Human ingenuity

English: Michigan's Upper Peninsula

English: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Human ingenuity will defeat high-tech every time, well almost every time. Joseph Heywood, author of The Snowfly and several crime novels set in Michigan‘s upper peninsula was a tanker pilot during the Vietnam war. In his autobiography entitled Covered Waters, Tempests of a Nomadic Trouter, he has this to say about the ingenuity of the Viet Cong enemy:

“I talked to a Forward Air Controller (FAC) about interdiction packages. Usually the package consists of a huge mine, but to keep the enemy from exploding it prematurely, they seed the area with tiny antipersonnel mines. The enemy uses a rock tied to a string, throwing it ahead of him, then dragging it back to explode the CBUs. After he cleans a path, he pulls an ox in front of the main mine. With a rope the ox then pulls a plow or metal object like a garbage can lid by the big one, exploding it. The process, which takes us a day to put in place, and many thousands of dollars, is cleared by the enemy in 2-4 hours with a rock, a string, an ox, and a piece of metal. Simplicity can always best complexity.”

And then there is the home field advantage which applies in knowledge of the war zone as well as in sports. We lost in Vietnam, did poorly in Iraq and are losing in Afghanistan, at least in part, because the enemy knows the country better than we do. In our war for independence from Great Britain, the greatest military power of the time, we won in part because we had the home field advantage. And we might still be part of the British Commonwealth if we had not had the help of France.

Donald Rumsfeld believed that the US could and should rely on high tech to allow us to field a small military. The enemy responded with IEDs, improvised explosive devices, and suicide bombers. Rather than relying so much on high tech, I believe that we should out-think and out-improvise our enemies. Let’s start encouraging Yankee know-how to win hearts and minds rather than firepower to kill.


Gun control part 4

Washington DC - Capitol Hill: United States Ca...

Washington DC - Capitol Hill: United States Capitol (Photo credit: wallyg)

This is the fourth and I trust final post on the subject, at least for now. As I see it, there are two main reasons for the support of the second amendment: self-defense, discussed in a prior post, and distrust of the US government, the subject of this post.

Guns in the hands of the civilian population is believed by some to guarantee our freedom. This belief was born in our successful revolt against Great Britain in the period of 1776 to 1783. The US was aided financially by France and individuals from various European nations volunteered their services. Is that likely to happen again in the future? I think not.

Armed rebellion by residents of the South was attempted in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 and was defeated. Even with aid from Great Britain, the South could not withstand the might of the Federal government. Do the militias and individuals expressing second amendment rights today honestly believe that they have any chance of success? I doubt that they could withstand the organized might of the Federal government nor could they expect assistance from governments or many individuals from outside the US. Rather than intervene on the rebels’ behalf, the UN or NATO are more likely to assist the US government.

Rather than suggesting armed rebellion against the government to protect their definition of freedom, the proponents of resistance to government policies should work within the system to effect change. If they cannot win the support of the majority of their fellow citizens, they should rethink their positions. The rest of the free world is free despite the lack of an armed citizenry. My advice to the second amendment supporters is to relax and enjoy life. And let the rest of us enjoy our lives without all the emphasis on 2nd and 10th amendment rights.

Please see  Gun control | Gun control part 2 | Gun control part 3