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March 24, 2003
Patton, Weather, and Iraq

It was with much interest that I read the Baghdad weather forecast this morning:

Tonight: Considerable cloudiness. Low 61F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy skies. High around 75F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Tomorrow night: Scattered thunderstorms in the evening, then variable clouds overnight with more showers at times. Low 53F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Wednesday: Cloudy with occasional showers. High 61F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Thursday: Plenty of sun. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the mid 40s. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 40s.

(Forecast from Yahoo Weather, hat tip to the Command Post)

After much concern for the rapidly-increasing temperatures in the Iraq theater of action and the effect high temperatures would have on our troops, it now looks as though temperatures will be moderate this week.

I am put much in mind of the story, made famous in the film Patton, of the "weather prayer" the General asked his chaplain to compose:

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.

For "rains", substitute "temperatures" or "sandstorms" and I think you might see the parallel.

Read the story of the prayer, as told by the Army chaplain himself, here: Patton's Prayer.

Posted by Russ at 12:21 PM, March 24, 2003 in Nat'l Security

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