Archive for March 2008

Pale: Within Temptation Album

March 29, 2008

Good looking woman, nice dress, eerie and fantastic environment, nice vocals, and good ambient music: what more can you ask for?

Since the old vid is down, here, at least, is the song.

To Mike Devx From Bookworm Room

March 29, 2008

 Mike Devx

The thing that is most disturbing to me is how clearly the Islamist ideology relates to Nazism.

For both, there is no concept of individual liberty, individual freedom. We are all enslaved, to either the Nazi state or to the Imam. Stormtroopers enforce the will of the rulers. All civilization is destroyed except that which glorifies the rulers.

In the space of months, everything you see around you is transformed to match the cultural stamp of the overlords. The oppression is absolute. It is clear: When the fascist Islamist movement takes you over, you are an occupied country, and you will have no freedom, and you will live forever under threat. Your children will become like strangers to you, as they are indoctrinated. The unbeliever everywhere suffers forever, if he is not lucky enough to die quickly.

Death stalks the night across the entire land; eternal war along every border, world-wide totalitarianism is the desired result.

—-

Any religious text can be used in the manner above. Our challenge today is not from any Christian text, nor any other religious or political text… but the Quran. As other texts have been used to murderous, evil purpose in the past, so is the Quran being used now. Who will resist?

Few people really thought that Nazism would rule the entire culture and way of life for every culture and every country across Europe. Yet it did rule with absolute control. This current fascistic form of Islam would be no different. Look around your community, your county, your state, your country. You should be able to imagine what such Islamic oppression would look like, if you can only remember what Nazi oppression looked like.

This current fascistic form of Islam would be no different

Islam started as a faith based upon conquest, Mike. The religion of the Arabs and the Persians were Zoroastrianism and the Semitic/Sabean/Egyptian native religions. They ain’t around anymore because Islam got rid of them in 700 AD.

Nazism is connected to Persia via the “Aryan race”. Islam is connected with Arabs and Persia because Mohammed came from one of the richest clans in around Mecca and Medina and because Islam conquered Persia. Islam is connected to Nazism because the modern Islamic movement and nation-states were heavily influenced by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were connected intimately with a “who’s more evil” competitive hatred of each other. They hated each other because each thought their own belief system was the truest belief system, yet the two systems were so similar that they would have struggled over the totalitarian niche even if they loved each other.

Christianity, or rather the Roman Catholic Church, didn’t start off as a religion based around conquest of foreign people. Christianity had the Romans already occupying that spot of “empire builder”. Christianity, thus, had to operate under the secular laws of the Roman Empire and Emperors. They did such good work through conversion by negotiation and persuasion that Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, even though the Roman Republic had Greek Gods and their own form of ancestor worship many centuries ago. In more than a thousand years of Rome’s age, Christianity used a few centuries to come to power through peaceful activism. That and providing spiritual sustenance to the people of Rome when Attila the Hun came. Parts of the Roman Empire were embroiled in religious conflict between the various sects of Christianity, yes, but none dared to challenge the Roman Emperor for secular dominion of the land itself.

Islam, however, spread based upon the sword. Starting from Mecca and Medina in Mohammed’s time, eventually reaching Pakistan in 700 AD after Mohammed died and a succession of “caliphates” extended Mohammed’s empire.

You see, Islam is not just a religion somebody created or built, and then somewhere down the line a firebrand came into being and used it to convert people by the sword with. No, Islam started out as a religion that combined conquest with conversion by the sword. That’s how they spread. The Eastern Roman Empire sure as heck wasn’t going to convert from Christianity unless a sword as at their throats. And they sure as heck didn’t “give” Justinian’s commissioned Hagia Sophia cathedral to the Islamic Caliphate for them to use as a mosque. And the Persian Sassanid dynasty was perfectly happy with Zoroastrianism as their religion, up until their throats got slit by the Jihad that is.

ALl of that traditions and religious legacies ended when Islam, through the teachings of the Quran, taught their followers how to “convince” people to convert and accept Islamic dominion. It is not an accident the Quran keeps talking about unbelievers and the sword cutting off throats and what not. It is a guidebook to a soldier in the Jihad.

