It’s a Blunder-ful Life?

For fans of on-line games, Leeroy Jenkins has become the equivalent of General George Armstrong Custer, because while playing World of Warfare, he made a big blunder and his group suffered annihilation.  Cynics who learn the particulars of Jenkins tactical mistake may worry that President Obama’s plans to send more troops into Afghanistan may be comparable to Jenkins charge into enemy territory and worry that the results will be even more catastrophic than Jenkins’ fictional massacre.

In the realm of on-line games, the thought that the guy who makes the biggest blunders can become a winner by losing is an amusing concept.  The fellow has parlayed his ignominious game playing skill into an appearance on the Howard Stren radio show, and a role in a TV ad for a charge card company.

At this point, the columnist asked himself: “Is it too soon to use a contemporary cultural reference to take a cheap shot at the President?”  When George Bush stood on the edge of a war that seemed unnecessary and irrelevant, there was no hesitation and a new President shouldn’t get any more slack than his predecessor.

After reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book “blink,” it seemed that if the President’s announced plans make us shudder, then we should continue and finish the column.

Taking troops out of Iraq and sending them to Afghanistan also seems misguided.  If they must be sent to Afghanistan because of the high level of experience in dealing with the enemy, isn’t that unfair?  Haven’t the troops in Iraq earned a rest period?  Shouldn’t a fresh group be sent into Afghanistan while the vets who served in Iraq come home?

That brings up another worry.  At some point when the troop level in Iraq gets rather low, won’t the remaining soldiers be very tempting targets for those Muslims who want to kill them? 

We realize that the Bush era magic explanation is that the Iraqis will cover them while the Americans draw down.  Are Americans supposed to believe the old “we got your back” type of reassurance will work? 

Haven’t the various factions in Iraq proved earlier in the war that they aren’t playing by the Marquis of Queensberry rules and that when the time comes the bad guys will offer some gold coins to Iraqis in trusted positions to take the money and deal out some (what they see as) punishment to the despised departing army of occupation and consider it payback for some of the “collateral damage” inflicted by the Americans?  Won’t they get a lot of eager Iraqis who will find the offer irresistible?  Past performance is the best indicator of future performance?  If so, what’s going to happen?

Folks who would like to post a comment noting it is too early to tell how well President Obama will be as the military commander in chief should read the Gladwell book before they hit the “submit” for their opinion.

Allan Masse said: “Blunders are an inescapable feature of war, because choice in military affairs lies generally between the bad and the worse.”

Now, the disk jockey will play Larry Verne’s “Please, Mr. Custer, I don’t wanna go.”  We’ll charge out of here yelling Leeroy Jenkins’ name.  Have the kind of week that will win you a spot on the Howard Stern radio show.

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