Prizefight. Hockey game. Chess match.
Here’s how war doesn’t work.
“Hey, let’s have a war. Let’s both of us decide to start fighting at a particular place and time several months from now. Until then we’ll both train up our military forces, but let’s first agree to a maximum force limit and a set of rules to be enforced by a neutral arbiter. Because war should be fair. Then at be appointed time and place, we’ll bring our armies to bear. We’ll fight non-stop for three weeks, then rest, regroup and strategize for one week. Then we will re-engage in battle for three more weeks. This fight-and-rest cycle will continue until one of us is unable to engage the battle for let’s say 36 hours, or the neutral arbiter says one of us is so badly beaten that the war should be stopped, or until we have battled 15 times. Then three other neutral arbiters will score our war based on their individual scores for each of our 15 battles, where the winner of each battle is awarded ten points, and the loser some lesser number. A majority decision of the three judges determines a winner, but stalemate is possible.”
“Hey, let’s have a war. Let’s both of us bring armies to a neutral battlefield. We’re only allowed, like, 20 soldiers apiece, and they will be armed only with curved sticks and plastic armor. Of course there will be neutral arbiters of rules here as well. Let’s have 4 of them. Our war will have to be fair. Let’s say we each are allowed six fighters on the battlefield at a time, but we can substitute almost any time we like. And the object of this war is to push a hard rubber disc into a net guarded by one of the warriors on each side. We’ll fight for 20 minutes and rest for 20 minutes. Three 20 minute battles and whoever has pushed the disc into the net more times wins. If it’s tied after three battles, we go again until the next side scores. And just for fun, we’ll do all of this on ice skates.”
“Hey, let’s have a war. Let’s both of us bring armies to an 8×8 battlefield. Our armies will have 16 soldiers apiece. 8 of them can only move forward. Two can move forward, backward or sideways in straight lines. Two others can only move on diagonals in any direction. Still another two jump about like horses. One really powerful & valuable soldier can move in a straight line in any direction. The last and most important soldier can only move one space at a time but can never move into a place where there is danger. If he’s captured that ends the game. We’ll take turns moving pieces around and fight until one of us takes that important soldier, or forces him into a position where he can’t move.”
The problem is, this is not war. None of these are war. They are euphemisms for war. They are microcosms for war. They are sensationalized entertainments made more exciting by the application of war terminology. Like George Carlin said of football:
In football, the object is for the quarterback, otherwise known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing his aerial assault with a sustained ground attack, which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemies’ defensive line.
As much as it sounds like war, that’s not war either.
Only war is truly war. Focused, purposeful carnage. Industrial scale death-dealing in service to an abstract goal, if we’re going to be awfully blunt about it.
And what is the question? How does war end?
There are two ways to end a war.
- Completely eliminate the enemy by wiping him from the battlefield eternally.
- So thoroughly decimate the enemy that he
- loses his will to fight; or
- realizes that he risks the first outcome.
Now, over here (safe link), DUMBFUCK seems to be saying he wants a war with WJJ Hoge. That’s fine. But he should look to his own resources. Then he should look across the battlefield at WJJ Hoge’s resources. Finally, he should consider long and well who might come running to help when such a war begins. And who might duck and cover.
Before he does any of that, though…he should plan his endgame. For all possibilities.
In other words, should the worst outcome present, would he prefer surrender, or the other thing?
Because as Billy Sez…