Monday, April 16, 2012

The "history-challenged" West


"Earlier this month a briefing by intelligence officials told journalists that the Taliban had lost the power to launch large-scale attacks."
-Bilal Sawary, BBC News, April 16, 2012
 "What Kabul attacks say about Afghan security"

 Meanwhile back in Vietnam...

 “A few months earlier there had been an attempt Higher to crank up the Home For Christmas rumor, but it wouldn’t take, the troop consensus was too strong, it went, “Never happen.” If a commander told you he thought he had it pretty well under control it was like talking to a pessimist. Most would say that they either had it wrapped up or wound down; “He’s all pissed out, Charlie’s all pissed out, booger’s shot his whole wad," one of them promised me, while in Saigon it would be restructured for briefings, “He no longer maintains in our view capability to mount, execute or sustain a serious offensive action,” and a reporter behind me, from The New York Times no less, laughed and said, “Mount this, Colonel.” But in the boonies, where they were deprived of all information except what they’d gathered for themselves on either side of the treeline, they’d look around like someone was watching and say, “I dunno, Charlie’s up to something. Slick, slick, that fucker’s so slick. Watch!”
- Michael Herr, 1968, more or less

[emphasis added]