Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lee Marvin never had to worry about no stinking city councils 

So last night we watched The Big Red One -- Lee Marvin and his merry men fight their way across French Africa, Sicily, Omaha Beach, Belgium, France and Czechoslovakia, virtually single-handedly winning World War II.
And today I read this (h/t Today in Iraq):
As Commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force during the lead-up to the war, Hagee was in charge of planning for the Marines' original push to Baghdad. So I asked him about one of the enduring mysteries of the invasion — why there was no real plan for running the country once Saddam Hussein fell from power.
Unfortunately, Hagee's comments only deepen the mystery. He says he was deeply concerned about who would take charge of major Iraqi cities, like Najaf, as the Marines pushed through them on their way to Baghdad.
Hagee says he asked his boss again and again who would take charge of those cities. He wanted to know what the plan was for Phase IV — military terminology for the phase that follows the end of major combat operations. Phase IV is, in other words, what comes after "mission accomplished." Hagee says that he sent his questions up the chain of command, as they say in the military — and never heard back.
How could they do such a poor job? Well, here's how.
Its because Lee Marvin never had to worry about setting up a civil authority to run Belgium after they mopped up the Nazis. John Wayne didn't rebuild St Mere Eglise, either, after The Longest Day.
Nope, they all gleefully leveled villages without the least concern about who was going to rebuild anything after they left.
And maybe this is why Rumsfeld and Cheney and all were caught flat-footed -- the war movies never bothered showing any of their war heros setting up city council elections.

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