Thursday, January 11, 2007

President Bush's Plan for Iraq: The Opposite

When we stopped winning in Iraq, I must admit I was concerned. How did this happen all of a sudden just when things seemed to be going so well? Apparently, sometime between October 25 when the President said we were winning and December 20 of last year when he said we were not winning but not losing, something went terribly wrong.

When the Iraq Study Group came out with its report that basically conceded the War in Iraq was lost I nearly gave up hope. It was not until I saw President Bush's speech last night that I realized the purpose of the report: to outline the strategies that we should not take. "As described by participants in the administration review, some staff members on the National Security Council became enamored of the idea of sending more troops to Iraq in part because it was not a key feature of Baker-Hamilton," reported the Washington Post. The report did prove valuable to White House strategists but not for the reason most people thought. "A leader does take the counsel of grey hairs and the people's representatives, among many others," writes Jules Crittenden. And then, like George in the famous Seinfeld episode, he does the exact opposite.

But it was not just in soliciting the advice of others and doing the opposite that Bush showed himself to be a true leader. He also stepped up and took responsibility for mistakes, even though someone else must have made them, which was why he cleverly assigned blame to the passive voice. "Where mistakes have been made," he said, "the responsibility rests with me." Typically, the AP, which wants us to lose in Iraq, headlined its story "Bush Admits Mistakes, Adds Troops," giving the false impression that Bush was admitting his own mistakes when he was actually taking responsibility for mistakes made by others.

But mistakes, whoever made them, are bad, aren't they? According to Austin Bay, the opposite is true: Mistakes are actually a sign that we are winning. "Every war is a series of mistakes--bloody, expensive mistakes," writes Bay. "Ultimately winning a war demands perseverance and creative adaptation. War winners understand this real world paradox. It exists because the enemy always "has a vote"; the enemy also has a motive will and the ability to adapt. Winning generals minimize and correct their own mistakes while leveraging the opportunities created by the enemy's. The Great 21st Century War for Modernity is no different - and that really is the war America and its allies are fighting. So treat "gotcha" stories focusing on mistakes (like this one from the AP) as the historically uninformed sensationalism they are."

So Bay is saying that--paradoxically--every "bloody, expensive" mistake we make in Iraq just puts us closer to victory. Whenever the media reports on a mistake in Iraq, instead of seeing it as a failure, we should instead look at it instead as a success that hasn't happened yet.

President Bush is not only sending in more troops, which will surge the number of troops back up to the exact same number of troops we had in Iraq back when we were winning, he also outlined plans to start using the troops that are already there. Unfortunately, according to Michael Ledeen many of our troops have just been sitting around doing nothing. "We've got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq," writes Ledeen. "They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don't know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it's a substantial number. Enough of that." From now on the troops will have to get their Starbucks to go.

By sending more troops into Iraq, the possibility that there will be even more "bloody, expensive" mistakes will increase. Unfortunately, more of our soldiers will probably die. But more casualties means that we are winning not losing. "Some of these soon-to-be-deployed soldiers will die ... and don't worry, you can rely on the AP to start a tally of the deaths of the newly deployed," writes Crittenden. "In war, death is a given. If and when it happens, it will mean that our soldiers have found and engaged the enemy, which I predict will die in much greater numbers." So more of our soldiers will die, but more of the enemy will, too (and probably a few innocent bystanders). "It won't be pretty," Crittenden says. "There will be bloody days ahead." I'm sure that increased casualties will be difficult for some warbloggers who may feel guilty about those who have lost their lives defending our right to cheer the war on from the safety of our own homes. But I know a lot of warbloggers are fans of science fiction so it might be easier to do what I do, which is to think of these brave soldiers as the actors who wear red shirts in a Star Trek episode, who know they are there to protect the blue shirts from dying. And they can take solace in the fact that the more of these red shirts that die, the better we are doing.

Undoubtedly, the AP, which hates America, will harp on mistakes that are made or on how many soldiers die, but we should think of these reports as signs that we are actually winning in Iraq. We should believe the opposite of what the media is saying because in Iraq down is actually up. Success will only seem like a series of bloody, expensive blunders. The more it looks like we are losing in Iraq, the closer we will be to victory.

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Michael Plank said...

Well, after all, war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

Dick Durata said...

I never understood before how 'not winning' was better than 'winning', but now I know that to 'win' you have to go through the 'not winning' phase that somebody overlooked in devising our planification. Thank the heavens that the President spotted this lacuna and took the decisive steps to insure that we'll 'win'. Even the 'mistakes' he's spotted are necessary to the 'not winning' to 'win' plan, so everyone should get a medal except the Democrat party.

James Higham said...

The man has gone to pieces, so has Blair. The policy is in a shambles and the only little difficulty is that your military and ours is dying unnecessarily. And I'm no lefty.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked to learn that our soldiers in Iraq are sitting around drinking designer coffee. We should take away the coffee and give them amphetamines like we give to our bomber pilots. Then we'll see some results!

benmerc said...

No escalation, or "surge"...we are now "augmenting"... it sounds so pc, how thoughtful of Condi.

Anonymous said...

Best augmentation is a dangerous procedure.

OutOfContext said...

Thanks for the link to Ledeen...I like the cut of that man's jib. But you failed to mention the biggest problem in Iraq, as highlighted by Mr. Mike. Just as in America,rogue Baghdadi judges:
Americans are killed, we investigate, find the people we believe are guilty, and arrest them. We then turn them over to local authorities for processing. But the “justice system” is totally centralized in Baghdad; there are no local judges to pronounce sentences, and all cases go to Baghdad. Baghdadi courts are not a model of efficiency, thus alleged killers walk. I can understand leaving out the jury trial part (who is going to risk jury duty in Baghdad), but it's outrageous that we turn over those we believe to be guilty and we can't even find a judge to sentence them.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Hiya!..right on spot as always Jon..lets hope this time actually when the "good guys" get to stay alive and we see the clips of them runnin up to their beautiful wives and gorgeous lil toddlers huggin with tears of joy and victory streamin down their cheeks!
Have a great weekend!

Miss Cellania said...

I'm so glad you wrote this and explained everything so well, because I couldn't make heads or tails out of what he said Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Ghandi who said that whoever made the least greatest blunders in war would win? Martin Luther King? Mother Theresa? Hitler? I'm sure it was one of those.

Anonymous said...

War doubters just don't understand how great accomplishments are achieved. Everyone agrees that Edison was a great man, but he made hundreds of "mistakes" when he was trying to invent the light bulb. Did he give up? No. He said "I haven't failed 700 times. I've found 700 ways not to invent the light bulb." And eventually, someone did invent it. That someone wasn't Edison, but that didn't matter. If anyone wanted to not invent a light bulb, Edison could tell them exactly how they should go about not doing it. Bush is just like Edison. He's already found out some of the ways not to win the war in Iraq. He only needs to find a few hundred more ways, and then someone else can win it. Iran, maybe.

Anonymous said...

And another thing many people don't understand - I have discovered that George Bush is in fact the second coming of Jesus Christ our Savior. How do I know this? Because Bush said "I am the decider." Too many people have overlooked the fact that the suffix -cide comes from the Latin word for "kill." Therefore a de-cider is an unkiller - he will bring the dead back to life. Only Jesus can do this, and so George Bush must be Jesus. So, even if everyone in Iraq and America is killed by this war, and even if it escalates and spreads to the point of Armageddon, George Bush will bring everyone back to life again and send the evil-doers to Hell.

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