Imperial Requiem

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Get a grip!

If anyone reads National Review's website (NRO), they generally are a very good place to look for news, opinions, and occasional silly stuff (they rib each other about their geekiness). But sometimes they act like they're a bunch of "know-it-alls" because.......they are "know-it-alls".

Thus comes the President's speech. I liked it. It wasn't meant for them, it was meant for the average layperson and voter who had probably been listening to the Democrats carp for the past few months while Bush tried to find a voice on the domestic agenda (I think he did, but others would disagree, but that's for another topic). . It was time for Bush to set the record straight, and he did that. He didn't need to hit a home run, but it's safe to say that he at least hit a double into the gap between center and rightfield.

Enter NRO. Some of them get what the Prez was intending to do. But others wanted him to do more. Um, like, what? What more could he have done? Asked to get the Democratic leadership into a wrestling ring, and like a good Texan, bring out some Austin 3:16 ass-whoopin, middle fingers, and Stone Cold Stunners (yes, folks, I'm a wrestling fan. That's for another time)? That's not gonna happen. He did what he needed to do- no more, no less. He wisely stayed away from histrionics, and from reaching too far into the party base's rhetoric.

NRO sometimes comes across as though they wish they had written his speeches. And that colors their writings at times, about the Prez's works. I wish they would just realize that he's got more to do than reach out to NRO, and that it doesn't help to bite your lips over things like that.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

That's gotta hurt, part 2

I've done some research on Max Hastings, and he's an interesting fellow, to say the least. He's a former journalist who's got credentials as a military historian. However, he's more of a journalist than a military historian. The problem is that he can't separate his journalistic tendencies for sensationalism and objective historiocity properly. A simple google search of "Max Hastings" gets alot of criticism from him, both for his journalistic and historical works.

My take, from a cursory glance at his screed about Iraq (in my previous post), and from reading about some of his historical works, as well as criticisms thereof, is that he is a journalist masquerading as a military historian. That isn't to make light of his works, but a blunt statement. Historians aren't supposed to delve into sensationalistic attitudes, unless they're giving the reader of their books a heads up as to why they are, in a particular point in the book.

Hastings' most recent book is Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-1945. The better part of the book is that it covers alot of first person accounts of the war. That's his worth, as a journalist, to find those and give them meaning. But as a military historian, I have problems with his assertion that the German Wehrmact was the best army of the war. From 1939-1942, it was. But that's only because no other army was able to field a large enough army with enough combat experience to match them, on any level. Yes, the Wehrmact was brilliantly lead by Guderian, Rommel, and others. In that time frame, who did they go up against, that was on their level? It wasn't until 1942 that Patton, Zhukov, Timoshenko, and others started to make their presence felt. But enough about high command.

In Hasting's book, he has the opinion that the US and British militaries didn't match up to the Germans. He probably takes his cues from Martin van Creveld's Fighting Power and Russell Weigley's Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany. I take my cues from Peter Mansoor's GI Offensive In Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945 and Michael Doubler's Closing with the Enemy: How GIs fought the War in Europe, 1944-1945. What the latter books deal with is that they believe that the American GI's fought far better than they get credit for.

The reality is that the Battle for France was not the large scale wheeling maneuvers of the Soviet Front. By and large (other than the Fall of France and the Rhineland campaigns) the ETO was a static battle, largely fought in small squad combat. Contrary to popular opinion, the American and British forces often didn't have the materiel advantage that most people think they did. In Normandy, for the first three weeks, it was a rush between the Allies and the Germans to rush forces into the area- and in that scenario, the Germans had the better supplies at hand, even with the Allied bombing campaign. Plus, the German units in the area were a mix of both highly trained combat veterans (Panzer Lehr division comes to mind) and raw units. The Americans mostly had units that were highly trained, but a great deal of them had never seen combat. Let's not forget, the Allies were spending a great deal of time bringing soldiers, equipment, and materiel into France during this time frame. What they had in hand, was largely what they had to fight with. Just because they have crates of stuff at the docks doesn't equivocate with what the guys at the front have.

