RANGER AGAINST WAR: Blood and Sand <

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blood and Sand

  Oh Lord it's a war party me no wanna go
Everybody seem to be inviting me
To a war party me no wanna go
Heard about the last one so thanks but-no thank you
--War Party, Eddie Grant 

Poor Silas, so concerned for other folk,
And nothing to look backward to with pride,
And nothing to look forward to with hope,
So now and never any different
--The Death of the Hired Man, Robert Frost

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction
--Newton's Third Law 

The reaction to the precipitating event is
not always proportional
--Ranger's Corollary to the Third Law
______________________
Soldiers of all people should understand cause and effect since our actions have exceptional significance for the welfare of the nation they serve.

When reflecting on the punishing Battle of Fallujah (payback for the murder of several United States contract personnel) it seems clear that in this action lies the genesis of the terror army calling itself Islamic State/ISIS, a group now laying waste to much of Iraq.

It's not exactly rocket science, but no one wants to admit it, either. Things do not occur in a vacuum, and to every action there is a counteraction. Much as Hamas grew out of the early the PLFP, so IS finds its provenance amidst the violence preceding its formation, its affiliation a badge of pride for its members, vile though their brutality may seem to others.

Fallujah was a battle of little importance. The Sunni resistance could not be destroyed, like the city could be. Cities may be turned into rubble by superior firepower, but what is achieved in the aftermath?

Call the destruction "nation-building" and claim you are fighting for hearts and minds, but the proof is in the pudding. Iraq and next Afghanistan (probably) will prove dismal failures for the workers of hearts and minds via war. You may pull the shroud over your eyes and say you act in the name of rectitude, but the recipient of your self-interested largess will feel the hit for what it is (and not what is it intended, or constructed, to be.)

The coalition assault unleashed a fury which created terror ("Shock and Awe"), and so the terror continues to spool out in a predictable and logical fashion. Pride demands it.

After Fallujah, the Sunni population did the only logical thing: they took their beating, consolidated, reorganized, trained and recruited in a readily accessible safe haven, awaiting their day in the sun.

The once-Golden Boy of The Surge -- General David Petraeus -- made his name on implementing Counterinsurgency (COIN) in a modern environment. But he also knew his unknown unknowns. "Tell me how this ends?" he quizzically asked any who would listen.

It was not reassuring then, and it is less so, now.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Ael said...

Hmm, I would not have guessed that the religious Hamas would have been an outgrowth of the secular, indeed socialist, PFLP.

Still, the larger point remains: he who sows the wind, reaps the whirlwind.

PS. Glad to see the post, the radio silence was starting to make me worry.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 2:00:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim hruska said...

AEL,
Let's cut to the chase.
IMO all of Islamic governments is based in tribalism, and as Bernard Lewis says , they are tribes with flags. Tribalism is easily transferable to socialist, or authoritarian rule.
I also lump the pflp with the euroterrorism of the last century. These were largely sponsored and given safe haven etc.by communist intel agencies. This is gone now and the support comes from----you may fill in the blank.
jim

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 11:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

So, the governments of Sisi, Najib Razak, Joko Widodo, Sheikh Hasina, Khamenei and Erdogan are all based on tribalism.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 2:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

AEL,
i reckon that's my position.
The basic building block/foundation is based in tribalism.
Yep, i'd say that as surely as i'd say that liberalism/humanism is the basic cell of western thought.
jim

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 4:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

I'll have to ask my Flemish neighbor about that. Or my good Scotch friend (and yes, he insists that he is Scotch, not that namby pamby "Scots" word.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 6:05:00 PM GMT-5  

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