Tag Archives: government

combat

combat

I am reading a book that I should have read in high school. It falls into line behind another book I should have read in high school, and a third one in which I am making slow progress. (I’m listening.) 

http://i.imgur.com/hhd158k.jpg

I went to a very good high school and had one very very good teacher for AP English who was an Army veteran and who introduced me to writing, literature, and World War One war poems in a way that no one else did.

My AP History teacher was a veteran of World War One (his arm was permanently damaged in battle and he wore an early prosthetic forearm in a sling, inert and dysfunctional, perhaps for me the next level in empathy after Farragut’s Theorem).

Either one of these live human beings who taught me on a daily basis might have stood in for the fictional high school instructor of History and Moral Philosophy described in Starship Troopers.

The author described high school classes I wish were available to me, but weren’t. The course in survival preparation described in Tunnel in the Sky is unlike anything offered even today by small companies of preppers and former soldiers; the final exam was its climax.

 

Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is topically resurgent online today and has also spin off movies, role-playing games, and more.  But here today I’m focused on the book and the philosophies.

And the reason that I’m reading this book and looking at the phenomenon of its resurgence is simple: we’re going to war.

And we have not yet begun to even glimpse the final exam for that course.

We’ve been at war for a long time. We are a warring nation.  We like war.  Many of our elite get rich through war.  They foster and incite violence, conflict and hatred regularly. There is a long tradition among the extremely wealthy of funding both sides of a war at the same time. They probably get some form of perverse enjoyment out of the sacrifices of humans to their fantasies of power. Henry Kissinger has a quote or two about these things. Mike Rivero has published an article on war and bankers. Today’s alternative news will bring you forecasts of impending war with Russia (and perhaps China, or both).  Many people are aware of and concerned about the Soros-driven waves of Islamist refugees into Europe. The EU and NATO are described as the modern-day version of the Third Reich.

Others are concerned about waves of immigrants from various countries and cultures arriving via the US southern border. Imigration out of Asia into the Pacific Northwest has been forecast. War, weather and color revolutions have put a lot of peole on the march.

Civil war is forecast; the CONUS military exercises like Jade Helm have been widely discussed. Political change and degradation of rights enumerated under the Constitutiuon, itself widely degraded and no longer deemed worthy of protection by many, will be visible on the streets of the nation’s Capitol as a new President is inaurgurated (or perhaps assassinated, if you read some people).

So an old piece of science fiction that isn’t much younger than I am and that describes political and other virtues of military discipline and training comes into sharp focus for an individual concerned about the well-being of his family.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f22sqdXrJPU/UguAWfxVA6I/AAAAAAAAY9s/7c72hZn5GnQ/s320/518d5846103f5_299379n.jpg

source of image: http://futurewarstories.blogspot.com/2013/08/fws-topics-powered-armor.html

“… Science fiction is a useful tool of cultural criticism in that it posits future worlds so as to reflect contemporary social concerns.”

Masters’ thesis in literature

http://scholarworks.uno.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2322&context=td 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYFcV004RfU

http://theessential.com.au/media/articles/123/starship-troopers-3.jpg prepared for insertion

“War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it’s not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It’s never a soldier’s business to decide when or where or how–or why–he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people–“older and wiser heads,” as they say–supply the control.”

Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/–FPhwtNMff8/Uelh6wQsIGI/AAAAAAAAYRY/xnH5NDwux0U/s400/amplifierFrame.gif

source of image: http://futurewarstories.blogspot.com/2013/08/fws-topics-powered-armor.html

“LANCE CPL. STEVEN West steps into a remote enemy hideout clad in a 350-pound exoskeleton, sensors piercing the darkness and displaying digital info on his helmet visor, until a shock of static feedback knocks him to the dirty floor. A band of locals surround him with pipes and rebar. “The feedback stopped, leaving his ears ringing, and grainy video feed warped back into view as he was struck again. And again.”

This scene isn’t pulled from the latest Clancy-esque techno-thriller, but a short story written as part of a new Marine Corps exercise using science fiction to think about possible threats 15 to 30 years in the future.

“Water’s a Fightin’ Word” recounts what happens when a squad of Marines on a humanitarian mission in Africa gets surrounded during a global freshwater shortage. The author slips in glimpses of military technology in its infancy today, such as the exoskeleton, electromagnetic pulse weapons, and combat-ready robots, and combines it with likely geopolitical scenarios, such as conflict over water and other environmental resources.

Officers at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory/Futures Directorate in Quantico, Va., came up with the idea last year to host a sci-fi contest to spur creativity, as well as get uniformed Marines to conceive of threats in a different way. A total of 84 entries were narrowed down to 18 finalists, who were paired with professional sci-fi writers—including “World War Z’s” Max Brooks—during a workshop co-hosted by the Atlantic Council. After months of editing, the top three stories were collected in “Science Fiction Futures: Marine Corps Security Environment Forecast 2030-2045″ and published online [ http://www.mcwl.marines.mil/Portals/34/Documents/FuturesAssessment/Marine%20Corps%20Science%20Fiction%20Futures%202016_12_9.pdf?ver=2016-12-09-105855-733 ].

The stories share common themes of political chaos, a rising China, a less-powerful and more inward-looking United States, conflicts over environmental resources, and the growth of megacities in the developing world. For Marines, who are the first US boots on the ground in the toughest situations, the toughest challenges may stem from the latter.

“It will not be like Fallujah or Hue City,” said Marine Lt. Col. Patrick Kirchner, citing intense block-by-block conflicts in Iraq 2004 and Vietnam 1968. “But more like Manhattan, and not on a weekend.” Kirchner’s comments came at a panel on the sci-fi Marine warfighting project at the Atlantic Council in Washington. “You can’t pick out the enemy and you can’t just shoot him. You’ve got to figure out how to clear a skyscraper. You can’t just hang green t-shirts or chem-lites in the window and say it’s clear. We have to find out how to figure out this kind of situations.”

More:

https://www.wired.com/2017/01/better-way-marines-prepare-future-wars-sci-fi/ 

 

Music:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onGWF8mz1Zw 

 

“Robert Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’ is the only novel on the required reading list at the Army War College and Annapolis for the study of small force tactics.” 

“Small Unit Tactics” by Will Serwetman is available as a free download on the Internet.

On YouTube, you can find hours of assessment by major national think tanks on Russian military capabilities, hybrid warfare, urban warfare and the growth of mega-cities, and I probably only scratched that surface

YouTube is also resplendent with videos on squad tactics, urban warfare techniques, land navigation, and more.  Books and classes are available on community squad formation, how to conduct local “intel”, etc.  In today’s world, whether in the military or on the home front, we must consider the role and presence of women.

Preparing for war has become part of our culture. 

Somebody wants to bring combat upon you.

Are you ready for it?

Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is a story about boot camp and military duty.

“COMBAT – that means life and death with people actively seeking to destroy you.”  Learning how to survive combat  is a serious business involving “the teaching of serious skills in a dynamic, live-fire environment. It takes tough men [and women[ to have first acquired the skills in order to teach them and it takes tough men [and women] to maintain order, discipline and safety in an environment to teach those skills.”

Starship Troopers: Thoughts #1

Note that I am not an expert in, nor have I ever experienced combat. 

 

http://breakingdefense.sites.breakingmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/10/Screen-Shot-2016-10-20-at-1.47.36-PM-1024×640.png

source of image:  http://breakingdefense.com/tag/marine-future/ 

“… Advanced sensors, air/land/sea vehicles that can stay on alert for extended periods of time, and immediate battle damage assessment have changed the rules of warfare — as well as what is considered acceptable collateral damage.

All these factors make it easier to control violence. But it’s up to the politicians to tell the military what purpose the violence serves, and that hasn’t gotten any easier. Sun Tzu himself warned about it, saying, “He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” However, Sun Tzu never had to deal with satellite communications, a 24-hour news cycle, or a pesky thing called democracy.”

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a13103/starship-troopers-is-the-new-the-art-of-war/ 

[Ed.: But we don’t have a democracy, and never did; we have what’s left of a constitutional republic….]

 

Heinlein’s tidy piece of science fiction offers lessons in civilian leadership.

 

8 Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Tips from Starship Troopers

Oct 21, 2015

Robert Heinlein’s science fiction classic Starship Troopers, published in December 1959, is a permanent fixture on military reading lists among the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Starship Troopers describes how Johnnie Rico starts as a private in the Mobile Infantry, an Earth-based military force that serves as a galactic and heavily armed raiding force. The Mobile Infantry was similar to a WWII Marine Raider force or the Army Rangers of WWII – high on firepower, shock tactics, and infantry force.  The essence of Starship Troopers was a fight for survival of the human race across the galaxy.  Humans were threatened by a race of intelligent, highly skilled, and ferocious spider-like creatures (“Bugs”).  Standing in their way, the front line of Earth’s defense forces, was the Mobile Infantry.  The Mobile Infantry could be considered as interstellar Marines, transported from plant to planet in huge starships and then “parachuted” from planetary orbit.  On the ground, the Mobile Infantry fought in incredible, 2,000 lb, powered, armored suits.

