Here We Go Again

Apparently the keyboard commandos got their panties all in a knot over this anecdote from Obama last night:

You know, I’ve heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon — supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon,” he said. “Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And as a consequence, they didn’t have enough ammunition, they didn’t have enough humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.

Now in the right-wing wankosphere, where they pride themselves in all things military, this was perceived as a grave insult to the flightsuit-in-chief, and much anger was displayed. If you want to read the morons, you can check out the links at Big Media Matt’s, who also directs us to this Jake Tapper piece over at ABC:

I called the Obama campaign this morning to chat about this story, and was put in touch with the Army captain in question.

He told me his story, which I found quite credible, though for obvious reasons he asked that I not mention his name or certain identifying information.

Short answer: He backs up Obama’s story.

The longer answer is worth telling, though.

The Army captain, a West Point graduate, did a tour in a hot area of eastern Afghanistan from the Summer of 2003 through Spring 2004.

As a wise man once said, “Ruh Roh.” We know what happens when the wingnut narrative is in danger. At any rate, Tapper ends with this advice:

I find that Obama’s anecdote checks out.

Some are quibbling about whether or not the “commander in chief” can be held responsible for how well our soldiers are being equipped, since Congress provides the funding for the military, but the Pentagon (and ultimately President Bush) are in charge of the funding mechanism.

I might suggest those on the blogosphere upset about this story would be better suited directing their ire at those responsible for this problem, which is certainly not new. That is, if they actually care about the men and women bravely serving our country at home and abroad.

Like hell! What really needs to be done is to find out who this traitorous Captain is, and then we need to examine his counter tops and let the Confederate Yankee run a 50 part investigation into his MySpace account.

Seriously, is there a more useless bunch of douchebags than these right-wing hacks?

*** Update ***

More confirmation here, from Phil Carter:

I talked this morning with two friends who led rifle platoons in Afghanistan. Both confirmed to me that they did, at times, use captured or found weapons or ammunition. One relayed the story of mounting a Soviet 12.7mm heavy machine gun (the equivalent of a U.S. .50 caliber machine gun) on his HMMWV because it was too difficult to get the spare parts needed to fix their G.I. (government issue) .50 cal. Another told me his platoon carried AKs anytime they patrolled with their Afghan counterparts, and that it was always much easier to get 7.62mm ammo for the AKs than to go through the U.S. bureaucracy for ammunition requisition. These stories are timeless; you’ll see similar ones in the narratives from WWII, Korea and Vietnam vets too. Anyone who’s dealt with the Army supply system – particularly at the pointy end of the spear – ought to be able to sympathize.

***

In light of my experience in Iraq, Sen. Obama’s comments last night are eminently believable. Sen. Obama is also absolutely right to use this anecdote as a critique of the administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq. It is incontrovertible that the war in Iraq diverted scarce military resources (manpower, equipment, etc.) from Afghanistan to Iraq. The cost for that diversion was paid by America’s sons and daughters, and our Afghan brethren, who continue to fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. We owe our troops better.

Now granted, Phil Carter has some military knowledge, so I would take this a grain of salt when you compare it to the vault of information these bloggers have procured over a lifetime of arranging GI Joe dolls while watching betamax copies of Uncommon Valor in the basement apartment they rent from their parents. I know it is a tough call, but I am gonna go with Obama, Tapper, and Phil Carter on this.

*** Update #2 ***

Surprisingly enough, the biggest moron in this whole affair is not Bryan Preston or Uncle Jimbo, but instead junior-grade wingnut Amy Proctor (or should I call her a wingnette?). Enjoy:

THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE NEED TO BE ASKING:

1) Why did Barack Obama say he “heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon” when the captain was actually a Lieutenant at the time, the equivalent of a PRIVATE?

2) Why did Barack Obama pass this account off as CURRENT when it took place in 2003, FIVE YEARS AGO?

3) Why is the LT/CPT’s story not corroborated by any military source and why is his identity being shielded by ABC and Barack Obama?

4) Why did this Army LT/CPT contact an anti-war candidate, ask for anonymity and recount a story FIVE YEARS OLD?

Of course we know the answer to all these questions. The intent was to make it appear that TODAY the Bush Administration is sending our troops (WHO KEEP VOLUNTEERING FOR DUTY, BY THE WAY) into combat unprepared and unequipped, which is NOT true.

Sweet jumping jeebus that woman is stupid.






190 replies
  1. 1
    Attaturk says:

    Seriously, is there a more useless bunch of douchebags than these right-wing hacks?

    No.

  2. 2
    Tlazolteotl says:

    This has been another edition of….

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    God help you, Captain, if you should have a marginally larger television than the right-wing blogosphere deems acceptable.

  4. 4
    ThymeZone says:

    Obama is way too smart to get caught up in a bogus story at that level. You can be sure that his people vetted it carefully.

    Meanwhile, we still wonder why the vaunted Clinton campaign didn’t bother to vet the plagiarism harangue. If bloggers could find that Obama was talking about Patrick’s contributions to his speeches in December, how come the Clintoons couldn’t find it?

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    Was that Captain named Beauchamp per se?

    Maybe if Tapper gave his name, then maybe I’d be willing to believe this story. Maybe. What’s this guy afraid of?

  6. 6
    Jake says:

    Of course the Captain wouldn’t want to give out his name. If he did he’d have Michelle Malkin camped out on his front lawn within the hour.

  7. 7
    mellowjohn says:

    “…since Congress provides the funding for the military, but the Pentagon (and ultimately President Bush) are in charge of the funding mechanism.”

    and it’s not like our congress has ever had the balls to say “no”.

  8. 8
    gypsy howell says:

    Damn you, Scott Beauchamp anonymous Army captain!

  9. 9
    crack says:

    That alert reminds me how straight a shooter G’Kar was. So sad.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    God help you, Captain, if you should have a marginally larger television than the right-wing blogosphere deems acceptable.

    I bet he’s not even a real Captain – more like a Lt. Captain. And he’s probably from Taxachuetts. And smokes pot. And I bet he met a Communist on a bus once and didn’t crack the guy’s neck on the spot.

    You know, I watched the Rambo series a few weeks back, as kinda a salute to the movie. The irony of it all made me laugh. To think Republicans empathized with this character, when he’s spouting so many modern day “liberal talking points”… it brings me to tears.

    They really are total worthless douchebags, to a man.

  11. 11
    DougJ says:

    I’m waiting for Howard Kurtz to endorse Michelle Malkin’s decision to put this guy’s phone number on her web page.

  12. 12
    SenderC says:

    Did he get fancy granite countertops from the Taliban too? Do the captain’s intitials happen to be G.F.? Captain is too imprecise — every branch has that rank. Maybe he was a captain with the Navy and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    /wingnut

  13. 13
    Joy says:

    Somehow the visual of these little guys lining up their GI Joes, etc. is kind of making me queasy!

  14. 14
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Matter of fact, the accusations that the Captain must be an “impersonator” have already started rolling in at Tapper’s comments thread.

  15. 15
    The Populist says:

    My advice to those who get worked up over this? Get over yourselves and admit you support the lame President and you could care less about the troops or their needs.

    Talk about an elitist point of view. Support the troops as long as they don’t whine or point out factual happenings from the field.

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    This ammunition story is bullshit anyway. My own military experience tells me that soldiers have all the ammo they need at all times. My military experience also tells me that we’d have fewer injured soldiers if they’d only remember to pick up the white boxes with the red crosses on them dead insurgents leave behind.

  17. 17

    Actually, douchebags are quite useful. Certainly far more useful than the waste-of-skin-and-gravity sociopaths that are The Keyboard Kommandos.

    Hell, I have seen people doing Kamikazes out of douchebags! I mean, how useful is that??!!

  18. 18

    … to the vault of knowledge these bloggers have procured over a lifetime of arranging GI Joe dolls while watching betamax copies of Uncommon Valor in the basement apartment they rent from their parents.

    Oh, snap!

    Most of these guys have probably never been a REMF, much less a trigger puller.

  19. 19
    The Populist says:

    Was that Captain named Beauchamp per se?

    Maybe if Tapper gave his name, then maybe I’d be willing to believe this story. Maybe. What’s this guy afraid of?

    Why so you and your friends can harass him to infinity?

    C’mon, if the story has been confirmed and it appears to be truthful, why do you need the man’s name? So you guys can call him a liberal traitor or can harass his wife, kids, etc?

    Sorry bud, I don’t blame anybody in this day and age who wish to stay anonymous. Michelle Malkin and others of her ilk prove time and again that they will harass, cajole and make life miserable for anybody who speaks the truth.

  20. 20

    […] Update: Balloon Juice More confirmation here, from Phil Carter: […]

  21. 21
    The Populist says:

    BTW – Can we tell Malkin she needs to stop singing. Not only is it not funny, but she makes William Hung sound like Sinatra!

  22. 22
    The Populist says:

    This ammunition story is bullshit anyway. My own military experience tells me that soldiers have all the ammo they need at all times

    Doubt it’s bullshit. Just because you had what you needed doesn’t mean other units are shorthanded, short of supplies, etc.

    Sorry, you saying it’s “bullshit” doesn’t make it so…with all due respect of course.

  23. 23
    DougJ says:

    Why so you and your friends can harass him to infinity?

    C’mon, if the story has been confirmed and it appears to be truthful, why do you need the man’s name? So you guys can call him a liberal traitor or can harass his wife, kids, etc?

    It’s not harassment, it’s called citizen journalism. Maybe if you put down that Iphone and starting checking out your neighbors’ countertops you’d have something to add here beyond the liberal tripe you usually spew.

  24. 24
    The Other Steve says:

    I have to agree with Chris. I’m a 2nd Lieut in BF2, having racked up several thousand hours of combat experience. I rarely run out of ammo.

    Besides, all you have to do is kamikaze suicide with some guy, and you spawn back with a full belt of ammo.

  25. 25
    Paul L. says:

    Matter of fact, the accusations that the Captain must be an “impersonator” have already started rolling in at Tapper’s comments thread.

    Never happened before.
    Jesse Macbeth
    Micah Wright
    Of course they were “Swiftboated”.

    vault of knowledge these bloggers have procured over a lifetime of arranging GI Joe dolls while watching betamax copies of Uncommon Valor in the basement apartment they rent from their parents.

    Don’t own any GI Joes. I have been playing Command and Conquer 3? Does that count?

