Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Men, Rifles, and The Reality of War

Another day... a few more bodies... and more bluster from The Man about standing firm.

Seems we're bombarded with terrorism these days. You wouldn't know that it's been almost four years since the towers were hit. Hell... You'd think bus bombs were going off weakly here in the states. I suppose I could better understand the ankle-grabber position on the Patriot Act if that were the case.

In reality however, the War on Terror is little more than american soldiers standing around getting shot.

Seems that we've forgotten how to occupy. The greeks knew it. The Romans knew it. Attila knew it. Hell... even Hitler knew it. Conquering is only half the battle... and it ain't even the harder half. Holding. That's the hard part.

Occupation requires the commitment of troops. It requires martial law, and the ruthless application of punishments, be they just or unjust. Frankly either will work. It requires devestation on such a scale, that it breaks the enemies will to fight.

The modern world has forgotten the lessons of history. You cannot conquer and free. It doesn't work. Even the terms are mutually exclusive. To think otherwise is right-wing hubris on a left-wing scale.

We've seen it in Viet-nam... where our kill ratios were 10 and 20 to 1... yet today whole generations think we "got our butts kicked". Please. We weren't run off. We got bored with killing thousands of people monthly, and decided to leave.

Imagine watching a fight.. were a really big guy, is ruthelessly pounding a little guy senseless, because he wants the little guy to give him his trinket. The little guy is all but un-conscience... but he keeps refusing to give the trinket... and the big guy just keeps hitting him. Sure... he could take the trinket... but that would be stealing... no... he wants it given to him. Eventually the big guy gets bored... tired of smashing the kid's face... and decides the trinket isn't worth the stink of blood... so he leaves.

The little guy then gets up... and claims victory because he still has his trinket.

That's Vietnam.

Now... Look at today. Today we've got American soldiers standing around getting shot in a "free" country that doesn't want them there. If you look hard enough, you can see the past there, and you can see the future too.

Just change the setting... in the past, it could be the Russian occupation of Afganistan. Or in the future, it could be martial law in these united States. Only here it would be much worse. There is no Iraqi military to use as cannon fodder here... No South Vietnamese Rangers to walk behind. No... here there is just lonely street corners to patrol... and lots of places to shoot from.

Oh yeah... and potentially 80 million snipers. Better not forget them.

The occupation of America would be a nitemare. It's the worst case scenario for any military. It's an invisible enemy, who out-numbers you, and who renders your most powerful weapons useless.

Sometimes studying history is like seeing the future. You know who wins... even before the battle's fought... because... strangely enough... it's already been fought.

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