Codevilla: The Lost Decade

Read all of this recap of American defeat since 2001.

I am torn.

From a standpoint of limited Constitutional government, Pax Americana was always illegitimate.

And yet…

And yet…

What faces those who believe in individual freedom in the coming decades post-Pax is almost too terrible to contemplate.

Harden your hearts.

Toughen your bodies.

Pass on your skills, experience, assets, and mindset.

No quarter.

22 responses to “Codevilla: The Lost Decade

  1. CA: Your heart has always been on the right side of the issues as you have seen them, at least that’s my take.

    Limited constitutional government? Going beyond the joke of that phrase, ‘Mericans must look out for America’s interests, other folks worldwide be damned.

    You’ve done and are doing the grunt work on the individual level… the push from you towards hardening hearts and working on the bod does not go unseen by the OpFor. They can be left in wonderment, as they cram stats about how their internal enemies might just be able to beat them. Union thugs are always going to be a step behind on the OODA loop, and it’s union thugs that are going to be fighting against FreFor.

    Quarter? That is a subject worth some studying. Could be, that the best quarter to be offered, might be exile, rather than a noose. Might be some stimulus to the economy there, if cruise ship lines could be persuaded to take the beaten, off to their nirvana.

    We can beat those folks. They know it. And that’s the reason they come up with their death by a thousand cuts ideas. The other people are a running, we just need to keep up the pressure.

    • No problem with exile after OpFor stands down.

      Until such time – war to the knife, knife to the hilt. That Colonel Cooper quote:

      We were fighting the same war at the same time, and our objective was the destruction of Japan, materially and biologically. This exchange was not confined to the general and me. I remember various bull sessions in the Pacific wherein the central topic was the mechanical problem of disposing of 80 million Japanese. This was what we were going to have to do, since we had discovered first hand that the Japanese would not surrender.

      from the other day keeps resonating.

      The tender-hearted believers can take our confessions, afterwards.

      • Confessions? Pre-empt them.

        Norman Cousins, MacArthur’s adviser during “The Good War,” had this to say about their “refusal to surrender”:

        “When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

        A few other individuals shared that view. You’ll doubtless recognize some of the names:

        You have one immortal soul, whether you believe it or not. No earthly good can come by means of losing that soul, whether you believe it or not. Everyone can spare the bravado about where they’ve chosen to store it for eternity.

        It is immoral to deliberately slaughter civilians.

        The people who put their hope in themselves, their own physical might, or in their friends, are surely on a crash course for utter despair.

      • I do think that there are too many tender-hearted believers on our side of the aisle. Which leads to “Wildwood Boys” and your review as that James Carlos Blake book. ‘Mericans doing real bad things to other ‘Mericans, in that book. CA, got ‘er done yet?

      • The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.

        It seems MacArthur’s foolishness knew no bounds.

        Recall that Hirohito had previously urged his own people to commit mass suicide rather than surrender, assuring them equal spiritual status to those soldiers slain in battle. Thousands took him up on his offer. An unbroken imperial apparatus could have enabled a resurgence of the Japanese death-cult at a later date. In allowing Hirohito to go on breathing, he was shown mercy that he most assuredly didn’t deserve.

        Many prominent Japanese, including Foreign Minister Togo and Kido Koichi, adviser to the emperor, contend that, contra MacArthur and the hand-wringers, it was the bomb that brought Japan to accept the Potsdam agreements.

        It is immoral to deliberately slaughter civilians.

        And previous to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we dropped millions of leaflets over those cities urging the populace to flee.

        I know that I have an immortal soul. But Marcus Aurelius said that if the gods are not just, you would not want to worship them. Taking the advice of the resident evangelist would have seen us destroyed centuries ago. It is a truly twisted spirituality he’s peddling.

  2. Rarely have I read such a concise, pointed, and exact explanation of where we are, and how we got here. The basis of, we know the elite are wrong, they keep telling us they know better, and that WE are the enemy, and they intend to double down on their failed BS, is a knowledge that truly impacts like a 500lb bomb in the living room. Political correctness not only run amok, but devouring it’s own children. And then comes the hair-raising realization that the blowhards in power CAN’T SEE THIS. Why? They’re drunk on power, and full of shit.

