Well said

January 13th, 2004 – 8:43 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

Over on Electrolite there was a great comment by Graydon in the discussion of this post:

‘Reshaping the Middle East’ is the sort of alleged objective that gets into history books under the heading of ‘how much more fortunate it would have been had these people had their femurs gnawed out by clue weasels instead’.

“Reshape the Middle East” is not, after all, an objective.

Let me say that again.

Reshaping the Middle East is not an objective.

It’s an invitation to chaos; it’s an opportunity for dozens of factions and interest groups to attempt to decide what shape they want the Middle East to take. (Which turns into a competition between pirates, nihilists and theocrats.)

To be an objective, you have to be able to say when you’re done, when you’re getting nearer or less near to success, what it would mean to succeed in measurable, tangible ways, and so on.

What y’all got, what we all got, was the most stunning display of strategic incompetence in the previous two centuries, the precise kind of strategic incompetence that drove the decline of the divine right of kings as a political theory.

Before you kick about that judgement, provide another example in the time frame where the stated cause of action was known to be false, the means chosen to enact the supposed goal were inadequate to either the stated goal or any of the postulated actual goals, the cost of acting was unbearably high, and withdrawal of forces certain to produce a situation worse for all concerned than the initial situation the action might be supposed to correct, ammend, or ammeliorate.

This is really epic incompetence, the kind one just cannot put in fiction.

Also the kind that makes everyone’s life worse for generations.

Well said indeed.

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