"Never Forget" - A Marine Reflects On The Lies Of Our Endless Wars

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Brad Hoff via The Canary

The fires which began with the 9/11 attacks were never extinguished. They continue to burn fiercely from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria to Yemen to North Africa, as the region and its regimes came unglued in the wake of George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’.

The 16th anniversary of 9/11 was marked in America with the usual somber memorials and directives to ‘never forget'. But this definitive 9/11 slogan always takes me back to the overwhelming tide of pro-war fervor that swept the US and stifled any deeper reflection or debate in the years after September 11, 2001. Sadly, I was part of that fervor – and this too I will never forget.

The militarism of my youth

I joined the US Marine Corps as an idealistic 18-year-old in 2000, with a firm resolve – as I enthusiastically told my military recruiter shortly before leaving for boot camp – to “fight evil in the world”. This resolve was rooted more deeply in my veins after the 9/11 attacks. As a relatively new Marine, I had temporarily worked at the Pentagon while attached to a headquarters computer programming unit in the two months just prior to that tragic day, and was fortunate not to be there when it was attacked.

After the smoke cleared in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, I and many others wanted ‘justice’ at all costs against an enemy we were told was present in multiple Middle Eastern countries. Slogans such as ‘let’s roll!’ echoed in my ears, and my zeal for ‘the mission’ influenced others to follow my path of military service.

While stationed in Quantico, outside of Washington DC, I became close friends with a local civilian nearing his high school graduation, and I encouraged him to join the Marine Corps. This occurred just as the Bush administration was making the case for war in Iraq.

The author as an idealistic 18-year-old not long before 9/11. Attending ‘Marine Combat Training’ (MCT) near San Diego, California.

A close friend dies in Anbar Province

While I remained at my headquarters unit in Virginia, my friend embarked on multiple tours of duty within a short two years as a Marine infantryman. I remember even then being surprised and unsettled by how rapidly his overseas deployments came. He was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq on his third deployment overseas prior to his twenty-first birthday. He had selflessly tried to stop a car laden with explosives as it sped into his checkpoint, possibly preventing more deaths among the nearby group of Marines wounded in the attack.

Paul Wolfowitz, considered one of the chief architects of the Iraq War, attended my friend’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. More recently, Wolfowitz spent last year's anniversary of the 9/11 attack on NBC’s Meet the Press shamelessly arguing that he and the Bush administration had done nothing wrong in selling the war and were honest with the American people.

Neither my friend nor I had ever really understood much about the place of his eventual death or the politics of the war. This had been clear during our brief visits together as we reconnected prior to what we didn’t know would be his final deployment to the Middle East. We were never encouraged to learn about the history of Iraq or the Arab world, or to ask too many questions for that matter.

“You’re either with us or against us” was enough for us to want to go out and “win hearts and minds” – a constant refrain in the post-9/11 atmosphere.


Uncovering a disturbing history

As the power of such simple platitudes faded, I began to investigate for myself the history of US involvement in the region. My search began in the library of the Marine Corps University at MCB Quantico, and would later lead to my travelling to Syria after completion of active service.

Few Americans know of the absurd contradictions of our foreign policy in Iraq and other places over the past few decades, yet I soon found that many Iraqis and Syrians know the history well.

The United States, through covert support of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party in the 1960s and 1970s, sponsored Saddam Hussein’s rise to power as a way to combat perceived communist influence and populist national movements in the Middle East. Throughout that time, the CIA-supported Ba’ath engaged in ‘cleansing campaigns‘ which involved door-to-door death squads offing Washington’s enemies, based on questionable lists provided through covert liaisons.

Absurd contradictions of endless militarism

Upon Hussein’s rise to the Iraqi presidency in 1979, and the increasing boldness of the Iranian Revolution, the United States encouraged Hussein to invade Iran, kick-starting the most devastating war in the region’s history. Most Americans still haven’t seen the easily accessible archive footage of Reagan’s then special envoy to the Middle East, Donald Rumsfeld (another architect of the 2003 Iraq regime change), shaking hands with Hussein in 1983, in what was clearly a warm and cordial visit.

CNN coverage of the first 9/11 anniversary, Sept. 12, 2002 interview: a visibly upset Rumsfeld asks "Where did you get this video?" when confronted with footage of his prior chummy relations with Saddam Hussein.

