The hazards of using myth to drive military doctrine.
Posted: 27 April 2008 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I thought the recent sniping in the media directed at Jimmy Carter underlines well one of the main problems in Israel. Jimmy Carter acknowledges that to make peace with someone it is probably a good idea to talk to them rather than talk about them and try to kill them. The U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan figured this out in a few short years unencumbered by 2700-year-old myth.

As long as Israel continues to look to the misguided Torah and nationalistic, ethnocentric military doctrine as a guide they will not find peace. There is no god/yahweh created power that will solve the problems between the Israelis and Palestinians.  There are only the principles of human behavior. All of the wishing, prayer, complaining, editorializing, etc will not change human tendencies. The following quote presents one viable and much more effective approach to the problem than the current “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” tactics.

”..The counterinsurgency game has completely different rules. The goal here is to stabilize a government, not bring it down; to persuade people to cooperate, not bludgeon them into submission. In fact, many of these kinetic bombs-and-bullets activities can actually undermine a counterinsurgency, creating more enemies than they kill. “Some of the best weapons for counterinsurgency do not shoot,” Nagl’s counterinsurgency manual says. Instead, it advises troops to get to know the locals — both individually and as groups — and gain their trust. The locals generally know which of their neighbors are insurgents and which aren’t; they’re already plugged into the communal network. “Arguably,” the manual says, “the decisive battle is for the people’s minds.”“


“The American military is still mired in Iraq. It’s still stuck in Afghanistan, battling a resurgent Taliban. Rumsfeld has been forced out of the Pentagon. Dan Halutz, the Israeli Defense Forces chief of general staff and net-centric advocate who led the largely unsuccessful war in Lebanon in 2006, has been fired, too. In the past six years, the world’s most technologically sophisticated militaries have gone up against three seemingly primitive foes — and haven’t won once.

...John Nagl, one of the authors of the Army’s new counterinsurgency manual, isn’t impressed. He’s a lieutenant colonel and an Iraq vet, an Army batallion commander at Fort Riley in Kansas. He’s also the author of several influential articles and books about counterinsurgency, including Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife, an analysis of Vietnam and Malaya.

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/15-12/ff_futurewar?currentPage=all

Yep…its that time again…time for the trolls to engage in their thoughtless, knee jerk reactions…my response to the inevitable ad hominem attacks is…Give it a F@#%$%# rest!!!

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“Most of the Israelites did not come from outside Canaan - they emerged from within it. There was no mass Exodus from Egypt…no violent conquest of Canaan. The early Israelites were - irony of ironies - themselves originally Canaanites!

The conquest of Canaan by Joshua could not have happened [as] described in the Bible. Most of the towns…either weren’t inhabited, didn’t exist or were conquered at wildly different times.” —Finkelstein and Silberman

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Posted: 28 April 2008 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“Cooper”]  In the past six years, the world’s most technologically sophisticated militaries have gone up against three seemingly primitive foes — and haven’t won once.

I will only disagree with your post on this one statement. Actually, the US won the war in both Af. and Iraq. We defeated the Taliban in A. and Saddam in I. It wasn’t that difficult in either place. The problem is that Rumsfeld/Bush/Cheney did not know what to do with their victory, so having won the war, they lost the peace. There was no formal surrender like there was in Japan (no one was in charge), so it just kept going, and for every “insurgent” killed, two more popped up in his place. What the US needs to do is declare victory and come home. That is what I will do when elected president. It is important to say “we won” for the sake of public consumption - have some parades and honor the vets and exult in victory - but come home.

Then, start being a nation of negotiators.  Fill the world with mediators attempting to help others find peaceful resolution to disputes, and keep the military at home, where it can defend our borders, gain strength for national defense, and be ready when really needed for national security. We could be on decent terms with almost every country in the world within 6 months if we followed this general plan. And we would save enough money from not having two wars to fund the education of our children, preparing them for the generation to come.

