Wednesday, November 18, 2009

War, sports metaphors, and Iraq

... from someone with direct knowledge!
Wings Over Iraq writes:
On Sports Analogies
When I first arrived in Iraq, we sat down to brief a general regarding our upcoming year-long mission. The general, after a few introductions, turned to the commanders in the unit we were replacing. He noted their accomplishments during their deployment, which took place during 2007-2008, just as the violence in Iraq began to drop off precipitously. The general claimed, "This team here has taken the ball to the twenty yard line. And I think you guys", he said, pointing to us, "are going to take this one all the way across the goal line to put this one into the 'W' column for the United States of America"

Some cheered when they heard this, but I remained skeptical. (Sorry, but the last time someone dramatically claimed that we won the war, he wasn't exactly right).

A year later, as we transferred control to another unit, I heard the following speech from yet another general:

"You guys have taken this one to the twenty yard line, and I think [your replacements] are going to take this one to the goal line as we depart Iraq and turn over responsibility to..."

[emphasis in original]
The forever receding goal line seems no closer now than then.

I assume newly arrived troops still hear that they replace folks who have "... taken this one to the twenty yard line", and their job is to score the TD.

How many FU's have we exhausted so far? - yes, "success" (whatever the hell that means) is still - and always - just around the corner.
Iraq, Afghanistan...

Thanks again, W!

... and, oh: Stop the madness!!!

1 comment:

  1. I think (not being one) Vietnam vets called this Mindfuck.