Well, today the Boston Globe has a two-fer going. In its rush to declare defeat in Iraq, it has two pieces. The first up is an article on the Army, where officers are getting promoted faster than normal.
There is not a damned thing “new” about this revelation. As long as there have been standing armies, it has been a truism that “wars are good for careers.” During peacetime, military promotions tend to be slower. In wartime, though, officers tend to move up the ranks more quickly.
There are several reasons for this. First up is the ugly one — attrition. In wartime, soldiers get killed. That creates vacancies, and often it’s best to simply promote from within the unit instead of rotating in an officer from outside.
The other reason is merit. During wartime, officers have far more opportunities to prove their mettle than they do in peacetime. Combat can be the ultimate “performance review,” and those that excel tend to be “rewarded” with greater rank and responsibilities.
The Army is used to this. It is prepared for this — or, at least, ought to be prepared for this. To take this as a sign that things are just going horridly is naive at best — and I have found it useful to never give the Globe the benefit of the doubt. Attributing agenda over ineptitude to the Globe is usually the safe bet.
And just to give a little evidence to that point, we have a column from their in-house surrender monkey, H. D. S. Greenway. I hope Mr. Greenway has invested in a good deodorant, considering how much time he spends with his hands over his head, frantically surrendering to all within sight.
His column today, though, is a bit more craven and contemptuous than usual — and that’s saying a lot.
One of the more despicable things ever to come out of Michael Moore’s mouth was when he compared the terrorists in Iraq to the Minutemen, casting them as the patriotic, heroic Revolutionaries and the United States as the imperial, brutal Redcoats. Well, Mr. Greenway decided that that was a pretty good conceit, so he took it as his own and embellished it a bit, dressing it up in historic references and details, slathering enough makeup on that pig to make it look like Tammy Faye Baker.
It’s still a pig, though.
Will the “surge” plan work in Baghdad? It’s too soon to tell. But the early reports are most promising. Overall violence is down, the murder rate has dropped, Moqtada Al Sadr has scurried out of sight, and US and Iraqi forces are regularly patrolling Sadr City.
That doesn’t matter to the Boston Globe, and those it claims to represent. To them, they have declared the war a total loss a long time ago, and have a great deal invested in making sure that happens.
I’m not really thrilled to quote John McCain — it’ll be a long time before I forgive him for the McCain-Feingold Act — but he nailed it recently: “presidents don’t lose wars and parties don’t lose wars, nations lose wars and the consequences are felt by a nation.”