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Joe Biden: Bin Laden Raid Was “Most Audacious Plan” In 500 Years

During a fundraising event last night, Vice-President Biden made some rather odd statements about the raid the ended with the death of Osama Bin Laden:

Vice President Joseph Biden on Monday night upped the ante around the already quite-dramatic assassination of Osama bin Laden.

From the pool report of Biden’s comments during a fundraising event in New Jersey come these quotes.

You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.

Do any one of you have a doubt that if that raid failed that this guy would be a one-term president?

This guy is willing to do the right thing and risk losing.

Oh really? The most audacious plan in half a millennium? Just in the century that ended a mere 12 years ago, I can think of numbers examples of “audacious” military plans that were, if anything, far riskier and far more filled with the dangerous consequences of failure than the bin Laden raid. D-Day and Inchon come to mind most immediately, but there are plenty of others. And if you’re going to make your frame of reference 500 years then certainly one can find other examples from history. At the very least, one has to say that the Vice-President is guilty of some extreme exaggeration here.

Daniel Foster agrees:

Arguably, Operation Desert Storm-with pre-invasion coalition casualties projected into the thousands and fears of a protracted maneuver war and the deployment chemical/biological weapons-was more audacious. Unarguably, the Inchon landing and the breakout of the Pusan perimeter were.

In World War II alone: Overlord. The British commando raids. The miracle at Dunkirk. Okinawa. Jimmy friggin Doolittle.

Five hundred years is a long time. From Patton to Napoleon, John Paul Jones to Sir Francis Drake. I’m sure all you history buffs out there can think of another battle plan at least in the running to be more audacious than Operation Geronimo.

As Foster points out, one of those plans may well have been the decision of a certain General leading the ragtag army of a nation-in-waiting across a river in the dead of winter to surprise a contingent of the most popular Army on the planet at the time. Now there’s a President (to be) putting his culjones on the line.

As for the “one term President” part, Bruce McQuain raises an excellent point:

Two points.  “This guy” didn’t risk anything.  My guess is had the raid failed, we’d never have heard about it in terms of an attempt to get ‘bin Laden’.  In fact, we’d likely have only heard of it as an attempt to get a “high level” al Qaeda operative, if that.  And, there was no real decision to be made and most Americans know it.  The only bad choice he could have made was to not go after him, learn later he was there and have that information go public.

Precisely, and Biden also makes the rather unfortunate mistake of equating Obama’s decision to authorize the raid, a wise one for which I said last May he deserved credit and still does, with the courage it actually took to carry out the raid. There is, I think, something unseemly about making something like this so nakedly political. Yes, a President gets credit and will receive political benefits for military and foreign policy successes that occur during his term, even when all they really do is approve the plans drafted and carried out by others. But, to make the politics of the operation this political, and to exaggerate both the risks and rewards in the way that Biden did in these remarks strikes me as inappropriate.

Of course, perhaps we could just chalk this up to Joe Biden being Joe Biden. After all, he does have a tendency to let things slip.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I’d rather have a hyperbolic Vice President who gets over enthusiastic about victories than a war criminal who has no problem telling opposition leaders to go f**k themselves on the floor of the Senate.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 9

  2. Jenos Idanian says:

    More proof that Biden is a complete blithering idiot. Countless examples spring to mind that were far, far more audacious than the Bin Laden raid:

    – The British assault on St. Nazaire

    – The Doolittle raid on Tokyo

    – The Son Tay prison raid

    – The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

    The second-scariest thing about Biden? One gets the impression that he actually believes his own bullshit.

    The scariest? Obama picked him to succeed him should anything happen to Obama.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 20

  3. Vast Variety says:

    Open mouth insert foot.

