The Danger of Tyros Handling War Strategy

I’m republishing this short piece that was written on October, 2007, for the readers of this blog.

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis to:

Clinton’s Statement on Kyl-Lieberman Resolution Washington Note, September 30, 2007

Like the two eminent commentators of the New York Times Paul Krugman and Frank Rich, respectable in their own professions as an economist and art critic respectably, and a bevy of politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, not so respectable because of their populist stunt, all of them being novices par excellence in the affairs of war who have attempted to pass judgment on the war in Iraq and cashier its victory despite evidence to the contrary, we now have another “tired less” tyro joining them in war strategy. The scholar and blogger Steven Clemons of the Washington Note. Clemons indirectly rebukes Senator Clinton for her support and vote of the Kyl-Lieberman resolution that designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, fearing that this will allow Bush to manipulate this resolution and use it to attack Iran.

He calls therefore on Senator Clinton to exercise “leadership in passing an explicit Senate resolution forbidding Bush from taking action against Iran without clear advice and consent from Congress”. But such action is not a declaration of war against Iran needing the authorization of Congress. It’s a strategic force de frappe on the part of the US against Iran in which the elements of secrecy and surprise are pivotal and decisive in the success of such an attack. Therefore Clemons’ call is strategically oxymoronic.


The Danger of Imitation Defeating Creation

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Knowledge is more poiesis (creative imaginative thinking) than mimesis. Friedrich Nietzsche 

Since the beginning of the Renaissance that emerged from the entrepreneurial, adventurous, and calculating spirit of the burgher and mercantile classes of the city-states of Southern and Northern Europe, all the great scientific discoveries and achievements sprang from an unprecedented uniquely fertile soil that was ploughed by the mental and indomitable spirit of an intellectual elite endowed with the cultural values of their unsurpassably rich Judeo-Greco-Roman heritage. Copernicus’ heliocentric system, Galileo’s “E pur si muove,” and Kepler’s elliptical orbits of the planets, were the invaluable harvest from that scientifically fecund soil. It was the bullish age of originality that no obscurantist cassock could possibly prevent from running toward its highest peaks; and the laws of Nature could not be suspended for the benefit of the Church, to paraphrase the sublime Edward Gibbon. It was this creative originality and fearless spirit of a few that since that time brought to the many throughout these centuries to our own, knowledge and enlightenment followed by a cascade of political freedoms and economic prosperity to the denizens of Western civilization. But while creative originality is the Cinderella of the scientific world no Cinderella is without her ugly sister, and in its case its ugly sibling is imitation.

In our contemporary times of the twenty-first century, all the scientific discoveries and innovations originating in the cradle of entrepreneurial capitalism in their imitating form are at the disposal of, and adopted and used by, a caste of Islamist fanatics whose sole and irreversible goal is the destruction of the West and its Great Satan America. Armed with the earthly scientific gadgets of Silicon Valley, and becoming ever more proficient in their use, the holy warriors of Mohammed are pursuing and implementing their heavenly agenda: The destruction of the infidel West and its replacement with the new Caliphate. And there is no paucity of recruits for this grand goal of the religious fanatics. In an incomparably  demographic outburst of growth the young teeming generation of Muslims under thirty, unable to find useful employment of their increasing social and technical talents in their poverty stricken countries whose natural wealth is sapped by their klepto-oligarchies, are full of envy and hate of their cognate young counterparts in the West who climb the ladder of their professional success to ever higher and higher heights, and who are profusely and meritoriously rewarded that opens to them the doors to an exuberant emulative consumption of goods and services that are beyond the reach of the Arab masses. For aeons Muslims having being educated and nourished by an incomparably proud culture and sanctimoniously blindly believing in a religion that is primus sans pares which vouchsafes only to its believers their entry to paradise, whilst the votaries of all other religions are to be cast into hell fire, have a propensity to see their regressive political, economic, and social status as an outcome of the political and economic dominance of the West, especially of the United States, which hampers and prevents their own development and growth. Hence for the leaders of fanatical Islam it’s not difficult within such a context to persuade vexed, acrimonious, and enraged young Arabs that all their ills issue from the rapacious exploitation of Western capitalism. By making a scapegoat of the infidel west they provide the motif to the disgruntled young Muslims to become terror-fodder for al-Qaeda and its sundry affiliates.

And once this ostensibly technically educated young along with those educated in the religious madrassas join the ranks of the jihadists they are trained to imitate all the military techniques and gadgets, i.e., computers and cell phones, and more ominously the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) including nuclear ones all originating from the cognitive fathomless streams and brain power of the ‘Silicons’ of the West. It’s this imitative adoption by the jihadists of the instruments of war that have been invented by western science that makes the holy warriors of Islam, who are hostis humani generis, most dangerous to civilized peoples, especially when these instruments are fanatically used by suicide bombers in pursuit of the seventy-two virgins. In the past asymmetrical power in conventional warfare was the ineluctable warranty that the weaker enemy would be subdued by the stronger. In our contemporary times this indubitable cannon that protected the strong and ensured their victory over a weak foe is reversed. Asymmetrical power used furtively, resolutely, and unconscionably can subdue a stronger power. The Islamist terrorists acting furtively and dressed in civilian clothes have become almost an invincible force. In the near future with the great potential of terrorists acquiring WMD and nuclear ones supplied by rogue states and attacking the metropolises of the West in a form of an encircling and in-depth concerted strategy,  they can paralyse and defeat even a superpower. No serious objective thinking can avoid from coming to this dire conclusion.

 The Presidency of Idealistic Premises

This is why it’s of paramount importance that the leaders of the West and especially of the United States must deal with, and confront, this ominous and incendiary threat unequivocally with all the diplomatic and military means in their disposal and deploy them remorselessly and relentlessly against such implacable and irreconcilable enemy. As in the art of war a sagacious strategist once he recognizes and discerns an intransigent foe he destroys him while he is still weak and does not allow him to become stronger.

Moreover in the case of fanatical Islam the West and the U.S. will be facing in the near future a ‘bacteriological’ enemy of epidemiological proportions if it does not defeat decisively the avant-garde of terror, i.e., al-Qaeda and its various fanatical offshoots, such as al-Sabaab of Somalia, Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan, and the AFPAK Taliban. For if the Obama administration injudiciously decides to wrap-up its military engagement with the Taliban in Afghanistan this will be seen by radical Islam as a definitive defeat of the United States whose corollary will be a monstrously huge increase in Islamist fanaticism and a massive rallying point of its votaries to continue remorselessly their fight against the infidel West and its Great Satan America. It’s in this pool of Islamist success in the field of battle that fanaticism will be nourished and spread like unchecked deleterious bacteria and its host, in the form of suicide bombers, will ultimately threaten the existence of Western civilization.

That is why the United States that is involved in a relentless implacable war with fanatical Islam cannot quit the field of battle until all quite is in the jihadist front of war, until the holy warriors of Islam are defeated decisively. The question however is whether the Obama presidency of idealistic premises, in its attempt to placate and appease its irreconcilable foes by the ‘miraculous’ prowess of diplomacy—which demonstrably both in the Middle East and with Iran has been a total failure– is qualified to deliver this victory in the field of battle.  The omens rather are that President Obama has neither the sagacity, nor mettle and resolution, or inclination, to win this war against the jihadists.

Being an effete ‘Carteresque’ president, he is more prone to settle for an “endgame” of the war in Afghanistan than winning it by increasing the number of troops by forty thousand as requested by his general on the ground Stanley Chrystal. One can presage therefore without letting one’s guard down that President Obama in his coming decision on Afghanistan will reject General McChrystal’s core recommendation by falsely declaiming that the U.S. cannot deploy its sons and daughters and treasury in foreign wars with no end in sight that are not essential and tangential to America’s long term interests. But this will be tragically the legacy of the weak President Obama: By enfeebling American power against irreconcilable enemies he will be putting America’s vital interests at the greatest of risks.