We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
This is one heck of a subject for a Sunday in Advent, but I need to get this off my chest to feel better.
When a nation decides it needs to go to war, it has to be ruthless, barbaric, and indifferent to life and property. We learned in Vietnam, and Russia learned in Afghanistan, that careful, "hearts and minds" warfare does not work. I am not saying that we should have, but we could have nuked Hanoi and ended the thing right there.
The US will not carpet-bomb, or fire-bomb Fallujah - or Baghdad. Or Tehran. Surely not nuke any place in the Middle East. Why not? Because we have become too civilized for total warfare. And because the enemy is dispersed and hidden amongst an innocent, and even largely supportive-of-freedom, population.
When we bombed Cologne, Berlin, and Hiroshima, we did not worry about these things. If the war in Iraq were a true war, we would have already bombed Iran, which is supporting the "insurgents."
This is not a "war" in Iraq: it's a magnified "police action," or "surgical action," with the best of intentions - but now the enemy is those who oppose a free Iraq - and not the US, really: they want to kill eachother. We are just in the way, like sitting ducks, or like cops chasing mobsters in Chicago. Same in Afghanistan - another civil war, sort-of, in which the Taliban mobsters appear to be entirely intact, and the government quite dependent on outside military and financial support.
No-one has figured out how to deal with such situations militarily - as long as we decide not to use total war methods. Or as long as we do not have the patience for long-term military quasi-police-type presence, as we have in South Korea and Bosnia. But no-one has figured out how to deal with it diplomatically, either.
There is no effective in-between, which is why Darfur is ignored by the world: it's like an event of nature, a hurricane or tsunami. Except that it is evil human nature instead of weather. Compassionate warfare in the Third World - or in any world - does not work.
Power is useless if you will not use it, and if everyone knows that you won't. And knows that your own country's press will wear you down, if the guerilla/terrorists don't.
I sure do not have the solution, nor do I wish to see fine, innocent Iraqis - or Iranians - killed. All I know is that soldiers must die, but I hate to see them killed when we handcuff ourselves with compassion and civilized ideas, and the opponent does not. War with rules is an oxymoron, and the Jihadists know this as well as the Japanese and the Germans did.
Do you have a list of targets you would like to nuke? In order of importance to nuke of course.
Remember that nuking one place sets the world against you though, so you'll have to take that into account with your order of importance. Preemptive retaliation would be the call of the day, take out all threats within 24 hours if you can manage it. Do we have enough nukes for that?