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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cargo Cult President

The decision to send in more troops to Iraq is bad for the future of the USA. It is good for George W. Bush however. The president knows that his plans will not improve the situation in Iraq. It will however improve his chances of getting out of his last term with higher approval ratings. How could he do worse?

If the American public thought like Richard Feynman there would have been a whole bunch of questions after last nights speech. Here is what Feynman thought about a questionable belief systems:

"But then I began to think, what else is there that we believe? (AndI thought then about the witch doctors, and how easy it would have been to check on them by noticing that nothing really worked.) So I found things that even more people believe, such as that we have some knowledge of how to educate. There are big schools of reading methods and mathematics methods, and so forth, but if you notice,you'll see the reading scores keep going down--or hardly going up in spite of the fact that we continually use these same people to improve the methods. There's a witch doctor remedy that doesn't work. It ought to be looked into; how do they know that their method should work? Another example is how to treat criminals. We obviously have made no progress--lots of theory, but no progress--in decreasing the amount of crime by the method that we use to handle criminals."

Does George W. Bush really know what it will take to decrease the violence in Iraq? Should we trust him on this? Why not ask a few questions and make a promise to revisit his decisions six months from now?

I really don't believe that George W. Bush cares about the soldiers in Iraq. His problem is his popularity and his legacy. He wants to leave office on a high note. The surge in troops is buying him time. Can things possibly get worse? If, by the time he leaves office, things in Iraq get better then he can attribute it to the decsions he outlined yesterday. If things get worse it is because the Iraqi government failed on their end. Its a perfect plan.

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