Thursday, October 25, 2012

Whom Surges Destroy They First Make Mad

Obama, Clinton, Panetta, Betraeus all responsible for each and every U.S. military death in Afghanistan along with thousands of innocent Afghan civilians

World News
By Dallas Darling

As the two armies faced each other on that fateful day, a day in which perhaps the die had already been cast, a ground swell of experienced and newly trained recruits were heartened as their trumpeters sounded their horns. As more Roman legions arrived, reinforcing the two armies on the plains of Philippi along the Macedonia coast of Greece, war cries and shouts of revenge suddenly erupted. Heavily armed troops beat their shields with their spears and swords. After a deafening silence, the two armies and their cavalries surged towards each other, both colliding with brutal and deadly accuracy.

Although Brutus's army had gained the upper hand, driving back Octavian's forces and slaughtering thousands of soldiers while burning to the ground their opponents camp, not far away his co-commander, Cassius, received flawed military intelligence and retreated. Emboldened by his withdraw, Mark Anthony suddenly ordered his soldiers to surge towards Cassius's camp. Seeing the onslaught and carnage all around him, Cassius ordered his guard to kill him. After the battle, Cassius's head was found severed from his body where it would later be paraded and publicly displayed in the Roman Forum.

For twenty days the two armies, part victorious, part-defeated, faced each other on the battlefield. They nervously waited for more troop surges while anxiously watching to see who would rush forward in suicidal fashion. But on the morning of October 23, 42 BCE, Brutus observed something unexpected, a commander's worse fear. While reviewing his legions, he noticed their hesitation, their uncertainty, a lack of spirit. Abruptly, several of his most seasoned and courageous veterans dashed from the lines to desert to the enemy. Others followed, surging to fight alongside their once sworn enemies.

Instead of the more familiar "whom the gods destroy they first make mad," for both the Roman and U.S. Empires a more accurate axiom would be "whom the surges destroy they first make mad." This came to mind as the U.S.-led NATO military command in Afghanistan issued a recent report detailing how the troop surges, ordered by President Barack Obama, and which was a continuation of the Bush Administration's wartime strategies to defeat Afghan insurgents and Taliban forces, had failed to improve conditions on the ground. Neither have the surges weakened anti-American fighters.

The report relied on data released by NATO's command in Afghanistan, known as ISAF. According to the report, most of the U.S. military objectives have failed despite the additional surges of 35,000 troops and a swell in drone strikes. They have also had a worsening effect.(1) While British military leadership is scrambling to put together a plan allowing them to speed up their withdrawal from occupied Afghanistan, there are other kinds of internal disagreements with the U.S. Empire. And just like Rome, there are even "civil wars" erupting between U.S.-Afghan forces and those within American society.

NATO's command also revealed that in August 2009, as both the Obama Administration and Pentagon were preparing to send more troops to Afghanistan, still ordering more widespread drone strikes, Afghan insurgents attacked U.S.-led NATO forces approximately 2,700 times. In August of this year (2012) alone, Afghan resistant fighters have attacked foreign occupied troops 3,000 times. Meanwhile, military intelligence shows that the dozens of Afghan insurgent groups and Taliban forces are as strong as ever, stability and security is still elusive, and that violence has not subsided.

The term "surge" means to make a concerted rush and to increase strongly and suddenly. It usually describes a forward rushing movement. But surge can also be described as a large motion and a powerful rising and falling. Surges are also compared to the sea, in that, they move like waves, rising up and subsiding and sweeping forward and back. Since the U.S.-led surges have failed, including increased drone strikes, night raids, and cross border assaults, is it time for foreign occupied military forces to subside, specifically the U.S. Empire, to sweep back, even withdraw?

As more of America's seasoned veterans and newly trained recruits have returned home from Afghanistan with either physical scars or emotional and mental traumas, maybe it is time to reverse forward rushing surges. As unemployment and suicides surge among returning veterans, including a flood of special needs and compensations that an already overburdened system cannot meet, perhaps the U.S. Empire should fall back. Still, some Afghan forces trained by the U.S. and NATO have switched sides, have suddenly surged to join Afghan insurgents, resulting in the deaths of several American and NATO troops.

Even the surges of geography seem to be against the U.S. Empire, with their mountainous terrains, rugged and isolated regions, and the enormous costs of transporting troops and equipment across oceans and from one continent to another. Like Rome, America's imperial ambitions, its internal strife and divisions, and its global ambitions have drained treasuries. Funds spent on war time troop surges instead of social uplift programs, economic development, health benefits and medicines, or educational and work opportunities, effect both aggressors and victims, including their families. Ongoing military surges even ruin Republics and democratic, self-governing institutions.

As Brutus's troops deserted, rushing to the other side, and fearing more would follow, he ordered a sudden assault, another surge. But wartime weariness and uncertainty, too many deployments and a longing for home, caused Brutus's forces to be quickly overwhelmed. Retreating from the battlefield, Brutus fell on his sword. Octavian insisted that Brutus's head also be sent back to Rome's Forum for public display. Back in Rome, Brutus's wife, Porcia, killed herself by swallowing burning coals. Under Octavian and future rulers, more troops surges would occur. The Roman Republic, turned empire, would collapse.

What has happened to this man?  What will his memories be?
Imperial surge machines, trying to maintain their legitimacy with ongoing troop surges and deployments and costly global military occupations, always create enormous human misery and sacrifices. Their military swells backfire, creating massive unemployment, overburdened systems, and internal civil division and strife. They cause scarcities among vital resources that lead to political, social, and economic unrest and rebellions. What appears to be a lack of support from many Americans and some officials, is actually a "soft" civil war, a ground swell of sabotage and boycotts against the military surge gods.

Why are Americans allowing this to continue?  WHY?

Before Brutus's and Cassius's military surges, an omen of many vultures devouring corpses had gathered above their heads, screaming and screeching in a ghastly and frightful manner. Drones too are an omen, a sign of futile desperation and of attempting to control the surges of nature and geography. Much of the Afghan coalition has already withdrawn. But the U.S. is pledging to keep troops their through 2024. Like the Pax Romana and its mad demagogues-whom extracted dishonest wealth from foreign colonies while pursuing global supremacy-the Pax Americana is slowly swallowing burning coals.

Dallas Darling (

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for You can read more of Dallas' writings at and


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