Useful Exercise

A simple exercise that I find useful in considering what politicians are likely to do in any given circumstance is to imagine that the politician is standing at a podium announcing the policy.

So, for example, imagine that you’re the President, you’re standing at a podium, you’re making a speech to the American people. Then imagine you’re the press asking follow-up questions or the President’s political opposition or political ad-writers for the President’s political opposition, poking the obvious holes in the policy.

If you can’t imagine any way that a policy can be announced without opening the speaker up to political attack, it probably won’t be. It’s generally a lot easier for me to imagine the President or Majority Leader of the Senate, for example, saying one thing and doing the opposite.

As me auld mither puts it, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

Okay, now that you’ve got that under your belt imagine that we’ve withdrawn our forces from Iraq. Try to imagine the President giving a speech advocating a re-invasion of Iraq. If you can’t imagine that (as I can’t), do you think it could actually happen?

2 comments… add one
  • It’s a very useful exercise, one I indulge in frequently. Your point is correct: once we’re out, we’re out. Once we draw down, we’ve drawn down. There will be no ramping back up short of some new, unexpected, paradigm-shifting circumstance.

    Here’s what we also won’t hear from a politician: “I’ve made a mess of this, and now it’s time for me to do the best job I can of repairing the damage I’ve done.”

  • Fletcher Christian Link

    “American troops and equipment will be pulled out of Iraq as soon as possible. Since the primary purpose of the Iraq adventure was and is to enhance American security, and since every day we stay makes the security situation worse rather than better, for reasons rooted in thousands of years of history, the sooner we are out the better.

    We, the American government, made a mistake. However, we are going to correct it, immediately. One of the cornerstones of freedom is the religious freedom we enjoy in this country; however, the framers of the Constitution did not envisage one of the religions being one of which one of the cornerstones is a total and absolute rejection of this principle.

    Accordingly. the practise of Islam in America is now banned, in any form. There will be a 60-day amnesty for possession of Islamic literature of any type; a list will be made available on the Internet and through major newspapers. Also banned is wearing, sale and distribution of Islamic dress such as the chador, burqa and nijab, and construction of new mosques; also, all Islamic religious buildings and faith schools are now closed and will be confiscated and demolished. The practise of halal slaughter is now banned, also, as is the setting aside of prayer rooms in public and industrial buildings.

    After the 60-day period, breach of any of these measures will be treated as the treason that it is.

    All permissions to stay in the USA, of any sort, for citizens of any country of which the state religion is Islam are hereby revoked.

    As part of these measures, also, the Immigration Department, in cooperation with the police and FBI, will be enforcing the expulsion measures and deporting any followers of Islam.

    Lastly, I have already said that American troops will be leaving Iraq. However, this should not be considered a defeat, because as part of the exit procedure every building and structure in Iraq will be destroyed. We intend to leave behind no school, hospital, house, apartment building, factory, power station or government building; we will also leave behind no crops or food supplies whatsoever. This tactic was used by the Russians in World War II, and it was one of the things that ultimately led to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

    This alien ideology is just as evil as Nazism, and will be treated in the same way.

    We say to the Iraqis’ brothers in Islam; ‘prove your brotherhood by helping those in Iraq’. We have tried, and our patience had its limits, and they are now reached. This policy is not open to debate.”

    I think a speech like that would gain widespread support.

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