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Thread: Legitimizing Thugs - as a Strategy for Progress?

  1. #1 Legitimizing Thugs - as a Strategy for Progress? 
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    RosenNoir started an interesting discussion about the social relevance of gangs, and I'm starting to think that whatever strategies would work in dealing with gangs are probably the same strategies that would work with terrorist groups as well.

    One trick that might undo a gang's power would be to put them in a social position where they can be held responsible as a whole gang for their decisions, instead of just as a group of individuals. Put the gang in charge of something. Make them register themselves like a business registers itself, and pay taxes. Then every gang member has to come forward and identify themself, or they can't participate.

    Now applying this to terrorist groups: Maybe we should conduct diplomacy with them after all.

    Make them sign treaties, and declare who their leaders are. Give their members privileges, but privileges that can only be claimed by coming forward and publicly identifying themselves. Get the organization to become dependent on all of this legitimacy, and then place restrictions on them. Regulate them. Force them to have to hunt down their own people whenever a silly attack occurs.

    Maybe we could use the larger organizations as a means to kill off the smaller ones?

    In a lot of other threads, I've seen people discussing how it seems like a lot of the European nobility might have started off as common brigands/thugs in charge of an army, who then set up a government, declared themselves King, Lord, Baron...etc.... maybe that's what some people in the 3rd world are doing, and maybe legitimizing the very successful ones might actually lead to progress?


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    Your logic absolutely baffles me.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Make them register themselves like a business registers itself, and pay taxes. Then every gang member has to come forward and identify themself, or they can't participate.
    How?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Make them sign treaties, and declare who their leaders are. Give their members privileges, but privileges that can only be claimed by coming forward and publicly identifying themselves. Get the organization to become dependent on all of this legitimacy, and then place restrictions on them. Regulate them. Force them to have to hunt down their own people whenever a silly attack occurs.
    But the whole idea of a terrorist organization is to make "silly attacks."

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    In a lot of other threads, I've seen people discussing how it seems like a lot of the European nobility might have started off as common brigands/thugs in charge of an army, who then set up a government, declared themselves King, Lord, Baron...etc.... maybe that's what some people in the 3rd world are doing, and maybe legitimizing the very successful ones might actually lead to progress?
    You suggest rewarding successful and powerful terrorist organizations?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    In a lot of other threads, I've seen people discussing how it seems like a lot of the European nobility might have started off as common brigands/thugs in charge of an army, who then set up a government, declared themselves King, Lord, Baron...etc.... maybe that's what some people in the 3rd world are doing, and maybe legitimizing the very successful ones might actually lead to progress?
    Yes, but those brigands who became powerful didn't really adopt a halo and suddenly try to make the world a better place. They just had more power to do the bad things they always did.


    There is nothing salvageable from this concept. It is a weak and wrong mentality. Why offer a prize for evil acts?


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    As in any science discussion ...definitions, please.

    Please define 'terrorist group'...in many of the western democracies a sizeable percent outside the USA would have included Georg W. Bush and his henchmen...some would call Hezbolah in Palestine 'the terroristss' whereas a billion Muslims would apply the term to the Israeli military.

    Blanket statements about terrorists need more refinement. I suppose George Washington was a terrorist....as was Mao...Lenin...etc. As the saying goes, it depends what end of the political telescope you are looking through.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Your logic absolutely baffles me.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Make them register themselves like a business registers itself, and pay taxes. Then every gang member has to come forward and identify themself, or they can't participate.
    How?
    What I'm suggesting is to make affiliation itself illegal unless the gang as a whole has submitted to regulation. As things stand right now, affiliation is not illegal.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Make them sign treaties, and declare who their leaders are. Give their members privileges, but privileges that can only be claimed by coming forward and publicly identifying themselves. Get the organization to become dependent on all of this legitimacy, and then place restrictions on them. Regulate them. Force them to have to hunt down their own people whenever a silly attack occurs.
    But the whole idea of a terrorist organization is to make "silly attacks."
    What defines terrorism is the use of violence for extortion, not just the use of violence. If a violent act happens and the goal is not extortion, then it wasn't really an act of terrorism at all.

    Usually the demands are political and/or of such a scale as to be pretty much ridiculous, so in that sense I guess they could be seen as fighting just for the sake of fighting.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    In a lot of other threads, I've seen people discussing how it seems like a lot of the European nobility might have started off as common brigands/thugs in charge of an army, who then set up a government, declared themselves King, Lord, Baron...etc.... maybe that's what some people in the 3rd world are doing, and maybe legitimizing the very successful ones might actually lead to progress?
    You suggest rewarding successful and powerful terrorist organizations?
    In a sense, yes.

    You can't think just in terms of incentives and disincentives. Not everyone in the world is a capitalist, nor do they all behave in the ways capitalism predicts. Sometimes a negative incentive incites a positive response, and sometimes a positive incentive incites a negative response. This is especially true of a religious fanatic. A religious fanatic thinks you're helping them on their way to heaven if you punish them. Treat them nice and they've got nothing to brag about to their god. (which hurts both morale and recruiting.)


    A lot of people define themselves by struggle. Often, if you give them their objective, then they don't know what to do. They've never thought that far ahead. (Kind of like how the USA didn't know what to do after we took over Iraq)


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    In a lot of other threads, I've seen people discussing how it seems like a lot of the European nobility might have started off as common brigands/thugs in charge of an army, who then set up a government, declared themselves King, Lord, Baron...etc.... maybe that's what some people in the 3rd world are doing, and maybe legitimizing the very successful ones might actually lead to progress?
    Yes, but those brigands who became powerful didn't really adopt a halo and suddenly try to make the world a better place. They just had more power to do the bad things they always did.

    There is nothing salvageable from this concept. It is a weak and wrong mentality. Why offer a prize for evil acts?
    Those brigands created stability for the peasantry by limiting the number of separate individuals who had to be negotiated with. Having fewer people to deal with can often be a good thing, even if they're evil.

    If you reward say... the first 10 organizations to achieve real power status by legitimizing them, they'll want that to mean something. There's a good chance the next 10 will never arise, because the first 10 won't be willing to let them. They'll want to jealously guard what they have against all newcomers. And... the first 10 are the devil we know, rather than the devil we don't know.
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    Baffling. All of it.
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    I was raised Mormon, and so I understand religious based xenophobia from a very first hand perspective. I think our inability to understand how they think is the key to most of our problems.


    At the core, what a religious zealot is really fighting over is a belief about who they are. It's not honestly about some abstract god, but about them self.

    Incentives/Disincentives do nothing to lower their self esteem, and that means they just plain do nothing. The only true disincentive would be one that makes their self image un-credible. Shooting back at them legitimizes their self image, so every bullet we fire at them is a success in their mind. It's encouragement. It's a reward.

    Interestingly enough, if you legitimize the group, you may un legitimize the individual in the process. And, since all of the self esteem based success is individual in nature, and group self esteem doesn't really matter as much, the net effect would be beneficial to us. We'd be trading them lead for gold.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I was raised Mormon, and so I understand religious based xenophobia from a very first hand perspective.
    This is so humorously distant from the topic at hand, let's just disregard it. Being Mormon does not, by any stretch of the imagination, aid in understanding the mindset of Mohammed Omar.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    At the core, what a religious zealot is really fighting over is a belief about who they are. It's not honestly about some abstract god, but about them self.
    You habitually over generalize very complex matters that cannot be properly explained in a few sentences. I'm not sure you understand the mindset of "terrorists".

    To be specific, let's discuss the organizers of the large terror cells residing in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They send attackers to Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, India, Somalia, ect. These are not unified groups with uniform beliefs. They draw fighters from Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Europe, ect. They are schooled in differing religious ideals and have different missions. The cells are by design not centralized, often without a firm affiliation of any kind. Students are recruited in mosques or by word of mouth and little or no personal information about country of origin or previous experience is passed between student and teacher. When training is complete, the student is sent on his mission and contact will generally consist of new operational orders or money exchanges.

