Saturday, March 29, 2003

Football And Two Questions

And the war goes...not quite as well as we thought.

I leave to others to discuss the various problems that have been cropping up, with this exception: We have the best quarterback in the world. We have the best receivers in the world. What kind of coach in that position risks it all by assuming that the opposition linebackers will be pushovers and benching the fat guys?

As some of the more level headed among us have pointed out, it's too early to really say one way or another whether the complications we've seen so far are relatively minor or not. The fact that people who know what they're talking about are grumbling disturbs me, but, again, we'll just have to see.

But I do have two questions.

1. How long until the blast fax (or InstaPundit) regurgitators on the Right start talking about the 'hypocrisy' of those who were opposed to the war who now demand to know why heavier forces weren't in place before the war began?

The only way you could possibly call this hypocrisy is if you accept the absurd premise that the anti-war movement was fundamentally opposed to the safety of our troops and that, if war occurred despite the movement's best efforts, they hoped for a long and protracted conflict with high casualties on all sides.

Of course, that is the belief of a large chunk of the hawk contingent; as I've said earlier, such people are either liars or fools. But rather than meaning that we won't be hearing such accusations, this virtually guarantees that we will.

Additionally, this kind of attack should most enrage the "Balking Hawks," whose entire opposition to the war was based on their lack of confidence in this Administration to properly carry out the war and deal with the aftermath.

So as soon as this kind of talk starts popping up, it would be helpful if the entire Left starting collectively screaming bloody murder. Thank you for your cooperation.

2. If the war continues to fail to live up to expectations -- particularly if we start taking heavy casualties -- how long will it be before we start hearing more news reports like this?

I'm not saying that the New Yorker is doing Karl Rove's dirty work in this instance, but if the conventional wisdom remains "the administration failed to listen to the military and therefore caused the war to go worse than it could have," we will start seeing a lot of quotes from "senior administration staff" placing the blame on Rumsfeld and possibly a few other key figures (Richard Perle would seem to be the best target; having resigned his chairmanship of "an influencial Pentagon advisory board" under fire for conflicts of interest, he's already in hot water and so could be a very tempting scapegoat). At the same time, we'll start hearing from the conservative press that the President wanted more forces in the Gulf but Rumsfeld nixed it. As important as Rumsfeld is to the President, I don't think anyone seriously doubts that Rove would throw him to the wolves if it became clear that the execution of this war could hurt Bush in '04.

Sidenote: Before I get nasty emails yelling at me for disparaging our armed forces, it needs to be pointed out that "fat guys" is a reference to offensive linemen, which, from what I understand, is exactly the kind of role our heavy armored divisions need to be playing in the war, once they get there.

Edit: Sometimes, when you're tired and not thinking straight, you get your main idea down, but screw up the details. Of course I didn't mean Daniel Pearl, the WSJ reporter who was killed last year. I meant Richard Perle. Stupid mistake. Thanks go out to the proprietor of Merde In France and to commenter Raybin, both of whom pointed out my error. This post has been edited accordingly.

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