Skip to comments.When we fought smart...
Posted on 10/26/2008 5:33:39 PM PDT by pickrell
When the Drudge Report posted, one morning near the end of August, 2001, that Osama Bin Laden had been appointed the "Secretary of Defense" of Afghanistan by the Taliban, many of us suspected that the time was suddenly nearer.
I have to admit personally that it never occurred to me that it would be by airplane. I, (and I accuse many others,) suspected that it might happen on a July 4th, for instance, when crowds of hundreds of thousands gathered tightly together to celebrate the freedoms handed to them by the sacrifices of many- no longer able to enjoy fireworks. The concentration of warm bodies, so anathema to a military which has in it's history paid the price for such incaution, held and still holds no such concerns to civilians.
We were wrong.
Al Quaida struck in accordance with a careful plan. The "reconnaisance-in-force" that they had conducted in earlier years, in their many probing attacks on the World Trade Center (Act 1), the bombing of the Khobar towers, the Cole, and a dozen other varied targets returned the intelligence they needed about the stomach of the American government for war, and their probable reactions.
Before the towers fell, the indispensable personnel of Al Quaida had already been prudently safely removed and set up in a safe house in Pakistan. Since the return address of the attack would be Afghanistan, though, they needed the perfect patsies to stay behind as fall guys, and the Taliban played stupidly into their hands, much as the Viet Cong immolated themselves during Tet, to enable the North Vietnamese army to move in, after the Americans were distracted by an obliging press from the realization that the Viet Cong were therein decimated, and impotent. (They also thereby presented no inconvenient body of armed men for the North to have to deal with later...)
Now, the Americans, shocked by the latest attack- one which finally couldn't be sloughed off and responded to by yet another Clintonian-style launching of missiles against long-empty tents in a foreign desert- would react in one of several predictable ways. And these possibilities were considered and evaluated, in the planning for 9/11.
Al Quaida could not be so disjoint to have carefully planned the attack, without also launching the attack specifically to force a desired and calculated response. This sort of underestimation of the enemy is what let to the lapse in preparedness which allowed 9/11. The only redemption lay then in quickly analyzing what Al Quaida intended, and thwarting their wishes, by not obliging them.
The very psychology of war dictates that the counter-moves of the enemy be calculated ahead of time- not only in order for them to be anticipated and circumvened- but far more importantly, so that the attack you launch can prompt a desirable action by the enemy. That is, after all, the very reason behind the attack... especially if you can predict and guide the enemy's response, by the history of previous responses by the then-controlling political party.
President Gore could choose to respond by launching a campaign of speeches denouncing the attack. If the public rebelled that they had been provoked far enough, he could always gradually ratchet-up the rhetoric and actually "deplore the attack." It would be a few more diplomatic steps further before the DEFCON-1 of diplomacy was unleashed, in which he announced that "..any more attacks would suffer his serious examination of options." Of course, he might also bite his lip, while doing so, but it just wouldn't be the same. The magic was now gone.
Bin Laden could not hope to be that lucky, and knew so, because such a world-wide demonstration of helplessness would be an unparalled propaganda victory, as much so as if Gore shouted from the mountaintops, for all the martyrs in waiting, "Allah hu Akbar! Inshallah!" They'd have to beat them back with sticks, in order to be able to close the recruiting cave's doors, each night.
President Gore, if he was as unstable as rumored, and susceptible to the hot-headed urgings of the hysterical- (which many of us personally witnessed!),- could alternately take the other extreme, and launch a nuclear weapon towards Afghanistan, obliterating a city and retaliating out of proportion, and against the wrong target. The likelihood of this was considered very low, though, on the probability chart, yet even so, not necessarily a problem. It would cost Al Quaida many of the Taliban supporters, but this is what expendables are for. To be expended usefully, in glorious martyrdom.
The stupid ones are valuable as cannon fodder, if their deaths could accelerate along the "coming of the 14th prophet," by precipitating the war that was the entire object of the attack in the first place.
The key in warfare is not to find the path to victory. This is the view of the short-sighted, who never will understand that no battle plan or strategy ever survives first contact with the enemy. Contact exposes the current mindset of the enemy commander through his actions, the dedication of his troops, and the true constraints that he must operate under. They define what you face and must overcome, in order to force your will upon the enemy.
