Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight
to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, September 4, 2009

How to Know When You Are Reading the Words of Military Amateurs

When you see words such as this:
Retreat isn't an option. Nor is surrender.
That is the sign of a real amateur at work. Virtually every nation sends its troops into battle expecting victory. Nobody goes into a fight expecting to lose.

But guess what: Someone almost always loses. Even when a nation is on the winning side of a war, the cost can make the distinction between winning and losing almost miniscule.

According to this biography and this one, Rubin Navarette has never served a day in the armed forces.[1] He has done "doctoral work" in education (translation: He's a highly-educated dropout), he worked as a substitute teacher. There is no indication that he has ever done any serious study of military history.

So let's look at some examples of people starting wars and how things turned out.

When the Germans sent their army into France in 1914, they expected a quick victory. They nearly got it (if they had followed the original Schlieffen Plan, they might have achieved it), but what they got was a four year-long stalemate that nearly bled Germany, Britain and France dry.[2] Over nine million soldiers were killed in the war and over 20 million were wounded. The war pretty much ended when the Germans ran out of cannon fodder, though arguably the situation would have been reversed had not the Americans entered the war.

Undoubtedly Napoleon expected that the Russians would capitulate easily. It didn't work out that way.

The Grande Armée crossed into Russia with over half a million men; the survivors who staggered back to France numbered 40,000. Over a century later, the Germans would try and this time, the fighting went on for years and the end result was even worse for the invading army. Closer to home, I have no doubt that the Southerners who were so eager for war in 1861 thought that they'd quickly bloody the nose of the Union and force the Federal government to sue for peace. What they did was trigger the first truly modern war and wound up with much of their territory being laid to waste and their regional economy shattered for a century. Douglas MacArthur tried to smash the North Korean Army. Both he and President Truman ignored clear signals that trying to achieve a victory against the North Koreans would result in China entering the war. They did. A war that both sides, at different times, thought they could win quickly became a long and bloody stalemate. Wars almost always turn out different from what the planners envision. The blathering of imbecilic civilian sloganeers who say things like "we can fight them in Kabul or in Topeka" only betray their own ignorance. But there may be a path to a successful conclusion to this war. That will be the subject of a later post. _________________________________ [1]Which makes him just another pathetic Right-wing chickenhawk, eager to send young men and women to die for what he thinks is right. One might ask the question why, if Navarette thinks this war is so righteous, he hasn't shlepped his dead ass down to the Army recruiting station. [2]The German general staff weakened the right flank of the attacking force, which doomed the attack on France. If they had done as Schlieffen had originally planned, the Wehrmacht would have probably crushed the French and the British at the First Battle of the Marne and marched into Paris in 1914.


Gordon said...

I posted the same video some time back. Gets the point across pretty good.

Gordon said...

Here's another song for you:


Comrade Misfit said...

I think I saw that a long time ago on your blog, Gordon.