For Liz, and Victoria. In Regard to War

Most people who truly understand war are abhorrent to starting one. Most generals advocate peace. You won’t find a military officer anywhere who, if he or she is honest about the subject and unafraid of being seen as disloyal, or treasonous, will tell you that war is an exceedingly bad idea in almost every case.


Before anyone has some sort of kneejerk reaction to what I’ve written so far, let me explain a few things to you, so that you do not misunderstand what I am saying. History, which is that product of those people who win wars, reveals that war has never been cheap, never been easy, never been what it seemed, and is always grown into something that no one, in their worst nightmares, could envision. And those are the wars we could deem, “successful”.


A successful war is a war which is brought to a conclusion. World War Two might be considered a success, but for the Cold War that follow. Did we really win that war? The same weapon we used to bring Japan to surrender hung over our heads for fifty years after that and is still hanging there this very day.


The Union could consider the War Of Northern Aggression as successful, but it left one part of the nation in ruins, left the question of what happens to freed slaves open to those who had no interest but their own to answer, and left a lot of dead bodies in its wake. But the South did surrender, in part because General Sherman, like all great generals, knew what he had to do to bring the war to an end. To end a war, you must inflict upon your enemy a devastation that leaves no desire for conflict in any form. Sherman knew this. Curtis LeMay knew this. The Romans knew this. And anyone who knows war knows this.


To win a war you must inflict upon your enemy a devastation so great there is left no will to fight in any form.


I bill myself as a pacifist because of my understanding of war. This endless conflict in Iraq is not a war, but ruin. We throw away lives, equipment, and money for nothing. Were we serious about this war, we would crank up the draft, ration gasoline, embargo foreign oil, and flatten Iraq into submission. If we had bombed Baghdad into dust, killing a couple of million people in a few days, then followed that up with the same treatment of the next largest city, this war would have been over a long time ago.


You find those thoughts inhumane, or hellish? So do I, and so did Sherman. Robert McNamara, in his documentary “The Fog Of War” states very clearly, “Had the Japanese won the war I would have been tried as a war criminal.” McNamara helped plan the bombing of Japan that killed 100,000 people in Tokyo in one night, and followed it with an air campaign designed to repeat this as necessary.


Had we not went to war against Hitler, and had the Russians not been able to stop him ( I think they would have) then Hitler would have written the history of the Holocaust not of murder, but of manifest destiny. Hitler, and those who saw him and his as founding fathers, would have justified every action in some way, and a world fearful of a victorious Third Reich, would have bought the story, and been happy to do so.


You may shake your head at this but how is this so terribly different than what happened to the natives of the Americas, whose lands were invaded, whose cultures were destroyed, and whose populations were decimated? If you do not like, or you cannot accept, such a comparison you have but to point out to me where the indigenous cultures of this land flourishes and where their people dwell in large numbers. War is not justified simply because it is successful. Most of us who know war know this to be a simple truth, but to many victory means justification, and this is why we will not leave Iraq yet. This simple truth, more than any other lie, makes war exceedingly dangerous to anyone who dares wage it, in ignorance.



War is not justified simply because it is successful.



If war is brought upon us, then we should wage war, and we should wage a war of extinction upon those who oppose us, and until they lay humbled and trembling before us, we ought not to let up not one whit, not for one day, not for anyone, man, woman, or child. For this is the nature of war. Either wage it as if you mean to win, or stand away from it, and denounce it until it is brought to you and there is no other answer but war.


This hopeless, hapless, half assed and asinine conflict in Iraq is a foolish and inept fumbling of a commander in chief who understands very little and war less. It is not a war that was forced upon us, nor is it a war that was called upon for us to answer, nor is it a war that we can win by the methods deployed.


The most this thing can do is explode into a larger conflict, and suck us into a real war, a war we are forced to fight in desperation and without just cause. This war can, and will, like all wars lead to more wars, and we will have to make answer for the offspring of our conflicts.



I am a pacifist because I understand war. I understand the horror of it, and I understand that it must not be used, and if it us, it must be used in one way, and one way only. It is a weapon that must destroy a nation, and to do that you must destroy a people. You have to burn houses, kill children, and leave the old dying without shelter or hope.


I cannot accept there is no other answer.



Take Care,


Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/15/2008 6:57:07 PM

vwhitlock   vwhitlock wrote
on 5/15/2008 10:57:07 AM
Mike, Thanks for taking the time to share that with us. I agree completely. This war isn't being fought to win. It is being intentionally lengthened by war profiteers. My son talked about the frustrations he and his unit experienced in Iraq during both tours. The general sentiment was that we had more than enough firepower and man power to defeat and decimate Iraq if the troops were only allowed to continuously move forward instead of constantly being told to take an area and then withdraw. I have pasted a portion of an email from my son that touches on this subject below. When we showed up the citizens came to us in the streets and showered us with gifts of food and drinks, and little trinkets, thanking allah for the marines coming to protect them. The army unit couldn't handle the area, thats why we went in, they were almost overrun by insurgents, but the citizens knew that the Marines would be able to stop them. And we did, we destroyed every insurgent we could find for 8 months straight, and when the citizens of the city found out we were leaving, and a lot of us actually made good friends with Iraqi Police, and Iraqi National Gaurd members, they cried, and begged us not to leave. Quite a few off us were pretty emotional about leaving. We felt good about finally getting to go home, but guilty about the army taking that area back, because we knew that the army would not be able to keep the city secure, and the citizens would suffer. A week after we left, a lot of the patrol bases we had made were bombed and destroyed by the enemy, eventually in a couple of months the army completely pulled out of the area and abandoned the area to the insurgents, and by now some other marine unit has had to buy that area back with blood.

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/14/2008 6:18:04 PM
Floyd, I would give it a chance, Floyd.

on 5/14/2008 6:05:15 PM
I am not a citizen of your country, so it is not for me to comment on your politics, but, Mike, if you ever happen to be passing my kennel you will be welcomed, and offered anything I can give, even my last bone! Like we used to say some 50 years back ... (God! is it that long ago!) ... Peace Man! Peace.

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/8/2008 8:28:04 PM
We would be much better served with your father as president, I suspect, Bill

Mike Firesmith
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The Nature of War
A Word from the Writer
This isn't for the weak of heart, or will