[lbo-talk] Brit general says US/UK should "admit defeat" in Iraq

Michael Smith mjs at smithbowen.net
Fri May 4 19:37:18 PDT 2007

On Friday 04 May 2007 20:47, Carl Remick wrote:

> Please. To paraphrase Dr. Johnson: ""Sir, a military man thinking's
> thinking is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well;
> but you are surprised to find it done at all." I consider the professional
> military the lowest form of humanity.

Dr Johnson's original observation was about women, and I fear Carl's comments have an almost equal aroma of mere prejudice. This is not a rhetorical question, Carl, nor is it intended as a taunt -- it's really factual: do you know many military officers personally?

In my own experience, military officers are likely to be rather brighter and less devoted to thinking in cliches than corporate executives are, and they compare quite well with academics and journalists. Very few of them are mavericks, of course -- that personality type is not selected for -- but even on that score there are some remarkable exceptions.

Really, the military is not so different from any other large organization -- Microsoft, or the Democratic Party, or the Sierra Club. Or the New York Times, or the University of Michigan.

Reading Sherman's or Grant's or Zhukov's memoirs is instructive. Sherman in particular is as quirky as Melville, and unmistakably no fool.

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