    This is one of those times where the vice president would be better off keeping quiet and letting people think he is an idiot instead of opening his mouth and proving he’s an idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. @Gromitt Gunn:

    I was no Cheney fan either but, in case you haven’t noticed, he hasn’t been Vice President for three years now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  5. Hey Norm says:

    Without a doubt this is stupid, and absolutely baseless. The list of audacious plans is long and each deserves it’s own place in our history and lore. As a native Vermonter I am particularly fond of the Green Mountain Boys taking Fort Ticonderoga.
    Having said that…context is important. This was said at a private fundraising event. I would say that compared to the repeated bluster and chest-thumping of the previous administration over what was often nothing…MISSION ACCOMPLISHED comes to immediately to mind, but there were a number of busts of so-called terrorists as well…this administration has not played up the OBL killing at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  6. James says:

    I’ll take that over telling a senior Senator to go f*uck [himself], on the Senate floor no less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

  7. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That doesn’t matter, Doug. Nor that Cheney hasn’t been on a ballot since 2004. To the left, “But Bush” and “But Cheney” are ALWAYS relevant and devastating comebacks.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 17

  8. James says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Whoops. Beat me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Hey Norm says:

    @ Jenos…

    “…The scariest? Obama picked him to succeed him should anything happen to Obama…”

    I would vote for Biden to be Commander-in Chief long before I would vote for Palin.
    I’m sure you disagree.
    And that’s all you need to know.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  10. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James: All that shows is that Cheney, even with all his health issues, has a firmer grasp on reality than Biden ever has.

    Why can’t you just admit that Biden is a complete, utter, and absolute moron?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 23

  11. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian: They are when the Republican party continues supporting Bush-era polices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  12. Hey Norm says:

    Another thing…after 3 years of the Republican Party rooting and hoping and doing whatever they can to see the Nation fail…isn’t it kind of refreshing to see some of this kind of pride?
    Yeah it was stupid. So what?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  13. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Why can’t you just admit that Biden is a complete, utter, and absolute moron?

    Why can’t you just admit that George W. Bush was a incompetent and disastrous executive?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  14. Franklin says:

    While I mostly agree with everyone’s assessment of Biden, I think you’ve missed one interesting point here: Biden advised Obama against the raid. So he’s not technically bragging here, he’s pumping up his boss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  15. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Hey Norm: Having said that…context is important. This was said at a private fundraising event.

    So, it’s OK to simply make shit up and lie flagrantly as long as it’s done privately, and for the purposes of raising money for a political campaign?

    OK, “lie” might be too hard a term here. I think Biden sincerely believes his own bullshit. I think he’s more delusional than malicious. But regardless of his intent, the guy is a serial, chronic, habitual plagiarist, bullshitter, charlatan, and spinner of complete fantasies.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 16

  16. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James: ‘Cuz Biden’s in office now, Bush has been out of office for 3 years, and it ain’t the subject at hand. Why can’t you stay on topic?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  17. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    the guy is a serial, chronic, habitual plagiarist, bullshitter, charlatan, and spinner of complete fantasies.

    You’re speaking from experience, I take?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  18. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Why can’t you stay on topic?

    Coming from the gentleman who has a documented pattern of changing the subject as it pleases him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  19. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Doug Mataconis: And yet he’s still the only other post-9/11 VP, making it hard to compare Biden against anyone else. I’m not a huge fan of him, either, but the population to sample from is really small.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  20. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James: Plenty of it. You’re speaking from experience, I take?

    Yup 24 years of watching Biden, off and on. The previous highlight was Biden’s lifting wholesale British politician Neil Kinnock’s life story for stump speeches. And he’s been remarkably consistent since then.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  21. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Why compare him to anyone or anything? Objectively speaking, the guy’s an idiot.

    And he was Obama’s choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

  22. Brummagem Joe says:

    “Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?” is a quotation – sometimes misquoted with “on” in place of “upon” – from Alexander Pope’s “Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot” of January 1735. The line has entered common use and has become associated with more recent figures.

    It can be taken as referring to putting massive effort into achieving something minor or unimportant, and alludes to “breaking on the wheel”, a form of torture in which victims had their long bones broken by an iron bar while tied to a Catherine wheel.

    Or as it is more succinctly put these days….. get a life Doug

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Hey Norm says:

    @ Jenos…

    “…Cuz Biden’s in office now, Bush has been out of office for 3 years, and it ain’t the subject at hand. Why can’t you stay on topic? “

    In case you…and Doug apparently…have forgotten, 9.11 happened on Bush and Cheney’s watch…and in spite of all their bluster and threats they failed to bring OBL to justice. Obama succeeded where they failed. To somehow think they are not inately entwined with this topic is just total BULL$HIT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  24. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Hey Norm: You do NOT want to play that game, moron. Or we might have to bring up how Al Qaeda hit the US, time and time and time again, under Clinton’s watch, as well as most of the planning and prep for 9/11, and how Clinton had a chance to get Bin Laden and turned it down.