Islamic followers want to bring back the old glory days because their current lives suck so much. Unfortunately for them, their ancestors only had to deal with a decadent and weak Persian and Roman Empire. Their descendants have to deal with America at near the height of her power as a Republic. Should they push America into Empire as the corrupt Roman senators pushed the Roman Republic into Empire, the Islamic Caliphates will regret that decision until their short and miserable lives end.

Rome went downhill when Caesar and Octavian died. Then came the succession of crazy and power mad emperors like Caligula and Nero. Their actions destroyed Rome’s unity and economic security. Contributing mightily to the decadence and corruption at the heart of Rome, while the borders were starved of resources and military strength to feed the decadence of Roman Senators.

When America progresses to an expansionist imperial system of government, which existed for much of the time the 13 Colonies became the 50 states, she will have a period of great growth and power, just like under Octavian. And just like with any Imperial system, it will only be as good as the leaders of the Empire. Eventually it will decay under its own weight and bureaucracy. Then again, the same is true for republics.

The Price of Violence: Live by the Sword, Get Killed by Better Swordsman

March 29, 2008

There were at least five to 10, maybe seven to 10, students around me.”

I do believe I could have killed at least 5 of those children in under a minute.

It is an interesting fact of life that thugs only try to attack and target peaceful citizens that just want to live their lives amongst family, co-workers, and friends. They need to attack and try to kill people like me. I’ll be sure to do my best to take care of the trash.

Like most people living under a society that has built itself around justice, fairness, and laws, it is very hard for me to drop the societal indoctrination barriers that limit my capacity to kill and do violence to less than 5% of my max. The same is true for strategic rules of engagement and tactical ROE; they limit America’s power below 5% of the maximum demonstrable, not just the max possible.

However, when there is a will, there is a way. And there is definitely a will on my part.

Most people, when they get angry, start hitting or damaging furniture. It helps discharge the aggression and hormones. Not many people can experience a fury so overpowering that just sitting still in one spot, without damaging any human or object, makes one feel like their body is being eaten by acid to the bones. You feel like your mind is breaking apart in many different fragments, because the overpowering urge to destroy just builds and builds. The level of self-discipline required to hold that kind of emotion in check is brutal. As brutal as cracking a sledgehammer across a person’s knees and throat.

There are many different methods of controlling the discharge of such affect. You can visualize violence upon a chosen target and imagine your body doing it, while pacing around. You can smash your fist into the door and only suffer minor damage because the door is wood and not very hard wood at that. After a few minutes, physical exertion and pain will dampen the urges. Pain then starts to become not an enemy but a friend, an ally. The ingredient that, once injected into your veins, will make you sane and calm again. The antidote for the poison coursing through your blood and the base that alleviates the acid eating at your bones. The agony of the berserker episode is far more painful than the minor physical bruises and muscle damage you accrue by using your body to damage targets. Because no amount of endorphine produced by a berserk episode can calm your inner mental turmoil.

Anna Sowers, who had nothing but praise for the city police detectives who worked on her husband’s case, said after the court hearing that the sentences “disgusted” her. “I feel that today, justice was not served at all,” she said. “I feel like I’ve got no rights.”

Justice, the real kind now a days, can only be had by the victims themselves. And the only moment you have of exacting this justice is when the assailant is attacking you. If you refuse to lose the shackles of society and civilization that has told you to not to kill, not to maim, not to destroy another human being, then you will end up like Anna’s husband. In a coma and dead. You have one chance to defend your life and the life of your loved ones if they are with you during an attack. Don’t waste it. Kill your attackers and you will never have to worry about inadequate legal justice in the case of your attackers ever again. You will have to choose whether you want the state to persecute you for self-defense or whether you want to persecute the state for harsher punishments upon the people that killed your loved ones. Your choice because it is your life and the life of your loved ones.

Neither lawyers nor the courts are interested in serving justice. That is not what the rule of law is for. The rule of law is for taking away your liberties and giving you security in return. However, only certain rights and securities are guaranteed by the Constitution. The other rights, like right to live free from thug and criminal beatings, has to be defended by you, not the government. After all, that is what the 2nd Amendment is for, to prevent the government from disarming the citizenry. You cannot really depend upon the government or the police to protect you from criminals or terrorists. They can defend the community by capturing terrorists and criminals after they have killed some odd individuals, yes, but that won’t do much good for you if you are one of the individuals killed, now does it.