  26. 26
    The Populist says:

    Need I remind those who think this is b.s. to look back on the factual lack of armor that was not provided to the troops? Must I remind those who think this is b.s. that Rumsfeld and Bush thought they could win this war with barely any troops (hence the surge?).

    Sorry, the facts are on the Captain’s side and not those who can’t accept that this administration will do whatever it can to sell this war to the public.

  27. 27
    The Pirate says:

    I really can’t comprehend how these people can be wrong, all the time, on every conceivable subject, and yet continue to spew their bullshit. It makes me want to cry.

  28. 28
    The Other Steve says:

    It’s not harassment, it’s called citizen journalism. Maybe if you put down that Iphone and starting checking out your neighbors’ countertops you’d have something to add here beyond the liberal tripe you usually spew.

    I am kind of upset my neighbor has Cambria, when I just have formica. I wonder if they may be a communist spy?

  29. 29
    John Cole says:

    My unit had to slow down on training missions due to ammo shortages all the time. Hell, our maneuvers were planned around the expense and availability of fuel. Moving a squadron of M1A1’s and bradleys is expensive shit. At any rate, as I said over at the the Commissar’s:

    “Sadly, you know what the next phase of this “investigation” will be. Dig up the identity of the Captain, and then allow the military to pressure him to recant the anecdote, or find one detail that isn’t completely and totally beyond questioning and sieze upon that as proof that everything the Captain has said is a lie.

    Then declare victory and smear Obama some more.

    Losers.”

  30. 30
    The Populist says:

    It’s not harassment, it’s called citizen journalism. Maybe if you put down that Iphone and starting checking out your neighbors’ countertops you’d have something to add here beyond the liberal tripe you usually spew.

    There is a difference between “Citizen Journalism” and outright harassment. Uhhh, my neighbors are all conservatives and what makes you think I am a liberal?

    Oh yes, I am not as “conservative” as you are so you assume I am a card carrying member of the far left? You just lost your argument. I spout facts, look them up sometime instead of take your talking points from the RNC, mmmmkay?

  31. 31
    The Other Steve says:

    Don’t own any GI Joes. I have been playing Command and Conquer 3? Does that count?

    No. That’s a top-down game. If you want real military experience, you gotta play first person shooter and get down in the dirt.

  32. 32
    DougJ says:

    I am kind of upset my neighbor has Cambria, when I just have formica. I wonder if they may be a communist spy?

    Are they an interracial couple? That’s usually the best way to tell.

  33. 33
    The Populist says:

    Hey everybody, DougJ thinks he zinged me. Ooooh he called me a liberal (when in fact I actually vote for the best people from all parties). I guess it’s a badge of honor since the word “liberal” actually isn’t as dirty as these maroons think it is.

    LOL, we do live in a liberal democracy or at least that’s what the constitution implies.

  34. 34
    Dave says:

    What was it I used to say as a kid. Oh yes… BURN!

    Maybe it’s all that Cheeto dust that makes them think they’re the reincarnation of Patton.

  35. 35
    DougJ says:

    Hey, Populist, why don’t you just get it over with and join Al Qaeda already

  36. 36
    DougJ says:

    That’s assuming you haven’t already.

    If you’re such a great patriot, why are you hiding behind that pseudonym? So that the world won’t know what kind of countertops you have?

  37. 37
  38. 38
    The Populist says:

    Maybe it’s all that Cheeto dust that makes them think they’re the reincarnation of Patton.

    Yep, they sure like pretending they support the troops. Ask any of them what they do to support the troops, they can’t tell you. Sorry a ribbon means NOTHING.

    I own an e-commerce business. We get orders from military all the time. Not only do I refund some of the purchase, but we upgrade the shipping so they get it faster. THAT is an example of REAL support. If I can make that trooper happy then I could care less if I break even or lose on the deal.

  39. 39
    libarbarian says:

    You LIBS need to understand that allowing the enemy to know that our leaders are incompetent douchebags who will eagerly shaft the troops to save a few nickels only emboldens them and endangers us all. Its not unpatriotic to think that our leaders are irresponsible morons, but damn it all if it’s not unpatriotic to say it outload.

  40. 40
    Rick Massimo says:

    Well, you can’t blame our wingnut friends for demanding the Captain’s name. They proved during the we-have-to-bomb-Iran screeching that they absolutely never ever ever believe anything that’s said by an unidentified source. Ever.

    They also know from their vast military experience that absolutely everything in the military goes exactly how it’s supposed to in the manual. All the time. Every time.

  41. 41

    Doubt it’s bullshit. Just because you had what you needed doesn’t mean other units are shorthanded, short of supplies, etc.

    Sorry, you saying it’s “bullshit” doesn’t make it so…with all due respect of course.

    Think video game. The white boxes with the red crosses the soldiers leave behind should have been a clue.

  42. 42
    The Populist says:

    Hey, Populist, why don’t you just get it over with and join Al Qaeda already

    Why would I do that (I get it…you’re trying to be funny!)? At least they don’t scare me the way they do on the right. After all, schoolyard bullies are pussies y’know.

    LOL, it’s cool dude. Whatever…

  43. 43
    DougJ says:

    At least they don’t scare me the way they do on the right.

    Bravo, what a brave man. Bravery doesn’t mean much when you’re looking at a giant crater where a city used to be. Bravery doesn’t mean much when you’ve been beheaded by a Mullah.

  44. 44
    The Populist says:

    That’s assuming you haven’t already.

    If you’re such a great patriot, why are you hiding behind that pseudonym? So that the world won’t know what kind of countertops you have?

    And in a liberal democracy that promises freedom, I can do what I want. Why do you care? Can’t you debate the facts or do you need to insult others? I see that you fancy yourself a sarcastic comedian or something and I am totally cool with that.

    BTW – I doubt DOUGJ is your real name so what’s the problem with using a pseudonym? I bet you don’t say half the stuff you say here in person. On the other hand, I have friendly debates with cons, libs, everyone and I seem to have many friends.

    I find those who use personal attacks can’t defend nor debate their points. Keep it coming, it’s quite funny to read.

  45. 45
    Stephen says:

    John,

    If you have the stomach, go read Karl’s Non-retraction at PW.

  46. 46

    The Populist Says:

    This ammunition story is bullshit anyway. My own military experience tells me that soldiers have all the ammo they need at all times

    Doubt it’s bullshit. Just because you had what you needed doesn’t mean other units are shorthanded, short of supplies, etc.

    Sorry, you saying it’s “bullshit” doesn’t make it so…with all due respect of course.

    February 22nd, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    The Populist Says:

    It’s not harassment, it’s called citizen journalism. Maybe if you put down that Iphone and starting checking out your neighbors’ countertops you’d have something to add here beyond the liberal tripe you usually spew.

    There is a difference between “Citizen Journalism” and outright harassment. Uhhh, my neighbors are all conservatives and what makes you think I am a liberal?

    Oh yes, I am not as “conservative” as you are so you assume I am a card carrying member of the far left? You just lost your argument. I spout facts, look them up sometime instead of take your talking points from the RNC, mmmmkay?

    February 22nd, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Dear Populist,

    You’re responding to a spoof. The line about just walking over the medkits is a dead giveaway to any gamer out there.

    Don’t feel bad because some are very good. DougJ is a spoof-God when he’s feeling mischievous.

  47. 47
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Paul L.: Your next mission, obviously, is to discredit Phil Carter. Should you be caught or what’s left of your reputation killed, your compatriots will drool a lot and then deny any knowledge of your actions.

  48. 48
    Dug Jay says:

    Obama, last night:

    “They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.”

    Obama’s source, an Army captain, to ABC’s Jake Tapper today:

    “The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons,” he said, but on occasion they used Taliban weapons. Sometimes AK-47s, and they also mounted a Soviet-model DShK (or “Dishka”) on one of their humvees instead of their 50 cal.”

    Wasn’t the point of Obama’s anecdote that our troops in Afghanistan were so poorly equipped, they were forced to capture weapons because they didn’t have enough?

    It would appear that either this unnamed “Captain” or Obama are faux Scott Beauchamps. Losers.

  49. 49
    DougJ says:

    Thanks, Rusty.

    Though I thought the line about the interracial couples and the repeated references to countertops should have given it away.

  50. 50
    Jen says:

    Why do the troops hate the troops?

    (I stole that from someone who used it w/r/t donations to Obama and Ron Paul. I’m sorry that I don’t remember who!)

  51. 51
    cleek says:

    i wonder, is the chairborne’s goal to make their readers despair at the utter ridiculousness of humanity, and thereby cause them to sit out the election due to sheer lack of hope for the future ?

  52. 52
    John Cole says:

    John,

    If you have the stomach, go read Karl’s Non-retraction at PW.

    I don’t read Protein Wisdom anymore. The closest I get to it is when Dug Jay or Lambchop come by and pass gas.

  53. 53

    The Corner knows the story is bullshit. Some emails told them so.

  54. 54
    The Populist says:

    Bravo, what a brave man. Bravery doesn’t mean much when you’re looking at a giant crater where a city used to be. Bravery doesn’t mean much when you’ve been beheaded by a Mullah.

    So what? Yep, so I sell out my rights as a citizen so the guvmint can walk all over me (and I am talking about BOTH parties, mmmkay?) so you can have a false sense of security? Sorry man, I live in AMERICA where we can disagree and not have our personal effects and conversations monitered every second by the guvmint.

    You say you are a conservative YET you find this okay? Sorry man, but when we got attacked on 9/11 who was busy vacationing instead of taking the threats seriously?

    Who ran away from Lebanon when the barracks were bombed?

    Who decided Impeachment over a blue dress was more important than getting Bin Laden BEFORE he could do the damage he did (I HATE Clinton, okay, but the wag the dog arguments the right made did allow him to take his EYE of the prize).

    Every Prez from Carter on has made this situation worse. But it doesn’t mean we sell out our rights for Bin Laden. When you give away your rights as a citizen you play RIGHT into the hands of these fuckwads.

    As for beheadings? I haven’t seen too many of those in a while. But you think because I don’t see things your way I am a member of Al Qaeda because I disagree with your view of the world? LOL, you make me laugh. I disagree with those idiots as much as I disagree with anybody who would DARE alter the constitution’s guarantees of freedom, liberty and right to privacy.

