The Dumb Approach


Poking fun at the monsters in The Corner is as easy these days as insulting a three-headed baby, but once in a while one of those guys post something whose cynicism takes the breath away. Editor in Chief Rich Lowry tonight:

At this point, Obama needs to settle for a “dumb” Afghan strategy. He’s clearly trying to be too cute and clever, and micro-managing aspects of the military campaign that are beneath his pay-grade. If he believes success in Afghanistan is important and a counter-insurgency campaign is the best way to achieve it, he should give McChrystal the troops he says he needs (actually, he should probably give him more if possible, to reduce the risk of failure). This business of examining the troop numbers province-by-province, and devising various “off ramps,” and parsing out what troop commitment will best pressure Karzai is a foolish attempt at an impossible exactitude. No plan so finely tuned from on high is going to survive its first contact with reality. Obama needs a “dumb” approach β€” figure out the basic strategy, resource it, and leave it at that. If it’s a successful strategy, most of the other things will probably follow β€” the off ramps, the welcome effect on Karzai, etc.

Wow. To Lowry, trying to avoid sending more American men and women to die is “cute” and “clever,” a symptom of “micro-managing” — unlike, say, George W. Bush, who never turned down a troop request from Donald Rumsfeld or the Joint Chiefs of Staff even when the strategy was generally recognized a failure. In fact, Obama’s cuteness is an “impossible inexactitude.” Look, stop niggling, Barry. Do what the Beltway insiders say General McChrystal should do: commit the troops and get the hell out of the way. It worked for Bush, right? After all, success means that “most of the other things will probably follow β€” the off ramps, the welcome effect on Karzai, etc.” Please study that last phrase. Focus on the “Karzai, etc” bit. Lowry doesn’t even pretend to suggest that the decadence of the Karzai government matters in anyone’s calculations. For Lowry, the Dumb Approach to Afghanistan will inevitably lead to Afghans treating us as liberators, like the Iraqis did in 2003: throwing flowers at our feet, that sort of thing.

Or, instead, study the image posted upthread. Lowry is the lackey who claimed we were winning the war in Iraq in 2005.

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