The Unfortunate Vision of Battle: Knowing Your Enemy Too Well

I periodically re-read On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. From his work; I have learned a lot about psychology in regard to battle. I have learned much about myself after I had read the book. I learned that my ability to effectively “fight” my enemy depended on my ability to understand the enemies capabilities and to “create abstract images” of that enemy, (think of the concept of dehumanization and “us vs them”).

…Without the creation of abstract images of the enemy, and without the depersonalization of the enemy during training, battle would become impossible to sustain.

Richard Holmes, Acts of War

I had become hampered by the fact that my enemies were too human to destroy or discredit. I, being a thinking person stuck in a world of shallow thinkers, learned too much about my enemies.

Ugly examples of a worthy enemy started in while I was in the US Navy. My ship had been deployed in support of a multi-national counter drug operation in the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean. The vast majority of the people smuggling cocaine were Colombian. (Please note: Statistically speaking; not that many Colombians have been found fighting coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan). I have never had a personal issue with Colombians. For the large part; I generally haven’t had a lot of issues with narcotics. I, for the most part, have been told that people’s success is a result of if they wasted time in life or made good decisions. This drove me to become jaded when it came to catching “those wily Colombian smugglers”. It was very anti-climatic when we actually caught them. They were a bunch of beach bum looking guys. More bewildered than debonair. It isn’t easy dehumanizing someone that is making a relatable course of actions. I had learned this about convenient punching bags in the red pill world as well.

People, without decent mentorship and encouraged by legions of ill-informed supporters, will continue to prance around like an emperor with no clothes. I had noticed this about someone like Lena Dunham. She was empowered by weak people and illogical mantras. Her actions and speech were not of a normal plane. I found myself throwing my lot in with others condemning her. But when I got to digging; I found out some ironic facts. She has weak people around her. No commanders behind generals. Her life and relationships weren’t solid. She also had some dramatically bad health events come up. Dunham has human concerns. I still don’t like her but I find fault in the idea of challenging a man with no arms to a game of darts.

It took me a little time and examining Lt. Col. Grossman’s work but I find that the torture of having a thinking man’s mind has actually become a benefit over time when it came to “fighting” in my life. I engage in battles only to the level that is appropriate and if there is benefit. I find that my empire doesn’t need colonies. I think that I don’t need a false sense of validation that many receive through superficial victories. (I learned this from the English during the Anglo-Zanzibar War, among others). I don’t need to pick fights. I prefer to fight worthy adversaries. I prefer to expend energy for worthwhile pursuits in support of reaching goals. Although I feel encumbered by my thoughts; I learn that my enemies are not the same. Some hold intangible resources, some hold the key to bolstering my proverbial army.

It really depends on your abilities on how this applies to you. You may have the ability to discern the issues of determining a worthy adversary. You might be endowed with the fighting spirit and slay the proverbial enemy in front of you. Or you may fall within the parameters, but it is an issue that may give pause to you in your life. Please be aware. Know yourself first before you defeat the enemy.

(You can check out Lt. Col. Grossman’s On Killing on Amazon or at your local library. Richard Holmes’ Acts of War is also available at your local library or on Amazon).

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