Can anyone tell me when this stupid notion of a time table for war became de rigeur?  Is it a product of the angry Left’s desperation to abandon Iraq or did it exist before?  My questions are triggered by a headline from Reuters today that shows all the stupidity of both Leftist thinking about war and modern media writing: “Bush, Olmert have no timetable for Gaza crisis end.”

The last point first:  “Crisis.”  In the media world today, everything is a crisis.  The roiling troubles in the world financial markets are a financial crisis.  The earth’s changing climate (something that’s been going on for the earth’s 3 billion year history) was, first, a global cooling crisis, then a global warming crisis, and it’s now a climate change crisis.  This week, there’s a crisis in Gaza.  What the heck does the word crisis mean anymore?  And for whom is Gaza a crisis?  Gazans?  Israelis?  Americans?  It’s a such a careless, overused, misused word that its appearance, rather than adding meaning to a story, saps meaning, and simply adds an element of mindless fear.

And now for the first point, which was my real point:  that timetable.  In what wars have there been timetables?  I can imagine situations in which victory was urged before money ran out.  Certainly funding was a chronic problem for the Continental Congress trying to keep Washington’s troops paid and supplied.  That timetable was “God willing we win before we’re broke” — and it was solved by aid from France.  (So, although France bashing is often fun and easy, it’s always worth remembering that the French nation, out of spite for England, saved the American revolution.  And in that way wars are won and lost.)

Can you just imagine in past wars the kind of scenarios the Leftist media and its fellow travelers now envision and urge?  Silly news stories such as these would emerge from the past:

Dateline March 15, 1863:  President Lincoln announced today that the War Between the States will end on April 1, 1863.  “We’ve given this war a good try,” he announced to the press, “but it’s time to discuss alternative strategies.  On April 1, therefore, we will withdraw all federal troops and discuss reinstating slavery subject to certain strict timetables and controls.  I have spoken with President Davies, and he assures me that slaves will henceforth be paid a living wage and allowed to choose their own places of employment.”

[And, in this alternate universe, I can guarantee you a story in the same newspaper, from a year or two later, reporting with surprise that blacks in the South were being treated with a ferocity unparalleled in human history, while vigilante Confederate troops were patrolling the borders between North and South, killing anyone who appeared to be a threat to the South’s efforts to control the slave population.]

Or how about this:

Dateline July 15, 1944:  President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill held a joint press conference today to announce that they will start withdrawing troops from the continent, effective August 1, 1944.  The two nations’ leaders explained that, while the Normandy invasion had indeed established a foothold on the Continent, continued German resistance coupled with increased Allied causalities, had convinced them that it would be expedient to pursue alternate strategies.

“We’ve sufficiently weakened the German infrastructure to believe that a phased withdrawal will still enable us to prevent the Nazis from making further incursions back onto the Normandy outposts,” said a spokesman close to Roosevelt who declined to be named.  “The Nazis have assured us that, with a cessation of hostilities from Allied troops, they will revoke some of the restrictions they have been placing on local populations.  We are still awaiting word on their Jewish policy, but feel assured that a return to the negotiating table will resolve that issue.”

Wars don’t have time tables.  You fight to win.  If you perceive that victory is impossible, you fight to the best possible outcome.  If there is no best possible outcome, you run away in the hopes of fighting another day.  The one thing, however, that you do not ever do, in the midst of a war, especially a war that is running in your favor, is announce to the enemy that, on a specific date, you’re taking your marbles and going home, on the assumption that your enemy will henceforth behave itself well.  The time table position, more than anything else, announces a failure of intelligence and sound thinking in the Left that, with nothing more, should make one suspicious of any ideas Leftists advance.

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  • Ymarsakar

    They don’t want to fight to win. They use propaganda lines like “timetable” in order to destroy morale support for the war at home. They use it in order to imply Bush has no plan for the war, that nothing has been proceeding to schedule. In our day of fast food expectations, a lack of a “timetable” is a great sin, Book.

    The one thing, however, that you do not ever do, in the midst of a war, especially a war that is running in your favor, is announce to the enemy that, on a specific date, you’re taking your marbles and going home, on the assumption that your enemy will henceforth behave itself well.

    Of course. Which is why the Left has never announced a time table for their undermining of the Iraq war. They have never promised that they would stop their operations at a certain date. They have promised that once certain guidelines are met in Iraq, that they would say there is progress there. But they, of course, break that promise once those guidelines are met because it was all a lie to begin with.

    They are not on our side, Book. They are not fighting the same war. They are not neutral bystanders.

  • Larry Sheldon

    Used to be, somebody started it, if we go0t into it, we stayed until the work was done.

    The Dems, Truman, and Korea was the first time we did the giveup and quit thing.

    (Has anybody looked to see how well Korea worked out? We are still there.)

    And I might be wrong–it might have been when Eisenhower was told to let the other leftists take Berlin.

  • Tiresias

    If you’ve taken the decision to fight, then the timetable is automatic: you come home when you’ve won.

    The war ends when one side’s ability to fight or resist further has been eliminated.

    Anything less is BS, tic-tac-toe, and matchstick games. The continued running sore of Israeli relations with Hizbollah, Hamas, the PLO and the rest of the recurring gangs of murderous jackasses that surround them has been proving the “value” of half measures for sixty years.

