Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday musings

The Indianapolis Colts win (barely) over Houston, 20-17. The Colts are far from perfect, though their record is, and they have a lot of injuries and things to correct. But: for a second straight week, they had to grind it out. Championship teams do that.
But they've got to get some people healthy, and run the ball better.
As for the Detroit Lions, well, they're still very young and not very good, blowing a 17-0 lead at Seattle and losing 32-20, with Matthew Stafford throwing 5 interceptions. I think this quote from Seattle wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh sums up a lot of what goes on in games like this involving the Lions:
""They weren't very good last year, and I think that played a role in having the confidence that we had....We can't spot teams that have better records those type of leads, because I don't now if the confidence would be there, where guys know we're going to come back and win. But I felt when we were down 17-0, we were still going to win the game. That's how I honestly felt on the sideline."

And the Lions knew they could well still lose. And they did.

"The White House and military officials are leaning toward sending more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, U.S. officials told Fox News on Monday. Officials said President Obama will not announce his decision until after he returns from his upcoming trip to Asia and stressed that no final decision has been made, even in private. But the plan under serious consideration would split the difference between troop requests made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. McChrystal had put forward a "high risk" request for only 10,000-15,000 troops, and a "medium risk" request of 40,000-45,000."

Obama had better be careful. Yes, politically a decision like the above might play well. It might seem sensible, mainstream, etc etc etc. But this war isn't about politics. It's about winning. And if much of what Obama's trying to do is simply split differences and look "moderate", then he might find himself getting deeper into Afghanistan but without a plan to win there. That's what Lyndon Johnson wound up with in Vietnam. That didn't work out too well for him.

Was the killer who shot all those people driven to his act by the"stress" of his deployment? John Podhoretz sets this straight:
"Obviously, there are a great many people in the military who wouldrather not be deployed to a war zone; for whom such deployments causestress; and who may indeed be philosophically opposed to the fightthey are obliged as a matter of law and duty to wage. Let’s say, justfor the sake of argument, that there are 10,000 such people. Only onehas actually taken a machine gun and mowed down his fellow soldiers.The argument that Nadal Hasan was somehow sent round the bend by hisorders is not only bizarre but also deeply and profoundly insulting tothose in the military who live with all the same pressures and do goodrather than evil."