Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

Left Bloggers
Blog critics

Gryffindor House
Roger Ailes
Angry Bear
Biscuit Report
Body and Soul
Daily Kos
Kevin Drum
Glenn Greenwald
Group Think Central
Inappropriate Response
Mark Kleiman
Lean Left
Nathan Newman
Off the Kuff
Prometheus Speaks
Rittenhouse Review
Max Sawicky
Scoobie Davis
Seeing the Forest
Sully Watch
Talking Dog
Talking Points
TPM Cafe
Through the Looking Glass
Washington Monthly
WTF Is It Now?
Matt Yglesias

Slytherin House
Indepundit/Lt Smash
Damian Penny
Natalie Solent
Andrew Sullivan
Eve Tushnet

Ravenclaw House
Michael Berube
Juan Cole
Crooked Timber
Brad Delong
Donkey Rising
Dan Drezner
Amy Sullivan
Volokh Conspiracy
War and Piece
Winds of Change

House Elves
Tom Burka
Al Franken
Happy Fun Pundit
Mad Kane
Neal Pollack
Poor Man
Silflay Hraka
SK Bubba

Beth Jacob
Kesher Talk
Meryl Yourish

Prisoners of Azkaban
Ted Barlow
Beyond Corporate
William Burton
Cooped Up
Cogent Provacateur
Letter From Gotham
Likely Story
Mind Over What Matters
Not Geniuses
Brian O'Connell
Rants in Our Pants
Ann Salisbury
Thomas Spencer
To the Barricades

A & L Daily
Campaign Desk
Daily Howler
Op Clambake
Media Matters

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Party Animals:
Clark Community
From The Roots(DSCC)
Kicking Ass (DNC)
Stakeholder (DCCC)

Not a Fish
Ribbity Blog
Tal G

Baghdad Burning
Salam Pax

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>

Monday, August 25, 2003
A Simple Plan

Calpundit wonders what Bush is trying to do in Iraq.

So what is he doing? His reluctance to involve the UN or the rest of the world is at least understandable given his worldview, but his reluctance to do anything just boggles the imagination. Even accepting the world on his terms, his actions make no sense.

At this point, I simply have no idea what he's up to. He's in the process of losing the war he was so eager to fight six months ago, a loss that could have a devastating impact on American security, and he doesn't show any signs of caring. He's seemingly more interested in protecting his tax cuts than he is in making sure that our victory in Iraq remains a victory.

First, it's often dangerous to assume there is a master plan with this bunch. They have a habit of getting into messes by just doing whatever expedience or ideology calls for and then finding ways of explaining why this was exactly where the brilliant all-contingencies-allowed-for long range framework called for them to be at this point. The budget deficits are less a cunning plan to destroy Social Security than simply the automatic result of cutting and recutting taxes without any attempt to impose politically unpopular spending discipline. The same thing can be seen in Iraq; having fallen into a sewer they come up with the 'flypaper' story to show that the sewer is the ideal place to be.

I suspect that the broader strategy in Iraq was what the Neocon master plan called for: use this attack and later ones in Syria and perhaps elsewhere to launch a domino effect of creating pro-Western, anti-terror, and perhaps even democratic regimes throughout the Middle East. Having run into total failure on the first plan, the backup looks something like this: Take one year to throw together something that looks like a democratic regime in Iraq or a reasonable facsimile thereof. This allows the troops to withdraw at exactly the time you want them to. The upcoming or just-completed withdrawal can be announced with fanfare at the Republican Convention, and Bush can get great campaign photo ops with returning troops. The new government will probably give us long term leases on a base or two, where we can keep watch over Syria, Iran, and the Gulf. Mission accomplished, a new regime in Iraq, the world made safe for democracy.

It won't hold, of course, but the beauty of this plan is that it doesn't have to. If we withdraw in one year, the new government only has to hang on for a few months until the first Tuesday of November, and that should be very doable.

Plan A: reform and redesign the entire Middle East. Plan B: set up a Potemkin republic that will hold long enough for one election. Think of it as the option we didn't try in Vietnam: declare victory and get out.