June 28, 2001

Veni Vinci (Voops!)

Must we fight? As Yoda of Star Wars fame might have said if the Dark Side would have won in his personal battle, "Fight we must.".

Having now achieved Empire Status ourselves, we find ourselves in the awkward position of having to lead, and quite frankly, it ain't happening. The last great democracy that tried it went down in flames as Nero fiddled. Our problem seems to be one of concensus - we have almost a quarter of a billion fiddlers, none of whom seem to have read the music. It's difficult at best to achieve a particular goal even assuming proper planning. Having to somehow homogonize the myriad goals of the multitudes that compromise our nation is obviously undoable.

A Primer in Modern American Warfare

Let's face it - we as a people are pretty lousy at picking targets. As long as we played follow the leader, we were unstoppable. Our role in both the great World Wars was cleanup. We allowed others to define our goals and even let them soften up the enemy first. What looked like a losing cause with dire potential for our own personal survival provided the proper impetus for a complete, no-holds-barred national commitment. We successfully set aside our differences and with everyone pulling together made it look easy. It was during this period that we achieved our finest moment and rightly recieved the praise and adulation of our allies.

Unfortunately, we let it all go to our heads. Now the self-appointed policeman of the world, we went from a protectionist philosophy to actively seeking out places to flex our new-found powers. Our strategic military accomplishments since adapting this attitude have been, shall we say, less than glorious. We have built a mighty machine for destruction and pacification, and left it in the hands of the debating team. Not having a clear-cut objective, we wander aimlessly across the face of the planet in the hopes of finding a cause worthy of our full and undivided interest. In the meantime, the home front becomes increasingly factionalized, in effect, increasing the difficulty level of ever coming together in any cohesive nature to support whatever just goal the world offers.

Proper motivation is an awesome thing to behold. With it you can overcome insurmountable odds. Without it, the best trained and equipped troops will invariably go down to defeat. I think we can assume most are familiar with the mechanics of both the Korean and VietNam Wars (or police actions, if you prefer). I also think we can assume that most would agree these actions were failures, in that they failed to achieve their original goals. The Debating Team records both as arguable victories. It should be interesting to see how history remembers these events a century from now, when the current crop of spin doctors that write the textbooks are no longer here to defend their warped view.

(If it's OK with you, I won't event mention Panama and Granada ...)

The Gulf War, simply put, was a creation of the overlords at the Pentagon who felt they were losing the important battle - the continued unquestioned funding of their military machine. They needed a proving ground for all the as yet untested toys developed during and since VietNam. A pacifist Congress facing imminent bankrupcy saw no need to provide the same level of support necessary to capitalize an active war. We no longer had the Evil Empire lurking in the dark corners of the world to justify our paranoia. The obvious solution was to create a war to justify the means. The decision to stop short of Bagdad paid off in the long run - our failure to close out this episode in history will serve to keep the budgets flowing freely for now as we convince ourselves of the need to be ever vigilant for future outbreaks of hostility in the Middle East. You have to admire the devious foresight involved in setting up this situation. Even if by some chance the Iraqis rise up in revolt and eliminate SoDamn Insane, we can depend on the friction created by this event to fuel hate and discontent among the Arab peoples long into the new Millenium.

** Somewhat related is our mishandling of the Israeli crisis. How a "crisis" can last for going on 50 years is beyond me. How anyone can believe the continued "crisis" is not the direct result of the same sort of backward thinking that lead to the Iraqi "crisis" is unbelievable in itself. I don't fault the Israeli's for their role in this game - they have an obvious need to keep their nation well armed and alert. Would that need continue to exist if we were to stop meddling in the background? This generation will never know ...

As for the Crisis in Kosovo, let me think about that one for a while. I'll get back to you ...

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at June 28, 2001 06:42 PM