Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bush and the NSC's Non-Strategy

I'm with Matthew Yglesias- the NSC's "victory strategy" for Iraq isn't about strategy at all, but about containing the political fallout of the war. There are any number of specific examples (just look under the "progress" sections for any number of cherry-picked indicators of progress), but the best evidence is that every single challenge that they bring up have absolutely nothing to do with US actions or their fallout, despite everybody and his dog noticing that there have been counterproductive US activities. They are about the "ruthless enemy", the "inhospitable neighbourhood", Saddam's "vicious tyranny", and (most bizarrely) "Sunnis coming to terms with the reality that their community no longer monopolizes power in Iraq".

(You know what other community had to come to terms with that? THE TUTSI IN RWANDA. That didn't end well.)

The descriptions of progress are all predicated with "our [buzzword-filled] strategy is working"... they never mention setbacks and never describe anything as a problem to be solved.

The "challenges" they do mention are laughably generalized and impossible: "building political movements based on issues and platforms, instead of identity", for example, is not only near-impossible, but ignores the fact that the "issues and platforms" will be about forced Islamicization!

Hell, according to this document, the United States doesn't actually know who they're fighting! Yes, they lay out the "enemy's strategy", but how can we believe this when one of the challenges that is stated is "getting an accurate picture of this enemy [and] understanding its makeup and weaknesses?" This admission of ignorance makes it sound like the terrorists' agenda is being made up out of whole cloth!

(Which it probably is.)

The "enemy lines of action" section is filled with convenient justifications for the United States' current strategy, and breathes not a word about the classic terrorist tactic of provoking an overreaction to turn people against the government.

The very first bulletpoint in the section is about the enemy "weakening the Coalition's resolve, and our resolve at home". This bleating has been the defense of every repressive regime in history. It's a cliche, and they're falling right into it!

I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Somewhere in Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden is laughing his ass off.

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