2008-11-11

翻译:婴孩战论

盖日-不热车是原莫斯科外侨报刊“放逐者”的一个专栏作家的笔名。他的专栏叫做战争呆子(War Nerd)。我是最近才偶尔看到他的文章。虽然表面上是嬉笑怒骂,骨子里他其实早已读透了孙子兵法。

可惜的是放逐者几个月前被普金政府查封了(真不明白这些control freak们,盖日先生一向都是亲俄的,他对苏联在二战的贡献推崇备至),很多以前的好文章也随着网站被封而消佚了。现在的网址是exileonline.com),部分以前的文章在此,用google cache搜也能找到一些。

我在这里尝试翻译他以前的一篇文章,可见他的功力不同凡响。我的翻译水平一般,而且有些难翻的我就简单“掠”过了。这么好的文章不会英语的读者看不到真是可惜,不知道有谁愿意一起进行一些翻译工作。

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婴孩战论
盖日-不热车

二十世纪晚期最重要的战争是那一场?你可以争辩那是1975年11月6日在摩洛哥南境发生的那场战争。诚然,这不是另一场斯大林格勒。实际上,那天发生的事情通常人们根本不称之为战争。它的正式名称叫做‘绿色行进’。在(战争)的一边是35万没有武装手持绿色(伊斯兰)旗帜的摩洛哥平民,另一边呢 --- 离边界好多英里之内,因为他们希望能避免和那班行进者发生冲突 --- 乃一支意志摇晃、失去士气的象征性的西班牙军队在假装着要保卫一个前西班牙殖民地,西属撒哈拉。

(地图上的)西属撒哈拉挂在摩洛哥下面,在撒哈拉沙漠和大西洋汇合的地方,就如一面堵快倒的墙的样子。那大概是那附近的非洲海岸最没人想要的一块地,说不上有水只有微量的人口,那就是为什么西班牙当初得到它的原因。等到19世纪晚期欧洲列强准备好瓜分非洲的时候,西班牙早就远别了她昔日的光辉,所以只好守候着这点残羹剩饭。

不过我们在过去的世纪里学到的一件事情就是,在这个拥挤、饥饿的星球上没有什么所谓的不值钱的地方。西属撒哈拉已证明了这一点:在它往后属于摩洛哥的30年里,有人在其沿海的捕鱼权、以及那内陆100英里里的一个巨大的叫饱克拉BOU CRAA的硫酸盐矿赚了大钱。

这就是为什么摩洛哥国王哈珊二世,一个在CIA(中情局)不乏朋友的刁钻老苏丹,决定了把那班忠诚的东西往下运到摩洛哥南部边境,然后每人递上一支可以上镜头的小绿旗,然后送他们越过边境往那些西班牙军队处去。

摩洛哥人必须越过传统军事征服的臼巢框框去想,理由非常简单,摩洛哥的武装力量惨不忍睹。他们是如此的不堪,他们对世界军事史的仅有贡献就是在闹剧喜剧章里露露脸。比如说,国防部长有一次想要让摩洛哥空军的战斗机去击落哈珊二世某次外访回来乘坐的波音727。结果失败了。真的不骗你,喷气战斗机拦截不了一架巨大、肥胖、迟笨的民用飞机,而且还事先知道了目标的这个行程路线图呢。这样的一支军队必须要有不战而胜的征服方法,因为要它打赢一个公平的战争的概率是零。

当然摩洛哥人有着面对积弱而士气低落的西班牙殖民政府的优势,那是西班牙独裁者佛朗哥将军终于可以死去的时候。假如你的年纪允许你记得那些早期的周六直播节目(Saturday Night Live),你可能记得那车里翠丝(Cherry Chase)不断重复的笑话,“这是刚刚收到的消息:佛朗哥将军仍然是死的!”这笑话的之所以成功是因为那老将军花了很长时间才终于死掉,那意味着像摩洛哥那样的贪婪的新兴列强有着非常充足的时间去计划如何向西班牙的前殖民地伸出他们的手。

对于对战斗着迷的战争迷们这可能没啥了不起,不过这可是极端高效率的侵略。西班牙军队一枪没发。行进者们跨过了边界,让沙子入了鞋肚,高喊了这神圣的一块缺水的平坦沙漠现在已成为了摩洛哥不可分割的一部分,随后就回家了。自从那以后,西属撒哈拉就由摩洛哥控制了。虽然当地的游击队POLISARIO玻璃萨里奥曾经在某段时间里给他们制造过一点麻烦。

使得我提名这怪诞的一幕作为“当代最重要的战争”的候选者是因为它展现了一种获得有争议领地的崭新方法。如果过去的100年里我们学会了一件事,那就是传统的军事征服变得越来越没效率了。这是在所有军事史里最最令人诧异的一个变奏。19世纪的由始至终,那些由英法领头的欧洲列强,获得他们想要的土地的方法是基于他们有更好的军事技术、运输和组织。不同意这种观念的本地人通常会成为历史前进的巨轮的牺牲品而消失无踪。而这只是一个在这世界所有角落发生了数千年的故事的新版本:更大、更强的部落在所有他们能达到的地方取代并抹去相对弱的部落。那是那时代的规范,甚至在与白人接触前的北美,那瓦左人(navajo)便在白人出现前很久就在美国西南部把乌特人(Ute)给取代了。

