Monday, July 31, 2006

Why Civilians are optimal targets

Lets face it: There has not been a decisive victory in war since 1946. Why did we win that war? We firebombed Dresden and countless other German cities and we nuked Japan. Kill civilians-- win wars. If you are not willing to kill civies then don't go to war. They are the backbone of the government that fights the war, without them there is no country, no cause to defend.

War is ruthless and the more ruthless the better your chances of winning. Why give up a besieged castle: the enemy's word he won't rape your women. Why step down and give up Japan. You don't want to face extinction. In fact, that is the only reason to surrender: extinction.

This isn't about hearts and minds- you don't win those with bombs. What you do with bombs is get rid of those who have hearts and minds opposed to you. If that means 98% of the population the so be it. Bombs away.

Genocide? If you are afraid to do it don't even think about waging war in the modern world. It wasn't until the Geneva convention was implemented that guerrilla warfare truly took hold. How do you stop guerrilla war when you can't kill and destroy everything, every man woman child and village that has even the slightest connection to the insurgents? War crimes? War is a crime, think about Apocalypse Now; speeding tickets at the Indy 500.

That's why Bin Laden is right: we don't have the guts to win. We tear up when we see babies all burnt. But war is evil and if you can't embrace it then you better roll over and let someone piss on your back.

"I rather be feared than loved" Machiavelli

12 Comments:

Blogger Scheherazade said...

What Machiavelli said was, "...it is far safer to be feared than loved." There is a difference.

Monday, July 31, 2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Scheherazade said...

I forgot to add: Machiavelli was no Caligula.

Monday, July 31, 2006 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Erasmus said...

Gaius,

Glad to see you haven't loss your offensive touch.

War is always an evil, but some times it has to be permitted for self-defense when all other means have been exhausted. Thus you need rules to keep from de-humanizing all involved as it sounds like you would like to see happen.

Europe's wars were civil until Christianity was taken out of the equation (WWI and following). And the most brutal wars the US has fought have been against non-Christian enemies. If only we could return to Christendom.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006 8:14:00 AM  
Blogger Rappaccini's Daughter said...

Hmmm. Don't know if my comment was "flagged" earlier. So it didn't make it through the censors? I'll try once more and leave it at that.

Gaius, Machiavelli did not say "I rather be feared than loved." What he wrote was it is "safer to be feared than loved." Perhaps this is a fault in translation.

This difference is as significant as the difference between Caligula and Macchiavelli.

You're frightenly reductive argument is precisely why wars won't end. It's disaffected rationalization.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Erasmus said...

My dear poetess, when reading the entries from our friend Gaius always keep in mind the name of this blog. Although absurdity and reality often blur id est current situations in the world.

On the other hand I may be defending a mad man!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006 7:42:00 PM  
Blogger Scheherazade said...

I did wonder before I responded if his comments were tongue in cheek.

Maybe yes. Maybe no.

I still do.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006 7:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gaius Germanicus said...

Scheherazade:
This forum had been dead for a while, so I thought I would spice it up. And yes, my namesake is a madman. And yes,it is frighteningly reductive argument and in a way almost too frightening to be absurd, but war is absurd. The geneva convention was implemented because they wanted war to be more civil and avoid the horrors of WWII. I think they secretly hoped that if you took away the real means to win a war, war would stop; it didn't. But war has always been about burning villages, destroying land, killing civilians and the reason why is to instil fear and destroy the means of production. Erasmus's fantasy world of civil gentelmen's war do not bear out in history, I am not going to even address that abusrdity. I guess what my point is, but taking it to an offensive extreme to prove it, is that if you are willing to wage war it must be all out, no holds barred. If you don't have the guts or feel that it isn't worth it, don't do it. Personally, I can't think of two many reasons to justify it. By promoting "rules" we take away the moral component and equaly allow for endless low intensity wars that do not have resoultion and cause even more harm in the end. WWII lasted fewer years than Iraq (if not quite, then very soon) and in the end more people were killed but the scourge of Nazism was ended. Can we say the same about Militant Islam?

Thursday, August 03, 2006 9:54:00 AM  
Blogger Erasmus said...

