Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Comments on Stephens article in NYT on Democratic Party issue positions

Comments on Stephens article in NYT on Democratic Party issue positions

The practical facts about immigration is that criminalizing it doesn’t stop it.

What it does is present the United States with a conundrum; imprison, intern and/or deport tens of millions of people, many or most of whom have American citizens in their immediate families, or see the rule of law trampled through non-enforcement of an unenforceable & morally reprehensible law.

The alternative to withdrawing from Afghanistan is to keep US forces there forever. How is that in US interests? The US attempt at nation building has been such a notable failure that the US has seen fit to exclude its own puppet government from the peace negotiations.

How is a state of permanent, unwinnable war preferable to peace?

The authorization for use of military force in Afghanistan was premised on the constitutional article regarding letters of marque & reprisal, an anti-pirate clause. Well, the Al Queda “pirates” have been defeated and UBL is long gone. And so should the US be from Afghanistan.

How is it that Mr. Stevens apparently believes that free, taxpayer-supported public education for all is economically unsustainable in the US, though countries such as Germany & Sweden apparently find a way to accomplish this. How bout less spending on permanent wars & dominance of the entire world through economic & military interventions?

Regarding health care, once again, how is it that Stevens believes that the US can’t do what Europe and Canada can in providing free, quality healthcare for all?

reference: Democrats Are Not Up To Their Historic Responsibility Defeating Trumpism means abandoning the politics of extremes.

1 August, 2019 Posted by | Bret Stephens, Iraq, media, news, peace, politics, scanlyze, USA, war | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The US Strategy of Limited War is Stupid

Why is the US pursuing a policy of limited war and covert operations around the world in Libya, Syria, Chad, Mali, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, Sudan, Philippines and so on?

THIS IS A LOSING STRATEGY.

Ye gods we know that from Viet Nam.

We know that from the USSR in Afghanistan.

We know that from Central America.

And you can read it in the chapter that was added to Capt B H Liddell Hart’s classic book, Strategy: The Indirect Approach for the second edition which came out in, I think, 1947. Wars under in the nuclear age will be fought by proxy, with deniable guerilla groups acting semi-autonomously, but puppeted by the great powers through covert action. This is to avoid massive retaliation. Liddell Hart clearly points out that these guerilla movements will have a huge advantage in both efficiency and freedom of use compared to conventional forces.

But the United States, with its massive fleet, its 10 aircraft carriers, its air superiority doctrine, its armored divisions, is prepared to refight World War II. The lack of sufficient good old fashioned light infantry like the 10th Infantry leads to the overuse of special forces for tasks which should belong to the regular army. At the same time, the regular forces, except air power to a limited degree, are pretty useless against guerilla groups or hybrid guerilla groups like IS. So the special forces get to fight them too, undercover, without normal rules of engagement and fire support. This has led to a huge expansion of the very expensive and specialized special forces.

The US spends more on its military than the next ten military powers combined and yet IS, with maybe the equivalent of three divisions of light infantry, mostly low paid conscript ‘volunteers,’ can flummox the US in the Middle East, destabilize Europe, and fuel Brexit and Trumpism. That’s partly because it is always hard to fight religiously-fueled warriors with a martyrdom cult.

But the US knows how to fight a guerilla war. 50 US advisers trained Ho Chi Minh’s forces in guerilla warfare during WWII, for crying out loud.

This idiotic strategy is being driven by the politics of deniable operations that don’t have political consequences unless they have a Eugene Hasenfus-type incident, and that eternal war is hugely profitable.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

31 July, 2016 Posted by | guerilla, Iraq, Liddel Hart, military, politics, scanlyze, strategy, stupid, USA, war | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The United States fetishizes gun Violence

The United States fetishizes gun Violence

I think it is very facile to attack guns for gun violence. That model fails to account for societies like Switzerland or Finland with high gun ownership but little gun violence.

What separates the United States is the degree to which it fetishizes gun violence. The stock character of the Western hero has morphed into the hard nosed cop and now into the faceless futuristic enforcer but the plot is the same: a lone man, using violence to right wrongs in society, then conveniently riding off into the sunset. “Hiyo, Silver, away!”

American Exceptionalism is the modern version of Manifest Destiny and White Man’s Burden. All are pinioned on the Idea that American Ideas are the Best, so much Better, in fact, that extreme violence and skullduggery are justified in their lofty pursuit of a greater good only America the Beautiful can provide.

Well, where’s the beef? Where are the benefits this benevolent violence are supposed to provide? Stable governments, democracy, prosperity, pluralism, tolerance, human rights, rule of law, all that?

Shall we ask Afghanistan? Or Libya? Or Yemen? Or Somalia? Or Iraq?

How’s that workin’ for ya USA? Is that the right model for Syria? Really?

I think it is very facile to attack guns for gun violence. That model fails to account for societies like Switzerland or Finland with high gun ownership but little gun violence.

What separates the United States is the degree to which it fetishizes gun violence. The stock character of the Western hero has morphed into the hard nosed cop and now into the faceless futuristic enforcer but the plot is the same: a lone man, using violence to right wrongs in society, then conveniently riding off into the sunset. “Hiyo, Silver, away!”

