Abductive Columns

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Not Learning From History

George Washington was Commander in Chief of the Colonial Army a ragtag group of poorly trained, barely paid, badly equipped soldiers outnumbered by a far better operational British army.

Yet the Colonists were victorious in the Revolutionary War because the British were categorical imperialists. The British knew the rules of war and refused to compromise those rules even when attacked by soldiers who could not have cared less about their combat categories and canons.
1) It was unethical to attack at night (could this not be compromised?)
2) It was unethical to attack from many fronts at once (could this not be compromised?)
3) It was unethical to hide and fight rather than wear red and stand up like a man (could this not be compromised?)
Ethicality has changed over the past two centuries. But O my—is this not deja Vu in Iraq today.

3 Comments:

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred,

I am sorry, but you have hit a sore spot. Are you suggesting that using women and children as pawns and cover is ethical? Are you suggesting that raping a man with the barrel of a pistol and firing it becasue he is SUSPECTED of collaboration with the infidels is ethical? Are you suggestiong that poisoning the Iraqi policemen, as was reported this weekend, is ethical? Are you suggesting that using children as a human chain/roadblock across a road in an effort to slow down a convoy so that they might be destoyed, is ethical? I should hope not.

I suppose that you are going to retort with the various wartime actions be the US/UN that has brought pain and destruction to the Iraqi people. However, I submit that the country is merely having birthpains as a new country is born. In time, we can look back on these pains and see them for what they are.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Fred Peatross said...

First of all, I never said the things you mentioned were ethical. I simply stated the reason for the British defeat. My point? Unless something strategically changes we may face a similar defeat and with it overwhelming shame.

Is all this really as simply as you seem to imply? Can I hear your spin on what is ethical?

Is war ethical?
Is killing ethical?
Does it make sense to allow killing but only under certain conventions and canons?
How does that make killing ethical?
Can one justify a war on the basis of a “just war” which presupposes a just cause? Do you think the daughter who loses a father in war finds any justification for the cruelty of her loss? Seems to me that the “just war” theory is, at best, relative.

The gist of my post was that the British lost their war in the 17th century because of their refusal to rethink their strategy. Using conventional means to fight an enemy using unconventional tactics is unimaginative.

As a sidelight: I do not believe the Geneva Conventions nor those who scream for the rights of combatant prisoners should have a say in the direction this country takes.

You might want to sign your post.

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Cowboy Mark said...

Fred,

Point taken. I have now registered with this site. I see more clearly what you are trying to say. I guess I should have tempered my comments a little more. I thought you were relating colonial Americans to the Insurgents in a Iraq. I have reread your post and man I was way off. I apologize.
If you would induldge me again, though, I would like to make another comment.
I think that we are fighting conventionally and unconventionally. the problem is that whenever the great (I say this tongue in cheeck) American press gets wind of the unconventional warfare, they start a public outcry and our politicians in Washington do not have the required anatomy to stand up and say this is what we are going to do. If you do not like it, vote us out. This lack of anatomy applies more to the congressional representatives, than to the Commander in Chief, I believe. If Congress and the rest of Washington, DC would step back and really listen to the commanders on the ground, the insurgency would cease to exist in a matter of months.

Also, as for the change of our strategy, we constantly change our strategy. The problem becomes that the insurgency also changes their strategy. It boils down, IMHO to a war of wills. Do we, as Americans, have the will to stay the course and win this war. I say that we do, it is a matter of making it real to all Americans day to day. If I have one grip about the CiC, it is that he has failed in many instances to make the case for us staying the course.

 

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