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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Doubling down

Nicolas Kristof has learned absolutely nothing from the reaction of Boko Haram:
Women’s rights advocates in Nigeria noisily demanded action, and social media mavens around the world spread word on Twitter, Facebook and online petitions — and a movement grew.

The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, started on Twitter by a Nigerian lawyer, has now been shared more than one million times. A Nigerian started a petition on Change.org, calling for more efforts to find the girls, and more than 450,000 people around the world have signed it.

Nigerian women embarrassed the government by announcing that they would strip off their clothes and march naked into the Sambisa forest to confront the militants and recover the girls....

All of us can respond more directly. Boko Haram, whose name means roughly “Western education is a sin,” is keeping women and girls marginalized; conversely, we can help educate and empower women. Ultimately, the greatest threat to extremism isn’t a drone overhead but a girl with a book.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and, by all means, let’s use it to celebrate the moms in our lives with flowers and brunches. But let’s also use the occasion to honor the girls still missing in Nigeria.

One way is a donation to support girls going to school around Africa through the Campaign for Female Education, Camfed.org; a $40 gift pays for a girl’s school uniform.
Kristof is acting as if the young women are not legitimate military targets. But that is the entire point. He, and many others like him, have made them legitimate military targets by intentionally turning them into weapons in a cultural war. And he had better pray that Boko Haram does not follow al Qaeda's lead in bringing the West's cultural war on the South and East back to the West.

At Virginia Tech, one mentally disturbed immigrant managed to kill 33 college students. A small team of Boko Haram activists could probably manage to kill at least five times that number should they target an American university. And the latest news out of Nigeria makes it clear that they are at least one step ahead of the likes of Kristof et al.
Islamist insurgents have killed hundreds in a town in Nigeria’s northeast this week, the area’s senator, a resident and the Nigerian news media reported on Wednesday, as more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by the militants, known as Boko Haram, remained missing.

The latest attack, on Monday, followed a classic Boko Haram pattern: Dozens of militants wearing fatigues and wielding AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers descended on the town of Gamboru Ngala, chanting “Allahu akbar,” firing indiscriminately and torching houses. When it was over, at least 336 people had been killed and hundreds of houses and cars had been set on fire, said Waziri Hassan, who lives there, and Senator Ahmed Zanna....

Gamboru, a town of perhaps 3,000 people, “is now burned into ashes,” Mr. Hassan said. “I saw it with my own eyes, 171 dead bodies, scattered around.” At least 18 police officers were killed, but Mr. Zanna said there were no military forces in the town because all had been drafted in the search for the schoolgirls.
Perhaps the Nigerian government actually knew what it was doing when it didn't drop everything to engage in a fruitless search for the young women, who may not even be inside the country's borders anyhow. Regardless, in the end, there can only ever be one result between those who "fight" by public posturing and those who fight by taking arms.

UPDATE: The US military cannot get involved as it is prohibited by law from collaboration with Nigerian security forces.

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123 Comments:

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 08, 2014 3:52 AM  

Dozens of militants wearing fatigues and wielding AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers descended on the town of Gamboru Ngala, chanting “Allahu akbar,” firing indiscriminately and torching houses.

Religion of Pieces.

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 08, 2014 3:55 AM  

The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, started on Twitter by a Nigerian lawyer, has now been shared more than one million times.

That'll show 'em!

Anonymous TroperA May 08, 2014 4:03 AM  

Those idiots should take the 40 bucks they were planning on spending on school uniforms and use it to hire some big men with guns. No doubt the Westerners contributing to this think it's like any other "save the filthy, big-eyed children" charity where all they have to do is throw money at the problem and in response they'll get a smiling photo, a scribbled letter and a pat on the head for being such goooood peeple. Throwing money at a war zone generally results in a lot of wasted or rerouted money, not in anything particularly effective.

This kind of reminds me of the Kickstarter campaign to finance the making of soccer balls with stupid lights attached to them, that poor kids in East Crapistan could play with to generate enough electricity to read by. The mechanism in the balls soon broke, leaving the kids with nothing. If the 60 bucks spent making the ball had been used instead to route electricity directly to the kids' village and set them up with an electric lamp to read by (and this could have been done for the amount of money spent on the balls, ) everyone would have been much better off.

Blogger CostelloM May 08, 2014 4:26 AM  

Has the notion of retaliatory raids been lost to the mists of time? If you have a group of people targeting you, sneaking into your neighborhoods and raiding, the solution is to bring the war to them. Find *their* villages and torch them instead. Set up traps... have a bunch of women obviously reading in a church somewhere surrounded by sod huts packed full of marines. As soon as the rag heads show up let the slaughter commence and send the heads back to their village.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 08, 2014 4:26 AM  

The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, started on Twitter by a Nigerian lawyer, has now been shared more than one million times.

That'll show 'em!


You remember the scene in Indiana Jones where the big Arab swings his sword around with style and confidence and a big grin on his face, then Indy shoots him dead with a gun?

At least the Arab had a sword. All Kristof has is a fucking hashtag. I mean, even Neville Chamberlain had scraps of paper. These people are beyond parody.

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 08, 2014 4:31 AM  

At least the Arab had a sword. All Kristof has is a fucking hashtag. I mean, even Neville Chamberlain had scraps of paper. These people are beyond parody.

Watching American leftists attempting to be fierce and stern and resolute is remarkably like watching a thong-clad Don Knotts puffing out his chest while strutting about at the beach. The only two reactions humanly possible are giggling and/or pity.

Blogger Outlaw X May 08, 2014 4:52 AM  

Still trying to figure out what anyone wants with a bunch of Nigerian girls?

Anonymous Mavwreck May 08, 2014 5:06 AM  

Sorry, VD...but I think you're taking things a bit too far here.

Kristof is acting as if the young women are not legitimate military targets. But that is the entire point. He, and many others like him, have made them legitimate military targets by intentionally turning them into weapons in a cultural war.

They're not legitimate military targets. They're not wielding guns, or building weapons for people who are. A "cultural war" isn't a war - it's a metaphor. You even admitted as much:

In the end, there can only ever be one result between those who "fight" by public posturing and those who fight by taking arms.

You're basically saying advocacy (either with money or posturing) isn't really fighting...and I have to agree with you.

This doesn't mean that Boko Haram's reaction isn't predictable (it is) - or that pouring more money into educating women in a hostile environment will help (it won't). It just means these girls aren't soldiers.

Blogger JACIII May 08, 2014 5:17 AM  

Think you are attempting to confuse "legitimate" with "legal" (as in Rules of War".

They are legitimate to the Islamist because they are actively being used against him. Western culture perceives them as off limits and therefore a clever way to subvert their culture, but the Nigerian's perception is otherwise.

Check your privilege, westerner.

Anonymous MPC May 08, 2014 5:22 AM  

Kony 2012 all over again. Will Nicolas Kristof eventually take to the streets and strip naked in a (possibly, probably) drug induced freakout, like Jason Russell? Only time will tell.