    So you seem to paint a picture of enormous gangs fighting for "street cred". Many terrorists are young men paid or extorted into committing violent acts, but this is the cannon fodder that is chewed up and swallowed by coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan on a daily basis. The real core of the Islamist terror in this region is not susceptible to the sort of sloppy manipulation you suggest. These people live the most brutal lifestyles in the most unforgiving wilderness on the planet. These men willingly starve on the almost cartoonishly rocky slopes of Afghanistan, constantly suffering horrific aircraft bombardment and more through bitter cold and heat. The real organizers and warriors are passionate men who will not be swayed by appealing to their ego or offering monetary incentive. They will die with a Kalishnikov in their hands and an RPG on their back.

    Now extend your solution to appeal to Islamic terrorists in the jungles of Indonesia, or Algerian terror cells bombing the French metro. It just doesn't fit.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I was raised Mormon, and so I understand religious based xenophobia from a very first hand perspective.
    This is so humorously distant from the topic at hand, let's just disregard it. Being Mormon does not, by any stretch of the imagination, aid in understanding the mindset of Mohammed Omar.
    For what it's worth: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr...al/me-morlims2

    And I'm not Mormon anymore. I was just raised that way. It's not like I have to believe it just because my parents took me to church as a child. I did for a while, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    At the core, what a religious zealot is really fighting over is a belief about who they are. It's not honestly about some abstract god, but about them self.
    You habitually over generalize very complex matters that cannot be properly explained in a few sentences. I'm not sure you understand the mindset of "terrorists".
    You mean reducing it all to self esteem?

    Take any operative who kills a number of targets, then starts feeling guilty and sets them self up to fail the next time, or get caught. What's in play here? I think the answer is self esteem, and pretty much nothing else.

    Self esteem is a force that can completely negate a person's sense of self preservation. All they see is their own identity, not their body's need for food, shelter, or even air.



    So you seem to paint a picture of enormous gangs fighting for "street cred".
    That isn't intentional, then. My reason for mentioning gangs wasn't because I thought gangs and terror were the same, but just because I thought legitimizing gangs might serve a purpose as well.

    Fake people who don't really care about the organization's ideals are likely to be attracted to join once it's legit, and that can have the effect of watering everything down.

    Many terrorists are young men paid or extorted into committing violent acts, but this is the cannon fodder that is chewed up and swallowed by coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan on a daily basis.
    Yeah, and I think we both agree that these guys aren't the driving force. Nor do I think they are susceptible to the self esteem argument. Their motives are much more along the lines of self preservation, or family preservation.

    The real core of the Islamist terror in this region is not susceptible to the sort of sloppy manipulation you suggest. These people live the most brutal lifestyles in the most unforgiving wilderness on the planet. These men willingly starve on the almost cartoonishly rocky slopes of Afghanistan, constantly suffering horrific aircraft bombardment and more through bitter cold and heat. The real organizers and warriors are passionate men who will not be swayed by appealing to their ego or offering monetary incentive. They will die with a Kalishnikov in their hands and an RPG on their back.
    I think religious idealism itself is the same everywhere. It has many flavors, and may respond to different circumstances differently, but at the most fundamental levels all religious zealots are basically the same.

    Here's an article I read the other day which kind of sparked this notion: http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamasc...ing_trial.html

    At the most basic psychological level, I see no difference between this couple and the people you're describing. They will probably come out of prison 10-20 years from now with that same embattled look in their eyes, believing they've made this wonderfully big difference in the world, when.... in reality all they've genuinely managed to do is kill their own daughter.

    I looked into the eyes of the guy in that picture (I have the article in print, so it's easier to do), and I suddenly realized that I know people like him, who would do exactly what he did if they believed in that particular ideal.

    So, I have to disagree with you. I think there really is a simple answer. Of course it has to be tailored to different creeds and economic circumstances, but it's simple at the core.
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    Kikhri: "These men willingly starve on the almost cartoonishly rocky slopes of Afghanistan, constantly suffering horrific aircraft bombardment and more through bitter cold and heat."

    Leaving aside any comment on 'terrorism' or guerilla groups and so on you've raised an issue that many of us who have been in the military can relate to.: How the heck do they do it day after day????'

    My father was in WW2 and my brother in Vietnam...they both stated that the ever present condition was 'fatigue'...I was in the military for a couple of years (never in combat) but the same... a wiped out feeling after only a week of being in simulated combat conditions. Sore, hungry, exhausted, wet, cold....all around miserable. Throw in shelling or some type of firepower and the spine is in a constant state of recoil...nerves on edge waiting for the next mind-scramble from the shock wave from a blast....even of your own artillery firing.

    It doesn't even have to be a stressed situation. No matter how great a backpacking trip is or a few weeks of camping, always great to get home to a hot shower and a comfy bed

    Put someone in a mountain area...never knowing when there is going to be an explosion...no specific rations...worse of all, no idea of what is really going on. Fellow fighters blown to bits....day after day for years!! Cripes, doesn't seem possible that any cause wouldn't get 'old' real quick.
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    blackwater has a monopoly on the market, no other gangs can compete without using illicit tactics
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    I think the trick is not to make peace a condition of legitimization. When Arafat got his UN seat in 1975, he said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Arafat
    "Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: do not let the olive branch fall from my hand."
    (Which we all know is pure BS, because he's trying to hold Isreal accountable for his own decision of whether to drop the olive leaf or not. )

    I'd advocate legitimizing them, and then continuing to blow them up. Just because we've declared them "legitimate" doesn't mean we have to stop shooting at them. It just means we're free to parley with them.


    Quote Originally Posted by raptordigits
    Kikhri: "These men willingly starve on the almost cartoonishly rocky slopes of Afghanistan, constantly suffering horrific aircraft bombardment and more through bitter cold and heat."

    Leaving aside any comment on 'terrorism' or guerilla groups and so on you've raised an issue that many of us who have been in the military can relate to.: How the heck do they do it day after day????'

    My father was in WW2 and my brother in Vietnam...they both stated that the ever present condition was 'fatigue'...I was in the military for a couple of years (never in combat) but the same... a wiped out feeling after only a week of being in simulated combat conditions. Sore, hungry, exhausted, wet, cold....all around miserable. Throw in shelling or some type of firepower and the spine is in a constant state of recoil...nerves on edge waiting for the next mind-scramble from the shock wave from a blast....even of your own artillery firing..
    What do you think it would do to their resolve if you could convince them that, in a sense, they've already won?

    Suppose they hear that Hizbollah, The Taliban, and maybe a few others have been officially recognized, and awarded observer seats at the UN. (Like the PLO in 1975)? Would they get more determined, or less determined? Would they start asking themselves why they're enduring the snow, cold, and hunger to continue a battle that's already been won?

    Imagine you're a soldier fighting in Germany right after the fall of Berlin, and you hear you're about to be reassigned to fight on the Japanese front. Is your morale high or low right now?
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    "Imagine you're a soldier fighting in Germany right after the fall of Berlin, and you hear you're about to be reassigned to fight on the Japanese front. Is your morale high or low right now?"

    That exact scenario faced my father and a couple million allied troops in Europe. Canadians and Americans only wanted one thing...to go home. Of course they would have went to the Pacific if ordered to.

    On VE day in Europe my mother was out celebrating with others on the streets of London. When she returned home she found her mother crying....scared to death that her two sons in uniform would now be sent to fight the Japanese.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptordigits
    "Imagine you're a soldier fighting in Germany right after the fall of Berlin, and you hear you're about to be reassigned to fight on the Japanese front. Is your morale high or low right now?"

    That exact scenario faced my father and a couple million allied troops in Europe. Canadians and Americans only wanted one thing...to go home. Of course they would have went to the Pacific if ordered to.

    On VE day in Europe my mother was out celebrating with others on the streets of London. When she returned home she found her mother crying....scared to death that her two sons in uniform would now be sent to fight the Japanese.
    I'd say that's probably about the best answer I could ever get to that question. And extremely well described. Thanks.

    My thinking is that sometimes you can undermine an enemy's morale by giving them what they want... and having it mean nothing. Berlin falls, but Tokyo is still going strong, so from any given soldier's perspective nothing has really changed. They've still got to shoot and get shot at.

