Thomas Wictor

If you kill enough of them

If you kill enough of them

One of my heroes is General Curtis LeMay, United States Air Force. He’s more than a hero, actually: He’s a role model. When asked how to win against a determined, ruthless enemy, LeMay said, “If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting.” I believe we’re starting to see the fruits of that approach in the war against Islamic jihadist terrorism.

What made LeMay special was that he cared only about results, and he subjected himself to the same risks that his men faced.


In Europe he commanded the 305th Bomb Group and then the 3rd Air Division. LeMay always flew the lead aircraft during his units’ missions. He issued an order that any aircrew that aborted would be court-martialed. During this period the loss rate of American bombers was tremendous, due to German antiaircraft defenses and sophisticated interceptors.

Each bomber had a “ball turret” in the belly. Very small men went into it and lay on their back to fire the two machine guns.


In 1945 Randall Jarrell published the poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner.”

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

German cannon shells did indeed explode men into gelatin that had to be washed out of the aircraft with hoses. For this reason American bomber crews wore body armor and steel helmets with ear protection.


Curtis LeMay flew into this inconceivable hell again and again and again. The Americans studied high-altitude daylight bombing and concluded that it was a failure. However, the bureaucrats of the Army Air Force—with this information in hand—recreated in the Pacific theater the European model of bombing. The results were the same: massive losses of men and aircraft, along with near-total ineffectiveness.

In January of 1945, Curtis LeMay was put in charge of the XXI Bomber Command in the Marianas. LeMay changed the strategy from high-level daylight raids with high-explosive bombs to low-altitude nighttime attacks with incendiary bombs. The bombers were stripped of all their defensive armament so they could carry more napalm, and they approached the target individually, not in formation.

Those who deplore the firebombing of Japanese cities never mention that LeMay warned the civilians to evacuate before each attack. Leaflets were dropped by the millions.


Unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives.

It took two atomic bombs to force the Japanese into surrender, but it wasn’t unconditional capitulation. The Allies had to accept the Japanese demand that Emperor Hirohito remain untouched. During the occupation of Japan, a brilliant man named General Douglas MacArthur—Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers—solved that potential problem by posing with Hirohito thusly.


No tie, hands in his back pockets, and right hip canted out. This photo caused widespread shock among the Japanese. MacArthur’s deliberately casual dress and pose convinced the Japanese that they had indeed been defeated. Only a conqueror would show such disdain for their divine emperor.

The coming defeat of jihadist terrorism

After decades of shilly-shallying, the world is finally beginning to kill enough Muslim terrorists.


Just a few months back, the Islamic State was boasting that it would do to Europe and the US what it had done to Iraq. Well, Iraq hasn’t fallen. After a miserable start due to tribalism and incompetence, the Iraqi security forces have rallied. Most of the fighting is being done by Kurds and Iraqi special-operations forces, but they’ve stopped the advance of the Islamic State.

Don’t kid yourself: They did it by killing a huge number of people. There’s ample video and photographic evidence. Remember this guy?


He doesn’t look like that anymore.


The president of Egypt, Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, gave a stunning speech to Al-Azhar University, the most influential Sunni scholarly institution.

Here’s a slightly different translation.

I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.

Egypt is under assault by jihadist terrorists. As a result, the Egyptians made a 500-meter-wide buffer zone between the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza. Houses were dynamited, people were evicted, and the world uttered not a peep of protest.

No Jews, no news.

This actually works in our favor. If Egyptians, Jordanians, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Iraqis, and Kurds do the necessary killing, the global press will ignore it, the way it has the utterly brutal fight against al-Shabaab in Somalia. The African Union troops basically take no prisoners, but that doesn’t bother the UN, any “human rights” group, or any journalist.

For once we can be grateful for their utter moral corruption.

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