Solving the Diaoyu Islands Crisis

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It seems the Diaoyu Islands dispute between China, Japan, and Taiwan is escalating a little each day. The claims of sovereignty over the islands is impossible to verify. The facts have been too badly clouded by time, conflicting documents, and unverifiable history. Every side seems to have a valid claim of some sort. Petty disputes over obscure rocks in the ocean like this have little actual value.

Some fear that actual shooting may begin, possibly as a result of an accident between the ships and planes dispatched to the area by the three players. It is imperative that the ownership of the islands be decided before events spiral out of control.

I suggest the leaders of the countries involved in the struggle engage in a Greco-Roman style wrestling match. The islands will be awarded to the country of the winner. At first glance this seems a frivolous suggestion, but it has roots deep in history.

Alexander the Great led his Persian army all over the world wearing a fierce looking lion’s head skin as a war bonnet. The Roman Empire was established and expanded with emperors at the heads of armies.

alex

Gengis Kahn, Atilla the Hun, and other barbarian leaders headed their armies while they destroyed cities and empires, including the Roman. They wandered the world fighting, often for years at a time.

The first Crusade was led by French barons. Later crusades were led by kings, including Sigurd I of Norway, Louis VII of France, Richard the Lion Hearted of England, and Conrad III of Germany.

The Emperor Napoleon led the French armies across Europe and into northern Africa. Giuseppe Garibaldi and Otto von Bismarck led the armies that unified Italy and Germany, respectively.

napoleon

Over the years, the system of kings, emperors, despots, czars, and other heads of state leading their armies into battle slowly began to change. The heads of state began to stay home and send their generals onto the battlefield in their place.

During the American Civil War Presidents Lincoln and Davis stayed in their national capitols while Generals Lee, Grant and others, led their armies in the field. During World War I the tradition continued, but then the generals increasingly kept themselves safely behind the battle lines.

By the time World War II began, it was unusual to find a general directly leading an army, while the leaders of the countries involved dictated their movements from the safety of deep bunkers far from the actual fighting.

Suicide bombers are incited to wear explosive vests onto crowded buses by religious leaders. Rarely if ever, have any of these same leaders strapped a few pounds of C-4 high explosive on themselves. They seem to be anxious to send their children to heaven, but not themselves. The people urging self-immolations in Tibet are the same, older people urging on young people to sacrifice themselves for a cause they don’t understand.

Perhaps it had something to do with the ever more deadly nature of warfare. As time progressed top national and high military leaders kept themselves increasingly safe. Instead they forced or otherwise directed their children and grandchildren to slaughter each other on the fields of battle.

Today’s leaders don’t lead the military, they direct it from afar. In matters of military conflict they expect the youngest and least influential members of society to fight their battles for them, often to the death. Both China and Japan have new leadership. It’s time to end the barbaric practice of forcing children to kill each other if the leaders have a disagreement. Let’s return to the days when leaders settled things between leaders. It’s time for national leaders to remember how to act like men.

diaoyu

That brings me back to the wrestling suggestion about wrestling made in the beginning of this piece. As noted, it was frivolous, but it is even more frivolous to sacrifice the lives of children to settle something as insignificant as the Diaoyu Islands spat. Instead of a wrestling match why not just flip a coin? It could be done on pay-per-view TV and every country’s treasure would reap some much needed revenue. If a coin toss is not good enough, maybe a game of “rock, paper scissors.” or something similar.

The question to the politicians is, would you sacrifice your child for the Diaoyu rocks? If not, why do you expect others to do so?

 

How the Mighty Have Fallen

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Once the most powerful militarily nations in the world, the benefits of statist socialism have taken their toll. The U.K. looks like it is ill prepared to do battle with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Maybe that’s why Kirchner is flexing her country’s muscle.

From The Telegraph. January 13, 2013.

How Britian’s current military forces compare to 1982:

1982

Armed Forces Personnel: 320,000

Ships: 2 Carriers, 2 Assault ships, 32 Submarines, 15 Destroyers, 46 Frigates, 1 Ice Patrol Ship, 12 Hydrographic survey ships, 15 Patrol ships/craft, 29 Minesweepers and minehunters, 45 Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Aircraft: 400 plus

2013

Armed Forces personnel: 160,000

Ships: 0 Carriers, 9 Submarines, 7 Destroyers, 13 Frigates, 2 Assault/Helicopter Carriers, 2 Assault/Command Ships, 3 RFA Landing Ships, 3 Survey ships, 1 Ice Patrol Ship, 4 Patrol Ships, 15 Minehunters, 10 Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Fighter Aircraft: 130

 

Another Government Outrage

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U.S. army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians on March 11 of this year. He began his court martial process on Monday, November 5.

