Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The UNWANTED plentitude of gas warfare

To many of us who see 'death as death', it has always been un-obvious why coughing to death from WWI gas clouds was so much different than being hit in the guts out in No Man's Land and coughing your life away for a half an hour while your comrades are helpless to intervene.

A similar phobia existed against openly conducting warfare with radiation clouds or clouds of fire or germs.

Germs I can at least understand - since they are self replicating, they don't fade away like even the worst gas, fire or radiation cloud eventually does, but can circle the world and kill the nation that unleashed them in some cosmic justice bite-you-in-the-rear pandemic.

So instead of cloud warfare, almost all of the military and civilian elites promoted "precision" warfare.

A few bullets, shells or bombs would be aimed directly and land directly upon the enemy military forces --- and nothing else.

It was supposedly the more moral and certainly much cheaper and quicker way to win a war.

But why it was so moral to kill a man who was conscripted against his secret wish, to fight for his government only because if he didn't he might be jailed or even shot and yet so immoral to kill his brother making rifles back home was never really explained.

Cheaper certainly was the claim of the 'precision boys' at the beginning of WWII - a few medium bombers would drop their relatively small bomb loads directly on their military targets, once, and wipe them out completely.

But in fact total imprecision was the real Bomber Command/AAF forte and the war ended with thousand bomber raids of heavy four engine planes still dropping thousands of tons of bombs over "factories" week after week, year after year - and still not wiping them out.

It was actually cloud warfare with hundred of thousands of tiny fire bomblets and not a few big HE bombs doing most of the real damage, with germ cloud and gas cloud bombs waiting in the wings, but the Allies would never admit it.

Just as they never admitted that Nagasaki's civilians died as much from fire clouds and radiation clouds as they did from the poorly-aimed Atomic Bomb's explosive force upon the naval base.

Reductionist ideology, the ideology of the Era of Modernity, touted selective precision as the only correct way to approach reality.

First one determined the one right and best solution to solve any particular problem (and plenticided all other possible solutions) and then one applied that solution accurately and consistently until it worked, even if that took decades.

Modernity tolerated no second thoughts, no Plan B, no re-assessments.

Modernity simply could not afford to admit that the imprecise plentitude of cloud warfare was sometimes much more effective than the selective precision of modern warfare.

Because they feared that others might feel that what was true of warfare might also be seen as true of all reality : that imprecision and contingency ruled and that Reductionism gave a seductive but erroneous explanation of Reality...

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