T Nation

Hezbollah --- All Out War!

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/28/world/middleeast/28military.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

When will it end?

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
When will it end?[/quote]

When did it start?

Why would it end?

Documented acts of war against our military and those of our allies. Plenty enough reason to hit every nuclear research facility they have. Hell, destroy their military completely. It wouldn’t take much for the US to do it. As long as we don’t go into a nation building role, that is. Force them to divert their resources back into Iran, instead of their proxy army.

Let them worry about nation building afterwards. We have enough of that on our hands.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Why would it end?[/quote]

It won’t. The Muslim fanatics are like the Necromongers in the Chronicles of Riddick, though I’m coming to believe that most muslims think this way.

Sad to say, but it looks like a war of attrition is required.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:

It won’t. The Muslim fanatics are like the Necromongers in the Chronicles of Riddick, though I’m coming to believe that most muslims think this way.

Sad to say, but it looks like a war of attrition is required.

[/quote]

It’s not just Islam. All three major religions believe in an eye for an eye.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
It won’t. The Muslim fanatics are like the Necromongers in the Chronicles of Riddick, though I’m coming to believe that most muslims think this way.

Sad to say, but it looks like a war of attrition is required.
[/quote]

Yes, killing and warfare have always done a good job of stopping people from hating each other…

While I am willing to admit that from time to time warfare might actually be necessary it does indicate that appropriate means of finding solutions have not been explored.

Current times and technology no longer support the subjugation of a populace when there are external parties willing to support ongoing conflict.

Perhaps it is time to recognize that something other than hammers (applications of military force) are required for a long term solution to this ongoing situation. Again, of course we can continue to use hammers from time to time when necessary… as long as we are smart enough to realize it doesn’t represent anything like a solution.

This is true no matter how much some swell with pride at the use of might.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Yes, killing and warfare have always done a good job of stopping people from hating each other…[/quote]

You don’t get much hate from mass graves, now do you?

Do you favor diplomacy until a nuclear weapon is detonated in your backyard?

Actually, technology supports killing masses of people more easily than ever before.

It also appears that much of the local populace, far from being in opposition to their radical elements, actually support them fully.

Nonsense. Throughout history, myriads of conflicts have been resolved through war. The only ones that fail are occupations of enemy population.

Decimate the previous population, and you can occupy all you want. See U.S. and Canada for successful examples.

That’s the whole problem though. The most powerful nations go to war, but are reluctant to use their full military might. That gives pissant little guerilla forces the chance to shine.

If you’re not prepared for all out war, don’t start it. If we do decide to go to war; preferably multilaterally and backed with a U.N. resolution; we should make war hard an quick. Shock & Awe was the right idea (in the wrong war).

Going to war with all those beautiful principles and rules of engagement means you’ll always lose, in the long term, to those who understand how to exploit your principles.

We are violent by nature. We had to be, in order to survive. Relish it. Glorify in it. It’s WHO WE ARE.

Its when people try to deny our very structure that we get into trouble. As Freud points out, you can’t suppress our nature forever. Read his Civilisation and its Discontents. He is spot on.

It is much more normal for a man to carry a sword than push a plow.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
We are violent by nature. We had to be, in order to survive. Relish it. Glorify in it. It’s WHO WE ARE.

Its when people try to deny our very structure that we get into trouble. As Freud points out, you can’t suppress our nature forever. Read his Civilisation and its Discontents. He is spot on.

It is much more normal for a man to carry a sword than push a plow.[/quote]

I am gonna agree with that actually. Much in the same vein that is more normal for man to be moving about than confined to an office desk for 8 hours a day. Our very essence is that of the hunter-gatherer. Unfortunately society would frown upon me were I to carry a claymore around daily :frowning:

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
vroom wrote:
Why would it end?

It won’t. The Muslim fanatics are like the Necromongers in the Chronicles of Riddick, though I’m coming to believe that most muslims think this way.

Sad to say, but it looks like a war of attrition is required.

[/quote]

Naah, why the doom and gloom.

I’m sure people will sprinkle flowers over your soldiers the next country you decided to liberate.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
Naah, why the doom and gloom.

I’m sure people will sprinkle flowers over your soldiers the next country you decided to liberate.[/quote]

Wow, yer smart…But you will be tried in an islamic court before we will. They (islamo-nuts) are infiltrating Europe and Europe always caves. You won’t show plays, cartoons, or books that might offend muslims because your to scared to stand up for yourselves. You will cave, you always do. There are already unofficial islamic courts popping up in England, it’s just a matter of time before hits belgim. Are waffles kosher? You arrogant fucker.

[quote]pookie wrote:
You don’t get much hate from mass graves, now do you?[/quote]

Unless you kill everyone there are always friends, relatives or in the current situation people of the same faith who will view those lying in the ground as martyrs.

You know that.

