Sunday, February 21, 2010

Michael Scheuer: Civilian Casualties Don't Matter



Most people know Michael Scheuer from his appearance on the Bill Maher show, where he bravely advocated a refreshing America-first, Israel-last policy as he was interviewed by the rattled Zionist Bill Maher. He raised the spectre of the Osama Bin Laden boogeyman by describing him as 'more dangerous than a terrorist', but his stance against Israel and his non-interventionist attitude was admirable. Non-interventionism is pretty much what Michael Scheuer is about (he named his website Non-Intervention.com).

 

He's written some good stuff, despite his adamance that America's true enemies are the "Islamists". Here are a couple of examples.

  • On the American Israel lobby: Does Israel Conduct Covert Action in America? You Bet it Does
  • On the neocons and other Zionists skewing U.S. foreign policy in Israel's favour: Turning The Tables on the Israel Firsters
  • When recently he spoke out against Israel and the Lobby on C-Span, he was widely condemned by Zionists like Jeffrey Goldberg at the TheAtlantic.com who described him as a "Jew-hating crank", IsraelNationalNews.com (IsraelNN) and Adam Holland, which wasn't half predictable.

     

    I posted the IsraelNN article here at WUFYS, implicitly endorsing Scheuer and his views, some of which I was already aware were highly questionable. Nothing quite as questionable as this, though - check this out:

    We can't win anyway

    By Michael F. Scheuer

    Adjunct Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University

    The military option should be taken off the table in all instances -- save an immediate response to foreign attack -- until we elect a president and congress that will abide by the constitutional requirements and machinery for declaring war that were put in place by the Founders.

    In addition, and more practically, the option should be taken off the table vis-à-vis Iran because we have a military that cannot win a war. The common wisdom is that the politicians are to blame for preventing the generals from doing their job; that is, killing the enemy and, as needed, its civilian supporters until each is convinced it is irrefutably defeated. I begin to think, however, that the common wisdom is only partially correct. Our bipartisan political leadership surely is pathetic when it comes to war-making, but the U.S. general officer corps -- save for a few Marine generals -- is today chockfull of bureaucrats, nation-builders, and wanna-be social scientists.

    Take that might warrior General McChrystal, for example. In the midst of a supposedly “major offensive” in Helmand Province, the general has spent most of his time apologizing for the deaths of civilian supporters of the Taleban and al-Qaeda, and withdrawing from the battlefield a weapon system that presumably was there because it contributed to victory and helped protect our soldiers and Marines. Sparing civilian casualties might make sense if those civilians were pro-U.S. or even pro-Karzai, but they are not.

    The Taleban’s steadily upward trend line across Afghanistan -- not just in the southern provinces -- since 2006 can only be explained by growing popular support from Afghans who are pro-Taleban (some) and/or opposed to the U.S.-NATO occupation (most). To think you are going to win the hearts and minds of these Afghans by limiting civilian casualties is a figment of the social-science minds of counter-insurgency theorists. It is not for nothing that the acerbic but thoroughly brilliant Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld wrote that counter-insurgency doctrine is always written by losers.

    Martin van Creveld is the Israeli academic who threatened that 'we could destroy all European capitals' and that "we have the capability to take the rest of the world down with us [with nukes]. And I can assure you that that will happen, if Israel goes under."

    For the life of me, and as the father of a newly draft-age son, I cannot imagine why American parents still trust their soldier-children to politicians -- in both parties -- and generals who are unwilling to do anything so old-fashion, anachronistic, and politically incorrect as relentlessly killing the enemy and his supporters until they are defeated. One hopes that American parents will soon wise up and begin to discourage their kids from joining a military whose generals increasingly see U.S. casualties as the necessary cost, not of winning, but of nation-building, fawning over their addled political masters, and pleasing international opinion and the pacifist purveyors of international law.

    [Yeah, who cares about international law? Pfft.]

    The wars we are fighting today are the products of the lethal-for-America fantasy that war has changed and no longer requires much killing or an outright victory. This, of course, is nonsense and only our elites and those of Europe believe it; our Islamist enemies know better. America once knew that you never go to war without aiming for victory, and led by men like William Sherman, U.S. Grant, Nathan Bedford Forrest, George Patton, and, until recently, most Marine generals, our military leaders knew that, in Forrest’s words, war means fighting, and fighting means killing. Armed with this fact, and with Sherman’s dictum that the only mercy in war is fast and complete victory, the U.S. military once put fear and sober second thoughts into those who meant America harm. Today, the same military causes some circumspection among our enemies, but it mostly causes mirth in their minds over the specter of a hapless pack of coddled general officers who seek to win un-winnable hearts and minds at the cost of many hundreds of billions dollars and numerous wasted young lives.

    Tom Feeley of InformationClearingHouse.info (ICH) posted this on his site, but not to point out Scheuer's callous disregard for human life. It was posted under the title What Should Obama Do Next On Iran? Act For The Republic and Independence, apparently to endorse a list of actions that Obama should take on the Iran issue, which was apparently written by Scheuer. But if you click on the source link at the ICH post, the list is not there. The link will take you straight to Scheuer's rant about all the fuss over killing innocents, which to him is just an impediment to "victory".

    Scheuer is a regular contributor to Antiwar.com. He might claim to be a non-interventionist but he doesn't sound very anti-war, does he?

    Is Scheuer a Shill?

    Scheuer could still be on the CIA's payroll, but shillery is usually the least likely explanation for suspect behaviour. It stands to reason that most people accused of being disinformationalists are just plain wrong.

    The problem with the online movement is that shillery is often the first conclusion people jump to, especially in the anti-Zionist scene. For example, if a journalist, writer or radio host doesn't blame Israel and Zionism for 9/11, we'll conclude that they're government agents or disinformation artists - a part of the conspiracy - when it's much more likely that they simply believe what they're saying (that cave-dwelling Muslims orchestrated 9/11 or that the Bush family did, or whatever else the case may be). Some will go even further and claim, arbitrarily, that they must be 'Jews'. It's pathological with some people. Rationalisation goes out the window and all they seem to have left is conspiracy theory. Kind of ironic, really.

    Scheuer is not your typical case study, though. The 9/11 operation had to fool the bulk of the global intelligence community as well as the civilian population to be viable and effective, but Scheuer is an expert on al Qaeda and Bin Laden, and was head of the CIA's Bin Laden unit from 1996-99, and then Special Advisor to that unit until 2004. He's written entire books about the al Qaeda 'threat' in which he criticises American policy, the first of which he started writing in 1999, well before September 11, 2001. As a senior CIA analyst, how can he not be aware that Bin Laden and al Qaeda was a creation of, and an asset to, that agency? And if he is aware, why hasn't he written about it? He published his books anonymously and was, perhaps conveniently, 'outed' as the author just in time to come out as a non-interventionist pundit for the anti-war scene. But despite Scheuer's contribution to sites like AntiWar.com and his criticism of the Israel lobby and neocon policy, he is still an ardent promoter of the "war on terror" and ergo the Zionist war against Islam. His position is essentially the same as Ron Paul's: that America's real enemy is radical Islam but American interventionism is to blame for that radicalism.

    Another interesting factoid is that Scheuer's work has been promoted by Bin Laden himself - from the grave. In a tape released in 2007, well after his death, "Bin Laden" sporting a nice, black, freshly "dyed" beard says:

    "If you want to understand what's going on and if you would like to get to know some of the reasons for your losing the war against us, then read the book of Michael Scheuer."



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