Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Mistaken Wartime Predictions from the Punditry ^ | 12/11/01 | Glenn Reynolds

Posted on 12/11/2001 5:16:42 PM PST by AZPubbie

body {background:white;margin: 0px;font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;color: black;} .blogtitle {font-family: Lucida Console, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;color: white;font-size:36px;margin:2px;} .links {font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;color: black;font-size:11px;} A {color:#0069c3;} A:hover {color:red;} A.byline {color:black;text-decoration:none} .date {font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;color: black;font-size:14px;font-weight:bold;} .posts {font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;color: black;font-size:12px;} .byline {font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;color: #000000;font-size:11px;}

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
InstaPundit EXTRA!

PsyWar Update

About Me

Virginia Postrel
Best of the Web
Jonah Goldberg
Dave Kopel
Talking Points
Joanne Jacobs
Michael Barone
Andrew Sullivan
Pundit Watch
Matt Welch
Ken Layne
Adragna & Vehrs
Patrick Ruffini
Bjorn Staerk
Fredrik Norman
Andrea See
Frank Cagle
Jerry Pournelle
Rand Simberg
James Lileks
Charles Johnson
U.S.S. Clueless
The Occasional

Tuesday, December 11, 2001


THE DROPPED BALL AWARDS: Presented in memory of September 11, to the pundits and political figures who got it wrongest in the past three months.

RICHARD COHEN, Washington Post, 11/6/01: "Whatever the case, this war appears to be behind schedule. The administration, of course, will not say so. But this administration is already operating from a credibility deficit. . . . At the Pentagon, the briefings more and more resemble the ones conducted daily during the Vietnam War."

JACOB HEILBRUNN, Los Angeles Times, 11/4/01:

A young and inexperienced president from a dynasty surrounds himself with experts. Early in his presidency, he announces a global crusade on behalf of freedom. No price, he announces, is too high to pay. Step by step, he becomes progressively embroiled in a war in a small country mired in civil war and located near a vital industrial region.

Sound familiar? This was the situation confronting John F. Kennedy in Vietnam. It is also the one that George W. Bush faces in Afghanistan. So far, his administration has bungled the challenge. Despite Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's claim that critics are looking for "instant gratification," the war effort is in deep trouble. The United States is not headed into a quagmire; it's already in one. The U.S. is not losing the first round against the Taliban; it has already lost it. Soon, a new credibility gap will emerge as the Pentagon attempts to massage the news.

ARTHUR SCHLESINGER, The Independent, 11/2/01:

In Vietnam the U.S. dropped more explosives than in the Second World War but still couldn't stop the Viet Cong. . . . Meanwhile the popular expectation of a knockout blow against the Taliban has been cruelly disappointed. Remember the optimistic remarks a couple of weeks back about the way American bombs were eviscerating the enemy? This has given way to sombre comment about the Taliban's dogged resistance. Evidently our leaders gambled on the supposition that the unpopularity of the regime would bring about the Taliban's rapid collapse. And they also seem to have assumed that it would not be too difficult to put together a post-Taliban government. This was a series of misjudgments. . . . Vietnam should have reminded our generals that bombing has only a limited impact on decentralized, underdeveloped, rural societies. . . . All of this raises questions about the competence of our national leadership.

R.W. APPLE, The New York Times, 10/31/01:

Like an unwelcome specter from an unhappy past, the ominous word "quagmire" has begun to haunt conversations among government officials and students of foreign policy, both here and abroad. . . . Today, for example, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld disclosed for the first time that American military forces are operating in Northern Afghanistan, providing liaison to "a limited number of the various opposition elements." Their role sounds suspiciously like that of the advisers sent to Vietnam in the early 1960s.

COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS, 10/28/01 (to Donald Rumsfeld): "The perception is that this war the last three weeks is not going very well."

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, CNN LATE EDITION, 10/28/01: "We're going to have to put troops on the ground. We're going to have to put them in force. It's going to take a very big effort. It won't be accomplished through air power alone."

MAUREEN DOWD, The New York Times, 10/28/01:

As Rudyard Kipling's Kim reports back to his British spymasters, from the mountainous moonscape of Afghanistan, "Certain things are not known to those who eat with forks."

President Bush has been lured through the high-altitude maze to the minotaur's lair, or as it's known in the novel "Flashman," "the catastrophe of Afghanistan." Now, like the British and Russians before him, he is facing the most brutish, corrupt, wily and patient warriors in the world, nicknamed dukhi, or ghosts, by flayed Russian soldiers who saw them melt away.

SEN. JOE BIDEN: Los Angeles Times (news story), 10/26/01:

On Tuesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Del.) warned that unless the air attacks end "sooner rather than later," the U.S. risks appearing to be a "high-tech bully. Every moment it goes on, it makes the aftermath problems more severe," he said.

DANIEL SCHORR, NPR, 10/27/01: "Well, I don't know how long this was supposed to take, but it's certainly going a lot worse than was expected. . . . This is a war in trouble."

Plenty of room at the top in the punditry profession, folks. Plenty of room. If Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, et al., had been this wrong, the press would be raking them over the coals and repeating these statements over and over. Think you'll hear these screwups repeated much?

TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-71 next last
This is a great site. Professor Reynolds is a genius (even if not 100% correct all of the time) and he updates regularly throughout the day. I thought that the quotes he lists should be stored on FR for future reference.
1 posted on 12/11/2001 5:16:42 PM PST by AZPubbie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie

Wish these folks would have to address their Brain Dead pronouncements.

The "Vision of the Anointed" strikes again.

2 posted on 12/11/2001 5:25:06 PM PST by Leto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
Delightful bed time reading. Thank you.
3 posted on 12/11/2001 5:25:50 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
Been waiting for this, Thanks
4 posted on 12/11/2001 5:30:09 PM PST by leadhead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
Oh, how I just LOVE to gloat!