You must have me mistaken for somebody else. I’ve come out in favor of wars supported by an informed populace various times around here.

Heck, in my post I admit there are times that diplomacy fails and the use of force is required. There are times you have an actual enemey and no amount of making nice is going to work.

I’m hardly a peacenik. I do however believe that a lot more could have been done to avoid ending up where we are and a lot more could be being done right now.

Sure, no kidding. And technology also supports disparate people communicating and organizing and keeping a resistance alive also.

Technology has made it possible for a single individual to have an impact, while the state has always had an overwhelming ability to produce force.

This is not something that can be done anymore, that’s my point. Are you suggesting we obliterate the Middle East with nuclear weapons? I mean, sure, that’s technically feasible, but I don’t think anyone will be willing to take that step anytime soon.

Anyway, I recognize the truth of these issues in the past, but the modern world doesn’t allow western society to take these steps. Other societies may be willing to take such steps… forcing us into conflict, but I don’t think we are.

That’s my point. It’s the reality, there is no point bitching about it. The trick is not to create huge support for guerilla forces, isn’t it?

[quote]
Going to war with all those beautiful principles and rules of engagement means you’ll always lose, in the long term, to those who understand how to exploit your principles.[/quote]

Well, yes and no on this one. World War II was fought with rules of engagement and principles, as allowed by the then available technology. It was still won.

However, it was also being fought between actual nations. The current conflicts aren’t really between recognized nations. You can’t just knock down a nation and win – as we are seeing now.

So, I disagree, simply slaughtering more people might impose control (a la Saddam) but it won’t fix the underlying issues which will welter up whenever they are given a chance unless those issues are eventually addressed.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
Wreckless wrote:
Naah, why the doom and gloom.

I’m sure people will sprinkle flowers over your soldiers the next country you decided to liberate.

Wow, yer smart…But you will be tried in an islamic court before we will. They (islamo-nuts) are infiltrating Europe and Europe always caves. You won’t show plays, cartoons, or books that might offend muslims because your to scared to stand up for yourselves. You will cave, you always do. There are already unofficial islamic courts popping up in England, it’s just a matter of time before hits belgim. Are waffles kosher? You arrogant fucker.
[/quote]

He speaks from experience. He and his family planted flowers where the Battle of the Bulge took place, where many fine American men died or were maimed, liberating Belgium from the Nazis. Wreckless is never an ingrate.

[quote] Headhunter believes…

We are violent by nature. We had to be, in order to survive. Relish it. Glorify in it. It’s WHO WE ARE.

[/quote]

You are a teacher? You educate the youth? But can’t even find it in yourself to put some intelligent rhetoric you believe in in the recent thread i started? Shame

Do something positive please

[quote]vroom wrote:
Unless you kill everyone there are always friends, relatives or in the current situation people of the same faith who will view those lying in the ground as martyrs.

You know that.[/quote]

That’s what I’m saying. If you’re going to go to war, you should be prepared to do enough killing to get the job done.

It wasn’t necessary to kill all Germans or Japanese to end WWII, but 50 million people died in that war before everyone agreed they’d had enough.

Ok. Our current problem is that diplomacy is made harder by the fact that we can’t seem to wage war like we should. Why should any nation negotiate with the US or the west when they see failure after failure in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Are you saying we don’t have enemies now?

Yeah, that’s nice. Unfortunately, we need solutions for the present reality. We should learn from our past mistakes; but we can’t change them, nor the situation we’re in.

Those resistant groups make use of all the technology they can get their hands on. We don’t. Our modern weapons are so efficient, we’re afraid to use them.

Unfortunately, most states have lost the will to use that force.

I’m not advocating force as the solution to every problem. BUT, if war becomes necessary - and we should exhaust every alternative option before - then that war should be brutal, harsh and efficient. You want every nation witness to that war to never even think of going to war with you.

Sure it can be done. We don’t want to do it.

That’s the problem.

No, of course not. But do you want to pacify Iraq or not? Iraq is a hell hole because at least three major factions (and two specifically) are at each other’s throat. Take out the Sunni triangle altogether and see if it’s not much easier to get the Kurds and Shia to play nice after. Iran and Hezbollah could hardly accuse you of only supporting Israel. Saudi Arabia might be pissed (since they’re Sunnis too), but I’m willing to bet that they’ll get over their rage if we keep buying their oil.

That’s pretty much my point: If you’re not ready to do unsavory things, you shouldn’t go to war to start with. Going to war half-assedly as we do in our modern times resolves nothing; rather, it tends to make the situations worse.

So before you topple the Taliban, don’t be a cultural ignoramus and realize that the Talibans come from the Uzbek tribe - which comprises about 35-40% of the Afghan population - and make sure you’re ready to wipe them all out if necessary.

If you’re not ready to do that, then deal with the Talibans and let the 60% of the remaining population do their own cleaning when they’ve had enough oppression.

