April 27, 2006

Spies and Soldiers - Honor and Duty

Some background info first to clear things up a bit. Admiral Ivan Antonov, Admiral in charge of destroying the Theban threat. Whether by a Theban surrender or by orbital bombardment of the Theban homeworld with his fleet in orbit. The First part is an excerpt of the final novel in the series, the Shiva Option. The second excerpt is when Antonov and Lantu are trying to find a way to make the Thebans surrender without orbital bombardment. Which, would kill off most of the Thebans. The Theban homeworld had been fortified with planetary defense guns that could shoot down any attempt to land an assault force of Marines. And without an assault force of Marines to hold the planet, the Thebans would not surrender. Lantu had come to realize that the Holy Jihad he was on, was a fake, a fake that the leaders of Thebes knew all about and perpetuated in order to maintain their power base. It is very closely analogous to Japan. Heavily defended. You had to choose between nuclearizing them from the skies or landing an assault force that would take horrendous casualties. Or both as the case may be. Of course, David Weber probably did use Japan as the model for the scenario he wrote.

"We are warriors, we three," he told them, "yet I think there have been times in this endless war when we have . . . forgotten the reason that we are. I was thinking, as I stood here alone, of other warriors I have known. Of Eeevaan, of course, but also of others long dead. Some of the Zheeerlikou'valkhannaiee, but even more of those who were not. Of Annnngusss MaaacRorrrrry, who I met on your world of New Hebrrrrideeees during the war against the Thebans, Raaymmonnd. And, even more, perhaps, of Ahhdmiraaal Laaantu. Do you know his tale?"

"Yes," Prescott said. Every TFN officer knew the story of First Admiral Lantu, the Theban commander who'd fought so brilliantly against the Federation in the opening phases of the Theban War. The admiral who'd led the forces of "Holy Mother Terra" to one stunning triumph after another and fought even Ivan Antonov to a near draw. And the greatest "traitor" in Theban history.

"I hated him," Kthaara said quietly. "I blamed him for the death of my khanhaku, for it was units under his command who destroyed my cousin's squadron in the very first battle of the Theban War, and they did so by treachery. Looking back from today, it would be fairer to say he did so in a surprise attack, but I did not know—then—that Laaantu believed he was already at war against the Zheeerlikou'valkhannaiee, and so I was consumed by my hatred for his 'treachery.' Indeed, it was my need to seek vilknarma which first brought Eeevaan and me together. But in the end, Laaantu taught me the true duty of a warrior, for he betrayed all he had ever known, the faith in which he was raised, even the farshatok whom he had led into battle, because he had learned what none of them knew—that the 'Faith of Holy Mother Terra' was a lie. That the chofaki who ruled his people had used that lie to manipulate them for seventy of your years and then to launch them in a war of conquest. It was a war they could not win—not in the long run—and Laaantu knew what a terrible price would be exacted from his people if they fought to the bitter end. If their false leaders refused to surrender and Eeevaan was forced to bombard his world from orbit. And so he joined his enemies and aided them in every way he could, fighting to defeat his own people. Not for any personal gain, but because only by defeating them quickly and with as few Human casualties as possible could he hope to protect them from the consequences of their rulers' actions.

"And when I realized what he was doing, and why, I could no longer hate him, mightily though I tried. Oh, how I cherished my hate! It had kept me warm, filled me with purpose and the passion of rage, and in the end, the killer of my khanhaku had taken even that from me, for he had reminded me that the true warrior fights not from hate, but from love. Not to destroy, but always and above all to preserve. Do you understand that, Raaymmonnd?"

The Shiva Option by David Weber and Steve White

The real life scenario is of course, Emperor Hirohito. I do believe Neo would see the connecting traits, because we've corresponded somewhat concerning this subject.

For those who are not conversant with the subject, you'll just have to read MacArthur's words here.


People who make promises and break them, dishonor themselves. In return for what?

"No,“ Antonov said flatly. "There is an answer. There is no such thing as a perfect defense - not when the attacker has data this complete and the services of the enemy’s best and most senior commander.“

"Best commander?“ Lantu repeated dully. He shook his head. "No, Admiral. You have the services of a fool. A pathetic simpleton who was asinine enough to think his people deserved to survive.“ He stared down at his hands, and his voice fell to a whisper. "I have become the greatest traitor in Theban history, betrayed all I ever believed, sacrificed my honor, conspired to kill thousands of men I trained and once commanded - all for a race so stupid it allowed five generations of charlatans to lead it to its death.“ His hands twisted in his lap.
"Do what you must, Admiral Antonov. Perhaps a handful of the People will live to curse me as I deserve.“

The humans in the room were silenced by his agony, but Kthaara’zarthan leaned forward, eyes fixed on Lantu’s face, and gestured to his interpreter.
"I would like to tell you a story, Admiral Laaantu,“ he said quietly, and Lantu looked up in astonishment sufficient to penetrate even his despair as, for the first time ever, Ktnaara spoke directly to him

"Centuries ago, on Old Valkha, there was a khanhar - a war leader. His name was Cranaa’tolnatha, and his clan was sworn to the service of Clan Kirhaar. Cranaa was a great warrior, one who had never known defeat in war or on the square of honor, and his clan was linkar’a id Kirhaar, Shield-Bearer to Clan Kirhaar. Clan Tolnatha stood at Clan Kirhaar’s right hand in battle, and Cranaa was Clan Kirhaar’s shartok khanhar, first fang of all its warriors, as well as those of Clan Tolnatha.

"But the Khanhaku’a Kirhaar was without honor, for he betrayed his allies and made himself chofak. None of his warriors knew it, for he hid his treachery, yet he spied on those who thought themselves his farshatok, selling their secrets to their enemies. And when those enemies moved against them, he called Cranaa aside and ordered him to hold back the warriors of Clan Tolnatha while he himself commanded Clan Kirhaar’s. Clan Tolnatha was to lie hidden, he told Cranaa, saved until the lastm oment to strike the enemy’s rear when their allies - including Clan Kirhaar - feigned flight.“

He paused, and Lantu stared at him, muzzle wrinkled as he tried to understand.

"Now, Cranaa had no reason to think his khanhaku’s orders were a lie, but he was a skilled warrior, and when he considered them they made no sense. His forces would be too far distant to intervene as ordered, for by the time messengers reached him and he advanced, the feigned flight would have carried the battle beyond his reach. Ana as he studied his khanhaku’s commands, he realized that a ‘feigned flight’ was no part of their allies’ plans. The battle was to be fought in a mountain pass, and if they yielded the pass they would be driven back against a river and destroyed.

"All but Clan Kirhaar,’ Kthaara said softly, "for they formed the reserve. They would be first across the river’sonly bridge, and it was they who had been charged with mining that bridge so that it might be blown up to prevent pursuit. Ana when Cranaa realized those things, he knew his khanhaku had betrayed him and all his allies. Clan Tolnatha would advance but arrive too late, and it would be destroyed in isolation. Clan Kirhaar would fall back, and his khanhaku would order the bridge destroyed’to hold the enemy,’ and thus deliver his allies to their foes. And when the battle was over, there would be none alive to know how his khanhaku had betrayed them.

"But Cranaa had sworn hirikolus to his khanhaku, and to break that oath is unthinkable. He who does so is worse than chofak - he is dirguasha, outcast and outlawed, stripped of clan, cut off from his clan fathers and mothers as the prey of any who wish to slay him. There is no greater punishment for the Zheeerlikou valkhannaieee. Before we suffer it, we will die at our own hand.
"Yet if he obeyed, Cranaa’s clan would die, and its allies, and the traitor would wax wealthy and powerful upon their blood. And so Cranaa did not obey. He broke his oath of hirikolus - broke it not with proof he could show another, but on the truth he knew without proof.

He refused to lead his clan into battle as he was commanded, but chose his own position and his own time to attack, and so won the battle and saved his clan.

"And in doing so, he made himself dirguasha. He could not prove his khanhaku’s treachery, though few doubted it. Yet even had he been able to do so, it would not have saved him, for he had thrown away his honor. He was cast out by his own litter mates, outlawed by the allies he had saved, deprived of his very name and driven into the waste without food, or shelter, or weapons. A lesser warrior would have slain himself, but to do so would be to admit he had lied and cleanse his khanhaku’s name, so Cranaa grubbed for food, and shivered in the cold, and starved, and made his very life a curse upon his khanhaku’s honor. And so, when he was sick and alone, too weak to defend himself, his traitor khanhaku sent assassins, and they slew him like an animal, dragging him to death with ropes, denying him even the right to die facing them upon his feet.

"Thus Cranaa’tolnatha died, alone and despised, and his bones were gnawed and scattered by zhakleish. Yet all these centuries later, the Zheeerlikou’valkhannaieee honor his courage… and not even Clan Kirhaar recalls his khanhaku’s name, for they have stricken it in shame. He was a traitor, Admiral Laaantu - but our warriors pray to Hiranow’khanark that we, too, may find the courage to be such traitors if we must.“

From Crusade, by david weber and steve white

The only justification to break your sworn word, is duty. Duty to a higher cause, to the preservation of your people. It is the meaning behind, death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than mountains. Death is quick, sometimes painful sometimes not. Duty requires you to withstand much more agony, because it requires you to live, and living hurts. But it is the only game in town, if you seek to effect change.

If you ever watched Babylon 5 and saw the Civil War story arc with Sheridan vs President Clark. You would realize that the conflict of loyalties within a nation mirrors this choice of choices. Is your loyalty to the nation, or is your loyalty to your sworn oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic? Robert E. Lee asked himself a similar question, and he said his loyalty was to his state. But regardless of what choice you make, one or another oath will be broken.

It is one reason why the military does not promise loyalty to the President, but to the Constitution. It is always a good idea to reduce the risk for a conflict of loyalties. Try to avoid conflicts of interests. It's not a good idea to require people to betray their family to do the right thing, because there are not a lot of people who will betray their families to do the right thing. So it is best not to count on it as a societal model.

What about the CIA leaks? It's hard for people to justify their breaking of their promises, when they don't even understand the concepts of honor, duty, or loyalty. The military does understand, and that's why the military can do its duty and still remain loyal, because the institution understands conflicts of loyalty and how to resolve them. Because they understand what their duty is, does the CIA?

Spies function on the basis of lies and disinformation, on the breaking of oaths and the betrayal of networks they seek to infiltrate. Soldiers operate on fullfilling their promises. You see the fundamental difference. There are spies with honor, of course, but not when they're playing on different teams. As the military and the CIA are doing, they're playing on different teams.

