My Thinking on War and Defense
Osama Bin Laden has been in the news a lot recently. Whether he is in back of the recent attack or not, it seems worthwhile to note some of the things he has said in the past. He considers all Americans targets for death. His hatred started during the Gulf War, the result of all the destruction visited on the Iraqi people. The culture of the west and it´s relentless advance on the rest of the world, is also repugnant to him and many other Muslims.
It does seem a bit unfair to be considered a target, if one was like me, strongly opposed to the Gulf War, and is not in favor of the western culture that is dependent on oil. There are those here who agree with me that the culture has lost needed restraint about catering to human instincts, fulfilling wants, not needs. A war for oil made no sense at the time for me. Better to have spent the resources on weaning away from it, bowing to the inevitable end of the stuff. Instead, we made bitter enemies and have come no nearer to losing our addiction. Unfair or not, we are in the situation and must deal with it. Probably the Osama Bin Ladens of the world, would say, too bad, the US killed lots of peace loving people too. Get in the way, and you die.
The actions recently taken were of guerrilla war, shoot and hide. Such tactics have brought mighty armies and nations to their knees more than once. It is a tactic that the revolutionary militias used at the founding of this country. Basically, they will spend much less energy for the result, than we will. How much did it cost them to do what they did? Some training, some small knives, for a tiny force of men. It was like a move in Judo, using our own use of energy against us. And the Bush government responds with a 40 billion dollar effort. This is an equation that cannot be sustained. Especially not as the world supply of oil comes to a peak and heads down in the next few years.
But what can we do? We can either fight or flee. It seems that the country has opted to fight, kill or be killed. No surprise there. But fleeing is still an option.
The vulnerability of the US, and other similar countries, is the openness. It is easy to get into the country, and vanish from view, then wreak havoc. We are a society of strangers, who do not keep track of each other. This is viewed as a wonderful thing by many, but in fact it is a grave weakness, and weaknesses cannot be viewed as a wonderful thing. Society is a body, and to let foreign objects into a body to wreak havoc is not how life has flourished over the past millions of years.
We don´t have to flee by going to another country. We can flee by ceasing to be Americans in the sense of the present culture. We can drop it and change cultures, and change our defenses by doing so. Seek higher ground. The enemy has formed closed ìcells”, that cannot easily be penetrated by outsiders. If we do the same, that cell will have strength. Now, this society can still be open to newcomers, the only thing is that they fit, they belong. How so? They belong because they express, and act, with the same beliefs. What are those beliefs? That we live in harmony with each other and with nature, that we do not force actions of each other and nature, we measure honestly, act according to needs, not wants, reproduce as a group, not as individuals. I´ve given these principles in the last piece I wrote here.
I would not expect that the present attackers, or anyone else bent on destruction, would try and make any exception for our presence. But we would not be in areas prone to attack, as our values don´t fit with being in such places. We would not provoke attacks in our actions towards the world, and we would be very strong against anything that did happen to be tried. There is no strength in being a huge society of strangers. There is strength in being in small cells of friends, who keep track of the changes that occur in their area.
Some things never change. If you are attacked, and the attack is successful, you need to either close up the vulnerability, appease or defeat the attacker, or expect another blow to the weak spot. I see no sign that the majority of the US wants to admit a weakness, they abhor the idea of appeasement, and give no credible plan for defeating the attackers. This is not intelligence. It is knee jerk reactions in the wrong direction.
The hornet stings, it is fast, if you manage to kill one there are many more, do you angrily declare your massive strength compared to a single hornet and smash the nest with your bare fists? Most people would not think of it. They would retreat. Evolution has given people the proper knee jerk reaction to hornet nests. No one is considered a coward to retreat in such circumstances. Why would we consider anything different for this case, which is so similar?
As for the attackers, I have to doubt if they are thinking much clearer. They plan and strike out of pain and anger as much as we do. The US has a significant role in that pain, but their cultures are full of flaws that give them serious pain as well. Much of their pain is self inflicted. Depletion of resources, overpopulation, the pain of rich and poor with a monetary economy, are potentially fatal problems for them as well as for the US. If those are not dealt with, and they are irrational about blaming others completely for their problems, and put energy into war, and forcing their citizens into a framework that is not rational, they will not win either. Neither side is acting rationally, neither can be expected to do well out of it. Both could be reduced to dust and ashes. Denying weaknesses, denying problems, is not the way to solve them. Pride goes before a fall, whether of individuals or of nations.
Write me Arthur Noll
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