< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Shockingly Awful Incompetence

Monday, December 20, 2004

Shockingly Awful Incompetence

When I first heard about the "shock and awe" strategy, I knew we were in trouble. The strategy seemed to be: "if we blow shit up rale hi', they all just runnd away." Thats a bad sign, regardless of whether Gomer is the one saying it, or Richard Perle. Of course, on reflection it seems that was a hail mary. The truth is, as Mark Shields points out in Saturday's Post, the facts on the ground in Iraq are simply absurd.
In the three years immediately after Pearl Harbor, the United States, a nation of 132 million people with a gross domestic product of less than $100 billion, produced the following to win World War II:

296,429 aircraft
102,351 tanks
87,620 warships
372,431 artillery pieces
2,455,694 trucks

Compare those heroic achievements with the current dismal supply record as the U.S. war in Iraq is fast approaching its third year and the United States, now a nation of nearly 300 million with defense spending in excess of half a trillion dollars:

Only 5,910 of the 19,584 Humvees that U.S. troops in Iraq depend on are protected with factory-installed armor.

More than 8,000 of the 9,128 medium and heavyweight trucks transporting soldiers and supplies in that war zone are without armor.

Because of the incompetence or indifference of this nation's civilian leadership of the war, Americans in Iraq are living with an increased risk of death. ...

Wow! You know, I saw Mark Shields once on 11th street in DC, it was 1999. I'm almost 100% positive as he was chugging across the street (which was pretty empty at the time) I saw him pull a snort from a silver flask. I can't say I'm 100% positive, but I do know it was him, and it sure looked like a flask. Needless to say, that single instance is the only reason why I still have respect for the guy. Now I can add this column as another reason. Good job Mark. The Moose has more as well.