In this day and age of “youths” trying to use social violence to get what they want, it is even more important that individual citizens demonstrate to such folks what the Spartans demonstrated to the Persians at Thermopylae. It is not numbers that matter, but lethality. And lethality is a function of the human brain and will, not the physical weapons you wield. There is no such thing as a lethal weapon, there are only lethal people.

A Baltimore juvenile court judge found five Robert Poole Middle School students responsible yesterday in the December attack on a city bus passenger and her boyfriend, concluding a divisive case fraught with racial overtones.

If such people ever think I’m a sufficiently vulnerable target, there will be no “racial overtones” afterwards. How can there be overtones of race when I have permanently ejected such people from the human species through death? Death is pretty final when all is said and done. Death does not care which race you are, after all.

People may be interested, or appalled depending upon your personal philosophy in life, concerning my response to this story of years of bullying towards a student featured in this New York Times story.

I also wrote about what “societal indoctrinations” mean in terms of limiting your freedom to defend your life through violence a few weeks ago.

One notable objection people, normal people that is, might arguably raise is “Don’t you think killing someone for fighting with you is a bit extreme?”

Extreme and normal standards are based upon a societal framework and your own personal ideology. It has nothing to do with me or what I will choose to do based upon my own ethics and sense of responsibility. Once I drop the societal indoctrination chains holding my body and will back, anything I do afterwards will not be because society said such a thing was wrong or right. If I kill, it will be because I wanted to do so. Not because I was ordered to do so by society or the military. If I give mercy, it won’t be because society or family, friends, or other folks wanted me to do so. I might listen to such people if they were at the moment of conflict, of course. But usually they aren’t and I only have my own ethics to tell me what is right and wrong. And my ethics tell me goons trying to bash people’s skull in, just cause it is fun and cool, needs to be eradicated from the face of the human species.

The ultimate answer in the end is, if I choose not to kill, it will be because I made that choice of my own free will. And I will only make that choice if I believe the attackers deserve it, which in most cases they won’t. However, that doesn’t mean I will artificially adopt restrictions on my actions just because of statistics. In combat, war, violence, and defending your life, you only get one chance to get things. Delay and waste that chance, and you will lose. Even if you are alive, you will lose because the attacker will go on to kill, rape, or maim another individual. Another fellow member of the human species. And whose fault is it that allowed dangerous attacking animals loose in our world? The attacker’s or yours?

Other objections might be, “Why is the solution to bad people and behavior to have other people become just as bad, if not worse?”

The idea that the use of violence is “bad” is an idea people have been brainwashed into accepting. Violence, in objective reality, is just a tool like any other tool. Golf clubs and chainsaws aren’t “bad” for humanity just cause mass murderers and serial killers might use them against women and children. Neither is violence.

On another note, for me to become as bad or worse than the thugs would mean warping reality to your own preferences. After all, the choices I would make in a fight will not be because my gang leader ordered me to pulp somebody’s face in and then kill him. The choices I would make in a fight will not be because society or the military chain of command told me to make. For one thing, I can drop societal barriers far easier now than I could have 10 years ago and I’m not part of the military, so those two issues don’t constrain me as much as they do others.

How can I become as bad as a gang or thug when most of the gang functions as a wolf pack where you have 1-3 leaders and everyone else obeys those leaders? The choices I make aren’t because a “leader” told me what to do. Thus I am not the same as those gang members. Nor am I the same as those gang leaders that make independent decisions, since the only person I am going to give “orders” to will be my own body. I don’t use weaklings to do my dirty work through intimidation or rewards.

For gang leaders, gang members, and thugs to rise to my level, they would have to become more like me. And that’s not going to happen, people. Nor will I ever descend to their level because the only person that I am going to have doing the killing and maiming is going to be me. It is not going to be the “weapons” called blunt force instruments, knives, or firearms. Nor will I ever target defenseless women and children that have never intended harm to me or mine or any other member of the human species. That restraint is not something society imposed on me. That restraint is something I freely chose, because I would not wish to live in any ethical system that demanded the blood of defenseless and innocent women and children, like Islam does.

