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CIA and Team B

[ 0 ] May 8, 2006 |

In the wake of this…

The CIA is supposed to work for the president. It was created in 1948 to be the president’s civilian, non-partisan, non-policy intelligence arm. Its job is to provide an accurate picture of facts and trends so that decision makers can formulate good policy. Too often the agency has performed that job miserably, the greatest example being its gargantuan miscalculations about the Soviet Union. In retrospect, this is perhaps unsurprising. The CIA has always had a leftist bent, well represented in its upper echelons even under directors of staunchly anti-Communist and pro-national-security orientation.

It’s important to link back to this…

Today, the Team B reports recall the stridency and militancy of the conservatives in the 1970s. Team B accused the CIA of consistently underestimating the “intensity, scope, and implicit threat” posed by the Soviet Union by relying on technical or “hard” data rather than “contemplat[ing] Soviet strategic objectives in terms of the Soviet conception of ‘strategy’ as well as in light of Soviet history, the structure of Soviet society, and the pronouncements of Soviet leaders.”

And when Team B looked at “hard” data, everywhere it saw the worst case. It reported, for instance, that the Backfire bomber “probably will be produced in substantial numbers, with perhaps 500 aircraft off the line by early 1984.” (In fact, the Soviets had 235 in 1984.) Team B also regarded Soviet defenses with alarm. “Mobile ABM [anti-ballistic missiles] system components combined with the deployed SAM [surface-to-air missile] system could produce a significant ABM capability.” But that never occurred.

Team B found the Soviet Union immune from Murphy’s law. They examined ABM and directed energy research, and said, “Understanding that there are differing evaluations of the potentialities of laser and CPB [charged particle beam] for ABM, it is still clear that the Soviets have mounted ABM efforts in both areas of a magnitude that it is difficult to overestimate.” (Emphasis in original.)

But overestimate they did. A facility at the Soviet Union’s nuclear test range in Semipalatinsk was touted by Gen. George Keegan, Chief of Air Force Intelligence (and a Team B briefer), as a site for tests of Soviet nuclear-powered beam weapons. In fact, it was used to test nuclear-powered rocket engines. According to a Los Alamos physicist who recently toured Russian directed-energy facilities, “We had overestimated both their capability and their [technical] understanding.”

Team B’s failure to find a Soviet non-acoustic anti-submarine system was evidence that there could well be one. “The implication could be that the Soviets have, in fact, deployed some operational non-acoustic systems and will deploy more in the next few years.” It wasn’t a question of if the Russians were coming. They were here. (And probably working at the CIA!)

[…]

Team B hurled another brickbat: the CIA consistently underestimated Soviet military expenditures. With the advantage of hindsight, we now know that Soviet military spending increases began to slow down precisely as Team B was writing about “an intense military buildup in nuclear as well as conventional forces of all sorts, not moderated either by the West’s self-imposed restraints or by SALT.” In 1983, then-deputy director of the CIA, Robert Gates, testified: “The rate of growth of overall defense costs is lower because procurement of military hardware–the largest category of defense spending–was almost flat in 1976-1981 . . . [and that trend] appears to have continued also in 1982 and 1983.”

In short, the CIA was wrong about Soviet military capacity; it overestimated that capacity in almost every case. The CIA was wrong about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction; it severely overestimated Iraqi capabilities. The cause of these severe overestimates, problematic not because they were wrong but because they failed to support a right-wing ideological line, is the presence of radical leftists in the Agency.

*Ahem*

You know what the problem is today with America? Our conservatives are too goddamn stupid. Democracy requires a minimal level of responsibility from all participants, and American conservatives have systematically abandoned even the pretense of interest in the public good.

Sunday Battleship Blogging: SMS Lutzow

[ 0 ] May 7, 2006 |

Part I of a four part Jutland Series, in honor of the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.

German shipbuilding was deeply affected not only by the construction of Dreadnought, but also by the construction of the battlecruiser Invincible. Although the debate between a cruiser navy and a battleship navy had largely been settled in the favor of battleships by 1906, Germany wanted to keep a respectable cruiser fleet. HMS Invincible, in response, was designed to hunt down and kill enemy armored cruisers. The Germans learned of the construction of Invincible, but German intelligence, unfortunately, misreported her armament as consisting of 9.2″ guns. The German response was the cruiser Blucher, a hybrid design that, because of her small guns and insufficient speed, was utterly outclassed by Invincible.

