Tuesday, 28 March 2006

A Very Silly Man

Norman Kember was part of a "Christian Peacemaker Team" who was rescued by armed force from the hands of kidnappers. Nevertheless he thanked his rescuers but added "I do not think a lasting peace is acheved by armed force".

Well I'm sorry to break it to you Norman, and this goes for DFID and every NGO lefty whinger on the planet, but it is.

Nature is red in tooth and claw. The only reason that vegitarian beasts on the plain are alive is because they can run faster than their buddies who got eaten. Predators kill or starve. Unfortunately the same is true of Human Society. Saddam Hussein was a Predator, who made the mistake of attacking prey with strong friends. Or perhaps he was a monkey poking a lion with a stick. Either way, he got smashed.

It has been said many times that to secure peace, you must prepare for war. Switzerland has avoided war using the Hedgehog approach (being mountainous helps), so has Norway - every man is a soldier in these countries. Sweden has a very strong Arms industry. These paragons of lefty pacifism are very spiky indeed. If you are not neutral, you cannot sit in a mountain fastness selling guns to everyone. You must be prepared to go out and be proactive in asserting your interests overseas, and not let your enemies get too strong. The only reason the Communists didn't destroy us (and vice versa) in the cold war is because you don't attack what you can't be sure of beating.

There's no doubt that our interests in Iraq are at one with the Interests of the Iraqi people (peace stability and some functioning Democracy), and our interests therefore are against the insurgents and the terrorists. At the moment, we aren't being very sucessful, but we'll get there in the end. Norman, you and your chums are not helping, neither are the Guardian collumnists and every other anti-war idiot demanding "troops out now".

You and your chums are brave, but misguided. If you leave everyone alone and eat your lentils then the world does not leave you alone, it takes advantage of you. Eventually your isolationism will be seen as weakness and everyone suffers. No, Norman, Nice guys come second. It's not important whether the benighted of the world like us. It's unlikely: the politics of envy see to it that the rich and powerful are blamed for the plight of the weak and opressed. It is important however whether their leaders respect and fear us. It is that respect and fear that will keep us safe.

Your mission to "put yourselves in the way" presupposes that the Terrorists care whether you live or die. They don't. You're a useful tool for them. Unfortunately, your countrys' forces whom you think are misguided, do care whether you live or die, so they came to rescue you. But not before a great deal of intelligence time and resources were wasted on your silly charade and one of your colleagues got himself murdered. Men who should be confronting terrorists elsewhere in Iraq were forced to put their lives on the line for you.

Maybe they will teach you a lesson: Guns and bombs and tough, nasty men keep us free and safe, Norman, not giving the terrorists a slice of your wife's smashing nut roast and a nice big Huggy-hug.


Mark T said...

Does anybody know what their original "plan" actually was?

Jackart said...


Gavin Whenman said...

""I do not think a lasting peace is acheved by armed force".
Well I'm sorry to break it to you Norman, and this goes for DFID and every NGO lefty whinger on the planet, but it is."
Cold War - ended peacefully, not a single shot (directly) fired.
WWI caused WWII.
And Vietnam, over 10 years of fighting, still no lasting peace.
So maybe he is right, or maybe you're right or maybe, just maybe, you both are. Sometimes force is needed, sometimes (the majority of the time) it isn't.

Jackart said...

Hi Gavin, welcome back to AVBD!

The cold war - kept cold by massive armies and huge nuclear stockpiles. Surely this is Peace through Armed force. I'M RIGHT.

WW1-WW2 the same war, just with a pause to let Fritz regroup. A failure to crush our enemy caused the second war (just like the 2 Gulf wars in fact)

Vietnam - lost on the Campuses of Continental USA, not in the jungles of SE asia.

Just because a clauswizian victory is not achieved, doesn't detract from the need to be prepared militarily, the rightness of trying and the absolute silliness of Pacifism. So Normally, Gavin I give you "nice point". This time you're utterly wrong.

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps you have got carried away with yourself here Malcolm.

Of course armed force does not bring lasting peace - the Cold War can hardly be quoted as a example considering the experiences of Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Salvador, Afganistan etc.

And things do not exactly appear rosy in Iraq, gently bombing its way to civil war.

As for Norman Kember, yes pretty silly to go to such a place without the support of an army or indeed staying within the green zone.

But like you, he believes in something and, no matter how daft, wanted to do something about it.


Dangerouslysubversivedad said...

Dear Gavin and Joel,

We WON the Cold War. We won it through an ARMS RACE which bankrupted communism.

Get over it.

Jackart said...

Joel: Dear boy! Welcome, welcome to AVBD.

DSD: I couldn't have put it better myself. No doubt I shall be putting that exact point to Joel soon over a couple of beers!

Gavin Whenman said...

I've never been away :-D

"... the absolute silliness of Pacifism. So Normally, Gavin I give you "nice point". This time you're utterly wrong."

I wouldn't say utterly, you're right the cold war was kept cold by massive nukes/tanks/etc on either side, but there was no direct force, merely the threat of it - more should have been done in Iraq, and more should be done in Iran, before resorting to military tactics (which I believe would've been used anyway in Iraq, just after a longer time span)

And Vietnam, have to admit to not being an expert, but a withdrawl after over 10 years sounds like a loss through force - wishful thinking I know, but what if diplomacy had been used instead?

