Monday, August 9, 2004

Plan . . . what?

From the Daily Howler:

SEQUEL ONE—$87 BILLION REDUX: “All of this should have been done a year ago,” this morning’s Times editorial says. The editorial is called “The Iraq Reconstruction Fiasco,” and it discusses that $18.4 billion in reconstruction money which Congress voted last October. The money was part of the famous $87 billion to “fund the troops”—the bill which Kerry voted against, a vote for which he is now routinely trashed. The editorial notes that Bush Admin has failed to put that $18 billion to work:

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL: Of the $18.4 billion Congress approved last fall, only about $600 million has actually been paid out. Billions more have been designated for giant projects still in the planning stage. Part of the blame rests with the Pentagon's planning failures and the occupation authority's reluctance to consult qualified Iraqis. Instead, the administration brought in American defense contractors who had little clue about what was most urgently needed or how to handle the unfamiliar and highly insecure climate. [my emphasis]

Gee! Any chance that Kerry (and others) may have been right when they said they wanted a more detailed plan before giving Bush this “blank check?” The editorial fails to raise this point, but that’s the way your press corps works. . .

[. . .]

Entire post.

Oh yeah, we can just go in there and take over. Planning, we don't need no steenking planning.

You know, I write spy novels and some science fiction. The reason I bring this up is not to peddle books, but to make an observation. Bush & Co's actions sound like the plot of a fucking spy novel. It's as if they're taking literary license with the war, the way I would when I ask my audience to suspend their belief in the flow of time and the details. (If writers didn't, novels would be SO long and boring, and filled with minutiae, that no one would want to read them.) But wars don't proceed like novels do. The president is not an omnipotent being, like a writer, who can mold the world so the outcome is in his favor. War, and running a country, involves minutiae on a biblical scale and all the details have to be addressed BEFORE war is declared. It's as if Bush thinks the world works like a TV show or a pulp fiction novel.

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