Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Time for a little more background on yours truly so that my rant has some weight. At the age of 17 I enlisted in the U.S. Army. I originally wanted to be a tanker, but the recruiter refused after he got my test scores. I ended up an Intelligence Specialist. I learned Farsi (the language of Iran, as well as some surrounding areas) and studied electronic warfare, intelligence analysis, and cryptography. I also studied Islam, Middle Eastern history, and the culture. I was in the Army almost 8 years, most of it in the 519th Military Intelligence battalion on Ft. bragg - tactical intelligence, meaning digging foxholes, using binoculars, and trying to be sneaky while carrying 65 lbs. of batteries.

Where am I going with this? To a place many bloggers are going, it seems.

The press is full of idiots. People who are not just ignorant, but that don't care that they don't know and then attempt to setermine how things should be, then demand to know why the experts aren't doing things the "right" way (i.e., their way).

Case in point - yesterday I heard pundit after anchor after expert talk about the Fedayeen and how "the generals don't know how to fight them", "they could change the war", and "they have required a total change in plans and reveal deep flaws in planning."

Any person who says something like this is a fool, a liar, or an idiot. And I include the air force general who tried to talk about ground combat (stick to whay you know, pal).

Haw many combat troops have the Fedayeen killed? A handfull. Maybe. They captured a double handful of lost supply clerks and captured or destroyed 3 or 4 supply trucks and maybe 3 fighting vehicles. In return they suffered heavy losses of men and materiel. As of Wednesday they had fled for Baghdad in disarray in the face of dismounted infantry.

While a fedayeen ambush would annihilate Sherrif Andy, this is hardly war-level stuff. I mean, in an operation this size you could siffer heavier losses from dysentery and poor maintenance. And diverting ome MPs to guard convoys is routine - this is back to business as usual instead of all-out advance, not a major shift in plans.

If someone on TV says 'this is major', pause and ask yourself - how would they know? If you can't tell, they're probably wrong. No, really. I'll give more examples tomorrow.

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