...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

April 06, 2004

Advice For President Bush With References To George S. Patton And The Prince

i'm upset about the recent escalation of casualties and violence in Iraq. You know i supported the war and i still do. But we must win. i'm not ready to jump ship and start agreeing with Teddy Kennedy, but i'm starting to worry.

Kennedy compared Iraq to Vietnam. It was a foolish statement, and i hope to never see the day when Kennedy could be described as prescient. But i know all too well that we lost Vietnam because our politicians tried to fight a limited war against an enemy that used our reticence against us.

To me, there is one commandment of warfare and it is this: Thou must kick ass all the time. Americans like me do not want to see our side get hit like they did today. We're willing to go along with this war, but we don't want our best men losing any fights.

Patton said:

Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.
. . . is hateful. No, we don't like to lose. Vietnam affected our national psyche for decades. That's why Mogadishu, even though we killed a ton of bad guys, sticks in our collective craw. And so will Fallujah, if we don't get some serious payback.

Patton again:

We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the [enemy] that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy . . . cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. . . .

. . . [W]e are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. . . . We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn!

This is my point: we can pussyfoot around some more, trying to get these assholes in the Sunni Triangle to like us, or we can start killing them. Yes, i said fucking kill them. Now lest you think i've gone off my rocker, here's what Niccolo Machiavelli had to say on the subject back in the sixteenth century:
When a newly acquired State has been accustomed . . . to live under its own laws and in freedom, there are three methods whereby it may be held. The first is to destroy it; the second, to go and reside there in person; the third, to suffer it to live on under its own laws, subjecting it to a tribute, and entrusting its government to a few of the inhabitants who will keep the rest your friends. . . .

We have examples of all these methods in the histories of the Spartans and the Romans. The Spartans held Athens and Thebes by creating oligarchies in these cities, yet lost them in the end. The Romans, to retain Capua, Carthage, and Numantia, destroyed them and never lost them. On the other hand, when they thought to hold Greece as the Spartans had held it, leaving it its freedom and allowing it to be governed by its own laws, they failed, and had to destroy many cities of that Province before they could secure it. For, in truth, there is no sure way of holding other than by destroying, and whoever becomes master of a City accustomed to live in freedom and does not destroy it, may reckon on being destroyed by it.

i'm not advocating the flattening of Fallujah (although if that were to happen, i'd not lose a wink of sleep over it), or bombing it back into the stone age, as some would say. i simply think we need to be a lot more heavy handed than we have been. In those areas where the yokels are jumping around in the street and taking potshots at our guys, it seems obvious that they haven't developed a healthy fear of the United States. Machiavelli would have advised against trying to make those scumbags our friends.
And here comes in the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both; but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. For of men it may generally be affirmed, that they are thankless, fickle, false studious to avoid danger, greedy of gain, devoted to you while you are able to confer benefits upon them, and ready, as I said before, while danger is distant, to shed their blood, and sacrifice their property, their lives, and their children for you; but in the hour of need they turn against you. . . .

Moreover, men are less careful how they offend him who makes himself loved than him who makes himself feared. For love is held by the tie of obligation, which, because men are a sorry breed, is broken on every whisper of private interest; but fear is bound by the apprehension of punishment which never relaxes its grasp.

We will never win the love of the people who hate us by anything we do. Nor will we win the support of the pansies in Europe by being gentle with our enemies. We need to instill fear into them, by killing them. And, in my opinion, we need more troops over there until the crazies in the Triangle understand the score. This Rumsfeld idea of doing things on the cheap is not looking too good right about now.

Machiavelli cautioned that fear should be distinct from hate. i don't know what he'd say about a people who already hate the new prince, but haven't learned to fear him yet. But Machiavelli's formula for instilling fear while staying clear of hatred is a do-able one, in Iraq.

[A] Prince should inspire fear in such a fashion that if he do not win love he may escape hate. For a man may very well be feared and yet not hated, and this will be the case so long as he does not meddle with the property or with the women of his citizens and subjects. And if constrained to put any to death, he should do so only when there is manifest cause or reasonable justification. But, above all, he must abstain from the property of others. For men will sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Moreover, pretexts for confiscation are never to seek, and he who has once begun to live by rapine always finds reasons for taking what is not his; whereas reasons for shedding blood are fewer, and sooner exhausted.
Don't mess with their property, don't mess with their women. We're not doing either of those things. So far so good. In fact we're fixing their property and soon they should be on their way to creating more of their own property and wealth, thanks to us.

But the final step of my Machiavellian advice to Bush is one that i'm worried about. Bush has shown an incredible amount of strength and leadership getting us this far, and changing the Middle East in such a fundamental way. i hope he's got the guts to start really kicking ass now, when it's necessary. Because unless the regime holdouts and terrorist assholes start fearing massive retaliation, i'm afraid they're not going to stop killing our guys. And if we don't stop them, they win.

