Military “Success”

In the debate last night, GWB reveals how military success was defined to him in the Texas Air National Guard back in the ’70s:

LEHRER: New question, Mr. President, two minutes. You have said there was a, quote, “miscalculation,” of what the conditions would be in post-war Iraq. What was the miscalculation, and how did it happen?

BUSH: No, what I said was that, because we achieved such a rapid victory, more of the Saddam loyalists were around. I mean, we thought we’d whip more of them going in.

But because Tommy Franks did such a great job in planning the operation, we moved rapidly, and a lot of the Baathists and Saddam loyalists laid down their arms and disappeared. I thought they would stay and fight, but they didn’t.

And now we’re fighting them now.

What kind of a plan is it when you let the people you’re fighting get away? Particularly when your next move is to put yourself in a position where you’re surrounded by them? Was that Franks’s plan?

Imagine a law enforcement comparison. You’re a cop in Iraqtown. You and a bunch of other officers are involved a shootout with criminals holed up in the Baghdad Building, which is a long way from the nearest station. You move in fast and hard, shooting out windows, blowing off doors, etc. A couple of fires break out. You kill several of the perps, capture a couple others, but most of them scramble off into nearby buildings. Some drop their guns, some don’t. You move into the partially-destroyed building. As night falls, the criminals who escaped start shooting at you every time you step outside or go past a window. Is that a success? Ask your local police officer.