Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BoingBoing Torture Euphemism Generator

Original link is here if the iframe is too slow. Where's George Carlin when we need him? This reminds me of Caputo's A Rumor of War. Read pages 166-167 to see how the U.S. Army describes what happens to someone who steps on a mine made from a 155mm artillery shell, what the military calls an IED today. (Yes, they had IEDs in Vietnam.) I suppose an optimist would say we are making progress when many of our veterans only come home maimed and brain-damaged instead of in little tiny fragments.

The MSM supported the government during the Vietnam War and they support the government now. When the MSM quits supporting the wars overseas, then the government will look for the exits. But the MSM only quits after it is obvious that the Army is losing and the people have already decided that the war was folly and waste to begin with.

I believe that the latest fad in national defense policy circles to to pull out Vietnam analyses and substitute the words Afghanistan and Taliban for North Vietnam and Viet Cong/NVA. The North Vietnamese knew they could outlast us. Even if we won every battle, they still won the war making our role in Vietnam pointless. The Taliban have the same incentive. They can lose every battle and still win the war. Our only way to victory is to uplift Afghan society such that the Taliban and their agenda become meaningless. That won't happen because the focus isn't to win through rebuilding the society, but to destroy an enemy that operates like a ghost in the night. Our military trains people to kill the "enemy" and the emphasis is on destruction of the enemy and the enemy's society which we already occupy. Using the military for nation building only happened once after World War II when we rebuilt Germany and Japan after both countries had thoroughly been destroyed. WWII was the exception, not the rule. Every successful American conflict has been one of subjugation followed by colonization or, the equivalent, building military bases in those countries.

If we were serious about winning and rebuilding Afghanistan, we'd have sent 10,000 extra troops into the country instead of 30,000 extra troops. They'd have been combat engineers who could have built roads. The money saved from not sending the other 20,000 troops (roughly $20,000,000,000 or more) could have been given to the Afghans through NGOs to build schools and infrastructure and improve their quality of living through their own hard work and labor. Instead we piss lives and money away chasing ghosts, supporting a corrupt government, and using the latest hardware when we know that good old B-52s, A-10s, donkeys, Chinooks, and M-14s work better in country than B-1s, B-2s, humvees, MRAPS, F-22s, and M-4s. Vietnam Part II. Nothing seems to change with current American military doctrine except the terminology used to describe it.


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