Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bellwether Predictions and Rummy's Fine Hand

Sometimes you snip and analyze. Sometimes you put up the whole darn post, because another blogger has said what you intuited —except you know you would have taken four more paragraphs to say what he captures so succinctly.

Besides, by the time I’d have finished writing a similar analysis like this one from Out of the Race, I would have been fulminating, foaming at the mouth, and generally being “a bit over the top” — as one of our readers said of my umm…perfervid remarks about the timing of Rumsfeld’s being shoved under the bus.

So here is the post from November 9th, entitled “Bellwether” — couldn’t be more aptly named, either. My bold, by the way:

When all is said and done in connection with the Pentagon management shakeup, the Baker commission report and the Dems actively taking control of the legislative branch, I for one will be watching the reenlistment rate among the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suspect many troops will opt to return to civilian life if they feel that they no longer have support from the policymakers, rather than be jerked around by people who think like John Kerry. And if the re-up rate goes down, original enlistments will probably decrease, too. Nobody wants to fight in a war that the movers and shakers don’t want to win. That was true in Korea and Vietnam, and it’s true now.

Any new trends should be apparent by March or so, if they are to happen. I guarantee you that any such change will be spun by the lamestream media as Bush’s fault, probably accompanied by NYT and WaPo opinion pieces bemoaning what a dumb thing it was to get rid of Rumsfeld.

It sure would be interesting if Charlie Rangel’s (D-NY) idea of reinstating the draft had to be implemented by a Democratic congress in order to maintain military force levels. I wonder what the political fallout from that would be in ‘08.

As an aside, I also think that diminished capacity of our conventional forces, especially the Army and Marines, tends to make nuclear war more likely, because weakness encourages the enemy to attack, and when you must fight, you fight with what you have. The alternative is capitulation.

[Let’s wait for March and see what happens with re-enlistments. Meanwhile, I am reminded of the prediction by a deeply blue liberal friend of mine ( I do have friends who dwell beyond my own political parameters) who, in 2004, predicted that Bush would be impeached in May, 2006. This fellow reads “Truth Out” to get his ‘news’ so that gives you his standing on the political spectrum -- i.e., real near the edge of the cliff. And presaging John Kerry, this friend also claimed that that when he taught high school, the only kids who went into the service were poor students and losers with no other chance in life. Yes, I still like this fellow; he’s entitled to his delusions. And he was only off on his impeachment prediction by a year.]

Oh, by the way, if you’re concerned about Rumsfeld’s feelings re the whole thing, Newsbusters has a great image of our Secretary of Defense, as he fends off the usual questions:

Was it an innocent scratching of the nose, or a classic Goose moment right out of the movie “Top Gun?” I report, you decide.

answering the questionIn a question and answer session at Kansas State University on Thursday, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was posed the following: “If you were going to give yourself a letter grade for your performance as Secretary of Defense, what grade would that be?”
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As he answered, “Oh, I’d let history worry about that,” Rumsfeld used his middle finger to scratch his nose. Coincidence, Freudian slip, or something much, much more? And, did CNN intentionally show this clip on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to discredit the former Secretary? Regardless, I hate it when it does that.

As for the author’s (Noel Sheppard) lament about CNN: don’t bother, sir. CNN is more predictably poisonous than The New York Times, with half the intelligence and none of the subtlety. Always expect them to spin it in Rumsfeld’s disfavor. Meanwhile, the rest of us can enjoy Rumsfeld’s little barb.

“Freudian slip”? In a pig’s eye. That was quintessential Donald Rumsfeld: wipe the tire tracks off his face and soldier on. He’s more of a soldier than many of the military brass he worked with. Do you know how you can tell? Because he made so many of them, formerly comfortable in their complacency, absolutely furious (anyway, just to be safe re my assumption, I'll ask Shrinkwrapped his analysis of this hand gesture. I'll let you know what he says).

No doubt they got together for the celebration of his dismissal before the rest of us had the news. And no doubt he will thoroughly enjoy his remaining weeks in The Building -- playing hand jive -- before being replaced by the genial cipher who follows in his wake. While the President may be a lame duck, his replacement for Rumsfeld is a crippled go-fer gopher. He'll pop his head up occasionally, but don't expect anything new.

Not that I'm telling you anything new, but generals always fight the current war based on the one which preceded it. And they're eternally prone to celebrating pyrrhic victories.

Hat tips: Minority of One and the ever-dependable, tireless Larwyn


Beach Girl said...

I would recommend that our troops do not re-enlist - based on what the demipubs do. Our troops are not safe in the hands of the demipubs and deserve better. To me, Bush will get his amnesty and our troops will get a shellacking from their own citizens, the demipubs. I would caution anyone from enlisting with them in charge.

geoffgo said...


It might be helpful to always describe the Iraq and Afghan campaigns as battles, not wars.

This War doesn't stop, no matter how we fare in Iraq and Afghanistan.

unaha-closp said...

I need someone to explain to me though why the Democrats are in favor of losing in Iraq but winning in Afghanistan. Can somebody help me out here?

That same question can be asked of the Republicans, in both cases insurgents are being supplied from outside of the countries and yet it is only in Afghanistan that any action (offensive in Tribal Areas by Paki army) is taken to strike at the insurgent bases in Pakistan. Faced with a similar problem in Iraq both Dems and Repubs refuse to countenance offensive action against neighbouring IslamoFacist regimes.

I would have thought it the other way around. Afghanistan is a dirt poor nation a long way away from the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. Iraq sits right in the middle of them.

America cannot act against the neighbouring countries that are fuelling the battle for Iraq, because of the oilfields. Offensive action shall jeopardise oil supply and cause major contraction of American economy.

sharinlite said...

I hope our boys and girls don't enlist or reup...when the time comes for us to defend ourselves right here on our own home ground, they are going to be desparately needed.

I am tired of our military fighting in a politically correct war with one hand tied behind their backs and one eye missing. They're great, aren't they, but they might as well come home from every where around the planet.

When Eurabia finally comes calling for help like last time, please tell them NO! It won't be our fight over there, it will be here.