Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Meet the New Plan...

... same as the old plan.

Later tonight our President and Commander in Chief will hit the airwaves during Prime Time. It's Wednesday, but there's no Lost so I guess people won't mind all that much. The substance of the speech is supposed to be the culmination of his assimilation of the reports of advisers, the Pentagon, and the Iraq Study Group and how he's crafted this information into a new policy for winning the war in Iraq.

We should side trip here just to talk about the nature of the change of the discourse. Remember, it isn't the war in Iraq that we're fighting, it's "the war on terror." So the fact that we get a policy aimed at Iraq (if we do get a policy aimed at Iraq) is somewhat of a step in and of itself.

Although I think that's just about as far a step as we're likely to get.

It seems like they've leaked most of the idea already: a troop "surge" of 20,000 soldiers to hold the spaces cleared by us after we clear them because the Iraqis don't seem to be able to hold them. We have to say surge in quotes because if you look at the meaning of the word, it implies a momentary condition - typically involving something that rises and then falls. We're getting the rise part of the plan. I think it likely the fall part will be TBD.

Is it me, or is a troop surge just more "stay the course"?

Mr. President, when will the troops come home?

Well David, I'm glad you asked that. The troops will stand down when the Iraqis are able to stand up.

More of the same. The worst part is that I don't know what he could do. Is it within the realm of possibility that if he went to the floor of the General Assembly in NYC and said "oops. You were right, we weren't set up to do this alone." That the countries that haven't played a part in the Iraq campaign would step up to put their tongue in the fan so to speak?

If you will.

As it were.

Colin Powell had it right long long ago: "You break it, you bought it." But its not so much like breaking something at the store. If you do that you can leave it in the basement or put it on eBay or donate it to Goodwill or something. Breaking Iraq was more like adopting a kid. Maybe Powell should have told W that he could only have his Middle Eastern Country if he was going to feed it. Trouble is, there's no parent here to make sure the feeding gets done.

So we're going to surge the course.

What are we not going to do? Probably? We're not going to stop spending on the war as off the budget supplementals. We're not going to bring in more international participants to help shoulder both the monetary and personnel load. We're not really going to have any clearer picture of what it looks like when we're done.

I wonder if the United States can hold a past President financially liable for decisions made during his term of office?

No, we're in a CEO culture now. Bush will step down with a golden parachute I am sure. Something to rival any of the CEOs that drive their companies into the ground and then get paid off to leave. But think about it, who deserves more to live destitute for the remainder of their lives: the folks from Enron or the folks from the Bush White House? (We'll ignore whatever overlap there may happen to be between the groups.)

So, make sure you tune in. Maybe he'll pull a rabbit out of his hat. Because magic is the only thing that's going to make this better anything close to quickly.

No comments: