By Ray Starmann
In the H.G. Wells novel, The Time Machine, the Eloi, are a brain dead, zombie like community who put up no resistance as they are hunted and destroyed by the evil Morlocks.
Today’s active duty Army is starting to resemble the Eloi as they willingly accept every absurd, destructive directive from the Morlocks in the Pentagon and the White House, while operating in a trance from reveille to taps every day.
The Army’s leaders, from the Chief of Staff down to senior NCO’s (non-commissioned officers, aka sergeants) are suffering from a massive case of cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive Dissonance is defined as: the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas, or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.
Leon Festinger‘s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. An individual who experiences inconsistency (dissonance) tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and is motivated to try to reduce this dissonance—as well as actively avoid situations and information likely to increase it.
The Army has become one gigantic dysfunctional family, and like a dysfunctional family it can’t see the problems that are destroying it. In fact, a vast majority of the officers and senior NCO’s in the Army won’t acknowledge that they have a problem; a core symptom of cognitive dissonance.
There is one group that can clearly see that the Army has a myriad of problems; that one group is our nation’s veterans. Yet, many leaders in the lean green machine won’t listen to advice or criticism from vets of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, the Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea and WWII.
I’ve been told repeatedly by active duty people; stop criticizing the Army, everything is going well. Really, it is?
It’s no surprise that the majority of US Defense Watch’s fans are vets and the majority of the US Defense Watch haters are active duty personnel, the very people the website is trying to help by discussing issues which affect the Army’s and our nation’s future.
An Army suffering from cognitive dissonance is an Army where everything and anything is rationalized. There is an excuse for everything and a ludicrous explanation of why things that are insane will somehow all work out.
Here are some common rationalizations I’ve heard lately:
This is the best Army we’ve ever had!
Morale is superb! It is? The Army spent $278 million to prop up morale and that fell flat on its face. Why, because the troops smell a rat; they know their leaders are selfish clods and they’re sick of the constant bombardment of PC policies.
Balance lactation support and combat readiness.
We can work through all of these social changes from the White House and come out of it a stronger, more cohesive organization.
Transgenders in Delta Force! Why didn’t we think of this before?
Male ROTC cadets will learn a lot about female rape victims when they wear red high heels with their uniforms.
West Point cadets don’t need to visit Gettysburg. They can learn so much more from the Imam’s of Jersey City.
My personal favorite is from a brainwashed field grade officer in the Ranger Training Brigade.
I’d bet my career that Major Jaster (the 37 year old Mommy Ranger) wasn’t given any extra training or special consideration.
When you hear stuff like that it’s time to get out the Chapter 8 (formerly Section 8, psycho discharge) paperwork.
Sign here sir…We have a nice padded Hummer for you.
This is more than just fear of losing a paycheck or retirement benefits. This has now reached the point where the Army is playing mind games with itself.
This also translates into the lack of martial spirit in the force as a whole.
In 1945, Patton said, “I’m going to Berlin to personally shoot that paper hanging son of a bitch myself!”
That kind of language and lack of a caring, PC attitude towards a ruthless, murdering enemy is simply not tolerated in today’s Army.
In 2016, this is how we discuss our enemies:
We understand ISIS is freezing, BBQ-ing, raping and blowing up people worldwide, but we feel that we can come to peaceful terms with these apocalyptic, misunderstood people. If only they had jobs.
Another symptom of cognitive dissonance is the fact that no one in the Army will speak out.
Where are the OPED’s criticizing US military policy under President Obama?
The only contributions to the media from active duty people are these boring quasi-academic pieces on various esoteric defense websites like, “The Employment of the Deuce and Half Truck during Refugee Management Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Too many officers are piling up graduate school degrees on the Army’s nickel, producing a whole generation of officers who write in university double speak prose.
The articles over-rationalize issues as well, and are written in soft, NPR tones.
When was the last time you saw an article titled, “President Obama and Ash Carter are destroying our military”; by Captain Ian Fleming or whatever pen name one could conceive?
The Army is also suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, with the Obama Administration as the military’s captor. Stockholm Syndrome is defined as: a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. The FBI‘s Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly eight percent of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome.
Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.
Why write anything criticizing the people that are abusing and destroying you?
Obviously, everyone on active duty is shivering in fear of retribution from even thinking that Obama’s Great Leap Backward in the military isn’t just what Doctor Mengele ordered.
How about this scenario for active Army personnel? Next time you’re on leave overseas, visit an Internet café, sit down with an espresso next to Jason Bourne and compose an OPED to a media outlet detailing your concerns over Obama’s social engineering. Sign it John or Jane Doe.
Live on the edge…
Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the Army Chief of Staff to hold a press conference telling the world how Obama is destroying the military. I bet that’s never going to happen. The country expects more courage from someone with a Special Forces tab. Then again, the Army’s senior leaders are among the biggest sufferers of cognitive dissonance.
In the post-Vietnam 1970’s, the Army had real problems. There were druggies, criminal gangs that roamed the barracks, race riots, slackers and troublemakers. Soldiers wanted the kind of rights civilians have and desired to vote on issues and call their officers by their first names. Anarchy was an inch away from engulfing the Army. But, the Army had top notch leaders who believed first in the pillar of the institution itself. They believed that the soldiers came first before their own desires and ambitions. Because of this, the Army rebounded and grew into the extraordinary force that secured peace in Europe and annihilated Saddam’s armies in the Gulf War.
But, in 2016, there is no such leadership. Instead of standing tall in the saddle and sticking to their guns, the Army’s leaders are jellyfish whose cognitive dissonance has filtered into the whole organization. As the Army suffers from massive social changes and readiness issues who will steer the organization back on course?