Saturday, June 25, 2005

About Timetables

Timetables are a good thing; when you are trying to schedule activities which generally take a definitive amount of time to accomplish. Need to pick up some milk and oranges at the supermarket, gas for the car and drop off a letter at the corner post office before meeting someone for dinner; make a quick timetable. These types of things you can schedule with a pretty strong degree of certainty, but even then you usually have to build in a few extra minutes, just in case.

Need to overthrow a tyrant, bring democracy to a dictatorship and defeat both home grown and foreign terrorists; in that case a timetable is next to useless. So why is it that so many Democrats, and their supporters, and even a small group of Republicans have been demanding one of the current US administration? There are two possible answers: 1)they are trying to create some bad PR for the President and/or 2) they have no understanding of the way war works. Neither alternative is a good one.

If this is all about PR, then they have chosen the wrong place and time to do it. While your country is at war is not the time to try and make your leaders look bad. It's one thing to criticize the administration on a domestic front, that topic is always open, but when you attack them publicly on their foreign policy, parroting some of the same claims as the terrorist groups themselves, you help no one except your enemies. Take the Gitmo and Abu Ghraib cases. It is alright to question the treatment of prisoners at these facilities to ensure that they are not, in fact, being abused as part of a command level policy. But if that is what you were really interested in you would first check to see if investigations were being launched by the military into any reported cases and then wait for the results before making your accusations. As most of these cases are made public through these types of internal investigations, I believe that is the proof that the system is working. Instead Democrats run to the first mic they can find as soon as the simple mention of abuse is made.

Then there's the idea of them just not understanding the situation. By their own statements this has been proven to be true. John Kerry, on at least two occasions, called the war on terrorism a 'police action' but has also called for a timetable to withdraw. Ok Mr. Kerry (I love that name "Mr. Kerry" reminds me of a joke about an old man and a White House guard), where are your plans to withdraw the NYPD or LAPD from the streets in their respective cities? Apparently, Democrats can predict exactly when further enforcement is no longer needed. Just think of all the lives and money saved by using that magic liberal power and reducing your nations police forces down to a couple of Barney Fife's watching over the town drunks.

Besides that the US has maintained forces in Germany and Korea for a lot longer than 2 years and there are few calls to set a timetable to remove those forces (although in Germany's case those forces are mostly just used as a jumping off point nowadays, but directly following WWII those forces were vital). In Iraq's case, the US along with their allies have created what is basically a new nation. Once again, unless the Democrats have some magic ability to predict the timelines for an event that is a singular occurrence, then they should stop with their ridiculous demands for a timetable to withdrawal.

Timetables work in absolutes and even in our daily lives we know that they are routinely thrown off. Anyone who has ever try scheduling a run to the bank and lunch in the same 12-1 period should know what I mean. In cases like Iraq, as has been repeated several times by several people, recently by President Bush himself, timetables only serve to tell the enemy how long they need to hold out till. Just to show that in a simple everyday example; how many times have you had something at work upset you so much that you were about to lose it. If you had no idea when your work day would end you would be more likely to actually act then and be forced to face the consequences of your actions. But most people use the knowledge that their day will end at a specific time to help keep themselves under control, thereby allowing the grievance to go unvoiced until such time as they feel safer (among friends, the other person is no longer in a position of power, etc..). That, in a nutshell, is exactly what the Democrats want to give the terrorists.

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