William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Islam vs. The West vs. Russia — Guest Post by Ianto Watt

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I’ve been asked to share ‘my notes’ regarding my previous posts about Islam vs. The West (Part I, II, III). Especially where I’ve said that the only way out for the West is the nuclear option. Because all the other options are gone. The only other thing that might work is to let Russia do our dirty work.

Well, no need for notes.  Logic will do fine. Especially induction. To understand my reasoning you simply need to know my assumptions. Actually, I believe they are more than assumptions, I believe they are obvious to anyone with at least one eye. But let’s assume they aren’t.  Here they are in a nutshell.

Everything has changed. First, Islam has changed. It’s becoming increasingly conscious of its command to Jihad.  It is gaining momentum, regardless of the crudity of their ‘civilization’. Secondly, America has changed. It’s weary, it’s poorer, it’s disillusioned. It is no longer united. Invoking 9-11 does not elicit the same response. Thirdly, Russia has changed. She is no longer the 98 lb. weakling many thought she was in 2003. How she has done this in so short a time (if indeed that is the case) is another story. But the fact is, Russia is back. And seemingly with an attitude.

Finally, the only thing that hasn’t changed is Europe. Well, actually it has. It’s gotten worse. Weaker, in both a military as well as national sense.  Admittedly, sovereignty is now an issue, but only because they are losing this same said characteristic of their past. They are awash with a foreign element that is increasingly belligerent.  Turning this ship around can’t be done, as there is no rudder. Or should I say there are twenty-seven rudders. They both equal the same thing, eh?

So now, let’s start with the original version of this war (Iraq, Afghanistan).  That version has only awoken the beast, not tamed it. Too few men, too short a time.  Yet we’ve already spent a dozen years doing this. But let’s say we sent over another 300,000 men (which is what the Generals told George he needed to conquer and then pacify).  Any clues as to where these numbers (and the payment for them) will come from?  Put aside the public reaction, and ask yourself: who would be willing to join this coalition? A coalition that will need to stay in place for at least twenty years (one generation) if it is to have any hope of having a lasting effect. And then, I want to see anyone else’s notes that would guarantee that one generation would be enough.

And remember, we won’t be starting this round against a state-actor. We’re past that.  We are into asymmetric warfare mode now, and it’s not just Afghanistan and Iraq.  We would need to have boots on the ground from Indonesia to Morocco. The problem is, the other side doesn’t wear boots. They wear sandals. Starting at children’s size 4. And up. Oh yes, and women’s sizes too.  They really do believe in women’s equality in Islam. Anyone can die for Allah!

Secondly, Islam today is not equivalent to the Islamic ‘threat’ perceived in 2003.  The radical element in every faction of Islam is much larger than it was in 2003, and the fear of these radicals is much greater amongst the ‘moderate’ remainder. Neither brand (Sunni or Shia) is likely to stand aside while we annihilate the other brand. They know who would be next.  Them.

So an outright war against Islam (even if we publicly call it a war against terror, or Shiism, or Sunnism, or whatever) will only produce a unified Islamic world. Sure, their unity would be short-lived. Once they eat our next round of cannon fodder, they will go back to their own brand of tribal warfare. But they will be happy to eat us in the meantime.

But let’s assume we could find the men and the money, and the 20 years (minimum) needed.  Where will you find the united public willpower to exercise these assets?  America is fragmented, and not just left-right.  There are anti-war elements everywhere now.  I know quite a few military men from corporals to colonels and they are routinely discouraged. Not by the task, but by the (lack of) leadership. Especially at the top. We are now led by gender-fixated maniacs.  We are in a shambles at the top. And the damage done would take years to roll back, if it can be done at all.  Again, where is the unified will power on the part of the people? Even amongst the religiously inclined (both Cat & Prot), there is a loathing to fight on behalf of a secular Empire that won’t stand up for religious beliefs.  And the same is true amongst the seculari, who despise those who would fight for religious (vs secular) beliefs. Truly, we are a house divided.