On November 5, 2009, another U.S. serviceman, Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire on unarmed U.S. soldiers and civilians at Ft. Hood, Texas, killing thirteen and wounding some two dozen others while yelling “Allah Akbar!” More than three years after the massacre, Hasan has yet to be brought to trial while the government fights to classify the crime “workplace violence” rather than “terrorism” to avoid from having to pay the families of the victims more compensation.

Somehow Bales was brought to trial about 8 months after committing mass murders half way around the world, while the justice system dithers with Hassan who committed his crimes at a military base in Texas. Meanwhile Hasan sucks up government money for his room, board, medical care, and lawyers. The government certainly seems to have different standards dealing with a non-Muslim killing Muslims, than it has for a Muslim killing non-Muslims. Why?

U.S. Naval Games in South China Sea

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Commenting on the naval exercises the U.S. is holding in the South China Sea, there was an editorial by Qiu Hao in Monday’s Global Times, an English language newspaper published in Beijing. Qiu Hao opined the U.S. military is stretched thin, like a dumpling wrapper. He said there is nothing to fear from the U.S. The naval games are for show only.

Clearly the Chinese realize that Obama has no stomach to project U.S. power, military or otherwise. Under Mao the U.S. was often called a “paper tiger.” Under Obama the name is accurate.

This Is Hard to Take

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From a piece written by Alfred de Montesquiou about the offensive action going on in Afghanistan.

“Also Tuesday, U.S. artillery fired non-lethal smoke rounds to disperse Taliban fighters in Marjah _ the first time cannons have been used in the fight to drive the militants from their logistical and opium poppy-smuggling base. Commanders refused a Marine request to fire deadly high-explosive rounds because the unit on the ground could not be sure civilians weren’t at risk.”

This happened after we warned everyone that the attack was coming. Then we refuse to use our best weapons. Truly we have lost the will to win in Afghanistan. We should wave the white flag and go home. Political correctness and Washington politics have lost the war for us.

And We Wonder Why We Haven’t Won in Afghanistan

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From the AP via Yahoo News today:

“DENVER – The Air Force Academy has set aside an outdoor worship area for Pagans, Wiccans, Druids and other Earth-centered believers, school officials said Monday.

Lt. Col. William Ziegler, one of the academy’s chaplains, said designating the space is part of the school’s effort to foster religious tolerance and to defend the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.”

This story speaks for itself. I can not think of a thing to add.

Why Can’t the Finest Military in the World Win in Afghanistan?

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After 8 years it seems that they should have been able to kill a few thousand medieval, pig eating, religious fanatics living in holes in the ground. Our military has the finest soldiers and the best equipment in the world. And we probably spend more money in a day than the jihadists have spent in 8 years. What gives?

I think there are at least three reasons for the lack of success in Afghanistan. They are politics, political correctness, and prosecutions of our soldiers.

Politics. Politicians in Washington are always looking over the shoulders of the men in the field. They are constantly second guessing the soldiers, criticizing them, and using the military to make political hay. Some of the more despicable politicians have accused our men of being Nazi-like, murders, torturers, and other things. Fear of unjustified and vicious criticism hampers the fighting ability of the troops.

Political Correctness. Winning hearts and minds is more important than killing terrorists. If the terrorists hide among civilians our military can’t go after them. If the run into a mosque, the military can’t persue them. In both cases the military is more worried about not pissing off the civilians than in killing terrorists. Nothing makes sense.

Prosecutions. The most recent outrage is the case of the 3 Navy SEALs who are being prosecuted for bloodying the lip of a most-wanted terrorist they captured. But there have been dozens of cases from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. These prosecutions are almost all political in nature. I don’t remember reading about any ending up with convictions, except for a few wayward guards at Abu Ghraib Prison.

These factors and others cause our military to be overly cautious in the field. Rather than keeping both eyes on the enemy, our soldiers are forced to keep one eye on the enemy and the other on their countrymen at home

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