Thursday, October 21, 2004

Patton

...need I say more.

"Applying these lessons to the first Gulf War, Patton perhaps would have thought it mindless to mobilize an entire expeditionary army - a rare event for a democracy - and then confine it to the Kuwaiti theatre of operations, given that the problem was never merely the occupation of Kuwait, but the tyrant in Baghdad who had a prior record of frequent aggression. From the moment he took command in Normandy, Berlin was on Patton's mind as the only ultimate goal."

This months conservative literature is out.

cube

5 comments:

Andrew said...

Uh... I think 10 years of Clintonian prosperity is better than having facing today's Iraq problems in 1992. GHWB and old-Cheney were totally right about not pressing into Baghdad right away. They called the results perfectly (and then Cheney promptly forgot them while he was heading Haliburton).

Dave Justus said...

I think that not getting rid of Saddam in 1991, and not supporting the Shia revolution following the Gulf War were both mistakes.

However, I don't hold the George H. W. Bush fully responsible. The American people would not have supported a long bloody occupation of Iraq at that time. They are not very supportive of it now, when we have much better reason.

As to Patton, he wanted to go on to Moscow after Berlin. This might have been good, might have been horrible.

Cubicle said...

"As to Patton, he wanted to go on to Moscow after Berlin. This might have been good, might have been horrible."

Maybe, but the cold war would not have happened.

That is 50 years that we spent in a state of perpetual cold war.

as to not going after Saddam in 1991.

There are two main theories of why we did not do it then.

One is the result that we have now, a very tought imperfect hostile situtaion.

another is that we were being nice because as the new world power we did not want to show our power too strongly because it would make people dislike us. (i read this in an article that was written by bush one himself).

Too the frist one, that sistuaion was an ever present concern and has not changed with the years.

To the second, they (the arab world mostly)ended up not liking us anyways, think 9-11 here.

Additionaly, hundreds of thousands dead under sanctions we were responsible for creating.

Not handling problems in the beginning before they get bigger is a mistake personally, professionally,and nationaly.

problems don't just go away.

Dave Justus said...

As to Patton, going to Moscow obviously would have prevented the cold war, and been a good thing, IF we had won. Russia is a tough place to invade as Hitler and Napolean both learned. Secondly, we had already been on a full war footing for a long time, with a certain amount of economic degradation as a result.

Trying to go to Moscow would have been a huge risk, even if successful it would have left the U.S. trying to occupy a huge territory (our allies would have been little help in that regard). Rebuilding Germany and western europe was tough enough, and that would have obviously been delayed while the War against Russia continued, when it was over, if we had won, we would have had to occupy and rebuild all of Europe, probably a Marshall plan 3 times it's historic size.

If we had lost, Russia would have conquered all of Europe with the possible exception of Britain. Certainly not a good situation for the United States.

Iraq in 1991 had similar problems. If we won, well and good (and won means a successful, non-Islamist, non-Rogue nation Iraq) and if we had lost it would have been worse than if we hadn't tried. The biggest factor in us winning that sort of war (the sort we are in now) is the morale and resolve on the home front. In my opinion, it is likely that we would have lost that war in 1991, not a military defeat, but a withdrawal before our objectives were complete with disasterous consequences, the same situation we must avoid now.

Time will tell if we have the resolve this time to succeed. In many ways, that is what this election is about.

Cubicle said...

Yes the article points out that cautious thinking like that is what led to us not going and handling the problems in the frist place.

The article that i linked to points out that Germany may not have been split down the middle if we were less cautious.

oh and patton was way ahead of you.

"Patton had the further idea that after defeating the Nazis, we should not destroy Germany's armored forces and dismantle its strategic forces, but instead use them as a basis to re-arm the Wehrmacht for the purpose of stopping the Soviets, who enjoyed an enormous superiority in respective land forces on the continent.

This was blasphemy to most experts in the U.S., made worse by Patton's often puerile and offensive slurs about Russian primitivism and barbarity. As a result of his uncouth pronouncements, Patton's otherwise astute and vocal anti-communism found little support, and indeed gave him very little margin of tolerance when his proconsulship of Bavaria later ran into trouble. Yet this very idea of German rehabilitation would - within months after his dismissal - turn out to be the basis of NATO."

if you are going to fight a war...fight to WIN, don't fight NOT to LOSE.