Starship Troopers showed us that, despite the technology, being in the Infantry was still the Infantry with constant hard work, impossible odds, and zero thanks.  The Mobile Infantry fought and trained as Infantry has always done: outnumbered, in the cold and dark, and against incredible odds to save the human race and each other.  Starship Troopers made its way into the modern military lexicon more than a decade ago, most notably during the U.S. involvement in Somalia, where local Somali militia were referenced as “Skinnies” in comparison to one of the antagonist militaries that the Earth forces fought against in the opening chapters of the book.

Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is a great refresher on some of the truly vital and critical skill sets that veterans bring to organizations in their post-military careers. If you are on the first day or your 10th year of your military transition, be sure to look down this list to contribute all you can.  There are 8 key insights that matter to how effective military veterans can be in business and their second careers.

1  The Entire Team Works On The Primary Mission.

The motto of the Mobile Infantry is, “Everybody drops and everybody fights.” On numerous drops, all of Rico’s unit went into combat.  Regular soldiers, but also cooks, administrative personnel, and even Chaplain’s – everyone fought.  From an organizational standpoint, this was the sheer genius from the Mobile Infantry. Literally, 100% of the organization was dedicated to its primary purpose of combat. The concept of “everybody fights” was a simple and valuable reminder that the majority of your organization should be dedicated to its mission.

Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition.  When you come into a new company or organization, how much of your job should be dedicated to doing what your company does for its customers? If your primary job reinforce safety standards on oil rigs, then how much of your time do you actually spend enforcing and training on oil rig safety standards? In the military and in the corporate world, it can be very, very easy to be distracted by activities that take time and effort, but do not contribute to the primary purpose of your organization towards its customers.

1  Performance in The Present, Not In The Past, Is All Important

Every person in the mobile infantry, and society at large, was judged by what they did, how they performed, and how well they followed orders. This focus on performance as the sole benchmark of personal value weas refreshing. In Heinlein’s sci-fi future, you could be rich or poor, from a great family or a questionable one, or have a PhD or a high school degree, and the only thing that mattered in the mobile infantry was well you performed.  In business, you can have a great corporate culture but if the product was bad, the customer service ineffective, or the company was not innovative, then you failed.  For both business and the military, performance was everything.

Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition.  Performance was a central driving criteria for veterans because no matter that you were a crewmember on a destroyer or an Apache Helicopter pilot, what mattered was how well you performed your current job. Don’t worry about how your background compares to others in your organization. Worry about how well you perform and always seek to improve.

1  Difference And Diversity Is A Non-Issue In The Modern Workplace

Starship Troopers gets some diversity and gender issues right and others completely wrong.  Gender, physical disability, and race played significant roles throughout the book. Women were allowed to perform all combat roles, even direct ground combat. However, there were barely any women in the Mobile Infantry because they were better suited for more vital military roles, like being starship pilots, serving in military intelligence, or weapons development. Women, it turns out, were even more valuable than men in effective combat performance and outcomes. The most important, strategic positions were reserved for women.

What Heinlein missed was the concept that a woman would want a direct combat position?  If Heinlein had ever met Ronda Rousey, then the whole Mobile Infantry might have been women.  The vast majority of Rico’s teachers were disabled combat veterans.  His Strategy instructor was the best military strategist who only happened to be blind. If anything, according to Rico, it made him a better strategist. Based on the concept of superior job performance that permeates the book, disability was an illogical reason to exclude anyone, because everyone’s value was based on how they performed.

Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition.  For military veterans, we are used to dealing with gender, diversity, and other issues on a daily basis.  Military members, like the Mobile Infantry, are used to dealing with different races and religions.  Veterans will need to work with other non-veteran civilians to have their military service fully understood and how it contributes to their current workplace.  Veterans will need to strive at times to be open and understanding with others as they explain and demonstrate the value of their service for their employer’s success.  The lesson from Starship Troopers was that when an organization unites under a compelling mission, truly focuses on performance, then difference does not apply.

5 More Lessons at Military One Click.  Content Provided Courtesy of Military One Click: http://militaryoneclick.com/8-military-to-civilian-career-lessons/ 

http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/military-transition/famous-veteran-robert-a-heinlein.html 

“… A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual’s instinct to survive–and nowhere else!–and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and resolve all conflicts. We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race . . . . The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual.”

Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 

 

 

 

If it is true, as Heinlein says, that “The noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war’s desolation”, then a lot of us have a lot of thinking and work to do, even those of us who are physically impaired, elderly, or otherwise not inclined to sign up for some physically-punishing romp up and down some hills in the Appalachians, the Rockies, or even the flatlands.

With or without training, with or without armaments, in forthcoming wars, civil or otherwise, you will have to be mindful, self-aware, alert, prepared, and trained in the use and maintenance of your arms, your legs, your heart, your lungs, and your brain.

“It is a basic function of self defense and your job as an adult member of your family/ community. It is not a responsibility to be handed off the the police, or the State. When you do, it is all too easy to take that responsibility and capability away from you entirely, by disarming you and making you incapable of self defense. Whether by physically disarming you, or brainwashing your mind, you are gelded.”

https://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/2015/04/starship-troopers-thoughts-1/ 

Isn’t that in parallel with one of my most favored quotes from Tim Gallwey in Summon The Magic ?

One’s true capacity for moving,

or being moved, can be achieved

only when one’s commitment to others

is in fact connected to and derived from

his primary commitment to himself. 

When we find this kind of alignment of purpose,

there is a harmony of motivation

that can provide the fuel and clarity

to overcome great obstacles

in the pursuit of great challenge.

from The Inner Game of Work, by W. Timothy Gallwey

 

If your nation unleashes an environment — whether or not you are its target or merely it witness — of engineered super-soldiers, the use of drones, EMP and other directed-energy weapons, artificial intelligence and cyberwar, robotic military vehicles, drones and neuroweapons, are you ready?

Are you left of bang ?

http://i.enkivillage.com/v58pv9wJzC9uKU5EzfoYjzAef04=/800×0//images/2016/08/3f229385e389c52ece0423d8cb7566ea.jpg

“… To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy….”

Resources:

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2534973-starship-troopers 

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Starship_Troopers 

https://www.part-time-commander.com/17-quotes-and-leadership-lessons-from-the-book-starship-troopers/ 

https://www.abebooks.com/products/isbn/9780425071588 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Troopers 

http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Robert_Heinlein 

http://www.heinleinsociety.org 

http://www.thesullenbell.com/2016/05/26/reverse-engineering-humanity/ 

http://i.enkivillage.com/7IC2bS4x_rz7EH9CfwjP18SlVCw=/800×0//images/2016/08/51a5ecb8b057df1f2d7d77e24498483b.jpg

 

Trump’s Generals

Trump’s Generals

“Democrats are growing uneasy with the number of generals President-elect Donald Trump has tapped for his administration, citing concerns about the amount of sway the military will have in the government. Trump has so far named three generals to top positions –– and there’s the potential for more.”

Read the full story here

music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAkGL-roQig 

 

https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_800_800/AAEAAQAAAAAAAATQAAAAJDQ2ZTE3NmEwLWZjM2EtNDZlNi1iMTAwLTJlNWYxYzViOGZiMg.jpg

There seems to be a great degree of uncertainty, concern, queasiness or even disdain for the fact that Donald Trump appears to be surrounding himself with generals. The degree to which these people are accepted or cleared into key positions within his administration remains in the future; he hasn’t even been sworn in yet and there are a lot of people floating scenarios, ideas and suggestions for preventing that occurrence.  

While you wait for the calendar to flip, consider what a general must have learned by the time stars arrived for shoulder boards.

“Generals understand the scope and scale of large problems.”

http://www.physicianspractice.com/mentoring/how-military-general-became-physician-leader-expert 

Generals are “able and willing to coordinate their activities with a number of other” high-level and highly-capable individuals.

http://www.cmaconsult.com/generals-as-talent-management-experts/ 

It’s a maxim that a good general must understand logistics. Logistics must certainly be a major consideration in making a nation function efficiently. 

http://aitcinc.com/images/logistics.jpg

Generals have significant experience in the management of large and diverse organizations. 

“The willingness to allow yourself to be influenced by other people and to share your ideas openly enhances the know-hows, while being psychologically closed can cause problems. Leaders who are psychologically open seek diverse opinions, so they see and hear more and factor a wider range of information into their decisions. Their openness permeates the social system, enhancing candor and communication. Those who are psychologically closed are secretive and afraid to test their ideas, often cloaking that fear under the guise of confidentiality. They’re distant from their direct reports and have no one outside to bounce ideas off of or to provide information that counters their own beliefs. In the new environment of complexity, being psychologically closed makes it particularly difficult to reposition the business, because the leader lacks perspectives from diverse disciplines, functions and cultures….”

http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/on-the-job/6-traits-for-improved-leadership-skills.html  

Generals know how to recruit (enroll into his assigned mission), manage, trust, motivate, respect and push teams.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/220667 

 

If you want to study military leadership, start with this book by this man.  

