Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 11, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

OUT OF GAS....The Washington Post reports that the White House is casting about for a "high-powered czar" who would have authority over both military and civilian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Only problem is, no one wants the job:

At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, the sources said, underscoring the administration's difficulty in enlisting its top recruits to join the team after five years of warfare that have taxed the United States and its military.

"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," said retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job. Sheehan said he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq. "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,' " he said.

....Besides Sheehan, sources said, the White House or intermediaries have sounded out retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and retired Air Force Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, who also said they are not interested. Ralston declined to comment; Keane confirmed he declined the offer, adding: "It was discussed weeks ago."

Sheesh. Even Keane doesn't want the job, and the surge was his brainchild in the first place. That's quite a vote of confidence.

The other brainchild of the surge, Frederick Kagan, thinks the czar idea is a dandy one: "Hope they do it, and hope they do it soon. And I hope they pick the right guy. It's a real problem that we don't have a single individual back here who is really capable of coordinating the effort."

Count me skeptical. The fact that the White House is incapable of coordinating the war effort is indeed a real problem, but aside from the wee issues Sheehan mentioned — Bush doesn't know what he's doing and Cheney still has too much influence — ask yourself: is one more matrix manager really going to do any good? We already have Secretaries of State and Defense, we already have a military chain of command, and we already have an NSC that's supposed to coordinate all this stuff. Does anyone truly think that a shiny new White House staffer with no budgetary authority, no bureaucratic support, and little in the way of institutional levers of control is going to be able to magically get everyone on the same page sometime in the next few months? It's a suicide mission, and the fact that Bush apparently thinks that a bit of org chart shuffling will make a significant difference in Iraq is just one more sign of how deeply out of touch with reality he is.

And speaking of that, Sheehan confirms — to the surprise of no one, I imagine — that the out-of-touch faction is indeed still firmly in charge of things:

In the course of the discussions, Sheehan said, he called around to get a better feel for the administration landscape.

"There's the residue of the Cheney view — 'We're going to win, al-Qaeda's there' — that justifies anything we did," he said. "And then there's the pragmatist view — how the hell do we get out of Dodge and survive? Unfortunately, the people with the former view are still in the positions of most influence."

We are so screwed.

Kevin Drum 1:19 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (142)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Rat. Meet sinking ship.

Rat.......?

Posted by: Kenji on April 11, 2007 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

That would be OK if we had 2 ppeople who could even run either of those zones even semi-competently.

Even better, if we had even one "decider" or a CinC who actually had any strategic perspective or ability to make sensible decisions.

I weep for the US General Staff.

Posted by: notthere on April 11, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

There was an interesting "opportunity" listed in our local PennySaver last week.

Paraphrasing: Looking for an interesting job overseas? Untaxed wages, room for advancement, starting at ... Etc.

No mention of where these great jobs were, but we're assuming Iraq and Afghanistan. And, they're trolling for local ex-Marines.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 11, 2007 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry for the quick come-back, but why would you look only to the military to oversee both a military and civil reconciliation? Ever since 2003 we should have been heading for a civil administration. Even now, with the Iraq government, US military rules!

I can't even say how long I have been saying this, but the solution is not military! It's political and social!!!

Christ. Where are we going?

Posted by: notthere on April 11, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

We are so screwed.

Alas that it has taken so long for what so many long ago understood to become the conventional wisdom.

To your other point, however, they're just looking for media marquees, IMO. Remember what a genius and savior we had in General Petraeus, the guy who "wrote the book" on counterinsurgency. You still see this in the VRWC talking points. And yet, the gloss is already off, and we need a new front man.

As to the "people with the former view," when have they NOT been in charge?

Posted by: bleh on April 11, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

It's that that Onion article from a few months back about Bush appointing a "Governing Czar" to take care of all the functions and actual business of governing for him, only real.

Posted by: FMguru on April 11, 2007 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

"..."The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," said retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan..."

Still faithful he is. A good sign.

"Every once in a while, you've got to do something hard, do something you're not comfortable with. A person needs a gut check." - Corporal Chad Ritchie, U.S.M.C.

Posted by: daCascadian on April 11, 2007 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe they are casting around for someone else to ptretend to be

THE ACTING PRESIDENT.

May be. God. You hope.

Posted by: Notthere on April 11, 2007 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe they are casting around for someone else to ptretend to be

THE ACTING PRESIDENT.

May be. God! You hope.

Posted by: Notthere on April 11, 2007 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

650 days, 9 hours, 55 minutes and 5 seconds to go.

Posted by: HL Mungo on April 11, 2007 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

the fact that Bush apparently thinks that a bit of org chart shuffling will make a significant difference in Iraq is just one more sign of how deeply out of touch with reality he is

Exactly.

Posted by: NBarnes on April 11, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

Just a subterfuge to run out the clock. Earlier in the year it was 'give General Patreus six months'. Now that those six months are going to be over soon, they want to appoint a czar, so they can ask us to give the czar a few months.

And down we go in the rabit hole.

Posted by: gregor on April 11, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing will improve until this administration is gone. Wait for Jan. 2009, or impeach deadeye and the chimp earlier. The rest is just flailing.

On the bright side, in just over a year and a half, we will have a new president-elect whose name will not be George Bush!

Posted by: jimBOB on April 11, 2007 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Frederick Kagan is right. It it a real problem for them that they don't have a single individual who is really capable of even putting lipstick on that syphillitic pig, much less making it fly. It isn't the lack of an Iraq czar that's the problem, it's the mess they've made of Iraq.

A key sign of an organization in a death spiral is when they obsess about rearranging the boxes on the org chart. When they can't find people to plug into the boxes, that's even worse.

Posted by: biggerbox on April 11, 2007 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "We are so screwed."

Yes, we are. I wish I knew what else to say in this instance, but I don't.

If we get though this period in relatively one piece, the people responsible for what's come to pass need to be held accountable for what they've done.

And if we ever decide that we need to make things right with the world community by delivering George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity, you wouldn't hear any objections from this particular quarter.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, Looking for My Box of Pitchforks and Torches on April 11, 2007 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

We are so screwed.

We? Don't you mean "they"? The Iraqis, that is. The amount "we're" screwed, here in the US, is a tiny fraction of the amount "they're" screwed. As someone who supported the invasion based on humanitarian arguments, I would have expected Mr. Drum to keep that in mind.

