Posted by: quiscus | September 17, 2010

September 17, 2010

1.  “Lawrence  of Arabia: How one of Britain’s most brilliant military tacticians created the Taliban’s battle strategy

Lawrence’s ideas on guerrilla warfare were touched upon in his “Twenty-seven Articles”, which appeared in an internal British intelligence bulletin in 1917. They were then developed in three post-war treatises. Reading closely, one can identify 15 distinct principles of guerrilla warfare (see box). They are extraordinary. They invert many principles of conventional military theory, such as concentration of force, and the centrality of pitched battle to destroy the enemy’s main forces and will to fight. In this sense, they are the work of a brilliant maverick – an unconventional intellectual who had not even undergone the military training given to volunteer wartime officers (though he probably learnt something as a member of the Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps).

They draw on the traditional tactics of the “eastern way of war” – as embodied in Bedouin tribal raiding – yet elevate this into a strategy for what would later be called a “national liberation struggle”. The Arab leaders’ emphasis was on creating a regular army, not on guerrilla warfare. Again, just as Lawrence was not hidebound by British military tradition, nor was he constrained by Arab political ambition.

The third striking thing about the 15 principles is how seminal they are. Guerrilla warfare is as old as human conflict, but Lawrence’s treatises represent the first systematic conceptualisation of its strategy. And this conceptualisation is remarkably comprehensive. Later theorists of guerrilla warfare – notably Mao, Nguyen Giap and Che Guevara – have added little of substance. Lawrence is the real teacher of the guerrilla fighter.

The fourth remarkable thing is lack of recognition for the intellectual achievement. Despite the central significance of guerrilla warfare in the last century of world history, Lawrence has rarely been acknowledged. Robert Taber’s 1965 book, The War of the Flea: A Study of Guerrilla Warfare, Theory and Practice, has no mention of Lawrence nor the Arab Revolt. Only recently has awareness grown – notably among US Army officers – of Lawrence’s significance as a military theorist.

But Seven Pillars of Wisdom, however carefully read by US officers, is likely to be the book of their defeat in Afghanistan. The counterinsurgent regular cannot replicate the tactics of the insurgent guerrilla. The former is an invader. The guerrilla is embedded in local society. This basic dichotomy manifests itself in a dozen practical, and potentially deadly, ways. The regular is imposed on the military landscape and is dependent on heavy equipment, modern communications, and external supply. Intelligence depends on observation posts, patrols, and interrogation, and security entails the full panoply of fortified posts, armoured vehicles, and firepower. The invaders are therefore highly visible, relatively immobile, and poorly informed.

Compare the guerrilla. He is largely self-sufficient, highly mobile, with superb intelligence from his social network, and indistinguishable from the civilian population of which he is part. He is almost invisible, yet has the capacity to strike anywhere, anytime. The regular strives to dominate landscape by visible threat and heavy firepower. But wherever he is, the guerrilla is not.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/guerrilla-of-arabia-how-one-of-britains-most-brilliant-military-tacticians-created-the-talibans-battle-strategy-2081555.html

2.  “The Infinite Hypocrisy of the West: The Plight of the Roma People

The absence of truth is the biggest tragedy in our dangerous nuclear age

“1496: boom of humanist thinking. The Roma peoples (gypsies) from Germany are declared traitors to the Christian nations, spies paid by the Turkish, carriers of the plague, witches and warlocks, bandits and children kidnappers.

“1710: century of Enlightenment and rationale. An edict ordered that adult gypsies from Prague be hanged without any previous trial. Young persons and women were mutilated. In Bohemia their left ear were cut off; in Moravia, their right ear.

“1899: climax of modernity and progress. The police of Bavaria founded the Special Section for Gypsies’ Affairs. In 1929, the section was promoted to the category of National Central section and was moved to Munich. In 1937 it was based in Berlin. Four years later, half a million gypsies died in the concentration camps of Central and Eastern Europe.”

“In her PhD thesis, Eva Justin (assistant of Dr. Robert Ritter of the Racial Research Section of the Ministry of Health of Germany), asserted that gypsies’ blood was extremely harmful to the purity of the German race. Someone called Dr. Portschy sent a memorandum to Hitler suggesting that gypsies should be submitted to forced labor and mass sterilization because they jeopardized the pure blood of the German peasantry.

“The gypsies, who were labeled as inveterate criminals, started to be arrested en masse, and as from 1938 they were put into special blocks at the Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Gusen, Dautmergen, Natzweiler and Flossenburg camps. ”

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21076

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