Sunday, July 15, 2007
The goals of the guerilla
As I pointed out in previous articles in this series, nobody fights a guerilla war if they don't have to. People fight a guerilla war because they lack the strength and weaponry to fight a straight-up war against the oppressing government. They fight with two goals in mind: 1) To render the country ungovernable by eliminating or subverting the mechanisms of civil governance such as city counsellors, tax collectors, etc., and 2) to make it as expensive as possible for the oppressor, i.e., to require the oppressor to maintain large and expensive forces to maintain the occupation.
The thing about a guerilla war is that it comes to a positive outcome for the guerilla only in one of two ways: 1) the guerilla forces become powerful enough to take on the opposition forces in a straight-up military campaign, or 2) the nation which has deployed the opposition forces is drained by the expense of maintaining large military forces in the country and withdraws said forces. Other than that, there has never been a successful guerilla war. Just ask the Biafrans. The ones that the Nigerians didn't starve to death, anyhow.
When we talk about Iraq, #1 is out of the question. No nation, anywhere, will ever have the ability to take on the U.S. military in a straight-up military campaign. Like the Israeli military, the U.S. military has an overwhelming technological advantage and will always be able to bring overwhelming firepower upon any opposing forces. Except... uhm... that's what the Israelis thought about Hezballah in Lebanon, right? That a two-bit guerilla army was never going to be able to take on the IDF in a straight-up fight? And HA fought the IDF to basically a standstill, taking out dozens of tanks and killing hundreds of Israeli soldiers, by fighting a smart defense in depth with a massive advantage in terms of manpower, intelligence, and pre-prepared fortifications. If I were a U.S. general right now, I'd be very worried and starting to look at my evacuation options.
#2 is definitely underway. That's the whole point of all the roadside bombs and the destruction of the bridges via truck bombs -- to make it very expensive to supply and support the troops in Iraq. It seems clear that the shaky U.S. economy simply cannot afford the two million or so boots on the ground that would be needed to completely pacify Iraq. The end result is that we will withdraw -- either that, or our military will collapse and #1 (the complete and utter destruction of our military via opposiing enemy action) will occur.
Anyhow, back to the problem of our own monarchs. Our own monarchs control the atomic bomb. You can bet that if some uppity area of the country -- say, California -- gets tired of monarchical rule, our own monarchs will have no compunctions about using whatever force is necessary to make sure that the monarchy does not fall. And you can bet that the poorly-educated and envious military caste who currently make up the majority of our armed forces and internal police forces will have no compunction about doing all the application of force necessary to bring into line people who, after all, aren't like them. Our rulers, by deliberately creating a poorly educated and violent military caste, have ensured themselves sufficient manpower to maintain control over the vast military machinery that this nation has accumulated over the past sixty years.
Now for the question of whether guerilla warfare against our own monarchs has any chance at all of succeeding. The answer to part 1), outright battle, is outright *no*. The military caste which our monarchs have built up -- a military caste which, BTW, also comprises the majority of our nation's police forces -- views with suspicion anyone outside that military caste, and possesses sufficient weaponry to insure compliance upon the part of the majority of the citizenry.
However, the anti-monarchical forces do have a vulnerability to part 2), making monarchical rule more expensive than the alternative. The deal is, you aren't going to do that via violence. Short of massive oppression on the part of our monarchs, the majority of Americans are not in any way going to be supportive of violence. What you have to do is make it expensive to maintain the monarchy. You can do this by moving as much as possible outside of the tax system, by subverting local instruments of monarchical power in order to isolate the monarchs, and otherwise make it difficult and expensive to maintain monarchical rule. This already happening. Our monarchs are now capable of maintaining their rule only via borrowing vast sums of money from foreign and somewhat hostile powers (or do you not consider the poisonous and dangerous toys, tires, and etc. coming from China tantamount to a declaration of hostility?).
The problem then becomes twofold. Either the monarchs will blink and return sufficient power to We The People to keep us sheep contented and on the farm so that we can be more easily fleeced, or We The People will jump the fence and enough of us will refuse to participate in the travesty of monarchical rule that it will be impossibly expensive to imprison us all, at which point... then what? History is not kind to the "then what?" question. Invariably, "then what?" turns out to be a bloodbath, followed by a violent dictatorship controlled by small and violent men that continues the bloodletting. Let us hope that our monarchs see these same two choices ahead of them, and will make the correct decision. Otherwise... well, let us hope there will be no "otherwise".
-- Badtux the Guerilla Penguin
Labels: soviet america, war
Posted by: BadTux / 7/15/2007 09:27:00 AM
- Name: BadTux
- Location: Some iceberg, South Pacific, Antarctica
I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.
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Bill Richardson: Because what America needs is a competent fat man with bad hair as President (haven't we had enough incompetent pretty faces?)
Cost of the War in Iraq