Thursday, February 08, 2007

Edwards finds a backbone, and victory in Iraq!

Edwards didn't go for the "Republicans: Wrong on everything" bit, but he did retain his bloggers. For now. They will be quietly fired a few months down the road, when it doesn't look like he's being a weak-spined lily-livered coward if he fires them.

On to that glorious victory in Iraq deal...

The Pentagon is pissed at the State Department. Seems that the State Department can't fill positions in Iraq because, well, civilians are kinda reluctant to get shot at (imagine that!), so has reqested a couple of hundred reservists to fill those positions instead. Secretary of Defense Gates says that his reaction was "unprintable".

Six choppers in three weeks. Yes, the insurgents' aim is getting better, but that's not the only factor. One problem is that choppers have simply been worn out by the pace of operations and are literally falling out of the sky. Another problem is that the Pentagon, rather than coming up with better anti-missile systems, instead is buying fighter jets we don't need. Another problem is a shortage of phosphorus flares due to the continuing logistical issues facing the military in Iraq, which are so bad that we had to cut off the Iraqi army's supplies in order to have supplies for our own military.

Hmm, Bremer was literally unloading pallets of cash with no accountability, at the same time that CPA personnel were steering contracts to contractors based on who bribed them the most. All that U.S. dough apparently just disappeared into either corruption or the maw of the insurgency in the end. Indeed, Bremer's actions from cancelling elections to disbanding the Iraqi Army seem to have been calculated to produce just such an insurgency -- after all, Karl Rove had been heard to state that Poppy Bush's big problem was that he'd actually *won* his war. Rove thinks Orwell's 1984 is a manual for governance, not a novel, and thus perpetual war for perpetual peace is how to retain power. In short, the insurgency was created by the Busheviks as part of a cynical ploy to be re-elected in 2004. Unfortunately, the insurgency then didn't just fold up and go home as planned, they had their own ideas...

A military judge found a way to prevent Watada from testifying at his court-marshall -- just declare a mistrial, and re-schedule the trial for some time in the future after the Iraq war has moved out of the headlines and the Army can punish him quietly and discreetly without all that nasty press attention.

More about the logistical situation: This is the primary reason we cannot get a viable Iraqi Army up and going. The Iraqis can't do their own logistics because their country is a war zone and the Iraqi government is literally bankrupt. But our own logistics are stretched to the limits just supporting our own troops. The transport arm of the U.S. Army is crumbling due to equipment breakdowns and attrition. It takes 2,000 fuel tankers *per day* to truck fuel from Kuwait to Baghdad in order to keep our patrols moving, and dozens, perhaps hundreds, of fuel tankers have been blown up by insurgents over the past three years. The current logistical arm of the U.S. Army was based around a short conflict on the plains of Europe supported by European transport assets and was never intended to sustain this pace of operations for an extended period of time without significant acquisition of new transport assets. In WWII, for example, by the time the war entered its third year in 1944 Detroit had manufactured over 1,500,000 trucks for the military and to ship to Russia (where they were important in giving the Russians the logistics needed to defeat Nazi Germany -- note that 80% of all German casualties were inflicted by the Red Army). For Iraq, the number of trucks manufactured for the military since the war began is... [crickets].

Why do I focus on logistics? Because the logistical situation of the U.S. Army is why we cannot field enough troops in Iraq to quell the insurgency. We probably would need 500,000 boots on the ground to stabilize the country. We only have logistics for around 150,000 combat boots total (including the U.S. Army and the Iraqi Army). Soldiers without food, fuel, transport, bullets, clothing are not soldiers, they are an unarmed mob with no military effectiveness. A M1A1 tank which is immobile due to lack of spare parts or fuel for its turbine engine is not a military asset, it is just a pile of useless junk. An Apache attack helicopter with no rockets to fire, operating at 3/4ths power from its turbines due to wear caused by the sand and lack of spare parts for rebuilding those turbines, is not a military asset, it is a target.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. We were supposed to have partners to provide logistics. We were supposed to have private contractors to handle lots of logistical tasks. But Dear Leader took us into this war against the advice of virtually the entire world, so we have no partners. And private contractors are understandably reluctant to enter a war zone, and can't be ordered to enter a war zone because they are civilians, not soldiers (duh!). But rather than admit that the logistical situation is dire and putting major resources into the logistical arm, Dear Leader's military geniuses instead spend billions to buy fighter jets that we don't need (F-22's and F-35's -- why, when the F-16 is the best fighter jet in the world and will remain so for the next three decades?). Instead of buying fuel trucks, Dear Leader's military geniuses spend billions on designing and acquiring "advanced fighting systems" that are totally unnecessary because the current military equipment is already the best in the world and will remain so for the next three decades. Amateurs. Freakin' amateurs. Remember, amateurs talk tactics and strategies. Professionals talk logistics. Logistics are what win wars. We won WWII because of superior logistics, not because of superior weapons. But we are ruled by freakin' amateurs who literally have no clue. And the soldiers are the ones who suffer because of it...

