October 2004

Just CLICK for Infamous Monsters of Filmland. See if you can tell which is which…


Here’s a pic of some sKerry supporters “Waiting for Godot”

Note: “Waiting for Godot” is Samuel Beckett’s existential “theater of the absurd” play (that is, no drama, chronological plot, etc.) . In the play, the main characters mostly just sit around waiting for something—anything! Godot!!— to relieve their boredom.

Can’t you just sense the electricity in the air “Waiting for sKerry”?

Posted by Hello

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge—and more.” –John F. Kennedy

“So in war, through the influence of an infinity of petty circumstances, which cannot properly be described on paper, things disappoint us, and we fall short of the mark. A powerful iron will overcomes this friction, it crushes the obstacles…” –Clausewitz, on “friction” in war.

Here, Clausewitz reveals another way the Mass Media Podpeople’s Army and the DNC (but I repeat myself 🙂 misunderstand the Iraq War and the President’s prosecution of it. For the MMPA and the DNC, problems, mistakes and barriers to a successful conclusion to the war are all reasons to declare it a failure, a “quagmire”. They particularly decry George W. Bush’s “stubborness” in refusing to admit defeat. Clausewitz knew—and the American soldiers on the ground know—that obstacles are there to be overcome, not to be surrendered to. That mistakes are there to be corrected or worked around, not whined about. That the unknowns are always greater than the knowns, but that courage and determination are key in overcoming both the friction and fog of war.

The MMPA, the DNC and their annointed champion, Jean Fraud sKerry, do not understand these things. The “Neville Chamberlain of the 21st Century” is not interested in a determined prosecution of the war on Islamic jihadists. To him, Islamic terrorism is akin to the “nuisances” of prostitution and illegal gambling. To him, magnifying, misrepresenting and actual lying about mistakes committed or problems faced by the boots on the ground is simply a political expedient for use in gaining power and position.

Where is the “iron will” in Jean Fraud sKerry’s character necessary to overcome the friction of war? He has no obvious consistency of position on any issue except for his consistency as regards blaming America first. In that, he is no different today than when, in 1970, he adopted Madame Binh’s seven-point negotiating position and advocated the North Vietnam/Viet Cong position to the American people. His only consistency through the years has been to blame America and seek to make her weaker.

Is this a person who can understand or achieve success in Iraq? Perhaps his willingness to have others “pay any price, bear any burden” to advance his own petty ambitions would be enough. But I doubt it.

There are many ways in which the Mass Media Podpeople’s Army (otherwise known as ABCCBSNBCCNNWaPoNYT, etc.)
has contributed to a misunderstanding of the Iraq War, but two things typical Mass Media Podpeople seem genetically unable to comprehend stand out.

You may have heard of “friction” referred to as a component of war. Clauswitz, the famous—and still authoritative—Prussian military philospher, defined “friction” mainly as resulting from human frailty thusly, “Everything is very simple in war, but the simplest thing is difficult. These difficulties accumulate and produce a friction, which no man can imagine exactly who has not seen war.” Thus, human frailty can lead to errors which in turn lead to complications in war that slow things down, gum up the works, make things more difficult than they need to be. Absent perfect soldiers, battle plans and all the devilish little details of war cannot be conducted perfectly.

(Of course, friction can also refer to difficulties of terrain, weather, logistics, etc., that are met as uncontrollable circumstances change.)

On a slightly different subject, here’s an article by someone who’s not a military professional considering the “fog of war”.

An excerpt:
Silicon Insider: The Myth of the Mistake-Free War
Has the Digital Revolution Led to Expectations of a Perfect World?
Oct. 28, 2004 — Compared to the vague, imprecise analog world, digital offers the powerful, addictive incentive of continuous, measurable improvement. We see that improvement all around us: personal computers that are twice as powerful this year as last, credit card sized MP3 players that hold 10,000 songs, GPS systems that can place you to within three feet anywhere on the planet. Compare that with the rate of change of the old record players, tape recorders and printed maps…
…A dangerous form of this perfectionism has, I think, infected the presidential campaign this year. It regards the war in Iraq. I’m not here to take one side or another about whether the war was justified, only to suggest that the premise of the debate has been dangerously skewed by our perfectionist thinking.
Large parts of modern warfare, especially as practiced by the United States, have been digitalized — from battlefield communications to precision weapons to satellite surveillance — and it is easy to be lulled into the belief that war, too, can be perfected, that it can be made sterile and clean and, most of all, free of any mistakes. But nothing could be more wrong-headed or dangerous. War is still, as Sherman said, “All Hell” — messy, brutal and riddled with the mistakes made in the fog of war.
But you would never know that from this year’s campaign. President Bush has been excoriated for not anticipating every contingency in the most complicated of all types of warfare, fighting insurgents. He has been blamed for not fighting this war perfectly, something never demanded of FDR or Ike or Bradley. Every single casualty is a defeat; every truck bomb deepens the quagmire…
An interesting layman’s understanding of war, written for other non-military folks like me. Much more at the link NOTE: the most telling line associated with the article wasn’t written by the author of the article. Since this article is one of the few, the very few, I have seen that reflects any kind of sensible comment on the Iraq War, naturally the editors of ABCNews needed to append this statement:

“This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.”

