Why We Fight …

So I have a Marine Recon friend that I served with in the Iraq war who works as a security consultant for a German firm in Frankfurt. I had to call him up the other day to tell him I WILL NOT be coming to Frankfurt on my next trip overseas because my travel plans got all “ganked” – and the timeline for what I have to do was accelerated.

The conversation eventually turned to the Afghan War and how Obama is in the process of unconditional surrender there. I told my friend, Frank – that the guys in country now need to keep their heads down. Everyone who’s died over there has been a useless sacrifice – and now that we know we’re going to lose that war – the guys shouldn’t try to be heroes. No one wants to be the last person to die in a lost war.

 But Frank got upset at me … and told me I ought to know better. We had a long conversation … and he was right. This column is about the gist of that conversation, what he told me, and what we mutually decided was correct.

First, the Afghan War is not a war – it’s a battle. Almost every war since the beginning of time has been a battle – except the ones between “mobsters”. “Wars” – when they are concluded – have a victor and a vanquished. Things are settled after a war. If you look at all wars like this you will see that nothing is ever “settled” permanently. So every war has been a “battle” – a battle of good men versus bad ones. You can call it “good” versus “evil” but those are loaded, philosophical terms that will distract you from the real truth if you overthink it. You can argue that there’s no such thing as a truly “good” man and I might even agree with you – but that’s overthinking. In the end – it’s good men versus bad men. Men who stand for a principle – versus men who stand for imposing their will on others.

Bad men want to impose themselves – and good men refuse to yield – that’s the bottom-line truth.

And every legitimate “war” – which was actually a battle – can be characterized this way. Sometimes you can’t tell who the “good” and “bad” are. Was the Southern warrior the “good guy” – who fought to protect his homeland? Or was the “good guy” the “Yankee” from the North – who fought to free the slaves? When you look at it this way you will see that every warrior is different – and fights for his own reasons.

At least he fights.

So “mobsters” can fight each other and occasionally two conflicting principles of “good” battle each other. That’s not the case in Afghanistan though – there’s clearly a “good” side – and that side is ours.

You can vanquish the “bad guys” in one location on one day … they’ll come back – maybe generations later. If they don’t – they’ll come back somewhere else. This is the truth of life and it’s not a truth I created – I simply found it here – and it’ll exist here long after I’m gone. The war won’t be over until the end of time. So win or lose in Afghanistan – it does not matter, the “war” continues. There will be another day to fight but today we take advantage of the time we have to kill the “bad”.

The warriors in Afghanistan – the thinking ones – fight to KILL the bad men. Every day they are in Afghanistan is another opportunity to do that. Someone is giving them the opportunity to kill these guys – and they do it every time they get one in their rifle sights. They are not fighting for a particular outcome – they are fighting because their “tribe” was wronged and they are in Afghanistan to show the Islamo-Fascists that THEY – are better men.

Obama? He’s a guy that stands for nothing – he’s noise in the background. An “enabler” of evil. He exists because he’s always existed – in one form or another. He’s even worse that the “evil” men … he’s a pussy who stands for nothing. He has an “ideology” of course – but he doesn’t risk anything in his world for it. You can’t stand for something without taking risk.

He stands for nothing. He’s an invertebrate … a lower form of life not even worth me firing neurons to think about. He’s a rock on the battlefield that warriors have to jump over to get to the enemy. You can’t get angry at the rock – it exists because it exists. We don’t fight evil in a sterile laboratory – we fight it in the real world and, in the real world, obstacles like Obama exist.

They always will.

Did the Spartans at Thermopylae die for nothing? No … they lost, but their example has shown through history to this day to men like me and Frank. The value of the combat is not in the outcome – it’s in the opportunity to stand for something. When confronted with the opportunity – you don’t squander it – you STAND.

So the men in Afghanistan will STAND. And when the “pussies” pull them out – they’ll leave and prepare for the next battle.

Where they will STAND again.

Some of those warriors may become disillusioned – they may quit the fight. It doesn’t matter. If you say you were a “warrior” but aren’t anymore – you never were one. You never understood the truth. Warriors will fight for what they believe in – even if there are only 300 of them – even if there is only one.

Bundy Ranch …

Of course Bundy is wrong … who cares?

The fact of the matter is – the rule of law no longer exists in America.  We have a President who routinely violates his oath to support and defend the Constitution.  He uses his dogs in the IRS, BATF, EPA, DOJ, and BLM to persecute those who think differently from him.

We DO NOT have an opposition party – no checks on Executive overreach exist any longer.