Anonymous VD May 08, 2014 5:33 AM  

They're not legitimate military targets. They're not wielding guns, or building weapons for people who are. A "cultural war" isn't a war - it's a metaphor. You even admitted as much:

I admitted nothing of the sort. A culture war is not merely a metaphor. It may or may not be a war. And the young women most certainly are legitimate military targets, in the same way that a spy is a legitimate military target despite not being a soldier.

In fact, one can make a better legal case for summarily executing them than one can make for a uniformed soldier. The young women are worse than spies, they are traitors to their societies and cultures. Boko Haram can make a more solid case for killing them without trial than the USA can for launching drone missiles at US citizens in the Middle East.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 5:36 AM  

A cultural war is a metaphor, within the west, for now. I can't think of any reason to presume it cannot become a shooting war or, given the historical frequency of the most vicious wars being at cultural boundaries, for not thinking of them as "cultural wars"

Followers of Islam - we could say "Islam," itself, were it sentient, I suppose - feel that their culture and way of life are under virulent, continuous attack by the godless and debased west. And they're mostly right on all those counts, even where we didn't and don't intend to attack them. We do it, anyway. They certainly feel like they're in a culture war and they're fighting it, given how wretched are the armies they can form, in the only ways that are open to them.

What we are willing to do to keep our daughters free, educated, and at least reasonably independent, which isn't really existential for us, they are willing to do ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred times more of to prevent the same, because it is existential to them.

And now for a short lesson in law of war:

There is something, not usually well understood in non-military circles, called a "reprisal." A reprisal is a war crime that becomes legitimate, non-chargeable, not only non-culpable, but laudatory, inflicted on the enemy to encourage him to follow the laws of war. It is not necessary, and usually not even desireable, to focus ones reprisals on the precise guilty parties. Rather, one targets the enemy organization. There is also no necessary obligation to make the reprisal tit for tat.

It is not something to be done lightly, but failure to keep reprisal in your toolbox is tantamount to tossing the law of war in its entirety.

The enemy organization, in most of the Islamic world, is blood based. Thus, when true (and I have no doubt it is at least somewhat true in Nigeria), a proper reprisal targets his blood, his family, his clan, his tribe, who make up his organization. Thus, further, a proper response might be to identify the families, clans, and tribes around which Boko Harum is based and start killing them, even though they may be unarmed. There are worse things that can be done, too. This isn't really open to Nigeria, the state, which is, after all, Muslim majority. But it does illustrate that, even if not carrying arms, people can still be legitimate targets.

Blogger Bob Loblaw May 08, 2014 6:07 AM  

Grave of a Hundred Head, eh? What we should have done in A-stan instead of invading. The problem is that might motivate soccer moms to push for sanctions, and a country like Nigeria can't afford to go without foreign trade.

Anonymous Lurker May 08, 2014 6:10 AM  

And having women western educated does what again? Low birth rates so the society fades away anyhow. But they're"empowered" for a couple of generations darn it. Leftards are dumb and shortsighted.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 6:23 AM  

Yes, right and wrong always have to be measured by duration, too, Lurker. A 30 second orgasm followed by an eternity of damnation is not what anyone sane would call a "good deal."

Anonymous HongKongCharlie May 08, 2014 6:33 AM  

JACIII, Check your privilege!

How cute, he's the first to quote the latest mindless chirping.

HKC

Anonymous Salt May 08, 2014 7:33 AM  

To Kristof, if it ~works in Minneapolis it'll work everywhere. To say "We may not be able to rescue them, but we can back them up" is utter bullshit. Imagine a 90lb girl forced into the octagon against a 200lb man, the crowd backing her up with yesterday's ribbons and postings on Twitter.

I'm sure the girls feel well empowered.

Anonymous zen0 May 08, 2014 7:41 AM  

and a country like Nigeria can't afford to go without foreign trade.

Something I found on the subject in an Lagos based newspaper's site:


Joseph Abolaji · Founder & Principal Consultant at Cutting-Edge Ventures
In the first place nothing called Nigeria exist in our nation. It is Wasobia Nation. People with Nigeria Identity are under a curse. Until the nation change her national identity we are of all men misrable. Bearing our slave name at 54 years of independence, unkownly we keep living as they see us. The name Nigeria is a spell cast on our face to blind fold us away from true Indepence one give to his destiny.The destiny Nigeria has long since 1960 seize to exist,it is a trade name for business venture of the queen identification, Until we adpot a name that bounds the entire people together as one and coined by us, we are still the westerners baby and toy. So Until we take pride in our culture, language and tradition just as china does, taking to our self a name like Wasobia, that has our Tougue in it. And not an english word coined by an english lady like Niger-area, use as an imperialism name just as gold coast for long time economic benefit to western interest, then we are doomed. Thank God for Ghana adopting Ghana and decline a business name Gold coast. Presently the people called Nigerian around the world and even in their nation have no identity because the name does not exist anymore. It long expires in the year 1960, after the user left the nation. Just the same way you call your Pet name, westerner has given us name Nigeria as our Pet Name. So they still sees us a their pet to toy around. Wasobia is our Language, Wasobia is our Country, No more Nigeria. It has long Expires. Long Live Hausa, Long Live Igbo, Long Live Yoruba and Long live our country Wasobia. Wasobia our Passport, Wasobia our country.

Anonymous MendoScot May 08, 2014 7:43 AM  

Related: seems that weaponizing vaccinations wasn't such a great idea after all.

This general area tends to be more wary of polio vaccination programs, including rumors that the vaccine violates Islamic law or is a Western plot that causes sterilization. The revelation in 2011 that the CIA used a fake Hepatitis B vaccination program as part of its hunt for Osama bin Laden certainly wasn't of any benefit to the polio program, either. "It isn't the cause of where we're at with polio right now, but it certainly hasn't helped and has made the situation in Pakistan weaker," says Heidi Larson, an anthropologist who studies public trust and vaccines at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and is the former Global Communication for Immunization at UNICEF.

Blogger yukonyon May 08, 2014 7:46 AM  

Is there a single war of firearms that didn't start off as a cultural war?

Anonymous zen0 May 08, 2014 7:50 AM  

Boko Haram is being helped by Al-Quaida (who the US is supporting in Syria) and Al-Shabab, who want to de-christianize Kenya. Obama's family is actively involved in supporting Sharia law and educating Members of Al-Shabab in Wahabist institutions.

Obama says he will send help to the business venture Nigeria to find the girls.

A finger in every pie.

Blogger Outlaw X May 08, 2014 7:51 AM  

I'm puzzled. but admit been sick a few days.

First Lady #bringbackourgirls? "Our" girls?!? Were these American girls who went to Nigeria to get a more quality education?

It's not like there isn't any other Muslim country that don't educate females?

President Obama was embarrassed into responding? Why?

Kristof thinks that 200+ missing people on flight 370 was a less important story?

Either I am missing something really important or world has gone completely insane.

Blogger PVW May 08, 2014 7:53 AM  

But Western style education in Nigeria for girls and boys has existed ever since the colonial period; the British introduced the type of school system being attacked here.

Colonization and Western education in the early period was linked to increasing Christianity. So it does seem rather odd that suddenly these young women are seen as weapons of westernization; this system of education young girls has existed for decades. I would wonder, though, about who is getting educated in these schools. Are these young Nigerian Christian girls or Nigerian Hausa, who are primarily Muslims?

I listened to the rant by the Boko Haram leader and read the arguments being made here. If these arguments are correct, whose culture is being destabilized, in the views of Boko Haram? They would most likely argue it is the Muslim community.

I would guess instead that Boko Haram is more interested in destabilizing the Christian community and limiting their influence in a region where there are large numbers of Muslims. "Western" here being the code word for Christian.

Blogger yukonyon May 08, 2014 8:03 AM  

Maybe Rush Limbaugh had a point when he said that leftism only focuses on crimes and atrocities that are committed with guns. This same group several months ago routed a school, where they let the females go, and burnt the males alive in the school. Those who tried to escape were hacked to death with machetes, if my memory serves me correctly.

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 08, 2014 8:06 AM  

Obama's family is actively involved in supporting Sharia law

Shock follows shock.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 8:23 AM  

"In the first place nothing called Nigeria exist in our nation. It is Wasobia Nation."

Zen0:

Thirty years ago I sponsored a Yoruba - good guy, actually, Moslem, but drank, married to a surprisingly pretty Christian Ibibio girl - in the Infantry Officer Advanced course. A huge percent of the class was Nigerian, a mix of Igbo (or Ibo, if preferred), Yoruba, and one or two Hausa. They were different and had, in a couple of cases, been on opposite sides in the civil war there, as very young men. Stlll, they all got on pretty well with each other, with the Yoruba perfectly happy to publically give high marks to the Igbo for the stomping they, the Igbo, had occasionally delivered to the regular army.

Ten years ago, twenty years after that, I was enjoying a bit of sun outside HQ of the War College at Carlisle Baracks, when three busses full of senior Nigerian officers, visiting the school, pulled up. All the Igbo were on one bus. No Hausa or Yoruba were on that bus, they were all on their own. (How does one tell? Scarification.) I watched them interact for a while, then went to my then boss and reported, "Expect Nigeria to fall apart within a generation."

I may have been optimistic.

As for changing the country's name...only a liberal or a fool, but I repeat myself, could think that a name change would make any difference to anything.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2014 May 08, 2014 8:26 AM  

This is all misdirected.

A muslim slave trader and a liberal values task master are one and the same. Muslims wouldn't be anywhere without a 'liberal values' West.

The only thing wrong with Islam is that it is untrue. Francis Schaeffer of l'bri coined the expression: "True Truth" as a rhetorical device..

You can't criticise Islam without judging it. And until you judge it, Islam will advance to kill you stone dead. The West cannot be defended without a border, and without a definition it has no borders.

Every mosque is a political flag foreign to you. "Convert and die", and "convert or die" are synonymous. That's Islam.

Anonymous dh May 08, 2014 8:41 AM  

The idea of a literal culture war is very odd to liberals and leftists. It has been a long-time since war was a thing that a liberal grasped. When I think of a "culture war", I think of protesters being fire-hosed and tear gassed, and free speech zones and Pat Buchannan. I don't jump immediately to "armed violent conflict". The metaphor has made the word lose a lot of meaning.

Is the working theory that the West has made these girls cultural warriors, and therefore, those on the otherside of the battle are their natural enemies?

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2014 May 08, 2014 8:44 AM  

or to reword:
nothing drags, drugs and deranges like moral relativism :- the sound of your community's testicles being cut off.

Anonymous Anonymous May 08, 2014 8:44 AM  

I suppose it is indelicate to mention that this is Africa. Even if Haram had not shown up, those girls were not going to grow up and marry their child hood sweethearts who were captains of the football team.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 9:01 AM  

Nonsense. To deny the ability and propriety of targeting civilians in reprisal is to leave your own civilians subject to being targeted in the fist place. And double nonsense, any civilians working in a defense factory is also a legitimate target.

Blogger Gunnarvoncowtown von Cowtown May 08, 2014 9:03 AM  

"Nigerian women embarrassed the government by announcing that they would strip off their clothes and march naked into the Sambisa forest to confront the militants..."

Yeah, that'll discourage 'em. Pre-redpill, I would have been all like, "ARE YOU INSANE!!!" Now, I'm all, "Meh. Alpha chasers gotta chase alphas."

Anonymous Toddy Cat May 08, 2014 9:04 AM  

"Thus, further, a proper response might be to identify the families, clans, and tribes around which Boko Harum is based and start killing them, even though they may be unarmed."

Can't agree with that, intentional (as aside from collateral)killing of the innocent is never justified, but any member of Boko Haram is NOT an innocent. A "take no prisoners, and execute all being held" reprisal is certainly justified, as is killing anyone who is a member of the organization. The U.S. and Britain threatened to do this to Nazi prisoners during WWI to prevent threatened Nazi execution of Allied commandos. It worked.

Anonymous Alexander May 08, 2014 9:06 AM  

It worked... because Germans value other Germans. Muslims do not value Muslims that aren't blood relations, except in a very marginal sense that they don't (necessarily) deserve to die right now, compared to the infidel. They are all pawns to one another.

Blogger Dark Herald May 08, 2014 9:06 AM  

Not to be gruesome here but targeting civilian populations always works

Germany and Japan were the most warlike cultures on Earth until we turned Dresden into ashes and Nagasaki into glass. Suddenly they discovered they were hippy pacifists.



Anonymous Toddy Cat May 08, 2014 9:07 AM  

"any civilians working in a defense factory is also a legitimate target. "

This is certainly true. Any civilians working in support of Boko Haram are legitimate targets, whether of reprisal or simple military action. But I still can't agree that the relatives of Boko Haram members are legitimate targets just for the misfortune of being related to evil idiots.

Blogger jay-dubya May 08, 2014 9:08 AM  

Unarmed civilians are never legitimate targets for military action, I like your site and books, with some qualifications, but please don't say those things since they are outrageous.That the Muslims think they are military targets is their problem, but, we mustn't share their despicable point of view.

That sound whooshing over your head was VD's point. Sorry you missed it.

Anonymous Alexander May 08, 2014 9:08 AM  

Likewise, the mothers who are raising their children such that they join Boko Haram, the sisters who keep silent on their behalf, etc. etc... they are not innocent. It's the "only a very small minority" fallacy. Sure, a small number of the total population (the most violent of the young men) are doing the killing, but that's only possible because of much broader support among the 'innocents'.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 9:30 AM  

Sorry, Toddy, but you're simply wrong. To limit the scope of reprisals is to permit the crimes the reprisals are desgned to deter.

Blogger George May 08, 2014 9:30 AM  

Unarmed civilians are never legitimate targets for military action.


I am sure the civilians who died in Dresden and Hiroshima will happy to know this. In fact, I bet the civilians who died in the sacking of Carthage during the Punic Wars would be glad to know they were not legitimate targets.

Anonymous Anonymous May 08, 2014 9:36 AM  

There's a lot of cargo cult thinking involved in foreign aid work. If you take white girls from Wisconsin and send them to school for 16+ years, they get degrees in things like communication and education, and then they put off marriage (lowering the birth rate, which is a big part of the goal here) and get jobs in HR or customer service or schools, being generally liberal and voting for more leftist government programs.