 

Qualities of an Effective Leader 

There are five personal attributes or qualities of an effective leader: courage, will, intellect, presence and energy. Courage can be described as both physical courage and moral courage. Will is defined in terms of both boldness and tenacity. Intellect is explained as the use of innovation, flexibility and judgment. Presence is used to rally and to inspire. And energy is a characteristic that provides dynamism to the other qualities, animates those who are following, and as an intensity that gets things accomplished.

Physical courage in warfare is more important than it is in athletics. But if we think of danger less in terms of personal physical harm than as a threat to the competitive presence of the team, then courage in sports has more to do with hanging tough, sucking it up, sticking it out, taking one for the team, stepping up, and so on. Among soldiers and athletes, phoniness and the lack of guts are soon discovered.

In warfare, we think of physical courage in terms of the officer leading the charge up the hill. In sports leadership, we must think more in terms of moral courage. We must recognize and appreciate that the leader is under the scrutiny of everyone in or observing the contest. The leader has the ability to make a decision, and the courage to act on the decision. With time and experience, those decisions will increasingly be the right ones. The leader is one who, having made a decision, has the resolution and the determination to stand firm and not waver when the issue remains in doubt.

Leadership is, in part, visibility. But moral courage is quiet, the calm determination that exists in and operates in the minds — and hearts — of the team, and strengthens the will against uncertainties and frustrations. It is what makes the strong-minded appear that way and enables you to stand against anything the opponent can muster up against you.

Leadership and moral courage have to do with responsibility. In warfare, that responsibility is sobering. In sports, life itself does not hang in the balance. In a team context, the leader must be capable of making others accomplish their mission in spite of their shortcomings. Two opposing elements of will are boldness and tenacity.

Boldness suggests a daring action, one that balances the risks with the outcomes. Boldness suggests flair, and perhaps impetuous action, but boldness without effective use of the mind is rash behavior with potentially disastrous consequences. When is the time for boldness and when is the time for caution? How does the leader go about deciding where and how to be bold?

Proper boldness is a calculated risk. The situation has been carefully reviewed. Meticulous planning has been involved. Risk and potential have been weighed. The opponent’s situation, resources and weaknesses have been assessed. Thought has been given about what can be done. Wishful thinking has been eliminated. Every means available has been used to eliminate the possibility of error. Then a time and place for a bold action is selected, when conditions will be favorable. This is not to say that bold action cannot be instant. It can, but it must be based on skill, experience and knowledge, on awareness and intuition.

Tenacity is the characteristic that enables the leader and his or her followers to hold out, no matter how adverse the odds or conditions, until the mission has been accomplished. Tenacity arises from an underlying sense of duty, rests squarely on discipline, and is aided by will.  At such times, it seems the team cannot go on, but it must. Everyone has been pushed to their limits. Relief is nowhere in sight, unless quitting provides it. If you’re the leader, you can’t tell your group any baloney; they know what they’re up against. You can’t let talk or even thoughts of defeat creep into your mental fortress. You will improvise. You must continue to think, to strategize, to communicate. You

will squeeze every drop of value out of what your team has to offer.

Leadership in any major sphere is a clearly-defined professional discipline, but it is also a highly-personalized art.

Leadership is embodied in the individual, and no where is this more evident than in the area of presence. Presence in a military setting is again dominantly a physical and geographical concept; face-to-face contact is important in any relationship, but when the general shows up at the front, it has an immediate and visible impact. Presence as a means of rallying means using personal example and force

of character to bring order out of potential chaos during a critical turn of events.

At all times, the leader must be sincere. Insincere and repetitive appeals soon lose their value. A leader’s “presence” is best used when it is absolutely necessary to get people’s attentions, when it is useful in terms of changing people’s mindset or attitude, when it is essential to accomplishing the mission. In its most practical sense, the leader’s inspiration must produce the results he seeks before he arrives at the place and time where he thought his “presence” would turn the trick.

Pure brainpower is a critical element in leadership. In order to make judgment, flexibility and innovation work for you, you’ve got to be able to think clearly, you have to have done your homework, and you must develop and update an accurate assessment of and insight into what is happening in front of you.

Any of those qualities of intellect can help you produce a successful result.

Judgment is the ability to make a sound assessment of what is known about the opponent, the situation and capabilities of those on your team, to decide upon a practicable course of action, and to act.

Flexibility is the ability to shift mental gears under pressure without confusion of purpose. An accomplished leader has learned all of the principles or maxims of his craft. But the leader with experience learns to recognize the moment when the game’s maxims can be bent or disregarded. Innovation, of course, is the creation of change, of finding a new way of attacking the same problem. Having scouted and studied the opponent in front of him, having charted his tendencies, strengths, weaknesses and character, the leader has the information that will enable correct judgment when it is required. Having drilled his own team, with a clear and effective system of signs and signals, he is better assured of flexibility.

Energy does not stand alone as an attribute of leadership. It is the foundation and the cement that provide continuous support to the leader’s expression of courage, will, intellect and presence. Indeed, an energetic leader who cannot express the other four attributes will not achieve her goals; the followers will be aimless, or soon absent.

 

Spend a few dollars and a few hours; order the book and sit by the fireplace.

Leaders and Battles: The Art of Military Leadership, Lt. Col. William Wood, U.S.Army War College, Carlisle, PA.

http://www.alibris.com/Leaders-and-Battles-The-Art-of-Military-Leadership-W-J-Wood/book/3816400 

The whole idea of emotional intelligence comes into focus too. You need not spend a lot of time reading the history of battles past; you are immersed in a massive battle right now.  Look around you, and open your eyes.

I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.

-Talleyrand

‘normalized deviance’

‘normalied deviance’

US War Crimes or ‘Normalized Deviance’

August 15, 2016

The U.S. foreign policy establishment and its mainstream media operate with a pervasive set of hypocritical standards that justify war crimes — or what might be called a “normalization of deviance,” writes Nicolas J S Davies.

By Nicolas J S Davies

Sociologist Diane Vaughan coined the term “normalization of deviance” as she was investigating the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986. She used it to describe how the social culture at NASA fostered a disregard for rigorous, physics-based safety standards, effectively creating new, lower de facto standards that came to govern actual NASA operations and led to catastrophic and deadly failures.

Vaughan published her findings in her prize-winning book, The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance at NASA, which, in her words, “shows how mistake, mishap, and disaster are socially organized and systematically produced by social structures” and “shifts our attention from individual causal explanations to the structure of power and the power of structure and culture – factors that are difficult to identify and untangle yet have great impact on decision making in organizations.”

When the same pattern of organizational culture and behavior at NASA persisted until the loss of a second shuttle in 2003, Diane Vaughan was appointed to NASA’s accident investigation board, which belatedly embraced her conclusion that the “normalization of deviance” was a critical factor in these catastrophic failures.

The normalization of deviance has since been cited in a wide range of corporate crimes and institutional failures, from Volkswagen’s rigging of emissions tests to deadly medical mistakes in hospitals.  In fact, the normalization of deviance is an ever-present danger in most of the complex institutions that govern the world we live in today, not least in the bureaucracy that formulates and conducts U.S. foreign policy.

The normalization of deviance from the rules and standards that formally govern U.S. foreign policy has been quite radical.  And yet, as in other cases, this has gradually been accepted as a normal state of affairs, first within the corridors of power, then by the corporate media and eventually by much of the public at large.

Once deviance has been culturally normalized, as Vaughan found in the shuttle program at NASA, there is no longer any effective check on actions that deviate radically from formal or established standards – in the case of U.S. foreign policy, that would refer to the rules and customs of international law, the checks and balances of our constitutional political system and the experience and evolving practice of generations of statesmen and diplomats.

Normalizing the Abnormal

It is in the nature of complex institutions infected by the normalization of deviance that insiders are incentivized to downplay potential problems and to avoid precipitating a reassessment based on previously established standards.  Once rules have been breached, decision-makers face a cognitive and ethical conundrum whenever the same issue arises again: they can no longer admit that an action will violate responsible standards without admitting that they have already violated them in the past.

This is not just a matter of avoiding public embarrassment and political or criminal accountability, but a real instance of collective cognitive dissonance among people who have genuinely, although often self-servingly, embraced a deviant culture.  Diane Vaughan has compared the normalization of deviance to an elastic waistband that keeps on stretching.

Within the high priesthood that now manages U.S. foreign policy, advancement and success are based on conformity with this elastic culture of normalized deviance.  Whistle-blowers are punished or even prosecuted, and people who question the prevailing deviant culture are routinely and efficiently marginalized, not promoted to decision-making positions.

