Thursday, April 12, 2007

A War Czar?

The Latest BIG IDEA in the progressing, incremental, self-impeachment of George W. Bush!

Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the White House had sought advice from a number of people about the warlord job but insisted it had not been offered to anyone.
The White House is looking into creating a higher profile position that would have the single, full-time focus on implementing and executing the recently completed strategic reviews for both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Where did this BIG IDEA come from? It may have been a brain spurt from Frederick W. Kagan, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute:
It would be definitely a good idea. 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.
Deputy White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, confirmed yesterday that George Bush was considering restructuring the administration to create a new post, dubbed the "War Czar" by US media. It would involve coordinating the work of the Defense, State and other departments at what she described as a critical stage in the wars we are currently waging.

Excuse me? Isn't this the job of the National Security Council? What does Stephen Hadley do that keeps him too busy to manage the war$ of George W. Bush?

What does this mean? A "War Czar"? We've had our energy, our drug, and our intelligence czars so we shouldn't suspect that we are undergoing "Russification" here. (Right!)

Modern usage of the term "czar" informally implies assignment of an expert who will be in charge of implementing policy in such a manner that it is insulated from the vagaries of media and political agitation. An alternative gimmick is to assign a commission to study a problem. But we've already had that. The Iraq Study Group has met, reported and published. And been ignored. So now Bush wants a Czar? Not that he admits it, but the war-starter needs help being a war-time president because it's "hard work".

We do know that three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position: Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan, Army Gen. Jack Keane, and Air Force Gen. Joseph W. Ralston.

Gen. Sheehan has disclosed his reasons for demurring: he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than the pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq.
I've never agreed on the basis of the war, and I'm still skeptical. Not only did we not plan properly for the war, we grossly underestimated the effect of sanctions and Saddam Hussein on the Iraqi people.

The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going. So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,'
Their negative response should be enough to give the lie to Bush's optimism about his surge turning the tide in Iraq: the lame duck president's war & occupation project is itself a lame duck. The Generals know it, the people know it. Only Congress appears to be confused.

This is Bush's attempt to put his ruinous, un-provoked, unnecessary, illegal, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (RUUILUIUOI) on cruise control, automatic pilot, insulated from politics. This war he started is too much for him, now that he has lost his best-of-all-time lightning rod, Don Rumsfeld. (Rummy's ego-centric direction of the RUUILUIUOI is what is credited by some as ruining the NSC system.) The Commander-In-Chief doesn't want this Iraq-nam in his face every morning when he gets up. Dick Cheney, the real "Decider", can't stand actual sunlight and prefers taking sanctuary in his "secure location".

So, who can we find to micro-manage this misbegotten war until Chickenhawk is relieved of his "hard work" burdens 648 days from now?