I agree with you. There’s a complete dissonance between our noble principles and the wars in which we get involved.

You can’t go to war; bomb a country back to the stone age and then come in with your soldier and say “We’re here to help.” Well, you can, but if you expect it to work, you’re stupider than words can describe.

That’s the ideal. But when it becomes evident that diplomacy and talks will not work; and that war will be necessary, you have to take the gloves of.

You also need to have honest public support (at least a double majority I’d say) and ideally a coalition of nations.

WWII was a much more symmetric war. It was a war between nations over territories (mostly), not an asymmetric conflict over ideologies.

Exactly. You can knock down a nation, but that doesn’t work. Worse, it seems to strengthen the actual enemy.

It will if you kill enough people. When was the last time American Natives where a credible threat to our countries?

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
When will it end?[/quote]

Pookie,

I suspect you’d say the same to me, but I’d accuse you of seeing only half of the issue.

If you are suggesting the answer is complete and utter genocide, wiping out entire populations, then I think you are letting your hatred or fear get the best of you.

Of course, I have to agree about the expected effectiveness! However, given that, I can’t see any reason why the US should not simply eliminate the entire population of the rest of the planet and claim the planet for itself.

Seriously, anyone could become a threat eventually… why wait?

Heck, at the same time, the US population could eventually become disgruntled with their government and revolt, so perhaps the entire population should be eliminated by the military, to ensure nobody ever threatens control from the inside.

Such totalitarianism is pure nonsense. Either we are going to find a way to coexist on the planet eventually or we might as well blow the whole fucking thing up now, what is the benefit of waiting?

Anyway, to try to get back into something approaching reality, there are many things that could be done, that haven’t been done, that could lead towards more peaceful relations.

The fact is, and it seems to sadden you, that much of humanity is becoming more civilized and imposing higher standards of behavior upon itself. Whether or not that “is the problem” isn’t the point, the fact that it has happened and isn’t likely to reverse, short of necessity, is the reality.

It’s possibly best to deal with reality than wish it were somehow not the case.

Given this reality, we have to be a lot smarter than we currently are. We have to realize what the military is good at accomplishing and make sure we aren’t expecting it to accomplish things it is not designed to accomplish.

I don’t see why this is so hard to understand. Diplomacy encompasses use of military might, it’s simply one card in the deck, but we seem to act like it is the only card in the deck. What poor players we are.

[quote]vroom wrote:
If you are suggesting the answer is complete and utter genocide, wiping out entire populations, then I think you are letting your hatred or fear get the best of you.[/quote]

I’m not saying genocide is the best answer, but it certainly is an effective one.

What I’m trying to say is that if you go to war, you should be prepared for that eventual possibility.

Note that actual, complete genocide is not necessary. Once the targeted population gets the idea that you’re A) serious and B) capable; they’ll likely surrender to whatever terms you impose.

The Japanese where known for never surrendering. Yet, 2 nukes convinced them that in some cases, it was in their best interest to do so, honor be damned.

The alternative is, as we’re seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan, to restrain your use of force and let the enemy gain the upper hand. They know that we (Western people) will get tired of receiving caskets with little results to show for them, and that without public support, the troops will be pulled back.

Basically, they’ll always wait us out.

Who wants to wage ineffective wars anyway?

Well I could list a lost of reasons why not, but I think you already know why. This is not a serious argument. Please don’t use HH tactics, it’s not productive.

Well the whole “pre-emptive” strike policy is wrong, in my view. You should have a very credible threat before you “defend” yourself. It should stand up to scrutiny.

More HH-like ranting. Come on, WWII was won without destroying the planet. I’m talking about waging a war when you decide that some group or nation simply cannot be dealt with otherwise.

So it’s either no war, or all out global war? That’s not what I’m arguing.

I’m saying that if you’re not ready to do unsavory things at war, you shouldn’t start it at all.

If you do decide to start one, make sure you use every means at your disposal to win as quickly and decisively as possible.

Do that once and see how much better your diplomacy works after. Right now we claim to have a big stick, but when the gloves come off, we brandish a toothpick.

The current situation is deplorable. But do we want to fix it? Really? Or do we to talk about how things should’ve been done while billions are being spent and young men and women are dying?

Not at all. I’m all for it. I’m concerned though whether that’s really true. There seems to be a large component of humanity which is radicalizing itself to fight for their ideals.

And their ideals include treating women as livestock and shoving religion down everyone’s throat.

I’m not sure how much dialogue can be had with those groups.

You think? That’s what I’ve been arguing all along.

What’s your plan (in concrete terms) to solve the Iraq situation?

Er, that’s what I’m saying. If you’re going to use the military option, use it correctly.

That’s not it at all. But our deck is devalued by us having cards we won’t play correctly.

Note that if wars where waged “all-out”, they’d probably be a lot rarer than they are today.

Holding back is a fairly recent strategy. And while it’s a very understandable policy when both sides are more of less equally matched (ie, US vs USSR); it makes no sense when one side has all the power (US vs. Iraq / NATO vs. Afghanistan) holding back in those cases simply lets the radical elements foment and strengthen.

[quote]pookie wrote:
I’m not saying genocide is the best answer, but it certainly is an effective one.

What I’m trying to say is that if you go to war, you should be prepared for that eventual possibility.

Note that actual, complete genocide is not necessary. Once the targeted population gets the idea that you’re A) serious and B) capable; they’ll likely surrender to whatever terms you impose.

The Japanese where known for never surrendering. Yet, 2 nukes convinced them that in some cases, it was in their best interest to do so, honor be damned.

The alternative is, as we’re seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan, to restrain your use of force and let the enemy gain the upper hand. They know that we (Western people) will get tired of receiving caskets with little results to show for them, and that without public support, the troops will be pulled back.

Basically, they’ll always wait us out.
[/quote]

The problem is that it isn’t the government or the populace that the war is being waged against. Killing off civilians in Iraq won’t improve the situation.

No, you don’t get to dismiss it this easily. Once you are willing to consider killing tons of innocent people for your cause, then I get to question how do you decide which innocent people aren’t worthy of such treatment.

We agree on this part.

No, it’s not a throwaway, because I’ll maintain that current wars are not being waged against a government or a government controlled entity. It changes the nature of things, at least in my opinion. The populace is not something the current combatants will care about. Damaging the populace increases the power of the enemy… not something we are used to.

I’m arguing that as technology evolves, it will become possible for one fanatic to wipe out a nation. Perhaps targeted nanotechnology and/or biological agents. Perhaps personal sized miniature nukes. Who knows. The problem is, more concentrated power makes smaller groups more and more powerful.

Give it another 200 years.

[quote]If you do decide to start one, make sure you use every means at your disposal to win as quickly and decisively as possible.

Do that once and see how much better your diplomacy works after. Right now we claim to have a big stick, but when the gloves come off, we brandish a toothpick.[/quote]

Being ruthless just creates hatred. Sure, you might win against conventional forces or decimate populations. The cost however is becoming an evil that world loathes. You can’t just throw off all aspects of civilization and expect to be able to put them back on.

You consider drastic widespread death and destruction a “fix”, while I consider it something that will extend the conflict to later generations. Eventually the solution will come about, and it will be a solution when everyone chooses not to go around killing everyone.

I’m really not sure how to get there, but thinking about how to get there and looking for ways to do it is better than just assuming there are no ways to get there.

Anyway, next time I’m in charge of something, maybe I’ll have more ability to actually “solve” real world crisis situations. I’m not trying to point blame at the past, but I’m trying to bring about considerations of how to shape the future. One is potentially more constructive than the other… though the potential is still small.

[quote]Not at all. I’m all for it. I’m concerned though whether that’s really true. There seems to be a large component of humanity which is radicalizing itself to fight for their ideals.

And their ideals include treating women as livestock and shoving religion down everyone’s throat.[/quote]

Sure, very true. I’m not happy with that either. However, dropping bombs on the reigion and killing millions will only make things worse. You can buy the issue for a while, but it won’t go away.

These are ideas we are fighting, so what we really need to be doing is winning the war of ideas and ideals. That’s why I’m looking well beyond the concept of killing the most people and “winning” the war.

That’s hardly fair and you know it. Did you say something about an HH tactic earlier?

[quote]That’s not it at all. But our deck is devalued by us having cards we won’t play correctly.

Note that if wars where waged “all-out”, they’d probably be a lot rarer than they are today.

Holding back is a fairly recent strategy. And while it’s a very understandable policy when both sides are more of less equally matched (ie, US vs USSR); it makes no sense when one side has all the power (US vs. Iraq / NATO vs. Afghanistan) holding back in those cases simply lets the radical elements foment and strengthen.
[/quote]

You claim I am out of touch but then complain that current reality, about how wars are fought, is the problem. That is the current reality. It’s not going to change except when necessity forces it to change.

We are nowhere near that.

Holding back is a development of social mores and attitudes that represent the development of mankind. Sure, not everyone has developed the same ideals and mores, and some of ours could be weaknesses in some ways.

However, I’ll say the same to you, you are denying the reality of the use of force. Historical situations are not necessarily applicable anymore… you are trying to win the previous battles while the world is changing.

We are fighting ideas with bullets. Strangely, the ideas are not being suppressed…

Yes, let’s fight the militants with the bullets, but get some of our dogs into the fray when it comes to the war of ideas.

Another path to victory is to stop the creation of people motivated to step in front of our bullets. Heck, the military aspect of this will probably simmer for generations, so let’s get some effort into those other areas.