RANGER AGAINST WAR: Dead Babies Don't Cry <

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Dead Babies Don't Cry

Dead babies can take care of themselves
Dead babies can't take things off the shelf

--Dead Babies
, Alice Cooper

We've shot an amazing number of people

and killed a number and, to my knowledge,

none has proven to have been

a real threat to the force

--General Stanley McChrystal

My father is no different than any powerful man,

any man with power, like a president or senator

Do you know how naive you sound, Michael?

Presidents and senators don't have men killed.

Oh. Who's being naive?

--The Godfather

Whenever I take up a newspaper and read it,
I fancy I see ghosts creeping between the lines.
There must be ghosts all over the world.

They must be as countless as the grains of the sands,

it seems to me.

And we are so miserably afraid of the light, all of us.

Henrik Ibsen

The Special Forces that Ranger served in is as gone as last month's rent.

The Vietnam era SF fought main force Vietcong, hardcore North Vietnamese Army, and conducted special missions with various programs such as Delta, Omega and Studies and Operations Group (SOG). These programs produced results that were soldierly and based in good faith efforts.

Personally, Ranger was never trained to kick in doors or assassinate. We were not assassins, since that violates the rules of land warfare. There were isolated incidents of killing suspected enemy agents, but this was never officially sanctioned U.S. or SF policy.

The assassinations conducted by Project Phoenix were not a U.S. military mission, although most of their U.S. shooters were U.S. Special Forces soldiers on detached duty. The killings were done by combat-numb SF assets detached to do a mission not military in nature; the program was undeserving of having utilized good SF personnel for a dirty, nasty business.
Phoenix was the devil's work and will remain a stain upon our national dignity, both civilian and military.

But it's now 2010 and the SF top dog in Afghanistan has dusted off the Phoenix prototype for
Counterinsurgency applications. General McChrystal has done this without asking how the U.S. SF assassins are differentiated from the Nazi SS assassins of WW II. How have McChrystal, our command authorities and the American people enabled the Special Forces to become a criminal organization?

There is no middle ground here:
When SF employs assassins they have become criminals and murderers rather than honorable soldiers.

Do our SF soldiers no longer bother to question the legality of their black ops missions? Further, why do we even allow a concept like Black Ops to exist within our military structure? Assassination is one of the key tactics of terror organizations, whether they be state-sponsored or groups like al-Qaeda.

When U.S. SF assassinate, this is an act of state-sponsored terrorism.
If it is a crime for al-Qaeda to assassinate, then it is a crime for U.S. SF to assassinate.

When an SF team killed pregnant women while on an assigned mission to kill or capture mid- or low-level Taliban members, they mutilated the bodies in their efforts to dig out their bullets
(U.S. Special Forces 'Tried to Cover Up' Botched Khataba Raid"), also a violation of the rules of land warfare and every bit as serious an offense as cutting the ears off dead VC.

My Army became infamous for those actions and as a result for a generation was portrayed as being composed of crazed killers by the entertainment media. Contrast that with today's support for SF assassins because they are "the troops".

These SF assassinations at McChrystal's behest are not military in nature and are a cynical expression of an American military gone wrong. Their morals are gone missing and this is a blight upon all of us.

Even if the mission were to kill every Talib in Afghanistan America still loses, as on a strategic level this removes the regional counterbalance to Iran, concurrently strengthening the warlords of the Northern Alliance.
With every assassination, an SF soldiers is doing Iran's dirty work, making the effort doubly perverse.

Assassinations in theatre do not benefit the safety of America, nor do they contribute to the birth of democracy. They constitute meaningless cynical violence.

What attributes are being rewarded in today's tabbed-up, Christian Army? The contradictions are overwhelming.

The SF assassin soldiers will bear a heavy burden. The silence that will surround these men is the absence of a baby's cry in a remote Afghan village, and the silence will condemn their souls. They may never be officially charged for their crimes, but they will always hear that silence, even in their sleep.

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Blogger ASURVIVOR said...

Amen brother! For those of us with a decade in Vietnam we are seeing past mistakes repeated but more dumb than then because back then EVERYONE served due to draft-- smart AND stupid. But now you have to wonder; we've gone through the heroes and patriots moved by 9/11 and are now scraping the bottom of the barrel. SFs are tested for brawn not brain so we're getting a lot of not so bright hustlers. In a hierachy where you get ahead by how well you say "YES SIIIIRRRRR!" and where the top brass is the remnants no other employer wanted after Vietnam, you can imagine that the cream is not in service; instead too many who just like to shoot and hit something are there. As a consumer of 30 periodicals from the military establishment on a regular basis I can assure you that the stuff that those that read read is scary for its babble and bureaucratese. SO lessons learned is just another way of saying "YES SIIIIIRRRR!"

