[LINK] {OT} Walk against War - sunday in sydney

Grant Bayley gbayley@ausmac.net
Mon, 17 Feb 2003 12:22:09 +1100 (EST)


On Mon, 17 Feb 2003, James Morris wrote:

> > all.  I have my reasons for supporting action against countries such as
> > Iraq and North Korea, not the least of which is a good knowledge of the
> > history of the 20th century [...]
>
> Perhaps then you have read Colin Powell's 1995 autobiography, 'A Soldier's
> Way', also published as 'My Amercian Journey'.
>
> In this he makes the point emphatically and repeatedly that the people
> must support any war that the government embarks upon.  He seems to have
> arrived at this as one of his primary guiding principles while studying
> Clausewitz at the National War College in Washington DC (which he
> describes as the 'Harvard of military education').
>
> Here's one quote:
>
>  That wise Prussian Karl von Clausewitz was an awakening for me. His 'On
>  War', written 106 years before I was born, was like a beam of light from
>  the past, still illuminating present-day military quandaries. "No one
>  starts a war, or rather no one in his senses should do so," Clausewitz
>  wrote, "without first being clear in his mind what he intends to
>  achieve by that war and how he intends to achieve it." Mistake number
>  one in Vietnam. Which lead to Clausewitz's rule number two. Political
>  leaders must set a war's objectives, while armies achieve them. In
>  Vietnam, one seemed to be looking to the other for the answers that
>  never came. Finally, the people must support a war. Since they supply
>  the treasure and the sons, and today the daughters too, they must be
>  convinced that the sacrifice is justified. That essential pillar had
>  crumbled as the Vietnam War ground on. Clausewitz's greatest lesson for
>  my profession was that the soldier, for all his patriotism, valor, and
>  skill, forms just one leg in a triad. Without all three legs engaged, the
>  military, the government, and the people, the enterprise cannot stand.
>
> Throughout the book it becomes clear that these principles form the
> backbone of his miltary thinking all the way through to the end of his
> military career as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
>
> Now, as US Secretary of State, Powell is seeking to prosecute a war which
> clearly does not have public support without UN backing in the US, UK and
> Australia -- all members of the Coalition of the Willing.
>
> Has the requirement for public support, an "essential pillar", somehow
> been rendered false since 1995, or has Powell now abandoned a core
> component of his and (by extension) US military doctrine?

This all seems to imply, as other posters have with their vocal
enthusiasm, that a crowd of 400,000 in a population of ~19,000,000
is "representative".

It certainly doesn't hurt your point of view to claim that it is.  Not
right now, anyway.

Whether it is or not won't be decided on the streets, though.  It'll be
decided at the next election.

(Aside: That said, don't assume I'm a supporter of John Howard.  Far from
it.  I'm a sporting shooter, so after Port Arthur, we paid the price for
the sins of an individual, and we're about to have the same done to us
again following Monash despite having strict licensing of both people and
firearms, and despite having committed no crime as a whole.  And for the
icing on the cake, he has the gall to bask in the reflected glory of
shotgunner Michael Diamond winning Gold at the Olympics, and personal
friends of mine winning medals at the Commonwealth Games in pistol
shooting events.  For this sort of duplicity, he'll never get my vote.
Anyway, back on topic.)

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this the same impression One Nation
tried to give when it was in its ascendancy, and was laughed at when
support for their "representative" views failed to materialise en masse at
election time, instead being silenced by a majority that wasn't as vocal
or as inclined to march on the streets with placards?  Don't you guys have
any doubts that the same will eventually occur here?  None at all?

Grant