Monday, November 21, 2005

The art of the Washington Times headline

Here's today's headline:
Military fears critics will hurt morale
Wow. Maybe we should shut up.

If you actually read the story, though, it attributes these fearful sentiments only to unnamed "Pentagon officials" and then goes on to quote Rumsfeld saying "We also have to understand that our words have effects. Put yourself in the shoes of a soldier who thinks that we're going to pull out precipitously or immediately, as some people have proposed."

The real story here, though, is "dog bites man" predictable. Rumsfeld's full of crap.
Still, officers in Iraq contend that troop morale is good to excellent.

"I have not heard of any morale problems related to the political debates," said Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, a spokesman in Baghdad.

Lt. Col. David Lapan, a Marine spokesman in the violence-wracked Anbar province, said, "We haven't conducted any surveys so obviously we can't speak to the morale of every Marine, sailor and soldier out here. However, based on comments from commanders and leaders who interact daily with troops at all levels, I'd say morale remains pretty high."

Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, an author of books on military transformation, said he is hearing something different from returning troops.

"Soldiers see no viable mission, no plan and no strategy," Col. Macgregor said. "No one trusts any of the Arabs in the Iraqi army, only the Kurds. Soldiers want to survive to go home and are fighting to keep each other alive. There is no Iraq. There is Kurdistan, which the soldiers all love. Then, there is the Sunni Arab center and the Shi'ite south that most think is an autonomous province of Iran."
So, if Macgregor's to be believed, then the real threat to morale is that "soldiers see no viable mission, no plan and no strategy."

You've buried the lede, Moonies. Here's a headline for you:
Rumsfeld's incompetence threatens soldiers' morale


Blogger spaghetti happens said...

A. "We're pulling out of here by Christmas of oh-six and you all will be back with your families for good."

b. "We don't know when in the hell we're getting out of here. So suck it up, kids."

Now, which one is more likely to have a deleterious effect on morale?

1:39 PM  
Blogger Angry Veteran said...

Good post. This thing about open debate and morale annoys me to no end. Morale is low because this invasion and occupation is completely fucked up beyond all recognition (FUBAR). It was a legally, morally, and strategically wrong decision to invade. The execution of that decision has been hamstrung from the begining - just ask General Shinseki.

People wonder why I'm still angry.

-Angry Veteran

5:23 PM  

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