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If This Be War.
October 25, 2001 11:39 AM   Subscribe

If This Be War. This essay by a military historian puts the current muddle of conflicted opinions about war into historical perspective with startling clarity.

Thanks to the Little Green Footballs weblog. I find interesting stuff there every day.
posted by Tubes (10 comments total)

 
i feel like i need to toughin up, do some pushups after reading that!

btw, the national review looks like salon and csmonitor :)
posted by kliuless at 12:24 PM on October 25, 2001


Iraq? Is it just me, am I the only one who wonders why the heck some people are so hot to drag Iraq in this?

Source of Anthrax still unknown, but strain not genetically altered i.e. not fully "weaponized".

15 of 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian.
posted by xiffix at 12:25 PM on October 25, 2001


And don't forget those terrorist victims in, um, Oklahoma City. We should declare war (if this be truly war, when was it declared?) on right wing extremists as well, right Victor Hansen?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:54 PM on October 25, 2001


Many theories have been offered regarding why Western culture has spread so successfully across the world, with arguments ranging from genetics to superior technology to the creation of enlightened economic, moral, and political systems. In Carnage and Culture, military historian Victor Hanson takes all of these factors into account in making a bold, and sure to be controversial, argument: Westerners are more effective killers. Focusing specifically on military power rather than the nature of Western civilization in general, Hanson views war as the ultimate reflection of a society's character: "There is…a cultural crystallization in battle, in which the insidious and more subtle institutions that heretofore are murky and undefined became stark and unforgiving in the finality of organized killing."

This genius of a historian argues further that western militaries are more open and democratic, and let good ideas come from all directions; they're not close-minded (like, say, evil communists, or non-whites.) so they conquer more.

In this bizarre configuration of rhetorics, Hansen is arguing that we should trample the dissent from all sides, because a "real" war is apparently what Americans do best.

So, c'mon America, let the Pentagon and CIA do whatever the hell they want---they're better at being democratic than you are!
posted by rschram at 3:37 PM on October 25, 2001


What's really amazing these days is how many seemingly normal webloggers have turned into kneejerk reactionaries all of a sudden. Seems to be viral. . .
posted by zeb vance at 6:31 PM on October 25, 2001


Three thousand dead does that to a person, zeb.
posted by dhartung at 12:08 AM on October 26, 2001


xiffix:

mrmanley's comments are right on. The spores were treated with a highly sophisticated chemical additive to make them more deadly. The chemical additive had to come from a state sponsored laboratory, and mrmanley simply stated that Iraq is the most likely of the three capable governments to have provided such an additive to those responsible. Sounds reasonable to me, given Iraq's track record of developing and using biological agents.
posted by David Dark at 2:20 AM on October 26, 2001


When you hear the phrase "vaccine/antibiotic-resistant strain" from Tom Ridge or similar, then you can start talking about narrowing down your list to three sources.
posted by xiffix at 7:19 AM on October 26, 2001


Fleischer also said the anthrax, which forced the House of Representatives to close last week and shut several congressional office buildings for testing, was not the most sophisticated that could be made.
``The analysis of the anthrax sent to Senator Daschle's office indicates that it could have been produced by a Ph.D. microbiologist (and) that it could be derived at a small, well-equipped microbiology lab,'' Fleischer said.
``Those criteria can exist in more than one country and more than one place,'' he said, adding that the analysis ``does not rule out foreign sources. It broadens that universe.''>
-- Reuters/Yahoo

So cool your jets, already.
posted by xiffix at 8:02 AM on October 27, 2001


*laughing at image of xiffix being spoon-fed his pancakes by Ari Fleischer, that highly reliable source of spinless information*

Now that I think about it, it is much more likely that a Ph.D. microbiologist indepently produced the anthrax in a small, well-equipped microbiology lab. Duh! Iraq? What was I thinking?

Meanwhile, at a secret underground workshop, Lex Luthor chuckled demonically to himself. "Success at last! The most potent weapon ever invented is mine - proved and perfected - ready to bring me what I desire!"

*Systematically cools jets*

*Drums fingers, patiently waiting for Tom Ridge to utter the magic words so he can start talking again*
posted by David Dark at 4:35 PM on October 27, 2001


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