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Commandeerin' a Chief

According to a recent article in the Washington Post,
the Bush Administration is searching for someone they can appoint to manage the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is really odd to me, particularly since our Republican friends constantly remind us that Bush is the Commander in Chief and any effort to question his authority is tantamount to treason, as is the case with furor over Nancy Pelosi's recent trip to Syria.


Bush supporters want to make clear who the Decider still is. The Confederate Yankee
informs us that Pelosi is "undermining U.S. foreign policy" and she may be trying to "...create her own foreign policy separate from that of the official position of the United States..." The folks at Hang Right Politics have recently accused the Democrats of creating a "shadow government" and even go so far as to assert that Pelosi is assuming the role of Commander in Chief herself. And, just in case we forgot what the results of the 2006 election really meant, the conservative Macsmind quickly reminded us after the election that, "Bush is still the Commander in Chief."

Okay, Bush is the Commander in Chief. Got it. So, then, why is he looking for a "czar" to overtake management of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? According to the Washington Post piece, Frederick W. Kagan, a scholar at the conservative think tank The American Enterprise Institute, said, "...I hope they pick the right guy. It's a real problem that we don't have a single individual back here who is really capable of coordinating the effort."

It seems to me that the Commander in Chief is in search of a Chief Commander. I'll go ahead and ask the obvious question; isn't management of the wars the job of the Commander in Chief – that is, Bush himself, as our Republican friends have been so fervently reminding us?

Bush seems to have a bit of a problem though. The Washington Post article says that a number of retired generals have been approached about assuming a war czar position, but all have declined. This excerpt from the article might lend some insight as to why the generals have declined the position:

"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," said retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job. Sheehan said he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq. "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,' " he said.

It seems as if nobody wants to be the relief pitcher who comes in down by 10 runs in the 9th inning, even if Yogi Berra says, "It ain't over 'till it's over."

It is long past time, if not altogether too late, for competent management of our war/occupation efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps somebody should have thought of this in 2003. If the Bush Administration can't commandeer a commander, I understand that House Speaker Pelosi has plans for the region...


Thanks, I wanted to mention this. All the insipid garbage that's been in the media the last bunch of days--well, here is quite the story.

We're not even talking about all the dissenting generals that have made their views known (including a few who were originally pro-Iraq War). That your top picks are all insiders saying no--for the fundamental reason that they don't understand what the mission is--more than any other political argument or fluffed up scandal du jour--strikes me as damning to "wisdom" of this adminstration.

Now, the Pentagon is loaded with brass, they'll find someone. But good gravy, someone at least tell us where the goalpost is moving to this week.

'Zactly, Bar. Set aside any opposition to the war in general. What is the definition of "victory" here? What is the Goddamned GOAL?!?!?! Until someone can explain real, achievable goals, we'll never get out of there.

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