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The Expansionist
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Hearts and Minds. Further to my post last nite about fiting in Afghanistan, Americans may have to face an extremely unpleasant choice, fairly soon. In counterinsurgency warfare, the force that wants to suppress a guerrilla movement has to win "the hearts and minds" of the people, at least to the point of passive cooperation. At present, we don't have that. The Taliban does. The local population in much of Afghanistan passively accepts the Taliban among them. They do not tell the central government where the Taliban fiters they know of are probably camped; they do not tell the Americans or other NATO troops operating in their area who among them is Taliban or pro-Taliban, and point them out to be dealt with. They keep their silence, and thus silently participate in the war on the Taliban's side.
But we don't have to fite the Afghanistan war as a counterinsurgency, so we DON'T have to win the "hearts and minds" of Afghans.
Key portions of the Afghan populace are involved in the heroin trade, growing poppies and sending their chemical products off to poison the West, including all the NATO countries, including the U.S., that are involved in the war. Some of that money also funds Taliban activities: it buys the fertilizer that is used not for cash crops, not to grow food, but to create roadside bombs. Encouraging poppy growers to plant different cash crops instead has not worked. Because the poppy farmers are indecent, antihuman scum. We have an absolute right to treat them as the subhuman scum they are.
Afghans must be shaken out of their sleepy dreamworld, which permits them to play both ends against the middle and continue to attack the world with drugs. They must be told that at some point our patience will run out, and we will turn from trying to help them free themselves from the Taliban to regarding them all as enemies to be attacked with deadly force, all the force, indeed, that may be needed to render them incapable of harming us in any way, abroad or, especially, in the United States.
At end, we need to tell Afghans that there comes a time when only total war suffices, and we may decide that we have no acceptable alternatives to waging total war not for but against them, and killing every last one of them who we even think might endanger us. We didn't reason with the people of Japan in World War II. We didn't ask the people of Germany to turn against Hitler and come over to our side. We crushed them with overwhelming force. We subjected them to more death and destruction than they could stand, and they finally surrendered. THEN we were able to reconstruct their societies according to our own principles. We had to tear down what was there to build new societies in their place.
To get to that point — nation-REbuilding — we had to drop two atomic bombs on Japan. In the end, we and our allies killed MILLIONS of Germans and Japanese. And we must be prepared to kill MILLIONS OF AFGHANS to protect ourselves. Afghans must be made to understand that there is no price in Afghan life that we are not prepared to pay to prevent the recapture of Afghanistan by the Taliban and the reestablishment of Al-Qaeda training camps on Afghan soil.
If we reconceive the Afghan war not as a counterinsurgency struggle but as total war, we untie our hands. No longer do we have to be concerned about civilian casualties. They become sad necessities, unavoidable side effects of total war. We didn't attack them first. They attacked us, by actively conspiring to train Al-Qaeda for war against us, on our own territory thousands of miles from their own country.
Afghans must understand that we are perfectly willing to kill every last person in Afghanistan if that's what it takes to keep the United States safe, and that we don't need to endanger ourselves to do that. We have bombers that can drop very large bombs from very high up. We have intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads that can obliterate Afghanistan for us, killing millions instantly and millions more over days or weeks, from radiation sickness, a terrible way to die. The cloud of fallout will take two weeks to reach our shores, by which time most of its radiation will have been reduced below seriously dangerous levels. Much of the material that originally rose into high altitudes will have fallen out of the sky, some onto countries far from the United States, but most into the Pacific Ocean, where it will do minimal harm even to sea creatures. But Afghanistan? There will be no Afghanistan, in any recognizable form, after total nuclear war.
Tell Afghans:

If it comes down to you or us, it's not going to be us. You don't have to love us. You don't even have to embrace democracy or end your corrupt, childish ways. All you have to do is help us to destroy our enemies. If you don't, we will have no choice but to conclude that you are our enemies. As we regard things, the only proper way to deal with enemies is to destroy them. So, you can help us destroy the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, or we can destroy you. Your choice. But remember, if it comes down to you or us, it's not going to be us that gets slautered. We will save ourselves by killing you.

We might be saddened by that necessity, but we will be angrier at you, for making us do that, than at ourselves for accepting the inescapable necessity of doing it. In any "Them or Us" choice, we are always going to choose to save "Us" and kill "Them". You can be "Us", by being our active allies in destroying the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. You can be "Them". What you can't be is uncommitted. We have an expression you need to take very seriously, as the basis for a literal life-or-death decision: "If you're not with us, you're against us." If you ARE with us, you BECOME "Us", entitled to the same consideration we give our own people. If not, however, you are "Them". And in any choice between "Them" and "Us", we never choose to spare "Them" and sacrifice "Us".

There is no middle ground. Passivity is not an option. You must be actively involved in taking the war to the Taliban, or we will take the war to you. Make your choice, and live, or die, with the consequences.

There is a further fillip that might prove decisive. Tell the Afghans that we are tired of fiting for principle alone. From now on, any war we are forced to fite will be for territory, and every country we defeat will be annexed, permanently; first as a colony ("territory"), then, over time, as a state or part of a larger state. In the case of Afghanistan, a conquered Afghanistan would be administered as a territory for a transitional period of, say, ten years, during which the people would be taught English (tho they could continue to speak their own language as well) and American civilization. Then, when the ten years is up, all Afghans would be made U.S. citizens, and their country would be made over into the State of Afghanistan, with two Senators in the U.S. Senate and however many Representatives its (war-reduced) population would be entitled to.
Perhaps if everyone on Earth understood that any country we are forced to go to war against will be permanently added to our Empire — as was the case with most great powers thru most of history — and converted to a mere part of a 'Greater America' that speaks English and is governed by U.S. law and custom (including the absolute right of Moslems to convert to Christianity if they like), there will be few countries willing even to think of attacking us. If any does attack us, however, we should make good on our threat: conquer, annex, reorganize, and convert all conquered territories into integral parts of a world-spanning federal Union in which everyone has the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and everyone is called "Americans".

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