Monday, October 25, 2004

Quick Takes

As I wandered through the blogosphere today, I found these nuggets. Enjoy!

Mark Steyn is already tiring of the US election:
Maybe I'm getting old. I've been covering politics for 53 years, and that's just since John Kerry's convention speech. I'm sick of this election, even before the Democratic Party's chad-diviners have managed to extend it to mid-December. These are serious times and the senator is not a serious man. And so we have a campaign that has a sharper position on Mary Cheney's lesbianism and the deficiencies of Laura Bush's curriculum vitae than on the central question of the age.
Today's whole column is a fun read at Opinion Journal Best of the Web.

Football Fans for Truth chronicles John Kerry's sports-related tall tales. For a story for you Red Sox fans, see "Just 30 Yards Away?".

Froggy Ruminations posts an eloquent essay, "Kerry is Unacceptable to Veterans":
These actions by John Kerry paint a disturbing picture for any US Citizen, but for a veteran or servicemember the level of revulsion sparked by this man cannot be measured with existing technology. No heroic act in his past could ever make up for the patterns of betrayal that litter the public life of this candidate. There could hardly be a man chosen by the Democratic party that personified more clearly the antithesis of what a Commander in Chief should be in the opinion of those who would serve under him.
Also check out his excellent character analysis of the Kerry archetype, known in Navy SEAL circles as a Blue Falcon: "a version of the military acronym BF which stands for Buddy F*&%er. That is what (sic) someone who behaves in a manner which elevates his personal needs or desires above those of the unit to which he belongs. i.e. John Kerry."

Belmont Club compares Saddam's tactical retreat with MacArthur's on Bataan. He notes that:
One indication of the unfavorable trend faced by enemy forces face (sic) was the rapid transformation in US operations. It is interesting to compare Marine preparations to assault Fallujah in April 2004 with those apparently under way today, just months later. The Marine methods of April would have been instantly familiar to any military historian: hammer and anvil, seizure of key terrain; feint and attack. Today, many of the military objectives in the developing siege of the terrorist stronghold are abstract. They consist of developing a network of informers in the city; of setting up a functioning wireless network; of getting close enough for smaller US units to deploy their line-of-sight controlled UAV and UGV units to create a seamless operational and tactical environment to wage "swarm" warfare; of getting artillery and mortar units close enough to play hopscotch over everything the network decides to engage. To the traditional methods of warfare the Americans were adding a whole new plane which only they could inhabit.
Noemie Emery, writing in NRO, says President Bush has nothing to apologize for:
Bush picked his course, as James Pinkerton has written in Newsday, and now he clings to it, "come hell or high blood." This is a killer phrase, and it does yield its frisson, but as a line of attack, there is one problem with it: That is how people win wars. The ability to plough on undeterred in the face of brute horror is the trait that made a hero and victor of Ulysses S. Grant after the failures of many more nuanced and flexible generals; that made a saint and a hero of Abraham Lincoln; and that led Roosevelt to victory in the Second World War.

According to critics, one thing for which Bush ought to apologize is the number of Americans killed in Iraq, now more than l,000 in over a year and a half. Regarding this number, four things should be said. First, it is well below the minimal projection of casualties made before the invasion. Second, it is still only about one third the number of Americans killed in two and a half hours on a September morning three years ago. Third, in a six-week period in 1863, Grant lost 60,000 American soldiers. Fourth, in a training exercise days before D-Day, British and American forces lost nearly as many forces as have already died in Iraq to mistakes and confusion. Churchill and Roosevelt did not apologize, nor did their generals. Nobody stateside complained.

For some more perspective on the casualty levels in Iraq, check out the latest FBI stats. The grimmest is that were 16,203 slayings reported in 2003 in the United States. (Hat tip Drudge Report.)

And finally, The Spoons Experience says, "Don't forget to keep an eye on ElectionHell.com, Brian Scott's new blog keeping an eye on stories involving voter fraud, voter intimidation, election litigation, and all the other crap that makes us want to crawl into bed, go to sleep, and not wake up until about December 1 or so, when they finally figure out who won."