In this era of fantasy sports leagues and mock drafts and stuff, I have decided to apply a similar theory to politics. Henceforth, I will begin designing the planks I would be proposing if I were one of the big national players in the Democratic Party. It may not be just like an actual party platform, but y’all will get the point. I’ll try and keep it organized and coherent. Comments and criticisms are, as always, welcome.
The War in Iraq.
1. Americans want to win the War in Iraq.
2. Americans want our boys and girls in the military to come home safely.
3. Right now, we are making significant gains at an astronomical price in blood and treasure.
4. If we stay the current course, we will be facing years of continued insurgency and our troops’ efforts to rebuild the country will continue to be successful but hindered.
5. If we leave right now, we loose the War in Iraq.
This is a damned if we do, damned if we don’t situation. Neither Party is offering a comprehensive solution. Non-constructive criticism is not a plan. Keeping with a cumbersome strategy is not a plan. Non-constructive criticism only serves the cumbersome strategy, but is more distasteful politically.
The first thing to do is to realize that, right now, Democrats need to remove themselves as being part of the problem and start being part of the solution. The reasons for going to war are now irrelevant to getting us out of the war. Thousands of our boys and girls have bled themselves dry in that desert, and thousands upon thousands more are there, right now, fighting.
We need to move beyond the “But, Bush lied, etc etc” brand of thinking, and start figuring out ways to win this thing as soon as possible. We will need to bludgeon this Administration to get those things done, in my opinion.
We need to immediately and publicly state that our position is to win this war with the absolute victory that our military has fought so valiantly towards for so long. We need to say that the only way towards peace is to win as decisively and as unconditionally as possible. We must make it clear that sometimes liberty at home and abroad must be defended and fought for by men and women with guns, and by statesmen with guts.
We need to remind President Bush that he has a bully pulpit and that he is responsible for bringing us the good news that goals have been achieved; not the media. He sets the tone for punditry, he alone can call a weekly primetime press conference that millions of Americans will watch and hear. Henceforth, when I discuss the term ‘weekly updates’ I am not talking about a 9:30am EDT press briefing that no one remembers at 9:45am, I am talking about an 8pm Primetime Live feed of the President giving the American people this information.
We need to demand and set clear political goals from Washington. If the other side does not want to do this, we must step up to the plate. I have some suggestions for these political goals:
1. 500,000 Iraqi men signing up to be a part of the Iraqi army or Iraqi police. We must also demand that the President give us weekly updates on how close to this goal we are. We must demand to hear this every week until we have attained that goal, so that every American knows how close we are to achieving it.
2. 150,000 Iraqi women signing up to be a part of the Iraqi army or Iraqi police (Because nothing ratchets down male dominated Sharia jackassery than 150,000 screaming, pissed off women with AK-47’s.), and another 50,000 Iraqi women signing up for medical training. We must also demand that the President give us weekly updates on how close to this goal we are. We must demand to hear this every week until we have attained that goal, so that every American knows how close we are to achieving it.
3. We must demand the President give us weekly updates on how many of this 700,000 have completed basic training under the supervision of American drill sergeants, weekly updates on how many of this 650,000 have completed their primary MOS training, weekly updates on how many have been issued AK-47’s, BAR’s, grenade launchers and side-arms. For the medics, we must demand to know how many are out of training and into field hospitals. I also want to know that all of those individuals swore an oath of loyalty to Iraq, regardless of religion.
4. We must demand weekly updates on how much of Iraq is covered in electricity; how much of Iraq has indoor plumbing and running water; how many hospitals have been rebuilt; how much road has been rebuilt, and how their economy can grow in the face of an insurgency. These are things we need to know.
5. We must demand that the President rebirth a Coalition to finally pacify the insurgency. We must go to NATO and the United Nations again. We must go to our Arab League allies and secure monies and troops (if possible). If nothing else, get those troops to ring Iraq so no new Insurgents can get in. If nothing else, pour those international troops into Afganistan to close the Afgan-Pakistan border, and free up some of our manpower there.
6. We must demand a War-Bond drive to help raise money for all of this. We will need to find other ways to raise money, and we must publicly call for a tightening of belts until the war is won. To do so, we will need to put some of our pork on the table and re-earmark that money specifically for the war effort.
7. We must demand the Iraqis form a government. If this requires our diplomats to sit down with opinion makers like Al-Sadr and Ayatolla Sistani, or even with the government in Iran, we do it.
8. Our victory conditions must be stated that victory comes when Iraq has a working government and that government is the civilian control of a 650,000 person armed and trained military & police force, and 50,000 trained and supplied medical force. We must publicly state that it is our position that the United States (or any other nation) will not keep a significant military presence in Iraq after the insurgency has been quelled. We should not have significant Rammstien-style bases in Iraq at the end of this. A West Point extension campus should be considered, and a Quantico type training facility for Iraqi officers and police should be encouraged.
9. In the interim, we must state publicly that we will shut down all nominations and government business if any General is fired because his estimations are not politically expedient to the President or any government bureaucrat. The only way we can win is if we are getting real numbers and figures from our Generals in the field, regardless of politics – our own included. We must loudly and clearly state that the civilian control needs to know the facts upon the ground, and no one should have to fear telling the truth.
10. When the President and the Administration come back at this and say “we’re already doing all of that,” we say “good, we’re with you on all this. Now, start calling those weekly press conferences and giving updates to the American people. Tonight at 8pm will be fine.” Then we demand to know the numbers to all of these things listed above, and the amount of pork the Republicans will be putting on the table to assist the war effort.
11. When the President and the Administration come back at that and say “well, we can’t give all the information because that may help the enemy,” we need to remind them that strategic secrecy is different from tactical secrecy and operational secrecy. Strategic goals must be clear to both allies and enemies. Strategic secrecy only aids an enemy whose greatest weapon is fear and whose most effective tactic is misinformation.