Email Of The Week – How to fight a war.

The objective of war is victory.

Obviously our politicians and military leaders have forgotten this simple theme since World War II.   

Okay, I have to say something about the Marine’s urinating on enemy dead.   Was it inappropriate? Yes. Would I have done it? Probably not.   Would I have done it when I was nineteen? Maybe.   Were there times that I may have done it in Viet Nam, if time permitted? There is a good case for “probably.”  I was twenty-two years old when I was there and was called ‘the old man’ and ‘pops’.   We send kids a year out of high school to the worst hell holes on earth and expect them to behave better than they did at their senior prom.  

So many Americans have lived for multiple generations with security at home that they can’t comprehend what goes on in other parts of the world. “War is Hell,” isn’t just something they say in the movies.  First of all, you are exhausted all the time because you never sleep deeply.  Your body is running on high idle, even when you try to rest.  The places we send these kids to stink from lack of sanitation.  There are bugs, mold, mildew, trash and human waste everywhere.  The very atmosphere is septic. You are in some level of fear all the time.

You have seen, smelled, heard, touched and done things no sane person would ever want to do.   There is no script for war.   It is improvisation at its best. Bad things happen, and they happen fast.  We have no idea what led up to this incident. Did these kids eat in the past twenty-four hours? Have they slept in the past thirty-six hours? What did the former (now dead and pissed-on) Taliban do?  

At its best, war is about killing people, and breaking their things. You can’t win people’s hearts while shooting their relatives.    We have forgotten how to fight. So, this is how we need to fight:  First; go in and kick ass on those who ticked us off.  Next, utterly destroy their infrastructure.  And last, go home only when we’re sure they won’t have the desire to mess with us again, for at least two generations.  

The Romans did precisely that.

They may not have been liked, but they sure as hell were respected.  And no one thought of messing with them, for many centuries.   Remember: I hate war. I’m glad my sons didn’t have to go to war.  And get this: we will never ‘win the hearts’ of Muslims. They don’t even like themselves; their religion tells them it’s OK to kill their own daughters; they kill their neighbors, so what chance do we stand?  

The course to follow is to convince them, as the Romans convinced their enemies, that the cost of messing with the West is far too high.  

Now: back to the urinating kids.

Slap their hands hard and tell them not to do it again.  Don’t try to make them understand how killing is OK, but urinating is bad.  Only someone who’s never missed a meal or heard a shot fired in anger can try to impose that kind of garbage on combat soldiers.   Sherman had it right: war is hell.  If you’ve never been in a war, don’t sit in your recliner watching CNN, passing judgment on these kids.   


Thanks to Joe in California.