War Inside My Head!
David Lee Beowülf
The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility.
— Admiral Sir John A. Fisher (1841-1920)
In Battle There Is No Law!
You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. — Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, September 12, 1864
Is it “wrong” to kill civilians?
Who works the assembly lines, turning out land mines? Who designs the weapons? Who grows the food that feeds the soldiers? Who speaks from the pulpits, rallying the home front? You kill the soldier’s family, destroy his lands, his economy and he has nothing worth living for.
What’s that you say? Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.
Ah! Virgil, in the Aeneid, says knowing there is no hope can give one the courage to fight and win. Certainly, but the man with no hope is easy to kill since he’ll be pretty reckless, plus he won’t care who he takes down with him, preferably most of his comrades. Or he will be so demoralized by his loss that he’ll quit, at which point he’s very easily disposed of. That is the sense behind saturation bombing of population centers. And it works.
The idea of there being “rules” concerning warfare has pretty much poisoned the ability of a “civilized” people to recognize how a war is fought and won. The coward who occupies the White House recently, in what I consider bizarre move, apologized to the world for the United States not “… doing enough… ” to stop the slaughter during the bloody “revolutions” in Rwanda and what is now the Congo (again). The object of those who orchestrated the violence was the throne. If one wants power, one has to take it and maintain it. The best way to maintain it is to rid yourself — permanently — of those who would oppose you. Subjugation of the masses is as easy as removing the children away to camps for “proper education.” Pol Pot’s plan, which included liquidation of all Cambodians from age 13 and up, as well as the total annihilation of any remnants of the previous cultures, was brilliant and perfect. If practiced on a large scale, it could bring in a New World Order very easily.
To the Victor Go the Spoils
There are no referees in war, those who remain neutral do so at their own risk. The victor is under no obligation whatsoever to offer mercy to the vanquished. The combatants wager their nation’s sovereign existence. The fate of nations in times of weakness and/or indifference is to watch from the sidelines. And, after a victor is decided, to suffer hospitality to said victor. What needs to be understood is that the worst reason for a war is to achieve peace, the best reason for a war is gain. It is in a people’s best self interest to look out for their own self interest. To be a citizen of the most powerful country in the world usually means the citizen enjoys tremendous liberty. Your liberty is worth fighting for; it’s worth killing for; it’s worth dying for.
The Sexuality of Patriotism
No one can guarantee success in war, but only deserve it.
— Winston Churchill
General George S. Patton, Jr. in his 1927 essay Why Men Fight, wrote that “… the necessity of fighting for the acquisition and possession of his mate gradually awakened in the budding intelligence of man an enhanced notion as to her value. This in the course of ages limited promiscuous breeding and engendered ideas of a permanent family. To defend his harem, man fought his fellows. While with the increase of permanent ties his roamings were limited; resulting eventually in the establishment of a cave or den home. Long usage developed the idea that his particular hearth was the best of its sort in the neighborhood while conditions of intense cold gave further point to the notion by the necessity they imposed of having permanent and warm sleeping quarters. To defend his females and his bed, man fought for his home… So was the germ of patriotism conceived… Stark famine drove men forth and chance presented them with some huge beast on which their separate hungers caused attack. Eventually, they may have been able to apply such combinations against beasts to dealings with their fellows, but it is more probable that some vagary of nature destroyed a cave and that its inmates driven by hunger to individual despair attacked a neighboring shelter all at once and so by lucky combination, won. By some such steps was the value of combined action discovered until with the dawn of history we find; tribes, city states, and territorial principalities.”
Freedom is only a generation away from extinction
— Ronald Reagan
Niccolò Machiavelli begins chapter 14 of The Prince stating: “A Prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study, but war and its organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands, and it is of such virtue that it not only maintains those who are born princes, but often enables men of private fortune to attain to that rank. And one sees, on the other hand, that when princes think more of luxury than of arms, they lose their state. The chief cause of the loss of states, is the contempt of this art, and the way to acquire them is to be well versed in the same.” In the nearly 500 years since the publication of The Prince, leaders poorly educated in war (and certainly unfamiliar with Machiavelli’s lessons on state-keeping) have time and time again lost their holdings. How many times have the borders of the world’s nations changed through violence? The peace-loving peoples of the earth, unless they’re ruled by one who’s allowed himself to master the art of mass destruction, have always ended their turn at bat being put to the sword or on the yoke.
(As an aside… When I wasn’t buried in the books at grad school, I spent a good deal of the time in the library in the Government Documents section. There were four or five shelves of military books. Besides the weapons manuals, battleship user manuals, gun cleaning books, and other neat stuff, there were medical records from World War One on file. It was a large book full of extremely nasty photos of men who lived — much to their chagrin- after surviving gas attacks or phosphorous shells exploding in their faces. One particularly nasty photo was of a poor young doughboy who had the misfortune to have a mustard gas grenade go off in his crotch. He was a hero nonetheless. In a victorious country, though, the most horrible wounds are as medals to be displayed in public. For the losers, they are marks of shame.)
I Can Feel My Brain Ripping Apart Inside My Head!
