Sunday, December 10, 2006

"And Men Shall Learn War No More"

From Sisu we learn that Western civilization has finally gotten rid of the "W" word.

"Britain stops talk of 'war on terror,'" headlines a Guardian article, apparently pleased as punch that the Foreign Office can no longer stomach the calling of a spade a spade:

Many senior British politicians and counter-terrorism specialists have always been uneasy with the term 'the war on terror', coined by Bushitler the White House in the week following the 9/11 attacks, arguing that the term risked inflaming hot-headed Islamofascists opinions worldwide. Other critics said that it was too 'military' and did not adequately describe the nature of the diverse efforts made to counter the new threat.


A recent Belmont Club post noted that British troops hurt in Afghanistan and Iraq are now eligible for compensation under the same program that awards damages to personnel who are mugged or robbed because casualties are considered victims of crime.

All those injured fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, but who have decided to remain in the Army, could be entitled to lodge claims with the newly revised Armed Forces' Criminal Injury Compensation (overseas) scheme. ... The new ruling and expansion of compensation to the Iraq and Afghan conflicts means insurgents or terrorists launching surprise attacks and sabotage missions are also regarded as criminals and not enemy troops. It is thought the only circumstances where troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be eligible for criminal compensation is when they were involved in pre-arranged, offensive operations directly targeting insurgents.

Commentary

From the financial point of view, it makes better sense to be hurt waiting for an enemy surprise attack than to engage in "offensive operations directly targeting insurgents". Insurgents, on the other hands, are transformed into "criminals" presumably with all the advantages of the criminal justice system, if they engage in surprise attacks on British troops. However, they revert to being "insurgents" if they are taken in their safe houses preparing nail-bombs. In some universe this makes sense, and doubtless it does. The question is whether this universe bears any resemblance to the one we live in. Beg your pardon, it is the universe we currently inhabit.

It has occurred to me that perhaps all the words of war have truly vanished from the lexicon and that it is I -- not the liberal pundits --who truly does not understand that an epochal change has taken place. That the old givens: us, them, victory, defeat, battlefields, soldiers, nations, loyalties -- are no more. After all, the abolition of these concepts follows logically from the view that God, King and Country are all pernicious illusions.

But I think I give them too much credit. It seems more likely that the aversion to the notions of victory, borders and culture is not the product of conscious thought: that would be too startling; but arises spontaneously from an accumulations of nights at certain cafes, uncounted evenings at art galleries; from the weight of a thousand cocktail conversations. In other words, from a certain zeitgeist that has no room for all the old words and any of the old gods.

51 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretchard said, "Insurgents, on the other hands, are transformed into "criminals" presumably with all the advantages of the criminal justice system, if they engage in surprise attacks on British troops. However, they revert to being "insurgents" if they are taken in their safe houses preparing nail-bombs."

But the insurgents can rest easy, because no such raid will take place lest the troops lose their eligibility for compensation as a victim of crime by both 1) engaging in disqualifying offensive operations AND 2) being injured by enemy troops instead of state-recognized criminals.

12/10/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Not only on the left.

Terror is a strategy in warfare, President GW Bush declared war on this. The enemy is war, so we go to war to fight against war.

12/10/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

War was declared passé in 1913, 1920, and 1938 to name a few. It didn’t seem to make any difference, however. It won't now.

12/10/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a single day, all will change.

12/10/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

allen:

So true -- like stock market blow-offs that are declared "different this time" because some fundamental law of economics, finance or physics has supposedly been repealed, suspended or amended.

The present generation of elites has been standing on the shoulders of giants for so long that it takes its height for granted.

They have exercised power earned for them by the blood and struggle of others for so long that they believe they can define reality by fiat.

12/10/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretchard said- "That the old givens: us, them, victory, defeat, battlefields, soldiers, nations, loyalties -- are no more."

I think there are still some circles in America and the military that still believe in these old givens. It's the politicians and journalists who've ditched them.

12/10/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

we can ignore the storm all we wish...

the storm is heading our way, whether we wish it or not...

iran/syria/hamas/hezbollah (and others) will not be singing kumbaya any time soon...

12/10/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/10/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Fellow Peacekeeper said...

"War on terror" was always a crap description (how can one make war on a technique?) , but now they appear to have cropped the wrong word from that phrase.

