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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Bloodless Victory

Obama's clean war in Libya, the one that was won by lying to the UN and then dropping bombs and flying away while ragged bands of fighters whittled away what was left of the decrepit Libyan military, doesn't look so clean anymore. The bloodless victory has seen its first blood shed as those same fighters coddled and protected by American jets and drones tore into the temporary consulate set up to liaise with the rebels, set it on fire and dragged the body of the ambassador who had helped their rebellion succeed through the streets while posing for snapshots with his corpse.

Those four dead Americans in Libya won't be the last casualties because there is no such thing as a bloodless victory. Afghanistan and Iraq were both won with fairly light casualties through devastating displays of firepower. But what the United States is willing to do in the opening stages of a war, it is rarely willing to do once the dust has settled and its planners have drawn up flowcharts of how to get the local electricity grid back on line again. The rabble shooting off their captured machine guns know that they just have to wait a few months and then those boys in their shiny flying machines will come down to the ground, learn a few words of Arabic, smile at everyone and set themselves up to be killed in some dirty alleyway.

This is what our wars look like and it is why military cemeteries and VA wards are full of soldiers killed after the hostilities had officially ended. And even in a "clean war" like Libya where there was meant to be no occupation and no soldiers patrolling alleyways, there were still Americans to kill. The brave people of Benghazi, the ones whose deaths Obama told us, in the speech full of lies that he delivered in a belated defense of his illegal war, would shake the moral conscience of the world, got around to killing some of the men who were there to help them. And that too is an old story.

We came to help the Somalis only to die at their hands and not satisfied with that, we admitted record numbers of them to the United States, where they have tried to carry out their own local versions of Black Hawk Down, including the attempted bombing of the Portland Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. We came to help the Afghanis and Iraqis and the Libyans and they kill us here and there and we learn nothing from the experience.

On September 11, the latest such date, our great victory in Libya began turning to ashes because the brave Libyan people we came to liberate bravely stormed our consulate and set it on fire, and then the even braver Libyan security forces tipped off the brave Libyan people where the safe house where the staff was evacuated to was located and the more of the brave Libyan people showed up determined to kill some Americans.

Government officials are busy telling us that the mobs in Benghazi and Cairo represented only a tiny fraction of a small percentage of an extreme minority of the population and their actions are in no way representative of the brave Egyptian and Libyan peoples who love us a great deal and would happily chase after us and pose for photos with our corpses if it wasn't for the trouble they have getting American visas.

We have spent a great deal of time hearing similar reassurances about the brave Afghan and Iraqi peoples who were also not represented by the tiny minority with the guns. In Iraq, the Sunni insurgents and the Shiite death squads and the Al-Qaeda splodeys were in no way representative of anyone or anything at all. And these days they're still killing each other, after several elections, but that is still in no way representative of the people they elected to shoot each other over sectarian differences.

In Afghanistan, if the Taliban were ever to run for office in a fair and clean election, the odds are very good that they would clean the clock with the opposition as thoroughly as the Muslim Brotherhood did in Egypt, Al-Nahda did in Tunisia, Hamas did in the Palestinian Authority and the AKP did in Turkey. And yes, quite a few of those women with the sad eyes who sometimes appear on magazine covers, would vote for the Taliban, because once the fighting stops and they take over, there will finally be order, even if it is the order of the whip, the cage and the grave.

It is rather important that we understand what the British understood, that while the Jihadi fighters of various flavors may be bastards, some are even foreigners, they are still their bastards. We are not their bastards and no matter how much we smile, how we grow out our beards, learn Arabic and hand out candy to children, they will steel ululate and cheer when they drag our corpses out into the street. A few will feel bad, some of them will even do something about it, but it is these people who are the true tiny minority that is not representative of the country and its people.

If we truly want a bloodless victory, then we can have it, so long as we understand how that's done and what price there will be to pay for it.

