Friday, May 12, 2006

What I Would Have Done Post-9/11: Bush in Power

The planes strike the two towers bringing them down, killing almost three thousand. A third plane strikes the Pentagon, killing over hundred. A fourth plane crashes in Pennsylvania, killing several hundred more. America was hit by the most successful and most devastating terrorist attack in the history of the world. There is a huge outpouring of support from all over the world, and only two places where people cheered, or did not provide an outpouring of support. In Palestine, men, women, and children cheered seeing America attacked. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein smiled and laughed. Every other nation provided some kind of supporting comment. The President gets 90% approval rating at home. Full support. The Bush Administration could do what it liked with that. So what is the plan? What needs to happen? What do you do with that kind of support?

Bush came into office in 2000 promising to be a "uniter, not a divider". He also promised to bring integrity back to the White House, after the debacle of Clinton. Could that be done if we got divisive with the Democrats? Morally speaking, the Democrats held policies of disrepute, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage. With a 90% approval rating, could we go after the Democrats's position and totally obliterate them from the political world? It would be risky. But if we are divisive, our political enemies will bring up how we promised to be uniters not dividers.

Internationally, after 9/11, we had the best support America was ever going to get. All knew it. How could this political capital be used for the longest time?

The first and most important thing that needs to be done is to capture or kill those who attacked us. We suspect it was Al-Qaida, a group that had been bugging the Clinton Administration with small attacks here and there, and one major attack in Kenya and Tanzania. We knew at some point we would be confronting them again. Some might ask why we didn't do anything about them since we got into office in January, when Richard Clarke has been telling us over and over that Al-Qaida is our number one priority internationally.

We have a chance probably no other administration in the history of the world will ever have. We can unite the whole world behind us like never before. No country would want that kind of attack on their soil. So let us get them all behind us. Our enemy is housed in Afghanistan, the most backwards country in the world. They are protected by the Taliban, the weakest regime in the world. They are in a country that has been torn by war and civil war since the Soviets invaded the country in the early 80s. Let us unite the world into forever changing Afghanistan from the opium producing war torn country it is, into something more stable. Let us take that country and introduce a world-wide Marshall Plan into it. Create a UN mandated operation funded by a mixture of countries, including Saudi Arabia and other Arabian countries (so they will feel like they are helping some of their own), Japan (in return for subsidies and other economic rewards), and Europeans (who will have a wonderful time doing what they keep claiming the world should do--help the poor). Let us see the Europeans in action. Let most of the forces be American, as we want to retain control of military operations, so as to not let any of the terrorists hiding there escape. Let it be clear that this will not be an inexpensive operation, but that it will require sacrifice. Flood Afghanistan with American troops under a UN umbrella, funded by the world. Change Afghanistan. Crush the Taliban. Let that name be lost to history. Let no Taliban remain in Afghanistan to foment trouble in the future. Destroy Al-Qaida's abilities in Afghanistan completely. Let the world know the price of such actions.

Let it be shown by our actions that we mean what we say. Let it be shown clearly and completely that if attacked, America will respond back with lethal force against their attackers, and their attackers will not survive. Subsidize Afghanistan. Flood it with money. Nation-build like it has not been done since the 1940s.

In the meanwhile, let it be known to nations that harbor terrorists, that what was done to the Taliban will be done to them if terrorist groups connected to them create any havoc anywhere.

At home, our successes in Afghanistan will provide a buffer to the inevitable drop in support, as Democrats will start to wonder why they are in such full support of a man they disagree with completely. Success abroad will keep the poll numbers hovering around 60% though, much like Clinton's.

There will be very mad Americans who will want to lower our standards, claiming "terrorists" do not have the rights like regular people. As an adviser to Bush, I would remind him that he is the leader. Direct the people away from anger. Show them the folly in such thinking. We lower out standards and we lose what we are fighting for. These terrorists are cave dwellers. They cannot bring down our nation. Don't hype them to be any stronger than they are. In fact, minimize their strength in public communications. Let the world know that these terrorists have no strength. Their true strength comes from how we react to their barbaric acts.

I would remind the president to stick to his conservative principles. He came into power with the desire to make the government smaller. Stick to it. Strengthen the defense, but force Congress to stop spending so much money. Say no more often than yes. It will be effective with the public.

There will be some who will attempt to create wedge issues in the upcoming 2002 congressional elections, and then in the 2004 general election. Stay above that fray. Remind the public that you are a uniter, rather than a divider. A wedge issue by nature divides.

