Carol Platt Liebau: Fighting To Victory

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fighting To Victory

Sometimes, the only way that a conflict can be settled is to allow the parties to it to fight -- until there's a clear winner, and a clear loser -- as this astute piece points out.


Blogger Greg said...


10:30 AM  
Blogger R Platt said...

The only acceptable objectives of war are defeat and capitualtion of your enemies. Anything short of those to ends is a complete waste of time, effort, life and money.

2:55 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

Best illustrated by Saddam in 1991. He surrendered and then spent what, 12 years saying, in essence, I take it back. I understand both Germany and Japan sued for conditional surrender in the end days and Truman rejected, going for unconditional surrender. Will we ever learn?

3:38 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

The Republican peace plan:

Encourage everybody to keep fighting. When they're all dead, we'll have peace.

Republicans: Taxes are bad, sex is evil, death is wonderful.

4:21 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

A whole slew of straw men felled with one post! Nice one, wrabkin. (I think the Death is wonderful part is more applicable to the party of abortion on demand.)

Encourage everybody to keep fighting. When they're all dead, we'll have peace.

Uh no. They don't all have to be dead. War is the original, and sadly the ONLY effective, peace processor. There will be no peace for Israel from Hezballah until Hezballah is made to admit defeat. So long as the world steps in to keep Hezballah from feeling that defeat, Hezballah will be there to lob rockets into Israel. When they are sufficiently bloodied, perhaps they'll finally realize that it is a poor course of action.

I recommend Greg's 3rd link for an analogy that is sadly fitting.

4:55 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...


The people the Israelis are fighting would love to turn you and your family (and me and mine) into bars of soap and lampshades.

One can no more negotiate with these people than Chamberlain could with Hitler.

5:03 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Mr Coyote:

Hitler had one of the strongest armies in the world and was actively engaged in trying to take over the entire planet.

While it's easy to make any cause sound righteous by comparing any enemy to Hitler, it's also completely meaningless.

And if you think that killing civillians in order to wipe out terrorists will lower the number of terrorists, you really have no clue about human nature.

Unless, of course, you are advocating murdering every last man, woman, and child in the Middle East. And anyone in Asia or Europe who might object to this tactic.

We're supposed to be the good guys, as are our allies. We don't practice genocide.

6:23 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

1. Because Chamberlain (and France) failed to confront Hitler in the mid 1930s when he did NOT have the strongest armies on the planet, the Western democracies had to face him when he did.

2. The Islamofascists TELL us they are actively engaged in trying to take over the planet, and they are taking every step they can to carry out this plan.

3. Appeasing terrorists will breed them faster than killing them and going after their sponsors. That is the bitter lesson the Israelis learned after fully withdrawing from Lebanon and Gaza.

4. I care as much about the number of "men, woman and children" killed in Iran, Iraq and South Lebanon as Churchill cared about those in Germany and Roosevelt/Truman cared about those in Japan. I prefer not to kill non-combatants (a term the Islamofascists do not recognize or respect), but ultimately, it is the other side that bears responsibility for loss of non-combatant life when that side violates international laws of land warfare by fighting in densely populated areas to maximize civilian casualties.

I am not an advicate of genocide, but neither am I a hypocrite. The fact is, you don't really care about the Middle Eastern men, women and children getting killed and neither do the vast majority of Americans or Europeans wringing their hands and expressing outrage at the present moment. If you/they did, they would have intervened during the Lebanese Civil War, the Syrian Massacre at Hama, the Iran/Iraq war, Sudan, Rwanda, Cambodia, etc. The American Left and the European Center/Left don't give a damn about how many dark-skinned people get killed as long as a white-skinned person isn't doing the killing.

You'd better start caring because the killers have come, and will continue to come, after us.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

Are there any humans commenting on this sad site? Or is this just for American terrorists?

10:12 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Mr. Coyote:

Thank you for the long, deep look into my soul.

That said, I do believe there is a difference between standing to one side as citizens of foreign countries slaughter each other -- as we did in Rwanda, and as we are currently doing in Sudan -- and picking up a machete and helping out with the genocide.

I was in favor of US intervention in Rwanda back when the Republicans were screaming that we weren't the world's policeman. I understand the logistical reasons why we didn't get involved, but it is still a great blot on our national conscience. Our refusal to take any part in the Sudan massacres is an even greater one, since our president has made such political hay out of his courage in labelling it genocide before quickly averting his eyes. The rise of the Khmer Rouge is one of the great atrocities of a century filled with them, and would never have happened if this country had not illegally bombed Cambodia, leading to the fall of their government.