    Suppose we legitimize Hizbollah, or the Taliban to the point where they're now considered a genuine political entity we can conduct diplomacy with, but in the same stroke, we declare war on them. They've won this tremendous victory, but their troops are still getting bombarded daily.

    That's where I think we went wrong with the PLO. We should have given them a seat at the UN without ending any hostilities. Once they're a genuine political entity, they're finally in a position to offend people. It's not just the USA that can make demands of them. Everyone can make demands of them.

    Then we can publicly force them to make "hard decisions". We can say "How about you give us the Green Zone, and we'll send 20 million in humanitarian aid over to Palestine to ease their suffering?" Who do they want to offend? The purists who want the Green Zone under attack, or the poor beleaguered Palis who want to feed their hungry children? At that point, we're the ones who have hostages they are responsible for. (Because nobody can force us to give aid if we don't want to)
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptordigits
    Kikhri: "These men willingly starve on the almost cartoonishly rocky slopes of Afghanistan, constantly suffering horrific aircraft bombardment and more through bitter cold and heat."

    Leaving aside any comment on 'terrorism' or guerilla groups and so on you've raised an issue that many of us who have been in the military can relate to.: How the heck do they do it day after day????'

    My father was in WW2 and my brother in Vietnam...they both stated that the ever present condition was 'fatigue'...I was in the military for a couple of years (never in combat) but the same... a wiped out feeling after only a week of being in simulated combat conditions. Sore, hungry, exhausted, wet, cold....all around miserable. Throw in shelling or some type of firepower and the spine is in a constant state of recoil...nerves on edge waiting for the next mind-scramble from the shock wave from a blast....even of your own artillery firing.

    It doesn't even have to be a stressed situation. No matter how great a backpacking trip is or a few weeks of camping, always great to get home to a hot shower and a comfy bed

    Put someone in a mountain area...never knowing when there is going to be an explosion...no specific rations...worse of all, no idea of what is really going on. Fellow fighters blown to bits....day after day for years!! Cripes, doesn't seem possible that any cause wouldn't get 'old' real quick.
    I was thinking just this, last night. I put about 60lbs. on my back and started marching at 10:30pm. I finished after over 26 miles (Edit: remapped it, turns out it was 32 miles) at 8:30am. I was filthy, tired and blistered everywhere. When I was finished, I took a shower, bought a buffalo chicken pizza, jumped on the internet to watch videos of cats doing funny things, then nap time. Now I'll bet my last dollar Mujahiddin can't march like me, but the idea of doing half that distance, with half that load and no shower at the end is an uncomfortable prospect. I'd rather not crawl into an ancient, ripped sleeping bag after eating a dinner of bread and water. So I ask myself, would I do it? Yes, but it would just suck, bunches. The willingness to punish oneself for an important cause is not limited to the Mujahiddin. The good guys have it too, along with better training and equipment. This quote motivates me:

    "Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is;' he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn't go home at 17:00, he is home.

    He knows only The Cause.

    Still want to quit?"

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Suppose we legitimize Hizbollah, or the Taliban to the point where they're now considered a genuine political entity we can conduct diplomacy with, but in the same stroke, we declare war on them. They've won this tremendous victory, but their troops are still getting bombarded daily.
    Obama has hinted that he will legitimize Hezbolla but nothing will change. The Taliban already dominated the politics of an entire country. Both groups are still composed of very mean people. It is so strange to me that you would think offering them a "tremendous victory" would degrade their morale. It's absolutely backwards.

    So how do you reckon this appeasement strategy is working in North Korea?
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    I've decided I'm going about presenting this idea all wrong. Let's start with the basics. I tend to believe in the Taoist philosophy that it is generally easier to re-direct a force than it is to stop it outright.

    Terrorism is a force of human will. Terrorist groups are organized human beings with momentum, and a vested interest in keeping that momentum as long as they can. Stopping that momentum outright will probably require an amount of resources so absurdly large as to approximate to infinity. (Or at least more than we can ever hope to muster). However: redirecting it might not be so costly.

    Apply the same principles you might apply if a meteor were approaching the Earth on a collision course. Do you : A) Try to bring the meteor to a complete stop in mid space, or.... B) Try to redirect the meteor so it misses Earth?
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    Bumping-> since it's been like 4 weeks.

    I think the important thing to remember when faced with a group that's putting on a unified front is that, usually they're not as unified as they're trying to look. They're not all thinking with the same mind, like a hive of bees or ants.

    Each member has their own interpretation of what their primary objective means. Some terrorists probably think it's all about destroying the USA. Others might be trying to make people respect Allah. Still others might just be trying to bring about international political reform, and merely see Islam as a means to that end.

    Right now, maybe they all agree that setting up in the hills with an AK-47 and some rockets will get them what they want, but what if we offered them something that seemed still even more likely to get them what they want? Maybe only a few subgroups within the larger group would see it that way, but isn't that still progress?

    In the USA, we've seen what dissent can do. Disagreement over what method to employ in our pursuit a common goal can be totally crippling sometimes, even when everybody agrees on the goal itself. Of course, such contraversies are totally impossible unless a plurality of alternatives appear to be available. Terrorists like to make it look like appeasement would be possible (even though it isn't). Why don't we try making it look like they could be appeasing us instead? Offer a few "something for something" trades? See which groups have enough political influence to deliver on some of our demands, and then promote those ones to legitimacy?
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    I think you're onto something. What Kukhri called appeasment we might better think of as corruption. All groups are susceptible.

    For starters, we hook them into our manipulations with irresistable bait. Mafia operates like that. It works! This needn't cost much. For terrorists bait could be ideological.

    We want to keep them hooked. Organizations are dumb & self-serving, so that's not so hard. Later, bait is switched to some potential harm and thenceforth the stupid org will always chose a path of least resistence avoiding harm. Even if each individual member of an organisation doesn't mind the harm, they behave otherwise thanks to groupthink.

    We want to transform that org through "mission creep". That's where dumb self-perpetuating "systems" not individuals really run the show. For example former drug store chain finds one day it's selling auto parts (true story!) because each small step along the way was profitable (or less hurtful) to the organisation. Mission creep works on political parties and armed forces (I think the term was coined for US in Southeast Asia) so why not terrorist groups?

    A good way to openly manipulate the enemy is by inviting opposition here or there. If Canadian soldiers are believed to favour drug corruption, you can bet a lot of Taliban will be going round roughing up the poppy farmers. Eventually this becomes established policy, especially if the behaviour wins them local support. And so on.

    Isolation, ignorance, and cultural differences may be exploited so to folks back home these manipulations seem honest or they simply don't register. We all remember the liberated Iraqi "thumbs up" but didn't catch the ruder meaning of that gesture within Arab culture. If we're smart, we can be covert right out in the open.
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    "Legitimizing thugs"
    what are we talking about? kids? Organized crime?

    Crime cant be avoided but it seems to me that societies that fight crime have more of it while societies that prevent crime have less(marginal). The US has more people in prisons and there still more crime, and I would not be surprized if the cost of prisons were close to or higher than what is publically spent on education. In the Netherlands they recently had to close down prisons because there not enough criminals.

    Im baffled by people who are emprisoned by their selfish micro-perspective mindset and dont want 1 of 'their' dollars to help those filthy 'others', but end up paying more to fix the problems caused by this lack of social/community management with a macro-perspective. Anyway, its just a thought.

    As for Terrorism, the "war on terror" is a farce. Nato intelligence(MI6,Mossad,etc) probably commits many acts of terrorism themselves or handles them through controled groups. Al Queda is used to justify policy and to attack russian interests left and right. Israel is facing genuine terrorism because they are occupying a population without a standing army of comparable strenght(give billions in tanks, attack helicopters and fighter jets and the palestinians will not be terrorist but an army fighting to defend its land), like the british were with Ireland.
    But a lot of other terrorism is just false flags(the wrong group is blamed). Look into the terrorism that occured in the 70s, everyone the gov the media were saying that communist groups were comminting acts of terrorism, it turned out that many years later it was revealed that the terrorism that caused the death of over a hundred italians was not performed by actual communists but by NATO intelligence controlled groups covered up by italian services.
    You also have to consider the terrorism by torturous death squads trained at the school of the americas to support corporate controled repressive banana republic dictatorships and fight popular uprizings.
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  20. #19 Re: Legitimizing Thugs - as a Strategy for Progress? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    RosenNoir started an interesting discussion about the social relevance of gangs, and I'm starting to think that whatever strategies would work in dealing with gangs are probably the same strategies that would work with terrorist groups as well.