April 24, 2006

Republicans are very angry

I just have to imagine, if Bush was manipulative enough, he could harness a lot of power from this angst. He could for example, get anybody in his party to do what he wants, simply be telling the American people so and so is not good for America, because of this and that.

And for the Democrats, well if Bush could beat down the Democrats in the press by saying everything that most Americans would want to say to the press, Bush would soar and the Democrats would become an easy target for Bush to bash.

April 22, 2006

Feminism and Masculinity

Neo's link is pretty good.

April 21, 2006

An Interview with an A-Team assigned to Karzai in Afghanistan

This is important not only because it is a primary source of information, but also because it is rarely reported to the American public via official channels. This is the story behind the story, that you need to know if you are truely to understand what is or is not true in the global outposts called Afghanistan and Iraq.

Theodore has new article about Britain out - How bad can it be?

The Death Robots of Americans come for you

Watcha gonna do when the robots come for you?

Stoking the terroist's fear

April 20, 2006

I have seen the enemy

A reporter commenting on the weird situation in which civilian reporters portray a war situation.

Former Generals and their impeccable reputations

Just scroll down until you get to the guy who served with Swan.

First read from Mudville

April 18, 2006

Vienna and the fall of the multicultural world - Mental magic



The Pursuit of Freedom? - Or the Road to Serfdom?


Snowonpine concerning the Judgement of History

At 11:18 AM, April 18, 2006, snowonpine said...

Lamentably, Neo has it right.

Winning WWII without major attacks on U.S. soil and the long prosperity that followed has produced a citizenry that has, in many cases, become so insulated from the realities of history and most of the rest of the world that we almost can't see the barbarians at the gates; we have not experienced the havoc they can wreak personally, so they are not real to us.

During this same post-WWII period the media, academia and the religious community also played their part in creating the confusion, hesitations and lack of confidence that characterize today's anti-survival mindset. During WWII these elites, mainly conservative in viewpoint, were basically supportive of American culture as superior and they supported the government against outside threats. Now, these segments of society, overwhelmingly liberal, detest part or all of our culture and see the government as the threat; outside threats are downplayed or totally disbelieved.

Reading history, it is obvious how rare a democracy like ours is and how unique are our fortunate circumstances. It would not take much at all to destroy our dream.

The ideas, among many others, planted and nurtured by these elites, that American civilization is no better and, in fact, worse than mopst if not all others, the viewpoiint that our economic success is not the result of American's hard work but is the result of our shameful plundering of the rest of the planet, the idea that we are false as opposed to the genuine people in the underdeveloped and Third World, have taken their toll on our "civilizational confidence." It seems as if some of the proponents of such ideas believe that Americans should be ashamed to live at all. We've been taught that we should not "stigmatize", "discriminate against" or "judge" but strive to "appreciate" and "understand" countries, movements and leaders who have clearly demonstrated or stated that they want to destroy us. We've been taught that war is wrong and the implication, given the ideas above, is that such shameful, inauthentic exploiters as we don't really have any legitimate right of self-defense.

The barbarians are campted all around our walls, if you look you can see their many fires at night. They are preparing to use a battering ram to smash down our gates, invade and plunder our city, slaughter our citizens, enslave the women and children and then burn it to the ground. Yet many of us are sitting around arguing about whether they truly are barbarians. Some argue that when they say they want to kill us and take our land and women, they really don't mean it, Others wonder if we shouldn't open the gates to the more genuine barbarians who, after all, have legitimate grievences against us--we deserve whatever we get; it's just their way of venting, surely they wouldn't really hurt us. Some wonder if we should send out our daughters and treasury in the hopes of buying them off. Others are arguing that to take up arms against them is immoral and, in addition, might get us hurt.

You want to be destroyed, become just an illustration of folly in a history book, when books are ever written again, this is the way to do it.

April 17, 2006

The difference between Cold and Hot angers

It's actually a very sad article, in that one can only feel pity for O'Connor, who has to live bathed in that anger.

There's two kinds of anger. The explosive hot form of anger, and the coldly calculated precision version of anger.

Many in the military and even more in command positions and SF slots have the cold anger. Anger and rage are very useful tools of motivation, as the army have found out in bootcamp. But an undisciplined form of anger, which clouds your judgement and destroys your ability to do the mission and not do your vengeance first, is also a great danger to military commanders who hold the lives of their men in their hands.

Controlled anger, in all situations, beat explosive rage in terms of direct power to weight ratios.

The first time you experience cold anger, you will find it very interesting. Because you are thinking with a clarity of thought unknown to any enraged beast. Not only does it give you clarity of thought, but it also gives you laser point concentration. If you fail in an endeavour, you automatically are thinking of the next thing to try. In addition to the intellectual benefits, the enraged benefits of anger still apply. Increased strength and stamina, increased ability to withstand pain, and the removal of societal inhibitions on violence and civil conduct.

A lot of martial instructors seem to tell you that anger is useful, but it also clouds the mind and therefore should be avoided as it interferes with learning the form of martial arts. Obviously, martial arts instructors aren't teaching you how to survive in war or how to accomplish assassination missions. The concentration of mind and will, is many orders greater than is required for simple self-defense. And not many have the fortitude or the determination to achieve such limits.

We feel pity for Mary Queen of Scots, because it is obvious who controls who in this scenario. She no longer uses or controls her anger, the anger controls her and makes her do its bidding. Such a person would not last 5 seconds in mortal combat. For such a chink in their armor spells instantaneous fatality.

Her numbers sound marvelous until you start thinking about the bigger numbers.

Her numbers also sound marvelous until you understand that face to face, she is vulnerable to 10 times what you would be vulnerable to, Book. Then it doesn't seem so advantageous.

Bloggers and we make a difference. Simply because a lot of people realized that the world wasn't a bake fest place to be in, after 9/11. But they need information and the best information they can get is from blogs like, Book. Without that information, they will not know what to do, with their disorientation, and thus might be prey to enemy subversive tactics. The democracy of America has always relied upon the principle that a well informed public will make the right decisions independent of political corruption.

The media with their fake but accurate stories, the judges with their Rule of Judges IED called stealing people's property, are all those that people should and will fight against. But without a Thomas Paine, they will not know how, they will not know to what they fight for nor what they fight against. thus, adrift in a sea of nothingness, they fall, one by one, in the struggle for a contemptible cause. (Palestinian cause)

April 16, 2006

Critical Thinking - Or the application of thought on reality matrixes

Why didn't you play sttuuupid Justin, and say "I thought Miers was a woman... woah she is a man... *cringing body language*" Would it be too obvious? Low chance of success? Lack of penetration?

As for trolls, I think a lot of conservatives (or whatever they call themselves) like Justin and I, understand the philosophy of the best defense is a good offense. We just don't tend to use that strategy a lot. It's almost like pouring water into your data processors and using that as an excuse why you can't finish your programming project. For one thing, it's a waste of time, your time and everyone else's. For another, it is not very effective. Conservatives were always interested in long term strategies, rather than short term strategies. That is the entire philosophical basis of conservatism. Short term changes are unstable and anti-beneficial, while long lasting instutions are Good tm. Liberals have a different take. And it is just as valid, if not even MORE useful in the 21st century. But fake liberals have the vices of both, and the virtues of neither.

Therefore the tu quoque argument by Anon doesn't work.

"Hellooooo? He already didn't get his way, as he nominated a woman just last week and it became so controversial that she declined it!"

Not that this group has read him - and who, really, can make it through the crap this guy writes(?)

Well, I can GC. (Chomsky) And I found his works amazingly clear and unambiguous. It wasn't what I expected. Although, I should have, given his efficacy.

To Neo,

In relation to diplomacy, the less said the better. Since the purpose is to gain an advantage and edge upon the opposition, the less you say and the more they say, the more information you gain and thus the more advantage.

In relation to personal communication, the more said the better. Simply because, with the lack of body gestures and voice tones, words must substitute for other channels of communication that are lacking. The most frustrating and unclear comments are short, ambiguous and obtuse comments.

If someone doesn't understand a word or a phrasing, they're not going to admit to that and be made to feel a fool. It's a lot easier to blame other people, than to focus on self-education. Even the self-educated people don't admit it, they simply go research and come back with the knowledge. Acting as if they had known all alone what was going on.

It's the difference between human motivations leading to bad behavior and motivations leading to good constructive behavior. It can go either way, depending up a person's personality and desires.

There's another dimension to it as well. A lot of people like to quote the classical authors and famous folks. It lends a kind of credibility, to use words that one doesn't need to craft up originally using one's own personal abilities. Usually, reading comprehension isn't a problem unless a person doesn't start reading like somewhere around the 6th grade. Reading, as in, voracious reading. Not text book reading.

I believe a lot of people desire to have the definitive "quote" that will instantaneously convince anyone of their point, whatever their point is. This creates a certain vortex of doubt. Because, communication doesn't occur by quotes or sound bites, but by words and meanings. And the less informed both sides are of the other, the more words and communication channels are required for true understanding. But back to the definitive quote, you can quote something and not even understand what the author meant, so long as it sounds good. And a lot of quotes do sound good, with a flair for tone and imagery. But that does not mean that what one feels, equates to understanding. So there's a tendency of self-delusion, when it comes to short and seemingly understandable lines.

This has to do with propaganda again. The best art of persuasion removes any doubt or confusion, and latches unto a person's inspirational desires. To do that, one has to be short and use small words that a lot of people can understand, and not take too long before their attention wavers. The rhetoric skill of Ancient Greece and their demagogues, are as valid today as they were in their time.

The more that is said, the more material that another person can analyze and obtain a better understanding from. This facilitates communication, but it does not guarantee it. What it also does is to cause people to somehow think that what is said at the end, is independent of anything else. This goes back to the quotes I mentioned. Classical quotation is independent of any of the author's other works. You don't have to read Clausewitz to understand his quotes and to use them. (Although, there's a big difference if you don't read it) Which means, if a person latches onto the conclusion of Neo and thinks it is right, that person is very likely to tend to think that everything else Neo wrote is superfluous. This is even more likely to occur if someone disagrees with Neo's final conclusions. Not every one uses quotes from authors they haven't read, of course, but given the amount of classical and modern work, it is almost necessary in the usage of quotations. Therefore, this produces a "systemic error". Meaning, the system produces the errors, not the individuals or the individual actions. This is as opposed to a good scientific methodology for an experiment, but faulty implementation experimentation.