Therefore the key to warfare is not to find the path to victory. It is instead, "...to arrange and prepare the starting point so that all paths lead to victory..."
President Gore could also, (and more likely given his lack of experience,) rush troops into the meat grinder that the Taliban had been preparing for the expected invasion of Afghanistan. As such, he would be initially popular among those naive American voters with no comprehension of military realities, and who only later would be devastated, as those realities reached the evening news.
This was the expected response, and the harvest had been arranged to be cruel and merciless. The lightly armed U.S. troops would find a Dien Bien Phu in each valley they set up camp in. With no heavy weapons, they would inflict many casualties upon the Taliban ambushers, but then- these local troops certainly hadn't been selected for their elite skills. They were selected and trained... to draw bullets away from those who were trained to do the effective killing. And those who carry the day have time to remove their casualties, so that the only piles of bodies the cameras would record, would be in American uniforms.
The American press, seeking cover from the policy they first initially endorsed, would later rail that these troops had been sent in without proper equipment, and that the resultant quagmire had to be written off, and the troops withdrawn- exactly as Clinton had done in Somalia... and for exactly the same reason, though now on an infinitely more expensive and tragic scale. President Gore would then be left in the position of the British in Northern Ireland, absorbing punishing attacks and casualties everywhere for years, including in our cities, with no place to hit back.
Except that the press would then turn on him for doing nothing. He would be painted as even worse than the former, monumentally inept President Carter; impotent, foolish and utterly clueless. And so he would not withdraw, but instead begin to micromanage as President Johnson had done in Viet Nam, blaming his failures on his subordinate military commanders in the field.
Because every path led to defeat... for him.
Even if he had elected not to respond at all, pleading instead to wrap himself in the cover of the media-provided protection that Clinton enjoyed, for the good of the liberal agenda, it would have been a disaster as Americans feared to leave their homes even to go to work. Unfortunately...unemployed people can't be taxed heavily.
No one in the media bothered to wonder why, back in the first Gulf War, that it had taken the U.S. government so very long to launch the attack that the American press was so impatient to count the casualties from, and that the truly stupid around the world began to think constituted evidence of "second-thoughts" by the American President. The press vilified the U.S. Military Command for keeping troops sitting around in the desert with only hot bottled water to drink, and no apparent mission, as they framed the picture.
And this is understandable since most of the press are morons. They haven't a clue as to the complexity, and the sheer enormity of the task of moving even a single armored division half way around the world, to say nothing of several Corps. A 70 ton main battle tank isn't parachuted out of the back of a C-47, fully armed and fueled, and with the tank crew inside gloriously shouting "Geronimo!"
The months necessary to move an entire division of these tanks, their ammunition requirements, and fuel to actually maneuver these thirsty monsters, as well as the colossal spares and maintenance stores, are all part of an arcane science known as logistics. (This science is seldom taught in liberal arts colleges. Nor, apparently, is which end of the gun the little bullet thingy comes out of. There isn't time, what with all the cosmetics classes and political science.)
As such, the months necessary to effect such translocations, as well as the planning, and available shipping bottoms to carry the massive cargoes, are as unknown and mystifying to the press as other bizarre concepts... like patriotism and duty. The idea that a rapid reaction force must necessarily be lightly-armed isn't important to them or even interesting. What IS important is exactly where the press dines, and why no white linen is available for them at battalion headquarters.
Enquiring minds want to know.
And this time delay is what a President faces distracting the press, and thereby the enemy, from speculating about. It leads to the preposterous situation of a Dan Rather standing in front of a camera in Baghdad, sternly reprimanding General Schwartzkopf in front of the world audience, about how the mail delivery is slow to the troops.
A General Schwartzkopf who bears the responsibility for knowing that, until the heavy stuff arrives, and is married up with the weapons personnel trained to use it, and fueled and armed... that those infantry troops are on their own, and could get their fatigues blown away in an instant, in the event of a pre-emptive, spoiling attack by the enemy. As the troops joked sardonicallly about themselves, being, "Iraqi speed bumps..."
And Schwartzhopf needed to keep the enemy from thinking about that, and the limitations of those ready reaction forces.