Saddam would go on, during the course of the Iran-Iraq war that took over a million lives (1980-1988), to frequently employ chemical nerve agents against Iranian troop movements. Later into the war, this occurred with the assistance of the CIA and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). By the time of the 1988 gas attack against Kurdish citizens in Halabja, US covert assistance to Iraq’s military was established and routine.

And yet, Hussein soon became the new super-villain of the 1990s and the post-9/11 world. The very image of evil incarnate in the world. Even though his brutal dictatorial rule and regional aggression had undergone little change from when he was the CIA’s man in Baghdad. It was only American perceptions of him that changed.

The United States had helped to create the very monster it was telling young men and women to travel across the world to destroy in 2003. Ironically, one of the main justifications for going after the ‘evil tyrant’ offered by Bush was Hussein’s gassing of Halabja.

Resisting a ‘forever war’ culture

By the final year of my military contract, I was learning too many uncomfortable truths. But ultimately, it was meeting families with roots in Iraq and Syria during social functions outside of military work that finally transformed my thinking. Military culture and the general pro-war atmosphere in America had warped me into thinking of Iraqis as ‘savage’ and ‘tribal’, according to the usual simplistic stereotypes.

But I saw very quickly that Arab people and others from the region tended to have a much more nuanced understanding of the world, reflecting its true complexities, than the average American. Looking back, it was these Arab-American friends (who gave predictions and warnings about what was to come of the US invasion of Iraq) who were proven exactly right. At the time, they were sneered at and ridiculed by most for daring to offer a contrary viewpoint, even though they knew the history of America’s prior destructive meddling in the Middle East quite well.

I remember that my friend who had died so young in Iraq said, during one our last conversations, that his heart had been warmed by his brief encounters with the Iraqi civilians he spoke to during his first tour. He saw hope in their faces. He soon redeployed to Iraq, still trusting that our leaders had it right.

My friend, like thousands of others among the US war dead, loved his country. But the architects and promoters of the war were playing the same cynical and deceitful game they’ve played for decades in the Middle East. The men that led us into war lost no friends, grieved no loved ones, and suffered no lasting consequences. They left government and went on book tours, headed up powerful global institutions, retired to comfortable jobs at think tanks, and continued to make millions – as war profiteers have always done.

My young friend is buried in the ground at Arlington Cemetery. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are also long dead. And the region is still on fire.

Leaving the Marines

During my last work day as an active duty member, I sat in an administrative room in Quantico with about 30 other marines about to receive ‘honorable discharge‘. Our final debriefing included having to sit through multiple presentations from representatives of major private military contractor firms (mercenary groups like Blackwater/Academi). As active military personnel we were forced to hear the mercenary companies' recruitment pitches before being able to access our official discharge papers. I later learned that it was never widely known among the public that this happened on bases that were especially located around D.C. during the years just after 9/11.

They boasted of huge payouts to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq in a private capacity, at a time when both countries were engulfed in chaos and ruin. There was a smug grin on each mercenary recruiter’s face.

It seems that almost every Marine in the room flocked to the contractors’ tables after receiving official discharge papers. I walked past these mercenary recruitment tables in disgust, jumped in my packed-up car, and drove back to Texas as a civilian.

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Blue Steel 309's picture

This former Marine and ex-soldier couldn't agree more. I could even add support to his thesis and a thing or 2 he doesn't know, but I don't want the attention.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Never forget...

The FBI released the, "Five Dancing Israelis," that were arrested by the NYPD on 9-11 for filming and celebrating the attacks on the WTC and driving around in a van that tested positive for explosives.  These were admitted Mossad agents working undercover in the USA.



And more recently in Syria...


So, looking at the following map, it is easy to see why the Israeli
government and AIPAC's whores in Washington, D.C., have been so keen on
regime change in Syria. 





TeamDepends's picture

Sometimes the best way to fight a war is to not show up.

-Sun Tzu

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Sometimes the best way to fight a war is to own the mother fucking US Congress and MSM.

-Lillian Pinkus

a Smudge by any other name's picture

I remember post 9/11 USA too. I was pretty terrified of people just like this author. I knew my fellow Americans could not be trusted. This is the first time I detected them to be not only homicidal but sociopathically homicidal.

Ah the good old days. These days everybody just accepts perpetual war kinda shifting around with the wind. Just another war in just another day in just the latest global military empire.

Bes's picture

it's a good thing we didn't elect a guy surrounded by generals

or a guy who promises to expand the sad, underfunded, miserable military

or a guy who thinks the military is so great the police should be military too

or a guy who wants to inject more trillions into the pentagon

or a guy who loves terrorist Israel and Saudi Arabia


fuck the MIC and anyone in bed with them


Salzburg1756's picture

We may well have elected the first jew president.

brianshell's picture

As an answer to the first muslim president

Salzburg1756's picture

We may well have elected the first jew president.

