Monday, November 05, 2007

Americans have become dangerously overconfident in their personal opinions on matters they really have no knowledge of at all.

When at War Listen to the Warriors

JB Williams

A very dangerous pattern has developed in American culture and politics. Everyone wants to be an expert about everything. Yet too few are even equipped to have a valuable opinion, much less qualify to be an expert. This is particularly true in matters of national security, where so few have any direct experience, any knowledge of classified threat assessments, any war planning background or implementation expertise.

Americans have become dangerously overconfident in their personal opinions on matters they really have no knowledge of at all. Sure, each of us has a right to our opinion. But how valuable are those opinions when they are often not based on fact, history, logic, reason, expertise, or even first hand experience?

In any representative republic, the will of the people is intended to establish public policy. But what happens when the will of the people is tainted by bad information, calculated misdirection and politically motivated hogwash? The people’s decisions can never be any better than the information used to make them. If the information is bad, the decisions will be equally bad.

Most Americans, especially those on the anti-war left, have no idea how to defend their individual home or family from neighborhood thugs. Yet they feel quite confident in shouting out national security advice and military strategies as if they actually know something about the subject. Tell me what Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn or Susan Sarandon knows about national security, basic intelligence or military strategies?

Most Americans know little about the world outside their own back yard, or in the case of Hollywood types, outside their gated compounds. Yet they feel quite confident in handing out advice on how to navigate that world. This is an amazingly dangerous trend that sooner or later, will cost a great deal in innocent loss of life and maybe America’s entire future.

What Every American MUST Understand About 9/11

9/11 wasn’t just another simple terror attack that happened to kill 3000 innocent Americans on their way to work. It was a well planned and well implemented “decapitation” strike.

International Islamic terror groups worked together from within a multitude of nations, including allies, under the operational name of Al Qaeda, in an attempt to take out the Pentagon, Americas command and control center over all armed services, Wall Street, America’s financial center, and Washington DC, the central hub of our entire government, all in one day, in one single unconventional strike. We were completely unable to prevent it and we remain completely unable to prevent it today.

The Sobering Truth About This Ongoing Threat

Since 9/11, I have listened to many self-styled “experts” with no experience whatsoever on the matter, make claims like “Hussein was no threat to America” – “Iran has no capacity to strike America” – or – “We should bring our troops home where they belong, and defend America from here on our own soil.”

Whether coming from anti-war leftists, average American citizens or isolationist libertarians like Ron Paul, these statements are not only incorrect, they are very dangerous.

These statements demonstrate just how ill-equipped the average American is to deal with such matters, even to establish formal public policy by voting, if on this basis, void of any understanding of our enemies and the very real threats they pose.

Do you understand the concept of a “decapitation strike,” or the potential consequences of a successful decapitation strike, which was almost a reality on 9/11? And do you understand the fact that the terror organizations that carried out those strikes on 9/11 had far less capability to hit America than Hussein, Iran or North Korea?

Do you understand that we are NOT in a conventional war like WWI or WWII? Do you understand that our enemy has NO rules of engagement? Do you understand that you are their primary target, not our armed services capable of striking back? Do you grasp that they will NOT attack through conventional means, in a manner we are prepared to defend against, but instead, via unconventional means almost impossible to defend against in any free open society?

If You Don’t Understand These Basic Truths, Your Opinion Has No Value At All

Those who do understand these simple realities - also understand that we do NOT want to fight this type of war on our own soil. They understand that unless we want the streets of NY, LA, Atlanta and Chicago to look just like the streets of Baghdad, we MUST fight this war on foreign soil.

We must choose our field of operations and tactics, or our tactics will be dictated to us on a field of battle chosen by our enemies. On 9/11, our enemies chose Manhattan, Virginia and Washington DC as their chosen field of battle. They chose the rules of engagement, using civilian aircraft to attack civilian targets, causing as much innocent death and destruction as they could muster in a matter of minutes.

On 9/11, they won that battle on their terms. Then we changed the terms of the war from that point forward. U.S. streets have indeed been safer ever since, but not without cost.

The Price of Peace on American Streets Is Sometimes War Abroad

This is not the first time in our brief history, that this has been true. Germany never attacked America in WWI, but they did attack American interests and allies. 116,708 American soldiers lost their lives from 1917-1918 in WWI and nobody attacked America. Democrat Woodrow Wilson ordered the troops into battle.

Germany didn’t attack the U.S. in WWII either, Japan did at Pearl Harbor. Yet again, American troops went to Europe to defend freedom and liberty abroad. 407,316 American soldiers lost their lives from 1941-1945, most of them in the European theater of operations, and again, no European nation attacked America. Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the troops into battle and Democrat Harry S. Truman ended the war by leveling Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Korea did not attack America, yet from 1950-1953, 36,914 American soldiers lost their lives in Korea. Vietnam didn’t attack America, yet another 58,169 American soldiers died between 1964-1973 fighting for freedom and liberty in Vietnam. Democrat John F. Kennedy and Democrat L.B. Johnson ordered American troops into battle.

