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Rebutting weak arguments of extremists - The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
zimzat
zimzat
Rebutting weak arguments of extremists

I'm probably crazy for doing this. I'll probably get a lot of flack for getting involved. I haven't been paying a lot of attention to the subject so I'll probably get in way over my head pretty fast. But... this is a journal so I'm going to spend a moment to voice some opinions before leaving the subject alone again.

Before criticizing decisions we make let's examine the logic we're using to call those decisions bad. Those decisions may actually be bad ideas in more than one aspect, but at least make sure the ones being voiced don't have holes the size of a bus in them.

Take America Back: Obama to Troops: don't fire first!

  • No night or surprise searches
    takes away our night vision technology advantage

    The keyword here is searches. It doesn't say raids can't be done at night. In point of fact our own night vision isn't perfect and can lead to more confusion than if all searches are done during the day. A search, to me, sounds more like 'we think you may have something, but aren't really sure' and has a decent probability of just disturbing everyone. I can't see a reason to allow night searches without pressing probability or time factor, in which case the distinction would turn it into a raid.

  • Villagers are to be warned prior to searches
    where the insurgents live and sleep

    I think we often forget the sort of rules we have in our own country. I don't think anyone here would appreciate having their entire apartment complex searched without some sort of notice just to try to find one person in a hundred. Unless they were actively running and a potential violent threat to the people of the apartment then there are better ways to get at them, and the same applies over there.

  • Afghan National Army, or ANA, or Afghan National Police, or ANP, must accompany U.S. units on searches
    they often don't show up

    In theory this rule actually makes perfect sense. The local military is supposed to be taking up these duties sooner or later so having them present means they'll have experience doing them. The point that they often don't show up is a different matter that needs to be addressed separately of the rule itself. If we're not required to have them there then we'll probably just keep doing it by ourselves and be stuck there.

  • U.S. soldiers may not fire at insurgents unless they are preparing to fire first
    might that be too late?

    The rule makes perfect sense. The title of the note these comments come from is entirely misleading. The title makes the assumption that the insurgents will always get the first shot, but the actual rule is to only fire if it looks like they're actually going to shoot first. I'm sure some people would feel better just shooting first and asking questions of the dead bodies (oh, wait, we can't) but innocents would very much prefer not to be killed, and their friends and families are less likely to hold a grudge if we can manage not to kill them in the process.

  • U.S. forces cannot engage insurgents if civilians are present
    insurgents shoot from amidst civilians -- a favorite tactic

    Again, I'm sure the local innocents (and not everyone is guilty) would appreciate not getting caught in the line of fire. If it became a regular occurrence we would be hurting more than helping and just creating more insurgents. On top of that, the locals can't stop the insurgents from blending in their crowds and just start firing off. They could try stopping the insurgent after they start shooting, but if I were just as likely to get shot by the soldiers I'd be fleeing first.

  • Only women can search women
    way to put more female GIs in harms way

    The rule makes perfect sense, especially since their culture is much more sensitive about this issue than ours is (and we throw a fit over it!). But the come-back that it puts more female GIs in danger is just insane. Are you trying to make our entire force male-only? Are you trying to say that women can't handle it? If they're volunteering for the army, and last I checked we don't do drafts (yet), then that is their job. Just because your frail male ego can't tolerate the idea that a woman can do the same job doesn't... it's just insane to think people still think like that in this day of age.

  • Troops can fire on insurgents if they catch them placing an IED but not if insurgents walk away from where the explosives are.
    and the next day a U.S. soldier dies because of it

    If we catch the insurgent placing it then we can fire on them, but if we don't catch them in the act then how can we prove they did it? Theoretically we could have some sort of surveillance system that catches them in the act but once they've walked away and aren't actively creating harm then shooting them after the fact would be pointless. It would be akin to having the police going after a guy, guns blazing, sitting on a park bench who placed a bomb a week before. We would never stand for that sort of justice by our police without a court and jury to hear evidence, convict, sentence them instead, so why should our soldiers be allowed that sort of free-handed justice?

If we theoretically kill all the "insurgents" but kill half the country in the process we're not helping. In practice for each innocent we kill we increase the likelihood of creating more insurgents increases until we get an entire country rebelling against us. In the end we would just be hurting ourselves if we don't follow the same freedoms we expect at home (and don't you dare start giving up our freedoms here to justify taking away theirs).

If we're really as benevolent as we try to make ourselves out to be in this process then we should assume their civilians and innocents have the same rights and freedoms we do until proven guilty. Association by nationality, gender, race, religion, location, or anything else does not prove guilt.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, 1775.

Current Mood: uncomfortable uncomfortable
Current Music: "Be Yourself" by "Enrique Iglesias" on "Seven" (Pandora)

6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
mcfnord From: mcfnord Date: January 4th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I think the goal is to cut off recruitment and support for insurgents, which hinges on building support among non-insurgents.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: January 5th, 2010 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
That's the conclusion I came to as well. I'm not sure if all of the new rules will actually help toward that goal, but they don't seem to be hindering nearly as much as the people protesting it make it out to.
mcfnord From: mcfnord Date: January 5th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)
All these limitations! It's like we need to function in a civilized society in order to build civilization. They promised we'd just light the rag heads up! The rules of engagement win or lose the war. Some people can't even understand how hard that is. Furthermore, no one is being led to slaughter. Tactics are not strategy. Oh I could go on but why bother. Take a look at his newest essay. It's tl;dr.

"The modern state is not a fated existence; it is a human artifact only two hundred years old. And it no longer has the authority it once had. The secession and devolution movements in the world today, along with the demonstrated viability of small states, raises new and exciting possibilities. Americans have not rejected these possibilities; they simply have never occurred to them."

Yet we have a Republic.
andrewshead From: andrewshead Date: January 4th, 2010 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I started to read the facebook post but stopped when they complained about the "only women can search women" post. Anyone complaining about that is so out of touch with reality and the Arabic world that their opinion doesn't matter.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: January 5th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, aye. I don't expect to convince anyone with points like those to actually change their mind. I just read it and found it so hard to believe that anyone actually believed that. Or maybe I'm just saddened I know the person who I found this though and am disappointed to learn that they support this kind of thing.
mcfnord From: mcfnord Date: January 5th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
it's hysteria if that's reassuring. hysterical idiots rant and it's ok.
6 comments or Leave a comment