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"We're surrendering as fast as we can!"

Well, today the Boston Globe has a two-fer going. In its rush to declare defeat in Iraq, it has two pieces. The first up is an article on the Army, where officers are getting promoted faster than normal.

There is not a damned thing "new" about this revelation. As long as there have been standing armies, it has been a truism that "wars are good for careers." During peacetime, military promotions tend to be slower. In wartime, though, officers tend to move up the ranks more quickly.

There are several reasons for this. First up is the ugly one -- attrition. In wartime, soldiers get killed. That creates vacancies, and often it's best to simply promote from within the unit instead of rotating in an officer from outside.

The other reason is merit. During wartime, officers have far more opportunities to prove their mettle than they do in peacetime. Combat can be the ultimate "performance review," and those that excel tend to be "rewarded" with greater rank and responsibilities.

The Army is used to this. It is prepared for this -- or, at least, ought to be prepared for this. To take this as a sign that things are just going horridly is naive at best -- and I have found it useful to never give the Globe the benefit of the doubt. Attributing agenda over ineptitude to the Globe is usually the safe bet.

And just to give a little evidence to that point, we have a column from their in-house surrender monkey, H. D. S. Greenway. I hope Mr. Greenway has invested in a good deodorant, considering how much time he spends with his hands over his head, frantically surrendering to all within sight.

His column today, though, is a bit more craven and contemptuous than usual -- and that's saying a lot.

One of the more despicable things ever to come out of Michael Moore's mouth was when he compared the terrorists in Iraq to the Minutemen, casting them as the patriotic, heroic Revolutionaries and the United States as the imperial, brutal Redcoats. Well, Mr. Greenway decided that that was a pretty good conceit, so he took it as his own and embellished it a bit, dressing it up in historic references and details, slathering enough makeup on that pig to make it look like Tammy Faye Baker.

It's still a pig, though.

Will the "surge" plan work in Baghdad? It's too soon to tell. But the early reports are most promising. Overall violence is down, the murder rate has dropped, Moqtada Al Sadr has scurried out of sight, and US and Iraqi forces are regularly patrolling Sadr City.

That doesn't matter to the Boston Globe, and those it claims to represent. To them, they have declared the war a total loss a long time ago, and have a great deal invested in making sure that happens.

I'm not really thrilled to quote John McCain -- it'll be a long time before I forgive him for the McCain-Feingold Act -- but he nailed it recently: "presidents don't lose wars and parties don't lose wars, nations lose wars and the consequences are felt by a nation."


Comments (26)

Saddam's goons beat up the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Saddam's goons beat up the Shia for generations, and al Qaeda blew up the Gkolden Mosque, and this jackass in Boston wants to blame us?
==============================

Jay,Please don't sla... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Jay,
Please don't slander the pigs. Calling Tammy a pig is doing a dis-favor to the hogs. She's worse than that.

And McCain wouldn't know a ... (Below threshold)
kim:

And McCain wouldn't know a consequence if it came up and bit him in the ass.
==========================

There isn't enough anti-nau... (Below threshold)
epador:

There isn't enough anti-nauseant available to treat the quease that the sleaze impose upon meeze with this Boston Globe tripe. Plueeze, JT, put a Not Safe 4 Yur Stomach - NS4YS - at the top of these so I can avoid having to down another bottle of Pepto.

Now don't knock my Tammy, t... (Below threshold)
kim:

Now don't knock my Tammy, there, Allen. Just try to find a more womanly woman. And I hear her ex-husband's turned Christian. Well, it can happen to the best of us.
===========================

McCain's so copacetic with ... (Below threshold)
kim:

McCain's so copacetic with Democrats and the press 'cuz they recognize a victim in full whine.
============================

Am I beating a dying horse?... (Below threshold)
kim:

Am I beating a dying horse? Oh, now I feel bad.
==========================

First you get this....... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

First you get this....

the deputy Army chief of staff, told Congress that about 8 percent of the force's junior officers -- captains and lower-ranking lieutenants -- left the Army in 2006

The next paragraph we get this.......

"From my microview of the Army, the junior officer attrition is unreal," the officer, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, wrote in a personal e-mail from Iraq and provided to the Globe. "In my battalion alone, one of 10 officers in my year group is staying in the Army. All the rest are leaving with me."

8 percent is the attrition figure given by deputy Army chief of staff, yet the author of the article felt compelled to exaggerate that figure to 90 percent based on an anonymous officer.

Funny how that works, huh?

Reporters understand statis... (Below threshold)
kim:

Reporters understand statistics, in this case an anecdote, just well enough to lie with them. Well, lots of reporters, certainly this one.
=======================================

I mean, he even says, "micr... (Below threshold)
kim:

I mean, he even says, "microview". Maybe he means the view expressed by a 'microbrain'.
================================

Exactly what is it that as ... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Exactly what is it that as US citizens those who see the Iraq war for what it is, a looting of two nations perpetrated on lies, have invested in seeing such a debacle continue unabated?

In what regard does anyone who sees the continued death, destruction and imposition by force of a foreign governments coporate exploitation of regional resourses a win-win?

Oh,my bad, it doesn't require a reason or jusification other than knowing that a withdrawl of those said same resources would cause a more immediate implosion of American lifestyle. Guess that's reason enough to continue such shared sacrifice.

civil:Exa... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

civil:

Exactly what is it that as US citizens those who see the Iraq war for what it is, a looting of two nations perpetrated on lies,

A looting? Quite honestly 'civil behavior', with every successive drive-by-posting you get a little more unhinged.

