Saturday, February 05, 2005

 

A Prudent Reminder

WSJ.com - Don't Forget the Iraqi Troops: "Many observers have focused critically on setbacks with respect to the Iraqi security forces. And over time, the performance of units has been somewhat mixed. Early on, in particular, some forces did not perform as well as hoped. But this is not without historical precedent. George Washington repeatedly expressed frustration with poorly trained troops, many of whom fled from battles. At one point, Washington threw down his hat, whipped fleeing soldiers with his riding crop, and muttered: 'Are these the men with which I am to defend America?' They were; and he did. Americans won their battle for liberty because they were willing to take the risks and make the sacrifices that freedom requires. The Iraqis' performance last Sunday shows that they are ready to do the same. They deserve our respect for their courage, and not criticism from the safety of thousands of miles away."

While we can respect journalists, and I do, we should probably take our defense policy lessons from the experts. The press serves a very special and important function, but they do not have the wherewithal to use military history to make decisions. Their foundation of information is much broader than Secretary Rumsfeld's on these matters. He has, after all, overseen two wars. They have merely sat back and watched, as we all have. They certainly have the right to criticize, but that is to be taken in the context of their area of expertise.

Comments:
Cranky Bastard,

That was a very well reasoned, well-written post -- (but not nearly "cranky" enough to live up to your name LOL).
 
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