Last night on The Majority Report Paul Hackett (the hero of Ohio) was on the horn along with Kos. Hackett talked about what needs to happen about Iraq. It made total and absolute sense. He said it isn't the military loosing this battle its the civilian leadership. OK no surprise there, but what he said afterwards made the real sense. He said the President as Commander in chief has failed to listen to the real experts, the Generals, the whole time. Hackett went on to say that the only option left is for the President to own up to this mistake, bring together a round table of Generals, and order them to come up with a withdrawal plan. This plan comes complete with a date, because he said the military needs a date for which to plan. Generals can't just sit on their hands without a clue of what the President wants. These folks are used to following orders. Typically, these orders come from the Pentagon. If the Pentagon isn't issuing orders, or more importantly if said orders are of no obvious assistance to completing the mission in a general sense, then the President needs to take matters into his own hands and take his Commander In Chief role a bit more seriously.
It's obvious that Dubya has got a bit more battle experience than Rummy. Why he hasn't grabbed the proverbial Iraqi bull by the horns is beyond me.
Hackett made the point crystal clear that the Commander in Chief needs to do some commanding. Asking the Generals to get out of Iraq with a win under their belts is a task that Generals can handle. However, Hackett was quick to point out that this plan needs to have a goal set. A date. So that the Generals can have some timeframe in which to plan for. This shouldn't be a foreign idea to Joe Voter either. This is basic to grasp. Anyone with a job knows there are deadlines for everything. Without a deadline things just get tabled and back-burnered. Iraq is no different. Sodliers are the laborers of the war. They need a time to get things done. Every order is usually get X done by Y time or you have to drop and give me 20... (or something like that).
Then Hackett did the unthinkable, he wrapped the whole thing up in a "this is crucial for our troops' survival" ribbon. Rightly so, the only visible mission seems to be to cut off the insurgent hydra heads, while loosing proportionately less of our own soldiers in the process. This plan hopes that the law of averages is on your side, however, the easiest way to stem that law is to not fight. This may sound like losing to most people, but this isn't what Hackett is saying. Hackett was saying that men need purpose. They need something to fight towards. A plan would do that and a plan with a timeline would save U.S. soldier lives as well as give them an end goal to achieve. Hackett also brought up that each short term goal that has been set had resulted in loss of moral due to the lack of visible progress. Progress to a soldier is going home feeling like something in the mission is accomplished by you the soldier. Life driven by Purpose, or IOW, The Purpose Driven Life.
Hackett is a narrative machine. He was able to bring it into terms that even krazy kristians would be able to cut into with a knife and fork. It is no wonder that an Iraq war veteran talking sense like this gets as far as he has. If I were MIke DeWine I'd be pooping me pants right now.
Hackett handily narrated an exit strategy that involves the following:
1) the President taking responsibility (that stuff he keeps wanting to bring into the White House)
2) A timeline idea that even Joe Public could digest (eg timeline for getting job done so that the job gets done and not tabled)
3) Talks in words that even Krazy Kristians understand (Purpose Driven Life)
Democrats should listen to Paul Hackett when it comes to Iraq war ideas and narratives. He seems to have them all and their in convenient politically viable packages. Of course it would help if the Democrats who voted for this war would start having more Dodd, Feinstein, and Harkin moments. They should top their "I regret voting for the war" sundae's with the Hackett plan for withdrawal whipped cream. Then spoon feed it to the media while the White House wriggles around the forthcomming indictments.
UPDATE: Podcast available here. (via Blue 2nd) Welcome Ohioans!