June 08, 2004


I got home and got my slip of paper with the blog idea. It wasn't much after all; I just thought of a parallel last night. I watched The Longest Day on Sunday because, well, that's the least I can do. I can't be sure what was hard fact and what was "dramatic effect", but the Germans in the movie kept insisting that the invasion would never be at Normandy and it would never be at night or in the rain. They insisted that the Americans were predictable and that invading Normandy was illogical. It reminded me of the Shock and Awe Campaign, where everyone insisted that Iraq would start with heavy aerial bombing and then ground troops would move in much later. The whole world was shocked and awed when the Marines rolled in earlier than expected.

Pundits all over like to predict what our military will do and pronounce certain events as catastrophic or quagmirish before they have all the pieces of the puzzle. I'm sure that there are things that the military could work on, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they often are planning moves we could never predict.

That's what makes them the best, I guess.

Posted by Sarah at June 8, 2004 09:46 PM

Everyone on television and in the news wants to predict rather than report. And they can't understand why the President or our military leaders won't tell them everything. What we don't know is precisely what the leaders are using to make decisions. The most we can possibly hope for is to guess. And journalists are pretty poor at that because they have no shared experience to go by.

Posted by: Mike at June 8, 2004 09:57 PM

What I'd love to see the media say:

"Well, we were wrong about how the Iraq war would happen, we totally screwed up on our projections that the battle for Baghdad would lead to huge loss of life, and we also blew it with the whole "Afghanistan has never been successfully invaded" thing... but (and you can trust us- look at our track record) here's what's going to happen in Iraq, next..."

Posted by: Jack Grey at June 9, 2004 03:42 PM

In the Gulf War, we fooled them too. Remember they thought the Marines would launch an amphibious attack into Kuwait. Instead we gave them the famous "left hook."

Posted by: annika at June 9, 2004 08:17 PM

Based on a book by Cornelius Ryan, The Longest Day is pretty true to its source, and the Cornelius Ryan book is extremely well sourced and accurate (as is his other book, A Bridge Too Far).

As I recall very little strays from the book, and hence from the history. Though at the time the movie was made, since few movie critics knew anything about the war and had never bothered with Ryan's book, called some of it pure fantasy. Funny thing though, it was the most unbelievable scenes that actually happened. Truth stranger than.....



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