January 31, 2006

Comment to Silence of the Lambs

To Neo,

But this progress has had has the unintended effect of lowering the bar and raising expectations. Now there are many people who want (and expect!) that civilian (or "innocent") casualties in war, or in targeted terrorist assassinations, become zero. And that seems impossible.

This progress has also had the unintended effect of promoting and giving rewards to people that endanger civilians and use civilians as a weapon in war. Because they are counting on your lack of attacks on their families and those they hold precious, and so long as they suffer no negative consequences for using a tactic in warfare, they will continue to do.

Because the terroists live in a win/win scenario, but not the exact one you describe. If we kill civilians, the terroists win propaganda among the civilians. If we don't kill civilians, terroists get safe havens and show the impotency of the occupation/imperialist/zionist entity.

There are ways to break this guerrila tactic balancing of murder. Instead of operating combat strikes, Israel should operate psychological warfare. Psychological does not kill people, it does not put bullets in people or maim them, it only destroys people's minds and will. Destroy their mind and their bodies will follow.

With the proper counter-protections, Neo, the terroists go from win/win to lose lose. In Iraq, if terroists launch a mortar from a village and the U.S. counter-mortars the position, a proper propaganda counter will put the blame on the terroists. And give people incentive to NOT allow terroists to launch mortars from their villages if they can help it, BECAUSE they know that the weapons of the terroists are not helping them, but Americans with their reconstruction, baby tools and food, and etc are. Given a choice between terroists blowing up their children clustered around the lovable and dovable Americans in their cool looking armored humvees and the lovable and dovable Americans, they will always choose the Americans even without the fear of retaliation. It just tends to take longer, like with the Sunni Insurgents. There's a very good reason Sunnis and Kurds treat AMericans better than the Shia. The Shia have never seen the iron fist of America, nor what backed our political promises. They didn't see it in the Gulf War and they sure as heck don't see it now when their American appointed British occupation forces let Muqtada Al-Sadr run around murdering and killing people.

If terroists don't endanger civilians and the host population, they lose again, because their tactical mobility goes down to zero and their potential to initiate combat strikes against civilians and military personnel decreases, signifying weakness on the part of the terroists to all who may not have yet opposed them.

Proper psychological counter-tactics turns a terroist win-win scenario into a lose-lose scenario. Many things in war are variable and mercurial like that, where one tactic that might have worked in one set of circumstances do not work in a changed environment. The inability to adapt to new enemies, changing weapons and tactics, and a lack of mental agility is the cause of why Generals are said to always fight the last war, never the future one. How long a General takes to master the tactics of the current war, rather than the previous one, determines victors and losers. As it does in Iraq. We are adapting faster than Al-Qaeda, we are winning the propaganda war in Iraq. We are not winning the propaganda war in America. The internet barely holds the President at 40% approval ratings, without the internet, it would be below 30%.

Iraq is not about taking territory, it is about winning over the mind of the Iraqi man, woman, and child. The US holds to a conciliatory manner of doing things, not an iron fist one, but perhaps an iron fist in a velvet glove. There is always the military backing whatever political operations the diplomats seek to impose in Iraq. The military itself does not want to involve itself in civil reconstruction and occupation, and it has cost us, to everyone's detriment. Paul Bremer knew it himself when he took charge, that the military did not train the Iraqis cause the military thought Police would just pop up out of no where, and that military training police to do internal security is wrong. It's not wrong, it's just fighting the last war, not the current one.

Israel's policy and national character towards terrorism is very different from the American one. And it shows in the length and breath of the terroist threats facing them. In Palestine, the terroists truly do have the win-win scenario Neo talks about. Yet it need not be that way.

Or kill those terrorists, and understand that some innocents will probably die also, despite the fact that you are doing the very best you can to minimize the killing of innocents in the process.

The choice is not between killing terroists or letting them go. The Democrats understand this at least, you can't kill all the terroists. Because terrorism is an idea and a tactic, but just because you can't kill a person does not mean you cannot mentally cripple them, into a 5 year old retard on a monkey swing.

There is war, there is guerrila war, and then there is politics. Politics happen after wars, and wars happen after politics. But guerrila wars happen all the time, war or no war, politics or no politics. The infamous "asymetrical warfare", without political symetry or the rules of war symmetry. What fearful symmetry.

But what is the proper response?

It has to be psychological war.

Why do some observers persist in seeing no difference? Why do some insist on holding Israel and the US to a standard that is both impossible and dangerous, a standard by which no self-defense would be possible, and by which "the cruel" would end up triumphing?

Because they don't understand guerrila warfare. They don't understand Israel's tactics nor the reason for them, simply because the people who oppose Israel do not truly care whether civilians or not if they were at the helm. They would panic and blow up a city, like New Orleans, and then blame it on some else. They produce more casualties, not less due to their lack of understanding and willful ignorance. They also don't understand the terroist's tactics, they believe terroists are just like themselves. No, they are not like Western intellectuals in the least, though they are just as good at propaganda. Perhaps therein lies the confusion. The intellectuals see in the Palestinians, a people as well versed in human propaganda as they themselves, and therefore they jump to the conclusion that these are their brothers...

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