Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"It Seems Sort Of Gimmicky"

The latest "cool idea!" on Iraq from the Titular Right, courtesy of Rich Lowry:
I know it seems sort of gimmicky, but I suggest in today's column that Bush appoint an Iraq czar. His administration has been torn by divisions over the war from the very beginning in ways that have really hurt our cause. This czar would be someone with no bureaucratic or institutional loyalties. Also, importantly, no loyalty to long-held positions (it would be very hard for someone like Rumsfeld to admit at this point, yes, we really do need more troops). His only loyalty would be to winning the war. His base of political support would be the president, who would have to back him completely and make it clear that any resistance from any quarter would be unacceptable. This appointment would play as a new departure that would give the administration the room to try new things (perhaps—I'm just thinking out loud—a surge of more troops in the near-term, coupled with a set of deadlines for Iraqi political developments). Politically, such an appointment would play perfectly into the administration's theme of adapting to win. It would be a way to break up the deadlocked internal administration debate and to clear up the bureaucratic confusion. (I was talking to a high-level administration official not too long ago who has no idea who really has primary responsibility for Iraq policy.) I think Rumsfeld and the generals basically have a checkmate against any new departure in Iraq policy. Rumsfeld opposes more troops for long-held strategic reasons (because he thinks it will foster dependency on the part of the Iraqis) and the generals, I believe, oppose them for institutional reasons (they know what a terrible strain sending more troops will represent to the Army). We need someone who can break through all this. My nominee would be Zalmay Khalilzad, although he would be hard to replace on the ground in Iraq.
Here's my nomination, Rich: President Bush. Iraq is not a domestic policy initiative. "His only loyalty would be to winning the war"..."It would be a way to break up the deadlocked internal administration debate"..."No idea who really has primary responsibility for Iraq policy"..."We need someone who can break through all this." There was once a time when, during a war, each of those responsibilities rested with the executive-in-chief. It's called leadership.

26 Comments:

Blogger Grodge said...

Now I guess good government is "gimmicky." What was Gerry Bremer supposed to be if not an apolitical "czar"?... And the guy before him and the guy after him?

The oxygen may finally be seeping into Rich's blunted cerebral cortex, and he may eventually come to the conclusion the rest of us have years ago:

Bush does not possess the cognitive function necessary to solve this, or any, crisis.

10/04/2006 1:18 AM  
Blogger jj said...

It's also called "the Constitution".

10/04/2006 1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the new czar could properly organise their bumping themselves off...

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=34973

10/04/2006 1:57 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

So, if I understand Lowry correctly, he wants a Satrap for Iraq.

Wonderful. We can increase the size of our federal government & our imperialist profile with one executive appointment.

10/04/2006 5:35 AM  
Anonymous tregen said...

Pathetic. At least Rich is admitting that the President has no control over his administration.

10/04/2006 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, what a good idea. The real problem with Iraq II, from the very start, was that a single unelected figurehead in dark shades and black wool suit lacked the absolute authority to shoot anyone, without warning, who displeases him even momentarily, without explaining his motives or enduring an inquest, such that the President could shrug at the camera and say "That never 9/11 happened destructive weapons. I can't blood in the gutters of Peoria respond to such an imaginary allegation." Release authority for neutron bombs goes without saying. Now the Constitution is trashed, it's time to fix this minor oversight.

An old friend of mine isn't quite up to speed, she thinks maybe American bombers may have plastered Laos and Cambodia once each by mistake, but otherwise Vietnam was a clean fight. She does recognize that a good barometer of White House hysteria is what they're willing to throw to the wolves to keep the baaaad stuff off the front pages. "Iraq II silly, stupid, irretrievably broken; pay no attention to the carrier group headed to the Persian Gulf" does indeed provide a distraction from "everyone on the Hill knew he craved young man-meet," but it's not obvious how the combined news blitz, broadcast globally, can be considered helpful.

Well, it's October. Are you surprised? Mission Accomplished!

10/04/2006 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the viceroy be responsible for sending the yearly allotment of provincial boys back to the party members in the imperial center? That is a large responsibility.
-- sglover

10/04/2006 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Here's my nomination, Rich: President Bush. Iraq is not a domestic policy initiative. "His only loyalty would be to winning the war"..."It would be a way to break up the deadlocked internal administration debate"..."No idea who really has primary responsibility for Iraq policy"..."We need someone who can break through all this." There was once a time when, during a war, each of those responsibilities rested with the executive-in-chief. It's called leadership."


This is why I love to come to this blog!!! Once again you hit the nail right on the head!!! It literally brings tears to my eyes when I think about the leadership deficit we have in this country! It makes me want to scream.

10/04/2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Today's NYT:

In Bill’s Fine Print, Millions to Celebrate Victory
E-MailPrint Reprints Save

By THOM SHANKER
Published: October 4, 2006
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — Even as the Bush administration urges Americans to stay the course in Iraq, Republicans in Congress have put down a quiet marker in the apparent hope that V-I Day might be only months away.
Tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital “for commemoration of success” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

10/04/2006 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't we just nominate a new president?

10/04/2006 11:14 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

How about if we just pull out? I am fully in favor of cutting and running. How long did the Irish fight British rule? 800 years? Of course the British were just trying to civilize the poor savages...bring them the enlightened rule of the crown. American support of this nonsense really speaks ill of the human race as a whole. We are no more enlightened than any common herd animals following the commands of the more powerful in the herd.

10/04/2006 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

"Will the viceroy be responsible for sending the yearly allotment of provincial boys back to the party members in the imperial center?"

Flying first class, one suspects:

"Tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital “for commemoration of success” in Iraq and Afghanistan."

10/04/2006 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My nomination is the President, all right, but a new president. History suggests we have little choice but to wait it out, but this adnimistration's choices have been so bad, so consistently, that one can't help but fantasize that they would just step down, and let someone else take over.

10/04/2006 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Former Republican said...

Bingo! Finally, someone who dispenses with the "blame Rumsfeld" bullshit and simply puts the responsibility right where it belongs -- President George W. Bush. As a couple commenters already noted, Lowry's suggestion is an implicit acknowledgment that Bush isn't up to the task of Commander-in-Chief.

10/04/2006 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, given the GOP Chernobyl in the House right now, we may be able to dust off our Constitutions soon enough. Cheap-ass way to get there, but who cares any longer.

10/04/2006 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Jason Robinson said...

The Onion was ahead of the curve on this point...

Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country

10/04/2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Fabulous idea! The president should immediately appoint an Iraq czar whose has no bureaucratic or institutional loyalty to anyone except Rich Lowry.

Life is so unfair - Rich Lowry gets paid for his cockamamie ideas and I can't get the Democrats to spring for any of mine.

My latest brainstorm is to get gay activists to become Republicans for a couple of years and advocate for the criminalization of homosexual sex.

Debates would be so much more lively if one of the candidates had to take the "position" that gay men should be tossed in prison for having sex with each other!

I can't even get Makita to spring for $5k even though I carefully explained how Makita should market its 4-1/2" angle grinder to women.

10/04/2006 9:46 PM  
Blogger FRx said...

CR:
You caught me flat footed on that one. My wife wanted to know what I was laughing about but I couldn't talk.

10/04/2006 10:12 PM  
Blogger Mark Horvath said...

Here's my nomination, Rich: President Bush. Iraq is not a domestic policy initiative. "His only loyalty would be to winning the war"..."It would be a way to break up the deadlocked internal administration debate"..."No idea who really has primary responsibility for Iraq policy"..."We need someone who can break through all this." There was once a time when, during a war, each of those responsibilities rested with the executive-in-chief. It's called leadership.

SLAM! Wonderfully said.

10/05/2006 1:13 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

This may sound gimmicky, but nominate Rich Lowry, himself.

10/05/2006 11:19 AM  
Blogger 277fia said...

I meant to comment on the bit about the $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital “for commemoration of success” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These are the same assholes who founded the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation despite the fact that a billion people still live under the iron fist of Communism in China.

From what I could find out, all the foundation does is hold fancy dinners and all the attendees pat each other on the back for the fine job they did ridding the world of Communism.

LOL - These people have to be on LSD or some shit. They are all out of their f**king minds.

10/05/2006 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

iraq(,) iran(,,,,,?)... russia.

10/10/2006 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10276-enormous-death-toll-of-iraq-invasion-revealed.html

10/11/2006 8:09 PM  
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