August 6, 2001
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Please Be Patient
Please Be Patient II
Please Be Patient III
Please Be Patient IV
Ralph Peters writes polymorphously. His many forms range from page-tuner,
techno-thriller novels, eight and counting, to very serious essays
reflecting his extraordinary experiences in military and government.
Peters groks the myriad interactions of system, strategy and tactics.
As such, he carefully describes and incorporates a vital element of history in his work. Earlier, I noted that historian John Lukacs used the words "anti-historical" and "a-historical" in reference to the bulk of written history, especially that flowing from Liberal traditions. Peters groks that humankind has a mean streak lurking which needs to be explicitly acknowledged and incorporated. He confronts the lurking norms of barbarous anarchy.
Peters' major non-fiction work is ineptly titled but no less vital: Fighting for the Future, Will America Triumph? (ISBN 0-817-0651-6, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg PA 17055, 1999).
He knows that our government and its military arms are busy getting ready to fight the last wars. He thoroughly understands that attempting to solve problems using the tools, techniques and thoughts which create them is silly - and quite dangerous.
The jacket blurb does it adequately.
"Welcome to the future of war.
"Around the world American soldiers, American interests and American citizens face violent men (sic!) who do not play by the time-honored rules of warfare. . . . Driven by hatred, greed and rage, the weapons they use range from knives and bombs to computers and weapons of mass destruction. They fight in urban landscapes and information jungles - not on the neatly contained battlefields of yesterday.
"Writing from firsthand observations, Ralph Peters graphically describes the tactics, techniques, psychology and motivations of this 'new warrior class.'. . . He. . . looks into the societies and souls of those who believe that terror, genocide and violence will decide our global future. His conclusion is that America's quarter-of-a-trillion-dollar-a-year military is failing to adapt. . . ."
Peters concludes his introduction:
"Ultimately, I have a simple view of history and of the future. I see mankind (sic!) As forever torn between the Sermon on the Mount and the story of Cain and Abel. We may long for the peaceable kingdom, but Cain will always be with us. We will need good soldiers to deal with him."
And ends his book of essays by saying:
"If we have the courage, we can serve mankind. If we prove cowards, the future may make the dying twentieth century look like paradise."
Peters' eight novels record his transitions in perspectives over twenty years of writing from the first in 1981 to the most recent in 2001. They record his experiences, analytical acuities and chilling projections encompassing the mass military movements of a European cataclysm to the minutiae of surviving within the perversities of The Drug War's South American black holes and deep, dark depths of Beltway blindnesses.
For those obsessed with the Balkans, Peters is one of ten exciting fiction-writers who contributed novellas to Combat, edited by Stephen Coonts. (ISBN 0-31287-190-2, Forge/St. Martin's,2001). I think his story fairly well captures the polymorphous perversities involved as well as putting the Balkans in context as symptomatic more than normative.
Hello out there!
[End of "Please Be Patient" series]
Milo Clark, a founding member of Swans, had it all: Harvard MBA, big house, three-car garage, top management... Yet, once he had seemingly achieved the famed American dream he felt something was missing somewhere. As any good executive he decided to investigate. Since then, he has become a curmudgeon and, after living in Berkeley, California, where he was growing bamboos, making water gardens, listening to muses, writing, cogitating and pondering, he has moved on to the Big Island in Hawaii where he creates thought forms about sunshine. Milo can be reached at Swans.
Please, DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © Milo G. Clark 2001. All rights reserved.
This Week's Internal Links
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Hey, Let's Shoot The Messenger! - by Gilles d'Aymery
This is an Emotional Argument - by Alma A. Hromic
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Sometimes - A Poem by Sandy Lulay
Some of Milo Clark's Commentaries on Swans
Events - 05/28/01
Perspective and Perspectives - 05/14/01
Project Re-Think Thinking: Serendipity and Sparks of Genius - 04/30/01
Croatan - 04/2/01
Barbaric Silence - 03/5/01
The Resource Base - 02/5/01
Addendum to ...Dream - 01/8/01
...Dream - 01/8/01