Sunday, November 05, 2006

Precision-Guided CYA

From our GPS-guided bombs to our laptops in the field, it is clear that MIT and Cal Tech give us advantages undreamed of in the Islamic world, whose universities are not free to foster critical inquiry and insist on secular protocols of research.

Victor Davis Hanson 11/14/02

9. Don't we have too few ground troops to finish off Saddam and occupy the country?

Probably not. And unlike Saddam's forces our numbers are growing, not shrinking. No one yet has calibrated the force multiplying effect of precision-guided bombs dropped in tactical situations against individual tanks, guns, and trucks.

Victor Davis Hanson 4/7/03

The Middle Eastern Street should accept that ultimately if the chilling rhetoric of an Iranian mullah, Saddam Hussein, or Hamas is followed by commensurate bellicose actions, then the response will be a super-Hornet with a pod of GPS bombs - and utter military defeat.

Victor Davis Hanson 6/20/03

And the next time the United States uses force in the Middle East, we shall not do nation-building but rather serious GPS-ing at 20,000 feet in punitive Roman fashion.

Victor Davis Hanson 10/8/04

Of course, we bombed German civilian centers. But in a total war when 10,000 a day were being gassed in the death camps, and Nazi armies in the Balkans, Russia, and Western Europe were routinely murdering thousands a week and engaged in breakneck efforts to create ballistic missiles, sophisticated jets, and worse weapons, there were very few options in stopping such a monstrous regime. This was an age, remember, before computer guidance, GPS targeting systems, and laser-guided bombs.

Victor Davis Hanson 5/13/05

The conventional wisdom was that, after Afghanistan (7 weeks of fighting) and its postbellum stability (a government within a year), a more secular Iraq (3 weeks of fighting) would follow the same timetable. In September 2002, well after the “miracle” in Afghanistan, I listened to a high-ranking admiral pontificate that war on the ground was essentially over in the new age of Green Berets and laptops, that after Bosnia and Afghanistan, air power and Special Forces were all that were needed.

This did not come from Rumsfeld surrogates, but was a fair enough reflection of the wild new intoxication before Iraq — that a supposed "revolution in military affairs" had changed the ancient rules of war, as if our technology would now give us exemption from hurt. Many of those who now most shrilly condemn the war had in fact years ago rattled their sabers for "moral" wars to eliminate dictators — predicated on just this foolish utopian notion that GPS bombing and laser-guided missiles had at last given us the tools needed for removing the tumors with precision and at little cost, as we conducted lifesaving moral surgery on diseased states.

No, nothing has changed about Iraq other than its tragic tab. Changes of view are fine, as long as those who now criticize the effort at least acknowledge the climate in which fighting in Iraq was born, and the real conditions under which they themselves once supported the war — and lost heart.

Victor Davis Hanson 11/3/06


Anonymous Anonymous said...

VDH is a good example of the kind of rightwing blowhard who long ago forfeited his right to have any bearing on public discourse. He and his ilk really need to STFU. The cost of allowing these liars and cowards to direct the public debate is too high. So, I applaud CR for pointing out this breathtaking bit of dishonesty. Ridicule is the proper treatment for VDH and his comrades. In the end, though, if they insist on spewing these lies, we'll have to ignore them altogether.

11/05/2006 3:06 PM  
Anonymous dm said...

So he's now saying that "Changes of view are fine, as long as those who now criticize the effort at least acknowledge the climate in which fighting in Iraq was born, and the real conditions under which they themselves once supported the war".

One wonders what, in his view, was the climate in which fighting in Iraq was born and what those "real" conditions were.

Regardless, VDH must be glad he lives in the US, where he can seemingly get away with such selective amnesia. Too bad his GPSing did not include a rudimentary understanding of the nature of the web and its current state...

11/05/2006 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/05/2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger Jay C said...

So what else is new?... Victor Davis Hanson seems to be only the latest in a series of "intellectual" war-floggers who have spent the last 3-1/2 years lecturing us about how swell everything has been going in Iraq only to suddenly (and it HAS been sudden: in the past month or so!) "see the light" about how totally buggered everything is over there... and try desperately to recant before everything they've written or said comes back to bite them in the ass.
Feh. Screw VDH and his pompous March-of-History bloviations - he should go back to writing about Ancient Greece, which is what he knows... warfare without swords and spears seems to be beyond him!

11/05/2006 6:52 PM  
Anonymous glasnost said...

nice catch. minimum of wasted words.

11/06/2006 12:28 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

That's comedy.

11/06/2006 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no words minced...from Peace's warrior

11/06/2006 7:57 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Wow. Another pundit in his place via TCR.

He would have done well to reflect on what it was like to actually wield the Roman army.

11/06/2006 1:12 PM  
Anonymous David said...

what's with all the GPS?

11/06/2006 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GPS was a late 20th century technology similar to the greatly superior Galileo system deployed by Europe in the early 21st century. Unlike Galileo, GPS functionality meant that American intelligence was almost certainly listening in on the user's GPS usage; GPS came in two tiers, a wobbly civilian version the politically unstable US could disable at any time, and a military version exactly as secure as any other post-Vietnam battlefield encryption system, lacking only through administrative oversight the childishly insecure Linear Feedback Shift Register with CB chaining, and compensating with precision for what it lacked in accuracy.

GPS lost commercial credibility during the Third Revolution, when Northwest Successsionist Forces sent out drones indicating that Idaho was an active volcano two hundred miles north of Oahu and drawing up battle plans based on this imaginary geography, which the Federated American Stormtroops couldn't follow for the very good reason that it was bollocks. By the Mayan Epoch of 2012, massive budget shortfalls prompted the last of the Milstar constellations' recovery into the Black Pacific and Uncle Bob's Yankee Defense, LLC, was a least unfavored retail customer of UNATCO's second-tier navigation protocol, lacking the requirement for absolute location monitoring demanded by ultratankers full of heavy, sour crude oil for the Western Hemisphere Ration Syndicate, and LNG Bucky-sphere neutral-bouyancy repulsor transports headed for India and China.

(c) 2015 Disneypedia Wikicluster.

11/08/2006 3:38 AM  
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