Friday, November 19, 2004

Jack the Hack is Back

Another waste of good bandwidth.

Some of the things he says don't make sense:
For example, he quotes john Thompson saying that a guerilla force must cause seven casulaties for each casualty on their side to remain viable.
Uh - doesn't that depend on how many insurgents there are and how big the enemies' force is, and on how quickly the guerillas can recruit more?

He also states that 1200 insurgents have been killed and 1100 captured, which sounds nice, but which assumes that the army isn't assuming anyone it finds who is dead to be an insurgent. Without some official estimate of civilian casualties, it is difficult to believe that some number-fudging isn't going on.

He quotes Ralph Peters saying that as a rule of thumb, a force taking a city suffers 1/4 to 1/3 its strength in casualties.
Again, an impressive rule of thumb, seeing as it doesn't take into account the size of the forces.

He also mentions that the police stations that were overun in Mosul were recaptured the next day. This ignores the fact that one probable reason for caputring them was for the insurgents to resupply themelves with ammunition. It is doubtful that they ever intended to hold them.

He also makes the statement, apparently backed up by Centcom, that there were only 5000 insurgents in Iraq and that, with the implication that, having eliminated 2000 of them, we are sitting pretty. (He acknowledges that some estimates are higher, but does not elaborate).

Wasn't that 5000 figure given back in January? And it's interesting that he dismissively states "other estimates were higher," as if it isn't worth analyzing.
I don't recall where this came from, but I thought that the last official estimate was 20,000. If this came from centcom, then Mr. Kelly is using old, out-of-date information. Does anyone know if this was a centcom figure or not?

He also sneers at the idea that Fallujah will help the insurgents by making the Arabs mad by saying that "By this logic, once we've killed all the terrorists, they'll be invincible."

Except that the process used for killing all of the "terrorists" may wind up helping them recruit more. Is this too hard for his little brain to understand? Oh, wait, they can't recruit Iraqis because the Iraqis love us. Kenneth Joseph told him so. And we all know how reliable ol' Ken is.

(Some may fault me for trusting Counterpunch, a very leftist site. But why has no one on the pro-war side mentioned Mr. Joseph, or the "hours of videotapes" of Iraqis pleading with us to conquer them, for more than a year?)

I also find it interesting that he is so certain that the wounded Iraqi was "feinting death." That of course means that he was entirely at fault for getting shot. It seems to me more likely that he was unconscious, and that his shooting was a mistake (in that if the Marine had had perfect knowledge, he wouldn't have shot), although it was justified under the circumstances (we don't have perfect knowledge).

UPDATE: I am not denying that the soldier thought that the Iraqi was feinting. I just find it irritating that idiots like Jack Kelly make the statement that he was faking when we don't know that. My perception was that the soldier's assumption was in error, but it was a good faith error, and one based on the actual behavior of other insurgents.

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