    One trick that might undo a gang's power would be to put them in a social position where they can be held responsible as a whole gang for their decisions, instead of just as a group of individuals. Put the gang in charge of something. Make them register themselves like a business registers itself, and pay taxes. Then every gang member has to come forward and identify themself, or they can't participate.

    Now applying this to terrorist groups: Maybe we should conduct diplomacy with them after all.

    Make them sign treaties, and declare who their leaders are. Give their members privileges, but privileges that can only be claimed by coming forward and publicly identifying themselves. Get the organization to become dependent on all of this legitimacy, and then place restrictions on them. Regulate them. Force them to have to hunt down their own people whenever a silly attack occurs.

    Maybe we could use the larger organizations as a means to kill off the smaller ones?

    In a lot of other threads, I've seen people discussing how it seems like a lot of the European nobility might have started off as common brigands/thugs in charge of an army, who then set up a government, declared themselves King, Lord, Baron...etc.... maybe that's what some people in the 3rd world are doing, and maybe legitimizing the very successful ones might actually lead to progress?
    The assumption here is that different groups share common motivations such as power, growth, and order. It is possible that some groups are motivated by other factors, such as increasing chaos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    As for Terrorism, the "war on terror" is a farce. Nato intelligence(MI6,Mossad,etc) probably commits many acts of terrorism themselves or handles them through controled groups.
    Please specifically site recent instances where NATO forces have perpetuated terror and provide motives. Saying "probably" based on bad stereotypes of nefarious spies who run about blowing things up does not cut it here.
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Look into the terrorism that occured in the 70s, everyone the gov the media were saying that communist groups were comminting acts of terrorism, it turned out that many years later it was revealed that the terrorism that caused the death of over a hundred italians was not performed by actual communists but by NATO intelligence controlled groups covered up by italian services.
    Sources, please.
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    You also have to consider the terrorism by torturous death squads trained at the school of the americas to support corporate controled repressive banana republic dictatorships and fight popular uprizings.
    Rehearsed phrases like this always signal to me that the poster is parroting half-researched conspiracy theories. Again, please provide sources linking boogy-man operatives trained in America to "corporate dictatorships".


    So how do you redirect terror into something useful, because I see no value in preserving these people: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/me...boy/index.html
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    So how do you redirect terror into something useful, because I see no value in preserving these people: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/me...boy/index.html
    Woah. Hold it. You're talking about psychopaths not terrorists. We can find the grossest psychopaths in any country including your own ...and you know the evidence of that is plentiful. Shall we point to the steady stream of torturers in California and say oh look he's fanatically Catholic, or Libertarian, or whatever, and blame the group affiliations not the madness?

    Of course Iraq suffers under more than its fair share of nutters. That's because of all the shellshocked kids & war orphans, and crap, what can we expect?

    Anyway the the article you linked, Kukhri, provides some hints on how we might proceed, by the father's choice of terms. He refers to what CCN headlines "terrorists", as "the killers" and "the kidnappers". Also, very significantly, he sets them apart from Muslims. Their behaviour shows them to be non-Muslim. I've noticed before these Iraqi habits of thought. Where's that going?
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    So how do you redirect terror into something useful, because I see no value in preserving these people: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/me...boy/index.html
    It sounds like a problem of an overwhelming moral imperative. It reminds me of how a lot of American abolitionists glorified John Brown's actions in Missouri (and a lot of pro slavery Americans glorified violence on the opposite side). Concern over the ending of slavery was seen as eclipsing every notion of civility. People justify terrible things in the name of such imperatives.

    I don't know if anyone has ever successfully combated that. It's a kind of political poison. In the case of the abolition movement, it only ended after it finally lead to the Civil War. It's like the goal of hard liners is just to escalate things as far as they can escalate, and then hide behind a civilian population when the storm comes. How do we stop the escalation, or turn it backwards?

    Intimidation is just a fool's fantasy. Nothing short of outright genocide is going to scare them, and then we've become Sadaam Hussein. It would be like admitting he had been right all along.
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  24. #23  
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    Google Gladio, as some of the fascist goons hired by the CIA/NavalIntel/etc were fascists kept as part of Gladio. These have been revealed by a number of government officials, trials and commissions.

    1972 Peteano bombing, long thought to have been carried out by the Red Brigades, but for which the neofascist terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra has been imprisoned. Vinciguerra testified that other bombings were also similar(Nato guided neofascists fasle-flag framing communists).

    David Carrett, officer of the U.S. Navy, was indicted for the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing.

    Gladio has been accused of trying to influence policies through the means of "false flag" operations: a 2000 Italian Parliamentary Commission report from the Olive Tree left-wing coalition concluded that the strategy of tension used by Gladio had been supported by the United States to "stop the PCI (Italian Communist Party), and to a certain degree also the PSI (Italian Socialist Party), from reaching executive power in the country".

    General Maletti told the Italian court that "the CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left and, for this purpose, it may have made use of rightwing terrorism," and continued on by declaring: "I believe this is what happened in other countries as well."

    Im surprised, "half-reserached conspiracy theories", Next thing you will tell me is that the School for The Americas is a charitable foundation and that either the US had nothing to do with Pinochet or that Pinochet was a great guy. I will have to get back to you on references though if you lookup wikipedia on Banana Republic or the history of various states like Honduras, ElSalvador, or operations such as PBSuccess (off hand) you might find that the US is not the shining paragon of virtue you appear to think it is.

    Major General Smedley Butler:

    "I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
    "

    If Smedley Butler didnt know the truth behind his own military operations when he was invading other countries its a good bet the average american doesnt know either.
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    It reminds me of Hitler's famous quote: "Great masses of the people will more likely to fall for big lie, than for small one." It's a full political strategy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie

    In Big Lie strategy, the key is to do something so awful nobody would ever believe it. Imagine trying to convince an ordinary German citizen during WW2 that Auswich was actually an extermination camp filling huge mass graves with the corpses of Jews. If not for the photographic evidence, I think the majority of people wouldn't believe it, even today. Heck, even Jewish prisoners inside the camp often didn't believe it.

    Doesn't "False Flag" seem like the logical next step? The strategy worked very well once, and power hungry people like successful strategies. I doubt there will ever be a "Fourth Reich", but a Big Lie doesn't have to take just one form, nor does it have to be all consuming like Hitler's Big Lie. It could just be a tool in someone's arsenal of political tricks, among others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Google Gladio, as some of the fascist goons hired by the CIA/NavalIntel/etc were fascists kept as part of Gladio. These have been revealed by a number of government officials, trials and commissions.
    It is courteous to provide sources and verifiable info on this forum, rather than asking all others to research it individually.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    1972 Peteano bombing, long thought to have been carried out by the Red Brigades, but for which the neofascist terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra has been imprisoned. Vinciguerra testified that other bombings were also similar(Nato guided neofascists fasle-flag framing communists).

