Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Death by Rules of Engagement
Sixth Column (a.k.a., Brush Fires of Freedom, 15May07)

. . . an embedded reporter with our own surging troops in Iraq reported on National Public Radio that our troops chased a very bad guy, a big time leader of the bad guys in Sunni Iraq, into a mosque. Did they go get him? Of course not. Why not? Rules of engagement. The reporter never stated what happened to the bad guy, which leads everyone to "know" that he got away to kill Americans again.

As so many say so well, the object of war is for our troops to kill people and break things, not to be emasculated by these godawful rules of engagement. These ROE, as the military calls them, should be to permit the most efficient killing of people and breaking of things, not to prevent getting hurt--or even worse, not to hurt the poor enemy.

Why are we failing in Iraq and Afghanistan? ROEs must step to the front of the line. They may not be all of the explanation, but they seem to be death sentences for the good guys.


It's hard to get one's mind around the ROEs. They don't make sense. Today's assymetric enemy comes in all sizes, shapes, genders, ages, even infants packed with explosives.

Are we supposed to give them a pass, allow our service people to be blown up, because we want to "seem nice"? Obviously the enemy doesn't give a crap about the sanctity of infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, holy places of worship, ceasefires, treaties, lines on maps,motherhood,, everything and everyone is fairgame and they don't care whether they are perceived as "nice," because where they come front, "nice" is equivalent to weak and deserving disdain and conquest.

Posted by: Eleanor Saturday, 07 April 2007 at 10:22


Right along with this, I saw a History Channel (owned by NBC) story about the "real JAGs." Our military has become so lawyered up that commanders fear risking their careers if they go against their JAGs and things don't go just right.

The JAGs themselves just puffed up with pride when describing how we fight by rule of law, even though our enemies do not. Such self-righteousness reminds me of the British colonel in the movie Bridge Over the River Kwai. He was so stuffed with the same kind of pride that he almost killed his allies rather than help defeat the enemy by blowing the bridge.

I cannot say it enough. It is philosophy, philosophy, philosophy--i.e., the ideas you live by that make you what you are. America started out well, but current ideas are killing us.

Posted by: George Mason Saturday, 07 April 2007 at 11:11

from Death by Rules of Engagement

Sixth Column (a.k.a., Brush Fires of Freedom, 15May07)

and be sure to read The Rules of Engagement


When fighting Moslems and Islam, the only Rules Of Engagement (ROE) are those employed by General William Tecumseh Sherman in his march to the sea.

"Sherman's greatest contribution to the war, the strategy of total warfare—endorsed by General Grant and President Lincoln—has been the subject of much controversy. Sherman himself downplayed his role in conducting total war, often saying that he was simply carrying out orders as best he could in order to fulfill his part of Grant's master plan for ending the war."

--from American General Sherman [click on his name to read more]

He [General William Tecumseh Sherman] is considered one of the first military commanders to deliberately and consciously use total war as a military tactic.



Who's Right: Reid or Bush?
Sixth Column (a.k.a., Brush Fires of Freedom, 15May07)

George Mason says,

. . . It aggravates me sincerely to have to say that Reid is right, not for the right reasons. However, facts are facts. In that regard, Democrats and defecting Republicans who stand behind Reid are correct about the war and the need to bring the troops home, despite their myriad motivations, few of which are good.

Bush will not win the "surge" because he will not do what is needed to win. For example, he has not changed the rules of engagement (ROE). The same self-destructive, no win rules that have given us the utter mess of Iraq still pertain. "Surge" troops mean more targets for jihadis, not improved USA military prowess.

Disregard what Bush says or has said. His words have no bearing on the truth. He both lies and remains oblivious to the rest of the truth, and has from the beginning.

Bush "peter-principled" on 11 September 2001. For those who may not remember the Peter Principle, it stated that people rise to the level of their incompetence. In other words, people climb the ladder of success until they reach a level which demands more than their abilities can deliver. We see it all the time in every field. It is truly a common phenomenon.

