Ralph Peters: A History Of Violence

While it’s great that crazy man Ralph Peters is coming in for some public shaming over his atrocious suggestion that the Taliban could “save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills” by simply executing their American captive, Pfc Bowe Berghdahl, it’s important to remember that Peters says ridiculous, offensive things like this all the time. It’s only getting attention now because he had the impressivley bad form to direct his fire at one of our troops.

During the the Maersk Alabama hostage crisis Peters advocated against “proportional” response, calling on the U.S. military to go after the extended families of those suspected of piracy:

Attack their harbors with land, sea and air power. Kill pirates, sink their vessels (including those dual-use fishing boats) and wreck their support infrastructure. The clans behind the pirates must feel sufficient pain to rein in their young thugs. The price for piracy should be stunning.

And we don’t need to stay to rebuild Somalia. End the fix-it fetish now. We need to leave while their boats are still burning down to the waterline.

During the Russia-Georgia conflict, Peters wrote:

The Russians, on whom I have wasted far too much of my life, are drink-sodden barbarians who occasionally puke up a genius.

During the 2007 Annapolis conference, Peters shared his view of the Palestinian people as vagrants:

In the end, the [Israeli-Palestinian] problem’s difficulty can be put in New York City terms: A shiftless, violent family that turned an apartment into a slum was evicted. The new tenants cleaned up the place and made the apartment a showcase. Now the former tenants hate them for it — and want the apartment back.

Frustrated by the Iraqi insurgency in 2006, Peters wrote “If we can’t leave a democracy behind we should at least leave the corpses of our enemies”:

The holier-than-thou response to this proposal is predictable: ‘We can’t kill our way out of this situation!’ Well, boo-hoo. Friendly persuasion and billions of dollars haven’t done the job. Give therapeutic violence a chance.

Aside from the standard conservative old man bigotry, when you read Peters’ past work it’s actually pretty amazing how many problems he believes can be solved simply through the use of collective punishment and indiscriminate killing.


Interestingly, on Tuesday Bill O’Reilly brought Peters on to his show to explain his comments, from which Peters refused to back down. You might remember that in 2002 O’Reilly picked a fight with rapper Ludacris, who O’Reilly accused of glamorizing a “life of guns, violence drugs and disrespect of women.” Peters, however, isn’t a rapper. He’s only a political columnist, TV commentator, and occasional presidential campaign adviser, so his celebration of mass violence isn’t as big a deal