Removing a tyrant and replacing him with the organized chaos of democracy will not be bloodless, it will be quite bloody, until the dust settles, and elections or no elections, a new tyrant places his fat ass on the throne. Once the tyrant is in power, it will be possible for us to open embassies and walk the streets, it will not be absolutely safe, but the sort of people who would be tempted to drag our bodies down the street will be dissuaded because they know that their nearest and dearest will then be dragged down the street, not by us because we're too fussy and principled to act that way, but by the secret police of the tyrant.

If we do decide to get rid of one tyrant, it would be a very good idea to have a tyrant in mind to replace him. This new tyrant will not be our friend, but he might be sufficiently frightened of us to do what we say. In Libya, we already had a tyrant like that, and we hunted him down and watched him be sodomized to death by the brave Libyan people in the name of freedom, democracy and apple pie. And then nearly a year later, the brave Libyan people were playing with our ambassador's corpse the way that they had with their tyrant's-- because once you unleash the savages, they don't just go back to hoeing olive trees and dragging sacks of sand through the desert. Why would they, when they can make ten times as much by enlisting in a militia and burning our consulates to the ground?

The best to win a truly bloodless victory is not to set foot in the bloody county or to allow anyone from their bloody county to set food in our country. It's called a Cordon Sanitaire and it's one of the surest way to keep that victory bloodless, at least on our side, once we've leveled the appropriate portions of the country that had it coming last. But even then war is not truly bloodless, once the fighting begins, then sooner or later blood will be shed.

Our technology is quite impressive. We can send a drone from around the world to take out a car winding around a dusty track in the north of Yemen. And a mob of savages can break into our consulate, use low tech firebombs to torch it and drag the body of an ambassador who died of smoke inhalation into the street and take photos of him with smartphones and then upload those photos to the internet in a fraction of a second. 

That's the problem with technocrats who imagine that technology makes things simple and clean. It doesn't, it just makes everything happen that much faster. The same technology that has given us incredible firepower and reach has also brought the enemy and their propaganda that much closer. The society that can produce massive amounts of smartphones is also the one that produces massive amounts of bleeding hearts that pine for a bloodless victory and turn on the cause at the first drop of blood.

Technology does not make war cleaner and neither do ideals. The Chicago Progressives thought that they could fight a cleaner war by keeping the occupation out of it. They were wrong. They chose to use locals to guard a consulate that was not fortified so as not to upset or alienate the locals with a show of force. And now the Marines are coming to Libya and drones will patrol the country for Jihadist camps. Libya is becoming Iraq, just as Iraq became Afghanistan and Afghanistan became Somalia and every conflict fought against savages on civilized terms recapitulates the same terms of the same war whose lessons have still not been learned.

As the photos of the ambassador's body showed up on the news, somewhere in the White House, fresh off the campaign trail, Obama probably rubbed his forehead, looked at the bloody mess and wondered where something as simple and clean as removing Gaddafi while letting the locals run the show had gone so wrong. The whole thing may pay off for him in the polls, an international crisis is usually good for a few points, but it will look less good when there are a few thousand US "advisers" patrolling Tripoli and trying to hold off the complete collapse of the Libyan government.

It's not certain that this is what will happen and that is also the point-- in war nothing is certain and the enemy gets a vote. War is not a story where one side determines the plot, takes the initiative and carries it through all the way from beginning to end. It is a stumbling struggle, like most real life fights, it is a clumsy exchange of vicious blows, many of which never land, but some of which do to surprising effect. Violence is not predictable, but sometimes it is necessary, and when it is necessary, it is best to do it swiftly and devastatingly, and then to dispense with the humanitarian gestures if your enemies have hardly gotten past the point of murdering their own daughters and are not at the cultural level to appreciate when you show up with water filtration equipment and portable generators.

Victory is rarely bloodless but it is achieved by deciding whose blood should be shed. War is the  pursuit of military goals through military means. For the last two decades, the United States has doggedly pursued humanitarian goals through military means and it is no wonder that our leaders are unable to choose whose blood to shed or to understand that making that choice is what war is. That crippling imbecility is why Al Jazeera is broadcasting photos of our ambassador being dragged through the street, it is why two-thousand Americans will not be coming home from Afghanistan, but the Taliban will be in Kabul in a few more years, and why we won Iraq and then lost Iraq, as we have won and lost every other war since the last time we fought a war as a ruthless and decisive campaign.

There are no bloodless victories, but we can choose whether to bleed our enemy or to bleed our hearts. And when our hearts bleed for the enemy, than the blood sooner or later stops being a metaphor and becomes a sticky dark red liquid on the boots of the brave Afghan people, the brave Iraqi people, the brave Libyan people or the brave Syrian people and all the other brave peoples we will set out to save from the hells they make for themselves.

24 comments:

lemon lime moon said...

The leadership is disgraceful in the US and Europe and nothing will be done to remedy any of this.
We should recall our embassy staff and cut off any and all aid immediately.
Its sad to see our government limping along ineffectually.

angie, Israel said...

from Obama's perspective, everything is going according to plan...
people wake up and open your eyes and ears: IT IS EITHER THEM OR US, and we have to do something NOW, we have to stop being squeamish and start playing by the same rules - theirs - 'cause they will never ever play by ours. either that or we are as good as dead.
Daniel, thank you for your ongoing effort to spread the truth

Anonymous said...

We have to put a stop to this madness that a third world country that stopped progressing in the 7th century can be civilized by our example.
America is the outlier, no other country in the world compares in any way to who and what we are.

Enterprise Mobile Apps and Beyond said...

Keep it up!

mindRider said...

Only recently can I truly understand the validity of the command that was given to "eradicate" Amalek completely. That such was not executed because of misplaced humanitarian feeling is the basic source for all the troubles caused by it's descendants in whatever political shape of totalitarian hatred they have been cast thru out history.

Anonymous said...

To mindRider
From Joseph E
http://www.acpr.org.il/ENGLISH-NATIV/06-issue/shochetman-6.htm

Mr ED said...

Islame naturally devolves into its most basic elements in any society, creating a hopelessly corrupt society in which public pieties give way to private debautchery.

Those who appease and abet this corruption for their own selfish purposes will eventually pay the price, becomming ensnared in endless conflicts with those societies in which conflict is immiscible with piety.

Anonymous said...

It all goes back to Bosnia and Kosovo. No lessons have been learned, even on 9/11 the fantasy is always placed before reality.

America was attacked and humiliated again on 9/11 and still the same tired lines are trotted out. The judgement and competence of Obama and his cronies have now been proven to be seriously flawed. He should resign and he should also be prosecuted for this mess.

Oh my bad. There's no accountability for the failures of the elite these days.

Proud Brit.

Edward Cline said...

Great essay, Daniel. As I noted in "Come and Get It, Hillary," the embassy and consulate incidents comprise a watershed event because what is being blamed for them is a badly done satiric movie, the Danish cartoons, etc., blamed not only by the Muslim savages, but by the White House and the MSM. Our greatest "Islamic" enemy is not any Muslim, but our own leaders. See:

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/come-and-get-it-hillary?f=must_reads#ixzz26MNYorAH

Adam said...

In Iraq, just after toppling the Sadam Regimne, we were issued two 10 round clips when we were sent out on patrols. And we were ordered (as we were told from the Perntagon) that if anyone is seen loading the clip into their weapon and chambering a round prior to bein fired upon, we will be court marshalled.

They would then lead us to this dump called a village full of people who despised us. As we wandered through this village practicaly unarmed I often wondered if my government actually wanted me to make it home.

Empress Trudy said...

I prefer to bolt, turn our backs on the lot of them and watch them slide back into the Dark Ages. I really don't care. Let the whole of the Arab world descend into Medieval savagery. Let them rape and murder one another to the last one standing. All I want is a piece of the concession on mass graves.

Because anything else is like trying to bail the ocean with a spoon.

Edward Cline said...

If anyone missed my earlier comment, my point was that Obama and Clinton will declare war on freedom of speech long, long before they'll contemplate declaring war on Libya and Egypt (and Iran and Saudi Arabia and the bloody modest Emirates, especially Qatar). Unfortunately, if Obama does anything, it will be to send troops to Libya to reassure the savages that we really want to clean their underwear and smell their armpits in the name of bring them "democracy." What escapes Obama and the MSM is that what we witnessed in Cairo and Benghazi was truly "democracy" in action. It's the "will of the people," don't you know.

imnokuffar said...

A tour de force.

Amazing and Brilliant.

Thankyou.

imnokuffar

Empress Trudy said...

It speaks to a wider fallacy and that is these new and modern wars for compassionate humane values. We help the Libyans overthrow an insane dictator because he clearly stated his intention, however remote the possibility of him doing is, to exterminate the entire population of Bengazi. We got involved not because of what Gadaffy did or did not do but because of what he said his intentions would be should he ultimately be victorious. We got involved in Bosnia and Kosovo not because of what all these people did or didn't do. We got involved because, with an eye to history we didn't want to be judged in the future as a nation that said one thing and did quite another. It was never about them so much as our view of us. We talk modern values of humanity but what we're really saying is we want to do as little as possible while still avoiding the judgment and self criticism of our peers.

And if truth were told, the only reason Europe got involved and dragged the US in was not because of violence but because of refugees. Europe saw a distinct possibility of having to accept thousands of Libyan refugees its own humanitarian laws prohibit them from doing anything about other than accepting them. Better they slaughter one another over there than float to Italy and France and make a nuisance of themselves on the dole.

So we wrap ourselves in UN pieties and declare we will 'free' these miserables from the chains of their oppressors. Which is nonsense. All we're doing is avoiding bad press in Wikipedia.

In the end all we're left with is another gaggle of savages looking to get even with someone about something. Or just wage mayhem for the heck of it because it's more exciting than paving the roads and running the post office. Because you can't construct a civil society. You can't shake a copy of the US Constitution in their face and say 'do this'. A civil society is the end product of hundreds of years of law and learning and respect for law and learning. You don't get to jump from Lord of the Flies right over the entire Enlightenment to land on Amsterdam with free weed and gay rights. It doesn't work that way.

So if you're going to get involved be honest about it and simply announce you're enforcing term limits on these bastards and you really don't care who or what comes next because they're all pretty much the same. And when they get out of hand, it will be term limits for them too. Because given the choice between the only two options in the Arab world: fascism or anarchy, pick fascism or something resembling the least anarchic stability that threatens the fewest people outside that country.

Anonymous said...

DP111 wrote..

Memo to Obama

How is that NATO mission coming along?

Anonymous said...

DP111 wrote..

Following Caroline Glick’s article,

http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2012/09/the-911-attacks-on-the-us-emba.php

it is becoming clear, that the attack on the embassy was a planned affair, even to the extent of having a ready made casus belli – the Mohammed video. Then the attack could be blamed on the West for causing offence to Muslims. This is also standard practice – offensive Jihad cannot take place unless sanctioned by the caliph. As there is no caliph, Jihad has to be defensive, which is the reason they will feed to the ulemma and our own useful idiots.

It is interesting that Egypt’s president Morsi’s (Muslim Brotherhood), our most trusted ally in the ME, first statement on the embassy massacre, was to demand an apology from the US.

Anonymous said...

This all will, of course, get very interesting, and scary, when the Iranians give their developing drone technology to terrorists, so they can build drones of their own. National security would seem to suggest taking the Iranian mullahs down now. Oh sorry, B.H.O. passed on that "green revolution" thing.

M from Toronto said...

To Adam the American soldier. I'm sure that at least half of the dead and maimed American soldiers could have been prevented, but PC took over the western world and better a dead westerner than an enemy one (hence the government apologies for anything). Same in Israel, when they went into Jenin 23 soldiers were killed because they were sent to known booby trapped houses instead of bombing the enemy safely from the air. An Israeli solder today is not alowed to fire on a terrorist only if he is first attacked (he can be dead by then). This is the result of extreme PC which has destroyed a great society--western world.

Empress Trudy said...

Note to Hillary Clinton.

When you're recruiting new foreign service officers it behooves you to point that apparently the State Department felt it was fine to have an utterly unprotected diplomatic mission in one of the top 5 most dangerous unstable countries in the world. I'm not sure that's a selling point but it's crucial.

Anonymous said...

There is no Catholic Church today to save the world from the barbarism of Islam. Modern times are much worse than what existed in the 7th century as the more "enlightened" and "educated" of the so-called Democracies have regressed into pagan, atheistic cultures of deviancy, debauchery, and an actual hatred of humanity itself. Western civilization with its advocacy of abortion, suicide, and the destruction of the human family, as well as its constant push to eventually make the human species extinct through its worship of the earth, is no different than the Muslims who at least, fight for their false god.

steve said...

I can see no way forward other than a redefining of boundaries, except this is not the lines of a map but a separating of civilisation and barbarism. We have tried mixing people from our side and theirs in the hope the barbarians would ameliorate their wretched behavior, though it is obvious that mixing with them in their world leads to our deaths and mixing in our world erodes our freedoms in order to make them feel 'comfortable' while they refuse to integrate.

But no matter what we give (helping to kill Saddam and allowing Gaddafi to be hunted down by peasants with AK47s) it comes back to haunt us.

So the future division of the world will involve retreating I fear. There will be the barbarian areas (which will descend into what they desire, which is more barbarism and the demeaning of women) and the rest of us. We cannot, and will not, invite the barbarians to go to the places they say they love so much. They are here among us but we can at least sacrifice some of our lands to ensure we have reasonable lives. It won't be easy but it will be necessary.

There will be armies involved, and ours will be to stop the barbarians spreading once again into the non-barbarian world. Theirs will be to kill on the basis some alleged offense.

We will, in this broken new world, not elect officials who will insist immigration is 'good for us' and we will not listen to the morons in the MSM who refuse to tell the truth. We will finally acknowledge the barbarian spirit in them was there all along, even as we have to look at the smoke-blackened areas we left where the tribes squabble and kill.

And, should any of our people decide they really admire the barbarian way of life, they will be allowed to go and join them as converts. Only on the understanding when they see the hatreds of their new way of life the and diminishing of women they will not come running back begging to be let back in.

That may be a dark future, but it may be the only hope for civilization.

Anonymous said...

No one in the administration thought that they would be attacking us somewhere on the anniversary of 9/11?
What a great president we have- bowing to the ones who want to kill us and then apologizing to them when they do.
-mjazz

but pygmies said...

Dear Empress Trudy, I think the reason we "did" Libya was because the Europeans and President Obama believed it would be easy, and they needed a pr triumph. They were correct, to a point. They didn't, and didn't need, to think it through to the next move. The next move may well be that Egypt, with a MB govt, lots of people, and no $$$; and Libya with an MB govt., lots of oil and not many people and lots of space will be smart enough to strategically unify.

Anonymous said...

There is a simple way to end this nonsense. But it won't happen.

Wheat production in Saudia Arabia is no more - the country is now 100% dependent on imported grain.

Egypt - the country that was once the breadbasket of the Mediterranean in ancient times is now the leading importer of wheat. See this link:

http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?commodity=wheat&graph=imports

Egypt is desperately trying to arrange an order for 235 tons of wheat for November. For an understanding of their current financial dilemma as far as paying for so much wheat - see Spengler's latest essay at JINSA Online. BTW, we seem to be giving them monetary loans so they can continue to buy our wheat - sort of a circle jerk - pardon the crudity.

Syria is also seeking to purchase 100 tons of wheat. Yemen? Don't even ask, they can't even arrange handouts from NGOs.

The Middle East is under severe strain as far as being able to feed their own due to the drought in the US and Europe. Our prices are rising right here in the US.

So. Let's stop feeding them. Charity begins at home. And I'm not feeling charitable anymore.

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