Republican President Ronald Reagan lost 19 American soldiers in Grenada in 1983. He also defeated the Soviet Union in the 80’s without losing a single American soldier in battle. Some think this same strategy will work today against international terror cells. They are sadly mistaken. Assured mutual destruction won’t work against an enemy with no nation to protect.

Republican President George H.W. Bush lost 269 American soldiers expelling Iraq’s Hussein from Kuwait in Gulf War I in 1991. Hussein did not attack America, but he did attack our ally in the region, and American soldiers came to their defense.

Since 9/11, when some 3000 innocent Americans lost their lives on the way to work one morning, Republican President George W. Bush has taken the war to the enemy off American soil. Some 350 American soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan and some 3500 in Iraq, between the fall of 2001 and today, in the fall of 2007. This time, America was attacked on U.S. soil.

But we were attacked by no nation and as a result, we are at war with no nation. This is why we have “declared war” against no nation.

The Myth That Congress “Must” Declare War

First, there is NO constitutional language which requires congress to “declare war” before or as a result of “authorizing” troop deployment. There’s also no constitutional language that limits national defense to only reactionary strategies.

Second, since WWII, we have not been “at war” with any nation. In Korea, we fought to defend South Korea from North Korea. In Vietnam, we fought to defend South Vietnam from North Vietnam. In Gulf War I, we fought to defend Kuwait against an invading Hussein regime from Iraq and the war ended upon Hussein’s expulsion from Kuwait and a cease fire agreement.

In Afghanistan, we went after Al Qaeda leaders and terror cells harbored and protected by the Taliban. In Iraq, we deposed the world’s most brutal regime and known terror sponsor of the 20th century and liberated more than 25 million innocent Iraqi men, women and children. Today, we fight by their side to rid their country of equally brutal terror cells hoping to destabilize the newly elected Iraqi government and leave the region in a vacuum of terror and destruction.

In none of these cases were we or are we “at war” with the people of these nations. Quite the contrary and every soldier, American or coalition, knows exactly this truth, what they are doing, why they are doing it and almost without exception, they wish to complete their mission and return home only after they have secured a peaceful free Iraq able to provide for its own security.

When At War, Listen to the Warriors

I said “listen to the warriors,” not listen to the lone dissenting warrior.

The anti-war left likes playing this little game of cat-n-mouse in which they come upon a single dissenting view and use it as though it represents the collective opinion of the “expert” warriors, such as the case with congressman Jack Murtha, or former Presidential candidates John Kerry or Wesley Clark.

Like any other organization the size of the U.S. Military, 100% agreement rarely if ever happens on any subject at any time. War related issues must be decided by people with proper experience, knowledge of current events and threats and the responsibility to make such decisions and stand behind them

Such decisions must respect the general consensus of the people in-the-know. The consensus of average Americans who live far from the facts needed to make such decisions will get it wrong almost every time. But the vast majority of real experts will not get it wrong very often. In the case of the war against international terrorism, the real (not pretend) experts have it exactly right.

While one can find dissenting views within the ranks, there is NO doubt that the general consensus of war, intelligence and security experts is represented by the strategies currently being employed, both here and abroad. The real experts must have the final say. The average American, the average congressman or even the average President is ill-equipped to make such decisions. Like it or not, the average American is the least equipped of all.

Keeping the War Away From American Streets

To the degree that this is possible, this is desirable. We do NOT want this war taking place in our own cities. This means that we must take this war somewhere else.

In order to avoid a bloodbath on American streets, the fight must be taken to the enemy on their turf, rather than on ours. In the case of international terrorism, where we are “at war” with no particular nation, rather a warring enemy operating in several nations, but under no flag, the fight must be taken either wherever the enemy resides, as in the case of Afghanistan, or to a central battle field of our choosing, as in the case of Iraq.

The problem with the anti-war left is that they comprehend and respect none of these facts. The left has no good intentions for America. In the case of libertarians like Ron Paul and his supporters, though I believe they have good intentions, I also know that they do not understand or respect any of these facts either.

This makes both groups equally dangerous to the future of this nation and those of us who do understand and respect these truths, owe it to current and future generations to hold these truths up for all to see.

In times of war, threat of attacks on our own soil and risk of great peril, the experts must be trusted to do what only they know how to do best. We must respect and support the decisions they make based upon the real-time information that only they have access to.

To do any less would be national suicide.

Sadly, too many Americans are so focused on their personal political agendas that they are no longer able to use basic common sense, even to save their own lives. Hopefully, I speak for the majority of Americans who do still understand and respect these simple truths.

I talk with real warriors daily, so I know that I speak for the vast majority of active duty and retired warriors. God help this nation if we are in the minority now…

JB Williams is a business man, a husband, a father, and a writer. A no nonsense commentator on American politics, American history, and American philosophy A hard hitting columnist, attacking the socialist cancer plaguing America today. He has a pragmatic “common Joe” approach to even the toughest issues facing our nation.

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