Inspired by a Bookworm post in the link title.
The last part of the article, reflects upon a basic truism I figured out for myself awhile ago. It was that war is the ultimate competition, and in competitions between life and death, certain inalienable qualities crop up. Those qualities being, the freer and more democratic the system of governance, the more productive the economic power of that nation. The more wealthy the people are, the less inclined to loot, vandalize, and otherwise disrupt the status quo with revolutionary furor. The more orderly the system of the rule of law, the more productive the people are, the more wealth generatedion, and a greater chance for unity of purpose and design.
All these qualities and consequences, produce a better war fighting nation. A nation that can buy guns, train soldiers by valuing individual lives over the price of training and guns, a nation that can sustain warfare for a long time via the economic position of the people and the economic endurance of the nation.
Steven Den Beste used to think wars were just who had the bigger club, using brute strength to knock down all the competitors. That’s thug warfare all right, but it isn’t the epitome of the ultimate competition between peoples and nations.
Most Democrats think war is all about who has the bigger weapon, and since America has the biggest weapon the Democrats believe America is not vulnerable or at risk. If a few Americans die here or there, well the Democrats are not going to care unless those dieing are their children and their loved ones. Since the Democrats send out the military to the backwoods corner of the world, it is most likely that people will die that they don’t care about. Only an attack on AMerica’s homeland itself, will galvanize Democrat reactions.
However, war isn’t aentirely about who has the biggest gun, or who has the most money, or who has the most people. The ultimate competition is just that, the ultimate competition. Everything is used. Soul, will, wealth, skill, knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, and numbers. Among others. War isn’t a limited competition, at least not Total War. You can have competitions with rules or you can have competitions without rules. With rules, means you impose upon reality certain limitations taking into account your desired goal. Without limitations or rules, then reality decides who is the best an the winner. In terms of wars to the knife, total wars, wars of either salvation or extermination, then you basically have IMperial Japan vs America. One loses, and one wins. The best nation wins. That is the only rule of Total War. The best nation wins.
If it was just about who had the bigger gun, we’d go back to crime land and thug warfare. With technology, however, the people now matter, not just who has all the swords.
The reason why some people don’t like Total War, is because they don’t like losing. Either they think they are invulnerable, like HOward Dean, or they believe they will lose against a superior force (Islamic Jihad). So either way, they don’t like Total War, either because they believe they won’t need it to win or they believe they need to avoid it to win.
However, if you are confident in your nation’s power, the power of the citizens in that nation, the wealth and wisdom of America, then righteousness of your cause, then you should have no doubts about your nation winning Total War, the ultimate competition between peoples and nations.
After all, if you are right and God is on your side, then you must have done everything right not only according to reality but morality as well, eh? Military expediency is about doing everything right, and thus accomplishing your objectives. If you have the right military leaders, the right politicians, the right amount of willpower, where everyone always made the right decision or recovered through hard work if they made the wrong decision, then does not your nation have a high chance of winning Total War?
The problem with Islamic Jihad is simple. Nobody has been engaged in Total War with them. Not Israel, not Russia, Not China, not the US in Iraq, and so on and so forth. Oil powers Islamic Jihad, Oil powers their infrastructure, their national will, and their desire to fight. Oil also powers their economy, so that they can do the wrong thing by oppressing their people, yet still have the advantage of a robust economic warchest to buy weapons with.
So why doesn’t someone take away Iran’s oil via Unrestricted Submarine Warfare? How is Iran going to sell oil when no oil tanker is allowed into their ports? What is the point of having a Navy if you are not going to use it to reinforce national security?
The terroists have the right idea, bomb Iraq’s oil infrastructure and electrical grid, piss off everyone and sustain an environment of chaos. This delays the orderly transmission of ideas, prosperity, and law. When you leave a base to your enemy, that enemy will gather around and make use of that base for logistics, logistics that will fuel attacks against your forces. That is why cutting off the logistics, is better than destroying entire armies.
What you can or cannot do in Total War is limited only by your ability to affect reality. There is no PC, there is no self imposed limitations like Bush ordered done, there are no limitations except the limitations of reality, of engineering, of technology, and of human will.
These things are not artificial, they are always there, and because they are always there, that is why it is the ultimate competition. The scoring is objective, it has always been objective, it has always been based upon the same quantifiable things.