GWBush peter-principled the day we were attacked in New York and Washington, D.C. Proper leadership demanded what Bush could not deliver, and never did. He went to a mosque in obeisance, and he began proclaiming how Islam had nothing to do with the events, that those events were the result of a few radicals. He went to war against a few radicals without declaring war, which would have mobilized the nation and could have put an end to the jihad threat quickly and possibly forever. Stupidly, he committed our military to Iraq, when the real problems were in Iran, and its sidekick, Syria.

Once the troops reached Baghdad, Bush lost the war. The post war plans were incompetent, and our military quickly turned into an occupying force and into targets. Of course, Bush et al never learned a single useful thing about the history of Iraq, the nature of Arabs, and the nature of Islam. Even one of his minions proclaimed pre-invasion of Iraq that Iraqis would be strewing flower petals, celebrating our invasion, fully accepting us, and dancing in the streets.

Any offense to eliminate jihadist threats anywhere and to extract retribution for the events of 11 September 2001 evaporated so quickly that one must question whether there ever was any serious intent in the first place. Arab-Islamists quickly diagnosed Bush, et al, and the USA as paper tigers. The tide turned against us, and Bush made sure that the tide stayed turned against us.

Bush and the Joint Chiefs, along with the baggage from the Judge Advocate General offices of the various military services, imposed self-sacrificial "just war theory" rules of engagement (ROE). These ROE handcuffed and ankle-cuffed our troops, thereby ensuring that they would serve as cannon fodder, not as instruments of war out to win. Bush et al mobilized every jihadist in fact and in potential because he could not bring himself to win.

As a result, the Middle East nations have won. Iran has been turned into a formidable foe instead of just another Islamic backwater.

Bush does not have what it takes in abilities, mentation, and principles to do the job of President of the United States in time of war. He cannot lead, which is why he has not. Yet, something worse has come from him.

Once the damned Iraq situation turned chronic, Bush dialed out. Bush, Rumsfeld, and the Joint Chiefs went "Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamarra." Bush acted according to the notion that if your actions are not being successful, then double the effort. More of the same was not what was needed. A change in strategy and tactics was what was needed. That change never happened.

For some time now, Bush has been "retired on active duty," meaning that he has emulated Elvis and has "left the building." He is as alive as he ever gets, but he is just marking time until he can get out of that g.d. White House and leave all the mess to someone else, to anyone else. Mentally, the lights are on, but no one is home.

Iraq is nothing more than a killing field for our military personnel. Iraqis adore killing each other and have degenerated into frank civil war. We continue to pump blood and treasure into their useless sand.

Indeed, we could win, even now that Bush has made winning so much harder than was ever necessary. Winning involves a simple shift in strategy of discarding the self-defeating, altruistic ROE and doing all that is necessary to win a.s.a.p., and that win could come in 2007. The strategy could include bloodying the noses of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia every time an "insurgent" incident occurs in Iraq. Those countries are behind every incident, so they should suffer loss with every incident.

Bush won't do this. He has no vision, no courage and integrity, and no concern any longer. He is busy giving us his legacy, and his actual legacy will plague this nation for the rest of the 21st century, if not beyond. He has grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory. Were there a hell, he should twirl on a spit forever.

For some microorganism like Harry Reid to be right should cause outrage in Americans. It does not, except on the far right. Even those on the far right are mad only because their beloved Bush is being opposed by Reid.

So, since Bush et al will not permit us to win, let us come home. Let us cut all ties to Iraq and stop pumping blood and treasure into waste sand. We need to come home, to regroup, recruit, and replenish. We will need to do those and to listen to the words of Sir Winston Churchill about fighting them on the beaches, etc.--of America and Iran.


One does not announce defeat to the world and expect to win a war.

Did you notice that even when losing battles and territory in Lebanon during the recent conflict with Israel, Muslims fighters kept announcing that they were winning, and historically a lost battle was always evaluated as a "learning experience" or a withdrawal to regroup, never a defeat. In fact, the end of the battle for Europe was then, and is now considered to be ONLY a lull in the campaign.

There differece is between confidence and defeatism. Withdrawal is not defeat, but coming home with the words of Reid et al ringing in our ears will make us real losers.


You have put your finger right on the "why" of why we are losing. To illustrate further, I saw some History International program recently about some Islamist in England who runs a website for the most virulent jihadis from all over the globe. These jihadis are as bad as you can imagine, and worse. However, this Islamist runs this website with pride,and a sense of morality about what he does. He projects the same attitude you fingered. (Incidentally, this emigre Islamist has the full protection and support of the British government, even though all things he does and says are seditious and treasonous. How about that!?!)

The pathetic governments and leaders of the West have no sense of cause and feel morally wrong about defending us. That Islamist in England identified this as why the jihadis are winning: They have a cause, and without a cause, wars cannot be won.

I am so very consummately disappointed in Bush. Words cannot convey the level of disappointment I feel.

I'd like to add something to what you've written here, George....Bush has empowered Saudi. I hate that New Age word "empowered," but it fits the situation. Saudi now enjoys the status of "Middle East peace broker." Is that an oxymoron, or what?

GWB has not brought democracy to the Middle East. Just the opposite! He has, instead, emboldened the ummah as they now also tap into their ever present mindset of victimhood (Reference Patai).

We are not fighting Iraq to win, and withdrawing has both political and national-security ramifications. Our Commander-in-Chief has not demonized the enemy nor rallied the people here at home.

I hate to think of the disaster about to befall all the world within the next 10 years (if not sooner).


If I could bronze your comments and put them on my mantle, I would. I could not agree more with your analysis. What Bush et al have bequeathed to America may bring us close to destruction across the 21st century. At 68, I hate the thought of what our children, their children, and generations beyond will have to deal with. Bush has taken the worst of the future from the "possible," beyond the "probable," all the way to the "certain." It could have been different had we taken a proper course from 11 September 2001. We could have all but eliminated this jihad mess as a serious threat to us, and I write this without any sense of "pie-in-the-sky" Pollyanna-ishness. We could have had Iran and crowd in our rear-view mirrors instead of our windshields.

I used to think that maybe Clinton was the worst president of my lifetime. Given the evil that Bush has allowed to perpetrate, I know now that it is GWBush who is the worst. That says a lot, given LBJ and Carter.

I think that the jihadis will feel so emboldened that they will bring their destructiveness to our homeland. I also think that will be their undoing because I think Mr. and Mrs. Average American will clean them out of America.

What really concerns me, however, is that this may well precipitate another civil war within America. That war will pit those of the Left (the anti-Americans) against those of the Right (the pro-Americans). Wars may be necessary occasionally, but they are never good. Even the best have a real Pyrrhic victory quality to them. Recovering from a civil war would be as horrible as having one.

We know that Clinton's legacy is that of a sexually depraved pragmatist, who could "do" treason on the side (China) without batting an eye. We can now see that Bush's legacy will be far worse. Too bad the Conservatives are still passive about Bush, even though some are waking up.

I think your statement about 10 years vs sooner is so very true, but I will bet on "sooner."

Many thanks for your very thoughtful comments.

Posted by: George Mason Sunday, 29 April 2007

New Material added on October 14, 2007

...we are fighting not only hostile armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies
--William Tecumseh Sherman

To understand the lessons of history is to gain a powerful weapon: the knowledge that the capacity to oppose the declared enemies of freedom is directly under our control. But to use this knowledge, we must judge whether slave states—or medieval theocracies—are morally equal to constitutional republics. Where do we stand? Is the American Republic worth defending in the face of international unpopularity? Should we accept blame for casualties in a war we did not start? What would Sherman do? To those who respect man’s ability to control his destiny using his mind, the answers are morally instructive.

both excerpts from "William Tecumseh Sherman and
the Moral Impetus for Victory" by John David Lewis


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