Monday, January 10, 2005

Thoughts on Who We Are

I talked about this on January 2nd I think... about the need to anchor ourselves on our moral absolutes so as not to get swept away by our passions and lose our identity.
Today I see
this piece in the Newsweek section... and I am reminded of how these things can easily be perverted in the heat of the moment. Training Iraqi death squads sounds like a good idea now?
I am aware that earlier I mentioned that we might have simply taken out Osama bin Laden had we been so inclined... it isn't a choice I'd personally be comfortable with, but it was and is an option. I do remember the '80's... and other times in the past forty years when our (then) anti-communist fervor led us to make some morally questionable calls. Twenty years after the Iran-Contra issue Oliver North and John Poindexter (both of whom violated their oaths as officers if nothing else) remain in the Washington in-crowd. I remember my early experiences in the Philippines when we were propping up Ferdinand Marcos.
At some point I should probably take a class... Breaking down doors in the middle of the night, and kidnapping and/or torturing and/or murdering sound like the things we went over there to stop and to replace with democratic principles and ideals. There's apparently something I'm not getting. Fifty-two percent of the voting public thinks this is the right way to go...

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Blogger J. said...

That Newsweek article bothered me too. There ought to be some bright minds thinking about counterinsurgency operations, but it doesn't appear that they are getting through to the right people. To regurgitate contra tactics is just not acceptable, although it is, as you say, an option. But in Iraq with Kurds, Sunnis and Shi'ites? A recipe for disaster.

I'm reading van Creveld's "The Transformation of War," written in 1991. He says we missed the boat, Clausewitz isn't applicable today with modern insurgency warfare. I haven't gotten to his solution yet, but I strongly recommend it as educational reading.

BTW, 52 percent of the people aren't advocating this particular tactic, just stating their blind faith that the Great Leader will guide them through the chaos. Frightening...

9:25 AM  

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