Last nights Republican debate:
I am sure those captains are intimately aware of rule # 1 of modern naval warfare: "He who shoots first, sinks last." Once the missiles are in the air, everybody is going to the bottom.... Destroyers for speedboats is a lousy trade, so they aren't going to shoot first. Somebody needs to explain this to Fred Thompson. I heard him on NPR this morning saying if the Iranians had pushed it they'd get introduced to those virgins they are looking for.
• One of the most bizarre moments in this debate, or any other debate for that matter, came when Brit Hume pressed the candidates on whether they agreed with the "passive" response of the Navy ships that were confronted by Iranian speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz — the ships threatened to fire on the Iranians if they did not desist in their approach, rather than immediately fire as Hume would prefer.
• The candidates all stood by the decisions of the captains on those ships, despite Hume's repeated urging that they be stronger. Among the top-tier candidates, only McCain came even close to criticizing Hume, calling it "a bit presumptuous" to judge the captains, who trained for a very long time to reach their positions and are trusted to make those judgments.