Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blaming the generals

Thank goodness. We can all rest assured that President Bush and his neocon posse weren't responsible for the Iraq debacle.

It's all of our stupid military leaders. So sayeth the right.

Victor Davis Hanson:
That is not to say that simply staying the course will bring victory without radical changes in tactics and strategy—but that ability to change quickly and fundamentally is nothing novel in American history. That infamous summer of 1864 was saved by Uncle Billy Sherman’s completely unorthodox...blah blah blah...

The point? ...(L)et us hope there is a Sherman, Patton, Ridgeway, Abrams et al. among us. [Not like these current fools, right, VeeDee?]
Ralph Peters
Has the Army forgotten what war is? (The No. 1 complaint I now hear from officers in Iraq is about "green-zone generals" who have no idea what the streets outside their bubble are like — our military leaders are beginning to sound uncomfortably like World War I's "chateaux generals.")...


Politically correct leadership has killed 3,000 American troops in Iraq and wounded another 20,000. Now Iraq is nearly hopeless, thanks to military theorists who think that culling sound bites from "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" serves us better than clear thinking, common sense and fighting spirit.

It didn't have to be that way. Our troops didn't fail. Our national leadership did. And so did the generals.
Cliff May
Abizaid strikes me as a good man, a smart man, a brave man and a dedicated soldier. But he either has not understood how to defeat our enemies in Iraq or has not understood how to communicate that he is making progress toward that goal. War in the 21st Century combines a clash of arms with a clash of ideas, images and perceptions. Those not adept in both areas can not win. Rumsfeld also failed to grasp this.
John Podhoretz
In contrast to the shameful pop-culture image of military commanders as hair-trigger psychos eager to hurl nukes at butterflies, America's military leaders are far more cerebral, intellectual and cognizant of history's lessons than all but a small handful of this country's leading policy wonks.

...blah blah blah...

They knew what they were doing (in Iraq), and why they were doing it. But they just got it wrong, and they didn't know how to change direction to get it right. What's more, having committed to a certain approach, they can't just reverse field because to do so would be to admit that the past 3 1/2 years have been bungled.

What happened, exactly?

The war fighters became political scientists. They trusted their theories about Iraq and their sense of how best to build up a country, rather than narrowing their task to bringing the enemy to heel and securing the country.
Victor Davis Hanson
I wish the Iraqi Study Group had suggested, George Marshall-like, that they were looking for a colonel or one-star general who wished to be a four-star commander of a victorious American army. Somewhere amid the ranks we have still confident, gifted military officers who believe that they have the know-how and expertise to stop these killers, provide stability for the political process to continue — and impart a victory to the United States.
Rich Lowry
The false lesson that some conservatives took away from Vietnam was that war was too much managed by the civilians and, gosh, if General Westmoreland were left even more alone, we would have won in Vietnam, when the truth is General Westmoreland had no idea how to defeat the insurgency on the ground in Vietnam and in some respects, Abizaid and Casey have been replicating his mistakes and Bush has been replicating LBJ's mistakes by letting them just pursue their strategy and totally subcontracting out his role as commander-in-chief to them with a strategy that has now been proven as a failure. And I think if Bush is really going to run this war and make this decision to go with the surge, he's going to have to confront that core belief that is repeated over and over and over again, that, basically, I do whatever the generals want on troop levels. And I think that was always a mistake for him to have that kind of attitude, but it's goint to take a big attitude adjustment for him to turn around and say, "You know what? The generals aren't always right."
Bush's only mistake? Trusting those stupid generals.

Tell me again how conservatives support the military?


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