Posted by: luci on April 11, 2007 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney is probably unhappy that the DOD is too tied down with Iraq and Afghanistan and cannot plan new wars instead. Solution: Create a new department that cleans up after we invade a country. This way the DOD planners will always have time to focus on the next war.

Posted by: JS on April 11, 2007 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

I am convinced 'the Bushwhacker' is planning to start WWlll. As he has has been considered to be among the worst Presidents this country has had, he needs a really big bang before he 'goes out'. With our military so strained and when they can no longer hold the line, he will order the nukes with the justification that he had to give the order "to save the world." I wonder how many of our troops will die along with the enemy or return to the US with radiation poisoning and be rebuffed by the VA for years, desperately trying to get treatment and disability compensation.

Posted by: hobo on April 11, 2007 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

Could be worse; Cheney could be President!

Posted by: parrot on April 11, 2007 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

The music sounds so glorious, even as the plane crashes.

Posted by: Declare A Vision on April 11, 2007 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK
"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," said retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job.

Forsooth! And here I thought it was the Democrat Leadership{tm} standing in the way of Victory{tm} by daring to attach conditions to the funding!

Posted by: Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law on April 11, 2007 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

> "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer
> and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,' "

The military, always the home of militant practical thinking. If only the reasoning about the invasion were halve that clear for three more people besides Shinseki.

>> We are so screwed.
> We? Don't you mean "they"? The Iraqis, that is.

And on that note, can we all agree to kick the next person who, when asked about the alternative plan for Iraq, answers: "we want to stop the war", meaning a US withdrawal?

Posted by: gfd on April 11, 2007 at 3:59 AM | PERMALINK

..."high-powered czar" who would have authority over both military and civilian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."

We already have the "czar" and his name is George W. Bush. That's supposed to be his job.

Posted by: lellis on April 11, 2007 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so out of touch that I don't recognize the term "matrix manager", or perhaps I managed to miss that management course.

Actually, I thought General Petraeus was supposed to be our savior. Oh, well. Better luck next time.

Posted by: bad Jim on April 11, 2007 at 5:29 AM | PERMALINK

As a nation aren't we sort of a large, sprawling single organism? Despite our differences as an electorate we gravitate towards or away from issues and their solutions and settle on what to do. Collectively we share in the benefit or harm for all that happens. Ballot controversies aside we elected Bush. We knew his faults and foibles even with weak reporting on them by the press yet forged ahead and put him in office, twice. Yes, WE are screwed and we deserve it richly. WE have killed hundreds of thousands of people thow world over in the last 6 years. We have broken the military and squandered a trillion dollars of treasure. WE have diminished our standing in the world. Blame Bush if you will but he put his name on the ballot and now we're where we find ourselves. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving group of people. Buncha fat, illiterate, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, militaristic assholes. Job well done.

Posted by: steve duncan on April 11, 2007 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so out of touch that I don't recognize the term "matrix manager", or perhaps I managed to miss that management course.

Bad Jim, the term is heavily used in businesses which employ marketing managers to oversee elements of the business. It's quite common in businesses which cater to industrial B2B settings. However, even the classic brand manager for selling personal products would be considered a matrix manager. Typically, such a person has no real functional control of the entities responsible for delivering the product or service. In business, a manufacturing manager controls the plants making the product and shipping it and the sales management would control the sales staff and the financial staff would oversee the accounting and budget finalization. The matrix manager is supposed to get things done through force of argument and persuasion, with no real budget authority and even direct oversight responsibility for the other person's performance. It makes it easy to find a scapegoat when things go terribly wrong. Just find the person who didn't clap their hands hard enough and throw enough pixie dust in the air.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan on April 11, 2007 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

Why Democrats have dawdled in bringing Articles of Impeachment against Richard Bruce Cheney is beyond me. Gutless cowards. This man is pure evil and needs to spend the rest of his sickening life in a federal penitentiary.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 11, 2007 at 6:44 AM | PERMALINK

How do you word an ad for that job?......


Wanted; one patsy.


Hey Shrub;
Lets see, after having his friends "help" you get elected and then using that to help his interests secure record profits he will now make sure that you will be remembered as a worse president then he was. In the game of oneupmanship your ol man has hung your ass out to dry.

Posted by: vampire77666 on April 11, 2007 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK

"the people with the former view are still in the positions of most influence."

Most influence, that is, in the executive [ignoring SCOTUS] branch. There is hope, albeit slim, in the abilities of the legislature.

Posted by: jhm on April 11, 2007 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

Without shells a howitzer is just a lawn ornament.

Buy more bullets.

Posted by: TheCarlyleGroup on April 11, 2007 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

This administration is certainly out of gas, now they want a "czar" to over see the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have an idea how about Bugs Bunny or better yet how about the Roadrunner they could get about as much accomplished as this current administration.

Posted by: AL on April 11, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

"It's a real problem that we don't have a single individual back here who is really capable of coordinating the effort."

After over four years? D'ya think?

Posted by: gkoutnik on April 11, 2007 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

We are so screwed.

We? Don't you mean "they"? The Iraqis, that is. The amount "we're" screwed, here in the US, is a tiny fraction of the amount "they're" screwed. As someone who supported the invasion based on humanitarian arguments, I would have expected Mr. Drum to keep that in mind.

Posted by: luci on April 11, 2007 at 3:04 AM

We're not out of the woods yet, Luci. We may be better off than the Iraqis now, and even if we withdraw next week or next year we'll be better off. But there's plenty of screwing coming our way. Just you wait and see. For one thing there is the massive amount of debt that could devastate our economy. For another: if you thought it was ugly (and I did) how these slime buckets came into power in the US, and how they started this war, just wait for Nov. 2008. They have no consciences at all, and they ain't leaving without a mean and dirty fight. With all their crimes behind them, they will have a desperation that they didn't have in Nov 2000.

"Constitutional crisis", maybe in the middle of economic meltdown? There's plenty for us to dread right here at home.

Posted by: jussumbody on April 11, 2007 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

lellis said it before I could.

Isn't this what we're paying the WAR PREZZZDENT to do? Or has this become too much "hard work" for him?

If we can't impeach him, can we at least dock his pay?

