"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.