Wretchard at The Belmont Club gives us this post on Both Sides Now, going through the 'two sides' on Iraq.
Well, I am not going to take up fine space and time there when I should be wasting it here with a somewhat more robust statement.
First and foremost: there are *not* two sides to this. This is one of the few things I have been pounding at for my time online and my life before that. Everyone seems to get this wonderful idea of there being two and ONLY two sides to any conceptional problem space. Sorry, even coins are three dimensional. To anyone who has read my works you will know that I offer a different perspective on many things where there have been set two-sidedness or no one, and I do mean no one, is willing to think that there may be another approach to a problem space that is valid.
One example from me is this strange 'abortion question'. I have written on this a couple of times, first in my post on Freedom, Rights and the People. Now what I say may be absolutely and totally off-base to so many that it will, indeed, engender the Dumb Looks payment, but I do insist that it is a reasonable view of the Constitution and the SCOTUS ruling as set out, and *no* the judges may *not* try to limit their ruling to that case and that case only nor only to that area of human endeavor. Courts adjudicate the law, invalidate laws but do *not* make up the law. I reduce the SCOTUS argument to its final and basic underpinning which is *not* the mother's right to choose but the People's Right to declare Citizenship at the age of viability of the fetus. I then stop on that ground thoroughly in When do your rights start?
It is a thoroughly reasonable question to ask of the Constitution and the Roe v Wade ruling now gives us a due process precedent for making that decision. Once the question is reformulated into one of Citizenship via birth from Citizens within States, that is a States Rights matter. The SCOTUS ruling prohibits the stopping of abortions before viability, so they are thoroughly allowable until that time under due process of law. What this does, however, is make individuals responsible for recording their sexual activities and partners, else society may be stuck having to use a 'best guess' from experts on the actual viability of the fetus. That, in and of itself, could take weeks and when finished the fetus may not have been viable at the start but is by the time the process is done. Sorry, thems the breaks for not keeping track of your partners and times of sexual activity. And the reason you *want* to keep such? Because abortion at or after viability is murder. Those things are clear evidence to use to clear oneself of those charges. So, the right to have an abortion is *not* denied, but responsibility over personal activities *is* enforced.
In this formulation *both* sides win: the 'pro-choice' folks get their immediate win and can quit whining. The 'pro-life' side now has a completely valid way to enforce sexual accountability AND by funding RESEARCH and NOT PROTESTS, they can push the age of viability ever downwards. The 'pro-life' does *not* get the moral win by asserting something, but they do get the ethical responsibility placed upon individuals to know what they are doing with their bodies and the opportunity to fund research that *helps* all of mankind. And the Public gets some damn tranquility about this issue. If this solution had been taken within a few months after the ruling we would *have* a different society now.
A second example of how I approach things is using Amendment II and casting it *together* with the explicit State Right to Defend itself in Article I, Section 10. I go over my original formulation here, and it is a pretty simple concept. The States have the explicit, in black and white, right to defend themselves absent the Federal Government. This is *not* the National Guard: that is explicit via other language in Article I. No, this is either seeking help from Foreign Nations *or* using the Armed People of the State to protect the State during times of 'invasion or Danger'. This is *not* the militia that falls under Federal purview as Article I, Section 10 makes clear this is for when Federal response is not forthcoming. If this viewpoint is correct, then the States have a direct way of making the Federal Government accountable and may directly and completely call the President and Congress on the carpet when Federal aid and troops are not readily available in times of invasion or Danger. This is a class of law that I term State Survival Law.
Here the States may set up emergency terms for their Armed Citizenry and let all of those who arm themselves for other things, like hunting, target shooting, self-defense and so on, that they have a further obligation to their State in times of invasion or Danger *and* regular State and Federal forces are NOT around to do anything. This may NOT be a standing force, nor train as one, although sportsmen or those using unique or combined arms for recreational purposes may train as a unit, that unit is self-constructed and maintained, although the State will probably need to kick in some money for ammunition. This is a Public Service Responsibility that *anyone* learning the use of deadly force would pick up, acknowledge and demonstrate that they are safe in the use of such. That, too, is a self-regulated system, so the State only need keeps minimal records and ensure that individuals who have such Arms know how to use them, recognize their responsibility and will help out if the State gets invaded or undergoes Danger and law breaks down. I go over the basic outlays of responsibility here.