    Sorry man…if the suitcase nuke/dirty bomb thing does happen, it will mean that the patriot act was a waste of time and that all the money we WASTE in Iraq could have been used to shore up homeland defense WITHOUT decimating the Constitution.

    Mmmhhmmmm…yep. I love my country and I am not afraid. If my time comes, it comes. I live life to the fullest and I am kind and generous to everybody I meet. Too bad you think you can size up somebody because of a few snarky comments.

    Wow…

  55. 55
    DougJ says:

    Wasn’t the point of Obama’s anecdote that our troops in Afghanistan were so poorly equipped, they were forced to capture weapons because they didn’t have enough?

    He said

    They were actually capturing Taliban weapons

    Captain Countertop said

    on occasion they used Taliban weapons.

    Time to scrap the “the captain contradicted Hussein Osama” and back to defaming the Captain.

  56. 56
    DougJ says:

    Who’s zooming who here, Populist? Are you spoofing a response to my spoof?

  57. 57
    The Populist says:

    So is DougJ for real or is he a spoof? I come here a lot and lurk but when I write it’s mostly a response to something I either think is ridiculous or whatnot.

    Sorry to all if I didn’t pick up on that.

    As for the white medkit comments, I should have caught that. It didn’t hit me until somebody pointed it out. Oh well…LOL.

  58. 58
    The Populist says:

    Doug, no I am not but if you are a spoof, my apologies for not picking up on it. You are quite good ;) Pitch perfect, dude.

  59. 59
    DougJ says:

    Sorry to all if I didn’t pick up on that.

    No need to apologize. It’s all in good fun, my America-hating, latte-sipping friend.

  60. 60
    Jake says:

    My unit had to slow down on training missions due to ammo shortages all the time.

    WHAT? How dare U suggest the American Military isn’t the bestest evar at all times!?

    Prepare for a countertop inspection soldier. If you are a soldier. YOu don’t sound like the soliders in the movies!1eleven.

    Ah, wingnuts. Soon we’ll be able to make s’mores from the heat of their meltdown.

    Original Jake

  61. 61
    Keith says:

    That strategy actually works beautifully in Halo (ditto for just about any video game that a true keyboard commando should know by heart)

  62. 62
    borehole says:

    I’m gonna take a wild stab here and assume that The Populist wouldn’t enjoy “Borat.”

  63. 63
    Davebo says:

    DougJ isn’t a spoof.

    He’s the spoof!

  64. 64
    p.a. says:

    DougJ Says:

    Bravo, what a brave man. Bravery doesn’t mean much when you’re looking at a giant crater where a city used to be. Bravery doesn’t mean much when you’ve been beheaded by a Mullah.

    Beheading a wingnut is hitting one in his least vulnerable spot. These people wet themselves on 9/11 and have been using the constitution to dry off ever since. Pathetic.
    But to my real point. Remember Kerry’s accusation that we had bin Laden trapped at Tora Bora and President Pissypants blew it? The denials were loud and strong, backed up by the online Bush-fluffers. It was only after the election that the commander in the area was tracked down- think he had been reassigned to Diego Garcia or somewhere even more remote. He verified Kerry’s charge. And so it goes.

  65. 65
    cs says:

    I don’t understand the logic of the pro-war right at all.

    If they really consider this war to be the way the US saves the world from darkness, then they should step up and apply what pressure they can to improve the logistical situation, even if the evidence for screwups sometimes comes from the anti-war left.

    Why not form a temporary alliance with muckrakers on the left with the common ground of “You and I disagree on the merits of the war but we both want our soldiers receiving the best care and supply possible. Let’s work together on this.”

    Writers on Kos, TPM, other liberal outlets, and also many politico’s in the Democratic Party would join this type of alliance in a heartbeat. There would be nothing for either side to lose and everything to gain.

    Their goal should be to win the war and that should take precedence over all else. Giving an individual or a party political rewards should be a far distant second.

    But I guess this is too rational an idea.

  66. 66
    The Populist says:

    Borehole,

    I LOVE Borat!

  67. 67
    The Populist says:

    No need to apologize. It’s all in good fun, my America-hating, latte-sipping friend.

    I actually do not like Lattes. Oh well, it’s all good.

  68. 68
    The Populist says:

    But to my real point. Remember Kerry’s accusation that we had bin Laden trapped at Tora Bora and President Pissypants blew it? The denials were loud and strong, backed up by the online Bush-fluffers. It was only after the election that the commander in the area was tracked down- think he had been reassigned to Diego Garcia or somewhere even more remote. He verified Kerry’s charge. And so it goes.

    There was a report that an armed drone spotted Bin Laden in the desert but didn’t attack because they couldn’t get the okay from the top.

    Whether it’s true or not, it makes me wonder if Bin Laden is kept alive to use as the ultimate boogey-man.

  69. 69
    cleek says:

    shorter nutsphere: we don’t like Obama, therefore he was wrong about whatever it is he said. QED

  70. 70
    DougJ says:

    I actually do not like Lattes.

    Is that a nondenial about hating America?

  71. 71
    4tehlulz says:

    >>I don’t understand the logic of the pro-war right at all.

    protip: there is no logic other than party loyalty.

  72. 72
    The Populist says:

    I’d also love to know why some on the right have attacked the Tillman family for wanting more info on Pat’s death.

    To answer an earlier question….seeing how they attack even the Tillman family with such vitriol should make any whistleblower afraid to disclose their identity.

    It’s way over the top and beyond good taste to harass and cajole those with concerns and legit questions.

  73. 73
    The Populist says:

    Is that a nondenial about hating America?

    LOL…I guess it could be.

  74. 74
    Dan says:

    If the troops kept running out of ammo, why didn’t they type in the cheat code?

  75. 75
    Lilysmom says:

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. – George Orwell

  76. 76
    chopper says:

    “The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons,”

    and obama didn’t say that it was.

  77. 77
    Cassidy says:

    Just an anecdote, but I’ve never ever heard of anyone not having ammunition. We’ve run out of other items, of course, but ammunition was always in abundance. Then again, I was in Iraq and not Afghanistan.

    US Soldiers using AK’s is not new, though. There is a common perception that the AK is a better battle rifle than the M16 or M4. Whether that is actually true or not, I couldn’t tell you.

  78. 78

    I might suggest those on the blogosphere upset about this story would be better suited directing their ire at those responsible for this problem, which is certainly not new. That is, if they actually care about the men and women bravely serving our country at home and abroad.

    Not a complete sentence, Jake Tapper, but OK, I get it. It’s a rhetorical question. Of course the right blogsphere doesn’t give a damn about these people. They’re just supposed to play their part in the rat-wang narrative.

    And die, yes, but that’s not the point.
    .

  79. 79
    crw says:

    Why not form a temporary alliance with muckrakers on the left with the common ground of “You and I disagree on the merits of the war but we both want our soldiers receiving the best care and supply possible. Let’s work together on this.”

    You don’t get it! The LIE-bruls are just trying to distract us and trick us into forgetting our military is the bestest most perfectest evar thanks to the greatest President ever, George W Bush!!!1 If anything is wrong with the military it’s those TRAITORS in Congress like Nancy Pelosi’s fault! Any DemocRAT who claims to support the military is lying! Everyone knows only God-fearing Patriotic Republicans support the troops!

  80. 80
    Digital Amish says:

    I went over and checked out some of the links in Matt’s piece. I don’t think we have to worry about those quys causing too much trouble. On most of the links I looked at, after about 10 comments they were all sprouting wood just thinking about AK47 and m16’s and such. I’ve got no problem with guns. In fact I own several more than I really have need for. But good God, there is something serously wrong with those boys.

  81. 81
    Svensker says:

    You don’t get it! The LIE-bruls are just trying to distract us and trick us into forgetting our military is the bestest most perfectest evar thanks to the greatest President ever, George W Bush1 If anything is wrong with the military it’s those TRAITORS in Congress like Nancy Pelosi’s fault! Any DemocRAT who claims to support the military is lying! Everyone knows only God-fearing Patriotic Republicans support the troops!

    It’s so Stalinesque. (And these people talk about the MUP cult…) I think we should continue the theme and start re-education camps after Feb 2009 for all the 19%ers. Or maybe earlier. Offshore camps, of course.

  82. 82
    Lee says:

    But to my real point. Remember Kerry’s accusation that we had bin Laden trapped at Tora Bora and President Pissypants blew it? The denials were loud and strong, backed up by the online Bush-fluffers. It was only after the election that the commander in the area was tracked down- think he had been reassigned to Diego Garcia or somewhere even more remote. He verified Kerry’s charge. And so it goes

    I am good friends with a Marine that was in Afganistan during this and is still angry that the attack was called off. The Marines were ready to go and right before they loaded up it was called off. They knew it was going to be a hell of a fight and they would lose men, but they were ready to take Osama down.

    His theory is that if they had captured/killedd Osama then, that the selling of the Iraq war would have been much more difficult.

  83. 83
    Sasha says:

    His theory is that if they had captured/killedd Osama then, that the selling of the Iraq war would have been much more difficult.

    If that was the real reason for it, then yeah, tar-and-feather is too good for the REMFs responsible for Iraq.

    No proof though.

  84. 84
    Zifnab says:

    I am good friends with a Marine that was in Afganistan during this and is still angry that the attack was called off. The Marines were ready to go and right before they loaded up it was called off. They knew it was going to be a hell of a fight and they would lose men, but they were ready to take Osama down.

    His theory is that if they had captured/killedd Osama then, that the selling of the Iraq war would have been much more difficult.

    Or… you know… the Bin Laden family gave El Presidente an extra big tip, and we let him slip away.

    Honestly, I doubt the guy is even alive anymore. When was the last time we saw a confirmed video that wasn’t just a rehash of old footage? Better a specter to haunt America forever than a living, breathing bad guy we might actually kill and be done with. You can’t keep America in perpetual razor’s edge paranoia if your boogeyman was blown away at gun point in a mountain desert half a world away.

    Of course, the best joke of all was how years later we have this stellar documentary The Path to 9/11 that just happened to get released on the eve of the ’06 elections.

    Nothing says competent civil servants and public defenders like a four-hour tribute to CDS and Bush Fluffing.

    I think the only thing that sells me more on the “Osama’s escape was an inside job” conspiracy theories – other than the Bush/Bin Laden best buddies thing – was the mileage Republicans dragged out of his failed capture. It’s hard not to believe they let him get away, when they used Osama’s ghost to scare the American public for six more years.

