Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Sign of Desperation

The Confederate States of America did it in 1865 as federal armies overran the Southern states and surrounded the Confederate capitol at Richmond. Nazi Germany did it in the Spring of 1945 as the Wehrmacht faced annihilation at the hands of the Russians, Americans, and British after nearly four years of unsustainable losses. The Soviet Union also did it immediately after the German invasion in June, 1941, finding itself in dire straits due to the German Wehrmacht’s blitzkrieg annihilation of most of the Red Army, the result of Uncle Joe Stalin’s murderous carelessness, paranoia, purges and neglect. I also have no doubt that Rome probably did it at various times during the Fifth Century as the Empire degenerated further into a state of collapse.

I’m talking about the “it” of drafting sailors to serve as infantrymen, the practice of turning swabbies into grunts. The Amerikan Empire, sustaining worsening casualty rates among ground troops in the Mess in Potamia, and with an ever-worsening troop shortage of its own making with no reliable source of steady replacements in sight, has done “it” as well. While the State’s propaganda machine paints this as a noble and valiant thing, a perfect example of gehörsame Volkskämpfer (“obedient citizen warriors”) making hardship sacrifices for the good of the Vaterland, the reality is very different. (Incidentally, dear readers, you might as well get used to me sprinkling incendiary Teutonic phrases into my posts. Some of you will no doubt accuse me of tastelessness and of exaggerating our national decline into anarcho-tyrannical dictatorship, but I do nothing if not call things as I see them. Right now, Amerika and its gehörsame Bergerleinin [“obedient little citizens”] most certainly merit description in Goebbels-esque terms).

The reality is that these sailors have become superfluous to the Empire. Amerika’s navy, conceived and built as an open-ocean weapon for combating equally well-armed battle fleets of other heavily-armed nation-states, has no place in the asymmetric fourth-generation warfare (4GW) that has come to characterize the Empire’s wars of colony and conquest over backward foreign hoards at the dawn of the new century. While 4GW is a tactic against which the Empire is woefully unprepared to defend itself, das Fűhrerlein and his general staff are more than willing to throw fodder into the breach, and what more cost-effective way to do so than to declare a shark a carnivorous mammal and toss it onto dry land?

Unfortunately, history has consistently demonstrated the general futility of this tactic. While veterans of this amphibiomorphic experiment have, throughout history’s various wars, experienced differing degrees of success on personal levels, the end result in each war for nations experimenting with “soldier sailors” was, with the exception of the Soviet experience, always the same: total defeat at the hands of the enemy. In the Soviets’ case, the only reason they escaped total defeat was due to having untapped reserves not immediately deployable at the war’s start, while later having the benefit of the Anglo-American second front in the West to relieve just enough pressure to prevent total destruction of their armies. Because wars seldom ever repeat themselves in tactics or outcome, there is little reason to believe that Amerika will be as fortunate in its misadventures in the Middle East (I’ve often wondered how “Stalingrad” would be rendered in Arabic, Persian, Pashtu, or Urdu).

My advice for the Amerikan Caesar and his legion commanders is to think twice about picking a fight with the mullahs in Teheran. Zoological common sense would tell a normal person that it is not a good idea to pick a fight with the neighborhood’s 300-pound bully after you’ve just been rendered a near cripple by his 200-pound sidekick. If you can’t even scrape together sufficient ground troops to stay alive in the Iraq quagmire, the wisdom of getting belligerent with Iran is, to put it kindly, highly questionable. It is a particularly good idea to remember this when you are faced with an adversary who will more than match you man-for-man on the battlefield and who has no compunction about committing mass suicide if it will somehow take you down and achieve tactical and strategic victory. But I am being fatuous in assuming that even a zoological strain of common sense exists within any place bounded by Interstate 495.

So for all of you seafarers being given marching orders and desert cammies, you can at least comfort yourself with this thought: you won’t get seasick in the desert.