Plans Are Nothing…


…Planning is everything.

In the course of a typically fine installment of Reason Express, Jeff Taylor makes a shrewd and hilarious observation about the current Chicken Little-vs-Professor Pangloss debate on the progress of the war:

The biggest plus for the war plan is that it is being executed by troops that by nature and training are very good improvisers. From Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox" of the American Revolution, to machine gunners in Vietnam who used beer cans to improve the ammo feed on their M-60s, American troops have always been good at finding ways to improve their odds. They are, after all, cut from the same cloth as American civilians, who find ways to route around hundreds of dopey (if infinitely less lethal) government plans every day. Those of us who think that government routinely botches the operation of water treatment plants, schools, and skate parks are not surprised that when it puts thousands of men, vehicles, and explosives into motion, it hits some rough spots.

Not so liberal journalists, who truly believe the state can do anything. For them, any problems in the field must be traced back to a bad plan which could be replaced by a good plan. Conversely, conservative commentators seem to regard any criticism of the plan as criticism of the United States of America itself. For them, there is no such thing as a bad plan as long as it is against the right people.

Riding above it all are the technocrats who believe power is its own justification. They love war because you get to plan the hell out of it and because there is no private alternative. Whatever the outcome, they'll likely win.