-Badtux the News Roundup Penguin

10 comments:

  1. cornfield jane8/2/07 12:17 PM

    Badtux sweetie, you missed one.

    A Bradley by any other name would smell just as bad.

    "The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, an amphibious craft which can move from water to land, is one of the Pentagon's largest weapons programs, and has gone significantly over budget after the first generation vehicles were found with multiple weaknesses. After 10 years and $1.7 billion, this is what the Marines Corps got for its investment in a new amphibious vehicle: A craft that breaks down about an average of once every 4 1/2 hours, leaks and sometimes veers off course.
    And for that, the contractor, General Dynamics of Falls Church, received $80 million in bonuses. (?!!)
    The amphibious vehicle, which can be launched from a ship and then driven on land, is so unreliable that the Pentagon is ditching plans to begin building the first of more than 1,000 and wants to start over with seven new prototypes, which will take nearly two years to deliver, at a cost of $22 million each."
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17015666/

    What do think Badtux - let's start a company where we can write contracts where we not only get paid for what we've fucked-up, we can get huge bonuses!!!
    We can call it General Boner.

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  2. I read your comment over at Mockingbird's place. You said you didn't want to switch to new blogger. I had to do it yesterday and posted about it today. I am not in any form a computer whiz. Barely know how to post. But yesterday they told me I had to switch so I did. It took about five minutes max. They sent me an email when it was done with a link to activate my new google acct. Before they start the change, they direct you to a place to get your new google acct. It's basically your email address for your user name and your original password. Once the change is done and you activate via the email, that's all there is to it. My blog came out on the other side and looked just like it did when it went in.

    Just wanted to let you know that not all the change over deals are nightmares. I dreaded it like going to the dentist and it was absolutely painless. Good Luck :)

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. POP, the Bird has a couple of things about his blog that made it easier to move: 1) he uses Hellscan, not Blogger, for his comments. 2) He uses a fairly standard template (my template, on the other hand, is utterly non-standard, I hated all the default Blogger templates so wrote my own from scratch). 3) He uses Blogspot for his hosting, whereas I use my own web server for my hosting (gives me more control over logging and image serving).

    So that's why I'm dreading the changeover. My blog just does too many things in a non-standard manner, thus is more likely to fail.

    -BT

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  5. what a joke -- partners in Iraq...oh yes, like any of the nations baby bush mentioned even had a 'real' army

    man, i just wish we'd stop playing these deadly war games and start the virtual ones...that way only feelings would get hurt

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  6. BadTux, since you host your site on your own server, you should try Wordpress. Easy to install, lots of plugins and templates, and it even has a built-in script for importing all your Blogger posts and comments.

    Now, as to Edwards: while his statement was typical, mealy-mouthed politicianese, at least he kept them on, revealing himself to not be totally spineless. I probably still won't vote for him, but it's nice to finally see a Dem politician, after six long years of bending over backwards to appease the Flying Monkey Brigades, finally say "Fuck you, pal."

    And really, the fact that this sort of idiotic, manufactured outrage is the best "scandal" Right Blogistan can come up with merely proves how impotent and irrelevant they've become since November 7th.

    Seriously, why would anybody (apart from her mouth-breathing fanbase) listen to a single word Michelle Malkin has to say, on any topic whatsoever?

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  7. No, I'm not going to Wordpress. I've run my own blogging software before, and it's a maintenance PITA to keep ahead of the comments spammers and hackers seeking back doors to use to zombie servers for use in DoS attacks, it's a PITA to back up the database, and it puts more load on the server than the static pages created by Blogger (and I've tested my hosting and it's under such a load from being pounded on by spammers that it falls over if I put it under any kind of web page generation load). If I got lots of comments then I'd move to something else (probably Drupal), but I'm a *long* ways away from that point, and never will be, frankly, because I'm too erratic with my posting.

    Blogger is no great shakes, but at least Google has full time staff to care for it. badtux.net, on the other hand, has... me. No contest.

    -BT

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  8. The flawed argument for entering Iraq, the no-bid contract to Halliburton and VP Cheney's personal attachment to them and a couple of military scandals with anarchy allowed after the so-called "mission accomplished" speech were enough to sabotage any war effort.
    The public debate and political disharmony that should never accompany a military mission, justified or not, has put the situation where it is.
    I would like to see a successful completion to it and believe it is possible. But I am not optimistic.

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  9. Public debate is what happens in a democracy when its leadership takes it into a war for fraudulent goals, then keeps its troops in the defeated country after it is clear that the goal was fraudulent. You may wish to live in a military dictator where El Presidente decides and the rest of us click our heels together and say "Sir! Yessir!". But that is not the nation I want to live in.

    If you want no public debate on going to war against a nation that has never attacked us, move to North Korea. They're experts on going to war against nations that never attacked them, and public debate there gets you shot by a firing squad. Personally, I refuse to live in a military dictatorship, and prefer to live in a democratic nation where public debate is possible. The fact that you appear to think otherwise saddens me.

    -BT

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  10. Clueless amateurs? Are you kidding? Run down the numbers from their offshore bank accounts and get back to me.

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