    David Carrett, officer of the U.S. Navy, was indicted for the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing.
    I asked that you specifically site "recent" instances where NATO forces have perpetuated terror, and to provide motives.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Major General Smedley Butler:

    "I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents. "
    Applying an anecdote from a man who served in the early 1900's to a soldier in current service is senseless. This in particular amuses me:
    Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
    The U.S. military does not "brainwash" it's soldiers, sailors, marines or airmen. The idea that they are killing machines who obey all orders without question literally makes me laugh out loud. I do not know a single individual who's personality has significantly changed after military training, except to instill a bit of needed maturity. Military men tend to have a blue-collar worker's mindset. You go to work, get it done, then go home and drink beer or play video games. Patriotic tirades about the current war and right wing values are almost absent. All motiviational speeches directly relate to completing the mission. The Geneva conventions are drilled into a soldier's/marine's/ect. head from the very start. And these men certainly do not obey any order without critical thinking, often doing a good deal of griping along the way. You are very much misinformed on this matter, and pulling quotes from a history book will be of little benefit.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    The U.S. military does not "brainwash" it's soldiers, sailors, marines or airmen. The idea that they are killing machines who obey all orders without question literally makes me laugh out loud. I do not know a single individual who's personality has significantly changed after military training, except to instill a bit of needed maturity. Military men tend to have a blue-collar worker's mindset. You go to work, get it done, then go home and drink beer or play video games. Patriotic tirades about the current war and right wing values are almost absent. All motiviational speeches directly relate to completing the mission. The Geneva conventions are drilled into a soldier's/marine's/ect. head from the very start. And these men certainly do not obey any order without critical thinking, often doing a good deal of griping along the way. You are very much misinformed on this matter, and pulling quotes from a history book will be of little benefit.
    Small wonder that we lose engagements like Vietnam, then. Winning "hearts and minds" isn't one of those kinds of tasks you can approach with a blue collar mindset and expect to be successful. It's great for ordinary soldiers to think like that, but a successful (non-genocidal) war strategy requires sophistication. Otherwise, you fight and fight, but you can't secure a surrender.

    Most of our enemies know they aren't going to win a battle of air, or artillery, so they use a strategy of politics. As long as they can capture the peoples' imagination, they'll never run out of soldiers, even if they have a really bad kill ratio. They just have to pace themselves, so new teenagers are reaching adult hood in time to replace the last group.

    It's very much like the economic concept of supply and demand. Supply is meaningless without demand, which is why corporations spend so much money on market research. It's better to find a market first, and then produce, instead of just producing and hoping somebody wants to buy it. But blue collar work is only on the supply end. Maybe we'd do better if our military were run by white collar executives from some corporate marketing department somewhere.
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  28. #27  
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    Examples from the past are not irrelevant, those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.

    And it is much harder to find instances of current deceit because often the proof or aknowledgment is withheld for decades until a charged topic is lost as a marginal footnote in history:

    The Gold of Tonkin incident
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/...ss20051201.htm
    was staged and/or exagerrated. Back then it would have been very hard for the average citizen to prove it was fake. As long as the military and government insist on the LIE, you will be hard press to prove and thereby be accused of conspiracy theories. Tonkin was used to whip up war fervor, in yet another war that caused thousands of soldiers lives and civilan deaths by the hundreds of thousands. Even if Tonkin is dated, it is important precisely because the truth was effectively suppressed, no leaks, for decades. So if the Tonkin lie was not proven for many decades it is reasonable to project that other lies can be used without them being discovered for months, years or decades, or ever.
    Also Note that incidents brought to public attention (although a lot of aspects were nonetheless hidden) brought the US Military to take control of information and use of propaganda much more seriously afterwards...

    Have you heard winter soldiers Iraq war testimony? Have you seen these on national MSM TV? Im not aware that it got much attention in MSM but maybe you saw that on CNN?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0YFaLN_LFs
    One might argue that becoming a hired killer who sees his job as another 9 to 5 work would require some form of brainwashing, soldiers probably think they are not brainwashed.


    Whats you take on the UK's SAS soldiers dressed as arabs and captured by Iraqui police (with explosives) for shooting at the police? Whats your rationalization for this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CZRBuuoWQA
    (I just googled it and took the first video link I saw )
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    One might argue that becoming a hired killer who sees his job as another 9 to 5 work would require some form of brainwashing, soldiers probably think they are not brainwashed.
    As a civilian who just so happens to have several childhood friends and family members in all four branches of the US Armed Forces, I can tell you with utmost certainty that not a single one was "changed" by their training. From what I've seen, the stereotype you think is common in the US military only really exists in fiction.

    And this is coming from someone who isn't "brainwashed."
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    The Gulf of Tonkin conspiracy theory requires more discussion than I care to engage in here. Twice before, I asked that you site "recent" instances where NATO forces have perpetuated terror, and to provide motives.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Have you heard winter soldiers Iraq war testimony? Have you seen these on national MSM TV? Im not aware that it got much attention in MSM but maybe you saw that on CNN?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0YFaLN_LFs
    Watched it. Not compelling. Mostly a series of soldiers talking about their feelings and experiences during the Iraq war. Yeah, war is brutal but we all knew that.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    One might argue that becoming a hired killer who sees his job as another 9 to 5 work would require some form of brainwashing, soldiers probably think they are not brainwashed.
    One might argue that, if one's understanding of thought reform was colored by it's depiction in popular films. Should you continue to promote the idea that the US military has been brainwashed en masse, use real psychological terminology and support it with real information garnered from psychiatric professionals.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Whats you take on the UK's SAS soldiers dressed as arabs and captured by Iraqui police (with explosives) for shooting at the police? Whats your rationalization for this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CZRBuuoWQA
    (I just googled it and took the first video link I saw )
    A cursory google search offering limited information might suggest conspiracy, particularly to someone predisposed to such ideas. Here's an article on the incident: http://www.redorbit.com/news/interna...get/index.html

    Some key quotes:
    THE two Special Reconnaissance Regiment troopers rescued from Mehdi Army militia captors in Basra were gathering evidence against a renegade Iraqi police group suspected of involvement in the deaths of British soldiers, the Herald has learned.

    Their surveillance target was the "Jamiat Gang", a band of 50 civilian policemen operating under cover of Basra's serious crimes unit and internal affairs directorate at the city's Jamiat headquarters, sources say.

    Although the other 150 British-trained police based at the station were aware of the gang's involvement in death squad political assassinations, extortion rackets and the smuggling of weapons from Iran, they were too afraid to inform on them.

    Sheikh Ahmed al Fartusi, theMehdi Army leader whose arrest last weekend sparked confrontation with the UK garrison, has links to the group and is believed to provide them with protection in return for sophisticated bomb-making equipment and triggering devices.
    The Jamiat police mafia are understood to be involved as middlemen in ensuring the transfer of lethal shaped-charge bombs from Iran to insurgent groups and Shia militiamen in southern Iraq.

    Three British soldiers have been killed by the devices in recent weeks.
    "When they were rumbled by the Basra police, they tried to make a run for it.When that proved impossible, they managed to radio a situation report to their controller at the UK 12th Mechanised Brigade's headquarters in the city.

    "They were under orders not to stop if ordered to by the police, because the Basra force is completely compromised by militia and criminal elements and cannot be trusted.

    "However, when shots were exchanged, they were told to lay down their weapons, deny everything, and wait for the cavalry to arrive rather than blast their way clear and possibly inflict innocent civilian casualties. They showed remarkable restraint."
    The soldiers are reported to have limited their initial return fire to handguns until they were told to give themselves up and await rescue.

    Military sources say the police, possibly including members of the Jamiat Gang, opened fire first and the soldiers replied in self- defence. Iraqi authorities claim that one policeman was killed and up to four wounded.

    The British troopers were punched and kicked by their captors before being transferred from Jamiat headquarters to the nearby home of another militia leader.

    They were rescued by an SAS snatch squad a few hours later after local authorities refused to obey an order from the Iraqi interior ministry in Baghdad to hand them over to UK military police custody.
    You remark about the Brit soldiers carrying explosives and it's true. The way you put it is however quite misleading, as it implies that they carried IED's with the intention of faking a terrorist attack.
    The SRR troopers' "Q" car was equipped with a Minimi light machine-gun and a 200round belt of ammunition and anM4 assault rifle fitted with a grenade launcher.
    As I guessed prior to reading the article, the "explosives" were rifle grenades. They are part of a standard load-out. You also failed to mention why the SPR soldiers would promote and perpetuate the Iraq war to begin with. It is in everyone's best interests for the violence to end quickly.

    The same Jamiat police force headquarters was later assaulted by UK forces. The local police were suspected of murder and torture of prisoners.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6208535.stm
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo

    Have you heard winter soldiers Iraq war testimony? Have you seen these on national MSM TV? Im not aware that it got much attention in MSM but maybe you saw that on CNN?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0YFaLN_LFs
    One might argue that becoming a hired killer who sees his job as another 9 to 5 work would require some form of brainwashing, soldiers probably think they are not brainwashed.
    It's true that people who are brainwashed usually don't think they are, but I'm more convinced by Khukri's earlier point that most soldiers simply have a blue collar mindset, which indicates that there's nothing to wash. Most blue collar people, as far as I know them, don't think for them self very much, at least not in some areas. They'll think critically about themselves and their families, but they're usually not too concerned about broader issues, like the suffering that might be endured by somebody in a foreign country.

