War is hell. General W. T. Sherman said it, and anyone who has experienced it, understands that the statement fits just as well today as it did during the War of Northern Aggression in the Mid 1800’s. There are low intensity conflicts going on in the world today that the mainstream media doesn’t cover. Some of them involve America. One that comes to mind is the war with narcotics cartels – that turns bloody – inside and outside of US National Borders.
You can’t pick up a turd from the clean end. You can’t fight a clean war. General Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson summed it up this way: “War means fighting and fighting means killing.”
You can’t pretend that a turd is really chocolate soft serve ice cream. It’s a turd. If you put flowers on it, it’s still a turd. If you cover it with carmel sauce, it’s still at turd and when you taste it, it will taste like a turd, not like ice cream.
The military provides each man or woman under arms an explanation for their place in the world. The military philosophy agrees with the service member’s predilections and culture, allowing them through subjective belief to consider the rules back home the reliable author of objective reality.
That way of thinking gets warriors killed.
Robert Kaplan wrote a very interesting book titled, Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos
. In that book, Robert Kaplan argues that the bedrock of sound foreign policy should be “comprehensive pragmatism” rather than “utopian hopes.
” Kaplan calls for a reestablishment of American realpolitik, one distanced from Judeo-Christian (or private) virtue and closer to a “pagan” (public) one. He aligns himself with America’s Founding Fathers, who, he says, believed good government emerged only from a “sly understanding of men’s passions.”
The reality of war has nothing to do with what people portray on television – not even the best television shows or films capture war. War requires pragmatic solutions to real problems, delivered (often) by a young men barely old enough to shave on the spur of the moment. A thousand Department of Justice Attorneys can take ten years to debate those acts and decide on “the rules”. But none of it changes war, or the way we fight. A politically correct war only leads to body bags filled with our own people.
In Kipling’s Grave of the Hundred Head
, the method of dealing with snipers who take out officers is explained. At the end of the poem, Kipling explains,
Then a silence came to the river,
A hush fell over the shore,
And Bohs that were brave departed,
And Sniders squibbed no more,
For the Burmans said,
That a Kullah’s head
Must be paid for with heads five score.
The sad tragedy is that nobody in the American administration believes that a dead American serviceman/woman is worth one hundred enemy combatants.
When the change their minds, our enemies will fear America and they quite simply won’t wish to fight us. As it is now, we show our weakness daily through the Commander-in-Chief’s obsequious apologies and his zeal to distance himself from those who he commands. A weak man like Barack Hussein Obama will never cause the fear in enemies’ hearts that averts war with us.