Swordlessness

Bill Whittle has a long, 2-part piece up about John Boyd and OODA Loops and agility that you really should devote 30 0r 40 minutes of your life to digesting.  He is really hard to excerpt, but I’m going to pick out what I consider some key paragraphs.  Bill’s whole magnum opus is cheer leading for our side, of the kind in past wars our Regulars in the Office of War Information could coordinate.  Nowadays self-mobilized Strategic Citizens acting on their own initiative as Civilian Irregular PSYOP Auxiliaries do for the domestic audience what our government has given up on.

The Political Leadership should be agile. I know, it’s nice to dream, huh? But surely, approaching the five year mark in Iraq, we must realize that the only hope these insurgents have or ever did have is to sow enough despair and hopelessness among the American people that we walk away.

Why is it that the fielded military can adopt Boyd’s concept of agility and maneuverability, but the political leadership remains absolutely blind to the fact that this battle may or may not be won on the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah and Ramadi, but it absolutely can be lost on the CBS Evening News? One would think the insurgents would need a multi-billion dollar, worldwide high-tech satellite network to spread their propaganda. But, being the generous people that we are, we have gallantly lent them ours.

This is an example of Swordlessness: using the enemy’s weapon against him. Two can play at that game, as we will see in a moment. But let’s just take it as read that the Main Stream Media no longer even seriously pretends to report facts. They have made an editorial decision that this conflict is a mistake and we should have stopped looking to them for fairness or balance a long time ago.

This is the battleground. Why – why – is the administration unable or unwilling to commit resources to this theater of operations?

A friend of mine has two brothers serving both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Together, they have been deployed seven times to these war zones. Jake Rademacher is a documentary filmmaker of real talent who had the guts to go to Iraq and live with his brothers outside the Green Zone for several weeks. His film, Brothers at War, is an actual documentary: that is to say, he did not script it and he does not push a viewpoint. What he does do is show his two brothers living in a country that is by turns violent and gentle, with people good and bad, brave and cowardly, and through it all you get to see why his two brothers chose to go back there and risk their lives again and again.

If this film were shown to the American people, support for the war would go up thirty points; not because it has a point to make but simply because it doesn’t. You just see what goes on and you make your own decision.

Brothers at War, and the writings of Michael Yon, Michel Totten and precious few others, are worth entire divisions. They have allowed us a perspective of what is really going on over there. They have lived there for years, long enough to know the people and what makes good news or bad. They have earned my trust and deepest respect for unblinking and courageous reporting that has put the MSM to shame. I suspect Michael Yon has spent more time within the sound of gunfire than any other MSM reporter has total time in country. And he and Mike Totten and a few others have allowed that signal – that small, pure signal – to escape into the ether. Or rather, into the Ethernet.

We have held this line – barely – with the efforts of men like that and a few private citizens writing in their pajamas. The political leadership needs to get in this fight. Now.

I think the Surge has had spectacular success not because of the additional troops so much as for the fact that when the media and the Democrats demanded we cut and run… we did not cut and run. We doubled down. When the calls for defeat and dishonor were at their loudest – sad to say a not unwarranted street rep we had made for ourselves – somehow, somehow we simply just hung on and gave them not a retreat but a charge.

Like Chief Reynolds always says, read the whole thing, and spread it around.

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