RANGER AGAINST WAR: A Tale of Two Cities <

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities


All is for the best in the best
of all possible worlds

--Candide
, Voltaire

It was the best of times,

it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness
--A Tale of Two Cities,
Charles Dickens
__________________________

It is through the lens of war that we now view our place in the world. Let's view two recently destroyed cities -- Homs (Syria) and Fallujah (Iraq).

The destruction of both cities came courtesy the counterinsurgency (COIN) handbook.
We will conveniently elide rebellion and insurgency, since everyone else in government does.

In the 2004 Fallujah offensive, the United States Marine Corps cordoned off and blockaded an entire city, and systematically converted the landscape into a Stalingrad-like moonscape. This was not an action after hearts and minds, but rather, the eradication of insurgents. The U.S. affixed the name counterinsurgency to this death and destruction to make it more palatable to those not there.

Of course, unlike a true rebellion-suppression in which the government acts against its own, the Marines were mercenaries, sub-contracting their violence to a Shi'ia government which was suppressing a Sunni insurgency. This was not a proud battle for proxies for the ostensible forces of freedom.

Turn the page, and today substitute Homs for Fallujah, and yet . . . everyone is condemning the Syrian actions. The Syrian government is suppressing a rebellion in its midst -- the very thing governments are charged with doing. Think of our own Rebellion, a pretty bloody thing, and one of those one-off events in which the rebels actually won. But that is the risk a rebel takes: They might take your head before you take theirs.

So what are the Syrians doing that the U.S. did not do in Fallujah and on countless other map sheets in our Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©)? Is it not a little hypocritical or blind to accuse the Syrians for using the same tactics to which the U.S. sought recourse? In fact, the Syrians are more justified as they are operating in their own country.

Ranger's opposition to the PWOT is based on policies that are based in ignorance and arrogance, lacking any intelligent guidelines or purpose. The killing lacks direction and does not lead to anywhere of merit. In the annals of justified killing, actual rebellion suppression by a functioning sitting government qualifies.

Killing for no quantifiable goal is an unjustifiable military exercise.

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2 Comments:

Blogger BadTux said...

Not to mention that the ethnic situation present at Fallujah is very much present at Homs, i.e., a predominantly Christian/Shiite/Druze Army is attaching a predominantly Sunni insurgency. And in both cases the goal is to keep a Sunni faction that has a long history of brutality against Christians and Shia from regaining power. The proportions are different -- in Syria the Christian/Alawiite/Druze minorities that make up the government alliance make up around 15% of the country's population, while in Iraq they were the majority -- is that the only difference? I.e., that repression of Sunni extremists by Christians and Shia is a crime only when the majority of a country's population is Sunni?

But of course you don't hear any of this in the Western media, which settles for a simple morality play where "Homs good, Syrian Army bad." The actual situation is far more nuanced than that, and if the Sunni win in Syria, their likely first action will be the utter genocide and extermination of every Christian and Alawiite in the country, which seems to me to be rather a motivation for the Syrian government to not just fold like Mubarak did. Mubarak could quit without someone trying to exterminate not only him, but his family, his friends, the people he grew up with, and so forth...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 11:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous LORD HAW HAW said...

Two articles eight months apart.....'Beam me up Scotty'



WASHINGTON POST article 4/18/11 RE: WikiLeaks cables Syria

The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005. The financial backing has continued under President Obama. In January, the White House posted an ambassador to Damascus for the first time in six years.

The cables, provided by the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks, show that U.S. Embassy officials in Damascus became worried in 2009 when they learned that Syrian intelligence agents were raising questions about U.S. programs.

Syrian authorities "would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change," read an April 2009 cable signed by the top-ranking U.S. diplomat in Damascus at the time. "A reassessment of current U.S.-sponsored programming that supports anti-[government] factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive," the cable said.

The cables, provided by the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks, show that U.S. Embassy officials in Damascus became worried in 2009 when they learned that Syrian intelligence agents were raising questions about U.S. programs.

Syrian authorities "would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change," read an April 2009 cable signed by the top-ranking U.S. diplomat in Damascus at the time. "A reassessment of current U.S.-sponsored programming that supports anti-[government] factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive," the cable said.


CBS NEWS......2/28/2012 US "delusional" Syria envoy" over UN walkout

"Anybody who heard the Syrian ambassador should be aware that his comments were borderline out of touch with reality," Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, the U.S. representative to the 47-nation council, told reporters.

"I think it's a reflection to some extent of what's going on with the Assad regime itself, holding a referendum that is farcical and a mockery of democratic processes when they're in the midst of a humanitarian crisis of their own creation," she said. "I think the Syrian ambassador's comments were equally delusional."

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:32:00 PM GMT-5  

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