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October 27, 2004


Military mentality is very Goal-oriented, and has been known to abandon important military strongpoints under Wartime conditions, simply because they had been ordered to take an insignificant point. The real villian is inadequate military training procedures. lgl

Ms. Hilzoy, in a way I envy you. Yes, I support the President and do not connect with John Kerry in any way. But you are so determined, so steadfast. You believe so strongly that everything President Bush does is horribly wrong. I don't think I've ever been so convinced about something, other than matters of the heart, that I could discard every other angle, all related circumstances, any shred of evidence. I've read your defense of any suggestion of a Kerry foible to the last minutia. Then, without of thought of similarity, condemn President Bush for every breath exhaled. I can only wish that I could feel so much passion about any one thing. I hope it serves you well.

what lgl said is, I think, indeed part of the problem. There is a military midset that made them incapable of leaving a platoon at Al Qaa Qaa out of a division or battalion on the way to Baghdad.

"The mission calls for a division to here, sir, and if I leave a platoon here and a platoon there, pretty soon I am down a company and I can no longer successfully complete my mission."

blogbudsman: when exactly was the last time I defended a Kerry foible?

Disagree with lgl and Bob here. The American military promotes more tactical autonomy and creativity than any other in the world, save perhaps the Israeli Army. But you have to have rules, too. You just can't have all kinds of random decisions being made all the time. The failure is with the civilian leadership who pushed bad assumptions.

Hilzoy, blogbudsman is right.

It's totally unfair to expect Bush to make intelligent war plans. Like, about how many troops are needed to fight it, or whether major weapons depots should be guarded. I mean, what do you think Bush is, anyway? The Commander in Chief or something?

C'mon. He's an old dry drunk who can barely *talk*, fer crying out loud. Be nice to the pitiful broken down old fellow. He thought he'd just be spending four years cutting taxes and making speeches while the Dicks ran things. Never in a jillion years did Bush ever dream he'd have to be responsible for serious sh*t - Jeez! Even when he was younger and had most of a functioning brain he never did any serious sh*t; and here we expect him to break the habit of a lifetime just because some Arabs snuck in while he was on vacation and flew into a bunch of buildings?

That's just not fair. Bein' President. it's hard work, it's hard, and nobody ever told poor George how hard it is. He just caught some bad breaks is all.

But it's OK now. The next 4 years, hell, they can't be anywhere near as bad as the last 3+ were. I mean, heck, what could possibly go wrong?

"Bush-Cheney 04: It's Got to Get Better Because It Can't Get Any Worse"

Shorter blogbudsman:
I blame hilzoy for this.

Let's assume blogbudsman, a pretty articulate individual, is correct in his or her (may I call you Ms. Blogbudsman?) assessment of Hilzoy's posts over the past months.

It could be that GWB's rock-hard certainty about EVERYTHING has engendered Hilzoy's certainty about him.

But then I recall just the other day blogsbudsman's comments to the effect that Hilzoy and by extension others were barely able to stomach Kerry. Now it's "defense of any suggestion of a Kerry foible."

The election is close. Everyone's angry. At somebody.

At least Hilzoy channels her anger into articulate statements.

Certainly, for I am nothing if not certain, blogsbudman in his/her job as blogbudsman of the entire blogworld has come across more extreme examples of "passion" run amuck than Hilzoy's.

Curt Schilling, for example.

By the way, comments that begin " a way I envy you."
are rough business.

They should be spelled like this instead: "@# % * ?"[email protected] *%$!!!, To comply with posting rules.

My chair-throwing is modest by comparison.

Now that Moe has retired mysteriously, can we swear?

I don't know, but envy is definitely out. ;)

Is there evidence for *any* postwar planning? Any at all?

Other than, perhaps, "Chalabi will fix everything"?

You know, I just had the most horrible thought. According to Blogbudsman, I am actually a lot like George W. Bush.

Resolute, determined, immune to empirical disproof, steadfast, committed.

Oh dear.

If I thought that allowing al Qaqaa to be looted was the only case in which we failed to secure important caches of weapons, I would think it was a terrible mistake, since it seems likely that soldiers are dying as a result of it. But I would not be as angry about it as I am.

The problem being that we don't know that the particular explosives in question were looted. It is worth some criticism that the administration apparently was aware that the materials were missing last year and has only now launched, at least publicly, an investigation. In fact, there seem to be plenty of issues available for well-founded complaints without leveling charges that are suppositions at best.

Gedanken, unless the administration knew for sure that the site had been fully looted of the explosives by March 19 - which no one seems to be claiming - there is no possible excuse for such a bad decision as failing to search/secure it.

What this defense amounts to is "Probably the site will be looted before the troops can get there, so why bother posting a guard to stop it being looted after they get there?"

Gedanken, unless the administration knew for sure that the site had been fully looted of the explosives by March 19 - which no one seems to be claiming - there is no possible excuse for such a bad decision as failing to search/secure it.

Funnily enough, I just made that same point in the other thread. Last I checked, the first major US inspections were on May 27th; those were the first attempts to properly secure and catalogue the materials therein. [I'm not 100% about this, though, so by all means correct me if I'm wrong.] That's a full two months after the invasion began, and a full month after we had supposedly liberated Iraq. There's no excuse for not attempting to immediately secure a known cache of 370 tons of HE, especially when that particular HE has clear asymmetrical applications.

I have not seen an authoritative reference as to when the US properly inspected the area to determine what was there or not.

I personally find the argument persuasive that moving multiple truckloads of explosives across the roads during the actual invasion and initial consolidation was impossible. But that lockdown of the region ended relatively soon after the regime fell, if memory serves.

So it would then depend on when the US inspectors actually arrived and how well controlled the roads were in the interval.

As far as I know, these questions remain unanswered.

hilzoy, "blogbudsman: when exactly was the last time I defended a Kerry foible?"

You may have a point there. Maybe as an ethics roll playing exercise for your students you could list all of Kerry's foibles you recognize and then we could all discus their merits. That would be an provocative pre-election exchange, and probably a difficult self awareness challenge for an Academocrat.

From blogbud's recent comments, it might be time to make an intervention. I know many of us plan to get smashed on Election Day, but there's no need to start the party so early.

Of course, a fall-off in quality implies an earlier value-added quality to the comments (unlike some commenters. I'm looking at you, me.), so this could be a compliment.

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