Skip to comments.E-Mail from a soldier to Andrew Sullivan (Great!!!)
Posted on 10/19/2004 1:59:44 PM PDT by hipaatwo
EMAIL OF THE DAY: "I was stationed at a base (Al Taqqadum) South-West of Fallujah that we took over from the 82nd Airborne. Your writing about the Abu Graib prompted me write this. It is an explanation of why so many in the military favor Bush, even though we are the ones suffering the most because of his mistakes:
It is an old military maxim that blunders can be forgiven, but a lack of boldness cannot. There will always be blunders. The simple becomes difficult in war. Take for example the following question: what is 2+2 equal too? An easy question right? Now imagine I gave you 15 such questions and you had 2 seconds to answer them. Most likely you would answer some and leave the rest. Looking at those questions you missed in isolation I might say, "What kind of blathering idiot are you? You can't even answer simple questions like 2+2=4". That is why Armchair Generals are so annoying. They look at one thing in isolation with all the time in the world to think about it and say confidently "the answers obvious". But when you are out in the fight everything looks different. Nothing is ever seen in isolation. You never have enough time. You never know more than 1/10 what you need to know. There will always be blunders.
But the job has to get done anyway. And to get this kind of job done boldness is essential. A leader who never blunders, but who doesn't take the fight to the enemy is worthless. A leader who sets about to win - win ugly if needs be - is priceless.
One thing the Marine Corps taught me is that a 70% solution acted on immediately and violently is better than a perfect solution acted on later. My experience has proven this true time and again. The sad fact is however, that a 70% solution is a 30% mistake. And those mistakes can be hard to take. In WWII for example, 700 soldiers drowned in a training accident in preparation for D-Day (that is about how many combat deaths we've experienced so far in Iraq).
There is a scene in the movie "We were Soldiers" that says it better than I can. In the scene a young soldier on the ground is giving directions on enemy positions to aircraft flying overhead. The aircraft then dropped Napalm on the enemy. At one point the soldier gets the directions wrong and stares horrified as the Napalm is dropped on his own unit. The soldier is shaken beyond belief. He sat there doing nothing - paralyzed by his mistake. Then his Commanding Officer gave him the confidence to carry on. The CO told him to "forget about that last one" and "you're keeping us alive here". And so the soldier swallowed his guilt and kept doing his job and thereby saved the unit. That is what a 70% solution looks like in real life. And those are the 70% solutions that win wars.
Most people and events are beyond your control. Most questions you don't have time to answer. Most facts you will never know. But you have to press the attack anyway. No matter how ugly it gets, you keep going until you win.
Kerry doesn't understand that. Everything he did during the Cold War and everything he says about this one states as much. He represents those who would never blunder, but who would not take the fight to the enemy. He would just sit there - like the soldier in the movie - paralyzed by America's mistakes."
Wonder if this had any effect on andrew?
I took my two sons and their friend to see "We were Soldiers". When we left the theater I told them that now they knew more about Vietnam than anybody at the NY Times or at the Washington Post. Thank you for posting this.
Wow. That's a great letter to wobbly would-be Kerry voter. Bet that got Sully thinking.
kerry admitted this when he stated he sat paralyzed for 45 with daschle immediately after the 9/11 attacks.
Perspective is our friend.
It looks like Patton taught the military well. Too bad the public can't learn some of his lessons.
I suggest we turn this letter into an email chain, if not a full-page ad in USA Today.
Excellent read. I've already forwarded it to various liberals in the office. Its interesting that Andrew S. posted it. More interesting that Andrew Sullivan, like John Kerry, seemed to vote fore the war before he voted against it. Total a-hole.
Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending.
I want Bush to decide.
John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security.
That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician wants to be leader of the free world.
Free for how long?
For more than 20 years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure.
Sort of what Clinton did in his first challenge---Somalia.
And we paid the price a decade later.
"I was responsible for the operation at (put ANY current political issue here), and I can tell you that the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality,"
That is a sensational email. Even a shallow Dem shill like Andrew Sullivan would have to be moved by it.
All i can say is WOW!!!
Excellent Idea, it tells the real story.
Great post. Thanks. I notice Andrew did not comment on this one. Does not fit into his new world view, which is I HATE BUSH.
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