And what about Holy Mother Russia? Let’s ask a silly question. What would Vlad (or any other strongman in Moscow) do if we unilaterally decided to move all this imaginary manpower into the Mid East and beyond? Remember, the cancer has metastasized. It’s everywhere there is an Islamic presence. But again, for the sake of argument, let’s presume we can muster the manpower and project it to the worst spots. Where does that leave NATO? Who’s left to guard the chickens? Chickens in every sense of the word, by the way. We used to keep 50,000 men and more, and 10,000 tanks to plug the Fulda Gap in Germany. Why? To stop the Russians. So, where are those troops and tanks today? They aren’t there anymore. They aren’t anywhere. Why? Because we bought the lie that Russia was no longer a threat. So we scrapped them. Just look at Germany. Ten years ago she had over 2,000 first-line Leopard tanks. Today, less than 300. Hell, Jordan has more tanks (1,250) than Britain, France and Germany combined.

But the Russians are still there. And they have brand new tanks that can stomp the daylights out of ours. But they don’t even need the new Armata T-14. They have over 15,000 of the older versions and they don’t have to transport them across the Atlantic to do what they were built for. And they aren’t interested in the Fulda Gap anymore. The Suwalki Gap is the new hotspot for European angst. And it’s right next door to Russia. They can get there on just one tank of petrol. Isn’t that convenient, Komrade?

But enough of that. Let’s ask ourselves, ‘WWVD?’ What Would Vlad Do? What would he do if he saw America send the bulk (if not all) of it’s manpower on a mission to neutralize Islam? Well, what couldn’t he do? Really, think about it. What is there he couldn’t do if the candy store is left unlocked? Here’s a little tip on what he could do. Check out the latest Army analysis—Russian Military Strategy, by Timothy Thomas—of Russian strategy and capability. My favorite part is the 50,000 Ratnik suits that have already been deployed. I want one sooo bad!

So let’s face it. We can either be on patrol to keep Europe safe from Russia, or to keep Europe safe from Islam. But not both. So, which will it be, Komrade?

Now for those still in doubt, read up a little on the Battle of Stalingrad. Read Days and Nights, a touching Soviet propaganda love-story set amidst the scenic backdrop of this Mother of All Battles. No, don’t read the whole damn book, unless you’re into S&M. Here’s a little taste. The point is this; embedded in the story is the truth of the brutal nature of Russian warfare. From the Battle of Kulikovo Field in 1380 until now, the nature of the beast has not changed. And there is no reason for it to change, if you’re a Russian. And you want to survive. To survive against all these bastard invaders, whether they be Mongols, Poles, Swedes, Pechenegs, French, Germans or Islamic hordes. Russia must survive. There is no other option.

Now take a look at Stalingrad II. Otherwise known as the Battle of Grozny, in the Second Chechen War. The war Vlad won. And notice the similarity between Stalingrad I and II. He won it by doing the exact same thing. He leveled the howitzer tubes and marched straight ahead, block by rubbled block. There were no civilians recognized in this march. The result was, as described by the BBC, ‘the most destroyed city on earth‘.

Now that’s what Vlad would do to the Islamic world. And that is the only thing that will work short of nuclear war. The only thing that will drive Islam back into it’s sleep of the dead. The same sleep that occurred after Vienna in 1683. And the West isn’t prepared, in any sense of the word, to do it. But Vlad is. Do we really want to stop him? For the benefit of Effeminate Europe? Really?

Pax

28 Comments

  1. Very liberal (deconstructive) use of language — employing the word pax while agitating for the neocon perpetual war for perpetual peace. Read Derrida lately?

  2. You assumptions are wrong.

    Most of the Islamic world remains in peace. The conflicts are regional and only our desire to involve ourselves connects us to them.

    Russia is a mess. It has serious economic troubles. It has bounced back in many important terms since it’s recent troubles with oil and war, but only by so much, and the fundamentals look very weak. The one resource Russia needs the most, it’s academic prowess, is just sitting on the shelf. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait for post-Putin Russia and hope it’s run by more competent and loyal leaders.

    There is no need to commit genocide. And putting the word “Pax” at the end of suggesting genocide is really, really just dumb.

    JMJ

  3. Wow! a true tour de force of wrongness..

    examples:

    1 – Islam is an old testament religion. It is appropriate to a people under threat, preaches war, and is feudalist in social structure and governance. You can’t bomb this kind of belief into islam (the word means surrender or submission). What Islam (and the world) needs is an Islamic Jesus.

    2 – this war did not start with Iraq etc. It goes back to about 740 AD and has had hot and cool phases. We’re currently approaching hot again.