  85. 85
    curtadams says:

    I wonder if Obama is trying to lure the wingers out. They start smearing this captain and Obama smacks them down for “stabbing our brave troops defending America from Osama bin Laden.” They look like idiots and he grabs the “defender of our troops” mantle. In any case, Obama is clearly going to fight hard for that mantle, with the swipes at Bush. You can bet some of McCain’s Senate votes will be popping up soon.

  86. 86
    Calouste says:

    You LIBS need to understand that allowing the enemy to know that our leaders are incompetent douchebags who will eagerly shaft the troops to save a few nickels only emboldens them and endangers us all. Its not unpatriotic to think that our leaders are irresponsible morons, but damn it all if it’s not unpatriotic to say it outload.

    Don’t worry about that, Bin Laden is well aware of that. It is one of the cornerstones of his strategy to drag the US down into a Vietnam-style morass.

  87. 87
    ThymeZone says:

    DougJ isn’t a spoof.

    He’s the spoof!

    Who is DougJ?

  88. 88
    Punchy says:

    Now granted, Phil Carter has some military knowledge, so I would take this a grain of salt when you compare it to the vault of knowledge these bloggers have procured over a lifetime of arranging GI Joe dolls while watching betamax copies of Uncommon Valor in the basement apartment they rent from their parents.

    Seriously, Cole, this is the funniest thing you’ve ever penned. Fucking hi-larious. Great job!

  89. 89
    John Rohan says:

    Predictably, I knew that John Cole would jump all over this, and just as predictably, I knew he would simmer about the “right-wing wankosphere”, while totally ignoring the “left-wing wankosphere” which is all jumping on Jake Tapper’s article like it was a new book of the Bible, with all the armchair-warrior commenters weighing in.

    Two problems:
    1) The story is 4-5 years old, but Obama spoke as if it were a current issue
    2) The source (a la Beauchamp) is 100% anonymous.

    Incidentally, I agree with Phil Carter about using captured equipment. But here’s the thing: There isn’t anything wrong with that. That’s what soldiers are SUPPOSED to do. Incidentally, the miltitary currently spends about ten times what it did per soldier in WWII, adjusted for inflation. Trust me, they have plenty of ammo. I might be convinced otherwise if we had ever lost a single battle in this war due to lack of ammunition.

  90. 90
    John Cole says:

    You know, John Rohan, if allegedly patriotic motherfuckers like you would stop fellating this disastrous president long enough to be honest and admit why we are currently in the mess we are in, I would start to care what you think. The military is in a fucking pickle right now despite record spending levels, and retards like you are still all about the evil liberal.

    Fortunately, you won’t change. So piss off, as I don’t have to waste my time with you.

  91. 91
    cleek says:

    Two problems:
    1) The story is 4-5 years old, but Obama spoke as if it were a current issue

    actually, he didn’t. read the fucking quote – it’s all past tense.

    2) The source (a la Beauchamp) is 100% anonymous.

    BFD. anonymity doesn’t = false.

    There isn’t anything wrong with that. That’s what soldiers are SUPPOSED to do.

    excellent, then we’re done here.

  92. 92
    Face says:

    That Capt’n is clearly just another phony solider.

  93. 93
    numbskull says:

    “Trust me, they have plenty of ammo.”

    And we should trust you why?

  94. 94
    John Rohan says:

    LOL, I can also always tell I’m winning the argument when the other side resorts to insults rather than arguments.

    Since “allegedly patriotic motherfuckers” and “retards” like me are the ones actually currently serving and fighting this war, exactly who are you defending here? Why pick and choose which vet’s anecdotes you want to believe? Oh I know, I guess because only those who hate Bush with unhinged passion or who have embraced the “Obama miracle” are worth listening to? Incidentally, I didn’t said what my feelings on Bush are so you can take that one where the sun don’t shine.

    Incidentally, one correction: I should have said that the military currently spends 100 TIMES, not 10 times as much per soldier as in WWII.

    Have a nice day.

  95. 95
    Dork says:

    Then again, I was in Iraq and not Afghanistan.

    Uh, Cassidy? This is the crux of the whole argument. Bush has physically, metaphorically, and mentally checked out of Afghan. in order to jump into Iraq, and has fucked the soliders left there as a result.

    That’s the point — we’ve forgotten to supply those soliders in our quest to do all-Iraq, all the time, with almost all the allotted money.

  96. 96
    Martin says:

    Whether it’s true or not, it makes me wonder if Bin Laden is kept alive to use as the ultimate boogey-man.

    Well, Clinton could have taken him (well, someone with a towel on his head at least) out but didn’t give the authorization, therefore Clinton was personally responsible for 9/11. You never got a satisfactory answer to that 20th hijacker question did you? (it was the Clenis ;)

    And yes, we did have Bin Laden in our sights during Bush’s term, but he couldn’t pull Nancy Pelosi away from her copy of Curve to double-triple-quadruple approve it, so obviously it’s all the Democrats fault.

    And we still would have gone into Iraq because that’s where the oil WMDs terrorists Democracy was!

  97. 97
    myiq2xu says:

    My military experience was that we had plenty of ammo – but that S-4 bureaucracy kept it in the supply room instead of where it was needed.

    Of course my service was during the Cold War – we weren’t using much ammo. But if the shooting had ever started, we would have been getting killed waiting for someone with the keys to come open the armory.

  98. 98
    AkaDad says:

    I think we can all agree that this Captain is a phony soldier.

  99. 99
    libarbarian says:

    Bravo, what a brave man. Bravery doesn’t mean much when you’re looking at a giant crater where a city used to be. Bravery doesn’t mean much when you’ve been beheaded by a Mullah.

    Cowardice means even less, but at least you honestly admitted that you are not brave and have no desire to become so.

  100. 100
    AkaDad says:

    Damn you face, for beating me to the punch.

  101. 101
    numbskull says:

    Rohan, if the Captain in question was to be, oh I don’t know, interviewed in CNN, would that answer your “anonymity” issue?

  102. 102
    John Cole says:

    Rohan- I am not arguing with you, I quit bothering about 3-4 months ago. I won’t waste my time.

    I will, however, insult you. That is fun, and gets your camo panties all in a knot.

  103. 103
    timb says:

    p.a. Says:

    And so it goes.”

    Thanks, p.a., we need more Kurt in these parts.

    To be honest, we need more Kurt everywhere. I miss his wit and charm.

  104. 104
    SamFromUtah says:

    To be honest, we need more Kurt everywhere. I miss his wit and charm.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Hi ho.

  105. 105
    p.a. says:

    I am good friends with a Marine that was in Afganistan during this and is still angry that the attack was called off. The Marines were ready to go and right before they loaded up it was called off. They knew it was going to be a hell of a fight and they would lose men, but they were ready to take Osama down.

    His theory is that if they had captured/killedd Osama then, that the selling of the Iraq war would have been much more difficult.

    Don’t assume evil intent when incompetence will suffice as an explanation. Never forget, this is an administration that oversaw the drowning of a major American city because they were basically too stupid to 1) read a weather report and 2) read and follow their own written disaster procedures. I’ve always felt any conspiracy of more than 3 people was doomed to fail, but I will admit after 7 years of this crew that Occam’s Razor points sharply towards malign intent, not stupidity.

    Trivia question: Name the 2 American presidents who presided over massive destruction to two American cities?
    A: GW Bush, Jeff Davis.
    Any history buffs who can add more?

  106. 106

    Jefferson Davis was not an American President — he was a Confederate Traitor.

    James Madison, however, was an American President.

  107. 107
    grumpy realist says:

    Rohan, uh, you DO realize that John Cole actually has military experience, don’t you? And quite a few other posters as well?

    If you don’t want to get called names, then don’t post material that indicates a high level of wankerhood. You seem to have assumed by default that this “Captain’s story” must automagically be false because “he’s anonymous!” Permit to state, no, you’re claiming the story to be false because it says something you don’t like to hear. This is despicable.

  108. 108
    lee says:

    I got a good laugh out of Rohan’s comment.

    He only lists 2 problems and both of those are non-issues.

    He then goes on to point out the non-sequitar that the military spends 10-100 times the amount it did per solider during WW2.

    Of course there is never any waste in the military so that money has to go somewhere. Maybe like our war machines are probably 10 times more expensive. That the fuel to run those war machines is expensive.

    Being a cold warrior myself we also never had any ammo problems. As pointed out earlier, it was all safe and secure behind a locked door.

    So we had problems with having enough body armor, armor for HUMMVs but of course those were the only problems.

  109. 109
    John Cole says:

    Rohan was and I believe still is in the military.

    Which is one of the reasons I don’t argue with him. Every time you prove him demonstrably wrong, he disappears for twelve hours, blames it on the time difference, concedes nothing, and changes the topic. Plus, he is absolutely HUMORLESS.

    If you want to see Mr. Rohan in all his droll glory, check the thread of this post.

  110. 110
    Halteclere says:

    John Rohan,
    Firstly, even though the story is 4-5 years old, incompetence is as incompetence does. Obama’s original point was that he showed the good judgment that is needed in the Commander in Chief by opposing the invasion of Iraq. But as a result of bad judgment

    “the Iraq war “diverted attention from Afghanistan where Al Qaeda, that killed 3,000 Americans, are stronger now than at any time since 2001.”

    And to highlight his point, Obama told the story that the Captain had relayed to him about the in-Afganistan consequences of that decision. The ultimate point is that the US took its eye off the terrorist ball, which happened when the US invaded Iraq, which happened approximately five years ago.

    Secondly, that this Captain is anonymous is not important because A) Another, independent, person spoke to this Captain and verified his story, B) Other people have seen or experienced the same problem of ammunition and equipment supply, and C) It is well-known that the government was negligent in how quickly our soldiers were outfitted with up-armored vehicles (part of this Captain’s story).

    Thirdly, the 100 time increase that the military spends on each soldier does not account for bullets – That statement only taking into consideration the highly improved equipment that modern military personnel have as compared to WWII soldiers. This has no bearing on whether a platoon had to use captured weapons because they didn’t have enough 50-cal bullets on hand.

    In the end, after all the sound and fury, there has been no rebuttal to Obama’s original point – that the Iraq adventure had a significant adverse affect our Afghanistan campaign to capture the terrorists responsible for 9-11, and that a competent C-in-C would have not started the Iraq misadventure.