Posted by: semper fubar on April 11, 2007 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

Send Dick Cheney, and don't let him come back without a definitive victory.

With your shield or on it, sucka!

Posted by: Satan luvvs Repugs on April 11, 2007 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

How come you, your magazine, and all the DC blogers never wrote anything about O'Sullivan.
S/He should be hang in the main square for all the troops killed and injured. But s/he'll probably get
a lobbyist job with the military-industrial complex.

Posted by: Yoni on April 11, 2007 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

"ask yourself: is one more matrix manager really going to do any good?"

As you know Kevin I don't often agree with you, but on this issue I do.

What we need in Iraq is not more bureaucrats but more troops. That's what will help us bring democracy to Iraq and the middle eastt.

Posted by: Al on April 11, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well, in principle though it is a sound idea. I take it the point is to free up Bush to focus on his own chief responsibilities as brush-clearing czar. Pretty damn good at it, too.

Posted by: DrBB on April 11, 2007 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

In the spirit of the great American business entrepeneurs that Bush once claimed to be emulating, he ought to get his own ass over to Iraq, roll up his sleeves, and do the job himself. It's completely typical of Bush and Cheney to be arrogant enough to think that they have this great idea but they're only lacking the right people to carry it out.

Posted by: RSA on April 11, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

What we need in Iraq is not more bureaucrats but more troops. That's what will help us bring democracy to Iraq and the middle eastt.

And a pony.

Posted by: DrBB on April 11, 2007 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

"It all happened because nobody trusted me, nobody believed in me, and the generals let me down."
-A Hitler, Fuhrerbunker, Late April 1945

Pace Godwin, as always.

Posted by: DrBB on April 11, 2007 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Note to Keegan - the "right guy" is also likely to be the guy least likely to take it because he knows it is a no win situation.

Posted by: ET on April 11, 2007 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

I seem to dimly recall something called the Central Command.

What happened to it?

Posted by: Royale With Cheese on April 11, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, I'm sure they can find someone at Regent University to fill the position.

Posted by: someguy on April 11, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Hard to figure why there would so few takers to become Peter the Great or even Nicholas.

All that is required is to first state your views on Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas, include a one hundred thou donation to the RNC, and your resume - some military experience helpful, but not necessary - Union busting at Wal-Mart, essential.

Lots of 101st Keyboarders should easily qualify, Czar Jonah could head the list. Ah, Lucianne, the Dowager Czarina.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 11, 2007 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody to provide direction and oversight to Rice, other members of the Cabinet? Isn't that a function normally filled by the President?

You'd think these guys would be a little more self-conscious about admitting that Bush is essentially resigning his post.

Posted by: Doug Bostrom on April 11, 2007 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

This recent fascination with "Czars" is quite curious. Somebody needs to tell the authoritarians that czars didn't work for Russia, and they won't work for us, either.

Of course, you can't have a "War on X" without a "Czar", can you?

Posted by: RickD on April 11, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Lieberman, Lieberman, Lieberman, he's the man for the job! Plus, since he's an Independent, the Dems don't lose any seats in the Senate. And he's out of Reid's hair for the remainder. And he gets to put his money where his mouth is, and have the war albatross hung around his neck for all time.

Posted by: RDV on April 11, 2007 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

"There you go again!' The wayward (fortunate) son is looking for someone to bail his ass out again. Same 'ol shit, he spreads it and has to have someone else clean it up. A continuing life of never successfully completing any task undertaken from start to finish. Something tells me his old man should have beaten his ass when he drunkenly challenged him. A teaching moment disregarded produced this asshole in the WH. A czar? That is what he thinks he is. If they need a czar they can demote Cheney. He thinks he is the omnipotent potentate. He hasn't got anything right either. Christ he is still connecting Saddam and Al Qaeda! What intelligence will convince him otherwise? My suggestion is to bring back Rumsfeld and Feith and make them co-czars. This war is so flucked up now only they could fluck it up more.

Posted by: nellieh on April 11, 2007 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

"Out of Gas" was one of my favorite episodes of the all-too-brief Firefly series.

I like Atrios' suggestion that Lieberman should volunteer for the job. It would get him out of the Senate, and there'd be a special election next year to fill his seat for the rest of his term. The Dems would no longer have to do anything to keep him happy. And given that it's a job that no one can do well, Lieberman is probably no worse than anyone else for it.

Posted by: RT on April 11, 2007 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK
... a "high-powered czar" who would have authority over both military and civilian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan ...
Don't know about the Afghanistan part, but the job description for the Iraq part sounds an AWFUL LOT like one Saddam Hussein.

"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone" -J. Mitchell

Posted by: G.Kerby on April 11, 2007 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

The other brainchild of the surge, Frederick Kagan, thinks the czar idea is a dandy one: "Hope they do it, and hope they do it soon. And I hope they pick the right guy. It's a real problem that we don't have a single individual back here who is really capable of coordinating the effort."

In World War II we had a single individual really capable of coordinating the effort. He was known as the President of the United States. But I suppose that's not really an option these days....

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Yoni,

o'sullivan is a she. She was sent to iraq as bremer's deputy with the CPA. She had no middle east experience and knew nothing about Iraq when she was handed her position. Her boss isreal firster stephen hadley actually said so in the ComPost and seemed quite proud of it. I think t-bogg posted something on her a few weeks ago.

Posted by: klyde on April 11, 2007 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

The other brainchild of the surge, Frederick Kagan, thinks the czar idea is a dandy one...

Shouldn't Kagan be credited as the surge's other, um, brainfather?

Posted by: Rob S. on April 11, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

"...Sheehan confirms to the surprise of no one, I imagine that the out-of-touch faction is indeed still firmly in charge of things..."

Well, no duh. Cheney and Rumsfeld share the same brain, and both are members of PNAC -- and have stuffed the Bush Junta from stem to stern with PNAC Platooners and other neocon fellow travelers.

So long as Cheney's around, forget about real change.

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on April 11, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

I believe what the(p)resident really desires is a SHOGUN. A Commander exercises absolute rule under the nominal leadership of the emperor.

as for O'Sullivan, a winner of the wonkette Washington Hotties, and National Security Council member, we have this quote from an interview, courtesy of the washington post...

