Monday, March 05, 2012


That's two thousand miles from here.
How do you expect us to get it there? Drag it?
If we have to, yes. There's always a way.
But the first step... defend the fuel
--The Road Warrior (1981)

To attack in anger

is to murder in confusion

--The Color Purple,

Alice Walker

We're just bombing around the rubble

--Daniel Schorr


A recent comment to a previous post "Ranger Tab" prompted these thoughts.

A contingent of trolling he-men are upset that Ranger writes and thinks as he does, that he does not toe the party line for being a Ranger, as they see it. However, the messenger is irrelevant, as the thoughts stand alone. The message has a meaning beyond any individual or preconceived idea.

Why such vitriol from elements of fraternal groups like SOCNET? Odd that patriots who so bravely honored their vows to uphold the Constitution cannot brook the exercise of said document. Is it heresy that a "tabbed up" person dare disturb the universe by saying that the United States has lost its ability to win a war?

The mission since 9-11-01 has been unattainable, and one should not be dedicated to a mission that does not go beyond the physicality of killing and destruction. Wars are not won or lost through the application of violence but rather by destroying the enemy's will to fight. We are unable to do this because pyrotechnics only shatter bodies, not ideas. You can conduct outstanding kills all day long, but you have not killed the ideology. This idea underpins Western civilization and its predominant religious belief, Christianity.

My thinking that current U.S. efforts are a violation of the rules governing land warfare was influenced by my Command & General Staff College (CGSC) training
. It appears we no longer apply the principles of war to our planning or execution. The U.S. military is well-versed in violence and outfitted with the most advanced field technology, yet it cannot convert this into a meaningful goal.

For example, if one considers the Medals of Honor from Afghanistan it becomes abundantly clear that most fights in this war were meeting engagements. If we cannot fix the enemy after bumbling into him, then we cannot maintain contact and exploit the situation. The entire U.S. military is based upon this presumption:
  • March to combat
  • Develop the situation
  • Defeat
  • Exploit
Classic, but missing since the U.S. march into Baghdad. German tank commander Heinz Guderian said it simply when he said in a successful operation, you hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread; punch, not push.

This implies the necessity of identifying your main threat and maneuvering air and land assets to achieve deep objectives. (Guderian also shouted at his Panzertroops, "Ticket to the last station", meaning go as far as you can, and -- roughly -- "boot 'em, don't splatter 'em", meaning don't do things halfway.) The Phony War on Terror (
PWOT ©) has substituted cheap objectives for the win, lacking any strategic and no demonstrable tactical values.

You cannot punch air or push nothing. You cannot fix what can't be fixed by blowing it up. Sometimes Ranger thinks that Tai Chi or Aikido would be more helpful to our young soldiers. (Perhaps Ranger Hazen could speak to this idea.)

It doesn't matter if we shrink wrap bundles of Ranger tabs and scrolls like the untold Benjamins we offered up on palletized altars as sacrifices in both wars. If those tabs and money were squandered, we did so freely.

If so, then that is our shame.

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Anonymous William Ranger Hazen said...

I just posted this on my Facebook Page...and in Answer to Jim's question to me it explains my feelings perfectly...

"All I am saying is...I honor all those posts and posters about how Noble our Soldiers in War are compared to most Noble activities...However, I don't want to forget that the most noble things in life...are to live without fear...Having the courage to love your neighbor...Helping those less fortunate..Forgiving those who've wronged you..Making an inspired effort to understand those things and people you cannot currently comprehend...and above all (for me) expressing compassion and empathy towards all those who are suffering. To paraphrase Yoda "Wars do not make one great" In my experience Love and only Love can truly lead to living a Noble Life. :) Just Saying."-Me Posted on Facebook 3/5/12

