Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kid Rock, Carl von Clausewitz, O'Brien, and General Loan

I read an old copy of Maxim my son had.  It had an interview with Kid Rock, dated 10/8/2007, in which he is asked the question: How would you run the war differently?  Here is his response:
I’d kick the media out. War’s not pretty, and you can’t fight a war diplomatically. We didn’t win the Revolutionary War like that. We were the original terrorists, ducking behind buildings and crap. As harsh as this sounds—and I’m sure I’ll get crap for it—if somebody kills an American soldier in a certain section of town, I’d blow up that section of town. I’d do what the Israelis do and take out 50 motherfuckers. I’d say, "Next American who gets killed, 50 more innocent people. Start giving up insurgents or we’ll wipe out your fucking block." You gotta fight fire with fire.
Would you not conclude that Kid Rock is an ardent believer in Carl von Clausewitz's first reciprocal action:
"Therefore, war in its most natural manner would involve each state continually reciprocating each other's use of force (plus some) to maintain a superiority, until both were using violence to its utmost extent."
Could one reasonably infer that Kid Rock believes that war allows a nation to "fight to war's natural extremes," that is, to perpetuate acts of violence without compromise" and "without political and moral moderation." (1)

And, if that is true, if confronted with a hypothetical, he would have to answer in a similar manner as he did when he stated " "Next American who gets killed, 50 more innocent people. Start giving up insurgents or we’ll wipe out your fucking block."

Since he has already stated unequivocally that it is quite acceptable to kill 50 more innocent people, had he been asked, like Winston was in 1984, he would quite eagerly respond exactly the same way, would he not?
O'Brien: In general terms, what are you prepared to do?'   
Kid Rock: Anything that we are capable of.
O'Brien: You are prepared to give your lives?
Kid Rock: Yes.
O'Brien: You are prepared to commit murder?
Kid Rock: Yes.
O'Brien: To commit acts of sabotage which may cause the death of hundreds of innocent people?
Kid Rock: Yes.
O'Brien: If, for example, it would somehow serve our interests to throw sulphuric acid in a child's face -- are you prepared to do that?
Kid Rock:    Yes.
So if Kid Rock, who has never been to war, who has never been in a battle, who has never had to decide who must suffer, or witness the pain and agony of the aftermath, finds it so fucking easy to condemn 50 innocent people to death for the actions perpetuated by others, doesn't it seem plausible that General Loan's actions on February 1st, 1968 could have been the result of seeing the situation through that same prism?

If Kid Rock can find it reasonable to kill 50 innocents because one of our soldiers was killed, isn't it also reasonable that General Loan could execute an enemy soldier who had just invaded his city?  I mean look at it objectively.  Our soldiers are basically an invading force in another country.  Some of the people who live there don't want us there in THEIR country.  They have every right in the world to try and kill us.  General Loan, on the other hand, was in HIS city which had just been invaded by others who were trying to force their will on him.

Now, look at the definition of moral turpitude:
Moral turpitude refers generally to conduct that shocks the public conscience. 
When looking at what Kid Rock would do and what General Loan did do, which one meets the definition more succinctly?

Now you may be thinking that Kid Rock was just being boastful, that he would never do that.  I say he would, not directly, but indirectly.  Most likely he would pussy out when it came time to pouring the sulfuric acid onto the child, or shooting 50 old ladies and children in the marketplace.  That's what most of these "fight fire with fire" types become when the situation calls for action; pussies.

Instead he would turn a blind eye to what was happening, play nudge-nudge with those that would carry it out, and hide under his flag poncho as others did his dirty work in furtherance of Carl von Clausewitz' first reciprocal action.  He would find a General Loan and unleash him under the rhetoric that "War’s not pretty, and you can’t fight a war diplomatically."

This is one side of the coin.  Like it or not, this is an absolute theology as distasteful and real as that of an absolute war.  On the other side of that coin, however, is something different.  Not, as one would think, the complete opposite to what is absolute.  No, this side of the coin is a bit more nuanced, a bit more reasonable, a bit more humane.

Look once again at what Robert Kennedy said on February 8th, 1968:
Nor does it serve the interests of America to fight this war as if moral standards could be subordinated to immediate necessities. Last week, a Vietcong suspect was turned over to the chief of the Vietnamese Security Services, who executed him on the spot—a flat violation of the Geneva Convention on the Rules of War. 
The photograph of the execution was on front pages all around the world—leading our best and oldest friends to ask, more in sorrow than in anger, what has happened to America? 
Somehow, as I have gotten to know and understand General Loan, I can see him being asked the same questions by O'Brien, but when it came to pouring sulfuric acid on a child, I really think General Loan would have told him 'no'.

But I could not see Kid Rock, Dick Cheney, or John Yoo having moral standards high enough to where they could not be "subordinated to immediate necessities."  These three, and others like them, view the world and our nation's behavior regarding our wants and needs, as absolute.

What does this say about some of my fellow countrymen who wield a great deal of power and influence over my fellow citizens?  What does this say about those who would denigrate Robert Kennedy for questioning what we are doing, why we are doing it, and the cost of said actions?   What type of behavior should we all see as corrupt or depraved, as a degenerate act or practice, regardless of why it is being performed?

Which side of the coin do we want America to land on, Kid Rock or Robert Kennedy?

Next Post: The "Good Guys" Government: Equally important as the military effort in winning the war


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