For many of the generals with whom O'Sullivan consults in her current job, the painful experience of Vietnam permeates their thinking on Iraq. Not for O'Sullivan. "We are the first post-Vietnam generation, without the baggage of Vietnam, which doesn't mean we don't try to learn some of the lessons from there about counterinsurgency and so forth, but it's not my first frame of reference and I think that's a good thing," said O'Sullivan.

Same goes for Afghanistan, where she and her team guide policy as the United States seeks to stabilize the friendly government of President Hamid Karzai installed after the fall of the Taliban. "If your frame of reference is the Soviet invasion and how they got bogged down, then I think you'd be very modest about what could be achieved in Afghanistan," O'Sullivan said. "That's not how I see it. I see an end of Taliban rule and a nascent democracy."


You did a heck of a job Sully...

Posted by: duncanidho on April 11, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

I must be missing something. Living, as we do, in a free market Libertarian paradise shouldn't there always be supply to fill every demand? Like the free market solution to our energy problems? Something is going to 'show up,' right? Where are the commodities? Why isn't the market fixing this problem?

Posted by: Tripp on April 11, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

I just wrote to the Republican National Committee with my thoughts and observations on how to deal with the issue of the war in Iraq.

I will summarize the bullet points I gave them and I suspect you will see them aired on the weekend talk shows in the next few weeks. I have decided that I need to be more up front in my dealings with my Party and I have no fear of sharing my views here--they serve as a decidedly withering antidote to the nonsense one reads here on a daily basis.

-Tell the Vice President to tour America's military bases and give speeches about how we are winning in Iraq.

-Tell the Secretary of State to go to Iraq and yell at this Maliki fellow.

-Get a "War Czar" who has actually WON a war--to wit, get General Schwarzkopf out of retirement, clean him up, give him a pair of dungarees that fits and give him a laser pointer. Send him on a tour of newsrooms to show them we are winning in Iraq.

-ANYONE who says ANYTHING critical of the effort in Iraq is an appeaser who is advocating failure.

-This week's rhetorical question for liberals--"...why do you want America to lose another war like we lost in Vietnam?"

Everything else is gravy. Ma and Pa Kettle aren't paying attention anyway. Thank the Creator for Anna Nicole, the American Idolatry thing, bad weather and the decline of newspaper readership. Imagine how bad things would be if there wasn't eye candy on TV to make Joe Sixpack drool and say "...duh."

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

And the other thing that scares me--I hope no one notices that we selected an Admiral to run the US Central Command. The additional talking point I sent to the RNC was to point out that no one--NO ONE--should mention the name of Admiral Fallon or the billet that he currently holds.

I really hope that no one notices the fact that the person who should be running the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is a dingbat Admiral, more suited to fighting pirates and boredom than guerrillas, militia, Taliban and al Qaeda.

[Thank the Creator no one reads these threads anymore.]

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter NormR: I continue to assert the nation will never look behind the curtain for the real Republicans despite the failures they have produced.

Posted by: Fred on April 11, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Another f'ing Bremer!??!?!

That's just what we need.

Maybe he's available...

Posted by: Swoosh on April 11, 2007 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I continue to assert the nation will never look behind the curtain for the real Republicans despite the failures they have produced.

You'd be surprised what a little optimism and a little distraction can do for your state of mind. And the fact of the matter is, the Iraqi insurgency is throwing everything it has against us right now--in about six months, they will be spent, disorganized and demoralized by the beating that they are taking. It is quite likely that we will see insurgents either surrender or leave the country entirely when they see the futility of attacking us.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

the American people already figured out that Bush and the Republicons are a bunch of worthless fucktards, that's why they no longer control Congress and are now being thoroughly investigated.

I love it!

Posted by: haha on April 11, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Golly, we've definitely NEVER heard that one before, Norman. Ta ever so for enlightening us. Bwahahahaha.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on April 11, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

This time next year, Afghanistan may still be a problem, but Iraq won't be. The latter will be true because the elected national government in Iraq is already strong enough to deal with the present insurgency and to contain Iranian attempts to seize total power in Baghdad. This is especially true because the national army and police will immediately pull out the brutal tactics playbook when the Americans begin to leave next summer. Please note that despite all the Sunni extremist killings of police and army recruits, crowds still show up to join and they are motivated to kill Sunni extremists.

Now, the way the insurgents could win is if they are allowed to build a conventional army somewhere and launch a conventional invasion once Americans (very good at conventional war) is gone. This is the true Vietnam analogy. We gave away our Indo-China sacrifice in 1975 at the precise moment the enemy switched to a style of war we are very, very good at. It was a mental game and Hanoi won by beating our mental weaklings.

However, there are few places the insurgents can put together a real army without being noticed, especially if a residual American presence with lots of high tech surveilance stays on. So, the insurgents will have to stick with exploding women and the daily car bomb.

Posted by: mike cook on April 11, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

oh yes, the insurgency will end, then Iraqi children will finally throw rose petals at our feet while baby pandas and lion cubs hug each other under a rainbow as unicorns fly overhead.

Posted by: haha on April 11, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

I read this article this morning and just heaved a heavy sigh. I know we rant and rave how big of moron Bush is, etc. But this article, among others I know, just demonstrates once again how out of control things have become for him. We don't need a czar. We need leadership from our President. To start getting into the details and start making decisions, not relying on advice of Dick Cheney any longer.

Kevin-- you're right. We are screwed.

Posted by: Dee on April 11, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Someone is looking for Czar? Da, I can do it. Currently I am preparing campaign against pesky Germans, which I anticipate to be wildly successful.

Leetle desert men in robes, no problem.

Posted by: Nicholas Alexsandrovich Romanov II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias on April 11, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

If Bush finds someone to take this job, I expect Gates to resign -- loudly. Gates appears to be one of the few tolerably competent people in this administration. If Bush appoints a czar, it will be a direct assault on Gates's ability to manage the occupations, an insult to his Secretary of Defense.

Posted by: freelunch on April 11, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

The really important thing is how soon the new czar can get his web page up and running.

Posted by: fmc on April 11, 2007 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

This is interesting as a case study in bureaucratic management, or rather in the management of bureaucratic politics.