    3 – As a matter of opinion rather than fact, I do not think it takes a 20 year or longer occupation to pacify a country like Iraq. Had the U.S. simply left after “Mission Accomplished” fewer Americans would have died, about the same number of Iraqis would have killed each other – albeit in a much shorter time frame – and the survivors would now either have a stable, sensible, country or face another invasion.

    4 – Russia is not a major threat to the west – we’re destroying ourselves and Russia is looking very much like the U.S. circa 1890. Look at the border wars fought in both China and Russia against muslims in the 19th (not 20th!) centuries to understand why Russia is once again growing a serious military – it’s not aimed at us, it’s aimed at the most likely invaders: the muslim communities on Russia’s borders.

    I could go on, but you’re a smart person so please, read some history, and then we can talk.

  4. Once again, I wonder did people in the comments section really read the article? Did they really think through what Ianto Watts is saying? I’m not saying you have to agree with him, but come on, he raises some good points. Read some history? I think Mr. Watts has read quite a bit of history, did you not look at some of his references in the article? Anyway, whatever.

    I for one agree pretty much with what you say Mr. Watts. Osama Bin Laden had it right, we are a paper tiger, there is no way short of nuclear strikes that we could ever win a large war. I think the battle of Mogadishu is another example of the weakness of the west, back in the day, that would have been considered a clear cut victory for the US. We had 19 killed and 73 wounded, to anywhere from 200-500 killed and multiple hundreds of wounded for the enemy. Oh! but I know according to liberals body counts are so passé! Thus we ‘lost’ and ran away with our tail between our legs. Aidid became more powerful than ever and Osama Bin Laden became emboldened and a ‘la 9/11!

    Also, anyone who thinks wars are not common or an aberration apparently does not know history very well. Peace through superior fire power! A truer maximum has never been spoken! Lol! Russians and Islam are the only ones who know that truth! Now we have (or will shortly have) a trans-gender military! Everyone celebrate! Yay! Go diversity!

  5. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Most of the Islamic world remains in peace. The conflicts are regional and only our desire to involve ourselves connects us to them.

    Except where the House of Submission abuts the House of War: in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, India, Thailand, Philippines, the Caucasus, Israel, the Chinese West, East Europe, West Europe, even (when opportunity knocks) in far America. Even within the House of Submission, there is internecine struggle between various factions in Algeria-Tunisia, in Libya, occasionally in Egypt, in Syria, in ‘Iraq, the Yemen, sometimes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, against the heretical Bengalis, against the apostate Turks (where they have just “burned the Reichstag” and trashed Atatürk’s legacy). A native resistance movement was put down in Persia a couple years ago; and one hears hints of an intra-Saudi civil war a short while before that.

    AFAIK, Morocco is at peace, the Gulf States for now, and much of Indonesia. Although, http://www.longwarjournal.org/?s=morocco and http://www.longwarjournal.org/?s=indonesia

    This is aside from the slow, steady cultural genocide waged against kaffirs, ancient and modern, and their works. The giant Buddha statues were not the first to go; and the archeological sites of Palmyra and Cyrene will not be the last. The Islamists have declared their intention to demolish the Pyramids of Egypt, which will take some doing.

  6. I stand by what I said. It is true. You are conveniently ignoring countless other factors at play in citing particulars from around the world. I think you see all these issues as purely religious. But they are not. Most of the troubles with this we see today are emanating from post-colonial (and some still semi-colonial, or just recently forming and monarchical, and so forth) states still sorting themselves out. You can’t underestimate the effect colonialism has on the subjugated culture.

    JMJ

  7. YOS —

    Seriously?!? Have you bitten the poisonous apple of American Exceptionalism?

    Have you bought into the Straussian worldview that is the essence of the neo-left (aka neo-conservativism)?

    Have you not read Schumpeter’s indictment of the US via the example of the Roman Empire and its seemingly eternal wars?

    Quick quiz: Which country openly foments war in furtherance of its perpetual war for perpetual peace (i.e. the country where factions of the Trotskyite and Bonapartist left subverted the Old Right just a few decades ago — and I bet you were taken along for the ride with nary a glance backward)? Also, which country actively agitates for violence in other countries, funding opposition groups, etc.?