I mentioned anger in the beginning. As most people know, angry people are not necessarily more dangerous. What they are is simply more tolerant of pain and the fatigue poisons slowing down their muscles. Your muscles can actually work anaerobically, without oxygen. It just tends to produce too much toxins and those toxins hurt. Normally the human body and mind prevents you from taxing yourself to the extreme limits of your muscular endurance and strength. Anger removes some of those inhibitions. Coincidentally, anger also removes societal inhibitions such as the inhibition that prevents you from hurting another human being.

An angry person is just as vulnerable to physical injury as a calm person. He is only “more dangerous” in the sense that now he isn’t going to hold back anymore. Why would this matter to me since I don’t need anger to drop my societal inhibitions limiting my full expression of physical violence? By the time a person has gotten enough into a rage to start thinking about “killing” me, I’d already have cracked one of his vertebrae. Try going into a berserk episode with most of your body paralyzed, I dare ya. That’d be something amusing to witness.

I mention this issue because angry people are not automatically more well versed in the tools of violence than a calm one. I also mention anger because anger provides you great benefits if you know how to use them. Anger increases your strength and your endurance, changing your body metabolism through activities on the hormonal level. It provides you adrenaline and endorphins which help in the short term (by increasing pain threshold) while incurring a long term metabolic and physical toil. Since most fights in the street only last a few seconds after an injury has been inflicted, endorphins and adrenaline are a great advantage when you have to eliminate 10 to 50 individuals around you. You will never feel more alive than when your endorphins and adrenaline are at their maximum for your DNA template. In fact, many adrenaline junkies have been produced in the human species precisely because of this fact.

Target Focus Training is a great program that teaches not only how to use the tools of violence but how to prevent the tools of violence from being used on you. It teaches things such as the difference between social fighting and asocial violence. Go to the link and watch the intro video if you wish to know more or want to order one of their DVD products.

Hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Sun recount police interviews in which the Robert Poole Middle School students accused in the December attack on Sarah Kreager and her boyfriend, Troy Ennis, tried to stonewall authorities.

Girls told stories that didn’t match, and at one point, while they were in a holding cell, a city police officer watched them mimic the beating they were accused of carrying out — laughing as they threw kicks and punches into the air.

This brings us to a very important point. These people were using violence as a toy. They didn’t know what they were doing. All they knew was that it was fun to inflict pain on another human being. Well, I have some news for these people. If they wish to see true violence, unadulterated by society, schools, law, police, or parental limitations, be sure to select as your next target someone like me. There are plenty of people who will demonstrate to you what true violence is, you just have to find them since they are very rare and scattered.

So long as people think violence is cool and fun, they will keep doing it. So long as terrorists get rewards via kidnapping, they will do it. So long as Iranians get rewarded for executing gays and stoning women, they will keep on doing it. Which is why my way of doing things will end such things rather prematurely, don’t you think.

Kreager suffered two broken bones in her left eye socket, police said.

“She had eye muscles that were damaged,” a police report states. “She had deep lacerations on the top of her head and another above her neck.”

Two seats and the bus’ rear glass were destroyed during the attack, police said.

The bus driver on the No. 27 line quickly called police, who responded and arrested the nine juveniles, said Jawauna Greene, an MTA police spokeswoman.

All nine suspects, ages 14 and 15, were arrested and charged with aggravated assault…

…The suspects in the incident are black. The victim is white, according to the police report.

It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, or a great purple bruise. If I decide I want your eye splashed across your cheeks, then that is what is going to happen. Broken eye socket bones? Give me a break. With 1/50th of the energy and effort it took to break those bones, I could have taken both eyes out. I’m not talking about “scratching”, I’m talking about getting a good grip of a person’s head so he can’t move back while using thumb and finger to scoop out that eye. You want to be very firm about it if you want it all though. If your grip isn’t very good or if you try to “soft” touch things, then the eye will probably burst inside the socket as he/she violently wrentches their head back.

I’m a very tolerant sort of person. You speak Leftist bullshit near me or to me and I won’t say much of anything cause it would be both pointless and ineffective to talk about why such views are wrong. However, if you should try to bring your intolerant gansta lifestyle near my space or near the people I care about it, expect your miserable pissant of a life to be flushed down the toilet with the rest of the rodent trash. In fact, even if I saw you doing such things to a stranger, it would still be a good enough of a pretext for me to get in on things.

Because you see, you like inflicting pain on people that can’t fight back. I, however, like inflicting pain on thugs, criminals, and terrorists. It’s the only way to instantly relieve the effects of that berserker episode, you see.