    It's sort of a "don't know, don't care" or "assume my leaders know best about that." kind of attitude. And, I don't think the military could function without that kind of mentality, at least on the grunt level. The problem is when that mentality starts to make its way to the top because then: who are those leaders that you're passing responsibility on to?

    In the early stages of Iraq, we had GW Bush trying to pass responsibility on to his generals, by claiming he'd just listened to them and done what they recommended, and I'm betting those generals saw themselves as sitting somewhere in the middle of a hierarchy as well. So, where does the blue collar mentality stop and white collar mentality begin?
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    Are you suggesting that military heirarchies have room for compassion?

    The considered input on foreign policy should come from advisors. However they will be guided by national security rather than another country's interests.
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Are you suggesting that military heirarchies have room for compassion?

    The considered input on foreign policy should come from advisors. However they will be guided by national security rather than another country's interests.
    Depends: will it help you secure a surrender?

    Just blindly provoking your enemy is a great strategy for a genocidal war, but if you want them to trust you enough to surrender their will, you'd best show them that you're capable of something other than blind rage.

    To really convince someone to do something, you need both a threat and an offer, not just a threat alone, and not just an offer alone. Sometimes the offer is that you'll stop threatening, or the threat is that you'll withdraw the offer, but... nobody is going to convince anyone to do anything without both.

    Your enemy must believe that surrender will get them somewhere, that all the brutality they're seeing is literally tied to their actions, not "who" they are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I'm more convinced by Khukri's earlier point that most soldiers simply have a blue collar mindset, which indicates that there's nothing to wash. Most blue collar people, as far as I know them, don't think for them self very much, at least not in some areas. They'll think critically about themselves and their families, but they're usually not too concerned about broader issues, like the suffering that might be endured by somebody in a foreign country.

    It's sort of a "don't know, don't care" or "assume my leaders know best about that." kind of attitude. And, I don't think the military could function without that kind of mentality, at least on the grunt level. The problem is when that mentality starts to make its way to the top because then: who are those leaders that you're passing responsibility on to?
    For catastrophic example, the Canadian Airborne Regiment, which at the time represented this country's finest, descended to full-tilt fanaticism during UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia. Turned out that regiment was KKK beyond repair, and we had to disband the whole thing. What you said about blue-collars was part of the problem. The guys were swaggering out of mess with beer bottle in hand, using those bottles as torture implements. One guy on watch testified he heard what sounded like "an animal being incompetantly slaughtered" but focused on Game Boy so he wouldn't have to know. After the scandal blew up in media, the regiment altered and destroyed documents, so we can't know the half of it.

    I think the trouble starts at recruiting. Canada's recruiting is so perfectly designed to attract violent dweebs, senior members either tolerate and even indulge this demographic or lose respect. What kind of idiot responds to a recruitment ad run ahead of the satire film Starship Troopers?
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    "Are you suggesting that military heirarchies have room for compassion? "

    Are you implying that all military hierarchies are the same and that they don't have room for compassion?




    In one of Yamamoto Tsunotomo's interviews he said something like this:

    "The ideal Monk and the ideal Samurai are inseparable [like yin and yang in Taoism?]"

    The Buddhist Monk followed the path of compassion, and in some Japanese philosophy, this allowed them to reach the epitome of courage; while the Samurai followed the path of courage, and also in some Japanese philosophy, this allowed them to reach the epitome of compassion.

    And every great military nation has had an ideology that preached compassion.

    I think the nation that doesn't preach compassion will not have very loyal soldiers.
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    Speaking of military hiearchy, as there ever been in history an army who's organisation was not hiearchic?

    Ive heard a story about a Pirate ship where the crew elected the captain.

    I realize its competely different, but in the animal kingdom the queen Bee doesnt really rule in the monarchic sense, the bees all instinctively know what to do and communicate with scent move and vibrations. If the Hive is attacked Im not aware of a Bee lieutenant giving the order to other Bees to attack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I'm more convinced by Khukri's earlier point that most soldiers simply have a blue collar mindset, which indicates that there's nothing to wash. Most blue collar people, as far as I know them, don't think for them self very much, at least not in some areas. They'll think critically about themselves and their families, but they're usually not too concerned about broader issues, like the suffering that might be endured by somebody in a foreign country.

    It's sort of a "don't know, don't care" or "assume my leaders know best about that." kind of attitude. And, I don't think the military could function without that kind of mentality, at least on the grunt level. The problem is when that mentality starts to make its way to the top because then: who are those leaders that you're passing responsibility on to?
    I disagree with almost everything you say, but your condescending attitude on this matter especially irritates me. It seems that you think yourself above both military men and manual laborers. This is yet another instance of you overgeneralizing, then drawing a strange conclusion. My "blue-collar mindset" comment was an attempt explain that the armed forces are not all that different from civilians, but you've read too much into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    For catastrophic example, the Canadian Airborne Regiment, which at the time represented this country's finest, descended to full-tilt fanaticism during UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia. Turned out that regiment was KKK beyond repair, and we had to disband the whole thing. What you said about blue-collars was part of the problem. The guys were swaggering out of mess with beer bottle in hand, using those bottles as torture implements. One guy on watch testified he heard what sounded like "an animal being incompetantly slaughtered" but focused on Game Boy so he wouldn't have to know. After the scandal blew up in media, the regiment altered and destroyed documents, so we can't know the half of it.
    Well, this sort of business doesn't fly in any army unit I've ever been acquainted with, but I cannot comment much on Canadian Army standards and discipline. In any case, the soldiers I am accustomed to would likely have killed everyone involved. This sort of thing is abnormal in the extreme and only exists because of a criminal absence of leadership and professionalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Speaking of military hiearchy, as there ever been in history an army who's organisation was not hiearchic?

    Ive heard a story about a Pirate ship where the crew elected the captain.
    This was common among European pirate crews during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A sense of communal ownership over the ship and loot was bred. Positions of distinction and actions at sea were usually put to vote. It is often said that pirates maintained some of the earliest European democracies, albeit on a small scale.

    A lot of military revolutions are somewhat democratic. My knowledge on the matter is limited, but there seemed to be a habit of popular vote among the rebelling Indian armies during the Sikh wars that attempted to push Britain out of India, but they still retained most of their old rank structure.

    A sort of democracy was well entrenched in most Native American tribes, which sometimes caused a great deal of confusion and disagreement during military excursions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    (Democracy) was common among European pirate crews during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A sense of communal ownership over the ship and loot was bred. Positions of distinction and actions at sea were usually put to vote. It is often said that pirates maintained some of the earliest European democracies, albeit on a small scale.
    It's because mainstream naval discipline was absurdly harsh, and the captains could and did micromanage every detail of a sailor's existence. So mutiny (or more often jumping ship) was reacting to excessive authority. In that mindset, the soon-to-be pirates wanted nothing more than reasonable leadership, or no leadership at all. Most of these guys came directly from England's navy, or that of another country. They had military training, so their next career move was predictable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I'm more convinced by Khukri's earlier point that most soldiers simply have a blue collar mindset, which indicates that there's nothing to wash. Most blue collar people, as far as I know them, don't think for them self very much, at least not in some areas. They'll think critically about themselves and their families, but they're usually not too concerned about broader issues, like the suffering that might be endured by somebody in a foreign country.

    It's sort of a "don't know, don't care" or "assume my leaders know best about that." kind of attitude. And, I don't think the military could function without that kind of mentality, at least on the grunt level. The problem is when that mentality starts to make its way to the top because then: who are those leaders that you're passing responsibility on to?
    I disagree with almost everything you say, but your condescending attitude on this matter especially irritates me. It seems that you think yourself above both military men and manual laborers. This is yet another instance of you overgeneralizing, then drawing a strange conclusion. My "blue-collar mindset" comment was an attempt explain that the armed forces are not all that different from civilians, but you've read too much into it.
    The way I see things is that, if the economy were a Pyramid construction project, building the Great Pyramid of Giza, a blue collar person would be one of the professional stone masons who cut the stones, and the white collar person would be the architect who decides the specs, and how all those stones are going to fit together. If one person is "above" another, then that's only in the sense that they have different roles.

    The two mindsets tend to be mutually exclusive. Blue collar people, as far as I've known them, are rarely capable of thinking like architects, and vice versa. Both are totally necessary, but they both need to be in the right place in order to play their roles right. People tend to confuse "who's in charge?" with "who's important?", but those are two different things.

    I worry that the US military may have promoted too many people with blue collar mindsets to too high of a rank. Every time I read something written from the perspective of a military person, about the inner workings of the military, I tend to find that perception is confirmed. There seems to be this feeling that good soldiers make for good generals, and I think that's simply not true. It's good for leaders to have some sense of how things are on the ground, but their fundamental mentality should never be that of a foot soldier.
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    everyone is important, in some way, but as a whole, those who's jobs are harder, who's positions are filled by people with rarer characters are indeed more important. Of course a leader can't lead without followers, but the saying goes "Build it and they will come"

    blind followers are a dime a dozen, capable individuals who can think for themselves but are willing to do what they are told, that is what discipline is all about.

    that is why a trained soldier is more important than a conscript, an experienced soldier more important than a "fresh" soldier, a squad leader and his squad, the lieutenant and his platoon, the general and his army. It's not a matter of who is more important, it's a matter of maintaining an infrastructure, in which case, the hierarchy is indeed important.

    just like our communication's systems. our phones are important, but not as important as the phone lines or radio towers that we get the signal from; these are not as important as the provider of our service; and they are not as important as the sattelites that connect them. Of course, we can eliminate parts of this hierarchy and design a new one, but this won't get rid of the varying degrees of importance

    human organizations are more efficient than human mobs

    you can compare us to ants and say "ants don't have a hierarchy, they know what to do because of hormones and vibrations" but we are not ants, we have much more complex forms of communication, for much more complex ideas. We don't just do what we need to do right now, we plan for the future and reflect on the past.

    a pyramid is not just a symbol of hierarchy, but a symbol of stability in all it's forms, hierarchy being the social manifestation of stability


    please excuse my philosophical rant in the politics section
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    My "blue-collar mindset" comment was an attempt explain that the armed forces are not all that different from civilians, but you've read too much into it.
    Actually, I don't mean to read anything into it at all. It's just that, with that description, you've managed to articulate perfectly something that I'd already been seeing, but didn't know how to describe.

    I'm sorry for being unclear about that. I'm just using your term because it works so well. I don't mean to put words in your mouth. I'm going to continue drawing analogies between civilians and armed forces using white collar/blue collar -esq terminology, but I don't mean to interpret those as necessarily corresponding with your perspective.


    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman

    blind followers are a dime a dozen, capable individuals who can think for themselves but are willing to do what they are told, that is what discipline is all about.

    that is why a trained soldier is more important than a conscript, an experienced soldier more important than a "fresh" soldier, a squad leader and his squad, the lieutenant and his platoon, the general and his army. It's not a matter of who is more important, it's a matter of maintaining an infrastructure, in which case, the hierarchy is indeed important.
    I totally agree. It takes just as much intelligence to be a stone cutter, as to be the architect. Just because the two have different mentalities doesn't mean the two have different intellects.


    just like our communication's systems. our phones are important, but not as important as the phone lines or radio towers that we get the signal from; these are not as important as the provider of our service; and they are not as important as the sattelites that connect them. Of course, we can eliminate parts of this hierarchy and design a new one, but this won't get rid of the varying degrees of importance
    It's important remember that "high up the chain" doesn't always mean "important", though. I think the military would feel the loss of an enlisted Navy SEAL a lot more than some supply clerk who's managed to achieve Captain rank.
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    If i digress off back to the Legitimizing thugs as a strategy for progress idea,

    I have to say that a better way imo would be to examine the root cause of gangs and alter the environment so that gangs are less likely to flourish.

    Given the high cost of putting someone in prison, It might be worthwhile to invest in prevention. Have organized diverse activities that young people really like and other initiatives could payoff in the long run. There are communities where there is much less crime and others where there is more crime.

    I prefer prevention (examining the cause) to repression myself, and I find that some of the ZeitGeist Movement's philosophy's goes one step further by examining the social environment more than what is typical.


    Its somewhat unrealted, but imagine if in a county fruit trees (apples, prunes, etc) were planted along boulevards and avenues, planted in public parcs, along each side and in the center of highways, and so on, within 2 decades you would have a lot of fruits available for the picking each year. It would not be harvested in an industrial fashion but people from that county could pick a lot of fruits if they wanted to. Lets assume the whole country does the same thing, My question is what would happen to apple prices(not processed or juice just plain apples) when the public trees have ripe apples, and would people steal someone elses apples?
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    If i digress off back to the Legitimizing thugs as a strategy for progress idea
    Thanks.
    I prefer prevention
    Likewise. Or at least we could better predict blowback. If you make a lot of war orphans, they often grow up to militancy with a vengence. It doesn't matter if the dad we shot was a terrorist or soldier or innocent civilian - he's still daddy to some minds. War multiplies warriors.

    ***

    There was an opportunity to legitamize Al-Qaeda/Taliban/Mujahideen and Osama bin Laden himself. This came after Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. Remember that Saddam's Iraq was secular. Bin Laden then proposed to the Saudis they use (currently idle) jihadis against the "atheist" invaders, which makes prefect Islamic sense. The plan would have been quite do-able and, I think, successful.

    US advisors convinced Saudi Arabia otherwise. They showed satellite photos of Iraqi tank columns apparently well inside Saudi territory and driving for Riyadh, and they bullied of course. So US hardware got to save the day and draw a "line in the sand". Once in, they would remain and harden up their bases, and Islamic freedom fighters clearly weren't helpful or welcome in the coming battle.

    So the mujahideen types continued to kick around spoiling for an object.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    If i digress off back to the Legitimizing thugs as a strategy for progress idea
    Thanks.
    I prefer prevention
    Likewise. Or at least we could better predict blowback. If you make a lot of war orphans, they often grow up to militancy with a vengence. It doesn't matter if the dad we shot was a terrorist or soldier or innocent civilian - he's still daddy to some minds. War multiplies warriors.

    ***

    There was an opportunity to legitamize Al-Qaeda/Taliban/Mujahideen and Osama bin Laden himself. This came after Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. Remember that Saddam's Iraq was secular. Bin Laden then proposed to the Saudis they use (currently idle) jihadis against the "atheist" invaders, which makes prefect Islamic sense. The plan would have been quite do-able and, I think, successful.
    That's extremely on point.

    It sounds like they would have been operating more or less in the capacity of a "well regulated militia", similar to what's mentioned in the second amendment of the US constitution. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State... "

    There's only 3 options when you've got a group of fighting men together: 1)- They can disband. 2) - They can fight with official endorsement, which would subject them to some degree of regulation. 3) - They can fight without official endorsement, in which case there's no way to regulate them at all.

    From what I can tell, most of these guys know no other life. I don't think they're going to disband. So the question is: which of the remaining options do we prefer?
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    Option 2...

    but the official endorsment logically must provide a "side" if there is to be fighting. You can't endorse everybody to fight each other.

    ...Although that is often just what states do. The result is Killing Fields and Tribal Areas, hardened feelings all around. And, like I said, even if all the fighters kill each other bad blood lives on so you're scheduled for a surge of vengence obsessed a-holes "acting out" maybe ten years later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Option 2...

    but the official endorsment logically must provide a "side" if there is to be fighting. You can't endorse everybody to fight each other.

    ...Although that is often just what states do. The result is Killing Fields and Tribal Areas, hardened feelings all around. And, like I said, even if all the fighters kill each other bad blood lives on so you're scheduled for a surge of vengence obsessed a-holes "acting out" maybe ten years later.
    What do you think are they odds we could convert them into a standing army, or maybe even a government body? I favor the standing army option, because you can very slowly trim that army until it's small or non-existent.

