Monday, August 30, 2004

The Elusive Plan

Over and over I hear the complaint, "They didn't have a plan for Iraq! I wish there were a plan!"

This is the talking point of those sane enough to be forced to admit the war was necessary, but want to find a way to criticize Bush: for not having a plan.

Of course, what is meant by "a plan" is:

"a magic wand that will make everyone be nice, with cuddly puppies and kittens in abundance."

Let's look at this realistically, shall we?

First, there was a plan. It was a reasonable plan. You can find it here. And for the direct aftermath, tons of humanitarian supplies and millions of dollars were set aside to thrust upon aid agencies to handle the true disasters that did not occur.

Comparisons are made to the aftermath of WW2, and to the Marshall Plan.

Well guess what, the Marshall Plan didn't start until 1948, and they had 3 whole years of war to think about it, whereas the Iraq campaign lasted only 3 weeks!

Are millions of people homeless, dying of preventable diseases, or starving to death? No? That's what was happening after WW2, the Good War where apparently everything was done right, unlike the bumbling of the Bush administration.

Think things look bad now? I refer you to the January 7, 1946 issue of Life Magazine (or try this and this if that link is slow). In it, well-known novelist John Dos Passos reports on the appalling post-war conditions, branding the peace a failure and the war a mistake. The headline is:

"Americans are losing the victory in Europe; destitute nations feel that the U.S. has failed them."

The troops returning home are worried. “We’ve lost the peace,” men tell you. “We can’t make it stick.”

Friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face and tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an American. They cite the evolution of the word “liberation.” Before the Normandy landings it meant to be freed from the tyranny of the Nazis. Now it stands in the minds of the civilians for one thing, looting....

Never has American prestige in Europe been lower. People never tire of telling you of the ignorance and rowdy-ism of American troops, of our misunderstanding of European conditions. They say that the theft and sale of Army supplies by our troops is the basis of their black market. They blame us for the corruption and disorganization of UNRRA. They blame us for the fumbling timidity of our negotiations with the Soviet Union. They tell us that our mechanical de-nazification policy in Germany is producing results opposite to those we planned. “Have you no statesmen in America?” they ask.

And consider this:
All we have brought to Europe so far is confusion backed up by a drumhead regime of military courts. We have swept away Hitlerism, but a great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease. [emphasis mine] The taste of victory had gone sour in the mouth of every thoughtful American I met.
or this:
In the words of the London Sunday Observer: “Europe is threatened by a catastrophe this winter which has no precedent since the Black Death of 1348.” There are still more than 25,000,000 homeless people milling about Europe. In Warsaw nearly 1,000,000 live in holes in the ground....Infant mortality is already so high that a Berlin Quaker, quoted in the British press, predicted. “No child born in Germany in 1945 will survive. Only half the children aged less than 3 years will survive.”
And no, these articles aren't a parody; they've beeen verified, were mentioned on Fox News last year, and references to them in other contexts pre-dating 9/11 can be found on the internet. Just ask at your local library for the microfilm.

And talk about a "quagmire", apparently we've just finally found our "exit strategy" from Germany after 60 years!

And yet, somehow we persevered.

And won.

But today, the standard seems to be that being unable to accurately predict the future is considered failure, even when it's a military maxim that "no plan survives first contact with the enemy." Instead, the measure of success is if one can adapt to circumstances faster, and prevent true chaos from breaking out, and in that the administration has been wildly successful.

Yes, wildly successful, by any historical measure!

But the Press would not have you believe that. The AP last Memorial Day wrote the following:
More than 800 U.S. servicemembers have died in Iraq, and because most of the casualties were after May 2003, this Memorial Day will be a more somber one. The deaths, combined with ongoing fighting and allegations of prisoner abuse, have taken their toll on support for the war.
Ooo, you'd like that, wouldn't you, AP?

I would just like to point out that in WW2 we had 400 American soldiers killed per day, every day, for one-thousand days straight.

Let that sink in for a moment.

And worlwide, 25,000 people were being violently killed per day, every day, for six years!!!

With today's media, we would surely have lost back then. The media and the Left would have surrendered within a week. Can anyone doubt it? No wonder FDR had an Office of War Information to censor and control the news. Winning would have been impossible otherwise.

So 800 dead over 14 months after defeating 2 countries is quagmire and defeat.
What would they have said of D-Day, which recently had its 60th anniversary? D-Day: 1,500 men dead in minutes; most of the tanks and heavy equipment going straight into the sea; 10,000 French civilians killed in the bombing...

And that's what a victory looked like!

If things seem unsettled, it's because we're embroiled in a proxy war against Iran and Syria and elements of the Saudi Royal Family -- a religious war that was declared against us in 1979 in Teheran -- and thank God we're finally fighting it upon their very borders.

As PJ O'Rourke said in Give War a Chance,

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless."


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