Do We Deserve To Win?
Air Vice Marshal Arthur "Bomber" Harris.
RAF Bomber Command.
One the best resources available to a blogger is your readers. They are the worlds best editors and fact checkers. They are also one other thing, they are a great source for inspiration for ideas.
One reader left a comment the other day that has been rattling around in my head. In essence, the reader was saying that: "Unless we remain true to our ideas, we don't deserve to win"
There's a part of what the reader was saying that I understand, and at a basic level I agree with. But theres a deeper truth that I think they might be missing.
We are not in an idealogical cultural competition with the Jihadis, we are in a fight for our lives.
We start off each and every war by saying that we won't become like "them", but to survive, you often do what you have to do in order that you survive.
At the beginning of WWII, RAF Bomber Command would only allow bombing of German cities with propaganda notes, by 1942 the concept of "total war" had been adapted by the allied powers. By 1945, we had gone to the process of accepting as normal the the firebombing of civilian populations of Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, Tokyo and the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1939 - We drop paper.
1944 - We drop incendiaries from "1000 plane" raids that last three days.
1945 - We drop Atomic bombs.
Did the methods we engaged in to expedite the war "spoil" the victory? No. An enemy civilian population that engaged in and abetted the open genocide of 6 million of their former schoolmates and next door neighbors, as well as gave material support to an Army that engaged the "scorched earth" polices across the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe can hardly expect to be afforded the kind of protection given to true non-combatants. In the modern world, the designation of "civilian" does not hold the same weight as it did in the middle ages. In the modern world, you are either a combatant or a target, it would seem that a civilian today is simply someone who just didn't "get the memo".
Did we "deserve" to win World War II because we managed to remain idealogically pure? No. Quite frankly, we didn't remain idealogically "pure", but I'm damn glad we won all the same. I do not- for one second - think that in the area of atrocities that we were the equals of the fascists, but that is not to say that we executed the war in a completely clean civilized fashion, thereby "holding true to our ideas" . We didn't target civilians if we could aviod it and there are many cases where our servicemens lives were lost in the attempt to remain within the parameters of civilized war. American Daylight Bombing Strategy had a terrible cost for American Air Corps personnel, yet it continued throught the war. The strategy was used because "targeted/strategic" bombing was acceptible to American Military command and civilian authorities, while the "area bombing" of our allies in the UK was not. However, in events like the Dresden bombing, a combination of US and UK aircraft and aircrews were used to do the job over a three day period. To cling to belief that we were clean and they were not, overlooks the basic facts of the execution of the war, that both allies engaged in activities that they felt stood the best chance to win the war, and took whatever steps they felt necessary to complete the task,even if the other allies considered them reprehensible. In those days, they both recognized what we cannot yet see, that is, the consequences of losing were understood and made very real by their enemies daily actions.
To put it more simply, We "deserved" to win only because we were able through force of action to compel our enemies to capitulate by being willing to whatever was necessary to get an "Unconditional Surrender". There is only one end to any war, and that is when your enemy is compelled to stop fighting and calls out to say " no more", everything else that may be offered by your enemies is just an "armistice" or a polite version of slow rearming which will eventually lead to a more bloody rematch between the aggrieved still warring parties.
What were the Fascists willing to do to win? Everything they could get away with and more. To expect an enemy to fight within written parameters of a legal agreement is the first admission that you haven't really accepted the reality of war. If warring parties could agree to comply to written conditions in the first place, war would have likely not have happened. Parties are in the condition of war because they are no longer able to work within the confines of the process of law. The lesson of history is absolutely clear, War is truly hell on earth and should not entered into lightly. Getting into a war is always easier than getting out, for getting out means that someone has to lose.
There is probably only one greater shame than entering into war, and that is failing to prosecute the war to its full conclusion, thus ensuring that the war goes on for another generation. It's bad enough when war visits one generation, but its inexcuseable to allow the bloodletting to go on to the next generation simply because of ones personal desire to satisfy the need for closure. I always felt the best reason that was ever expressed for a war was used often by soldiers of WWII, when asked why they were fighting, they would simply say " I'm fighting, so my kids wont have to come back and finish the job".
