Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Disproportional Response

There are five dangerous faults which may affect
a general:
(1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction;
(2) cowardice, which leads to capture;
(3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
(5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him
to worry and trouble.
--Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Our elite media and political leaders are getting their old martial muscles limbered up again and unpacking all the post-9/11 "Hurry up and bomb somebody already!" rhetoric from its cosmoline.

But war remains old men talking and young men dying, and nothing is stupider than letting yourself be goaded into the fight your enemy wants to have on the ground of his choosing, and more often than we like to admit. there is nothing left in the toolbox but bad options and worse options.  So until I hear something very persuasive to the contrary, I will continue to believe that the United States has no business stepping across a dozen national borders in an effort to once again wheedle and bribe the people whose back yards are on fire into getting their shit together long enough to put the fire out.


nanute said...

And if we are foolish enough to go in and bribe them to put the fire out,as soon as we leave, they'll start the fire all over again. Oh, wait, isn't that exactly what's happening now? Or, do we have a certain amount of complicity in starting the fire?

Anonymous said...

"I'm feed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."

A man who should have been president.

waldo said...

Nice call, beautifully put.