Perhaps not quite as egregious as Radio Vice Online posits, but it’s close. Chris Matthews says that people follow “lucky” commanders, and that the Navy SEALs who iced three pirates with single shots had a lot of luck in doing so. Chuck Todd can hardly believe his ears:
Chance favors the prepared mind. Desert One didn’t fail because of bad luck; it failed because the mission was not properly equipped for its environment, and because the Pentagon had not prepared a joint commando mission of this kind before. Carter didn’t have that option, but by that time he’d been President for over three years, and the hostages had been held for several months. The failure to anticipate the needs of this mission hardly falls into the “bad luck” category.
It’s hard to imagine why Matthews wants to pursue a “luck” explanation. If the mission was that chancy, perhaps Obama shouldn’t have ordered it. Todd gets it right when he notes that the SEALs and other commando units prepare constantly for just this kind of mission, and that their skills are honed to the nth degree. That ain’t luck — it’s preparation, training, and excellent command decisions, the qualities that actually produce leaders people follow.