Update: Guess i spoke too soon about messing with their property. Oops! LMAO.

Posted by annika, Apr. 6, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


I suspect that comments may be few and far between for this particular post. So, lemme just say: great work Anni!!

Posted by: Tuning Spork on Apr. 6, 2004

First of all the last thing Bush or any other damn Pres of this country needs to be thinking is, "What would Machiavelli do?"

There is a difference between being an occupying force & a liberating one. The goals of each are different as are the methods ideal for the achievement of those goals. The first step is to decide which one we are * then move accordingly.

Now for all practical purposes we seem to be in the occupying force role. This is akward 'cause we started out as a liberating force but that's another subject. So as an occupying force that is under increasing attack from the locals we can do a few things. The most pressing is to increase the size of our patrols over there. It won't stop the attacks but it'll give us a better chance of taking as many losses & an even better chance of capturing or killing the attackers. The next thing we need to do is start weening the locals on doing whatever it is we're doing there. Increase the numbers of Iraqi's involved in the patrols. Hell I'd be all for setting up a militia system over there if it wouldn't freak "no guns for the people" Bremer out. If you make the people understand they're being attacked as well as the occupying force then you stand a chance of cutting popular support for the attackers.

But as it relates to Iraq specifically we need to speed up the process we're supposed to be working on, which is handing things back to the locals. Now personally I think it's a bad idea to liberate people who won't liberate themselves (yes, I know Hussein had opposition in some regions, but not much to speak of) which is why I've always been opposed to invading California or Chicago or NYC or Boulder. But the fact is we're there & there will be some people who are violently opposed to it. What we should do is leave the Iraqi's to handle their own business. Get Bremer & the Corps & the Army & all other troops out of the country the second we can. Now yes we should hang around until the Iraqi's are able to handle things themselves, but if we use attacks by people & groups opposed to Hussein's downfall as a justification we'll be there for the next 50 years. & the longer we do stay the more we look like an occupying force than a liberating force to many people.

If the Iraqi's want freedom then they can have it. If they want another Hussein they can have that too. Yes, the latter would suck for them but freedom includes making bad choices as well as good.

Oh & about Viet-nam... it wasn't just that we didn't give the troops over there enough support or a clear direction (althought those were big problems) it was that the politics at home affected the way the troops acted abroad. Little thought was given to the way to achieve the objectives in the beginning. It was just assumed that Americans will kick their asses & that'll strike fear in commie hearts worldwide. Hey - looked good on paper at the time, so why not? & you have to remember these were the people who thought giving front line troops a mickey mouse looking piece of shit that won't humanely kill deer was a good idea.

Now we could have won the war itself eventually but again I question the wisdom of getting involved in other people's affairs. That aside we lost Vietnam because domestic political conerns outweighed the foreign political concerns we were supposed to be fighting for. If they understood what was going on in Viet-Nam they didn't care.
which lead to the reasons you state. You weren't wrong by any means, it's just I'd much rather examine the cause instead of merely changing the effect.

But please - no more Machiavelli for Bush. From where I sit he's had too much Machiavellian advice already. Tell him about Chief Joseph or Jefferson or any one of the Adams boys. Tell him about George Mason or Locke or Cesare Beccaria. Tell him about Tacitus or Mencken. Tell him about Paine & Andrew Fletcher. You know, people he could & should learn from.

& just for me, tell him what Patton would think of the M16/M4.

Posted by: Publicola on Apr. 6, 2004

The Roman Army would have killed all the malesand sold the women and children into salvery. Maybe they had a good point.

Posted by: Chuck on Apr. 6, 2004

Like so much else you write, Annika, I nearly swoon.

As for liberating and occupying. Look, we were stupid for making such an emphasis on liberation. Moreover we were there not to liberate Saddam's Sunni cronies, but everyone else. The "hearts and minds" campaingn must be aimed at the undecided, who are now few, not our arch-enemies.

Posted by: roach on Apr. 6, 2004

As always, Annika dear, I disagree but am impressed -- best thing since your Pepys evening a while back! Here is the ONE thing that had me saying "amen":

This Rumsfeld idea of doing things on the cheap is not looking too good right about now.

Posted by: Hugo on Apr. 7, 2004

Fallujah Delenda Est

The above is a wonderful reference to Cato's problem with the Cathaginians, and his solution.

Each day of this uprising leads me to believe that the author, Jack Wheeler (and Cato) were right on the money.

Posted by: Shelly S. on Apr. 7, 2004

Is it just me, or is it suddenly getting hot in here???

Excellent job - it's good to remember we are discussing the military, not a police force.

Beauty and Brains - maybe that cloning stuff isn't such a bad idea after all...

