My prior post brought in a thoughtful comment from "the other side," as it were, and Chris deserves another book plug.
Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, by Chris Floyd
My wan apologies to Conservative In Your Midst for front paging him/her, but it is this sort of jujitsu that we bloggers are infamous for.
Seriously, though, Conservative In Your Midst posted a pretty thoughtful comment, and I welcome him as an engaged reader, as well as a fellow traveler towards the truth.
You can read his comment in its entirety here. Following is a point-by-point response.
IF you agree that there are dangerous and violent people hell bent on killing us (Americans) because they believe something very differently about the way life should be lived than we do…and IF you agree that we have essentially two choices 1) get the hell outta there as quickly as possible or 2) a “you broke it you bought it” philosophy and we have to stay until we can make it right…and IF you agree that conventional methods of fighting a war (read: the way we always have fought wars, since WWI) will NEVER work in this kind of a struggle.You're right, I don't.
IF you agree with these things (and I understand that you probably don’t)...
...and IF you understand that the government and military as they are currently constructed are never going to get the hell out as quickly as possible (my guess is you do, even if you don’t want to admit it), then I’ve got news for you.Now, that's a well hedged turn of phrase. "As they are currently constructed" and "as quickly as possible" can be ignored for clarity's sake:
...and IF you understand that the government and military are never going to get the hell out...There, that's better - I can agree with that... almost. We'll get out, all right - it's just a question as to how small a bloody stump we'll be left with.
And how many human beings we will have killed.
Fighting like a terrorist is the only way we can possibly fight effectively against terrorists.How does one "fight like a terrorist" without actually becoming one? Insofar as one may believe that "terrorists" are a distinct class of people to be "fought" (I don't, it seems you do), how does play into the idea of "defeating" "terrorism?" Sounds like proliferation, the old cycle of violence feeding on itself. Ask Isreal (not that they'd be frank about it.)
We hear people bemoaning the fact that this is an “army without a country” or an “army without a flag” and that is why the offensives in Iraq and Afghanistan haven’t worked. Don’t fight them like an army with a flag then dipshit.Whoa, you're really into this "become like the terrorists" thing, aren't you? It is a crime to kill innocents (anyone, really, but I'm sliding our personal Overton window to the right a bit for conversational purposes), "terrorists" are criminals. I do not believe fighting crime by becoming criminal is really accepted art. And they are criminals, committing horrible crimes, as humans are wont to do. The military is terrible at crime-fighting. If they attack here, it is a job for the Department of Justice. Fighting them "over there" is simply a way to make us criminals in foreign lands. Can you look at it from the viewpoint of an Iraq or Afghan citizen? Like when you come home from work and your home is pile of smoking rubble, family and pets nowhere to be seen?
Fight them they way they fight you, only utilize your superior technology.
They don’t attempt an assassination of our President. They fly planes into skyscrapers. We can’t be satisfied with hitting exactly who we were aiming for, we’ve got to be prepared to take out that target, his family, and anybody in his general area.
They don’t target our military (exclusively). They attack civilians. No reason we shouldn’t be prepared to do the same.I'm not stupid, either, and I can tell you that my reaction, if I were in their shoes, would not be to turn neighbors in to an aggressor who is known, known, to be torturing and abusing them. Also, because I am not stupid, I know that as long as the base reasons for the rise of "terrorism" are still in place, then new "terrorists" will always pop up to take their place. So I am to feed them, one by one, to the aggressor?
There are those out there that would tell you we’re making it worse, that we’re inspiring those who might be on our side (or at least neutral) to go to “their” side because of the damage we’re doing.
Those same people will tell you that we’re not dealing with stupid people, that we’re not dealing with ignorance.
Then those “innocent” people should recognize that we’re (eventually) going to win, even if that means turning the Middle East into a parking lot. They should abandon any allegiance to these terrorists, turn them in, and we’ll happily be on our merry way.
What if tanks under a foreign flag were bedeviling your neighborhood? Now, I eschew violence myself, but since you clearly don't, I'm willing to be you'd be up to speed on Molotov cocktails and IEDs in no time. You terrorist, you. (BTW - I find the phrasing "happily be on our merry way" a bit macabre in this context, don't you?)
If this war was ill advised, so be it, but we’re in it now, and we shouldn’t simply lay down and take our beating. We should be fighting back, and we should be doing it the most effective way possible.First of all, if I realize that something is "ill advised," which you are apparently conceding this aggression is, then I stop doing it.
"lay down and take our beating...?" Beating? What fucking beating? We're the ones doing the beating! Oh, you must mean those gnat-stings that are occasionally inflicted here at home by these malcontents, which pose no existential threat whatsoever to this country. In which case I fail to see how our brutality overseas addresses that issue in any positive way, a fact which has been tiresomely pointed out since before this shit all started, to no effect.
As a matter of fact, everything I've said in this post has been tiresomely pointed out since before this shit all started, to no effect.
Sometimes I think that people just want blood. I don't really believe it, but sometimes I think it.