The Vice President, National Security Adviser and Secretary of State are deeply entrenched in their positions; the Secretary of Defense and DNI are occupied with consolidating control over their respective areas of jurisdiction. There is not, in principle, anything to prevent President Bush from assigning the responsibilities this "czar" or coordinator would have to any of these officials. The problem, clearly, is that it would upset the bureaucratic balance: Rice would object to Cheney or Hadley having authority to assign State Department personnel to Iraq, or Cheney would object to having to defer to Rice's judgment on key war-related decisions, or both of them would object to Gates assuming the role Rumsfeld did (without Rumsfeld's relationship with the Vice President) at the beginning of the war. So, the administration is looking for someone to get the less controversial stuff moving; the new guy, lacking (as Kevin points out) a bureaucratic base of his own, would inevitably be blocked from imposing his views on any of the major issues.

At the highest levels of the executive branch, management is rarely done precisely by the book. Among modern American Presidents the only ones who were really skilled and experienced managers when they took office were Eisenhower (obviously) and Truman. But successful Presidents find ways to maneuver around bureaucratic logjams like this one, usually using the trump cards that our system gives to the man in the Oval Office. Nixon, for example, thought the State Department was a nest of soft-headed liberals and the CIA a collective slave to conventional wisdom -- he didn't see how he could implement his preferred foreign policy by relying on these agencies. So, he went around them by using his National Security Adviser, and making sure that when various American officials spoke to foreign governments it was always the NSA who spoke for the President.

It wasn't an ideal or even a sustainable system, but for a while it got Nixon what he wanted in terms of policy. Bush, on the other hand, though he has prided himself on his MBA background, dreads bureaucratic conflict; he can't manage it, won't go around it, and finally does not have a good fix on what he does want out of Iraq -- besides "victory," always a nebulous concept in this war.

Faced with a floundering war effort and a bureaucratic deadlock, Bush will let the war effort continue to flounder rather than face whatever risks breaking the deadlock would create. Future administrations facing difficult foreign policy problems will look back on Bush's course as a textbook example of how not to handle them.

Posted by: Zathras on April 11, 2007 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

However, there are few places the insurgents can put together a real army without being noticed

Mike, I think you need to turn in your old "insurgents vs. government" scorecard for Iraq and get the updated one.

It's a little more complicated as it has any number of players including Shi'ite groups vying for power in the government and sometimes shooting at one another, rogue militias, Sunni insurgents, Sunnis forming jihadist groups, Kurds prepared to go to war with the central government over Kirkuk, Turks prepared to invade Kurdistan, locals whose allegiances sway with the wind, Iranian Shia influence in the south contesting Badhdad Shia influence, apocalyptic religious groups with their own agenda, a handful of foreign fighters, and corrupt government officials willing to sell their countrymen to the devil to protect the billions they're embezzling.

Your "mano y mano" analysis doesn't really quite cut it, although I understand how it might cut down on the headaches when thinking about this and make it easier to support Dear Leader Princess Bush.

But yeah, Afghanistan is fucked.

Posted by: trex on April 11, 2007 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

And I could go along and work on my tan.

Posted by: Anastasia on April 11, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

..is one more matrix manager really going to do any good?

Maybe he or she can carry the twin albatrosses of Iraq and Afghanistan that have been hanging around Dubya's his neck for a while...They must be getting really heavy.

Beyond that, I'd have to say 'No'.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

And, here I thought, Viet Nam was lost when the Navy discharged Mike Cook - Now, that discharge; is that sort of like dumping ballast at sea?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 11, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

The latter will be true because the elected national government in Iraq is already strong enough to deal with the present insurgency and to contain Iranian attempts to seize total power in Baghdad.

No, no, no! You ninny!

Rice has to go over there and yell at them for being weak. Were you not paying attention? She has to tell Maliki to stop travelling in and out of Iran, which is where he, presumably, gets his marching orders. She needs to remind him that his marching orders come from us, not Tehran.

Dummy!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Bush would give it to Karl Rove, like he did Katrina.

Only, Rove had his security clearance stripped for being company to material breach of confidential, classified material.
Perhaps McCain's speech at the Virginny Military Institute will provide an answer.

Posted by: Mr.Murder on April 11, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

I suggest MR. KAGAN!!!

Posted by: lizzy on April 11, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK


Put Condi in charge.
Oh wait...
We already tried that one.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 11, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Another talking point I submitted to the RNC was to highlight when leftwing moonbat bloggers go insane and post things that are patently false.

Such as the delightful Hormonal Citizen and her screeds against our good President and the nutty things she writes.

My response is this--if you go looking for negative things and bad news, you're bound to find them. The more difficult thing to do is to make lemonade out of lemons and persevere. Americans love a winner who perseveres and who overcomes huge odds. Americans don't particularly care for whining and for slinking off round-shouldered after being humiliated.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Two military operations that between them consume almost the entire land combat power of the US military, and the related civilian government operations? Shouldn't the "one person" coordinating those be one of the Secretary of Defense or the President of the United States?

Isn't Kagan, in saying "we don't have a single individual back here who is really capable of coordinating the effort", really saying that the President and SecDef are incompetent? (Not, of course, that many here would disagree with such an assessment...)

Does anyone truly think that a shiny new White House staffer with no budgetary authority, no bureaucratic support, and little in the way of institutional levers of control is going to be able to magically get everyone on the same page sometime in the next few months?

Of course not. It is a way to appear to be "doing something different" to buy a little political breathing space, just like dumping Rumsfeld was, just like the surge was, etc. At this point, all the administration has left is political stalling tactics.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook: "We gave away our Indo-China sacrifice in 1975 at the precise moment the enemy switched to a style of war we are very, very good at."

Don't you think it actually happened the other way around? As soon as we left, the enemy was free to switch to the style of war that we would have beaten them at, if we'd still been there. If we had still been there, they wouldn't have switched. But the American public was sick of the war and unwilling to commit the next ten generations to fighting it.

So what is your plan? The U.S. stays in Iraq forever? You've probably noticed that the American public is already sick of the Iraq Occupation. Given the wear and tear on the American armed forces, and public disapproval of Bush's Iraq strategy, I'd say we're already emerging from the other side of the tunnel that was Bush's detour on the way to dealing with global problem of terrorism.

Posted by: cowalker on April 11, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Norman Rogers:

Of course we need a "matrix manager" for Iraq -- To coordinate the victory celebrations, and work with the soon-to-be-joyous-and-united Iraqis to establish
an Arch of Triumph. Happy days, indeed.

Posted by: shystr on April 11, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

And, one cannot ignore this reality:

Al-Qaida claims responsibility for Algeria attacks in call to Al-Jazeera

They are on the Northern coast of Africa, liberals. They are talking to al Jazeera--and you liberals whined when it was revealed that Bush wanted to blow up al Jazeera. Had he been successful, al Qaeda's media partner would now be out of business. But no! Liberals had to get involved and liberals had to donte money to keep al Jazeera up and running. Well, the Algiers attacks prove one thing. One short hop and they are here. Is this what you want? Keep attacking the President and al Qaeda will be attacking us before you know it.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

The new in-country Iraq administrator should be ...

... Bush himself!

Let's ship our little hero off to where his remarkable decidership qualities can make a real difference. He can spread democracy personally, like Georgie Appleseed. He can read the little kids that goat book he liked so much.

Plus, he'll be safe with a flak vest and a totally impenetrable skull.

Posted by: chance on April 11, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

One short hop and they are here. Is this what you want? Keep attacking the President and al Qaeda will be attacking us before you know it.

Where do they keep the butterfly nets around here?

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 11, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

If only Shrub's media partner, FAUX News?, could be out of business, with him as well.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 11, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Americans love a winner who perseveres and who overcomes huge odds. Americans don't particularly care for whining and for slinking off round-shouldered after being humiliated.

That's exactly why everybody hates Bush. He's a whining loser who has humiliated America. He's now looking for someone else to blame. Lieberman is a great choice.

john

Posted by: john on April 11, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

AbNorman sez:
"Keep attacking the President and al Qaeda will be attacking us before you know it."

Uhhh, Norman --
Al Qaida ALREADY has attacked us. Your Dear Leader
is the one who down-prioritized the effort to bag the Al Qaida leadership. Remember the Tora Bora debacle?
Remember out-sourcing that effort to a bunch of local Afghan militia? THAT went well. And Afghanistan remains a lower priority than the Iraq fiasco to this day, although it's acknowledged that the Al Qaida leadership is living large in the Afghan/Pakistan border region. Remember the Shrub telling a press conference that he doesn't think too much about bin Laden anymore, Norm?
You gotta stop snorting the Drano so early in the day.

Posted by: shystr on April 11, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Americans love a winner who perseveres and who overcomes huge odds. Americans don't particularly care for whining and for slinking off round-shouldered after being humiliated.

How is Donald "Duck" Rumsfeld these days, anyway?

Posted by: Stefan on April 11, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Lost in this discussion is the fact that WE ALREADY HAVE A FREAKING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE and he appears to be one of the few borderline sane and competent officals in ths cesspool of an Administration. Gen. Sheehan knows the score- this is all about bypassing Gates because he's a Bush 41 guy and a bit too reality-based for Deadeye Dick's liking.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on April 11, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

He's a whining loser who has humiliated America. He's now looking for someone else to blame. Lieberman is a great choice.

Really? I see a steadfast defender of America who is staring down our enemies and keeping us safe. Perhaps the fact that we haven't been blown up in our cities and towns since 9/11 means nothing to you moonbats, but it means something to me. It means victory. And the man who has been winning that victory is an optimist. Maybe if you got behind him, you'd see that. No, wait--hating America is what you're all about. My bad!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

How is Donald "Duck" Rumsfeld these days, anyway?

I have no idea how he's doing personally because we travel in different social circles, but I've noticed one thing--after the liberals hounded him out of the Pentagon, things got WORSE in Iraq, not better. After he left, things got WORSE in Afghanistan, not better.

Go figure.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't be surprised if one morning I flip on CNN and they are whisking GW to the Betty Ford clinic. Maybe they *really* ARE looking for someone to coordinate things while he's "away". Cheney said he is too "busy for all that right now".

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on April 11, 2007 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Al, Norman et al., you left out the pony! I hate it when you leave out the pony.

Posted by: DrBB on April 11, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

DrBB,

Er, Normie would just as soon forget about the pony - That last Appaloosa kicked him in the head - Now, he is merely a pale image of his old self.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 11, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

I have no idea how he's doing personally because we travel in different social circles

his speaking engagements keep him away from your local public library and YMCA, sorry.

Posted by: haha on April 11, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Norman may be right,We need to put sombody in charge who knows how to win.Bill Clinton to the rescue.He would be the best choice to bail out the Morons in the Whitehouse.

Posted by: john john on April 11, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Alpha personaltiy types are aware of being set up for failure and reject placing themselves in such situations. Bush can only surround himself with third raters now.

Posted by: Brojo on April 11, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Monica Goodling is looking for a job.

Posted by: milo on April 11, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

"Could be worse; Cheney could be President!"

Posted by: parrot on April 11, 2007 at 3:19 AM

Scarily enough, I disagree; I think it would be better if he was President in title to go along with his being President in truth/de facto since 2001. The way it is now he operates from the shadows with little to no scrutiny of his actions while acting as the President de facto while GWB plays at it de jure and is where the public eye tends to stay focused. If Cheney were President de jure as well as de facto I suspect it would ironically enough actually limit him more than his current role does. Which in and of itself should tell all just how screwed up this Presidency and current government truly is and explains so much of why they can't operate in a legally aboveboard, honest, and ethical manner. Not to mention just how such staggering incompetence on such a scale as we have seen from Bushco could manage to hold the center of American Executive power. Which in turn explains how we could see such massive incompetence and such profound disconnects from reality as we are seeing regarding Iraq, the surge, and in general life itself from Bushco. No wonder these retired generals are staying the hell away from this offer, patriotism only goes so far in the face of the results of such staggering incompetence, corruption, and all around idiocy that we have seen where Iraq policy is concerned since the late summer of 2002.

Posted by: Scotian on April 11, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

"Outsourcing responsibility" is #1 on the list of George W. Bush's "7 Habits of Highly Defective Presidents."

For the story see:
"Iraq and the 7 Habits of Highly Defective Presidents."

Posted by: AngryOne on April 11, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

I still say the correct term for the commander of the GWOT under the nominal supervion of the neocon in chief is Shogun...
The historical precedents are astounding..

Posted by: duncanidho on April 11, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

I have no idea how he's doing personally because we travel in different social circles, but I've noticed one thing--after the liberals hounded him out of the Pentagon, things got WORSE in Iraq, not better. After he left, things got WORSE in Afghanistan, not better.