    But back to the topic at hand… is there anything you can’t find a way to blame on Bush/Cheney? Even Biden’s ongoing, continued bullshitting and just making stuff up?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 15

  25. Racehorse says:

    Looks like Biden is acting crazy again. Here are some top “daring” exploits:
    John W. Booth’s eluding of the Federal forces for several days
    That “great escape” at the German pow camp in WWII
    Pickett’s Charge
    The infamous tracking and killing of John Dillinger by FBI agents
    Perot financed rescue mission into Iraq (too bad he wasn’t president then)
    Rudolf Hess’s secret mission to England
    General Stonewall Jackson’s valley campaign
    Most of all: General Patton’s march on Bastogne, considered impossible!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  26. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Cut Biden some slack. This probably is a case of the aneurysms doing the talking.

    That aside, I think it’s pretty clear the bin Laden raid was the most audacious military plan over the past 5 years or thereabouts. Maybe 10 years. I’d definitely rate it above the Fallujah battle plan. I’d also rate it well above the KSM capture, in terms of audaciousness, but given that KSM provided a treasure trove of intel after we waterboarded his arse you could make a legitimate case that the KSM operation from a long-term proposition was far more successful.

    Getting back to Biden for a moment, I’m surprised Obama didn’t replace him. Biden could have stepped down in 2009 or in 2010 “for health reasons” and eyebrows wouldn’t have been raised too high. Wouldn’t Obama be better off at present with someone like Ken Salazar on the ticket? Sherrod Brown? Amy Klobbuchar? It’s just difficult to see why Biden’s still around. Unless Obama views him as sort of a court jester.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  27. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    You do NOT want to play that game, moron.

    This is revealing. Counter-terrorism isn’t a game. And the failures of the Bush administrations regarding 9/11 have been well documented.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  28. Franklin says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    KSM provided a treasure trove of intel

    Citation needed (and no, don’t use Cheney’s lies as “evidence”.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  29. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian: At any rate, you’re just playing the game you’re trying to decry; the Bush administrations failures are really the Clinton administrations failures.

    is there anything you can’t find a way to blame on Bush/Cheney?

    Bush and Cheney only deserve blame for the mistakes they made. Their problem is only that they are legion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  30. Hey Norm says:

    @ Jenos…
    You’re pretty brave calling me a moron from behind yor keyboard.
    Just what I would expect from you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  31. PJ says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    All that shows is that Cheney, even with all his health issues, has a firmer grasp on reality than Biden ever has.

    What kind of grasp on reality do you need to have to end up shooting another guy in the face?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  32. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James: And all that gives Biden license to simply make up bullshit at the drop of a hat?

    You’d get along just fine with Stanley Fish — the leading liberal intellectual who argues that liberals shouldn’t be held to the same moral standards as others, as their liberal beliefs make them innately morally superior and shouldn’t be judged equally.

    Just like Obama just made up that quote about Rutherford B. Hayes and the telephone. Just making shit up to make themselves look better. And legions of sycophants willing to cover it up for them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  33. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Hey Norm: Aww… did I hurt your feelings? I feel so ashamed. And you were so staunch about defending me when I was insulted…

    Oh, that’s right. You thought that was just fine.

    Besides, you should be glad I recognized your moronic status. It gave you an excuse to ignore everything else I said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  34. Jenos Idanian says:

    @PJ: What kind of grasp on reality do you need to have to end up shooting another guy an intern in the face?

    Fixed that for ya…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  35. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Hey Norm: OK, Norm, I take it back. You’re just a person who says moronic things. Repeatedly. Incessantly. But you’re not necessarily a moron.

    I’d even go so far as to say you’re brighter than Joe Biden… but that’s not based on any objective criteria, just playing the odds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  36. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    And all that gives Biden license to simply make up bullshit at the drop of a hat?

    I don’t believe I ever said anything to that effect. Do try again.

    You’d get along just fine with Stanley Fish

    What was that you were you saying about staying on topic again?

    the leading liberal intellectual who argues that liberals shouldn’t be held to the same moral standards as others, as their liberal beliefs make them innately morally superior and shouldn’t be judged equally.

    Oh please, put more words into my mouth. I really shows how convincing you are.

    Just like Obama just made up that quote about Rutherford B. Hayes and the telephone.

