I am taking a break from talking Katrina to deal with something else I think is of importance.
Discovery Channel is running commercials pushing their show on Iranian religious martyrs, Suicide Bombers: Cult of Death. What sticks in my mind is them quoting someone proclaiming these warriors are unbeatable and that no army can stand in the way of martyrdom. The guy speaking looked very well fed and dapper in his checkered headdress. He probably never will actually suicide while teaching others how to productively blow themselves up.
Such talk has been heard before. From the original cult of Assassins which was exterminated by a concerted effort of Muslim and Christian leaders, all fearful for their lives least some drugged assassin follower managed to kill them to just sixty years ago when the Sons of Heaven unleashed the Kamikaze upon the U.S. Navy. Kamikaze is a concatenation of two Japanese words, kami for god and kaze for wind and harkens back to a fierce storm that saved Japan from Mongol subjugation. During Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa, the U.S. Navy weathered extreme losses. 5,000 dead sailors, similar number of wounded, and twelve destroyers sunk; the survivors were just as scarred like USS Laffey which took nine Kamikazes and four bomb hits but remained afloat to fight another day. Vice Admiral Onishi, called the father of the Kamikazes, survived the Special Attack Units he helped create only to commit sepukku when Japan surrendered.
Something should be glaringly obvious when a nation or a culture is reduced to throwing human lives at their opponent, that this nation or culture is on its last legs and is just determined to take as many of the enemy as they can before finally being overcome. The Iranian government, I must concede, probably does think suicide bombers are a viable military force since it chased the US out of Lebanon with just one bomber and by using children to clear minefields during the Iran-Iraq War they saved their soldiers for more valuable ways of dieing. But here it is, over fifteen years since that war ground to a halt due to attrition and I have to wonder if the restive youth of Iran would appreciate being used as yet more cannon fodder for the thugs who control Iran. And there is always history to study, in the end the US solved the Kamikaze tendencies of Japan by dropping two atomic bombs and shocking the Japanese into surrendering. And the Assassins did not last long either. Iran would be wise to study history least the Western World decides to use Iran as nuclear testing grounds.
Oh, another phrase that has me shaking my head from this show. This story trots out this phrase, from I don't know where, calling the suicide bombers the ultimate smart bomb. It does not take what we call, in a classical sense, brains to be a suicide bomber; what it takes is overriding fervor and commitment to a cause to be an effective suicide bomber. Once again look at the Kamikazes, from the start they were mainly composed of student pilots or even those who could barely lift the plane off the ground since all that was important was for them to dive their plane on an American warship.
Suicide attacks are the last gasp, the last futile measure to stave off an inevitable downfall. There is nothing heroic about it, in fact the whole concept is a tragedy that squanders human lives because the leaders do not want to admit their ideas just might be wrong.