回到现代,甚至在当传统战争的天平是除了更进一步往第一世界倾斜别无他向的时候,那些科技先进和组织完善的国家们却都在后撤之途,同时以前的受害国已开始反攻,不但要求他们之前的失地而且正在渗入前殖民主的领域。现在最重要的是士气,和国家的意志。这是西班牙人没有的,摩洛哥人有的。所以,即使西班牙军队完全可以抹去那些行进者,他们却无法开枪。武器只当你愿意去使用它的时候才是武器。一个技术先进的军队,假如没有开火的意志,就根本不是什么军队。

只有我们这些专注的战争呆子才似乎能感到这是何等的荒诞,在军事史上这是何等的史无前例。直到20世纪,我们的难题不是如何让军事上相对卓越的一方去开火 --- 而是如何使得他们在把相对弱势的部落、军队或国家消灭前停火。在20世纪前,我从来没听过有一个军事强势的部落或国家失去开战保卫疆土的意愿的例子,或是为了占领较弱的邻居领土而开战的例子。

20世纪是一个重大的转折点。德日等新兴列强尝试去模仿19世纪的老牌殖民列强却遭到了完全的、灾难性的失败,即使他们通常在战场上打了胜仗。那是两次世界大战带给我们的荒诞的教训:狭义的军事超级优势已经不足够了。即使有可以控制战场全局的德军(在某种程度上日军也不赖),德日两国在战争结束时不但没有增加一寸土地,还把自己家园变成废墟,自己的文化受到阉割,他们的出生率跟着也有好几代在世界排居后列。

即使是老牌殖民帝国,包括英法,也是在挺大的麻烦中结束这个世纪的。他们失去了抵抗他们曾经统治过的殖民地涌来的移民潮的意志。在军事理论的意义上我们正处于一个非常奇怪的时刻,我们的武器无损可是我们战斗的意志已荡然无存。

那些最早成立的殖民地是最成功的。例如,北美洲的北部,现在的美国和加拿大,变成了欧洲殖民者的永久财产(至少看起来是这样,直到最近之前吧)。有两件事情决定了这结果:首先,他们17-18世纪就来了,在他们良心开始行动之前,其次就是,大多数的土著人口都是微小的打猎和收捡食物者(这在澳大利亚亦然,虽然时代晚了很多)。所有其他地方 -- 拉丁美洲、非洲、亚洲 --- 当地人都在离在旧式军事理论家眼中的所谓军事优势很远的情况下大举反攻推进。这就是我们今天在南非看到的,和(虽然进程相对缓慢一点)在欧洲和美国南部看到的。在其他地方,特别是被法国人殖民过的地方(他们在这方面从来都比不上英国人),大批的殖民人口被完全消灭了,就像在阿尔及利亚的几百万法国人一样。

这样我们看到了一个军迷们需要很长时间才能面对的令人震惊的教训:军事上超级优势的影响力在现代已经远远不及出生率和简单无情的意志的影响力了。

啊,出生率 --- 真奇怪它是怎么在左右两派阵营都变成了不能谈的敏感题目的。左派做梦也不敢想像去告诉第三世界的人们去减低他们制造婴儿的速度,而右派们,虽然控制(人家)生育的决定可以延迟毁灭他们自己的国家,他们又不能达成一致的意见去实施。

所以出生率是一个没有对手的武器,没有“反武器”之“武器”。所以他一般都会赢。摩洛哥人很清楚地表明了他们的“绿色行进”完全就是来自于他们的出生率。那些他们送往边界的“志愿者”的数目是35万,刚刚好就是摩洛哥每年新生婴儿的数目。所以这基本上就是生存空间(lebensraum)的理由,就如那世纪前些时候德国人用过的理由。你可能听过那吧,一个叫“东方战线”的小东西。你可能现在会说假如有什么政策是曾经决定性的一败涂地的,那就是纳粹想要往斯大林哪里挤出一点生存空间的那个尝试。这完全就是事实啊。那是因为纳粹用了旧式的方法,就是武装征服的方法。

在后1918的世界里想要成功,在那威尔逊(woodrow wilson)的梦中“小国”即使没有自卫能力也有存在权的世界里要成功,你需要用相对慢的、看起来不明显的军事方法,比如,出生率和移民。这种缓慢征服的经典案例就是科索沃。在战场上塞尔维亚人总能打败阿尔巴尼亚人,即使是人数不如对方的时候也是。不过阿尔巴尼亚人在所有军事产业里的一个中有庞大的优势 --- 婴儿制造业。根据BBC,科索沃阿尔巴尼亚人50年前的出生率是令人惊奇的平均每个妇女生了8.5个婴儿。

科索沃阿尔巴尼亚人证明了军事技术其实无关重要,因为尝试以旧式方法 --- 科索沃解放军(KLA)的武装反抗 --- 去征服科索沃而失败了。那是全军覆没啊。当地的塞尔维亚民兵,一帮疲乏的中年业余者和警察,一举打扁了KLA。跟着发生的是现在这些日子里失败者获得胜果的漂亮演示。阿尔巴尼亚人把战争里阵亡的KLA士兵的衣服武器弹药扒掉,然后把尸体向那些易蒙的西方记者展示,告诉他们这是塞尔维亚人的“大屠杀”。是大屠杀没错,就算是吧,不过那时因为KLA连个屁仗都不会打(在战场上被杀了)。他们活着手持武器的时候,他们只能给人当笑话;死后没有武器了呢,他们却能使得己方变成受害者而赢得支持,并直接导致了美军的介入。