Nevertheless, German battlecruiser design advanced very quickly. Six German battlecruisers were complete by mid-1915, and most could be regarded as superior to their Royal Navy counterparts. Only five battlecruisers were available to the High Seas Fleet as the sixth, Goeben, had constituted the bulk of the German Mediterranean squadron. The German Navy learned at important lesson at the Battle of Dogger Bank (which did not incluede Lutzow) when Seydlitz almost exploded from a magazine fire. From that point forward, the Germans took extreme care with their magazine spaces, ensuring that no single hit could destroy a ship. The Royal Navy, sadly, would not learn this lesson until 1916.

SMS Lutzow, displacing 27000 tons, carrying 8 12″ guns in four twin turrets, and capable of 26.5 knots, was the flagship of Admiral Franz von Hipper on May 31, 1916. The German plan was to force an engagement against a portion of the Royal Navy, thereby weakening the whole. Contemporary naval theory suggested (correctly) that material advantage in a naval battle was exponential, rather than additive. In other words, a larger force could be expected to perform much better than a small force; numerical superiority was more important than usual. The High Seas Fleet could never defeat the Grand Fleet in open battle, but could hope to destroy a portion of it without significant cost. German battlecruisers would try to lure out the British battlecruisers, which would then be attacked with the whole of the High Seas Fleet. The Grand Fleet (including 24 of the 31 British dreadnoughts) was based at Scapa Flow, in the far north of Great Britain, and could not arrive in time to save the British battlecruisers. The Grand Fleet would be further hampered by pre-positioned U-boats.

The German move successfully lured out the British battlecruisers. The situation was ideal for the Germans, as the British battlecruiser squadron had been weakened by damage to HMS Australia and the temporary transfer of three older battlecruisers to Scapa Flow. The Royal Navy battlecruiser squadron under David Beatty would intercept Hipper’s battlecruisers with six, instead of ten, ships.
The German advantage was reinforced by tactical conditions and by Beatty’s incompetence. Four battleships of the Queen Elizabeth class, largest, fastest, and most powerful in the Royal Navy, had been placed under Beatty’s command. However, the battleships trailed the battlecruisers by a considerable distance, and would not join Beatty as quickly as possible due to signalling problems. The German ships were also favored by mid afternoon lighting conditions, and were able to fire first upon the British ships.

The German fire was devastating. Two of the six Royal Navy vessels suffered magazine explosions. A third, Beatty’s flagship Lion, was saved only by extraordinarily heroism and luck. While the German ships suffered a battering, none exploded, and none were mortally crippled. Lutzow, Hipper’s flagship, suffered from the most severe damage. When the British finally solved their signalling problem, the German battlecruisers came under devastating fire from the four Royal Navy battleships. However, they maintained their place in line, and continued firing on the British battlecruisers until the Grand Fleet appeared on the horizon.

Because of excellent intelligence, the Grand Fleet had left port two hours before the High Seas Fleet, and, having suffered no U-boat damage, was in an excellent position to intercept the Germans. The lead ships in Grand Fleet were three Invincible class battlecruisers, which opened fire (with great accuracy) upon Lutzow. Lutzow and her sister Derfflinger hit the lead ship, Invincible, with several salvos, the last resulting in a magazine explosion. Lutzow, however, was too badly damaged to contine the battle. Admiral Hipper transferred his flag to a destroyer, and Lutzow was dispatched to Kiel. Having taken 24 hits, including at least 4 15″ shell hits, Lutzow took on a considerable amount of water, and sat too deep in the water to make it through the Kiel Canal. In what was probably a poor decision, Lutzow was scuttled at the entrance to the Canal estuary in order to avoid British capture.

Admiral Hipper was well regarded for his command of the German battlecruisers at Jutland. While the other three admirals (Beatty, Jellicoe, and Scheer) made identifiable mistakes, Scheer handled his ships very well against superior numbers. He was eventually promoted to command of the High Seas Fleet, although he failed in his effort to put down the Kiel Mutiny. He died in 1932, fourteen years into retirement.

Incidentally, if I haven’t mentioned it before this is an outstanding source of information on the Imperial German Navy.

Trivia: What was the first British battlecruiser to abandon wing turrets?

Happy Derby Day!!!!

[ 0 ] May 6, 2006 |

Sadly, I lack the competence to make myself a mint julep. Pouring bourbon into a glass with ice, however, is well within my capabilities.