    • Actually, they are neither drunk on power nor full of shit. They merely know that their enablers will CONTINUE to enable them, unabated, and see NO SIGN that anyone will even DARE to deal with their enablers appropriately.

      • And they enable them in precisely the same way sheep enable the shepherd. By being dull, witless livestock. They are sheared without killing them (so long as they don’t resist) for a few seasons, then slaughtered by the shepherd when they can no longer yield enough wool.

  3. “No quarter.”

    Once the struggle has been joined in earnest, we can be sure this will be the policy of both sides. We can dream and wish, but this has always been the case.

    The bad people are always the most vicious when dealing with internal “problems”. Like those who will not bow.

    No quarter.


  4. Witchwood wrote: “Many prominent Japanese, including Foreign Minister Togo and Kido Koichi, adviser to the emperor, contend that, contra MacArthur and the hand-wringers, it was the bomb that brought Japan to accept the Potsdam agreements.”

    Neither I nor MacArthur said otherwise. Without the bombs, there would have been no “unconditional” surrender, as the Potsdam Declaration mandated. But if that arrogant fool Truman had allowed that concession, over a hundred thousand wasted lives could have been spared.

    And previous to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we dropped millions of leaflets over those cities urging the populace to flee.

    No, “we” didn’t. I am not the Federal State. I am not Borg. Men will continue to be willingly led to the slaughter for the benefit of powerful men if they cling to such collectivist thought. Nor does the fact that you tell non-combatants that you are going to destroy their lives, homes and businesses justify the act. Do you think it would be a just action to burn a non-combatant’s house down, as long as you gave him advance notice you were going to do it? That is an irrational justification.

    Have you heard of Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko? Few have. But you should know who he is. His death in 1984 accomplished more for the people of Poland than a river of spilled Soviet blood could have accomplished. Have you heard of Fr. Miguel Pro? Also unlikely. But his innocent death was instrumental in achieving the cessation of Calles’s bloody tyranny in 1920’s Mexico. Their deaths were rallying points, similar to Nathan Hale’s.

    My main point is that dying is often a nobler and more efficacious means of securing your desired end, and killing is far oftener not.

    We did not get to the current tyranny by overt violence inflicted by the tyrants, we got to the current tyranny because people said, “I accept your tyranny, and in fact, I will go the extra mile for you: I do not believe your actions are unjust or tyrannical. And what’s more, if anyone does believe it is tyranny, I will call him unpatriotic. Or insane. Or a traitor.” We got here because people fail to understand what it means to be human. To act as a human. To conduct oneself with human dignity, and demand that every individual be treated with such. Moral relativism is the perfect petri dish for a culture of tyranny. And that is where we are. The culture has built up a strong resistance to morality. G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “Moral questions are always terribly complex for someone with no principles.”

    We did not get to this point by acts of violence on the part of the State, and we will not get back to that point by violence against the State. As John Adams said, the revolution was effected in the minds of the populace before the physical fighting ever commenced. And you’re putting the cart before the horse. You’re trying to push a rope. The populace today has surrendered their minds. Their minds are so sodden that you cannot possibly hope to set a brush fire within them. And you will never accomplish the goal of societal liberty by means of violence, because societal liberty comes when the individuals in a society value liberty of their own free wills, perceived by their own free intellects. That will take an awakening.

    You always fault the liberals for claiming that “gun violence” could eliminated by “getting rid of all the guns.” You call them irrational for such a belief, and rightly so! But look at yourselves! Thinking that liberty can be wrested from the tyranny of the dull, witless majority by acts of violence? Who do you think they’ll support, those people without a principled bone in their body? You? No! They’re going to cling to the people that keep them fat and happy and stupid! Now, the time is rapidly approaching when they will not possibly be able to keep them fat or happy, but they will still be able to keep them stupid for a bit longer. And that stupidity of theirs is what you need to be attacking right now, so when they’re hungry and unhappy, they’ll blame the RIGHT people!