    You’ve got a real winner with that one. Keep hammering it. The independent voters will come running to your side now!

    Just making shit up to make themselves look better. And legions of sycophants willing to cover it up for them.

    I’m sure George W. Bush and Richard Cheney would know a thing a two about making things up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  37. I’m just going to step in to remind the parties of our comment policies. Let’s avoid the personal attacks and stay on topic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  38. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Got it, Doug. I’ll back down on that front.

    But note — the original topic was “Biden makes up BS to make the administration look good.” And the whole Rutherford B. Hayes quote was likewise. There are countless examples of that dating back to the 2008 campaign — including Obama accusing doctors of performing unnecessary appendectomies and amputations purely for money. And look how much of your regular readership reacts when you point it out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  39. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian: With more concern for actual news?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  40. JKB says:

    Well, I think by now after the erroneous assertions about Palin’s 1773 and Paul Revere references, Obama’s flat earthers and Hayes misrepresentations and now this from Biden, we can say with good confidence, history is not the Democrat strong suit. Probably explains why they can’t learn from the fall of the Soviet Union or the mass murders of all the other good socialists and communists around the world.

    BTW, if, as Biden did, we include the world, I’d say the Birth of Israel ranks up there on the list of audacious plans. For if they had not planned and built their arsenal even as the British tried to leave them disarmed, when the British pulled out, the Arab armies that moved against the Jews would not have meant a one-term president but rather the slaughter of every man, woman and child of Jewish origin in the UN designated area of Israel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  41. @Jenos Idanian:

    I’m not so sure this is an example of Biden making things up in the sense that he was lying. Instead I would call it a rather audacious example of ridiculous political hyperbole. I’d call it the most audacious such example in 500 years, but I don’t want to make the same mistake our Vice-President did :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  42. What they accomplished getting OBL was great but definitely not the most audacious thing done in 500 years. That statement was foolish, but what they did was way cool. I sure felt proud that day as We got him, All Americans felt they got the bastard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  43. slimslowslider says:

    Bahahah.. yes! Stanley Fish… that “liberal” bahahahha…. god… the talking points are strong with this one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  44. Neo says:

    Does anybody dispute that if it had come to light that Obama (or Bush) had “a 48 percent probability” of getting UBL and passed it up that he would be a “one term President” ? Isn’t this what we pay Presidents to do ?

    Besides, there is nothing to say that Obama still won’t be a “one term President.”

    But you have got to hand it to these folks, they always have a hand on their own pulse, now if we could get them to pay attention to ours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. KariQ says:

    I kinda agree with the Tsar that it’s probably the aneurysm talking here. It’s hyperbolic to say the least, but you see where he was coming from at least. Like the “Roosevelt going on television” line – it was headshakingly strange, but you know what he meant.

    As for replacing Biden, there’s no reason to do so, frankly. Democrats like Biden, though I know this is hard for some people to believe, and replacing him would just upset the base for no good reason, since he has some “liberal issue” cred on the left and none of the proposed replacements do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Neo: To be fair, Obama did take 16 hours to sleep on that decision…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  47. Moosebreath says:

    Neo,

    “Does anybody dispute that if it had come to light that Obama (or Bush) had “a 48 percent probability” of getting UBL and passed it up that he would be a “one term President” ?”

    Yes. It did not prevent Bush the Younger’s reelection that he elected to not pursue bin Laden when he had the chance at Tora Bora. Or that he chose to divert the forces needed to hunt him down to a disasterous war of choice in Iraq.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. Jenos Idanian says:

    By the way, the British are probably the most audiacious force in military history. Just from World War II, the aforementioned St. Nazaire raid, Operation Mincemeat, the Dam Busters, HMS Glowworm…

    Israel had the Entebbe raid.

    Germany had the Channel Dash — should NEVER have worked, but it did.

    Deciding to take out Bin Laden? “Slam dunk.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  49. Cycloptichorn says:

    Biden says something done?

    Talk about a ‘dog bites man’ story! I mean, c’mon. Who is surprised here? If he didn’t say dumb stuff regularly, he wouldn’t be Biden.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  50. Cycloptichorn says:

    @Cycloptichorn:

    Er, ‘done’ should be ‘dumb.’