    Note: Sum all the interventions by country since WWII and see which country comes out on top.

    Hack,

    “I think the battle of Mogadishu is another example of the weakness of the west, back in the day, that would have been considered a clear cut victory for the US. We had 19 killed and 73 wounded, to anywhere from 200-500 killed and multiple hundreds of wounded for the enemy.”

    If you are going to school, note that “wins” are not judged by body counts. Since war is simply politics by other means, it is the geopolitical outcome of the battle that determines the winner.

  8. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 26, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Most of the troubles with this we see today are emanating from post-colonial

    Therefore, if we look at the age before colonialism we will not find such problems as the Fulani Jihad of Osman dan Fodio or the rieving of North Africa by the Beni Hilal and Beni Sulaym or the persistent attack on Dongola and Soba until all the Sudan was brought under muslim Arab rule? Or perhaps the eruption of the al-Murabitim into the Maghreb or the wars between the Shi’ite Fatimids and the Sunni Saljuqs? Not to mention the jihadi castles in the Alps that raided traffic between Gaul and Italy in the Early Middle Ages, the sieges of Rome, the sieges of Constantinople, the massacre of Antioch by Baybars, or the pyramids of skulls built by Timur Lenk.

    Western Europe must have some serious mojo if a century or less of “colonialism” was enough to outweigh over a thousand years of Islam.
    +++
    @Jim
    I said nothing about the Great Satan Amerikkka. Mr. McJones had made the statement
    Most of the Islamic world remains in peace
    and this struck me as something that Filipinos, Igbos, Hindus, Thais, and others might find risible. Not to mention residents of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, ‘Iraq and other places torn by civil disorder. Zawahiri, e.g., recently denounced the Muslim Brotherhood for being too secular and threatened attacks in Egypt.

    The idea that war is simply politics by other means is a Clausewitzian notion and does not apply in those regions where war is simply blood feud on a larger scale.
    “Wars were things that Westerners did. They were fought for economic reasons or for territorial expansion; they were instruments of policy; they had a point and an objective. You knew when a war started, and you knew when it was over.”
    http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/2005/07/war-in-pieces-the-blood-feud.html
    See also:
    John Keegan, A History of Warfare.
    https://www.amazon.com/History-Warfare-John-Keegan/dp/0679730826
    ++++
    @Jersey
    I agree that people are too quick to assign religion as a cause for things that are adequately explained by governments. The difficulty in the House of Submission is that Islam recognizes no distinction between civil and religious, so it is not as easy to tell the difference. Also, while Egypt, Persia, and Turkey, and maybe ‘Iraq have some sense of themselves as political entities, due to their long pre-Islamic histories, the nation-state as known in Western Europe does not fly too far elsewhere. The people of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine all speak the same dialect of Arabic — indeed, some of them still speak Syriac — and consider themselves all of one nationality: al-Shams. They will often mock the accents of Egyptians and (esp.) Maghrebis and consider themselves superior to the Peninsulars.

  9. I find it questionable, but possible, that huge numbers of Muslims will unite in a violent jihad. History suggests it takes exceptional circumstances to get a lot of people that riled up.

    But, if they do… then war, major war will happen.

    Even the US could do it. But only if we were hit so hard that a lot of our PC nature was knocked out of us. 9-11 wasn’t enough – we had people wimping out within a few weeks, and within 3 years the entire left had forgotten, like usual, that war requires winning and killing people.

    As for Russia… Vlad has got big economic problems. His military is only credible against very small forces. The US could still crunch him, if we had the will. Vlad’s military technology is spotty. Sure, they can do good electronics now, but its not clear that the quality control on the rest is worth much.

    But, Vlad has goals that differ from ours. Islam is not his biggest problem. Heck, radical Islam allowed him to get the power he has, through his reaction to the terrorist bombings of apartment buildings, which likely were false flag operations done by his security services anyway. Vlad wants the price of oil to go up. Fighting in the oil patch is a great way to get that to happen. Get Iran and Saudi Arabia to go after each other, and the world will have to buy Russian oil. So guess who is supporting Iran’s expansionist aims… giving them advanced air defence systems, propping up Iran’s ally Assad, and generally causing trouble.

