Escalate first, ask questions later

Is it really "irresponsible" to criticize Bush's war plan in advance?

By Tim Grieve
Published January 22, 2007 2:34PM (EST)

Defending his escalation of the war in Iraq, George W. Bush complained last weekend that "we've got people criticizing the plan before it's had a chance to work."

It struck us a rather unusual take on democracy in particular and on planning in general. In Bush's world, it seems, you take action first and then debate whether it's a good idea later.

It turns out that the president isn't alone in thinking that way.

Over the weekend -- a weekend that saw the deaths of at least 25 more U.S. troops in Iraq -- Weekly Standard editor and Fox News pundit Bill Kristol said it's irresponsible for Democrats to speak out about Bush's escalation unless they're willing to block funding for it -- and we can only imagine what he'd say about them then.

Kristol, via Think Progress: "The president is sending over a new commander, he's sending over troops, and the Democratic Congress, in a pseudo-binding way or non-binding way, is saying, 'It won't work. Forget it. You troops, you're going over there in a pointless mission. Iraqis who might side with us, forget it, we're going to pull the plug.' It's so irresponsible that they can't be quiet for six or nine months and say the president has made a decision, we're not going to change that decision, we're not going to cut off funds and insist on the troops coming back, so let's give it a chance to work."


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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