From Now On America Only Fights Civilians

by | Mar 4, 2010 | Stress Blog

It says here in the Washington Post that the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force is gone for good. Now is the era of the Long War: relatively low-scale violence against civilians in occupied lands from now until a dollar’s a penny (which, come to think of it, might not be too long from now).

As somebody wrote in a book I read one time (I suppose it could have been Andrew Bacevich, The Limits of Power), the Pentagon boys took their humiliation in Vietnam pretty hard and so decided to gear the military around the idea of fighting only humongous wars against major powers — get this — so that the politicians wouldn’t be so reckless and willing to use it in medium-sized, resistance-capable places like the ‘Nam any longer. They could just play on their bases in friendly countries, train for a nuke war with Russia that wasn’t going to happen and occasionally smash a Grenada or a Panama for the exercise. A great deal for everyone involved! The Weinberger, later Powell Doctrine, was born.

Of course, the war criminal Colin Powell used his doctrine to Nazi Blitzkrieg proportions when pitting his great power military against the set-up, back-stabbed and nearly helpless Iraq state in 1991, when from his perch as George Bush’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he ordered the U.S. Air Force and Army to obliterate the Iraqi people’s water, sewage and electricity plants, slaughtered tens of thousands of retreating soldiers on the Highway of Death and buried hundreds of helpless, surrendered Iraqis alive in their desert trenches.

I’m certain others much more knowledgeable could set me straight with other and better examples of the major turning points on this question, but it seems here that the real beginning of the end came with the Balkan wars of the 1990s when the “cruise-missile liberals” of the Clinton era came to town. As Madeline Albright is said to have put it to Colin Powell “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?

George W. Bush and his merry band of bloody-handed killers — including Powell himself — abandoned the Powell doctrine entirely with their invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and their bogus terror war in general.

Now, as the recent deployments of brigades of anthropologists and Marines to Afghanistan highlights, the Democrats see Central Asia as an endless dream-world of “peoples” to social re-engineer with high-explosives.

You may have heard Gareth Porter discuss this fight over “transformation” and what shape the military should take over the next half-century or so on the radio show, in the context of the fight over America’s future super-sonic fighter planes. In a speech last year Robert Gates chastised the Air Force generals for their intransigence in continuing to push for the piece-of-crap F-22, designed mostly for mid-air combat with Russian Migs, when, he insisted, they needed to start making themselves useful, get on board with the supposedly ground attack-capable piece-of-crap F-35s and start figuring out how to contribute to Petraeus’s great Long War COIN doctrine of civilian slaughter for hearts and minds from 30,000 feet.

And that’s why we’re number one.

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