Sunday, August 14, 2005

Prior Proper Planning...

Prevents Piss Poor Performance!

I learned of the 7 Ps in high school. The catholic all-boys school, St. Viator, had a coach that consistently produced winning football teams on that slogan. Today we learn that we have an administration that has no clue what that means.

Any business, and usually communities, like to do what's a called a cost-benefit analysis to see if what they want to do warrants the effort. Can we afford this? What will this cost us? What do we hope to gain by it? And some of these questions, for businesses any way, can extend out for a decade or two. At least you would think a government wanting to wage a war would do such a thing. In the case of the George W. Bush invasion of Iraq, this has not been the case.

Sometime before April of 2002, Ken Adelman of the Defense Department stated that the war in Iraq would be a cakewalk. I think that pretty much sums up the administration viewpoint, though Rumsfeld never literally acknowledged it. Yet today, in 2005, the New York Times had a lead article about the struggle the US is having in updating the armor for the troops. The apparent reason for the high number of casualties of deaths in an Ohio company is the lack of armor on their vehicles.

My son is no military strategist. Neither am I. But when he heard that these men were not armored correctly, he simply asked, "Then what were they doing there?" That's a good question. How does an improperly armored vehicle or soldier end up in a battlefield? By poor planning is the reason. Very poor planning. In other words, a rush to war, which is what the administration has been accused of since they announced their intention. And the lack of armor is a recurring issue, one in which you simply must ask, "What is the problem?" The administration likes to be bellicose about liberal rhetoric stating, "It's a time of war!" And I rejoined, these soldiers are not properly armored. What do you mean the Pentagon procurement process is not working? This is a time of war! At this late stage in the military operations, meaning simply two years into it, allegedly after major military operations have ended, we are still having difficulties armoring the troops and their transports? How? Who needs to be fired? This is unacceptable.

And that's just a part of what is happening. Today in the Washington Post, there was an article explaining how the administration is significantly lowering expectations for what can be achieved in Iraq. "The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say"

All along we have been told, particularly in the State of the Union and Inauguration speeches, that freedom and democracy were on the march. Yet today, three years later, we are told that is no longer the case. What went wrong? We were told all along that we would be welcomed as liberators, with flowers and smiles. We freed Iraq from the evil Saddam, and now they want to embrace an Islamic Constitution, and that's lowering expectations. I ask, what gave you any indication they would embrace democracy? Just because you wanted it for them? And what ever would make any one think that they couldn't see through the disguise of "democracy and freedom" anyway?

We can see from the admitted faults that the infrastructure, which we have poured billions into, does not work. "The most thoroughly dashed expectation was the ability to build a robust self-sustaining economy. We're nowhere near that. State industries, electricity are all below what they were before we got there," said Wayne White, former head of the State Department's Iraq intelligence team who is now at the Middle East Institute. "The administration says Saddam ran down the country. But most damage was from looting [after the invasion], which took down state industries, large private manufacturing, the national electric" system." "Water is also a 'tough, tough' situation in a desert country, said a U.S. official in Baghdad familiar with reconstruction issues. Pumping stations depend on electricity, and engineers now say the system has hundreds of thousands of leaks." How can the Iraqis trust the US when this type of situation exists long after "major military operations" have ceased? This also is unacceptable.

Yet what seems to be running close to capacity is the oil industry. "Oil production is estimated at 2.22 million barrels a day, short of the goal of 2.5 million. Iraq's pre-war high was 2.67 million barrels a day." From a percentage viewpoint, the oil is running at 88% of goal capacity and 82% of pre-war high. Yet, we read in this same article that oil revenues are supposed to be paying for this war, and that Iraq does not produce enough "refined" fuel. Which leads me to believe that it is either being stockpiled as raw oil or refined elsewhere. It is apparent that the effort has been poured into oil industry far more than rebuilding the infrastructure or security of Iraq. This too is unacceptable.

A value we progressives embrace is accountability. It goes hand in hand with responsibility. Neither of which is demonstrated by the Bush administration when it comes to the war in Iraq. Billions of dollars are unaccounted for(a simple Google search), Halliburton continues to get non-competitive guaranteed contracts for which they are paid, and soldiers keep dying. Torture has occurred, and yet no one in a responsible position has been held accountable. It is all too obvious that little to no planning occurred, for anything other than resurrecting the oil production. Not just from the military point of view, but from the social aspect as well. We had little intelligence going in, and little thought given to just how this group of people would respond to not just an invasion, but American imperialism. And now we are being told that lower expectations means longer occupation. Considering the poll numbers of how Americans feel Bush is handling this war, the time of accounting is swift upon him.


Blogger Bruce Larson*Moore said...

The whole thing is a private war to promote and test the concept of private enterprise handling war.

Wake up America, your being used as Mercenaries, who fight for the power and profits of global corporations, your military sons and daughters are being made into a corporate Mercenary Force, available not to free people from oppression, but to protect the greed of those who spill blood for gold.

Love*Rulz - (Available on DVD:)

1/9/05 20:22  

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