The Battlefield and the Nomads
In response to Peter of Lone Tree's brief recap of the recent U.S. military activity in Somalia, I offered commentary at BlondeSense that I herewith post in edited and expanded form as a special analysis.
The military actions we are undertaking in Somalia are pursuant to the "Global War on Terror" (GWOT). While many, if not most, Americans understand that term largely as conceptual American policy, it is most decidedly far more specific and operational; and because it is persistently and tangibly applicable, it is altogether lethal, as well.
We truly are waging a "global war": we as a nation have declared that we stand ready to carry out military missions in any theatre, within any sovereign nation, and by any means; and not only are we prepared in a contingency sense to do so, we will do so.
That's how wars are fought. They are not about some visceral, emotional readiness; they are, instead, about planning, action, and follow-up. They are not about the rhetoric of war; they are about the actual destruction of property and the killing of people. To dismiss warhawks like Richard Cheney and George W. Bush as a blustering cowards who declined to fight the wars of their generation is to miss the point that, in our generation, they are the nexus of state-sponsored violence that can be projected anywhere in the world.
In the large sense, the U.S. troops in Iraq are not fighting "the" war. That lowly country is merely one venue—a high-profile, quite visible one—on a global battlefield. Leaving Iraq has nothing whatsoever to do with disengaging "the" war the neo-conservatives have declared with the advice and consent of the Congress.
Our fierce and war-wise President and Vice President—steeped as they are in military tradition and combat experience, of course—have said that we are in a "generational struggle". In Mr. Cheney's words, "It is the kind of conflict that's going to drive our policy and our government for the next 20 or 30 or 40 years. We have to prevail and we have to have the stomach for the fight long term." For all intents and purposes, that means our leaders have begun a war without terminus, without borders, and without any meaningful way to stop it if the strategy of opponents of the madness focus on one theatre of engagement without understanding the cancer of American hegemony that has infected the very essence of American foreign policy in ways unchangeable by the particular desires, resolutions, or passions of any given Congress.
Far more important than Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, or any other particular skirmish, be it big, long, and expensive or small, short, and sweet, is this: because the United States of America really is part of the global community, a Global War on Terror necessarily means a war that can and without any doubt will be prosecuted here every bit as vigorously and violently as it is in the darkest reaches of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. That's what the "Global" in GWOT really means.
The United States as Empire remains on the move. It is not stopped by what might become a quagmire in one theatre of engagement, it is not abated by what might become a public hostility to its architects, and it is not deterred by what might become escalating reactive violence by those of the world greatly harmed by its ways and means.
The gathering night of Empire will proceed apace, and it will be on that darkened road into the future that the peoples of the world, including the citizens of this country, will find themselves traveling, nothing more than another horde of nomads hoping not to be noticed by the Empire's engines of death prowling the blackened skies.
The Dark Wraith welcomes America to the battlefield.