Now, many will say it is now time to do something about Iraq. Coming into power, we've been wanting to find a way to finish Saddam for good. It's not about daddy. It's not about oil. It's about finally closing the chapter on a nuissance. It's about making sure that Saddam is out for good, and will no longer have the ability to create WMDs, that he has been craving for for the longest time.

Some will want to try and tie Iraq to 9/11. The evidence is flimsy. It will not be good to try and tie the two together when later on the evidence will prove us wrong. Our long term goals will be compromised. Those long term goals include keeping Republicans in power for at least 50 years, removing Social Security, starving the beast. If we are discredited by our own mistakes, we will lose the strength we can create with the gift that 9/11 gave us: full support.

Also, let's be honest and open with our constituents. For some reason previous administrations felt as if, if they tell the hard truth, for some reason, their constituents will be mad at them, and vote them out.

Howerver, it seems that in regards to Iraq, the only real way to win full support, or enough support is to lie. We want to go to Iraq to change the Middle East. There will not be enough support for such an action, because at the core, America may speak selflessly, America is truly self-interested. If there is no threat to America, America will not act. So we must lie. We must tell Americans that Iraq is an "imminent" threat. We must tell them that 9/11 changed everything, changed the whole way we need to look at the world, and that rogue nations that were once just a nuissance, now were a serious threat. This will drop our support down from the 70s and 80s to the 50s and 60s as the debate will turn partisan. The lie will be that Iraq is a threat because they have WMDs and ties to terrorists. No one in their right mind is going to defend the pathetic evil Saddam, so it's the perfect place to attack. We'll try to get the UN involved, but we don't really care if they act or not. We will act unilaterally if we need to. This will certainly shore up our base among conservatives who hate the UN. It might drive our numbers even lower, but if executed well, it won't matter.

Now, here's the crux.....how to execute this well.

First off, it has to be done in a period other than the summer. We cannot have our soldiers fighting in the desert in the summer. so January or February is the most opportune time. We also do not want a war during an election year, so the fighting must be done in an odd-numbered year. 2003 will be the year of our war with Iraq.

Secondly, Rumsfeld thinks this can be done on the cheap. He's loony. I don't know why Bush thinks he's a great defense secretary. Nation-building is not cheap, and will require a huge load of troops to quell any possible insurgency. In 1991, Powell used half a million soldiers just to kick Hussein out of Kuwait. We've just used 100,000 in Afghanistan, and in one year's time, Afghanistan is free of Taliban influence, and is turning around rapidly, a free and safe country that is joining the modern world. It is doing this so quickly and so well because we actually cared, and we actually pumped the necessary money into this project.

Iraq will cost a hell of a lot more than Afghanistan, and we must prepare the American people for the cost of this venture. We must be prepared to tell them that this is about more than just the WMDs. This is really to reshape the Middle East. Of course, we're still telling them the lie, that the real reason is because Iraq is a threat. But we have to be ready for the day when the WMDs are not found. What do we tell Americans then? We tell them that we went there to change the Middle East, not about the WMDs. We drop references to mushroom clouds, and talk about democracy. Americans have a short attention span. They will not remember. Our numbers will start to go lower, but again this doesn't matter. As long as we execute correctly, we will survive the drop.

We must tell Americans that this venture in Iraq will cost, that Americans will be required to make a sacrifice. This way, we drive at patriotism. What American does not want to sacrifice for his nation? Oh there will be a few, but those loony leftists are unimportant. We'll get enough of the Democrats to see they want to sacrifice for the good of the country, because most Democrats do want to sacrifice for the good of the country, whatever Anne Coulter says to the contrary. She's loonier than Rumsfeld and the loony leftists combined, so she's dismissed.

Americans will be willing to make a sacrifice for their nation. Let's get access to this sacrifice. Let us tell Americans that their sacrifice is that this generation needs to pay for this war in Iraq. We cannot let future generations pay for our wars. It must be paid for now. They will be willing to do it.

Do all these things, and I promise you, Mr. President, you cannot fail. More importantly, you will be remembered as one of the best presidents, because you took action, because you asked for a sacrifice, because you did not let the responsibility fall to future generations. This is the hallmark of a great leader.

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That would have been my advice to President Bush. Of course, Bush took a drastically different course, and now he is considered one of the worst presidents in US history, has an approval rating of 29% and might actually end up being impeached before his term is over. Sucks to be him. He shouldn't have been divisive, and he should have stuck to his principles.

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