Caption: General Petraeus anaconda strategy for dealing with al Kaida Iraq - click to enlarge
To those of you who work in offices, your company HQ, you will recognize the type. Straight out of Dilbert, the inept, completely clueless American middle management person...
Now, I am not saying that all American middle managers are inept, clueless idiots who rely on their employees to accomplish things, while hampering all their efforts with their virtually boundless stupidity.
But there are enough to make the Dilbert comic strip a hit, and to keep the stereotype going...
Having said that, I urge everyone to read Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
That book is journalism/history, of the author's experiences in Iraq and his amazement at what the f**k was going on around him (the author was on the spot, and the book contains his observations of happenings around him and discussions with the neocons in the Baghdad "Green Zone" - where the American civilian leaders tried to make Iraq the nation into McIraq, the Arabian version of USA, the NASCAR and Texas oil robber barons version).
Having just read the book (I could only read a few pages at a time, because each page contains such venality and stupidity on the part of the American administration in Iraq that I could literally not read any more and needed a break for my blood pressure to normalize) I was struck by a thought...
EVERY SINGLE DECISION MADE by Bremer (the head honcho sent by bush to Iraq) and by the other, civilian authority bosses (because that's what they were and are) WAS WRONG.
Every single one.
Starting with the two main decisions: Bremer deciding to disband the Iraqi Army, effectively creating an 300,000+ anti-American guerrilla force in one day (I am not exaggerating) and the decision to turn Iraq into an America lite, except with more "free" market capitalism - see my post on neocon utopia explaining what happened here.
EVERY SINGLE DECISION MADE BY BREMER WAS WRONG.
And consequently, the hand picked bush lackey yes-men, chosen for their ideological zeal (the almost religious belief in the American version of the "free" market and the belief in neocon nonsense political theories) went along with it - because, you see, middle managers in the USA are trained to be yes-men, who always do what the boss says, because if they do not kiss ass enough they might lose their cushy, $100,000+ job (in which they really do nothing, but rely on their workers and other managers to pick up the slack).
So forgive me, everybody in that restaurant, when I laughed out loud (a "LOL" if there ever was one) at the moment the slide on the top of this article came up on the TV screen.
This is (the bad, stereotypical) American middle manager in action.
When in doubt, and called in on the red carpet to the boss' office (in this case Congress), make a powerpoint presentation. As many slides as you can cram into the time alloted.
And the key is, to put as much crap and nonsense on the slides so that no one who is sane and has a modicum of common sense can follow the "logic" and understand the presentation.
The trick is to believe and hope and pray that the audience looking at the middle manager will refrain from asking questions, in fear of appearing to ask "stupid" questions, and in effect looking foolish in front of their peers by the fact of asking the question in the first place.
So, better to pretend that you, the boss on the committee (in this case Congress) understand all the weird squigglies, charts, bars, numbers and swirling colors.
Or appear foolish - why, he is the only one asking a question - why, he must not understand the presentation, he must be an idiot!
I understand all that - I work with a lot of these types of useless middle managers.
But I could not but laugh, really loud, when the slide at the beginning of the article came up on the TV screen, detailing the actual strategy of General Petraeus on how to deal with (of all the false canards and lies about the Iraq war!) al Kaida in Iraq (hint: firstival, al Kaida in Iraq is a very small, almost non-existent force, and the people fighting the USA are - shock gasp oh my gosh! - Iraqis themselves).
There is none needed.
Simply buy and read Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
It is cheap, and it is a small book, and it is an essential lecture that cuts thru all the bullshit that the TV "news" people are spewing.
And, read my neocon utopia article here. It is a good one, and profiles 2 cases of neocon insane "think tank" ideas as they are implemented in real life.
I clicked on the slide again and enlarged it. And laughed again:
"kinetics", "non-kinetics", "internet", "counter ethno-sectarian pressures".
al Sadr is quaking in his boots - oh my gosh, kinetics AND non-kinetics are used against him... not to mention... the dreaded "counter ethno-sectarian pressures"!
So the words "sons of Iraq" grabbed my attention on the good general's chart.
What is it, pray tell?
While public attention has been focused on Shiite-vs.-Shiite fighting in Basra and Baghdad, U.S. military leaders are taking a cold second look at the future intentions of the roughly 90,000 "Sons of Iraq" -- the locally recruited and primarily Sunni security forces that are armed and supported by the United States at $300 per person each month.
Ahh - these are the Sunni guerrillas whom we each pay $300 per month to not kill Americans. No wonder the surge is working...