In our war with the Jihadis, it is not clear whether we are willing to do all it will take to win. Our culture and civilization is still not collectively sure that we are actually "at war", and cannot decide if they should take the Jihadi threat as serious as some of us feel it is. Many people in the world believe the greatest threat to the world is in fact, the United States, rather than those who's openly stated goal is the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate unto the world. A world where men like myself and you too , dear reader, will be killed outright and all women will be reduced to a status lower than that of "favored farm animal". Our future under their "Islamic Caliphate" is that of enslavement or death, nothing more, nothing less. If you think I'm overstating it, try convincing the members of the Beslan PTA that I'm just "over the top". For those of you who still feel that your leftist progressive sentiments will save you under their mercy, try to remember that while you consider yourselves separate from people like me, the only difference they will make between us is the order in which we are marched into an open trench to be shot in the back of the head. Jihadis don't look at us as "Democrats" and "Republicans", we are all blasphemous infidels. We are all Americans. We all wear the "yellow star of David".
Any strategy to fight the Jihadis that says "we will fight this far and no further" is a strategy that will surely result in our losing this war. The consequences of the Western World losing this war is beyond the comprehension of people living in the modern age. We must understand the horror that the war has forced us to embrace, we must be capable of not just withstanding the terror acts made against us but we must also be capable of administering a credible, horrific response that will eventually lead to the breaking of their will.
Falluja Delenda Est...
Let it also be clear, that our enemies are not supermen, they are mortal men, as are we, and they too have a spirit and a will that can be broken by our actions. It will take time and it will take effort, but it can be done. That is, as long as we are willing to do it.
Arthur Harris said this about his predicament:
"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a dozen other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
Since 9/11, I've often thought about that last phrase. The words are "old testament" and are not the kind of words that are thrown around lightly by real adults. "Bomber" Harris did not fight this far no further, he clearly established that it was his enemies that set the terms of war, not he. He simply responded in kind.
I've had the feeling lately that Vladimir Putin knows the Russian translation of the phrase and is about to start using it. I hope we are prepared for what I think he is likely to do.
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Do We Deserve To Win?:
Tracked on Sep 22, 2004 1:55:21 PM
Tracked on Sep 22, 2004 1:57:20 PM
I couldn't agree more.
The cancer of jihadism is spreading. We must either do some major pre-emptive surgery now or fight a losing battle which will leave us no choice but to medicate our pain until death.
Posted by: sammy small | Sep 21, 2004 6:53:43 AM
I think that we are a long, long way from puting Bomber Harris in charge. We're only two months from November and I'm still worried that Kerry can win the election and raise the surrender flag. I have no doubt that W would stay the course regardless of domestic or international bleating but there is also no doubt that Kerry would cut and run the first time that Ted Kennedy told him to.
I have no clue that the Russians are up to although invading Georgia would be my first pick if I had to guess.
Posted by: Warthog | Sep 21, 2004 10:31:17 AM
I'm not a big fan of mr. harris, for me, and for the purposes of the piece, he serves as a prop to ask the question "how far are you going to go to win, and why?"
Harris places the question context of a real situation, not a hypothetical one.
I'm wonder what the "tipping point" is when you go from dropping leaflets to dropping incendiaries.
The truth of it is, if you are not ready to surrender, than you must be ready to fight.
Mr. Harris' example begs the question -of how far should you go?
Posted by: Frank Martin | Sep 21, 2004 10:40:16 AM
to answer Frank's question:
It is better to be judged by 12 men than to be carried by 6; everything else is idle chatter.
Posted by: Oscar | Sep 21, 2004 11:40:31 AM
truer words were never spoken and remind me what the sean connery character said in "the untouchables". something like "they come at you with a knife, you go after them with a gun. they killone of yours, you kill ten of theirs'.
let me add this comment. for me, and i wish for more people, Beslan was a wake up call to action. even 9/11, "could" have been an isloated event. madrid 'could' have been a 'coincidence' . but the three together make a pattern of major coordinated action. AM I A CONSPIRACY NUTCASE?? any one that believes that these actions occurred in a vacum is a fool. i am much more inclined to believe about a new muslim world order group fiannced by hidden billions that i am to believe george and dick and the new neocon world orde rnonsense.
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