July 09, 2010

Compare, Contrast and Evaluate

You can handle this one all on your own.

Victor Davis Hanson:
Some of us had hoped three weeks ago that a leader like General Mattis might become Centcom commander. The recent announcement that Secretary Gates, wisely, has just done that could not come at a better time. Mattis is a proven battlefield commander, a sophisticated student of history, and unshakeable in his nerve and purpose.

We now have, with General Petraeus as ground commander, our two most gifted senior combat generals in charge of Afghanistan, who have worked well together and who were brilliant in Iraq in its darkest hours. I think all this is somewhat analogous to the final rise of Grant and Sherman in spring 1864 — or Ridgway in the last days of 1950, or the arrival of Abrams in Vietnam in latter 1968 — and increases our chances for success, despite the pervading pessimism of the hour that Afghanistan is lost.
From an article at Antiwar.com:
The Pentagon has announced its selection of a replacement for General David Petraeus as Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander today, and it will be the controversial Gen. James Mattis that goes to Congress for final approval.


In 2005, then Lt. Gen. Mattis spoke of his “fun” experience in Afghanistan at a forum in San Diego, describing it as “a hell of a hoot.” After laughter from soldiers in the audience Mattis went on to declare “it’s fun to shoot some people.”

Mattis continued to elaborate. “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,” adding “guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyways. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Officials attempted to explain away Mattis’ declaration at the time, and praising him as a great military leader. Gen. Peter Pace said of Mattis that “his actions and those of his troops clearly show that he understands the value of proper leadership and the value of human life.” Mattis’ most recent deployment at the time was to Iraq, where he took part in both battles of Fallujah, which left large numbers of Iraqi civilians dead.
You will be expected to show your work by noon on Monday.

Speling countz! And imaginative word choice. But please limit the use of vulgarities. Well, if you can. Might not be possible, unless you're a devoted fan of Hanson-thought. In which case, what the fuck hell heck are you doin' here?

Mattis. Christ, what a gen-yoo-ine motherfucker. Okay, okay. You can use vulgarities. But more imaginative ones!

Oh, President Obama! What a visionary! What a leader! Such momentous change from the dark days of evil, crazy Bush!

I always especially enjoy that argument from liberals and progressives. "Oh, the Democrats might be doing most of the same things, well, practically all the same things, and maybe some of the things Obama's doing are even worse ... but the Republicans are crazy!"

Yeah, I see how that works. Obama and the Democrats do all this -- and they're entirely sane. They know exactly what they're doing, why, and even what the effects will be.

This, we are repeatedly assured, is a notable improvement, for which we should be properly grateful.

All right. Endless vulgarities will be enthusiastically received.