So if we take Nigerian girls and put them in classrooms for a number of years, they'll get degrees and absorb liberalism and then.....what? They'll all work for the local UN office and NGOs? It's like training people to be pilots in a country without airports.

It's also interesting that angry parents are automatically equated to "women's rights advocates." As if people didn't care whether their daughters were kidnapped and raped and sold as slaves until feminists came along and taught us all that women are human beings too.

Anonymous Salt May 08, 2014 9:39 AM  

To deny the ability and propriety of targeting civilians in reprisal is to leave your own civilians subject to being targeted in the fist place.

Of course. It's the same reason that MAD works and a reason why Kruschev backed down over Cuba. It's the same reason knowing if your potential opponent is armed or not. Play by the rules or else.

Anonymous Cranberry May 08, 2014 9:59 AM  

cail, you raise a point about which I oft wondered.

What is the point of Western education in Africa or other third world areas? Learning to read, write, and figure are useful in our culture, but are they as useful in their local village, where customs and manners of trade and marriage contracts are decided by other, more ancient, and more salient means?

Education causes disruption to these communities. How many girls and boys, upon becoming learned, decide to leave their villages and go see the world to "make a difference" or find themselves, or just decide that their families and fellow villagers are ignorant, and the educated kids don't want to take their places in the village hierarchy?

The same thing happens in America every day, but we see it as a given and "natural" part of a person's development, even though many are blind to the detriment it serves to replacement level birth rates, atomized individuals, disintegrating communities, warehoused senior citizens...

Wouldn't most people the world over be better off deciding what level and type of education their children need? That's a rhetorical Q, btw. I know the answer, what puzzles is why Westerners are pushing for this disruption in all of their own communities and that of people living thousands of miles away.

I can think of some reasons:
- boredom
- perceived moral superiority
- a real desire, stated or subconcious, to suppress birthrates in the third world
- need to boost self-esteem (see boredom)
- desire to "lift from poverty" peoples who are happy using goats as currency (see moral superiority)
- something much more nefarious, like finding more wage-slaves to do make-work projects to keep the money flowing through ever more complex pipelines

Blogger Unknown May 08, 2014 10:08 AM  

The problem is that might motivate soccer moms to push for sanctions, and a country like Nigeria can't afford to go without foreign trade.

And this proves Boko Haram's point about putting women on a leash.

Anonymous Cranberry May 08, 2014 10:10 AM  

It doesn't strike me as the worst thing on Earth a person could do is to go to a poor village and teach them farming, well-drilling, and how to manage the basic infrastructure. It is also not only noble but a command upon every Christian to bring the Gospel to those who don't yet know Christ. The two goals have gone hand-in-hand for centuries.

What I think is going on is that, as missionary-type work has become decoupled from Christianity and drifted into a more secular moral-relativist territory, it has lost any sense of direction and has no ultimate goal. This sort of nebulousness is what I find so uncomfortable about issues I used to confront in the workplace, either when I was in the corporate world or working in education. Everything was done without any real mission or goal; they were stated in such language that nothing was concrete, and no clear path was given. And, perhaps worst of all, there was no real leadership, because we were all supposed to be agents who found our own way to work around problems. Personally, I find it difficult to work like that all of the time - give me my own wheel to steer that does nothing to correct the course of the ship but makes me feel like a captain? It doesn't work.

As to the point about the girls being insufficient as targets, nonsense. Kristof says it right in his column: "Ultimately, the greatest threat to extremism isn’t a drone overhead but a girl with a book." He equates the girls with drones as a valid way to eradicate groups like Boko Haram, and BH is taking that in a very literal sense.

Anonymous The Bold One May 08, 2014 10:13 AM  

"He, and many others like him, have made them legitimate military targets by intentionally turning them into weapons in a cultural war."

One option is to just do as the murderers demand. To be at their mercy. If murders don't want women educated, then they should not be. If murderers don't think certain ethnic groups should be allowed to eat, then make sure they starve. If the murderers think think all neighboring countries ought to send them gold, then send them gold.

Cowardly retreat as suggested here is certainly one option.

Blogger Tommy Hass May 08, 2014 10:18 AM  

"Dozens of militants wearing fatigues and wielding AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers descended on the town of Gamboru Ngala, chanting “Allahu akbar,” firing indiscriminately and torching houses.

Religion of Pieces."

A bunch of barely human savages think this is what God wants, therefore, the religion is wrong.

Have you even looked at the Quran you moron?

Anonymous The other skeptic May 08, 2014 10:21 AM  

Uh Oh, North Korea is an evil racist country. This is worse than kidnapping girls and selling them into slavery. Nuke them!

Blogger Tommy Hass May 08, 2014 10:21 AM  

I mean it's not like YOUR blacks are much more peaceful.

Anonymous Porky May 08, 2014 10:22 AM  

Unarmed civilians are never legitimate targets for military action.

The farmer who supplies the enemy with potatoes is a perfectly legitimate target.

Has been so from antiquity to today.


Blogger PVW May 08, 2014 10:25 AM  

As for what the girls are being educated for, are they really going off to university and never returning home? Are they really looking down upon others in their community once they become educated? Perhaps some of them who are being educated might very well be part of a middle class elite for whom education is a norm. Or are they learning a basic high school education in a society where to have literacy skills means upward mobility? Yes, it is true, the Kristofs of the world see girls' education as a means of weaponizing them, but the families might not see it that way. Education in the eyes of these Nigerian parents might enable these girls to attract a better type of partner when they grow up.

Blogger James Dixon May 08, 2014 10:27 AM  

> Have you even looked at the Quran you moron?

We have, Tommy. Unfortunately for you.

Anonymous Anonymous May 08, 2014 10:27 AM  

What I think is going on is that, as missionary-type work has become decoupled from Christianity and drifted into a more secular moral-relativist territory, it has lost any sense of direction and has no ultimate goal.

Oh, it still has a goal. But now that the missionary/aid work is being done by leftists, its goal is the goal of all leftism: to destroy whatever culture and social structure exists so the leftist can impose his own Utopia in the rubble. In the case of Nigerian villages, that may not mean destroying cathedrals and long-standing constitutions and rule of law, but it still means destroying the family and whatever positive traditional culture exists. Feminism and women's liberation have done such a bang-up job of that in the West that it's not hard to see why they're using it elsewhere.

Anonymous Alexander May 08, 2014 10:29 AM  

Guys, if you don't quit saying this shit, Tommy's going to go and kidnap your daughter and sell her to an Arab! That'll show you right and wrong!

Blogger PVW May 08, 2014 10:29 AM  

Oh, an in addition, Nigeria isn't suffering from a dearth of births; women on average, have 5+ children. So perhaps the argument that there is an interest in decreasing the birth rate has some merit. I'd be curious to know how many children educated women in Nigeria have, compared to the other women.

Anonymous Anonymous May 08, 2014 10:33 AM  

Education in the eyes of these Nigerian parents might enable these girls to attract a better type of partner when they grow up.

That's sort of true for American girls, since becoming pointlessly over-educated at least puts them in contact with upper-class men. But will it do that for Nigerian girls? Is there a supply of upper-class men for these educated girls to pair off with, or did the do-gooders forget that step? Do successful Nigerian men obey the same class strictures that American men do, or will they blow off these (likely) aggressive know-it-all girls in favor of nice motherly girls back in the villages?

