I was perusing This post on Moxie‘s site just a few moments ago. I lurk every now and and again but rarely ever post. But reading the comments to that post, I realized how incredibly myopic people are when it comes to both peace and war.
Peace is impossible if your enemies believe that war (or terrorism) is the fastest way to achieve their goals. In other words, you have to make your enemies believe that peace is a better alternative to dying on a dusty street with their intestines stewn behind them.
I used to have this same argument with a few of the pacificists I worked with at ASW. The only thing we agreed on was that killing for peace was like fucking for chastity. I told them if the US truly wanted to eliminate terrorism they would have to do one of two things, only one of which would work.
The first was to bow down to terrorist demands and withdraw all of our resources (both military and economic) from any and all conflicts & causes outside of the USA. That means that we would essentially isolate a number of countries that couldn’t possibly exist without US aid. Goodbye Israel. Goodbye Kuwait. Goodbye Korea. Goodbye Japan. Goodbye Russia. Goodbye Western Europe. Goodbye Africa. Goodbye South America. Each and everyone of these countries and regions would probably disappear within a few months. I’m not kidding. Israel would be the first to go. Quickly followed by Japan. Of course Korea would be vaporized. The ensuing power struggle in the middle east would push Europe to respond. England would be paralyzed by fear and doubt and consequently sit and wait for the bombs to start levelling London. France would surrender to any army marching within 100 miles of its borders. At some point, someone with an itchy trigger finger would send the first of many nukes into neighboring countries. And here we have the armageddon that every Republican fears. Obviously this is a simplistic view but it is a VERY real possibility. So that essentially rules out bowing to terrorist demands.
The second option, and one I’ve always advocated is eliminating entire groups of people who prove that they are incapable living by a mutually beneficial set of rules. I think terrorism is cowardly but lets face a crystal clear fact: Victory usually goes to the guy who is willing to do what his enemy is not. As such, even terrorism fits within the ideology of war. Don’t get me wrong, terrorism isn’t anywhere near as effective as bombing a region back to the stone age but you can’t possibly say that there is such a thing as “fighting fair” when it comes to armed conflict regardless what the Geneva convention says.
In order to truly eliminate terrorism you have to be willing to take the fight out of the terrorists which let’s be perfectly honest about this, most people would balk at doing what is necessary for that to transpire. See, in order to make sure terrorists don’t commit terrorist acts, you have to eliminate the terrorists, the families of said terrorists and anyone who may lose loved ones as you pound those terrorists into single serving portions. Everytime you kill a terrorist (or patriot depending on your viewpoint), you create more because someone, somewhere cared about the person you just eliminated. You’d have to kill them all and let god sort them out to be truly effective. That means killing Mustafa, Mustafa’s sister, Mustafa’s sister’s husband, Mustafa’s sister’s husband’s brother… you get the idea.
That is called genocide… and nobody, not even Shrub is willing to do that.