Saturday, September 8, 2018

Propaganda theme of the week.

That is to say: deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian casualties as moral show stopper.

Trump, Pompeo, Keane, and assorted trolls have escalated the rhetoric from “we won’t tolerate an chemical weapons attack” to “we won’t tolerate Syria’s clearing out terrorists from its own sovereign territory because they and the Russians deliberately attack civilians to achieve their goals.”

Why this is as rational as the idea that pointless chemical attacks targeting civilian are the way to go is beyond me. Terrorizing civilians is a feeble, worthless tactic which does little to nothing to interfere with actual enemy troops and it sure as hell doesn't do much for building loyalty to the regime.

On top of which, deliberate bombing of civilians is a waste of ordnance which, hard as it may be to believe, does not materialize cost-free out of the ether every time you use some of it. Killing 10 jihadis is better than killing 100 civilians for no rational reason and keeping your expensive ordnance for the former purpose over the long haul is the way to go.

And, CW use is about as suicidal as you can get when you have lying, hysterical, arrogant hypocrites outside your country just looking for the slightest excuse to attack your forces and infrastructure.

The CW/civilian bombing idea is absurd, like everything else about our involvement in Syria.

And here's a little reality check:

Russia is now preparing to support the upcoming attack of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on the militant-held areas in northwestern Syria. Many Western countries criticized Russia because of this and claimed that such an attack will threaten the lives of millions of civilians there. The problem of these statements is that they ignore the presence of tens of thousands of terrorists.[1]
Oh. Them.

A trivial consideration. And while you’re at it, ignore U.S. methods in the reduction of Fallujah, Mosul, and Raqqah. Namely, indiscriminate use of artillery and aerial bombardment. Nothing to see there. Oh, no. Let’s indulge instead in “Let no sparrow fall” posturing. The U.S. never unleashes ordnance from the skies unless a red laser dot from an orbiting satellite lights up a jihadi forehead. The U.S. military never, ever causes "collateral" damage. Our hands are clean.[2]

The caption to the above picture reads “Paratroopers engage ISIS militants with precise artillery fire in support of Iraqi and Peshmerga fighters in Mosul, Iraq, July 6, 2017. The paratroopers are assigned to Charlie Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. (Sgt. Christopher Bigelow/Army)”[3] The piece may be an M777A2 lightweight 155mmm towed howitzer which has a “2 meters miss distance regardless of range” out to 24km, 30km, or40 km depending on whether the projectile is unassisted or assisted. Whether the 2-meter accuracy is available when the projectile has no GPS receiver I do not know. Suffice it to say, this (and follow on) systems are indeed enormously accurate, especially as the guns can self-locate by means of GPS.

The problem with any weapons capable of such amazing precision is that a human observer still must designate the target. In urban warfare, the photo below is basically what all observers see absent that rare, fortuitous situation where intel knows what pocket the jihadi keeps his wallet in and exactly where he is:

Spot the jihadi scum, please. Avoid civilian areas. Easy, right?

And witness this airstrike:

Any civilians in harm's way there? Air strikes don't always involve laser-designated targets but, even if they do, you've still got the problem of flawless target designation. No by-guess-or-by-golly decision making. No blatant disregard of who suffers at the other end of these weapons. Ever. Right?

Well, of course that's the way it goes down in the vast, vast majority of cases. Lots of guesswork and focusing on getting the slaughter over with as soon as possible (unless you are the U.S. and are waging a life-and-death pretend war on ISIS and your top priority is kissing al-Nusraqaida ass). "Collateral damage" is a concept notable for its casual acceptance. Too bad. So sad. We're exceptional but you all are animals.

This greasy sanctimony about Russian and Syrian deliberate targeting of civilians and effortless avoidance of civilians is just garbage.

[1] "Russia: We Have Killed, Will Kill Terrorists In Syria." By South Front, 9/6/18.
[2] "U.S.-Led Forces Said to Have Used White Phosphorus in Syria." By Anne Barnard, New York Times, 6/10/17.
[3] "Commentary: Iraq endures the crucible, and emerges transformed." By Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk III, Army Times, 7/9/18.


DAN III said...

Perhaps we need to terminate our imperialism and return to the Constitution.

No wars, police actions, foreign entanglements with a declaration of war via Congress. In turn, we can put our military on OUR borders defending them with orders to "shoot & kill" invaders.

Unknown said...

Col Bunny will be aware that a "two meters miss distance" will be well within the blast radius of a simple hand grenade, let alone a 155mm projo.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Dan III, would that it were so. War is messy, brutal, tragic and more. There's no way to fight one "surgically" and, frankly, wars should be fought with utmost ferocity to bring them to an early close. Johnson's gradual "escalation" of the Vietnam War was bass ackward.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Mr. Baker, I am indeed. At least a hand grenade is used by troops with a pretty good idea of where the enemy is.