Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category
Karl Rove understands management; There are two theories in management: A) Make the right decision or B) Make the decision and then make it right. According to The New York Times, “Karl Rove, the chief political adviser to President George W. Bush and architect of his two successful campaigns for the White House, says in a new memoir that his former boss probably would not have invaded Iraq had he known there were no weapons of mass destruction there.” The question I ask is, was the president intentionally misinformed, or conveniently? My thesis on this expedition is that the administration used management technique B. This is not necessarily an indictment of W at all, but an honest observation.
It is possible that Saddam had the weapons of mass destruction shipped out of the country. Some assert the Russians and Syrians helped with this. If this was the case, then why not bring to light? Rove does “acknowledge that the failure to find them badly damaged Mr. Bush’s presidency, and he blames himself for not countering the narrative that ‘Bush lied,’ calling it “one of the biggest mistakes of the Bush years.” Then the question remains, did Rove intentionally misinform W?
Having worked in the private sector and I have seen many times when the boss or leader says the sky is red, and the yes men around him will assemble the evidence to make it so. So goes making a decision right. Too many people jumped on the bandwagon, George Tenet included, that should have done their due dillegence in this matter. My main objection is that of honesty. If you are going to do something, there is no need to trump stuff up. Be an adult and do what you have to do. Obviously, the Bush administration (again, not necessarily W, but his people) must have believed that they needed more to justify their agenda than just saying we want to do this.
Of course, with the victory at hand and with Obama carrying forth some of the same policies, it’s easy to say, whatever, we won and it doesn’t really matter. I would ask anyone, with a straight face, do you really believe that any presidential administration in this country would not have all the information, correctly vetted ad infinitum, before committing to war? I cannot believe for the life of me that these chaps either didn’t know their weren’t weapons of mass destruction or that if there was and I mean there was in such a way as there was intent on being used against us, that these weapons disappeared and that they cannot explain it. Why wouldn’t they explain it? Rove doesn’t strike me as such an incompetent. A plotter, a schemer, a guy that throws people under busses, but not incompetent.
I’ve said this all along: One, Rove, Cheney and Rice had a master plan for reshaping the middle east. Iran was seen as the real threat. They wanted to surround Iran with propped up democracies and countries that were influenced by us, thereby bringing pressure to both isolate Iran and force an internal revolution. The entry story for Iraq was just that, a story to get the job done to accomplish that agenda. I would have appreciated that kind of honesty from the Bush administration, but unfortunately, it wasn’t and isn’t forthcoming.
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Phil Gramm’s resignation as John McCain’s Campaign Co-Chairman underscores McCain’s inability to deal truthfully with the American public and McCain would rather appease weak minded people and his opponent. Phil Gramm was correct in his assertion that we are in a “mental recession”. While the dollar is weak and oil has been very high, causing rising costs for most things, americans seem to be getting along just fine thank you. I think this situation underscores issues regarding the change in the American psyche in the last 50 years. To put it plainly, Americans do not want, like or think they should have to suffer for anything. The sense of entitlement that many americans have is frightening and it is my belief that it will lead to a weaker America. We whine about many things. Take the Iraq war for instance. First let me say that I do not support Bush’s assertion that promulgated the war. I believe he used an a priori supposition to get us into the conflict. I believe his true reasoning was to reshape the middle east by putting Iran in a vise between ready made democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran has been and is one of the bad guys in supporting terrorism. Now, over 4100 soldiers have died in the Iraq war since March of 2003. that is over 5 years. Peaceniks, and other left leaning americans bemoan this and you’d think we were losing a generation over there (I do not belittle the sacrifices made, but rather show the shallow indignation of the protesters). Even non-political americans are showing weariness of the war. Part of this is the coverage of the left leaning media, but most of it is because we just don’t have the stomach for such things. For instance, in WW II, we lost a total of about 5100 soldiers in D-Day. That’s more killed in one day than in 5 years in Iraq. I believe in the Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War, the Union lost over 17,000 in one day. One day. We have lost our will, our ability to persevere, to endure. Can you say Sprechen Sie Deutsches?, Yukkuri hanashi te kudasai? or “I was born in the land of cotton….dixieland”. We haven’t had two consecutive quarters of negative growth. There is no recession. People are basically whining because of the free market and now they want the government to step in and end their minor suffering. During WW II, gas was rationed and people would run kerosine in their cars. They got by. No one whined, they worked harder. People are complaining about the mortgage crisis. Who told these people to over extend themselves? Where is personal responsibility? The entitlement mentality in this country has largely grown for the fact that people can get money without earning it. Want a new car? Apply for credit. Want that 3000+ sq ft house with 5 bed rooms and you only have 1 kid? no problem. Take two mortgages out and one of them is interest only. Want to eat out every night? No problem, I’ll just use the mastercard. Credit allows people to live a lifestyle that not only they would not be able to afford without it, but they haven’t earned it. What people do not realize, is that they have put themselves into a form of peonage that will continue until after they are even dead. My supposition is that when you do not earn what you have, it loses its value. It becomes meaningless, and the result is that you want more crap. When you pay cash for something, you had to work for it up front, and chances are you will appreciate it and cherish it. This entitlement mentality has infected many americans to the point that they do not value their very freedom and the capitalist democracy that guards it and promulgates it. In aversion to having to suffer, or in reality, earn their way, they would give up much for security. Ben Franklin said that “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic”. So it is not enough that we can buy things unearned, but we also should enlist the government in giving us entitlements to things our founding fathers never considered, nor have we earned any of it. Of course there is no free lunch here as well. Nationalized healthcare, prescriptions, welfare, college tuition, etc would be paid through increased taxes (consider how poorly the government does in this area. social security pays back between 1 and 1 and a half per cent. A certificate of deposit in a bank pays at least 2.75%. So, if you get $1000 a month from SS, you’d get $2750 if you put it in a CD). Taxes are in a sense, peonage. You have to work to pay taxes and that time you work is time you will never get back. Time is one of the few commodities that is very limited, and whose quantity one never knows. The one entitlement I stand by is for every person to keep every bit of currency they earn. It should be up to the individual how it would be distributed. Now, I am sure there are people out there that would say, look what you get in return, look how society benefits as a whole. I would reply that such arguments were made by plantation owners that owned slaves. The greater good has been used oppress, to steal, to obfuscate, and to kill. Supporting and elevating individual rights and responsibilities does not hurt society. So where does this leave us as Americans? Credit is the chain around our neck and government entitlements are chains around our ankles. A future of a more socialist American government presents a picture of a servile, ignorant, feckless and pusillanimous people. How did we get here? I’ll leave that for another post, but I will leave you with quotes from two famous and eloquent Americans: