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Monday, September 18, 2006

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I agree with the sentiment, but the sports analogy is a bit muddled.

After all, if we were busy tackling the pitcher, who was pitching to the other team to allow them 55 runs?

Seems like in that analogy the worst we could do is tie at 0-0. In any event, tackling the pitcher is not a winning strategy for the game of baseball. Which I guess was the point.

And applied to Iraq, a tie is a loss for us.

Huh. Guess our leadership is so incompetent, it can't even describe its own incompetence correctly...

I think it is implied that the game is ongoing. The insurgants don't stop playing because you catch Saddam or blow up Zarquawi(sp?) The Marines on the ground doing patrols who haven't been directed to tackle the pitcher keep doing patrols.

I think part of the reason I like the description is because it is awkward. There is no elegant way to describe how screwed up things are. Tackling the pitcher isn't even part of the game and I think that makes it all the more appropriate.

Heh... pretty silly to be nitpicking over this... but still...

Baseball happens to be a game where both teams have to actively participate in order for either side to win. You can't score unless the other team pitches to you. In that way, it's not a great metaphor for war/combat.

Football is much more apt. If the other team doesn't play defense while you've got the ball, you can just run it in for the score. If the other team doesn't play offense, eventually they'll turn the ball over to you for the score.

And in football, tackling the quarterback is absolutely very much a part of the game. But you've gotta know when to make the attempt. If you call the blitz and have all or most of your guys go after the QB, you might get the sack and do a lot of damage to the other team... but you're also leaving their receivers open for the long pass and you may get badly burned.

And the problem in Iraq (and more broadly, with al-Qaeda) is that they've got a real, real deep bench. If you injure their starting QB in one play, they'll have a substitute in on the next play. And if you call the blitz every time, you're gonna get burned eventually, it's just a matter of when. A more balanced, strategic game plan is called for there.

Ahhhh... sports metaphors...

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