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The Long March


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China 1934; and the Communists are surrounded in southern China, by superior and better equipped Nationalist forces. So 90.000 set off on a 6,000 mile, year long march to the safety of the remote regions of N/W China. Pursued by the Chang Ki Check's Nationalist Army, bombed by his US supplied Air Force, fighting their way through Nationalist defencive positions, across rivers, over high mountains and across huge tracts of marshes, they finally reach the last obstacle - a mountain gorge, 4m wide at some points, bounded by sheer cliff faces, with the enemy positioned on top. Having suffered heavy losses in futile head on attacks against machine gun positions, all seems lossed. Moa Tse Tung, sends a forlorn hope, to climb the cliff faces,and rain hand grenades down on the enemy position. Seeing that this isn't having the desired effect, one man, straps all the available explosives to himself, and jumps to an heroic suicide death which causes the enemy to flee. Finally, of the 90,000 who began the march, only 6,000 reached safety. However, with respite provided by the Japanese invasion, Moa has time to consolidate and train; and recruit an Army of over 1million, which, with superior dicipline and conviction, goes on to conquer China. Now that's what you can call stress! :wink:

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Obs .... if you believe that men 'sacrificed' themselves willingly then I totally disagree, the VAST majority were ordered to do it or face shame and execution otherwise ....... what choice did they have ? NONE ! it's been many centuries since ANY leader was at the frontline of any attack !

 

Still the classic - and true - line from the last series of Blackadder .....

 

'Don't worry Baldric the general will be right behind you .............. about 35 miles behind you !'

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Hmmm, some interesting ambiguities here. So, are those who win VCs and part of Mao's Red Army not 'indoctrinated' and therefore volunteers? Could it be argued then that the 9/11 culprits were forced and did not volunteer? Or does it mean that you think they are volunteers if it is an ideology you agree with and indoctrinated if you do not agree with them? I would go for the view that to differentiate between being voluntary and indoctrinated depends on the means on which one came to an ideological stance. Or, can it be that a certain person here only see the opposing point of view as ideology? Hmmm. Food for thought!

 

This is not a diversion, as it is relevant to (a) finding out the motivation of the Communist troops, and (B) seeking to understand the poster's perspective and purpose better. Always a good thing when coming to do History, which is not about coming to facts in a vacuum but is something none of us can be totally detached from.

 

As for the previous posting, I find myself thinking of the grafitti taunt in 1969, "IRA: I Ran Away." That however, had a wider context to it and in fact was an unfair comment on the terrorists, bad eggs as they were. There was a lot more to that. However, Obbs, non-ideologically motivated as you may be, would you be motivated enough to defend the nation from a practical viewpoint, not least to protect your own home and family? :wink: And I work from the theory that you know more about this issue in practice than you would admit publicly in this forum?

 

[ 21.05.2007, 22:46: Message edited by: Goonerman ]

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A local media fellow lost his job for saying those 9-1-1 swine had COURAGE at least to be suicide soldiers. I tend to believe only four of the leaders, one on each plane, knew the final destiny of the flights. The followers did not need to know the details. Those four were the pilots who replaced the airlines crew. For a job that sensitive you don't want 20 nervous swine knowing all of the plan.

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Hmm, very interesting. What about lobotomies also? :D I notice the Obbster avoided my more poined questions. :wink::P

 

So, does it take guts to be brainwashed or does being brainwashed give you guts or the ability to remain merely brainwashed? The Scientologists marching in to their meeting place in America in that BBC documentary certainly looked like a bunch of zombies. :blitzed:

 

The Chinese Communists were a different kettle of fish. The were a hard bunch who had convictions with some degree of indoctrination (but take note an indoctrination which comfirmed and articulated in detail their own positions after having accepted the doctrine in the first place), who as a tough military unit took terrible risks for their country and ideology. If war can be justified, then there is an argument for 'suicide attacks' though in my view good generalship is all about doing most damage to the enemy without harming oneself.

 

The similarities between a soldier and a terrorist are that there is some degree of audacity and guts. The difference is that terrorists are prepared to take out civilians as well as troops and cops as part of being consumed by lust for power as wannabe tyrants. Well-behaved soldiers doing their job only do this with soldiers from the other side, so long as the other side is capable of fighting back.