Anonymous Cranberry May 08, 2014 10:35 AM  

I get it, cail. But its the talking out of both sides of their mouths that grates on me. "Their culture is wonderful and beautiful!" but "their culture is hard on women" so we must make it easier for their women to have a good life...which will thereby destroy the very culture held in such esteem. It makes me want to grab them and give them a good shaking, but it would be futile even if I could do it.

Bourbon is out of the question. Maybe a heavy bag in the garage? Ammo is too 'spensive to waste on frustration.

I thought that the end of colonization was supposed to mean we were no longer dictating policy or trying to interfere in the affairs of now-liberated, sovereign nations. I suppose it's OK if it's under the guise of boosting our self-esteem and proving our moral superiority, rather than the naked aim of making money for Empire.

Blogger PVW May 08, 2014 10:42 AM  

That's sort of true for American girls, since becoming pointlessly over-educated at least puts them in contact with upper-class men. But will it do that for Nigerian girls? Is there a supply of upper-class men for these educated girls to pair off with, or did the do-gooders forget that step? Do successful Nigerian men obey the same class strictures that American men do, or will they blow off these (likely) aggressive know-it-all girls in favor of nice motherly girls back in the villages?

Me: But here is the thing, I am not sure whether their education turns them into the "know it all type" that is seen as more typical for the overly educated American type. If anything, the traditionalist culture might be even stronger and enable them to keep to the norms. The Nigerian women I know in the US who have become educated find a balance. They are well educated, but they also value marriage and families: 3+ children by their husbands. They might not be married to upper class men, but their husbands are stable and middle class, at the least.

Anonymous Mavwreck May 08, 2014 10:47 AM  

The young women are worse than spies, they are traitors to their societies and cultures.

So, anyone who disagrees with a culture's current standards - and does something to act on that disagreement - is a traitor, and thus a legitimate military target?

Anonymous Porphyry May 08, 2014 10:56 AM  

*The European's culture war. I don't remember any Native Americans starting any wars to force others to wear feathered headdresses and dance around campfires.

Anonymous Anonymous May 08, 2014 10:57 AM  

Cranberry, yeah, it's funny how that works. We used to hear all about how primitive cultures were superior, especially morally -- when they were remote notions that could be used to bash Western civilization and Christianity over things like colonization. But now that the leftists are over there with the opportunity to meddle, they want to tear down everything good about those cultures just as much as they do ours.

Anonymous Toddy Cat May 08, 2014 10:58 AM  

Mr. Kratman,
I respect your point of view, but I'm afraid that I have to disagree. My religion teaches me not to do evil that good might come, and killing non-combatants who are not supporting the enemy war effort is evil, in my book. We can certainly argue about who qualifies as a non-combatant (farmers supplying the enemy with food? Thomast philosopher De Vitoria thought that their crops could be burned, and they could be enslaved, at the very least.) But killing some guys kids, or someone who might not even know what the guy is doing? I can't go there. But as I say, I respect your opinion, and everybody has to make their own decisions on this.

Blogger Crude May 08, 2014 11:02 AM  

What disturbs me most about the quoted portion would be the hashtag name, and who's celebrating it: #BringBackOurGirls.

Now, since a Nigerian Lawyer apparently started that, I can understand it. But 'our girls'? I know, I know, it's just supposed to be a show of solidarity, but the fact that westerners feel comfortable retweeting it bugs me. They aren't 'our girls'. They can almost hardly be called 'Nigeria's Girls'. They're the children of their parents.

I guess that helps feed Vox's point in part - if they're 'our girls', as in Western girls, then don't be surprised if they get kidnapped and worse, because 'we' are not viewed very well. But part of it is my being annoyed by the image of often childless westerners glomming onto other people's children by proxy. It reminds me of Bill Nye talking about how 'we need children to accept evolution because we want these particular social and technological advances and we think having children accepting evolution is an important part of that'. Well, great Bill. Go have some kids if you feel that way. Leave other people's kids alone.

Anonymous Toddy Cat May 08, 2014 11:03 AM  

By the way, I should have specified "Deliberately killing innocent non-combatants" in the above. If otherwise innocent civilians are killed bombing an enemy industrial city or other legitimate target, the blame lies on the enemy for not evacuating them. By the way, at least one third of the Japanese killed at Hiroshima were Japanese soldiers, and the target was the HQ and base of the Japanese Tenth Army, located in downtown Hiroshima. Somehow, the Japanese always leave that inconvenient fact out.

Anonymous Mark Call May 08, 2014 11:08 AM  

Unarmed civilians are never legitimate targets for military action...

and ARMED civilians are?

Lincoln's sanction of Gen. Sherman's march across the South burning, raping and pillaging showed the world what a "despicable point of view" was.

When cops kill a 93-yr-old woman in Texas 'cause "she's got a GUN" -- we should be able to see where things are headed.

Turning a blind eye to the truth has NEVER helped. And it won't now.

Anonymous Anonymous May 08, 2014 11:10 AM  

I am not sure whether their education turns them into the "know it all type" that is seen as more typical for the overly educated American type.

I'm not sure of that either, but that's what the leftists are hoping, and what the locals fear. After all, feminism didn't turn American women into marriage-avoiding, abortion-supporting harridans overnight either. The first generation to cut their hair short and go off looking for exciting office jobs still married relatively young and dressed feminine. But keep up that process over a few generations, and there's no reason to think leftist indoctrination, including feminism, won't destroy the traditional culture there just as it has here, if it isn't opposed much more forcefully.

I don't even know that that's what this is about; it could simply be about the $12, or just Muslims doing what Muslims do. But it could be a reaction to the attack on their local culture, which the do-gooders should have anticipated, making it partly their fault. Good intentions are no excuse for stupidity.

Anonymous Toddy Cat May 08, 2014 11:12 AM  

I was talking about wartime, and yes, armed civilians are certainly a legitimate target when there is s war on. The fact the our alleged government feels that it can kill members of the populace just for being armed tells you how they see us, as the enemy. I suggest that we return the favor.

Blogger James Dixon May 08, 2014 11:15 AM  

> The fact the our alleged government feels that it can kill members of the populace just for being armed tells you how they see us, as the enemy. I suggest that we return the favor.

You only now reached that conclusion?

Blogger Double Minded Man May 08, 2014 11:16 AM  

Have you even looked at the Quran you moron?

I've looked at the quran, Moron. And its pretty vile. Makes ya kinda sick to your stomach, all the violence and slavery and more violence. Makes me want to reach for some camel urine to settle my stomach, as the Prophet would have me do.

Blogger Robert What? May 08, 2014 11:18 AM  

Meanwhile our insane immigration policy (or no policy) is probably importing Nigerian and Somali "immigrants" at an unabated pace. We definitely need more of 'em so we can learn from their beautiful diversity.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 11:19 AM  

Toddy, that won't cover the need to reprise, sometimes, either. Remember, a reprisal IS a war crime, which becomes legitimate and legal to punish the enemy for violating the laws of war, and the threat of which serves to deter him from violating the laws of war.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 11:22 AM  

By the way, Vox, are you referring to the Leahy Law, in either version? If so, it's not that hard to get around.