    I am not opposed to people using truly justified violence. But as a tool, it is very dangerous and has very limited utility for very specific purposes: the defense of innocent human life and sometimes property. You have to use the right tool for the job at the right time. You don’t braze a gas pipe while the gas is still turned on full force, and if you have an ounce of sense, you don’t try to go breach a castle wall with brute force, you undermine it and let it collapse under its own weight. It’s far more effective.

    They couldn’t convince the German Christians and Jews to simply say “no.” If people had refused to comply, even without rising up, the machine would have ground to a halt. You could have given them rifles, and they would have treated you like a traitor. Just as in Africa, if you tried to escape from your slavemaster, the other slaves would attack you themselves for fear of reprisal from the slavemaster. I recently read about a Soviet prison camp with 30,000 German prisoners. There were perhaps a couple thousand Soviet guards. Some of the Germans got together, realizing they were all going to die anyway, and realized that they could take them out if they got just 200 men. They got thirty. One out of every thousand. That’s where you stand, gentlemen. Until you are able to convince the unprincipled masses that you are right, you are doomed to the same fate as those few would-be violent resisters.

    I love liberty as much as any of you. But I recognize the only means by which it will be effected. The populace must rediscover principle and morality.

    • Anything to go on yet another long-winded moralistic diatribe, complete with reference to Christian martyrs (though I’m disappointed that St. Augustine was not quoted at length again). But as always…

      …I love liberty as much as any of you. But I recognize the only means by which it will be effected.

      your moral preening just boils down to a personal fetish: the stateless utopia.

      Are your sermons pulling in many converts, Brass?

      I remember. I remember you called me a liar and accused me of hypocrisy because I missed that post on Sipsey Street.

      I don’t know if you’re a hypocrite, but you’re certainly dishonest.

      I wouldn’t silently stand still if I saw someone about to pick up a dumpster with an infant in it.

      LMAO! Your vanity is sometimes astounding. In reality, you simply come here to preach.

  5. Brass: Very eloquent. The populace, however will never rediscover principle and morality. There was a time in old America when you had the Great Awakening. American citizens looked to the moral compass of religion, or the Judeo-Christian ethic to define their lives and their relationships with each other. But, it all started to change with Abraham Lincoln and it has been downhill ever since. You don’t have to debate Truman, MacArthur and the bomb. Just look at the first American terrorists William T. Sherman and Phil Sheridan. After they raped the South, they took out the Plains Indians at the behest of our first venture capitalists, the railroad robber barons. The populace is too self-absorbed and cynical to rediscover anything moral and principled. Short of the Second Coming, nothing much will change except for the worse. Get ready for a very ugly remake of a real-world “BOOK OF ELI”


    • JM,

      I don’t expect there to be a resurgence in morality in America. Not in the next few decades, at least. As you said, the Second Coming will probably come first.

  6. Cassandra (of Troy)


    “Harden your hearts”

    If you know what neutronium is, you get the idea.

    “Toughen your bodies”

    Given my infirmities, I’ve done what I can.

    “Pass on your skills, experience, assets, and mindset”

    Planted seeds, watered same, that’s all I can do.

    “No quarter”

    Considering the nature of the opposition & the intensity of the possibly coming conflict, such a recommendation is a given. Also, as the opposition’s modus operandi is Leninist based, i.e., mass arrests, false offers of honorable treatment for surrender, show trials, mass consignment to ‘re-education’/death camps, etc., adherence to the knightly code of chivalry &/or the Marquis of Queensbury rules is very likely to get one & others into an unnecessary & terminally nasty situation. Unless, that is, one is a psychotic martyr who wants to take his/her loved ones/friends along on his/her trip to Heaven/Valhalla/Nirvana.

    Cassandra (of Troy)

  7. Cassandra (of Troy)

    Brass/Oct 29/19:34,

    “You have one immortal soul, whether you believe it or not.”

    And your authority to declare such as an irrefutable fact comes from whom, exactly, & what about those who dispute your pronouncement?

    “It is immoral to deliberately slaughter civilians.”