Prius and Environmental hypocrisy

March 27, 2008

On their trip from London to Geneva (plus 100 urban miles), the BMW pictured above played music and ran air-conditioning while the Prius driver turned off both as he tried to drive very carefully. Nevertheless, the BMW consumed 4.7 liters per 100 km (41.9 mpg) while the Prius has burned 4.9 liters per 100 km in average (40.1 mpg). Subtle BMW gadgets to save fuel seem to be more important than the hybrid core of the Prius as well as its 500 missing pounds.

I said something to this effect when the Climate Change craze came on during the various hurricanes post 9/11.

Humanity, once it has discovered a type of technology it likes, starts developing, refining, and making that technology more efficient. WHen you switch the tech base from petroleum fueled combustion to something else, what you are doing is starting from scratch. When you do that, not only are you adopting a more inefficient and primitive technology, but you are discarding a more advanced and efficient line of research and development. All the energy and resources being wasted on the Prius could have been used to make nuclear power plants, a tech we already have, or make refinements in the internal combustion engine or gasoline burning or bio-diesel or a host of other stuff that has branched off of our original tech base.

Don’t make me remind you that if humanity purposefully sets its tech base back a few hundred years, anyone else in this universe can just come in and wipe us out when they feel like it. You better hurry it up if you have a desire for your species to survive for more than a couple of hundred thousand years.

The inflation in food prices is painful for many Americans, merely annoying to many others; unfortunately it is life threatening for too many in the developing world. Real people will starve so that we can shower money on agribusiness in the name of fighting a problem that may well be non-existent in order for well to do Americans to feel noble that they are helping to save the world.

As mentioned before, death merchants don’t give a damn about that. They sell death and that’s how they make a profit. If people stopped dying, that would be bad for business.

On a larger scale, it is hard to deny that repressed and suppressed aggression always search for discharge. Too many liberal policies enable aggressive discharge by proxy. This is not a coincidence.

Of course it isn’t a coincidence. The death merchants must sustain a never ending cycle of slavery and violence to ensure that they are kept in business, forever.

Link to Shrink’s excellent post.

How to Rub a Statue

March 27, 2008

This stuff is hilarious

When is it appropriate to touch a statue?

People build statues of heroes. The Greeks built statues of Hercules and Adonis, the British of Nelson and Wellington, the Egyptians of Hathor and Ra. We build statues of our heroes, too, guys like Joe Palooka (Oolitic, Indiana), Steve Canyon (Idaho Springs, Colorado), and Popeye (Alma, Arkansas). But when a traveler comes from far away to look at a statue — braving traffic, summer heat, and endless hours of talk radio — sometimes looking isn’t enough. Sometimes they want to touch it.

Vacationers want to know: Is it all right to touch this statue? Is it “lucky” to touch it? How vigorously should I rub? Where should I touch it for maximum benefit?

Boone’s nose.
Bronze reliefs are nearly as lucky as statues. Daniel Boone’s controversial grave, Defiance, Missouri.

After years of research and looking at countless statues, we’ve assembled this list of burnishing guidelines:

Ninja Warriors from America

March 27, 2008

If America had been a less self-confident and productive culture, we might feel just a tinge of parochialism and inferiority concerning how Japanese culture is spreading to America. But we don’t, do we.

Only cultures that have inferiority complexes, a lack of self-confidence and productivity, would feel angst and anger at a different culture, say MacDonalds and American jeans, coming into their land. Reactionists and Luddites are always, at a fundamental level, uncertain in their own way of life and beliefs.

Saddam’s Useful Idiots

March 27, 2008

More useful idiots from the grave pile of history. Except, unfortunately, they aren’t dead.

Courtesy of JJ

If you want a post full of video testimony from a Soviet defector on what “useful idiot” really means, go here.

I read about this topic courtesy of Bookworm

The Cycle of VIolence: A Socratic Dialogue

March 27, 2008

Ymar: The cycle of violence never really lasts long enough to become a cycle since just by killing someone, you end any cycle they could ever bring about.

Pacifist: When you kill a person just for fighting for what he believes in, you make him into a martyr, and martyrs motivate others into taking revenge. Thus the conflict becomes greater in scope and the cycle of violence begins once again.

