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Men Not To Be Trifled With
Last night I got together with Sun Tzu, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and George Patton for pizza, beer, and a little poker.
We got to talking about the war in Afghanistan.
The more I told them about it, the more puzzled their faces became, so, figuring I wasn’t doing justice to the subject matter, I gave them 30 minutes on my laptop to check out the Times, the WSJ, and a variety of European and Asian news sources.
As they huddled around the screen, quiet chuckles gave way to guffaws of a magnitude unique to world class conquerors and military strategists.
Then, in a gesture of uncharacteristic kindness, they assured me that my presentation wasn’t the cause of their amusement.
They did, however, paternally sit me down and ask if, for starters, I could pass along the following:
1. You can’t fight an effective war against an undefined enemy. No uniforms, no national allegiance, no lust for life, no go.
2. You can’t bribe a native populace to cooperate with you unless you’re prepared to put them on the payroll for life.
3. You don’t declare your troop strength, unless it’s purposeful misinformation.
4. You also don’t declare your invasion date.
5. Nor do you declare your withdrawal date, and then reveal your cluelessness by fudging the previously declared date on the weekend talk shows.
6. Drug dealers make lousy allies.
I told them that a few days ago I had written “And the big O decides to commit money we don’t have, and blood we don’t need to spill, to a war in a country that isn’t a country at all, as far as its own inhabitants are concerned. Aside from Kabul and the surrounding region, what we call Afghanistan is tribes and warlords spread out on a land mass whose borders are figments of our imagination, not their reality.”
They said “not bad little brother, not bad.” I wasn’t sure if they were placating me or not. When we play poker, they can pretty much bluff me out of the room.
Then they repeated their request that I pass their comments along to the proper authorities. These are men one refuses at one’s own peril.
And so, given the 6 degrees of separation/connection that can doubtlessly get the above to the paragons of the Pentagon, I’m going public in order to get the ball rolling.
If you’ve got any connections, use them. Thanks.