要以阿尔巴尼亚人在科索沃胜利的方法赢得战争,你需要制造很多的婴儿。就是这么简单。要理解那是怎么运作的,你需要摒弃那些说婴儿是因为‘爱’才来到这世界的无聊的自由派思想。在这世界的很多地方,婴儿制造是武器生产的一种形式。

在有些地方,这是公开的政策。例如,在巴勒斯坦的巴勒斯坦人和以色列人中就有一场全面的出生率战争在进行中。而这种斗争中最令人垂丧的其中一点,从以色列人的角度来说,就是当你让人家在占领区里生活越难过的时候,人家竟然就越能生出更多的小孩来。比如说,在加萨地带,就有非洲之外最高的生殖率之一,每位妇女5.6个孩子。

以色列的总体出生率是大概每个妇女2.8个孩子,对于一个富裕国家这算高了。不过在所有地方里最让人惊奇的出生率,甚至比加萨巴勒斯坦人还高的,是在一些最极端的犹太复国团体中,就是那个叫做哈热地(haredi)的“超正宗”犹太人。直到最近他们每位妇女能生8到9个孩子。当以色列移民新闻报道他们的出生率降到每位妇女只有7.7个孩子的时候这曾引起了很大的恐慌呢。

7.7,那是比马里(7.38)还高啊。马里是(以国家为单位的)世界纪录保持者。

那些(以色列)殖民者从不隐瞒他们用多生孩子来改变“大以色列”人口版图以使其偏向他们一方的企图 --- 这里凌驾一切的主要目的是要保证巴勒斯坦人永远不能成为多数。

有趣的是在这些超正宗社区里却有很多想要用以色列军事优势以传统方法来解决问题的声音,他们要驱除或消灭巴勒斯坦人。这些人失败了。他们的领导人,梅尔卡哈尼(meir kahane)在纽约被一个来自埃及的的士司机暗杀了。不过在他死前好久他就已经输掉这场辩论比赛了。当前的这些日子里你用这些方法无法就此不了了之的,即使你得到每一个在得克萨斯的获得重生的受洗犹太复国支持者(注:这里似乎指的是小布什)的毫无保留的支持也是。

假如你想要一个离你家近点的例子,去北爱尔兰吧,在那里以新教多数人口定出边界的地方里新教人口已经越来越少了,这乃得益于天主教的高出生率(注:天主教反对避孕)。到了2001年的时侯,天主教徒占北爱人口46%,1961年时只有35%。

可是当那令人生畏的天主教占多数的日子逼近的时候,在俄斯特镇(ulster)一件好玩的事情正在酝酿。天主教出生率比新教减得还要快。这种事情在一个部落突破进入中产阶级的时候总是会发生的。这说明了一个当代人口斗争中的一个真正的脑力难题:假如你真地恨你的敌人部落,你能做的最好的事情就是使得他们富裕。富人不会有那么多孩子。当然也有像超正宗以色列人那种例外,他们相当富有却全心全意的尽可能尽力制造最多的孩子。不过一般而言,金钱可以让人从建立大家庭里的想法分心出去想别的。所以,那压迫敌人部落的老方法通常是起反作用的。假如像ian paisley那种俄斯特狂人得逞的话,天主教将会被压到贫民区里,他们过去30年的出生率就会高好多,他们就可开始一场科索沃式的大多数人主政的政变,就像阿尔巴尼亚人对塞尔维亚人做的一样,甚至还有美国空军如对付贝尔格莱德一样去炸掉贝尔法斯特的每一座电视塔,他们是这样教训塞尔维亚人的,“在你们没把科索沃让给你们的阿尔巴尼亚小兄弟之前,不许看电视!”

使他们富有是你能对付这种在我们欧洲和北美见到的通过移民来征服土地的策略的唯一办法。没有人可以真诚的告诉你现在在美国有多少非法移民,不过就以我上班的途中看到的,我倾向于这些估计中偏高的点,大约2000万人从墨西哥潜入了美国南方找工作了。

以我所知,没有人在说拉丁裔移民决定了以生一大堆孩子作为征服得克萨斯和加利福尼亚的方法,那是那些以色列移民正在实施的方法。拉丁意义的“重新征服”,假如它真的发生,将会是如墨西哥这种国家通过提高出生率并降低死亡率的方法从第三世界升级到第二点五世界的一个史无前例的结果。

到了1970年的时候,墨西哥正处于一个仅有足够医疗服务以维持人民生命的危险阶段,所以死亡率没错是大幅下降了,可是人民还是维持在穷到还想要一大堆孩子的地步。在1970和2000年间,墨西哥人口翻倍了,从4800万到9800万。所以在格兰德河(rio grande 注:墨美的分界河)的一边你看到一大群年轻的穷人,在河的另一边呢,一大堆渴望着廉价劳工的资金和公司。就这样,一条如格兰德河般充满泥巴的小溪已没有足够的宽度来把这两个群体隔开了。

随着墨西哥人口的增加及其生活水平的提升,其生育率实际上却开始了让人惊叹的下潜,直到平均每个墨西哥妇女只有2.39个孩子的比例,仅仅比以色列的2.38排行高两个座次。

那使得拉丁人出生率下降的唯一因素 --- 指的是在他们的祖国,不是那些移民到美国的人们 --- 是因为那些农民有了点钱,使得他们开始把自己想象为消费者,并开始对于购买新的卡车和平屏电视比起对于生小崽子更有动力了。

以上的这些进展是非常缓慢的,起码比起传统的军事征服来说是这样。出生率要等数十年才能看到效果,阿尔巴尼亚人在科索沃的胜利是20世纪中叶出生率的结果。而且,在世界的一些其他角落,比如美国和欧洲,历史上新移民会融合入本地人中而不是像巴尔干和中东那里保存着古老的部族仇恨。说到头,那是一个文化的问题,不是种族的问题。对美国拉丁裔人口的研究告诉我们,在两代之内,大部分的美籍拉丁裔人都在为了要巡查边境以把那些天谴的移民拒诸境外而咆哮了。真的怪诞的事情是 --- 我可以以自身成长经验看到的来作证 --- 本地文化渗入了移民的事情,比如在美国的墨西哥人扬弃了天主教而变成重生的新教徒的事例。你只要去任何年轻的,热切的美国新教教堂,比如拿撒勒教堂(nazarene),你会看到好多的墨西哥家庭,他们都有好多的孩子,在以得克萨斯-墨西哥口音的英语唱着古老的苏格兰圣诗。事实上,我曾经看到一篇真的可以笑死你的文章,那是一个美国浸信会作家写的,他在担心浸信教徒的出生率正在下降 -- 其实拿撒勒人力每个妇女都在生3个以上的孩子。因此,那些反移民博客一直在预测的美国变成墨西哥的噩梦一幕,可能演变成真,不过只是你会称为“种族”意义上的墨西哥 --- 我的意思是,你的二年级全班合照里可能有三分之二是拉丁裔的面孔 --- 不过这些拉丁裔脸孔后面已完全吸收了整套的受洗重生美国的世界观图像,那图像其实来自于几百年前在美国南部定居的苏格兰裔和爱尔兰裔人。

人们对于这些缓慢的人口征服的焦虑有一点是有分歧的。这分歧是以他们最真实的恐惧来归类的:你是不想在外出时见到那些脸孔?抑或你是不想进口那些移民的祖国文化?这整个争论目前是如此的受到检查压制,使得辩论双方都绝对的不诚实,没有人愿意掏开心来说出自己的心里话。我怀疑对于有些人来说他们不能接受的是那些新脸孔,他们希望走在他们的大街上的都是跟他们长大的过程中见到的肤色形状是一样的。假如这就是你想要的,那么无论你在什么地方,我可保证假如你有足够的财富来为这种事情忧心(而不是为了你的下一顿饭的着落忧心),那好,你的确有忧心的理由。因为,人类迁移的原因不碍乎食物、金钱、牧场和工作之类的东西。那数千年前移入欧洲的日耳曼部落有一个比较合理的看法:他们把战争称为“人类的移动”。匈奴人把哥特人赶离了北亚大草原,然后嘣的一声,等你回过神来,哥特人已经在亚德里安诺普把罗马军队消灭了。

那些脸孔是要变的。我们正处于一个新的军事历史时代,在这时代里拥有全然的意志去抵抗移民性“征服”的国家唯有那些斯大林主义的国家。当然他们不曾碰到许多类似的难题啦 -- 没有太多移民会尝试去偷渡进入北朝鲜或者前苏联 --- 不过即使这些国家真的面对着真正意义的人口挑战,他们还有着开火的意志。柏林围墙是一个很恶劣的案例,他们开枪不是为了把人赶走而是要阻止人离开。

不过这些日子里这些斯大林主义国家并不是完全属于朝阳工业哪一类,而又没有一个自由民主国家还有把手无寸铁却又想闯关的人们射杀的意志(闯入,闯出都一样)。即使是那些以色列人,他们可能是在人口问题上最最狠的第一世界人民,也不会把越过比室吧(beersheba)找咖啡店工作的非洲人射杀。他们顶多就把他们送回苏丹让他们在那里被射杀而已。

所以这些人群的迁移,那缓慢的人口战争,会一直延续下去。大概除了用钱去砸他们使得他们留在家里之外,我们完全没有可以抗衡的行动。基本上,无论你在何处,你在大街上看到的肤色和特征总会改变的。对于这些脸孔法西斯们假如有什么事情是值得安慰的,那就是,这样说吧,是欧洲人首先走这一步棋的。因为啊,这里没几个非裔美国人是纯非洲血统的,也没几个墨西哥印第安人身体内没有流着几滴西班牙人的血。只是现在这些脸孔们的血统要朝反方向混了。