Ymar: A nuke will take care of all those people that want to escalate the violence in the “cycle of violence”

Pacifist: Such an action will make you a pariah in the world, uniting everyone else against you. Instead of eliminating someone, you just give them more allies.

Ymar: Dead people and nations can’t have allies.

Pacifist: You’d still have to fight wars with every nation on earth if you are willing to massacre people with nukes. This demonstrates that whenever you escalate the violence in an attempt to end the cycle, you just make the cycle worse.

Ymar: You make a convincing argument. I guess I’ll have to reconsider whether slaves in the South and anti-slavery advocates in the Republican north really were justified in starting up a cycle of violence to end slavery.

Pacifist: Every individual and culture has a right to resist occupation and oppression.

Ymar: But you just said that killing people and escalating things just makes the cycle of violence worse. Last time I checked, killing people via war was an escalation on owning and beating slaves. Obviously the cycle of violence can end if one side stops fighting and just dies.

Pacifist: World opinion and the force of morality will not let the side that refuses to engage in violence die out completely. It may take a million or a billion, but our people will survive through pacifism because our enemies will grow tired of killing, war, and violence. Easy victories make those engaged in the cycle of violence soft. Hard victories brings on the rage to kill and the need to revenge, furthering the cycle of violence.

Ymar: Oh, I get it. The only thing that will end the cycle of violence to you folks is the cycle of slavery. The cycle of slavery, which was ended by war in the US. Given that,

Pacifist: Hold on, it wasn’t war that ended slavery, it was political reconciliation. The political reconciliation Israel and Bush haven’t done.

Ymar: Given that the “political reconciliation” in the South included bringing Democrats to power by using KKK lynch tactics and Black Codes to disenfranchise blacks, it is still you people using the cycle of slavery to justify the cycle of violence. You people want the cycle of violence to continue on, because if it ever ended, so would your justifications that are based upon oppression and economic excuses. You need people to be in a cycle of slavery, don’t you. You need it so that you can use it to justify violence to “resist occupation”. Except violence never ends if either side keeps fighting, according to you, , so therefore logically speaking slavery will and must never end as well. Because if slavery ever ended because of violence, then this would break the cycle of slavery. And without the never-ending cycle of slavery the Democrats instigated in this nation, a cycle of violence would never develop… now would it.

Democrat: It is the Republicans sustaining institutional racism in this country. If it wasn’t for that, blacks would not be motivated into violence.

Palestinian: It is the Israelis, not our leader Arafat, that is sustaining this cycle of violence between we who want peace and the Israelis who want land and power. It is the Israelis motivating us to violence by their actions.

Pacifist: Peaceful activism makes the cycle of slavery end, not violence. If you drop your arms and stop fighting, you will stop motivating the other side to fight as well. It is your belief that you must fight that is causing the cycle of violence to spread, which will kill many more millions, many of them children, in the future. Because Israel has the most military power in the conflict, if they stop then the Palestinians will no longer have the fear of violence to motivate them into fighting.

Ymar: If it wasn’t for Americans fighting and dying in wars, all of you peeps would have been hanged and tortured by the Inquisition already. I hate death merchants, sitting in places of luxury and safety, selling arms to both sides so that their cycle of profit continues unabated. Given a choice between the cycle of violence and the cycle of slavery, I will choose violence over slavery every time. Good for me, bad for the death merchants depending upon the cycle of violence/profit/slavery to keep them in the black.

Communism and Fascism, both secular schemes to achieve Heaven on Earth and promised the end of war

Slavery is the solution of the allies of the enemies of humanity to violence. “Resistance” is the solution to slavery as they see it. By sustaining a never ending cycle of the two, violence/resistance and slavery, they get two for the price of one.

Wars will end, once slavery becomes forever. Slavery will end, once war becomes forever. Two for the price of one people.

Excellent Military History videos and audio

March 25, 2008

It really helps piece together ancient or classical history. I am listening to the 5 battle symposium audio/visual presentaton at the moment.

Some notes on the symposium. There were two subjects brought up that I wanted to address. The concern over why it is that organized armies suffer a disadvantage when surrounded or flanked, when all they have to do is to solidify another shield wall facing the additional threat or go into a circle formation. The other subject concerns how Kings and leaders like Leonidas led from the front in the battle itself, but Bush, as noted by one in the audience, leads from the back where it is safe while others he sends forwards do the dying.

