Constitutional Emergency



It Was Only a Matter of Time Before One of Our Men Broke Down

Ralph Peters


On Sunday, just before dawn, an American staff sergeant walked away from his post in the badlands of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, went into a nearby village, and methodically murdered sixteen civilians, including women and children. This didn’t happen in the confusion of a firefight amidst the “fog of war.” It was the brutal act of a veteran who cracked. The deed cannot be excused. But I believe it can be explained.

For a final analysis we’ll have to wait until all of the facts come in, but it appears that a soldier who had served honorably during multiple tours in Iraq broke down and went mad in Afghanistan. We should not be surprised that this happened. We should be surprised that it hasn’t happened sooner and more often: The shock of this incident after a decade of hopeless, meandering efforts that have thrown away the lives and limbs of our troops while ambitious generals lie about progress, seek promotion, and engage in military masturbation is actually a tribute to our men and women in uniform out on the front lines (to the extent that “front lines” exist).
That staff sergeant—who turned himself in after the killings—is guilty of murder in a degree yet to be determined, but the amazing thing is how disciplined, patient and tenacious our troops have been. Given the outrageous stresses of serving repeated tours in an environment a brand-new private could recognize as hopeless (while his generals fly back and forth congratulating themselves), it’s remarkable that we have not seen more and even uglier incidents. The problem in Afghanistan isn’t our troops—although craven generals routinely insist that everything is the fault of “disrespectful” soldiers—it’s a leadership in and out of uniform that is bankrupt of ideas, bankrupt of ethics, bankrupt of moral courage—and rich only in self-interest and ambition.
If there’s a “battle cry” in Afghanistan, it’s “Blame the troops!” Generals out of touch with the ugly, brute reality on the ground down in the Taliban-sympathizing villages respond to every seeming crisis in Afghan-American relations by telling our troops to “respect Afghan culture.”
 But generals don’t have a clue about Afghan “culture.” They interact with well-educated, privileged, English-speaking Afghans who know exactly which American buttons to press to keep the tens of billions of dollars in annual aid flowing. The troops, on the other hand, daily encounter villagers who will not warn them about Taliban-planted booby traps or roadside bombs, who obviously want them to leave, who relish the abject squalor in which they live and who appear to value the lives of their animals above those of their women. When our Soldiers and Marines hear, yet again, that they need to “respect Afghan culture,” they must want to puke up their rations.
When I was a young officer in training, we mocked the European “chateaux generals” of the First World War who gave their orders from elegant headquarters without ever experiencing the reality faced by the troops in the trenches. We never thought that we’d have chateaux generals of our own, but now we do. Flying down to visit an outpost and staying just long enough to pin on a medal or two, get a dog-and-pony-show briefing and have a well-scripted tea session with a carefully selected “good” tribal elder, then winging straight back to a well-protected headquarters where the electronics are more real than the troops is not the way to develop a “fingertips feel” for on-the-ground reality.
Add in the human capacity for self-delusion, and you have a surefire prescription for failure.
Right now, our troops are being used as props in a campaign year, as pawns by dull-witted generals who just don’t know what else to do, and as cash cows by corrupt Afghan politicians, generals and warlords (all of whom agree that it’s virtuous to rob the Americans blind).
What are our goals? What is our strategy? We’re told, endlessly, that things are improving in Afghanistan, yet, ten years ago, a U.S. Army general, unarmed, could walk the streets of Kabul without risk. Today, there is no city in Afghanistan where a U.S. general could stroll the streets. We may not have a genius for war, but we sure do have a genius for kidding ourselves.
Now we’re told that we have to stay to build the Afghan military and police. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! And Allah’s knickers, too! We’ve been training and equipping the Afghan army and the Afghan cops (and robbers) for ten years. In World War II, we turned out a mass military of our own in a year or so. The problem in Afghanistan isn’t that we haven’t tried, but that the Afghans are not interested in fighting for the exuberantly corrupt Karzai regime. Right now, our troops are dying to preserve a filthy Kabul government whose president blatantly stole the last election and which has no hope of gaining the support of its own people.  Meanwhile, despite repeated claims that the Taliban is on its last legs, the religious fanatics remain the home team backed by Afghanistan’s Pashtun majority. (If the people didn’t back them, the Taliban would, indeed, have been long gone—we need to face reality.)
Recently, another friend, who clings to (now-retired) General Petraeus’s counterinsurgency notion that, if we just hang on and give the Afghans enough free stuff, they’ll come around to the American way of life, told me, yet again, “You should hear the intercepts we get from the low-level Taliban fighters…they’re in a panic…”
That’s the old Vietnam line: “We win every firefight!” Sure, we whip the Taliban every time we catch them with their weapons (if they’re not holding weapons, we can’t engage, even if they just killed Americans). But we dare not attack the Taliban leadership in Pakistan, where it’s protected by our “allies.” And no matter how many Taliban we kill, they still attract volunteers willing to die for their cause. The Afghans we train turn their guns on us.
It appears that the staff sergeant who murdered those Afghan villagers had cracked under the stresses of a war we won’t allow our troops to fight. But the real madness is at the top, in the White House, where President Obama can’t see past the November election; in Congress, where Republicans cling to whatever war they’ve got; and in uniform, where our generals have run out of ideas and moral courage.
That staff sergeant murdered sixteen Afghans. Our own leaders have murdered thousands and maimed tens of thousands of our own troops out of vanity, ambition and inertia. Who deserves our sympathy?
In war, soldiers die. But they shouldn’t die for bullshit.

Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Ralph Peters is the author of the just-released historical novel Cain at Gettysburg. A retired Army officer and former enlisted man, he is Fox News’ Strategic Analyst and a regular contributor to

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My prayer:  God, would you please, I beg you, move Ralph Peters to the White House, or as Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.....have mercy on our troops and our nation.  In Jesus Name.......Amen


In the Second World War it was Gen. George S. Patton who demanded to be served the very same food and operated in the same living conditions as the troops during the 36 Hour Forced Mechanized march to relieve the surrounded 101st Airborne in Bastogne.  His reasoning was he NEEDED to know the limits of his troops while he led from the Front.  That exercise we all know today was a Text Book Success.....  but that was only 36 hours and that WAR lasted less than 5 years.

Our Troops have been in Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan and places we can only guess for more than TEN YEARS under Rules of Engagement that can only be considered Questionable and directed by a leadership that we cannot comprehend.

Thank you Ralph Peters for your words of Sanity!!!   Now if we can only draft you with Command and Control Authority To Afganistan and Places Adjacent while WE BEGIN OUR TOTAL WITHDRAWAL... The incident now discussed may not be repeated...  

In God We Trust!!!!   In Washington Not so Much!!




And I believe Patton said:" Nothing will boost the moral of the troops more than dead general."


Amen to that.

The  book Victory Denied by Major  Archibald  E. Roberts was a book that could cause a great deal of  grief for a soldier  caught  reading it at Ft. Carson Colorado @1970. We still trained under fragments of the Code Blue Citizen Soldier program. And Last I heard he is still maintaining his Committee To Restore the Constitution over in Ft.Collins. I find a lot of similars in the current  diddling and piddling in the sandbox to 'Nam  And once again those prosecuting the War  over there know  a lot more about the  hearts and minds of the people we went to save form their own. And once again all the  bad guys have to do is  wait for us to go outside the wire. We are in their House--and  now we have a soldier who was trained to remove the problem standing between us and  mission accomplished. IMO he understood what the  boys and girls in stuffed suits and silk panties  refuse to  see. The enemy is ISLAM. That is what stands between US and mission accomplished. The Muslim in the WhiteHouse has given all manner of aid and comfort to the enemy.Problem is the US Army is more than willing to sacrifice one-or a hundred--or however many it must to make the good ol boy at the top look like he knows what he is doing.IMO the shooter was more Patriotic than the guy who said he intends to treat the dead Afghans just like they were Americans. --Funny I recall he called the murder done by Major Malik Hasan a workplace  accident or some such B.S. By that logic he ought to have called this  just another unfortunate incident  clouded by the fog of War. 

Ralph Peters is a common sense guy with a high powered intellect, who spent the greater part of his life in the military and knows what is going on. Don't doubt him. To change the subject a bit. This website as many brings us up to date and timely information to keep us informed. We all are deeply appreciative as you know. However, based on the Internet medium itself and the thousands and thousands of contributors and constantly changing subject matter it oftentimes becomes difficult to focus on solutions and strategies to combat what is now the doubling down of the Progressive agenda. Most of us out here feel powerless to change the course of history. I really think that the multiplicity of events and rapid transition of thought that we experience day to day to effect some type of remedial action sometimes adds to that feeling. Just a thought, but maybe its time to slow down just a bit and really review the subject matter on a priority basis and consolidate our communal thoughts and actions that are contributed on this and other Conservative websites to better fight the right fight at the right time. For  example, a few weeks back an informative website presentation was presented by Twana,her staff,Guest Presenters, and call-in contributors regarding the Balance of Powers Constitutional effort by individual States to reign in the Federal Government. Introductory letters were distributed to a multitude of Republican Legislators in all the states to describe the effort and to garner their support so that a good many states initiate similar activity. In my estimation that effort is grounded in solid Constitutional framework and history and should be followed up on and supported by all of us in this Constitutional Group an there in will lie our power and ability to make a difference. Just a thought and perhaps others would like to comment. Also in regard to our previous lively discussion on the radical Islam influence in America, Glenn Beck just mentioned that our Prison systems alone generate 30-40 thousand Islam converts on an annual basis. I guess that takes the Progressive's critical and condescending term , "Nation Building" to a new level!

Well said Kevin........I think Twana and her team will do another blog-talk event tomorrow night.  I expect she will send all the information necessary to tune-in............

Thank God that someone in the US has the courage to speak the truth........Enough lives and limbs have been lost.             History repeats itself until someone faces the truth about the real reason wars are being fought.  Power and Money at the expense of the ordinary soldier.  May God bless the troops and bring them home.

I spent two years in Vietnam and I have not completely gotten over it.  These guys that are spending four and five years in a combat zone will never get over it.  I don't know how they can be any where near normal.

Agree with you Steven......I had two rough years after returning the second time from combat time was a long six months.....can't imagine what our troops are going through now being the mayhem for 4,5,and 6 years....God help them.



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