I ask you this, what prevents Bush from using the military power of the United States to hijack Iran’s oil infrastructure and steal their oil and sell it to the world? We aren’t talking about invasion or democracy or taking over cities, capitals, or villages. We are not talking about maintaining security over a piece of territory, we are talking about a pure business deal. We see an Iranian oil tanker, we either destroy it or hijack it and sell the oil ourselves. If we see an oil tanker from another nation trying to dock with an Iranian port, we either blockade that oil tanker or we sink it. What’s the rest of the world going to do, declare war on America when we control the world’s oil supply? Not even China or Russia has declared war against Iran, it is far more profitable to do business than to do war. Since America has the power, we can do business as well as war. Bush is a business major, I’m sure he’ll be much better at business than war. The same protection Iran has against the world, we will steal for ourselves, and in addition with AMerica’s sheer power, the war will be ended far sooner. The international community submits when you have a katana resting against their heart, they do not submit because you beg them for help on your knees as Bush has been doing and wha t the Democrats recommend doing more of. Demonstrating Power commands respect, and respect produces authority. Authority thus produces obedience, as Europe is obedient to Iran. The Democrats care too much for people liking them, too populist. Real power comes from respect, not “buddy love”. Maybe the Democrats believe that if enough nations like them, then America can send those nations out to do the killing and dieing for the Democrats. Very funny, but that’s not going to happen.
So what’s stopping Bush from ending the war(s)? It’s a self-imposed limitation. Bush doesn’t want to steal anything, he feels it is wrong, he feels it violates international laws and will set a bad example. Bush can afford to do this, barely, because he holds such great power from such a high position of elevation. A person can impose handicaps upon himself and still win against his unrestricted opponent, if the handicapped person is 10X or 100X better at the fighting arts than the unrestricted opponent. However, it will take longer, and when you understand that the longer this fight goes on, the more people that will die, then the conclusion is simple. It is more immoral and unethical to prolong the fight by putting self-imposed limitations on America, than it is to release the limits of America in doing everything we can with every weapon in our arsenal against the enemy. Bush once promised to use every means at his disposal to fight the War on Terror. Bush has not fullfilled that promise, and the fact that Democrats don’t call him on it, only exacerabates Bush’s problem. Bush’s problem is America’s problem, and America’s problem is the world’s problem.
Oil is the one thing that Americans understand. Business, that’s what the wealthy understand, and that’s what the poor understands as well if only because wealth comes form jobs and businesses. Who would truly be against lowering gas prices and securing the Middle East oil supply? The Democrats have done so much damage to American foreign policy when they accused Bush of fighting for oil. Bush had to defend himself against this, and that meant everyone on his side tried to get away from fighting for oil. But oil is what we should be fighting for. Just as Lincoln freed the slaves, we must free the oil. Slaves were adding to the economic power of our enemies. When we freed the slaves, they joined the Union armies and helped defeat the South.
Who exactly would be willing to committ political suicide by going against America’s need for oil? The Democrats don’t care about oil, they care about being re-elected.
Most people don’t care who’s in charge of big business, just so they don’t get cheated. People do not absolutely care who they do business with, as Europe has proven. Americans have higher standards, which means we are less corrupt. However, it does make fighting an economic price war, very hard when you are up against unscrupulous people not only in Iran but in Washington D.C. as well.
How long can you afford to fight with one hand tied behind your back against two ruthless enemies that attempt to destroy all that you protect and cherish? How many family members are worth the price of moral purity?
I recently came across a post of Grim’s at blackfive, and he was talking about some of the same themes I was talking about, about oil and cutting the enemy’s logistics and how what Bush was doing was immoral. This below is the comment I wrote in reply to Grim’s post. Read his post first, then read the comment.
I’ve considered that moral dilemma as well, Grim. My conclusion was that if you truely loved someone, then would you not want them to be happy and safe? However, if your love of that someone is the thing that puts them in danger, that keeps them with you and puts them in danger, is your love strong enough to place the consideration of the loved one over your own feelings?
How would you protect someone that loved you from being killed, if your love was keeping him tied to the place of danger? You cannot convince the person to leave, because he loves you and is willing to risk his life. THe only way to convince him to leave the place of danger, independent of reason, is to demonstrate that you do not love him and that he has no reason to stay here with you.
If you truly loved the children, you would place their considerations first. If this means detaching your heart from your mind, if it means demonstrating a lack of love through action and rhetoric, then that will be it, if you have the willpower to sustain such an action of necessity.
