Friday, June 09, 2006

The Marketing of Redeployment

A friend of mine who had served in the military told me that there are three ways to do everything: the “right” way, the “wrong” way, and the “military” way.

The fact is that the military has a different way of doing several things. And they can get away with it because, hey, they’re carrying weapons and I’m not.

For example, the military has words that mean things only to them. In the military, you don’t eat “food”, you eat “rations”. They aren’t served in a “cafeteria”, it’s in a “mess hall”. And when you’re done eating, you don’t “clean” the area, you “police” it.

The military doesn’t “move” troops, it “redeploys” them.

Enter the Democrats.

Nothing would please the Left more than if we would pack our bags and leave Iraq right now. Or at least say that we’re going to leave next July 1st. Or April 1st. Or something. The point is they want to get out of there.

But Democrats develop foreign policy based on focus groups. And the focus groups don’t like the word “retreat”. They also don’t like “surrender”. They don’t like “defeat”. And they sure as heck don’t like “cut-and-run”. Sounds too “girly”, you know.

Notice that it doesn’t matter what word the Democrats like. It’s what the focus groups  like that matters. They learned their lesson from the Republicans during the Vietnam conflict when Nixon tried to convince everybody that “D├ętente” was a good thing. Most people simply shrugged their shoulders at that French word, leaving Nixon and Kissinger wondering why they hadn’t listened to the focus groups and called their strategy “can’t-we-all-just-get-along?”.

Back to the present. The Democrats needed a term that they could use that would mean, “Oops, we’re outta here. Good luck with your new constitution, y’all!” without sounding chicken.

Somebody at the dnc opened a military manual and discovered the word “redeploy”. Hey, that works. We’re not retreating; we’re just “redeploying” our troops. We’re just moving them to a place where they can be more effective. Yeah, that’s it.

In their fight for public opinion, they have taken a word that has a very specific technical meaning to the military and have marketed it as legitimate foreign policy. And they’re doing a great job with it.

Somebody should tie a Democrat to a chair and read the Constitution to him. Although Congress can declare war and authorize the spending thereof, nowhere is the authority to direct troop movement given to them. That still belongs to the “Commander in Chief”. That’s why he’s called the Commander.

The framers of the Constitution feared a government controlled by the military, so they wisely put the military under the control of civilians. But they also realized that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee. You can’t have 435 elected representatives telling the military what to do and when to do it. For that, you need a boss.

You don’t have to agree with everything that President Bush has done in the execution of the war. But leaving Iraq prematurely would create a vacuum that would throw the country into anarchical chaos. And announcing a withdrawal timetable would simply signal to the insurgency that they have extra time to accumulate weapons, recruit teenage boys, and throw some of those charming ied-building parties that they’re famous for.

No, we owe the people of Iraq better than that.

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