Thursday, December 01, 2005

Plan... We don't Need No Stink'n Plan

Yesterday, Bush unveiled his "Plan for Victory" which I find kind of ironical.

Snow Job Mission Accomplished Posted by Picasa

WaPo has a pretty good lowdown on the Bush plan... or basic lack there of. Bush's biggest problem is that he has no credibility left. He is never proactive in correcting mistakes and only reacts after money, time and energy is wasted and Americans are completely fed up with his lack of action. I guess this is why all the companies he ever ran, were run into the ground. It really gives me a glimpse into why all of his MBA professors at Harvard were so disappointed in him as a student. It was not just because he was arrogant and bragged about how his dad got him in. It was because as a manager, he sucks.

An Offering of Detail But No New Substance

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 1, 2005; Page A01

Thirty-two months after U.S. forces invaded Iraq, President Bush's advisers concluded that his message of "stay the course" has been translated by a weary American public as "stay forever." And so yesterday the president tried to reassure the nation that he has a comprehensive vision for beating the insurgency and eventually bringing U.S. troops home.

The message was hardly subtle as the White House posted a 35-page "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" on its Web site and hung dozens of "Plan for Victory" signs behind Bush as he addressed midshipmen in Annapolis. But it was intended to reshape the argument against critics who have been gaining traction with congressional calls to withdraw troops immediately or at least set a timetable for pulling out.

Instead of sticking to general statements of resolve as in the past, Bush offered specific examples of what he called progress in building an Iraqi army that can take over the fight from U.S. troops. And in a rare move for a president loath to admit mistakes, he admitted some without ever using the word, granting that "we've faced some setbacks" and that "we learned from our early experiences."

But broadly Bush gave no ground to critics who want a major course change, and the plan he released yesterday offered nothing new substantively. Short of changing conditions on the ground, Bush faces enormous challenges in turning around public attitudes on the war. The American people have grown increasingly sour on Iraq in public polls, and most no longer approve of the way the president is handling the war.

"That's the trick for the president -- he has to turn around public opinion when he's at a low point in the polls," said John Weaver, a political strategist for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "What they've got to do is win this argument and correct the misinformation that's out there about what's going on in Iraq and do so while leveling with the American people that it's going to be a long, hard slog."

The latest speech won Bush few converts in Washington, with opposition leaders rushing out critiques, in some cases even before he had finished speaking in Annapolis. "The president was basically repackaging things and saying everything's fine when every day we read that things are not fine," said former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright. "I so wish I could believe him. I like to believe an American president. But he's got such a credibility issue."

(Full Story)


Bob said...

I generally approve of the job President Bush is doing.

(I'll wait for you to stop laughing.)

But what disgusts me about this "Plan for Victory" is: Shouldn't we have had a plan for victory before we went to war? It's like a football coach at halftime telling his players for the first time, "OK team, here's the game plan." Am I wrong?

Dingo said...

No, Bob...

Wait... still laguhing...

Ok, I'm back now

No, Bob, you are completely correct. My father was a Div I football coach and I played in high school and college. So, I completely agree with you.

It was inveitable that some things would go poorly. But if he had had a plan prior to the invasion and not just a dream, he would probably have about a 10 point higher approval rating.

tommy said...

I guess it's all a matter of perspective, but Iraq is one of the few areas where I think he is still credible. There has been an acceptable workable plan in place from the beginning, the fact that it is event based, and not date based can be frustrating because you don't know when something is going to happen. It's part of what makes the military such a unique occupation. It also reminds of the prevailing sentiment from every overseas station I ever held.."they don't want me here, I don't want to be here, it really seems like there ought to be a way we could work this out..."

Dingo said...

That is actually the problem, Tommy. Bush sold this as event based, but the events aren't bringing the results he pledged.

Once Saddam was overthrown, things will be great.

Once Saddam is captured, things will be great.

Once they have elections for delegates to right the constitution, things will be great.

Once there were general elections, things wil be great.

But yet, thing have not improved. Not because the events themselves are not significant, but because his initial plan was flawed and each building block that is placed on top of it is still sitting on a poor foundation.

tommy said...

Well maybe I was in the minority on this, having spent a good deal of time over there, but when we started this I thought we would measure our significant presence there in decades not years.

So to me, it seems we are perhaps ahead of where I thought we would be.

As for the rest, I thought some predictions were overly optimistic at the time, hindsight shows them to be even more optimistic than I thought.

To me, it all seems like slow, steady sometimes very painful progress, but it is progress. The problem now is there is more interested in trying to exploit it for political gain than in trying to work on improving anything. It's also true that you and I will never agree on this.

Dingo said...

"I thought some predictions were overly optimistic at the time, hindsight shows them to be even more optimistic than I thought."

You hit the nail on the head there. $1.7 Billion was going to be the total speant on Iraq. Reconstruction would be paid for by oil proceeds. The boys would be home in time for Christmas.

That is not what I believed, but that is what the Administration sold to the public so they would buy into the war.

You are a fighting man that has a better grasp on the reality of war than the average American. Based upon your predictions of the course of war prior to the invasion - do you think the public would have supported it?

tommy said...

yes I think the public would have supported it. And I actually think the public would support it now if they had access to/would bother to find out what is really going on. Suffice it to say when I talk to my friends that are over there, or the guys travelling to and from there, the story they tell about what is going on bears no resemblance to the one you see in the news. My favorite so far was the LT Col complaining that he can't get anyone to show up to cover any positive story he has except Al Jezeera, the American media simply won't show up to cover a story unless it involves dead American soldiers. Bodies equal ratings I guess.

And granted, my opinion concerning the media in these types of things was formed when I was still in the service, and my experience was when they showed up to cover an event, they showed up with a script.

Dingo said...

Well, we both agree on something then. I think Americans would have supported it even if sold in reality, and not with the glitzy bells and whistles that the administration did sell it as. And if they had been honest from the beginning, I think there would be more support now than there is. Americans can withstand a lot. They just don't like getting smoke blown.

"My favorite so far was the LT Col complaining that he can't get anyone to show up to cover any positive story he has except Al Jezeera"

yeah, and ironically, the former US PR service man who went to work for Al Jezeera was called a traitor by Rush and Coulter.