  111. 111
    John Rohan says:

    To Lee,

    No, that figure is the amount spent on an individual soldier’s equipment, not for war machines, fuel, etc.

    Body armor wasn’t really a “problem” – strangely, it was never considered a “problem” when we didn’t have bulletproof armor in the Gulf War, Somalia, Vietnam, or any other war in US history. It was just being introduced in the Army on a wide scale when the Iraq war started. This is a similar problem auto-makers have: when they introduce some new safety equipment, they open the door for more lawsuits against them if that equipment fails. So they have little incentive to innovate. Keep bashing the US for things like that, and they will have little incentive either. If the US never introduced the armor at all, then no one could take them to task for it.

    Vehicle armor was a problem, but nobody knew beforehand that IEDs would become the insurgent weapon of choice, and we adapted to it very quickly.

  112. 112
    p.a. says:

    demimondian Says:

    Jefferson Davis was not an American President—he was a Confederate Traitor.

    James Madison, however, was an American President.

    I was just casting a wide net, demimondian. Under Madison what, DC and Baltimore? Not really up on 1812. Did the Brits do much damage up north from Canada?

  113. 113
    Zuzu says:

    Like hell! What really needs to be done is to find out who this traitorous Captain is, and then we need to examine his counter tops and let the Confederate Yankee run a 50 part investigation into his MySpace account.

    And I’ll just bet he has a wedding registry someplace.

    Now granted, Phil Carter has some military knowledge, so I would take this a grain of salt when you compare it to the vault of knowledge these bloggers have procured over a lifetime of arranging GI Joe dolls while watching betamax copies of Uncommon Valor in the basement apartment they rent from their parents.

    Not to mention having toy soldiers capture toy weapons in their sandbox, to check for “veracity.”

  114. 114
    myiq2xu says:

    Plus, he is absolutely HUMORLESS

    Like all people who lack a sense of humor, he thinks he has one.

  115. 115
    jake says:

    Since “allegedly patriotic motherfuckers” and “retards” like me are the ones actually currently serving and fighting this war, exactly who are you defending here?

    People who aren’t complete wank stains?

    Just a guess.

    Incidentally, I didn’t said [sic] what my feelings on Bush are

    Because his mouth is full of Bushticles.

  116. 116
    SenderC says:

    The government spends 100 times more per soldier than they did in WWII because that money goes to corporations friendly with the government. These corporations then provide kickbacks to the government officials in the form of campaign contributions and hirings of former officials and/or relatives. Anytime there’s something to be done that is not a reliable profit center (e.g., post-deployment mental healthcare), the soldier is shafted. And these corporations also take shortcuts like a lot of monopolies do(substandard food, poor armor, etc.). Sometimes there’s enough public outcry that the corporations temporarily fix the problems (they don’t want to lose their grip on the taxpayer teat).

    The fact that our country is headed into a recession makes the celebration of how much we’re spending in Iraq seem kind of weird.

  117. 117
    John Cole says:

    Body armor wasn’t really a “problem” – strangely, it was never considered a “problem” when we didn’t have bulletproof armor in the Gulf War, Somalia, Vietnam, or any other war in US history. It was just being introduced in the Army on a wide scale when the Iraq war started. This is a similar problem auto-makers have: when they introduce some new safety equipment, they open the door for more lawsuits against them if that equipment fails. So they have little incentive to innovate. Keep bashing the US for things like that, and they will have little incentive either. If the US never introduced the armor at all, then no one could take them to task for it.

    Now I will back John up on this. I think one of the many unfair criticisms regarding body armor is that often times units had body armor, they just didn’t have the newest thing to come off the line Aberdeen Proving grounds. While Rumsfeld’s “You go to war with the Army you have” was particularly tone deaf and later exacerbated by the overall incompetence and delays with bringing things online, it is basically true. When new stuff is introduced, it simply takes time for it to get to all the units. When I left active duty, I went from a unit that had monitored the Fulda Gap, and as such always had the best gear and I went to a National Guard unit that was, in 1992, still using Jeeps.

  118. 118
    libarbarian says:

    Rohan,

    1. The point was NOT that all soldiers in general are lacking things, but specifically that soldiers in AFGHANISTAN are sometimes lacking things precisely because they were sent to Iraq.

    Also in Afghanistan they had issues getting parts for their MK-19s and their 50-cals. Getting parts or ammunition for their standard rifles was not a problem.

    “It was very difficult to get any parts in theater,” he says, “because parts are prioritized to the theater where they were needed most — so they were going to Iraq not Afghanistan.

    I’m not sure if this is true and, frankly, I never bought much into blaming Bush for problems that routinely happen in large organizations like the Military. Logistics for our military is fucking complex and sometimes things dont get where they need to be on time.

    2. One so inclined could easily defend the choice to send parts to Iraq by simply arguing that that is where they ought to go because it is more crucial or even simply because it is more violent and more ammo is needed.

    My point, and I think Prof. Cole’s too, is that this is NOT the reaction of the rightwing armchair-general crowd. Rather than argue that Iraq is the more important or at least more intense conflict which naturally get some priority regarind supplies, they reacted in their typical fashion by immediately claiming the entire story is a “lie” either by Obama or the unnamed Captain, and “debunking” it with absurd claims.

    They’ve been doing this since the beginning. Any stories which they think have even the slightest potential to “undermine” support for the war get attacked (along with their authors and publishers) without any fact-checking first. This covers essentially

    A. Any story about misconduct by US soldiers no matter how minor.
    B. Any problems with supply or equipment that implies anything bigger than a 1-time snafu.
    C. Any criticism of the current strategy
    D. Any stories about PTSD or even just difficulty upon returing.
    E. Any stories of “success” by our opponents.

    Its fucking ridiculous.

  119. 119
    John Rohan says:

    If you want to see Mr. Rohan in all his droll glory, check the thread of this post.

    Oh come on Mr. Cole, why shortchange your readers? This thread of yours is far more entertaining:

    (also mentioned here).

    Incidentally, I live in Germany and there is a time difference. In spite of whatever your date stamp says below, its just past midnight on a Friday night here (yes, I’m a loser, I’m home with the kids tonight).

  120. 120

    1812 was a debacle for the United States, with only one major vistory (the Battle of New Orleans, which actually took place after the war was over). However, the Brits had already fought and lost an insurgent war on the North American continent, and were deeply distracted by some Corsican guy.

    So, being a wise empire, they decided to let the US off the hook, and focused on their own major concerns of the time.

  121. 121
    Zuzu says:

    John Rohan says:

    Incidentally, I agree with Phil Carter about using captured equipment. But here’s the thing: There isn’t anything wrong with that. That’s what soldiers are SUPPOSED to do.

    Wow, soldiers are supposed to use captured weapons because they can’t get replacement parts for their own? Must be part of basic training. Who knew?

  122. 122
    Zuzu says:

    This ammunition story is bullshit anyway. My own military experience tells me that soldiers have all the ammo they need at all times. My military experience also tells me that we’d have fewer injured soldiers if they’d only remember to pick up the white boxes with the red crosses on them dead insurgents leave behind.

    So your military experience was in Afghanistan, eh?

    Also, just wondering … how does picking up first aid boxes prevent soldiers from getting injured?

  123. 123
    DougJ says:

    And I’ll just bet he has a wedding registry someplace.

    I’ll bet it’s at Williams-Sonoma. And I’ll bet there’s a cappuccino maker on it.

    If he really cared so damn much about his troops, he’d do the selfless thing and just register for more bullets.

  124. 124
    myiq2xu says:

    This is a similar problem auto-makers have: when they introduce some new safety equipment, they open the door for more lawsuits against them if that equipment fails. So they have little incentive to innovate.

    Incorrect. That is a right-wing meme (surprise) that is untrue.

    What you’re talking about is “strict liability.” That is defined as a “manufacturer placing a defective product into the stream of commerce and unaltered it causes injury.”

    Failure to utilize reasonable (and government mandated) safety devices would be a defect. But it would be against public policy to penalize manufacturers for trying to make things safer. As a matter of fact, manufacturers have a financial incentive to make their vehicles safer.

    You can’t win a lawsuit based on strict liability if the device functioned properly but you got injured anyway.

    OTOH – you can understand why somebody might be upset if the airbag in their car deployed and decapitated their child. Or if the automaker put in seatbelts that jammed so that people were trapped in burning vehicles. Those are defective safety devices.

    But soldiers don’t get to sue because their body armor didn’t stop those pesky 7.62 mm projectiles that were whizzing in from everywhere.

    Their families get to collect that government life insurance policy though.

  125. 125
    Zuzu says:

    numbskull Says:

    Rohan, if the Captain in question was to be, oh I don’t know, interviewed in CNN, would that answer your “anonymity” issue?

    Well, since John Rohan isn’t his real name, I don’t know why we should believe anything he says either.

  126. 126
    Zifnab says:

    While Rumsfeld’s “You go to war with the Army you have” was particularly tone deaf and later exacerbated by the overall incompetence and delays with bringing things online, it is basically true. When new stuff is introduced, it simply takes time for it to get to all the units. When I left active duty, I went from a unit that had monitored the Fulda Gap, and as such always had the best gear and I went to a National Guard unit that was, in 1992, still using Jeeps.

    Yes, but there’s “stuff on the assembly line” and then there’s this:

    Cost was a driving factor in the decision to turn down the request for the so-called MRAPs, according to the study. Stateside authorities saw the hulking vehicles, which can cost as much as a $1 million each, as a financial threat to programs aimed at developing lighter vehicles that were years from being fielded.

    This isn’t to say that the MRAPs couldn’t be ordered. Only that they flew in the face of Rumsfeld’s “lighter, faster military”.

    Sure enough, with a quick change of leadership…

    After Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared the MRAP (pronounced M-rap) the Pentagon’s No. 1 acquisition priority in May 2007, the trucks began to be shipped to Iraq in large quantities.

    So while it’s a bit silly to blame Bush for logistics failures, and even then somewhat silly to blame Rumsfeld for every soldier who died because he wasn’t wearing the world’s newest gear, the Bush Admin has raised the bar on tone-deaf, penny-wise / pound-foolish, ideology first / soldier last policies.

    The Bush Admin did a bad job of running the military for the last 8 years. All the whining about how “Clinton did it too!” and “Democrats are worse!” don’t bare up for a second under scrutiny.