My bet? AP Warrior, at 10/1.

UPDATE: When you’re right 6% of the time, you’re wrong 94% of the time. Hopefully you put your money down on Barbaro…

[ 0 ] May 5, 2006 |


Friday Cat Blogging… Nelson and Starbuck

Mmm…. Manly Monster Thick Burger…

[ 0 ] May 4, 2006 |

Read Shakes. I wondered the same thing myself when I saw the Burger King commercial; since when has male identity been about eating awful, heart attack inducing hamburgers?

I love the message here. It’s manly to eat meat—but not just any old meat; specifically the heart-stopping, artery-clogging beef served up by fast food and chain restaurants. It’s girly to eat vegetables and be healthy. Trying to save men from heart disease is just another part of the radical feminist agenda to “feminize” society. Damn women—if it weren’t for the mothers, girlfriends, and wives who try to get them to eat healthy, men would never have to subjected to the horror of broccoli! Damn henpecked hubbies and faggots—real men stuff their faces full of shit to prove how manly they are! Stunning.

…speaking of which, one of the things I want to do before I die is eat four of these in a single sitting. Perhaps very shortly before I die…

Conspiracy to Drive Up My ERA

[ 0 ] May 3, 2006 |

Why is Terry Francona playing Wily Mo Pena in centerfield? Why not just play David Ortiz in center?

Finland in NATO

[ 0 ] May 3, 2006 |

I hadn’t realized that Finnish talks with NATO had progressed so far, but Defense News says that NATO will extend a formal invitation to Finland within the next two years. I’ve been mildly interested in Finnish national security since, as a discussant at the 2003 ISA, I read a 57 page single spaced conference paper on Finish security policy. Note to conference participants: Do not ever write 57 page single spaced conference papers. Finland is also interesting because of its history as the EXCEPTION, the sole uncontroversial example of a democracy fighting other democracies.

This is a very interesting discussion of the pros and cons of Finnish participation in NATO. The most fascinating point is 7.2: Russia will not Return Karelia to a NATO Member.

A second argument against membership is again highly sectorial, and focusses on the hope that Finland may one day get back those territories in Karelia she lost to Russia during the second world war. This argument notes that it is highly unlikely that Russia would return the lost territories to a Finland that joined NATO, considering Russian resistance towards NATO, and particularly the security concerns of her military.

WEAKNESSES

The first basic counterargument is of course that one must see this particular issue from Finland’s broader security perspective. The return of the lost territories is important, but it is not vital for the survival or independence of Finland’s people, nor for the health and prosperity of society. Those NATO related questions which do relate to these matters need to be given priority.

A second key argument is that it does not look likely that Russia as we know her today would return even a part of the territories anyway. This is because the cohesion of the Russian Federation is a major security threat to Russia. The entire Federation consists of potentially contested border arrangements, and any discussion of adjustments in one area is likely to unleash a hornets nest of demands and conflicts. Thus only a radically different sort of Russia could consider returning the lost territories. This would either have to be a very much liberalized Russia, in which case NATO membership would probably not be a factor, or a Russia in disintegration, in which NATO membership also would be largely irrelevant.

Right; I don’t expect that Russia would ever have an interest in returning Karelia (or the “Finnish Border Hexes”, as we used to say in Advanced Third Reich) to Finland.

I also wonder what impact Finnish entry into NATO would have on Sweden, which has paid a price for neutrality and defense self-sufficiency over the last half century.

The Question of Will

[ 1 ] May 2, 2006 |

One element of Goldstein’s argument deserves some more attention. The focus on Will is common to conservative analysis of the Iraq War, and of war in general. Will, it is believed, is the key to victory. If we lack Will, as we (in the sense that the media, a certain percentage of the Democratic Party, and a certain percentage of the electorate consistute “we”) did in Vietnam, then we will suffer defeat. If we demonstrate that we have Will by attacking Iraq, or attacking Iran, or dropping some bombs on places where Iraqi civilians live, or torturing people, or disposing of international law, then our enemies will understand that we are not to be trifled with, and will slowly back away.

Why this focus on Will? I can think of three reasons. First, Will provides a simple, easy to understand, and utterly non-quantifiable explanation for outcomes. Lazy arguments will always be more popular than complex arguments. Second, the idea that Will is determinative of outcomes fits easily into a set of pop culture notions about success and victory. Finally, Will is compatible with a masculinist notions of conflict, combat, and victory that have roots in fascist thought.

It is common to hear the refrain, especially in wingnutty circles, that no war has ever been won by a country that lacked Will. Why did the French lose? Not because of insufficient doctrine or poor organization or poor intelligence, but because they lacked Will. Why did the Athenians lose? Because they lacked the Will to do what was necessary on Sicily. What must we do to win in Iraq? Demonstrate our Will. It’s fair to say that this is an explanation for victory and defeat that is wholly immune to any evidentiary evaluation. There is, simply put, no way to measure national Will. The explanation ends up being circular, as defeat demonstrates that a country lacks Will. It is simple, easy, unverifiable, and unfalsifiable. Contrary cases are rarely mobilized; could it be honestly argued that Japan and Germany in World War II had less Will than the Allies? Perhaps less than Russia, but the Western Allies? Moreover, the Will explanation leads to a clear policy prescription. We win by being tougher. This is an emotionally satisfying, if empirically uncompelling, argument.

The argument is echoed in popular culture. Recall this wonderful speech from The Usual Suspects:

One story the guys told me, the story I believe, was from his days in Turkey. There was a gang of Hungarians that wanted their own mob. They realized that to be in power, you didn’t need guns or money or even numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn’t. After a while, they come into power and then they come after Soze. He was small-time then, just running dope, they say. They come to his home in the afternoon, looking for his business. They find his wife and kids in the house and decide to wait for Soze. He comes home to find his wife raped and children screaming. The Hungarians knew Soze was tough, not to be trifled with, so they let him know they meant business.

They tell him they want his territory, all his business. Soze looks over the faces of his family. Then he showed these men of will what will really was.

Recall also Michael Corleone’s comment at the end of Godfather II, about how history has shown that anyone can be killed. In Apocalypse Now, Colonel Kurtz demonstrates that only a Will to commit atrocity is necessary to defeat the Viet Cong. The Will explanation extends to athletics, as well. How often does a commentator explain a team’s victory through their commitment, courage, and Will rather than through the fact that it plays better and is more talented? As noted above, this explanation is attractive precisely because it is so lazy; the Yankees win games because they have talented players, not because they have Will. Nevertheless, pop culture evocations of the importance of Will are extremely common. Will plays better as a story than a sober analysis of things like capability, skill, or talent. Will is dramatic and surprising in a way that capability is not.

Finally, and I think that this is the most important element of the attractiveness of Will to warbloggers, the idea of Will is extremely appealing to a particular construction of masculinity. Toughness, understood as a male characteristic, is more important than skill, capability, technology, etc. The French lose because they are effeminate. The Democrats lose because they are effeminate (and shot through with feminists in any case). The individual warblogger may not have been trained for war, or have any particular physical talents, or have done much more to study war than read and re-read Victor Davis Hanson, but he knows that he is tough, and he knows that this toughness must matter in some way. As Goldstein displays so clearly, he is willing to think about difficult and awful things, like bombing Iraqi civilians, in a tough and manly way. He understands that horrible things must often be done in war because he is a Man, and knows that he cannot afford to have the illusions that women and children are allowed to have. He remembers Don Vito Corleone’s words,

Women and children can be careless. But not men.

and vows not to be the careless sort who would allow humanitarian considerations to get in the way of victory. The impulse is obviously a fascist one, familiar from the speeches of Mussolini and the films of Leni Riefenstahl, although it would not be fair to say that all those that entertain fascist impulses are, indeed, fascists. Nevertheless, the combination of virile masculinity, nationalism, war, the “decision”, Will, and disdain for weak-kneed intellectuals is a frightening one.

So, the reason for US difficulty in Iraq becomes a lack of Will. Had the United States the Will to ignore humanitarian considerations and just carpet-bomb Baghdad, we would have few difficulties. The Iranians, respecting our Will, would back down from their nuclear boasts. A contest of Will shall determine defeat or victory; nevermind that the Iraqi insurgents are willing to accept far higher casualties, a much longer struggle, and far greater physical insecurity than US forces would ever be willing to endure. This, indeed, is what makes the Will argument absurd in the context of Iraq; an insurgency, by its nature, ALWAYS displays more Will than an occupying power. This doesn’t mean that the insurgents always win, but it does mean that skill, capability, and technology have to be used in an effective and measured way, and that pointless invocations of Will are hardly constructive.

