Thursday, December 01, 2005

Old School "Metrics" : Vietnam 1965



Recall this? No? Okay, then how about this? Ok.

Now , click on the chart above to see, in all its ridiculous detail, an example of how the Pentagon, pre-PowerPoint, used "metrics" to explain how we were winning the Vietnam War in 1965.

"Metrics," you may recall is one of the managerial banalities Don Rumsfeld said we needed to determine whether or not we are winning the War on Terror and the Iraq war.

After all, how often can you take and re-take towns and villages, before people say , "how much does this cost?" and/or "what are we doing?"

The Vietnam War lasted ten more years after the above chart was first used by a defensive, cliped, Ivy League, ex-CEO, wire-rimmed eye glass wearing, metrics oriented SecDef, to explain why we were well on our way to victory.

Robert S. McNamara, much like his D.C. neighbor Donald Rumsfeld, arrived at the Pentagon with dreams of efficiency and the possiblity of technological trasformation.

McNamara served a Texan President who was intelligent, yet inarticulate and oddly insecure. Rumsfeld now serves a President who shares those qualities. Bush is very intelligent, albeit in his own inexplicably unique way.

LBJ succeeded JFK, a popular, articulate, and charismatic Democrat whose reportedly roguish ways and allegedly liberal programs stoked much much ire on the right.

Bush succeeded the roguish Clinton, promising to supercede his allegedly liberal programs.

McNamara metrics in 1965 and Rumsfeld metrics two score hence, tell a tale that's been more than twice told in days gone by. Must we wait another ten years for this version to conclude?

Chart source: Washington Expose, Jack Anderson, p. 295; Public Affairs. 1967. LOC # 67-14902

17 Comments:

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Dem Soldier said...

Lol that's just wrong.......

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger enigma4ever said...

Thanks for posting this...geez, Ross Perot is somewhere gleefully drooling over this process....And this whole thing deja-vietnam- vu at this point....I will rerent Fog Of War again this weekend....

 
At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Marie Antoinette said...

If they want to play around with numbers, let's talk numbers: # of our troops killed, # of Iraqis killed, # of insurgent attacks..

 
At 10:47 PM, Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

So, those are body count figures?

The greater good these men believed they served apparently justified keeping the American people and the Congress in the dark as long a possible. They and their countrymen paid dearly for this view in the years to come. David Kaiser, American Tragedy, Belknap Press, 2000.

 
At 2:25 AM, Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

"Metric". Yeah. I hate that. "The metrics", "by any metric". It's the darling of the NEWSPEAK. Go metric your dick, Rummy.

 
At 6:53 AM, Blogger David said...

Oh man, it's so good all this stuff's getting documented.

Do any of you guys know an NZ political blog that touches on similar themes?

 
At 2:36 AM, Blogger John said...

You guys are shameless. What's the matter with you?

 
At 2:38 AM, Blogger John said...

Oh, I forgot. W.C. is vetting first.

That's kind of like Bush controlling his audience, isn't it?

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Are you comparing a blog operation to the Presidency, whose role in public life is written into the Constitution and explained thru the example of history?

Why do you think it's OK for newspapers, some worth billions, to control their comments, even though they have a huge staff?

Why do you think blogs, who lack such resources and do not have public responsibilities, should be less, rather than more, restrictive about comments?

 
At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Colonel George said...

You have framed a point that needs to be brought to today with better communication tools and far greater control of the media than existed in the Vietnam War. Combine these improved means with the clear intention of deception whether directly from the White House or through paid surrogates and we have Animal Farm by Orwell with the Pigs clearly in control.

Well done.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Eric2 said...

What part of "vietnamization" were we supposed to have forgotten?

 
At 6:01 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

Perhaps their chart would've been closer to the truth had they had Power Point then :)

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Tara said...

Very interesting.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger David said...

My response to the suggestion you left on my blog is here.

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Zeruel said...

Fooling yourself can be done in many different ways. 'Metrics' was McNamaras and is now Rumsfelds self-deception of choice.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Jet said...

How's the old saw go... fool me twice, shame on me?

Thanks for commenting on God Dem. I'm looking for a guest poster for another blog I write for for this Friday: http://theunitedamerican.blogs.com/bring_it_on/

Please email me.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Excellent! And you were right, a lot better assignment then I normally get. Thanks for giving me a break.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home