The other day I was having a conversation with two co-workers when the topic suddenly veered in the direction of politics. I made a statement about the choppy sentence structure in a poorly written novel I had read, when one of them stated, “Yeah, George Bush talks like that. He’s such an idiot.”
I returned with a statement along the lines of, “Whatever else you may think about the guy, he’s not an idiot. I don’t think a genuine idiot can get elected President.” (And I don’t. I cannot stand the sight of Bill Clinton, but the guy’s no moron. Liar? Yep. Thinks with his pecker too much? You bet. Too concerned with his own personal glory to do his job when he was in office? Sure. Stupid? No.)
At this point one of the women with whom I was speaking went into full auto rant mode: “He’s a total moron! He took us into Iraq with no plan whatsoever and now we’re stuck there! He’s an idiot!” and so forth. She continued by decrying the fact that we’re (horrors!) still there, saying that the war is still going, and we didn’t win because we haven’t caught Saddam. I interjected at some point to say that there was most definitely a plan, and that noone at any point had suggested we were going to go in and then turn around and leave; (e.g. the plan involved staying there for a good while).
“There was no plan!” she cried. “His plan was to go in with guns blazing! That was his plan!”
My first impulse is to think of a quote I read sometime in the early part of the Bush II administration. I wish I could remember who said it, but it was, “If he’s so stupid, how does he keep outwitting all these brilliant people?” I somewhat foolishly said this to her, which naturally inspired her to redouble her insistence that he’s “an idiot”, as though she could make it true if she were just emphatic enough.
This got me thinking later about just how well the administration thought things out. Think about it: We’ve been there for five months now. In that time, we’ve trained some 100,000 Iraqis to be police officers and security officers. That doesn’t happen without a plan. There was no mass starvation in Iraq (or Afganistan), as the doomsayers predicted there would be, because before we ever went in we had arranged to get food to the populace. That doesn’t happen without a plan. There are local ruling councils in place throughout the country, and they’re already on the road to self-rule. That doesn’t happen without a plan. (And again taking a look at Afganistan, they’ve just released a draft constitution for their new government). We’ve rebuilt the failed infrastructure to a point where in many areas it’s better than it was before. That doesn’t happen without a plan. Baghdad has bustling marketplaces and the country has 160+ independent newspapers where there was nothing six months ago. That doesn’t happen without a plan. We’ve caught or killed over 40 of the 52 “most wanted” in the former Iraqi regime. That doesn’t happen without a plan.
You can argue that we should not have gone in (if you must), but you have to completely blind yourself to reality to suggest that he didn’t know what he was doing. There is a plan, and so far it has been an extremely successful one.