Dealing with Military Ethics (fwd)
Wed, 24 Jul 1996 20:58:47 -0400

Sender: (drieux H.)
Subject: Dealing with Military Ethics

I'm still essentially Negotiating with the Moderators
as to what I can get through to the list, and the following
is being edited again with the hope of getting through.

The problem as I see it in regards
to dealing with 'military related ethics'
is what I call "Sixties Myopia" - in that
we first begin to get access to declassifying
information about the Bomb, as well as start
looking at the ethical implications of the
Nuremburg trials, made slightly more painful
for some, as there are events going on in
vietnam that are 'not up to standard' as it were.

The fracture lines between the "pro-war" and "anti-war" crowds get
complicated by more than merely the simple "working class war" problem of
the poor going off to fight the Rich Man's NeoKoloniliast War - but get
MESSIER as we try to resolve as a nation where we REALLY stand in the
InterGenerational Argument between JFK and his thesis "why england slept"
and his Father's Generation of "appeasers". Thus we not only stumble out
of the "Last Good War" - WWII - and through our first limited war in
korea, but we essentially back into operations in vietnam in fairly
dubious ways without any of the 'clear cut vision' that we alledgedly had
in the previous rounds.

One is really struck when one notices that the occupation of
Manchuria occurs in 1931, and the Aerial Bombing of Shanghai
occurs in 1932, but it is NOT until Guernica, during the
spanish civil war, april 26th, 1936 that the Problems of
Bombing Civilians become "Unpopular" amongst some. { not that
I would Wish to play the 'racist card' against mere Liberal Artists
and the bon vivants who surrounded them. } Things get Even Messier
for our Young UnterStrumbahnFueher when he notices, contrary to
POPULAR MYTHOLOGY, that the Pearl Harbor Raid is merely an Asian
Rip Off of the Royal Navy's Attack at Taranto the Year Before. So it
should come as little Surprise to anyone when He pauses first to wonder
what the "lessons" of WWII had to do with the arguments about vietnam,
as well as the Budding Anxiety about a 'konspirakii' - since clearly
the prudent matter would have been to put up 'torpedo nets' at Pearl.

Thus to Leap Gleefully to the position that the American Involvement
in the Vietnam War was Mere Imperialism will start from the unpleasant
position, Now, as it did then, of FAILING to address what SHOULD have
been the correct response to Mukden in 1931, or the militarization of
the Rhineland, or why the more than 170 Divisions in France SAT while
across the river the Germans had ONLY 25 divisions since the rest of
the wehrmacht was splitting up Poland with the Russians?

{ the Unkind Person would note that the Distance from Mukden to
JFK's escalation of 'advisors' ABOVE the 1954 Peace Accords is
about the Same As between NOW and the Final Air Lift From Sai Gon. }

I plop the reference to the Waffen SS into the discussion,
since that was one of the CLEAR SIGNS of 'the times' that
was being thrown at GI's during the Sixties, and it, like
the Mythologies of the Requirement to USE the Bomb, does
not hold up under historical analysis. A point that will
come up in any WarMongerBabyKiller's study of the family
history. So it is NOT all that surprising to me that there
are books out there such as 'warrior dreams' that attempts
to address some of the common fundamentals of the basic run
of the Mill WarMongerBabyKillerKultur, but sort of never
resolves whether or not this is a good thing, or a bad thing,
since fundamentally no one is really willing to make the unpleasant
calls about dealing with 'low intensity warfare' and the complications
of 'covert operational' environments and whether the US Military should
be in or Out of them. Made all the More Complicated should our Young
UnterStrumbahnFueher take the time to read about BOTH of the armed
uprisings in Warsaw, and specifically the debates between the elders
and the "Young Lions of Judah" who would ultimately lead to the
destruction of the Ghetto, and the Silence of the Polish Home Army,
which would in turn take it's place in the Gun Sights of Wehrmacht
while Zhukov Sat upon the Vistula.

{ Or Put More Politely, when our Young UnterStrumbahnFueher reads
about the debates between Mao, as theorist and Holy Icon of Guerrilla
Warfare, and Lin Piao, the SovietHegomonistPuppet defender of Main Force
Operations, who would be as much if not MORE of a 'father' to Giap
than the TrueBelievers, since Giap Would Repudiate the advice of
his PLA advisors and DROP the 'wave attack' doctrines at Dien Bien Phu.
But it would perchance be Imprudent to note that Giap Would ARGUE AGAINST
the Invasion of Kampuchea - fully aware that taking on the Khmer Rouge
in a Classical Main Force Assault would Fail, and that it would decay
into a mere blood letting as a Guerrilla War. One Might presume that
he was at least Moderately Competent to speak as to what worked in the
evolutions of Guerrilla to Main Force Struggles would work. All of which
complicates the basic discussion of the use of 'paramilitary' operations
since clearly there exists a level at which they 'work'. }

Personally, I guess I DO consider this as being 'sixties' material,
in part because my own studies and Wonders of the Chaos of Military
History started during that period, when so many People in New England
were still unable to differenciate between German's And Nazi's - and could
even less discriminate between the Waffen SS who were Front Line Troops,
and those who would be 'repapered' towards the end of the war out of
the 'police' and SD and gestapo elements at KZ Guards to being Waffen SS,
I presume in the hopes that they would be covered under the Geneva Conventions
as regular POW's.

