The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Genius of Our Enemy

In the Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now, US Army Col. Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando, explains why the United States was going to lose the war in Vietnam against the communist. Kurtz, driven mad because he understands the true nature of the war his side is not allowed to win, explains to the assassin sent by his own government, US Army Captain Willard, played by Martin Sheen, that the communist in Vietnam are fighting a total war without mercy or compassion while the Americans fight for a morally bankrupt lie. The communist are determined to win at all costs.  The US is only prepared to fight a war for limited political objectives with unlimited pain and suffering in the hypocrisy of destroying everything–even itself--to save its honor and influence.

    Kurtz describes being on a Special Forces medical mission to a Vietnamese village where Army doctors inoculate children against diseases with hypodermic shots in the arm. The villagers willingly took the help from the Americans, but the Americans didn’t stay.  When the Americans returned, they found a pile of little severed arms cut off by the guerilla-terrorist Viet Cong.  Kurtz in self-actualized horror realized at that moment his enemy in combat possesed “genius” against which American strategy and promises had no defense or effective response.

    The question is begged: Was Kurtz truly insane? Or did he finally just accept the reality and fight the war on his own terms with the same sort of heartless rage against the lies he was forbid to doubt?

    Thank god I haven’t never had to fight in a war. We all might have to do so eventually.  It seems true to me that wars are fought for some sort of elite-driven greed or fear. Thucydides, the father of strategy, summarized the causes of the war in his great history of the struggle between Athens and Sparta as driven by such deadly sins. People are told, by the leaders of both sides in the conflict–the propaganda or as we called it today, public diplomacy.  When stripped away and seen in their raw form, the lies come down to some pursuit or defense of the leadership’s fear of losing something (like their own power) or to gain some sort of power lust (the very human nature of power and control over others).

    There can’t be much honor in any war if this is indeed true, especially when innocent civilians on both sides are caught in the effects. But if I’m not wrong about this, I one thing that is absolutely true:  Soldiers, the living ones, have said the heros alive and dead fought for one reason–to protect the lives of their friends beside them in the fire.  Far too many people, especially the fundamentalist and extremist of any belief, are eager to kill others for what they believe.  Yet how many are willing to commit suicide to fight for it?

    Japanese kamakazis and Muslim suicide bombers can be in a class all by themselves. (It shouldn’t be inconceivable to imagine that someday“other” suicide bombers blowing up people they don’t like. But this is too controversial to discuss). They are the “True Believers,” to use Eric Hoffer’s analysis.  Japanese soldiers fighting to the death on land, sea and in the air did more damage to the Allies in the last year of World War II than that done by “regular” soldiers, sailors and airmen in the first two and a half years of that war.  The Muslim suicide bomber, like the kamakazi pilots, are the true “smartest” weapons. They think better than satellite-guided bombs and missiles, are not deterred, and are cheap, and easy to build, relatively cheap and easy than compared to a Tomahak missile or J-DAM.

    Does the West have an effective answer to this “genius” weapon? Suicide bombers are not easily bribed or defended against.  The only way to prevent them is stop someone from choosing to be one in the first place. Is America actually capable of understanding this war based on this reality? Would the US ever realize that we cannot win a  “materialschlach,” a war of attrition, (Muslims have more people and are being born faster) but need better, smarter strategy?

    It is simple to say, but deceptive, that the Muslims hate America because of who we are. The great debate in grand strategy, the political level of  a war, is to be honest and look at ourselves first before we decide if just killing “them” as they come is enough. The war is winnable. So far, America has been fighting the wrong way. For no matter what reason the fight is on (I still say it is fear and greed), it cannot be lost or a draw without the end of liberty in America, ended either by our enemy or by our own government.  Unless we become even more genius than our enemy, and fight with ideas first, then apply brawn wisely, our enemy has already won because we absolutely do not know him or ourselves.

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