For example, once U.S. officials had accepted the Orwellian “doublethink” that “targeted killings,” or “manhunts” as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called them, do not violate long-standing prohibitions against assassination, even a new administration could not walk that decision back without forcing a deviant culture to confront the wrong-headedness and illegality of its original decision.

Then, once the Obama administration had massively escalated the CIA’s drone program as an alternative to kidnapping and indefinite detention at Guantanamo, it became even harder to acknowledge that this is a policy of cold-blooded murder that provokes widespread anger and hostility and is counter-productive to legitimate counterterrorism goals – or to admit that it violates the U.N. Charter’s prohibition on the use of force, as U.N. special rapporteurs on extrajudicial killings have warned.

Underlying such decisions is the role of U.S. government lawyers who provide legal cover for them, but who are themselves shielded from accountability by U.S. non-recognition of international courts and the extraordinary deference of U.S. courts to the Executive Branch on matters of “national security.” These lawyers enjoy a privilege that is unique in their profession, issuing legal opinions that they will never have to defend before impartial courts to provide legal fig-leaves for war crimes.

The deviant U.S. foreign policy bureaucracy has branded the formal rules that are supposed to govern our country’s international behavior as “obsolete” and “quaint”, as a White House lawyer wrote in 2004.  And yet these are the very rules that past U.S. leaders deemed so vital that they enshrined them in constitutionally binding international treaties and U.S. law.

Let’s take a brief look at how the normalization of deviance undermines two of the most critical standards that formally define and legitimize U.S. foreign policy: the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions.

The United Nations Charter

In 1945, after two world wars killed 100 million people and left much of the world in ruins, the world’s governments were shocked into a moment of sanity in which they agreed to settle future international disputes peacefully.  The U.N. Charter therefore prohibits the threat or use of force in international relations.

As President Franklin Roosevelt told a joint session of Congress on his return from the Yalta conference, this new “permanent structure of peace … should spell the end of the system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, the spheres of influence, the balance of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries – and have always failed.”

The U.N. Charter’s prohibition against the threat or use of force codifies the long-standing prohibition of aggression in English common law and customary international law, and reinforces the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy in the 1928 Kellogg Briand Pact. The judges at Nuremberg ruled that, even before the U.N. Charter came into effect, aggression was already the “supreme international crime.”

No U.S. leader has proposed abolishing or amending the U.N. Charter to permit aggression by the U.S. or any other country.  And yet the U.S. is currently conducting ground operations, air strikes or drone strikes in at least seven countries: Afghanistan; Pakistan; Iraq; Syria; Yemen; Somalia; and Libya. U.S. “special operations forces” conduct secret operations in a hundred more. U.S. leaders still openly threaten Iran, despite a diplomatic breakthrough that was supposed to peacefully settle bilateral differences.

President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton still believes in backing U.S. demands on other countries with illegal threats of force, even though every threat she has backed in the past has only served to create a pretext for war, from Yugoslavia to Iraq to Libya. But the U.N. Charter prohibits the threat as well as the use of force precisely because the one so regularly leads to the other.

The only justifications for the use of force permitted under the U.N. Charter are proportionate and necessary self-defense or an emergency request by the U.N. Security Council for military action “to restore peace and security.”  But no other country has attacked the United States, nor has the Security Council asked the U.S. to bomb or invade any of the countries where we are now at war.

The wars we have launched since 2001 have killed about 2 million people, of whom nearly all were completely innocent of involvement in the crimes of 9/11. Instead of “restoring peace and security,” U.S. wars have only plunged country after country into unending violence and chaos.

Like the specifications ignored by the engineers at NASA, the U.N. Charter is still in force, in black and white, for anyone in the world to read. But the normalization of deviance has replaced its nominally binding rules with looser, vaguer ones that the world’s governments and people have neither debated, negotiated nor agreed to.

In this case, the formal rules being ignored are the ones that were designed to provide a viable framework for the survival of human civilization in the face of the existential threat of modern weapons and warfare – surely the last rules on Earth that should have been quietly swept under a rug in the State Department basement.

The Geneva Conventions

Courts martial and investigations by officials and human rights groups have exposed “rules of engagement” issued to U.S. forces that flagrantly violate the Geneva Conventions and the protections they provide to wounded combatants, prisoners of war and civilians in war-torn countries:

–The Command’s Responsibility report by Human Rights First examined 98 deaths in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan. It revealed a deviant culture in which senior officials abused their authority to block investigations and guarantee their own impunity for murders and torture deaths that U.S. law defines as capital crimes.

Although torture was authorized from the very top of the chain of command, the most senior officer charged with a crime was a Major and the harshest sentence handed down was a five-month prison sentence.

–U.S. rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan have included: systematic, theater-wide use of torture; orders to “dead-check” or kill wounded enemy combatants; orders to “kill all military-age males” during certain operations; and “weapons-free” zones that mirror Vietnam-era “free-fire” zones.

A U.S. Marine corporal told a court martial that “Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency”, nullifying the critical distinction between combatants and civilians that is the very basis of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

When junior officers or enlisted troops have been charged with war crimes, they have been exonerated or given light sentences because courts have found that they were acting on orders from more senior officers. But the senior officers implicated in these crimes have been allowed to testify in secret or not to appear in court at all, and no senior officer has been convicted of a war crime.

–For the past year, U.S. forces bombing Iraq and Syria have operated under loosened rules of engagement that allow the in-theater commander General McFarland to approve bomb- and missile-strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians each.

But Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network has documented that U.S. rules of engagement already permit routine targeting of civilians based only on cell-phone records or “guilt by proximity” to other people targeted for assassination. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has determined that only 4 percent of thousands of drone victims in Pakistan have been positively identified as Al Qaeda members, the nominal targets of the CIA’s drone campaign.

–Amnesty International’s 2014 report Left In The Dark documented a complete lack of accountability for the killing of civilians by U.S. forces in Afghanistan since President Obama’s escalation of the war in 2009 unleashed thousands more air strikes and special forces night raids.

Nobody was charged over the Ghazi Khan raid in Kunar province on Dec. 26, 2009, in which U.S. special forces summarily executed at least seven children, including four who were only 11 or 12 years old.

More recently, U.S. forces attacked a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, killing 42 doctors, staff and patients, but this flagrant violation of Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention did not lead to criminal charges either.

Although the U.S. government would not dare to formally renounce the Geneva Conventions, the normalization of deviance has effectively replaced them with elastic standards of behavior and accountability whose main purpose is to shield senior U.S. military officers and civilian officials from accountability for war crimes.

The Cold War and Its Aftermath

The normalization of deviance in U.S. foreign policy is a byproduct of the disproportionate economic, diplomatic and military power of the United States since 1945. No other country could have got away with such flagrant and systematic violations of international law.

But in the early days of the Cold War, America’s World War II leaders rejected calls to exploit their new-found power and temporary monopoly on nuclear weapons to unleash an aggressive war against the U.S.S.R.

General Dwight Eisenhower gave a speech in St. Louis in 1947 in which he warned, “Those who measure security solely in terms of offensive capacity distort its meaning and mislead those who pay them heed. No modern nation has ever equaled the crushing offensive power attained by the German war machine in 1939. No modern nation was broken and smashed as was Germany six years later.”

But, as Eisenhower later warned, the Cold War soon gave rise to a “military-industrial complex” that may be the case par excellence of a highly complex tangle of institutions whose social culture is supremely prone to the normalization of deviance. Privately, Eisenhower lamented, “God help this country when someone sits in this chair who doesn’t know the military as well as I do.”

That describes everyone who has sat in that chair and tried to manage the U.S. military-industrial complex since 1961, involving critical decisions on war and peace and an ever-growing military budget. Advising the President on these matters are the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, several generals and admirals and the chairs of powerful Congressional committees. Nearly all these officials’ careers represent some version of the “revolving door” between the military and “intelligence” bureaucracy, the executive and legislative branches of government, and top jobs with military contractors and lobbying firms.

Each of the close advisers who have the President’s ear on these most critical issues is in turn advised by others who are just as deeply embedded in the military-industrial complex, from think-tanks funded by weapons manufacturers to Members of Congress with military bases or missile plants in their districts to journalists and commentators who market fear, war and militarism to the public.

With the rise of sanctions and financial warfare as a tool of U.S. power, Wall Street and the Treasury and Commerce Departments are also increasingly entangled in this web of military-industrial interests.

The incentives driving the creeping, gradual normalization of deviance throughout the ever-growing U.S. military-industrial complex have been powerful and mutually reinforcing for over 70 years, exactly as Eisenhower warned.

Richard Barnet explored the deviant culture of Vietnam-era U.S. war leaders in his 1972 book Roots Of War. But there are particular reasons why the normalization of deviance in U.S. foreign policy has become even more dangerous since the end of the Cold War.

In the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. and U.K. installed allied governments in Western and Southern Europe, restored Western colonies in Asia and militarily occupied South Korea. The divisions of Korea and Vietnam into north and south were justified as temporary, but the governments in the south were U.S. creations imposed to prevent reunification under governments allied with the U.S.S.R. or China. U.S. wars in Korea and Vietnam were then justified, legally and politically, as military assistance to allied governments fighting wars of self-defense.

The U.S. role in anti-democratic coups in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Brazil, Indonesia, Ghana, Chile and other countries was veiled behind thick layers of secrecy and propaganda. A veneer of legitimacy was still considered vital to U.S. policy, even as a culture of deviance was being normalized and institutionalized beneath the surface.

The Reagan Years

It was not until the 1980s that the U.S. ran seriously afoul of the post-1945 international legal framework it had helped to build. When the U.S. set out to destroy the revolutionary Sandinista government of Nicaragua by mining its harbors and dispatching a mercenary army to terrorize its people, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) convicted the U.S. of aggression and ordered it to pay war reparations.

The U.S. response revealed how far the normalization of deviance had already taken hold of its foreign policy. Instead of accepting and complying with the court’s ruling, the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the binding jurisdiction of the ICJ.

When Nicaragua asked the U.N. Security Council to enforce the payment of reparations ordered by the court, the U.S. abused its position as a Permanent Member of the Security Council to veto the resolution. Since the 1980s, the U.S. has vetoed twice as many Security Council resolutions as the other Permanent Members combined, and the U.N. General Assembly passed resolutions condemning the U.S. invasions of Grenada (by 108 to 9) and Panama (by 75 to 20), calling the latter “a flagrant violation of international law.”

President George H.W. Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher obtained U.N. authorization for the First Gulf War and resisted calls to launch a war of regime change against Iraq in violation of their U.N. mandate. Their forces massacred Iraqi forces fleeing Kuwait, and a U.N. report described how the “near apocalyptic” U.S.-led bombardment of Iraq reduced what “had been until January a rather highly urbanized and mechanized society” to “a pre-industrial age nation.”

But new voices began to ask why the U.S. should not exploit its unchallenged post-Cold War military superiority to use force with even less restraint. During the Bush-Clinton transition, Madeleine Albright confronted General Colin Powell over his “Powell doctrine” of limited war, protesting, “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

Public hopes for a “peace dividend” were ultimately trumped by a “power dividend” sought by military-industrial interests. The neoconservatives of the Project for the New American Century led the push for war on Iraq, while “humanitarian interventionists” now use the “soft power” of propaganda to selectively identify and demonize targets for U.S.-led regime change and then justify war under the “responsibility to protect” or other pretexts. U.S. allies (NATO, Israel, the Arab monarchies et al) are exempt from such campaigns, safe within what Amnesty International has labeled an “accountability-free zone.”

Madeleine Albright and her colleagues branded Slobodan Milosevic a “new Hitler” for trying to hold Yugoslavia together, even as they ratcheted up their own genocidal sanctions against Iraq. Ten years after Milosevic died in prison at the Hague, he was posthumously exonerated by an international court.

In 1999, when U.K. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told Secretary of State Albright the British government was having trouble “with its lawyers” over NATO plans to attack Yugoslavia without U.N. authorization, Albright told him he should “get new lawyers.”

By the time mass murder struck New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, the normalization of deviance was so firmly rooted in the corridors of power that voices of peace and reason were utterly marginalized.

Former Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz told NPR eight days later, “It is never a legitimate response to punish people who are not responsible for the wrong done. …  We must make a distinction between punishing the guilty and punishing others.  If you simply retaliate en masse by bombing Afghanistan, let us say, or the Taliban, you will kill many people who don’t approve of what has happened.”

But from the day of the crime, the war machine was in motion, targeting Iraq as well as Afghanistan.

The normalization of deviance that promoted war and marginalized reason at that moment of national crisis was not limited to Dick Cheney and his torture-happy acolytes, and so the global war they unleashed in 2001 is still spinning out of control.

When President Obama was elected in 2008 and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, few people understood how many of the people and interests shaping his policies were the same people and interests who had shaped President George W. Bush’s, nor how deeply they were all steeped in the same deviant culture that had unleashed war, systematic war crimes and intractable violence and chaos upon the world.

A Sociopathic Culture

Until the American public, our political representatives and our neighbors around the world can come to grips with the normalization of deviance that is corrupting the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, the existential threats of nuclear war and escalating conventional war will persist and spread.

This deviant culture is sociopathic in its disregard for the value of human life and for the survival of human life on Earth. The only thing “normal” about it is that it pervades the powerful, entangled institutions that control U.S. foreign policy, rendering them impervious to reason, public accountability or even catastrophic failure.

The normalization of deviance in U.S. foreign policy is driving a self-fulfilling reduction of our miraculous multicultural world to a “battlefield” or testing-ground for the latest U.S. weapons and geopolitical strategies. There is not yet any countervailing movement powerful or united enough to restore reason, humanity or the rule of law, domestically or internationally, although new political movements in many countries offer viable alternatives to the path we are on.

As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warned when it advanced the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 3 minutes to midnight in 2015, we are living at one of the most dangerous times in human history. The normalization of deviance in U.S. foreign policy lies at the very heart of our predicament.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/15/us-war-crimes-or-normalized-deviance/ 

via

http://www.blacklistednews.com/

Merciful Succor

Merciful Succor

An employee of the city of Boston was fired Friday for taking part in protests on I-93 in Milton on Thursday that snarled traffic for miles and diverted an ambulance, according to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

The youth communications specialist with the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment was arrested Thursday and charged with resisting arrest, conspiracy and willfully obstructing an emergency vehicle, according to Walsh.

Walsh did not provide the name of the employee, but did confirm they were a contract worker who had been employed by the city for two months.

On Friday, a hearing was conducted with the employee which resulted in the termination of their employment, according to Walsh.

“Mayor Walsh strongly respects the right to protest and the right to free speech, however finds it unacceptable for a City employee to put public safety at risk,” a statement Saturday from Walsh’s office read.

The protests shut down Interstate 93 northbound at East Milton Square south of the city, and I-93 south at Mystic Avenue north of the city.

Some of the protesters in Milton were sitting on the highway with their arms shoulder-deep inside sealed 1,200-pound barrels that appeared to be filled with cement.

Due to the backup caused by the protests, an Easton ambulance was forced to take Richard McGrath, an 83-year-old Easton man with “life-threatening” injuries, to a hospital less-equipped to treat the patient.

http://www.wcvb.com/news/city-of-boston-employee-fired-for-role-in-i93-protests/30775460 

[&&]{**}[##]

“… Firefighters first had to cut down a tree and then extricate McGrath from the vehicle, the chief said. That took about 20 minutes, and McGrath was on board a department ambulance at 8:02 a.m.

The diversion occurred about a minute later…..”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/2015/01/15/easton-ambulance-with-injured-driver-diverted-brockton-hospital-due-protestors-fire-chief-says/Uk1ffBGmC5OobFNPXNI6IJ/story.html 

 “Easton Fire Chief Kevin Partridge said firefighters driving the ambulance with McGrath on board were en route to Boston Medical at 8:03 AM when they were alerted to the bottleneck created by protesters who closed off the Southeast Expressway.”

[&&]{**}[##][&&]{**}[##][&&]{**}[##][&&]{**}[##]

Back in the day, I used to know an awful lot about ambulances and long-distance ambulance transfer and life-threatening emergencies and such like.

When I was a area and regional EMS planner/coordinator/administrator charged with the development and improvement of an EMS system, I used to be a heavy proponent of what was called EMS Grand Rounds.

Yes, lil ole me actually wrote the first statewide plan for EMS in Massachusetts, working for Sylvia Queen, who’d been appointed by Governor King.  I was a junior assistant ‘royal court bailiff’ for the office of emergency medical services in the state department of public health who was recognized to have the ability to write coherently in volume, and I was given the 15 components of an EMS system and a typewriter and a desk.

[Eventually, I also wrote the first set of first responder training regulations, a position paper that insisted on standards for free-standing emergency care centers, and an effective regional mass casualty incident response plan. For four years, I ran medical conferences in emergency medicine and trauma management for emergency physicians and emergency nurses.]

I’d cut my teeth in the ambulance business working for a large private ambulance company in the Springfield/Chicopee/Holyoke area and was the shift supervisor/dispatcher when the call came in from Boston: 

“Send me everything you got; we just had a plane crash at Logan.” [Delta Flight 273]

I said “no!”. 

http://c.o0bg.com/rf/image_585w/Boston/2011-2020/2012/07/31/BostonGlobe.com/Enterprise/Advance/Images/Logan%20Plane%20Crash%202-654.jpg 

I’d driven the Mass. Pike many times, sometimes two or three times a day, transferring people with “life-threatening” emergencies from local hospitals to the big centers like Massachusetts General Hospital.  

I’d pilot a Cadillac ambulance over-stuffed with attendant/EMT,  the patient,  extra special equipment,  a nurse or doctor  (sometimes both)  at 120 mph

http://www.carpictures.com/pics/640/07J4E425502507A/Cadillac-Ambulance-1967-07J4E425502507A.jpeg 

The day that phone call came in about Flight 273, I had at my command a fleet of 8-10 of these.

If you want to make way in a hurry on an Interstate highway at that kind of speed, there are certain techniques:

  • all lights flashing,  especially the white headlights  (illegal if installed on a personal vehicle);
  • no sirens;
  • straddling the line between lanes.

You’d think a police escort could be used but experience shows they are are much more risky than  helpful; we simply notified the State Police of our route and departure time and they watched for us as we streamed by, as did the State DPW vehicles who also had radios and could also call ahead (or backwards) to have key traffic routes identified, routes re-drawn, etc.

At 120 mph, the ride into Boston still took an hour. (You can’t do 120 for every inch of the trip. The record was fifty-five minutes. Hey, Norm! )

http://www.firenews.org/mass/e/easton/EastonA1.jpg 

Nowadays, ambulance design and structure is more strictly regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and they look like a box. This is beneficial because the box has a lot more room for gear and people and it can be turned into a hospital room in miniature when necessary. 

But the boxy nature of the vehicle makes it far less likely to be driven at 120; I doubt there are many situations in which such a vehicle is brought to that kind of speed. The rollover risks would double with every added 5 mph, particularly if there’s a curve, another driver who didn’t see you, etc.  With a patient with a possibly-fractured neck or spine, you’d be looking for the least bumpy road.

But that’s okay because in today’s EMS system they’ve replaced the need for long emergency transfer by highway with trauma helicopters sometimes called MedFlight. The big trauma centers have them. Trauma is big money. Everyone wants a bigger slice.

http://www.wcvb.com/news/three-medical-helicopters-called-to-crash-site/29378218

 

This “Ferrari” was an upgrade to the old pick-up truck used by the trauma center in the center of the state.   

 

But the icing conditions that morning grounded the birds. 

On a different day, that old fellow would have been in a trauma center very quickly; these things cruise in a direct line, without having to stop for anything, at 160 mph. The birds  are hummingbirds. Landing zones are pre-planned, and drills with local EMS squads are routinely done.

So the super-sophisticated tools weren’t available; ack! what now? 

Well, the system is designed with multiple brains. You use time to think, and you ask others to help you think in parallel. 

[Note that I’ve also read almost three hundred books on performance psychology, team-building, and coaching, and digitized much of it into blog entries, an e-book, and more.  A re-mastering of that product line should be underway soon.]

The first brains are the people in the ambulance; the second rank are the officers and dispatchers who are aware, as we see here:

http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Ambulance-Diverted-Due-to-Black-Lives-Matter-Protest-288741361.html  

But the fire chief wasn’t thinking fully. Yes, he was properly concerned for the patient, and the public he serves.  

He may have also been stuck in the rut of thinking that his asset and its cargo were headed into Boston, and Boston must be the destination. Boston has a very high concentration of trauma centers and because of the hub-of-the-wheel nature of the road net and the city, they’re all within blocks of each other.

Here are two lists of trauma centers in Massachusetts.  We are proud of our capacities here in Massachusetts.

Hooray for our side.

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/quality/hcq-circular-letters/hospital-trauma-0511454.pdf

Scroll down past the application to the attachment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_trauma_centers_in_Massachusetts 

https://intermountainphysician.org/intermountaincme/PublishingImages/Trauma%20Grand%20Rounds%20Live%20Broadcast.jpg

Remember I mentioned   EMS   Grand  Rounds?

Nobody in Massachusetts EMS ever wanted to do them. Why?

Grand Rounds in the world of medicine are where people get called to discuss and account for their mistakes. 

You’ve undoubtedly seen a few of them on some TV medical show. They are meetings.  There’s a hierarchy, and it will make itself known soon enough.

The meetings are ones in which certain cases are presented slowly so that those in attendance can think along with the man or woman who was wearing the decision boots that day (and, yes, in medicine, and in EMS, lots of people wear decision boots across the space and time involved). 

The Department of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine sponsors a “Writing and Medicine” Grand Rounds which features various physician-authors. 

Grand Rounds are designed for learning.  Humility is your trump suit if you’re in attendance.

I should have been called to present my case that day I said “no”. 

I can still defend that decision.

When you are on the carpet in a Grand Rounds, the heat under your collar goes up. You are under the spotlight of your peers and your teachers.  

A Grand Round is designed to examine the way you were thinking, the questions you asked, the answers you got, and the anticipated and outcomes of your decision. When attended by many people from throughout the system and the state, everyone learns more. 

Here, in this case, we had a number of people involved.

[Note that my experience also includes the early development of CME events online for physicians, learning about building “communities of practice” online, as a beta-tester for the e-mail based six-week-long “Games of Games” developed by a consultant in organizational development, and being the subject matter expert in the development of a PC-to-PC five-play game focused on emergency management.]

My distress as a knowledgeable blogger is that the politicians got involved after the fact; the system leaders spoke out sharply, like the Mass. State Police colonel.

The Mayor of Boston found a scapegoat so he could send a message to city employees. But neither the Mass. State Police colonel nor the Mayor of the City of Boston had or have a role in the case, or in the EMS system.  

 

A third and wholly-different brain is involved in EMS and it serves as the system’s corpus callosum. 

Called CMEDs, there are five of them scattered throughout the state and their role is to enable controlled conversation among numerous parties, especially between doctors and ambulances. CMED stands for central medical emergency direction. A CMED maintains numerous status boards and can tell at a glance or with a radio or phone conversation what is going on anywhere within the state.

http://www.northcentralctems.org/images/NewCMED.jpg 

CMED Centers play a role in coordinating EMS communications by:

assisting EMS field personnel with communication during emergencies

managing Medical radio channel usage

maintain a clear procedure for EMS communications within a region

connecting EMS field personnel to local Emergency Departments and Medical direction

providing interoperability with other public safety agencies

 

CMED (Central Medical Emergency Direction) relies on a network of radio towers set up strategically throughout [the state].. Through these towers… an ambulance can contact CMED via radio and request entry notification to a hospital of destination. This provides physician access and ensures that the emergency department is aware of the patient’s pending arrival. CMED also plays an important role in coordinating EMS response to Mass Casualty Incidents and patient distribution from the scene to the hospital. CMED is crucial to the coordination of communications between ambulances and hospitals and ultimately contributes to optimal patient care.

 

So the other thing you need for your Grand Rounds case notebook is a map of Massachusetts and perhaps a modicum of familiarity with its road net.  But you can work with simple distance scales and you’ll have everything you need. Get out your favorite online mapping tool, zero in on Southeast Massachusetts, and place the pins or colored dots where you need to, and think through the process. 

 Remember you have a little time (the poor fellow had to be carved out of his vehicle before they could load him into an ambulance and, meanwhile, at least three of four nerve centers of the state EMS system could have been put to work thinking out the simple answer.)  

[The simple answer is in one of the links; I’ll provide it to you at the end.]

So I call bullshit on the politicians and everyone else on down and say simply “spend more time making your system work and the diversion would not have had to have happened”.  Instead, like so many things these days, this case has been turned into a political bludgeon. 

 

Should the protestors have been chained to the barrels in the middle of the highway at rush hour?  

 

Before I answer the question, I’d ask the State Police colonel in a uniform widely-recognized and respected, and the Mayor of Boston in his first term of office in a city where black kids get shot regularly on the streets, to consider that,  just six weeks agoa former USAF pilot in special operations, someone among Esquire Magazine’s “Best and Brightest”, and author of a book on open source warfare, published a blog entry with clear directions on the use of GPS-guided drones which could carry  a payload of over half-a kilogram of caltrops that “can shut down automobile traffic on major highways for hours.”

Good thing terrorists can’t read this stuff, I guess, huh? 

Oh, look, another reason to shut down the Internet, the global grand rounds for everything.

“Will the FAA effort to control drones protect against this type of disruption?  No.  It won’t.” 

 

So my answer to the questionShould the protestors have been chained to the barrels in the middle of the highway at rush hour?” is

“Hell, yes.”

You wanna know why?  

Because most of what passes for leadership these days has to be hit over the head with a 2×4 just to get their attention.

Sometimes it takes repeated application. Politicians have forgotten how to communicate. 

Because they are so busy being hung up on their own role or their own image or their own power, they haven’t a frickin’ clue about how good this society could be if it didn’t spend its time making war, war weapons, standing up to hide war criminals, criminalizing rights that are supposed to be engraved within the Constitution, or otherwise providing justice and simple direct service to its people. 

They don’t have the slightest idea how to achieve excellence. 

They are mired in petty and destructive mediocrity, and people are getting sick of it. 

For me, this isn’t about disrespecting authority, or being an anarchist.  

This is about somehow, despite everything that has gone down in the last decade and a half, still maintaining a kernel of respect for authority and government. 

That kernel has been beaten down into the size of a tiny seed, but it’s still a seed; there is still enough respect for authority and government to ask them to do a better job.

