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The Shadow Knows

by Steve Finefrock - Hollywood Forum [scriptwriter] 5/2/07

FROM THE PHONE BOOTH: The Smallest Space in  Hollywood

Not a lot of “intelligence” in the supposedly intelligent demeanor of the Barack Who Would Be President. In Debate One last week, Barack Obama answered a hypothetical war question phrased by its author with the revealing, yet un-emphasized phrase that indicates how Illinois’ junior senator’s planning to not plan to be effective as a commander in chief of the most significant military force in the world. Actually, it’s the only remotely significant force, all the more reason we make sure this pack of eggs in one basket is put into the hands of a farmer who knows how to exploit those eggs.
If two cities had simultaneously suffered a terror attack, went the question intended to duplicate the 911 circumstances, how would you react, was the question put to the democrats.  Barack responded after Brian Williams created a democrat-designed hypothetical, revealing as much about the lefty reporter as it elicited from Barack.


Founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to "Bring the Potomac to the Palisades" on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called "A State of the Union"], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA's Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation's capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters. Finefrock is proprietor of PhoneBooth: The Smallest Space in  Hollywood... [go to Finefrock index]

The revealing, even Freudian-slip, phrase by Williams: “…and we further learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that it had been the work of Al Qaeda…” [my emphasis]
Do ya get it?  Dems don’t, Williams don’t, the media don’t – that is, they don’t know squat about military intelligence, military leadership, strategy or tactics or the realities of every battle in every wary of every millennia since Adam’s boys battled for supremacy.
There is never an intelligence picture that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt as to what tactic or strategy should be pursued.  Not at the Battle of Midway, or Trafalgar, or even in cinema’s latest presentation in “300” the battle at Thermopylae by those sturdy Spartans.
All intelligence is squishy, full of holes, replete with contradictions and contraindications, and multiple interpretations by the same people in the same room examining the same raw data from the identical same sources.  Even in non-military management theory, it is taught that at a certain point, a decision must be made, without waiting for that one more bit of information or clarification of prior data.  Otherwise, one is victimized by the paralysis of analysis.  It hounded Lincoln as his first general-in-chief foundered with preparation and training, and just never would get going.  General McClellan always wanted more information, more preparation, more troops, more gunpowder.  Not a problem for Robert E. Lee.
Thus the Civil War went south in more than one way for its first two years.  U.S. Grant had not need for perfect information that was beyond a shadow of a doubt.  He pointed his troops toward the south, and put doubt in their minds and soon made the South into a shadows of its once supposed greatness.
Barack’s answer include the words “talking” and “base don bluster and bombast” and other non-commital expressions that fit perfectly with Williams’ rigged question.  Of course, anyone can find an easier decision [it’s never ‘easy’ – only easier] if there is intelligence beyond a shadow of a doubt.  But the set-up proved Williams’ pre-set bias, and revealed Obama’s indecision: even in such a perfect-world setting, he could not make a firm stand about how he would act as commander in chief.  He whined about Hurricane Katrina, talking about operations plans and the like
Yet, when has Barack or any of the other legislators on that stage every written, much less tested, an operations plan?  None of them has any executive experience, but instead are lifelong occupants of a long line of legislators, who share the blame and spread the criticism and yak at the executive branch with their “oversight” function.
In the past century-plus of presidential selection by our voters, the trendline has been toward those who in fact have executive experience: governors have gotten the nod over three-quarters of the time, and only once has a sitting senator been elected to the presidency – JFK with LBJ in ’60.  Truman ascended first from the Senate to the VP job, then succeeded FDR upon his death.  Even Teddy Roosevelt, who ascended the same way, was a governor before being VP, as FDR and Wilson and Carter and Reagan and most of the others were governors. Even Ike had massive ‘executive’ experience as supreme commander of our forces in Europe, overseeing the needs and necessities of millions in uniform, and the care and feeding of further millions in desperation after liberation.  No recent presidents were lifelong legislators, save for the JFK skin-thin victory.
Whether Americans think of this distinction in the voting booth is yet to be confirmed by polling research.  But the result is true and constant: We want people to lead the nation who have lead similar organizations in their earlier times.
None ever had a decision of any importance which present information that was ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’ – something likely unknown by Brian Williams.  Nor by Barack, or Hillary, or the host of other minor players who want to play major leader of the major and only military force in the world.
Yes, Barack and his brothers and single sister think they have answers, but not a one of them has any executive experience, or any honesty: otherwise, at least one would have noted that there is never such a situation presented to a president, or a governor, or often even to a mayor of a major city.  Thus, Rudy rides high in this piddlin’ puddle filled with poodles of the left.  Even on the GOP side, he stands high, as McCain has never had any serious command responsibility, his POW performance being remarkable but irrelevant to such decisions.  Mitt Romney has serious executive experience, but he had to be a RINO to get that job, thus he’s not really one of us on the right.
No doubt Barack thinks he’s the Shadow from the old radio mystery show.  Who knows what evil resides in the minds of men, asked the voice – Only the Shadow knows was the response.  But only real executives know that no shadow-of-a-doubt ever arises in real world crises.  Not in the missile crisis that plagued JFK, or a slew of others thru history.
If only Brian knew that.  But he is only a shadow of a reporter, and was asking his question of a shadowy wisp of candidates, unworthy of even the question, much less worthy enough to give the proper answer. CRO

copyright 2007 Steve Finefrock





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