Saturday, October 2

Friedman has found Shrill

And I like it. Mr "I've been busy writing a book, so if you don't mind a little reminder as I start off this column with that fact" Friedman has a new column out in the NYT. Short Friedman, "We are having our asses handed to us in Iraq." What really pleased me is the following observations.
What happened? The Bush team got its doctrines mixed up: it applied the Powell Doctrine to the campaign against John Kerry - "overwhelming force" without mercy, based on a strategy of shock and awe at the Republican convention, followed by a propaganda blitz that got its message across in every possible way, including through distortion. If only the Bush team had gone after the remnants of Saddam's army in the Sunni Triangle with the brutal efficiency it has gone after Senator Kerry in the Iowa-Ohio-Michigan triangle. If only the Bush team had spoken to Iraqis and Arabs with as clear a message as it did to the Republican base. No, alas, while the Bush people applied the Powell Doctrine in the Midwest, they applied the Rumsfeld Doctrine in the Middle East. And the Rumsfeld Doctrine is: "Just enough troops to lose." Donald Rumsfeld tried to prove that a small, mobile army was all that was needed to topple Saddam, without realizing that such a limited force could never stabilize Iraq. He never thought it would have to. He thought his Iraqi pals would do it. He was wrong.
Sometimes I wonder how some of these pundits have a job peddling their screeds, but Mr Friedman has earned my momentary respect with this analysis of the situation. In fact, I really wish I had made the connection myself as freaking obvious as it is. Thanks to pbb for the hot tip.