Thursday, June 24, 2010
  Bring back the draft!

Andy McCarthy writes a highly illuminating piece in NRO this morning. He reveals one of those agreed-on lies: that Gen McChrystal is a hard-charging pro-American Patton type. As usual both "sides" view the lie from different angles: Brand-R says Obama is a traitor for firing "Patton", and Brand-D says Obama is a hero for firing "Patton".

McCarthy shows the truth:
I got in some hot water here last year for arguing that Gen. McChrystal, for all his undeniable valor, is a progressive big-thinker who has been conducting a sociology experiment in Islamic nation-building. It's a flawed experiment that assumes Afghan Muslims will side with us — i.e., the Westerners their clerical authorities tell them are infidel invaders and occupiers — against their fellow Afghan Muslims.

Nothing in the ensuing months changes my mind. To the contrary, what I've seen lately indicates that, while our troops are imperiled under strait-jacketing rules of engagement imposed by Gen. McChrystal to avoid offending Afghans, Christian missionaries have been suspended for preaching (proselytism for any belief-system other than Islam is illegal in Afghanistan). I've seen Asia News's report that Afghan converts to Christianity have been sentenced to death for apostasy. All this, moreover, is happening under the new constitution we helped write, which (as the State Department bragged in 2004) enshrines sharia as Afghanistan's fundamental law. That is, the Afghan Muslim population our troops are fighting and dying to protect has institutionalized the persecution of other populations (when the said Muslims are not otherwise busy killing each other).

In other words, McChrystal is objectively an enemy agent, loyally serving the purposes of enemy agent Bush who appointed him, and enemy agent Obama who promoted him.

[I must confess, with considerable shame, that I bought the lie as well; since the whole Afghan campaign is an utterly pointless consumption of American resources, I hadn't been paying any attention to the details and missed McCarthy's earlier exposé.]

When the whole military is totally penetrated, infiltrated and collaborated by the enemy, there's really no salvation for the country.

And this is why recent Presidents enjoy the all-volunteer force. Our current crop of self-selected soldiers are natural warriors, from families with a long heritage of police and military work. They are innately comfortable with hierarchy and teamwork, which makes them malleable to any distortion. They may not like a completely pointless mission with utterly nonsensical rules of engagement, but they won't desert or mutiny in large numbers, and they won't talk out of school.

As long as the enemy-serving wars remain fairly limited in size, enemy-serving Presidents can continue to run them forever.

A conscript Army is much less malleable. Draftees, arriving from a wide variety of American backgrounds, fought ferociously in our only necessary war (WW2) because they understood that their lives and families were truly on the line. But they will not sacrifice everything for a Vietnam or an Afghanistan, because they understand that the war is pointless at best, national suicide at worst. Perfectly rational results: evasion, desertion, active or passive mutiny, and fragging. This provides a feedback loop that even the government can understand.

= = = = =

Bit later: Here's more truth, even more indigestible to the talkers on both "sides".

From London Telegraph:

Petraeus is to re-examine [McChrystal's] "courageous restraint" policy which some soldiers believe has prevented them from defending themselves.

"There will be no change in overall policy but all aspects of tactics and implementation will be looked at afresh," a Pentagon official told The Daily Telegraph. "The issue of 'courageous restraint' is a controversial one on the ground and there may be ways it can be modified." .... Changes to allow soldiers more flexibility in using lethal force are likely to be welcomed by both American and British troops.


In short, Obama has grown tired of McChrystal's Gandhian ahimsa, and is opening the door for a more rational use of force. We won't hear this from the American "media", because it doesn't fit the rigid template of either "side".
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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