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Friday, August 3

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

This article from the New York Times (via the Huffington Post) turned the contents of my stomach into a lake of boiling acid and bad noise.

It tells the tale of our intrepid Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates' journey to the Middle East to talk to our quondam allies about Iraq, but that wasn't what hit my digestion like a stink-bomb. What caused the acid reflux to wake up was these words:

"...we probably all underestimated..."

Who the fuck are you calling "we," little mister?

You got a godsdamned mouse in your pocket?

When the war drums started to sound in 2002, many people started looking beyond the roseate schemes and Pollyannish projections made by the neocons and their enablers in the White House. What they saw was billions of dollars wasted, years of occupation and many dead American soldiers.

Now, as with all of those doubters (who were realists, and paid for their doubts with epithets and outright threats), I would have much preferred a happy ending to this whole mess - one that didn't cost so much in terms of blood, money, and reputation. But because no one in the Administration or the Defense Department was apparently thinking rationally, we are stuck in Iraq.

When you plan for things, you are supposed to take into account what happens if your plan falls apart. The great military philosopher von Clausewitz said it best: "Plans never survive first contact with the enemy." Hope for the best, of course, but always, always plan for the worst.

This "no one could have anticipated ..." bullshit is exactly that; bullshit, designed to absolve us from all blame and instead put the blame on whoever's handy when the Dolchstosslegende starts up in earnest. Those scapegoats will include the Left, the Dems, the American People, the Troops - everyone but the actual people who supposedly thought long and hard about our wonderful parade through Iraq.

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