Posted by: John on Apr. 7, 2004

George Mason and Co. were either Christians, which Islamists are NOT, or Greeks, which got swallowed up by Islamists when the Byzantine Empire died. The religion of Islam is convert or die.
Well, then, we show them we understand the message. LOUD AND CLEAR.

Posted by: Cricket on Apr. 7, 2004

Prescient? Sent me to the dictionary couldn’t find it. Anyway, Ted Kennedy is wrong to call this war a Vietnam. You should never give suicidal enemies a reason to kill our soldiers in the hopes that we will retreat. Ted Kennedy just prolonged the war and increased the body count on both sides

Posted by: steve on Apr. 7, 2004


Posted by: annika! on Apr. 7, 2004

And wasn't it Harry S. Truman who said "Drop that damn A bomb on 'em, and if them Japs don't surrender, keep droppin' one on 'em every day or so until they do surrender, dammit!"? ;) Oops, I think that one might not have made the papers, yet. I guess I just blew my Top Secret Clearance all to Hell, huh? Sorry Condoleezza*, but he was a Democrat afterall.

*Don't ya really hate it when ya have to look up a news story just to find the correct spellin' of a name of someone?

Posted by: notGeorge on Apr. 8, 2004

Trust the Marines.

Posted by: Attila Girl on Apr. 9, 2004

Below is all monet works.

Woman In A Green Dress painting

Winter At Giverny painting

View Over The Seas painting

Vetheuil In Summer painting

Vase Of Flowers painting

Train In The Country painting

The women in the Garden painting

The Valley Of Falaise painting

The Turkeys painting

The Thames And The Houses Of Parliament painting

The Studio Boat painting

The Shoot painting

The Seine Estuary At Honfleur painting

The Seine Below Rouen painting

The Seine At Rouen painting

The Seine At Lavacourt painting

The Seine At Bougival painting

The Seine At Argenteuil painting

The Seine At Argenteuil I painting

The Sea At Fecamp painting

The Road To Chailly painting

The Red Cape (Madame Monet) painting

The Red Boats painting

The Picnic painting

The Marina At Argenteuil painting

The Luncheon painting

The Ice-Floes painting

The Garden of the Princess painting

The Church Of Vernon In The Mist painting

The Church At Vetheuil painting

The Boats Regatta At Argenteuil painting

The Beach At Sainte-Adresse painting

Terrace at St Adresse painting

Sunset painting

Sunflowers painting

Sun Setting Over The Seine At Lavacourt painting

Still Life With Melon painting

Snow Effect With Setting Sun painting

Sailing At Sainte-Adresse painting

Sailing At Argenteuil painting

Rue Montargueil with Flags painting

Rough Sea At Etretat painting

Promenade Near Argenteuil painting

Poppy Field In A Hollow Near Giverny painting

Poplars painting

Pond at Montgeron painting

Palazzo da Mula at Venice painting

Monet_Self_Portrait_In_His_Atelier painting

London Houses of Parliament at Sunset painting

La Porte D Amount Etretat painting

La Japonaise painting

La Grenouillere painting

In The Woods At Giverny painting

Impression Sunrise painting

Hyde Park London painting

Haystacks at Giverny the evening sun painting

Haystacks At Chailly painting

Haystack snow effect painting

General View Of Rouen From St Catherine s Bank painting

Garden In Flower At Sainte-Adresse painting

Floating Ice Near Vetheuil painting

Cliffs Near Dieppe painting

Boulevard Des Capucines I painting

Beach at Honlfeux painting

Argenteuil painting

A Windmill at Zaandam painting

A Corner of the Studio painting

A Corner of the Apartment painting

Monet Spring Flowers painting

View At Rouelles, Le Havre painting

Camille At The Window painting

Landscape With Thunderstorm painting

Monet Purple Poppies painting

The Red Boats, Argenteuil painting

Regatta At Argenteuil painting

A Woman Reading painting

Wild Poppies, Near Argenteuil painting

Monet The Luncheon painting

Still Life Apples And Grapes painting

Springtime At Giverny painting

Apple Trees In Blossom painting

Tulip Fields With The Rijnsburg Windmill painting

Haystack at Giverny painting

Haystack At Giverny painting

In The Woods At Giverny painting

Girls In A Boat painting

Boating On The River Epte painting

In The Rowing Boat painting

The Seine At Port-Villez painting

Poplars on the Epte painting

Monet Water Lillies I painting

Monet The Waterlily Pond painting

Woman with a Parasol painting

Camille Monet in Japanese Costume painting

The garden in flower painting

The Artist Garden at Vetheuil painting

Jeanne-Marguerite Lecadre in the Garden painting

Boulevard des Capucines painting

Posted by: handmade painting on May. 27, 2008