“I was not new to violent death… “
— Dr. Livesey, in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
In a recent New York Times Book Review article, a reviewer mentioned something about his not being prepared for the overload of graphic violence of war depicted in the film Full Metal Jacket. While the article wasn’t memorable enough for me to remember its subject or the author’s name, that one ludicrous statement stuck in my mind. How anyone could say something so genuinely wrong pertaining to the subject at hand can only be explained his growing to adulthood encased in a thick wall of ice. As war movies of the last twenty years go, Full Metal Jacket isn’t anywhere near as graphic as, say, something like Hamburger Hill, The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, The Boys in Company C, or The Big Red One. In fact, Full Metal Jacket‘s violence is generally cartoonish, on the level of a Dirty Harry movie. The writer had obviously never seen Goya’s paintings of the horrors of war (armless naked men screaming, impaled on trees, etc.) nor had he cracked any of the myriad coffee table books chock full of lovely photos from WWI through Desert Storm. I wonder how someone working for the Times managed never to see any documentary footage of Nazi atrocities?
On the Bounce!
While Hollywood has produced a number of great war movies, one stands above the rest. No it isn’t Patton nor The Longest Day nor Starship Troopers or even Gunga Din. The greatest war movie ever, in my highly objective opinion, is the 1971 film The Last Valley. Directed by James Clavell, and taken from his book, the movie is set in 1641 during the 30 Years War, and tells the story of a group of gruff German mercenaries, led by Michael Caine (who looks like me on Halloween in this movie — rent it, the resemblance is creepy) who come across a valley, miraculously untouched by the ravages of the ongoing war. There’s an inviting village, the harvest is ready, there’s plenty of food, wine, women, and gold. But rather than burn the village, kill the men, rape the women, drink the wine, and steal the gold, a displaced school teacher, played by Omar Sharif, convinces the band of quarrelsome misfits to spare the valley and stay over for a winter, away from the war. Well, aside from that and the two-star melodrama that evolves, the film accurately (according to well-respected critic, historian, and personal friend of my hero Charlton Heston, George Fraser) depicts the war-torn countryside in all its flaming, plague-ridden goriness; a time when nearly all of continental Europe transformed itself into twentieth-century Northern Ireland, with the Catholics and Protestants going at it, no-holds-barred. Battles were fought while heretics burned, the sword met the gun full-on, and, well, there’s this one scene in where Michael Caine and his men battle for a bridge, inch by inch; they move their cannon over the ever-mounting corpses, blasting cannonballs into the faces of the enemy, all the while witches hang, children are disemboweled, and a really bad time is had for all. It is a ballet of violent death.
Eyes on the Prize
“War is conflict. Fighting is an elemental exposition of the age-old effort to survive. It is the cold glitter of the attacker’s eye, not the point of the questing bayonet, that breaks the line. It is the fierce determination of the driver to close with the enemy, not the mechanical perfection of tank, that conquers the trench. It is the cataclysmic ecstasy of conflict in the flier, not the perfection of his machine gun, which drops the enemy in flaming ruin.” -General George S. Patton, Jr, The Secret of Victory
If only Patton had lived through the 1960’s, then he’d see inspiration; if you have access to a library with lots of Government Publications, try and find a book called Black Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Viet Nam War. These brave men were awarded our nation’s highest honor for doing things like jumping on live grenades, directing attacks with both legs blown off, or other super-human things those of us now living could hardly dream of having the courage to do.
Listen up, you commie pinko hippies! You pukes born in the ’70s and ’80s who’ve never known war! The lifestyle you live now was brought to you courtesy of the United States of America’s history in this world. If there wasn’t any America, chances are you’d be a miserable peasant — just like your ancestor who fled Europe or Asia to escape being the Emperor’s property. If you aren’t prepared to fight for what’s yours, then you own nothing. If you aren’t prepared to fight for your freedom in the streets then you deserve slavery.
Likewise, in very big-picture terms, if you aren’t ready to fight to make sure your lifestyle won’t continue, then you don’t deserve it! Put it this way: every inch of ground Communism gained was an inch lost by the USA. And that means an inch closer to obliterating your lifestyle. Self-interest is the bottom line, crush your enemies. Hit them ten million times as hard as they would you. Any threat, no matter how small, must be met with extreme prejudice!
“Control the Mind and You Control the Man” — Mao Tse-tung
Those Long Marches aren’t aimed at our cities for defensive purposes. Your freedom is the greatest prize of all. And it’s been worth every drop of blood shed by America’s soldiers since 1776 to keep it. Every bomb dropped on Cambodia, every CIA-sponsored covert mission, every muscle-flexing operation in the Caribbean, arming the Mujahadin, every smart bomb dropped on Baghdad was worth it. Because that kind of action lets the world know that America will gladly kill to maintain its people’s lifestyles.
Think about it. What higher moral ground is there than the passionate desire to preserve what one has? So what if a madman threatens to control all the world’s oil? I’ll tell you so what: a repeat of 1973 gas lines like you wouldn’t believe, gas at $10 a gallon, $5,000 plane tickets to fly from New York to Orlando. And it would get worse. Isn’t that worth a few lives? Well, maybe it would spark some sort of revolution in mass transit and fuel consumption. Yeah, right, you fucking ex-hippies with your damn gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles! You former long-hairs have George Bush’s Desert Storm to thank for that. Gas is plentiful and relatively cheap. Plus there’s lots and lots of money around these days, so indulge! Your freedom of movement was brought to you courtesy of blood for oil!
Epilogue: Ultima Thule
Just think, had America caved in and said “so what” in 1941, Nazi Germany could have conquered the world. Had they not invaded Russia until, say 1955, after completely securing all of continental Europe (including the final task of conquering Switzerland), and solidifying a strategic alliance with Japan, I suspect the United States’s days would be numbered. The Nazis could have contained communism easily as Stalin would have exhausted everything on internal purges and maintaining a woeful status quo. Africa would easily fall to Germany; Japan would have easily taken Australia once all the rim nations were put to the whip. India comes next and then…