This was a Dan Rather demonstrating his utter ignorance of the fact that even with the most carefully thought out combat loading, (so that material comes off of the planes in the order calculated to most quickly enable it to be put it where it is needed the "fastest and the mostest"), there still would be a serious concern if things went to hell quickly, that the troops wouldn't have received life-saving anti-tank rounds in time, because Dire Danny decided they needed their mail instead, and who then died before they got a chance to even read those letters whose first- in-line-delivery doomed them. Betcha Danny boy would have hopped the nearest humvee back to the rear when the turrets first appeared over the horizon.
We who have been in the service treasure that mail from home. We more seriously treasure the idea of safely returning to that home, and do count on receiving the support necessary to survive until then. "For want of a shaped charge, a battalion was lost..."
Yes, the troops would go into Afghanistan armed only with light weapons and no armor, because there was no staging area, and no time, to permit assembling cohesive units, by companies, battalions and finally regiments, able and armed to begin forcing their way into a country that had ample time to prepare a hot reception for them. There isn't even a pier and the equipment necessary to offload the tanks and rocket trucks. But even more telling, as their professional military advisors would painfully attempt to make the new Administration understand- the terrain would not enable the tanks to be used effectively.
It would be a helicopter war, as the Soviets discovered. It would be an insurgent meat-grinder- not at all like the case in Iraq where the trickle of foreign suiciders was slowly squeezed off. Rather an active insurgency, where the children served as intelligence couriers and the women served as "chow hall and rest area personnel."
Question: "How do you win a war where every hut is a safe house, and every journalist is your enemy?" Answer: "You don't. First, you insist on changing the rigged rules of the game."
Question: How do you change the rules of the game? Answer: Give the press the "mushroom" treatment.
Question: ?? Answer: Simple- you keep them in the dark... and feed them a lot of horse crap.
And the slaughter was to be enormous, as the Soviets had also previously discovered, (courtesy of some help by our aid to the Afghanistanis.) That was the plan. But it was not all of the plan. The follow on was the pay-dirt later. It was the real causus belli.
Around the world the American press would broadcast and decry how our troops were expended stupidly, and how the Bill Mahr-worshipped courage of the suicidally-attacking Taliban were piling up American corpses for endless new, though smaller, Dien Bien Phus. The comparisons to Viet Nam were too easy. And the press, who had made a science of trading enemy propaganda coups for the chance of careers in the Big Media anchor desks, obliged as they were expected to do.
This removed any remaining doubt from the hesitant Islamist sympathizers around the world, and issued in the start of attacks against American, and American tolerating and supporting foreign governments, everywhere around the world. The truth was plain to see by all young potential martyrs. The Americans were powerless, and the 6th century beckoned!
The world watched their T.V. screens as the will of Allah was revealed. You see, as Bin Laden correctly predicted it, the will of Allah would be manifested... on CBS, and amplified and endlessly looped by all the rest- undeniable proof of the Americans' inability to effective fight back. They had nowhere else to attack, in order to force the suiciders to come to them, on terms that were favorable to them.
One suicider... one building full of workers. One suicider... one bus full of children. Yet these would not all happen instantly and without notice. Many attacks would develop where suiciders demanded actions from the government, after capturing groups of infidel children as hostages, much in the same way that the Iranians, courtesy of Jimmy Carter's earlier help and support for the Ayatollah, had shown the world that the Americans could be held prostrate, impotent and in agony, until the most defeat that could be extracted had been done in the press, and the time was then right to blow them all up. Crying children strapped to explosives.
The parents would plead on the sidewalks, and the ghoulish, creepy press would show their deep concern, and broadcast the anguish and tears. It was good for ratings. Al Quaida couldn't seize enough oil money to PAY for such publicity!
The only truly astonishing thing was how very few horrific incidents were actually needed to bring increasing numbers of Americans to their knees. The looped news feeds crushed the country with fear, anxiety, and finally despair for the future. American Universities showed their solidarity with the public by actually scheduling somewhat fewer anti-American speakers to address their students, and by paying them somewhat less for doing so. After all, it was a matter of being perceived to be tough.
The recurring theme from whatever path Gore chose, led always to the relentless demonstration to the entire islamic world that the Americans were helpless, wedded to their notions of civilized behavior and frantic for their own safety. And the fanatics, (trained earlier in camps held inviolable by a President Clinton, who wouldn't risk a visiting sheik's son being hurt, and so refrained from allowing our military to attack) used their training to further recruit and multiply exponentially the ranks of those ignorant Islamic children who were so vulnerable to the beckoning of hatred, and becoming martyrs.