Once again, I must ask you to explain this point since it's really quite an incredible accusation.

it doesn't require a reason or jusification other than knowing that a withdrawl of those said same resources would cause a more immediate implosion of American lifestyle.

Is this our "pimped" lifestyle that your lamenting again?

Ok, let's actually look at some facts.

CANADA is our top oil supplier.

Unfortunately for you, Iraq comes in 8th.

Heralder, civil behavior ha... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Heralder, civil behavior has been unhinged for quite some time now.

What's the old British Army... (Below threshold)
Matt:

What's the old British Army saying?

"Here's to bloody wars and sickly seasons."

Eisenhower was a major from... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Eisenhower was a major from 1920 to 1936 (1936 was when Hitler started sending troops to the Spanish Civil War). Eisenhower was a Lt. Col. until 1941. So from 1941 to 1943 (roughly 3 years) he went from a Lt. Col. through the temprary ranks of Col., Brig. Gen, Maj. Gen, Lt. Gen, and General (aka four stars) in 1943. Think about that. We had a guy whose permanent rank was Lt. Col. wearing four stars after two years because of war time promotions. The idea was when the war was over, he would take off the stars and return to being a Lt. Col.

So there is some precedence to the idea of war time creating rapid promotion opportunities. If the 16 years it took Eisenhower to go from Major to Lt. Col. was used as a guide, then Eisenhower would have made one star Brig. Gen. in about 1968. But of course putting in this sort of context would have required the MSM to have a clue.

Now don't knock my... (Below threshold)
Now don't knock my Tammy, there, Allen ... I hear her ex-husband's turned Christian.

What, again?

The surge is working, and l... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The surge is working, and likely will work in the end, if we recognize our power to make it happen.

To deny the possibility of success is really just a way to express the hope that it fails. Nasty stuff.

Many positions almost requi... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Many positions almost require combat experience.

It takes much longer for many to jump in rank if they do not have it.

In peacetime, many officers thus get to the point where they would jump in rank right away once they have combat experience. When we start fighting it is never a surprise to see a bunch of promotions.

Longstanding tradition.

"First up is the ugly one -... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

"First up is the ugly one -- attrition. In wartime, soldiers get killed."

There is another form of attrition that you do not touch on and that is competence or the lack thereof. Combat puts you not only in harm's way but also puts you under constant pressure. The pressure of leadership under the most stringent of times - combat.

Many officers shine in peacetime. Administrative requirements exceed leadership skills in promotions; Whether you have that Master's degree; Whether you have that PME (Professional Military Education) completed - not only on time but ahead of the curve; Whether you have that Efficiency Report "Pegged to the Right" with the highest possibler endorsements; Whether you have all the checkmarks in a row such as Officer's Club Membership, the proper clubs and associations, the currently beneficial affiliations - All of these are the hallmarks of the peacetime promotion system.

War boils officer promotions down to the simplest of tests - Combat, and the success or failure of your leadership.

Eisenhower / Patton/ Hodges... (Below threshold)
Charlie:

Eisenhower / Patton/ Hodges etc. had junior officers who couldn't cut it end up unloading (physically unloading, not supervising) cargo as it came across the channel. They were often replaced by battlefield commission corporals-msgts who could cut it.

We're 'looting' Iraq? ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

We're 'looting' Iraq?

What the hell are we stealing - sand? It sure isn't the oil!

You think he was Christian ... (Below threshold)
kim:

You think he was Christian before? Riding that big fat camel? And I don't mean Tammy, either.
=========================================

Trackbacked by The Thunder ... (Below threshold)

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 03/13/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention.

This is non-news and you do... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

This is non-news and you don't have to go back to WW2 to see it. I was active duty from 88-95 and because I was in the first Gulf War (Viper driver) and had some 200 combat hours I was higher up on the promotion ladder than other pilots who had not seen combat. Beyond the rank of Captain (O-3) promotions are far more competitive and anything you do to distinguish yourself (like combat versus flying a desk) gets you ahead. Always been that way.

As for junior officers leaving, that is also not new. Typically, they leave at the 4 year mark (because of either academy, ROTC or OCS commitment) or the 8 year mark. Why at 8 years? Because you are really making a career choice. At the 8 year mark you are almost certainly looking at another tour of duty at a new squadron/station with an added commitment of 2+ years. If you are over 10 years you are over half way to retirement so you may as well stay in. Unlike the enlisted ranks officers don't "re-enlist" for any set period of time. You encounter commitments based on what you do. PCS to a new station? Add at least one year commitment. Get certified in a new aircraft or change career fields--more time added. Some of the commitments run concurrent and some are added on the end. It forces you to make long term plans rather early in your career. Even after the first Gulf War junior officers rotated at those points at relatively high rates compared to civilian life. When I left in 95 (at 7 years 10 months) I'd say 30%-40% of my peers did as well and that was during peace time.

If there is doubt to what I'm saying I'd be happy to have Jay contact me and I can provide a copy of my DD214 to prove my service time. They should be able to get my email addy from this post.

Well, in Jim Bakker's last ... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

Well, in Jim Bakker's last incarnation as a "Christian", $158 million in donor contributions went missing and unaccounted for, and he did jail time because of it. God only knows what he'll do this time around.

My point, as labored as the... (Below threshold)
kim:

My point, as labored as the overburdened camel, was that he wasn't Christian before, but may be now.
=====================================




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