A recent Rasmussen poll says that 49% of Americans want to go to war with ISIS. The thing is that they don’t really. They don’t really know what they are asking for.The same poll says, for example, that 25% didn’t think the US should take the lead in the fighting.
Then there’s stuff like this in the half-assed efforts we are currently making–go read it and then come back: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/u.s.-ran-out-of-ammo-in-attack-on-isis-trucks/article/2576958
“It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it.”
–Robert E. Lee
The problem, as I see it, is that war isn’t terrible anymore. And we have become too fond of it. We’ve domesticated it and welcomed it into our homes so long as it stays small and only takes a small corner of the living room–usually co-located with the television. We expect more, though, even from those who adopt shelter dogs.
Before anyone gets the idea that I am anti-war, or that I don’t want to fight ISIS, or any other terrorist outfit for that matter, get over that now. I’m even comfortable with being called pro-war. Really though, I am pro-Warrior.
I will gladly go to Syria tomorrow. But if you want us to fight in this cartoon manner where we will take the chance of letting a terrorist live because we can’t completely identify him as a terrorist, where we take such pains to avoid civilian casualties that we would allow terrorists to live another day, who, not coincidentally, will go on to kill far more civilians than we might, you are out of your mind. You are not serious when you say you want us to go to war.
War is messy. People get hurt who should not have got hurt. There is no way to avoid that. If you want a small clean war that won’t poop in your shoes, you do not want war.
If you want what I want, though, to have the military turned loose to pursue the bad guys wherever they are, to bring overwhelming force to bear in every encounter, and where we only offer the bare minimum to the enemy more in humanity and consideration then they would show to us, then you want war.
What these 49% really want, though, is a vent for their anger and frustration. They have come to a decision about war based an emotional response and not a rational consideration. Every emotional decision is automatically suspect because emotion clouds the perceptions. And when the consequences include ending the lives of others, you’d better be making a thoughtful choice.
By the way, all wars are wars of choice; that atrocious trope needs to be retired. There are no accidental Warriors or wars. Some choices, to wage war or not, simply come with greater and lesser consequences–that’s the true consideration in whether to choose war or not.
I want to go in and win. I want to inflict orders of magnitude more in pain and suffering on the enemy that he will or can on us. I want to grind his ability to wage war into the dust in order to break his will to continue to fight. I believe that fighting this way keeps wars, relatively, short, and that brevity will do more to keep innocents, as well as our own Warriors, from getting hurt, than any amount of pie-in-the-sky Rules of Engagement ever will.
Winning, by the way, also helps ensure that the war ends and stays ended.
There is more honor in savagery, when savagery is needed, than there is in all of our misguided attempts to make wars more civilized. Get serious.