No duh.

Clausewitz, again, this time on the “fog of war”:

“All action takes place, so to speak, in a kind of twilight, which like a fog or moonlight, often tends to make things seem grotesque and larger than they really are.”

Now, while Clausewitz did not specifically use “fog of war” in any of his writings, the description given above fits the modern use of the term: that which is unknown is always larger than that which is known, and the unknown always distorts our understanding of what is known in ways we cannot anticipate.

That is one of the reasons why a general staff works better than a micro-managing Alexander or Lee in modern war. Setting goals and giving the boots on the ground latitude in achieving the goals is simply more realistic than directing minutiae from afar, given the complexity of the tasks of war. And the friction and fog of war demand that modern soldiers be trusted to operate with flexibility, to the best of their abilities—and make human mistakes!—within the minimally controlled chaos that is war.

And so, to Iraq.

I’m not going to argue the “wrong war, wrong place, wrong time” aspect. Hindsight applied to fixing blame (for purposes of personal gain) is only good for people who are going backwards. No. We are there. And if, in looking back, we see mistakes made by the boots on the ground, we see also phenomenal successes. In spite of the inevitable friction of war, a large majority of Iraqis are much better off in terms of safety and freedom than before the war. About 400,000 tons (of the 1,000,000 tons of munitions Saddam purchased from France, Germany, Russia) have been destroyed and more is under Coalition control and even more being discovered regularly. The Kurdish north is probably safer than downtown Detroit.

And much of this is due to a President who knew he was not competent, who knew NO ONE is competent, to micro-manage the boots on the ground. Did President Bush make some mistakes in setting strategy and in making appointments to implement the strategies that were set? I believe so. But even given that (and that I would rather the U.S. have spent the $$ that were spent on this war on other things), is there evidence that Islamic jihadists have been severely damaged by this war and that the U.S. is safer because of it? Yes, there is. We are safer in the most important metric: not the number of terrorists convicted of crimes but the number of terrorists killed. Every dead jihadist taken out by a Marine sniper or killed by a well-targeted air strike is one less Islamic jihadist planning or executing a terrorist strike on our soil.

Just. Go. See. It.
Whatever It takes
So far, CNN, NBC, FOX and even CBS’ own April 04, 2003 report contradict CBS”News”/NYT’s hatchett job on President Bush concerning explosives once stored at the al Qaqaa facility. Now, ABCNews weighs in with “new” information that indicates that

1.) there was far, far less (by two orders of magnitude!) RDX explosive material at the facility the last time the IAEA took a peek–about 3 tons instead of 141 tons, and

2.) The RDX and HMX explosives were under IAEA seal, BUT the storage “bunkers” the explosives were stored in had removable slats (!), facilitating easy removal without violating any IAEA seals!!

Let’s see… before the war, only 3 tons of one of the explosives in question and none of the explosives were secured… CBS/NYT thinks 3 tons=141 tons (that’s New Math for ya)… oh, and let’s not forget the Russians were in the area trucking stuff out before the shooting started… see here and here.

If all this can be uncovered in a few short days debunking the hit piece by the NYT (and planned for October 31 broadcast by CBS “News”), sKerry’s use of the hit piece to attack the President reveals yet another character flaw that would be dangerous in a president: jumping on any new report that advances his agenda without even pausing to check any facts.

Hmmm… sKerry now criticizes President Bush for “rushing to war” (by delaying the onset of military action for six months while sKerry and others dithered, thus giving Saddam time to move WMD, etc.) but cannot himself wait one or two days to check the facts on al Qaqaa.

Bugs Bunny, where are you when we need you? (“What a maroon.” —B.B.)

This is taken entirely from Drudge, but since the same material is widely available from President Bush’s recent appearances, I’m not going to be too troubled by copyright issues, unless someone informs me otherwise.

Wed Oct 27 2004 11:59:11 ET

Bush at rally in Pennsylvania:

“After repeatedly calling Iraq the wrong war, and a diversion, Senator Kerry this week seemed shocked to learn that Iraq is a dangerous place, full of dangerous weapons…”

“If Senator Kerry had his way… Saddam Hussein would still be in power. He would control those all of those weapons and explosives and could share them with his terrorist friends. Now the senator is making wild charges about missing explosives, when his top foreign policy adviser admits, quote, ‘We do not know the facts.’ Think about that: The senator is denigrating the actions of our troops and commanders in the field without knowing the facts…”

“Our military is now investigating a number of possible scenarios, including that the explosives may have been moved before our troops even arrived at the site. This investigation is important and it’s ongoing. And a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief.”

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