March 21, 2012
NYC Letter: Joe Biden Is An Idiot XIV -- Audacity
Day 1,152 of CHOPE
Pour les vaincre, il nous faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace, et la France est sauvée !
Joe Biden lays it on thick with his best Danton.
MORRIS TOWNSHIP, New Jersey March 19, 2012 (Politico) - Vice President Joe Biden is the biggest cheerleader of the president's decision to raid Osama bin Laden's compound and, on Monday, he offered new praise for the choice Obama made last spring. Mr. Biden, at fundraiser:You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there. ... Do any one of you have a doubt that if that raid failed that this guy would be a one-term president?
Tickets for the fundraiser started at $1,000 and went up to $5,000 for a VIP reception. There were 140 guests and, in all, the pool reporter estimated that the event brought in about $400,000.
Killing OBL was a good thing. It doesn't need Mr. Biden's bragging-for-bucks puffery. Going back 500 years there are quite a few plans more 'audacious', less certain, with outcomes more crucial than the OBL kill. To say so sounds sour, but Mr. Biden has stepped in it.
Politico slapped together a list of more "audacious" plans. There are some obvious overmatches but also some less convincing contenders. (Operation Eagle Claw on Politico's list was not so much audacious as badly planned, badly executed, and overcautious. With troops and materiel in place, the mission was aborted, which straightaway takes it out of the running for "audacious".) Ed Morrissey at Hot Air puts together a more credible off-the-cuff list and comments:
I won’t take anything away from the call to hit the Abbottabad compound; there were genuine political risks in play for President Obama, and no guarantee of success. However, only someone with complete ignorance of military history could call a green light on a mission with a 48% chance of success the most audacious plan in the last 500 years. ... Obama made a good call in tough circumstances on the bin Laden raid, but that hardly makes him the greatest military genius since Admiral Nelson. This administration needs to get a grip.
Confining ourselves to American history, here are five plans we think more "audacious" than the OBL kill:
- Doolittle Raid, April 18, 1942: "The raid caused negligible material damage to Japan, but it succeeded in its goal of helping American morale, and casting doubt in Japan on the ability of the Japanese military leaders. It also caused Japan to withdraw its powerful aircraft carrier force from the Indian Ocean to defend their Home Islands, and the raid contributed to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's decision to attack Midway—an attack that turned into a decisive rout of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) by the U.S. Navy near Midway Island in the Central Pacific."
- Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863: "Pickett’s Charge is probably the most famous attack of the entire war. Its fame was achieved by the heroism displayed by the Confederates, who had to withstand the furious Federal artillery and musket fire, and by the belief that the few men who finally stumbled over the stone wall along the Union front line had reached the “high water mark” of the Confederacy. While all of this is true, it is equally important to remember that Meade’s defense, both tactically and operationally, was extremely effective because of strong Union leadership, creative command and control, and the fighting spirit of the soldiers. The Army of Northern Virginia did everything that Robert E. Lee asked of it. The Army of the Potomac was its equal, and the Battle of Gettysburg finally demonstrated this beyond a reasonable doubt. While very famous, Pickett’s Charge was futile. ... The Confederate defeat on 3 July was of immense proportions."
- Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, December 25–26, 1776: "After Congress approved the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776, the Continental Army’s mission changed from the local defense of American rights to overall national survival. At the time, few national institutions and relatively little national feeling existed; to a considerable degree, the Continental Army was the nation. Washington knew well that the destruction of the Army would probably result in the collapse of the American cause. He and his subordinates tried to avoid battles that might put the survival of the Army at risk. Nevertheless, the Continental Army did need to win victories to maintain patriot morale and to obtain support from foreign countries. In the fall of 1776 Washington preserved his Army from destruction after the fall of New York City, but as the end of the year approached, the Army and the patriot cause faced the prospect of dissolution if success was not soon forthcoming. Crossing the Delaware River on Christmas night, 1776, Washington surprised and overwhelmed the enemy garrison at Trenton. Eight days later he defeated another British force at Princeton."
- Operation Chromite (Landing at Inchon), September 15, 1950: "MacArthur planned his bold amphibious venture at Inch'on sustained only by hope, credit, and promises. At no time during his planning did he have the men and guns he would need. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, moreover, frequently told MacArthur that, with the military resources of the United States at rock bottom and because of the short-fused target date on which MacArthur adamantly insisted, the needed men and guns might not arrive on time. ... MacArthur well knew that even with the fullest support by Washington he might not have by his chosen D-day enough trained men and equipment to breach enemy defenses and to exploit a penetration. Trained men, especially those with amphibious training, were at a premium in the United States as well as in the Far East. To assemble, equip, and move these men secretly and swiftly to the battle area by 15 September would require an enormous, finely coordinated effort by all involved. The difficulties were appalling, and to surmount them called for extraordinary energy and ingenuity."
- Operation Neptune (D-Day), June 6, 1944: "Eisenhower's decision came down simply to go or not to go on one of the dates his staff had selected as optimum, yet the apparent simplicity of that decision veiled its difficulty. Eisenhower had to set the complex plan into motion at the correct time and without hesitation. The proper conditions of tide and moon occurred only twice in June, and postponement past June effectively meant that the attack would have to be put off until 1945, because several months of good campaigning weather were essential for the subsequent operations on the Continent. ... Beyond the obvious consequences of failure was Eisenhower's knowledge that Allied resources were sufficient for only one try."
What distinguishes all of these "audacious" plans from the OBL kill is that they were hinged to something larger, and, by success or failure, directly contributed to its outcome. Before the OBL kill, Team Barry didn't even recognize America was at war.
Mr. Biden's gushy fundraising performances are making the OBL kill something of a joke. Team Barry would get more political mileage out of the OBL kill if they mentioned it less and, when they do, stopped overselling it. [Pause.] But it's all they have, so it's all we get.
UPDATE 03.22.12: Flare from the boss. Joe, ease up on the OBL kill.
OBAMA MORE PROUD OF PASSING
HEALTH CARE LAW THAN KILLING
OSAMA BIN LADEN
March 20, 2012 (TWS)