Re: [sixties-l] Re: Suppose they gave a war, and nobody showed up

From: drieux (drieux@WETWARE.COM)
Date: Fri Jul 19 2002 - 08:45:45 EDT

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    On Wednesday, July 10, 2002, at 06:44 , Maggie Jaffe wrote:
    > It occurred to me that our surplus supply of prisoners might be the
    > latest method to flesh out the military.

    Actually 'the punishment battalion' is more of a soviet tactic
    from 'the great patriotic war' - you may want to catch 'Enemy
    at the Gate' - the "jude law" vehicle about the great sniper
    duel in Stalingrad - the opening sequences has our 'valiant hero'
    arriving by cattle car, being dragged across the volga, handed
    a clip of ammunition, told to use the rifle of those who fall
    and sent forward. Retreat is dealt with by russian machinegun fire.

    As a tactic - it is a 'last ditch' solution - and as even the
    film points out, the better course is to give the troops a
    reason to have hope.

    The early soviet campaign to 'liberate' Afghanistan fell victim
    to the 'euro-centric' tactics of the Red Army - which were designed
    and developed to take on NATO, not deal with Mujahidin in the
    moutains.... They would finally shift to the 'spetnaz' solution
    in the last few years of their time in Afghanistan - to take
    back the 'strategic momentum'. But that process rests upon
    'special operations personnel' willing to run very small
    unit tactics where the recon was more important than the
    massed battle, since the mission is to find the small band of
    troops moving in the hill, so that they can be targeted by
    air mobile assets.

    { for those of us engaged in monitoring soviet activities, this
    type of military operation, like the adoption of 'mobile artillery'
    and the efforts to decentralize the Command and Control, were telling
    signs that the rigid models of 'collectiviztion' were failing. }

    The problem there, as with the american position in vietnam,
    and potentially the american position in afghanistan,
    is the issue of 'staying power'. Which is a political issue, and
    the military will always be subordinant to the political agenda
    of the political leadership. This is as true of the Red Army as
    the american - Since it was President Bush's call to accept a
    'cease fire' and the eleven years of 'stumbling towards peace'
    as we have watched it with regards to Iraq.

    Where your speculation has merit of course, is the marriage of
    the PATRIOT act, and the growing dissident movement in the USA
    as the likes of Gnewt "I was a draft dodger too" Gingrich, oppose
    the Great Leader, calling him 'as muddled as he was before 9/11' and
    the continuing confusion of Bill "Hiding in College Helped Me Avoid
    Vietnam" O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone" as he forgets how to implement any
    of his patriotic rhetoric - as the technical bits confuse him.

    Who knows, if the 'pundits' were to 'question' their 'patriotism'
    as is the current rage over Martina Navratilova's comments, also
    casting doubt on the great leader, it would be interesting to watch
    them standing before a Judge, as was so chic during vietnam, and
    given the same option:

            do time in jail,
                    join our valiant fighting forces



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