Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Thursday, July 01, 2010

It is well that war is so terrible

"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should get too fond of it." - Robert E. Lee

From the Navy Times:
But there are several things Petraeus can and should do as he takes command in Kabul to turn the corner in this war:

• Clarify the rules of engagement and ensure that the interpretation of those rules are consistent throughout the combat zone.

Troops from every service complain that the current rules tie their hands, put Americans and others at risk and are too easily exploited by the enemy.

Petraeus must seize the opportunity created by his arrival to craft clearer and more logical rules for how and when they can use lethal force — while still minimizing civilian casualties and collateral damage.

The current rules are simply too restrictive. Frustrations over those rules — which affect artillery fire, airstrikes and even mortar attacks — are intensifying as casualties rise. And in that department, June was shaping up as one of America’s worst months in Afghanistan.

Petraeus must walk delicate ground on this issue; loosening the rules of engagement will not play well with Afghan officials whose cooperation is essential to the war effort.

But that concern is overshadowed by the need to ensure that the U.S. troops putting themselves in harm's way every day have the confidence they need to do their jobs effectively.
I'm currently reading Bernard Cornwell's take on the King Arthur legend. I'm in book three of the trilogy, Excalibur. The protagonist of the series is one of Arthur's followers, Lord Derfel, and in a scene just before a major battle he has this to say:
Only a fool wants war, but once war starts then it cannot be fought half-heartedly. It cannot even be fought with regret, but must be waged with a savage joy in defeating the enemy, and it is that savage joy that inspires our bards to write their greatest songs about love and war. We warriors dressed for battle as we decked ourselves for love; we made ourselves gaudy, we wore our gold, we mounted crests on our silver-chased helmets, we strutted, we boasted, and when the slaughtering blades came close we felt as though the blood of the Gods coursed in our veins. A man should love peace, but if he cannot fight with all his heart then he will not know peace.
I think Cornwell has the right of it, and not much has changed in 1500 years on this topic.

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