    You bomb them flat, kill their power, shut off their milkman, close their stores, and END it. Then, should you feel like it, you give the collateral damage a nice funeral – though that is the mark of housebroken people and not strictly necessary. But you END it.

    We haven’t had the stomach for that, apparently, since 1945. Israel is apparently losing their stomach for it.

    This will not accrue positively to either our future, or Israel’s.

  • Ymarsakar

    (Has anybody looked to see how well Korea worked out? We are still there.)

    And that’s perfectly fine with the Left.

  • Ymarsakar

    Bush could essentially have nullified the “not enough troops”, “broken army”, and “no timetables” propaganda line by publicly saying that he will redeploy troops from South Korea and Germany to Iraq. That with some highlights of the cost of being in South Korea will get something good going. It may even motivate the anti-American government of South Korea to be responsible for their own defense of their own DMZ.

  • Bill Smith

    It is worth pointing out that one of our own Patriots, a rich Jew named Chaim Solomon repeatedly lent the Continental Congress large sums of money during the war despite the very real possibility that he might not ever be paid back. Indeed, some accounts say that he died penniless as a result, others not. But that’s not the point. He risked his wealth to give significant aid to his country when it was in desperate need, and he deserves more credit than he gets which usually is Bupkis (zilch, nothing). Some accounts even say that the Star of David (the 13 stars) which can be found in the Great Seal on the dollar bill were put there in his honor.

  • Charles Martel

    I think that Israel will soon be pushed into a total war against Hamas.

    Ironically, what may push them is confirmation of the rumor that The One is thinking of placing Israel under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. So, if Iran attacks Israel with atomic bombs, it will precipitate a devastating American retaliation.

    Here are the two problems with that scenario:

    1. Israel will probably be destroyed in an attack by an Iran that has been allowed to develop nukes. The threat of retaliation will have made no difference.

    2. The U.S. “nuclear umbrella” will be administered by a chickenshit metrosexual Democrat who has no stomach for war. Since Israel will have been eliminated as a source of irritation for all right-thinking people, The One will reason, to global applause, that there’s no point in avenging the Jooos.

    So, Israel will finally realize that it’s on its own. Pushing hard against Hamas will not only eliminate one implacable foe, it will signal to Iran and the world that Israel is finally getting serious and that it is ramping up for some hard-core steps. This means taking out what it can of the Iranian nuclear installations.

    Since Bush and Obama have already signaled that Iran is free to develop nukes, Israel is our last hope for stopping it.

  • Larry Sheldon

    I hope Mr. Martel is not under the illusion that he has started an argument.

    I don’t see any other reasonable analysis.

  • 11B40


    I think that the “timetable” (What? Is this a railroad?) issue is a variation on the “I just want to understand” plea from your sweetheart. You know immediately that there is no chance of a correct or pleasing response and the interrogatory torture will continue until you expire or un-ass the area.

    Smite them, hip and thigh. Repeat.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Personally, I believe the Juice of Israel should offer the Palestinians a truce – but only after Hamas and its infrastructure have been completely and irrevocably destroyed.

  • Mike Devx

    I haven’t seen any evidence that Israelis are in fact tired of the whole struggle, that they will strike with all their power to defeat Hamas. This will not be a war; it is just another minimal conflict that is highly political in nature. Israelis want the rockets to stop, but they don’t want to enact the price that will REALLY make the rockets stop. So this is just another half-measure, to ameliorate the worst of the pain. While guaranteeing that the pain will continue.

    Consider: You have an enemy on your border that daily preaches and advocates your complete destruction, and MEANS it. And they are launching a barrage of rockets, daily, for weeks, against you. (The effectiveness of their targetting devices hardly matters.) Their television and radio and media are filled with vicious assaults against the very nature of your people. If they could, they would murder every single one of you.

    If you were a sovereign nation fully committed to the safety of your own people, if you were to declare war against this enemy, it would have to be total war. The propaganda must be driven underground – any media outlet of any sort preaching the hate must be bombed. Any school known to be preaching the hate must be shut down and then reduced to rubble. For any known militants engaged in politics or military action, you must attempt to kill them. Every known target must be attacked. Why does everyone over there think that the public propaganda is safer than underground propaganda? Of course you drive them underground; you make them the skulkers, the furtive conspiracists. Let them discuss it in hate-filled voices in their living rooms. Not publicly.

    This is war against an enemy, and Israel is making the classic mistake of not realizing that. I cannot believe that fifty years of “minor tactics” against the radical Palestinians has gained Israel anything – generations have grown up under these minor conflicts, which are guaranteed to keep the flames of hate at a furious burn. But a people get the government they deserve, and until the Israeli people truly do unite and make it clear that they want the radicalized Palestinians defeated – which means driven underground, reduced from public power, and reduced in number, and thereafter constantly under threat – the Israelis won’t do it, and the endless conflict will endlessly continue.

    Finally, a maxim: To refuse to apply justice to the guilty is to harm the innocent.
    Mercy does not mean allowing the guilty to roam free. Mercy reduces the punishment once the guilty have been apprehended, once their predations have ceased. Israel continues to make terrible mistakes in these decades-long, endless quarter-measures against their avowed enemies that seek the total destruction of Israelis. For eventually they shall become strong enough to murder all Israelis – that IS what they do want, after all – and what then?