    I’ll see myself out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  51. SKI says:

    My first thought was that the prepared remarks said 50 years and Biden mis-spoke.
    We could still debate whether that was correct but at least it would be in the ballpark.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  52. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Actually, the bogus Hayes anecdote has been around for awhile. Even St. Ronnie used it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  53. Gustopher says:

    Two points.  “This guy” didn’t risk anything.  My guess is had the raid failed, we’d never have heard about it in terms of an attempt to get ‘bin Laden’.  In fact, we’d likely have only heard of it as an attempt to get a “high level” al Qaeda operative, if that.  And, there was no real decision to be made and most Americans know it. 

    Had bin Laden not been there, does anyone really think the Pakistanis wouldn’t have kicked our troops out of their country and stopped semi-cooperating? We violated their airspace and engaged in a military operation on the ground in one of their cities. This was, quite simply, an act of war against one of our allies.

    The only thing that kept Pakistan on board after that was that they couldn’t object too strenuously without appearing to have been harboring bin Laden.

    Also, Biden is great.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  54. bandit says:

    Nothing says audacious like sending 60 Seals to take an unguarded compound and killing 1 untrained armed guard then killing an unarmed hostage. This obviously says a lot about the judgement of whoever picked this fool as their VP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  55. James says:

    @bandit: Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the contemporary Conservative. So viscerally opposed to any and all parts of the Obama administration, they’re even critical of the killing of one of the globe’s most notorious and despicable terrorists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  56. JKB says:

    @bandit:

    You are missing the point, the audacious part was how this could blowback on Obama. If it’d gone wrong, Obama might have been held responsible and not re-elected. Apparently, in the last 500 years, there has never been a military plan that had the potential to so negatively impact Barack Obama. Which from that perspective is true as pretty much all the previous military decisions could be traced back to some other president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  57. Franklin says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    KSM provided a treasure trove of intel

    Still waiting for a reliable citation here. Anybody’s free to pipe in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  58. Rob in CT says:

    Joe “Hyperbole” Biden.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. The Most Audacious Joe Biden,” a comparison of the audacity of the bin Laden raid with that of the Doolittle raid of April 1942.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. WR says:

    @James: Why can’t we compromise and just admit that Jenos/JWest is a complete moron?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  61. James says:

    @WR: A fair bargain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  62. WR says:

    @bandit: “Nothing says audacious like sending 60 Seals to take an unguarded compound and killing 1 untrained armed guard then killing an unarmed hostage. This obviously says a lot about the judgement of whoever picked this fool as their VP. ”

    So this is the new right wing line — that tracking down and killing the world’s most wanted man was nothing much, and in fact is better described as “killing an unarmed hostage”? Good luck running on that, Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  63. anjin-san says:

    To be fair, Obama did take 16 hours to sleep on that decision…

    Compared to the snooze Bin Laden is taking, that is pretty trivial…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  64. Brummagem Joe says:

    @WR:

    @James: Why can’t we compromise and just admit that Jenos/JWest is a complete moron?

    So why do you two guys waste time arguing with him. He’s obviously got psychological problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  65. Tsar Nicholas says:

    It’s a real slow day at work and, hell, why not kill more time here?

    I’ve been thinking about the most audacious military actions over the past 500 years. I’ve come up with a top-10:

    10. Trafalgar.

    That Nelson could defeat two preeminent navies with guile and boldness speaks for itself.

    9. Leyte Gulf.

    I’m actually thinking of Japan’s war plans. Granted, they were slaughtered, but they certainly outfoxed Admiral Halsey and the U.S. war planners.

    8. Gallipoli.

    We’re talking about audaciousness here, not successful nor well considered.

    7. The Light Brigade.

    See above. Then again, there’s a fine line between boneheaded and suicidal.

    6. Trenton.

    Given the context — we were getting our asses kicked and all hope appeared lost — this bold stroke of military genius has to be considered much more audacious than Yorktown, the latter of which was quite the standard operation by way of omparison.

    5. Midway.

    Nimitz went all in with everything on the line. And won.

    4. Normandy.

    Pure genius. Pure boldness.

    3. Inchon.

    Incredibly bold maneuver. Legendary.

    2. Doolittle Raid.

    Pure guts. Pure cojones.

    1. Pearl Harbor.

    The very definition of military audacity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  66. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    It’s a real slow day at work and, hell, why not kill more time here?

