Posts Tagged ‘War


Conventional Warfare – A Misnomer

This week, in their defense of Dick Cheney’s naked parade, his minions have defended the use of “enhanced interrogation methods” by saying they were a response to the unconventional warfare posed by Islamic terrorists. (well, they don’t say Islamic terrorists, because that is no longer PC – but that’s who they are referring to).

Our short-memoried society considers “conventional warfare” battles in which all sides wear uniforms designating their loyalty, avoid injuring civilians as much as possible, behave gentlemanly during negotiations, have clear delineations between good and evil, and are only fought because one baddie decided to invade one goodie.

I’m simplifying, I realize, but only in an effort to illustrate the naivet√© of isolated Americans regarding warfare. Our idea of military combat is as far from the norm – bastardized by erroneous and fantastical historical tales, the refusal of the government to provide honest details of war to keep the public’s distaste to a minimum, and the perpetuation of the myth that the U.S. government always makes good decisions for the benefit of the American public. The blatant lack of honesty of everyone from storytellers and revisionist historians to the executive administrations past and present have whitewashed Americans’ view of war. To the detriment of all involved.

How Americans Think of War

What We Americans Consider Conventional Warfare

War is ugly and gruesome and what we consider unconventional is actually much more typical combat.

The vast majority of war over the last 40,000 years has included various levels of torture, rape, the killing of women and children, the enslavement of the losing side by the victors, and no uniforms of which to speak.

During the Vietnam War, U.S. soldiers found it quite difficult to tell which “gook” was with us and which was against. That we would find warfare any different in Afghanistan or Iraq is appallingly uninformed.

Most warfare has been fought by any means necessary, yet the utilization of suicide bombers or twin engine jets surprises Americans. These tactics are much more along the norms of warfare than our Disney notions of WWI and WWII. The claiming of the U.S. territory by whites from Native Americans included genocide, rape and arbitrary killing. In “conventional war,” crops, land, and homes are put to flame and waterways poisoned. Horses and livestock are slaughtered. And on, and on, and on.

The desire to increase power is the largest motivator of war. Throughout history, chiefs and leaders of state wanted to expand their territory, causing them to take what isn’t theirs. However, to be content with what is yours and nothing else is to lay in wait for the greedy eyes of an enemy.

Now that the statehood of most territory on Earth, save for Antarctica, has been decided, war is largely launched because of irrational actors and thirst for power and results in the subjugation of weak people or a brazen offensive against a perceived enemy. Al Qaeda wants a theocratic, Muslim world and how better to achieve this result than attacking the most powerful defender of the free world? George W. Bush saw what he perceived as his father’s failings at the end of the first Iraq War, as well as the opportunity to spread democracy in the Middle East, and launched an offensive he was not prepared for and did not fully understand. In Sierre Leone, during battles for the control of diamond minds, thousands upon thousands of women and children had their arms cut off at the elbow and boys high on cocaine killed their familes and raped women with the ends of their guns.

Realities of Conventional War

Realities of Conventional War

WWI and WWII were horrific in their own right, but were as unconventional as warfare gets. During WWI, occurrences of opposing sides playing soccer games between trenches¬† are well-documented. WWII had a clear, easily identifiable leader with atrocious strategies and ambitions. The fact that we consider these two events “normal” clearly reveals our lack of understanding of military history. Perhaps if we grow up and can realign our perceptions closer to reality, we can have a more substantial and successful discussion of what we consider acceptable behaviors in wartime.

If Americans understood the realities of war, if they could see into the future the results of the invasion of Iraq, they would never have permitted these men – Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz, men who have never been battle-tested (a few draft-dodgers in there), never known what it felt like to kill another person or see the enemy face-to-face – to launch us into this misquided and ill-considered war.

I understand the outcry against torture, and support much of it. But the fact that the American people can be so outraged over actions against a few and then remain silent while our bombardments in Af-Pak result in the deaths of scores of civilians – mothers, babies, schoolchildren – is media-driven and reprehensible.


Best 60 Minutes Interview Ever!!