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Posted: 29 April 2008 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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To be honest, I think Jimmy Carter is a religious nut too. What he does is not smart (helping the most vicious extremists like Hamas) and what he says is defeatist (sometimes you cannot talk anymore you have to fight).
Check out this article on slate.com about Jimmy Carter’s Magic Words

[D]irectly engaging Hamas would not only empower a terrorist group designated by the United States and the European Union, it would pull the carpet out from under Palestinian moderates who are truly interested in pursuing peace and are trying to contest support for Hamas through non-violent means,” wrote Matthew Levitt, author of the authoritative book Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad. And Levitt is not alone. The Israeli government, the U.S. administration, the European Union, and the so-called international Middle East Quartet all reject engagement and support the isolation of Hamas.

As opposed to this “counterinsurgency” is a strategy to win a war.

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“We may be confused about the distinction between tolerance and the refusal of evaluation, thinking that tolerance of others requires us not to evaluate what they do.”
Martha Nussbaum
  —Cultivating Humanity

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Posted: 04 May 2008 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 28 April 2008 08:58 PM

I will only disagree with your post on this one statement. Actually, the US won the war in both Af. and Iraq. We defeated the Taliban in A. and Saddam in I. It wasn’t that difficult in either place. The problem is that Rumsfeld/Bush/Cheney did not know what to do with their victory, so having won the war, they lost the peace….

That is not “winning the war.” 
That is being arrogant and incompetent in all matters of military strategies and believing you have won the war because you toppled over a statue in the town square and because you posted a banner that said “Mission Accomplished.”

Winning the war would have brought peace and stability to a nation and would have gotten the Iraqis on the way to self-sufficiency.

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“Every war is a war against children.”
Howard Zinn

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Posted: 06 May 2008 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Mel Olontha - 29 April 2008 07:24 PM

To be honest, I think Jimmy Carter is a religious nut too. What he does is not smart (helping the most vicious extremists like Hamas) and what he says is defeatist (sometimes you cannot talk anymore you have to fight).
Check out this article on slate.com about Jimmy Carter’s Magic Words

To be honest, I think your post as well as the quoted article are shallow and dishonest. What’s your beef with Jimmy Carter? If anybody showed how to make something good out of religious feelings, he did and I have a lot of respect for him.

Both you and the quoted article offer no argument other than opinion that by virtue of ignoring the official US and Israeli’s stand on Hamas (which can change overnight by the way) Jimmy Carter must be a wicked person of suspicious motives, defeatist, fool or all of the above.

Relax, why are you so pent-up? After all Jimmy Carter is a private person so why the Washington and Israel feel threatened? How a private person can legitimize Hamas and lend support to terrorists?

Maybe Carter’s mission will fail and accomplish nothing. This doesn’t necessary make him a fool or an enemy. I have more faith in Jimmy Carter’s motifs than I have in the motifs of the entire Bush’s administration added together. Especially given the track record of this administration’s “deep concern and engagement” in the Middle East affairs.

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Posted: 07 May 2008 02:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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What’s your beef with Jimmy Carter? If anybody showed how to make something good out of religious feelings, he did and I have a lot of respect for him.

Well I don’t think J.Carter should be respected. He was directly responsible as US-president for arming the Islamists in Afghanistan, in the words of his right hand Brzezinski: “to provoke a Soviet invasion”. If he would really care about “morality” in international relations he would have known that this could only lead to major bloodshed and civil war and maybe have offered by now somekind of an apology.
His book “peace and not apartheid” is an exercise in moral frivolity taking up a theme only known before in the Arab nationalist/islamist propaganda and far left/right extremism: that Israel is like South Africa, that “Zionism” is racism etc. no solution was offered in this book other than disbanding Israel. I can imagine why Hamas likes to meet him, as this is their goal.
It was this irrational viewpoint of him that made me think there can only be religious motive behind, some unworldly quakerish pacifism maybe.
If know something about Israel you know that the Israelis will never allow this. To support now Hamas (a truly islamofascist organisation that pumps out most disgusting propaganda to recruit children for their cause f.e.) against Israel and all the realistic and moderate Palestinians is not only immoral but also directed against the diplomatic efforts of the international community (the USA, the EU, the UN). This could make more people suffer and prolong the conflict for the personal vanity of this old man. No, I cannot respect him for that.

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“We may be confused about the distinction between tolerance and the refusal of evaluation, thinking that tolerance of others requires us not to evaluate what they do.”
Martha Nussbaum
  —Cultivating Humanity

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