12/10/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Cosmo,

Illiad, Bk XII, 359-81.

Could you imagine a young Kerry, Bush, Clinton, Cheney, or (add the name of any number of our leaders) saying anything like this?

My God, I hope Veterans returning from our current War take the Hill. We need leaders who understand the unchanging nature of man and war.

12/10/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Perhaps its just as well we called it the "Cold War" instead of the "War on Communists". After all, communists like Boris Yeltzin played a big part in bringing the Soviet Union down.

I hope American is strong enough to fight the way we did in the Cold War, using every tool available to win, not just the military.

12/10/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Wu Wei,

It's possible to argue that using the military against Islamic radicalism was a sign of Western weakness. Recently Tony Blair has, with much clearing of the throat, announced that British Islamic groups will not receive government subsidies unless they are willing to swear allegiance to Britain. That was like pulling teeth. In many ways the US has been far more successful militarily than it has been at the War of Ideas. We know who will fight the kinetic battle. But who will fight the information war?

12/10/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> War on terror" was always a crap description..

Yes it is a "war", but calling the enemy "terror" has caused confusion. The original idea was self defense, that we were fighting all the terrorists interested in attacking the United States, but then it expanded to include all Islamists, all Muslims, all brutal Arab tyrants, anyone on the earth who uses terrorist tactics...

12/10/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are our new gods?

Well, I can name one:

-System perturbations

Conflict does not present a set of imperatives, only moral obligations.

It is instead an object of study, a kind of superorganic machine whose levers are only accessible by the United Nations and well-meaning progressive clerics. Its nature is defined in books and leaks from our 21st Century diviners.

Is this the end of American modes of governance? Is the coming conflagration so great that only a King can unite the scattered polities of the world to destroy Islamism?

Or do we have only an hour of wolves that awaits us?

12/10/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a new type of power, an information type of power?

But Mr Hutton told Andrew Marr on Sunday AM that life should be made "as uncomfortable as possible" for parents neglecting their responsibilities.

This is used against deadbeat parents, but this could also be turned into reclaiming the public space from subversive Islamists. Its perhaps an option other than internment camps and mass deportation. This could help reinforce the values of the commons, no?

12/10/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New enforcement powers to be outlined in a White Paper this week include the removal of passports, curfews and electronic tagging.

Seems like an obvious tool for managing imams, sheiks and matrons of martyrdom, no?

12/10/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Chris:

"We need leaders who understand the unchanging nature of man and war."

Because without them, none of the stuff politicians concern themselves with today -- prescription drug benefits, minimum wage, work week hours, etc. -- will mean a thing.

12/10/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Chris/ppab:

ppab's examples highlight our focus on the trivial at the expense of the crucial.

When our institutions are hamstrung by ideology -- police think twice about career-destroying charges of 'racism' and investigations for enforcing the law -- what ppab describes is the sort of place they go.

We wouldn't dare do a subversive what we wouldn't think twice of doing to a male divorcee.

12/10/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmo's description of the problem as one of a nefarious and outright harmful ideology poses a question to me:

Can you advocate survival?

This question to me seems to jab at the fundamental problem Wretchard laments - that of how the clerical tradition of subversion cannot understand survival.

It it there, in the notion that your ornamental philosophies of freeing Mumia and Palestine cannot save you from the terrible men toting power tools and machetes and guns, that the Postmodernist will conclude - all too late - that theirs was the cheapest of follies, that they served idols that cheapened them as they worshipped and that nothing can save them now.

That is how those ideas will die, inside the fading brains once convinced of them, now suffocating and bleeding from grisly messes made by men whose rise to power was concomitant with the grisly mess of ideas that celebrated them.

12/10/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmo's description of the problem as one of a nefarious and outright harmful ideology poses a question to me:

Can you advocate survival?

This question to me seems to jab at the fundamental problem Wretchard laments - that of how the clerical tradition of subversion cannot understand survival.

It it there, in the notion that your ornamental philosophies of freeing Mumia and Palestine cannot save you from the terrible men toting power tools and machetes and guns, that the Postmodernist will conclude - all too late - that theirs was the cheapest of follies, that they served idols that cheapened them as they worshipped and that nothing can save them now.

