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How Many Boots on What Ground?


How Many Boots on What Ground?

Tom Engelhardt

At the moment, there are a maximum of 3,870 U.S.


The Pentagon's and Obama's bookkeeping of boots on the ground is as concocted and fanciful as their definition of a militant being any male in the area of a certain age or Obama's fairy tale speech declaring the war in Iraq to be over. The whole spiel about mission objectives, winning and losing, making us safe, ad nauseam is all a scam. This country now fights wars to maintain a presence and to keep the war machine revved up for the sake of spending and Pentagon careers. The mission is war, itself. Everything else is incidental.


Operation Enduring Freedom. Jealous much, Orwell?


The elusive truth about the military's role, not only in Iraq, but the entire world is lie after lie after lie.

One wonders how long the American people will believe the lies: " WE ARE BRINGING THEM ( FILL IN THE COUNTRIES) FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY. '

And too many other lies that keep the American public brain washed to enable the trillion $ war racket of the American war profiteers.

If you want the truth, the truth is the US government is not anything but an oligarchical, plutocracy that uses the military to further its egregious, deceitful, and plenary ends.

If one defines democracy as the average American's participation in its government's military power; then we have to say we live in not a democracy, but a military dictatorship, where presidents, like Obama, and the sycophants in Congress, are nothing more than quislings and fawning parasites for the hegemony of America's military dictatorship.


Your analysis is correct, jneastra, but that's how it's been for more than half a century.


I would amend that. Is it "this country" or a cooptation of the military for use by corporate oligarchs and related overlords? (I agree 100% on the rest of your comment.)


As an enthusiastic Bernie Sanders' supporter, it's disheartening to see you take up the "uniform one size fits all" broad indictment of the American people.

OBVIOUSLY, lots of people get it! There wouldn't be crowds turning out for Bernie Sanders if people thought that this nation was on the right track.

The problem is FAR less the American people than it is all of the following (for the hundredth time!):

  1. The collapse of the function of the Fourth Estate. No longer informing the public of the true nature of events (or their actual causes), it plays a major role in collective brainwashing.

  2. Citizens United and 40 years of funding by the likes of the Koch Brothers. These have set specific pro-business (and war IS big business to weapons contractors and their collaborators in electronics, and so forth) policies into virtual stone. They have also replaced the Will of the American public with the wishes of corporations.

  3. The importation of Nazis into the State Department and general military after W. W. II. Following the tradition set by the likes of Allen Dulles, J. Edgar Hoover, and Joseph McCarthy--a culture of soldiering has built up to fulfill the admonition of Eisenhower... as in "Beware the GROWING influence of the military industrial complex." (A secret government, its operations take place below the radar and have NOTHING to do with public interest or public consent. Call it: The Deep State.)

  4. 911--setting a False Trigger for wars OF Terror, the decimation of Civil Liberties, the muzzling of the press, and other means of CONTROLLING citizens.

  5. NAFTA and its soon to be launched cousins, TIPP and TPP: When citizens are deprived of living wages, most of their energy is directed at surviving. They can't mass much of a challenge to entrenched corporate power.

There are other shaping factors, but I think items 1-5 are FAR more significant than blaming a public subjected to these things FOR the results of said subjection.

Also, as is often quoted... The Page and Gilens Study PROVES that over the course of the past 15 years or so, NOTHING that comported with the majority public's views was put into policy.

What this means is that knowledge of what govt. is doing is not, in and of itself, any promise of remediation.

That takes us to why so many line up to see Sanders speak.

People certainly DO know.

And since media does its best to make Sanders invisible, make OWS invisible, make the crimes of State invisible... and since there are almost no voices allowed on-air to question what Authority is doing (theoretically in our names); no one can state with certainty that people don't see what's going on. What makes you think mass media would show evidence of that, if they did?


Excellent rebuttal! You have made your point. Thanks for your well written reply.


Many thanks for the CD staff for winnowing out what is usually an overly long winded writing style of Tom Englehardt.
"Mission creep" is the gift that keeps on giving to the MIC and what passes for "economic stimulus" domestically.