Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Turns out, Andrew Sullivan was always an ignorant blowhard


Back in the early days of the Iraq war, Excitable Andy wrote this:

Now I can see the army is pissed off that they haven't really been needed yet for the climactic battle against the Republican Guard (if it hasn't already happened). But remind me why the rest of us should be concerned? From my particular, reclining armchair, it looks as if this war will be won primarily by the amazing work of the special forces, and the airforce (with critical backup, of course, on the ground).
I was reminded of this quote as I was reading a recent book co-authored by one the best living military historians Williamson Murray: Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World

One of the battles included in the book was the advance on Baghdad in 2003 by the 3rd Infantry Division. Here is the 3-69 Armored Battalion in action:

Only at one point did the enemy make a serious stand, when two hundred Iraqi's fired from behind fortified positions into the flanks of the onrushing armored column. Marcone's Alpha Company veered out of the advancing column and annihilated the position, then rejoined the battalion fifteen minutes later. What Marcones troops were reporting as light and sporadic contact was actually the entire 14th Brigade of the Republican Guard's Medina Division being ground out of existence
The 3rd ID did not do it alone. Ground troops and air power worked together to destroy the Republican Guard:

While being briefed by the Medina Division's commander, Hamdani proudly watched the 1st regiment of the 14th Brigade form up to launch a counterattack. A regiment in attack formation, however, was a lucrative and rarely found target, and U. S. sensors spotted it almost immediately after it formed. Before the regiment could move forward, American jets pounced. As Hamdani looked on, the regiment was annihilated in an instant of blast and flame.
Sullivan was not alone in foolish pontification. As the book notes Time magazine planned to run a cover story on "Why Are We losing" at the very time the US forces were launching their devastating offensive.

Sully, like his MSM brethren, live by the motto, “Better to be wrong than to be silent.” I discussed the danger of that ethos here.

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