I was booted from sites like SOCNET and Professional Soldiers years ago...The folks who run those sites are still stuck in a High School mind set and think they somehow represent the community. Sadly since the mid 90's A Certain mindset has infected a small minority of those who are privileged to serve in the Special Operations Community. This mindset can be described as classic Narcissism...Being a member of an elite community and thus insulated from the real world has warped the personalities of some of these men into believing that they have only themselves to answer to...The Media and popular culture constantly feeds into this myth...When evidence pops up in the form of events like The lack of WMD's,The Jessica Lynch "rescue" and Pat Tillman...These folks just hunker down inside their little sites and chatter endlessly about their "specialism" There is no objectivity...no pause for reflection...no serious search for the truth...It's just an echo chamber of yes men. They cannot afford to let go of their childishness over being so "special". This used to frustrate me to no end since in the early days...These sites seem to be the only ones on the Web and thus they appeared to have a monopoly and the appearance of representing a majority view of "Special Operators". Today (as the recent events in the media have shown) as more and more Real Deals are dissenting across "party lines" and history and the facts are drowning out their shrill attempts to maintain a separate, insulated, and distorted reality... The voices of these folks now grow ever more shrill and vitriolic. This is to be expected. Most Narcissistic Boy Men in my experience will always try to shout you down rather than accept the truth about themselves...

The world has moved on...The truth is there for all to see and we now have many more folks like Jim and Blogs like Ranger Against War who rigorously attempt to find the truth about the Nature of War, It's politics, and The Armies who fight them...

I have nothing but pity and empathy for those fools...To live a delusional life is to be in constant fear and and self inflicted suffering.

So Jimbo and Lisa... keep up the good work...You helped lead the way back in the days of absolute madness, and if you look to your left and right... you'll find thousands of us now...standing right beside you...

William Ranger Hazen

Monday, March 5, 2012 at 2:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Really beautiful, William.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Monday, March 5, 2012 at 2:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Thanks for your input.
You were also 1 of the early voices.
I did a long series of essays on Act of valor, and my conclusion was like yours-these guys are extreme narcissists and have serious disconnects with their displayed and spoken attitudes towards women. I do not support women in combat, but i don't think that they are arm/eye candy either.
War is a disease and soldiering a nasty thing but once completed a person MUST go beyond the range markers and lower the range flag.
I don't know about love, but humanity must prevail.
I reckon love and humanity are subsets.
thanks for your friendship.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 7:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Blackhawk said...

A number of years ago,I use to belong to 'non-tabbed' vets net that was run by members of my VN unit. Good bunch of guys, but it was hard to listen to all the 'top dogs' tell everybody that anyone who disagreed with their sophomoric military ideas that they were dupes or lacked the right stuff to be a true patriotic American. Most people in groups that express minority opinion are cowed by the prevailing winds or are cast as pacifistic traitors and clam up.

One morning while reading the daily unit mail, I read a guy's post about story of a friend of his just got diagnosed with 40 year old Hep C. I knew the 'Hep C' story's were true because I talked to a lot of guys in our unit that were awaiting liver transplants. The 'hero' top dog in our unit immediately attacked the guy who posted the cautionary tale, saying the 'Hep C' cases were all drug addicts or those seeking benefits, etc.

Well, a good friend of mine who lost an arm at the shoulder at the Battle of Loc Ninh, had just died three weeks prior of undiagnosed Hep 'C'. He was a DAV Rep, had a wife and three kids, and never did drugs. I posted my experience as a gentle support of the 'Hep C' poster and confirmation that the threat was real. Hell, talk about being an apostate. The top dogs all howled in lockstep that there was no such thing as PTSD, Hep 'C' from Vietnam or anything else, they cited the slimy book 'Stolen Valor' by Burkhart and all the pack dogs howled.

Our unit 'Hero' a career officer made the mistake of calling me a 'phony Vet', although he had never met me, nor were we 'in Country' at the same time. I thought about his 'dig' directed at me and chuckled. My very next post was "Major Payne, I'll see you at the next reunion, I'll have a bar stool reserved in your name next to me and I'll buy you drinks all night while you tell me what a 'phony Vet' I am". Instead of me 'bugging out' it was all the 'top dogs' heading for the exit's, crying 'dastardly foul'. Of course this got me secretly 'outted' by the rudderless group, The top dogs returned after an appropriate period of sulking and I reasoned that there was no reason to be waisting my time posting my heresy's.

