“Come September, America might slip closer toward a Weimar moment. It would be milder than the original but significantly disagreeable.
After the First World War, politics in Germany's new Weimar Republic were poisoned by the belief that the army had been poised for victory in 1918 and that one more surge could have turned the tide. Many Germans bitterly concluded that the political class, having lost its nerve and will to win, capitulated. The fact that fanciful analysis fed this rancor did not diminish its power”.
So writes George Will in his latest Washington Post Op-Ed.
Will is referring to the myth used by military leaders to explain Germany’s surrender which was negotiated by the civilian politicians.
The German military claimed they had never been defeated and would have “won" WWI if not for their betrayal by the civilian government suing for peace, which the generals termed a “stab-in the back” (or Dolchstosslegende)
The facts were that the Germans simply reached the limit of their resources and could fight no longer. The British Navy blockaded German ports preventing supplies from their small empire and outmaneuvered and out-gunned the Kriegsmarine. The Tank broke through the trench defenses, forcing German retreat. The British Army was able to deploy troops from all over the empire (and the Irish served in large numbers and with distinction) and the US provided a very useful replenishment.
Thanks to the blockade the greatest priority was given to the military; the civilian Germans lost fuel, transportation and eventually food to the war effort, and began to starve whilst inflation took hold. The war was simply unsustainable.
But rather than blame the policy that had created the war, the generals blamed the policy that ended it—focusing particularly on liberal intellectuals (which included many Jews of course). Hitler made much use of the “stab-n-the-back” myth to rise to and maintain his power.
This same argument is being used by Bush now in his nonsensical comparison of the “lessons” of Vietnam with the current state of Iraq; and by the Republican and neocon cheerleaders insisting on yet more Friedman units else America will lose--thanks to the liberal intellectuals defeatist policies, not the original flawed policy and gross mismanagement that has led us to this pass.
I’m not sure George Will really meant to compare Bush and his “advisers” and the GOP to the warmongering, racist, authoritarian, militaristic, intolerant and vainglorious Nazis (otherwise I'm sure he'd have included 'Nazi in the title), but when you try to draw parallels, sometimes you end up with a "equals" sign.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
"The demand for our forces exceeds the sustainable supply," said Army chief of staff, Gen. George Casey last week, referring to Bush’s “surge”.
Shit-for-brains Bush butt-buddy AEI “analyst" and “Surge-On! General” Fred Kagan insists “the longer that you keep American forces there, the longer you give this process to solidify and to make sure that it's not going to slide back."
So how is the Pentagon going to keep the surge going when they don’t have any troops left?
It turns out that the Pentagon is about to award a contract for 1,000 reconnaissance robots (on August 24) to be delivered by the end of the year.
And how is the Pentagon going to decide which company’s robot has the right heavy-metal poly-alloy stuff to serve in what is rapidly really becoming the "Army of Whoever W've Got Left"?
Sadly, the decision will not be made by 'hot' metal-on-metal death-match action, but by whichever company promises to deliver 1,000 robots the fastest by year's end, using the most most convincing PowerPoint presentation.
It seems the hot favorite is iRobot--best known for its cat-terrifying, housemaid-unemploying Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaner (the company does however already supply the Army with “Packbot” recon and bomb-disposal robots).
And though the company is doing pretty well these days, no doubt they’ll be very happy to rack up around $160 million in sales for four months of work (assuming of course that they aren’t lying about their production capacity).
Now the troops know damn well they aren’t leaving anytime soon, so the delivery of more robots will be at least somewhat welcome news for the extra-dangerous jobs of recon and bomb disposal.
On the other hand the order that suggests they’ll be doing more close-quarter house-to-house reconnaissance in the upcoming months and encountering more IEDs. The robots will provide a valuable assist in tactical operations, but it’s not going to make a blind bit of difference to the strategic, political situation.
Maybe the Pentagon should invest in a few protocol droids as well?