These are *not* paramilitary nor police, although both functions will need to be acknowledged and Citizens operate within Emergency Law as set up by the State. Citizens stand down when regular forces arrive and transfer over authority and immediately return to their Civilian life, unless *asked* to stay on by the incoming forces.
States *may* do this if they want, that is up to their Citizenry to decide via their elected Governments. As an added bonus, these are the Armed Citizenry are the *perfect* folks to hold the equivalent the equivalent of a 'show cause' court martial when Arms are used in the commission of crimes or used for purposes other than recreation, self-defense or hunting. Threaten lethal force in ANY FORM and your PEERS will decide your fate. Perhaps dueling would return via this route so that threats, insults and slurs, finally need be backed up with force. Might bring some civility back to the world that way... actually have to stand by your words instead of just shout them.
A third example of how there are *not* two sides to things are how I see the changing military via casting scenarios using their *full capability* as seen in Afghanistan and Iraq, and come up with a totally different cast on Iran and, really, anywhere US Armed Forces can be deployed. I call this NetWar and use a First Look and Second Look at how using multiple networks to go after combat effectiveness can be worked out. Here the problems faced on military operations is no longer that of Leadership from the Executive nor of the 'boots on the ground' being disheartened and disenchanted via Vietnam Syndrome. The largest problem and most deadly to the Republic are the mid-level echelon of officers in the Pentagon who neither train as hard as their troops, understand the full capability of their troops and cannot forecast operations and force structures based on these capabilities. These Generals, once they leave, bring out their sour grapes and I find that this makes poor whine. Amazing how a problem becomes *obvious* once they leave the active forces. Or, even worse, is that they see problems and are 'stifled by the command structure' and do not report THAT to Congress. These are not field commanders but high stature individuals of high rank: this is their JOB. Complaining once you have left without working DAMN HARD first to get something BETTER in place is an abdication of responsibility and duty to the Nation. For all the whining I have yet to hear ONE suggestion from any of these fine retirees of what should be done to make things BETTER. They complain that the way they know is going away... 'shock of the new' is stunning them and it shows.
Be that as it may, the Armed Forces are explicitly made and to serve function to protect the Nation and to fight against OTHER NATIONS. They can train for counter-insurgency and such, but that is not their design goal as given in the Constitution. If it is less than Foreign Nations attacking or threatening the United States then it is up to We the People to defend the Nation. This is done through things like law enforcement, trade barriers, and the such like. A whole panoply of Departments in the Government get involved: Justice, State, Treasury, and Commerce. Each of these has policing and diplomatic functions that vary in mixture from Agency to Agency. But that is not the WHOLE of what the People can do via their Government. For those things LESS than full National conflict, but MORE than what these Agencies can handle there is an entire War Making Power handed to Congress via the Letters of Marque and Reprisal language.
I started out looking at this with the simple proposition that Congress, to gain some electability in this era of porkritude would establish that they would use earmark funds to, instead, be put into a Bounty Fund, and establish a Warrant system and use the State Department list of those individuals, groups, and NGOs that are a threat to the Nation, and then pay off HANDSOMELY for those Citizens that bring in prohibited commerce with these threats, and the threats themselves. Pork is for Terrorists. The modern day Congress, unlike their late 18th and early 19th Century counterparts, are weak-kneed folks with no ability to name an Enemy as they are. They no longer even recognize a Power granted them by the People as stated in Black and White in the Constitution. I have gone on about this for multiple postings and at more places than I care to talk about.
This basically boils down in the answer I sent to Tigerhawk when he was trying to figure out how to mobilize the West. Here it is in short, sweet and simple language: US Armed Forces go after Nations, We the People take on EVERY OTHER DAMN THREAT.