Rusty Shorts's picture

Ok, here is the youtbe video linked in above article - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCBDNaxCEeA


The youtube user name is "akchuk".


I would advise all of the real ZHer's go over and browse through some of his video uploads, he's got some real gems!!!


Meanwhile back in Kenya...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21hC1jWPUtw

TheReplacement's picture

Damn that second fella is a helluva reader.  I wonder what acting school he attended.

RumpleShitzkin's picture

Langley School of the Performing Arts.

The best there is, hands down.

seataka's picture

Excerpt from US Congressional record explains the ugly details of AIPAC, etc
save this file locally...


338's picture

It may be time to pick up a cheap easy read on the subject....






I'll buy you a copy if you can't afford one of your own.



JuliaS's picture

"They gave a war - nobody came - imagine all the fuss! They'd have to send themselves instead of sending us."

- John Larkin

NobodyNowhere's picture

Always, the best way to fight a war is to shoot the traitors first.

- NobodyNowhere

Future Jim's picture

How can this guy expect us to take him seriously when he writes about the problems with US involvement in the Middle East and never mentions Israel?

Radical Marijuana's picture

9/11 boils down to an inside job, false flag attack, done by Zionists, in order to blame Muslims. 9/11 was the most spectacular symbol, so far, of the ways that the combined money/murder systems actually work. That situation is WAY WORSE than the article above recognizes, due to the degree that the international bankers captured control over the American "money" supply more than a Century ago. Thereafter, the vicious feedback spirals of all aspects of the funding of the political processes have gotten worse, faster, at about an exponential rate!

The Big Picture is that natural selection pressures drove the development of artificial selection systems to become socially successful by becoming as dishonest as possible. The essential dilemma is that there must be some death control systems, while the existing systems have become as deceitful and treacherous as possible. Hence, the current situation is that there is NOT any significant opposition which is not controlled "opposition."

To quote Cognitive Dissonance:

"The absolute best controlled opposition is one that doesn't know they are controlled."

EVERYTHING regarding Globalized Neolithic Civilization, including Islam, is runaway criminal insanities. However, picking on Insane Islam should also consider Crazy Christianity, including Biblical history that those people who survived through both the Egyptian and Mesopotamian phases of that Civilization developed some of the best books of organized crime gang rules, while those who later converted to adopting those books of organized crime gang rules eventually dominated Western Civilization.

Civilization necessarily operates according to the principles and methods of organized crime, because the murder systems necessarily direct everything else, especially because the murder systems necessarily back up the money systems. Some of the corollaries of the ways that Civilization operates through applications of the methods of organized crime are that governments become the biggest form of organized crime, dominated by the best organized criminals, whose most extreme manifestations became that the USA government is the biggest terrorist organization, dominated by the best organized terrorists.

In general, there is nothing which is publicly significant other than the layers of various controlled "opposition" groups, surrounding the core of excessively triumphant organized crime, namely, banker dominated governments. For thousands of years, Civilization has been based on being able to back up lies with violence, which became more and more sophisticated and integrated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence. Human beings necessarily lived as reproducing gangs of robbers, while those who were the best at doing that have been able to dominate society with their bullshit. Hence, the basic ways that almost everyone thinks about almost everything is mostly based on taking bullshit for granted. I repeat that it is still a very superficial analysis which continues to take for granted thinking using the dominate natural languages and philosophy of science, based on the DUALITIES of false fundamental dichotomies and the related impossible ideals.

While I admire those who begin to wake up to that, as indicated by the article above, the overall situation is almost infinitely worse, due to operating through almost infinite tunnels of deceits. In particular, the USA is almost totally dominated by the best available professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, who routinely take their oath of office as professional hypocrites, which then proceed to maintain the maximum possible treasons. In that context, one may rhetorical ask how can one "never forget" what one never knew in the first place?

I recommend that "we" should start using more UNITARY MECHANISMS to better understand how and why governments are the biggest forms of organized crime and terrorism, which are most effectively controlled by the best organized gangsters and terrorists. Of course, I do NOT expect that to actually happen. Rather, I believe that Globalized Neolithic Civilization is too terminally sick and insane to be able to recover from the degree to which that is so. At the present time, there are NO practical ways to escape from the vicious feedback spirals of the funding of the political processes, especially because there is practically nothing but controlled "opposition" groups to the already entrenched systems, which "opposition" stays within the same frame of reference of taking for granted thinking about everything using the same false fundamental dichotomies, and then recommending the same bogus "solutions" based on impossible ideals.


