May 13, 2006


Rebel territory (MICHELLE SHEPHARD, 5/13/06, Toronto Star)

Certainly, the insurgents' will to fight is formidable. Khalid Khawaja, a former Pakistani intelligence officer and Osama bin Laden associate, says there is no quit in the Islamic principles that inspire the Taliban. [...]

"You fight to live; live a comfortable life. We fight to die. You love to live. We love to die."

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 13, 2006 9:17 AM

Let us help you with that dying thing, old chap.

Posted by: Mikey at May 13, 2006 10:58 AM

Does this qualify as "informed consent"?

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at May 13, 2006 11:30 AM

Who was that Marine who talked about the perfect war: They want to die and we want to kill them.

Posted by: Pepys at May 13, 2006 12:49 PM


Though I've seen it specifically attribute:

This is the Perfect War. They want to die, and we want to kill them.
-Sgt. Major Henry Bergeron, 1st Marine Division

Posted by: oj at May 13, 2006 1:05 PM

And I don't think they appreciate how good we really are at killing.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 13, 2006 1:07 PM

We really are very good at it. The Germans and the Japanese thought they were hot stuff, but they were amateurs compared to the Americans.

Having a military class or a warrior culture is no substitute for a rational, business-like approach to war, combined with a gun-cars-sports macho culture.

Our secret has been that we do not particularly like war and wish to deter it if possible and get it over quickly if necessary, and get back to business.

By fortunate happenstance, the foregoing cultural traits dovetail nicely with the principles of war: mass, objective, offensive, simplicity, economy of force, maneuver, unity of command, surprise and security. Our culture, while not overtly warlike, as the unreformed German and Japanese, or Islam, or almost any other one might think of, is almost perfectly in tune with the spirit of modern war.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 13, 2006 4:26 PM

We're also personally offended by folks who start wars with us--it's a function of democracy. It yields self-righteous fury.

Posted by: oj at May 13, 2006 5:23 PM

It speaks well of Bush that he is trying to avoid that. The self-righteous fury thing served us poorly in the Great War, and made retreat from Vietnam more harmful then it could have been. Not every war needs to be a crusade.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 13, 2006 5:38 PM

Just ensure we have airspace domination, overwhelming force, adequate logistics, leading edge technology and the will of the nation's majority.

Posted by: Genecis at May 13, 2006 5:52 PM

These nutjobs don't realize that they can't keep tweaking the dragon's tail forever.

Posted by: ratbert at May 13, 2006 11:27 PM

People who bad-mouth self-righteous fury just don't get. Fury is part of war. It is central to the principle of mass, the application of overwhelming, brutal combat power on the point of decision.

War without fury is a prescription for tentative, incremental frittering away of the country's will to fight. Sound familiar?

That's how wars are lost. Does that sound familiar?

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 14, 2006 1:43 PM

Mr. Gots, thank you for your thoughts. I am not bad mouthing righteous fury(I do think self-righteous fury is to be avoided). There is a time and a place for it. We have a very professional military, and for the most part, the country just needs to stand out of the way. Righteous fury is part of Total War, not the tiny surgical strikes we are doing now. Self-righteous fury lead to the mess at the end of WWI and WWII. If Bush had played by those rules, we would have Invaded(half million+ troops) Afganistan, garrisoned it, and stopped. I don't think this would have been the safer route.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 14, 2006 3:45 PM