The Normandy campaign itself was reduced to small squad combat, mainly due to the hedgerows and the close proximity of each town to one another. American units were forced to clear out each hedgerow one by one. This was accomplished in roughly three weeks- and then the Americans were able to unleash OPERATION COBRA. The hedgerow activity and small arms combat (probably best exemplified, btw, in Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan) were overlooked by the Falise Gap and the total destruction of Panzer Lehr. But that doesn't take anything from the American and British forces which created the conditions for COBRA to be unleashed, by overtaking German positions, bit by bit. Highly trained soldiers became highly trained combat veterans. And against some of the best the Wehrmacht had to offer, they were able to clear the ground. Normandy allowed the Allies to unleash COBRA, and the subsequent Falise Gap and ANVIL were responsible for the German retreat from France, which enabled the American armies to engage the Germans in mobile warfare, for a few months. While it's not indicative of a true engagement between American and German forces, it is a testament to Patton's 3rd Army, which he turns into the calvary force that he always envisioned mechanized units to be.

Hastings, and those that support him believe that what happens next is a testament to the German army- Operation Market Garden. They believe, ultimately, that the Wehrmacht was able to stall the Allied drive to Germany at this point. One one level, yes, they were. Operationally, the plan was poorly thought out, and there were far too many chances for the Germans to bottleneck the whole plan. Plus, Montgomery ignored intelligence that indicated that the Germans were in force at certain areas along the path for the plan. That made it hard for the soldiers to achieve their objectives.

What did happen, was 2 Panzer divisions faced off against the British airborne light infantry units at Arnhem. The light infantry units managed to hold the Wehrmacht off for 2 weeks in brutal urban combat (with no air support for either side) until they were finally forced to retreat. Market Garden's mistake was that it represented a choke-off point for the Allies, in that they weren't able to bring their main forces to bear (since so much of their materiel was far behind the lines), and the Germans were falling back on their own supply lines. The forward positions of the Allies was too far from their resource lines, and as such, they were forced to hold their positions until they could reinforce their front lines. That's what actually happened. Even with a successful Market Garden, the Allies would have had to wait until early 1945 to launch their final offensive into Germany. The Allies and the Germans settled into static warfare, once again, in the Huertgen Forest, and the Vosges- terrain which made mobile and heavily mechanized warfare prohibitive. Dense forested canopies, rocky and hilly terrain, very few major roads (or any that would hold heavy weaponry) limited what both sides could bring to bear. Also, fighting in the Huertgen Forest and the Vosges was a shift in operational strategy: to attack towards the Ruhr, rather than straight for Berlin. And the Allies had to reprovision their frontlines, so what the battles ended up being were alot of small unit clashes between American and German forces- and the Germans also had the Siegfried Line. The clashes were brutal, and they were controversial. Too few historians cover both campaigns, and of the historiographies that exist, too often historians take them for face value. This site and article could probably explain the Huertgen campaign better than I could- But the bottom line is that the American forces managed to clear out areas that were defended by the Germans, with troops that were often pushed to their breaking points. That doesn't sound like an army that's inferior to the Germans- but rather, is capable of standing up to the Germans on what's largely an even playing field. Yes, their casualties were high, but they achieved their objectives.

What Huertgen and the Vosges represent, is a unified front (Broad Front Strategy, so to speak) that keeps units from forming salients and having to reinforce the salients. Also, the Germans frequently used hardpoints that were cut off by their opposition as ways to flank and surround them. Einsenhower didn't want to deal with that- so he opted to destroy all German opposition at each junction rather than have to deal with repositioning forces (especiall in that terrain) just to consolidate their gains. The "Broad Front Strategy" also is slower than the mobile warfare that typifies some of WW2- but it was the right strategy for dealing with the terrain and region they were in.