5 posted on 12/11/2001 5:33:13 PM PST by MinuteGal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
We should hold these quotes for at least 10 years as prisoners of war, lol...
6 posted on 12/11/2001 5:33:43 PM PST by Enlightiator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
The second-best Rummy-ism from today's press conference:

Rumsfeld: "And in tandem with that, of course, that's been transformational, is the patience of the Pentagon press corps -- (laughter) -- which has been increasingly admirable once we got out of the quagmire. (Laughter.)

The absolute best Rummy-ism from today's press conference:

Q: Mr. Secretary, the White House says this morning that --

Rumsfeld: White Houses do not talk. (Laughter.)

Q: White House officials --

Rumsfeld: No, no -- well, I mean, buildings can't speak. (Laughter.)

Rummy plays these media idiots like a violin.

7 posted on 12/11/2001 5:37:27 PM PST by jackbill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
The most interesting part of this war is what it says about the Muslim as a fighter. They talk tough. They yell and scream and make threats. But when push comes to shove they surrender.

The air attacks by our planes have been superb, but the calibre of the Northern Alliance forces are pathetic. A 6th or 7th rate force has defeated the Taliban. Think about it, the Taliban defense was not 1/100 of the German defence of Germany after all the German troops knew WWII was lost for their side.

There were tons of people including the media, Ross Perot, and all the Democrats who told us what great fighters Sadam's forces were. Remember? They were battle hardened troops fresh from hard battles with Iran. They folded like a cheap tent in a hundred hours.

Once again Muslim forces have folded with very little fight. WE were told that they would defend the towns door to door and room to room. What they did when threatened was surrender the towns on condition they got to leave with out being shot. Obviously the Bush administration had a feeling for how good a fighting force the Taliban was. And it is now obvious that they are not much.

A very key fact is most of the people in the Muslim nations are devout Muslims. Not as repressive as the Taliban, but devout Muslims never the less. The Muslim world believed that Allah would give the Taliban victory, just as it did the Afghanistan and Pakistan fighters a decade ago against the Russians. They believed that if Allah was truely with the Taliban that the Taliban would defeat the United States. Every devout Muslim believes that Allah is far more powerful than the United States. They are surprised that Allah did not suport the Taliban. They can only draw the conclusion that Allah did not want the Taliban to win.

It is the nature of a failed religious war. When leaders draw followers based on a promise that they are doing the work of Allah by making war on the infidel, it is hard to stay in power when Allah lets your side be defeated. The followers either lose faith in their god or his so-called messengers. It is usually the messengers.

The end result for Osama may be he will go down in Muslim history as a false profit. Osama had to be a false profit, because Allah did not give bin Laden the victory Osama said Allah had promised him.

If I were doing US propaganda to the Muslim world, I would make the case over and over. I would say if Allah had approved of what bin Laden did, he would have given him victory instead of an ignoble defeat.

8 posted on 12/11/2001 5:42:44 PM PST by Common Tator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
Let's not forget all those FR posters who insisted on comparing this war with the Soviet's war in Afghanistan. They had so little confidence in our military and so little understanding of the differences in the two campaings.
9 posted on 12/11/2001 5:43:07 PM PST by clintonh8r
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
The final phase of this war on terror should be to get rid of all Dimocrats!!
10 posted on 12/11/2001 5:43:28 PM PST by Nitro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
What, no quagmire?
11 posted on 12/11/2001 5:43:55 PM PST by dighton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: clintonh8r
12 posted on 12/11/2001 5:44:20 PM PST by clintonh8r
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Common Tator
and a phalse prophet is not very profitable in those parts :-)
13 posted on 12/11/2001 5:48:20 PM PST by going hot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: dighton
Quagmire nostalgia.
14 posted on 12/11/2001 5:59:04 PM PST by denydenydeny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
GREAT reading entertainment! I am cracking up!
15 posted on 12/11/2001 6:13:22 PM PST by gg188
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: denydenydeny
I'm dreaming of a deep quag'-mire,
Just like the ones I used to know ...

16 posted on 12/11/2001 6:17:24 PM PST by dighton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: AZPubbie
and the funniest thing is........somebody pays these people lots of money!
17 posted on 12/11/2001 6:17:28 PM PST by Eternal_Bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple; Howlin; PhiKapMom
a few quotes from our friends in the media..... worth keeping handy for the future.
18 posted on 12/11/2001 6:19:10 PM PST by deport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Common Tator
The most interesting part of this war is what it says about the Muslim as a fighter. They talk tough. They yell and scream and make threats. But when push comes to shove they surrender.

So, the mujahedeen that faced the Soviets for TEN YEARS: Were they as you described?

I don't believe they were, in fact.

My point is that you are generalizing horribly. My point is that these fanatical TERRORISTS, most of whom have nothing for which to fight except their "ideals" that are fundamentally based on hatred of the West and nothing of any rational nature, may be said to be "cowards" in the same way that many of the, shall we say, "less motivated" Axis soldiers such as the Italians or the old men-young boys of the Wehrmacht at the end of the war, were "cowards." They aren't very motivated, because their reason to fight is fatally flawed and even they know it.

I would suggest that ANY human being, no matter what his race, creed, color, nation of origin or religion, if he is fighting for a cause that is just and right, at least in his own mind, he will fight fiercely and he will fight well.

19 posted on 12/11/2001 6:20:16 PM PST by Illbay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]


Yet another RED HOT candidate for the "American Press on Parade" segment on the Show.


Click and bookmark. Billybob, nationally, at 7:30 a.m. EST, M-F. And FReepers are invited to call in.

20 posted on 12/11/2001 6:20:40 PM PST by Congressman Billybob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-71 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson