Seagull Commanders

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
An op ed piece in Military Week has an opinion on the current administration's leadership capabilities.

An absence of leadership qualities in our military leaders gives rise to terms like "Seagull" Colonels and Generals, a species known to swoop in, make a lot of noise, crap all over everything, and then fly away. But our seagulls had an advantage over Bush and Cheney. Regardless of the mistakes made and not remedied, regardless of the illogic, stupidity and sheer idiocy of our present unit's existence under a seagull commander, at least we could be 100% sure they wouldn't be around for long.

High level incompetence seems to be the natural sea-state of our militarized foreign policy, launching forth with the proud Guardsman George W. Bush at the helm and Dick "Other Priorities" Cheney as navigator.

This track record of sheer stupidity, hubris and other seagull qualities is marred only by the existence of rare officers, like retired Marine General Tony Zinni, who knew their job, led their men and women, and spoke the truth to power about the inanity of the plan to invade Iraq early on. Looking further for aberrations to the rule, we find retired Army General William Odom, conservative through and through, who speaks the truth about Bush's fantasy adventure in Iraq, politely but publicly calling it "a strategic error."

Retired officers and NCOs have had their opportunity, and we are all armchair quarterbacks now. What about active duty soldiers and Marines, who have recently seen both ugly ends of the Bush-Cheney foreign policy baby?

The words of Generals Zinni and Odom are echoed in the more earthy vernacular of thousands of military members in tanks, humvees, cockpits, trucks and mess halls and tents. These words reveal the most important tenet of leadership. With competence, an ability to learn from mistakes, and humility, there is a final critical ingredient. Leadership must demonstrate a hard-headed, stubborn and almost masochistic recognition of the truth, the harsher the better.

On the truth about Iraq, Bush and Cheney have told us it's going just fine, we are killing the appointed number of "terrorists" and "evil doers." We are winning, they say. From the key top officers, whether General Casey, General Abizaid, General Meyers or any of the lesser flag officers on active duty today, we hear only a ricochet of the President's fantasies, or else deafening silence.

But from lower ranking soldiers and marines, we hear plenty. One former marine refers to Iraq as "Bush's Magical Middle Eastern Mystery Tour." He explains why we will leave Iraq, eventually, with nothing. It is one of the rules that should have been learned early on by all leaders, even mediocre ones. Apparently Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld missed the lecture called "Nobody wins a shitstorm."

Who is Bin Laden voting for ?

09/28/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Michael Kinsley writes in the LaTimes about who is working best in Bin Laden's interest, and therefore who he may want to see in office:

In fact, the administration's response to Sept. 11 — focusing on Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with it — might well be a point in the president's favor as Bin Laden sits in his cave studying documents from the League of Women Voters and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, trying to make up his mind.

If there is one thing we knew about Bin Laden before the start of the Iraq war, it was that he wasn't in Iraq. With the invasion of Iraq, Bin Laden got all the benefits of being America's public enemy No. 1, but none of the disadvantages.

He got an explosion of anti-Americanism around the world, potential recruits lined up out the cave door and around the block for future suicide missions, swell new opportunities for terror in the chaos of Iraq itself, and the forcible retirement of Hussein, whom he never cared for. He got more than 1,000 Americans dead and hundreds of billions of infidel dollars gone — results that would make any terrorist episode a huge success — without having to lift a finger. And meanwhile, every bomb dropped on Iraq was a bomb not dropped on him. What's not to like?

He concludes by saying:

At least Bin Laden is probably concentrating on what really matters in this election. He is not spending a lot of time comparing ancient typewriter fonts, or reviewing the circumstances of Kerry's third Purple Heart. In that sense — and only in that sense — he may be a good influence.

Study for Lapeyrouse Wall

09/27/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

American Dialect Society

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Are you a member of the cliterati? Do you practice flexitarianism ? Do you support our population reduction practitioners?

Find out here

A couple of warning shots

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
God is pissed. At Florida. Pat Robertson said it was because they had a gay day at Disney World. But, (using the same logic) if that were the case, then New Orleans would have been clobbered. But it wasn't. This leaves us with no doubt what God is saying:

Hey Florida! God here. You fucked it up good in 2000. Here are a few shots over the bow in case you don't think I'm serious. Don't fuck it up again or you'll really piss me off.

Hurricane Jean

I'm feeling like Mel Torme

09/26/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: song of the day
Lullaby of Birdland

Lullaby of birdland,
that's what I
always hear
when you sigh

Never in my woodland
Could there be words to reveal
In a phrase how i feel

Do you like maps?

09/20/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Here is a fascinating site devoted to viewing maps. has special browsers here which allow you to really dig down into the maps. Amazing stuff.

adorable, definition of..

09/20/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

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