Daily War Watch
Uncle Sam Wants You - Because He Doesn't Have a Clue
October 29, 2001
To be blunt, the Pentagon wants your help in brainstorming
because it is paralyzed by rigid thinking created by decades
of postwar mentality. Though asking for help (Pentagon
Seeks a Few Good Ideas to Fight Terrorism) was not intended
to be an admission of an inability to think creatively, I'm
not letting that stop me. They can't think creatively because
creativity costs careers. Mistakes are simply not allowed;
that is the law. All must obey. So, since no one is allowed
to make mistakes and survive, no one - no one! - in the Pentagon
has a license to be creative without the specific understanding
that their advice will be ignored.
Maybe that's a lot to digest, but here's my evidence.
Remember Rumsfeld's military revolution? It was crushed by
the Empire a lot more easily than Al Qaeda will be. Empire,
you say? Conventional generals and admirals, in addition to
unconventional generals and admirals with well defined fiefdoms
to protect. See, Rumsfeld tried to use the Pentagon's think
tanks to draw up the ideas to scrap reliance on traditional
big budget military tools, each with a long history, many
fathers jealously guarding their progeny, and a large number
of Congressmen and Senators who saw jobs in their districts
as being threatened.
The revolution died a quick, quiet death.
Now, you tell me how aircraft carriers, F-22 Raptor stealth
fighters, and V-22 Osprey aircraft (I refuse to call that
ostrich a helicopter) are going to help defend America against
Anthrax scares and domestic airline hijackings. Go on. I'm
Oh, let's not forget the M1-A2 main battle tank. How will
it help us to invade Afghanistan?
What's that? It won't?
It's not that I like the think tank ideas much better. Arsenal
ships are torpedo magnets and, besides, the US would have
to build many, many more Tomahawks. How many civilian casualties,
10 year old sons of heads of pseudo-states and military hospitals
and mosques converted to tank shelters are with a $1 mil a
pop cruise missile? But we knew that when we started.
So what is the point of this bombing campaign? It's to convince
everyone we're not wimps, with the beneficial side effect
of pissing off every non-aligned Afghan, Pakistani, Saudi,
and probably quite a few others. Wait... this is a beneficial
effect? But the bombing is being done for a reason, isn't
Yeah. It's being done because we have to Do Something.
It's pretty pathetic, really.
But enough of that.
The Pentagon's problems are known. The solution really has
little to do with the Pentagon.
Let's be serious. The REAL battlefield is not Afghanistan
at all. Killing Osama Bin Laden will not stop terrorism, nor
will removing the Taliban. Terrorism will only be stopped
when there is no one alive to commit it; however, as global
thermonuclear war is not a desirable outcome, we must move
to plan B.
The real battlefield is Saudi Arabia.
The problem for the United States is that the President of
the United States' father has a financial interest in the
continued meshing of American and Saudi interests, the meshing
which is the true root of the opposition of Osama Bin Laden
to the Saudi government. Granted, Osama is a fanatic; he took
to heart what the Saudis told him about God and fighting the
heathen, went off and did it, kicked ass, and then decided
that the House of Saud isn't holy enough. Welcome to the club.
This is what happens throughout history when regional and
great powers work through proxies. Religion is a potent match;
don't be surprised to get burnt.
Anyway, the point is, Enron's stock falling is a dagger to
the heart of this administration, of far more import than
the World Trade Center attack. Similarly, the status of the
permanent American occupation of Saudi Arabia, disguised as
the Saudis using us as slave soldiers while our political
masters are well paid (through arms sales as well as through
important financial vehicles such as the Carlyle Group), while
the soldiers receive only their low pay and benefits. The
Saudis understand such a system. They do not so easily understand
the idea of American patriotism and love of country being
a valid reason for military action. My question is, why should
America is deliberately acting as if we are a foreign power
acting at the behest of the Saudi government in attacking
its enemies, which now include Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban.
Therefore, since Americans in the middle east are all mercenaries
and slave soldiers with no title to the land they defend,
our actions can be laid at the feet of the real string-pullers:
Israel and the House of Saud. But let's forget Israel here...
it's not important.
The problem is that the House of Saud is deliberately fostering
attacks on Sunni bretheren and then trying to deny it by cowardly
inferences to Iraq being the real cause of the Sept. 11 attack,
when everyone knows it was Saudi Arabia's own oil money, shared
with the Bush family, that was responsible for this attack.
