November 18, 2004

The Continuing Misperceptions of the "Comfortable Classes"

Donald Sensing cycles back to something that bears repeating:

Not understanding the intentional lethality of battle is a very common misperception among people of the comfortable classes such as Mrs. Joel - for example, the graduate students I had dinner with one night just after the air campaign began against the Afghan Taliban. They apparently thought that our bombing was a form of posturing, a symbolic display, intended to yield psychological, not lethal, effects on the enemy.

One guest said that the bombing "wouldn't intimidate" the Taliban.

"We're not trying to intimidate them," I said.

"Then why are we bombing them?" came the question.

"To kill them," I answered. There was a long silence at the table. The concept seemed not to have occurred to them. -- One Hand Clapping

Posted by Vanderleun at November 18, 2004 12:33 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I think this goes a lot further than our own so called intellectuals. Militant islamists probably think in exactly the same terms and do not realize that when we fight, we do it to kill.
They tend to think of fighting as posturing. A way to show their god that they are brave and able to stand up to foes. When captured, they do not think of themselves as defeted but still fighting under greater odds.

Posted by: jungus at November 19, 2004 12:28 PM