And why shouldn't they? They'd watched months of pictures of Muhammad Atta being shown as he had achieved near-godlike status by martyring himself. In a flash (and a bang), they could be somebody! They could, like the Columbine-killers on journalistic steroids, become cult heroes, and earn their way into sainthood for eternity! The alternative was to live in cleric-enforced squalor. What a tough choice.
And so the beginning of the most horrific and deadly world war in the history of the planet was launched, dwarfing the previous toll of the hundred million or so killed in World War 2. The final costs wouldn't really matter to those who would sacrifice anything in their quest to return the world to the 6th cetury. The destruction of hated technology would simply be a happy bonus. And all paths led to it!
The footsoldiers had been there all along, waiting only to see who was winning, and so then motivated and recruitable, to jump on the bandwagon and grab their piece of glory. It would take months or even years simply to bury all the remains of the dead. But happily, 4,000 of them would not die in Iraq.
You see, the entire technological world had neglected to account for it's vulnerability to insane human-transported bombs. In order protect itself, it had to bring itself to a virtual halt. And as business collapsed, so then unavoidably did the lifestyle that the Americans had assumed was never-ending.
And when that happened... people desperate to avoid facing the dangers of the world were prone to do things they couldn't have even conceived of, scant years before then. They might even abandon capitalism altogether and decide to vote in a charismatic socialist who promised "change", and to make it all better. (Perhaps that last seems a bit far fetched, but who knows?)
Slaughter would begat even more slaughter, until the world finally had had enough and either anihilated them entirely... or surrendered to them unconditionally. Genocide was unconscionable, and after all, it would only amount to learning a new religion. And what was so bad about women finally being made to understand their place? And they might get used to Arab rule.
**** Flash sideways, now, out of the realm of what would have happened, and instead into what did happen, (with only a few side-stops at the water-cooler for a quick drink of speculation...) ******
BUT BY A BIZARRE... and annoyingly unpredictable happenstance, however, President Gore was NOT elected.
It was a preposterously razor-thin margin which avoided disaster. It was if an angry God had shown, "I let you get THIS close to your doom! Accept the point! Learn from this lesson and stop being so absorbed by flipping that house... and pay attention to the future of all my children..."
The new President was advised by the military that the thing to do was not to begin a knee-jerk bombing of the civilians in Afghanistan as so many demanded, but rather to drop food supplies to them. And not to take the immediately satisfying, and pre-eminently stupid, action of getting sucked into Afghanistan without a strong military advantage, and with all the advantages accruing to the enemy.
Instead, use Special Forces to organize those indigenous forces opposed to the Taliban madness in Afghanistan, and support them with the only truly long reach, heavy hitting power available- that of air power. It was reverse-asymmetrical warfare, and it had never even been considered by the Al Quaida planners of 9/11! It knocked the wind out of them!
It's what we in the Armed Forces trained to do. It's why we build and maintain those machines so confusing and detestable to the liberals. And these policies would be roundly made fun of in the press... until, of course, our success there was within sight, and nearly irretrievable. For the press hoped, that with enough help from them, "their" side could recover and rebound before an American and Iraqi victory showed the world just how "invincible" the Al Quaida killers were, when they faced real Marines, instead of women, children, and old men.
All of that jumping through the flaming hoops for the Al Jazerra cameras didn't seem to help much when the Squad Automatic Weapon turned on them. "Say, wait a minute, Gyrene! Have you got a match? I need to get my hoop lit first, erk-".
Who was this... this... Bush guy? We were assured that he was a boob! Clue time: a President need not be articulate to accept good advice from his military. (He only needs to be articulate to explain why that was necessary. This tiny flaw, and hopeful thinking on our part, would cost him, and the conservatives, as much as Taliban originally lost in Afghanistan. We must hope to re-group before the enemy does. We must begin to explain, around the white noise of the Media, that reality can bite us.)
As to the "excuses" used to draw us instead into Iraq, with sufficient heavy forces to sieze and hold the country- many of the same civilian "military geniuses" who have never served, never read a military history book in their lives, and couldn't tell a corporal from a cornflake, waited to hear on network T.V. who was "winning" the spin battle at home. Having heard, memorized and then "formulated" their sound military strategies, these junior-jump-troop Pattons now emerge from hiding to euphemistically "strip a uniform from the dead of the winning side at a now-quiet battlefield, and donning that uniform as their own, rally to claim a share in the glory, in the sick pretense that they risked all before the outcome was known... in the sham that they bothered to think at all while waiting to be told what to think.