对于大多数人的真正的担忧,如果可以让他们大声讲出来的话,就是文化。假如你是法国人,你不希望巴黎变成金沙萨吧,因为让我们诚实点说,金沙萨是一个地狱坑啊。假如你是英国人,你不希望伦敦变成卡拉奇吧,因为卡拉奇是一个噩梦。假如你是美国人,你也不想要休斯顿 --- 呃,糟了,你去过休斯顿吗?假如你还有半边脑袋,你根本就不要去想要休斯顿,那个糟糕的蒸笼。

事实是,大部分从这些地方入侵的人们都倾向同意你的观点。这是他们一开始离开那些地方的原因。没有人比刚果人更清楚刚果是怎样的一个地狱坑。我曾经读过关于刚果内河渡轮的这样一个报道,他们对于不同舱等有这样的俗称。头等舱是“欧洲”,二等舱是“中国”,意思是不那么伟大,不过还凑合。三等舱是“刚果”,没有人愿意去那里,特别是刚果人最不愿意去。

所以,要针对这些新征服来评价你的处境,你需要决定你是在一个科索沃 --- 两个永远彼此仇视的部落,整出婴孩作为武器 --- 或是那艘刚果渡轮,在那里若有可能的话没人愿意太来真格。当然,在这两种模式间有一大片的模糊或重叠的地带。以北爱尔兰为例,到处是部落仇恨的喧闹,可我就不相信他们有把自己变成科索沃的能耐。他们太喜欢电视机和汽车了。

那就是这场争论的可笑之处:欧美的死硬派希望我们以古老的凉血意志去封锁边界,可是这些先进国家里的“弱者”却常常能很成功的把这些移民的下一两代同化为仇视移民的本地人。那旧模式,刺刀守边境的模式,甚至都没影了。这是面对事实的时候了。让我们去面对改变吧。

如果你能应付这些新脸孔,您将可能看到你那“弱弱”的欧美文化的胜出,慢慢地,没有光荣地却无可置疑地胜出。然后你将可能活到可以看到一片全新的脸庞的时候,乍一看他们好像刚从卡拉奇或金沙萨过来的,直到你把音量打开听到他们在咆哮着我们需要怎么去驱赶那些该死的新移民。



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原文

War of the Babies
by Gary Brecher

What was the most important battle of the late 20th century? You could argue it was the one that took place on the southern border of Morocco on November 6, 1975. Of course, we’re not talking about another Stalingrad here. In fact, what happened that day isn’t usually called a battle at all. Its official name is "The Green March." On one side were 350,000 unarmed Moroccan civilians carrying green (Islamic) flags, and on the other -- miles inside the border, because they were hoping not to have to confront any of the marchers -- was a shaky, demoralized token force of Spanish troops pretending to defend a former Spanish colony, the Spanish Sahara.

The Spanish Sahara hangs below Morocco where the Sahara meets the Atlantic like a crumbling brick wall. It was about the least desirable chunk of coastal Africa around, with no water to speak of and a tiny population, which is why the Spanish got it. By the time the European powers were ready to divide up Africa in the late nineteenth century, Spain had long since lost its glory and tended to get the scraps and leftovers.

But one thing we’ve learned over the last century is that on this crowded, hungry planet, there’s no such thing as worthless land. Spanish Sahara has proven that: in the 30 years it’s belonged to Morocco, big money has been made from the fishing off the coast and the huge phosphate mine at Bou Craa, a hundred miles inland.

That’s why the Moroccan King Hassan II, a wily old sultan with friends in the CIA, decided it was worth his while to ship all those loyal subjects down to Morocco’s southern border, hand out little green flags for the cameras, and send them across the border toward those Spanish troops.

The Moroccans had to think outside the traditional military-conquest box, for the simple reason that Morocco’s armed forces are pathetic. They’re so bad their only contributions to military history have been in the "slapstick comedy" department. For instance, the Minister of Defense once tried to have fighters from the Moroccan Air Force kill Hassan II by shooting down his Boeing 727 as it came home from a foreign trip. They failed. Seriously: jet fighters failed to intercept and destroy a big, fat, slow civilian airliner even when they knew its exact flight path. A military like that pretty much has to resort to unarmed conquest, because its chances in a fair fight are zero.

Of course the Moroccans had the advantage of facing a weak, dispirited colonial Spain just at the moment the Spanish dictator, General Franco, finally got around to dying. If you’re old enough to recall those early SNL seasons, you probably remember Chevy Chase’s running joke, "This just in: General Franco still dead!" The reason that joke worked is that it took the old General a long time to die, and that meant that greedy up-and-coming regional powers like Morocco had plenty of time to plan ways of getting their hands on former Spanish colonies.

It may not have been very exciting for combat fans, but it was an extremely effective invasion. The Spanish troops didn’t fire a shot. The marchers walked over the border, got sand in their shoes, shouted about how this sacred patch of waterless, flat desert was now an integral part of the Kingdom of Morocco, and went back home. And since then, the Spanish Sahara has been dominated by Morocco, although the local guerrilla army, POLISARIO, gave them some serious problems for a while.