Well it's ten years later, war in Iraq and Afghanistan has suffered from Imperial hubris and mission creep.The cost to USA has been trillions of dollars since 2001, while the cost to Al Queda has been a few tens of million bucks (hell we paid for the weapons). Our Nation is bankrupt, our goodwill spent, and now 80% of Muslums feel that the USA is an enemy of Islam. I don't call that victory by any stretch of the imagination. To top it off, we are soon to get sucked into an war not in out national interest, against the Shia's, who hate the Sunni led Al Queda. How's that for a national brain trust conducting our Foreign Policy ?

"Meet the New Boss same as the Old Boss"
The Who

Keep up the Fire and thanks for the post Bill,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 9:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I had a female vet tell me -- you can't be SF etc... b/c of my attitude, which i must add -has always been less tan stellar.
That was at a DAV meeting.
I never went back, and i'm a life member and belong to the Commanders club.
The hep c thing is a real problem with our generation and isn't limited to VN vets. The blood supply wasn't checked until 1992 if memory serves.
I was ck'd a few yrs ago at the VA.
I try to keep my mouth shut and do most of my talking in print.
I'm really disturbed at how right wing Christian the Am Leg is these days.I read their bulletin board just for shits and grins.
Hope spring finds you soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 9:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


I can't imagine a "comrade" dismissing you thoughtlessly. Further, I am in awe at your reserve ;)

Let him live long enough and the shades may fall off his eyes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

We're talked about this before, jim, but my take on this is that this has a lot to do with the Eighties-through-the-Oughts change in the SF from the UW idea of the Fifties and Sixties to the "we're high-speed door-kickers" we have now.

When I was knocking on that door in the early Eighties ISTM that there were still some pretty thoughtful guys in SF, guys who still lived the idea that the whole POINT of SF was that the best weapon you had was your brain. That you actually thought about things like the politics and the bigger picture behind your mission so you could either do it better or advise the commander you were working for that everything on the ground was as fucked up as a football bat, blow hell out of everything and grab a hat. Even the line doggies were supposed to be able to think three moves ahead; that's why they were all senior NCOs, so they could walk and think at the same time.

Since the Eighties I get the feeling that the high-n-tight Ranger mind has pretty much fully replaced that hairy-ass wildman SF type. It's now all yes-sir-yes-sir-three-bags-full-sir and hooah. And the thing about that is that you can't be "hooah" and have questions about whether your commanders are screwing the pooch. Like some old redcoat line dog, you have to screw your head forward and march to the drum.

IMO it has a lot to do with the fact that for all the successful killing our SF/SOF has done in southwest Asia, we're still licking that ice cream cone, ain't we?

So these guys are gonna bark. Well, dogs do, too, and are just as useful for a republic in figuring out which wars to fight and how to fight them as they are at teaching me how to lick my balls.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 11:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Lisa, Some folks have terminal cases of the paralyzed dumb ass syndrome.
Facts will never change their beliefs.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 8:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Yep , we've been down this trail before.
SF died when Charlie Beckwith IMPOSED the SAS template on our sorry asses. It started with Delta and filtered down to selections. Wasn't selections a death camp thing???!To the right you go into the Ranger oven-to the left you go to SF.
Sorry, i had to use that image.
SF fully cooperated with CB because so many SF officers were RIF'd and 173rd guys implemented the new thinking.
They didn't have a fucking clue, and they were all Ranger tabbed individuals.
I saw it happen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 8:54:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The whole ball of wax revolves around what SF is-either fish or fowl.
UW?GW is actually a general war term and is valid -remember OSS?
This concept is usually aimed at an external threat occupier by indig partisans trained and equipped/led by none other than SF.
Good to go.
The problem is that since ww2 all uw/gw templates were applying this concept to internal threats of our little host nation buddies.
In effect we used a valid concept for suppression of the citizenry of the HN.
Only the MIke forces and Sog were generally aimed at the external threat, and this hardly met the historic guidelines of uw/gw.
We tried to fit a square peg in a round hole without benefit of KY.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 9:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Yeah, jim, I remember looking at my little pin-on badge with the fancy Latin motto "We liberate the oppressed" and thinking "When the fuck was the last time an SF team worked FOR the oppressed?"