Given such a lack of 'technical clarity' it should NOT have surprised
me that these people would be working from very Wooden Stereotypes of
what a Real Live WarMongerBabyKiller REALLY was. But I would be able to survive
the sixties, and the technical complications of civilians NOT understanding
the nature of modern warfare, or 'the literature' - or being able or
willing to address the core issues, and this Independent of their Political
Allignment, as I note in regards to my problems with the Average Run of
the Mill NewNeoCon. This in part was made possible, as I noted in my
posting about my father's remarriage, by the breadth of complications
just LIVING in our family, what with folks all over the spectrum. A point
of no small amount of amusement when I am Kvetching with folks who TAUGHT
at the School of the Americaes and it's predecessor facilities, in regards
to those in my tribe who were Chucked Out by JUNTA's here and there...

So I feel for "billyJoBob" from smallTownUSA who has decided to go off
and join the war, who DOES NOT have the advantages of those I lived
with and worked with, to Provide the Balance of Vision, and more importantly
to Speak From WITHIN the Military Tradition and not MERELY as some
traditional AntiWar Person. Over on VWAR-L we just had to Cuddgel the
kvetching about 'the glory of war' - one more time - since this is NOT
a working Model we wish to maintain. It has never Really Worked as a model
and if anything has set up young men for psychological trauma.

This is NOT a subject that I take Lightly, since I keep finding
myself caught between a Rock and A Hard place trying to convince BOTH
ends of the Civilian Culture to Get a CLUE. War is NOT a place for
Rookies with Romantic Dreams. I included the comments about the Russians
to show that Contrary to Popular Visions, the Problem is not as
culturally Settled in the Unpleasantry of American Society as
AmericoCentrism Might Wish Us To Believe. A point as COMMON to the
process as "all quiet on the Western Front" and that was Grandfather's War!

So if anyone Just HAPPENS to have the Big Magik Bullet that will
be able to get US to the state where War HAS BEEN abolished, I
can retire to tending my rose bushes and relax. But until then we
will HAVE to see that the Simplistic Arguments that are a Legacy of
the Sixties have Grave Fundamental Problems that Have NOT been
addressed then, or since, and will, if left running loose, will
continue to FESTOR and lead to more problems within the american military.

If For No Other Reason than that the Alienation Process that comes with
having an All Volunteer Armed Force will help CREATE a divergence between
the Workers and Soldiers that can well Prove to Be the Very Nightmare so
many in the Sixties WORRIED was Coming merely with Nixon!

Having Come Home the LAST time with Lt. Col. Ollie North In the Witness
Box before Congress WAS NOT reassuring to me, as it IS my nightmare of
those who have served abroad in the Covert Operational Environment crossing
the Rubicon and bringing with them their Bad Habits!!!!

So share with me How do We Get At these Issues, and get them across
that there was some Core Fundamental Shifts in HOW the AntiWarCrowd
addressed the matter of their Dissent Against the Government's Position
on The Persian Gulf War, and these I felt WERE an improvement, but they
appear, perchance to some, to have not LIVED UP to the Ideals of the
Sixties Generation, but were, if anything, at least a positive Sign of
a Growth of Cultural Sensitivity towards those from the Military Kultur.

How Do we go about ENDING not ONLY the Mythologies of the High End
of Nuclear Warfare, but the Low End of 'guerrilla' warfare?????

One Gentleman Correspondent Once Asked me HOW I handled the rise
of the NewNeoCons in the start of this Decade, and I cried, as I
FEAR we had Failed, and FAILED MISERABLY! We were Unable to get them
to detach themselves from 'war language' - and would have to watch
as "abortion clinic" related Personnel were Shot Down. We would have
to Watch as the Oklahoma Bombing Went Off.

And some Wonder why I have NO TOLERANCE for lose Rhetoric about
the Use of Nuclear Weapons, since it would seem prudent that we
can Not Wait for them To LEARN that actions have consequences,
and decide in the aftermath, that perchance the Rhetoric had become
Unwieldy and over interpreted.

Some of US will recall that we went through this Process Once Before
in terms of the Lose Rhetoric of the Weather Underground, but has the
Tit-for-Tat learning process come to completion???

"say you want a Revolution,
well, you know...... "
- beatles

So as to park the Debate Into NEUTRAL territory of sorts,
one clearly could posit the question in terms of offering
advice to the PLO about dealing with "low intensity warfare"
problems in the West Bank.