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Philosophical Lesson Learned

 

There has always been a wide chasm between civilization and the type of men on whom civilization must depend to protect them from the Huns.

War is fought on the lowest common denominator. Any combatant who obeys the Marquis of Queensbury Rules will lose a fight to a combatant who follows the rules of the Marquis of Sade. Boy Scouts cannot win wars, and civilization cannot afford to lose, even once, to the forces of darkness.

The uncivilized forces of the world can lose each war without long-lasting penalty – the civilized forces will even help rebuild them. But one victory of the fanatics, for example, of the extremist Arab nations over Israel, will be the end of Israel. Israel can win every war without ever effecting a final victory – the extremist Arab states only need to win once to destroy Israel.

We do not have a large number of individuals who can regale a cocktail party with an analysis of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor during peacetime, and then crawl through 200 feet of slime to cut the throat of a mortal enemy during wartime. More is the pity, because these men would be ideal.

What we have is good peacetime soldiers, promoted on the basis of money collected for the United Crusade and the refereeing of Little League games. These people fit the peacetime ideal of soldiering.

When the balloon goes up, civilization must send these Boy Scouts to count blankets in Oklahoma, while the service sends it dregs to blunt the attack by the Huns. Civilization seeks the hard-drinking, profane, wife-beater, the very man that civilization despises as a neighbor, to hold the walls until civilization can, by excess propaganda, brutalize the Boy Scouts into a respectable fighting force. Often, the brutalization takes many months. That’s fine if the enemy provides such a respite, but however long it takes, it must be done to harden a soft and idyllic civilization. When it is not done, and when the American people are not actually threatened by the combat action, the American fighting forces lose unless they have overwhelming odds in their favor. When the American fighting men are properly motivated by seeing the war as a last ditch defense of their homeland and their wives, against an enemy who bayonets babies tossed in the air, American forces win.

Even then, Civilization fails to provide proper leadership – if the percentage of fighting men who actually fire their weapons against the enemy even while being attacked is any indication. The brunt of the fighting is always done by the very men that civilized people despise so much during peacetime.

If peacetime is a time to prepare the armed forces for war, the alternative being to wish for an enemy bent on letting America have a year or so after the fighting begins – a desperate hope at best – then we need to immediately change some of our policies.

 

 

 

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Last modified: August 13, 2012