Last night, 60 Minutes televised and interview with FBI Agent George Piro, who was charged with interrogating Saddam Hussein while he was in U.S. custody. The results are amazing. In fact, Piro’s boss said the interrogation was probably one of the top FBI accomplishments in the agency’s 100 years.

Here’s the link to the interview and it is long, but it’s definitely worth a read.


Iraq, Whitehouse in Negotiations for Long-term US Military Presence

We discovered a few months ago Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed an agreement, called U.S.-Iraq Declaration of Principles for Friendship and Cooperation, that would open negotiations towards a U.S. military presence in Iraq for an undetermined length. The democrats, especially Sen. Clinton during the debates, have recently become more vocal in their disapproval of the agreement, which would require the consent of the Iraqi Parliament, but not the U.S. Congress. They also claim that this is an effort to cement the U.S. presence in Iraq despite possible efforts by the next president to withdraw troops.

The official word is that the agreement would simply redefine the U.S. military role in Iraq and would not bind the next president’s decision capabilities, as well as replace the expiring U.N. mandate regarding coalition activities in Iraq.

Are you with me so far? Does this pass the smell test??

In a word, No.

First of all, the administration and Iraqi government want negotiations concluded around July and an agreement complete with signatures by the time U.S. elections arrive.

Secondly, and this is well, significant, the Center for Public Integrity reports the President Bush and his top officials “made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.” It is common knowledge without the CPI report that the administration issues false statements (the CIA leak case, Att. Gen. Gonzales’ involvement in the firing of many U.S. attorneys, just to name a mere fraction).

Fact: the administration if full of lies and liars. If the administration were a witness in a criminal trial, it would be indicted for perjury. If lightning struck liars, The White house would be a sea of smoking embers. There isn’t a bar of soap in all the world big enough to clean those dirty, rotten, fallacious mouths. Basically, we have a pants on fire situation here. Hell, he learned it from his father who tried to sell us a bill of goods on the level of the deficit during Sr.’s campaign in ’92. Guess it runs in the family.

The administration thinks Congress is simply playing politics and the U.S. population is too retarded to understand the means behind their ends. Karl Rove and Dick Cheney have better judgment than we do. Rumsfeld had better judgment than we do. Condoleeza Rice, for all her irrelevance, has better judgment than we do. We should just sit back and drink our Coors Light and watch Nascar and trust Bushie to take care of this war for us like good little patriotic citizens.

I’d rather choke on a hot dog.

Of course Cheney, uh…I mean Bush, wants to establish an agreement with the Iraqis before the next president can come in and stomp all over his withered legacy. He has convinced himself, to the point of psychosis, no doubt, that his intentions (not decisions based on REALITY) determine the outcome. A democrat with the same access to information he has will make far worse decisions than he would (though how that could happen when they would undoubtedly have better judgment, I’ve no idea).

Hopefully, those senators on the campaign trail can see their way back to Capitol Hill for a moment to either find some existing legislation or slap some together that would require their participation in this “agreement” with Iraq.

I understand we have just under a year left before he’s out, people. But realize that it will be one nail-biting, hair-pulling year. And I can’t wait for the roller coaster ride of pardons at the end! It’s sure to make Clinton’s and Bush Sr. before him look as innocent as one of those pukey Precious Moments figurines.

It’s almost enough to make me start praying. Almost. Not quite, though.

UPDATE: While the Washington Post says there is no historical precedent for such agreements to go before Congress,¬† The Boston Globe has issued an article with a different view, saying “After World War II, for example – when the United States gave security commitments to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and NATO members – Presidents Truman and Eisenhower designated the agreements as treaties requiring Senate ratification. In 1985, when President Ronald Reagan guaranteed that the US military would defend the Marshall Islands and Micronesia if they were attacked, the compacts were put to a vote by both chambers of Congress.”

There is a reason a democracy commands the participation of many. To trust the steerage of our country to few, who are not only untrustworthy when it comes to the simple act of telling the truth, but proven poor decision-makers, is insanity-defined.

Scarlet Letter of Atheism


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