Carol Platt Liebau: Asymmetric Warfare

Monday, July 31, 2006

Asymmetric Warfare

The loss of innocent human life is always a tragedy, but as Ben Stein points out, civilized societies will always lose if they loudly proclaim and practice complete restraint in dealing with terrorists who are willing to hide among civilians. It's asymmetric warfare and it's unwinnable.

6 Comments:

Blogger eLarson said...

Once upon a time we did target civilians on purpose. Dresden was fire-bombed. Hiroshima and Nagasaki served as object lessons in runaway atomic fission. We did it to save our troops in the field and to bring an end to the war at hand.

It's terrible what happpened in Qana, Lebanon, and I blame Hezbollah all the way. Hezb' prevented the women and children from leaving the building they knew would be struck when they brought their rocket launcher to the site. (Weird how there were no men of fighting age among the dead.) Hezb spent hours after posing the dead for photos. Photos. (Graphic and distrubing photos. You have been warned.)

Still, even if the west were to collectively inflict staggering civilian losses on the people of Lebanon, Syria and all the way to Qom in Iran, I have the queasy feeling that the people we really want to defeat would CELEBRATE the losses rather than be discouraged. How does one best defeat a death-cult?

9:46 AM  
Blogger amber said...

I agree with Ben Stein to an extent. I think in Iraq we have to be very careful how we tread because there are other nations on our list and if we swoop in and take over and take the oil to fund the war the rest of the world will see us in an even worse light and our allies may fall away. If we are careful in Iraq we can be more brutal elsewhere. Before we do that, though, we need to control the media in the areas we are warring with. I say this for a few reasons. First, the threat of a soldier being investigated for murder if he/she shoots and kills the enemy is huge because the enemy looks like innocent civilians. There are no innocent civilians in those nations, but people who have not been there do not know that, they see the middle eastern people as a poorer, oppressed version of westerners and that is simply not true. They created the hell they live in and they continue to allow it to grow. We only need to look at the most recent soldier who was finally aquitted, but his friends who were worried about him getting in trouble and who planned on planting a weapon by the dead Iraqi are now facing obstruction charges. Soldiers can not fight a brutal war if they are afraid that no matter how things turn out they will be thrown in prison, be dishonerably discharged, and lose their retirement. This is no way to treat our soldiers. Secondly, the people in these areas respond only to terror and if the media sees that we are acting as a dictator in another nation, public opinion will crush the efforts of the US. As for Israel, they are surrounded by the enemy, unlike us, and they are concerned that they will be anhililated by anyone of their neighbors if they defend themselves. They need our help and our strong support.

11:28 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

In the Indian wars during the 1800s in the US the Army would get frustrated. The Indians would not stand and fight. They used guerilla warfare. Shoot 'em up a bit and then run for the trees.

So the Army would find the Indian encampment and massacre all the women and children. Reason: hoping the braves would fight; would protect their women and children.

They didn't, of course. But history records only the fact of a massacre, never bothering to ask where the warriors hid while their women and children were being fired upon.

It is not, of course, reported that massacres were a tactic of war, rather the barbaric acts of rogue soldiers.

And so it is today. Why are some of our Marines being held in a brig facing death charges for merely carrying out tactics of war?

Reason: the Pentagon would have to admit some tactics of war are not very nice.

4:10 PM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

It is difficult to tell the difference….

"Until civilians -- frankly, I'm not sure how many of them are actually just innocent little civilians running around versus active Hezbo types, particularly the men -- but until those civilians start paying a price for propping up these kinds of regimes, it's not going to end, folks.” -Rush Limbaugh _July 31, 2006

"We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal . . . As for what you asked regarding the American people, they are not exonerated from responsibility, because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and in other places." -Osama bin Laden_March 1997

A great video of Bush …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9EbssUgHj4

7:58 PM  
Blogger amber said...

I heard Rush's entire monolaug and I agree with him. If they want a change they need to stand up to the terrorists and if they do not then they will die. Rush was being logical, not callous. War is not fun, people die, "innocent" people, and it is especially sad that these followers of the last edict of Mohamed care so little for their own children. I am am somewhat reluctant to say this, but I will because it is important for people to know for disclosure purposes; I think the true followers of Islam are the ones carying out this terror. The Koran is not organized from least to most important command, all previous "laws" Mohmed put forth in the Koran are nullified by the last and you can not tell which was the last simply by flipping to the end, that is the way the Koran is and the last one is the one that says that Muslims are not supposed to allow anything to stop them from creating a Muslim ruled world. Most Muslims have never read the Koran and do not understand this. They say that the radicals have twisted the Koran, but that is not true, it specifically calls for the entire world to be under Islamic Law through any means necessary. I think the war hinges on people understanding this. As long as you think that muslim terrorists are radical you will never be comfortable with fighting the war the way it needs to be fought. I am not saying every Muslim is a terrorist, all I am saying is that every good Muslim is. I have had a few Muslim friends (women, not men) who I care deaply for and am glad to have known.

9:32 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

Regarding the Qana bombing and reactions thereto. Journalists don't report, they pile on. What does the mob of protesters think? Okay, that's what we think too.
y. But mobs aren't very good at analysis.

Mob think is easy. The government of Lebanon has allowed a mob to thrive in their midst, Hezbollah. I'm sure there is a tendency to say, "but its our mob."

There is no such thing as a "good" mob. There is no such thing as a "good" terrorist. There is no such thing as a "good" Muslim?

"We declared jihad against the Muslim governments, because their theocratic government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal . . . As for what you asked regarding the Muslim people, they are not exonerated from responsibility, because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and in other places." -Osama bin Laden_March 1997

Oh, wait, I changed Osama's quote a little bit. Sure seems to fit though.

7:58 AM  

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