All Tactics No Strategy:  Duck and Cover!

Ideas and Issues

New Orleans       We saw the tactic swallow the strategy in the Occupy movement.  We just discussed the situation in Hong Kong over the last seven months where the tactics and adaptations have been brilliantly effective, but the strategy for victory is still unknown and perhaps tragically unachievable.  Now on a horrifying daily basis we are force fed the filter-less daily intemperate tactical obsessions and actions of President Trump.  If it scratches, he itches the heck out of it without thinking about what might happen the next minute to him, to us, and certainly not to the rest of the world.

What’s up with this epidemic of tactics devoid of strategy?  Do we blame the immediacy of social media where fingers seem always on the twitter-finger?  Do we point the finger at the hyper-speed of daily life leeched of reflection or second thoughts as eyes and fingers dart like hummingbirds to keep up?  Is our culture now just one big casino of risks trying to best long odds?  What the frick!?!

If street-level organizers working in the vineyards, like me, can see clearly that these global tactics are as disconnected as random moonbeams without a hint of strategic coherence, what are the wizards in Washington and around the world doing to make a living who are paid to both know – and do – better?  Susan Rice, former national security chief under President Obama, doesn’t see this as a lady versus tiger choice, writing an op-ed in the New York Times.  Looking at the options, she everything but says that this was just hip shooting, cowboy stuff without any thought or time allowed to looking at second, third, and fourth level consequences.  We already know that there was no briefing or consultation with Congress and not even a never mind courtesy call to our allies, including those on the firing lines.  Rice seems to conclude that the only real mystery is whether it will be a wider war versus a limited war.  What the frick?!?

Other experts seem to be depending on either luck or prayer.  As the signs on refrigerators often heralded after Katrina, “hope is not a plan!”  Some are even bending over backwards to suggest that Trump is sooo crazy and sooooo erratic, that perhaps Iran is confused about how to best deal with someone so out of control.  Meanwhile he threatens to blow up Iranian culture sites which is a widely recognized and condemned war crime.  We might ask, “what is he thinking,” but we know the heart of the problem is that he is not thinking at all!

Tactics without strategy produces chaos.  The only clear result thus far in Iran seems to be that Trump’s actions have brought the Iranian people and their government together, where there had been protests and unrest only weeks ago.  In other results, this action has divided the world, left the USA without friends or allies, and generally scared the bejesus out of all of us.

This is madness!