Since the Sixties we seem to have always managed to be on the side of the landlords against the peons and the factory owners against the strikers...the French aristos in Vietnam, the banana generals in Central America, the sheiks and dictators in the Middle East...

We trained Marcos' goons in the PI, and Noriega's DENI thugs in Panama, and Sukarno's murderers in East Timor...Christ, is there a place in the world where the De Oppresso Liber crew actually liberated the oppressed?

It'd be funny if it wasn't so damn sad.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 9:17:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

And speaking of the RVN, I don't know for sure, but I'll bet the Mike Force 'yards the guys in 1st Group led against the NVA would have been just as happy to have had us lead them against the frenchified characters in Saigon; my understanding is that they pretty much hated ALL lowlanders, North and South. They fought for their tribe, the SF teams became part of the tribe to lead them, then we left them to hell when we grabbed a hat.

What a sad damn shame...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 9:21:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Yep we weren't oss , but then neither was the oss.
Actually the only people with the balls to fight the germans were usually communist groups, and we supported them. Even in FRANCE.
We killed the opposition to the Maquis which translates out to-we killed anti-communists.We were totally naive and simplistic. Sound familiar??
WE've always been rather fucked.
In the highlands the yards revolted several times and killed their VN officers, and they always warned the SF when they did this.
FULRO was a independence group inside the SF A team structure. All SF men knew this , as did all Sog vets. The indig teams ALWAYS drew more ammo and explosives than they needed, and we /I turned a blind eye. This included them keeping captured weapons. All this stuff was stored for future use.
And so it goes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 9:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The only constant in SOF is PER DIEM.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 9:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Interesting, isn't it, how DeGaulle edited out the reality that a hell of a lot of the FFI were socialists and communists who had hated the Third Republic (because of the capitalists) and hated Vichy because of the French fascists/royalists...and hated DeGaulle, too, but fought against the Germans because they hated them, too.

So our Jedburgh teams helped French, Greek, and Yugoslav Reds simply because they were the ones who would fight. No ideology in survival - you fight with who will fight with you.

We in the U.S. seem to have this bizarre need to turn this into a great crusade and make the allies-of-convenience into fellow Holy Warriors. So one of history's most evil butchers becomes "Uncle Joe" Stalin when we need him to kill Germans...and then some people are shocked when he turns out to be just another damn evil Commie after all.

IMO we'd be better off if we were less sentimental about this stuff, but that's asking for cake AND ice cream - ain't ever gonna happen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 7:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I acknowledge your points. Now for mine.
Why not let them kill each other , and we stay neutral?
Did it really matter who won ww2?
Or any war??!

Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

The only wars that really "mattered", IMO, were the Revolution and WW2. A fascist-German Europe would not have been a good thing for the U.S. in the long run any more than a militarist-Japan dominated Pacific would have been. Some folks really ARE evil, and the Nazis pretty much qualify if anyone does. We'd have ended up fighting them anyway, and on worse terms than we did. Just my opinion, mind you.

Otherwise I tend to agree with you; most of the wars we've fought have been "wars of choice", and the results didn't really do much for us, outside of the occasional land grab.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 10:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The popes were evil , but we didn't declare war on them.
I don't care about evil-how were the Nazi's worse than the Stalinists???!I trust evil men more than good men like ....-fill in the blank.
The world is slap full up w. evil.
As for the revolution- the rest of the Br. empire became Commonwealths without nasty revolts. Relatively speaking.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 5:39:00 PM GMT-5  

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