Saturday, August 25, 2007

Well, it is an idea anyway ...

The always thoughtful The Hon. Dr. St. Rev. Bradley S. Rocket, Esq, PhD, MD has an idea that might just have a chance...

I suggest a bold new strategy: we begin bribing insurgents not to kill people. For every week an insurgent goes without setting up a roadside bomb or opening fire in a crowded marketplace, that insurgent will receive $15,000 and a box of ho-hos. Given that there are roughly 70,000 or so insurgents in Iraq right now, I calculate that this plan will cost us $1,050,000,000 per week, or roughly half of what we’re paying to occupy Iraq right now.


  1. I think he should read War of the Running Dogs by Noel Barber. Among other things, instead of rewarding the insurgents reward the snitches. Make it a big enough windfall.

  2. Astonishingly enough I have read that book and a key problem with the analogy is that the British were a well entrenched colonial power who had just re-liberated the country from a brutal occupation by the Japanese. Iraq is a country that has been flattened by a foreign power under false pretense.

    Another thing to bear in mind that "snitch-oriented" programmes tend to also reward insurgents ... who is going to be in a better position to be a snitch than an insurgent.

    Final thing to remember ... "Sadly , No" is a humour/satire blog. The truly sad part about the modest proposal they made was that it sounds sane when compared with current policy.

    In closing, thanks for being commenter #1 on my blog... I would give you a prize but ...

  3. Insurgent/snitches ... the idea is to obtain valuable information. Iraq has been flattened by a foreign power under false pretences - agreed.

    Whether the Brits were well entrenched or not, the plan worked. It ensured the safety of the civilians and got the information it needed to break the Commies' hold. I am of course talking about all of it and not just the "reward".

    Yes, I understand that it's a humour/satire blog; who says feasible ideas cannot be brought forth by them?

  4. I actually have a larger problem seriously considering the idea of creating a country of snitches and that is that you are creating a country of snitches. I don't know about you but I sure wouldn't want to live like that.

    Am I saying that I would rather have random car-bombings? No, of course not. I am just saying that it would be trading one evil for a lesser one and I am wondering if perhaps it is possible to find a way out without resorting to that.

  5. Rob, Rob, Rob, Rob, Rrrrob. You can only snitch if you have something to snitch about. One of the insurgents or a disgruntled relative and so forth.

    You have to admit it worked. The whole thing, not just one idea but the whole Briggs Plan.

  6. Yup, I absolutely agree that it worked there, or that it had the desired effect rather, although I would also have to say that Malaysia isn't exactly a shining beacon of freedom and democratic values nowadays--but that is a completely different topic.

    However I do not accept that you have to have real information to snitch. You only have to have information that you can spin as being real to snitch. Now, granted you might not get any money if your information is consistently bullshit but you can be sure that none of your neighbours will ever piss you off again if you turn one of them over to the secret police. And make no mistake, that is where it can lead.

    Yeah Yeah, i know .. slippery slope arguments suck but one of the reasons that they get hauled out so often is that they unfortunately keep coming true. This is especially often the case when the slope is made slippery with the grease of the authoritarian impulse that seems to be becoming more widespread these days.

    Remember too that the plan of the British in Malaysia was a bit more than just "pay snitches". It had lots in common with the "strategic hamlet" initiatives that the US tried in Viet Nam, and that didnt work out so well. The British had an honest to god multi-part strategy and they executed it with vigor and skill. Having said that, I do not think it would work in Iraq for the some of the same reasons that it didn't work in Viet Nam.

    One of the biggest reasons is that I really do not think that the "hearts and minds" battle has been fought effectively in Iraq and it is too late now to fix it. I was one of those people that thought "well we broke it and now we have to fix it" but I have come around to the thinking that just maybe we are like one of those "world's worst handymen" where everything that we try to do to fix up the mess is just making it worse.

    Maybe the best result that is possible at this point is to say to the world "I am really sorry that i broke that country. If there is anything that I can do to help please call me but until that I am just going to sit here in the corner and not touch anything". Note that I said that is the best result, not a good result. It is still a result that is going to end up costing tens of thousands more lives and billions of more dollars so it is still a result that sucks. I just don't see evidence that there is any realistic strategy that will end up in a better place.

    There just isn't a pony waiting for us at the end and that makes me very angry. This didn't have to happen.


Not moderated but I do delete spam and I would rather that people not act like assholes.