02 June 2009

Who let him out?

Ralph Peters is back with his insane scorched-earth-style military analysis. War is Boring's David Axe reports that this week, the New York Post writer actually advocates the killing of reporters who report stories which are not sympathetic to the US.

Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media. Perceiving themselves as superior beings, journalists have positioned themselves as protected-species combatants. But freedom of the press stops when its abuse kills our soldiers and strengthens our enemies. Such a view arouses disdain today, but a media establishment that has forgotten any sense of sober patriotism may find that it has become tomorrow's conventional wisdom...In warfare, nothing else matters. If you cannot win clean, win dirty. But win. Our victories are ultimately in humanity’s interests, while our failures nourish monsters.

Whatever, man. One of the fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution is Freedom of the Press. Any press. If we truly are the champions of democracy, this is a fundamental right that we should protect in countries which are attempting to adopt democracy. I think that Ralph forgets that one of the greatest recruiting tools our enemies have is their ability to exploit the difference between our democratic values as Americans, and our actions--just look at incidents like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prison.

War isn't a matter of body counts (contrary to what some might believe), but just humor me for a second, because certainly Ralph Peters certainly sees it that way. Does he not realize that acts like shooting journalists at will or torturing prisoners only creates enemies at a rate faster than which they can be killed off?

This isn't the first time this week that Ralph Peters has demonstrated his descent off the deep end. Earlier this week, Andrew Exum, also known as Abu Muqawama, attended a recent luncheon with Army Chief of Staff General George Casey, during which Ralph Peters--who the hell invites him to these things?--stood up and asked a question.

Mr. Peters, as we all know, doesn't appeal to logic or even the heart, but rather to the nutsack. Indeed, that was the implication when he asked General Casey if today's junior officers had lost their "killer instincts" since they're conducting counter-insurgency operations, and not "combat". I'm certain Peters--who makes Rush Limbaugh look like a UC-Berkely professor--must be pulling his hair out at the fact that those crazy captains and lieutenants seem to be equally split between Democrats and Republicans. Bah, next thing you know, they'll be putting daisies and peace signs on their helmets.

The problem with Ralph Peters' little diatribe is that it isn't based on reality. Peters spent twenty years in the US military, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He spent the majority of his career in the military intelligence field, and ten of those years were spent in Germany, most likely in some office or another. He never went to combat.

So, basically, Peters honed his "killer instinct" while briefing off of charts during a month-long REFORGER exercise sometime in the 1980s. Maybe ten years of drinking German lager killed off too many brain cells. I mean, think about it, he lived through ten Oktoberfests. You know how many brain cells I would have killed if I even so much as attended one Oktoberfest? That's a lot of alcohol. (I now have a new goal in life)

The Army that Peters grew up in is a far cry away from what most Soldiers are experiencing in Iraq and Afghanistan with no access to alcohol, sex, or their families. Our Soldiers' courage today should not be called into question if they prefer to resort to conflict resolution before resorting to force--after all, American Soldiers know all too well what happens when one uses too much force and fails to protect the local population.

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