  10. Sander van der Wal

    August 27, 2016 at 2:50 am

    The problem with the post-colonial explanation for the post-colonial problems is that when the colonialists are gone, leaving a power vacuum, the post-colonialized are now in a position to make a power grab. The manner in wich they make that power grab is therefore a direct measurement of the morality of the post-colonialized.

    If they install a democratic government, and embed democracy in society itself, then one would say that the post-colonialized are model world citizens.

    If they go for all-out civil war like in Iraq after the Second Iraqi War, then one would not say such a thing.

    Following this, one can blame Bush for making the thuggery possible, and not seeing those people for the thugs they are, but not for the thuggery itself.

  11. Yes of course it’s colonialism that causes the shrill cries of Allahu Akbar before choppy choppy time. And yes those post colonial methodists are really the worst at violent jihad!
    How lucky we are to have a man in JMJ who does understand colonialism and islam to inform us about what we cannot understand. It may be churlish to question why he understands the ‘subjugated’ culture but others do not.

    Pillock.

    So if most of the Muslim world is at peace and this is an effect of colonialism, would that not make colonialism good?

  12. Andy, et al —

    Isn’t it ironic that many of those same jihadist were considered freedom fighters, seeking liberty, when they fought a proxy war against the Soviets. Funny, when the powers-that-be flipped Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, most folks never even questioned the change.

    Ask yourself, if it wasn’t radical Islam, what other eternal enemy would keep the military industrial machine humming?

    What is also ironic is that US soldiers die to protect Islamist states. And most folks, in a very 1984-ish manner, call that the war against radical Islam.

    Read the excerpts below and see if you still support our wars and interventions (emphasis mine).

    Iraq Constitution:
    Article 2
    First: Islam is the official religion of the State and is a foundation source of legislation:
    A. No law may be enacted that contradicts the established provisions of Islam

    Article 92
    Second: The Federal Supreme Court shall be made up of a number of judges, experts in Islamic jurisprudence, and legal scholars, …

    Afghanistan Constitution:

    We the people of Afghanistan:
    • Believing firmly in Almighty God, relying on His divine will and adhering to the Holy religion of Islam;
    • Realizing the previous injustices, miseries and innumerable disasters which have befallen our country;
    • Appreciating the sacrifices, historical struggles, jihad and just resistance of all the peoples of Afghanistan, admiring the supreme position of the martyr’s of the country’s freedom; Article One: Afghanistan shall be an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state.

    Article Two: The sacred religion of Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals.

    Article Three: No law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam in Afghanistan.

  13. @Jim – you are being naive. Those fighting the Soviets may have been called freedom fighters, but for us, they were fighting our enemy – a very, very bad enemy indeed.

    Likewise, the idea that we invaded Iraq for the people of Iraq is absurd. We invaded Iraq because the existing regime was considered very dangerous to us and to our interests.

    Now we have a new enemy – radical Islamism – and hence our strategies need change.

  14. John,

    Sorry, your understanding of history is off.

    The Soviets were our allies first. In fact, many US leaders, intellectuals, and regular Joes saw the various forms of socialism (in Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union) as example of how to properly run a country.

    Yet, in a matter of weeks, Uncle Joe went from eternal friend to eternal enemy (all because the military industrial complex needed a new enemy to justify a standing army and associated governmental expenditures).

    Iraqi under Saddam was our ally in the Iraq-Iran War, a war the produced in the area of 1 million casualties. The US provided the weapons and chemical Iraq used to fight Iran. So who was evil then and there?

    Then, Saddam became our enemy in the eternal war between the US and Iraq.

    You make the point about “our interests” without even understanding what you wrote. Do you really believe that that war was in our interests (i.e. yours and mine)? Or was it in the interest of those making the claim, which you so easily accepted.

    Instead of repeating platitudes such as “in our interests,” take some to to find out who the “our” really is.

    Note: You may not know this, but everything government does is claimed to be “in our interests.” Hmmm.

  15. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 28, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Yet, in a matter of weeks, Uncle Joe went from eternal friend to eternal enemy (all because the military industrial complex needed a new enemy to justify a standing army and associated governmental expenditures).

    The alliance with Stalin was a marriage of convenience because the West judged Nazi Germany the bigger immediate threat. FDR may have been gulled or misled by CPUSA agents in his administration (cf. Yalta). Then, after the war, when the Soviets blatantly violated the accords and flipped various governments to communism, it was clear that Stalin meant to push his surrogate border as far west as he could.