Unfortunately, the Huertgen and Vosges campaigns are overlooked because of the German offensive in December, 1944- Wacht Am Rein (Watch on the Rhine- commonly known as "The Battle of the Bulge"). The Germans' breakthrough came at a point on the front where the American soldiers were being rotated through- where soldiers who were in need of some R&R went to, and other units who were green were sent to. The area was largely a "quiet zone" so the Allied commanders thought it was safe to put them there- but their intelligence was wrong, and that takes the biggest blame for the German offensive being so potent early off. It was a classic mismatch; combat veteran German troops which were heavily reinforced by armor and airpower up against green and tired American forces, at a point in their front where they're not heavily reinforced. The best the Americans could do (and often, did) was to hold off the German onslaught and fall back to better positions. Once the Germans faced fresh units- like the 82nd Airborne in Bastogne- their offensive began to be stalled. Once again, it was light infantry up against Panzer divisions, and the best German efforts to dislodge them failed. While the fault for the German breakout does lie with the Allied high command, the victory against them also goes to the same command. They didn't blink when they were faced with a crisis, and that's a testament to their own abilities, and will to win.

The containment and breaking of the German forces would go from January to February 1945. Afterwards, it was Patton and the Rhineland campaign, where he was able to unleash the full materiel arm of 3rd Army, against an increasingly broken and spent German forces. For the topic at hand, the Rhineland campaign's not important to discuss, simply because the German army was in full deterioration.

One point I will add, is that the German army benefited from a command structure that developed from 1935-1945, and soldiers gained experience with the Rhineland in 1936, the Spanish Civil War, and the Czech invasion of 1938-1939. The Americans and British soldiers didn't have that luxury. The Americans in particular, had a 100,000 man army in 1940- and boosted it up to a 1 million man army by 1941, but were largely untrained, had no armor, and just the bare bones of a military structure in existence. Plus, they didn't have the major combat experience the German officer corps did, coming from WW1. They had some....but not enough. More often than not, the Americans had to truly learn their experiences fighting in the field, for the first time. Also, the 90 division limit for the American forces in the ETO basically meant that only a certain amount of American forces would be in contact with the Germans at any given moment. The Germans did send significant portions of their combat trained veterans to fight the Allies in Western Europe- and they fought well. However, the German forces were fighting a defensive war- and it's always easier to fight defensively, than it is to fight an offensive war. By late 1944, the American forces were not the same forces that had gotten their collective asses handed to them at the Kasserine Pass in 1942.

Hastings is essentially a journalist who occasionally likes to write about military history. From what I've read of his works and the criticisms of them, he doesn't do a great job of handling his sources and his biases well. From the Iraqi war screed he had, he never bothered to research on the Armed forces fighting in Iraq. He basically scanned the media reports. How about reading some after action reports, Mr. Military Historian? Or how about interviewing American and Coalition solidiers in the field? He didn't do that. Which tells me that he most likely research the high command of the Allies- and not the actual military battles as they were fought, unit by unit. He also has a disdain for the American armed forces, that exists throughout his written works. It's a shame because he does some good work. But his historical worth is limited.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

That has to hurt

This is a brilliant fisking of a Max Hastings article that was in the UK Guardian (

Painful. Really good job. Please don't read Max Hastings unless you've got some Irish Cream nearby.

In fact, make that alot of Irish Cream.

(Hat tip: Bill Roggio's The Fourth Rail:

Another Blow for the Insurgency

Generally the terrorists in Iraq have been able to go after civilians since they're soft targets (but it's apparent even amongst their leadership that those are nothing more than a red herring, they don't do anything for the terror cause). But they also occasionally take the risk of pulling off a set-piece battle with stand-up military units, often against Iraqi forces they feel that they can handle. They usually try to mass a large force against isolated Iraqi police units, or training camps.

Not so this time.

The terrorists made the mistake of thinking that they'd be able to go after the Iraqi police ad infinitum, I'm guessing. They also figured that they needed to change tactics, once again, since the civilian bombings have been getting them nowhere. But when you have 10 terrorists killed, 40 captured, and an untold number wounded out of a force of 100 fighters, things aren't looking so good for the insurgency in Iraq. There are a few developments that are important to this:

#1 The Iraqi police held their own, on their own. They required no assistance from the Iraqi military (although they were probably on standby) and were able to completely break the assault force. That's a stunning accomplishment in it's own right, for ANY police force in the world.

