THE BLOG
11/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Surge This

While being a POW sucks, it doesn't make you any more an expert in military strategy than undergoing chemotherapy makes you an oncologist. I mean, seriously, we added troops and the violence went down? That's like you're hungry, you eat a cheeseburger, and you're suddenly not hungry. Genius.

Also, an increase in troops is hardly the only reason for the decrease in violence. And for that I'm going to need another analogy from my bag of...um, analogies. Allow me to present the greatest movie in the short-lived career of actor Chris Makepeace. That's right, I'm talking about "My Bodyguard."

Matt Dillon is the bully who wants Chris Makepeace to pay him protection money in order to protect him from... Matt Dillon. We are Chris Makepeace in this analogy (get it? Make Peace?). Matt Dillon is the "Sunni Insurgency." And what happened when Chris Makepeace decided to stop paying Matt Dillon? Matt Dillon kicked his ass. Chris Makepeace then had to hire Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon then hired some other guy... and...well, that's where my analogy ends. Point is, you can only pay for so long. Eventually, you're gonna have to stop paying. And then what?

And let's not forget about the Sunni Awakening, a classic case of Sun Tzu's "The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend." Basically, tribal leaders in Anbar realized that there are people they hate more than us. This is what Obama has been saying all along - make the Iraqis realize that if they don't start defending their own country they're going to lose it to the real assholes.

The Surge is a myth. It didn't work by a stroke of genius and it didn't work by itself. It's a cheeseburger. And along with fries and a coke (and Our Bodyguard) it did the job for now. (Note to reader: please spare me the comments about how callous I am. I know that human lives are not the same thing as a Happy Meal. I'm not a jackass. Usually.)

Calling John McCain an expert on military strategy because he was a pilot and a POW is about as accurate as calling Sarah Palin an expert on energy because she lives next to an oil pipeline. It's ludicrous. Not to mention, irrelevant. A president doesn't need to be a general. In fact, our forefathers designed it so that he wouldn't be. That's why we don't live in a banana republic (yet), with presidents who wear uniforms (like Saddam Hussein).

A president needs to know the difference between getting military advice and permitting the military to replace civilian leadership. A president needs to be sophisticated and thoughtful, needs to see the war in the context of the larger world, needs an understanding of law and history, and needs to possess genuine confidence based on knowledge, intelligence, and humility. Kinda like Sarah Palin.