EMAIL PAGE FIVE
COLUMN SIXTY-FOUR, OCTOBER 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)
September 11, 2001
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 17:07:58 -0400
From: "Julian Tepper" <email@example.com>
part of Islam is at war with the West. That war has been going on for some time
now. Islam sees the West as decadent, and sees its decadence as impeding its own
existence and growth. The part of Islam that is making war has not been
confronted by the rest of Islam for doing so. As religions go, this is nothing
new (see, e.g., Crusades; Inquisition).
I will call the Israel-U.S situation, insofar as it is pertinent to this, is, by
most, misperceived and seen backward. It's not that Islam despises the U.S. for
giving aid and support to Israel. Rather, it's that it despises Israel for being
a Western-values presence in the Middle East. If Israel, in its government and
social way of life, were Arab-like, the rest of the Middle East would welcome
Israelis as brothers.
treat with skepticism analyses that begin with the concept that the problem is
with materialistic disparities, and could be overcome by spreading the wealth.
That is not it at all. Rather, and get used to the fact, it is that Islam is at
war with Western values, and part of Islam has been given free reign by the rest
of Islam to physically attack the West and its representatives.
you are Western, you are at war, whether you realize it or not.
Must Reading -
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 10:21:37 -0400
From: "Julian Tepper" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was asked to look at the recent events through the lens of military history.
I have joined the cast of thousands who have written an "open letter
to Americans." Please share it if you feel so moved.
friends and fellow Americans
everyone else in this great country, I am reeling from last week's attack on our
sovereignty. But unlike some, I am not reeling from surprise. As a career
soldier and a student and teacher of military history, I have a different
perspective and I think you should hear it. This war will be won or lost by the
American citizens, not diplomats, politicians or soldiers.
me briefly explain.
spite of what the media, and even our own government, is telling us, this act
was not committed by a group of mentally deranged fanatics. To dismiss them as
such would be among the gravest of mistakes. This attack was committed by a
ferocious, intelligent and dedicated adversary. Don't take this the wrong way. I
don't admire these men and I deplore their tactics, but I respect their
capabilities. The many parallels that have been made with the Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbor are apropos. Not only because it was a brilliant sneak attack
against a complacent America, but also because we may well be pulling our new
adversaries out of caves 30 years after we think this war is over, just like my
father's generation had to do with the formidable Japanese in the years
following WW II.
men hate the United States with all of their being, and we must not
underestimate the power of their moral commitment. Napoleon, perhaps the world's
greatest combination of soldier and statesman, stated "the moral is to the
physical as three is to one." Patton thought the Frenchman underestimated
its importance and said moral conviction was five times more important in battle
than physical strength. Our enemies are willing---better said anxious---to give
their lives for their cause. How committed are we America? And for how long?
addition to demonstrating great moral conviction, the recent attack demonstrated
a mastery of some of the basic fundamentals of warfare taught to most military
officers worldwide, namely simplicity, security and surprise. When I first heard
rumors that some of these men may have been trained at our own Air War College,
it made perfect sense to me. This was not a random act of violence, and we can
expect the same sort of military competence to be displayed in the battle to
come. This war will escalate, with a good portion of it happening right here in
the good ol' U.S. of A.
men will not go easily into the night. They do not fear us. We must not fear
spite of our overwhelming conventional strength as the world's only
"superpower" (a truly silly term), we are the underdog in this fight.
As you listen to the carefully scripted rhetoric designed to prepare us for the
march for war, please realize that America is not equipped or seriously trained
for the battle ahead. To be certain, our soldiers are much better than the
enemy, and we have some excellent "counter-terrorist" organizations,
but they are mostly trained for hostage rescues, airfield seizures, or the
occasional "body snatch," (which may come in handy).
will be fighting a war of annihilation, because if their early efforts are any
indication, our enemy is ready and willing to die to the last man. Eradicating
the enemy will be costly and time consuming. They have already deployed their
forces in as many as 20 countries, and are likely living the lives of everyday
citizens. Simply put, our soldiers will be tasked with a search and destroy
mission on multiple foreign landscapes, and the public must be patient and
supportive until the strategy and tactics can be worked out.
the most part, our military is still in the process of redefining itself and
presided over by men and women who grew up with - and were promoted because they
excelled in - Cold War doctrine, strategy and tactics. This will not be linear
warfare, there will be no clear "centers of gravity" to strike with
high technology weapons. Our vast technological edge will certainly be helpful,
but it will not be decisive. Perhaps the perfect metaphor for the coming battle
was introduced by the terrorists themselves aboard the hijacked aircraft---this
will be a knife fight, and it will be won or lost by the ingenuity and will of
citizens and soldiers, not by software or smart bombs. We must also be patient
with our military leaders.
Americans who are eager to put this messy time behind us, our adversaries have
time on their side, and they will use it. They plan to fight a battle of
attrition, hoping to drag the battle out until the American public loses its
will to fight. This might be difficult to believe in this euphoric time of flag
waving and patriotism, but it is generally acknowledged that America lacks the
stomach for a long fight. We need only look as far back as Vietnam, when North
Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap (also a military history teacher) defeated the
United States of America without ever winning a major tactical battle. American
soldiers who marched to war cheered on by flag waving Americans in 1965 were
reviled and spat upon less than three years later when they returned. Although
we hope that Usama Bin Laden is no Giap, he is certain to understand and employ
the concept. We can expect not only large doses of pain like the recent attacks,
but! also less audacious "sand in the gears" tactics, ranging from
livestock infestations to attacks at water supplies and power distribution
attacks are designed to hit us in our "comfort zone" forcing the
average American to "pay more and play less" and eventually eroding
our resolve. But it can only work if we let it.
is clear to me that the will of the American citizenry---you and I---is the
center of gravity the enemy has targeted. It will be the fulcrum upon which
victory or defeat will turn. He believes us to be soft, impatient, and
self-centered. He may be right, but if so, we must change. The Prussian general
Carl von Clausewitz, (the most often quoted and least read military theorist in
history), says that there is a "remarkable trinity of war" that is
composed of the (1) will of the people, (2) the political leadership of the
government, and (3) the chance and probability that plays out on the field of
battle, in that order. Every American citizen was in the crosshairs of last
Tuesday's attack, not just those that were unfortunate enough to be in the World
Trade Center or Pentagon. The will of the American people will decide this war.
If we are to win, it will be because we have what it takes to persevere through
a few more hits, learn from our! mistakes, improvise, and adapt. If we can do
that, we will eventually prevail.
I've talked to in the past few days has shared a common frustration, saying in
one form or another "I just wish I could do something!" You are
already doing it. Just keep faith in America, and continue to support your
President and military, and the outcome is certain. If we fail to do so, the
outcome is equally certain.
Tony Kern, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
Director of Military History, USAF Academy
7712 Midday Lane
Alexandria, VA 22306
"From a given determinate cause an effect necessarily follows . . . if no determinate cause be given, it is impossible that an effect can follow." (Spinoza, Ethics, I) ##
CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMN SIXTY-FOUR
CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMNS
Blacklisted Journalist can be contacted at P.O.Box 964, Elizabeth, NJ 07208-0964
The Blacklisted Journalist's E-Mail Address:
THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST IS A SERVICE MARK OF AL ARONOWITZ