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Fix bayonets…

Mark Steyn describes an incident that confirms my impression that the politicians are botching up Iraq.

During the Falklands War, a bayonet charge on enemy positions would have been publicly applauded by the Prime Minister, honours and medals would have been discussed and the British public would have been in doubt that the government and the military knew exactly what they were doing. We could agree or disagree with the objective or the means, but not the operational competence or the political will.

Where Iraq is going wrong is not that the military are incapable (unless they run out of ammunition, boots, flak-jackets etc). It is that military action will be undermined by political ‘arse-covering’. The resolution shown by troops is frittered away by Colin Powell and his cronies in the US, and by the Labour government in the UK. Powell looks more and more like his caricature in the Tim Burton movie Mars Attacks! played by Paul Winfield.

My view on Vietnam is that it would have been better if the US had not got involved after the French pull-out, given that they were going to do so eventually anyway, or that the US should have fought to win. I take a Barry Goldwater position rather than a Eugene McCarthy one.

It used to be Colin Powell’s position too.

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13 comments to Fix bayonets…

  • re: Viet Nam. I’d go a step further ans say that we never should have enabled the French return to Indochina following WWII. Also we should have developed the relationships built during the War with the local leaders – many of whom felt (quite rightly) utterly betrayed when we stood by while the attempted to reclaim their colony.

    Architects of that screw up? The rocklet scientists in the State Department. If their is one batch of beauracrats that could be drummed off the US Federal payroll without noticeable damage or loss – it would be the bunch at Foggy Bottom. Then we could bulldoze the joint, and start all over again.

  • Walter Wallis

    As soon as our troops are committed to a hostile area, it should be impossible for any medium critical of us to be heard. Every radio and TV channel should either be coopted or jammed. All other electronic commo should be shut down.

  • Julian Morrison

    Alles in ordnung.

  • Harry

    The expected puff of gas from Julian! But, as usual, there’s no need to extinguish smoking materials.

    Returning to the subject at hand: Antoine accurately describes Colin Powell, and what’s happened to him isn’t unique. There’s something in the water over at State.

  • As soon as our troops are committed to a hostile area, it should be impossible for any medium critical of us to be heard. Every radio and TV channel should either be coopted or jammed. All other electronic commo should be shut down.

    Where does one start? Bonkers.

  • Mark Steyn describes an incident that confirms my impression that the politicians are botching up Iraq.

    Huh? Since when do politicians botch things?

    Oh, wait…

  • Steve in Houston

    I imagine it’s rather obvious to say, but diplomacy – especially since Vietnam and even more since the fall of the Berlin Wall – has become the gentle art of making everything someone else’s problem.

    The more stuff you can put in some other entity’s basket – double points for putting it into a NGO/UN basket where no one has to worry about performance issues – the better your chance of “winning”.

  • Scott

    The War Party got everything it wanted concerning Iraq (remember Powell, your ‘opponent’, pushing the WMD bullshit at the UN for y’all?), but is still starting to push a “stab in the back” scenario (like I predicted earlier). This is no different than economic socialists claiming their socialized medicine program only fails because evil conservatives won’t “fully fund” it.

  • The “stab in the back” scenario. Hmmm… Where have I heard that term before?

    Oh yeah, that’s right. It’s what Hitler said the Jews did to Germany that cost it WW I. Isn’t there just the slightest chance you might want to use a slightly different comparison here? I mean the historical allusion, in this context, is self-deconstructing.

    If we put the term in historical context, the “war party” alleging “stab in the back” = Hitler.

    Therefore, Colin Powell = the Jews.

    The only problem here, (and I’m sure you’d agree, Scott), is that Neocons = the Jews.

    Ergo the Jews = Hitler.

    As I said, your “stab in the back” allusion is somewhat hysterical.

    That’s okay though. I don’t take it as an insult.

    After all, I’m sure you’re just an honest chap, in favor of peace in our time.

  • Scott

    The only problem here, (and I’m sure you’d agree, Scott), is that Neocons = the Jews

    Nope, that’s just the War Party’s way of calling opponents anti-semites (calling your opponents racists is a favorite tactic of socialists), when their own actions (support for the war, blind support for the Likud party, support for American idiotvangelicals and their “all Jews either converted or dead” end-times beliefs) are the ones endangering Israel’s long term security.

  • kid charlemagne

    What a great article by Mark Steyn.

  • Johnathan

    Actually I agree with Scott on this one. Some of the pro-war folk would do their case some good if they eschewed such language.

  • There was a bayonet charge in the Fauklands on a machine gun nest, and there were citations issued. I saw the steely eyed NCO that lead the charge on a documentary talking about the professional reaction of the soldiers at the dreaded “Affix Bayonets” command. Until this war, that was the last known bayonet charge.