American Exceptionalism is the modern version of Manifest Destiny and White Man’s Burden. All are pinioned on the Idea that American Ideas are the Best, so much Better, in fact, that extreme violence and skullduggery are justified in their lofty pursuit of a greater good only America the Beautiful can provide.

Well, where’s the beef? Where are the benefits this benevolent violence are supposed to provide? Stable governments, democracy, prosperity, pluralism, tolerance, human rights, rule of law, all that?

Shall we ask Afghanistan? Or Libya? Or Yemen? Or Somalia? Or Iraq?

How’s that workin’ for ya USA? Is that the right model for Syria? Really?

Copyright © 2015 Henry Edward Hardy

30 October, 2015 Posted by | Afghanistan, anthropology, foreign policy, gun, Iraq, Libya, media, nonviolence, policy, scanlyze, Somalia, Syria, United States, violence, Where's the beef? | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“War on Christianity” meet “War on Islam”

“War on Christianity” meet “War on Islam” (using the US, and Afghanistan and Iraq as the templates)

People say things about you and your religion which you don’t like.

Both: Yes.

A nation of the other religion conquered your country and had executed the former leader.

Islam: Yes.
Christianity: No.

The media considers the name of your religion to be synonymous with “extremism” and “terrorism”.

Islam: Yes.
Christianity: Not so much.

Your country is being occupied by a superpower which is predominantly of the other religion.

Islam: Yes.
Christianity: No.

Civilians in your country are subject to illegal assassination carried out by remotely piloted aircraft.

Islam: Yes.
Christianity: No.

Your religion is subjected to occasional terrorist attacks.

Both: Yes, but in the case of the victims of the other religion, each religion’s fanatics blames the victims.

The terrorist attacks on your religion are reported as a major world news event.

Christianity: Yes.
Islam: Not so much.

Your country possesses, and asserts the right to strike first with nuclear weapons.

Christianity: Yes.
Islam: No.

What do you think of my analysis?

Copyright © 2015 Henry Edward Hardy

7 May, 2015 Posted by | Christianity, Iraq, Islam, peace, politics, scanlyze, war | , , , , | 1 Comment

What I think about Guantanamo

What I think about Guantanamo

I think President Obama has been thrown off-stride by the Karl-Rove-orchestrated assault on his perceived strengths (a very Clausewitzian and typical Rove strategy if you follow him).

With Guantanamo Obama had hoped to solve the issue by attrition and by devaluing the issue to the point where he could wrap it up with spending little or no political capital.

But now the issue is forced by the hunger strike, now in its official 100th day.

I think he must spend capital on this and if he does he will be rewarded.

The legal basis for holding these guys without charge or trial is that they are taken under the Hague and Geneva conventions in a war zone.

This runs into problems right off the bat because you are not supposed to exfiltrate prisoners of war or interned civilians from whatever country they were captured in except to return them to their country of origin.

For the same reason, the idea of returning these folks to some third country should be a non-starter.

Here is what is should be done.

Continue to hold military tribunals, but only for the purpose of status determination: prisoner of war or interned civilian.

Those who were captured under arms, had a command structure, some kind of uniform, may be found to be prisoners of war. The remainder of these folks will be found to be interned civilians.

Prisoners of war cannot be charged for fighting the enemy so long as they themselves obeyed the laws of war. The UN has also recognized the right of civilian people under arms to fight for national liberation, but that is not as well-ensconced in international law as is the rights and responsibilities of nation-states.

Civilians can be charged with criminal offenses, but they should be tried in theatre by local judges under local law (which can't be done since they have been illegally exfiltrated out of theatre) or else in their country of origin or by an international tribunal. The military commissions cannot be allowed to act as judge, jury and executioner. When military tribunals have been allowed to exceed their proper scope in the past, such as during the Civil War, the result has not been pretty.

As soon as is practicable, these men must be returned to their countries of origin, whether or not their tribunal proceedings are closed or complete.

Our intelligence should keep tabs on these guys in an open manner but otherwise let them lead their lives as best they can. It is very much in everyone’s best interest to help these folks with compensation for time during which they were improperly held or mistreated, and they all should be given enough to live and to receive medical and psychological assistance on an ongoing basis.

We are going to pay a price for letting these guys go. Here's 166 guys who are going to be very messed up and not feeling like Uncle Sam is their friend. That is the price we will pay for kidnapping, assassination, rape, torture, war crimes, running concentration camps, and 10 years of low-intensity conflict, which is what we call terrorism when we do it.

But you have to consider there’s already a lot more than 166 guys out in the world who don’t like the US.

By bringing this very real scandal front and center and highly publicizing the commissions and the procedures to return the prisoners of war and interned civilians, the ginned-up Rove scandaloids will be driven off the TV and front pages perhaps indefinitely.

What’s the reward? The issue is so corrosive of the moral authority and therefore of the power of the United States. Quite simply, it makes the US the bad guys and that’s not good. Time to end a bad situation which only festers as time goes on.

Copyright © 2013 Henry Edward Hardy

17 May, 2013 Posted by | Iraq, media, military, news, peace, politics, scanlyze, war | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments