A redwing blackbird sitting on a fence post.


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Two Swords


Category: politics

I've heard again the voices of concern wondering how the U.S. will get out of Iraq. All of this is fueled by a small group of religious nuts who have been bolstered by the same terrorists we've already vowed to kill. The counter call I hear is that we just don't have enough troops on the ground to handle it quickly.

Why is that? What could keep us from moving in an adequate number of troops? After all, if you go in to rob a bank in this country, every law enforcement officer in the area will drop what he or she is doing and go immediately to deal with you. The cops know to throw overwhelming force at the situation and the bad guys are more likely to give up. Why can't our government figure that out?

In The Book Of Five Rings, by Miyamoto Musashi, the old Samurai talks about the custom of wearing two swords. At the time in Japan, it was the custom of the warriors to wear two swords, a short one and a long one. Typically, the longer one would be used in open combat and the shorter would be used in more confined spaces. Musashi argued that one should use both swords at the same time, if it was practical to do so. He thought it would be a shame to die with one of your swords still in the sheath.

The same could go for any military personnel who are not currently engaged in critical operations. If those soldiers are available, they need to be deployed. When one of al Sadr's fanatics looks out the window, he should see not desert but a sea of Kevlar® helmets all looking through the sights of their own weapons.

In the end, such a display is the diplomatic solution and will save far more lives than any partial (read: half-*ssed) deployment.

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