Right Of The Star

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Daily Trek Wednesday 102004

The reality of war is the focus of today's Trek:

I have said this before and I have ripped into the armchair generals but I couldn't put it any better then this - from Ace of Spades blog:
It is an old military maxim that blunders can be forgiven, but a lack of boldness cannot. There will always be blunders. The simple becomes difficult in war. Take for example the following question: what is 2+2 equal too? An easy question right? Now imagine I gave you 15 such questions and you had 2 seconds to answer them. Most likely you would answer some and leave the rest. Looking at those questions you missed in isolation I might say, "What kind of blathering idiot are you? You can't even answer simple questions like 2+2=4". That is why Armchair Generals are so annoying. They look at one thing in isolation with all the time in the world to think about it and say confidently "the answers obvious". But when you are out in the fight everything looks different. Nothing is ever seen in isolation. You never have enough time. You never know more than 1/10 what you need to know. There will always be blunders.

But the job has to get done anyway. And to get this kind of job done boldness is essential. A leader who never blunders, but who doesn't take the fight to the enemy is worthless. A leader who sets about to win - win ugly if needs be - is priceless.

One thing the Marine Corps taught me is that a 70% solution acted on immediately and violently is better than a perfect solution acted on later. My experience has proven this true time and again. The sad fact is however, that a 70% solution is a 30% mistake. And those mistakes can be hard to take. In WWII for example, 700 soldiers drowned in a training accident in preparation for D-Day (that is about how many combat deaths we've experienced so far in Iraq).

There is a scene in the movie "We were Soldiers" that says it better than I can. In the scene a young soldier on the ground is giving directions on enemy positions to aircraft flying overhead. The aircraft then dropped Napalm on the enemy. At one point the soldier gets the directions wrong and stares horrified as the Napalm is dropped on his own unit. The soldier is shaken beyond belief. He sat there doing nothing - paralyzed by his mistake. Then his Commanding Officer gave him the confidence to carry on. The CO told him to "forget about that last one" and "you're keeping us alive here". And so the soldier swallowed his guilt and kept doing his job and thereby saved the unit. That is what a 70% solution looks like in real life. And those are the 70% solutions that win wars.

Most people and events are beyond your control. Most questions you don't have time to answer. Most facts you will never know. But you have to press the attack anyway. No matter how ugly it gets, you keep going until you win.

Kerry doesn't understand that. Everything he did during the Cold War and everything he says about this one states as much. He represents those who would never blunder, but who would not take the fight to the enemy. He would just sit there - like the soldier in the movie - paralyzed by America's mistakes."

Just remember those who are whining about mistakes are also strengthening our enemies resolve - just as John Kerry did when he decided to help the North Vietnam Communists!

Speaking of those utopianism fools, LGF has this:

Carter: The Revolutionary War Was "Unnecessary"

It’s a pity that, as a past winner, Jimmy Carter can’t be in the running for this year’s Idiotarian of the Year award—because this mind-bending interview with Chris Matthews would make him a shoo-in: ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’ for Oct. 18. (Hat tip: johnCV.)

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the question about—this is going to cause some trouble with people—but as an historian now and studying the Revolutionary War as it was fought out in the South in those last years of the War, insurgency against a powerful British force, do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?

CARTER: Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we’ve fought. I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war.

Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonial’s really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely, and of course now we would have been a free country now as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a nonviolent way.

The real problem was that Washington had no plan to win the peace. (Jimmah’s been spending way too much time at the Burger King with Michael Moore.)

When a group of soldiers refuse to obey the lawful authority of their commander then they are guilty of Mutiny and have to be punished as such! Orders are orders. While I can sympathize and even empathize with the concerns of the family and the media's need to make this a story there is no valid reason these soldiers would risk the lives of every soldier in Iraq because they refused to do their duty! The leaders and each and every individual soldier must be held accountable!

I believe the radical left Moore-ons and their anti-American propaganda are responsible in the long run! I also believe John Kerry thinks they are brave for standing up against the government that sent them to the "WRONG PLACE!" Want to blame someone, blame Kerry - equipment problems are irrelevant as that is a fact of life in war!

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