There are a couple of factors that make it inevitable that armies that become surrounded inevitably lose. One good point made in the symposium was that even if you formed additional flanks to resist enemy flanking maneuvers and even if you did a schiltron like formation where everybody is in a circle pointing their weapons outwards, this only delays the inevitable. These are defensive formations and no wars nor battles were won on the defensive. You can use defensive fortifications and tactics to provide an advantage, and then use that advantage for your offensive, but wars are not won simply by doing the circle dance.

Which brings us to the second factor why being encircled or flanked is very bad news for the army being encircled. When the individual soldiers in that army realize that there is an enemy behind them or on their sides, discipline and organization starts dropping automatically. Why? Because war is chaos personified and thus in order to create order out of chaos, you have to have had a plan prior to being flanked and you had to have drilled the troops and trained your officers and NCOs to respond appropriately to the plan. When an army becomes flanked or encircled, the chaos factor increases exponentially. That is what the “plan” and the trained NCOs and officers are for. To spread order from the general throughout the army, in circumstances where order was being broken down by the chaos of battle and enemy attacks. Often you will see that armies panic when flanked or surrounded precisely because their generals made no plans for that contingency and even if they did, they didn’t have the adequate subordinate infrastructure to carry that plan through to fruition.

This is why war is more than a matter of brawn and muscle power alone nor is it a matter of only superiority in technology. The individual soldier does not have a graph or powerpoint presentation in front of them telling them that “oh, there’s only 5000 enemy cavalry behind you, since you outnumber the enemy 5 to 1, all you have to do is to divert 2/5ths of your force to meet that cavalry and everything will be A Okay… guaranteed”. What the individual soldier sees is a line stretching across 90 degrees of his field of view, composed of heavy cavalry thundering towards him and his little mortal body. He can feel the earth shaking. That’s what he sees and knows. He doesn’t see that little powerpoint presentation telling him it is going to be “A Okay”. That individual soldier doesn’t know how many of his buddies are left, because he doesn’t see the big picture. Because he doesn’t “know”, he begins to feel uncertainty. He begins to lose morale, the belief that his side will win if he just keeps on fighting. He begins to panic because now he has two things to think of, the enemy in front and the cavalry behind. His brain starts oscillating between the two, creating friction, just like friction as described by Clausewitz, in his thinking cycles. Good officers and non-coms can dampen this sense of panic down so it doesn’t degrade the fighting efficiency of their forces too much. Well trained and veteran troops are far more resistant to panic and thus can fight on at far greater odds without losing their combat efficiency, so long as they have good leaders still alive. This is why flanking and surrounding a force is so advantageous. It destroys the morale of the opposing force, making it more far more likely that they will panic and rout or retreat. Giving your side the greater momentum. Thus flanking and encirclement tactical maneuvers are not just designed to kill more people and get your army in a better position, it is also designed to wear away at your enemy’s psychological state. The faster and more surprising your tactics, the faster the morale of the enemy gets lost. This includes any tactics, not just flanking tactics. The fake rout tactic. The reverse double sided slope tactic used by Wellington against Napoleon’s Old Guard. The matter of psychology and morale is far more important than the material numbers of an army. As Napoleon said, the morale is to the physical as is 3 is to 1. Now a days, it is more like 10 to 1 given nuclear weapons and larger explosives, combined with media saturation and well oiled propaganda campaigns riding the information superhighway.

The difference between a green force and a veteran, blooded, force is that the veteran force doesn’t get an endless OODA loop when they encounter the chaos of war. The veteran force just goes and does their thing, trusting in the basic principles that they have experienced and learned to win them the war. They don’t worry about “what if” or things like that. And if they do start worrying, their experienced officers and non-coms will calm them down by answering their worries, even before they are voiced.

Another factor as described for the Battle of Cannae, in which a large Roman consular legion was surrounded and obliterated by Hannibal’s forces, is that once the Romans got squished into this funnel shape, flanked on all 3 sides by Hannibal’s cavalry, African heavy infantry, and skirmishers, the Romans could no longer wield their weapons and shields properly. There just wasn’t enough room to form a shield wall anymore. That is the factor of decreasing your enemy’s mobility. Once you get your enemy stuck in one place, that enemy no longer has many options left. And when you don’t have many options left, you are far easier to destroy because now what you can do is much more predictable.