Blogger PVW May 08, 2014 11:33 AM  

But keep up that process over a few generations, and there's no reason to think leftist indoctrination, including feminism, won't destroy the traditional culture there just as it has here, if it isn't opposed much more forcefully.

Me: Yes, that is certainly plausible.

I don't even know that that's what this is about; it could simply be about the $12, or just Muslims doing what Muslims do. But it could be a reaction to the attack on their local culture, which the do-gooders should have anticipated, making it partly their fault. Good intentions are no excuse for stupidity.

Me: I think there are multiple nuances, and the answers to help figure them out aren't clear. Without question, a lot of it is about the $12 (money to buy guns) and Muslims doing what they do.

Local culture under attack, which? Local Muslim culture through the cultivation of westernized Muslim girls? But don't the local Muslim authorities have the means to police other Muslims? So why attack schools, if Muslim girls can be kept out?

Local Muslim culture under attack through the elevation of westernized Christian girls who will be a negative influence upon the others? Boko Haram isn't a Christian group; Christians in Nigeria seem to have been doing pretty well notwithstanding western influences.

Oh, and another interesting item about what middle to upper class men in Nigeria might want. I saw an interesting news story suggesting that westernized Nigerian women are in demand. Something as basic as hair styles. Women who seem too "country," ie., wearing their hair in a natural fashion are seen as undesirable: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/16/curls-nigerian-women-straight. Might it be inferred as well that education and language might matter too?

A similar thing I read about in India, another story, that for the upwardly mobile man seeking a marital partner, English-speaking was a must, implying education as well.

Anonymous Alexander May 08, 2014 11:46 AM  

That in itself would be a legitimate problem; if western culture leads Nigerian men to reject Nigerian women.

Also, this is Islam we are talking about. Even if they police their own schools and societies, the fact that someone, somewhere, anywhere, is not conforming to the will of Allah is all the reason necessary to load up a truck and start shooting up homes.

Anonymous Anonymous May 08, 2014 11:52 AM  

Jeremiah says:

"One way is a donation to support girls going to school around Africa through the Campaign for Female Education, Camfed.org; a $40 gift pays for a girl’s school uniform." So, if Boko Haram can cough up $40 a piece they can get us to issue their targets a nice schoolgirl uniform so they know exactly who to target and where. it would probably be a simple thing to demand of the charity that the donor be allowed to "sponsor" a schoolgirl in Nigeria, that way they can even pre-sell the schoolgirl in question to some muslioid scumbag, and recoup the $40 partially or in full....

Blogger PVW May 08, 2014 12:00 PM  

@ Alexander, Also, this is Islam we are talking about. Even if they police their own schools and societies, the fact that someone, somewhere, anywhere, is not conforming to the will of Allah is all the reason necessary to load up a truck and start shooting up homes.

Me: Yes, quite true.

Re. Nigerian men and whom they reject. It is about rejecting certain types of Nigerian women. However, don't forget as well, that if they really want to become Western and reject Nigerian women, they can always find women from the West, and that is what a number of the freedom fighters (who became their nation's first rulers) in the period of decolonization did.

Anonymous Rolf May 08, 2014 12:13 PM  

Tom - re: Reprisal. I did not know that. Interesting, and it makes sense. Thanks.

Hard choices, indeed.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey May 08, 2014 12:21 PM  

How awful! Those Procol Harum bastards must be brought to justice.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 12:47 PM  

Rolf, reprisal is the only thing that works to enforce the law of war. This is something lost on tranzi lawyers and the intternational community of the ever so caring and sensitive. Hmmm..I know I did a piece that covered that...hmmm...ah, here we go: http://www.tomkratman.com/Rantyelloweyes.html

Anonymous Jack Amok May 08, 2014 12:53 PM  

Sorry, Toddy, but you're simply wrong. To limit the scope of reprisals is to permit the crimes the reprisals are desgned to deter.

Since he was already mentioned, I don't need to worry about stirring up the Johnny Rebs among the ilk.

"War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over."
-William Tecumseh Sherman

"Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster."
-William Tecumseh Sherman

Anonymous YIH May 08, 2014 1:14 PM  

Whenever I see the word 'Nigeria' the first thing that comes to mind is the number 419.

Anonymous Aphelion May 08, 2014 1:18 PM  

The Nigerian School that was attacked was Christian, Boko equates Christianity with the West. Boko would certainly reject Western liberal atheists and agnostics, but the more accurate translation is Christian Education is evil. Note don't tell the liberals, they'll stop caring.

Anonymous Anonymous Conservative May 08, 2014 1:24 PM  

Toddy, I think you're completely misreading what Kratman is saying. If I read him right, he's not saying, "I love the fact that we can kill family members in reprisals, and I think it's morally great to do so." He's saying, 'here is how the mechanism works.' He's pointing to gears which are in the mechanism, and he is explaining it. If "a" happens, pull lever "b," and "C" will begin. I think he has the mechanism right.

You are arguing morals, which are fine, but which are unrelated to the underlying mechanism, or what will work in manipulating it.

Morality is wholly unrelated to the underlying mechanism. I'm pretty sure if your daughter was next in line to die, your morals would change, and you'd embrace the mechanism Tom describes equally quickly. I know I would, to save my kids.

We need to intellectually separate what works from what should be, so when what should be isn't, we have a back-up plan. Within a few decades, I'll bet we will need it.

Anonymous Rolf May 08, 2014 1:28 PM  

Tom - thanks for the link. Interesting read. "Tranzi." Have to remember that term.

Amok - reading VDH about the Greek phalanx wars in classical times. Very bloody, very close, and the "wars" were often over in an afternoon. Yes, Sherman knew his shit.

Anonymous VD May 08, 2014 1:28 PM  

By the way, Vox, are you referring to the Leahy Law, in either version? If so, it's not that hard to get around.

Yes. I have no doubt it would be ignored, but I just found it mildly amusing that the same people who are calling for intervention are the sort of people who supported it in the first place.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 1:35 PM  

Not ignored, necessarily; in its own terms it's a sieve. What, for example, is a "unit"? Answer: anything we want it to be, to include a team of two men.

Anonymous Heaviside May 08, 2014 1:45 PM  

#SupportBokoHaram

Anonymous Rolf May 08, 2014 2:00 PM  

Tom - I just realized something. In my story, at one point they do a "breach [of the agreed-too rules of engagement] enforcement action" when an opponent uses prohibited munitions. It is a pretty much textbook case of reprisal. And they pretty much say that it's fear of someone getting medieval on the offending units that keeps people playing by the rules. Huh.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 2:02 PM  

"My religion teaches me not to do evil that good might come, and killing non-combatants who are not supporting the enemy war effort is evil, in my book. "

Yeah, that's my religion's position, too. I don't buy it on either practical or theological grounds. Sticking just to the theological, one is forced to claim, if we insist on only good coming from good and only evil from evil, that either the crucifixion was an inherently good thing or the redemption of Man inherently bad.

