To find this article in the Asia Times is significant. This isn’t just some right-wing nutjob complaining about Obama; this is a foreign-language newspaper making observations based on their own view of history:
As a WW2 history geek, I particularly appreciated his comparison of BOO’s Mideast Policy to General Montgomery’s attempt to take the bridge at Arnhem.
To fully appreciate the irony in that comparison, you’ve got to either have read the book or seen the movie, “A Bridge Too Far”. Monty’s plan (AKA “Market Garden” – “Market” was the air and paratrooper attacks; “Garden” was the ground assault) called for seizing six bridges in the Netherlands. One reason for this plan was to get access to the sea ports north of Antwerp. Relying on the temporary ports at Normandy was stretching the Allied supply lines too long.
The other reason was to gain control of the bridge at Arnhem, which would give them access over the Rhine into Germany. Understand that during WW1, Germany was never invaded. The German Empire collapsed without any foreign troops crossing the Rhine. The psychological value of being able to enter Germany was enormous, for as long as Germany itself remained whole, there was a chance that they could hold out until the Allies offered a peace treaty. Once that first Sherman tank hit the shores of the Fatherland, everyone knew that it was game over.
That’s why Monty was so keen to get the bridge at Arnhem, becoming the first general to invade Germany since the time of the Caesars (and also to give Patton a black eye. Historians debate which was Monty’s greater goal.) The Germans also knew this, which is why they reinforced the area with artillery and a few SS Panzer divisions. All of these defenses were visible on air reconnaissance photos and through reports from the Dutch underground.
Monty ignored them.
His plan was shoddy at best, and criminal at worst. There are some that say to this day that Monty should have been relieved of his command after Arnhem. For example, the Dutch War College had an exam which required the student to plan an attack on a certain Dutch city. You could either go on the highways built on the dikes, or take the much more difficult route through the bogs. The students who chose going over the dike highways immediately failed the test. All the defenders had to do was to destroy a few of the dikes and the attackers advance would be halted, leaving their soldiers dangerously exposed on top of these dikes, ready to be picked off.
Guess which route Monty chose.
It was called a success because 5 of the 6 bridges were captured and several new seaports were secured. This came at the cost of over 6,400 British, Polish, and American soldiers captured, with another 4,500 or so killed, with the main objective – the bridge – still in enemy hands.
Yeah. I think comparing BOO’s foreign policy to Market Garden is spot on.