  127. 127
    myiq2xu says:

    When new stuff is introduced, it simply takes time for it to get to all the units.

    When Iraqi units are getting the best stuff before our own troops, something’s wrong.

  128. 128
    SenderC says:

    One of the articles I saw on the cost per soldier of equipment — $17,000 today versus $170 (inflation-adjusted) in 1945 — points out that IEDs that cost much less than what we’re spending are killing our troops. We need to be nimble with our money and spend it more wisely. Perhaps we should take some of the money going to relatively needless programs and shift it to things like Arabic language training for all troops deployed to Iraq.

  129. 129
    p.a. says:

    demimondian Says:

    1812 was a debacle for the United States, with only one major vistory (the Battle of New Orleans, which actually took place after the war was over).

    Why do you hate America? Do you want to dispirit our brave state militias? FORWARD TO QUEBEC!!! Gateway to…uh…Baffin Island!

    Bet your countertops were made in France…

  130. 130
    Marked Hoosier says:

    Zuzu, Chris was kidding. The white boxes with red crosses was a reference to video games. :)

  131. 131
    jake says:

    How can someone live in Germany and fight in Iraq? That would be one fuck of a commute.

  132. 132
    DougJ says:

    1812 was a debacle for the United States, with only one major vistory (the Battle of New Orleans, which actually took place after the war was over).

    I see 1812 as a victory for us. If the British had really won, they’d have been there for another 100 years. Their decision to cut-and-run is the reason this country became a hotbed of violent fundamentalism.

  133. 133
    The Other Steve says:

    1812 was a debacle for the United States, with only one major vistory (the Battle of New Orleans, which actually took place after the war was over). However, the Brits had already fought and lost an insurgent war on the North American continent, and were deeply distracted by some Corsican guy.

    If not for 1812, we wouldn’t be calling it the White House! As when they reconstructed, they painted the stonework white to cover up the burn marks from the British torching it to the ground.

    Clearly you are a blame America firster. Instead of asking how do we win the war of 1812, you’re demanding we surrender!

  134. 134
    John Cole says:

    BTW- This:

    Rather than argue that Iraq is the more important or at least more intense conflict which naturally get some priority regarind supplies, they reacted in their typical fashion by immediately claiming the entire story is a “lie” either by Obama or the unnamed Captain, and “debunking” it with absurd claims.

    They’ve been doing this since the beginning. Any stories which they think have even the slightest potential to “undermine” support for the war get attacked (along with their authors and publishers) without any fact-checking first. This covers essentially

    A. Any story about misconduct by US soldiers no matter how minor.
    B. Any problems with supply or equipment that implies anything bigger than a 1-time snafu.
    C. Any criticism of the current strategy
    D. Any stories about PTSD or even just difficulty upon returing.
    E. Any stories of “success” by our opponents.

    Its fucking ridiculous.

    And the speed with which they make their lunacy go viral is what impresses me. I swear they have an email listserv with which they circulate this dumb shit.

  135. 135
    myiq2xu says:

    1812 was a debacle for the United States, with only one major vistory (the Battle of New Orleans, which actually took place after the war was over).

    Johnnie Horton’s description of the battle of NOLA was fairly accurate.

    News of the victory reached the rest of the US about the same time as news of the peace treaty, giving the impression that by winning the battle we won the war.

  136. 136
    borehole says:

    Jesus Christ, what is this, National Mistake Balloon Juice for a Blog where the Commenters aren’t Sarcastic Wisacres Day?

    My hat is off to Chris. I thought the medkit joke was funny but it somehow became so much more.

  137. 137
    DougJ says:

    As when they reconstructed, they painted the stonework white to cover up the burn marks from the British torching it to the ground.

    I always thought it was to make the granite countertops look like formica.

  138. 138
    Stephen says:

    John,

    They are nuts. Bat-shit. Certifiably insane. It’s impossible to keep up with these guys. Now they’ve moved into full “impossible to verify” mode, and quoting the AP story, which dutifully quoted some Pentagon flack, as some kind of authoritative rebuttal.

    I’d rather try to reason with my sadly senile, demented, 90-y.o. father.

  139. 139
    Zuzu says:

    Zuzu says: Also, just wondering … how does picking up first aid boxes prevent soldiers from getting injured?

    The line about just walking over the medkits is a dead giveaway to any gamer out there.

    Chanelling Emily Latilla

  140. 140
    myiq2xu says:

    Jesus Christ, what is this, National Mistake Balloon Juice for a Blog where the Commenters aren’t Sarcastic Wisacres Day?

    Hey! I’m not a “wisacre.”

    I’m a full-fledged “smart-ass.”

  141. 141
    Martin says:

    And the speed with which they make their lunacy go viral is what impresses me. I swear they have an email listserv with which they circulate this dumb shit.

    They do – it’s called Rush and the rest of the wingnut radio set. You thought that giant head from 1984 was fiction? It’s the future, baby!

  142. 142
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    But…but…this story has been proven to be a total lie, and it hands McCain the election on a silver platter! And if a wingnut blog says it, it’s gotta be true!

    BTW, why has our military failed to train the troops to use the IDKFA cheat?

  143. 143
    timb says:

    The Pentagon would never lie to anyone or cover up things, Stephen. They are the authoritative source for every authoritarian.

  144. 144
    The Other Steve says:

    And the speed with which they make their lunacy go viral is what impresses me. I swear they have an email listserv with which they circulate this dumb shit.

    There are several. I know Limbaugh and the RNC have ’em. The big one though is the fundies. May be Dobson’s group. Not really familiar with that one, but a coworker used to send me shit all the time from it.

  145. 145
    Jay B. says:

    Don’t assume evil intent when incompetence will suffice as an explanation. Never forget, this is an administration that oversaw the drowning of a major American city because they were basically too stupid to 1) read a weather report and 2) read and follow their own written disaster procedures.

    p.a.

    Gotta disagree. None of this really makes sense unless you read Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine. She makes a VERY compelling case that ‘incompetence’ is really in service to crony capitalism.

    The profits of “disaster capitalism” — basically an orgy of no-bid contracts, cheap land and government money — are born in the vacuum of these kind of horrors. Incompetence in these matters is a feature, not a bug, of Disaster Capitalism.

  146. 146
    jake says:

    I swear they have an email listserv with which they circulate this dumb shit.

    No way. Erick Reichtardson has made it clear that the Internons are the abode of abortion crazed atheist welfare queens.

    The steady diet of Cheetos and GOP flavored Kool Aid gives them a direct feed into WingNutCentralHiveMind.

  147. 147
    AkaDad says:

    Hey! I’m not a “wisacre.”

    I’m a full-fledged “smart-ass.”

    I can vouch for myiq2xu on this.

  148. 148
    SamFromUtah says:

    You thought that giant head from 1984 was fiction? It’s the future, baby!

    Future? We’ve had that thing for at least 15 years.

    I’m amazed it works, though. It’s barely coherent.

  149. 149
    wasabi gasp says:

    These fine cons are masters of the style otherwise known as the liberal media drive-by hit job.

    Impressive flexibility.

  150. 150
    The Other Steve says:

    Just want to highlight Josh Marshall’s take on this.

    Wingnut Brigade Mowed Down At Obama Ridge
    In last night’s debate, when Barack Obama floated that anecdote about US soldiers in Afghanistan who had an easier time getting the ammunition they needed from captured Taliban than through Army supply channels, I remember thinking — I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story. Obama said he’d heard the story from an Army Captain describing his unit’s experience in-country.

    Often in cases like this, even if the story is completely on the up-and-up, the pol will get some fairly inconsequential detail wrong. Or even if they get it all right, they get whacked around because some pundit who’s read a few John Keegan books decides it can’t possibly be true. And the rightwing blogs have apparently been going nuts over it since last night.

    But Jake Tapper picked up the phone, asked the Obama campaign to put him in touch with the Captain, called the Captain in question, and the story checks in every detail.

    Jake’s got the details.

    And I just realized something.

    He wouldn’t have brought up this anecdote unless he had a broader point to make. The fact that they had the contact info ready means it was prepped for the debate. Not just off the cuff something he had heard. It was part of his prepared notes on issues. So this was planned.

    This is more than just a coincidence. This was bait.

    I am impressed.

  151. 151
    p.a. says:

    Martin Says:

    And the speed with which they make their lunacy go viral is what impresses me. I swear they have an email listserv with which they circulate this dumb shit.

    They do – it’s called Rush and the rest of the wingnut radio set. You thought that giant head from 1984 was fiction? It’s the future, baby!

    They are absolutely impervious to reality. Their leaders know the policies are full of shit and nothing but, as John calls it a ‘Republican crime syndicate’ (thought of copywritng that John? or buying the domain name?). But the followers continue to support policies that will eventually have them crawling on all fours and living in cardboard boxes. Digby linked to something a few days ago that explained the process of brainwashing involved.

    I don’t want to generalize from the example of my wingnut relatives, but for them it boils down to two things; anger over civil rights for anyone with a dusky complexion, and a general fear of the modern world. My wingnuts are scared of EVERYTHING. Any organization, any bit of information that could challenge their views on any subject is a direct assault on them (always by ‘libruls’). Here’s a brief example of an argument.

    Me: Republican economic policies have beggared the treasury,crushed the middle class and made it difficult to respond to emergencies, and REPUBLICANS WANT IT THAT WAY. I then cite Grover Norquist.

    Them: WARD CHURCHILL!!!

    Me: WTF!!%$#$$%$#

    It took too long, but I’ve finally learned to STFU and talk about fishing and the weather.

  152. 152

    I would say that the commentariat of BJuice embodied the notion that Ishi was said to have held of Westerners: “He looked upon us as sophisticated children — smart but not wise.” (Orig. Saxton Pope in The Domebook 2)

  153. 153

    This is more than just a coincidence. This was bait.

    I am impressed.

    Me, too.

    It’s almost a pity that Sen. Obama never did courtroom work…then again, I’m very glad he was never opposing counsel.

  154. 154
    AkaDad says:

    Using the term wingnette is sexist.

  155. 155
    bago says:

    Dammit. Someone beat me to the idkfa cheat.

