From Pine View Farm

Droning On 1

It occured to me last night that that jingoistic chestnut, The Green Berets, from the Viet Nam era needs updating. Here’s a try at it:

Flying robots in the sky,
Raining death as they spy,
Making war the American way,
Flown by gamers a world away.

Air power, robotic or not, will succeed in today’s Middle East, whatever the hell “succeed” means there, as thoroughly as it did in Viet Nam, whatever the hell “success” would have meant there. The war in Iraq, like the one in Viet Nam, was based on a lie, and our falling for the lie is not a reason to keep fighting for the lie.


1 comment

  1. George Smith

    December 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I’m reading “The Best and the Brightest” for about the third time. They used to run the numbers on the bombing campaigns against North Viet Nam and despite the horrendous tonnage dropped, the country made up all its losses through tactics and increased economic support from the Soviet Union and China. In fact, it’s economy actually grew during a year when the bombing campaign was at its maximum. This was all ignored in the decision-making.

    I’m sure it’s the same with the drone and bombing campaign against ISIS. The strategic numbers aren’t there but I’m positive actual statistics don’t show any significant result, still ignored anyway.
    ISIS has learned, or will learn, what North Viet Nam knew, that US aerial bombing won’t beat them, particularly when they’re closely entangled with an inept opposition, the Iraqi Army, which is even worse than the ARVN. In the NYT you see occasional articles on the new fetishes, same as the old fetishes, the big thinkers in DoD seize upon. We’ll hit the gas distilleries of ISIS or hurt their ability to make money. Same as Viet Nam. In Viet Nam they were into bombing all the oil depots too.

    North Viet Nam’s leaders were waging total war and they weren’t going to lose. The US has modified its strategy now that it doesn’t even have a pretend ideology to vend worldwide that anyone sensible would take seriously. After Viet Nam it unhooked the military from the general populace so that the country would never face the consequences of total war. And now we
    have the dreadful result. Gigantic military that can render to rubble the infrastructure of other countries if it chooses to do so but can’t win anything because all the causes are corrupt.
    We don’t have generals, practically speaking. We have technicians who operate and administer
    the mechanisms of destruction.