#2 The Iraqi police had hundreds of tipoffs from Iraqi civilians that there was an assault coming. That enabled them to prepare for it, and to invite them to their own personal Verdun. The terrorists have already lost the war for the hearts and minds of the Iraqis. Badly.

#3 The Iraqi civilians actually joined in the fighting, helping the police take out the assault force. This is not only a testament to the fact that the Iraqi police and coalition have won the hearts and minds of Iraqis, but it also tells that the leadership of the terrorist insurgency is broken. They can't effectively mass assaults on anything of worth, allowed their operation to become known to the locals, and didn't realize that they were walking into a trap.

This effectively is a turning point in the war- the more Iraqi police that can stand up to the terrorists, the less effective the terrorist will be in maintaining a large scale presence in Iraq. The Coalition forces have been playing a game of escalation with the terrorists- to see how fast each side can bring their manpower to bear in Iraq- and the Coalition's about to win this. There's the Coalition forces, then the Iraqi military forces (the core of which is at least 1 or 2 regiments strong now), and now the Iraqi police forces. What happens, if by year's end, there are some 500,000 (or more) combined Coalition/Iraqi forces in Iraq? The terrorists don't have more than 30,000 "soldiers", in all, dispersed throughout Iraq with which to combat that. Their time as an effective force is just about up, unless they make drastic manpower changes.

And for a historical anecdote: manpower changes didnt save the Reichswehr in 1918; they didn't save the Wehrmacht in December 1944; and they didn't militarily save the Viet Minh in 1968. Those were military forces on the verge of being rendered broken. I think that's where the terror insurgency is, now. Time will tell how they spend their last gasps- will it be a Kaiserschlact, Ardennes offensive (Wacht am Reihn), or the Tet Offensive? Or will they just pack their bags up, and leave?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Short term and long term thinking

I'm still trying to understand why the Democrats are so hot to bother about the Guantanamo Bay Detention Centers. What, ultimately, is their point? In their rancor and their discussions about it, what do they propose to do in the stead of GTMO? And is it having any effect.

Well, as to the effect, they don't have much to stand on: a Rassumssen poll has about 70% of Americans saying that the terrorists at GTMO belong there ( And of the poll, only 14% of Americans agree with the rantings of Senator Durbin (where he equivocates GTMO with the Nazi death camps, and the Soviet Gulags). In a separate poll, from USA Today (which I would normally NOT link to) about 2/3rds of the country want to keep GTMO in operation (I Fair reminder, the USA Today poll is of "adults" and not voters. Methinks that a more scientific poll would be akin to the Rassumssen poll. Anyways, I think it's safe to say that the Democrats have miscalculated badly on the whole GTMO conversation. It's a dead issue from their end of the spectrum- and there is going to be hell to pay for the likes of Senator DicK Durbin (D-Il).

What this leads me to, is a discussion on the short term and long term with the political games that are being played today. The first part is that the Democrats are saying what they're saying now, simply because they don't feel the pressure of voters just yet. Next year is the mid-term elections- not this year. So they think they're getting a free pass in the meantime. The problem with that is that next year, they're going to have to come to the table with something meaningful to offer. They're essentially pandering to the 20% of the US population which happens to be the Democratic party's base of support. That leaves the GOP with about 60-70% of the population to work with (methinks that's been the GOP's problem; they don't know how to handle such a population shift just yet). Messages like their GTMO rantings aren't resonating at all with the majority of the American population- and their short term gains with their base won't matter in 2006 (and 2008 if this keeps up) when they have to reach out to the majority of Americans, once again.