The press had declared and spent their last remaining shreds of clout to enforce the idea that if only Al Gore had been elected, that none of the 4,000 would have died in Iraq.
And you know, in their own pathetic and deluded way... they are strictly correct, in a twisted sort of truth, which is what the media does best, of course.
Was an interlude necessary for the Iraqi civilians to take a long hard look, all while suffering the depredations of the foreigners, who came in with haughtiness and brutality to blow the resisting Iraqi neighbors up? Was time tragically necessary for them to begin to understand what an Al Quaida envisioned future held... for them?
Was the "surge" held up until, instead of merely increasing the number of targets available to the foreign suiciders in Iraq, it was instead carefully timed to support the newly emergent refusal of the Iraqis to be used and destroyed? Why was the surge not employed until that seemingly magic moment that it would then become the trump card... instead of just a further chance for American troops to die for the cameras of American journalistic careers?
Every Marine and G.I. death was tragic. But I ask myself how my eventual death will compare, given what little I have accomplished, to what theirs was worth- given what they prevented? There are far worse fates than to die to prevent millions, if not hundreds of millions of other deaths on both sides of a cataclysmic conflict. It will take an arrogant man to dare to slight the sacrifices that they made, and so slur their precious gift to the world.
We will argue about that forever, perhaps.
Certainly so, as long as a percentage of the population has no interest in truth, military reality, and dark futures to be avoided.
I'll guess, I'll hope, that the surge happened exactly when it did... because it was calculated to be exactly the right time for the surge to have been used... if it was to work. Others will sneer that it was simply yet another fortunate accidental success on the part of those fools who, as one Senator warned, "...ended up in Iraq because they didn't study hard."
I'll assume that Iron Men reluctantly, tragically, but dutifully, absorbed casualties until it was possible for it to work.
Of course, that presupposes that you're in a political camp that actually wishes for it to work...
Why is any of this important, now? Is it not- (as Democrats describe anything illuminating their craven indifference to responsibility) -
simply "old news"?
Because in less than a month, we stand a chance to elect a man who will dismantle the strategy which has derailed the entire Al Quaida game plan, at least temporarily. With the last refuge and staging areas of Al Quaida now being hit hard by Pakistani troops, (after the Democratic Presidential ticket declared how they will heroically attack Pakistan to win the war singlehandedly- ignoring the 73 Pak troops dead while killing the 1500 Al Quaida terrorists, who simply cannot believe, as they expire violently, how this stupid American President keeps kicking their asses!)
This Barack is someone who campaigned on his platform of utter ignorance of military matters. A man who advanced through the ranks of lesser liberals because the fruit salad on his uniform includes graduation from megaphone-command school, with oak leaf clusters and sugar sprinkles.
We must truly admit that this man will demonstrate to the Americans in a way that John McCain would never consider doing, just how unnecessary it was to draw tens of thousands of Al Quaida suiciders into Iraq, where they could be killed and swept up. He will show the advantages of trying to secure, instead, a country of caves and tribesmen, amidst a hostile population, who will harbor killers among them and dare the U.S. to try to shoot and bomb around the children. And though he will suffer many American casualties, he will nod at his wife over the lunch of lobster, and sniff that... sometimes this is the price you have to pay.
And he will hand back to Al Quaida their original game plan, as a gift. And they will throw their heads back and laugh. Their man delivered...
And he will do all this because he is a liberal. And liberals never, ever, accept responsibility for what harm they cause, and never, ever, miss an opportunity to steal a uniform from the dead, and claim credit for anything which succeeds.
Unless, of course...... it is an American uniform.
Margi Sanger...pathetic individual=Planned Parenthood, the history threof should show EVERY black man and woman the genetics the Krauts were doing with the Jews, Planned Parenthood was doing with the blacks; sickening; preposterous, but true.
Interesting...all the Lemmings desire change, , and they’ll get it similar if possible to the way the Bubba boy and his side kick loud moutch cyanide eyes Clintoon, may try and dismantle the military to make the “economy” look good, snub the hgenerals by not shaking hands, snub the military he/it/they hate and abhor but know nothing of....but with the inevitable wars coming Obama will not be able to talk his way out of the fire that’s coming. Nice article.
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