Saturday, September 25, 2004

Election 1864. Do You Postpone? 
There's an old military adage that says "the best is the enemy of the good enough." Which means that no plan is perfect. So if you try and make the plan perfect before executing the plan, you will never execute anything and wind up paralyzed and defeated by an enemy who CAN execute in a timely manner.

Rumsfeld knows this, and realizes that imperfect elections in January are better than perfect elections that never occur.

"Let's say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country. But in some places you couldn't because the violence was too great," Rumsfeld said at a Senate Armed Services Committee (news - web sites) hearing.

"Well, so be it. Nothing's perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet," he said.

Josh Marshall's responding to this with an unhelpful wisecrack:

"Great. Let's run it according to the Florida plan."

Phil Carter is outright opposed to January elections:

But in the long run, I think it's a formula for disaster. It will only increase the anti-government sentiment among the ordinary populations in those areas — Iraqis who don't like the U.S. presence, but don't work (yet) with the insurgents. It will undermine the legitimacy of the next Iraqi government, which already carries the taint of having been installed by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority. And it will play into the hands of sectarian leaders who say that the current Iraqi government wants to disproportionately disenfranchise certain groups in Iraq.

I couldn't disagree more.

The insurgents will try their damnedest to disrupt the elections no matter when we held them. But we are able to surge our boots on the ground strength in January. We can't sustain that surge.

We've already promised January elections.

Neither Marshall nor Carter are proffering a better solution, other than postponing elections until---until when, exactly?

Until the insurgency settles down?

Well, that's a great way to provide an incentive for the insurgency to settle down.

Marshall and Carter are concerned about disenfranchising the people of Fallujah. So in order to avoid that state of affairs, they're perfectly willing to disenfranchise the entire country--including entire regions and provinces which have already held successful elections. All in the name of legitimacy.

The people of Fallujah are perfectly free to kill, capture, betray, or expel the scumbags in their midst by January. Consider this one more incentive to do so.

Would Marshall and Carter have "postponed" the election of 1864?

What if Lee and Johnston did not surrender their armies, but instead disbanded them--as some had argued for--and let them into the woods to fight a protracted guerrilla campaign, a la John Singleton Moseby?

Should we have put off elections indefinitely in Pennsylvania and Massachussetts because Virginia and Nort Carolina wouldn't lie down and play dead?

No. The idea is absurd.

We should go ahead with the elections. If Fallujah becomes secure enough to hold an election there, they can elect a parliament representative, and then vote in the next national. Along with everyone else.

And until then, I'm not going to waste a lot of time wondering which terrorists I might piss off by disenfranchising. Fallujah disenfranchised itself.

I mean, at some point, people have to accept responsibility for their own cities.

I know that's difficult, when you remember that thousands of West Palm Beach voters couldn't even accept responsibility for their own ballots.

Splash, out


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