    It is not at all unusual for two states to make an alliance of convenience under the circumstances then part ways when the circumstances changed. Look at the line-ups of the various European wars of the 18th century. Or even later: Austria and Prussia allied to take German-speaking Schleswig-Holstein from the Danes; then Prussia turned around and declared war on Austria in order to take the provinces for herself.

    That old Merchants of Death conspiracy theory began in the wake of the Great War. It may have been the first of the great conspiracy theories of the 20th century.
    http://www.americanheritage.com/content/revising-twentieth-century

  16. Jim, you seem to be hung up on whoever was evil, and that mistake clouds your analysis.

    The Soviets were our allies, but they didn’t suddenly become evil – they were always evil. The end of the war meant that the reason for the alliance went away. They were the lesser of evils only until Hitler was defeated.

    Saddam was not our ally against Iran. The US was playing both sides. Again, not because of who was “evil” but because it was felt that letting them wear each other down was to our advantage. And, we did not supply Saddam either the weapons or the chemical weapons. The weapons were from Russia. The chemical weapons were made by Saddam. The only weapons we provided in that conflict were *to* Iran – the TOW missiles from the Iran-Contra deal.

    As to my understanding of our interests and your insulting slap on them.. grow up.

  17. John,

    Grow up?!?

    You agitate for perpetual war for perpetual peace, under some banner on “our interests,” all the while risking my family and children. It is you that needs to grow up and realize that the supposed “our interests” only benefit those making that claim.

    Unless, of course, you are a collectivist at heart, in which case your interests align with those making the claim. Not that you benefit from “our interests” other than feeling you are part of the team (or party).

    So you have either been duped or adhere to one of the various flavors of collectivism. Not that it will matter to my children.

    And remember that folks like you have no issue with the blood of US soldiers spilling over the Islamist constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan (see my post above), all the while claiming we are in an eternal struggle against the Islamist.

    Seems there are cataracts in your vision of the world and its events.

    YOS,

    “FDR may have been gulled or misled by CPUSA agents in his administration (cf. Yalta).”

    Are you so enlightened that you can discern a conspiracy theory from a “conspiracy theory”? FDR was enamored by socialism, as were most of the US intellects and leaders once they experienced the “wonders” of a collective war effort in WWI.

    My point is not that alliances switch (based on “our interests,” or course). My point is how gullible folks many folks are to allow the narrative to change so quickly, without even a hint of cognitive dissonance.

    Note: Seems it doesn’t trouble you either. And they say Nineteen Eighty-four was a novel.

  18. YOS,

    I missed this earlier, “The idea that war is simply politics by other means is a Clausewitzian notion and does not apply in those regions where war is simply blood feud on a larger scale.”

    Are you seriously making this claim – that human action in the Middle East is somehow different from actions elsewhere? It is an example of what Ludwig Mises called polylogism.

  19. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 28, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    My point is not that alliances switch (based on “our interests,” or course). My point is how gullible folks many folks are to allow the narrative to change so quickly, without even a hint of cognitive dissonance.

    I doubt that too many people thought “Uncle Joe” was all rainbows and fluffy bunnies. And when the mask came off, there were few jaws dropping. Even so, the only time we ever went to war with the Soviets was in 1919.

    Conversations with former East Bloc citizens can be a revelation.

  20. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 28, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Are you seriously making this claim – that human action in the Middle East is somehow different from actions elsewhere?

    Actually, it was Keegan making the claim in A History of Warfare.
    https://www.amazon.com/History-Warfare-John-Keegan/dp/0679730826

    The contrast is between the Western Way of War, pioneered by the ancient Greeks, and Traditional War. In traditional war, the idea is to strike from ambush, kill the weak, and run away. Surrender when cornered; then take up arms again when your foe turns away. There are no regular armies; no regiments, no uniforms. And there is no such thing as honorable deaths in battle for whom a glass may be turned over in mess. All such deaths are personal offenses to be personally avenged. (An example of this was the way some Indian allies of the British burst into the hotel where the British were keeping their American officer prisoners in 1812.)

    Al Qaeda and its imitators are not armies. They wear no uniforms and have no regiments. They do not have territorial demands or military objectives. Westerners are to some extent only stage props in their personal psychodrama.

    Keegan’s book is worth reading.
    As is this essay: http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/2005/07/war-in-pieces-the-blood-feud.html
    +++

    We know from Venona who the Soviet agents were in FDR’s administration. That is how you tell actual infiltration from woo-woo conspiracy theories.

  21. YOS —

    “Conversations with former East Bloc citizens can be a revelation.”

    Talk about a non sequitur. The opinions of East Bloc citizens aren’t even tangentially referenced in any of my propositions.

    “Actually, it was Keegan making the claim in A History of Warfare.”

    No. It’s you making the claim, bolstered by a theory from Keegan.

    And here is my (as you claim) woo-woo conspiracy theory, “As documented in 2002 by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs, the Reagan administration knew full well it was selling materials to Iraq that was being used for the manufacture of chemical weapons, and that Iraq was using such weapons, but U.S. officials were more concerned about whether Iran would win rather than how Iraq might eke out a victory.”

    That is from the Washington Post, a bastion of tin-hat conspiracy theorists. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2013/09/04/history-lesson-when-the-united-states-looked-the-other-way-on-chemical-weapons/

    It seems you apply a liberal filter to your reading.

    “Al Qaeda and its imitators are not armies.”

    The discussion was around Mogadishu. Please try to argue on point.

  22. Jim Fedako – your reply suggests you know nothing about me, but that you do need a drum to beat.

    As I said, grow up.

  23. John —

    A school yard taunt is not an argument — at least no since fourth grade.

    Of course I know nothing about you other than what I can reasonable imply from your posts — remember you are posting anonymously. Shocked?

    At least I only want to beat drums … not foment fears in order to bestow perpetual war for perpetual peace to our children.

  24. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 29, 2016 at 12:48 am

    “Al Qaeda and its imitators are not armies.”
    The discussion was around Mogadishu.

    Then why bring up ‘Iraq?

    You had questioned whether elsewhere in the world a different model of warfare was in common use distinct from Clausewitz’s rather idealized 18th century format often misquoted. Al-Qaeda was simply cited as an example. The Amerind allies of the British in 1812 was cited as another. They were not engaged in war, but in feud, and none of Clausewitz’s parameters apply. You are trying to focus on the illustrative examples rather than on the principle they were illustrating.

    I found Keegan (and Harris) persuasive, but referencing them allows you to consider their points at book-length and/or essay length, resp.

    You have discovered that the WashPo ran an article that said bad things about Reagan? Be still, my heart! I may not recover from the shock. But if as you claim I see everything through a liberal filter why would exposing Reagan bother me? It was the liberal wing that poo-poohed the idea that Alger Hiss and the rest were Soviet agents. Liberals and conservatives seem to be running about 50/50 on the popular conspiracy theories of the 20th century.

    Your comment that switching from being allies of the Soviets against fascism to being opposed to Soviet expansionism was all due to America’s “perpetual war” (at the service of the munitions industry) seemed to suggest that the poor Soviets were just sitting there minding their own business when the US suddenly turned on them because of “interests.” I mentioned that folks who had lived under the Soviet system had a different take on matters.

    BTW, you keep using the same phrase — “perpetual war for perpetual peace” — again and again. Is this a catch phrase? Did it come from the title of Gore Vidal’s dismissal of 9/11? Or from Charles Beard’s 1939 apologias for Germany? Or H. E. Barnes post-war apologia for the Third Reich in re war guilt? Vidal and Beard were liberals and Barnes appeared to have been save for his Germanophilia. So whence this filter of liberalism?

    Revisionists such as Barnes were often obsessed with the idea of a conspiracy against them. He called the anti-revisionists the “Smearbund.” When the Chicago historian Bernadotte Schmitt first criticized his Genesis of the World War, Barnes wrote: “There is the very important fact [fact?] that Mr. Schmitt seems to live in daily dread of being mistaken for a member of the detestable Teutonic breed.” Barnes even thought that there was a conspiracy among booksellers not to reorder his Genesis . Mencken’s relationship to Barnes (they corresponded for decades) is also telling. In May 1940, when the German armies lurched forward into Holland, Belgium, and France, Mencken wrote Barnes that the American press “would be hollering for war within two months”; in June he wrote that “Roosevelt will be in the war in two weeks, and … his first act will be to forbid every form of free speech.” Mencken, like Barnes and other revisionists, was bitter against a war with Hitler’s Reich, but after the war he thought that the United States should go to war against “the Russian barbarians.” That inconsistency—if that was what it was—was typical of the inclinations of almost all the post-World War II revisionists. The opposite was true of the Cold War revisionists of the 1960s, who accused the United States of having provoked the Cold War with Russia, while almost all of them approved the American involvement in the war against Germany. They, too, did little else but project backward their then widespread and fashionable dislike of the Vietnam War to events that had happened twenty or more years earlier, manipulating that record for their own purposes. In the 1970s most of them turned to other topics, and at least one of them (Horowitz) became’a neoconservative publicist.
    — John Lukacs, “Revising The Twentieth Century”, American Heritage Magazine, Sept. 1994 (v.45 iss.5)
    http://www.americanheritage.com/content/revising-twentieth-century?page=show

    The entire essay is worth reading.

  25. YOS —

    Follow the flow of arguments, and try not to combine separate threads.

    A couple of things: based on your frequent links to American Heritage, it is obvious you adhere to some variant of the progressive, neocon creed. Yet, I believe you impugn progressivism, without nary a twitch of cognitive dissonance.

    It may likely be that the US and Somalia were (are?) in some sort of blood feud (that was the example that started this thread), but the supposed win (by body count) gained the US zero geopolitical advantage — so the loss gets recorded in the US column, regardless who it offends.

    And it is simplistic to consider regional actions akin to the Hatfields and McCoys — for example, spend some time researching the clan wars in the glens and highlands of Scotland to understand that blood feuds and geopolitical considerations are not mutually exclusive.

    I use the phrase since it succinctly defines the situation. We are in a perpetual war for perpetual peace; a war where armchair folks like you stand in cheer, ever angious to see if your team remains on top with the next poll.

    And to justify the blood on you hands, you take the Albright approach of, ‘That sounds right.’

    Note: American Heritage is proof the market satisfies all tastes, sour or otherwise.

  26. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 29, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    based on your frequent links to American Heritage

    Oddly enough, this is the very first time I have referred to the mag; and that was only because I vaguely recollected an essay by John Lukacs that had appeared there.

    The idea of calling Prof. Lukacs a “progressive” or a “neocon” is risible.

    For further information on the nature of war, see Keegan’s book, already mentioned, or the essay on feud by Harris, again already mentioned. The US and Somalia are not locked in a blood feud. There is no Somalia, only warlords. The problem is that Western (and Eastern) states looked upon the matter as Clausewitzian war, and Adid’s clan looked upon it as blood feud. The same disjunction of thinking seems to encompass many of these cases of asymmetrical warfare.

    That you echo a pat phrase used by Gore Vidal, not only a progressive but radically so, and by Henry Barnes, an apologist for national socialist Germany, I surely do wonder who is more influenced by progressivism. I’m not sure why the genetic fallacy fascinates you so. Surely, Lukacs’ thoughts, or Keegan’s thoughts, or any of the rest, can be evaluated in their own right and not on the bucket in which you place the venue in which they were published.

  27. YOS —

    Hypocrite, heal thyself.

    You claim the Genetic Fallacy while employing the Genetic Fallacy. Hmmm. Come on.

    I use a phrase which you refute, not based on the phrase and its truth, but on its supposed origin. And that is a valid argument? All the while, you claim I used the Genetic Fallacy when imputing the values of editors and publishers to the articles published.

    Yet, you may not know this, but other than Marxists.org (which has Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk’s refutation of Marx, Karl Marx and the Close of His System), very few organizations stray from their ideology. And even fewer publish refutations.

    As always, keep in mind claims actually made. I never said Lukacs was a progressive neocon. In fact, I never even mentioned him. That his ideas resonate with progressive neocons is something to consider.

    Also up for consideration is this: anyone so enthralled with Churchill must hold the values of the values of progressive neoconservativism dear. Must.

    Notes: Who but a progressive neocon organization (AH) would publish an article that lauds the interventions Hoover used to create the Great Depression out of simple downturn?

    Also, as I said above, progressivism is not the exclusive ailment of the so-called left. It has its very rightish strain as well.

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