In his recent article “Doing The Same Thing Over And Over”: War Karl Denninger puts forth an incredibly insightful perspective about how a nation should fight a war. Denninger argues that none of the wars that America has fought since World War II, including Korea, Vietnam, Gulf I & II and Afghanistan, have been, by his definition, real wars.
For all of the veterans and active military reading this article, please understand that this is in no way an attempt minimize the sacrifices you have made for this country. You have put yourselves in harm’s way to keep this country safe and free. The argument being made here is that while YOU are (or were) at war for this country, the rest of the population sat back watching reality TV, sipping lattes and concerning themselves with the daily activities of Britney Spears.
“We must as a nation choose whether we are going to prosecute this as a war, or leave.
We have not fought a war since WWII.Â None of the engagements we have entertained as a nation since with our military power have been wars, irrespective of what someone has called them.
There is only one way to fight a war.Â You commit your nation’s resources – material and the most precious of all, human – to the complete obliteration of your enemy.
You mass those resources against each objective in turn, without reservation, without holding back, without care for collateral damage or world opinion.
You do so until your adversary sues for peace, not because it is the political thing to do, not for expedience, but for one and only one reason: they’re tired of dying.
There is no “armistice” or “cease fire” in a war.Â There is only victory or defeat.Â There is only death or life.Â Collateral damage, including the loss of innocent life, is a known price that will be paid, although the toll is not of concern in that regard – only the certainty that it will occur.
If we are justified in utilizing military force – the last resort of any nation in the resolution of grievance – then we are justified in utilization of every bit of force we can muster, without mercy, without limit, without fear or favor.”
Denninger’s argument is reasonable, especially when you consider how politics trumps everything else in recent years. I argue, with no actual evidence but based on past behavior, that President Obama is likely looking at polls and considering his re-election bid when contemplating what to do with the Afghan situation. Is this the sign of a true leader, say, compared to a George Washington? Does anyone in the White House or Congress really care about the human lives being lost overseas or is the main concern whether or not their respective lobby groups will be contributing campaign donations in the near future? What’s more important to these people? Is it whether or not the military industrial complex will be able to acquire no-bid contracts, or is it the American soldier who volunteered his life for the cause of freedom with the understanding that the nation will be behind him when he (or she) is sent to war? Every politician, in front of a camera, will say that they are fully committed to our troops. In most cases, this is complete and utter nonsense, as their actions do not match their words. Their words mean ZERO.
It seems to me that waging war has become politics as usual. And from my perspective, it is absolutely sickening. Does it strike anyone else as ridiculous that our soldiers can’t get body or vehicle armor without someone Congressman refusing to vote for it unless there is an earmark spending item attached to it that benefits their district or state? How about we consider the welfare of our men and women in uniform first, pass bills specifically for the purpose at hand, and worry about all the other bullshit later?
Denninger is right when he says:
“Either fully commit our nationÂ to war with all of her resourcesÂ or bring our troops home.”
I think there are twoÂ reasons that we keep conflicts simmering in various parts of the world rather than fight a war and come home.Â
1 : Conflicts are very profitable to people who invest in, consult with, supply directly or indirectlyÂ the armed forces of the United States.
2 : We aren’t really trying to win a war as we are to disrupt, and to deny other nations the ability to grow a center of power.Â By hook or crook we find a way to direct the local leaders and call it ‘support’ when we sometimes have to bomb the crap out of those who are trying to change the status quo from where we have just set it.Â
There is no plan at all, at least none that I can believe to bring our troops home from Iraq or Afganistan any time before we have pumped the last oil from the Middle East.Â
Just like anything else in life; do it correctly or don’t do it at all.
As Yoda said, “Do, or do not; there is no try ”
We are in these ‘wars’ for oil and the military industrial complex.Â Absolutely nothing else.