These guys are leading our mom&dad soldiers to fight intel blind, language deaf and culture dumb because command is a bunch of hustlers for whom Afghnaistan is a means of taking over the US rather than an end in service of the US.

Keep telling it like it is. You are probably serving your country in these perilous times and protecting democray and freedom better now than you ever did in uniform. Thank you soldier for fighting for truth.

Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 6:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly right, Ranger. And why hasn't Milpub picked up on this -- the devolution of the Special Forces into a kind of Sonderkommando?

Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 9:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the biggest problem with assination programs is that they produce very vague and often no results.

operation phoenix was loved mightily by the folks who implemented it, but, i can't recall a single intel coup, or a single american life saved by it.

mostly it was regional score settling. somebody stole somebody else's girlfriend, or pig, or rice paddy seven generations ago and they still hate those motherfuckers.

also, using assination opens the whole can of worms that says, yup, they can do that shit to us too.

assination didn't work out so great for chile did it? well maybe it worked out fine if you thought pinochet was a stand up guy.

they so often think that their problems can be solved by one bullet, one smart bomb, yet, they always are ordering that shit by the boatload.

Friday, May 7, 2010 at 2:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

We can't speak for milpub, but the same question can be asked about all the oohrah mil sites.
All they see is the glory of killing .jim

Friday, May 7, 2010 at 12:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

It's always nice to hear from a new reader,or from an old reader for the first time.
Per your last para-thanks a lot, but i often wonder why other old soldiers like myself don't speak up.
In fact i'm amazed that the Amurican people allow these wars to go on.
FWIW i'd be happy to never think another thought about the Army, but i just can't put it down.

Friday, May 7, 2010 at 12:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Choloazul said...

Agit-prop from Hollywood and the other media, has for decades blurred our heroic archetypes into a Swiss Army knife of death dealing ambivalence, just waiting to be 'activated' by some agency or another.

'Soft targets' are just targets, 'wet work' is just work, and buzz words numb away introspection.

Sooner or later it had to sink in at some societal level, so that the next rotation of trainees could be given skills that did not include critical thinking.

Add in the observation about command becoming a playground for political ambition, and 'history repeating itself' doesn't even come close to conveying the sense of dread that should be appropriate.

Friday, May 7, 2010 at 7:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

powerful post, Jim...and I have to second Asurvivor's last paragraph.


Friday, May 7, 2010 at 8:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 12:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

I remember when the stories of war crimes started to surface 6 years ago and I was saying that at least the SF weren't involved in those activities. And how surprised and saddened I was to learn that they were indeed involved, heavily involved. The judgment of Nuremberg that preemptive war of aggression was the worst war crime in that it was the foundation of all others has again been proven to be a universal truth.

Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 7:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

In the first days of the war our SF were linked to massive prisoner killings, but we shrugged it off on the Northern alliance and warlords.
Read the Lindh story carefully and war crimes abound on the US side.
SF ran the secret interrogation units and sites in AFGH.This is hardly in accordance with the GC's.
Everything that McC did in the surge in IRQ is classified-you draw your own conclusions.

Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 12:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Serving Patriot said...


You said "SF ran the secret interrogation units and sites in AFGH.This is hardly in accordance with the GC's."

I think that you mis-spoke. The right verb to use here is "runs".

Of course, they are no doubt "helped" by some of the mercenary outfits they hired like Blackwater.



Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Thanks for the comment, the tense of the verb is important.
This secret detention etc... sure does win hearts and minds.

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 9:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous sumsum said...


Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 12:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Your YouTube was blocked.

Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 12:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone on this site are completed and total idiots who have no idea what they are talking about. And whoever said that you're supposed to have compassion for your enemy. And SF are chosen by thier brawn and brains and its idiots like you that are the bottom of the barrel. I've had so many past relatives who served their country in vietnam. I was only on this site because google search brought it up when I looked up an Alice Cooper song. Not sure who said it but I agree with tehm when they said "All is fair in Love AND War! And FYI Im joinin the Army when I turn 17 and SF when Im 20 we have to have an APFT score of 210 and we have to Ace the ASVAB.(If You Care)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 7:25:00 PM GMT-5  

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