Hard War

Western civilization is immolating itself on the sword of political correctness. Our leaders fail to recognize the existential threat that we now face and are unwilling to take the decisive actions necessary to combat the threat of radical jihadist Islamists.

Leadership on both sides of the political spectrum refuse to identify how we might counter this threat. This is not necessarily a new type of threat that we have not experienced before. However, what is new is our refusal to properly utilize the tools at our disposal to combat this threat.

We often hear our leadership say that it is against our values as Americans to use some of these ruthless but effective tools. Gen. George S. Patton once said, “War is cruel, ruthless and brutal and it takes a cruel, ruthless and brutal man to fight it!” It was the implementation of this approach that ultimately secured victory in 1945.

Unfortunately, our nation does not presently possess Patton’s “cruel, ruthless and brutal man” in any senior leadership position in our government or military. Politicians and generals alike often state that it is against our long-held American values to target civilians or torture prisoners. However, our country’s history is replete with examples of our leadership doing what is necessary to win. We can only logically extrapolate that those who would refuse to fight hard war would be willing to sacrifice our lives and freedom on the altar of the absurd fallacies of American values crowd.

During the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington hanged spies and executed deserters. During the Mexican-American War, Gen. Winfield Scott ordered the execution of fifty members of the St. Patrick’s Battalion in 1847. Many members of this unit were determined to be deserters from the U.S. Army who joined forces with the Mexican army under Santa Ana. Both Union and Confederate generals during the Civil War executed prisoners in retaliation for executions by their counterparts. Gen. William Sherman during his famous march from Atlanta to the sea issued General Order V which stated,

Army Corps commanders alone are entrusted with the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton gins, etc., and for them this general principle is laid down: in districts in neighborhoods where the Army is unmolested no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility.

It was also Gen. Sherman who once famously exclaimed, “War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want!”

During the wars against the Plains Indians in the late 1800s, the U.S. Army targeted villages after Indians had attacked and killed white settlers and raped women. In response, the Army sent in one of the greatest cavalry leaders in the old West: Col. Ranald McKenzie. His job was to kill Comanche Indians, and this he did with great efficiency. He relentlessly attacked Indian villages and destroyed their pony herds which were vitally important to the survival of these Indian communities. These starving and broken Comanche Indians retired to the reservation and were no longer a threat to the local citizens.

World War II has an abundance of examples of bombings of German and Japanese cities. The firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945 is estimated to be the single most destructive bombing raid in history. Approximately 100,000 Japanese citizens were killed during this attack.

Unfortunately, after World War II, the U.S. abandoned the concepts of total and hard war and adopted a more politically correct view of war. Subsequently we have never again won a war.

Now we are faced with brutal Islamic extremists who are willing to kill innocent civilians without remorse. President Obama naively refuses to even recognize the threat. Sun Tzu in his timeless essay The Art of War stated,

Know the enemy and know yourself; and in 100 battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant of both your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril. Such people are called “mad bandits”. What can they expect if not defeat? 

While I was a young Marine in attendance at Infantry Training School there was an oracular sign hanging on the wall of the classroom that simply stated, “When civilized man can no longer stand the horrors of war and declares that he will no longer fight. Then he will surely be killed or enslaved by the uncivilized.” Have we reached that point?  Are we no longer willing to do what needs to be done to secure victory?

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