Your premise of the all out war only works in a Christian context, Gaius. Let me explain...

We are disturbed by the destruction of human life because of the dignity of the human person. The human person only arrives at its ultimate dignity due to the Incarnation (Christ becoming human). If you take that out of the mix (all non-Christians) they will fight and anhilate each other. Why stop? Why be desturbed? It is only a stone for a stone. Yes, the decalogue says don't kill, but that was originally understood to mean those in your own tribe. Go ahead and smash the mouths of your enemy (I'm paraphrasing a psalm. Don't ask which one). I'm not as well versed in Islam, but there ain't no Incarnation in the Koran.

Even the Nazis who had a pagan ideology were Christian through the air they breathed and certainly the average German citizen was Christian. They would fold under the horror of fire bombing.

Our wars in Asia and the Middle East have never gone well. No Incarnation; no potential for victory.

Thursday, August 03, 2006 9:31:00 PM  
Blogger Scheherazade said...

German Caligula: If I follow your reasoning--and I'm not sure that I do; she is slow at times--then the most effective route to eradicate the scourge of "militant" islam would be to nuke them all--or at least Syria and Iran. Millions of non-militant Islams would die of course, but the "scourge" would have been, well, if not eliminated, certainly emasculated. Then, of course there is paranoid-schizophrenic Korea. They should be next.

Then I guess that would just leave peace loving jews and christians to frolic together.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

I'm going to weigh in before we're all put in Gitmo. I'm still trying to get over that the words "Bin Laden was right" are on our blog, but that's beside the point.

War is an ugly business, regardless of the reasons behind it. It was waged well before Christ walked around in Birkenstocks and it continues to wage. While religion can be a cause of war most often the deep roots are wealth, land and sovereignty. That's why, through history, we can see nations built on the same religous basis fight.

What we find in this modern conflict are extremely desperate people (many of them educated) that have no outlet to frustration except surprising and terrible violence. How can a person protect themsleves from that? Back in the day wars were chess matches, where each sides similar assets were meted out and the best strategy won. Through time technology took over as the decider. Today we are seeing a swing back to strategy as technology can't seem to keep up with strategies that make efficient use of low tech tactics.

Giaus sees the solution to terror as only being more terror. I think the reactions to his statements are justified in that mindless carnage of one's enemies can not eleminate an idea. The failure in Iraq is one of strategy and short sightedness. Iraq is not a Christian vs. Islam conflict, although it has been painted that way. It is a foolish flexing of muscles that has backfired and encouraged more violence.

If I can end this section quickly by saying that war should be avoided whenever possible, when it does break out there are many solutions to bring it to a conclusion, successful or otherwise. I doubt that Absurd Men Speak could solve the issue of ending war. The very possiblity is absurd.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Now go and look at my solution to global warming.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gaius Germanicus said...

S:
I am not saying that war is good or that carnage is good or that whomever is left will frolic in peace, nor am I suggesting that we should go on a genocidial bender. My point is that war is ruthless, and the more ruthless side wins. By making war "surgical" we are removing the moral component and therefore providing an easier justification for it. If war has been deemed justifiable (for whatever reason the people who wage it come up with) then we must be willing to understand that what is now considered "collateral damage" is really the means to the succesfull conclusion of your campaign. That is why militant Islam is so much stronger than us now. They have a moral clarity that we lack, however half-baked it may be. We may be better for it, but in the end we can't win if we choose to wage it on thier terms, using our methods. To them we are all the enemy, if we choose to fight them on thier terms then we must treat them the same way.

Look at Sherman's march, that ended the Confederacy. The Romans brutality in Gaul, that ensured centuries of Roman rule. We have already talked about WWII. If we choose brutality then we must be the most brutal. If you are afraid to do that then you are kidding yourself.

We are losing this war because they dictate the terms and the battlefield and we are afraid to match them. Maybe if we don't have the guts to win it we should have tried another strategy. Which in my opinion is exactly what our dumb-ass administration should have done. Why? Because S., you are exactly right about the conclusion you draw from my argument.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 5:08:00 PM  

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