    I’ve been thinking about the most audacious military actions over the past 500 years. I’ve come up with a top-10:

    10. Trafalgar.

    That Nelson could defeat two preeminent navies with guile and boldness speaks for itself.

    Actually the Nile and Copenhagen were much more audacious. He took the British fleet into shoals and annihilated his opponents. Equally audacious was Sir Edward Hawke’s defeat of the French at Quiberon Bay when he took the English fleet onto a lee shore in a gale.
    9. Leyte Gulf.

    I’m actually thinking of Japan’s war plans. Granted, they were slaughtered, but they certainly outfoxed Admiral Halsey and the U.S. war planners.

    Nah.

    8. Gallipoli.

    We’re talking about audaciousness here, not successful nor well considered.

    Nah
    7. The Light Brigade.

    See above. Then again, there’s a fine line between boneheaded and suicidal.

    This was a screw up
    6. Trenton.

    Given the context — we were getting our asses kicked and all hope appeared lost — this bold stroke of military genius has to be considered much more audacious than Yorktown, the latter of which was quite the standard operation by way of omparison.

    Yes
    5. Midway.

    Nimitz went all in with everything on the line. And won.

    Yes

    4. Normandy.

    Pure genius. Pure boldness.

    Not really. If the allies were going to invade France it was here or in the Pas de Calais. But it was very well executed for which much of the credit should go to Montgomery although we don’t like to hear this.
    3. Inchon.

    Incredibly bold maneuver. Legendary

    Definitely.
    2. Doolittle Raid.

    Pure guts. Pure cojones.

    Definitely1. Pearl Harbor.

    The very definition of military audacity.

    Definitely

    You could also have mentioned Entebbe, Otto Skorzeny’s rescue of Mussolini off a mountain top, Napoleon’s Austerltz campaign, Frederik II’s Rossbach and Leuthen campaign, Lee and Jackson’s Shenandoah valley campaign, the sinking of the Royal Oak at Scapa Flow, the disabling of HMS Valiant in Malta harbor, The British seizure of German radar installations at Bruneval in occupied France and spiriting them out of the country, the Royal Navy’s rescue of their army at Dunkirk and Crete.

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  67. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Joe,

    Great comments. Touche.

    You know, it’s tough to put together a 10-item list. There are bound to be glaring omissions.

    Incidentally, how can we have a discussion about military audacity without mentioning the most audacious one of them all: Francisco Pizarro!

    Perhaps there’s not one single plan of Pizarro’s that stands out, per se, but the bottom line is that Atahualpa met him with an army of tens of thousands. Pizarro had perhaps a couple of hundred. That Pizarro was able to conquer that nation against those numerical odds speaks for itself in terms of Pizarro’s audacity and ruthlessness. Pizarro might have had the largest set of cojones in history. Cortes also deserves mention in those regards.

    Lastly, I hate to give the SOB credit, but we are talking here about military audaciousness. What about Operation Watch on the Rhine? Backs against the wall. Out of fuel. Dead of winter. Facing a hate-filled juggernaut on one side and an industrial superpower on the other side. Then to take the offensive! Pretty damn audacious, albeit ultimately a lost cause.

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  68. matt says:

    9. Leyte Gulf.

    Which also lead to one of the guttiest last stands in American Naval history…

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  69. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    Lastly, I hate to give the SOB credit, but we are talking here about military

    I don’t see why. The German army in WW 2 was arguably the greatest in history and the entire 1940 western campaign was a masterpiece and had many individual examples also like the airborne assault on Eben Emael. And the WW 1 has plenty of examples too. The Schlieffen Plan (although it failed) was incredibly audacious….Ludendorff’s seizure of the fortress of Liege by coup de main….or the encirclement of the Russian armies at Tannenburg.

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  70. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Yep.

    And what about the most audacious of all German WWII war planning, although it never actually saw the light of day: Von Manstein’s post-Stalingrad proposal to allow the Red Army to come forward hundreds of kilometers but then to cut them off at Rostov and then to destroy the entire Southern flank. It took major cojones even to draft that plan.

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  71. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    It would have failed. By then the Russians had figured out the German way of fighting and were way too strong. When Russia launched it’s counter offensives in the winter of 1941/42 Germany had lost the war.

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  72. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    WR says:
    Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 13:23

    @James: Why can’t we compromise and just admit that Jenos/JWest is a complete moron?

