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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Monday, June 20, 2005
As Long As It Takes...
by Cordeiro
A warning to the reader. This posting takes a very long time to develop and uses a complicated metaphor to do so. You may, as The Princess Bride's Humperdink ordered the Bishop, skip to the end and to the overall point, but by so doing will miss out on the metaphor, which I think is really cool.

In one of my past lives I worked as a conductor on a major US railroad. Yes, once upon a time I was a Union Thug. A Conductor's job is pretty simple. Most of it consists of filling out paperwork and throwing the occasional switch. In other words, the excitement level is not exactly high.

But every now and then, Murphy's Law strikes out with a vengeance. Freight cars are hooked one to another via what are called couplers. These couplers hook together with knuckles - shaped pieces of iron weighing in at 75 pounds or so. As all things man-made, knuckles occasionally break.

They do this at the worst possible time and at the worst possible place. Fixing them requires the conductor to carry another knuckle back to the injured car (which of course has to be toward the rear end of the nearly two-mile-long train) and change out the busted part.

So, on one trip my train came to a grinding halt. I dutifully informed the dispatcher of our problem, and went about fixing it. My aim was, due to the frigid temperatures, to get the repair made in the shortest time possible. My efforts to do so were hampered by the Dispatcher.

Most train dispatchers believe they are God over their given territory. This dispatcher was no exception. Every five minutes he would call me on the radio demanding to know about my progress and how soon I would be done. Every time he called me, I had to set the rather awkward knuckle down to answer him.

Needless to say, after the third call I was tired of talking to him. So, on the fourth interruption of my repair work, I set the knuckle down and answered him. Here is a quasi word for word of the exchange:

Conductor Cordeiro: Dispatcher, this is Conductor Cordeiro. I have an update on the repair progress and an estimated time for completion, Over.

Dispatcher: This is the Dispatcher. Go ahead, Cordeiro.

Conductor Cordeiro: Dispatcher, I'll be done with this repair...when I'm done. Out.
Thus ended the conversation, and I finished what I had set out to do.

Nice story, Cordeiro. Where are you going with this?

Glad you asked.

Recently, the drumbeat (amplified by a willing accomplice MSM) to withdraw forces from Iraq and scale back the Global War on Terror have been getting headlines. Even some GOP Congressmen have joined liberals in drawing up a resolution calling for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

(Note to Congress: Military decisions are not made at the congressional level. As Members of Congress, you have the constitutional duty to declare war and fund the war effort. Commanders, specifically the Commander In Chief, make the decision to withdraw or commit. If you want the troops to withdraw, you are free to not appropriate monies to sustain their efforts - and suffer whatever fate the voters see fit to inflict upon you for doing so.)

In so doing, liberals are much like the dispatcher I described above. All they have is whining questions. When are you going to be done? How long is this going to take? Are we there yet? Its awfully hard for us to push our agenda with a war on. Can't you just call it off and move on? Are we there yet? When is this going to be done so we can get back to our petty bickering?

There is no way to answer the questions they ask. Of course, they really don't want answers. They just want to whine.

The answers they don't want to hear are these: The Global War on Terror will go on as long as it has to go on. It will take as long as it takes. This is a war 30 years in the making. Calling for it to end two years into it is just irresponsible. Wars are won on military terms, not political ones. With all their harping on the lessons of Vietnam, you'd think the libs would have learned that lesson by now.

Here endeth the lesson.
4 Comment(s):
I liked your analogy. It was very good, no matter how different the political jaugernaut called "War on Terror" is from replacing knuckles on couplers.

I think if your analogy is to be closer to the real thing, then you should have told the dispatcher that you will fix all trains on the planet by replacing their knuckles. That is how beyond the pale our current "War on Terror" goals are to me.

Destroy all terrorists? Not with this intelligence community.
Your comments regarding the Intelligence Community reveal a stunning lack of understanding as to the requirements for an effective intelligence gathering/processing operation.

Stick with what you know and stop taking pot shots at a community you don't understand.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I know I'm asking for it now, but educate me, Cordeiro. Is it really a stunning lack of understanding or just the fact I train people for a living and it is my job to know what bad intelligence is?

I think any blogger (especially those more experienced than I) has a good grasp on some of the fundamental precepts of intelligence-gathering. Ultimately, successfully or not so successfully, that is what blogging is about, right? You and I both know the difference between a "reliable source" and a "non-reliable source". These said sources are where we get our facts, points, opinions and humor from.

Things are not always so clear-cut in terrorism intelligence, but there are at least shades of gray when it comes to reliability. If you have no expertise in a subject or no proof of a claim, what is the use of any said intelligence? If the analysis of this intelligence is circumvented or not even present, what kind of intelligence is one going to get? I fear many of these issues still exist in the intelligence community at large.

I don't blame Republicans or Democrats for this, but I am upset that the recent intelligence reforms seem to have done little good than create a much more bloated intelligence community.
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