Kath said...

Very cool post. Found you from Devil's Kitchen ~ enjoy your work. Don't have rugby much down in Texas, but my boyfriend is an active Royal Marine and has gotten me interested :o)

I'm linking you to my site!

Anonymous said...

It is not relevant that the West apparently "won" the Cold War, the point is that permanent and lasted peace was not created by the immense build up of arms.

I think Jackart and Subversive Dad are too easily impressed by uniformed men with big guns.

Peace is obviously led by negotiation and history shows that time after time. It's just not very glamorous.


Jackart said...

"Talk softly and carry a big stick" Winston Churchill

"You get further with a kind word and a gun, than you do with just a kind word" Al Capone

Anonymous said...

A couple of points: Vietnam; for the Vietnamese it was not about communism it was about self determination, American force was pitted against an imaginary enemy of a communist global conspiracy, thereby a win-win scenario of democracy and independence was possible but simply not available within the various action player’s paradigms of the time.

The Neo-Cons, in the most, use unsophisticated logic with narrow facts channels. Their paradigms are limited due to their inherent national interest and conviction of right and wrong. Consequently their post war planning was as shallow as their initial understanding of the Iraq’s regional intentions. Their horizon scan of the different action players within the region and their probable actions non-existent, so now we have a mess, but not a messy entirely of their making. It is still Iraqis in the majority blowing up other Iraqis, a decision which is ultimately their own.

However those of general anti-war bent are also in a shameful place. To believe in a total non-violent approach to foreign policy across the globe, is to fail to understand the state of the human population’s social development. “Its wrong to kill”, “war is wrong” is if I was feeling generous, is a philosophical standpoint of noble aspiration, if I were not, it is simply an innate human reaction to defends a social premiss that supports their own basic human will to survive.

If the aim is peace, which will eventually be the most productive state for human development in this increasingly crowded planet, tribal and national senses of security will have to be achieved. This unfortunately will mean fluctuating between tactics which are both morally aspirational and base. Therefore it is only the long sighted and broad of empathy and perspective that should be in a position to make foreign policy that has the ultimate goal in mind. And there in lies the problem, few of them exist, the majority’s moral beliefs distort their own enquiry into facts and logic to provide a solution. For them the immoral players in this world are the black sheep of the family, not to be understood and manipulated, but to be condescended and lectured. With this current trend of incorrect flow of thought and subsequent policies conflicts which already exist will continue to be unnecessarily drawn out.

The dude

Bob Piper said...

Errrm... if massive nuclear build up stopped the cold war, wouldn't we have done better to subsidise Hussain to enable him to buy them (OK, I know the US and the Tories tried to subsidise him) rather than having to resort to inventing weapons of mass destruction? That way Iraq could have joined the world peace club... oh, yes, they might have wanted to sell their own oil, I get it.

Jackart said...

Councillor Piper... Welcome to AVBD.

You're repeating the Myth of the "west armed Iraq", Bob. As far as I know T54/55's and Migs and BTR60's are soviet kit. Oh... hang on so's their standard small arm... the AK47.

And we know he had WMD, (he did after all, gas the Kurds). It came as a bit of a surprise to find none when we kicked him out. I couldn't care less whether he had them or not. He was a nasty bastard who needed removing from power.

Do you wish he was still torturing and maiming away? (and before you give the stock "abu grahib" reply - look at my post on the subject "White phos and the western media", which can be found in the "Best of" to the right)

By the way I find "Iraq war was about oil" argument deeply pathetic.

raven said...

Winning a war is easy, wade in all guns blazing and kick the crap outta the opposition. Occupying a country, now that's much more difficult. There's no organised military to fight or command structure to destroy. Just a bunch of peasants with guns and bombs. Trying to impose democracy on a people that have no concept of it and wouldn't want it if they did, that's just fucking impossible.

The Iraq war wasn't about oil? Get your head outta your arse. Mugabe is another truly nasty bastard but you don't see anyone lining up to free the downtrodden masses over there. That's 'cos there's fuck all there that anyone wants.

Kember was a complete wanker though

Jackart said...

I concurr. Invading a country is easy, if you've got the resources of the Americans. Occupying it is harder. When we become part of the problem and are asked by the DEMOCRATICALLY CHOSEN goverment of Iraq, then we'll go.

THe reason Mugabe is ignored by the west is because intervention would play into his hands and be presented as "neocolonialism". In any case RSA is the regional power and it's their responsibility.

If we wanted Iraq's oil, we would have done what the french did and buy it off him, not force him to endure snactions.

It wasn't about the oil.

raven said...

The Yanks didn't want to buy the oil, they wanted to control it. They are deeply worried by their reliance on a resource that they have little control over.

Democracy as a system of government is alien to the people of Iraq and to the Middle East as a whole. Yet we, in our infinite wisdom have decided to impose democracy upon them. We then trumpet the fact that we will leave the country when the democracy asks us to. Of course they won't ask, the U.S. military is the only thing that's keeping them in power. It will take many, many years before the concept of democracy is ingrained enough into the people for it to endure without military aid. This is exactly what the U.S. are counting on.

