What the Hell is a bipartisan strategy for war?

| June 6, 2007

Just doing my daily perusal of the local newspapers, I ran across this beautiful headline in the Washington Examiner (in another Anne Flaherty AP story);

GOP: Bush Should Adopt Bipartisan Plan

Actually, Flaherty or her editor got the line from a Lamar Alexander quote;

“The president needs bipartisan support if the United States is to sustain a long-term position in Iraq,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

Yep, he does. He needs to find both Democrats and Republicans that support our strategy in Iraq. But, of course that’s not what Alexander (or the AP) is talking about.

The message that must be sent to the president is, “Let’s see if we can agree on an entire approach so you can have the kind of support you need,” he said.

Alexander and Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., introduced legislation that would make most of the [Iraq Study Group’s] 79 recommendations official U.S. policy. At least six other senators, including three Republicans, signed on as co-sponsors.

So the same people that gave us airbag legislation that was rushed into a mandatory-use law which started killing small children want to legislate a strategy for war.  The same people who mandated low-flow toilets, the people responsible for the administration of Washington, DC. The people who thought that midnight basketball would solve our inner-city ills.

Never in our history have we had a legislative body who thought they were tacticians – and with good reason. You can’t fight a war by committee. Our strategy in Viet Nam was developed by political committee – see how well that one turned out?

There’s a story in Tzun Tzu that I call the concubine story and I’ll try to relate it here in my own humble words;

Tzun Tzu offered his services to a local warlord to train the warlord’s army to battle another warlord. The warlord told him, “OK, but to show me know what you’re doing first train my stable of concubines to be soldiers. If you can make warriors of them, you can make warriors of anyone – and you’ll get the job.”

Tzun Tzu agreed and immediately went to work. With the warlord watching, Tzun Tzu started training the concubines in front of the palace. Well, the warlord’s favorite concubine wasn’t too interested in the training and was a smart-ass and only half-assed went through the drills, knowing that the warlord would protect her from tzun Tzu’s wrath.

Well, after a couple of hours of putting up with this particular concubine’s antics, Tzun Tzu walked up to her in the middle of the formation and chopped her head off. Well, the warlord went supersonic and angrily confronted his new employee about killing his favorite concubine.

Tzun Tzu replied that the warlord had told him to train the concubines, it was not the warlord’s place to comment or tell Tzun Tzu how to train or or how to deploy the concubines in war. The lesson was that politicians provide the military with the assets to train and fight the army, that it wasn’t politicians’ place to tell the army how to train or how to fight. The same lesson is repeated throughout history, it’s repeated in Clauswitz’ “On War”, the comparison of Viet Nam and Desert Storm was supposed to drive the point home – but apparently the lessons of history are lost on some politicians.

Alexander and those other three Republicans need to wake up to the realization that no matter how the President handles this war, the Democrats are going to complain and criticize. Why Alexander thinks he can get bipartisan support for anything this administration does is beyond reason – has he been asleep since Novemeber 2000?

He is right that the President needs the Democrats’ support, but it’s up to the Democrats to cross the aisle and accept the current strategy, then sit down, shut up and let our military finish wiping the floor with al Qaida, et al.

Category: Politics, Terror War

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