It’s left to the American people to oppose this President.  If it needs to start at Bundy Ranch – so be it.

The Melian Dialog …

Don’t expect a lot of sense out of this post … it’s merely an example of a conflict between two “philosophies” that I can take either side of – depending upon the circumstances.

I first read the “Melian Dialog” during one of my “five days” that I spent in college before dropping out.  Actually it was more like three semesters but I figure the actual effort I put into it over those three semesters would equal about five days of my time!  I spent the rest of the time chasing girls … because college girls would fuck and I had suddenly been plunged into a jungle of them after having experienced the extreme “dryness” of a High School where most of the girls were extremely religious.

Anyway – back to the Melian Dialog …

The Melian Dialog was written by Thucydides and describes the “negotiation” between the Athenians and the Melians prior to the Athenian invasion of Melos in (about) 414 BC.  This was during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta.  Melos had been a Spartan colony who had tried to remain neutral in the war and Athens was bent on taking it.  The Athenians arrived and gave the Melians an ultimatum – “surrender or die”.  It sounds hard … but if you read the Melian Dialog  you can actually see the logic of the Athenian position.  They reduced the argument from one of justice and honor – and presented it, rather, as a question of self-preservation to the Melians.  Certain “truths” stood out in the Athenian arguments that made sense when I first read the dialog – and I remain convinced of their truth even today after all I have seen in my travels all over the world …

1.  That profiting from a subjugated nation is much better than destroying it – which was the higher goal of the Athenians.

2.  That “hope” can lead a man to ruin by diverting him from paths that are within his reach that could lead him to, at least, self-preservation.  Basically – “hope” is NOT a plan.

3.  That the law of men is “the strongest survive” and therefore, one should rule over what one is able to rule over – lest he be ruled by others.  This was the most profound lesson I learned from the Melian Dialog and everything I have seen in the real world since absolutely confirms it.  The Athenians point out … “Hey if you guys had the power to invade us – you would.”  They were absolutely right.  Someone is always in charge – if it’s not you, then it’s someone else and this is the key point that die-hard Libertarians screw up.  The Athenians were trying to point out to the Melians that … they should “hate the game – not the player”.  The Athenians didn’t make the rules they were just playing by them and all of the generations of humans following them would play by those same rules too – and without a single exception – the Athenians have been proven correct by history.  There is always a strongman and you’re either him or you’re serving him – take your pick.

4.  Following the path of self-interest is SAFE.  However, following the path of justice and honor involves exposing oneself to danger.  It’s amazing to me how many people today demand “justice” but aren’t willing to deal with the dangers involved in pursuing it.

The Athenian arguments – well I have not since read a better articulation of the notion of “realism”.

Yet … the Melians ultimately rejected their arguments – deciding instead to resist the Athenians.  The Athenians crushed the Melians and killed every Melian male of military age.  They then sold the remaining population into slavery and colonized Melos with their own people.  The Melians could not have possibly been more ultimately destroyed than they were at the hands of the Athenians.

When I was young – I thought the Melians made the correct decision – they stood for what they believed in – their independence.  So they died … everyone dies right?

But the fact is – Sparta and her allies defeated the Athenians and they did it within 20 years of the conquest of Melos.  Had Melos surrendered to become a tribute ally to the Athenians, they would have been liberated from that yoke when Athens fell – and they would not have had to wait that long to see it happen.

But then again – how would a victorious Sparta feel about the Melians selling out their honor to the Athenians?  What “vengeance” for that sellout would the Spartans have visited upon the Melians?

But, then again – maybe some “fast talking” Melian leader could have “soothed” the Spartan’s need for vengeance – or maybe there would have been some other way to placate the Spartans for joining the Athenians.

My heart tells me that the Melians did the right thing in resisting.  But my brain tells me otherwise.  Had it been simply me – then yeah – I would have resisted.  But, as a leader of Melos, I would have had to have concerned myself with the welfare and safety of the women and the children of Melos.  If Sparta falls – everyone’s a subject to Athens – so no harm or foul in cooperating with them now.  If however, Sparta wins – then I have to deal with the wrath of Sparta for “betraying” her.

And then again – as stated above – maybe I wouldn’t have had to deal with it – depending upon how circumstances unfolded.

The only path here to survival was to submit to the Athenians.  The only path to “honor” was to resist and die.

After years of pondering this – I think I would have submitted.  If this had been a platoon of men and I was 0ne of them – I would have fought to the death.  But this was an entire city-nation and I believe that I would have hesitated to project my notions of honor and pride upon those who could only die to uphold it – like the women and children.

And yet – that doesn’t make me feel very good either.