Friday, April 4

Getting The Jump On Last Week

Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan, "The Basra Business: What we know and what we don't." Weekly Standard, April 1.

OKAY, so it's nice to see that a barrage of Kagans (look it up; it's the accepted collective noun) now insists on waiting for actual evidence from Iraq before drawing any conclusions, even if the requirement applies only to their detractors.
The legitimate Government of Iraq and its legally-constituted security forces launched a security operation against illegal, foreign-backed, insurgent and criminal militias serving leaders who openly call for the defeat and humiliation of the United States and its allies in Iraq and throughout the region. We can be ambivalent about the political motivations of Maliki and his allies, but we cannot be ambivalent about the outcome of this combat between our open allies and our open enemies.

We honestly admire military historians, the only endangered species to have put itself on the list, and the only one which combines self-awareness of its plight with a fearless continuation of its showy (largely) male public displays. We remain unconvinced of The Surge's effectiveness, or even that it had the potential to succeed, but we think everyone must now admit that if our enemy proves vulnerable to the long-distance adjective this war has found its Curtis LeMay.

Maybe people who still read the Weekly Standard are taken in by this sort of thing, and maybe there are still people who read the Weekly Standard. Our pathetic attempts to marginalize (and criminalize! as though that term has any real meaning before the victors write the history) Muqtada al-Sadr back when we still imagined we were running things were simply brushed aside. That a pair of high-altitude-bombing Kagans now see fit to taunt Sadr for not returning to Iraq would be ironic if it weren't just plain ludicrous, not to mention being yet one more example of just how easy it is to win a war from 6000 miles away.

(How much have taxpayers spent over the past eight years to keep Dick Cheney alive? Shouldn't we demand that when his time comes we get his brain in a jar, so that some future generation might discover whatever serious anomaly makes a man susceptible to this sort of advice?)

4 comments:

Scott C. said...

I did look it up, and while Merriam-Webster and the OED agrees with you, the Urban Dictionary, which I find a bit more reliable in terms of current usage, defines the confluence of urine, feces, and the occasional overstimulated splurt of semen emitted by Daniel, Robert, and Fred as a cloaca of Kagans.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how Barbara Tuchman, despite creating some of the most important, readable, clear and insightful military histories ever written (Guns of August, March of Folly, The Proud Tower, and so on) seems to be roundly ignored by self-classified military historians.

No, wait, "funny" isn't the word I'm looking for. "Tragically sexist", that's it.

Anonymous said...

Riley writes: (How much have taxpayers spent over the past eight years to keep Dick Cheney alive? Shouldn't we demand that when his time comes we get his brain in a jar, so that some future generation might discover whatever serious anomaly makes a man susceptible to this sort of advice?)

See, this is why I am opposed to the death penalty. I want guys in lab coats with clipboards to devote the remaining years of his life to figuring this stuff out.

I want them to poke him, and prod him, and query him, and say "hmm" in his face from time to time.

Then I want to punch him in the nose.

Best,
ChrisV

arghous said...

... we cannot be ambivalent about the outcome of this combat between our open allies and our open enemies.

I thought the British cut and run. Or is there another of our open allies I don't know about?