They wanted a client state in the heart of the Middle East and that's exactly what they've got. The big worry is that it doesn't look like they're satisfied with just one.

Jackart said...

Democracy, individual libety and personal freedom are universal. You seem to think Iraqis preffered Saddam.

You seem to think that all motives of the western powers are Base.

If that's the case, I've nothing further to say.

raven said...

The Iraqi's didn't want Saddam but they did understand him. Right now they have a country that has been completely flattened. They have a government that nobody wants. They have an occupying foreign power and the wealth of the country is being sent to America in contracts for rebuilding the damage that the yanks caused in the first place.

"Democracy, individual liberty and personal freedom are universal" Yeah? The most populous country in the world is not a democracy. I know, let's go and invade China.

And while we're about it let's look at a country that has more cameras trained upon it's population than any other in the world. Where you can be arrested and held without trial, without even being told why you've been arrested. Where it is illegal to protest in certain areas. Uh, that would be Britain... I know, let's invade....

Jackart said...

The Country has not been flattened. Outside a few areas to the North west of Baghdad and a number of towns in the Centre, good work is being done. THe picture is better than that presented by the BBC and the fact remains, schools and hospitals are being built, people are going to work, and a government has been formed.

China - Yes we'd love to make it a pluralistic democracy but politics is the art of the possible, and by developing a middle class who'll demand political representation, they're moning in the right direction.

I concurr with you on the British civil liberties situation.

I really don't understand why everyones in such a tizzy about Iraq. We needed to get rid of Saddam, we did and now we're trying to put something better in its place. If the Lefitst anti-war twats just shut the fuck up for one second and looked objectively at the problem, they would realise that they aren't helping the Iraqi people one bit with their whinging.

So, raven with respect, the word I use for people who think we should let people live under vicious tyranny where we have the opportunity and cause to do something about it is "coward".

raven said...

Whether the imposition of democracy proves to be successful will only be known with the passage of time, lots of it. The Middle East is a tribal culture, democracy is completely alien to them.

Let's not kid ourselves though. At the end of the first gulf war the Kurds were promised by the U.S. that if they rose against Saddam they would be supported. They did, they weren't, they were slaughtered.

At the start of this one there was no mention of regime change for humanitarian purposes. It was all about WMD's. When they turned out not to exist then the excuse of "Oh well, he was a nasty bastard who needed the chop anyway" came out.

It has fuck all to do with WMD's, fuck all to do with humanitarian causes and everything to do with oil.

I'm not a bleeding heart lefty, I really couldn't give a fuck if the Iraqis spend all their time blowing each other up. I do however really hate being lied to by that greasy twat Blair and trying to dress this up as some just and noble exercise is just pandering to the cunt.

Jackart said...

Bush was quite open about the "he's a nasty bastard" argument. the WMD argument was all blair.

If you think it's about oil, you're stupid. It's as simple as that


Bob Piper said...

Sorry to come back Jackart, but I think you must have confused my remarks with someone else. I can't find where I said "the west armed Saddam" although if they didn't it was only because he didn't want the shite that Paul Channon tried to flog him, or the Soviets offered a better deal. I think the real lesson for the emerging states from your post is "Guns and bombs and tough, nasty men keep us free and safe." They should be doing what Iran is being accused of doing so that when Bush's morons invade they can nuke his allies in Tel Aviv. Is that it?

Kath said...

Jackart, I seriously think I might love you ~ j/k. You write very well, very concise, and I agree with everything you've said

Raven, maybe it would interest you to read some military blogs...

Jackart said...

Bob, Um I don't fully understand what you are suggesting? You have betrayed your leftist anti-americanism though. Are you suggesting that we should allow the Mullahs to get a bomb?!

Kath, Why thank you. Flattery will get you anything!

Bob Piper said...

Jackart, your 'strength through arms' or 'power through the armalite' policy seems to suggest you think the Iranians should arm in their own self interest, the bigger their bomb, the louder their voice.

Jackart said...

In the most superficial reading of their interests, yes.

This is a zero-sum game. We should not let them get a bomb. We should flatten their facilities before they do develop nukes, or get Israel to do it for us.

So if they get a bomb, they'll have a louder voice. We should not let them. We are much more powerful than they are, so they should know that if they try to get a bomb, we'll squash them.

So really it isn't in their interests to try.

Kath said...

Jackart: don't I know it, don't I just know it.


Devil's Kitchen said...

Trying to impose democracy on a people that have no concept of it and wouldn't want it if they did, that's just fucking impossible.

Which is why such a massive number -- and, indeed, proportion -- of the country voted: they were voting against being able to vote. Oh, I see now, I hadn't understood that before.

It has fuck all to do with WMD's, fuck all to do with humanitarian causes and everything to do with oil.

How old are you? 13? It was about Iran, a subject which I have amplified many times and I still think that I'm right. In fact, the subsequent evidence has consistently pointed my way.

You can find my posts on it here and here.


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