Things could change, of course, but the rhetoric that they're utilizing in the present doesnt bode well for them. What happens if the situation in Iraq changes- for the better (which it is)? What happens, if by spring next year, their whinings about Iraqi security are moot, because the situation's stabilized? What about Iran, and North Korea? Are they going to extend their obstructionism and whining towards any potential confrontations with them, as well? And what if there's a major terror attack in the US? How will they respond to it? It should be obvious how the GOP will react to issues about Iraqi security, North Korea, Iran, or a major terror attack. Everything that the Dems have been complaining about may well be moot by next year.

The short term gains they are aiming for in the present aren't really anything to write home about. And the long term gains that they're aiming for are probably pipe dreams (within the realm of likelihood, but just barely so). The game they're playing is a very dangerous one- in which the more Durbins they create, the worse off they'll be for 2006, when people will be paying more attention.

They really are smarter than you think

For a while those who were against the Iraqi war (both on the left and right) were complaining that the Bush administration hadn't set up any postwar planning for Iraq prior to the war. To an extent, we can all agree that there wasn't enough. But, contrary to popular belief, they did have postwar plans, and the whole "neo-conservatives want war, but don't think about the peace" concept is essentially dead in the water.

This link's to Douglas Feith, the Undersecretary of Defense (for Policy), who laid out the groundwork and rules for the postwar Iraq to the Senate Foriegn Intelligence Comittee. I'm acutally suprised that no one on the committee's spoken about this stuff (or if they have, in a vocal manner):

The big thing with postwar planning is that you just don't know what you're going to get from the ashes, prior to the war starting. For example, in your pre-war planning you want to use building A to house the waterworks projects in Baghdad after the war, but building A's blown up during the war (for whatever reason), so much for that plan. Go find a buliding B. Realistically, building the postwar before there IS a postwar, isn't something that you're going to be able to do. You need to take an assessment AFTER the war, in order to do that. And in the end, I can't fault the Bush or Blair administrations too much for not getting everything right with the postwar planning, prior or after the war.

And it'd be wise for the media to stop playing "gotcha!" on this, when bloggers can just as easily throw eggs at their face, once again. I mean, the media has totally underestimated the Bush administration repeatedly (why should they stop?), but c'mon, there's gotta be a breaking point in their stupidity. Of course, like with Regan, it may take them over 20 years to realize that. And it'd be even smarter for the media to get analysts who can TELL THEM THIS STUFF rather than rely upon hack political reporters with ideological axes to grind for their bylines.

Sigh. At least future historians will have an easy time of this.

(hat tip: The QandO Blog-

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Changing Roles

There's been a recent noticable change in Iraq- that the American forces are now fighting border battles with insurgents, while Iraqi forces are maintaining security in the heartland of Iraq. Here's a list of the most recent operations in Iraq, and who's doing what, and where:

Operation Matador: Iraqi/Syrian border, American forces
Operation New Market: central Iraq, Iraqi forces with American support
Operation Thunder/Lightning: central Iraq, combined Iraqi and American forces
Operation Dagger: Iraqi/Syrian border, combined American and Iraqi forces
Operation Spear: Iraqi/Syrian border, combined American and Iraqi forces

That's the major offensive operations that have been undertaken the past few months in Iraq, and they all show a new dynamic for the war in Iraq. More and more often, the Iraqi forces are taking a major role in major offensives, which tells that they have troops that are capable of conducting themselves in independent action in large scale operations (ie; not police or SPECOPS ops) and are aquitting themselves well on the battlefield. This frees up the American and coalition forces to do more offensive operations along the Iraqi border regions (primarily the borders of the Anbar province), which have had the effect of disrupting the terrorists' communication and transportation lines throughout Iraq. It's no small suprise that alot of the terrorists leaders have been captured in this time span; we're catching them on the run.

I'd probably give a good estimiate for the amount of terrorists who've been captured to be around 3-5,000 in the past few months, and probably another 1,000-1,500 killed in combat. And all the terrorists have to show for it is hitting soft targets which create more blowback for them than anything else. And with Sunni Iraqis joining the gov't in larger and larger numbers, expect the Iraqi police and military forces to just grow, exponentially within the next year. With the growth and combat training of the Iraqi military, they'll take over more and more of the military situation in Iraq, allowing the coalition forces to act as a support role. It won't suprise me if the coalition forces end up being used to normalize the situations on the Iraqi borders- even if it means hitting the supply lines of the terrorists in Syria or Saudi Arabia.

