Muslim agitprop Waleed Aly, (w)academic and (token) ABC host, is angry that US soldiers are fighting in ways which makes it impossible for the Taliban to kill them:
[Drones] so radically and fundamentally alter the nature of war that they risk making war seem far less grave, and far easier to wage.Â Each side confronts the other, with the risk of death and defeat. In short, war should come at a cost. That contract is shredded when you’re attacked by something that cannot itself be killed.Â It’s not remotely a fair fight.
A word to Aly.Â There is no contract of the kind you imagine. The contract a society has is actually with its citizens, not its enemies. That contract is to fight for the society’s self-protection using whatever means it has to minimise its own losses and maximise those of its foes.Â For the US to do anything other is not remotely fair to its citizens and to those it asks to fight for them. It has next to no obligation to be fair to terrorists.
But what we are seeing in the battlefield is not just a clash of technology – drones against AK 47s and roadside bombs. It is a clash of cultures, and the weaponry is a product and a measure of each.
“Clash of cultures?” No. Its not. It is the oldest war in the world. Its the barbarity and savagery of Islam againstÂ our culture and civilisation….
The reason the US has drones is it has cultural qualities that Islamic societies – especially those producing Talibani – have so long lacked. It has honored learning, put reason above dogma, encouraged free thought, defended free speech, governed by the rule of law and tolerated heresy. It has opened itself to the world and given its citizens a voice and power through democracy, perhaps the greatest source of its power.
Such a society will inevitably have a scientific edge over its enemies. That edge helps it to survive against even against terrorists who do not share, for instance, its respect for the lives of not just its own soldiers but of the innocent in the lands of its enemies. The culture behind the weaponry is what makes this fight not fair, and no person of reason should wish it otherwise.
For Aly to oppose the use of drones is not just to argue for more US soldiers to be killed. It is to demand the US give up the fruits of democracy and free inquiry, leaving those values more defenceless against cultures pledged to destroy them.
You can side with the drones or with the suicide vests. But in doing so you make a choice not just between technologies, but between freedom and oppression.
For Wally, freedom means sharia and the supremacy of Islam.
THE US drone strike that killed the Pakistani Taliban’s No 2 has delivered a powerful message to the new government that the controversial drone program can work in its interests.
The death of Waliur Rehman comes just days after US President Barack Obama outlined stricter protocol for drones, promising lethal force would be used only if a target posed a “continuous, imminent threat to the American people”…
Rehman, 40, and second only to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commander Hakimullah Mehsud, is understood to have co-ordinated dozens of suicide attacks on Pakistani civilians, waged guerilla war against Pakistani troops and conducted cross-border attacks against NATO troops fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan…
His death on Wednesday morning, along with at least five others, in a missile strike on a Taliban safe house near the North Waziristan capital, Miran Shah, removes a powerful anti-state actor ahead of mooted peace talks between the new government and the home-grown terror outfit.
The Pakistan Taliban has demonstrated exactly what it thinks of free inquiry, free speech and the education of girls:
The Pakistan Taliban, who are close to al Qaeda, remain resilient despite a series of military offensives.Â They took part in … the attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai in October, who had campaigned for girls’ education.
A society with those values is never going to be a pioneer in high-tech weapons.
I mentioned above the real war contract a society has – not with its enemy but with its people and its soldiers. Few described it better than did General George Patton – the real one and that played by George C. Scott, both of whom speak here:
No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
(And for a treat, read againÂ Patton’s speech to his Third ArmyÂ just before D-Day. I suspect Aly would be horrified by one of the greatest generals in US history.)