  156. 156
    The Populist says:

    You know, John Rohan, if allegedly patriotic motherfuckers like you would stop fellating this disastrous president long enough to be honest and admit why we are currently in the mess we are in, I would start to care what you think. The military is in a fucking pickle right now despite record spending levels, and retards like you are still all about the evil liberal.

    Fortunately, you won’t change. So piss off, as I don’t have to waste my time with you.

    Amen, John, Amen.

  157. 157
    Pooh says:

    Dammit. Someone beat me to the idkfa cheat.

    Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, B, A, Start…

    note, not “select, start” because that would imply a friend in the same room. Who might demand to eat some of your cheetohs. And that my friends, is the very essence of tyranny.

  158. 158
    The Populist says:

    Well, Clinton could have taken him (well, someone with a towel on his head at least) out but didn’t give the authorization, therefore Clinton was personally responsible for 9/11. You never got a satisfactory answer to that 20th hijacker question did you? (it was the Clenis ;)

    And yes, we did have Bin Laden in our sights during Bush’s term, but he couldn’t pull Nancy Pelosi away from her copy of Curve to double-triple-quadruple approve it, so obviously it’s all the Democrats fault.

    And we still would have gone into Iraq because that’s where the oil WMDs terrorists Democracy was!

    Holy crap, you almost had me somewhat agreeing (to some extent) YET you decided to excuse Bush.

    Bad GOP’ster…bad.

    Here’s where you screwed up: therefore Clinton was personally responsible for 9/11.

    So how is that? His administration took an interest in getting the guy and yet Congress thought he was “wagging the dog” in order to deflect his sex scandal from the public. Sure, he let the guy go I agree BUT the minute BushCo took over they told Richard Clarke and others that Bin Laden is not powerful enough to do ANYTHING to the USA. Clinton did warn that Bin Laden would be a problem if they ignored him. Weird eh?

    THEN Bush decides to give INCENTIVES to the Taliban who harbored and defended Bin Laden in order to stop a bunch of poppy growers. Seems to me they didn’t care too much that they were empowering a regime that thought like Bin Laden. Hmmm.

    Next up, John Ashcroft tells Richard Clarke he doesn’t want to hear anymore about Al Qaeda. Interesting eh?

    Bush takes a vacation when he gets a memo entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike US” What happens? NOTHING.

    Certain folks in the administration receive FBI warnings that AQ wants to use Airplanes to attack targets in the US. What happens? Apparently those agents are told to not worry about it.

    Codi Rice receives the memos on Bin Laden and ignores them. Weird.

    Now let’s talk 9/11. Bush sitting there like a pinhead when told the second WTC tower was hit. I don’t think Clinton would have done that (as much as I despise the man). This was the moment many of us received confirmation this maroon was not fit to be President. Who sits there AND THEN lingers on the school campus when all hell is breaking loose?

    Next up, Dick Cheney. Why were the air defense corps waiting for him to give orders on what to do if they find anymore rogue airliners?

    C’mon. YOU CANNOT blame the left for this failure. I hate to break it to you, but the minute Reagan pulled the troops from Lebanon, that was it. Folks like Bin Laden have always stated THAT gave them the idea that those tactics would scare America everytime. After 9/11 he was quoted as stating that we’d lose freedoms. Why does Bush continually give this murderer everything he wants?

    Also, what does Pelosi have to do with going after Bin Laden. THAT is an administration/pentagon thing. THEY dropped the ball when they could have had Bin Laden a few times already.

    If you want to discuss the history of this, please do. DO NOT make up facts. Clinton DID let the murderer go, BUT the Republican congress was just as guilty since they didn’t have the foresight to see what Bin Laden truly would become. They would have rather spent taxpayer dollars chasing down Clinton for their far right buddies then care about a major problem brewing.

    Bush is at fault, it happened on HIS watch and he has done NOTHING to take out the problem at hand. Sorry, you are wrong, wrong, wrong. But then again, I am sure you get your talking points from Rush, so who cares right?

  159. 159
    over_educated says:

    Damn you Scott Beauchamp!!!!!!

  160. 160
  161. 161
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The Populist Says:

    Well, Clinton could have taken him (well, someone with a towel on his head at least) out but didn’t give the authorization, therefore Clinton was personally responsible for 9/11. You never got a satisfactory answer to that 20th hijacker question did you? (it was the Clenis

    And yes, we did have Bin Laden in our sights during Bush’s term, but he couldn’t pull Nancy Pelosi away from her copy of Curve to double-triple-quadruple approve it, so obviously it’s all the Democrats fault.

    And we still would have gone into Iraq because that’s where the oil WMDs terrorists Democracy was!

    Holy crap, you almost had me somewhat agreeing (to some extent) YET you decided to excuse Bush.

    Bad GOP’ster…bad.

    Here’s where you screwed up: therefore Clinton was personally responsible for 9/11.

    So how is that? His administration took an interest in getting the guy and yet Congress thought he was “wagging the dog”…

    February 22nd, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Dear Populist,

    I think you’re responding to another spoof. There’s lots of them here (it’s not a bug, it’s a feature!). All the bolded text is standard spoofery. Wingnuts do not use the term “Clenis”.

  162. 162
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    You’ll notice that John Rohan says he “agrees with Phil Carter about using captured equipment” — but doesn’t have a single, solitary word in response to Carter’s actual points, which are that (1) the distribution of materiel in the Afghan war has been execrably incompetent, and (2) that our wild premature leap into the Iraq War made the situation vastly worse by bleeding off already-limited military resources into a phenomenally stupidly chosen war (which, of course, was Obama’s point from the start).

  163. 163
    jake says:

    This is more than just a coincidence. This was bait.

    Not necessarily. They just know how to … um … what’s that word? It isn’t in fashion under the current administration … damn.

    Oh yeah! They know how to prepare. Team Obama had to know the WingFlakes would rise up with a mighty squeal of OutRage^TM^. So they got their shit together before the noise started.

  164. 164

    […] Update: See also Balloon Juice and Hubris Sonic. Spotlight […]

  165. 165
    Martin says:

    Wingnuts do not use the term “Clenis”.

    Damnit! I knew something about that was off. Off to Spoofery 102 for me.

  166. 166
    4tehlulz says:

    Man. those ABC blog comments are deeply fucked up. Methinks the Secret Service should tighten that security for BHO back up.

  167. 167

    […] Senator Obama is here providing a blunt example of the consequences of magical thinking trumping elementary arithmetic. I’ve picked up the current controversy from Philip Carter at Intel Dump and John Cole at Balloon Juice, both of whom (a) confirm Obama’s statement, and, (b) especially in Carter’s case, deepen the critique on the point I’ve tried to raise in this post. That is: […]

  168. 168
    Zuzu says:

    Every time you prove him demonstrably wrong, he disappears for twelve hours, blames it on the time difference, concedes nothing, and changes the topic. Plus, he is absolutely HUMORLESS.

    If you want to see Mr. Rohan in all his droll glory, check the thread of this post.

    Oh my lordy, if I hadn’t seen anything but his posts at that thread, I woulda thought for sure he was in on the joke.

  169. 169
    Oregon guy says:

    CPT Rohan is wrong about another thing (surprise!) – that we didn’t know there wuz gonna be IED’s in Iraq. I’m in the part of the Army that specifically deals with the whole IED thang and IEDs were *most definitely* discussed as being quite possibly the major threat posed by insurgents.

    Now, our officer corps being brilliant and all that, they probably just thought we would be the IEDs with manuver warfare. God knows the new COIN manual was like “no duh” all the way through. I’m sure that 3-0 will be another adventure in no-shit-dom.

    But yeah – we tried to warn the fucking 11-bang-bangs pretty much non-stop about the IED threat. We also tried to get them to patrol up all the fucking 155s that Saddam left lying around the country. We got pretty much ZERO response until the media started hyping the IED threat. Sad but true.

    My own personal take on this is that John and John are both a little bit right. Yes, we go to war with what we have. And IBA was still on the shiny new toys list in 2003. There’s still a healthy debate on up-armored HMMWVs, as there should be (count me as opposed to them – underpowered ballistic shockwave baskets). But given that Iraqorama was most definitely a chosen conflict – I think that the point of Obama and other critics of the conduct of the war is really one about a general lack of preparedness.

    We’re four years in, and we only really came to terms with the kind of fight we have on our hands in the last two OIF iterations. The first two and a half years were one clusterfuck after another, and each and every one was preventable.

    So you can bitch about Obama not choosing the best example (a lot of guys vastly prefer the AK74 and the AK47 to the M4 for a variety of reasons, QM is always bullshit, you never have as many vehicles as the TOE dictates but you figure out how to get things done regardless)… but the underlying point is that the people who should have known better really didn’t know what the fuck they were doing. And they should have. Had this not been a war of choice – I would be right there telling Obama and his captain friend to fuck off. But it isn’t, and I’m not.

  170. 170
    Oregon guy says:

    beat the IED’s

  171. 171
    TenguPhule says:

    Vehicle armor was a problem, but nobody knew beforehand that IEDs would become the insurgent weapon of choice, and we adapted to it very quickly.

    Yes, nobody could have forseen that Iraqis are not idiots and would not resort to something so simple as bombs and mines. And yes, you’ve adapted so well that those IEDs are only pwning American technology and troopers while only coming in at a fraction of the cost.

    Truly our best and brightest at work here.

  172. 172
    TenguPhule says:

    but the underlying point is that the people who should have known better really didn’t know what the fuck they were doing.

    And the scary thing is, they still haven’t learned a thing.

    And these are the people in charge of the nukes, which they consider pretty war toys to be used.

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    I don’t understand the logic of the pro-war right at all.

    One of those words doesn’t belong there.

  174. 174
    Johnny Pez says:

    Shorter wingnuts: It’s not true because I don’t want it to be true.

  175. 175
    Curveball says:

    Anonymous sources are very reliable. Trust me, I know.

  176. 176
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    I come here a lot and lurk but when I write it’s mostly a response to something I either think is ridiculous or whatnot.

    Oh man, if that is the case then you have been wasting your time a lot. DougJ is a master of spoof. He hooks suckers and reels them in all of the time. I am quite proud to say that he never sucked me in, but it sure took me some time to confirm the spoof. He has that shit down pat.

    Spotting the spoofer is difficult here because the good ones are not discernible from the real thing. They slip up every once in a while, but the good ones pretty much fool most newcomers.

