Wednesday, August 29, 2007

War Crazy, or Just Plain Crazy?

(One must wonder when one knows his ass from his elbow, and can see those who clearly can not.)

Again, I am perplexed and preoccupied by them that still support the Iraq Debacle. And yes, I can not honestly say that everyone who still (claims or actually) believes this shit was justified, and/or still a smart if not necessary thing to do, has mad cow disease, but hmmm, so many of them act like it, or . . . . at least act like they can't tell their asses from their elbows.

Now do I develop that ass/elbow analogy now, or do I run with the more insane things some of these war supporters say? I choose the former . . . . as I originally chose the latter, and went way too long in this post.

So on to the analogy. Case in point? That totally bullshit talking point about how the antiwar people (2/3 of the country strong, we are, remember?) are moving the goalposts? They say we are being tricky in shifting attention to the non-existing, non-functioning government, as opposed to doing the Happy-Happy, Joy-Joy Dance over the alleged 'some' success of (alleged, as that shit in Anbar with the Sheiks pre-dates) "The Surge."

Never mind the actual fact that "Surge" is not a recognized military term. You will not find that in any military textbook published prior to 2006. But still, the war's supporters are saying that because there are some (emphasis on the meaning of the word some, as more than no, and less than many) signs of positive tactical results, that the "Surge" (again, an invented military term, likely invented by Karl Rove), is "Working?" Sorry to be harsh, but even giving the slightest bit of credibility to Karl Rove's rewrite of Military Terminology, is a sign of not being sufficiently rooted in reality. Remember, these are the bullshiters who serve plastic turkeys to hungry soldiers. In any event I dare anyone who thinks that the "Surge" is working, in relation to and as a sub-component of the unified strategy of the Intervention in Iraq, to actually provide causative proofs for that assertion. Otherwise, anyone currently doing the Happy-Happy, Joy-Joy Dance over the "Surge" may as well be doing it for no more special an occasion than the fact that several adults in the world today were able to tie their own shoes.

In any case, my reaction to the introduction of the term "Surge," into the discussion?

WTF! Do you take me for an idiot? Do you take me for a fool? Do you take me for someone who did not earn all those credit hours in World History and Political Science?

Ok, that was a purely for-show vent. It is now time to logically explain why anyone who knows their ass from their elbow could not possibly take the mere evidence of some positive tactical results as evidence "The Surge" is working, and, as well, why the lack of political stability has always been the point, dammit!

Now to paraphrase the Prussian military expert, Clausewitz (as I saw it said so succinctly on the net recently) says:

War is violent politics.

In other words, if you are not looking at war as some activity where the end result is a political goal, you don't know WTF you are talking about. Period. Go read a book. And I suggest this one.

Or, at least, learn the meaning of strategy:

"Strategy is all about how (way or concept) leadership will use the power (means or resources) available to the state to exercise control over sets of circumstances and geographic locations to achieve objectives (ends) that support state interests. Strategy provides direction for the coercive or persuasive use of this power to achieve specified objectives. This direction is by nature proactive. It seeks to control the environment as opposed to reacting to it. Strategy is not crisis management. It is its antithesis. Crisis management occurs when there is no strategy or the strategy fails. Thus, the first premise of a theory of strategy is that strategy is proactive and anticipatory."

and tactics:

"Tactics concerns itself with the parts or pieces; operational art with the combination of the pieces; and strategy with the combinations of combinations."

In other words, if you make the claim that some small tactical gains are evidence that your overall strategy is sound, and that you are "winning the war," you either don't know what you are talking about, or you are lying/full of shit. Any objective graduate of the Army War College would tell you the same. (And the link above? That is to a subdomain of the Army War College.)

Next, what was the goal of this "intervention?" Granted, the Bush Adm. changed the spin on the why and the what so many times I can forgive, nearly, any one's confusion but again, saddled with knowing my Clausewitz, I got the idea that the goal was

(a) Take out Saddam and his minions, and

(Oh and pay very close attention to this part. It is the "regime change" part explained a little bit more particularly . . . ya following me? Ok. Here goes)

(b) Help install a functioning and more democratic government.

If you don't get the (b) part, go to the White House website and read it ya damn self!

"We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave. Iraq will go forward as a unified, independent and sovereign nation that has regained a respected place in the world."

President's Message to the Iraqi People -- April 10, 2003

Hell, what was the original name of this misadventure?

Hint; it was ÔÇťOperation Iraqi Freedom," not, "Operation Kick in Doors and Blow Shit up for the Mere Joy of It."

Oh and there was some other bullshit about finding weapons of mass destruction. As a political goal, finding them was a total failure ('Whoops our bad!') However, and even if I did not buy it, personally, that clearly met the mere definition of a strategic and political goal.

Last point. Even if I am the son of a grunt, advanced infantry, Airborne, Ranger, bloodied in actual combat vet, and I respect grunts for what they do, it seems to me that too much of the Rah-Rah chorus for this war are stuck in the grunt mentality. To explain (and I sorta hint at that above), the job of the grunt is to kick in doors and blow shit up. But that is not the purpose of war.

Now to be honest here, forgetting that is not necessarily evidence of being crazy. However it is a sign of what I was talking about a couple of posts ago:

Not being able to see five minutes past their faces.


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