Tuesday, April 8, 2008

General Petraeus in the role of an (inept) American middle manager

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.

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).

Bonus Material:
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"!
Just... LOL.

Not LOL:
So the words "sons of Iraq" grabbed my attention on the good general's chart.
What is it, pray tell?
Washington Post:

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...

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Gwalt! You mean to say that General David "small ass-kissing chickenshit" Betrayus is not the invincible holy warrior from heaven the corporate media wants us to believe he is?! Oi veh!!

Seriously, you are of course quite correct in pointing how what a total moron this guy is. Doesn't he just make a *perfect* match with Dubya? Truly, this is the government of the drooling idiots.

Needless to say the fancy design of Petraeus' presentation will not change anything on the ground in Iraq were the situation is totally FUBARed (ditto in Afghanistan). The only thing missing is a ground assault on the Green Zone, which might well happen if the Neocons decide to go ahead with an attack in Iran.

How *anyone* in this country could even *consider* voting for the senile lying idiot the Republicans have picked for their 2008 candidate is beyond me.

So the only question remaining is this: will the "helicopter from embassy rooftop evacuation" the USA is so good at happen before Dubya leaves or after?

Anonymous said...

The isinuation that middle managers "get in the way" of superviors and workers with their silly-gain-attention-get-me-to-corporate-HQ-ideas is pretty spot on in my experience. Thats precisely what most of them do, get in the way and actually impede progress.

Did you ever think the Neocons might have fucked Iraq up on purpose.................so they could blame Iran for it about the time Iran had obtained enough centerfuges for us to scaremonger the populace again about dirty bombs and terrorists? Its hard to find another logical explanation for how amost intentionally muddled the rehabilitiation process has been. Reconstruction in the Ole' South was run more smoothly than this.

AmericanGoy said...

"Its hard to find another logical explanation for how amost intentionally muddled the rehabilitiation process has been."

My theory is that the neocons sold us, the rest of America, a bunch of nonsense so that we would "take out" Iraq, then Iran and finish with Syria to make Israel more secure.

The whole neocon political philisophy is basically... a con.

As in neo-con: a new kind of con.

Anonymous said...

How does one use that confusing chart put up by Betrayus?

Stand back, toss darts at the damned thing and go with whatever idea the dart hits?

Remember the last time Betrayus testified, in September of 2007.

Then, he spoke of the dreaded Lebanese Hezbollah Department 2800, some concoction made up by the Bush/Cheney Junta to scare us clueless Americans into fighting another war for Israel, against Iran.

This time, the general is saying the boogeymen come from Tehran and by gosh, since we're in the neighborhood, let's show those pesky Persians a little American democracy, Shock and Awe style.

The hearings have been a damend joke, with most time spent by Congress kissing Betrayus' ass and mouthing sound bites, in preparation for the November election.

This whole damned country has gone mad.

We're starting to make the National Socialists of WW II Germany look saintly.

For more on the dreaded Dept. 2800, see this article from September of 2007.

Surging Toward Iran
The surge is buying time – for what?
by Justin Raimondo
Amid all the back-and-forth between the administration and its critics about how to measure "progress" in Iraq, what gets lost is the question asked by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) at the Petraeus-Crocker hearings the other day:

"I have to ask this question: where is this going? … Are we going to continue to invest American blood and treasure at the same rate we are doing now. For what? The president said let's buy time. Buy time? For what?"