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View Diary: The Law of Unintended Consequences: 29% of the Country Think Armed Rebellion Might Be Necessary (106 comments)

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  •  The forces that actually defeated the (3+ / 0-)

    Soviets weren't the brutal backward clowns we were equipping with stingers and Chinese AK's.

    Rather, it was Massoud's forces, with very little outside help, that did the lions share of the fighting.

    The Viet Cong were highly effective at doing exactly what they set out to do.  If you think wars are decided by kill ratios you're profoundly confused about the purpose of war.

    Fallujah wasn't a block by block slog only because of IEDs (and it's kind of a trip to think anyone actually believes explosives are hard to come by in the chaos of a civil war) but also because of ongoing fire.  

    The Iraqis had no better parity of arms when they drove out the British 90 years earlier despite being gassed.

    Native Americans were defeated by (almost entirely unintentional) biological warfare and by overwhelming numbers.  They would not have prevailed against 10 to 20 times their numbers even if they had been similarly equipped, and very few battles in the Indian Wars until the last 30 years of the 19th century saw cannon playing a very big role.

    From Algeria to Ireland, colonial powers have in fact been driven out time after time by poorly armed peoples willing to die have defeated heavily technologically superior adversaries who were much, much less willing to die.

    Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

    by JesseCW on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:49:40 PM PDT

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    •  Again... (1+ / 0-)
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      Massoud's forces were a highly-trained, uniformed army, equipped with heavy weaponry bought via trade from other countries.  Asymmetric, sure.  But nothing like a ragtag militia of dudes with their hobby arsenals.

      Going by kill counts is precisely why you might think the VC were effective.  What they were effective at was turning South Vietnamese against them through brutal terror campaigns.  Even the North Vietnamese leaders got sick of them, and by the end of the war they were marginalized and folded into other groups.  The NVA did far more damage to us than the VC did.

      Mentioning rebellions of decolonization are a red herring, for the simple reason that the colonizers generally quit because the colony wasn't worth keeping anymore.  That's not the case in a civil war, and indeed, Algerian guerillas had a much harder time against other Algerians in the '90's.

      But even so, the Algerians had basically lost their war of independence by 1958, and it was only attempted coups in France that led to a weakening they could exploit.  The Irish did have success in the 1910's and 20's (financed by their large American diaspora), but they only succeeded once the British were exhausted and broke after World War I.   That's hardly a recipe you can count on.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:06:04 PM PDT

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