We Americans, and especially we Texans, have a consciousness of our national history by reason of which we have come to appreciate the present tense necessity to keep well armed and to remain “ready”. Freedom isn’t free is much more than a slogan to most of us and “locked and loaded” is regarded as an indispensable condition of existence no matter who may not agree.
Admittedly there are many who believe they have nothing to worry about because of public resources; their level of comfort and perceived safety; and their predispositions regarding violence and weapons. These folks are and will continue to be who they are, and are not part of this equation. The equation of which I speak here targets those of us who have known first hand what must be done when the moments of threat and imminent danger present themselves.
We have – just within my own lifetime – seen what can happen in a modern society that believes it is past the stage in international relations where resort must be had to the bomb, the gun and the knife. Others want to forget those lessons. They offer up the same rationales that were proffered decades ago when wishful thinking was our way of resisting the recognition of obvious realities.
We also have a keen sense of what governments are willing and ready to do to their own folks in furtherance of schemes and financial opportunities for those at the top of our mountain of gold. We all know how many good people were killed in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan in the quest to accomplish ridiculous pipedreams about everyone in the world just drooling to be a representative democracy like us. Since those notions have no basis in fact, our government and its pals pay leaders of so called developing nations to pretend that they really want us in their countries to help them become answerable to their masses. The leaders pocket the money and continue to avoid acquiescence to a free press, free and open expression, due process and similar notions inherent in the scenario of any open society. The only real strategic interest is economic, in this instance petroleum and other economically substantial resources.
From this national social experience comes enormous, well earned distrust of our own government that wastes resources and then screws the veterans when they most critically need post combat aid and comfort.
In what used to be our normal community experience we could afford to be more relaxed about everything. Our sheer mass allowed us to roll over any adversary. Now, however, we face an asymmetrical adversary plus a state of technology such that a nuclear device is more likely to be delivered in the back of a truck than via an intercontinental ballistic missile. The enemy no longer has to cross oceans to attack. They are already here. Additionally, we have to consider that a certain (thankfully small) percentage of our population is so stupid that they can be radicalized. They “see” our adversaries’ point of view that America is an evil force that must be erased from the earth. Internal risks are now much higher than they have been in the last 50 years, and we should make adjustments that take into account the immediacy of the need to deal with craziness. It is an absolute basic fact that those who are “ready” are the least likely to be attacked in the first place and the most likely to prevail in the face of confrontation. When tensions mount, as they are now doing, being ready is not a luxury. It is a basic necessity.
One of the first major changes we simply must make is with regard to “rules of engagement”. Fools make rules that kill our own people. The notions that we should not shoot first; that collateral damage may take precedence over survival; that the lives of those who would attack us are as worthy as our own enhance the business of coffin manufacturers, but confer no other benefit. We do not become more worthy by accepting casualties. We only prevail by inflicting casualties. No one sees us as some sort of superior society that should not be attacked. In my lifetime we have been attacked by almost every so called civilized society on earth. History is undeniable on that question.
We have made our own mistakes, many to our embarrassment for decades and more. That is not a reason to under confront our current opposition. No one I care to know is interested in accepting losses because of our own past mistakes.
We are coming into a new election cycle. The noisiest of the contestant groups are the crazies. The most facially appealing are opportunists who claim to be interested in helping the downtrodden. If you are downtrodden it is not anyone’s fault but your own. Looking at the action of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and in Israel’s wars, we know for a fact that Jews are capable of defending themselves. When you sit back and ignore/deny a hostile reality, slaughter happens. Resistance is indispensable. The Jews will never again allow themselves not to be “ready”. Neither should we. What history really proves, philosophical preachments to the contrary notwithstanding, is that standing down in the face of hostility is the very definition of stupidity. What we should seriously consider in this coming election cycle is an open society where opportunity is available and real, not just theoretical, and that we are well equipped, in material and in perspective, to deal with those who potentially and currently oppose us in some sort of violent manner.
There are different ways to play the game of confrontation. We don’t go out and bomb everybody that does not openly declare themselves to be interested in coexistence. Many of those who see the world differently that we do need some accommodation and gamesmanship. Today we seem to be woefully lacking in the ability to play the great game. The crazies just want to shoot everybody in sight. Their one trick pony is all military and no sophistication. Military action is last resort consideration. Competence in gamesmanship is first resort.
Their first shortcoming is that they see each instance of hostility as a separate, isolated conflict. In today’s world there are no separate, isolated conflicts. For example, we cannot confront ISIS without taking into consideration that other Sunni and Shia interests are standing by to intervene (on one side or another) depending upon our tactics and strategy. Similarly, we cannot isolate Iran because Russia and China are offering Iran nuclear capability assistance even now, and our so called European allies are not going to continue any economic sanctions – in fact some of them have been violating the sanctions protocols for years already. We cannot deal with North Korea without considering China which is now suffering an economic emergency sufficiently severe to drive it to dealing with everyone on any issue where they see a gain opportunity. Similarly, we cannot decide to take sides in the China-Japan confrontation because either decision is vastly too costly. Japan is now reversing its WW II decision against militarization and its generals are moving to take Japan into war status. Nothing is isolated. Everything is interdependent and we are failing to learn how to play the great game because of our desire for absolutes.