Without mobility, the Roman legions could not form another shield wall. Without mobility, the Roman legions could not organize a breakout because if you get too far away from the main force, Hannibal’s forces will surround and cut you off, destroying your little breakout force in detail. And by detail I mean divide and conquer. Even if your army outnumbers the enemy by 2 to 1, that isn’t going to be much good if you send a detachment of 500 men and they get surrounded by 2000 enemies.

Hannibal, once he surrounded the Roman force, could pull fatigued soldiers back through his lines in order to rest and recuperate them. This would have been very important for a battle lasting most of a day. I’m not saying he did that or I knew of reports recording that he did, but just that the option was available to him when it wasn’t available to the Romans. The Romans didn’t have enough room to wield their weapons correctly, how would they be able to move their formations around? And even if they did, Hannibal would just squeeze them tighter by ordering an all out push, taking advantage of the fact that part of the Roman circle was going to retreat backwards. This would tighten the trap even more.

The Romans could do the same to Hannibal, if they recognized an attempt by Hannibal to pull part of his line back to rest them. However, if the Romans pushed in that direction, the Carthaginians would have to give away, then they would counter-act and cut off part of the Roman force pushing outwards. Then that Roman segment gets destroyed. This also assumes the Romans have enough time and luxury to invest energy into thinking about that kind of counter-attack. It is not easy to think up of attacking when you are surrounded on all sides and just trying your best not to die.

The reason why wars or battles are not won on the defensive is because people thinking defensively are already at a disadvantage. If all you are thinking about is how to protect yourself against an enemy’s attacks, then the enemy no longer has to invest part of his thinking resources into countering your attacks. All he has to do is to think about attacking and killing you. The momentum will be on his side then, and you will lose because sooner or later your will become too fatigued and an attack will get through. This repeats a thousand upon a thousand times for the entire Roman army.

Israel and Palestine are good examples in this manner. Israel always tries to be defensive minded with the wall and the checkpoints, while only rarely engaging in short and limited offensive pushes. The Palestinians, however, launch attacks all the time. When they need time to recuperate, they don’t go on the defensive, they just call for a “cease fire”. And then don’t even have to worry about attacks for the most part. How’s that for winning wars on the offensive.

The ultimate truth in warfare has stayed the same. If all you do is to create defensive works, then you are going to lose eventually. That is not to say that defense is useless, it is to say that you need to attack the enemy. If you need to defend yourself first or build a wall first so that you can attack the enemy with more of your forces, then do so. But don’t deceive yourself into thinking that just a “wall” will defeat your enemies.

I asked Bookworm her thoughts on this subject and she mentioned mobility and momentum as two factors in why being surrounded is a natural disadvantage. Compare this with the sentiments spoken of in the symposium video in which one man mentioned off the cuff concerning why, if you have an 8 rank deep unit of Roman infantry, they don’t just don’t turn 2 or 4 of the ranks in the rear towards an enemy attacking them from behind and solve that problem right then and there.

War is pretty loud. Especially when you have thousands of men screaming and killing each other. Unless you’re like way behind the front lines, you won’t even hear a cavalry force come up behind you and impale you from the back with a lance. Bookworm automatically recognized the potential problems with moving huge masses of people and trying to coordinate things in a chaotic and uncertain environment. I tend to believe this trait Bookworm demonstrated, when she admits that she doesn’t study tactics or strategy in any real depth, applies to every individual that understands what human nature truly is. If you have your principles right, which understanding human nature provides, then you can extrapolate from those principles to any manner of human undertaking.

The other subject I’m addressing concerns the chickenhawk meme or rather the tendency for decadent people to praise warrior virtues and various other traits of tribal cultures. When people live in uncertain times and feel a danger to themselves that their faction is not adequately addressing, they tend to look backwards in time to a more hardy age in which men were men and what not. That’s an instinctual response that depends upon a couple of factors such as how much nostalgia you are willing to engage in and how much of the past you really understand as opposed to just think you understand.

A symposium audience member made the remark that, unlike Bush, Leonidas and other Kings actually led from the front, fighting with their troops.

Continued later.

British Education

March 25, 2008

This is what passes for intellectual and scholarly work now a days.


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