 

As a stern ideological opponent of the Commies/Cuboids, I have some grudging respect for the Long Marchers. However, what I find is that what I have against them and the 9/11 bombers, and the Provos and Loyalists, is that they are driven by lust for power, and their courage is twisted into a cruel instinct for forcing others to be saints in the most villainous manner possible. Even their 'cowardice' is not that of real coards but of twisted astute courageous people who are still realistic enough to know they must be able to run and hide and sneak as well as make audacious attacks. They are what I would call courageous technical cowards as opposed to the genuine snivelling wimp variety. An example of the former is say an IRA sniper in South Armagh who was too cowardly to take on the British Army in the open knowing he'd get wiped. So what he did was hid in the hedges instead, usually over the Border, to make sneak hit and run shots killing soldiers, but needing to be highly trained to handle a rifle and stay still, steady and accurate even though he was heavily outnumbered by more highly trained men than him, and knowing one false move could land him dead. More a General Grievous type coward then than the pathetic villainous fictional news tycoon who was played by Jonathan Pryce in a recent James Bond movie. What angers me about such perverse 'courageous cowards' is that they take risks against cops and soldiers to harm ordinary people who are defenceless, when they could rechannel such tendencies in a way which would make the world a better place. Instead we had the Long Marchers forming the basis of one of the cruellest ever regimes of human history, and the French Revolutionaries turning on the people and guillotining them like battery hens in a factory. Or crashing planes into the World Trade Center. :x

 

[ 23.05.2007, 13:17: Message edited by: Goonerman ]

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How about 'innocent civilians'? At some point rulebook warfare becomes 'total war'. I haven't shed many tears of shame for my government's bombing to death hundreds of thousands in Berlin or Dresden, Tokyo or Hiroshima, because those civilians were supporting their governments efforts to annihilate my people. As individuals within that population I can mourn for them, but in the big picture, no regret. The left in this country is now expressing horror that we have KILLED (?) 650,000 (?) INNOCENT IRAQIS. Our armies have taken extraordinary measures to avoid civilian deaths, and paid reparations in millions of dollars when claims are made, but I contend the Iraqis are not INNOCENT as a people. You may know some personally that abhor the Islamic jihadist movement but as a whole all I've heard for fifty years from Iraq is DEATH TO AMERICA AND DEATH TO ISRAEL. Then the world is shocked that some 'civilians' have been killed? It's a long time since soldiers in uniforms stood opposing each other in lines and fought according to rules of engagement.

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Originally posted by Jerry:

How about 'innocent civilians'? At some point rulebook warfare becomes 'total war'. I haven't shed many tears of shame for my government's bombing to death hundreds of thousands in Berlin or Dresden, Tokyo or Hiroshima, because those civilians were supporting their governments efforts to annihilate my people. As individuals within that population I can mourn for them, but in the big picture, no regret. The left in this country is now expressing horror that we have KILLED (?) 650,000 (?) INNOCENT IRAQIS. Our armies have taken extraordinary measures to avoid civilian deaths, and paid reparations in millions of dollars when claims are made, but I contend the Iraqis are not INNOCENT as a people. You may know some personally that abhor the Islamic jihadist movement but as a whole all I've heard for fifty years from Iraq is DEATH TO AMERICA AND DEATH TO ISRAEL. Then the world is shocked that some 'civilians' have been killed? It's a long time since soldiers in uniforms stood opposing each other in lines and fought according to rules of engagement.

WHY should the Iraqis be killed just because of the whims of the Leaders of the USA and the UK?

 

I am certain that the people you talk about, just want to get on with their lives, and not have to put up with the religious zealots AND the invading armies.

:x

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"The difference is that terrorists are prepared to take out civilians as well as troops and cops as part of being consumed by lust for power as wannabe tyrants . Well-behaved soldiers doing their job only do this with soldiers from the other side, so long as the other side is capable of fighting back."

 

You thought you had me trapped, Obbs. No chance! :D I choose my words carefully! :wink: I have very definite rules of ethics in terms of the specific and deliberate targeting of innocent civilians (there; there is some rephrasing there at least to help you along). However, I will go further and throw your hand-grenade back: is it not you who is sceptical about there being "innocent" civilians, past postings and your choice of using speech marks indicating thus? And can it be that you claiming innocent civilians is a sensitive issue means that you think killing innocent civilians is OK. I find it fascinating to see your mind games being similar to the men in the masks, hmmm.

 

It will be also interesting to widen the discussion to the old chestnut of "collateral damage". :wink::wink:

 

[ 23.05.2007, 23:33: Message edited by: Goonerman ]

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A respected independent polling service (Pew) in this country polled American Moslems, and found one in four of the younger ones (up to age 29 or so)support the use of suicide bombings to implement Islam Supremacy -- I don't think they distinguish between military or civilian in any way at all. That's AMERICAN moslems. Maybe our values have contaminated the other 3 of the 4, eh?

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In relation to soldiers killing civilians and Obbs thinking I finally tripped up, he has to bear in mind that I come from the region where Bloody Sunday took place....

 

I am also beginning to wonder in a way if maybe suicide bombing taps into a far more normal characteristic of humanity than any of us would like to admit...

 

Once again that puts humanity in the dock where it deserves. :(

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