Why Now?
Monday, August 01, 2005
  A Basic Misunderstanding
John at Archy feels that the "liberal hawks", among others, are Sliming the victim. The people who think they are supporting the officers who screwed up, are way off base. Cops know when they have blown it and they don't even listen to what anyone who is not a cop has to say.

The officers involved will be removed from the duty because they have lost their edge. They will never forget they killed a civilian. It doesn't make any difference why, the big rule for cops is: you don't injure bystanders. The military may talk about "collateral damage", but they are victims to police officers.

Politicians don't understand that the police are a good deal harder on officer errors than the public. Cops won't talk about it, but they will avoid working with anyone who has messed up, even if they are cleared.

A more general feeling about the issue of those who don't automatically support everything done to "combat terror" is the truism: there is nothing worse than being right.

In 1805 General Mikhail Kutusov, advised the Emperors of Russia and Austria not to engage Napoleon at Austerlitz. His advice was ignored; Bonaparte won a decisive victory; and Kutusov was sent off in disgrace.

Kutusov had to be recalled and given command of Russian forces after Napoleon invaded Russia, and his strategy was successful in repelling the French forces, and is still the basic outline for defending Russia, having been used when Hilter invaded in World War II.

The Tsar, Aleksandr I, never forgave General Kutusov for being right, and for being forced by the military, the aristocracy, and the Imperial family to recall the general to defend the empire.

Look at the track record of the current administration. Not one single, successful person been promoted. Those who proposed solutions for problems have been forced out and many have been subjected to character assassination.

One of the tactics that I find personally annoying is the idea that attempts to understand the enemy are a waste of time, indicate your support of the enemy, excuse the outrages of the enemy.

One of the reasons there was no thermonuclear war between the Soviet Union and the West was the effort put into understanding the Russians. I was part of that effort and devoted a great deal of time and effort in learning about them and their thought processes. Understanding your enemy is a very ancient concept in military theory.

If we expend some effort in understanding the terrorists we might be able to anticipate their attacks. We might figure out where to look for traces of their activities; we might understand their command structure, support system, triggering events, etc. People miss the point that it is less important to know where the enemy is at this moment, than to know where the enemy will be in a week. In a week you could be waiting for him to arrive.

It is stupid to hand your enemy excuses for their atrocities, which is what the death of every innocent bystander does.

I would note that the British police admitted their mistake and apologized. It doesn't reduce the magnitude of the error, but it contains the problem. When is the last time anyone heard the Bush administration apologize for anything?

 



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