Bush's Master Plan - or NOT

Okay, I give up; I just don't know anymore.

For the last five years or so, I've been thinking that this whole "Bush the idiot" routine has to be fake, there has to be some Master Plan. How could such an incredibly stupid person become the most powerful man on earth? I've tried to figure his plan out, even wrote in my blog about it HERE. Every time I think it makes sense, and I think I know what Bush is going to do, he just up and does some other idiotic thing.

Even people that believe Bush is right, on his word, have to be thinking by now that he's an idiot. Honestly, invading Iraq might have worked as advertised if everything was done right, instead of wrong. Bush could have pulled it off. Had his diplomatic efforts at the beginning not been such an atrocious failure, he might of actually had a coalition of the willing, rather than the grudging. Done effectively, he might even have had UN approval. The actual military invasion was spectacular; lightening fast and with comparatively few errors. You can't fault the military effort in Iraq. But, again, the post-invasion phase was a political catastrophe. Let's see, we want a stable and democratic Iraq, so let's fire all the soldiers and police and send them home where they will have guns but no source of income. After that, we'll hire new soldiers and police but we'll form units along sectarian lines. Then, we'll completely abandon security such that regional militias become popular means for protecting local neighbourhoods. Sure, that's really going to to build a stable country.

In reality, I can't help but think all the really stupid things the Bush administration has done in Iraq must have been deliberate. The choices sure seem like a deliberate attempt to incite civil war. Even the latest so-called surge seems more like an attempt to beat down the Shiite militias such that the Sunni insurgents will have a chance to hold their own. After all, if you want a civil war, each side has to at least have a fighting chance.

However, even when everything seems in place, and the optimal time to move on to the next phase is here, Bush just keeps on doing stupid things. I mean, if Bush wants to use all the military might he's assembled in the Gulf, he's going to have to start soon, like last week. Iran is going to need some serious bombardment to soften up its defences before any ground assault in the spring, the optimal time for such things. If he waits until the fall, the US military will have been sitting around, slowly loosing capability, for months. All those sailors and airmen, stationed far from home, will have been waiting around for nothing. The soldiers too will have spent way too many high-stress combat hours pointlessly wandering around Baghdad. Every deployment has its peak readiness, when units are deployed, finished their last minute training, and are chomping at the bit to fight. Over use them, over train them, or leave them waiting around too long, and they'll just want to go home.

Maybe this really is just like a nightmare. My mind is attempting to stitch a story around random events, trying to make some kind of sense out of a collection of unconnected and totally senseless points of data. Maybe Bush, and all of his advisers, and Blair, and all of his advisers, are just a bunch of idiots. Maybe they're actually trying to do what they say, and just doing a very lousy job of it. Maybe Bush really is just a pathetic Commander in Chief, sending the most powerful military force in the world, here and there, willy-nilly, with no real plan of action. Maybe he's just trying to look tough, maybe he likes seeing little American flags shuffle around on situation boards, or maybe he just doesn't care about his people in uniform. Could it be that he doesn't care about the people suffering extended tours of duty, the separated families, the increased attrition this will cause? Could it really be true that he's doing all this without any plan? Is he really that much of an idiot?

I don't know anymore. I thought Bush was playing a game, that he had a secret plan. But, as time ticks away, and opportunities slip by, I'm starting to lose faith. Am I an idiot for thinking Bush actually has a Master Plan? Is Bush really an idiot? Maybe the whole Master Plan thing is just wishful thinking on my part. Or, maybe it's that everyone in the world has to believe Bush really is an idiot before the Master Plan can work? I don't know. I really hope that Bush does have a secret Master Plan. Because, if he doesn't, we're screwed. Everyone.


Same-Sex Marriage and Equal Rights

It would seem self-evident that if it is legal for a white Christian man to marry a white Christian woman, with her consent, then, with her consent, it must follow that a black man can marry this woman, that a Muslim man can marry this woman, or that, with her consent, a woman can marry this woman. Anything less is an affront to individual freedom.

If one is to believe the media reports, it appears that a great many people do not seem to understand this simple logic. These people seem to feel that if the majority of people are opposed to something then it should be against the law. What these people fail to realise is that the essence of freedom is freedom from the tyranny of the majority. The rule of law protects us from this tyranny and is an essential part of democracy.

Wilderness Insurance

It is my opinion that the average North American has a warped sense of reality. Most seem to think that, even when bad things happen, everything will be okay. We have auto insurance, fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, investment insurance, medical insurance, and the list goes on. If we find that, through some aspect of human error, we’re not insured for something that happens then we expect the powers that be to provide disaster relief; to save us from ourselves. If things go bad we expect the police, ambulance, fire, or rescue departments to save us. We’re protected – nothing will go wrong: Right? It’s not really true; people die all the time, but we hold on to the illusion. If we didn't then we’d be too afraid to leave our homes. We insure ourselves against fear.

But fear can be a good thing; it can protect us more than any insurance policy. In the wilderness, fear can be a friend. Fear of going thirsty makes me pack extra water. Fear of freezing makes me pack extra cloths. Fear of going beyond my capabilities keeps me alive.

The problem being discussed here is not about ignorant people getting into trouble and needing to be rescued. I’m sure everyone has done something stupid at one time or another. Maybe, like me, they got themselves out of it, or maybe they needed help. The problem is that the “everything will be fine” expectation is finding it’s way into the wilderness. There are people out there, a lot of people, that expect to be rescued – anywhere, anytime – if something goes wrong. And, they probably will. Search and Rescue is very good these days. Maybe too good; the fear is gone. It seems like every weekend some unfortunate soul is plucked from the wilderness. Why worry, if you make a mistake they’ll just come and get you. Search and Rescue is a victim of it’s own success.

If you tack on some kind of rescue insurance then it will just get worse. “Hey, that mountain climbing thing looks pretty neat. Let’s go.” “Hey, I paid my dues, my feet hurt – take me home!” Maybe this would work in National parks but in general I think it’s a bad idea. Fear is good. The wilderness is a big, bad place. If you slip and break your leg – you could die. The wilderness is where, every once in a while, the animals get to eat the people. This is a good thing – it makes you careful. It keeps you within your limits.

People go to the wilderness to get back to reality. The reality is – sometimes bad things happen. The more money you spend on Search and Rescue the more money will be needed. Maybe it’s time to set some limits on peoples expectations.