    When we invaded Iraq, disbanding the Iraqi National Guard might one of the biggest military blunders in all of history. What did we expect would happen if we suddenly introduced several thousand unemployed men with guns and military training into the general population? Did we think they'd go apply for non-existent jobs, or prostitute their daughters, in order to pay the bills?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Blue collar people, as far as I've known them, are rarely capable of thinking like architects, and vice versa. Both are totally necessary, but they both need to be in the right place in order to play their roles right.
    The best soldiers the US Army produces are trained to be both. Rangers are required to pass the grueling Army leadership school and constantly forced to maintain critical thinking and problem solving skills to accomplish their mission. They are groomed to be excellent Non-Commissioned Officers, while continuing to test themselves physically. Army Special Forces take this to another level, by requiring the attendance of leadership, language and medical schools, constant cultural education and intensive individual occupational training. Even after years of schooling, SF men are still "trigger pullers" and supreme athletes. These are jobs everyone in the Army aspires to attain, an ideal balance of "blue collar" and "white collar" soldiers. The Navy, Marines and Air-Force all have parallel units and vocational ideals.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I worry that the US military may have promoted too many people with blue collar mindsets to too high of a rank. Every time I read something written from the perspective of a military person, about the inner workings of the military, I tend to find that perception is confirmed. There seems to be this feeling that good soldiers make for good generals, and I think that's simply not true. It's good for leaders to have some sense of how things are on the ground, but their fundamental mentality should never be that of a foot soldier.
    In many military occupational specialties, even the relatively lowly rank of E-5 requires both military and civilian education. Once a soldier becomes a Non-Commissioned Officer, he makes the transition to a leader, leaving behind many of his "grunt" duties. An incompetent or unintelligent NCO will always be recognized and ridiculed by lower enlisted soldiers. Likewise, Commissioned Officers must have a university degree and continually prove their worth and intelligence as a leader in order to garner respect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Blue collar people, as far as I've known them, are rarely capable of thinking like architects, and vice versa. Both are totally necessary, but they both need to be in the right place in order to play their roles right.
    The best soldiers the US Army produces are trained to be both. Rangers are required to pass the grueling Army leadership school and constantly forced to maintain critical thinking and problem solving skills to accomplish their mission. They are groomed to be excellent Non-Commissioned Officers, while continuing to test themselves physically. Army Special Forces take this to another level, by requiring the attendance of leadership, language and medical schools, constant cultural education and intensive individual occupational training. Even after years of schooling, SF men are still "trigger pullers" and supreme athletes. These are jobs everyone in the Army aspires to attain, an ideal balance of "blue collar" and "white collar" soldiers. The Navy, Marines and Air-Force all have parallel units and vocational ideals.
    I have to agree there. The special forces are pretty impressive. I've heard from some insiders that the SEALs are a little bit less cerebral, but then the Green Beret, on the other hand can sometimes be more scholarly than a lot of PHD's.

    So, I'm going to have to rethink this "Blue Collar"/"White Collar" divide. I think a better articulation of the problem with the military is that nobody thinks like a marketing department. "Blue/White Collar" is close, but not quite specific enough, because the guys in the marketing department aren't the only white collars.

    To be an effective marketing department, you have to use a really fuzzy intellectual approach. You have to use compiled data that most professionals would consider to be statistically inadequate, taken together with hearsay, and then make predictions that the entire organization will mobilize behind. No other department in the company is more influential to the whole organization's success. And yet, you can't even be sure how many people are responding truthfully to your consumer surveys.

    Show me a person who could market their company's product in a foreign culture like Iraq, and that's probably the same person who could sell them a dream, or convince them to stop fighting us. The whole military would have to do what that guy (or team of guys) says, in order for it to work, because in the corporate world, the whole company does what the marketing department says. So, they can't just be consultants or advisers, or if they are, then their findings must be assigned a very great amount of gravity.

    Sadly, I think people with that mentality would probably be derided or scoffed at in today's culture of the US armed forces, rather than listened to. They probably wouldn't be respected enough to have any pull. It's a cultural failing. Any ideas how to change it?
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    Hundreds of Iraqis and Afghans captured by British and American special forces were rendered to prisons where they faced torture, a former SAS soldier said yesterday. Ben Griffin said individuals detained by SAS troops in a joint UK-US special forces task force had ended up in interrogation centres in Iraq, including the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, and in Afghanistan, as well as Guantánamo Bay.

    Griffin, 29, left the British army last year after three months in Baghdad, saying he disagreed with the “illegal” tactics of US troops. While ministers had stated their wish that the Guantánamo Bay camp should be closed, they had been silent over prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. He added: “These secretive prisons are part of a global network in which individuals face torture and are held indefinitely without charge. All of this is in direct contravention of the Geneva conventions, international law and the UN convention against torture.”
    We are shocked and appalled to hear that the number of animals condemned to lives of suffering in EU laboratories has hit a ten year high.
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    I'm starting to understand this problem better. Apparently the main problem with giving the various factions any recognition at all, even superficial recognition, is that it makes the common peasants believe less in the official governments we're trying to set up over there.

    One thing I think might help, however, would be approaching the various warlords (and their followers) and offering them jobs in the new government. I know they'd probably refuse, but it's a great way to undermine morale among their followers. Let them know they have an alternative to fighting. They don't have to go from very important "freedom fighters" to worthless "nobodies". They could become important government officials, under the new system. (With pensions)

    I think a lot of what motivates individual terrorists is the desire to be somebody, to feel like their life matters somehow, even if they have to die to do it. It's amazing what some people will do in order to gain the respect of their peers, even if they know they won't be around to see it. Islam gives them an identity, something to be proud of. The only way they'll ever give that up is if we can replace it with something else that serves the same emotional need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelrose
    Hundreds of Iraqis and Afghans captured by British and American special forces were rendered to prisons where they faced torture, a former SAS soldier said yesterday. Ben Griffin said individuals detained by SAS troops in a joint UK-US special forces task force had ended up in interrogation centres in Iraq, including the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, and in Afghanistan, as well as Guantánamo Bay.

    Griffin, 29, left the British army last year after three months in Baghdad, saying he disagreed with the “illegal” tactics of US troops. While ministers had stated their wish that the Guantánamo Bay camp should be closed, they had been silent over prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. He added: “These secretive prisons are part of a global network in which individuals face torture and are held indefinitely without charge. All of this is in direct contravention of the Geneva conventions, international law and the UN convention against torture.”
    Supposing it's true, how is this relevant?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    One thing I think might help, however, would be approaching the various warlords (and their followers) and offering them jobs in the new government.
    That's exactly why the Iraqi army was disbanded after the invasion. If you leave the current power structure in place, you haven't done anything. That's the entire problem with your premise. Bad people don't stop being bad when you change their title. Some people unfortunately, just need to die.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    One thing I think might help, however, would be approaching the various warlords (and their followers) and offering them jobs in the new government.
    That's exactly why the Iraqi army was disbanded after the invasion. If you leave the current power structure in place, you haven't done anything. That's the entire problem with your premise. Bad people don't stop being bad when you change their title. Some people unfortunately, just need to die.
    As awful as that sounds, I'm not sure I entirely disagree with it. I remember reading about how Genghis Kan would kill everybody in charge when he took over a new territory, and that the strategy worked very well for him. It probably offends enough sensibilities world wide that we'd never be allowed to do it the way he did it, however.

    The problem is: how practical is it? Corrupt government administrators are usually not very death prone people. They're highly skilled at sending cronies to do their work, or they would never have survived in the government they were serving before. Can we realistically expect that we're going to find all of these people and put bullets in their heads by war's end?

    Maybe the trick is just to corral them into a position in society where they're not as harmful as they are right now. A lot of former KGB joined the Russian mafia after the USSR disbanded. They still hurt people, but it's kind of under control (depending on what you measure it against), because there are certain limits on what a mafioso can do before the law starts seriously cracking down on them. At least Mafioso's aren't trying to tear down the official government. Do you think any of the former Iraqi government could be steered down that road?
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