Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, April 30, 2004  


This is more an addendum to the post below.

It appears that neither the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department have any idea about what to do in Iraq now. The dithering, indecision, daily change of policy, second guessing, failure to pursue objectives, undermining of troop morale by playing our forces like inanimate pawns are devastating our national purpose for this war.

Many mistakes are made in war, but the worst mistake is in trying not to make any; or in failing to construct a coherent plan.

There is much to be said for improvising to circumstances as we go, but such improvisation must be undertaken by those who are there and can judge immediate results and calibrate responses.

I don't personally know George Bush, but much has been said about his management style which he learned at the Harvard Business School. At this point, I think I would rather have a hard headed historian and realist in his position such as a Teddy Roosevelt or Lincoln.

Bush, for all his determination, seems to lack real insight into the nature of war, just as LBJ lacked perspective and made his war more political than military. FDR understood the necessity of compromise among allies, but pursued his objectives relentlessly.

Bush seems to have bogged himself down in the miasma of conflicting opinions, dueling agencies, congressional hijinks, and international criticism.

What Bush is doing to our men in Iraq is disastrous. He seems to be lost in the forest of the trees, unable to see the larger picture (except that he has a dozen people each giving him a different larger picture to look at confusing everything more).

Bush simply fails to lead. People want to follow him. The armed forces respect him, but Bush does not communicate to the people well. He ought to accept that the country is divided, and rally people of good will to his side.

Bush seems to be a man who, like so many politicians, lacks a true ability to command after achieving power. No one comes to the job of President with enough experience to know what they are doing. There is no real learning curve. One either comes to work with traits that will serve him and the nation well, or will muddle about.

For all of Ronald Reagan's clarity of vision about America, his optimism, I never thought that he followed through well on military matters and against terrorists and their states.

For all his resolve, Bush doesn't seem to see how weakly his actions or responses often are, and how inadequately he leads America.

War is the gravest condition of any nation or people. It is fraught with fear, despair, failure, setbacks, hardship, and deprivations. A President must maintain not only troop morale, but that of a nation. He must guide his country through the difficulties with reassuring rhetoric, and confident behavior and actions.

He is a father leading a pack of cub scouts through a dangerous wilderness. He must inspire trust, and he must do so constantly. LBJ treated Vietnam like a sideshow to his real interests. Bush's lack of communication makes it seem like Iraq is a kind of afterthought. We have no idea what Bush does everyday to see that we win.

His style seems to be to say that, "I've delegated the operations on the war on terror, and I only get involved when things go wrong."

And so it appears that he's only engaged once a month or so when things blow up again, and then there's a flurry to fix things. Then, after awhile, he decides to tell us about what's happening or what they're trying to do with the new plan. But the cycle keeps repeating.

That strategy may work alright for a CEO -- trying putting out fires -- but it won't work in war.


This article may go a bit of the way in explaining some of the foul ups in policy in Iraq.

It asserts that it was Rumsfeld's war, but Powell's occupation. many good points, but they don't really help us now, do they?

We might learn the lesson, though -- follow the hawks and warriors, and not the striped pants guys.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 3:42 PM |