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HR: Two Big Tactical Blunders
By Harun Rashid
10/10/2001 9:17 am Wed
Two Big Tactical Blunders
by Harun Rashid
If one wishes to see a goal scored, and it is an important goal, one
that is worth giving up life itself to accomplish, then great care
should be taken in the planning. It is not enough to strike a first
blow, no matter how great the damage might be, if it only arouses
the anger of an opponent whose might is sufficient to permanently
end further attempts.
The organisation of conspirators who have demolished Us buildings
have made a big blunder, one that leads inexorably to the total
extinction of any chance for success. They have seriously
misjudged the character of their opponent.
A story goes that a spy was sent from Germany in the thirties to
appraise the fighting spirit of the American people. He cautiously
traveled about, asking subtle questions about the political situation
in Europe, and whether America might enter a European war on the
side of the Germans. He found the American public was
overwhelmingly opposed to entering another European war. The
memory of WWI was still fresh. Once was enough.
There was a deep economic depression in the US at the time, and it
seemed no one was interested in another war in Europe. The
isolationist feeling was strong. The spy sat down to write his
report, focusing on the universal feeling he found of "America first"
pacifism. "We need not worry, the Americans won't fight," he
Just before he sent off his report, he took a short break to attend
an American football game. He noted the intensity with which the
teams played. He saw the fans jump, wave and cheer wildly to
encourage their team. So astonished and impressed was he, that he
went back to his hotel room and changed his paper. "Germany
would be wise not to engage these people in a war," he wrote. He
The Japanese, heady with success in China and other parts of Asia,
were more audacious. They decided the US could be bested in a
long-range war. Admiral Yamamoto, an experienced strategist, was
assigned the task of preparing war plans. He advised the Japanese
cabinet that Japan could not win a drawn out war against the
industrial might of the US. He was told to prepare the plans
Admiral Yamamoto, in spite of his misgivings, decided that although
a war could not be won, a powerful attack on the US Navy and its
bases in the Pacific would give Japan time to further strengthen its
military might. He made plans for a first strike that would be
definitive, and for its success he relied on stealth. There would be
no announcement, the attack would be swift and sudden, catching
the Americans unaware on a quiet Sunday morning, when many
would be sleeping off the excesses of Saturday night in town.
The attack itself was a military success, destroying planes on the
ground and sinking the American battleships moored alongside the
dock like sitting ducks at Ford Island. The execution of the
Japanese plan was excellent, from a military point of view. The
attack itself, however, was later seen to be a great mistake, as the
Admiral had wisely foreseen.
As a matter of pure chance, the American aircraft carriers were at
sea, beyond reach of the Admiral's planes. This good fortune made
a rapid response by the Americans possible. The war with Japan
was largely an air war, made possible by the aircraft carriers. To
this day America relies strongly on the aircraft carrier as a mobile
platform for military operations.
There is in the American character a deep sense of fair play. It is
not acceptable to hit a person who is wearing glasses. One first
must ask that the glasses be removed. One does not strike from
the rear, "the blind side." To shoot a man in the back is considered
the greatest cowardice and no better than the bite of a rattlesnake
striking without warning from ambush. "You dirty sidewinder!" is
the term of opprobrium often heard in American cowboy films.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour and other Pacific bases
on December 7, 1941, the Americans were first horrified that
anyone would do such a dastardly and dishonourable thing. They
were outraged, developing a seething anger that endured. They
vowed the attack would be avenged using the full industrial might
of the nation. That same resolution is evident today.
"Remember Pearl Harbour!" was the battle cry then. The memory is
still alive, captured in President Roosevelt's words as, "The day of
infamy." The American sense of fair play was offended, and this
gave a moral lift to the striken people. They sprang suddenly into
determined action, completely overcoming any prior preference for
pacifism. It was easy to picture the Japanese as despicable.
Japanese-Americans were treated as potential traitors, rounded up
from their homes and incarcerated in desert camps behind barbed
wire for the duration of the conflict. It is in the nature of terrorism
that it strikes without warning, and against innocent people who
have no opportunity to protect themselves. This is the source of
the indignation that arouses the fighting spirit of the American
people today. Whatever the arguments offered in justification, it
cannot be heard in such an emotional climate. The conspirators,
whoever they ultimately may prove to be, have struck a hornet's
nest, and now the hornets are out to settle the score.
To strike the Americans on their home turf without warning, that is
a blunder. (One notices that the Americans gave stern warnings in
both the Gulf war and the present instance.) One may say Osama
Bin Laden made a declaration of war against America a number of
years ago, but this was not in the nature of an open conflict.
Osama Bin Laden had in mind the successes of the Vietnamese,
and the defeat of the Russians. He thinks it acceptable to use the
same guerrilla tactics against the Americans.
When the USS Cole, a warship, was bombed, it was slightly more
acceptable to the Americans as a threat a military vessel might
expect, though the method of attack was considered unfair.
When the two American embassies were bombed, there was
outrage, but again it did not arouse a permanent widespread anger
and indignation. When the World Trade Center was hit, carrying
innocent airline passengers and crews to their deaths along with
thousands in the buildings, that did it. The Americans have been
awakened, and the world is in grave danger until this great nuclear
superpower has vented its rage.
If a monkey deliberately drops a coconut on an elephant's head, the
elephant might get mad. If he does, the monkey is in serious
trouble. Calling to other monkey's for assistance will not help
matters. Not at all.
Link Reference : HR Worldview: Two Big Tactical Blunders