    James says:
    Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 13:29

    @WR: A fair bargain.

    Doug, are the comment policies still in force, or should I feel free to reply in kind?

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  73. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Brummagem Joe: I’m still gonna hold out for Operation Cerberus, the “Channel Dash” by the German Navy in February 1942. There was no way in hell all those ships could have made it unmolested up the English Channel and back to Germany… but they did.

    And Operation Chariot, the St. Nazaire raid. That, good sirs, was audacity in its sheerest form.

    I think if there’s one thing we’ve established, it’s that a lot of us know a hell of a lot more than Joe Biden.

    Not that that’s such a high standard…

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  74. Jenos Idanian says:

    @matt: I take a back seat to no one in admiration for the heroes off Samar, but the “audacious” part was on the Japanese. The Americans exhibited tremendous presence of mind in horrific circumstances, and superlative valor above and beyond the call of duty, but the only part that could be considered “audacious” was the charge of the Little Boys.

    To me, “audacity” requires a certain knowing of the odds — and choosing to defy them anyway. Off Samar, there wasn’t that much choice involved by the US forces — it was either go down fighting, or go down running. That they fought — and fought so well — is incredibly laudable. That they survived is miraculous. That they, in a sense, won, is almost inconceivable.

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  75. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian: You reap what you sow Jenos. It’s unseemly to cry about it.

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  76. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Please, if you’re going to break out the wit, at least get some new material.

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  77. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James: Not crying about it… just want to be clear on the house rules before I start shooting back. I told Doug I’d abide by his rules, and I will stand by that.

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  78. James says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I imagine not questioning people’s intelligence in big bold fonts would be a helpful step on your part.

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  79. matt says:

    @Jenos Idanian: You didn’t pay attention to what I typed..

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  80. Jenos Idanian says:

    @matt: More like I read more into it than you intended, and I apologize.

    BTW, are you familiar with this site? It’s the most detailed account of the battle I’ve yet seen…

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  81. An Interested Party says:

    Throughout this entire thread, the nicest thing to see is the steaming sack of horse$hit logic that 9/11 was somehow Clinton’s fault even though it happened on Bush’s watch…but remember! Bush kept us safe…if you forget about 9/11, that is…I mean, talk about not having a firm grasp on reality…by the way, if Romney were to actually win in November, I guess we would trade in one vice-president for one president

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  82. Tsar Nicholas says:

    There is, however, a fine line between audacious and purely suicidal.

    I would not consider Japan’s Operation Ten-Go to be “audacious.” Sending out your lone remaining capital ship with no air cover and fuel enough for a one-way journey is not audacious; that strictly was a suicide mission. The same would hold true for Japan’s kamikaze attacks, the “Baka bomb,” and those “special airborne attack squads” that appeared at already-captured airfields on Okinawa.

    Now that I’m thinking in earnest about the Pacific Theatre, however, what amazes me is just how audacious, skilled and cunning Japan was before things went completely south for them. Pearl Harbor. The Coral Sea. The Philippine Sea. Leyte Gulf. Japan outfoxed us at various turns. That we completely obliterated them in that war speaks volumes about the tenacity of our troops and our crushing industrial might. Of course the success of the Manhattan Project didn’t hurt.

    One final reference to pure military audaciousness: Rommel in North Africa circa March-April 1941. To have conquered Cyrenaica with only three light divisions at his disposal virtually is unfathomable. Rommel had huge cojones.

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  83. Jenos Idanian says:

    I guess the silence here confirms what I’ve known all along — the policies are selectively enforced, and the resident leftist trolls are exempted from them.

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  84. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Aw, the Audacity of Mope.

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  85. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: Oh, shut your gobhole, you worthless sack of pig vomit. I don’t recall you EVER offering anything of substance, just snide snipes and cheap shots and personal digs. Why don’t you trot on back to Democratic Underground or Kos or any of the other worthless sewers of the left?

    Go ahead, I challenge you to offer a single thing of substance here. Actually discuss the original article — how Joe Biden has demonstrated, once again, that he is utterly unqualified for any elective office above dog-catcher.

    But you won’t. You can’t. You’re a parasite. You need others to feed off of. You never had an original thought in your life. You never had an opinion of your own. You just take pot-shots at those who do what you don’t dare to do — because you know you can’t.