That is how those ideas will die, inside the fading brains once convinced of them, now suffocating and bleeding from grisly messes made by men whose rise to power was concomitant with the grisly mess of ideas that celebrated them.

12/10/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmo's description of the problem as one of a nefarious and outright harmful ideology poses a question to me:

Can you advocate survival?

This question to me seems to jab at the fundamental problem Wretchard laments - that of how the clerical tradition of subversion cannot understand survival.

It it there, in the notion that your ornamental philosophies of freeing Mumia and Palestine cannot save you from the terrible men toting power tools and machetes and guns, that the Postmodernist will conclude - all too late - that theirs was the cheapest of follies, that they served idols that cheapened them as they worshipped and that nothing can save them now.

That is how those ideas will die, inside the fading brains once convinced of them, now suffocating and bleeding from grisly messes made by men whose rise to power was concomitant with the grisly mess of ideas that celebrated them.

12/10/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great triple post Googles servers fail at interneting - my apologies to the BC

Point I'm trying to make is its obvious to me you can't ordinarily persuade someone to pursue his or her own survival. Perhaps, that is what makes a King?

Perhaps, Americans can begin to appreciate the function of a King in times that will see the whole world covered in shadow, as a fragmented and subverted power ambles amidst its imposed illusions. That a King's separation from common men is manifest in his ability to sew new illusions and unite the ambling fragments, and should the movement he leads turn successful, man and miracle will be one in the Sovereign.

12/10/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

xatLinvinenko Update - Poisoner appears to be Dmitry Kovtun, another ex-KGB agent now working as a businessman "facilitator" of oligarchs and other businessmen seeking access in Russia. Kovtun based himself for 12 years in Germany, with frequent travel to other European nations, and Israel.

Traces of Polonium-210 were found at several locations in Germany - left by Kotnuv Oct 28th-31 before he left for his Nov 1 meeting with Litvinenko.
Kotnuv himself is poisoned and Russia is dragging their feet at giving pissed-off Brit and German investigators access to him.
The poisoner(s) appear to have made a cardinal mistake - unfamiliarity with the assassination tool used. PO-210 is detectable and traceable almost to a few hundred atoms of the material left here and there. With a very short half life, analysis of the contamination residue can ascertain When it was made, in Which batch at which plant.

Obviously, more to follow.
***************************
The WOT and the even more stupidly named GWOT - I think - suckered the Bushies into believing an easy military solution of "high tech wonder weapons" and "super special ops soldiers" was all they had to do.
No diplomacy, no confronting Islam, no national sacrifice needed, no rush strategic communications and cultural training in the Muslim cultures. And by focusing on high tech solutions to ancient ideology's current "few evildoers" and tax cuts for the wealthy - willfully ignoring a half dozen other strategic challenges as "distracting" from the WOT/GWOT.

The Bushies foes, led by enormously powerful Lefties and Jewish Progressives - also fell into the trap. If it is a "War" on only a "few evildoers who hijacked the Religion of Peace"....then all the laws and enemy rights they worked for 60 years to create can stand...all we need to do is "Find bin Laden" - then transnationalism, globalization, and the international law can be supreme....

BTW - the "Cold War" was never intended to be "super special ops soldiers" (See note) winning against the Red Army or us "solving everything" with a cakewalk surgical bombing of the USSR. From the beginning, it was recognized as a war against an ideology, against which all tools must be used - including ripping their agents out of the West and limiting Communist immigrants.

Note - The Bush-Rumsfeld paradigm of the high tech supersoldier as resolving all our military needs and strategy have only been born out against one country with no Air Force or Navy, and for about 6 months against another one before the natives adapted and then tied our "superbly trained and equipped heroes" up at little cost to them.

It has cost us 600 billion to field 20,000 "super soldiers" and their 120,000 support team in safer locales in Iraq. The opposition, the insurgents, have cost between 150 million to 300 million to field. We have killed some 9,000-12,000 of them, maimed another 3,000. They have killed 2900 of ours and crippled out of combat for good another 3000. A 2:5 major casualty/kia ratio.
Not good.
We have spent 12-14 times more on just trying to "blind" IEDs unsuccessfully than they have on their TOTAL insurgency cost.
Jihad is cheap. Be a believer, train with simple weapons, use bushwhacking, you have 4 chances of making Americans dead or blasted meat, to 10 of theirs doing that to you. For a Jihadi, those are acceptable odds.

