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These 'steps' don't do much to point the way out

The dictionary is a fair bit more forgiving on its definition — of "plan" than we would grant. While "any outline or sketch" may satisfy — the purists, the president must be held to a higher standard than the — high school student who says, "I plan to go to college."

Bush's "plan" to "achieve freedom and peace in Iraq," — is, coincidentally, a lovable list of such patent shallowness that it's — amazing Karl Rove let it out of the White House. In case you missed it, — this amazing five-step solution comprises the following eye-poppers:

1. Hand over authority to a sovereign Iraqi government.

Hasn't this been the "plan" all along? Did anyone actually — slip up and say out loud that we have imperialist goals (Bush's slip on — calling it a "crusade" aside)? How many people did it take to come up — with this deep thought?

2. Help establish stability and security.

As though there are viable alternatives. Yet, the "plan" — again merely encompasses efforts our soldiers have been making all along. — Codifying something now that we've been supposedly been doing since "the — end of major combat operations" is insipid and discredits the work already — done by Americans in the line of fire.

3. Rebuild Iraq's infrastructure.

First off, it was in better condition before we invaded. — It wasn't all broken, so we broke more of it. Following our example, Iraqis — realized they, too, can break things, availing themselves of opportunities — to bomb pipelines, hotels and all manner of targets. Rebuilding Iraq also — falls into the category of "things we've heard before, ad nauseum" - isn't — that what the government claims to have been doing all along?

4. Draw other countries into military and other operations.

This didn't work particularly well in 1914, though it — might do far more good now. Again, the problem is execution. Finally, — we have something that goes counter to the first days of the war, a la — "We'll do it ourselves, the world be damned," but the ensuing breakdown — in relations is not going to improve significantly until we're willing — to compromise on something, anything.

5. Move toward national elections by January.

Surely a warming thought: Iraq will truly be a democracy — in just eight months. Except that this simply won't happen without taking — care of peace and freedom first. This is not a part of any plan, however — misguided; it assumes as proven that peace has broken out while at the — same time being a condition for the existence of precisely such a peace.

This "plan" is a laughable ploy - but to what end? It's — so obvious in its holes and fallacy that in no way can it be taken seriously, — and yet someone, the president no less, has wasted valuable oxygen in — uttering it.

Here's an idea: How about instead of coming up with ideas — or goals and calling them "plans," actually crafting plans to fix the — situation?

Sure, it takes more work and requires the administration — to admit it has no idea how to put Iraq back together again, but it solicits — ideas - new ones - that we now so desperately need.

These 'steps' don't do much to point the way out.