“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” Ronald Reagan.
Nothing has changed.
Here is a column from an LA Times columnist. In it the columnist displays his ignorance by showing how much of what he knows … just isn’t so.
“They have both [Trump and Cruz] suggested that intensified U.S. bombing can win the war. (It can’t.)” I guess he thinks that round-the-clock heavy bombardment of oil fields, ball bearing factories, tank factories, arms factories, ammunition factories, truck factories, rocket factories, gunpowder factories, rail and road and shipping supply lines (carrying troops, food, fuel) across occupied Europe and in the Pacific had nothing to do with victory.
What he “knows” just “isn’t so.” And have you heard of Hiroshima or Nagasaki? Final nail in the coffin of Imperial Japan and most assuredly “from the air.”
“Trump wants to cozy-up to … Putin, whom he’s praised as ‘a strong leader.’” I guess he doesn’t know we allied with Stalin right after he completed “purging” (murdering) about 30,000,000 of his own people?
This conflating by the Left of “strong” with “support,” as does this columnist and as did a moderator at the last debate is just childish. “AIDS is a strong disease.” Do you now think I support AIDS?
Would anyone say Hitler was not a “strong leader”? Of course not. Stalin? Nope. Does anyone support them? See? Liberal childishness.
Few would today argue, anywhere on the planet, that Obama is not a weak leader – and he’s getting thousands killed everywhere his policies touch: Iraq, Syria, Libya… “Strong” and “weak” are adjectives of fact, not indications of support. But the left will make any word mean what they want it to mean. And the GOP won’t stop them from doing so.
We can’t “carpet bomb” ISIS because we might kill civilians… and that’s a ‘war crime.’ War is a crime. Want to know a worse crime? Not winning as quickly as possible. You want to ensure fewer of your guys die than the enemy’s. Does he think not killing civilians (who allow any government to exist), is how to win a war? That’s infantile. And exceedingly ignorant of history – and of what war … actually is.
Civilians are not to be intentionally targeted. But if they’re in the battlespace they must be of less value than winning the war, of less value than the lives of our kids, or we have no business going to war in the first place.
War is not combat. We use different words for a reason. Combat is only a subset of war. Too many in the West either have forgotten, or never were taught this fact.
Wars are won not by destroying or degrading armed men in the field – who are only policy tools. That is “combat.” Wars are won by destroying the enemy nation, its ability to govern itself, feed itself, and provide water, electricity, transportation and medical aid to its populace. To make that society utterly dependent on its conqueror. THAT is “war.”
Not going “all-in,” as Eisenhower promised to do if the USSR moved against our allies, is the danger. It is a danger no president since has acknowledged, as he was the last American president to make it through two terms without getting Americans into armed hostilities. And, per an acquaintance who teaches at the War College, it was because the Soviets believed Ike’s doctrine of “Massive Retaliation” that Russian isn’t today spoken in Paris.
Stopping fighting in order to aid the enemy you are trying to defeat, to provide what the government you are trying to defeat no longer can provide its populace (food, medical aid) because of your efforts… is working against your own interest in war. It’s getting your kids killed by being nice to the enemy. Did we send food & medical supplies to the German or Japan civilian populations? No. We bombed the hell out of them.
To pretend that a government can or will be overthrown, or that a conqueror will be welcomed by a populace that is being fed and medicated (by the enemies of that government) is grossly naïve. To pretend that the policies against which you go to war can be overturned by just killing their military is amazingly dumb; do military leaders make the policies? No. Civilians in government do.
So – guess whom you must kill?
It’s as stupid as putting sanctions against a nation, but letting in food and medical aid. Who do you think is getting that food and aid? The civilians? Are you an idiot?
Those who would put sanctions over war misunderstand the nature of sanctions. Many studies have demonstrated that sanctions are far harder on a country than is a war. Who and what are hurt via sanctions? Women, children, infrastructure, education, health. Who is not affected by sanction? The military and civilian leaders who created the policy against which the sanctions have been placed. War, on the other hand, in recent history (the same recent history in which serious sanctions have been tried), results in fewer lives lost among the civilian population, less economic hardship over time, and a more-rapidly-repaired infrastructure. In short, if you care about your enemy’s populace, you fight him; if you don’t care about your enemy’s populace, you sanction him.
We refused to go “all-in” in Vietnam. Instead of using 1-2 tactical nukes on Hanoi in 1963, with a population of under a few hundred thousand (we only killed 400K in Hiroshima, and that includes the next few years’ radiation deaths), we followed the “rules” and killed 2M Vietnamese and 60K Americans in a losing cause over 20 years.
That was following the “rules” we are told we must continue to follow by those who profess to care about human life. This was, and is, historic stupidity we now are repeating in S. Asia.
Anyone thinking that generations of Vietnamese kids raised under the constant threat of being killed by Americans or by the VC insurgents (who didn’t follow “rules” any more than does ISIS), were better off than had Hanoi just been annihilated, even if it meant killing civilians, and far fewer than 2M of them, is just letting ideology get in the way of humanity.
Yes, it is more humane to get war over with more quickly, even if it costs the lives of some noncombatants in the short term, as not doing so always will cost more noncombatants in the longer term. How many starving North Koreans eating weeds and grasshoppers are happy at not having the Kims overthrown by real war in 1950?
Heard of Dresden? Cologne? Berlin? Tokyo? Ploesti? In each of the four former we killed more civilians than either atom bomb; in the latter we killed hell out of the ability of Germans to transport – anything at all, by destroying most of their oil. You can bet some people starved because food just wasn’t moving due to our Air Corps bombing Germany all day and the Brits bombing them all night. Were Germans better off for our having used every weapon at our disposal to destroy THE GERMAN NATION – not the army – as quickly and comprehensively as we could? You bet.
Have you noticed how “rules” for war, made up by Europeans, honored ONLY by Europeans, have succeeded only in ensuring the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Europeans, and millions of our enemies in fights with pre-modern tribal savages, from Japanese POW camps in the ‘30s and ‘40s (and in the rape of Nanking) to today across the ME and S Asia? (I include Americans in the “European” demographic for the purposes of this “rules of war” discussion.)
And have you noticed that NO ONE is better off for our having done so? Not the Americans who were killed or maimed, not the nations we refused to defeat, not the people of those nations or their neighbors? Ask Malians how much they appreciate our fighting a limited war against the guy who just did exactly as we asked by giving up his nuclear program… so Hillary killed him?
These “Rules of War” have led to millions and millions of unnecessary deaths. And that is ALL they have led to; they certainly have not led to liberty or freedom.
Will ANY nation that we have demanded to fight, but refused to defeat (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq…) 25 years post-hostilities be what both Germany and Japan were in 1970? Freer, better-educated, more prosperous than EVER BEFORE IN THEIR HISTORY? And economic, political and military allies ever since their defeat?
No. They will not.
This is the DIRECT result of the policies furthered by idiots like this columnist – and GW Bush, neocons like Kaplan and Kagan and Hillary, by American presidents foolishly wasting lives across the planet in “limited” warfare instead of killing our enemies, since 1950.
War is hell – and it needs to be. Or, as General Robert E Lee noted, “we should grow too fond of it.”
Putting all these “rules” on war has accomplished three things:
- We go to war too often as we pretend that we can make it fast & bloodless; “we [have] grow[n] too fond of it.” How else to explain the banners in every city celebrating our children joining the military? Sure – it’s patriotic to be willing to fight, kill and die for your country. My dad fought in WW2 and I entered USAFA in the closing stages of Vietnam in 1972. But your nation cannot waste the lives of those most committed to it.
- We kill many times more of our enemy – and our own – than if we got deadly serious and ensured war WAS hell. A nuke on Hanoi would not have killed 2M Vietnamese. Or 58K Americans. It WOULD have demonstrated our seriousness and probably ended the war.
- We refuse to win, ensuring those we kill and those we send to die on our behalf have been killed and have died… in vain. Despots are left in power, societies are destroyed, chaos ensues harming most of all the “innocent civilians” these “rules” pretend to save, and we lose. And in our losing, those we fantasized we would free through “limited war” are dead, maimed, impoverished, illiterate, uneducated and under the control of savages. This is the fact of the last half of “The American Century.” Do we need to do this all again? Why?
Hillary, after getting murdered in the street a foreign leader (Ghaddafi) who had just done what we asked (gave up his nuke program), laughingly bragged, “we came, we saw, he died,” and left the region in declining chaos. No civilian in the entire region is better off because America has eschewed war on civilization’s enemies. (It truly amazes that anyone of any ideology would support for president a woman who laughs at the killing of another human being.)
The fact of it is this: Human nature has not changed since Plato wrote, “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” nor since Trotsky said, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” This refusal to understand human behavior, history, and war is bipartisan.
War is a fact of life. It will end when those who deem it useful in removing freedom and liberty from others are killed.
And not before.
As long as it exists, we must use all weapons and technology at our disposal to destroy those nations whose people allow their leaders to kill non-aggressors in order to deprive them of life, liberty and the pursuit of their own happiness.
That must be the ONLY “rule of war.”