If you recall, a lot of atheists use "separation of Church and State" to mean that the church cannot encroach upon politics and government positions or property. To a person who understands the context of the quotation, used by Jefferson in his time, that deliberate or undeliberate fabrication is the exact opposite of the reality. Which is that separation of Church and State, as it was used and when it was used, was meant to protect the Church from State persecution and restrictions. To which, removing judges that show the 10 Commandments and other things, is part of. A lot of people need to be curious and understand that the quotations they hear and the soundbites they see, are only the least part of the body of knowledge in existence. Another bad reaction is that when people see something long, they react to it in an emotional manner. For whatever reasons, because "normal" people don't tend to write such long things, they start psycho-analyzing the person's motivations rather than reading what the person is saying logically. This produces incompetent and retarded prejudices and conclusions, which interfere with communication instead of facillitating it.

The idea that you cannot have any belief in God, is atheism, which is a religion. And the Founding Fathers didn't really like the state sponsoring One Religion, because the state tends to want to "convert" everyone to that One Religion. To which of course, is rather obvious, because it is already happening. When a religion conflicts with the state and its jurisdiction, the religion becomes outlawed and persecuted.

You see the consequences in lacking a fundamental understanding of Communications Theory, Human Nature, and Propaganda in just one aspect of people's lives. Yet it is ongoing and malfunctioning, in many more instances.

Given my analysis of your format, Neo, I don't tend to think a lot of people who do understand your points, would act in the manner you so described. Because if they do understand it, presumably they also understand (so they believe) why it should be wrong and explain that reasoning through concise argumentation and logic. Chomsky would understand your points Neo, but he would choose a specific propaganda method to attack it. Most commentators here, I see, don't act in a manner consistent with Chomsky. Chomsky doesn't really believe in what he says. But most people who comment here, do believe in what they say, most of the time. (as another commenter said)

I can recognize that there are logical, well-thought-out arguments on the other side

I'm so far right of Bush, i'm actually on the Left of Neo's political spectrum, but right of most Democrats. So it is easy for me to see Neo's "other side".

A major part--maybe the major part--of critical thinking is learning to recognize logical fallacies in argument.

Judging from experience, most people can't even understand the definitions of specific logi fallacies seen on net sites. I'm not talking about the name and not remembering which is which, I'm talking about actually understanding the descriptive definitive sentences saying what each logical fallacy "is". They get so confused. How do I know? It was exactly that way when I started learning logic and philosophy and writing. I don't even want to know how it is for people with lower IQs than mine. There's a specific time limit by the way. Sometime after your college years, you are just going to stop learning how to think about your thinking. So you'd better input the template correctly the first time before the cement sets.

Why is this not ordinarily taught in school and considered a required subject, as important--if not more so--as history or English, or even reading?

Because that kind of knowledge is a weapon, and many people aren't comfortable with the new generation having superior weapons than the older generation. This happened with the internet, with revolutions in arms, and so on. Again, whether systemic or experimental, the problems will cause malfunctions to occur.

We'll see how far I get with this; I'm learning some of it as I go along, myself.

Neo, here's a tip. The best way to learn logical fallacies is to find specific instances of it in other people's writing, or even your own, and describe it in writing. Describe why it is a fallacy. Did that for a few weeks on a debate forum, and kaboom, all the falacies became ridiculously easy to remember. You won't instantly recognize them of course, if you don't think about it, but so long as you avoid them, it's not really a problem. So I really don't think about them any longer. Linear logic is not enough for me. Non-linear logic, now that's interesting.

I've got ideas for about two hundred different unwritten posts churning around right now, with short notes on most of them) has been known to get in my way.

Whenever I get an idea, I just start writing until I stop. Which is sorta like Eric Flint I guess. It's hard to write about ideas I've come up with in the past, cause it is like the muse slipped away in the night or something.

This is ridiculously funny of course, because whenever I was told to "brainstorm" in school, I never understood what they were talking about.

But I'm trying to do my bit--although, of course, the vast majority of my readers are already critical thinkers, right?

I think I'm more of a critical mass thinker than a critical thinker, since once it reaches a certain mass the chain reaction starts and then stops. As opposed to other kinds of critical thinking.

I guess it was an idea whose time had come, especially for psychobloggers

The psychobloggers behave on the same mental frequency. If you recall, Bookworm wrote about dirt about a few days before Neo did. Very close mental frequencies here, much can be learned.

Personally, I don't even care about trolling. Bad arguments are bad arguments, and good arguments are still arguments. Regardless, much can be learned from both.

Very often I ignore most of the comments and questions--troll-like or otherwise--here.

Right, like John Kerry. Our very own modern major general.

The problem is that, with history, there is no "right" answer

This must be different in contrast to war, in which Full Scale Invasion is the right answer.

This reminds me. Most people don't understand that proof and evidence are inductive logic. Deductive doesn't require proof or evidence. A lot of people don't seem to understand that for some reason... cause for some reason a lot of people say they will only believe in something that has been proven, but that is rather restrictive. (the person who said that people do the conclusion first then trace it back, is refering to Deductive Logic, in reverse. A has to be true, therefore...)

First, if we are driven by our fears, are we in control?

Well, maybe steve should have asked that when steve, you, recommended the US pull into Iraqi bases and don't come out, cause you were afraid they'd get blown up like helpless kittens by IEDs.

As I told people here before, don't take counsel of your fears. Obvioiusly one has to at least have the self-honesty to admit fears, before they can do something about taking or not taking counsel of them.

If you cannot reliably agree on past interpretations, then you cannot reliably forecast the future

I don't tend to think agreements by committee ever did forecast anything correctly. It is only a non sequitor in the sense, that well, it is not part of Steve's reasoning and therefore, well as you can see. And therefore, if you believe that something is wrong if it is not part of steve's reasoning, then I guess that would be a valid use of non sequitor... although not very useful in my opinion.

People can't predict the future because they don't know everything that is going on now. No computer programmer can know what a program can do, if all he knows is what his individual module and contribution is. This is irregardless of how much historical knowledge he has about the history of programming by his fellow team-programmers. To predict the future, one must know the present, regardless of the past.

The past has nothing, nothing, to do with any inherent ability in predicting the future. What the past is good for, is testing current scale models of analysis algorithmns. Feed specific data and times into the machine, get a prediction of the past. Then check to see if that was correct historically. Then, this allows accurate prediction of future events, using that algorithmn and method.

April 15, 2006

A good rebuttal to Dr. Kennedy's assertion of US Mercenaries

Why Ymarsakar?

This aspect of God is called nirgun nirakar, which means virtueless and formless God; the other one is called sagun sakar (or sakar), which means the all-virtuous personified form of God. Thus, sakar is the main form of God, and, with His sakar form, He/She is omnipresent with all of the virtues: Graciousness, kindness, all-Blissfulness, all-lovingness and many more.
Which is pretty funny by itself.

Then there is St Ymar.

Wait, it's not over yet. A lot of people say Yamar when they first pronounce my cognomen. Then there's the first pronounciation of my real name, Yaweh.

None of this was intentional. The story of why I chose Ymarsakar and used it for my internet cognomen is pretty unsurprising and routine. I had to come up with a login name for a Medieval MUD, that was unique and fitted the theme. I couldn't use Apocalypse, since it was my previous used pseudo-name. So I had to come up with a new one, that was "unique" and I could easily remember. So I took the first letter of my first name, and then juxtaposed Yamamoto and Japanese Sake into it.

To get it phonetically smooth, I got Yama to Ymar and Sake to Sakar and put it together, Ymarsakar. Nobody had ever come up with anything similar, in all my time perusing the net. So I chose to just stick with it. Ymar, was of course, inspired by Ymir, which I came across while playing Tribes 1, a fps shooter game.

So you could say I'm several parts religious godlike theology and other parts norse mythology with a good heaping of cosmopolitan Japanese philosophies and alcoholic beverages.

Adapt or die

I keep hearing Victor Davis Hanson's words in my head as he talked about the Peloponessian War, a War like No Other. The title of his book, specifically. VDH said that the Spartans and the Athens had went out of the classical doctrines of Western conflict. Usually you had two hoplites armies and when they crashed together, the guy who runs is declared the loser and the conflict is settled. No pillaging of villages, no sieges causing death and plague, no immense drainages upon the population and the state's taxation coffers. It was a civil and low cost form of warfare, a war dilineated by limits and rules, which served both side's interests.

And yet, when the Athenians refused to meet the elite Spartan hoplites in the field, and settled for siege mentality, they changed the rules of war. In breaking the rules of war, and "innovating", the Athenians set upon a course of events that would bring ruin and destruction upon the Athenian and Spartan states. Athens lost a huge percentage of their population to the plague, which was caused by the siege. Athens lost even more in that plague than people, she lost her leaders.

Dan Simmon's characterization of the Athenian cause being lost because they weren't ruthless enough in Sicily, is a point. But it is an inaccurate one, however useful it is to the current war scenario. Because Athen's problem was that she was afraid of a decisive conflict with Sparta, and thus delayed the war's conclusion, because Athens believed she would be defeated if she meet the Spartans in the field. Sort of like what AL Qaeda terroists and guerrilas do when fighting against the elite US Marines in urbant combat.

The real solution in the end, wasn't ruthlessness so much as an ability to single mindedly concentrate on the enemy's weaknesses and using those weaknesses to win the war. Athens had a strong navy, but their hoplites were no match for the elite Spartans. Sparta had no navy to match the Athenians. In a way, this dichotomy is the same as the one between the US and our enemies. They have high propaganda and psychological components in their arsenals. We have high conventional and nuclear, Air Land Sea, components in our strengths.

Sparta could not win so long as she had no navy to defeat the Athenians. Because so long as the Athenians had a navy and could get food to besieged Athens, the Athenians believed that they could still win. This belief in victory could only be shattered, as VDH said, if the Spartans defeated the Athenians on their chosen field of ground OR on the other hand if the Athenians fielded a hoplite army and beat Sparta on Sparta's chosen field of battle.

Does that not sound familiar to America and Islamic Jihad? No matter how many cities we bomb, Islamic Jihad won't surrender. And they won't surrender because so long as Islamic Jihad are the masters of intimidation through rape and riots, law and order through execution of 14 year old rape victims and infidels, and various other apparachtiks of the secret police, the Islamic Jihad will never believe that with the tools of psychological war and propaganda on their side that they would ever lose to the Weak Horse of the West.