That is the right thing to do, the honest thing to do for real love. Parents face this pretty early. Do they love their children and remove them from all bacterial and sicknesses, only to have them become allergic and sickly for their entire adult lifespan? Or do they harden their hearts, and expose their children to viruses and bacteria, hoping against hope that it will not kill them, in return for their future safety? Do you teach a child how to use a gun so that he can protect himself with one, or do you try to protect that child from reality by not telling him anything that is going on?
These moral dilemmas are challenges that people face individually. No one else can determine for you how you will react to these moral dilemmas, only you and your soul will decide. THe strength of your love, the condition of your mind, and the hardenss of your will.
Wars are a test. Total Wars are the ultimate test, the ultimate competition to see who is morally right, physically strong, and emotionally durable. Many people, Bush included since he’s the chief, have attempted to limit this war. The power of the US buffers against the threat of terrorism, but this won’t be so forever. No limited opponent can face an unrestricted opponent and win 10 out of 10. Not even if you are 10X more powerful. Tiger Woods with a gold handicap against that other dude with no handicap. Murphy wants in on that.
I appreciate your writing most of the time more for the depth of analysis than sublime reasoning. We have all been tap-dancing around this issue and I appreciate your biting the bullet and addressing it. You choked me up once or twice because I have to think about how to explain to my kids that I agree with you.
The question is could any of us act with conviction given that belief?
Well Jimbo, I tend to think you can act with conviction simply because there are two types of love, in general. Selfish love and selfless love. Meaning, selfish love is where the feeling of love is so strong that you are not going to do anything to threaten it, the feeling of it, even if it meant seeing the one you loved destroyed in front of you. Saving the village by destroying, remmeber that? (Save Japan by destroying it with nukes is actually an example of wisdom) Actually Saving the village by seeing it destroyed, instead of saving it. Killing a woman because she has been rendered impure, in order to save her in your eyes. Selfless love is where you put the safety of the ones you love above your own personal desires, feelings, and status.
What is love? Love is pain, to feel pain so that those you love, do not feel pain. I’m writing this in chronological order. So I read Grim’s post first, some of the comments, Jimbo’s comment, and then Grim’s comments.
That is an order of wisdom that is not human. We should not blame anyone for failing to come to it naturally — it is not natural. Yet it is still true. That means it must be supernatural: a kind of love that is not a normal part of the human heart. Yet reason shows that it is true love, however strange it feels to a mortal heart. – Grim
I came across that, and it is true it is wisdom, because I’ve always been intelligent so that is why I desired wisdom above intelligence. Wisdom had to be earned, intelligence was just inborn. I think I first encountered a good example of true love by watching Babylon 5. Where Linear and Denin and the Captain had this love triangle going on. Linear loved Denin but was loyal to her as an aid and armsman, so he did not feel that it was his place to interfere. So when Denin saw the Captain trapped in a poisonous chamber, and couldn’t get out because the keypad was on the other side, Denin ran away. Giving into a moment of weakness, but he came back after he thought about the consequences of his actions. Denin openly loved the Captain and was married to him. Would Linear hurt his beloved solely in order to get rid of the competition? Is that not selfish? Since the door was clear, they both saw each other. The Captain had no idea of Linear’s true feelings, and when Linear came back to save the Captain, he found Denin with the Captain, helping him gain back oxygen.
Then there were other things, like parents and child and immune systems. It is true love Grim, and while some people are Intelligent, they are not wise. Certainly the Left is not wise.
In the end, I think it’s a harsh choice, that only the strong of heart, mind, and soul can make. You may be willing to sacrifice your life for others, but are you willing to allow others to sacrifice their life for you? If you could do something that could save them in the process? What if saving them meant that you could never see them again, what if saving them meant that you had to deceive them into believing that you did not love them at all? Are you strong enough to make that decision? Is your love strong enough or is it just a transient feel good emotion for yourself?
Is it not true that if we disregard all things peaceful during times of war (such as children, mosques, etc.), we could go in, get the job done, and be victorious in a shorter amount of time? This way, less time-less death.
Killing people’s children on purpose is one way to get them to fight to the death against you. This way, you get more death in more time, not less time less death. Let’s not confuse, Rosemary, between the means and the ends. The end is the saving of more lives, the means is the ending of those lives. To save the nation of Japan, you must nuclearize the nation of Japan, to save the village, you must destroy the village. It is not regular logic, because we are talking about humans here, and humans as we all know are very illogical people.