    John has a nice place here to shoot the shit in, and some are much better at shooting the shit than others. We usually beat the crap out of newcomers, blindfold them, spin them around and let them loose. Most leave here raving mad after a few days, but those of us who like self-abuse just can’t quit this place.

  177. 177

    The Wingnutosphere: Manufacturing Outrage Since 2004

    by matttbastard
    Shorter pajama-pissing fact check platoon company brigade:
    “Dan Rather Barack Obama is so lying! We measured the margins! Times New Roman font!!11 Jamail Hussein!!1 SCOTT FUCKING BEAUCHAMP!!111″

    (click the prairie dog for t…

  178. 178
    Neo says:

    So all of this happened in the Fall of 2003.

    So exactly what did Senator Obama do to rectify the problem since he was sworn into office January 4, 2005 ?

    How about a little leadership.

  179. 179

    Our Military ain’t been worth a crap since the Reagan era, and even then, it wasn’t that damn wonderful. This has been confirmed to me, by many freinds of mine, who have served.

  180. 180
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Dammit. Someone beat me to the idkfa cheat.

    I liked to use the iddqd cheat (degreelessness mode). It is Rambo time!

  181. 181
    Paul L. says:

    Phil Carter has some military knowledge, so I would take this a grain of salt when you compare it to the vault of information these bloggers have procured over a lifetime of arranging GI Joe dolls while watching betamax copies of Uncommon Valor in the basement apartment they rent from their parents

    So are you implying that Uncle Jimbo a Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant or Bruce Mcquain at QandO are one of those? They have criticized Obama’s story.
    Yet you quote Matthew Yglesias. I don’t see any Military experience in his bio.

  182. 182
    Dave_Violence says:

    I believe it. I also believe that the Captain’s men kicked ass, took names, etc. despite the shortages. Hoo-ah! Constancy in battle and all that, good for you, young Captain.

    And good for him, too. Since the Army lowered the clown bar, and polluted the Majors (and further up), let’s have some of the newly minted Majors and LTC’s explain this.

  183. 183
    John Cole says:

    Yet you quote Matthew Yglesias. I don’t see any Military experience in his bio.

    Actually, you retrograde moron, I linked to Yglesias. I din’t quote anythijng he said, I used him as a link to the people who CONFIRMED the anecdote.

  184. 184
    John Rohan says:

    grumpy realist Says:
    Rohan, uh, you DO realize that John Cole actually has military experience, don’t you? And quite a few other posters as well?

    Yes. Which is why I objected so strongly – John Cole doesn’t seem to even consider the fact that some people who disagree with him are military members (plus, there’s nothing wrong with GI Joe dolls, and Uncommon Valor was a great flick for its time).

    If you don’t want to get called names, then don’t post material that indicates a high level of wankerhood. You seem to have assumed by default that this “Captain’s story” must automagically be false because “he’s anonymous!” Permit to state, no, you’re claiming the story to be false because it says something you don’t like to hear. This is despicable.

    Are you kidding? I love it when you call me names, especially when you use obscenities. Coming from some of you, I consider “wanker” to be a compliment. I actually didn’t say the Captain’s story was false, but some of the conclusions and political hay people are trying to take from it certainly are. That is despicable.

    myiq2xu Says:

    This is a similar problem auto-makers have: when they introduce some new safety equipment, they open the door for more lawsuits against them if that equipment fails. So they have little incentive to innovate.

    Incorrect. That is a right-wing meme (surprise) that is untrue.

    What you’re talking about is “strict liability.” That is defined as a “manufacturer placing a defective product into the stream of commerce and unaltered it causes injury.”

    Failure to utilize reasonable (and government mandated) safety devices would be a defect. But it would be against public policy to penalize manufacturers for trying to make things safer.

    This gets off topic, but I love debating John Edwards fans. You are wrong on two counts: 1) auto makers often get successfully sued even when their products work as designed (one favorite example here, and I have many others), 2) “strict liability” is not exactly the issue here, and your definition is wrong – (a better definition is the policy that makes someone financially responsible for any damage caused by their product regardless of any negligence or wrongdoing on their part). The real problem is that having some safety devices are better than not having them, even if they don’t always work properly. But litigation is not very forgiving. An example could be a car with a side impact airbag, which is not mandated by law. No matter how many people it saves, if just one malfunctions and someone dies, you have a lawsuit. A lawsuit the manufacturer could have avoided by simply not including the airbag in the first place! Body armor is a pretty good parallel.

    jake Says:

    How can someone live in Germany and fight in Iraq? That would be one fuck of a commute.

    Why do I even answer people who don’t even take 2 seconds to think about their own questions?

    I belong to the 1st Armored Division, headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany. Next!

    Bruce Moomaw Says:

    You’ll notice that John Rohan says he “agrees with Phil Carter about using captured equipment”—but doesn’t have a single, solitary word in response to Carter’s actual points, which are that (1) the distribution of materiel in the Afghan war has been execrably incompetent, and (2) that our wild premature leap into the Iraq War made the situation vastly worse by bleeding off already-limited military resources into a phenomenally stupidly chosen war

    I didn’t say anything about that because I haven’t been to Afghanistan. I do know that the number of “boots on the groud” there didn’t change after the Iraq war started. My point there was only that using captured equipment doesn’t rate as any “scandal”.

    Oregon guy Says:

    CPT Rohan is wrong about another thing (surprise!) – that we didn’t know there wuz gonna be IED’s in Iraq. I’m in the part of the Army that specifically deals with the whole IED thang and IEDs were most definitely discussed as being quite possibly the major threat posed by insurgents.

    I never said we “didn’t know” about them, just not that they would be the cornerstone of the whole insurgent strategy against us. WMDs were also “most definitely discussed” in the early months, but if we had spent billions upgrading our vehicles against NBC agents that would have been resources entirely wasted. And if we had more preparation early on against IEDs, then insurgents may have shifted more emphasis toward hostage taking, sniping, conventional warfare, etc. The enemy adapts, you adapt, and then they adapt. It’s not a static process.

  185. 185
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    The statement the Captain actually made, Mr. Rohan, was that his platoon was using stolen equipment precisely BECAUSE they weren’t getting enough equipment from, you know, our own side — particularly in the wake of our frantic jump into Iraq. (The philosophy of the latter, you’ll recall, was summed up in those handwritten notes Donald Rumsfeld’s aide Stephen Cambone took of Rummy’s comments to his staff a few hours after the 9-11 attack on how to argue for an attack on Iraq: “Go massive — sweep it all up — things related AND NOT”, with the last two words being underlined).

    Meanwhile, the same captain — who is apparently not going to go gentle into that good night — has now further elaborated his story to NBC . Sen. Warner has now rquested an investigation, which I’m sure will be as hard-hitting and penetrative as most of Sen. Warner’s past investigations.

  186. 186
    Krista says:

    It is incontrovertible that the war in Iraq diverted scarce military resources (manpower, equipment, etc.) from Afghanistan to Iraq. The cost for that diversion was paid by America’s sons and daughters AND ALLIES, and our Afghan brethren, who continue to fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. We owe our troops better.

    Thought I’d add that in, just ’cause we’re just a wee bit bitter about that up here.

  187. 187
    TenguPhule says:

    WMDs were also “most definitely discussed” in the early months, but if we had spent billions upgrading our vehicles against NBC agents that would have been resources entirely wasted.

    Only because Bush and company lied about the WMD threat. Which was an obvious clue right there. If they weren’t worried about them being deployed against an invading force, where was the threat?

    But thanks for proving Republicans were a bunch of fucking liars from the beginning.

    And if we had more preparation early on against IEDs, then insurgents may have shifted more emphasis toward hostage taking, sniping, conventional warfare, etc.

    Shorter John Rohan: I really have no idea what the hell I’m talking about here.

    “If we prepared against IEDs, they’d just do something else!”

    Listen to yourself, that’s got to be one of the stupidest arguments ever made. We shouldn’t have prepared against the big threats because the other side would only do something else? Really?

    Well gee whiz, maybe you should tell the Iraqis this interesting fact as they are doing all of the above in addition to IEDs.

  188. 188

    […] John Cole’s Balloon Juice has some of the funniest commentary (and commenters) on the “internets” beginning with this gem: Here We Go Again By: John Cole February 22, 2008 at 3:20 pm […]

  189. 189

    “…or find one detail that isn’t completely and totally beyond questioning and sieze upon that as proof that everything the Captain has said is a lie.”

    There’s more than one, and I’d tell you about it, but I don’t think it’d do any good here.

  190. 190
    John Rohan says:

    TenguPhule Says:
    Only because Bush and company lied about the WMD threat. Which was an obvious clue right there. If they weren’t worried about them being deployed against an invading force, where was the threat??

    They were still worried. During the ground phase of the war, every soldier carried gas mask, an NBC suit, and atropine injectors against nerve agent. We also all had both anthrax and smallpox immunizations as well – just in case. They also did scud drills in Kuwait on a regular basis.

    Listen to yourself, that’s got to be one of the stupidest arguments ever made. We shouldn’t have prepared against the big threats because the other side would only do something else? Really?

    I can’t listen to myself saying that, because I DIDN’T SAY IT. Please show me anywhere I said we “shouldn’t have prepared” against anything.

    Obviously, war is not one of your strong suits, and apparently neither is reading. Unfortunately, I’m much too busy to give you remedial tutoring here.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] John Cole’s Balloon Juice has some of the funniest commentary (and commenters) on the “internets” beginning with this gem: Here We Go Again By: John Cole February 22, 2008 at 3:20 pm […]

  2. The Wingnutosphere: Manufacturing Outrage Since 2004

    by matttbastard
    Shorter pajama-pissing fact check platoon company brigade:
    “Dan Rather Barack Obama is so lying! We measured the margins! Times New Roman font!!11 Jamail Hussein!!1 SCOTT FUCKING BEAUCHAMP!!111″

    (click the prairie dog for t…

  3. […] Senator Obama is here providing a blunt example of the consequences of magical thinking trumping elementary arithmetic. I’ve picked up the current controversy from Philip Carter at Intel Dump and John Cole at Balloon Juice, both of whom (a) confirm Obama’s statement, and, (b) especially in Carter’s case, deepen the critique on the point I’ve tried to raise in this post. That is: […]

  4. […] Update: See also Balloon Juice and Hubris Sonic. Spotlight […]

  5. […] Update: Balloon Juice More confirmation here, from Phil Carter: […]

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