Saturday, July 14, 2007
The guerilla in defeat
Over on Lucky White Girl, the blog proprietor waxes nostalgic about the modern anti-globalization movement, which has proven capable of mustering 10,000 guerillas to take on the Borg-like forces of globalized mercantilism (I call it mercantilism rather than capitalism because government-enforced "capitalism" which takes the wealth of nations and gives it to a privileged few via government-enforced oligopolies is nothing of the sort). She exults over its decentralized nature, its lack of central leaders that can be taken out to destroy the movement, their resilience in the face of overwhelming opposition from the forces of globalized mercantilism. The thing is, by comparing her movement to a guerilla movement, she is admitting that it has been defeated.
Look, nobody fights a guerilla war if they don't have to. The only people who fight guerilla wars are the losers. If you can take on an opposing army in a straight-up battle, that's what you do. In Vietnam, the NVA resorted to guerilla tactics not because said tactics were effective. They resorted to guerilla tactics because every time they fought a straight-up battle against the U.S. Army, they got their butt kicked.
"But the U.S. lost in Vietnam!" I hear you say. No. The U.S. left Vietnam. The U.S. left Vietnam because there was no compelling national interest for the U.S. to be in Vietnam. North Vietnam never posed a security threat to the United States, and lacking such a security threat, there simply was insufficient rationale to forever station half a million troops on the other side of the world at enormous expense. Reality is that no guerilla army has ever defeated a professional army using guerilla tactics, and never will. All that guerillas can do is provide pinpricks in the side of a professional army, pinpricks which are painful but not life-threatening by any means. Over time, such pin-pricks can motivate the professional army to go elsewhere, much as the pin-pricks of a thousand flying mosquitos can send a troop of Boy Scouts to the shelter of a screened-in cabin, but the notion of a guerilla defeating a standing army is ridiculous. The Viet Mihn which defeated the French Foreign Legion at Dien Bien Phu were not a guerilla army. They did not use guerilla tactics against the French. They were a regular army, equipped with artillery and anti-aircraft cannon, using regular military tactics against an opposing army.
The very fact that you use guerilla tactics is an admission of weakness, because if you had the strength, you would mount a full-scale assault using conventional tactics. But in this particular war, the mercantilists have all the weapons. They control a vast right-wing propaganda machine that has propagandized millions of brownshirts to enforce political conformity amongst wide swathes of the population. The anti-globalism activists reach hundreds of thousands with their tactics. The VRWC reaches millions every single night, every day of the week. And furthermore, the mercantilists can't be pinpricked into leaving the way that the Americans were pinpricked into leaving Vietnam. They were born here. They live here. They have much self-interest in perpetuating their rule over the United States, a rule which is very profitable. They're not going anywhere.
Does this mean the situation is hopeless? Probably not. It is starting to dawn upon the more brilliant of the mercantilists that pure mercantilistic oppression of the masses is probably not in their best interests. A kinder, gentler rule works better in the long run because it keeps the sheep contented and on the farm where they can be more easily fleeced than if they jumped the fences due to harsh conditions. The pinpricks of the anti-mercantilism activists, while not particularly hurting these people, have the potential to grow into something larger if the masses are oppressed harder, and heading off a potential adversary at the pass before he has mobilized his full forces is always a wise thing to do. So while this movement will never win, the very fact that it exists brings some unpleasant facts to the fore that our ruling class had unwisely forgotten. But, as with Vietnam, in the end the decision will be made by our ruling class, not by "we the people", who do not rule this nation and have not ruled this nation since the day it was born (unless by "we the people" you mean a wealthy elite, or, as George W. Bush puts it, "my constituency, the haves and the have-mores"). Our noise is important in leading them towards making a wise choice, but in the end, we will no more defeat the mercantilists using guerilla tactics than the North Vietnamese Army defeated the U.S. Army using guerilla tactics. At best, we're a nuisance. Which, in the end, may be good enough.
-- Badtux the Movement Penguin
Labels: politics, protests, war on brown people
Posted by: BadTux / 7/14/2007 12:00:00 AM
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Vladmir Putin needs to take lessons from Mayor Blumberg
When the Republicans came to New York City in 2004, Mayor Blumberg arrested thousands of people and imprisoned them in toxic waste warehouses for the duration, resulting in lawsuits and mass dismissal of charges.
When protests broke out in Moscow, President Putin arrested "dozens" of people and kept them in jail overnight.
That's all? That's all you got, Pooty-poot? What kinda freakin' banana republic President are you anyhow? I mean, c'mon, the mayor of freakin' New York City is more repressive than you are! Sheesh! Keep up this level of repression, and, why, why, Dear Leader might rebuke you again! Sheesh!
-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
Labels: prison state USA, protests
Posted by: BadTux / 4/15/2007 11:50:00 PM
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
NYPD spying on America
Hmm. Apparently the NYPD is under the impression that their job now includes spying on people who don't like Republicans. Funny, I thought the job of the police was to protect me from criminals, not to protect me from folks saying things I don't want to hear. But oops, I forgot! Remember, the terrorists hate us for our freedoms. If we don't destroy our freedoms before the terrorists can do so, the terrorists win! If we don't spy on our fellow Americans or shut them up when they say things we don't like, why, those nasty islamofascists will swim across the Atlantic with box cutters in their teeth and KILL US ALL!
-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
Labels: civil rights, protests, war on terror
Posted by: BadTux / 3/27/2007 12:57:00 PM
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Unintentionally hilarious Pravda.ru headline: "Brazil police clash with protesters demonstrating against Bush visit".
Uhm, yeah. Hasn't anybody ever told the Brazil police that blue-grey really, really does NOT go with green and yellow? The Brazil police need to get those Queer Eye guys to come in and give them a fashion makeover, sheesh! Although I must admit that the jaunty beret certainly gives this fine example of Brazil police-dom a rather dashing look, wot? But what's with the motorcycle helmet worn by the cop in the background? Quite unfashionable, that!
-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
Labels: bush administration, culture, gay agenda, humor, protests
Posted by: BadTux / 3/10/2007 12:18:00 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