What makes this weird episode my nominee for "Most Significant Battle of the Era" is that it showed the new way of winning disputed territory. If there’s one thing that we should have learned over the past hundred years, it’s that traditional armed conquests are getting less and less effective. This is one of the most surprising twists in all military history. All through the nineteenth century, the European powers, led by the British and French, took the land they wanted on the grounds that they had better military technology, transport and organization. Locals who disputed that notion tended to disappear as casualties of inevitable progress. And that was just an updated version of what had been happening all over the world for thousands of years: bigger, stronger tribes displace and wiped out weaker tribes whenever they could. That was the norm, even in pre-contact North America, where the Navajo were displacing the Ute in the American Southwest long before the white guys showed up.

Now, even though the balance in conventional warfare is if anything tilting further toward the first world, the technologically advanced and organized countries are in retreat, and the former victims are pushing back, not just claiming their old territories but infiltrating the former colonizers’ countries. What matters now is morale, national will. The Spanish didn’t have it, and the Moroccans did. So even though the Spanish troops could have wiped out those unarmed marchers, they failed to open fire. Weapons are only weapons if you’re willing to use them. A technologically advanced army without the will to fire is no army at all.

Only us dedicated war nerds seem to realize how weird this is, how totally unprecedented in military history. Until the 20th century, the problem wasn’t usually getting militarily superior forces to open fire -- it was getting them to stop before the weaker tribe, army or country was totally wiped out. I don’t know of a single case, before the 20th century, of a militarily superior tribe or nation lacking the will to defend its territory, or for that matter, take the territory of weaker neighbors.

The 20th century was the big turning point. New powers like Germany and Japan tried to imitate the older colonial powers of the 19th century and suffered total, disastrous defeat, even though they usually prevailed on the battlefield. That’s the weird lesson of the two world wars: military superiority in the narrow sense just doesn’t cut it any more. Despite the total battlefield dominance of the Wehrmacht (and to a lesser extent the Imperial Japanese forces), Germany and Japan ended the war not just without additional territory but with their home territories in ruins, their cultures gelded, their birthrates for generations to come among the lowest in the world.

Even the older colonial powers, Britain and France, finished the century in big trouble, without the will to resist the immigrants from the colonies they’d once ruled. We’re at a very strange moment militarily: our weapons still work but our will is gone.

The colonies that were established earliest are the most successful. For example, northern North America, now the U.S. and Canada, passed into permanent possession of the European settlers (or so it seemed, until recently). Two things determined this: first, they were settled in the 17th and 18th century, before conscience set in, and because most of the native population had been relatively tiny groups of hunter-gatherers (which also holds true for Australia, though it was settled much later). Everywhere else -- in Latin America, Africa, Asia -- the locals have been pushing back the colonizers without coming close to what old-style military theorists would call military superiority. That’s what we’re seeing now in South Africa, and more slowly in Europe and the southern United States. In other places, especially those colonized by the French (who were never as good at it as the Brits), huge colonial populations were totally eliminated, like the million-plus French residents of Algeria.

So there’s a shocking lesson that military buffs have been slow to face: military superiority doesn’t matter nearly as much right now as birthrate and sheer ruthless will.

Ah, birth rate -- funny how it’s become such a taboo subject for both Left and Right. The Lefties wouldn’t dream of telling third-world people to limit their baby-making, and most right wingers can’t bring themselves to endorse birth control even if it could slow the destruction of their own countries.

So birth rate is a weapon without a counter-weapon right now. So it tends to win. The Moroccans made it clear that the Green March was all about birth rate. The number of "volunteers" they sent to the border was 350,000, exactly the number of births per year in Morocco. So this was basically a "Lebensraum" argument like the one the Germans tried earlier in the century. You might have heard about that one, a little dust-up called the Eastern Front. And you might be saying right now that if any policy ever failed decisively, it was the Nazis’ attempt to elbow themselves a little living space from Stalin. Which is totally true. But the Nazis tried it the old-fashioned way, with armed conquest.

To succeed in the post-1918 world, the world Woodrow Wilson dreamed up where "small nations" have rights even if they can’t defend them, you need to use slower, less obviously military methods, like birthrate and immigration. The classic example of this kind of slow conquest is Kosovo. The Serbs could always defeat the Albanians on the battlefield, even when outnumbered, but the Albanians had a huge advantage in the most important military production of all -- babies. According to the BBC, the birthrate of Kosovo Albanians 50 years ago was an amazing 8.5 children per woman.

The Serb/Albanian conflict offers damn near perfect lab conditions to prove my case that birth rate trumps military prowess these days, because the Serbs always beat the Albanians in battle, yet they’ve lost their homeland, Kosovo. Here again, we can blame Woodrow Wilson and his talk about "rights." In places where tribes hate each other, a tribe that outbreeds its rival will become the majority, even if it can’t fight. So, after generations of skulking at home making babies, letting the Serbs do the fighting, the Albanians finally became the majority in Kosovo and therefore the official "good guys," being oppressed by the official "bad guys," the Serbs. At least that’s the way the nave American Wilsonian types like Clinton saw it. So when the Serbs fought back against an Albanian rebellion in Kosovo, and dared to beat the Albanians, Clinton decided to bomb the Serbs into letting go of Kosovo, the ancient heartland of a Christian nation that had spent its blood holding off the Turks for hundreds of years.

The Kosovo Albanians proved that military skill doesn’t matter, because they tried and failed to conquer Kosovo the old-fashioned way: armed rebellion by the Kosovo Liberation Army. It was a wipeout: local Serb militias, a bunch of tired middle-aged part-timers and cops, crushed the KLA. What happened next is a beautiful illustration of the way losers win these days: the Albanians took the bodies of KLA men who’d been killed in battle, stripped all weapons and ammo from them, and showed them to gullible Western reporters as victims of a Serb "massacre." It was a massacre, all right, but only because the KLA couldn’t fight worth a damn. Alive and armed, they were a joke; dead and disarmed, they helped win Kosovo by making their side the "victims," which led directly to U.S. military intervention.

To win the way the Albanians won in Kosovo, you need to make a lot of babies. It’s that simple. And to see how it works, you have to drop the namby-pamby liberal idea that people only have babies out of "love." In lots of places on this planet, baby-making is a form of weapons production.

In some places, it’s open policy. For example, in Palestine there’s an all-out birthrate war going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis. And one of the most frustrating things about this kind of struggle, from the Israeli perspective, is that the worse you make life for the people in the occupied zones, the more kids they have. The Gaza Strip, for instance, has one of the highest fertility rates in the world outside Africa, at 5.6 kids per woman.

The rate for Israeli overall is about 2.8 children per woman, high for a rich country. But the most amazing rates anywhere, even higher than for the Gaza Palestinians, are in the most extreme Zionist groups, the Haredi "ultra-orthodox" Jews. Until recently they averaged eight or nine children per woman. There was actually a big panic in the Israeli settler press when news hit that their rate had dropped to a mere 7.7 kids per woman.

That’s actually higher than the rate for Mali (7.38 per woman), which has the highest birthrate in the world.

The settlers don’t hide the fact that they’re producing as many kids as they can in order to change the demographics of "Greater Israel" in their favor -- above all to make sure the Palestinians never become the majority.

What’s interesting is that there were plenty of voices in the ultra-Orthodox community in favor of using Israel’s military superiority to settle the problem the old-fashioned way, by expelling or wiping out the Palestinians. Those people lost out; their leader, Meir Kahane, was assassinated by an Egyptian cabbie in New York, but he’d lost the debate long before he died. You just can’t get away with those methods these days, not even with every born-again Baptist Zionist in Texas backing you to the hilt.

If you want an example closer to home, just go to Northern Ireland where the Protestant majority the border was designed to maintain has been getting smaller and smaller, thanks to the higher birthrate among Catholics. As of 2001, the Catholics were about 46% of the population, up from 35% in 1961.

But as the dreaded "Catholic Majority" date approaches, a funny thing is happening up in Ulster: the Catholic birth rate is slowing down even faster than the Protestant rate. This always happens when a tribe breaks out of its slums into the middle class. This illustrates one of the real brain-twisters of contemporary demographic struggle: if you really hate the enemy tribe, the best thing you could do would be to make them rich. Rich people don’t have nearly as many kids. Of course there are exceptions like the Ultra-Orthodox Israelis, who are fairly well-off and just dedicated to making as many kids as possible, but generally, money distracts people from starting big families. So the old methods of keeping down the enemy tribe are usually counterproductive. If the Ulster hotheads like Ian Paisley had had their way and kept the Catholics down in the slums, their birthrate over the past 30 years would have been much higher and they’d be ready to stage a Kosovo-style "majority rule" coup like the Albanians did against the Serbs, complete with the USAF blowing up every television tower in Belfast like we did to the ones in Belgrade, just to teach those Serbs a lesson: "No TV till you let your little Albanian brother have Kosovo!"

Makin'em rich is the only way you’re going to settle the kind of conquest-by-immigration we’re seeing now in Europe and North America. Nobody will even say honestly how many illegal immigrants there are in the U.S. right now, but just from what I see driving to work, I’m inclined to go with the higher estimates, something up to 20 million people who snuck in from Mexico and points south looking for work.

As far as I know, nobody’s claiming the Latino immigrants decided to have a lot of kids as a way of reconquering Texas and California, the way the Israeli settlers are doing. La reconquista, if it happens, will be an unforeseen result of rising birth rates and falling death rates for countries like Mexico that are just moving up from the third world to, say, the second-and-a-halfth.

By 1970, Mexico was at that dangerous stage where there’s just enough basic medical care to keep people alive, so death rates are falling sharply, but people are still poor enough to want a lot of kids. Between 1970 and 2000, the Mexican population doubled, from 48 million to 98 million. So on one side of the Rio Grande you had a lot of young poor people, and on the other, a lot of money and companies eager for cheap labor. And a muddy little creek like the Rio Grande wasn’t nearly wide enough to keep those two groups apart.

As the population of Mexico increased and the living standard rose, the fertility rate actually went into an amazing dive, to the point that the rate for Mexican women now is only 2.39 kids per woman, just two places up from Israel’s 2.38.

And the only thing that’s brought the Latino birthrate down -- in their home countries, not among the ones who immigrated to the U.S. -- is getting enough money that peasant families start thinking of themselves as consumers, and get more excited about buying a new truck or a flat-screen TV than having little Jos.