On the other hand, the United States will never admit defeat, or even come close to it for that matter, unless a nation defeats our navy, our army, and our air force on sea, land, and air. It is only 3 orders of extrapolation on the ancient Spartan vs Athenian war.

So what's the solution? Historically Sparta won by building a damn navy and beating the crap out of the Athenians, who were by now (more than 10 years of war remember) weakened by a loss of leadership and population and wearied by endless wars as well as the demoralizing effect of the Siciliy Invasion that failed. Athens didn't lose because they weren't ruthless, Athens lost because she was too cowardly to face the Spartans on the field of battle and suffer whatever consequences derived, victory or defeat. In trying to "cheat the system" the Athenians only cheated themselves. The Athenians had a hoplite army, that was second only to the Spartans, as witnessed on the fields of Marathon. The Spartans HAD NO Navy. The Spartans at least had the freaking excuse that they were abiding by the rules of war and trying to get the Athenians to fight a man to man conflict.

So unlike Dan Simmon's time travel essay, Sparta more closely resembles the United State's side than the Athenians. Because the guerrilas (which make up like 1% of our enemy) and the terroists are the ones who refuse to fight by any standard flag or rule of law. America doesn't have rape rooms, torture chambers, and head chopping media advertisement companies, so America has the good excuse of not going terror vs terror because we don't have the apparati. The terroists can have and does have a military, but they are like Athens, they want to cheat because they fear they will lose if they fight the West on equal terms. I.E. israel.

The solution applied to the real world is pretty simple. Either the US learns to use propaganda and psychological warfare to defeat the terroist's use of rape rooms and intimidation tactics, or the terroists learn how to win conventional wars and defeat one of our divisions.

That is the ONLY solution possible between Islamic Jihad vs the United States of America. What complicates the situation is the fact that other nations and sides are coming into play. Russia, China, Europe, Japan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and it goes on and on. OIF seems to me simply to be a clumsy attemt to translate conventional military power into propaganda power and psychological impact. Through taking the war to the enemy, this instills a deep psychological impact upon our enemies and helps to defeat much of the enemy's propaganda concerning the paper tiger and the Satan rapist Americans. It alone won't win, because it is still using your strengths, conventional military, to offset your weaknesses. You are not doing as Sun Tzu ordered, which is make your weaknesses into strengths, through understanding of thy self and thy enemy.

Psychological warfare is something Iran is an expert in, most people would agree if they knew the facts, and most experts do agree. The only way Iran will back down is if we beat them at their own game. If we had penetrated the UN Oil for Food Program and executed Kofi Annan and all his cronies before Operation Iraqi Freedom, there would probably be a 50% increase in the chance that Saddam would accede to our demands. You trade the deaths of 1000 plus Americans for the deaths of a few UN bureacrats. This would not have helped Saddam's victims, but Bush didn't expect the UN to help anybody for humanitarian reasons in the FIRST PLACE, hence WMDs and not "Darfur Genocide must prevent".

The goals are immaterial, either they are worthy or they are not. The means to achieve those goals have never changed. If you don't beat the enemy at their game, the enemy won't surrender or accede to your demands. Because only when the enemy has no options or strengths to apply against the united states, will the enemy BELIEVE that they are operating from a position of weakness and back down like the submissive dogs that they are.

As mentioned of the Germans. The Hun is either at your throat or at your feet. The heirarchy of a alpha male dog pack. The Islamic world will never recognize the suzerainity of the United States unless and until they meet such a psychological shock and propaganda defeat, that their minds are broken.

And the only conventional weapon that is available in the United States arsenal to cause such shock and awe are nuclear weapons. Conventional military arms are great for blowing up munitions and armies, but they are not so good at winning propaganda and psychological wars. Nuclear bombs are the perfect weapon to break an enemy's will and spirit, because nuclear bombs are conventional when used against military targets but unconventional if used as a psychological ploy and intimidation strategy. Iran knows this very well, better than Bush for sure.

The only people who can't think outside the "let's bomb them into the stone age" line are the ones who won't consider the Nuclear Option. They seem to understand that air strikes won't break the Iranian will, but they curiously won't tell you what Will Break their will. You have to wonder why.

CLARIFICATION The nuclear option is the most effective when it doesn't kill anyone, and it is the most effective when chained together in more than one use. Nukes are dual use, for both conventional war and psychological war. The US has one psychological weapon it need not R and D from zero. The other PsyWar weapon the US has is called the Special Forces. Release the SF unto the enemy and watch the screams fill the air as a resounding cry of despair.

Comedy Central's reason for censoring South Park Episode

This is indicative of a few points.

1, the Democrats in the media and entertainment business talk the talk but can't walk the walk.

2, they can't walk the walk because they disarmed themselves and their appratchiks several years ago, and seek in disarming everybody in this country. Except their bodyguards, which may or may not work against Islamic rioters, best to be safe I suppose.

3, The progressives in the media and Hollywood is obviously "progressing" towards Serfdom, but unfortunately for them, we're not going out like the Jews did under Vichy France. You're not selling us out to save your skins, Comedy Central.

4, 2nd Ammendment has been shown repeatedly with recent events concerning Kartoonistan, that it and only it is the guaranteer of free speech and liberty. There is no "theory" or "talk" that can guarantee people's safety when they speak out, and the 1st Ammendment does not guarantee a person's safety at all. The fake liberals are seeing that personally for themselves. As are we, in noticing the difference between the true strength of the American heartland vs the weak metrosexual psyches of Comedy Central and the legacy media.

It is literally not sustainable whenever I hear the media say that they are "reporting the facts and the story". They're not, everyone knows it except the reporters and the editors.

They are a bunch of hypocrites, and unlike politicians, you can't get rid of them short of physical intimidation and assassination. Which, the Islamics, have figured out.

April 13, 2006

Asymmetrical warfare and the invasion of Iran

As an intro, most of the steve/grackle stuff is at the end. Comments were written in chronological order as I read from top to bottom here. The 3 problems steve's article brought up, was particularly problematic.

It's amazing people still believe in the need for more conventional forces in the 21st century. It's like people are stuck in the Dark Ages and want more knights, even when the longbowmen shoot them down like mice. It's rather ridiculous when you think about it. Because if a conventional army can only take over two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, before getting broken, then asking for "more" conventional units is sorta unwise and ridiculous, if not criminally incompetent.

The best way to not do something is to say that your only option is full scale invasion, in which he thinks you aren't capable of. It's a stupid policy, to limit the options in any project. It's even more saboteur orientated to limit somebody else's options cause your project is suffering from internally created problems.

For people who can't think outside the box, stopping Iran is a non-sequitor. They are far more interested in a negotiated settlement, like Europe and Spank. It would seem that if you've lived through one negotiated settlement in the Cold War, it now doesn't seem to matter what else happens, negotiated settlment must be the only option. So people complain about nuking Iran, yes, but not because it is an extreme one of two binary sets of solutions, but rather because it increases the choices. The more choices you have, the less likely a negotiated settlement looks beneficial. Or any other unworkable choice, like full out invasion. And that, to various people for various reasons, is unacceptable that their pet policy won't get implemented.

The EMP scenario is not as dangerous as people think it is. If you study the underlying physics, it would take a huge bomb and thus huge uranium or plutonium stock piles, to make an EMP burst at high alt that would burn out civilian infrastructure long enough and far enough. Simply because if you blow it up at low alt, the radiation will be more severe but the damage will be localized. Higher, and the damage will be broader, but lesser in severity. This doesn't mean that an industrial city isn't a weak point, but it does mean that the Flyover Country is pretty much safe all things considered. Probably a 10X 9/11 attack, depending on the yield of the nuke and early warning systems.

Do we have any of those EMP thingys?

Environmentalists and the UN banned them. Bush might have the plans in secret installations though. Any nuke can be configured for EMP, you just need a 100 megaton nuke. Instead of the piddly 5 kiloton tacticals.

Most Americans don't think nor care about how many Iranians support Amadinejad. In issues of nation vs nation, the leaders make the choices and the rest suffer what they may. One of the benefits of the War on Terror, ex post facto the War on Islamic head choppers, is that America is far less the flightly kitey little adolescent dreaming of admiration and love in the world. We've toughened up, given all the criticism and abuse the world has heaped on us. We might have cared what other nations might have thought of us a few decades ago, but in today's world the only Americans that do care are the elitists, the guilty rich, and the pundits. The American heart land usually doesn't. They never did in fact.

As was mentioned before, America's job is not to wait for other nations to get their house in order. We don't do it for Afghanistan, we don't do it for Mexico, and we sure didn't do it for Iraq. Other nations might slide like venezuella, but not in the Middle East. In historical geo political terms, what the populations on either side thought of a conflict didn't really matter squat. It didn't matter in WWI when Germanic descended Americans faced their Germanic cousins across the trench lines, it didn't matter in WWII when American GIs realized that the no good French they sacrificed thousands to save were less similar to Americans than the clean, orderly, and disciplined Germans that they had come to fight. These things, these popular affinities, have never mattered and perhaps they will never matter so long as there is a war ongoing. In a state of peace, much can be done to solidify relationships, look at Japan and America for example. We have Dragon Ball Z and Japanese anime, the Japanese mandate everyone learn English. If that's not cultural affinity, I don't know what is. But it would never have existed had the war not ended. Wars first, get togethers afterwards is the rule.

There is no "right way to do war" as steve claims. Wars change as politics change. When the strategic scenario changes, so must the war strategy. There is no right way to wage war. Al Qaeda's guerrila strategy is as much war as Apache helicopters data linked and firing in pinpoint computer controlled salvoes at targets beyond human vision. The more war is mutable while flowing and not limited by artificial constraints, the more effective the war becomes at resolving conflicts and the lesser the casualties accrued in the fighting.

The more options that are sought and planned for, which doesn't just contain draft, declare war, invade or appease, bribe, and stall, the higher the chances for ultimate victory. These choices don't come out of the blue, they result from other actions take in the past, leading irrevocably to current options today. Just as a man who must take one road in his life, will be at a different end point than if he had taken another road early on in his life. These things must be done before the actual conflict, and it involves choosing, the wisdom of choice, and the judgement of action.

The fantasy that you should artificially restrict the options in an armed conflict to international rules and man made political restraints, is a dangerous fantasy. Sometimes it can work, but most of the time it backfires if the other guy doesn't play by your fantastical rules.

As was argued in military circles, universal conscription is the real life product of fortification in the universe of gunpowder and nuclear weapons. Volunteer armies are more motivated, more highly trained, less prone to casualties and cluster pock ups compared to univeral conscription forces which are demoralized, less mobile, less motivated, and less well trained.

It is a political solution to manpower and war, universal conscription is not a military solution at all. Because no military person would voluntarily become less well trained, less motivated, more prone to casualties, less mobile, and less aggressive. Unless he was a military lawyer, of course. Those breeds are independent of civilian or military backgrounds.

Narges: Hi, I hope you survive the hell bent for leather bombing of your country that will take place if and when the Blogosphere takes control of the White House, but if you don't, well, what can I say? It was nice knowing you.

It is this dangerous fantastical fantasy, as quoted here, that is the real problem. Psychological attack vectors in war relying upon well trained and motivated shock and assault forces like the Special Forces operators, Seals, Marines, Marine Recon are the solution to terrorism, whether of the lone wolf variety or the state sponsored upgrade.

Many people in the blogosphere don't really understand nor prefer regular armed column warfare as was the case for the Cold War enthusiasts. Neo here, probably missed out on the whole argument for the M1A1 Abrams tank to protect against Russian tank assault lanes in Europe. But that's okay, in a sense, because what you need in a war to the knife against guerrila forces is not more tanks and garrison troops, but in fact more mobility, more precision, and more well trained troops. The one thing the blogosphere understands beyond anything else a regular military person would, is the power of the word in peace and conflict.

The binary solution set advocated here, of full scale nuclear/conv bombing or full scale invasion, is probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Not because it is based upon ignorance, but because it is based upon artificial limits and constraints. While clandestine and psychological operations cannot solve everything, it can solve more than nuclear bombardment or full invasions can.

Steve, for example, does not prefer bombing or full scale nuclearization of Iran. He does favor full scale mobilization of a bunch of garrison troops that are good for nothing but cannon fodder. Because steve sees the universe through the binary eyes of Truth and Falsity, he is surprised the opposition would favor air strikes. But the real fact is that the opposition does not favor air strikes, the opposition favors what works. As demonstrated by Talkin's honest demand for real solutions. A military commander who will not ask for better solutions in the face of criticism, is a retarded commander and should be relieved of his command and responsibilities.

People who ask "Why don't you support universal conscription" instead of asking "If you don't like uni conscript, do you got anything better that'll work", is not a person with the wisest of judgements here.

The fact is that the volunteer military allows the government to committ the military to more wars. This is due to the politics of the matter. Many Americans don't give a damn so long as the draft isn't in effect. Having 3 simultaneous wars, Afghanistan Iraq Iran, going on is very feasible and do able. That would not be feasible with a draft, which is why the Democrats instituted attempts at getting the draft back. It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat or a republican or an Indepent or someone like steve who is right of center, it only matters what your policies are and who your allies are and how your policies will work.

The volunteer military is a lot more mobile than a bunch of garrison frackers newly leased from California the land of the free medicare or the People's Republic of Mass. It takes years to blood a conscripted force, and casualties are usually horrendous in the process. The more troops you have, the more they will be placed on garrison duty. Soldiers that are not career, that are not professional, that are not trained in urbant combat, will be eaten up by the Iranians and will surrender in Droves ala Najaf. Militarily, that's not a problem, troops get better through fighting. Politically and psychologically, any American defeats or unprofessionalism costs the war effort boat loads of support and momentum.

The univeral conscription advocates do not see the consequences of their policies because their policies are geared towards a Cold War mentality. If it is not the "Deal" of Spank, it is the "Full out WWII scenario" of Steve. Neither works.

in numbers and mass as well as quality -- the means with which we fight,

For people blinded by Cold War mentalities and meat grinder military campaigns, this means more troops and conscripts. To those who focus on the Art of War, and winning without a fight, the quote simply advocates that if you increase your selection of weapons and their mass and quality, this will enable you to fight a better war by better means.

I think the meaning is clear enough.

Things can mean whatever people decide it means. People see the Golden Shrine blowing up, and understand it to an attempt to cause chaos in Iraq. Iranians see the Golden Shrine, and believe it is a op done by Americans to get more Muslims killed.

Things mean whatever I decide they mean, so long as I can convince enough people of the fact. In the age of the Cold War and nuclear weapons, that might not have been so effective because the stakes were laid out on the table, but in the 21st century the bluff has come back in full.

The American people, and American society, has to be prepared for sacrifice, real sacrifice, and a real call to duty.

Duty comes from choosing it, for death is lighter than a feather while duty is heavier than mountains. There is no duty nor honor nor patriotism when forced by law and decree. There is no justice in the Rule of Judges deciding what people should or should not die for, who or whose property this really is, or whether punishment is a valid societal function for rapists.

Most military gamers agree that you won't win through aerial assaults because you need to take ground territory with the grunts and the tanks, and physically occupy it. To do so, you need highly motivated troops prepared for urban combat, not conscripts taken from a pool of civilians with more brain power than guts. But Iran isn't conducting a war with their nukes, they are conducting a psychological operation, and that is rather different from a war which requires victory through occupation of land and territory.

The bureacracy can't separate talent from incompetence or merit from insanity, with a draft. Trusting the government to do the right thing, is the wrong thing to do.

For example, these people are so incompetent they will list 3 problems and can't even provide the solutions. Something even I could do concerning these.

* The United States was too late. Iran’s leaders had learned from what happened to Saddam Hussein in 1981, when Israeli F-16s destroyed a facility at Osirak where most of his nuclear projects were concentrated. Iran spread its research to at least a dozen sites—exactly how many, and where, the U.S. government could not be sure.
[If you can't use air power to destroy the target, use air power to effect a political resolution through terror and intimidation. If you can't get the target through regular means, use deception, if you can't use deception, go around and come at the problem from another direction. Restricting yourself to air strikes is pretty dumb, and obvious.]
* The United States was too vulnerable. Iran, until now relatively restrained in using its influence among the Iraqi Shiites, “could make Iraq hell,” in the words of one of our experts, Kenneth Pollack, of the Brookings Institution. It could use its influence on the world’s oil markets to shock Western economies—most of all, that of the world’s largest oil importer, the United States.
[I'm pretty sure Iran isn't restraining themselves in Iraq for our benefit. In other words, Pollack would prefer that Iran keep their goodies in the bag, thereby allowing Iran the decision when to open up murder and destruction in Iraq, instead of giving the initiative to America. Not very patriotic nor aggressive enough to win. Maybe people haven't realized this, but "Iraq is hell". Go ahead and make it worse, it's not going to matter in the end because if you could have overthrown our strategy there, you would already have done so. I'm also pretty sure America can make Iran vulnerable through annexation of territory and aerial bombardment of roads and transport. We could use our influence to shock the economy of the West, thereby driving up oil prices for everyone, including China and Russia. Maybe Kenneth should have realized what the "asy" meant in asymmetrical.
* The plan was likely to backfire, in a grand-strategy sense. At best, it would slow Iranian nuclear projects by a few years. But the cost of buying that time would likely be a redoubling of Iran’s determination to get a bomb—and an increase in its bitterness toward the United States.

[Right, sure, maybe Iran will get so bitter they'll actually blow up or take hostage one of our embassies. Who are these talking "experts" kidding here? That's like saying, it is a detriment to piss off Al Qaeda cause they will execute American citizens that they capture... Hello, peaceful idiots, haven't they already been doing that? How do you redouble Iran's determination, is that like getting someone to die twice for jihad? 2X 72 Virgins in heaven now, is that it? We'll get people to stop killing, cause we'll just give them TWO, call it TWO, life sentences instead of one... ha. Right, we'll improve their love of women, with get this, TWO, TWO I say, pardons for rape. That'll "redouble" their love for peace.]

What's scary is that these people seem to be serious. They just don't get what asymmetrical warfare in the 21st century really means. It's not tank columns, it's not UN diplomacy, it is not international arms treaties or agreements, and it really isn't about who gets pissed off about who did what to whom.

Similarly, the United States can’t accept Iran’s emergence as a nuclear power, but it cannot prevent this through military means—unless it is willing to commit itself to all-out war.

I think that's the real argument summarized. Some people believe the US can't prevent Iranian nuclear ambitions unless it is willing to commit itself to all out war. I don't believe that's the right analysis of the problem, but people like steve really do. And that's the problem. Those who limit their options, are not doing their fellow Americans a service by tieing one hand behind our backs cause of their say so.

The reality is, of course, that if the only way to stop Iranian ambitions is to invade, then that is the opposite of pragmatism and realism. Realism understands that asymmetrical wars in the 21st century is not like wars of the 20th. Pragmatists understand that there is more than one binary solution set, of 1 wrong and 1 right answer. Pragmatists understand that there are many good and many bad decisions.

The only wishful thinking involved here, is the emphasis that all out war through full scale invasion is the only thing that can stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and technology.

Sometimes you really need to stick that sword in the scabbard and not cut off people's heads. Sometimes, as hard as it is to believe, a Bigger Hammer Approach, is the absolute wrong thing to do. Not often, but the Asymmetrical Warfare of the 21st century has given the United States unfettered capability and freedom to Wage War without Waging War.

We can sanction a nation, we can take his air space away from him, and people think we are not at war. There are many many other things we can do. The only variable is whether Bush has the guts to do them against the criticism of Both the Right and the Left. Whether that be Murtha of the Marines on the Left or Steve of the Marines on the Right.

April 12, 2006

Al Sadr and internal Iraqi politics

Playboy without the nudes


Iran's subtle subtle strategy

That's what people need to do more often. They need to take the things they read and read past the dot at the end, and preferably between the lines as well. People are too close minded in certain matters. It is a dangerous liability.

A diplomat that cannot read past the Period line in a diplomatic correspondence is a liability that will get people killed. A diplomat that cannot read between the lines, will get even more people killed.

The point nitty makes is rather valid. Something hath motivated Iran to declare their nuclear ambitions. And that something is called Iraq and Afghanistan and the Revolution in Lebanon, casting off the chains of occupation under their so called ally Syria.

Iran believes that time is not on their side, that if they don't cause some kind of problem to check America, that in the future they will be at a disadvantage. Iran seems to be hurrying to build a nuke. And yet Iran must know that they are vulnerable in the here and now.

Either Iran has an ace or two stuck up their sleeves, or Iran is depending upon the multilateral traits of George W. Bush, President of the United States and America and the person who decides by himself what is the foreign policy of America.

