Wednesday, September 17, 2003

David Frum, Liar or Idiot?

Today, David Frum says the following about Gen. Wesley Clark:

Clark has criticized the supposed and alleged errors of U.S. planning in Iraq – notwithstanding that his campaign in Kosovo was based on an unending series of errors, above all his claim that his air campaigns could destroy Serbian military capabilities without harming the Serbian civilian population.

Where the fuck was David Frum when that war was actually going on? One of the major reasons that Clark was told to step down from his position in Europe was because he didn't like using air power alone and said so.

NATO's top commander has warned that the Pentagon must "be open to other possibilities," including an invasion of Kosovo in the fall if the allied air campaign hasn't produced a peace agreement with Belgrade by the end of summer, Pentagon officials said Friday.

Behind closed doors on Thursday, NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Wesley Clark gave Pentagon officials the same upbeat assessment he regularly gives publicly: that the air campaign is working and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is losing.

But Clark also warned U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen and the Joint Chiefs of Staff that given Milosevic's stubbornness, there is no guarantee that punishing bombing attacks alone will force a peace deal and that an invasion should not be ruled out.

As a real soldier, Clark understood all too well the faults of massive bombing campaigns, but his hands were tied by politicians. Read the man's book, people!

And David shows that his lack of ancient historical knowledge is just as pitiful as his knowledge of recent history:

A reader responded to the post above and pointed out that Wesley Clark has appeared on the History Channel's "Time Machine" program to comment on the battles of Hannibal. According to the reader, Clark said that his own campaign in Kosovo was closely modeled on Hannibal's in Italy. Of course, Hannibal lost his war, even despite all the babies he sacrificed to Moloch. You'd think a Rhodes Scholar like Clark would know that. On the other hand, maybe he figures that military defeat plus baby-burning is an unbeatable platform in a Democratic primary ....

First, the man's scum.

Second, if Frum knew anything about military history, he'd know that Hannibal's Italian campaign was hugely successful. Often outnumbered 2-to-1, the Carthaginian showed an amazing tactical talent and, if not for her allies' support, Rome would have fallen completely to Hannibal. Frum also doesn't understand, apparently, that the teaching of battle often includes teaching how defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. Considering Hannibal's 16 years of battle against the greater Roman force, one has only to imagine a few things happening differently for him to have won out in the end over Scipio Africanus.

Then again, maybe Frum's right and we can't learn anything from those defeated in battle. What could we possibly learn from the man shown retreating in this picture?


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