It's very easy to drop a daisycutter on a city center and then blame the terrorists who were hiding there for the civillian deaths. Maybe international law even agrees with that position. (On that score I honestly have no idea.) But if it's your bomb that kills hundreds or thousands of civillians, the fact -- the FACT -- is that the relatives of the victims will not blame the terrorists. They will blame the people who own the planes that dropped the bombs.

Is this fair? Maybe not. But for all the bluster of the neocons about how smart they are, there is one thing they don't seem to understand -- THIS IS STRATEGY. It is the deliberate strategy of terrorists to hide in civillian centers and lure governments into killing civillians. It is a recruiting tool, and it works, over and over and over again, as long as governments keep playing into their hands.

Is this right? Of course not. But so what? It's reality. It has to be dealt with. And saying that we'll keep killing until that reality changes is like the British sending armies marching across open fields to fight Americans hiding behind walls simply because they're following the rules.

What you're prescribing is, in my view, immoral and evil. But that's my opinion. What isn't opinion, and is fact, is that what you're advocating is a losing strategy that will cost us dearly because we are too blinkered to figure out how to fight a new war.

10:49 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Is this right? Of course not. But so what? It's reality.

And here we see it excused.

As for it being a recruiting tool, how many lost generations can the Middle East support?

6:23 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

wrabkin said, "...death is wonderful." Isn't it the Democrat Party who believes
in abortion and the, "right" for Terri Schindler to die a, "euphoric" death?

6:38 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

If we cut off the food from all illegal combatants in our custody, though, the standard would change 'thatfast'.

7:13 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...


1. Iraq is a counterinsurgency operation requiring a counterinsurgency strategy. There, restraint is required tactically.

2. Southern Lebanon is a war between a non-state army that does not observe laws of land warfare and a sovereign state's army that was attacked. The non-state army already has the backing of the populace. The non-state army is firing missiles at the sovereign state's populace. An altogether different level of force is required. There is no point in worrying about recruitment for the other side when hundreds of missiles are getting lobbed at you.

3. What is a losing strategy is appeasement Islamofascists and half-hearted warfare. You are right that levels of lethality must be subordinated to strategy, and I have never argued differently. But in all events, the resolve to stick it out to the end has to be there; this was the point of Carol's original post.

4. Our national conscience couldn't place Rwanda on a map. While your righteous sensitivities in opposing these massacres are duly noted, the FACT is that the cumulative media coverage, and leftist outrage expressed with regard to dark-on-dark massacres is a drop in the bucket compared to what happens when the Israelis defend themselves. Moreover, I submit that four weeks after acting on your call for intervention in Rwanda, US troops would have been facing an "insurgency", and people would have been screaming "quagmire". If it's not important enough to stay in, it's not important enough to get in. Mogadishu, anyone?

Finally, I would note that you place the responsibility for Cambodia's killing fields on the US; this to me is typical of leftist thinking, that the mayhem and savagery in the third world is all the fault of us colonial imperialists. You cannot credit the Khmer Rouge or the Islamofascists with being independent actors in their own right, pursuing their own objectives and responsible for their own actions. It's all about us.

If you want the last word, have at it. Otherwise, we can wait for Carol's next post on the estate tax.

7:41 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Of course the Khmer Rouge was responsible for the genocide in Cambodia. But it's a fact that the Khmer Rouge would never have been able to seize power had we not destabilized the Cambodian government through our illegal bombing campaign.

It's fascinating to me that the people who keep shrieking about "moral responsibility" refuse to accept that their actions actually have consequences beyond the immediate ones. A real leader understands this and thinks several moves ahead. Our current administration acts on whim and is surprised when everything goes to hell.

But what's most typical of the modern Repubican party is eLarson's statement that my explanation of reality is "excusing" it. Somehow, in the Rightie mind, acknowledging a fact and trying to deal with it means that you endorse it. Facts are facts -- you can live with them or attempt to change them. But you can't do anything unless you accept reality first. By claiming that all those who point out the truth are somehow working against the great Neocon fantasy, you are only ensuring global disaster.

8:10 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

By all means, wrabkin, let's hear your scathing, sternly-worded denouncment of Hezballah's use of civilians as human shields.

9:48 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Here: I scathingly and sternly denounce Hezbollah for using civillians as human shields.

Does a lot of good, don't it?

See, I'm not part of Hezbollah. I have no influence over anything they do. They are a terrorist group, and even though you seem to think that Democrats and terrorists are working together, they really don't listen to me.

The United States, however, is a different thing entirely. You see, I'm a part of it. I am responsible for its actions -- because it takes its actions in my name.

I can not be responsible for the actions of insane terrorists half a world away. But I can work to influence my own country.

11:21 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home