    I have more respect for Biden than you — and that says a lot.

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  86. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Score!

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  87. Racehorse says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: How could we leave out Custer at the Little Big Horn (If Reno hadn’t got lost, Custer might have pulled it off) and Pickett’s Charge? How about San Juan Hill and Teddy Roosevelt?

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  88. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Racehorse:

    and Pickett’s Charge?

    This wasn’t audacious. It was a suicidal tactic in a fixed battle. Essentially similar to the first day of the battle of the Somme or the endless attacks and counter attacks of Verdun.

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  89. [...] Biden raised more than a few eyebrows when he called the raid that killed Osama bin Laden the most audacious plan in 500 years. Not surprisingly, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the comment yesterday: The [...]

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  90. WR says:

    @Brummagem Joe: Oh, come on, Joe. You should at least let one message come in between the one admonishing me not to argue with JWest and your own argument with JWest!

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  91. Brummagem Joe says:

    @WR:

    and your own argument with JWest!

    What argument with JWest?@WR:

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  92. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Hope that felt as good for you as it did for me.

    Look, dude, you may think that you offer substance, but as I’ve already told you, your schtick is nothing but boring wingnut talking points. You may be able to sucker some people into your Argument Clinic, but I’m not going to be one of ‘em.

    I can dig that you don’t like having your own personal heckler, but really, sweetheart, if you didn’t want the attention, you wouldn’t wear such provocative clothing.

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  93. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: Thanks. I knew it wouldn’t take much to get you to go on the record saying your primary purpose is to violate the aforementioned rules of conduct.

    Next: to see if anyone in charge of enforcing those rules actually will enforce them.

    I’m going back to ignoring you…

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  94. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Jay, I have repeatedly admitted that my goal has always been to mock your hackneyed wingnuttia (as well as your appalling taste in popular culture), but, great sleuthing, Marlowe.

    Come and get me, coppers!

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  95. @Tsar Nicholas:

    Won’t argue with your list. Just want to point out that while Pearl Harbor was indeed an audacious operation, it is also a perfect example of why the Japanese were tactically brilliant and strategically moronic. The attack plan almost completely ignored American shore logistics facilities, especially fuel depots. I remember reading an US Navy estimate that had Japanese bombers attacked the fleet’s fueling systems, the war effort in the Pacific would have been stymied for 18 months.

    As it was, attacking and sinking so many major American surface combatant ships compelled the Navy to fight carrier-centric immediately. This was, of course, Japan’s particular skill, but only for six months. Until Midway, Japan never lost. After Midway, Japan never won.

    Pearl Harbor – audacious, yes. Successful, no.

    My own vote for the single most audacious operation of the war is the Doolittle Raid, read why here.

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  96. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Donald Sensing:

    My own vote for the single most audacious operation of the war is the Doolittle Raid, read why here

    If this is your definition of successful audacity god help us. They dropped a handful of bombs that did minimal damage, at least two of the aircrews were lost and an estimated 200,000 Chinese were killed in the search for crews. Probably an exaggeration but say it was 20,000 was the Doolittle raid worth it?

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  97. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Brummagem Joe: The aircrews were all volunteers. They thought it was worth it.

    The Japanese were slaughtering the Chinese literally wholesale. The Doolittle raid wasn’t a reason, it was an excuse.

    And it was a wild success for many reasons. For one, it should have been physically impossible. Launching Mitchells of a carrier? Inconceivable!

    For another, the actual physical damage was negligible — but it totally disrupted the Japanese war plans. It broke their sense of invulnerability and forced them off the relentless offensive and made them seriously consider defense. They trashed their plans and immediately threw everything into countering the US forces — which they thought they wouldn’t have to any time soon after Pearl Harbor.

    The only thing I’d add to Mr. Sensing’s superb analysis was the risk not just to Hornet, but to the escorting Enterprise as well. We had only a handful of fleet carriers at that point, and to risk two of them so soon after Pearl Harbor was a huge risk — it was half our active force in the Pacific at the time.

    “Audacious: extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless.”

    The Doolittle raid? Absolutely. I dunno if I’d go as far as Mr. Sensing, as I still hold out for the St Nazaire raid and the Channel Dash as strong competitors.

    The decision to get Bin Laden? Not hardly.

    Slow Joe Rides Again.

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