Shorter Norman: He's not in my basement, so how the hell should I know how he's doing?

Posted by: NSA Mole on April 11, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

john john,

If only in 09, you could add an "m" to that word, Morons.

And, now back to "hunting".

Posted by: Mitch R on April 11, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Bush should turn the POLITICAL management over to James Baker or other fixer and keep his hands off.

Posted by: bakho on April 11, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

"as we do not travel in the same social circles"

As Normie says, it is rather difficult to discuss daisy cutters, when they are not in the same daisy chain.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 11, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has already proven, with his rejection of the ISG report, that this new "czar" will be given no autonomy. Does he think no one realizes that?

Posted by: skeg on April 11, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Herr Bush is tired of being commander-in-chief, no?

Creating a war czar will really solve the problems. No, seriously. Fingers crossed.

Posted by: Redleg on April 11, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney and Rumsfeld share the same brain and as PNAC Platoon lifetime members are fellow dupes of Ahmad Chalabi and "Curveball". And Normy worships them uncritically.

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on April 11, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,
It's easy for Bush to be an optimist about Iraq. After all, his "yes men" tell him things are going well over there and in just a few months, we will likely "turn the corner." Bush doesn't have to worry about losing a loved-one in Iraq and he doesn't have to see flag-covered coffins returning to the USA. Bush doesn't have to worry about being re-elected or even looking for a job after he leaves office. Bush won't be in office long enough to see the final act in the Iraq war- he's just going to hand it off to the next President.

Yeah, Bush has a lot of reasons to be optimistic. All of them based on bullshit.

Posted by: Redleg on April 11, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Over Hill, over Dale, well said - Now, fire for effect.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 11, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

The WH is actually looking for someone to coordinate the international and national PR campaign. I don't think with the time they have left that even they think it is about winning. They want to finish on a properly fabricated high note.

Posted by: Bob Sanderson on April 11, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Must be Plan B

Posted by: David on April 11, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

This recent fascination with "Czars" is quite curious.

I remember when Poppy named Bill ("I can quit anytime I want!") Bennett to the post of director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Ever heard that title before? No one--I mean no one--ever called him anything but the "drug czar." Every single MSM person used this term. I doubt any of them knew what his real position was. Freaks.

It would get him out of the Senate, and there'd be a special election next year to fill his seat for the rest of his term.

Would there? Wouldn't Jodi Rell appoint a Republican to finish his term?

And thethirdpaul at 9:26: Brilliantly funny post, start to finish.

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian: Scarily enough, I disagree; I think it would be better if he was President in title to go along with his being President in truth/de facto since 2001.

Totally agree and have been saying so every time someone brings up the specter of President Cheney as an obstacle to impeaching Bush. Cheney out in the partial sunlight--with this crowd, you'd never get anything close to transparency, but at least the shroud of secrecy would be slightly lifted--would find it much harder to pull much of his crap off.

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Before Bennett was the drug czar, I heard that appellation applied to Pablo Escobar. So I chuckle heartily whenever I hear the term.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 11, 2007 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

looking for somebody to blame for his failed policy.

Posted by: stopwar on April 11, 2007 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Namecalling? Is that all you liberals have is namecalling?

I guess that's what passes for discourse from the unhinged left these days. Meanwhile, those of us who know what we're doing will just carry on.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,
You go right on ahead and carry on. It seems to me most of the name calling is from conservatives questioning the patriotism and manhood of liberals. If you don't want the tables turned on you then don't come to the liberal blogosphere and ask for it with your moronic comments.

By all means, go about your business.

Posted by: Redleg on April 11, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

What a job no american will do? Time for a guest worker program.

Posted by: tomboy on April 11, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

If you don't want the tables turned on you then don't come to the liberal blogosphere and ask for it with your moronic comments.

Thank you for saying that--yes, you're right. An echo chamber is what you really desire. Meanwhile, I'll keep right on telling you how things really work.

Boo hoo, moonbats. I'm here forever.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to me most of the name calling is from conservatives questioning the patriotism and manhood of liberals.

You misrepresent me, sir. How many times this week alone have you seen me stand up for the manhood of Janet Renal and Hillary Rodman Clinton? Hmmmm?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Moderator! Moderator! I believe I have been "spoofed" at approximately 1:55PM!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

The reason we haven't been attacked in America by al Qaeda since 2001 is because I've been tearing the Constitition into little strips and scattering it around the country.

I need the GWOT CZAR to run the fighting and politicizing in Iraq and Afghanistan so I can keep concentrating on my important terrorist prevention job. And I can prove it's working. I've been tearing and scattering since after 9/11, and we haven't been attacked in America since. So there.

Posted by: G W Bush on April 11, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

They want a 'czar' someone above the law, above procedure, above accountability. More bullying is their answer to anything.

They think the whole answer is we're not tuff enuff.

Social conservatism is a threat to the public health and should be treated like any other form of criminal psychopathology.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK
...kick the next person who... answers…a US withdrawal? gfd at 3:59 AM
Nope, it's the only correct solution
Why Democrats have dawdled in bringing Articles of Impeachment against Richard Bruce Cheney …The Conservative Deflator at 6:44 AM
It's a consummation devoutly to be wished, if they had the votes. The hope is that some investigation will cause his deadender supporters finally to turn on him.
more troops. That's what will help us bring democracy to Iraq and the middle eastt. Al at 8:54 AM
Reinstate the draft? pay volunteers more? impress them from prisons? get members of the Fighting 101st to Iraq? keep McCain in Iraq? send Liebermann?
This time next year, Afghanistan may still be a problem, but Iraq won't be. .. mike cook at 10:37 AM
The ever delusional Bushistas remain so. You may not have noticed, but the Iraqi government has shown zero interest in supporting the American occupation. Care to guess why? The mental weaklings you rail against were those fools thinking it was a winnable war. They are in power now, trying again. And losing again.
...those of us who know what we're doing will just carry on.Norman Rogers at 1:38 PM
That is what the guards in your asylum let you think. Posted by: Mike on April 11, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Herr Bush is tired of being commander-in-chief, no?