Anonymous YIH May 08, 2014 2:07 PM  

Nigeria offers $300,000 reward for kidnapped schoolgirls.
Money from Nigeria... What could possibly go wrong?

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 2:10 PM  

Big mistake anyway. Paying slavers to redeem slaves just encourages them to grab more.

Anonymous Rolf May 08, 2014 2:16 PM  

Tom - Paying way above market value might bring others to market to increase the supply of available slaves, too. The laws of economics don't get suspended just because you are dealing with fanatics or barbarians (or "progressives," or kids, or commies, or anyone else).

Anonymous jasmer May 08, 2014 2:32 PM  

@ LTC Kratman - I never attended an Advanced course (would have been Ft. Huachuca anyway, as I was detail branch IN), but I can assure you I learned/knew more about the ICC than I did about the actual law concerning reprisal. Sad, yes?

Speaking of your previous work touching on Tranzis and reprisal, I just finished Lotus Eaters - is there another volume after Amazon Legion or is it the fourth and last?

Blogger Desiderius May 08, 2014 2:33 PM  

"Sticking just to the theological, one is forced to claim, if we insist on only good coming from good and only evil from evil, that either the crucifixion was an inherently good thing or the redemption of Man inherently bad."

Exactly. See Romans 8.

You can hardly expect a heart cell flooded with lactic acid to understand the concept of a marathon. Knowledge of ultimate good or evil is not man's to taste.

Anonymous Mark Call May 08, 2014 2:44 PM  

Did nobody here notice that the one thing Kristof may have inadvertently gotten right - and then promptly ignored - was this:

" More than 50 of the kidnapped girls managed to escape the gunmen. Dads armed with nothing more than bows and arrows pursued the kidnappers into the terrifying Sambisa forest, where militants have hide-outs."

Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, a cop shot and killed a 93-yr-old woman outside her house with a gun (they'll "investigate" -- how comforting) while a 25-yr-old coed has been sentenced by a "court" for elbowing one of NYC's finest.

Talk about "empowerment"!

I wonder how far $40 would go toward buying some of those men who had to try to save their daughters with bows and arrows guns. And whether they'd be allowed to KEEP 'em.

Anonymous Alexander May 08, 2014 3:05 PM  

So... the terrorists want $12 per girl, and Nigerian government counteroffers with $300,000 for the lot.

Brilliant.

Blogger James Dixon May 08, 2014 3:34 PM  

> And whether they'd be allowed to KEEP 'em.

If we arm enough of them, they'll be allowed to keep them. :)

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 3:57 PM  

Jasmer:

After TAL is Come and Take Them, which came out last November, and The Rods and the Axe, this July. I am working on number 7, A Pillar of Fire by Night.

Anonymous Alexander May 08, 2014 4:30 PM  

Tom,

Not that you're not obviously very busy, but what is the countdown, if you will, till The Regiment gets to go bust heads in Mexico?

Blogger Matamoros May 08, 2014 4:47 PM  

Tom Kratman: There is something, not usually well understood in non-military circles, called a "reprisal."

Question. Wasn't that what Erich Priebke was tracked down, imprisoned, and ultimately refused decent burial for - a legitimate reprisal?

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 08, 2014 5:13 PM  

Have you even looked at the Quran you moron?

What your book says is secondary. What its barbarous, lunatic death cultists routinely DO, is not.

Even very small children, typically, can discern the obvious difference between fairy tales and real life.

Blogger Desiderius May 08, 2014 5:35 PM  

Cail,

"What I think is going on is that, as missionary-type work has become decoupled from Christianity and drifted into a more secular moral-relativist territory, it has lost any sense of direction and has no ultimate goal.

Oh, it still has a goal. But now that the missionary/aid work is being done by leftists, its goal is the goal of all leftism: to destroy whatever culture and social structure exists so the leftist can impose his own Utopia in the rubble. In the case of Nigerian villages, that may not mean destroying cathedrals and long-standing constitutions and rule of law, but it still means destroying the family and whatever positive traditional culture exists. Feminism and women's liberation have done such a bang-up job of that in the West that it's not hard to see why they're using it elsewhere."

For some reason the successive waves of Numenoreans upon the shores of Middle Earth in the Silmarillion comes to mind. I would not be surprised to find myself, or my children, in the final wave.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 08, 2014 6:12 PM  

Outlaw X: "First Lady #bringbackourgirls? "Our" girls?!? Were these American girls who went to Nigeria to get a more quality education?"

Identity politics. She's latching on to the hashtag out of support in the same way that JFK declared, "Ich bin ein Berliner", and the French newspaper Le Monde declared after 9/11, "We are all Americans, now."

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 08, 2014 6:20 PM  

Identity politics. She's latching on to the hashtag

Given her aiding and abetting of Boko Haram on the world stage to begin with, her pious "#bringbackourgirls" b.s. is especially reprehensible and loathsome.

Blogger JACIII May 08, 2014 6:22 PM  

HKC,

Don't whine because I beat you to it.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 6:26 PM  

Gonna be a while, Alex.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 6:38 PM  

Matamoros:

Not exactly. To get to legitimate reprisal, the ambush of 23 March 44, would have to have been a violation of the law of war. It is not entirely clear to me that it was. Then I think it must meet the tests of proportionality and necessity. Necessity doesn't mean a lot more than advantage, a point very difficult to get through the impenetrably thick skull of a tranzi. That they probably had. But proportionality doesn't mean, "we'll shoot ten for one, plus another five for shits and grins."

Anonymous Mavwreck May 08, 2014 6:55 PM  

Tom:

Necessity doesn't mean a lot more than advantage

Can you clarify that? I think you're saying "if the war criminal gained an advantage by the action, then a reprisal to remove that advantage is needed" but I may well be putting words in your mouth.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 08, 2014 7:24 PM  

On the subject of war crimes, I think it's worth pointing out that the victors usually don't commit any, while the vanquished are often guilty of several. At least, that's how the victor's tribunals tend to judge things. The surest war crime is losing the damn war.

Blogger GK Chesterton May 08, 2014 7:30 PM  

The Koran's violence isn't so much the problem as the very clear hostility to everyone. Violence properly directed I can deal with. Slavery for everyone who doesn't comply is a bit of a problem. And the polygamy. And the moon god worship. And the heresy. And the irrational god.

All that early Calvinism gives me hives.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 08, 2014 7:34 PM  

No, pretty much any action in war that affects civilians has to meet the twin tests of necessity and proportionality.

Not many people in the business want to admit it, but almost nothing we do is really "necessary" in the way we ordinarily think of necessity. To shoot X enemy private? Is it really necessary? Please; he's too insignificant for it to be necessary to shoot him. No; it's just advantageous. To take Y town, when we could have taken Z town to only slightly less benefit? Necessary? No, just advantageous. To knock out A factory from the air, when factories B-W produce the same thing? Necessary? No, just advantageous.

What's necessary is to win, or, at least, not lose, but anything that advances that - or prevents or delays losing - is just advantageous.

So it's a _really_ easy test. But the next test, proportionality, is much tougher. Is the advantage you expect to gain sufficiently advantageous to justify the harm you are going to do?

