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Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Man, a Plan … Baghdad

FINALLY! The Bush administration has a plan for Iraq.

A new one, I mean. The old plan — accept flowers from grateful Iraqis, locate WMD, create democracy and the rule of law, depart in five months — had definite appeal, but it didn't work out.

The new plan is that we're going to get the Iraqis to come up with a plan.

That's why the president paid a surprise visit to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki this week. Perhaps sensing that Maliki's response to a cheery "See you shortly!" from George W. Bush might be something along the lines of "Not if I see you first," Bush dropped in on Baghdad's Green Zone unannounced, giving Maliki only five minutes' notice of his arrival.

That's leadership for you. As the president explained: "One reason I went to Iraq yesterday, no matter how secretive the trip was, was to get a firsthand feel for how those people are thinking over there…. I understand leadership…. You've got to have a plan. And that's what I found in Iraq."

In fact, he found that the Iraqis have a "plan to succeed," "a robust plan" and "a plan to improve security." They also have a "plan to bring militias and other armed groups under government control," a plan a "plan … to improve the Iraqi judicial system," "a plan to revitalize the Iraqi economy" and "plans on electricity and energy."

The president may have mentioned other nifty Iraqi plans too, but after I got past 20 references to the word "plan" in the transcript of Bush's post-Baghdad news conference, I lost count. (The president also managed to use some form of the word "success" 33 times.)

But let's not get distracted here. The bottom line, for you doubters, is that Bush really does have a new Iraq plan. It consists of making it "clear to the government there that … it's really up to them to put a plan in place and execute it." Now is that a plan or what?
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read the rest......

A Man, a Plan … Baghdad

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