If the true masters put their foot down and did something,
the Americans would be isolated, would have few or no bases
in the Middle East, and would have a very difficult time attacking
the innocents suffering because of American indifference in
Someone has to hold the House of Saud responsible, to put
their feet to the fire. Someone has to let them know that
it is not acceptable for them to plot against fellow Moslems.
Perhaps even the unthinkable must be thought. We need someone
to think the unthinkable. We need someone to say the undoable
and then do it.
That someone is Osama Bin Laden.
...It's something like that, isn't it?
The Saudis are taking the rap for American action as if they
planned the whole thing from the start. There are only two
ways to approach this.
1. Become the Saudis.
Import state sponsored terror to the United States, including
torture, detention without trial, political and religious
oppression, and the exportation of fanatacism whenever it
is in concert with our own national interests.
This is the option we are currently pursuing. The main side
effect is that issues like Enron's stock falling and the SEC's
investigation become matters of state of import to the highest
levels of the American government. Corruption from the Saudi
state will seep deeper into American society, threatening
the long-term stability of the American government, which
has been, by the standards of the world, despite the sheer
size of America's national wealth, relatively low.
This also implies that we will do absolutely anything to
keep Crown Prince Abdullah from the throne.
2. Step back from the Saudis.
This is the option that we are most definitely NOT pursuing.
It is not an attempt to abandon the Saudis; it is an attempt
to show that the Saudis are not our pawns, nor we theirs (the
latter being substantially more important to the survival
of the Saudi regime). We would trust Saudi Arabia to make
good use of the weapons we have provided to keep Saddam Hussein
at bay. Our troops would leave quietly, leaving pre-positioned
equipment in case we have to go back; that is fair. The Saudis
are ALLIES, and we must treat them as such and trust them
to survive using their own means (i.e. religion, repression,
resillience, and whatever legitimacy they can come up with).
We must also get far, far away from the battle of succession;
any interference with it will go badly for us. We would be
tainting the Saudi government by our presence.
This means that we must be willing to tolerate Crown Prince
Abdullah on the throne, including his religious, fairly anti-American
tilt and his desire to root out corruption in the royal family.
That represents the best long-term chance for Saudi survival.
Progress on that front, and removal of the irritant of our
presence, would go a long way towards rehabilitating the United
States in the eyes of the Saudis.
Now, option 2 has likely been ruled out at the highest levels
of the American government because it is unthinkable, because
it reverses decades of Bush family history, and because President
Bush the First (#41) has financial interests that would be
at stake. Keep in mind that these financial interests existed
when Bush the Elder made telephone calls to Saudi Arabia on
America's behalf with GWB in the same room, listening to Dad
doing his job for him.
Consequently, the problem is political, not military.
Now, militarily, the only way to really do the job is to
get the Taliban to do it for us; since that is politically
impossible, the Taliban must be destroyed. This will require
mass genocide. Every man, woman, and child not with us, is
suspect. This is our alternative to thermonuclear warfare.
Consequently, we must arm the Northern Alliance, demand that
as a condition of retaking Kabul that they mercilessly rape,
pillage, and murder, and then let the dogs of war loose. We
tell them that we will pay them very well no matter what damage
they will inflict, as long as we get our man. We will pay
any price for Bin Laden's head. Any price. Once they understand
that self-interest is at stake, they will expend any amount
of manpower necessary. We will back them 100%.
If we're not gonna do that, then this bombing is extremely
counter-productive. (Obviously, that is the truth as it stands
now.) Every bomb that kills an innocent civilian further poisons
our relations in that part of the world. If our objective
is to be hated as the Great Satan, we're doing a great job.
If our objective is to get Bin Laden, then we're doing exactly
the wrong thing.
Of course, understanding this would require the concession
that the entire military campaign is a fundamentally political
act, a game intended to amuse the President and convince him
that he is actually in the process of getting something done,
while not actually getting much done, as that would be contrary
to the economic interests of the military.
War, after all, is good for business.
So, um, Mr. Rumsfeld? You wanted to know how to fight terrorism,
Tell Bush Sr. that the United States has only permanent interests,
not permanent allies, and that even his own family's are not
more important than those of the nation. That will do more
good than anything that your Department of Defense can do.
Sorry, Rummy. Truth hurts.
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