The bottom line is that it's a race of time for the terrorists- they need to flood Iraq with fighters or else they'll eventually reach a choke-off point when the borders are effectively sealed, and the Iraqi gov't to build more and more military units. The problem for the terrorists is that they can only send in a limited amount of fighters, while the Iraqi gov't could concievably (and are) getting alot more soldiers than the terrorists can handle.

And the talk about America's will to win is not realistic. Even among the Americans who supported Kerry, there was a significant number of them who wanted him to stay in Iraq for the time being. And the polls that are out- saying that America is "increasingly against the war" are essentially left-wing polls [i]designed[/i] to tell you what the left wing newspapers or newsshows want you to think (ie; they're weighted, and have poor question choices). In the end, the Democratic party is also not giving any real discussions as to any alternatives to fighting the terrorists in Iraq- they're too busy calling Gitmo a Gulag and Auschwitz. They don't have the public backing them- and they really know it. I'd estimate about 65-75% of the country would like to see the US win and stabilize Iraq, within the next 2-5 years. Americans, ultimately, want to win.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

NYC and real estate

There's been an ongoing controversey over the building of a football stadium on Manhattan's west side, since it would cost at least $1.2 billion overall to build, and $600 million for the New York taxpayers. Sounds daunting, doesn't it? Not really.

It's opponents don't want to spend that kind of money on a football stadium, and that's a valid arguement. I'd rather see the Jets owner, Woody Johnson, spend more money than he is on the stadium plan. At the same time, plans for the stadium to be built in Queens do make sense, and would cost everyone less. I can't argue with that, either.

But I will make a statement: has anyone seen how New York City looks, these days? Sure, there are great things like Central Park (thank you, Rudy), but there's also alot of crap intermixed with the great stuff. And New York City suffers from the same thing that most cities do: too much central planning for projects that were out of date the moment that they were implemented. That means that large parts of NYC look like they just walked out of the 1960's, and are already past their prime. I mean that both architecturally speaking, and also technologically speaking. The power grid in NYC is designed for the 1960's. Many municipal buildings are also backwards. Too many train stations and city streets look like they were built in the 1940's..........because they WERE built then. Businesses are leaving NYC because of idiot politicians who think that taxes and money comes from trees, and thus, investment in NYC goes poof. And along with that, goes any restructuring of the city.

And to top it all off, the upper west side area that the Bloomberg administration wants to build the Jets' stadium is dead real estate right now. Why not build it up? Would it be expensive? Yes. Would it be a monumental construction project? Yes. Should rebuilding Ground Zero come first? Yes, although that should have been done already (Pataki's fault). And here's my answer:New York deserves it. New York's a great city, when they want it to be. No one has a better New Year's celebration. New York sports fans are the greatest- we don't riot like in other cities, when our teams win or lose. And we've got a great tradition of supporting the arts (even though a few anti-establishment artworks we all could do without). And New York hasn't had a football team since the Jets played at the old Polo Grounds.

The stadium would, in reality, be a financial windfall for NYC. We'd basically be paying taxes and GET BACK more from it, just from the basic revenue it would generate. It would revitalize the upper west side, as well as spur investment into NYC. And most likely, it would bring New York the Olympics in either 2012 or 2016. The financial windfall THAT would bring also would far outweigh the costs. And it would spur rebuilding on a massive scale not seen since the 1960's, and remake NYC for the 21st Century. Bloomberg's right about this- he's a businessman who sees both the short end and long term of the deal. You don't win unless you take risks, and this is a risk that's worth it. But the same politicians who can't find a way to rebuild Ground Zero want us NOT to build the West Side Stadium. For god's sakes, folks, at least tout that you are effective in one thing, before telling folks that you're not for another!

