Saturday, June 10, 2006

SandCastle, Vol. 1...

Some days our general private exchanges evolve into something more than banter. Friday's was one of those. We thought we might try sharing them from time to time to see where they go. Feel free to jump in with your comments and we'll expand the conversation.

Friday, June 9, 2006

ATOS: finally got around to doing more than skimming your Haditha piece. Superb work, Mike. Granted I am more confused by Ma_che. Perhaps you need to check this out… The American Thinker.

MIKE: I had previously read that piece when Ma_che first sent it. It may indeed prove to be true. My piece still holds…the individual Marines deserve a fair shake in getting their innocence out, should that prove to be the case. The Marine Corps, in the meantime, must not run over Marine officers and enlisted Marines in their zeal to get out of the papers. They simply need to do the right thing.

My other point…maybe not clearly made in the original piece is that…if you get into enough knife fights, you may eventually be so turned by the circumstances that you become inhuman, or less human, as a result. That may indeed be the by-product of fighting these types of wars, and we should maybe figure out a better way to fight them, keeping in mind the well being of our troops…shorter rotations, diluted exposure to combat, absolute limits on the number of rotations…whatever, but I think we need to come to understand the impact of down and dirty, insurgent warfare, has on the individual psyche.

And I suppose, somewhere in the back of my brain, and what I have heretofore left unsaid…too much exposure, may indeed, take the most humane person, and make them inhuman…such as Col. Kutrz in Apocalypse now. I hope this is not the case, but I certainly see that the constant fighting of shadows, in grueling conditions, with little positive recognition of the value of your sacrifice, that men can shed their training, and act in kind in response to brutality…I suppose this is what makes us humans…keeping those emotions in check and subdued, makes us civil.

We all can be both.

DUELER: The Shaolin sages shine down upon you, grasshopper.

I'm being a little flip here, but you're right on. We are all, at the same time, Warriors and Scholars. Circumstances of the moment determine the balance point between them. In other words, most republicans moved their balance point after 9/11 closer toward the Warrior side, while most democrats kept it on the Scholar side.

And for better or for worse I did a post awhile back called "Heart of Darkness."

MIKE: [Dueler]…that is a BRILLIANT take on it. I suppose circumstances dictate whether we should become darker at heart…threat, brutality, inhumanity, and when we are civil, less human, more humane…having children, finding extended periods of peace and bliss. I understand my response to attack, but I do not understand, as you hint at, that after 9/11…there was NO human response to this brutality, just a political response. As you suggest, in light of the brutality, this is unnatural, and indeed, not to be trusted. What worse could happen to get them to move off their nadir as humans? I cannot imagine what that would be…their political drive has overwhelmed their human drive, so that they cannot be trusted in their judgment on all matters…they are indeed, the antithesis of the Marines accused in Haditha, and in some ways…maybe less human.


DUELER: You're starting to sound like [Mr.Atos]! that is said only half-humorously. the other half is that [Mr.Atos] is spot-on in his analysis and focus.

since you seem to be the most thoughtful on the issue, feel free to jump in with a new post.

to add a little here, though - being a father requires me to be a supremely gentle nurturer or brutally lethal defender . . . depending on the circumstances. i had, for a long time, felt out of balance, without really being able to quantify it. I had not accepted and supported the Warrior - until I started studying Chinese martial arts. Yin and Yang, always in balance, and always in the moment.

MIKE: [Dueler] …the first sentence of the last paragraph is the Rosetta Stone…you HAVE to be both to be a good father. You would not surrender your daughters on demand to a butcher like Zarqawi…you would fight like a crazed animal, and not feel remorse for having done so…what the press and Dems don’t get, is this is the way it HAS to be…you don’t hand your daughters over to Zarqawi and then negotiate to get them back…you don’t deal civilly with an animal.

The larger question…in theory…what happens to your humanity if Zarqawi murders your daughters, and you deal with him in the manner he then deserved…your civil anchor has been taken from you, AND you have crossed over to the inhuman…can you make it back? Would it be “normal” to be missing many, if not all of your civil pieces, so that in the end, you are simply a base model human, no longer modulated by your civility? You are a human animal, more than a civil human.


DUELER: I think that one of the utopian leftist notions is that it IS possible to remove violent tendencies in EVERYONE. "if you want peace, work for justice." that is the mantra, isn't it? if everybody is treated justly, nobody will be unpeaceful.

what a misguided bunch of crap. it may be possible - someday - to rid the human species of violent tendencies. but not for a very very very long time.

as i have alluded to in past posts, human nature hasn't changed much in tens of thousands of years. it is dominated by the quest for power. until the last several hundred years, the quest for power has been most exemplified in power over others. in these past several hundred years, starting around the magna carta, we began to recognize and codify the power of the individual, and therefore the respect of other individuals right to self-determination.

the irony of the utopian left above is that in order to remove violent tendencies in everyone, the concept of power over others will once again have to be implemented. and power over others is ultimately maintained only by violence. the group can run roughshod over individuals for the sake of "peace". hello, nazi germany and stalinist russia. but in the case of the modern utopian left, it is enforcment of "peace" from within combined with a refusal to defend one's self from without. the road to suicide is paved with good intentions.

as for me - speak softly, but carry a GLOCK. metaphorically speaking, of course.


dueler88 said...

as i gave my last paragraph a little more thought, i wonder if it is even possible for an oppressive society to refuse to become expansionist in its intention and behavior. i can't think of a single historical example where internal will to power does not spill beyond borders.

the first contemporary example of utopian leftism i can think of is the UN. try the kyoto treaty, for instance - nothing more than an attempt to use diplomacy and "international law" to limit the rights of individual citizens, especially individual american citizens. there's no reason to believe that the UN is going to stop trying to limit the freedoms of individuals around the world, for the "greater good."

and when you think about the "greater good," think about rwanda and the balkans.

Boghie said...

An important trend must be noticed:

There is no outcry over the supposed mistreatment of al-Zarqawi in the last moments of his life.

There seems to be very little momentum regarding Haditha. The American public seems to be following Major Mike's advice.

There was no real outcry over the NSA Wiretapping stuff.

There was no outcry over the collateral casualties in the UAV strike in Pakistan (an 'allied' country) that wiped out a high level al Qaeda terror turd along with his family.

And on, and on, and on...

I think the American public is reacting maturely to the war. The media is not - but they are being marginalized and challenged as the default now.

The main concern demonstrated with this post is internal to our fighting forces. Constant deployment must be a huge stress - but, troops in WWII were deployed from draft through VJ day. Our ground forces are increasing at a greater rate than the overall increase as a result of Rumsfeld's water spout approach. We will be able to draw down to a more sustainable level soon - if not already. We will get through this...

And, if we don't - and we run away - the Islamofascists will remind us we are in a war. At that point - if it ever comes to pass - the Muslim world will be in a lot of trouble.

We will either win or lose. There are no ties. And, I think even much of the Left will fight to win if Hamas blows up a college or something.