[&&]{**}[##]

The answer to the question about what the ambulance/firefighter crew should have done, by the way, is simply thinking outside the box. 

In the actual event, there should have been a steady and calm cross-talk among dispatchers, State Police traffic status systems, CMED’s, and emergency/trauma doctors. 

Everyone that day was thinking inside the box

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b6/Massachusetts-counties-map.gif/220px-Massachusetts-counties-map.gif 

The distance from Easton to Boston is 29 miles and requires an estimated 40 minutes driving time, according to http://distancescalculator.com.

The distance from Easton to that other trauma center is 28 miles and requires an estimated 33 minutes driving time.

That other trauma center is in one of the oldest cities in the United States and is the third-largest city in the New England region after Boston and Worcester. A religious exile from the original colony named it in honor of God’s merciful Providence. 

Mr. McGrath would also have found the required medical mercy at Rhode Island Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center located in Providence, RI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1H0n_5-gwA   (2:57)

Maybe the rest of us can find  manifestation of divine care or direction, prudent management of resources, and foresight

when the politicians stop talking and start listening. 

ists and ism

UNITED AMERICANS FORMED TO FIGHT COMMUNISM

In 1920 the organization United Americans was founded. It was limited to citizens of the United States and planned for five million members, “whose sole purpose would be to combat the teachings of the socialists, communists, I.W.W., Russian organizations and radical farmers societies.”

In other words, United Americans was to fight all those institutions and groups believed to be anticapitalist.

The officer’s of the preliminary organization established to build up United Americans were Allen Walker of the Guaranty Trust Company; Daniel Willard, president of the Baltimore 8c Ohio Railroad; H. H. Westinghouse, of Westinghouse Air Brake Company; and Otto H. Kahn, of Kuhn, Loeb 8c Company and American International Corporation. These Wall Streeters were backed up by assorted university presidents arid Newton W. Gilbert (former governor of the Philippines). Obviously, United Americans was, at first glance, exactly the kind of organization that establishment capitalists would be expected to finance and join. Its formation should have brought no great surprise.

On the other hand, as we have already seen, these financiers were also deeply involved in supporting the new Soviet regime in Russia — although this support was behind the scenes, recorded only in government files, and not to be made public for 50 years. As part of United Americans, Walker, Willard, Westinghouse, and Kahn were playing a double game. Otto H. Kahn, a founder of the anti-Communist organization, was reported by the British socialist J. H. Thomas as having his “face towards the light.” Kahn wrote the preface to Thomas’s book. In 1924 Otto Kahn addressed the League for Industrial Democracy and professed common objectives with this activist socialist group (see page 49). The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (Willard’s employer) was active in the development of Russia during the 1920s. Westinghouse in 1920, the year United Americans was founded, was operating a plant in Russia that had been exempted from nationalization. And the role of Guaranty Trust has already been minutely described.

UNITED AMERICANS REVEALS “STARTLING DISCLOSURES” ON REDS

In March 1920 the New York Times headlined an extensive, detailed scare story about Red invasion of the United States within two years, an invasion which was to be financed by $20 million of Soviet funds “obtained by the murder and robbery of the Russian nobility.”2

United Americans had, it was revealed, made a survey of “radical activities” in the United States, and had done so in its role as an organization formed to “preserve the Constitution of the United States with the representative form of government and the right of individual possession which the Constitution provides.”

Further, the survey, it was proclaimed, had the backing of the executive board, “including Otto H. Kahn, Allen Walker of the Guaranty Trust Company, Daniel Willard,” and others. The survey asserted that

the radical leaders are confident of effecting a revolution within two years, that the start is to be made in New York City with a general strike, that Red leaders have predicted much bloodshed and that the Russian Soviet Government has contributed $20,000,000 to the American radical movement.

The Soviet gold shipments to Guaranty Trust in mid-1920 (540 boxes of three poods each) were worth roughly $15,000,000 (at $20 a troy ounce), and other gold shipments through Robert Dollar and Olof Aschberg brought the total very close to $20 million. The information about Soviet gold for the radical movement was called “thoroughly reliable” and was “being turned over to the Government.” The Reds, it was asserted, planned to starve New York into submission within four days:

Meanwhile the Reds count on a financial panic within the next few weeks to help their cause along. A panic would cause distress among the workingmen and thus render them more susceptible to revolution doctrine.

The United Americans’ report grossly overstated the number of radicals in the United States, at first tossing around figures like two or five million and then settling for precisely 3,465,000 members in four radical organizations. The report concluded by emphasizing the possibility of bloodshed and quoted “Skaczewski, President of the International Publishing Association, otherwise the Communist Party,  [who] boasted that.the time was coming soon when the Communists would destroy utterly the present form of society.”

In brief, United Americans published a report without substantiating evidence, designed to scare the man in the street into panic: The significant point of course is that this is the same group that was responsible for protecting and subsidizing, indeed assisting, the Soviets so they could undertake these same plans.


CONCLUSIONS CONCERNING UNITED AMERICANS

Is this a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing? Probably not. We are talking about heads of companies, eminently successful companies at that. So United Americans was probably a ruse to divert public — and official — attention from the subterranean efforts being made to gain entry to the Russian market.

United Americans is the only documented example known to this writer of an organization assisting the Soviet regime and also in the forefront of opposition to the Soviets. This is by no means an inconsistent course of action, and further research should at least focus on the following aspects:

(a) Are there other examples of double-dealing by influential groups generally known as the establishment?

(b) Can these examples be extended into other areas? For example, is there evidence that labor troubles have been instigated by these groups?

(c) What is the ultimate purpose of these pincer tactics? Can they be related to the Marxian axiom: thesis versus antithesis yields synthesis? [The Hegelian dialectic which was at the root of the organization founded by Adam Weishaupt and included Marx and Rothschild in its formative enoturage; see Perfectibilists.] It is a puzzle why the Marxist movement would attack capitalism head-on if its objective was a Communist world and if it truly accepted the dialectic. If the objective is a Communist world — that is, if communism is the desired synthesis — and capitalism is the thesis, then something apart from capitalism or communism has to be antithesis. Could therefore capitalism be the thesis and communism the antithesis, with the objective of the revolutionary groups and their backers being a synthesizing of these two systems into some world system yet undescribed?

[snip]

 

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York was at 120 Broadway. The vehicle for this pro-Bolshevik activity was American International Corporation — at 120 Broadway. AIC views on the Bolshevik regime were requested by Secretary of State Robert Lansing only a few weeks after the revolution began, and Sands, executive secretary of AIC, could barely restrain his enthusiasm for the Bolshevik cause. Ludwig Martens, the Soviet’s first ambassador, had been vice president of Weinberg & Posner, which was also located at 120-Broadway. Guaranty Trust Company was next door at 140 Broadway but Guaranty Securities Co. was at 120 Broadway. In 1917 Hunt, Hill & Betts was at 120 Broadway, and Charles B. Hill of this firm was the negotiator in the Sun Yat-sen dealings. John MacGregor Grant Co., which was financed by Olof Aschberg in Sweden and Guaranty Trust in the United States, and which was on the Military Intelligence black list, was at 120 Broadway. The Guggenheims and the executive heart of General Electric (also interested in American International) were at 120 Broadway. We find it therefore hardly surprising that the Bankers Club was also at 120 Broadway, on the top floor (the thirty-fourth).

It is significant that support for the Bolsheviks did not cease with consolidation of the revolution; therefore, this support cannot be wholly explained in terms of the war with Germany. The American-Russian syndicate formed in 1918 to obtain concessions in Russia was backed by the White, Guggenheim, and Sinclair interests. Directors of companies controlled by these three financiers included Thomas W. Lamont (Guaranty Trust), William Boyce Thompson (Federal Reserve Bank), and John Reed’s employer Harry Payne Whitney (Guaranty Trust). This strongly suggests that the syndicate was formed to cash in on earlier support for the Bolshevik cause in the revolutionary period. And then we found that Guaranty Trust financially backed the Soviet Bureau in New York in 1919.

The first really concrete signal that previous political and financial support was paying off came in 1923 when the Soviets formed their first international bank, Ruskombank. Morgan associate Olof Aschberg became nominal head of this Soviet bank; Max May, a vice president of Guaranty Trust, became a director of Ruskom-bank, and the Ruskombank promptly appointed Guaranty Trust Company its U.S. agent.


THE EXPLANATION FOR THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE

What motive explains this coalition of capitalists and Bolsheviks?

Russia was then — and is today — the largest untapped market in the world. Moreover, Russia, then and now, constituted the greatest potential competitive threat to American industrial and financial supremacy. (A glance at a world map is sufficient to spotlight the geographical difference between the vast land mass of Russia and the smaller United States.) Wall Street must have cold shivers when it visualizes Russia as a second super American industrial giant.

