Sunday, October 31, 2004

The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > Ethnic Clashes Erupt in China, Leaving 150 Dead

The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > Ethnic Clashes Erupt in China, Leaving 150 Dead

It's little stories like this, ones that will be there for a day then vanish which to me show the nature of the present and future conflicts of the world. Something tragic, something very personal and small (in the total scheme of things) lights a spark which turns into a raging fire. Ethnic tensions and more specifically the tensions between Islam and everyone else are there in China, in Russia, in Europe and in Africa. It's a conflict that has been going on since before the Crusades and has reared up in Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Chechnia, New York, etc.

A very real problem though is not that we cannot win this war, it's that we are fighting different types of war. In particular we are very much like the British Redcoats from The American War of Independence. They marched along in brightly colored uniforms, the American colonists hid behind trees to fight and ran away when confronted with a larger force. The British, the most powerful military in the world could not and would not change, and therefore lost the war. They couldn't understand why we didn't fight like gentlemen. Here we are, the modern British redcoats who complain that the enemy doesn't stand up and fight. We march around and like the British are simply targets and so there is a slow bleeding. There is no reason why we can't fight and win. However, we can't even get close to the battlefield. Because of the constraints of our morality and philosophy of war now, we can't fight the war in a way which allows us to win. We won't go to those cities which are being held by terrorists and glorified street gangs and seal em up and blow em up. We won't so we'll not win those fights. We'll let our men get blown up every day rather than simply saying we will win and doing what is needed to win. The little martial law in a small section of China is a problem which will go away in short order. Much the same way that those ethnic tensions were kept down in Yugoslavia by the heavy hand of the government, the heavy hand will keep them down in China. Iraq is a different matter. It's a day by day wondering if the US military will be allowed to attack street thugs in this city or that city.


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