Shocking New Report: Bombing People Causes People to Hate You
Shocking New Report: Bombing People Causes People to Hate You
By gjohnsit /

You better sit down for this one because it will blow your mind. You are probably aware that we on a global quest to rid the world of Evil, one smart-bomb at a time. Yet, for some strange reason, every place that we bomb Evil into oblivion seems to become more messed up than before.   You would think that our humanitarian mass killing would make the world a better place, but for some reason it never seems to happen.

  Now there is a new report that examines this strange trend.

Our new article, forthcoming in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence,  examines the coalition’s use of violence to suppress insurgency during the Iraq War. We found that excess reliance on military force can produce counterintuitive results.

  Counterintuitive? You mean like, they throw bullets at us instead of flowers?

Using data from the Iraq War Logs, we analyzed the numbers to see whether killing insurgents had any influence on the incidence of insurgent attacks. We constructed a weekly data set across 103 districts in Iraq from 2004 to 2009. The data counted how many insurgents coalition forces killed each week in each district, through all types of military engagement (including direct and indirect fire incidents, bombings or any other form of engagement where a member of the coalition was present to record the incident). We then analyzed whether the number of insurgents killed in a given week had an impact on the number of insurgent attacks against coalition forces in future weeks. The answer is yes — but it turns out that rather than reducing the insugency’s  capabilities, killing fighters actually encouraged more attacks against the coalition.
   When coalition forces employed extreme violence — killing relatively large numbers of insurgents — they were able to moderate the rate of increase in insurgent attacks, but not reduce it. In other words, military force alone was not successful at decreasing violence in Iraq. Here are four reasons why.

Shocking! Killing lots of people does not create peace on Earth!   But every Hollywood movie based on a video game I've ever seen has an entirely different message (i.e. you kill all the bad guys to win the game). Could all those movies be wrong?   Almost every presidential candidate echoes the message of those Hollywood movies as well. Surely they can't all be wrong!

  So what reasons does this report give for such bizarre conclusions?

1) Military force often means collateral damage.

  It seems that classifying dead civilians as insurgents/terrorists may work with the American audience, but it doesn't work so well with the locals.   What's more, blowing up their homes and infrastructure doesn't makes them love you either.

2) Civilians are likely to blame outsiders for violence, not the Islamic State.

  Funny how the locals are more likely to blame people from the other side of the planet that drop bombs from 30,000 feet, rather than people they can actually see and talk to.

3) Attacking insurgents may actually strengthen their ranks.

Killing insurgent fighters is a sure way to encourage retaliation. If a group can signal strength through retaliatory attacks despite receiving heavy casualties, then local populations are more likely to view that group as strong. Some populations would see backing a strong group as the best way to protect their own interests.

There's also something else the report didn't note: insurgents are people to (believe it or not), and people tend to have families and friends who may resent you killing them.

4) A stronger insurgency is likely to result in more attacks on coalition forces.

  So if we can't bomb our way to peace, what can we do? So far the answer is to bomb even more. It's a message that sells with both Democrats and Republicans.

 Now assuming that more bombs aren't the answer (and that MUCH more bombs aren't the answer either), what could be the answer? Well, someone might have an idea.

We have a military plan to defeat the Islamic State – and, as initial gains in Fallujah last week demonstrated, it’s going well in many respects – but we have yet to articulate a political plan to ensure Iraq’s long-term stability.
   Sometimes it’s impossible to tell whether it’s 2007 or 2016. The battle plans I hear from our commanders in Iraq today are the same ones I heard at the beginning of the surge, down to the same cities and tribal alliances. My question is: How will this time be different? The silence is deafening.

Oh yeah. The politics. Diplomacy. Long-term thinking rather than short-term explosions.   All stuff that Americans had long ago sh*t-canned as signs of weakness. Maybe instead of just spending billions on contracting out our military, maybe we can spend a few bucks contracting out our diplomacy too? Because obviously no one in Washington is interested in talking anymore.

Carl von Clausewitz taught us nearly 200 years ago that “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.” We have to have a political endgame, or the sacrifices our troops continue to make will be in vain. It’s not the military’s job to develop that political plan – that’s where the administration comes in – but it’s painfully clear there isn’t one.Without a long-term political strategy, we can expect to send young Americans back to Iraq every time Iraqi politics fall apart, a new terrorist group sweeps in and we find ourselves required to clean up the mess.
   Fixing Iraqi politics is difficult, but I’d much prefer having a heavy, long-term diplomatic presence than losing more lives refighting battles we already won.

  The good news is that we are getting very good at invading the Middle East. It'll come in useful again very soon.

4.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World
2 min · 9,214 views today · Just acknowledge that all that sh*t is f*cking b*llshit — you're here now, in this place, with your inner stillness. Take in a deep breath ... now breathe out. Just feel the...
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 9,165 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 8,063 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 5,119 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
Who I'm Voting For...
3 min · 4,654 views today · Prince Ea announces who he's voting for. It's probably not who you think.
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 3,538 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
Free Trade Explained In An Excellent Comic
Michael Goodwin, Illustrated by Dan E. Burr · 2,448 views today · The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are the latest in a long line...
#Hypernormalisation - Why Heathrow Plan Is Proof We Exist in a Catastrophic Fantasyland
Matthew Adams · 2,038 views today · The British government recently gave the green light for Heathrow airport’s third runway. It was heralded by its supporters as a vital boost for jobs and growth – and proof...
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 1,860 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,715 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Open Up - Have the Difficult But Important Conversations With Loved Ones
5 min · 1,704 views today · “The biggest casualty of humanity is the lack of communication, it’s the thing that breaks most relationships. It just feels so much better to talk and get it out.” There is...
The Burden of the New Story
Adebayo Akomolafe · 1,474 views today · The 'new story' - that longed for milieu when all is right with the world and things are set straight - seems to be taking its sweet time coming. Why?
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,414 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,339 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
'Maritime Graveyard': 2016 Deadliest Year Ever for Refugees Crossing Mediterranean
Deirdre Fulton · 1,197 views today · "From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiraled to one in 88," says UNHCR spokesman
These Incredible Stories Remind Us of Our Better Selves
36 min · 956 views today · #WhoWeAre is a campaign to share the stories of people whose actions show us compassion and to send a message of empathy, hope and optimism. These videos will automatically...
No Moral Superpower: Arundhati Roy, Edward Snowden, and the Crimes of Empire
Jake Johnson · 705 views today · When Arundhati Roy was preparing, in 2014, for a trip to Moscow to meet Edward Snowden, she was troubled by two things. One of them was the fact that the meeting was arranged...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 705 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Ode to Lesvos
5 min · 688 views today · An inspiring story of a few remarkable heroes on the Island of Lesvos who helped almost half a million refugees in 2015 has been documented in a new short film called Ode to...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 467 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Shocking New Report: Bombing People Causes People to Hate You