Anyone attempting to do more research regarding 9/11 has to work at digging deeper and deeper!

E.g.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_Hedge

Consider a relevant link, that was previously posted on Zero Hedge:

When it comes to articles about any relatively current events,
Wikipedia can not be trusted, but rather, was propagandized!

FLASHBACK to 2010:


Zionist Wikipedia Editing Course

... The strategy and goal of the course is to educate and enable an 'army' of editors of Wikipedia, giving them the professional skills to write and edit the online encyclopedia's content in a manner which defends and promotes Israel's image. The participants of the course were chosen from a long list of candidates, with 80 students in total slated to participate. Seminar workshops were led by professionals and senior Wikipedia editors, and included an overview of the Wikipedia project and practical training on web editing, writing, and values. ...

whatswhat1@yahoo.com's picture

... short story long (your post)

... my long story short (we're fucked, always have been, always will be)

sweet dreams


sickavme's picture

I was already in the navy when 9/11 happened.

The next day we lit-off our propulsion plant to go to war...


But my immediate first thought was: go to war with who?????????


Shit didn't make any sense back then, and it still doesn't now. It just seemed like alot of anger/knee jerk reactions without a whole lot of direction as to who actually did it... Nobody actually did it in the traditional sense(until we, general public, got confirmation that it was the saudis, 16 years later)....


I don't care about all the stupid theories. All I know is what the evidence says: Saudi arabia was in on it, and we didn't "go to war" with them...

Mazzy's picture

I was in AIT when the Israeli Wehrmacht invaded Lebanon.  Shit didn't make sense then, but the gears finally started churning.  It was a year later during my first deployment when those gears started to produce insights: Israel was the reason we were in Iraq, it was in order to destabilize the region.

FUCK.  What's a 21 year old to do?!  I was taught my whole life to be a good patriotic American.  Somehow though, I think I am more of a patriot than ever.  I criticize the wars and more importantly I criticize Israel.

a Smudge by any other name's picture

So were you ringside as Israel got their ass handed to them? That must have been quite a spectacle.

veritas semper vinces's picture

it's easier to believe that Alice in Wonderland is a real story,than to believe the official 911 story. Knowning basic physics is enough to see that what they presented as real needs an alternative set of laws of physics ,or another universe.

Why are Americans so insouciant?(I've said it). They believe in fairy tales. Look what passes as great movies:Batman,Spiderman,X men,Transformers,Once upon a time,etc.This says a lot about the intellectual level of the Americans.

I say that even if somebody succides in exposing the truth about 911,most of the population is so incredibly stupid that they will not be able to understand it.

RIP America!

Paul Kersey's picture

Endless wars mean endless profits:

"Eight days after the invasion of Iraq on March 19 2003, Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy defence secretary and a leading proponent of the war, told a Congressional committee: "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

A decade later, that assessment could hardly have turned out to be more wrong.
The US has overwhelmingly borne the brunt of both the military and reconstruction costs, spending at least $138bn on private security, logistics and reconstruction contractors, who have supplied everything from diplomatic security to power plants and toilet paper.

An analysis by the Financial Times reveals the extent to which both American and foreign companies have profited from the conflict -- with the top 10 contractors securing business worth at least $72bn between them."

Had patriots, on 9/12/01, locked Paul Wolfowitz in a cage for the next ten years, hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved, along with trillions of dollars.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Wolfowitz, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Kagan, the list just goes on and on.

Why aren't all these men considered war criminals?

Bes's picture

the list is way fucking longer than that

and includes people you never hear about



presidents and politicians are front men

including trump


greenskeeper carl's picture

By who? Certainly no one important...

thestarl's picture

And then burnt the slimey cunt alive.

1033eruth's picture

And you're still not connecting all the dots.  You've only got HALF the story.  A certain percentage of those "endless profits" are recycled back to the backstabbers in congress in the form of PAC donations so that they can endlessly promote war.  

When you tell the story of why we maintain the perpetual war, don't stop in the middle of it.  We have yahoos in the military fraternity that still think they are doing something heroic by "defending our freedoms" overseas.  Look how well the propaganda took root on those people!!!!  A masterful job.

pynky01's picture

I felt the same way as I left Vietnam ... that my government had lied and sent so many to die ... what is wrong in America?  Remove the jew remove the problem...and as a bonus get world peaches... 