UPDATE: In comments, SteveG adds:

The notion of will is intended to eliminate all discussions of the cost of war, failures in the stretegy and execution of the war, the legality and legitimacy of the war,… The scope of consideration is limited as soon as will becomes an issue. When things are going poorly, the blame simply can be laid at the feet of those who lack the will — no mucking about with that pesky reality.

Greenwald on Steele

[ 0 ] May 2, 2006 |

Damn, Glenn Greenwald is a good blogger. Referring to the laurels being laid upon Shelby Steele by Jeff Goldstein, among others:

To sit and listen to people who have spent the last three years piously lecturing us on the need to stand with “the Iraqi people,” who justified our invasion of that country on the ground that we want to give them a better system of government because we must make Muslims like us more, now insist that what we need to do is bomb them with greater force and less precision is really rather vile — but highly instructive. The masks are coming off. No more poetic tributes to democracy or all that sentimental whining about “hearts and minds.” It’s time to shed our unwarranted white guilt, really stretch our legs and let our hair down, and just keep bombing and bombing until we kill enough of them and win. Shelby Steele deserves some sort of award for triggering that refreshingly honest outburst.

As Greenwald points out, we’ve moved beyond the solidarity with the Iraqi people, beyond the purple fingers, and beyond the demand for democracy in the Middle East. Now, all we have left is the angry frustration of warbloggers who really, really want to win and just can’t figure out why they’re not. Jeff:

Which is why there are times when we really should turn off the “smart” bombs and show our seriousness by putting the world on notice that, when we believe the situation calls for it, we are willing to ignore the inevitable bad press and the howls of protest from human rights groups, and exhibit a show of strength and military professionalism that is politically disinterested and tactically thorough and lethal.

In other words, we should massacre more people. This would indicate our seriousness to the world, and would keep them from fucking with us. Jeff and his cronies defend this in the comments in the most odious ways possible; only read if you have a strong stomach. Jeff also demonstrates an understanding of the US military that would be most appropriate for a video game. Believe it or not, the United States military does not consider mass murder to be an element of professionalism.

The most basic fallacy behind all of this is that, if we were just a little bit tougher, things would work out. Success, for Goldstein, Steele, and the rest is tied to toughness and masculinity, rather than to skill or capability. What determines victory is will, the will to be more brutal than the other side. It’s fair to say that a survey of military history does not support Jeff’s conclusions. When we did incinerate cities, the result was not enemy surrender, but rather increased support for the target governments. Brutal, heavy-handed tactics also have a piss poor history in counter-insurgency operations. Murderous brutality didn’t help the Nazis put down resistance movements in Western Europe or the Soviet Union, didn’t help the Soviets win in Afghanistan, and didn’t help Saddam Hussein defeat the Kurds.

I leave you with Jeff’s conclusion:

It is a fight for the soul of classical liberalism, which is being undercut (in my estimation) by nearly 40 years of a concerted effort by those whose goal is power and control to relativize meaning and deconstruct, through incoherent linguistic assertions that have unfortunately been widely adopted out of self-satisfied feel-goodism (specifically, an ostensible deference to the Other that allows us to convince ourselves we are “tolerant” and “diverse,” when in fact we have created the conditions to turn those ideas into something approximating their exact opposites).

Taking back the grounds for meaning—and being willing to fight for those grounds against those who try to shame us out of reasserting them—is the first step toward the recovery of our belief in our strong and generous national character. To that end, we should draw a lesson from the charges of Bill Bennett’s “racism”—cast by those who don’t believe Bennett intended to say anything racist, but who insist, rather, that his words themselves were racist (an idea that grants that public perception is the locus of meaning, and that the utterer can be held accountable for the public perception). Such a dismissal of the importance of intent has led, predictably, to a rhetorical condition wherein those who protest the loudest (and can play to our emotions) will have effectively seized control of “history” as it is constructed and disseminated through language.

This is the will to power—and it is only possible in the vaccuum left by the marginalization of a truly coherent interpretative paradigm.

… which reads like an undergraduate paper written by someone who really, really thinks that stringing together lots of big words produces coherent meaning, without having the benefit of actually understanding what any of those words mean. The shorter version is this: Postmodernist lefties are trying to take over classical liberalism through linguistic trickery, and the only way to stop them is to become fascists and kill plenty of brown people.

He’s right about one thing; we’re in a fight for the soul of classical liberalism.