Now some of you may just be wondering where this silly notion comes from that Citizens are actually responsible for such things. It is Our agreement as a People amongst Ourselves in this compact known as the Constitution. Where is it stated? In the very first sentence in which We the People declare what We shall do to make this Nation. That first sentence as Preamble to the Constitution has no part, whatsoever in the outlay of responsibilities in the Federal Government that the rest of that document lays out. We put this Constitution together and swear to uphold it as Citizens: We come together to take on the responsibilities of BEING A NATION. We put forth limited Government so that We may be Free and have liberty, justice, safety and due process of law. The Government is an instantiation of a method to do these things, but it is NOT responsible for them. We the People are responsible. The first sentence is Our Responsibilities that We take up as Citizens. Which, you may be shocked to find out, *includes* providing for the common defense. If no one else is around and you can slow up or even stop a threat to the Nation by sacrificing your life... then guess what? We thank You for Your sacrifice.
So, three examples to demonstrate that I do think along a different set of pathways when approaching events, actions and activities. When I opine that there are *not* two sides to any problem, that is because We the People reserve, to Ourselves, the entire spectrum of capability and possibilities of which black and white are mere slivers out at the end points and even then things extend beyond them into the non-visible areas. We get THOSE TOO. People are *shocked* and *amazed* and *surprised* that there exist other castings of events that are not only wholly different than what they are told, but also wholly valid in their perception and conception spaces.
There are *not* two sides to the problems in Iraq. I go over this looking at the question of a Civil War in Iraq, multiple times. First here, in which I show there are *not* two sides in Iraq. Then I look at what is going on and demonstrate that, no, there are other ways to fight there if we wanted to use them. But that mid-echelon command structure is in the way now, isn't it? Can't fight a new war in a new way... send them to the Maginot Line for a tour. And for everyone saying that what is going on is a Civil War, I point out that the number of automatic weapons in such a thing would give us truly horrific body counts. Show me the bodies in their hundreds and thousands every day and THEN I will believe you.
Even worse is that I offer a different methodology to use there ,while fighting is still going on, that is a bolster to the CIVIL side of Iraq. Not that anyone ever thinks about *that* little problem overmuch. Complain about Iraqi's and corruption? Guess what. So do they! It is easy to predict Civil War in Iraq, and those doing so join the chorus of Fisk and Monbiot and Michael Moore: you are in good company of you like those folks. I look at it definitionally and see something different going on. What do I see? A myriad of faultlines being exposed throughout the Middle East and throughout Islam. These cross along lines that are both understandable and complex and are NOT amenable to saying the intersection of events represents a this or that concept. And, no, it is not simply Shia/Sunni: there are more sects and more intrasect rivalries than anyone, even the folks who live there, can keep track of. And that is ONLY for religion not even touching tribal, ethnic and old culture problems. And those, also, split along many different lines. Also the provincialism and 'our people are better at this than yours' folks... and that is not even touching upon which town has the wiser Imam or tribal Elder!
Civil War? We should be so LUCKY as to get that!
Now, secondly, to you folks who think that a three-way partition of Iraq will 'naturally' separate out into Kurd/Sunni/Shia: I invite you to look at the Balkans. Divide up Iraq and it will sub-divide... and splinter... you will end up with something far, far worse than just three states... you will end up with an incohesive mass to the South of Kurds. This will spread a generalized war into Iran as ethnic, tribal and racial bonds do *not* discriminate at borders. and once you give folks the fine idea that borders are up for grabs, the whole things falls apart. Yugoslavia was not an enlightened State by any means and used brute force to keep the thing together. What happened when that went away? Did we see just two or three States appear? Ever hear of FYROM? A State that can't call itself by its proper name and goes by: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Greeks are getting worried at Macedonian Nationalism. Why? Alexander was a Macedonian. Belisarius came from Thrace.
