Friday, August 15, 2014

Because I hate using all my material at away games...

In response to the suggestion that America no longer has the constitution to make the rubble bounce, despite having the manifest ability to do so:
I dunno. I dunno what we'd do if NASCAR America were sufficiently terrified, but I don't imagine it would be pretty (and have no delusions it would be "permanent", except for those directly under the bombs.) As you alluded, we're a big country composed, by and large, of little men these days. Bob Heinlein had a quote that was something like "Never frighten a little man; he'll kill you." All the head-chopping and VBIEDing on the far side of the globe has only titillated Middle America; they have not frightened Joe Sixpack and Suzy Soccermom. Yet.

I'm talking the same quasi-libertarian isolationist line now that I was in '03, but let 'em set off bombs in Lucas Oil Stadium and I reckon I'll be out there in the street, clamoring to "Burn the nest!" like everybody else.

ETA: Also, thinking back to the mood thirteen years ago, the perpetrators of the attack on Manhattan had one thing in their favor: They were stateless actors. By declaring a "caliphate" and drawing borders and claiming nation-state status, IS has also drawn a handy bullseye around itself in a way AQ never did.

18 comments:

staghounds said...

In 2001, more than one person I knew said we should nuke somebody. Just to show that we were serious and disproportionate enough not to fck with, pour encourager.

My speculation is that nothing foreigners do to foreigners will fire us up to do real earth scorching war to another country, even a little one. Rwanda and the Ukraine didn't.

We won't even stop an active, ongoing invasion on the southern border, or a multi thousand annual American death war on the streets.

$10 gasoline might do it.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

By declaring a "caliphate" and drawing borders and claiming nation-state status, IS has also drawn a handy bullseye around itself in a way AQ never did.

This. This is key.

docjim505 said...

Agreed. What's sad about it is that the politicians who "push the button" will do so either out of blind fear or, worse,the cynical view that bombing somebody (and perhaps adding ANOTHER government agency to Keep Us Safe) is a real vote-getter.

Ritchie said...

Self entargeting for the Heisenbergian lose. In due time, someone just has to lift the lid.

heresolong said...

The problem with isolationism is that it

a) doesn't keep them from hating us since they hate us for being not-Islamic, not because of anything we do over there

b) allows them to build their strength and plot to attack us with little to no checks

The beauty of the Iraq war was that we killed Jihadists by the thousands a long way from here as they flooded into Iraq to fight the Great Satan. (Incidentally we also helped the Iraqis takes steps towards becoming a modern Westernized nation. Now that is going away due to shortsightedness (hey we occupied Japan and Germany for fifteen years after we defeated them), the success of ISIS in creating their caliphate will hurt us in the long run.

Toast said...

If the elected folks who get to tell the bomber drivers what to do continue to listen more closely to Silver Spoon America than to NASCAR America, they'll continue to believe the delusion that starving religious minorities being slaughtered on a mountaintop somewhere ought to be able to talk their way to Peaceful Coexistence and Mutual Toleration Through Diplomacy(TM). They'll also believe that whether or not the talkie-talk succeeds, they can safely ignore the situation until someone they've pinkie-sworn allegiance ... er, I mean "mutual assistance" to says it's time for a Show of Force. That these assumptions were false will dawn on them about the same time the NASCARians are sealing the hatch on the family bunker.

Paul said...

And with the coward in chief who likes bombing shit, just in time.

It is amazing how many democrats are in the bomb them mode now.

rickn8or said...

"$10 gasoline might do it."

That or cancelling American I-dull.

Yrro said...

@heresolong Funny, many of them seem to have very specific grievances with us, such as bombing civilians and calling them terrorists, or propping up what they see as corrupt governments.

I don't doubt that many dislike, even hate us, for being non-Islamic. There are quite a few people *here* who strongly dislike them for being non-Christian, for treating women like property, or for chopping people's heads off.

Notice, however, that we didn't actually send in the ground troops until they attacked one of our interests (invading an ally, or bombing our cities).

There's a big step between hate and action, and it usually involves something much more specific and in your face than cultural differences.

Firehand said...

I think there's the will and determination among a lot of people, but the people in Sodom on the Potomac either
Don't like listening to the commoners back home, or
Think it'll hurt their reelection chances if they actually demand action, or
Just don't care as long as it's happening 'over there'.

And President Lightbringer, well, he plainly thinks "Why couldn't they kill all those people off BEFORE it hit the news? Damn this uncontrollable media!" I think he'd rather sit there speaking platitudes and demanding negotiations until everybody but ISIL is dead rather than actually, seriously, DO something.

staghounds said...

After the people of 1945 defeated the hell out of them. That's the key, they didn't go to Germany and Japan to "nation build" they went there to nation smash and prevent a repeat.

"the success of ISIS in creating their caliphate will hurt us in the long run."

Of course it will, because we'll let them have it as a base. Why? We could easily knock out every cell tower, power plant, bridge, gas station, transmission line, and even well, if we wanted to. Enjoy your 18th century Caliphate.

But we won't, that's Tam's point. We won't go to actual war with people who don't even have an ammunition factory.

War? We won't even turn off their cable.

Will Brown said...

IS has also drawn a handy bullseye around itself in a way AQ never did

Not sure how well that holds true in practice. Hamas did the same thing a half-dozen years ago now and they don't seem to be any less of a problem.

It isn't a really good analogy, I admit, but I think it holds up to reasonable scrutiny. Offering a definable map coordinate for an enemy to target is as much an offensive asset as it is a defensive liability - if you're ruthless enough to accept the "domestic" damage in exchange. The great danger I see arising from this is that muslim radicals haven't had a centralizing state entity they could publicly rally 'round (other than Hez'b Allah being an open client of Iran); now Hamas, Boko Haram, the Taliban and all the rest can organize around "the Caliphate" in a more recognizable-to-the-world political structure. I expect the Caliphate to apply for diplomatic recognition at the UN within a few months. The rest to be formally acknowledged as affiliate state members of the Caliphate shortly after diplomatic recognition is achieved.

That would change the war paradigm in a way no conceivable single incident could, I suggest.

Bubblehead Les. said...

As much as I have no problem using Apache Helicopters to take out a bunch of Barbarians who put on the Interwebs their "Great Jihadist Victory" of HANGING Christian First-Graders, I'm not sure that the U.S. Military has the necessary Equipment and People to go after these..."Things."

Ask OldNFO for details on the current state of our Troops.

BillCa said...

The so-called experts are now warning that ISIS is starting to look around and expand its reach, which could include some kind of strike on our home soil.

As of now the Soccer moms and metro man-boys of the left are content to let things happen "over there". But the moment one of our port cities boils under a mushroom cloud there will be both fear and outrage. And I'll be with everyone else calling for a freight-train of bombers to turn Iraq into a glass lined, self-lighting parking lot for Iran.

ISIL has control of Iraq and as one article pointed out, it's oil fields and refineries. A strike against another nation should result in their source of petro dollars turning into 3,267 instant BBQ's. And that should be the "polite" warning.

For those who seem to think the barbarian practices of Islam can be negotiated with or appeased, I suggest you bone up on what Fundamental Islam is and why it's incompatible with ANY other culture. Look up Pat Condell's YouTube rants on Islam for a primer.

markm said...

"nothing foreigners do to foreigners will fire us up to do real earth scorching war to another country, even a little one"

It never has. The Monroe doctrine wasn't about protecting the people to the south of us from European powers so much as it was about keeping the field free for _us_ to exploit Latin America. Ditto for the Spanish-American War.

WWI: We just wanted to make windfall profits selling weapons and food to the European combatants. We couldn't beat the Royal Navy, so accepted that this meant only selling to the Allies - and we only entered the war because U-boats torpedoed too many of our ships, along with such German shenanigans as the Zimmerman telegram.

WWII: Hitler declared war on us. If he'd been as cynical about his Japanese alliance as he was about his pact with Stalin, and cut ties with Japan on Dec 8, 1941, we'd have sent everything we had to the Pacific and left the Brits and Russians to handle their own problems. Not sure whether the result would have been Nazi rule from the Atlantic to the Urals, an eventual stalemate line somewhere between Berlin and Moscow, or Soviet troops finally cornering Hitler in Britanny ca. 1950 - but that's assuming the Nazis never got over their distaste for "Jewish science" sufficiently to develop the A-bomb...

wheelgun said...

It was few short years between Neville Chamberlain's "Peace in Our Time" speech about the Treaty of Berlin (that speech ended with "go home and have a nice sleep,") and "We will never surrender."

Push hard enough, and folks will push back.

Which of the Japanese admirals worried that they had "woken a sleeping giant?" Turned out he was right.

BillCa said...

Admiral Yamamoto feared that Japan had awakened the sleeping giant. Prophetic words. It was a general of the Japanese Army who commented that invaders of America would face "a rifle behind every blade of grass."

A comparison - in WW-II the Japanese were seen as fanatical fighters who would fight ruthlessly to the end. Both the Kamikaze and Banzai (Tenno Heika Banzai) are forms of suicide attacks.

The Banzai yell meant "long live the Emperor" and the U.S. Marines were more than happy for them to die for their Emperor. During the Pacific campaign many Marines adopted a policy of shooting Imperial soldiers several times. As one of my childhood neighbors told us, "Ammo is cheap. It costs three cents but the Marines spent $6,000 training each of you to win."

Today the enemy is similar. He is fanatical, gives no quarter and believes it honorable to die for his cause. And while I'm in no position to recommend foreign policy, I'll note that even when faced with imminent defeat, it took the instant annihilation of two of their cities to force capitulation. If they want to die for their prophet and the 72 virgins, let's skip the ground campaigns and get to the point.

mikee said...

BillCa, one of GW Bush's major successes after 9/11 was that the US did NOT commit genocide against the people of the Middle East. There was indeed a popular upsurge of support for scorched earth, unconditional surrender demands, and Bush wisely limited US goals to toppling the Taliban, devastating al Queda and crushing Iraq's Hussein.

That was done. But the Taliban was allowed safe haven in Pakistan, al Queda is a self-generating philosophy as much as a group of people, and despite hanging Hussein his Baathist regime became exiles in Syria, and hey, look who's having a civil war now?

Next big attack on the US, beware the calls to do what we could do. They are not as sensible as they might seem.