But why allow Russia to become a competitor and a challenge to U.S. supremacy? In the late nineteenth century, Morgan/Rockefeller, and Guggenheim had demonstrated their monopolistic proclivities. In Railroads and Regulation 1877-1916 Gabriel Kolko has demonstrated how the railroad owners, not the farmers, wanted state control of railroads in order to preserve their monopoly and abolish competition. So the simplest explanation of our evidence is that a syndicate of Wall Street financiers enlarged their monopoly ambitions and broadened horizons on a global scale. The gigantic Russian market was to be converted into a captive market and a technical colony to be exploited by a few high-powered American financiers and the corporations under their control. What the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Trade Commission under the thumb of American industry could achieve for that industry at home, a planned socialist government could achieve for it abroad — given suitable support and inducements from Wall Street and Washington, D.C.

Finally, lest this explanation seem too radical, remember that it was Trotsky who appointed tsarist generals to consolidate the Red Army; that it was Trotsky who appealed for American officers to control revolutionary Russia and intervene in behalf of the Soviets; that it was Trotsky who squashed first the libertarian element in the Russian Revolution and then the workers and peasants; and that recorded history totally ignores the 700,000-man Green Army composed of ex-Bolsheviks, angered at betrayal of the revolution, who fought the Whites and the Reds. In other words, we are suggesting that the Bolshevik Revolution was an alliance of statists: statist revolutionaries and statist financiers aligned against the genuine revolutionary libertarian elements in Russia.3

‘The question now in the readers’ minds must be, were these bankers also secret Bolsheviks? No, of course not. The financiers were without ideology. It would be a gross misinterpretation to assume that assistance for the Bolshevists was ideologically motivated, in any narrow sense. The financiers were power-motivated and therefore assisted any political vehicle that would give them an entree to power: Trotsky, Lenin, the tsar, Kolchak, Denikin — all received aid, more or less. All, that is, but those who wanted a truly free individualist society.

Neither was aid restricted to statist Bolsheviks and statist counter-Bolsheviks. John P. Diggins, in Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America,4 has noted in regard to Thomas Lamont of Guaranty Trust that

Of all American business leaders, the one who most vigorously patronized the cause of Fascism was Thomas W. Lamont. Head of the powerful J.P. Morgan banking network, Lamont served as something of a business consultant for the government of Fascist Italy.

Lamont secured a $100 million loan for Mussolini in 1926 at a particularly crucial time for the Italian dictator. We might remember too that the director of Guaranty Trust was the father of Corliss Lamont, a domestic Communist. This evenhanded approach to the twin totalitarian systems, communism and fascism, was not confined to the Lamont family. For example, Otto Kahn, director of American International Corporation and of Kuhn, Leob & Co., felt sure that “American capital invested in Italy will find safety, encouragement, opportunity and reward.”5 This is the same Otto Kahn who lectured the socialist League of Industrial Democracy in 1924 that its objectives were his objectives.6 They differed only — according to Otto Kahn — over the means of achieving these objectives.

Ivy Lee, Rockefeller’s public relations man, made similar pronouncements, and was responsible for selling the Soviet regime to the gullible American public in the late 1920s. We also have observed that Basil Miles, in charge of the Russian desk at the State Department and a former associate of William Franklin Sands, was decidedly helpful to the businessmen promoting Bolshevik causes; but in 1923 the same Miles authored a profascist article, “Italy’s Black Shirts and Business.”7 “Success of the Fascists is an expression of Italy’s youth,” wrote Miles while glorifying the fascist movement and applauding its esteem for American business.


THE MARBURG PLAN

The Marburg Plan, financed by Andrew Carnegie’s ample heritage, was produced in the early years of the twentieth century. It suggests premeditation for this kind of superficial schizophrenia, which in fact masks an integrated program of power acquisition: “What then if Carnegie and his unlimited wealth, the international financiers and the Socialists could be organized in a movement to compel the formation of a league to enforce peace.”8

The governments of the world, according to the Marburg Plan, were to be socialized while the ultimate power would remain in the hands of the international financiers “to control its councils and enforce peace [and so] provide a specific for all the political ills of mankind.”9

This idea was knit with other elements with similar objectives. Lord Milner in England provides the transatlantic example of banking interests recognizing the virtues and possibilities of Marxism. Milner was a banker, influential in British wartime policy, and pro-Marxist.10 In New York the socialist “X” club was founded in 1903. It counted among its members not only the Communist Lincoln Steffens, the socialist William English Walling, and the Communist banker Morris Hillquit, but also John Dewey, James T. Shotwell, Charles Edward Russell, and Rufus Weeks (vice president of New York Life Insurance Company). The annual meeting of the Economic Club in the Astor Hotel, New York, witnessed socialist speakers. In 1908, when A. Barton Hepburn, president of Chase National Bank, was president of the Economic Club, the main speaker was the aforementioned Morris Hillquit, who “had abundant opportunity to preach socialism to a gathering which represented wealth and financial interests.”11

From these unlikely seeds grew the modern internationalist movement, which included not only the financiers Carnegie, Paul Warburg, Otto Kahn, Bernard Baruch, and Herbert Hoover, but also the Carnegie Foundation and its progeny International Conciliation. [And  Cord and Mary Pinchot Meyer….] The trustees of Carnegie were, as we have seen, prominent on the board of American International Corporation. In 1910 Carnegie donated $10 million to found the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and among those on the board of trustees were Elihu Root (Root Mission to Russia, 1917), Cleveland H. Dodge (a financial backer of President Wilson), George W. Perkins (Morgan partner), G. J. Balch (AIC and Amsinck), R. F. Herrick (AIC), H. W. Pritchett (AIC), and other Wall Street luminaries. Woodrow Wilson came under the powerful influence of — and indeed was financially indebted to — this group of internationalists. As Jennings C. Wise has written, “Historians must never forget that Woodrow Wilson… made it possible for Leon Trotsky to enter Russia with an American passport.”12

But Leon Trotsky also declared himself an internationalist. We have remarked with some interest his high-level internationalist connections, or at least friends, in Canada. Trotsky then was not pro-Russian, or pro-Allied, or pro-German, as many have tried to make him out to be. Trotsky was for world revolution, for world dictatorship; he was, in one word, an internationalist.13 Bolshevists and bankers have then this significant common ground — internationalism. Revolution and international finance are not at all inconsistent if the result of revolution is to establish more centralized authority. International finance prefers to deal with central governments. The last thing the banking community wants is laissez-faire economy and decentralized power because these would disperse power.

This, therefore, is an explanation that fits the evidence. This handful of bankers and promoters was not Bolshevik, or Communist, or socialist, or Democrat, or even American. Above all else these men wanted markets, preferably captive international markets — and a monopoly of the captive world market as the ultimate goal. They wanted markets that could be exploited monopolistically without fear of competition from Russians, Germans, or anyone else — including American businessmen outside the charmed circle. This closed group was apolitical and amoral. In 1917, it had a single-minded objective — a captive market in Russia, all presented under, and intellectually protected by, the shelter of a league to enforce the peace.

Wall Street did indeed achieve its goal. American firms controlled by this syndicate were later to go on and build the Soviet Union, and today are well on their way to bringing the Soviet military-industrial complex into the age of the computer. [The book was published in 1974 and, of course, Russia and its peoples are no longer deficient in information technology.]

Today the objective is still alive and well. John D. Rockefeller expounds it in his book The Second American Revolution — which sports a five-pointed star on the title page.14 The book contains a naked plea for humanism, that is, a plea that our first priority is to work for others. In other words, a plea for collectivism. Humanism is collectivism. It is notable that the Rockefellers, who have promoted this humanistic idea for a century, have not turned their OWN property over to others.. Presumably it is implicit in their recommendation that we all work for the Rockefellers. Rockefeller’s book promotes collectivism under the guises of “cautious conservatism” and “the public good.” It is in effect a plea for the continuation of the earlier Morgan-Rockefeller support of collectivist enterprises and mass subversion of individual rights.

In brief, the public good has been, and is today, used as a device and an excuse for self-aggrandizement by an elitist circle that pleads for world peace and human decency. But so long as the reader looks at world history in terms of an inexorable Marxian conflict between capitalism and communism, the objectives of such an alliance between international finance and international revolution remain elusive. So will the ludicrousness of promotion of the public good by plunderers. If these alliances still elude the reader, then he should ponder the obvious fact that these same international interests and promoters are always willing to determine what other people should do, but are signally unwilling to be first in line to give up their own wealth and power. Their mouths are open, their pockets are closed.

This technique, used by the monopolists to gouge society, was set forth in the early twentieth century by Frederick C. Howe in The Confessions of a Monopolist.15 First, says Howe, politics is a necessary part of business. To control industries it is necessary to control Congress and the regulators and thus make society go to work for you, the monopolist. So, according to Howe, the two principles of a successful monopolist are, “First, let Society work for you; and second, make a business of politics.”16 These, wrote Howe, are the basic “rules of big business.” ….

 

Excerpts from Chapter Ten and Eleven

WALL STREET AND THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION

by Anthony Sutton