Thursday, June 14, 2007

Becoming a killer

Our troops in Iraq are there, says The Fixer, who has been there, done that, knows what it's about.

For those of you who claim you could not be a killer: Do not delude yourself. The Dark Wraith has an interesting little dissertation on the training you get in the Army. The Army as an institution has now existed for 232 years. For every one of those years, it has become better at turning the raw recruits who come through its doors into killers. Volunteer or draftee, willingly or not willingly, it does not matter if you are so kind and gentle that you flinch at swatting a mosquito or crushing a cockroach beneath your shoe. War is Hell, and you shall become not only the instrument of Hell, you shall be Hell. The methods the Army uses do not care about your gentle nature. They work at a deeper level, at the primal level, at a level we try not to think about. A level where even if you know what is happening, you are helpless to stop it. You are not in the Army. You are Army. The Army controls your environment, molds you, shapes you, makes you into what you have to be in order to do your job: a killer.

Go back and read The Fixer's post. Then think about our geopolitical strategy in Iraq, where the only way to "win", the only way for a pro-American democratic government in Iraq to exist, is to win hearts and minds. Then you will begin to understand why we are fucked, and why we shall remain fucked. Our soldiers are good at what they do. They are the pointy end of the stick, that sits between the cruel world outside and protect us from it by killing our nation's enemies dead, dead, dead. Asking them to police Iraq was a fucking stupid idea in the first place. Short of committing sufficient troops and logistics to round up all Iraqis into concentration camps in order to deny the guerrillas the sea of civilians they need in order to disappear into (a classic technique we used in the Philippines to make it safe for, err, Christian missionaries who needed to convert the Catholic population to Christianity), or genocide (the technique Putin is using against the Chechnyans with varying degrees of success), the defeat of the insurgency via force of U.S. arms is impossible.

And we simply do not have the troops for either genocide or concentration camps even if we had the political will in the post-Hitler environment to emulate Hitler to that extent. Even in Vietnam, the Viet Cong were eventually destroyed not by the U.S. Army, but by "President" Thieu's very effective and very brutal secret police (remember the famous picture of a police officer executing a suspected V.C. partisan? That's how it's done, Thieu's brutal dictatorship may not have been capable of motivating the majority of South Vietnamese to defend their nation against North Vietnam, but it was certainly capable of keeping them in line). And we had a helluva lot more troops in Vietnam.

We are fucked in Iraq for so many, many reasons. But the main reason is that our military simply isn't designed for what it has been tasked to do in Iraq. Go read The Fixer's post, and come back and tell me that our military is going to be any use at all in winning hearts and minds and "building democracy". That's not their thing. And wishful thinking on the part of politicians in Washington who've never served and don't know how it works won't change that fact.

- Badtux the Military Penguin The only people who can win a guerrilla war, short of genocide, are the people who live there. Here is how "President" Thieu won his guerrilla war. With our arming of the Sunni, are we looking for a new "President" Thieu?


  1. I couldn't agree with you more. One of the worst cases in FBI history occurred when 3 cars full of FBI agents cornered 2 men who happened to be ex-Army Rangers. The FBI took up defensive positions behind their cars, the ex-Rangers attacked. Who do you think won?

    Point is, police work requires a defensive, serve and protect mentality, the military requires and develops an aggressive "overwhelm and dominate" mentality.
    This is accomplished thru superior firepower and a "kill anything that moves" attitude. Using combat troops as "policemen" is a foolish waste of time and lives.


  2. They have a "Kill them all, let God sort them out" attitude.

  3. Hello, Mr Penguin.
    Not that it really matters, but the military does have a few other missions they conduct on a regular basis.
    One of these is evacuation assistance. Another is securing of supply lines and patroling shipping lanes. Not to mention the War on Drugs.

    So here's an idea of how to fix the whole Iraq problem. Have Mr Bush request Charleton Heston to part the Red Sea one more time-- for the love of God & Guns, of course. Then evacuate all Iraqis to that location.
    Then give them guns, because nothing says AMERICA like packing heat. It's part of the democratic process. If Iraqis love freedom, they will pack heat.
    If, perhaps, some Iraqi might happen to cap thy neighbor, then absolution may be attained by mumbling a few words. The words must be mumbled in English, as English is loved by God.
    Odd that, since God hates English teachers, who are libruls bent on indoctrinating American youth with Satanic rites. God loves Middle English. And poor syntax.
    God hates rags worn on the head, but favors rugs. Rag, bad; rug, good. Thus, the heat-packing freedom-loving Iraqis must wear rugs on their heads and speak Middle English. That way, God will know who's who. God's eyesight ain't what it used to be, y'know.
    Only Charlatan Heston can save them now.

  4. What it boils down to is the simple notion that this war cannot be won militarily. To win using military might requires a target. A target of physical substance that can be destroyed. We can definitely destroy Iraq, hell we're already doing it or at least helping the "insurgents" to do it. The best we can hope for is an efficient, orderly withdrawal of troops from Iraq.


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