Friday, November 26, 2004

blessins of buddy don: how bout them apples?

befor i could even git the furst blessin counted this mornin, i run across this here story writ by a feller name of Thomas E. Ricks, witch he dun got hisself em bedded over with our troops in iraq. turnt out he dun whut i reckommended back on october 28, 2003, witch whut i sed a bidy orta do is read T. E. Lawrences book name of Seven Pillars of Wisdom. once he dun it, he writ this articull name of Lessons of Arabia n gut it published in the washington post.

heres a lil snippet sos ye kin see why ye orta go read it fer yer ownself:
Let me emphatically state here that I am not likening the cause of the Iraqi insurgents to that of Arab rebels against the Turks. I was reading this as a tactical manual of military operations against another military, not of terrorist attacks on civilians.

In those terms, the tactics employed by Lawrence and his Arab tribesmen were strikingly similar to those used against U.S. forces today in Iraq. American truck convoys constantly come under attack, sometimes by rocket-propelled grenades but most often by anonymous roadside bombs. Likewise, for most of his war, Lawrence wasn't interested in direct confrontations with the Turkish military. Rather, he strove to avoid the set-piece slugfests that Western militaries -- and Western journalists -- tend to think of as the essence of war, such as the recent battle in Fallujah. He relentlessly chipped away at the railroad that supplied Turkish forces deployed deep in what is now Jordan and Saudi Arabia, dropping rail bridges and blowing up locomotives.

"Ours should be a war of detachment, . . . of never engaging the enemy," he writes in explaining his concept of operations. At another point, he comments, "Ours were battles of minutes."

When I read his description of why he thought his outgunned, outmanned, unsophisticated force could prevail, a chill ran down my spine. His rebellion, he wrote, faced "a sophisticated alien enemy, disposed as an army of occupation in an area greater than could be dominated effectively from fortified posts." Meanwhile, his side was supported by "a friendly population, of which some two in the hundred were active, and the rest quietly sympathetic to the point of not betraying the movements of the minority."

He also came to understand that in waging or countering an insurgency, the prize is psychological, not physical. At one point, he notes in an aside, while waiting for reinforcements "we could do little but think -- yet that . . . was the essential process."
whenever i wuz lil n mama tole me sumthin sprizin, she wood ast 'how bout them apples?' twuz a way of sayin, 'bet ye never speckted that to happen, did ye?'

i wuz bout gittin to whar i dint speck nobidy to read that thar book n talk bout it, but now i kin ast that questchun how bout them apples?

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