DaveScot over at the pro-intelligent design blog Uncommon Descent created a rather assinine post titled "Jim Webb: Clueless" in reaction to Senator Jim Webb's delivery of the Democratic response to the State of the Union. DaveScot says:
As I was watching the Democratic response to President Bush’s State Of The Union speech tonight Senator Jim Webb played the United States Marine card three times (for himself, his brother, and his son all Marines). I take it personally when someone does that.
The first thing Webb does is claims to know better than the president and all the president’s advisors how to effectively fight terrorism because, well, Jim was a Marine in Vietnam. Well Jim, I was a Marine at the end of the Vietnam war. I didn’t go, it was mostly over by then, but one thing I noticed was that all the non-commissioned officers senior to me were real combat veterans. They knew how to survive guerilla warfare in an Asian backwater. Me and my generation of Marines, all we did was play at wargames 4 weeks a year in the Mojave desert. No one was trying to kill us, no foreign language was spoken by the natives, no guerillas in civilian clothes running around, none of that. After 30 years of that kind of experience our military was virtually without anyone in any rank who’d had actual combat experience. Here’s the deal Jim. In order to have an effective force in fighting guerilla and urban wars in Arab countries we need actual combat veterans seasoned in that type of warfare leading the unseasoned troops. Use your head, Jim. Now we have an effective force led by NCOs who know how to survive urban and guerilla wars in Arab countries. And Bush managed to build that force without losing 58,000 American lives as were sacrificed in Vietnam but rather limited the losses to 3,000. Use your head for something other than a place to put your hat, Jim. We needed a veteran ground combat force for the Middle Eastern theater. Now we have one. Now what happened to Russia in Afghanistan won’t happen to us.
Secondly, how idiotic can you get when you suggest invading other countries just so we can have an effective fighting force? As if our image on the world stage wasn't tarnished enough. I thought DaveScot just didn't understand the methods of science. It appears he also knows nothing about policy and how to interact with the rest of the world.
All I can say is wow. He accuses Senator Webb of playing the Marine card and then responds by...playing the Marine card. Furthermore, he didn't even fight in Vietnam. How dare he belittle Senator Webb's service to our nation.
As much as DaveScot would like to fantasize, the war in Iraq hasn't made our military more effective. The strain on personnel from multiple rotations and the steady loss of servicable equipment has placed us in a more vulnerable position than before the Iraq war.
DaveScot, the way you prepare a professional military for war is by training, not sending them to kill and be killed. Our training is the best in the world and you can see it in the speed and effectiveness at which we initially succeeded in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's the reason we've lost 3,000 lives compared to 58,000 lives in Vietnam. Our training is much better today than it was then. Plus, we're fighting a much smaller number of enemies in Iraq since we're dealing with just insurgents instead of insurgents and the entire nation of North Vietnam.
What about all the combat experience our troops have gained? Well, it hasn't helped in Iraq because military operations rely on an achievable goal. The military hasn't had that. The redeployment of combat veterans also hasn't lessened the insurgency. It continues unabated almost four years later. Combat experience can't fix bad policy. DaveScot, I'm afraid it is you who is clueless.
Then DaveScot goes to bashing Senator Webb's discussion on the economy. I haven't done the research to refute this, but Ed Brayton of Dispatches from the Culture Wars does an excellent job dealing with this bit of ignorance. Brayton also saved a great comment left by the angry spouse of a servicewoman. True to form, DaveScot afterwards suspended all comments and erased the existing posts.