Future Jim's picture

"This former Marine and ex-soldier couldn't agree more. I could even add support to his thesis and a thing or 2 he doesn't know, but I don't want the attention."

You worked for the NWO. Did irreparable harm. Learned information that could help atone for your crimes ... but ... you don't want the attention ...

No doubt other marines learned similar information, but apparently, they don't want the attention either.

Are all marines such cowards?

Grin Bagel's picture

No, Future Jim, not all Marines...just like not all of any group of people are any one thing. They are all humans receptive to suggestion and programmed to fear being different and not make waves. The only way to win today is to not play. It's down to the wire for each individual to decide. Perhaps it is a part of why we are in physical as humans, is to learn to make good decisions about getting along and doing it sustainably.... as individuals.

Future Jim's picture

I did 8 years of ROTC, was on scholarship, and I opted out. I could see there was no more honor in the military than in a corporation.

I didn't need to be asked to abuse or kill people for no apparent reason in order to opt out.

I was not afraid to be different.

I recently asked a former marine what percentage of marines would fire on a crowd of unarmed Americans if ordered to do so. The answer was 85%. If one guy in the crowd started shooting at them, then he said 98% would shoot at the crowd in general if order to do so.

Umh's picture

Why did you do 8 years of something that you disagree with?

Future Jim's picture

It was a calling. I knew what a threat the USSR was, and it took 8 years (I was 21) to learn that I could not do any more good inside the government than outside. It was all corporate politics. I could see that it was not a calling for others. I had NO IDEA about the NWO yet or that both parties were subordinate to the same people.

Umh's picture

I will just say you are an asshole. Being a Marine is just a past part of someones life while being an asshole is forever.

Future Jim's picture

Not an argument.

Killing and abusing innocent people is "just a past part of someone's life"?

That's what a psychopath would say.

It would have been more honset to say that being a murderer is forever.

Do you really think that makes it OK because some other guy told you to do it?

Do you really think that makes it OK if you were only an accomplice?

Umh's picture

I'll stick with fuck you asshole. Trying to pick apart real peoples lives to fit your narrow point of view.

Future Jim's picture

The closest you can come to making it OK is to dedicate your life to fighting the evil you once served.

It is never to late to become the person you really want to be.

You can see some of what I am doing at End Of Innocence. What are YOU doing, or what are going to start doing?

HRClinton's picture

FJ, have you considered that there different types of "courage", and that each of us has a different mix of each?

Types of Courage: Physical, Financial, Public speaking, Civic.

I'd imagine that most Marines (or military types) might have a fair bit of Physical courage, but lacking the others. They might have the courage to face enemies on a battlefield, but not on stage, a boardroom, a picket line, or protest rally.

In contrast, most SJWs have few qualms at being at a rally or protest, but not so keen at being in Kandahar, dodging bullets and slaloming IEDs.

malek's picture

All the best for your future as a civilian, Brad.

VWAndy's picture

 I fell for it too. Pisses me off greatly that I got played and people died. Looking back on it now how could I have not caught it on the spot.

HardAssets's picture

How is a young kid out of high school or a 20-something young officer out of college or one of the service academies gonna know much different. Been brainwashed by 'schools', t.v., and your family (also brainwashed) since a little tyke.

Now's the time to pass on to others the wisdom that you gained after seeing the Reality.

VWAndy's picture

 Yep Im a big fan of both mentoring and being mentored myself.

MrPalladium's picture

It is interesting that as I graduated from field artillery fire direction (Fort Sill) (1970) and was assigned to Infantry OCS at Fort Benning, I was actually gung ho. But a funny thing happened in OCS. It gradually dawned on me that we were being trained to charge off into the unknown (jungle) up and moving at the head of a platoon wihile or VC enemies were hiding behind cover waiting to slaughter us. In short we were being trained to accept death. As luck would have it the Army had too many company grade officers for fiscal 1971 and one week before graduation and commissioning, they offered us a year off our three year committment - E5 - and a guaranteed duty station anywhere in the world. I took the deal and ended up partying with the ladies in Berlin for my second and final year of service.

A large part of life depends upon luck!!

Takemine2go's picture

We were all (most of us) played for fools. Good news for  us is we have woke up and more and more are doing so daily. . Bad news for the elite and their (((friends)))  is we have woke up and more and more are doing so daily.