    You’ve made that statement before, Brass, & like before refuse to answer questions about examples you’re given as you did when on a different thread I asked for your opinion about the morality of what the Allied bomber fleets did to German civilians, what the U.S.A.A.F. bombers did to Japanese civilians, & later what the U.S.A.F. did to North Korean & North Vietnamese civilians. You also ignored JM Johnson’s point about the acts committed by Genls Sherman & Sheridan first in the Confederacy & later during the ‘Indian’ Wars. He left out the acts committed by Genls Howard & Miles, which were equally brutal. And what of your lack of comment on the morality of those whose giddy cry of “100 Heads!” resounds at another site? Why so shy, Brass?

    Cassandra (of Troy)

    • Cassandra,

      I remember. I remember you called me a liar and accused me of hypocrisy because I missed that post on Sipsey Street. I literally had no idea what you’re talking about, and only until months of people referring to it did I finally find that post. Here you go, in plain English: I condemn the idea. And the sentiment. “Revenge” is immoral. That was what he espoused.

      Cassandra, the fact that human beings have an immortal soul can be discovered through pure reason. This is absolutely not the medium to start out with first principles. Deny it or accept it and move on.

      I’ve said many times that the slaughters at Dresden and Hamburg and Tokyo were objectively and gravely immoral. I had and have no reason to “dodge” the question. Here. In case your memory slips again: “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.” That should cover any act or city I didn’t mention by name.

      How did I “ignore” JM Johnson? It seems he was agreeing with what I said. He merely said that the train of savagery began long ago. I agree with him. Why are you trying to find conflict and hypocrisy where there is none?

      • Mr. Brass: I said you original post was eloquent, which it was. I disagree with your conclusion. Principle and morality are long gone. Once the economy tanks, the best we can hope for is what is currently happening in Argentina. The worst will be something out of “THE BOOK OF ELI” or Rawles’ “PATRIOTS” without the contrived, happy ending. At this point in Amerikan culture, it’s all about prepping and the right mindset about self-defense.

  8. A pleasant society is where 95% of people on the street behave like libertarians. But there are more ways of getting to that situation than just the one of teaching the bulk of the populace to reject the lessons of a lifetime of government school.

    China currently has a libertarian-ish society. China also holds the world record for the largest number of people killed in genocide in the 20th century. The Chinese big government fans received big government, which then starved them to death by confiscating the work product they created or banning its creation. The survivors were libertarian-ish.

    Your personal breakthrough in liberty will not come from awakening the masses, but by working for yourself while getting better at avoiding taxes. Grow your own food, eat it, don’t sell it. This is productive, self-contained, and does not generate tax liabilities. There is some family in California feeding themselves on a tenth acre in the city. You can do this.

  9. Semper Fi, 0321

    it’s a hard thing to do, but sometimes we just have to bite our tongue and let others choose our spirituality for us. In their infinite wisdom,THEY DO KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR US!!!
    Kinda like the Mormons baptizing us all after we’re dead. Let them believe their foolishness and move on.

    And by the way, I really like the way you think. Concise and to the point, no bullshitting around with myths and fairy dust. Keep it up, thinking between the cracks is also necessary to exercise a healthy mind.

    • Semper, you’re more than welcome to speak. So is Cassandra. I would prefer it be done respectfully, however. I certainly know you will choose your own path. I’d prefer it not be the broad and smooth downhill path. Just trying to point out the road sign.

      I don’t have infinite wisdom. I know some objective truths, just as you do. I wouldn’t silently stand still if I saw someone about to pick up a dumpster with an infant in it. If you knew that truth, you’d try to convey the truth of the situation to that individual in the most earnest manner. Wouldn’t you? Anyone who thinks it is acceptable to kill innocents as a means to an end is throwing humanity in that dumpster. His own, and that of others. I’ll point that out.

      • Semper Fi, 0321

        I don’t care what any of you believe in spiritual matters, any more than I care what type of sex you prefer. None of my business.
        But when you make a blanket statement that I’m protected by your brand of idol, icon, or lucky rabbits foot, you assume the power of some heavenly deity. And that’s where I will stand up for my right to choose my own deity, not yours. End of discussion.