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On War

To think clearly, we must name things clearly.

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

September 11, 2013 - 5:00 pm

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I’ve been writing a long piece (or a series) on the War on Terror, and it has me reading Carl von Clausewitz’ vom Kreige (“On War”) in detail, really for the first time. Clausewitz, along with Sunzi’s Art of War (孙子兵法, “Sunzi’s Military Rules”), really are the best places to go, I think, for a clear-eyed philosophical understanding of what war is and what it’s about.

In the first book, first chapter, Clausewitz offers this definition:

Der Krieg ist also ein Akt der Gewalt, um den Gegner zur Erfüllung unseres Willens zu zwingen.

“War is thus an act of violence to bend the opponent to do our will.” On the anniversary of 9/11, it’s important to keep this in mind: it was an act of violence intended to bring the United States to heel. It was not a crime, it was not a terrorist incident or a human-caused disaster, it was an act of war.

It was a war then. It is still a war now.

Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13 week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Err, too bad Mohammed *DID* take no for an answer.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

For all of yesterday's media genuflections (and, as a former altar boy, no matter how false the god, I appreciate a good genuflection) before the images of the 9/11/01 attacks, I couldn't help but notice that I didn't hear the word "Islam", or any of its variants, come up very often.

Islam is the millstone. If your plan doesn't include, constraining, undermining, or eradicating Islam, you don't have a plan. What you have is a hope.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
And if it does, what you have is a genocide. Get a grip.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Islam is a religion, not a people. Just as smallpox, which is not a people, could was "eradicated" without genocide, so could Islam. OTOH, I don't see how "constraining" or "undermining" are could be consistent with genocide at all.

You aren't going to win the war if you are afraid to think, so if there's some reason why "constraining, undermining, or eradicating" Islam is a bad idea, let's hear the real reasons.

What are you afraid of?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Idiots like you turning this into a war with a billion people, some of whom are friends of mine.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
How does calling me an idiot make you right? Can you make an honest argument? "Eradicated, undermined, or constrained", if you do logic rather than emotional reaction, does not imply war. It could mean conversion, or it could mean something like the containment of the communist world, which was a cold war strategy and it did not lead to a war with a billion people.

You are just part of the problem. Your deep fear leads you to insult and thoughtlessly attack your own side. And what's the problem with your 'friends'. They should be deeply ashamed of what is happening inspired by their religion. Instead, they have conned you into fighting in defense of an evil religion which is the inspiration for a war against us.

Shame on you.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I calls'em like I seems'em.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you need a pair of glasses, Charlie.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Okay, describe an Islamic Reformation. Because without one Mr Fernandez' "Three Conjectures" increasingly sounds like the end game wrt Persia.

I've worked in Middle Eastern countries with Muslims for a number of years, (Saudi and Kuwait, yin and yang if you will), some of whom I was proud to call friend, and I don't call friend lightly. But at the end of the day I do not trust, in general, adherents of the Mood God Death Cult. Seems more of a totalitarian political ideology wrapped in the trappings of a religion.

In some of my readings it appears that Mohammed tried to become a Christian but was slam dunked by the Jewish hierarchy in Jerusalem at the time, 'no you can't be a Christian unless you were a Jew, first, and if your mama wasn't a Jew, you don't get to be a Jew, so go away.' Too bad some random rabbi couldn't take the long view, or too bad Mohammed didn't take no for an answer.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Clausewitz and Sun Tzu provide an fascinating contrast. I think each lacks insights that the other supplies.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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