The Ratchet and the Governor – Tools for Today – Part IV

December 5th, 2006 by xformed

In Part III, I discussed how, if you have an understanding of organized sports, then you can use that understanding to look at the cultural, strategic and tactical issues we currently face.

As I have thought about this series more, I see something about sports we come to accept that provides more of the “governor” on our actions. This is the concept of “rules.” One of the things we do do well is translate our set of rules from the stadium to the field of actual conflict. We have a clear concept of some “authority” that contains the conflict to morally acceptable boundaries. In this same mold, we have, for a very long time in history, understood the “enemy” would be bound by the same rules. Not that sometimes there wasn’t a foul or penalty, but until the widespread introduction of guerrilla warfare in the post Korean War era, we could count on some gentlemanly (as difficult as it is to associate that adjective to this situation) acceptance and we went on with our wars.

So, here we have a governor on our actions and we are baffled when the other side completely disregards the rules. More amazingly, we have been in the state of shock since sometime in the 1960’s, and, our enemies have caught on to our befuddled state and then begin the pull tension on the cable, and we have long been hearing the ratchet click, all the while, wondering what “that clicking noise” is.

Now, toss into the mix that the referees and umpires, which we acknowledge their authority, have decided any action we take in the battle is certainly unacceptable, yet the activity of the enemy is accepted, as it is our use of force from decades gone by (disregarding much of it has been in response to aggression against us) calls for atonement now, and breaking the rules is the remedy.

In various sporting events, we have been know to wonder out loud(ly) if the refs are on the payroll of the other team. We are certainly in that situation, and not even having to wonder about one ref, the United Nations administration that accepted kickbacks in the Oil for Food scam. No wonder we can’t get a reasonable “call.”

Our feet are stuck in the sand (maybe concrete, hopefully not dry yet), awaiting the arrival of a fair umpiring staff to arrive, and it’s not looking good. While we know the calls are bad, we still stick to the rules we believe are acceptable. Not to imply we shouldn’t, it’s just that the rest of the world has thrown out the Laws of War and the Geneva Conventions, which took many millenina to make for humanity in thge first place.

But, I merely state the obvious.

This very week (how nice of them to comply with my blogging schedule), the Iraq Studies Group (ISG) will approach the President and make an attempt to open the hood and adjust the governor down below where it already is, further limiting our ability to continue in the conflict. I take issue with the composition of that body, for it appears only Chuck Robb has any combat experience, and he wasn’t a career military officer, able to gain significant hands on experience in the management of large scale battles that might help formulate a reasonable and achievable course of action. Certainly the inclusion of those with high level State Department and White House Cabinet level jobs on their resumes is good, but I’m not sure what Supreme Court Justices can bring to the table other than a legalistic set of blinders.

The addition of a top level judge to the mix, in a world situation, where our enemies have tossed all accepted international standards out the window does nothing but waste time and energy, as Sandra O’Conner would do only what she could from a lifetime professional experience in the legal field could to: Read the governing documents and then try to fit the situation into that context. Not to say what she does is necessarily bad, but she is a victim of her own career path at this point, much as the rest of us are.

For about the last several years, we have been bombarded by retired general officers, who could do one thing: Stand up and say we did it the “wrong way.” Two points:

  • Whether I’d like them or not, there certainly should have been plenty of them lining up for a seat at the table. This at least would have brought some relevant experience to the discussion, which would have been helpful.
  • I suspect they were excluded because no one wanted to hear their opinion, especially when we have national level leaders (Kerry and Rangel) telling us how stupid our military members are, so it most likely was postulated those who had worn a uniform were not intellectually up to the task of having substantive discussions in the presence of the elites of the government service civilians.

Short side trip:

  • I always despised those who would direct something get done, then, when you returned to report the status or completion, you would be greeted with “NOT THAT WAY!” When presented with an appropriate response: So how did you want it done?, you’d get the “Do it again, but not that way!” Somehow, they never could tell you what they really wanted, so you never really could fix it to their satisfaction.
  • I wonder if maybe these same general officers, who, once safely pulling down huge paychecks from the private sector, didn’t want to “play” in this game, for they would have to actually do something: Say how to do it. If they think it could be done better, then this was their time to shine, showing there was some substance to their bitching, but….(*crickets*). ‘Nuff said about the whiners.

As the Iranians become more bold as to produce arms and ordnance and deliver it directly to the battle field with apparently no attempt to disguise their logistical support of the insurgency in Iraq, we will begin a national debate, where literally millions of our citizens, and more in the world community, will demand the President conform to a new “rule book,” dropped in his lap in the 4th quarter, when we are most likely in the first and goal situation, but certainly in the “Red Zone.” This rule book, whose contents are not known, but with the “leaks” seems to lean towards a strategy for defeat, a pretty amazing situation to put ourselves in, as it’s about winning here.

I predict the most strident voices will be the new Democratic “leadership.” I put that term in parenthesis because they are but one body of the government and seemingly have forgotten that no one elected them to the position of President and therefore Commander-in-Chief. As we have witnessed for a few years now, the voices will be readily trumpeted by the media’b’Allah, which has no stomach for proper reporting, but only looks forward to some coveted professional accolade from like minded associates. Few Republicans will be heard from, except maybe Senator McCain, who will comment in preparation for his Presidential bid two years from now, and because the media still likes him for preforming as a foil to the President in many important areas, such as the appointment of judges, the application of Constitutional Rights to Enemy Combatants, and border security.

So, for the moment, I leave you with the increased efforts of the enemy, which is oh so obviously the Islamic nations of the planet, and many more who would place their religious affiliation so high above their citizenship that they can rationalize killing their fellow countrymen to avenge conflict of more than a millenia ago, and the toll of humanity that will be measured in a body count that is needless. This week, unelected citizens will make a play to override the will of the people, and “govern” our ability to continue even more.

More of this? Yes….but later.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 5th, 2006 at 6:56 pm and is filed under History, Leadership, Military, Military History, Political. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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