Step up to the plate, Mr Howard!

The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.

At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, the sources said, underscoring the administration’s difficulty in enlisting its top recruits to join the team after five years of warfare that have taxed the United States and its military.

Here’s a way John Howard could still ensure withdrawal with honour! Having, by most accounts (no doubt leaked to the pundits by Cossie) stuffed up alarmingly by not stepping down last year and now being destined to take the ship down with him, Howard may find his post-politics options limited. Heading up major conservative think tanks, or joining Rupert’s board, or whatever, are not retirement options for election losers. Since the PM honestly believes that success in Iraq is a vital existential issue for Western civilisation, perhaps he’d like to take a more hands on role himself. No more smears from Barack Obama about his symbolic contribution to the surge! The Bush administration is recruiting. The job? Iraq Czar. The task? Keeping warring departments and factions from State, Defence, and the Veep’s office on message as to the glorious way forward to victory. Strangely, so far, Bush has found no takers. How wonderful it would be if our great mate could also get some international cover from the loyalest loyalist udder of the COW!

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Posted in Howardia, Iraq, levity, War
20 comments on “Step up to the plate, Mr Howard!
  1. Christine Keeler says:

    The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that, like, what the president’s supposed to do?

  2. Kim says:

    No, Christine, he’s meant to cut trees on his ranch.

  3. Christine Keeler says:

    Silly me.

    Why doesn’t he hire his mother? I’m sure Barb’s not doing anything.

  4. The Editor says:

    Let the Man Of Steel try and clean up the mess he so enthusiastically contributed to making.

    What is one ex-PM worth in terms of troops? 100? 1000?

  5. The Editor says:

    Why doesn’t he hire his mother? I’m sure Barb’s not doing anything.

    Surely the daughter twins must be nearly finished uni by now?

  6. Katz says:

    Brilliant idea Kim.

    Not only is J. Winston H. patently the right little fellow to become Czar of Iraq, he has already put into practice in Australia the sovereign cure for all of Iraq’s ills. viz.:

    Day 1. Czar Winston I crowned.

    Day 2. Czar Winston I issues a ukase declaring any part of Iraq experiencing any acts of war, insurgency, sabotage or terror &c. to be extraterritorial.

    Day 3. Czar Winston I declares that peace has returned to Iraq.

    Day 4. Czar Winston I receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Day 5. President Bush lands on an aircraft carrier and declares, “Mission Accomplished. And this time I mean it.”

  7. derrida derider says:

    Seriously, I think this is about the first sensible thing the Bushies have done. Cut Chimp and Deadeye Dick out of the decision making loop.

    Far too late, of course.

  8. Katz says:

    More seriousness.

    How on earth does this fool idea of a “War Czar” fit with Bush’s constantly repeated insistance that as C-in-C he has the constitutional right and duty to conduct a declared war?

    What on earth would this putative “czar” be doing? Surely, by definition, he’d be conducting these wars under the authority of the President.

    The moment he attempts to enact a policy that runs counter to Bush’s wishes he could be sacked.

    Here is the no-win position of the War Czar:

    1. He does what Bush wants, which ends in an inescapable quagmire. He then shoulders some of the blame for Bush’s errors. End of career. A risible footnote in the history books.

    2. He attempts to conduct the wars in ways not approved of by Bush:

    a. He is sacked. End of career. A risible footnote in the history books.

    b. He is given enough rope and thereby accepts some responsibilitiy for his own errors. End of career. A risible footnote in the history books.

  9. philip travers says:

    Save some energy,just convert all the soft toys that end up at either the rubbish tips or recycle places and turn them into voodoo dolls,with John Howards head with a coconut on.Send them to Iraq And Afghanistan and declare that they should be able to stick something in them,if, indeed they really are against the Alliance.

  10. zorronsky says:

    GWB is on a mission from God. Who needs a 3ic?

  11. Brendon says:

    Reminds me of that movie Fun With Dick And Jane.

    Always suspect something’s up when a company thats in a lot of trouble offers a middle ranking drone the keys to the executive washroom.

  12. Czar Cliff of QuagmIraqistan says:

    Here I was thinking that the guy charged with overseeing America’s major combat operations was, y’know, the Commander in Chief.

    Maybe instead of appointing a Czar, Bush should consider, I dunno, suggest the appointment of a new President.

    Of course, that wonderful constitution of theirs will do that for him in less than two year’s time… but still, two more years with Dubya just seems too damn long.

  13. Nabakov says:

    I hear Rumsfeld’s available. Plenty of previous experience too. Definitely a known known.

  14. mark says:

    They’ll make a bio pic of Meghan O’Sullivan when she goes. The glass ceiling must be a lot higher in Washington and it makes me wonder why an obviously talented person like Ms O’S would cast her lot with those over-capitalised terrorists.

  15. Mick Strummer says:

    A Czar (Tsar??) for the war in Iraq will probably turn out to be as effective as the Czar (Tsar??) in the War on Drugs. This is what happens when you try and make war on an abstract noun….
    (please correct me if my grammatical expression is inadequate)
    Anyway….
    Cheers…

  16. Leinad says:

    BREAKING: The Iraqi parliament cafeteria has undergone a spontaneous TNT-assisted renovation, bringing Iraqis and their ceilings closer together in a life-changing reconciliation.

  17. Kim says:

    They’ll make a bio pic of Meghan O’Sullivan when she goes

    Certainly they will if the wingnuts have anything to do with it. Ms O’Sullivan gets constant praise from the right wing blogosphere for being “a hot redhead”.

    <img src="http://www.belgraviadispatch.com/12osull%5B1%5D.190.jpg&quot;

    But I agree with the gist of your comment. From what I’ve read, she was actually an intelligent and independent thinker at one stage.

    Power corrupts, as the saying goes…

  18. tim g says:

    Apparently I will be the first to comment on the irony of the White House giving a Russian name to a newly-created military oversight-type job.

    Happy to tick the box for you, guys.

  19. mark says:

    “A hot redhead” is typical of the trivialisation of anyone who has the temerity to rise to the top and also be young and female.
    I assume by her position in the Repug body politic that we would not have many/any views in common. However, the simple fact of Ms O’Sullivan’s rise and rise in such a conservative organisation shows worthy tenacity and also more equal, merit based opportunities in the administration.

  20. Nancy says:

    I knew Meghan in Indonesia. She used to be someone. A real, compassionate, smart, remarkable woman.

    I’ll say power corrupts. She definitely crossed over to the dark side. What happened to the Meghan we all knew and admired?

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