This gets really plain when you look at what is permitted in a siege. You, as besieger, can chop off the food, letting the civilians starve. There are some people, the very old and sick, pregnant women, tht you're supposed to allow out. Other civilians to include children you can force to stay. You can shoot at them and kill some of them, many of them, to drive them back to the city to eat up the food. There are sundry treatries that try to weaken that harsh regime, but people who are serious about war are either not party to the treaty regime or don't intend to follow it, push come to shove.

There is also, modernly, another treaty regime that tries to limit reprisal to the point it's not really useful. For example, suppose you discover that your enemy is using your men he has captured to clear minefields by foot. Under modern tranzi notions and treaties you may not reprise against his men you hold captive to deter him from that. Frankly that strikes me as preposterous, ignorant, foolish, immoral, and completely at odds with what a reprisal is supposed to be, a war crime that become legal to enforce the laws of war.

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 08, 2014 8:09 PM  

Correia's pitch-perfect takedown: Operation Pouty Face.

Blogger tz May 08, 2014 11:00 PM  

One can theorize, but I wonder why no one nullified and created a mistrial for the shooter of George Tiller. Not one of 12. He literally had more blood on his hands directly than Osama - similarly protected yet eventually shot - yet the Christians, the right, etc. wrung their hands over the outrage and tragedy.

I can recognize Islam as a threat. Yet if it was not an act of justice to assassinate (extra judicial killing as in Obama with drones) Tiller, then there can be no justice in assassinating those we label "terrorists" who take fewer than a few hundred lives who are equally outside of a judicial or other process that can bring them to justice.

Islam might be a difficult case, but they can be reasoned with. I'm beginning to reconsider my labeling of the prevalence of Liberalism as the high-functioning zombie apocalypse. I would not want to slander zombies.

"Nigerian women embarrassed the government by announcing that they would strip off their clothes and march naked into the Sambisa forest to confront the militants and recover the girls..." Were I the Nigerian Government, I would let them (as Churchill would have drunk Lady Astor's tea). It may also be the reason for not letting the US military in.

With what does a naked woman cover, much less recover a girl with?

(Harvey McKay wrote "beware the naked man who offers you the shirt off his back).

A larger fear might be if Putin or his successor invites the productive white Europeans "home" to a country that is Orthodox Christian (but takes Catholics and Protestants), bans abortion and homogamy, and otherwise has a trajectory toward a "Galt's Gulch". If Obama or the next worse revision is the alternative, well, is it an alternative, or ought we all head to Snowdensville?

Blogger tz May 08, 2014 11:11 PM  

"I don't buy it on either practical or theological grounds. Sticking just to the theological, one is forced to claim, if we insist on only good coming from good and only evil from evil, that either the crucifixion was an inherently good thing or the redemption of Man inherently bad."

Then you are an atheist or a deist. If one assumes an active God, or even Divine Providence (mentioned in the Declaration of Independence), then we are commanded to do only good and leave the results to God.

Doing evil is sin, making us of the Devil and cutting us off from Grace.

And you state the case improperly (check Aquinas). God permits evil so that he - not us, he - can bring forth a greater good. The crucifixion was the greatest evil possible, but it brought forth both our redemption and the resurrection.

The only case generally where evil is permitted is one of "double effect" where the evil is unintended but unavoidable, and a greater evil will occur. The common example is an ectopic pregnancy where the baby will die anyway, but the mother will die unless the fetus is removed.

On the practical level, if you wish to damn your soul, and do evil yourself to prevent a greater evil, follow the example of Tiller's assassin. If a few hundred would put themselves forward, Abortion would effectively end except in a few ultra-liberal bastions if even there. There is no greater evil today. If you buy either the theological or practical permit of using evil to fight evil, here is the crucial experiment. Sacrifice yourself - like the passion - and end abortion temporally and geographically.

Good comes from God and obeying him and following his commandments and relying on divine providence to set things right in God's own time and place.

Evil comes from the Devil and sin and breaking God's commandments.

Anonymous Mavwreck May 09, 2014 12:08 AM  

Tom, thanks for the explanation. When you mentioned "advantage" I keyed in on the part of your Yellow Eyes afterward that said a reprisal had to remove the advantages of the original bad act. Your explanation here was quite helpful.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 09, 2014 6:22 AM  

_I_ say "has to," because it a) strikes me as logical and b) historically this has been a goal, but tranzilaw would have none of it.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 09, 2014 10:00 AM  

And I disagree with you, TZ. Moreover, I already gave you sufficient reason for why I disagree. You can choose to believe that, or you can, like any atheist, deny God's gift of reason and be forced to the conclusion that either the crucifixion was a good thing or the redemption of man bad. Those are your options, if you insist that good cannot come from evil or evil from good. Period. You can, moreover, distinguish between what God said, as reported, and what people writing about Christianity thought, which is of considerably less power and persuasiveness than what God said. Moreover, you can attribute to God some of the idiotic things people have said, and then you'll probably just burn.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 09, 2014 10:56 AM  

Oh, and among stupid as rocks things said on the internet, your comment on me possibly being an atheist because I reject the notion of complete tactical accord between good and evil is way, way down there. In fact, it leads me to suspect that you're a Satanist, sewing illogic in support of the designs of your dark master.

Anonymous Don May 09, 2014 1:23 PM  

Tom - Let's say you're the head of a fictional independent military organization. Perhaps one with an overtly Christian bent and an animosity towards militant islam. How would you deal with Boko Haram if you were tasked with it? Say you have limited resources but no tranzi interference.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 09, 2014 1:33 PM  

Assuming I wasn't constrained by any moral compunctions, just worrying about getting the girls back: Find the leader's _extended_ family. Grab as much of it as I could. Nail them up, down to the littlest brat sucking on his mother's tit, televise it, and say, "These will die in shrieking agony within three days. I'll let them go when the girls are returned. For each girl missing I'll leave ten of them, chosen at random, up there to die. Up to you how much of a family you have when we're all done."

Blogger Matamoros May 09, 2014 4:31 PM  

Thanks, Col.

Found this article from 1984 on how the laws of war were bent by the Soviets, etc.

The Laws of Land Warfare: The Privileged Guerrilla And The Deprived Soldier

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1984/WJL.htm

Blogger Tom Kratman May 09, 2014 5:27 PM  

And here's the problem with Add. Prot. 1; most of our freaking allies have signed onto it. That means that either we follow their rules or, if they're deployed with us, they become complicit in what the treaties they've signed onto consider war crimes. Were it up to me, I would unilaterally abrogate any alliance with any country - even the UK, despite the "special relationship" - that has signed on to the Additional Protocols or the Rome Statute and cut off all aid of any kind whatsover to anyone who has likewise signed on to either of those.

Anonymous jasmer May 19, 2014 2:46 PM  

A very late comment - while America 'helping' others in such fights has often had unexpected consequences, maybe an NRA membership drive would help?

"When news of the attack filtered out, people trooped out from nearby villages carrying arms.

Locals seized an armored tank, three all-terrain vans and 90 motorcycles from the attackers, residents said."

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/05/guns-save-lives-armed-nigerian-villagers-defeat-boko-haram-over-200-terrorists-killed/

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