…another thought; I wonder how long it would take for Hitch to come out in favor of “carpet bombing for democracy” and “mass executions for freedom”?

…yet another thought; does this represent the move to the second stage of wingnut grief? The first is denial; the war in Iraq isn’t a disaster, it’s all just media lies! Now we’re to anger; Exterminate the bastards!

…David Neiwert is indispensible on this, and every other, topic.

It’s Still All About the Heritage

[ 1 ] May 2, 2006 |

Walking the Plank, as it were, reminds me what a magnificent resources the blogosphere has in Tapped, a group of excellent writers with serious things to say about policy. The Plank is by no means as bad as The Corner, but lord, it’s not good. Today, Jason Zengerle allows that while John McCain may be beset by both sides of the evil blogosphere, at least he has the mainstream media in his corner, and that counts for something. We then find that those who thought Stephen Colbert was funny on Saturday night hold to a Stalinist aesthetic. Adam Kushner suggests that liberals were willing to tolerate Saddam Hussein, without pointing out that, before 1990, conservatives were so tolerant of him that they were willing to sell him weapons, give him advice on how to use his chemical munitions, and ignore his attack on the USS Stark. All fine and committed wankery, but I’d like to turn your attention to this post by Jason Zengerle.

I actually have a fair amount of sympathy for some Southerners who love the Confederate flag. I even once wrote a piece about them. For these people, the flag really is a representation of their heritage; perhaps more importantly, it may be the only thing in their lives that actually transcends their daily existence. Put it this way: if you’re a guy whiling away your days in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, the fact that your great-great-grandfather fought at Gettysburg–the only thing connected to your life that you ever actually read about in a history book–is a real source of pride. Therefore, it’s perfectly understandable that you’d express that pride by flying a Confederate flag, or putting a sticker of it on your car. And there’s nothing more unfair than being branded a racist for doing so.

Right.

I mean, it’s not as if anyone from the South fought in the Revolutionary War, or that there were any critical battles fought against the British in, say, Virginia. No Southerners fought in the War of 1812, or the Mexican American War, or really participated in any other event of historical consequence prior to 1861. The Spanish-American War was conducted entirely with troops from New England, and Southerners were banned from participation in the Army in World War I. And the school year always ends before you get to World War II, so it’s not as if anyone can be blamed for not feeling a connection to it. Was there a Southerner in Saving Private Ryan? I don’t recall…

So, while the South has been a part of the United States for 230 years, the only time worthy of historical note is the period between 1861 and 1865, where the slaveholding elite dragged the rest of the South into a war of treason in defense of slavery. If you wish to have pride in the South, it’s rather too troublesome to think of the Battle of Yorktown, or the Battle of New Orleans, or of the Southerners that fought in the Battle of Belleau Wood, or in the Battle of the Bulge, or at the Chosin Reservoir, or at Khe San. This is not even to mention the tremendous difficulty of developing a regional identity based around cultural and artistic contribution, rather than around war. How could pride in William Faulkner ever hold a candle to pride in your great-great-granddaddy’s experience at Gettysburg?

No, really the only option for Southern pride is attachment to the Confederate flag and its unfortunate connections with treason, rebellion, slavery, racism, and white supremacy. Pity the Ohio native whose great-great-grandfather fought on the Union side at Gettysburg; the only flag he can fly is the Stars and Stripes, and this clearly isn’t good enough.

Finally, while I allow the possibility that the fetishization of the Civil War in the South has meant that our hypothetical North Carolinian may know more about Gettysburg than any other event in US history, this is rather part of the problem, and not an excuse.

Swords?

[ 0 ] April 30, 2006 |

I don’t mean to pick on Ezra, but, after our recent experience with Josh “The Roman Troll” Trevino, you can color me deeply skeptical that the “Swords Crossed” project will amount to anything beyond hollow pomposity…

Ask a Wingnut: The Changing of the Horses

[ 0 ] April 30, 2006 |

Dear Wingnut,

Kingdaddy has this post which says that changing leaders in mid-war can be a good thing. He’s wrong, isn’t he?

Confounded in Topeka

Dear Confounded,

Kingdaddy’s post is interesting enough, but his invocation of the Korean and Vietnamese conflicts is obviously ill-conceived. It is, of course, always acceptable to replace a Democrat with a Republican in the course of a war. Democrats are pussies, and can’t be expected to fight worth a damn. Once the Republican is in office, the rule about not changing horses in mid-stream applies.

Wingnut

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