And all our enemies are intently studying of how Hez and the Iraqi insurgents have negated "high tech, supersoldier" advantages the Israelis and USA fielded against them hamstrung by present law and ROE..

And future combat likely will involve nations with non-Afghan, non-Iraq type far more sophisticated militaries with actual air force, Navies, and plenty of precision weapons. And which also can add IEDs, Kenneth Roth's human rights watch lawyers, and the AP, NY Times Sulzbergers, al-Guardian, and other effective devices to their quivers.

12/10/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Fellow Peacekeeper said...

And all our enemies are intently studying of how Hez and the Iraqi insurgents have negated "high tech, supersoldier" advantages the Israelis and USA fielded against them hamstrung by present law and ROE..

And they are reading it on the internet with which we provide them.

I note that even after three years of IEDs and distributed insurgency, the cellular telephone and internet networks in Iraq have not been switched off, indeed we pay to expand and improve them.

12/11/2006 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

aristides said

On a single day, all will change.

This is the only way I can make sense of the ISG report, and the subsequent events on which W comments.

ie, somebody has worked out that the tipping point of support for the Coalition of the Willing has not been reached, and in fact is in decline; that it is better to wait for the Islamoids to overplay their hand again, in the hope that this will provide the needed backbone. In short, things have to get worse before they get better.

In the meantime, put up a mish-mash of silly ideas to buy time, look like we're doing something, and wait.

This, to my mind, is a logical position, although the inhabitants of a nuked New York, Toronto, Sydney, and London may have a different view.

However, I have been astonished that the WOT has been conducted, at the intellectual/propaganda/spirit level with the greatest ineptitude.

This continues. I fear that when aristides' single day arrives, the coalition will be blamed for not doing enough or doing too much to inflame Arab sensitivities. And so the loop will continue.

ADE

12/11/2006 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

On a single day, all will change.

When it becomes profitable to make war.

12/11/2006 03:08:00 AM  
Blogger Diodor Bitan said...

I've been thinking about the greater meaning of 9/11. There's the view that it was a momentous change, dividing time and world views in 9/10th and 9/12th. There's also the view that the two dozen terrorists got lucky, that it was a one off freak accident, that the response should have been been a police operation, that returning to the way things were on 9/10 as soon as possible is the best way to deny the terrorists their aims.

The second view certainly has something going for it, an air of wholesome relaxed sanity. It has been hard for me to formulate an unhysterical sounding rebuttal, this is my best: the world wasn't changed on 9/11, it was shown to have remained the same as it always was. Reasonable and plausible enough even if 20 or 40 unremarkable years follow yet exposing the 9/10th view as the curious transient eccentricity that it is.

12/11/2006 03:35:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> And all our enemies are intently studying of how Hez and the Iraqi insurgents have negated "high tech, supersoldier" advantages the Israelis and USA fielded against them hamstrung by present law and ROE..

It was easy in Iraq. They just tricked our commander-in-chief into fighting the wrong war. Our original mission was to overthrow Saddam's government and to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Both of those were accomplished quickly and efficiently.

But then the Bush administration dragged its feet on elections, turning us into the police force of Iraq and responsible for propping up its government and fighting its civil wars. Bush did not switch quickly enough to a special forces / counter insurgency war, one more like Afghanistan.

> hamstrung by present law and ROE

The problem is we're trying to fight this like world war II instead of a guerrilla war. There's no reason we should be going on presence patrols, making ourselves targets for the insurgents. Let the Iraqis kill each other and police their streets; we will become the hunters, staying in hardened positions until we decide to strike out at the enemy.

12/11/2006 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

I too think the “War on Terror” is a bad misnomer. It's a War on Islamism. Of course that would really have gotten their Burqas in a twist. But so what? Nobody thought about the Bavarians getting their leatherhosen in a twist over declaring war on Germany.

12/11/2006 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> But who will fight the information war?

Hopefully our commander in chief. He is supposed to give a speech about Iraq before Christmas, with the new direction.

12/11/2006 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Those payments are not a new idea for the Brits. They were given when fighting terror in Northern Ireland, and are routinely given out to British crime victims. So I don't think this is a sign that the world has changed, something that has been happening for decades.

This is similar to that run by the Home Office, which makes payments to the victims of crimes such as muggings, rape, burglary and robbery. Troops will be informed officially of the new policy in the next few weeks and the first payments will be made in early spring.

Until now, the MOD has paid "criminal" compensation only for incidents where troops were injured in "civilian situations" such as a fight in a nightclub while off-duty.

Those injured in Northern Ireland during the Troubles were also eligible for such compensation because it was deemed that the terrorists attacking them were criminals and not enemy combatants in a conventional war.


Link

12/11/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ADE said, "ie, somebody has worked out that the tipping point of support for the Coalition of the Willing has not been reached, and in fact is in decline; that it is better to wait for the Islamoids to overplay their hand again, in the hope that this will provide the needed backbone.

This is just like the "FDR Knew About Pearl Harbor On December 6th But Stayed Pat" theory.

12/11/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GWOT is functionally a war against states that can not or will not prosecute criminals that commit or conspire to commit terrorist against other states.

Another component is removing oppresive regimes that deny "venting processes" to there populations.

The fundamental flaw in the statement "One mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist" is that the "freedom fighter" is unable to engage in peaceful activities to bring about change in his government. A "terrorist" has the option to engage in peaceful activities advocating change, and choses violence instead.

Hence, if we are ever going to irradicate political violance, the GWOT must include 3 types of states as enemies.

1)Those that lack the means to prosecute violent extremists.

2)Those that lack the will to prosecutre violent extremeists.

3)Those that leave their people no choice but to resort to violence.

The Brits have jumped the gun, we are a long way away from winning the global war against political violence.

12/11/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

At the risk of sounding repetitive, we may be waiting a long time for a catastrophe that will galvanize the West.

Again, why risk provoking such a response when the Islamist agenda is being achieved through gaming Western media and legal institutions, and intimidating Western political elites and the Western public.

Actions such as those taken by the Foreign Office can only be seen for the pre-emptive retreat it, in fact, is.

12/11/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger cjr said...

The GWOT is really "War on Oil-financed Wahabi Imperialism"

Oil money provides the means.
Wahabism provides the ideological basis for global jihad. And the goal is to impose this ideology on the rest of the world, in other words, imperialism.

WOWI.. That's a much better sounding acronym that GWOT.

12/11/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Actions such as those taken by the Foreign Office can only be seen for the pre-emptive retreat it, in fact, is.

It is premptive, though not a retreat. We have always used politics and propaganda to try and keep the enemy isolated, like in world war II we used those tactics to try to keep countries from joining the Nazi alliance.

Bin Laden's Al Qaeda is a rag tag band of nut cases incapable of doing serious damage to the United States. (Blowing up three buildings is in no way a threat to our nation, although the loss of life is tragic.) Al Qaeda would only be strong enough to hurt us if we do what they want by widening this into a war against all Muslims.

As for the nuke thing, as I've said before it is impossible. The small nukes are not only hard to make but they're too small to destroy a large city. Also, if nukes were really that easy to transport and use, there is no reason to assume that only Islamists would use them against us. If anyone has the technology, it is Russia and China, both of which have secret agents more skillful than Al Qaeda.

IMO, the Al Qaeda threat has been blown way out of proportion. There is a specific group of them who want to hurt this country, so they should be hunted down like dogs, but that doesn't mean all our other enemies have gone away. It's amazing that the most powerful nation on earth would overreact so much to the destruction of three buildings and the loss of 3000 lives.

12/11/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I think ir is about power, not religion. Like Christians supporting the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon.

Sheik Naim Kassem, Hezbollah's deputy leader, said the opposition was willing to stay on the streets for months to achieve its goal.

"Does Bush want popular expression in Lebanon? Do the West and the Arabs want to hear the voice of the people in Lebanon? Tell them 'Death to America!' Tell them 'Death to Israel!'" the crowd repeated behind him.

Michel Aoun, a Christian leader allied with Hezbollah, warned Saniora he had only "a few days" to accept a national unity government or face further action.

"What we hope for today is for them to understand that their era is over," he said in a video link shown on giant screens.

Aoun added that the opposition was committed to "to peaceful means, but even other means are legitimate."

Link

12/11/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is terrific progress. We should now move forward and outlaw the words "suicide bomber", "hijacker","beheaded" and "honor killing" in order to completely eliminate these issues.

You have to hand it to the Brits.

12/11/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"But then the Bush administration dragged its feet on elections, turning us into the police force of Iraq and responsible for propping up its government and fighting its civil wars. Bush did not switch quickly enough to a special forces / counter insurgency war, one more like Afghanistan....

The problem is we're trying to fight this like world war II instead of a guerrilla war. There's no reason we should be going on presence patrols, making ourselves targets for the insurgents. Let the Iraqis kill each other and police their streets; we will become the hunters, staying in hardened positions until we decide to strike out at the enemy."


I think you need to re-read that Army counter-insurgency manual you've been touting.

12/11/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

wu:

You are correct to write, "We have always used politics and propaganda to try and keep the enemy isolated, like in world war II we used those tactics to try to keep countries from joining the Nazi alliance."

And with a wink and nod to the home front, our leaders at the time were doing these things in an unambiguous effort to win. They never wavered from their objective of unconditional surrender, even in an attempt to distract or confuse our enemies.

I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt that a government which leaks intelligence like a sieve for political gain, catfights and airs its dirty laundry before a global public, oblivious to consequences would be capable of pulling off some gigantic head fake or rope-a-dope.

I'm fairly certain the weak kneed performance of our current political class is unscripted.

Again, I hope I'm wrong.

12/11/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"IMO, the Al Qaeda threat has been blown way out of proportion. There is a specific group of them who want to hurt this country, so they should be hunted down like dogs, but that doesn't mean all our other enemies have gone away. It's amazing that the most powerful nation on earth would overreact so much to the destruction of three buildings and the loss of 3000 lives."

I wish that was all that was at stake.

Unfortunately, 3,000 lives is, as Trish would say, "a drop in the bucket" as opposed to what they're going to be able to do in the future.

This wasn't reactive, it was proactive.

And the problem isn't going to go away because we think it is too hard and better off not thinking about.

12/11/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

But who will fight the information war?

Hopefully our commander in chief. He is supposed to give a speech about Iraq before Christmas, with the new direction.


And this is indicative of the problem - a single speech will not do it.

Where is the Churchillian cigar, the two-fingered V for victory, the BBC's London Calling.

Where is the web site that lists the lies of the MSM, shows that WE KNOW the inanities of Arab culture, that we know Israel/Palli = root of all evil is a load a crap?

Here is the sort of thing that should be on prime-time TV.

ADE

12/11/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

: )

12/11/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ade, thanks for that link. Though it doesn't shock me that much any more, I must say that this is one potent weapon we can utilise in the propaganda war against our enemies and internal saboteurs i.e. the MSM.

If only there would be a cable service playing these videos 24/7 and streamed to broadcasting stations worldwide. I'm more than certain that there won't be a shortage of footage.

At least we can say that we did give these guys a chance to explain themselves on national TV. Allowing such a discourse to take place seems like compromising with the enemy. One wonders if we'll see Bush and Ahmadinejad discussing in this manner. We might not be that far off from that possibility.

12/11/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wu Wei - As for the nuke thing, as I've said before it is impossible. The small nukes are not only hard to make but they're too small to destroy a large city.

Wu, you need to read up on nukes.

Any nuke is "a small physical object" save multistage multimegaton hydrogen bombs, and even those can be transported by a medium-duty truck. Modern 600KT thermonuclear devices weigh 400 lbs sans parachute and re-entry shield, and are the size of a large traffic cone.
The "physics package" of the Almagordo bomb was transported in the trunk of a car to the Site, carried to the tower by 2 men.

The idea that a 12-20 KT fission bomb or a more sophisticated "boosted one" of 40-80KT is too small to wreck a city is also a false one. Some American cities still haven't recovered from the riots of 40 years ago that burned out their hearts. Now, what if besides the center being burned out, the city and much of it's intact remains away from the epicenter, and much of adjacent Metro are is radioactive? The nuclear fission process releases 1.6 million curies per every kiloton of explosive power.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were air bursts where most of the zoomies went airborne and disbursed and diluted as they were swept out over the Pacific.

Not so a ground burst. SF is hit, unblasted areas are contaminated, likely certain large portions of Oakland, Redwood city, Marin county.