Creating a war czar will really solve the problems. No, seriously. Fingers crossed.
Posted by: Redleg on April 11, 2007 at 12:22 PM

I think he is just getting tired of hearing nothing but bad news and tired of taking flak nonstop about everything crashing and burning. He is probably really starting to hear some uncomfortable truths (from Gates?)and just doesn't want to deal with the heat. Usually when managerial types encounter this.. they "promote" somebody to attend the meetings in their place so *they* can take all the shit.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on April 11, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney out in the partial sunlight...

Besides, if it were bright enough, he might burst into flames.

Posted by: ckelly on April 11, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone should read the article by Robert Fisk about the new strategy being applied in Irak, this will bring a much higher rate of violence on all sides without solving anything. Go to www.independent.co.uk and click on the article entitled "Divide and Rule".

Posted by: Pierre on April 11, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

White House is casting about for a "high-powered czar"?


how about general hannity?

or...

general limbaugh?

Posted by: gop radical fringe on April 11, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,
We don't need you in here to "tell us how it is." Most of us are educated working adults who have learned "how things really work" in the real world. I would wager that most of us aren't impressed with your opinions and b.s., especially since they seem to be from the same pile of b.s. that Bush, Cheney, and other GOP luminaries have been shoveling us for so long now.

Echo chamber? I don't know about that. I've seen self-proclaimed liberals/progressives/Democrats here have decent debates about policy. If we are in an echo chamber, your moronic comments aren't likely to convince any of us to change our minds.

Posted by: Redleg on April 11, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Bom - Bom - Bom - Another one bites the dust!
And another one! And another one!
Another one bites the dust!.

OoooOoOooOoo OooOoOoo OooOoOoo

Another one bites the dust!

Posted by: notthere on April 11, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

"What we're trying to do here is provide some long-term predictability to our soldiers and their families," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon.

Hey, according to Princess Bush, "until we win" is not open-ended, so why don't we just tell the families that the soldiers will have their tours of duty extended "until we win?"

If it's predictable enough for the princess, then it's predictable enough for our troops and their families, right?

Posted by: anonymous on April 11, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

I can't even say how long I have been saying this, but the solution is not military! It's political and social!!!

It's not either/or. The Iraqis, with American help, may settle the war. The Iraqis, with international help, may settle their political disputes sufficiently to start building their economy (as done partially in some areas.)

The idea of unifying American command strikes me as fundamentally misguided. Let civilians deal with the civilian Iraqi government, and let military men deal with the Iraqi military. It's not like we are trying to institute an American dictatiorship.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 11, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

I must really be out of touch. Isn't the president, as commander-in-chief, supposed to run this thing? And what about that all powerful 'unitary executive' thingy?

So in World War II, a massive global conflict, our principal enemies among the most powerful industrial nations on the planet with vast holdings of resources and industrial capacity in massive regions of the world under their control, sixteen million men and women under arms, an entire colossal war industry created on the fly, etc., etc. we prevailed in 3 years 10 months with just the usual contingent: one president, one joint chiefs chairman, one secretary of state, one war secretary (War Dept. became Dept. of Defense after the war), etc.

The War Czar business tells me that this mob has no clue whatsoever. But they still want to dump in more soldiers and billions of dollars and then get all sweaty when funding is offered conditionally.

Posted by: cal on April 11, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

"We are so screwed."

The American Electorate voted Bush into office in 2004 knew full and well what kind of cornball he was, and they still voted him in.
Under the definition of democracy and majority rule, the American Electorate is dumber than salt.
For the 47% who did not vote for Bush are completely and utterly absolved because we all saw the fool for who he is.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on April 11, 2007 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think Brownie is available.

Posted by: OhReally on April 11, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

...we prevailed in 3 years 10 months with just the usual contingent: one president, one joint chiefs chairman, one secretary of state, one war secretary (War Dept. became Dept. of Defense after the war), etc....

Posted by: cal on April 11, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Actually not. Allies, you know! You need to read about the conferences between FDR and Churchill and how they developed war policy, and then the inclusion of Stalin. Particularly read how WSC felt cut out as FDR thought (deja vu) he could measure Stalin. History is useful.

Posted by: notthere on April 11, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

"... and the fact that Bush apparently thinks that a bit of org chart shuffling will make a significant difference ..."

That's just so MBA.

Posted by: FreakyBeaky on April 12, 2007 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

For those of you still lacking in a correct historical analysis of Vietnam, the truth is that the communist nationwide "insurgency" battle plan failed disastrously in 1968, with the near annihilation of the Viet Cong. The North Vietnamese Army then became a kind of surrogate indigenous Viet Cong, but that didn't work very well because the South Vietnamese military was deployed adequately to withstand that kind of thing on their own.

Unfortunately, this meant that the South Viet army was deployed all over South Vietnam, trying to guard everything. The attack of 1975 was a very conventional armored force invasion that came down the highways from the north. We could have made that look like the road out of Kuwait in 1991, but Nixon had screwed himself and Gerald Ford was too weak.

The situation today is not that dissimilar. The U.S.A. will leave Iraq and the national forces of the elected government will be able to keep the violence contained to the areas where it usually can be found.

But the elected Baghdad government will probably not be able to stand against any kind of conventional offensive. I have the feeling that both Iran and Saudi Arabia are thinking that they can repeat the coup of 1975 again and seize Iraq with conventional forces, as Defeatocrats will once again not allow the American military do what it does better than anybody--defeat a conventional army in the field.

Posted by: mike cook on April 13, 2007 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

I have an idea how about Bugs Bunny or better yet how about the Roadrunner

In an alarming statement today, War on Terror Czar Bugs Bunny claimed that Osama E. Coyote's forces had beheaded a flightless desert bird, rumored to be American. Mr. Bunny implied the bird may have been lost, saying it "must've taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque."

He again confirmed his faith in the new commander of the Permanent Surge Forces and planted a large kiss on General Fudd's mouth, who tried to shoot him with a shotgun. The blast hit Defense Secretary Duck in the face, who angrily declared that it is, in fact, rabbit season.

In financial news, the proposed acquisition of Acme Products by Halliburton has Acme stock soaring on news that the company will be supplying "experimental weapons" to the troops in Iraq, including rocket sleds and batman suits. The contract is controversial in light of Acme's previous failure to supply sufficient numbers of catapults. The company has acknowledged production problems, citing the novelty of catapult technology.

Posted by: RobW on April 13, 2007 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly