but having such an Army, at such cost, is a standing invitation to use it. Remove the means to get into trouble abroad and you remove the temptation.

America’s armed forces should be geared to defending the territory of the United States, the free flow of commerce and our citizens overseas – nothing more.

#7 Comment By carl lundgren On January 3, 2014 @ 11:42 am

His comments segue neatly into Scott McConnell’s article. How do we have any credibility in the Arab/Muslim world when on one hand we are trying to arbitrate the Palestine/Israeli conflict while at the same time we are Israel’s sock puppet?

#8 Comment By Anderson On January 3, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

“Would someone explain why “irregular war” should become the primary focus of our military?”

Because (1) “irregulars” destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and (2) at present, our military faces no other plausible enemies.

Excellent points by Mattis.

#9 Comment By arrScott On January 3, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

Wm. Dalton, I’m sympathetic to your view. But understood slightly differently, the general’s recommendation makes sense to me. Future wars are most likely to be fought against irregular enemy forces, and so our military ought to be prepared to defeat such an enemy.

What is more likely: A great-power competitor stages a conventional land invasion of the United States or an ally we’re obliged by treaty to defend, or an irregular militant force fires rockets at U.S. territory from the poorly controlled territory of an otherwise non-hostile foreign state? We actually know the answer to this question: No great power has invaded the United States or a treaty ally since WWII, but several irregular militias have launched attacks on American military bases, citizens, and even U.S. cities from foreign bases in those decades. We have a poor record of deterring such attacks or defeating those who initiated them.

We need not contemplate repeating the disaster of Iraq in order to conclude that the defense of the United States may require a focus on fighting and defeating irregular forces.

#10 Comment By EarlyBird On January 3, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

The general is on to something big when he mentions how Al Queda defeated itself in Iraq. (Not to take away anything from the Iraqis and GIs who fought them.) Evil death cults have a tendency to do that.

The question is: can America be wise enough to allow the Muslim world the space it needs to fight its interecine wars (while aggressively defending against any jihadist spillage into the West) so as to create its own, authentic order?

We might be surprised at how quickly the bloom comes off the jihadist rose once its raison d’etre of removing the imperialist infidels is achieved.

#11 Comment By sglover On January 3, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

No great power has invaded the United States or a treaty ally since WWII, but several irregular militias have launched attacks on American military bases, citizens, and even U.S. cities from foreign bases in those decades. We have a poor record of deterring such attacks or defeating those who initiated them.

Errrmmmm…. Are you trying to say “Remember Pancho Villa”? Seems like a pretty weak reed on which to hang a “strategy”.

Your own (implied) examples undercut your argument. I believe (since your statement is nebulous) you’re alluding to episodes like the Khobar Towers bombing, bombings of European clubs that were frequented by U.S. servicemen, that kind of thing — events affecting American forces overseas. There’s been nothing like that on these shores. So maybe the best way to “defend” ourselves from “irregulars” is to mind our own business, and avoid rooting around in the turf inhabited by said “irregulars” (AKA “patriots”, often).

We’ve seen these same tired arguments for “small” “irregular” war for at least half a century now, ever since Kennedy first swooned over Green Berets and “classic” COIN. They have always signified the camel sticking his snout into the tent. Americans have practiced “small” “irregular” warfare for almost all of our history, against First Nations tribes, and then against Central American states. Few people, now, regard those actions as anything other than embarrassing or shameful.

So let’s for once drop the habit, and the mealy-mouthed rationalizations surrounding it.

#12 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 3, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

“We cannot force “democracy” on people who do not want it, nor are capable of understanding it.”

But democracy isn’t the aim at all. That’s just the excuse proffered to evade domestic democratic oversight. That in itself should be a warning that the war profiteer donorists aren’t fans of democratic accountability at home, either.

That is why they are such fans of secrecy and mass domestic surveillance. They understand what forces are likely to impede their self-serving policies.

To somehow blame peoples who don’t like foreign military occupation as somehow being ungrateful and incapable of wanting self-determination, and therefore to be consigned to puppet dictatorships, is just too facile. Who is selling this story?

#13 Comment By ck On January 4, 2014 @ 8:01 am

Here’s another realist for Rand Paul to court.

#14 Comment By Puller58 On January 4, 2014 @ 8:52 am

Simple question that should be asked and aswered before undertaking any military action, “Why fight?” The moment national security can’t be justified, (And I mean with concrete facts rather than vague “threats.”) then the proposed action should be scapped on the spot.

#15 Comment By Legendario On January 4, 2014 @ 9:48 am

Is Saudi-Arab intelligence money and influence behind the Al-Queda? It is so well organized that there must be a flow of money and equipment to keep the movement alive.
Of course, the first question we must ask: Who is the Agent Provocateur? No person in the administration is willing to go out on this limb.

#16 Comment By Steve Naidamast On January 4, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

General Mattis appears to be promoting classic soldiering sentiments and analysis on the US’ current involvement in the Mid-East, which I have to agree with.

However, I believe it is too little too late. The US has done such a an excellent job of splintering the Mid-East into so many factions that at this point it would be rather difficult to ascertain exactly who the US should look t o ally itself in order to promote any new set of strategies.

Had the US civilian leadership listened to General Mattis and others like him prior to the 1991 Gulf War, we probably could now look at implementing such time tested solutions. However, now the only real power in the region that is looking to spread its influence while also hoping to resolve many of the issues it foresees as damaging to its own interests is Iran. But no one wants to honestly deal with her and instead the US continues to support archaic dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and racist nations like Israel, both far from the moral high-ground on anyone’s list outside of the United States.

The only issue I take issue with General Mattis is his statement concerning our “moral high ground” during the “Cold War”. His view, unfortunately demonstrates the insulated view that military men took during that error. And the US did a good job of promoting such a perception but as much recent documentation has shown and adequately demonstrated, perception was about all it was…

#17 Comment By Eileen K. On January 4, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

These warmongers wantonly forget what happened in 1775, when the “shot heard round the world” in Lexington and Concord kick-started the American War for Independence against the British Crown. The original 13 Colonies were occupied by British forces since 1763; and, under the reign of George III, this occupation grew more harsh, when the Colonists began resisting ever higher taxation and other abuses of their rights.

Every nation’s population deserves freedom, mostly freedom from foreign invasion and occupation. We all cheered when the nations of Central and Eastern Europe regained their freedom from Soviet occupation in 1989; so, why repeat the mistakes of the former USSR? Occupation of foreign nations is not in our interest; it takes away our ability to defend our own borders from potential enemies, which, btw, is our military’s top obligation.

With our wars of aggression abroad and our suppression of our own citizens’ God-given rights at home, we’re emulating the old USSR. This is a total rejection of the principles the Founders had established after winning independence from the British Empire. Unless we return to these principles, this nation is doomed.

#18 Comment By akbar On January 5, 2014 @ 12:47 am

Quran says”Allah will make a distinction between good and bad.” So all this USA military might is acting as a catalyst to make that happen in Muslim countries, if no other useful purpose.

#19 Comment By albertchampion On January 5, 2014 @ 12:52 am

just another thug in an uniform.

the usa has no real foreign enemies. all those purported enemies are creations of the usa.

mattis should remember one of his predecessors, maj gen smedley darlington butler. a real truth teller.

butler’s insight was that if a purported enemy didn’t have the assets to invade and hold the north amerikan continent, then it wasn’t a valid enemy. not worthy of the expenditure of amerikan assets to invade that entity.

#20 Comment By the Lion On January 5, 2014 @ 1:48 am

Sadly whenever a middle Eastern Country has decided to embrace democratic purpose on their own the United States ahs in fact crushed it, Iran was a democratic county had free elections in the early Fifties but they, decided to make the Oil fields of Iran to the chagrin of the then Anglo Iranian Oil now known as BP, and the CIA Overthrew that democratically elected Government and installed a Dictatorship, and the list of US upheld dictatorships is long in the region! Hard to get a democracy going under those circumstances!

#21 Comment By eero iloniemi On January 5, 2014 @ 7:03 am

The question American’s need to ask is not how to fight your next irregular war, but why al Qaida won.
Their purpose was to fundementally change the US by debasing its core values and in this they succeeded.
To real relevant war for America is a war of values: torture, survaillance and paranoia. Reagain your position on these fronts and 9/11 will truly have been vindicated.

#22 Comment By Henk Middelraad On January 5, 2014 @ 8:44 am

I am impressed with the statement of General Mattis that just killing them does not work.

That is a “pearl of wisdom” after his entire life and career to doing just that.

Perhaps peculiarly our fearless Government has conspicuously ignored my suggestion to develop the binary science of para-psychology with astrology. Anyone in this world can be reached and influenced with this science.

It will not kill physically, but embarrasses and kills honor of a dictating leader (civilian or military).

As opposed to the money devouring military approach (at taxpayer expense) the binary science is virtually costless!!!

However, it requires more principled and dedicated operators than the military or civilian leadership is able to engage.

#23 Comment By EliteComminc. On January 5, 2014 @ 9:24 am

Sigh and sigh,

It is possible to effectively transform societies via military force. It is possible to use force to obtain political objectives.

That history bears that out is hardly questionable. The questions are: should one, how and what are the long term costs verses the benefits in light of a country’s identity.

I personally remain convinced that a world with a Sadaam, Quadaffi, and an Assaad is a far, far better place than without them. For the players on the world scene today are of that internet generation. Making up the rules as they go along and demanding that everyone else fall in line to support them.

And Fallujah is none of our business. that is a matter for the Iraqis to sort out. We never should entered into a global war on terror. Irresponsible strategy, as terrorist organizations are wide and varied and even ones bearing a same name are not necessarily in consort. We have invaded and continue to engage others without the vital homework of who’s who and what’s what — reminding me of Sec. Clinton’s wonderful refrain, “We’ll worry about who they are when they get in power,” or some similar announcement.

I remain in this: unless we want to invade and completely conquer our opponent with scenarios of ‘total war’ control –best we leave them to their own devices –

until they are a clear and present danger.

#24 Comment By cameyer On January 5, 2014 @ 1:15 pm

I am not sure what the writer’s point is. General Matthis, like Petraeus before him, is charged with a clean-up operation in which he tacitly admits ‘mistakes’ by the military and cheer leads for corrective actions. This is in the military’s interest 1) to maintain any sense of integrity; and 2)so the next time the US wants to invade/control another country, the action will be more ‘successful’.

Iraq, like Vietnam, failed not because we did this or that wrong. Their failure grew out of a false global strategy founded on an outdated premise that only the US can ensure peace and stability around the world. George W. Bush put it more crudely: spreading American style democracy so other countries will be just like us. America could correct all the shortcomings described by Matthis and it would still lose interventionist wars.

As Paul Pillar recently wrote in National Interest, we are still fundamentally in an era of nation states. There is a reason the UN Charter is founded on the principles of sovereignty. Violation of those principles breeds the rampant backlash our country has faced in the last dozen years.

As long as the US accepts those principles, it will continue giving global leadership. If it continues on the current path of ‘policing’ every conflict from the South China Sea to the Middle East is fails. It’s not how we police, it’s that we police at all.

#25 Comment By EliteComminc. On January 5, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

“Iraq, like Vietnam, failed not because we did this or that wrong. Their failure grew out of a false global strategy founded on an outdated premise that only the US can ensure peace and stability around the world.”

First of all the US does not and has never had such a premise. Our strategy is vested in our interests and like it or not a global power of the magnitude of the US has vast global interests. Should those interests be attended to by military power and how that force is executed is another matter. the only real comparison between Vietnam and Iraq is that in neither case did we comprehend who the players were, what was at stake for them and having completely ignored history language and culture.

In both cases had the US engaged in total war scenarios such that to make the enemy desolate and the population soly dependent upon the US for survival outcomes would have been different.

Vietnam was the result of cold war strategic interests. Iraq was born out of an ubalanced psyche bruised by the events of 9/11. Susceptible to the ambitions of estranged Iraqis given all but free reign to solicit an over throw for their own agendas — most of whom had not been in the country for ten to twenty years. Fueled by oil an oil industry disgruntled by Sadaam’s varying oil pricing we convinced ourselves that the Muslim world could tamed into submission — yet we did not engage in use of force to tame.

And certainly without a doubt a military campaign minus it’s mistakes and we made many — to go in the first place — would have a different result had those errors not been made.

There will be times when the violation of another;s sovereignty is in fact the answer — but when such times come a tactic of peace, love and understanding must take a back seat to the mission at hand. Any other game is dangerous and probably folly.

#26 Comment By EliteComminc. On January 5, 2014 @ 7:38 pm

And as sad as the current progression in Iraq may be,

I have no issues in rubbing the noses of those who though it was worth my person and career to to advance it.

Once in we never should have left — now that we are out — it is what it is. Congratulations —

#27 Comment By EliteComminc. On January 5, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

And for the record Vietnam was only a failure because we trusted the N. Vietnamese to abide the simple treaty agreement.

Not only did they violate the treaty agreement, but their invasion and wholesale slaughter of their fellow citizens made the case that our presence was warranted.

#28 Comment By seydlitz89 On January 6, 2014 @ 9:20 am

Our strategic confusion is based on our larger political confusion. For political reasons we are unable to consider what should be obvious over 12 years after 9/11:

*The whole war on terror narrative turned on itself with the recent drive to intervene directly in the Syrian civil war, that is effectively becoming Al Qaida’s “air force”. Would that civil war even be going on today without extensive outside intervention which the US has been supporting?

*Al Qaida owes its continued effectiveness to state sponsorship from various sources including Saudi and Pakistan. Bin laden was where he was with the knowledge of the Pakistani govt, how could he not have been?

*The big strategic winner of the Iraq fiasco is Iran. All the constant saber rattling by Israel, Saudi and the US is due to that fact and the supposed need to re-throw the strategic dice . . .

*There is no chance the US will effectively support a viable two state solution regarding the Palestinians. To do so would require a fundamental change in US/Israeli relations.

*We have far more military capacity than we need given the actual threats the country faces which are negligible. Force structure should reflect this instead of a constant desire to enhance “capabilities”.

*The actual stimulus for the rise of the total surveillance capabilities of the NSA and their corporate partners are domestic, having little to do with fears of foreign terrorism.

*We urgently need a new and public Congressional investigation of the events leading up to and comprising 9/11 with broad powers to call witnesses and have them testify under oath.

#29 Comment By Baldur Dasche On January 6, 2014 @ 11:00 am

The only instances in which organized military forces have succeeded in defeating an insurgency is in those rare situations in which the insurgents are not able to “swim in the sea” and the organized military force is not so foreign as to be completely alien to the native population. The only successful modern model is Malaya. Bolivia vs Guevara’s band is a distant second. The rest have been abject fiascoes.

Obviously the recipient of some military education, Mattis and others should long ago have realised they were up against the same forces faced by others, some much better, in times past. If they have proven anything it is that the high technology in which we ‘first world nations’ have invested so much is not the war-winner we thought it would be. It doesn’t even really ‘shock and awe’ those who can continue to exist without electricity and the underpinnings of ‘modern’ life. And it won’t stop insurgents who can live without base camps, steady supply lines and the ‘comforts’ of home. Our military are outclassed in this dimension. We’re fortunate the casualty rate has reflected the relatively small numbers of insurgents involved. This has been no Vietnam, aside from the expenditure.

In days to come, some reality TV program will stack up the Marines, or any other western force against the Taliban (AQ) and come to terms with our ‘failure to win’. Political interference and one hand tied behind thee back taken into consideration, short of deploying nuclear weapons, it’s because we can’t fight their war, or make them fight ours.

The rest is horse pellets.

#30 Comment By EliteCommInc On January 8, 2014 @ 8:31 am

“These warmongers wantonly forget what happened in 1775, when the “shot heard round the world” in Lexington and Concord kick-started the American War for Independence against the British Crown. The original 13 Colonies were occupied by British forces since 1763; and, under the reign of George III, this occupation grew more harsh, when the Colonists began resisting ever higher taxation and other abuses of their rights . . .”

At the risk of being called a troll, I am going to respond to this.

The colonist complaints were but from a few and hardly worth the fuss of a violent rebellion. You behave as though the colonists were here minding their own — when bing —

as if from a magicians wand — the Royal military appeared. The colonists only had a colony, commerce, road system, and nearly everything else because of the presence of the british military.

Had it not been for the spread of interests of the empire and the underestimating the matter — my guess is that the eventual break from Britain would have been a far sight less costly — and I suspect slavery might very well have passed on a muchless harrowing legacy.

Long live the Crown