RANGER AGAINST WAR: Bouncing Betty <

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bouncing Betty

Theres a lady who's sure

All that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
--Stairway to Heaven
, Led Zeppelin

So, we were watching the strike [supposedly on Chemical Ali]
on the IR screen, and we see this body falling from the sky,
arms and legs splayed, and we see it bounce,
and we take bets on how many times it will bounce...
--You have to understand, the Army really does care
--Marc Garlasco, former Pentagon chief of high value targeting,
during NPR interview, 4/8/08

Writing about Dexter got me thinking about appearances and reality and how murderous intent can be hidden behind a pretty face. This duplicity can be related to counterinsurgency strategy. Dexter works with the imprimatur of the police department, much as COIN is committed with that of the military.

After six years of COIN warfare in Afghansistan and five in Iraq, the Washington Post this week took on blog writer Phil Carter (who formerly wrote the private blog, intel-dump) to address the COIN operations of the U.S. government. Safe to say, the murder behind behind the pretty face will not be exposed in these entries.

What is COIN anyway and what are its objectives? The whole basis of COIN philosophy is legitimacy, and the premise of U.S. COIN operations is that they will lead to a democratization of and improvement in the lives of the local population. In reality, this is a lie.

The U.S. does not preemptively invade another country with the goal of improving the lives of the subjects of our occupation. COIN as currently practiced is a lie, and the local populations do not benefit from U.S. efforts and those of phony governments established via our largesse. It is doubtful that COIN benefits the welfare of the U.S. citizens, either. So why the charade?

We parrot our support of the troops as if at least that is a good. But even that is questionable. At best, it is usually a meaningless gesture.

How do we define "insurgency" in the context of COIN? Are insurgents evil? Bad men? Are they terrorists; nationalists? The assumption is the Lady Liberty supports COIN, but is this true?

COIN is a propaganda lie based upon an illegitimate war of aggression against nations that are neither good nor evil.
They just happen to be rungs on the ladder to GWB's dreams of glory and God-filled fantasies. If COIN has legitimacy in this context, then the world has turned upside-down and the killers have become white-hatted heroes.

The objectives of COIN must benefit the citizens of the subject countries.
If they do not, COIN is simply a con job perpetrated on the U.S. taxpayer.

If one examines the gulf between stated and applied U.S. COIN policy, it becomes clear that
we are the problem and not the solution.

This view won't be coming to the WaPo anytime soon.

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Blogger Keith G said...

This is a thought provoking, if cryptic, entry. I reread it several times.

I hope that you can find a way to expand on this thesis in the future.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 8:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Herer at Ranger this is a well covered topic. Coin has been explored repeatedly.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 9:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

there was a very telling exchange between a captive confederate major and a union army colonel near the beginning of the civil war. it's recorded in shelby foote's three volume work on the conflict. he also recited this passage in ken burns' documentary for PBS.

the colonel asks the major why they are fighting so desperately and the major replies

because ya'll are down HERE.

pretty much sums it all up. why are the insurgents fighting so hard, using such desperate tactics as terror bombings and random attacks?

because american troops are there.

this whole operation has been poisoned from the start. it might well be that the only lives we are capable of saving are the lives of americans and that can only be accomplished by a full and rapid withdrawal.

if we leave, it might well degenerate into a series of small scale "turf" battles between tribe and clan. it might blow up into a regional conflict. it might do nothing of the sort. nobody knows.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 10:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

You're right!nobody knows what will happen AND US policy continues to pretend to have answers to questions that they don't even understand.jim

Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 10:23:00 AM GMT-5  

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