Any half-assed competent intelligence analyst can see the multilateral and procrastination traits of Bush, and it isn't too far to leap to think that Iran is depending upon Bush's bluff.

Iran, I tend to think, analyzed what went on before Iraq and realized that they had X amount of time the UN would give them. So they announced their nuclear ambitions at a specific point in time. This is all connected, to diplomats and reasonable people who can read between the lines, to what is going on in Iraq. With Al Sadr and Jaffari. Iran must control Iraq, or otherwise be shattered in 50 years. If Iraq goes to the Americans the way the Kurds and Sunni want, Iraq will become a Middle East powerhouse. Far, far more powerful than Israel and much more of a threat.

Because of Iran's show of strength with their nukes, they now have Jaffari and Sadr firmly in their pocket. Why are people fighting if Saddam is in the docket and the Sunnis are making deals against Al Qaeda? They are fighting because 60% of the population are Shia, and they believe the winner and strong horse is called iran, not the US.

This is the price of multilateralism and predictability, Bush is paying and Iraqi children are paying.

Iran's strategy is very subtle and two pronged. A lot of Americans are kind of parochial in that they only think about American counter-responses and strategy, but nitty by bringing up the POV from Iran's perspective, gives new insights into the situation.

Iran's strategy will work in the end. Iraq is at the precipice. Too many arrogant people in Congress believe that only a pull out will lose Iraq, that if only Americans stay there that nothing bad will happen that we can't handle. *shakes head* The enemy is making plans as well, and they aren't stupid. Fanatic and blinded by ideology, but not stupid in terms of power politics.

We lose Iraq to Iran, and Iran will give nuclear technology to the Shia in return for an alliance against America. The Shia will use nukes to keep the Kurds and Sunni in line. Al Qaeda will then be free to launch attacks against America, once Iraq has been stabilized.

Iran's grand strategy is becoming clearer. It is what I would do if I were in the mullah's shoes, given the limitations that I would have.

Without Iraq, Iran would not have announced their nuclear ambitions so soon. It was never in their interest to do so. But now it is. It is a dual prong strategy.

Nukes will buy them not only immunity but a huge bargaining chip in Iraq. Announcing nukes this early will make a fool of the US, thereby weakening our credibility in the ME and in Iraq. Announcing nukes will also gain them the support of China and Russia, because China and Russia will never miss an opportunity to embarass the US. The scales of power are tilting in Iran's balance, and the parochialists in America are blind to the consequences.

April 10, 2006

We need journalists who aren't traitors

Insta wants tough and smart journalists, I'll settle for just loyal.

War War sorta like Jaw Jaw

What's really going on is a bit more complicated than that. People on the Left are only forced into doing violent things if events push them into it. Events, usually, that they themselves helped set up.

Their fears are thus simply that the Republicans are like them, that they go and create war situations without consideration of the consequences in a wise and patient manner. That scares Democrats because the Democrats don't want the Republicans to get war credit and gain popularity.

Thus, having projected their fears and doubts unto the villainous Republicans, they are free to expound upon what they believe to be the wrong strategy. The wrong strategy being, what they believe to be wrong. This is contrasted with the right strategy, which in most Democratic cases is the strategy that leads directly to war.

The diplomacy of the Left has done more to cause gigantic wars than anything in the history of the world for the past few centuries. It happened in WWII, it happened in Vietnam and the Cold War, and it is happening now.

This is an attempt to descredit any nuclear related strategy of deterence or threats or prevention. By setting the agenda in a way, by setting the words which will be used to describe nuclear deterence, the Left corrupts a valid tool of shotgun diplomacy and lowers the chances that diplomacy will succede in its design at stopping wars.

Because this is a descrediting campaign, and you can learn the labels pretty well by paying attention to Democrats, it is based upon the proof of the negative. Most of the time when the Democrats call subject A, label B, subject A is really under label A, not B. The proof of the negative is simply that Bush doesn't believe in peace through superior firepower, although he is Jacksonian in the belief that if he engages in a military action that he should finish it through winning. But Bush is nowhere close to the shot gun diplomacy of Teddy Roosevelt.

Which is the problem. Because Bush doesn't consider using nuclear weapons as a psychological, diplomatic, and "deal" making weapon, Bush will not set the agenda in terms of diplomacy or nuclear weapons. This allows the propaganda squad like Hersh, to set it instead, with words and phrases that they choose. It is as if you agreed to fight someone in a location of their choosing. It is obviously going to be a location where he will be able to ambush you to his advantage.

Most Pundits on TV, except Tancredo, say that using nukes is "nuts".

And these are the people we expect to come up with a workable diplomatic solution so more soldiers lives aren't wasted on a struggle better solved peaceably?

They don't even give one iota to the idea. ANd because they do not, the stilleto of war will carve their kidneys from the cavities of their useless bodies.

The predictions are easy to make. It isn't Republicans that are war mongers. Democrats are war mongers. From the Democrats in the South in the Civil War, to Roosevelt and Truman in WWII. Democrats are populists by nature, and populists are easily fired up by the war cry of the public. Because they are very connected to populist sentiment, they find it easier to stoke and manipulate than would otherwise be. If the public wants war, the Democrats aren't going to stand in their way. If the public is against war, Democrats like Roosevelt will lie about not wanting war, but in reality Roosevelt is just waiting for the right time to bring us in. Or get someone else to bring us in.

What this all means, basically is, that there are two predictable outcomes to a Democratic foreign policy. War. Or, war. The first path, War, comes about because war is popular and power can be obtained by riding the tiger of war fury. I.E. If Gore was President on 9/11 and he invaded Afghanistan, that is War. The second alternative war, little w, happens because of appeasement. When the public does not want war and neither does the Democrats (i.e. Britain/France in WWII), their foreign policy of appeasement produces war.

So in the end, a Democrat will give you war or War. There's really no other alternative. They can hold it off, like Jimmy Carter, but eventually the consequences to their actions will snow ball. Instead of a big capital War, they get a series of little wars, sitzkrieg wars with their appeasement, along the way. And eventually it blows up, but since it will be in someone else's faces, people like Democratic Carter don't really care.

Either the Democratic party favors war and stokes the public into it, American Civil War, or the Democratic party appeases the enemy and this produces war further down the line (Roosevelt appeasement of Stalin through ceding of territories).

Vietnam was started by the Democratic party, and it was lost by the Democratic party. The Democratic war machine is very good at firing up the public for war, but the Democrats aren't very good at war.

Diplomacy with Iran will fail because Bush is neither good at firing up the public for war and keeping us stoked in it, nor is Bush actually in favor of more wars himself. And without that kind of Democratic ruthlessness, the Iranians are correct to wait him out. So long as Bush is in office, Iran knows that they can stall for time as Saddam did, and that if they stall long enough they will have at least one nuke in which to use to protect themselves from any future Presidents bent on starting up a personal war.

The more the Democrats accuse Bush of certain things I know is not true of Bush, the more I understand that the Democrats are just saying that they, the Democrats, are guilty of all the things they accuse their enemies of. This in addition to thi historical account. Whenever you hear Democrats accuse Bush of being A, the most likely scenario is that Bush is guilty of being the exact opposite. Obviously the Democrats can't be that stupid to accuse their enemy of things he is diametrically lacking, so it has to derive from some other fundamental motivation.

If Bush does these things, he will have a much higher chance to avoid war with Iran.

1. Demonstration nuclear attack on depopulated spots. Additional adjustments, include adding prisoners to be executed to the spot.

2. Threatening and/or giving nuclear weapons technology to the Kurds, North Alliance, or anyone else bordering Iran.

3. Buying Indian support through a tri-lateral alliance of Indian, Pakistani, and American. Bribes and threats, not excluded from consideration.

4. Naval/Air blockade or unrestricted submarine warfare (actual or threatened) upon Iran or Syrian ships.

5. Targeted assassination of islamic leaders in Iran, through local guerrila insurgency efforts. With the demand that Iran backdown on the nuclear front.

6. Forced Annexation of Syrian and Iranian territories, short of full invasion. We can give those territories to our allies, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and India for example as bribes.

7. Arm the Kurdish Alliance with American weapons publicly, and threaten the Turks to back us against Iran or else.

8. Use Special Forces to kidnap and raid high ranking Iranian and Syrian officials and liquidate their bank accounts of all assets and funds. Then use those assets to fund internal guerrila insurgencies, to return Iran and Syria's favor in Iraq. Funneling arms and weapons to Lebanon, to checkmate Syria, is a good idea.

If Bush does all or even any of those things, and there are plenty more Bush has the power to do without going to Congress, the chances for a diplomatic success with Iran increases by orders of magnitudes.

The key to diplomacy as with hostage negotiation, is leverage. Find a high enough lever, and you can move the world. Iran found that lever when they took our embassy hostage, and I have just listed the levers available to be acquired against Iran. If Bush has the guts and the wisdom to use them.

If Bush wanted a war, there would be no need for this showmanship diplomacy. But obviously Bush is serious about this diplomacy game, and if Bush is serious, then he'd better act like it.

I would not recommend inviting the CIA into these operations, however. They are a danger. Far better if Bush trusted only the SF community and regular Army. The organization you hear the LEAST about on television, is the organization you use for your foreign policy, covert and otherwise.

I'm pretty sure Bush knows how to play poker. This isn't poker. You don't get second chances, your money isn't calculated by the average of 10 pots or something like that.

Bush holds all the cards, he has most of the money. All Bush has. to. do. is. to. raise.

If Bush doesn't raise the stakes, Iran will. In the end, same difference. Only how many people get to die for it, will differ by the end.

I don't know why people are worried about the oil. If Bush gave the say so, we could steal Iran's entire oil infrastructure from them at a fraction of the cost of OIF. I suppose I can see why we would be worried, because we know Bush won't give the say so... but presumably Bush might do it.

Pirates seize oil tankers all the time in Indonesian waters. It ain't like the US Navy can't do the same if we wanted to.

April 08, 2006

Again the ruthlessness of Democrats

They shall leave these children to the tender mercies of Al Qaeda, simply because they want the US to fail or the troops to leave. Such ruthlessness, such will.

Japanese torpedoes and Democratic ruthlessness

I wouldn't say that a misunderstanding about Pearl Harbor happened though. As far as I know, the Japanese Admiral who designed the attack, knew the Sleeping Power of America and wanted to cripple it in one fell stroke (the carriers, the most important thing on the high seas) with Pearl Harbor. It would have worked too, except the carriers weren't in dry dock. They were out on exercise or something. Bad intel on the Japanese's part.

If you look at Midway, you would realize that had our 3 carriers been wrecked, Japan would have had a much higher chance to win that battle. And therefore controlled the strategic position of Midway, and they would have had the attack momentum and carried the war to our shores. Logistically, we were golden, but that would have been psychologically detrimental. It was the best the Japanese could do. If they can take the wars to our shores, then they expected we would settle for a peace treaty or some such. We were still busy with Hitler after all. The only chance a small nation has against a large nation in a war, is to end that war as soon as possible. The Japanese strategy was flawed but well begun. If they had carried through with their surprise attack instead of conserving their ships, they might have gotten more of the infrastructure of Pearl. Japanese intentions and torpedoe beliefs

It isn't true that Washington didn't understand their own navy in the way you mean it. Most Naval men didn't understand their own Navy. The power of the Carriers as opposed to the ships of the line, Battleships, were still a new concept. Most Admirals were still battleship admirals, not carrier admirals. That is a big difference in how they decided to defend strategic locations. Most of them were not concerned about a carrier launched air attack, most of them were worried about sabotage of the air wing at Pearl rendering them unable to scout and launch attacks against an enemy fleet. Washington's problem was that they were intentionally witholding stuff from being given to the Navy.

One of those fog of war deals. The Admiral in charge of Pearl at the time, wasn't incompetent. Roosevelt's appointed replacement, however, was incompetent, and undecisive, and a coward. Look up Wake Island. Kimmel himself lays the record straight, about Pearl. Kimmel

The idea of a carrier launched air attack, was an innovative and quite effective strategy collated and formed by one of their best strategists. The reason why Washington believed Pearl Harbor was immune to torpedoe attacks is because the bottom of the harbor was too shallow for a torpedoe to drop and then cruise onto the target. The Japanese ingeniously solved this by building a sort of wooden shaft of some kind to cushion the impact, and somehow made the torpedoes work under water at the harbor. The Japanese, masters of low tech heh. Their rifles were low tech, there pistols were low tech, everything was low tech to the Japanese. Low tech, but it worked.

The intel Roosevelt received by the British at Taranto, where they torpedoed ships in shallow waters, were ignored.

The Democrats are seen by some as the war party of America. But a Democrat run war is a damn disaster whether now or before. People think the armor issue is a big thing now, they should read what was going on with the torpedoes in WWII. Read about cheap torpedoes Roosevelt didn't do anything about

The loyalty Americans showed to Roosevelt makes the treatment Bush has received, a simple disgrace. A Democrat gets away with malfeasance on the crazy level, because nobody will criticize a President in war time, but a Republican like Lincoln and Bush gets punched in the face all the time by critics. Democrats are masters at ruthlessness, they just aren't all that wise in the end.

"Un-patriotic", I don't think so. Reading history gives you too much information about how all the time people want to manipulate you. This is the conclusion to Kimmel's account.

The Story Ends

AGAIN AND AGAIN in my mind I have reviewed the events that preceded the Japanese attack, seeking to determine if I was unjustified in drawing from the orders, directives and information that were forwarded to me the conclusions that I did. The fact that I then thought and now think my conclusions were sound when based upon the information I received, has sustained me during the years that have passed since the first Japanese bomb fell on Pearl Harbor.

When the information available in Washington prior to the attack was disclosed to me I was appalled. Nothing in my experience of nearly forty-two years service in the Navy had prepared me for the actions of the highest officials in our government which denied this vital information to the Pearl Harbor commanders.

If those in authority wished to engage in power politics, the least that they should have done was to advise their naval and military commanders what they were endeavoring to accomplish. To utilize the Pacific Fleet and the Army forces at Pearl Harbor as a lure for a Japanese attack without advising the commander-in-chief of the fleet and the commander of the Army base at Hawaii is something I am wholly unable to comprehend.

While I am still able to do so, I feel that I must tell the story so that those who follow may fully realize the imperative necessity of furnishing the naval and military commanders at the front with full and clear information. Only in this way can the future security of our country be preserved.

Bush is guilty of many things. Using the troops as cannon fodder isn't one of them.

Environmentalist and terrorism

It's always nice to know, that when you kill one nut job ideology like Nazism or Communism, 5 others take their place. Environmentalism and Islamic Jihad, two front runners for the trophy of who can kill more people at the end of the century.

Misunderstandings and Wars - Jacksonian vs Intimidation

Wars are caused by misunderstandings. You might think that this is some Leftist Utopian slogan, but it really isn't if you look at the applications.

The Gulf War was caused by the misunderstanding that the US didn't care that Saddam would invade, that we were just showboating to the world with our build up.

The Iraq War was caused by the misunderstanding that France, RUssia, and China would veto any UN Resolutions calling for an Iraqi invasion, and thus without a Resolution the US would not invade. Regardless of how these misunderstandings came about, the net result is that misunderstandings cause war, even if war isn't about misunderstandings.

A lot of wars end up being caused by misunderstandings, and then being about something totally unrelated or just simply lenghtly related. Like the American Civil War. Or WWI for that matter. Or WWII. A simple misunderstanding about Hitler's intents and goals, causes a war about the future of Nazism, racial purity, and the exintinction of the Jews.

The purpose of diplomacy is to ease misunderstandings, to communicate in the language of the Other so that the Other understands your aims and can communicate their interests to you, without confusion. Thus wars can be prevented if the underlying causes are understood and a peaceful method reached in agreement by all parties. WWII, caused by the biggest misunderstanding yet. Hitler hath told them that he was out for world domination in his book, Mein Kampf. The Diplomads in ENgland just didn't believe it, so they misunderstood both his honest intent and his fabricated lies in diplomacy, and thus caused a world war to consume millions of innocents and combatants alike.

When a nation or a people declares their undying hatred of you and their manifesto to destroy you and your people, there is already a state of undeclared war between you. There is no need for diplomacy in an unstated declaration of war between 2 people or two nations. That is why diplomacy didn't work against Hitler and Germany, and this is why diplomacy doesn't and will not work against Al Qaeda or Iran. Diplomacy, in a state of undeclared war, simply becomes a tool of that war. As diplomacy was a tool to stall for time as the Japanese diplomats talked and talked about treaties, all the while while they knew their country planned for a pre-emptive first strike.

You can tell real diplomats from fake ones, simply by locating which diplomats understand the state of undeclared war and which diplomats seem to think war only comes if the other side declares it openly. Bush, seems to think war only comes if one of either two parties declare it. As on 9/11. Bush is wrong. Condi might understand it the other way, but she works for Bush so it doesn't matter. The UN is in a state of undeclared war against the United States. Most Americans seem to think we're still at peace, and that if we can keep the UN close, we can get an edge. It doesn't matter what edge you get, if you aren't willing to kill your enemy but your enemy is willing to kill you. Having that enemy close to you, gives him the advantage, not you.

The military hopes and prays that the diplomats solve problems peacefully. Because what the diplomats pock up, the military has to clean up. With blood and vigilance, no less. However, the longer the diplomats do nothing and let the military do nothing in a state of undeclared war, the more damage the military will incrue. I.E. the 6+ months given to Saddam increased military casualties dramatically simply because it allowed Saddam to implement Black Hawk Down plans, which the insurgency is still benefiting from, irregardless of all those weapons caches Saddam hid in the boondocks. It's not just Saddam, Syria and Iran planned for 6 plus months the weapons, logistics, and payment installations for suicide bombers while Bush dickered in the UN.

Do not dick around with diplomacy in a state of undeclared war. You'd think the diplomats would have understood the basic purpose of diplomacy after the lessons of Pearl harbor, 9/11, WWII, and a host of others.

When diplomacy works, like with Libya, that's fine. It is the way it should be. When diplomacy is contributing between a misunderstanding between two nations, like with Iran and the US, diplomacy is Not Fine.

As for the journalists, we all know that they are human, and humans are ridiculously easy to manipulate. Anyone who takes a journalist's word for it that they are reporting the truth, needs a second opinion. It's the idiots who say Bush is controlling the media, that don't understand how easy they themselves are susceptible to manipulation that is the problem. Journalists are not brave supermen, for one thing they don't carry weapons. People who don't carry weapons, nukes, and SF teams are called "prey" to violent people. When the prey say they are standing up to Bush Hitler for Truth and Justice, you got to understand that most people don't risk their lives for Truth or Justice. Most people who do, already went into the military and have gone out of it already. Or went into other fields of work, and then tried to join the military after 9/11. Or died on Flight 93 when the Truth came to them unbidden. The few reporters who are brave, don't have the influence, power, or weight of opinion as editors do. As is the case in most organizations. The front line troops know most of what is going on, the paper pushers in the back have a decidedly more narrow view.

who among us can face the sort of destructive prospect Dr. Sultan is suggesting be unleashed? Can there not be a Wilsonian solution instead? Please? Oh, pretty please?

I can get you a Wilsonian solution, but it requires some things you might not want to contemplate. You can get almost any solution you want, you just have to be able to pay the price. There are no free stuff in the world to be had at no risk. Except death anyway, that's always free.

They want to see the U.S. involved on a worldwide basis with a peaceful international community based on the rule of law.

If you want the US to be the police, then the US basically has to commandeer the military power of the globe and monopolize the use of lethal force. Reserving only self-defense to the rest. You're not going to have that without shedding some blood, preferably the other guy's. They're not going to give up their guns and armies just cause we say we're the police, and we are all going to live in a peaceful international community based upon the rule of law instead of the rule of guns. The use or presence of nuclear weapons would probably mean instant retaliation, like a SWAT or ATF raid. Except with more boom, like nuclear mushroom boom. The police can get ahold of crime, because the police has better guns than the criminals. What's a better gun than a nuclear bomb? Who is going to pay attention to the police and the rule of law, when they have a nuclear bomb? Nobody, unless of course you make it plain that the cost for having a nuke is less than the cost for not having a nuke. The fundamental implications of international rule of law is very easy, almost too easy, to figure out.

The problem with Wilsonians is that they're aren't willing to kill enough people to reach the critical mass for their rule of law. Plenty of people had to be killed before the Wild West was brought under civilization, and the Wild West wasn't even another country. The other problem with Wilsonians is that they are another Emperor Justinian, trying to conquer the Western Roman Empire and depleting vital resources and man power to do it. Sure, they may be honestly interested in law like Justinian, but what a waste of resources. Just cause you can conquer the world, doesn't mean you can keep it under the rule of law. As the Roman Empire found out soon enough when they succeded in reconquering the Western Roman Empire.

