Monday, September 26, 2005

What Happened To Our Higher Ground?

Billmons Latest Post:

Defeat, in other words, isn't the only alternative to failure. It could also lead to the kind of warfare that CIA counterinsurgency specialist Michael Scheuer warned about in his book Imperial Hubris:

Progress will be measured by the pace of killing and, yes, by body counts. Not the fatuous body counts of Vietnam, but precise counts that will run to extremely large numbers. The piles of dead will include as many or more civilians as combatants because our enemies wear no uniforms.
Killing in large numbers is not enough to defeat our Muslim foes. With killing must come a Sherman-like razing of infrastructure. Roads and irrigation systems; bridges, power plants, and crops in the field; fertile plants and grain mills -- all these and more will need to be destroyed to deny the enemy its support base. Land mines, moreoever, will be massively reintroduced to seal borders and mountain passes too long, high, or numerous to close with U.S. soldiers, As noted, such actions will yield large civilian casualties, displaced populations, and refugees.
Again, this sort of bloody-mindedness is neither admirable nor desirable, but it will remain America's only option so long as she stands by her failed policies toward the Muslim world.

There was a time when I would have argued that the American people couldn't stomach that kind of butchery -- not for long anyway -- even if their political leaders were willing to inflict it. But now I'm not so sure. As a nation, we may be so desensitized to violence, and so inured to mechanized carnage on a grand scale, that we're psychologically capable of tolerating genocidal warfare against any one who can successfully be labeled as a "terrorist." Or at least, a sizable enough fraction of the American public may be willing to tolerate it, or applaud it, to make the costs politically bearable.

So, the question is: have we the courage to drop our moral pretense, lower ourselves into the gutter where the worst in world history have committed the most memorable atrocities, and do what is neccesary to "win" this war: Raze their cities, poison their wells, and seed their fields with salt. Take one from every family, a family from every village, a village from every city, and a city from every province, until we are remembered as nothing but for the atrocities that we bring.

What became of our goal to bring peace, freedom, and democracy?


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