Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The mind of the War Blogger

I have before cited the blog Al Fin. His war blog is Abu Al Fin. It is an excursion into a realm of happy talk about our current unpleasantness, the so called war on terror. Mr. Fin had a post called “Iraq in Vivid Complexivision.” This is, I assume, a neologism of his own invention. Now, I tend to think that someone who needs to use an exotic way of expressing themselves is trying to obfuscate. So does the term have any meaning. I'm not sure. He did answer my comment where I did not ask for a definition with his own comment that might give some clue,

“I am sure you can see far enough beyond the one-dimensional media coverage of Iraq to understand that the terms "winning" and "losing" fail to describe the complexity of the engagement in Iraq.

There are an incredible number of interests being promoted and represented in the Iraqi theatre of operations. Yet the media fails utterly to portray the complexity of the conflict(s) there.

My point of view has little to do with "winning" or "losing" in Iraq. I suspect that arabs cannot be reformed from their bloody-mindedness. Even more ominous, is the demographic theory dealing with the "young male bulge" theory of national and international conflict. I suspect that there is an incredible amount of prognostic potency in that theory.

So, think in "complexivision." There is a lot to learn. I'll try to present sides of the issue that the media studiously ignores.”
So boil away all the verbiage above and you get 'it's complex so we have to stay.' Yuh. I thought this a bit meaningless. I just guess I'm an either you won or lost type of guy. Staying because it's complex is just LBJ's hunkering down. Hardly a strategic vision."

Still, I wanted to be fair so I asked him a question,

“I've got a "complexivision" question for you. Is it more important to keep diddlin' in Iraq or to secure our nation's borders?

Also, if the amnesty is passed, will there be any point to Iraq?”
His answer,"

“It would be better not to conflate Iraq with illegal immigration.”

Ah, yes. The event that started us off on all these adventures was perpetrated by pilots who took off from carriers off the coast of NY and DC. No, it was immigration failure that let the perps of 911 in. Now I am happy to blame Bill Clinton for his goofiness in giving away the store, but our current maximum war leader wants everyone in the world to come here, so no help there. You score the easy points first and securing the border and fixing immigration is the first step, not the last. Maybe, Simplivision (a neologism for Occam's Razor) would help our friend.

I also asked him,

“if you have the grand strategic vision that you can express in a word other than complexivision, please go for it.”

His answer,

“Iraq, it is proving very useful for training US marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen for the expanding world jihad. What you see in Gaza and Lebanon (and Iraq) today, you are certain to see in European cities tomorrow.”

Ah, if you have the border secure, the Jihadis will fight each other because they can't get here. Anyway, if past is prologue, those trained military will have been wasted by the ongoing leadership incompetence, spending years in VA facilities or working for Blackwater. My hope is that they get to enjoy their pensions whole and live easy like the warbloggers. As time goes on, more and more of the new enlistees will be CatIVs and the less intelligent. Using them as cannon fodder will be counterproductive and, as they will be less competent, even closer to murder than the current misuse of our military is now.

And then of course he took refuge in an ad hominem,

“Of course, if you don't think the jihad is worth worrying about, then there is no need to prepare, and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi may make sense to you. In that case, I cannot be of help to you.”

Actually, I don't think wasting well trained infantry against people whose death solves their salvation problem and lessens their countries unemployment burden is a good idea. Fighting a war that favors the strategy of the enemy is hardly grand strategy at its best. If he believes that, no one can be of help to him. Anyway, he should phrase it now to include Lugar and Warner with Nance and Harry.

He asked me about my military experience. I told him of my inglorious Vietnam Era service. I asked him his. He did not answer the question, but accused me of rambling and closed the comments.

So what do I make of such people. He may have shut off debate because he was bored with me. Fair enough. Still, he had no real answers. He is a smart lad, so to be so willfully wrongheaded takes effort. This so called War on Terror is so obviously a scam in the same manner as the War on Drugs with a lot of privatized profits and socialized costs that to believe in it, an intelligent person has to be getting some benefit or has to torture logic brutally in his own mind.

I have a problem with his skating on the question of his military service. Now is this important? I believe so and eventually, I shall devote a whole post on the chickenhawk thing. If you are going to cheerlead for the overseas adventures, and you have never put yourself at risk, there is a high degree of hypocrisy as was seen in the song and dance of the exposed Jonah Goldberg. If Al is a veteran of active service in the combat arms or blogging after going off duty in in the Sunni Triangle, he has my abject apology. If he is just a cheerleader, well, res ipsa loquitur says it all.

Anyway, my comment that got him started was,

"Yep, we're winning. Winning now. Winning next month, Next year, two years from now. Five years from now. Maybe longer.

Then we shall leave, having accomplished zip."

All the happy talk from the war bloggers won't change that.


Black Sea said...

We've been involved in Iraq for so long that people abandon the original arguments for the invasion and start casting around for something potentially more plausible in the current context; for examle, the idea that we're preparing our soldiers for streetfighting against Parisan "youths" and militant Glaswegian physicians.

That this argument strikes anybody - even the person making it - as more credible than the orignal justifcations is an indication of just how bankrupt the whole Iraq war rationale has been from the start.

If, in the winter of 2003, the America people could have known what we now know about Iraq, its "WMDS", its potential to threaten US security, and the aftermath of Saddam's downfall, what percentage of citizens would have supported the invasion? The answer would have to lie somewhere in the single digits. By now, a great many of the war's boosters are people desparately searching for reasons not to see Operation Iraqi Freedom as illegal, immoral, and titanically misjudged by its instigators. This aversion, I suspect, lies at the heart of "complexivision."

I don't doubt that the situation in Iraq i complex, but Al Fin is apparently arguing that the situation is SO complex that "victory" and defeat" have become meaningless. I'm not convinced, but if the argument can be used to justify a withdrawal from Iraq (why fight a war which can neither be won nor lost?), then I'm willing to drink the Kool Aid. That is, just long enough to get us out of someone else's civil war.

rho said...

Iraq, it is proving very useful for training US marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen for the expanding world jihad

Hitchens made this same point in a debate including his brother. I haven't figured out if this is a new argument, or merely a hastily tacked-on addendum to existing arguments.

Of course, I also haven't figured out whether or not they tacitly admit, or studiously ignore, the fact that we're also providing excellent jihadi training.f

E.C. said...

How to stop a war.

In the Vietnam war only 30% of the American soldiers going to the front line fired their weapons. The remaining soldiers had 100% of the bullets still in their guns.

So the individual soldiers own conscience kept his finger off the trigger of his rifle.

Which, with the help of the protests back in America, helped lead to the end of the Vietnam war.