April 06, 2006

Inside the Insurgency - An Arab Journalist Speaks

The media has failed again. They were supposed to report on the political situation in Iraq, to give the public fair warning of possible dangers... They were supposed to warn us of Jaffari and his dangerous affiliations. Instead, they were too busy crying Civil War and doing the old bait and switch trick on the rest of us, that it took the BUSH administration calling for Jaffari's removal to educate people like me (who tend to pay a lot of attention to Iraq) to understand the danger of Jaffari.

When it takes the Bush administration to warn us of a future danger, I know we're in a trouble. Cause Bush doesn't do anything till like it is almost too late. Conservatives are like that.

Not only is the media ignorant of military affairs in Iraq, but they are also hiding the political ramifications from the American public due to their incompetency and malice.

The reason the MilBlogs didn't cover it is probably because the military doesn't do policy decisions. We were supposed to be informed of the policies by the reporters and the government. In war, however, nothing goes as the way it is supposed to go, unfortunately.

April 05, 2006

Eating Soup with a Fork

I think even if you had 1 million troops in Iraq, it wouldn't have mattered because the pocking order to shoot the rioters/looters/criminals would still not have been given. Without shoot on sight orders, there ain't gonna be no law or order, restored or not.

Increasing troops is not going to scare Iran. Iran already knows we can destroy them utterly, they just don't think we'll do it. And they are right. Even now we can cripple Iran by ordering our submarines to initiate Unrestricted Submarine Warfare on all Iranian vessels. You don't think it will happen? Congratulations, the Iranians agree with you.

Have we demonstrated our willingness and ability to use a "nuclear gadget" like we did in Japan, to our enemies? Why should they believe us, given that we have not launched a nuclear demonstration bombing of any piece of Iranian or Syrian territory?

Has Iran demonstrated their ability to kill people and take hostages? ya. As for fomenting rebellion in the South, Iran was doing that in day 1. Fomenting attacks, day 1 too. There is no threat to their threats. They can say they are going to unleash guerrila warfare, but what the heck do we care given what we faced in Iraq so far? That's like Al Qaeda saying if we don't release the peeps in GitMo, they'll start chopping American head's off. Hello, people, you've already been doing that. It ain't a credible threat if you're are already doing what you threatened you will do if we don't do what you tell us.

We have half our army, if not more, just sitting in America. Training. You don't need more troops, you just mobilize what you got and get the money from Congress. What we really need to do is increase defense spending to above 10% of our GDP. The troops have been complaining that reconstruction from State Department is like Katrina Relief from FEMA. And they're right, the only people that are competent in the entire government is the FBI and the military. That's about it. Most of our SC judges are toobusy laughing over KELO and property being stolen from the people, to do their jobs. The military, if given enough of a carte blanche, can serve all manners of roles. Reconstruction, disaster relief, etc etc. Bump the Pentagon budget to 10% GDP instead of the measly 3 or 4% we have now. Which is amazing. How do you fight a war with less than 5% of your GDP?
United States 4.06 2005 est.

Wow, are we crazy or what?

Iran is piss poor compared to what we can flood the market with. I think we need to raise taxes on Noam Chomsky, George Soros, and all the Hollywood actors... that might help pay for the war effort. I mean, it's not like they're going to pay taxes voluntarily, regardless of their rhetoric.

I tend to agree that Bush is not doing as much as he can, to make himself out to be a little crazy guy with a nuclear football just itching to blow somebody up. Bush tends not to want to seem like a bully, scaring the little Middle Easterners. But that is exactly what he needs to do, to demonstrate his power and to prevent new conflicts.

Btw, counter-insurgency guerrila operations is like eating soup with a fork. It takes willpower and fast reaction forces (Apaches), not "man power". A strong man eating soup with a fork doesn't get anywhere if he grasps the fork stronger. A fast man, with a lot of willpower and patience, will eat the soup faster and actually succede in eating a soup with only a fork.

Best Rudyard Kiping Poems

I Like Tommy, IF, White Man's Burden (So unPC).

Nuclear bombs and Japan - The story of the targeting selection

Kyoto's too historical. The psychological impact of the atom bomb would be completely ineffective if the Japanese thought we were just going to target "strategic cites". If they don't believe, and if Hirohito didn't believe, that the US would bomb any and all cities in Japan, Hirohito would have been far less likely to surrender.

At the same time that the military commander seeks to destroy his enemy, he is only doing so because destroying the enemy is the only way to save the enemy (which means surrender). Yet if we can reduce the damage and still save the enemy, efforts must be made. So the military commander is at one time, seeking to present absolute ruthlessness in his attacks and at the same time seeking to reduce the overall damage to his enemy as much as possible.

Both the psychological perspective, the military, the human, and the cultural viewpoints command me to support Truman's decision. Controversy isn't in my thoughts at all.

There are some things that you can do to destroy the enemy, that you should never do. Nuclearize their capital, Tokyo, is one of them. Nuclearize their cultural center, is another one. Destroying Washington D.C. does nothing but make people pissed off. It's an emotional reaction, that you do not want to get if you want people to surrender. It would be an even bigger problem afterwards. You want the people of Japan to be demoralized, you do NOT want them to become angry. Anger, raises people's morale, it does not decrease it. Osama should have paid more attention, before 2000.

Take these two differences between Nagasaki and Kyoto's history.



With the Meiji Restoration, Nagasaki quickly began to assume some economic dominance, though its main industry-shipbuilding--would eventually make it a target in World War II. On August 9th, 1945, the American B-52 "Bock's Car," looking for the shipyards, spotted the Mitsubishi Arms Works, and dropped the second nuclear bomb in Japan. At 11am, 75,000 of Nagasaki's 240,000 residents were killed, followed by the death of at least as many from resulting sickness and injury.

The shipbuilding works was an excuse, an excuse not to blow up Kyoto. I don't know why people suggested Kyoto as a bombing target, but he was unwise as rocks. Actually, I just used askjeeves, and I found out who.

The Target Committe might have been nuclear scientists, but they sure as heck weren't educated in psychological warfare. Or maybe they just didn't know enough of Japanese culture.

7. Psychological Factors in Target Selection

A. It was agreed that psychological factors in the target selection were of great importance. Two aspects of this are (1) obtaining the greatest psychological effect against Japan and (2) making the initial use sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it is released.

B. In this respect Kyoto has the advantage of the people being more highly intelligent and hence better able to appreciate the significance of the weapon. Hiroshima has the advantage of being such a size and with possible focussing from nearby mountains that a large fraction of the city may be destroyed. The Emperor's palace in Tokyo has a greater fame than any other target but is of least strategic value.

Truman was smart and so were the military. They did not choose Kyoto. Nagasaki wasn't even on the target listing, it was probably chosen cause of its low population and the Christian significance. If the Emperor saw that we would blow up a Christian historic city, then he would understand that the fate of japan included total destruction, that nobody would survive regardless of his religious affiliation, so long as they are Japanese and in a state of war with the United States.

Can you imagine if Truman was dumb enough to blow up Tokyo and the Emperor's palace with a Nuclear Weapon? Tokyo AND Kyoto (former capital) survived BOTH targeting lists. That wasn't coincidence, that was wisdom. On the part of Truman and the people educated in Japanese culture advising Truman.

People who have doubt as to Hiroshima or Nagasaki, don't seem to understand that Kyoto and Tokyo were counter-productive targets. History is meant to be learned from reading Primary Documents. That is the best and most interesting way to learn history, as I learned in AP Euro History. Nobody's going to give up if you shame him by destroying his cultural icons, his religious shrines, and his political leaders. What kind of ignorance, does it take, for an enemy of America to think that nuking Mount Rushmore would make America more likely to surrender? Nuking that obelisk in DC, nuking the Abraham Lincoln statue, what kind of an ignorant ignoramuss in American culture would think that destroying those things would make Americans fight less harder? We were quite lucky the military commissioned a study on Japanese cultural significance and civilian psychology. We obviously benefited much from that knowledge, when it came time to select targets.

Primary Document, Targeting List

By all means, had Truman chosen his second target with more care, the Japanese would surely be thanking us for our consideration. What would they say if we blow up Kyoto's Shrine(s)?

Yokohama, would be an even worse target, if it can be believed that is.

In 1854(Ansei 1), the Japan-US Treaty of Peace and Amity (Treaty of Kanagawa) was signed by representatives, Mr. Hayashi Daigaku and Mr. Commodore Perry from Japan and the USA respectively. In 1858(Ansei 5), Japan-US Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed by Consul-General Harris, followed by treaties with Holland, Russia, Great Britain, and France. The opening of the port was planned for July 1st, 1859 (June 2nd in the year Ansei 6 in the lunar calendar).

Ya, we're going to nuclear bomb them, the same city that they signed treaties with the West, bringing the West in active relation with Japan. Do you think, that it might be a little bit bitter and ironic to the Japanese to have the same port blow up by the West that the Japanese had used to sign treaties with the West? Might that not introduce the idea that the West can't be trusted and that future dealings will only end in destruction? War ain't rational, but that doesn't mean you should go introducing such ideas into the enemy, that might make him reconsider about surrendering.

You ask, what about Kokura Arsenal, the most valid military target? There is some accounts that the Kokura Arsenal was the primary target for Fat Man, and that Nagasaki was the secondary target.

Kokura was the first city in Japan to be bombed, and as the "primary" for the Fat Man bomb, it very nearly was the last. But wind and water conspired to spare Kokura from the atomic fire that had already visited Hiroshima. A line of storms stretching from the Marianas to Japan separated the bomb-carrying Bockscar from its two B-29 escorts soon after take-off. Bockscar flew on alone and loitered over Yakoshima, vainly waiting for the escorts to catch up. In that lost hour, cloud and smoke settled in a sheltering blanket over Kokura. Bockscar arrived over the city only to find the aiming point utterly hidden in the haze. Bockscar's commander made three fruitless runs over Kokura and then turned his B-29 south and west. Less than an hour later, at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, Fat Man ceased to exist -- and along with it, several tens of thousands of Nagasaki's citizens.

It is rather counter-productive to say that Truman should have taken greater care in choosing the second target for the second nuclear bomb. Who was he supposed to bomb, Kyoto? Tokyo? How many people do you want to have to die of nuclear radiation poisoning...

Japan saved us from incinerating their island. We saved Japan from committing hara kiri in all intents and purposes. It's even between us. Hence, no war reparations.