McCain: No Plan B

April 14, 2007 at 8:37 pm | Posted in American politics, Iraq, McCain, Military, War | 5 Comments

John McCain sees no plan B available for Iraq. It is either the surge or well, he doesn’t like to talk about the or else. Neither does the Bush administration. But Mr. McCain, just what happens if the “surge” fails?

UPDATE: Christopher Dickey writes in Newsweek on who is preparing a plan B and who isn’t. Surprisingly, the Israelis are not planning any Plan B. Nor are the Americans, unsurprisingly. Everybody else in the Middle East is preparing for what comes after the surge fails.


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  1. The standard unspoken or spoken assumption in Washington is that the “what if” is that Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the self-declared Iraqi Islamic State will instantaneously take over and then Iraq will turn into a 1990s-style Taliban state, and then state after state in the region will become vulnerable to the same happening. An updated version of the 1960s “Domino Theory” that was used to justify the Vietnam War. It was wrong then because nobody in Washington was willing to understand the local dynamics at play, and its wrong today for the same reason. Pro-war and anti-war factions all have basically the same lack of understanding in this case. Which is doubly regrettable because there are some genuinely knowledgeable folks in Washington who could be called upon. But as with the “China hands” in the 1950s, they’ve all been purged or relegated to some dustbin somewhere because they weren’t willing to roll with the ideological fervor of the era. Unlike the 1950s, they can be called back to service I think given the sudden shift in mood that has occurred. But will they? I don’t think Washington (left or right) genuinely has any will to fundamentally alter-decades of bad policies in the Middle East, it’s simply too popular and easy to stick with the same local-politics and personal-bias driven errors and think that retreating into a shell is a solution.

  2. We’ve already failed in Iraq. Riverbend girl, a famale Iraqi blogger had the following to say back in February:

    “Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile.”

  3. For the neocons, no price is ever too high, provided that it doesn’t involve any neocon blood. Why pay the ultimate price when you can get everyone else to do the job for you?

  4. McCain has stated that he cannot guarantee the success of the surge . He says only that we have a good shot at success.

    Nothing in life is guaranteed and everyone makes mistakes. That is why they put erasers on pencils.

    I always have a Plan B even if I am more than 90% assured of success.

    Untill recently, I was of the opinion that McCain’s place at 5th from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy was no indication of his mental ability.

    Now I am wondering if his disdain for having a plan B was instrumental in getting him shot down over Vietnam.

    I think that I would want our country’s leaders to always have a well develloped plan B and even rudimentary Plans C and D.

    McCain is even scarier now that I know that he has no Plan B.

  5. Thanks everybody for your input. It makes sense to prepare for your first option not working right. How often do we get anything right the first time? Or even the second or third time? Heck, if I follow McCain and Bush’s line of thinking, that only the first option works or bust, I’d never be married.

    It is quite unreasonable to not prepare for the worst. Condoleezza Rice once said:

    “It’s bad policy to speculate on what you’ll do if a plan fails when you’re trying to make a plan work.”

    I guess so, Ms. Rice, if you’re from Bizarro world!

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