And I'm not even getting into Cablevision's war against the stadium, suffice to say that Cablevision should stick to being a cable provider, and never own a sports team again. Their track record with the Knicks and Rangers is an absolute embarassment, and they have NO right to yell about the Jets wanting a new stadium. George Steinbrenner has more to say than they do- and he doesn't care.

Rebuild NYC. Don't make me look at eyesores like Jamacia Station anymore, ok?

Newsday, hire an editor

In the most recent issue of Newsday, they're not even trying hard. They've got an article on the Supreme Court's decision to bar legalizing medicinial marijuana (or something like that- I really don't care about the issue), but the article in Newsday HAD to have a picture of a lady, sitting next to some plants of hash, crying. Now, was that necessary? Or was it a cheap assed stunt to try to get people to take sides in the arguement? I can care less about the issue itself- but Newsday's tactics are petty, and not worthy of a newspaper of record. Any editor worth their salt would have seen that for the advocacy slant it is.

Then Newsday trys to shift the whole Amnesty International mess onto the Bush administration by basically admitting that they don't need information about Guantanamo Bay- that they intrinsically know that crap happens down there. Yawn. Actually, I'd be more realistic, and take a quick look at the recent polls that have come out saying that about 75% of the nation trust the military, while only about 25% of the nation trusts the media. Newsday convieniently overlooks the media's "GOTCHA!" rantings about Gitmo in their mad rush to try to find something, anything, even the littlest detail, to hang on the military about Gitmo.

And Amnesty International's admitted it was all essentially a publicity stunt. Word to the wise, Newsweek found out what happens when you bullshit around with the greater middle east. I'm waiting for the media to find out what is really TOO far for the American public to take- and what it will cost them. And I say this because Newsday's editorial about Gitmo and Amnesty International is part and parcel of the problem- bitch about the military, it gets printed, irregardless of it's irresponsible nature, and the material harm that it can cause the United States.

When the Media finally does go too far, it will cost us all, both in terms of a media that's no longer able to function as a part of the first amendment, and the degraded American view that the media's given us overseas. When the US really does do wrong- they should be there to tell about it. But the problem is, is that they've been crying wolf for far too long now, and can't act in that fashion. Newsday and their ilk just don't want to admit that their stories don't have any evidence, rely on hyperbole, and cheap tactics to get people to agree with them, even in the basic newsprint. I see the end of where they're going with this, and it isn't pretty. I just don't want to see how many American lives it will cost us.

UPDATE: while doing some extra thinking about it, Amnesty International, Newsday, and their ilk could have done a better job of talking about real trouble spots in the world- like Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Darfur. Instead, they're playing cheap "we hate the Bush Administration game" and really don't care for the real suffering in the world. I would much rather see action against the muderers and rapists in Darfur and Zimbabwe, than whining about weather or not someone actually peed on a Koran. As a matter of fact, I'd very much like the conversation to change to Darfur and Zimbabwe. If the United States is going to get positive about Africa, those are the areas that they easily could do it within. And it would do well to stem the tide of Islamicism from Africa, while promoting American goodwill- kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Hear it

Hear the sounds of the crashing waves around you.

Hear the sound of your heart pounding in your chest, as you stagger to the shoreline.

Hear the sounds of your men screaming, as they as they try in vain, to shout over the din of artillery and small arms fire that's all around them.

Hear the sounds of men givng their last breaths to this world, having been shredded by artillery fire.

Hear the sounds of men with grim determination to get the job done.

Hear the sounds of the waves crashing once again, but only with the sounds of more men staggering up the beach.

Hear the sounds of a distant nation, praying in their myriad ways, for your job to be done, for your glory, and for your salvation.

Hear the sounds of a nation that's not too far away, crying in anguish and despair. Their numbers tell their story.

And hear the sounds of your children, your great-grandchildren, and your grandchildren's children, who continue to fight in your name, and honor in present day- be it in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or any other place where freedom needs to be made free.

Hear it. Cherish it. Honor it. Here's to those of OVERLORD and ANVIL. We continue to fight in your honor.

Hear Old Glory salute you, in the wind, throughout the passages of time.