Saturday, October 12, 2002

What is the Nature of Warfare?

Or, to state this differently, human relations between groups? The basis of the interaction between human beings has evolved for at least two million years, with some recent discoveries leading to a much longer term of human evolution. Civilization is only about 5000 years out of these millions, and we can be sure that Abraham, of Bible fame, was no different from me genetically than one of my cousins. The evolutionary difference between myself and a pre-linguistic caveman is in all probability negligible. The modern liberal or transnational intellectual can not possibly believe this, but it is true, whether these "brilliant minds" like it or not.

So, when we humans contemplate whether to attack Iraq or not, we use the same logical tools that a Neanderthal used when he contemplated whether to run into the next cave and kill his neighbors, no doubt in order to improve his safety or food supply, or maybe to get a few more women for his tribe. It's really very simple, and, while an intellectual argument may be made for a far more complex analysis of anything, every single thing humans want or do relates directly to the attainment or preservation of food, safety, and reproductive opportunity, and enhanced status within the group (in order to get a larger share of food, safety, and women). While this may be an unheralded statement, it can not be refuted. As Khan said: "How little man himself has changed!" As for women, they still respect only power in their mates, and have a need to reproduce and attract a dominant mate that no amount of "feminist" philosophy can change. (Now ladies, before you hate me, I do recognize that there are a few women with a male social adjustment, but is very rare childless woman who does not suffer terribly when the biological clock expires and child bearing goes out of their personal equation.)

In a previous age, wars were far less bloody. Mass murder, however has always been popular, which is probably why homo sapiens is the only member of the genus homo still alive. But the advent of modern weapons, especially artillery and aviation, have made the currently immense amount of bloodshed possible in warfare, and the efficiency with which it could be promulgated, almost unthinkable. Many Americans even deny the fact of this. When we decided to attack the Serbs we betrayed a fundamental lack of understanding of the situation. Both, or more truly all, sides of the conflict were more or less equal participants in the drive for ethnic cleansing, and the same murderous blood lust existed on all sides. How Bill Clinton decided that the Serbs were the bad guys there is beyond me. It is certainly not logical, or based on facts. But a huge propaganda machine agreed with him, so we killed Serbs to free the Bosnians, and we killed the Albanian Kosovars because, well, we must have had a good reason. And, the dirty truth is that we decided to pursue this conflict in the most morally bankrupt way possible, with high flying bombers that didn't risk American pilots, but dropped bombs all over the countryside, in a "kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" scenario. It was a very successful effort, since the prospect of immediate, agonizing death is a great behavior modifier. Anyone who has seen a cluster bomb or B52 strike from (reasonably) up close can tell you. (I am sure that, in an earlier age, canister or grape shot had much the same effect.) So, the Serbs quieted down, Milosevic is in jail, and this situation will obtain at least as long as our bases and forces remain in the region. Nations attack only to enhance their power, not to commit suicide.

Today, the United States has an edge in military power that makes resistance truly futile. Just like the Borg, the only way to beat us is to become complicit in your own demise. The only weapon that can resist whatever the United States wishes to do, risks planetary suicide. Add the Israeli Defense Forces, the world's second greatest military power, and the combination makes the threat to Arab aspirations overwhelming. Between the USA's ability to project its force anywhere in the globe, and the IDF's ability to field more divisions and fly more planes already in the region than the USA could ever hope to project there, the planning of the Middle Eastern nations to finish Hitler's plan to exterminate the Jews is hopelessly futile, just as it was futile for the Serbs to exterminate the Muslims of Bosnia or the Albanians. Make no mistake, the three wars fought over the terrain of Israel, in 1948, 1967, and 1973, were defeats of such large and seemingly strong forces by such a small enemy, at least in terms of population and landmass, that the Arab nations have reached a point of such national impotence that their own cultures, nationalisms, and even sense of identity have become almost dormant. Go there and you will see. The only thing holding the puppeteers in power is a propaganda campaign worthy of Goebbels or Orwell. Everywhere you go in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt you see huge posters of the face of the dictator, and slogans designed to fill the void that exists where national or ethnic pride belong. These people sacrifice their children in pursuits that they know are futile! Remember the point at which the Japanese decided to go with their Kamikaze attacks; a nation willingly sacrifices its young only when it perceives the pursuit of victory to be unrealistic, and authorizes the death of their sons only to inflict some damage before the inevitable fall. The Arabs, and the Japanese in 1944 before them, know that the war has already been lost. Their only, faint hope is the election of another Clintonian Internationalist in two years, but if Bush is reelected, with his almost unequivocal support of the Jewish State, the entire governance of the Middle East will have to change. And the first place for such a change is Baghdad.

The Internationalists, Transnationalists, and the other anti-democratic movements that are gaining such favor in some American and European circles, can not stand this. They believe that their own safety and status are dependent upon weakening the USA. They believe that democracy works only for the weak. To them, the Palestinians need a state. The USA and Israel don't, as we represent the nationalistic paradigm that they are attempting to destroy. And if you don't believe me, read this.

The result of the instability that the defeat of the Ba'ath in Iraq will create in the Middle East is bound to be liberal democracy for the long suffering peoples of the Peninsula, the Cradle of Civilization, and in Egypt. This is so because the victors will be liberal democrats. Neither the USA nor Israel wishes to be a hegemon in the area, whatever the pronouncements of the enemies of freedom and democracy. The only voices that are against this outcome in the Middle East are the dictators, either those already in the Middle East, and those in Brussels and the academy who believe that the people are too stupid to make substantive decisions. They are fighting for their lives and their most proudly held beliefs, and they see, at least in the Middle East, that resistance is futile. Unless the USA is willing to unilaterally disarm, or refuse to pursue a path that will provide enhanced safety for all its citizens, can Saddam and Hamas and al Qaeda hope to survive.

Anything is possible, I've been told, but that rambunctious tribe in that cave over there has killed 3000 members of our tribe. If we do nothing, we will all have less to eat, less safety, and less status. You've got to grant this to the Euro-weenies, they have heart. They really think (or hope) that they can talk us into favoring their agenda over our own. But make no mistake; aside from a few loonies on the far fringes of the left or right in our society, they haven't a chance. Or a clue.