Thursday, December 28, 2006

Here's a test: tell me what's wrong with this headline

Bush taking more time to craft Iraq plan...

Stuck? OK, I'll give you a bit of a clue: it's a bit of a trick question.

Still stuck? OK, another hint: focus on the word 'plan'.

According to the dictionary, one comes up with a 'plan' to 'accomplish' something. A 'plan' consists of steps one takes to achieve a goal. For example, one could come up with a plan to build a house... to take a vacation... to roll out a new product at work... or to save for retirement.

The implicit understanding with all of the above, indeed, with all that one can 'plan' for, is that the 'something' one is planning for is something that is attainable, and by the person doing the planning.

Along those lines, while one can plan for something unwanted, such as what one might do if they awoke to a mushroom cloud on the horizon, and one can plan for something unlikely to happen, such as what one might do if they won the lottery, one doesn't bother, and for understandably good reasons, to plan for something that can't happen.

And that is why Bush and plan and plan and consult and consult and think and think for as long as he would like.... and it won't matter... because what he wants to have happen in Iraq isn't going to happen... and no amount of planning can ever change that.

Iraq is not going to become a peaceful beacon of hope for the disenfranchised of the world. The Iraqis are not going to stop trying to kill one another and start holding hands and singing campfire songs. Our enemies around the world are not going to be cowed into behaving better. The international community is not going to ever think our invading Iraq was a good thing. And we're not going to pull our troops out of Iraq without it being portrayed as a defeat for us and a victory of sorts for our enemies.

Bush wants what can't happen... and, by definition, one can't come up with a plan to achieve the impossible.

Bush doesn't need a new plan... .he needs a new goal. A goal that is attainable. Then he can go and plan. But until then, he's wasting time... and wasting the lives of American servicemen and women.