On the other end is sheer stupidity – a sense that the rest of the world is just dying to be just like us. I pray we reject both extremes. Letting people be who they are, even though we may disagree with them on many important issues, is the policy we should seek. Every culture has its own evolutionary cycle. We were not always like we are now. If we are successful and others want to share in our success, they will naturally tend to gravitate in our direction. If they do not, that is their privilege. We have done business with every sort of barbarian in history. Business as usual in the sense of economical interface promotes more peace than evangelism and proselytizing. The world is no longer black and while, good and evil.
There will always be some who simply need to be confronted. When that happens, being locked and loaded is the best policy. But locked and loaded is something we keep ready and should whip out only when there is no apparent other way. We do not have to be in confrontation in the Middle East. What has recently been happening in the Middle East has happened many times in the last 1500 years. It has always resolved itself without requiring the intervention of others. When others sought to involve themselves in the Middle East it has always ended badly for them. The crusades are glaring evidence of how stupid that approach is. The “West” has been in conflict with the Muslim Middle East since the 10th century when the crusades were launched to rescue Muslim lands from the Muslims. We are now repeating that stupidity.
The problem with intermeddling is that it does not provide resolution. It merely consumes resources with no positive result. We have been seeing that in the Middle East for the last 15 years. Why are we continuing in the same manner? In intervention one must either resolve the matter forcefully and quickly or become bogged down for decades in a terrible process of attrition. In our present stupidity we have not even recognized that warfare has fundamentally changed. Unlike World War II, warfare is now asymmetrical. We are still in the frontal assault mode. That is why we have not won a war since World War Two. Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan should have taught us a better lesson in military science. A notion that we can whip China is sheer stupidity. We have quantitatively more military resources than China has, but using what we could use in extreme circumstances is just plain dumb. Politics has prevented the military from doing what the military knows how to do. That does not mean we now go nuke everybody. How many more of our best people are going to be fed into the maw of political correctness? Until that is sorted out we have no business confronting anybody. Political correctness is now making it difficult even to arrest violent felons.
Practically no one asks why it is that we are so preoccupied with confrontation. That question can be answered by anyone who wants to expend the effort to read a bit of history. Humanity is not always civilized. Civilization in any social sense of the word is somewhat cyclical, and the engine of its cyclicality is economics.
A comparison of today with the medieval portion of our history reveals that economic interests were limited to relatively few people who were the aristocracy and royalty. There was, other than in battle, almost no opportunity for upward mobility. The problem with hereditary hegemony is that future generations do not compare favorably with the generation that actually established whatever dynasty you might consider. A great military knight could become a ruler, but his grandchildren were likely to be selfish, spoilt, cruel ignoramuses who delighted in misdeeds and created little of future value, materially or intellectually.
As these rulers became impoverished (comparatively speaking) through almost constant conflict, the idea of the crusades was born. One might, through going on crusade not only absolve himself of sin, but obtain a moratorium on his financial obligations. Conquering the Middle East was seen as both a liberation of holy ground from ”infidels” and an opportunity to obtain great wealth through conquest and trade. The circumstances of people of Europe was such that leaving for years to fight wars was looked upon as an improvement of circumstances. A soldier’s pay was barely marginal, requiring any army to steal from locals everywhere it went in order to eat. Rape, looting and pillage were a soldier’s principal compensation. In actual battle situations the incentive to charge a fortified citadel was the looting of the community if successful.
The handmaidens of war have long been poverty and ignorance. That has not changed. However, there was somewhat of an interlude, at least in great wars, beginning in the 14th century. This was brought on by travel and discovery. Travel exposed people to other cultures and economic opportunity. Centers of trade flourished in the Mediterranean basin and beyond. Taking as an example Florence, the internationality of trade brought cultural diversity. In 15th century Florence one could hear and do business in all the languages of the Mediterranean world. Ignorance gave way to knowledge of the world and cultural advancement. Enlightenment, discovery, exploration, internationalism are the touchstones of Renaissance. When people have opportunity and a chance for education, economies flourish and tolerance of strangers and their cultures brings mutual respect. Just beneath the surface of this “enlightenment” lie corruption, murder and all shades of perversion. It was practiced mainly by the rulers and the aristocracy. Sounds remarkably like Congress, doesn’t it?
We have recently gone through a period of extreme growth of knowledge, technology and prosperity. The generations that followed the expansion after World War II inherited a different world and a different world view. Then wealth became more and more concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people. Upward mobility has been diminished. People who work full time jobs cannot in many instances pay their bills. Our “leaders” become concerned only with preserving their positions at the top of the heap by pandering to the wealthy. Ignorance is now the basis of government and of foreign policy. In 2008 they almost totally destroyed the ability of our economy to function through theft and fraud, and the government looked away while the pigs feasted. We have stabilized that situation now, but we have not thrown out the terrible “leaders” and government is not based upon peaceful, positive interchange among different cultures. Do I need to spell out for you where we are now headed?
The truck with the thermo nuclear device has already been built. The motivation to use it is already in place. The crazies scream for war as soon as possible. We must be locked and loaded.
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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