Now imagine *that* happening first to Iraq, then spreading into Iran, Jordan, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey. Is this *really* what you want to start? Explain to me how stable Iran is... or Jordan... or Syria... or Pakistan and tell me how they will all be able to stop this fracturing as it spreads. You think things are a mess *now*? Tell me about it.
Number three on my list of fun things in Iraq and why pulling out or trying to do something *different* like dividing the entire Middle East into tiny States is a bad idea, is this: there is just barely enough organizational structure in Iraq that if the US just *left* it would undergo a coup and be taken over by the Iranian backed Shia. Instead of being ruled by Iraqi backed Shia. Got that? Little different cast to things, isn't that? You would be pulling the *exact* same stunt that the US did in South Viet Nam and leaving a People that We have extended a helping hand to and then say: 'Oh, its taking to long, time for you to fall into the pit now.'
I am amazed that the United States lasted as long as it did fighting the Barbary Pirates... the young Republic stood up for itself and bled horrifically for decades, and the Barbary Wars were very, very short compared to some conflicts the US has been in. But those fine folks made decisions for themselves, and didn't grant their 'elites' the time of day and felt that a Free People should work things out without being told what their limits were by 'elites'. You want to run? No stomach for fighting? Or is it that you think your neighbor wants us to go? Or maybe just no good conception of how to express your frustration except to just throw up your hands and give up. That is what the 'elites' believe of you. And those 'elites' lie through omission, commission and giving a nice, thing gloss to things that are rough and will take no gloss yet.
That gets me to point four on this 'two-sided' view... oh, my! Guess it isn't two sided, is it? This one is relatively simple and straightforward if you bother to think about it for a moment. Well, as simple as I get, at least, which, I am told, resembles a Rubik's cube twisting through Escher spaces. And that is, as if you hadn't guessed it, Iraq is the frontline of a war. Not the physical, bleeding kind of war, but a war that started with the Peace of Westphalia and gave us Nation States as Sovereigns that could do whatever they liked within their borders. The will to *keep* that as a concept is being attacked. Iraq is the fulcrum and turning point on this and is critical to the long term survival of the Nation State concept. The force lines going from Iran and from the Wahabbi construction of the world is to put us back on the long road to Empires.
To get a lasting and just Peace in the Middle East, the very foundations of Imperial thought and their support structures must go and Nation States be seen as the ONLY legitimate actors on the Global stage between Peoples. The UN and 'NGO's and 'charitable front groups' and 'armed political parties' are all destroying the Nation State and Our respect for it. All of those things must go. Preaching that there will only be one religion by *force* must go along with the spread of such virulent doctrine. Terrorism must be absolutely delegitimized and fought... fought very, very hard, until it is given up and seen as barbaric.
And since no one else has the guts to put out what to do on THAT front, either, I did so with my Goals in the Global War on Terror. Not timetables. Not schedules. Goals: things to work towards. Since I got into the conceptual mode I started my own Political Party of One to address these things and more. And the Foreign Policy is short, sweet and to the point: stand with Friends and Allies and strengthen THEM with free trade, put tariffs on the rest, and exclude enemies and hunt them down and kill them. A direct approach without this trying to cast things into a moral equivalence space of either/or, pro/con, Liberal/Conservative, Left/Right. Because what is being fought is Barbarism and it is coalescing before Our eyes.
Our ancestors would have stood up to fight no matter the time, blood, money and sacrifice involved.
Because Freedom and Liberty are Priceless and must be paid for in the coin that is asked for it: Our Lives.
We can pay a little now and secure it for Ourselves and extend it forward as other generations before Ours have done.
Or We will all pay under the beheading sword because it is not worth fighting for and lose the dream of Freedom We have worked so hard to earn.
And that First Sentence that Preambles the Constitution tells you Who pays.
Pay now as a society, or pay later with Your life.
Either way works, but only one keeps Liberty and Freedom so that it may be passed on.
30 August 2006
Wretchard at The Belmont Club gives us this post on Both Sides Now, going through the 'two sides' on Iraq.