Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
GWOT
It seems we've moved into the summer news season. CNN is doing a recap of white girls who get killed in Bermuda (they don't have anything new, just milking the story) and the blogs don't have much new. Blogging has been light because there's just not much to say. I'm actually getting tired to berating the Bush administration (it's all been said). I know it needs to be said over and over again. But I'm just not up for it right now. I suspect things will heat up around August.

Anyway, I've been writing a bit about the GWOT. Specifically how it's not a war at all, but rather a fantasy of the cold warriors who miss the good old days. Consider this, which of item doesn't belong with the others:

1. War on Drugs
2. War on Germany and Japan (WWII)
3. War on terror

Digby (great minds think alike) also discusses this meme today. One point in that post is that the GWOT is really a war on a tactic .... terrorism. The west, particularly the right-wing nutbars, get apoplectic whenever anyone suggests that terrorism might be an effective strategy to counter overwhelming power. Terrorism it seems is seen as, .... well, ... unfair. An individual schmoo who straps on a belt of C3 and blows up a shopping mall is somehow seen as "crazy" and violating all the standards of civilized culture.

Steve Coll has an interesting column this week in the New Yorker about the make-up of suicide bombers. This topic seems to confound people spawning studies as to why someone would actually committ suicide in a terrorist attack. I submit that this behavior is really nothing new. People have been purposely putting themselves in harms way for a cause since the dawn of human time. And as far as targeting civilian populations, does anyone remember Dresden or Hiroshima? And how about the attitude of the British towards the American rebels in the revolutionary war who were so cowardly and uncivil as to hide behind trees and shoot at British columns. Why didn't those pesky crazy Americans line up and fight like real men?

Of course suggesting that war has rules is crazy making. The fact stands that people who believe in a cause will do whatever they have to in order to defeat their enemy. The United States has proven this. With the best army and equipment money can buy, we are being defeated in Iraq by a group of rag-tag insurgents who are using cell phones to activate homemade bombs that they've built in their garages (if they have garages). Our leaders have forgotten one of the most important axioms of warfare: desire and committment to the cause will defeat any technology.

Terrorism as a tactic will continue until such time as it's no longer necessary. When individuals with strong beliefs don't have a place "at the table", they'll blow up the table until they get recognized. Any parent with a two year old knows this.

It's too bad that American leaders and American people keep having to learn it over and over again.
2 Comments:
Blogger Lynne said...
"Our leaders have forgotten one of the most important axioms of warfare: desire and committment to the cause will defeat any technology."

So true. It reminds me of a line from Robin Hood: Prince of Theives where Costner's Robin Hood says something to the effect that an army of mercenaries is no match for men fighting for their homeland.

Anonymous romunov said...
desire and committment to the cause will defeat any technology.
Great! Let's pack it up so that the Terminator finds it in the (near) future. Perhaps they'll give up their evil pillage of human kind. :)

But on a serious note, I think the administration has tought time "learning" because there are other interests behind it (weapons industry, bankers...). It seems retarded to us, but they're doing what's best for their rich buddies.