torstaina, huhtikuuta 08, 2004

War Nerd kirjoitti osuvasti aiheesta kuinka amerikkalaisten miehitys Irakissa menee perseelleen . Money quotes:
Every chickenhawk on the air was moaning about how Bush Sr. and Colin Powell let Saddam get away in '91, how we shoulda gone in and taken Baghdad. Still think so? Let's see Michael Savage stand on a streetcorner in Fallujah sweating in a kevlar vest, jumping every time a car turns the corner. Let's see Bill O'Reilly do night patrol through Baghdad in a Humvee. In '91 we did it the way the Brits would've: neutralized the threat, then left and let Saddam try to pick up the mess. Sure we betrayed the Kurds and the Shiites along the way. That's what empires do. The most basic tactic for running an empire is using Tribe A against Tribe B: Kurds vs. Sunni, Sunni vs. Shiite, village vs. village. If one gets too strong you bleed it for a while. Then you let it bleed the others. After a while they're all bled out and your imperial troops are the only force in the country worth mentioning.
What the Brits would be doing about now is arming the Kurds and sending them to police the Sunni Triangle. The Kurds have already asked us to let them do it. They're begging for the chance to get a little payback. They said, "We guarantee we'll have the place pacified in a week. We can read these people! You can't! We can tell who's a guerrilla and who isn't! All we need is a few fingernail-pulling pliers and a portable generator hooked up to a cattle prod or two!"
Of course we won't let them, because it'd be messy, like Sabra-Shattila times ten. There'd be dead Sunnis thicker than sagebrush. But the Brits'd do it, and it'd work. Then, when the Kurds had bled the Sunnis out, they'd recruit a new police force, all Sunni and all-volunteer, to go police Kurdistan, bleed the Kurds for a while so they don't get too strong.

keskiviikkona, huhtikuuta 07, 2004

War Nerd kirjoitti aiheesta miksi amerikkalaisia ammutaan Irakissa: Iraq: the “Duh!” Theory. Muutama lainaus:
I hate W., the little draftdodging oil-money phony, but if any foreign army tried to "liberate" the US from him, I'd die trying to stop them. I realized how your country is so much to you, even if you hate the fuckers running it, you'd sooner have them than a bunch of foreign troops.
And then there's the wuss factor. Getting liberated means you couldn't handle the situation yourself--you're a pussy. I've sat through a lot of action movies, and I didn't want to be the girl who gets rescued, I wanted to be the guy who rescues her. Getting liberated is like getting castrated: maybe it was necessary, but you have a hard time feeling grateful. Like the French when we liberated them from the Nazis. They thanked us, but....
Even when the locals welcome the army at first, they change their mind later on. The Ukrainians cheered the Wehrmacht in 1941, but changed their minds fast. The Catholics in Ulster cheered the British Army in 1969, but changed their minds after the Brits killed 14 demonstrators. And in case you don't remember, US troops killed 18 Iraqis in Fallujah a couple months ago. 18 dead--that's a lot of pissed-off relatives who are going to start digging up the AK-47s they buried in the back yard, looking for some payback. No wonder Fallujah is now the least-pacified city in Iraq.
The thing is, Iraq ain't Ohio. THEY AIN'T LIKE US. Why is that so hard for people to get? Saddam probably seemed pretty familiar, pretty natural and cozy to your average Iraqi. Like the editorial-page types love to say, "Democracy is not an Iraqi tradition." So maybe they never saw why Saddam was so horrible. Just like most of you out there don't think it's so weird that a couple hundred oil-billionaires from Bakersfield and Texas own everything in America. Everybody's life feels natural to them, and that goes for Iraqis too.
And how hard is it to turn a 17-year-old into a guerrilla? Man, if they'd had that option when I was a senior I never would've had to take another vocational aptitude test. "Guerrilla fighter" would've been my first, second and third choice. Now there are hordes of Iraqi teenagers with no jobs and no money who get the chance to fire at Americans on the streets where the USAF can't swoop down on them. And if they shoot at a GI on sentry duty and miss, they run off down the alley. That leaves the GI with a choice of either just letting the bastard get away to take another shot at him next day, or emptying a full clip at the alley. If he does that, he's likely to hit some pregnant woman or little kid. That means another family instantly radicalized.
So how do you get out of a mess like this? Ask the Israelis. They're the best CI troops in the world, and they haven't figured out a way to back out yet. There are no good ways. The two classic occupations of the last few decades were the Israelis on the West Bank and Gaza, and the British in Ulster. The British came in with the idea they were going to protect the Catholics from the Protestants, but a year after they arrived their troops were getting pelted with rocks every time they went into a Catholic neighborhood. They fought the IRA for 25 years and nobody won. But the British lost, because they had something to lose. The Brits did a "white paper" on the cost of the war in Ulster and figured they lost hundreds of billions of dollars on it. Not from paying the troops but because every time a package came into the UK it had to be searched. Every time a car came into London it got searched. Worst of all, nobody was going to invest in a country that seemed to blow up every week or so. And all for a crummy welfare slum they didn't even want. And they didn't even win.

tiistaina, huhtikuuta 06, 2004

Tiedemies kirjoitti vastineessaan mnulle:
Tämä jättää auki enää yhden, monien mielestä ratkaisevan säikeen: Mistä tulee "syy" ylipäätään reagoida, jos emme hyväksy intentiota tapahtumien liikkeellepanijaksi? Ehkä hätiköin, intention voi vielä pelastaa määrittelemällä (määrittelyllä voi pelastaa mitä tahansa) sen käytössä olevan reagointimallin seuraamiseksi. Käyttämällä reagointimallin ideaalina jonkinlaista markovin ketjua, saadaan ideaali-ihmiseksi historiaton ja ideologiaton ihminen. Nyt jokainen lukija varmasti ymmärtää, ettei historiattomalla ihmisellä ole ideologiaa, muttei hän myöskään ole taipuvainen totalitarismiin.
Mielestäni Tiedemies ei ole oivaltanut, että ideologian omaksuminen haittaa totalitaristiseen yhteiskuntaan sopeutumista. Kaikista "reagointimalleista" kaikkein tehokkaimmin totalitaristisessa yhteiskunnassa pitää teloituskomppanian loitolla täydellinen sosiaalinen konformismi. Totalitarismissa ideologian syvällisimmät perusteet vaihtuvat nopeammin kuin päivän ruokalista, minkä tarkoitus on pitää kansalaiset jatkuvan kouristuksenomaisen pelon ja epävarmuuden vallassa. Juuri ideologian hävittämiseksi puolueveteraanit täytyy ampua. (Tommi muuten voi varmaan kertoa käytännön kokemuksistaan steinerilaisuudesta. Lisävalaistusta tarjoaa myös Orwellin 1984.)