This is all pretty slow to unfold, compared to traditional military conquest. Birth rate takes decades to have an effect; the Albanian victory in Kosovo is the result of birth rates from the mid-20th century. And in some parts of the world, like the US and Europe, immigrants have a history of being absorbed by the locals rather than sticking to the old tribal hatreds in the style of the Balkans and the Middle East. It’s a cultural deal, after all, not racial. Studies of the U.S. Hispanic population show that within a generation or two, most American Hispanics are ranting about policing the borders and keeping those damn immigrants out of the country. What’s really weird -- and I can testify to this from my own experiences growing up -- is when the local culture infiltrates the immigrants, like the fact that Mexicans in the U.S. are deserting the Catholics and becoming born-again Protestants. Go to any of the younger, feistier churchers in the U.S. like the Church of the Nazarene and you’ll see lots of Mexican families with plenty of kids, singing old Scottish hymns in Tex-Mex English. In fact, I ran into a really hilarious article by a U.S. Baptist writer who worried that the Baptist birthrate is going down while the Nazarenes are having babies at a rate of three-plus per woman. So the nightmare scenario that anti-immigrant bloggers are always predicting, where the U.S. turns into one giant Mexico, might end up being true in what you might call "racial" terms -- I mean, your second-grade class photo might be two-thirds Hispanic -- but those Hispanic faces would have absorbed a whole born-again American world picture that actually comes from the Scots-Irish who settled the American south hundreds of years ago.

This is one point where people’s anxiety over these slow, demographic conquests splits according to their real fears: do you just not want to see that kind of face when you go outside, or do you not want to import the culture of the immigrants' home country? The whole debate right now is so censored, so totally dishonest on both sides, that nobody will come clean about which it is. I suspect for some people it's the faces: they want the faces on their street to be the same shape and color they were when they were growing up. If that’s what you want, then no matter where you are, I can guarantee that if you’re rich enough to worry about things like this (as opposed to where your next meal’s coming from), then yup, you definitely have grounds for worry. People move around to where the food is, the money, the good grazing, the jobs. The Germanic tribes who moved in on Europe a couple millennia back took a more reasonable view; they called wars "the movements of the peoples." The Huns push the Goths off the steppe, and boom! Next thing you know, the Goths are wiping out a Roman army at Adrianople.

The faces are going to change. We are in a new military-historical era, in which the only states with the sheer will to resist slow "conquest" by immigration were the Stalinist states. Of course they didn’t have much of a problem there anyway -- not too many immigrants trying to sneak into North Korea or the old USSR -- but even if they had faced real demographic challenge, they had the will to open fire. The Berlin Wall is a nasty case in point, where the will was used to stop people leaving.

But those Stalinist states are not exactly a growth industry these days, and no liberal democratic state has the will to shoot down unarmed people trying to get in (or out, for that matter). Even the Israelis, who are maybe the fiercest first-worlders on demographic issues, don’t shoot the poor Africans who cross to Beersheba for jobs in the cafes. They just send them back to Sudan to be shot there.

So the movement of the peoples, the slow demographic wars, are going to go on. We just don’t have a counter-move, except maybe bombarding poor people with money to stay home. Basically, no matter where you are, the complexions and the features you see on the streets are going to change. If it’s any consolation to face-fascists, Europeans got their licks in first, so to speak. Not many African-Americans around with pure African blood; not many Mexican Indians without some Spanish in them. So now the faces blend the other way.

For most people the real worry, if they were allowed to even say it out loud, is culture: if you’re French, you really don’t want Paris turning into Kinshasa, because let’s be honest, Kinshasa is a Hellhole. If you’re English, you don’t want London turning into Karachi, because Karachi is a nightmare. If you’re American, you don’t want Houston -- oh Hell, ever been to Houston? If you have half a brain, you don’t want Houston at all, the lousy sweatbox.

The thing is, most of the people who invaded from those places tend to agree with you. That’s why they moved in the first place. Nobody knows what a Hellhole the Congo is like a Congolese. I read somewhere that on the Congo riverboats, they have these slang terms for the different decks. The first-class deck they call "Europe." The second-class deck is "China," meaning not that great, but livable. The third-class deck is "Congo," and nobody wants to be there, least of all the Congolese.

So to assess your situation in terms of the new conquests, you have to decide whether you’re in a Kosovo -- two tribes hating each other forever, turning out babies as weapons -- or that Congolese riverboat, where nobody wants it too "authentic" if they can help it. There’s a lot of blurring and overlap between those two models, sure. Take Northern Ireland: a lot of yelling, a lot of noisy tribal hate, but I just don’t think they have it in them to be another Kosovo. Too interested in TV and cars.

That’s what’s funny about the debate right now: the diehards in the U.S. and Europe wish we had the old ruthless will to seal the borders, but the "weakness" of the advanced countries generally works pretty well to turn the immigrants into immigrant-hating locals in a generation or two. The old model, bayonets on the border, isn’t even in the running. Time to face that fact. So the faces will change.

If you can handle these new faces, you’re likely to be surprised to see your "weak" American or European culture win out, slowly, un-gloriously but surely, and you may live long enough to see a whole new crop of pols who look like they just came from Karachi or Kinshasa until you turn the sound on and hear them ranting about how we need to get rid of all these damn immigrants.

2 comments:

Sean said...

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Yours Truly said...

I like his articles too. Brecher 真他妈的搞笑!