June 16, 2006

My Perspective on the Killer of Children

# Ymarsakar Says:
June 16th, 2006 at 2:14 pm

You’re correct in saying that my outlook on things military is not derived from any formal training or War College tenure. I don’t see it as being particularly difficult for the world media to spin things their way, not given the amount of territory they already hold.

I do not dispute that Z man could have provided additional information, simply because the human element is always useful to know about. I wouldn’t characterize it as a gold mine however. If it is a gold mine, it is offset by some of the disadvantages. There are advantages and disadvantages to any action taken, it just so happens to appear that whether zarqawi lived or died was out of the hands of the soldiers at the scene. HIs ultimate fate caught up to him, and neither you or I could stay the hand of destiny.

The argument you are rendering is specious in the sense that if you don’t like my arguments because you discount my formal training in intelligence, then that is neither thinking outside the box nor adapting to the situation as it presents itself. Whether you like my arguments or not, should be based upon the detriments, flaws, and inconsistencies presented thus to you, it should not be because I hold a lower rank, have no formal training, or do not come from the same background as you do. Whether we agree on our interests or not, does not matter in the sense that two people can come to the same conclusion based upon different facts, techniques of analysis, and interpretations.

I interpret the advantages and disadvantages one way, I focus more on the morale that z man’s death would bring to the Iraqis who have suffered death and destruction in the wake of z man and the American forces that shed blood trying to stop that destruction and death. You focus more on the goldmine of intelligence, acquiring prisoners and sources. I am more concerned with why people disbelieve me, than the fact that they prefer their own arguments over mine. A monolithic outlook in military operations is simply a way to do things that are logical, in the wrong way. Just because it is logical and by the book, does not mean it will bring success. And just because it is unorthodox and out of the box, does not mean it will fail. But before we get to that, explaining why you disbelieve and why I believe in the things that I do, is the right thing to do.

Military intelligence should have realized long ago that differing and diverse outlooks and interpretations is a plus. Some people think in straight line logical analysis of A to B to C, they are methodical in calculating the odds with the variable data at their disposal. Others are more intuitive, their tactical awareness is out of the box thinking. You should not discount my views as specious just because you believe your way is the right way, and that anyone without any formal experience doesn’t know what is going on. You are limited by your view of things just as I am, and therefore I can cover your blindspots easier than you can do it for yourself, just as it is the same for me.

Whatever problems the world media and the Democrats bring to the table concerning Zarqawi, is a separate campaign. Because propaganda is not based upon reality, whether someone is dead or not doesn’t really matter all things considered, since you can promote the detriments either way in light of the war effort. If z man is alive, this shows American weakness and how terroists can jihad against American while America will shed blood to save jihadists. If z man dies, well we already have seen what the world media has done with that. This category of things is Bush’s area of responsibility. I limit myself only to the pluses, the minuses, the positives, and the negatives of z man being alive or being dead. My argument already calculates the intelligence value of z man into it, it still comes out as a net positive that he is dead rather than alive.
# Ymarsakar Says:
June 16th, 2006 at 2:34 pm

To summarize the positives that z man’s death brings, I only point people out to the joy of the Iraqis, the consolidation and hope that the Iraqi government is bringing to the table, the showing of American will and power to the Sunnis, and various other things that are greater than the sum of the disparate parts. All these are true, they are not specious (logical fallacies). It is not logically falacious to say that these are positives that would not have occured or would have occured in lesser quality had z man lived.

I am sure there are other positives, that I don’t know about while others do. People like Michael Yon said he jumped in the air when he heard z man was taken out, he was so happy. Happy that a man died? Why would people be happy that a man died? The psychology matters as much, if not more so, than the hard factual data that can you get from interrogating z man. And as I said, it is not as if the choice was between killing z man and losing the information, or preserving z man and saving the information.

This reminds me of something. Spies and information specialists always rely upon their sources and try not to burn them (meaning kill potential sources of information or out them through leaks). If this meant sacrificing a pawn, like say what Churchill did with a British raid in order to keep a double agent in Hitler’s inner circle, then spies would approve of it. While I understand this outlook, the perspective of spies and people who hold information as their speciality, I do not ascribe to it.

I prefer supporting the Marines and letting the grunts take care of things. I cannot explain it adequately, except to say that it has shades of honor and duty. The people who have seen zarqawi’s rampage of death, those who have seen the corpses of children killed at the express orders of z man, those people and those families deserve to see Zarqawi’s deaths. If I was an irrational, raging man, I would favor z man’s death regardless of the intelligence potential. But I am not, I would have preserved z man’s life if it had meant that we could get the information that would spell the death of the insurgency. Ending the insurgency is larger than whether z man lives or dies. But because his laptop already gave us the information to roll up a large portion of his organization (400 raids so far), I did not have to make that moral and ethical decision whether to keep z man alive or let him die.

In civilian affairs, it is plea bargains. Is a plea bargain just, if the information you get allows you to arrest and convict a bigger criminal? I guess it depends. Even though I understand why intelligence is important, I still don’t like keeping someone like z man alive because of the fact that he was the one who ordered children killed and therefore we must preserve his life in return for the informatin that would allow us to prevent more children from being killed. It is not just, but that is war and reality for you.


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