Archive for the ‘SGB’ Category

In comments, Teresa argues that Rumsfeld’s incompetence can be traced to his time as a fighter pilot. Over at Yglesias’s, “Ajay” makes the same point with regard to John McCain, with impressive brevity:

Good grief. Aviators. I admit the cocky buggers are handy to have around if you want a plane flown somewhere, but they should seriously be barred from public office. Bush I, Bush II, Rumsfeld, Cunningham, McCain…

Well, sort of. Certainly, assuming that someone like any of the people on this list has strategic insight because they were a short-service aviator is unwise, chiefly because with the possible exception of McCain none of them were in it for the long haul, so weren’t required to specialise. Instead, they could rely on the classic assets: two good eyes, a bad case of Short Man Syndrome, and one asshole.

But I think this is trivial. Stupidity in power has many sources, and from tomorrow on this blog will explore it with a new feature: Sunday General Blogging, by analogy to Rob Farley’s Sunday Battleship Blogging.

BTW, “Ajay”, who appears to be either a current or past holder of the Queen’s commission and sound on most issues, is one of those people who badly needs a blog.

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J.D> Henderson chez Intel Dump writes that General Abizaid should be relieved of his command. But first, he says, he respects Abizaid for the courage he showed in his past career. Fair enough.

But there is some historical evidence that extremely brave generals are a bad idea. Consider the British experience – we brought several First World War heroes into the second world war, and most were terrible. Gort was a VC holder, and was uninspired at best. Philip Neame was another VC and was a disastrous numskull. Of course, I’m wrong – Freyberg was a VC and a damn good general, Alexander was a multiple DSO and a damn good general. Upshot? Courage doesn’t predict ability.

Maybe I should do a Sunday General, like Rob Farley’s Sunday Battleship Blogging..

J.D> Henderson chez Intel Dump writes that General Abizaid should be relieved of his command. But first, he says, he respects Abizaid for the courage he showed in his past career. Fair enough.

But there is some historical evidence that extremely brave generals are a bad idea. Consider the British experience – we brought several First World War heroes into the second world war, and most were terrible. Gort was a VC holder, and was uninspired at best. Philip Neame was another VC and was a disastrous numskull. Of course, I’m wrong – Freyberg was a VC and a damn good general, Alexander was a multiple DSO and a damn good general. Upshot? Courage doesn’t predict ability.

Maybe I should do a Sunday General, like Rob Farley’s Sunday Battleship Blogging..