The Commander Guy on Micromanagement
by Jerry Gilio
May 3, 2007

It seems like George W. Bush is a little fuzzy on what constitutes "micromanagement".

I know. Why am I wasting your time pointing out something that Dubya doesn't understand? What's next? Pointing out that the sky is blue? Water is wet? I'm just annoyed by his unending stream of brainless nonsense.

In his weekly radio rambling on March 17, 2007, Bush said, "Unfortunately, some in Congress are using this bill as an opportunity to micromanage our military commanders, force a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq and spend billions on domestic projects that have nothing to do with the war on terror."

He's robotically repeated this point right up to the time he vetoed the "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007", (H.R. 1591). (Note the "Katrina Recovery" part. That'll be important later.)

Merriam-Webster defines "micromanage" as "to manage especially with excessive control or attention to details".

Even someone as delusional as Bush would be hard pressed to find anything excessive in the redeployment requirements in the bill. There were no specifics on how to perform the redeployment. That would have been up to the generals and their expert military knowledge. They were asked to undertake it "with a goal of completing such redeployment within 180 days." However, since it was only a "goal", it offered the generals flexibility if circumstances made this dangerous or impossible.

This type of direction is called management. There's nothing "micro" about it. It's how one party informs another of the result they should be trying to achieve. The result in question, withdrawal from Iraq, is desired by a majority of Americans. Congress is doing its job by exercising the Power of the Purse to enforce the will of the citizenry. But it's not surprising that Bush doesn't recognize effective management, especially for those of us familiar with his track record as a businessman.

Bush has also made the boneheaded assertion that the generals shouldn't be required to take direction from politicians. What does this idiot think he is? The U.S. military is required to answer to civilian authority, like Congress, which is the only branch of government that can declare war. Yet Bush said that in the Congress vs Commander contest, "I'm a commander guy." The only type of government where the military doesn't receive its orders from civilians is a military dictatorship.

The Commander Guy's fearmongering over setting a date for withdrawal is also ridiculous. It's time to acknowledge that our military has completed its mission, namely removing Saddam Hussein from power and securing Iraq's WMDs, thus keeping America safe. That was why went sent them. There's nothing they can do to end a civil war between Iraqis. We need to honor the fact that they'll follow orders, no matter how stupid, by giving them orders that make sense. A good start would be to order them home and let the Iraqis figure out how to run their own country.

Bush has a point that the bill contained "domestic spending that is completely unrelated to the war". However, this is just another indication of his aversion to the written word. The title of the bill also includes "Katrina Recovery", remember? The NASA funds he chastised Congress about in his radio address were reimbursement for damage from Katrina. The "peanut storage" funds he mocked were dropped from the bill before he ever saw it.

The bill did try to do something that Dubya has repeatedly failed to do, namely support our troops. If the bill had been passed, units would not have been allowed to be deployed unless they were rated "fully mission capable". Bush has reduced desert training to showing recruits a hand full of sand and saying, "This will be everywhere."

The bill also prohibited deploying troops for more than 365 days, (210 days for Marines). Bush just extended tours of duty to 15 months. Remember? It was the day after he warned that this bill might keep troops away from their families even longer. To avoid micromanagement, H.R. 1591 specified that this "shall not be construed to require force levels in Iraq to be decreased below the total United States forces levels in Iraq prior to January 10, 2007." In plain english this means "you can maintain troop levels as of the start of 2007, but no surges".

I don't think the problem with this bill was one of micromanagement. The problem was one of microcephaly. The problem was that the President is a pinhead.

Copyright © 2007