Wu Wei - Also, if nukes were really that easy to transport and use, there is no reason to assume that only Islamists would use them against us. If anyone has the technology, it is Russia and China, both of which have secret agents more skillful than Al Qaeda.

Again, you need to read up on the existence of backpack or suitcase nukes. They ARE transportable! And the reason why the US and Soviets did not do so was the 4th Protocol, as it is termed. Which was that both sides in the Cold War agreed that detection of nuclear weapons being smuggled into the other sides territory would be evidence of preps for a nuclear 1st strike. And both sides war games showed that the uncertainty of the threat of such undetected devices already smuggled in or assumed to be smuggled in would be such a threat to strategic command & control and nuclear assets that the likely outcome was unrestricted global thermonuclear war.

Some argue that unlike the Soviets or Chicoms, Islamoids are undeterrable and the only alternative is to invade and occupy 20-30 Muslim nations until they are flourishing Western-style democracies.

12/11/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Where is the Churchillian cigar, the two-fingered V for victory, the BBC's London Calling.

> Where is the web site that lists the lies of the MSM

It's AWOL. The Republicans in Washington, both the White House and Congress, totally failed to communicate about anything during the last few years. It's hard to believe that Republicans were in control, because they said and did so little.

12/11/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> And the problem isn't going to go away because we think it is too hard

Al Qaeda is not a threat, it's a joke. People cowering in caves can never be a threat, even if they hide there for a thousand years. Al Qaeda will never be able to develop nukes, never.

Even if this evil fantasy of lunch box sided nukes blowing up a US city were true, all Al Qaeda would ever be was the messengers. The real danger comes from the governments who could develop the weapons of mass destruction, not Al Qaeda living in tents in the desert and caves.

It is absolutely amazing that people in the United States are afraid of a few dozen religious fanatics hiding in caves. Unreal.

12/11/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Sissy Willis said...

Winston Churchill's grandson of the same name told Neil Cavuto last night that the Foreign Office behaved very much the same way in the run-up to WWII, again afraid to call a spade a spade as it might upset Hitler.

12/12/2006 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> think you need to re-read that Army counter-insurgency manual you've been touting

It says:
Put HN [Host Nation] personnel in charge of as much as possible as soon as possible.

It's been three and a half years.

Also interesting:

The More Force Used, the Less Effective It Is

Any use of force produces many effects, not all of which can be foreseen. The more force applied,
the greater the chance of collateral damage and mistakes. It also increases the opportunity for insurgent propaganda to portray lethal military activities as brutal.


and

Sometimes Doing Nothing is the Best Reaction

Often an insurgent carries out a terrorist act or guerrilla raid with the primary purpose of enticing
the counterinsurgent to overreact, or at least to react in a way that can then be exploited.


Successful practices:

Conduct effective, pervasive psychological operations.

Provide amnesty and rehabilitation for insurgents.

Train military forces to conduct
counterinsurgency operations.

Place police in the lead with military support.


Unsuccessful practices:
Place priority on killing and capturing the enemy, not on engaging the population.

Ignore peacetime government processes, including legal procedures.

12/12/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Major Mike said...

"GWOT" might...inflame "hot-headed Islamofascists opinions worldwide"? That would be like putting a match to an already lit candle...it has absolutely no effect.

Until we accept that these people WANT to kill us, and want to engage us in a type of war we don't have the will to fight and win, we are doomed to lose this war, and in addition, the freedoms we are failing to protect.

These people want to dominiate us and our culture, and they are willing to use our intentionally blind ignorance aganist us in order to do so.

We are trying to play nicey-nice with murderous dregs...who really thinks that will work?

12/12/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

Britain's restricting its methods for dealing with Islamic jihad puts our nations on a collision course. Certainly, I would submit that this downgrades their ability as an ally. Granted, their law enforcement system allows them to be more pre-emptive and aggressive in dealing with terror organizations and cells than ours permits.

Theirs is the more weird perception of what is going on. It's a flat-out denial of the Islamic doctrine of jihad. We are somewhere in between the extreme positions, groping to find a politically-palatable description of what is happening.

However, no one is going to be able to nix the obvious truth about this struggle: we cannot by fiat declare Islamic jihad nonexistent.

12/13/2006 01:31:00 PM  

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