Friday, May 28, 2004

According to certifiable nutjob Victor Davis Hanson, the United States need not worry about an extra 40,000 troops for empire. There are more, shall we say, "efficient" ways of pacifying The New IraqTM.
In short, I think our sole serious mistake in this war is that we have forgotten the lessons of history, the essence of human nature, and what constitutes real morality. Small armies, whether those of Caesar, Alexander, or Hernan Cort�s can defeat enormous enemies and hold vast amounts of territory � but only if they are used audaciously and establish the immediate reputation that they are lethal and dangerous to confront. Deterrence, not numbers, creates tranquility and the two are not always synonymous.

A thousand Marines shooting the first 500 gunmen they saw, broadcast on al Jazeera, would be worth the deterrence of another armored division. Taking Fallujah and killing Baathist killers while putting victorious Iraqi coalitionists on television would have been the equivalent of calling up another 40,000 reservists.
This is truly "bourgeois man" in his full flower. As Hannah Arendt writes concerning the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (you know, Mr. "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"):
Hobbes liberates those who are excluded from society -- the unsuccessful, the unfortunate, the criminal -- . . . They may give free rein to their desire for power and are told to take advantage of their elemental ability to kill, thus restoring that natural equality which society conceals only for the sake of expediency. Hobbes foresees and justifies the social outcasts' organization into a gang of murderers as a logical outcome of the bourgeoisie's moral philosophy.

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