Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 11:28:00 MST

John Clark wrote:
> Charlie Stross <> Wrote:
> > The question presupposes that cultural engineering is *possible*. With
> > all due respect, I don't believe it is
> I'd say cultural engineering is almost impossible but not quite, there is one
> successful case. Japan was probably the most militaristic state on the planet,
> it was virtually medieval with woman treated like chattel; in a very short time
> it was transferred into a modern democratic nation and probably the most
> pacifistic on the planet with an obsession for baseball and golf. I'm not sure
> if it should be called "engineering" however, we may just have gotten lucky.

It's all a matter of mojo, John. With the twin spires of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, the Japanese people finally realized that their high jefe, the
god on earth, Hirohito, just didn't have the mojo compared to those
Americans, so obviously the American Way was a better way to conquer the
world: economically, with generous helpings of photo-tourism and a
worshipful attitude to the American Past-Time of baseball.

This is why I, like Spike, advocate the use of overwhelming force in
war: the enemy needs to KNOW, all the way down to his gonads, that his
way is utterly wrong and ours is utterly right before he will accept the
sort of surrender we need to ensure that we don't have to fight them all
over again a few decades later. In Kuwait, carpet bombing did the job
with the Republican Guard, then we went and gave up ourselves, not
realizing the sort of victory and peace we needed to actually impose.
Hussein was THIS close to personally feeling that lack of scrotal
fortitude that the rest of his men felt, but we didn't press the issue,
now we have to deal with THIS MESS, which is here because of that lack
of will on our part in 1991.

Like surprise, defeat does not occur on the battlefield, it occurs in
the mind of the enemy. If you destroy his ability to fight, but do no
change his mind, you will have to fight him again some day, and you will
rue that day.

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