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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Still Losing? Yup. 

Here's the caption from a photo on one of the web sites I regularly visit:
Lance Cpl. Jeremiah K. Barr of King, N.C., a fiscal clerk currently serving his country with Quick Reaction Force, Provisional Rifle Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), sings and plays the guitar here during his spare time.
For those of you wondering, the web site is United States Marine Corps Image Archive. It is a site that shows pictures taken and submitted by Marines to document what it's like being a Marine. But if you check the URL it's a usmc.mil address, so the pictures are approved by someone official before they get onto the site.

So why is this caption an indication that we're losing in Iraq? Well I'm glad you asked, Internets. Check out to what unit our friend fiscal clerk Lance Corporal Barr belongs. That's right it's the Quick Reaction Force, Provisional Rifle Company. The operative items are 'fiscal clerk' and 'Provisional'. That means that Lance Corporal Barr is supposed to spend most of his time in some HQ unit driving Excel spreadsheets. But instead of doing that he is assigned to a Provisional Rifle Company. A Provisional Rifle company is what you get when you're running short of infantry and you round up clerks and cooks and truck drivers and form them into a temporary (dare we say Provisional?) infantry unit. Now I admit that every Marine is a rifleman, it's part of their mythos, but giving fiscal clerks rifles is not the action of a military that is on the upswing in their operations.

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