Thursday, March 15, 2012

First you kill the fathers, then you kill their sons. There aren't usually enough men left for a third iteration

How The World Has Worked Since the Dawn of Time

AF2011-A1 Double Barrel .45 Auto
Peace Through Superior Firepower

"We are a bit confused about Syria," I began. "Its leader, Bashar al-Assad, is slaughtering his own people to suppress an uprising. And he is allied to Iran, which wants to acquire nuclear weapons and dominate the region. If we overthrow Assad, Sunni radicals will replace him, and take revenge on the Syrian minorities. And a radical Sunni government in Syria would ally itself with the Sunni minority next door in Iraq and make civil war more likely."

"I don't understand the question," Richelieu replied.

"Everyone is killing each other in Syria and some other places in the region, and the conflict might spread. What should we do about it?"

"How much does this cost you?"

"Nothing at all," I answered.

"Then let them kill each other as long as possible, which is to say for 30 years or so. Do you know," the ghastly Cardinal continued, "why really interesting wars last for 30 years? That has been true from the Peloponnesian War to my own century. First you kill the fathers, then you kill their sons. There aren't usually enough men left for a third iteration."

"We can't go around saying that," I remonstrated.

"I didn't say it, either," Richelieu replied. "But I managed to reduce the population of the German Empire by half in the space of a generation and make France the dominant land power in Europe for two centuries.

"Isn't there some way to stabilize these countries?" I asked.

Richelieu looked at me with what might have been contempt. _Spengler_via_AmericanDigest
Global politics as played by powerful states has always been callous, cruel, and without mercy. The modern approach of the USA, with the attempt to distinguish combatant from civilian, and a focus on protecting troublesome people from themselves and each other -- this is neither historic nor sustainable.

The US should either stay out of petty internecine squabbles, or it should adopt the realistic approach taken by empires throughout history -- allow potential enemies to eliminate each other, with a bit of assistance if needed. The anti-war approach is often the crueler and more final solution.

Never accept a pacifist at face value. Something much darker often lurks beneath. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Life has never been easy, or fair, for the most part. There has never been such a thing as lasting peace nor justice, and there will never be as long as humans exist. There is only a constant striving and an attempt at first overcoming, then balance. Throughout the eons, kindness and restraint were apt to get you killed.

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