Saturday, October 14, 2006

Invisible Alligators and the Reclamation of Suburban Iraqi Wetlands.

I quote from the link below:

Author Stan Goff, a retired 26-year veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces, sounds a warning call that many of the historical precursors of fascism—white supremacy, militarization of culture, vigilantism, masculine fear of female power, xenophobia and economic destabilization—are ascendant in America today.

Truthdig - Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America
Stan Goff (Master Sergeant, US Army, Special Forces (Ret.)

It's a long read, but a fascinating one, and it doesn't have the tone of pansy-assed peacenikism you might use to dismiss critics who make the very same points. It's told from an internal perspective, by someone who was inside the Sharp End.

There is a point that was left out that I do think obvious. Probably the author thought it so obvious that it was unworthy of mention. I've learned that the really obvious things are often made invisible by their own conspicuousness.

Means can conflict with ends, and if your end is to peacefully occupy a nation of brown skinned folks with different social constructs, it might be a good idea to not send troops that include even a tiny percentage of xenophobic racists.

It's pretty easy to predict that Bad Things Will Happen that will get in the way of the mission - and as the saying goes, "When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember that the mission was to drain the swamp."

I think it's an inherently bad idea to invade a sovereign nation in the first place; it's bound to lead to trouble and one should be damn sure that the alternative is much worse to spend that much blood and treasure. But dewy-eyed civilian optimism often leads to such ill-advised adventures; it's fairly much a military truism. Therefore, a soldier who has a desire to retire somewhere other than Arlington needs to work to ensure that the guy next to him isn't going to be reducing his odds.

Success in any military adventure requires the sort of cold-eyed realism that ideology and mythic belief structures inherently degrade. It's bad enough to be up to your ass in alligators; in the middle east it appears that we are up to our collective asses in invisible alligators that are officially deemed to not exist.

The largest invisible alligator in the swamp is the large body of "military contractors." When it's public knowledge that certain large forces employed by Americans are immune from the law and from military justice, it's not all that surprising that the response of first resort is to blow them up and anyone else who isn't actually shooting AT them. That initiative probably includes allied Iraqi military and police, as well as the various militias.

I would too. It's not terrorism; it's not even immoral. it's prudence; the same prudence that requires that you shoot any dog that's foaming at the mouth.

Whatever other realities exist, it's a damn bad idea to allow murderers to participate in a war, and it can be a suicidally bad idea to get between them and the logical consequences of their actions.

They are a danger to the citizens of Iraq, obviously - and they are a danger to everyone they are near, because any citizen of Iraq with a gun is fully justified in shooting in the general direction of such monsters as would be anyone entrusted with the safety of Iraqi civilians.

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