Friday, September 14, 2007

Bush's Troop Reduction

I have often heard of companies who would plan a ‘sale’ by first increasing the price of some product, then reducing the price back to its original value while calling the event a ‘sale’. For example, such a company would take a product that it sells for $2.00, raise the price $3.00, then announce that people can now buy it on sale – “One-third off!” – reducing the price back down to its original price while claiming to be having a sale.

This seems to be Bush’s strategy with respect to troop levels in Iraq.

Hearing that people are insisting on troop reductions, he begins by ordering a ‘surge’ that increases the number of troops in Iraq by 30,000. Then, he goes before the cameras to announce that because of the success of his plan we can now reduce the number of troops in Iraq. How big of a reduction? Well . . . let’s start with 30,000.

So, just like the store that is selling its $2.00 product for $2.00 while calling it a sale, Bush gets to maintain his $140,000 troops in Iraq while calling it a ‘reduction’.

But, then, honesty has never been one of this President’s strong suits. Careful manipulation of the public has always been their preferred way to deal with us.

1 comment:

Hume's Ghost said...

I think the surge was largely p.r. warfare. I don't doubt that the president believed the surge would be to the benefit of Iraq, but I think the primary purpose was to project the image of taking decisive action to improve the situation.

There's a passage in Woodward's State of Denial that encapsulates this mentality. Bremer is talking to Jay Garner shortly before he takes over in Iraq and lets him know that the pr coming out of Iraq is bad. Garner tells Bremer he can worry about that when he takes over ... Garner is too busy dealing with the actual problems in Iraq like the fact that he hardly even had electricity.

What really concerns me, besides from the dishonesty, is that I suspect that President Bush is able to convince himself that he actually is withdrawing troops as a result of the success of the surge rather than the fact that it is a necessary requirement given the design of troop rotation.