Here at Vox Day’s blog, we appear to be playing some sort of ‘Death Pong’, where the points are counted in real and potential human lives lost, and the pot is the USA’s future.
I respect and admire Vox…he tolerates me, I think because I give him an opposing view he can whack like a pinata whenever he wants to illustrate a point of his own. Oh, well. I agree with him more often than not, but I think he is clearly illustrating the old adage that “When you are up to your ass in alligators, don’t forget that your original objective is to clear the swamp…”
Another adage…”Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater…” There’s a joke about Baathwater in there somewhere, but I’m trying to be serious, here.
As I hear him, Vox wants our troops pulled back from every place they are in the world. He will correct me if I am wrong. He says we have no business ‘nation-building’, and I agree. I also don’t think we are. Let’s leave aside any discussion of whether giving people clean water and schools and freedom from tyranny is the Christian thing to do. No, I look at all of this from a tactical perspective, and, more honestly, what do I personally hope to derive from a thing?
Am I invested? Yes, two sons worth, neither of whom I care to see get so much as a sand flea bite. Let’s leave aside that becoming a Marine was their choice, and I am not personally able to send them anywhere. I’m a father, and my guilt or lack of it is directly related to my personal support of President Bush and his…my, war. Our war. We’re in it, right or wrong, and I am personally invested.
9/11 may or may not have Tonkin Gulf similarities…I tend to side with some of the conspiracy theorists. I truly believe that GW did not think that he would get as big a bang for his buck, but there is ample evidence that he and much of his administration were focused on Sadam from the day he took office, and that he suspected something big was coming soon, and he sat on his hands and let it happen.
Fine. I’m okay with that. Why? Purely out of self interest. Islam, allied with Asian communism, was well on the way to sweeping the world, militarily, diplomatically, and terroristically. Insulated and xenophobic as we are, we don’t hear mention in the regular press of the inroads and terrible death toll Islam and communism have caused directly in Africa, Asia, and even Russia.
I see Afghanistan and Iraq as both beachheads, and cautionary notes to potential adversaries. For all the talk of quagmire and all of the nonsense our press feeds us every day, the enemy, and our potential enemies, see one thing perfectly clear: that no matter how we may bumble and stagger around, in the end, we will act, and we will reduce cities to piles of rubble, and kill countless civilians to achieve our goals, and not pay anything but lip sevice to the cries of outrage.
Is the fact that Marines are the primary force at the tip of the spear lost on everybody? Do you really think that the heavy use of Special Forces is because the other units are incompetent? While I’ll grant you that there is plenty of that to go around between the Reservists and the ‘New Army’, I say “no!”.
Marines and Spec Ops are being used because they kill, the enemy knows and fears them, and the people in charge want the enemy killed. Really quite simple, when you think about it. The Army could grind them up and crap them out in time, but, even though it appears to drag on, we are making remarkable progress.
What does it tell you that we have a relatively tiny force in two of the most heavily armed (per capita) countries in the world? Why haven’t they risen up en masse and thrown the invaders out, like they have each and every time throughout history?
Easy…because GW is ‘nation building’, and killing the bad guys with near surgical precision, after letting the tribal hoo-haws save face with a little negotiation. That way, when the fanatics violate the truce by inevitably opening fire, they are disrespecting the tribal elders, not us. GW, et al, are out-Arab’ing the Arabs, at their own game. The people who would rise up are distracted by jobs, more clean water than they’ve ever had, food in plenty, electricity, school, and they wish the fanatics would just shut the fuck up and go home so they can relax and party.
If we pull back like some want us to do, we make the new beachheads Santa Barbara, and Manhattan. Good luck with that. There’s two empty, bleeding sockets in New York to show us how well our distance from the Hot Zones serves us. Oceans are now just something to fly over.
Another old adage: “You don’t shit where you eat…”
Nope, you go to where your enemy is, shit there, and make them eat it.