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'No real planning for postwar Iraq'
July 12, 2003 6:41 AM   Subscribe

'No real planning for postwar Iraq' "The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan. Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away." Bring 'Em On!
posted by owillis (64 comments total)

 
The Bush administration is finally facing tough questions about its selective use of intelligence in selling war with Iraq. But Americans shouldn't just be skeptical of what the president says about WMD. They should be skeptical of what he says about GDP. In economic policy even more than in war policy, the Bushies have successfully suppressed, manipulated, and withheld evidence to serve their policy purposes.
Good story in Slate here

It's beginning to sound a little like Watergate. They start throwing people over the side. The deeper you go, the more interesting it will be. It's very clear that it may be George Tenet's responsibility, but that information also existed in the State Department and it also existed in the vice president's office, so they will not get away with simply throwing George Tenet over the side.
Howard Dean yesterday on CNN

Support for Bush Declines As Casualties Mount in Iraq
Bush's overall job approval rating dropped to 59 percent, down nine points in the past 18 days. That decline exactly mirrored the slide in public support for Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq, which now stands at 58 percent.
And for the first time, slightly more than half the country -- 52 percent -- believes there has been an "unacceptable" level of U.S. casualties in Iraq, up eight points in less than three weeks


in Slate, again, Sixteen Little Words
posted by matteo at 7:09 AM on July 12, 2003


Wow, those chickenhawk neo-con draft dodgers really know how to fight a war, don't they! Ahmed Chalabi--why after all those rose throwing spontanious love-ins and parades the iraqis gave him and our boys, one simply can't fathom why everyone's going on about these WMDs. I mean ,we defeated Saddam and liberated them, after all. Hey, I got an idea--let's privatize everything we can over there without consulting the Iraqis about it! Yeah, that's the ticket! I mean, can't you feel the gratitude already?

From Col. David Hackworth's Soldiers For The Truth--Nation Builders For Hire, a registration free reprint of a New York Times article we all missed two weeks ago. Oh, the headline at SFTT.org is War Is A Racket And This Piece Says It All. These darn soldiers! And I thought I was being cycnical...
posted by y2karl at 7:35 AM on July 12, 2003


Once again, the argument is approached like a 1-hour sitcom. The president sits at his desk until somebody walks in and says, "Mr President, we have a problem"; he then has the rest of the hour to solve it once and for all.

"But Mr Roosevelt, why don't you just send the army to Berlin and tell them to get rid of that Hitler fella?"

No mention is made AT ALL of the complicated international situation, in this case having to take into account the actions of: the UN, France, Germany, Britain, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, just listing the MAJOR powers involved in trying to manipulate the process.

Nor is the fact that Iraq is as balkanized as was Yugoslavia.

Nor the fact that the provisional military government is busier than hell in trying to rebuild a nation.

Admittedly, you might like to think that everyone in the administration is a simpleton. That they just *felt* like going to war, so they did. This lowers *your* credibility.
posted by kablam at 7:41 AM on July 12, 2003


Here is an early April thread about post war planning. The lead story is one from the Guardian that describes this failed plan, including the role of Chalabi, and points to potential problems. (Perhaps if we had been reading British media instead of American media all along, we would all have been more informed!)

Perle said blame for any planning failures belonged to the State Department and other agencies that opposed the Chalabi route.

So now that they are scapegoating the CIA with the pre-war planning, is it time to pin the tail on Powell for post-war planning?

The arrogance of the PNAC crowd knows no bounds. However, they may find poor and oppressed populations somewhat less tractable than we Americans.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:51 AM on July 12, 2003


Just wait until the leaks start flowing out of the CIA. Selling their man man down the river will generate some resentment. We'll be hearing quite a bit more juicy details.
posted by machaus at 7:57 AM on July 12, 2003


No mention is made AT ALL of the complicated international situation, in this case having to take into account the actions of: the UN, France, Germany, Britain, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, just listing the MAJOR powers involved in trying to manipulate the process.

Nor is the fact that Iraq is as balkanized as was Yugoslavia.


No shit?! I thought that point was made several times before the shooting started. Remember when Powell was trying to sell out the Kurds to Turkey?

Admittedly, you might like to think that everyone in the administration is a simpleton. That they just *felt* like going to war, so they did. This lowers *your* credibility.

My credibility is not at stake here, I'm not responsible of the deaths of thousands for dubious reasons. But if you refuse to believe "a stove is hot and fat meat is greasy" after long, loud warnings, then yeah-you're a simpleton.
posted by black8 at 7:59 AM on July 12, 2003


Once again, the argument is approached like a 1-hour sitcom.

not really. how many months was the build-up to war? and how many years ago did PNAC decide it would be a totally neat idea?

This lowers *your* credibility.

dear *hawks*, please don't lecture *us* on credibility. love, *us*.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:59 AM on July 12, 2003


from iraq, to asian central banks, to your mortgage:bitter news cold filtered for smooth, easy drawing and longer lasting reading! (with extra low tar :)
posted by kliuless at 8:06 AM on July 12, 2003


The Pentagon group insisted on doing it its way because it had a visionary strategy that it hoped would transform Iraq into an ally of Israel, remove a potential threat to the Persian Gulf oil trade and encircle Iran with U.S. friends and allies.

Wow, Iraq would be an ally of Israel! It frightens me that some people in the U.S. govt believe that could be accomplished easily.
posted by birdherder at 9:07 AM on July 12, 2003


Good lord what a horrible administration.

It is very reminiscent of Watergate. The difference being that Karl Rove and his minions of joy and the attorney pastor...er...generals office I'm sure will be cracking down any time now.

Wouldn't it be lovely if somehow the Patriot Act was used to bring down Jr. There has to be something in the damn thing that can be used against him. I seem to recall someone posting something in another thread, but I've not the energy to track it down.
posted by damnitkage at 9:20 AM on July 12, 2003


Admittedly, you might like to think that everyone in the administration is a simpleton. That they just *felt* like going to war, so they did. This lowers *your* credibility.

admittedly, you might like to think that everyone in the administration is compassionate samaritan, unmotivated by money and power and acting on carefully crafted plans which are informed by quality intel. that they were morally compelled by their love for christ and deep empathy and respect for humanity to liberate the suffering citizens of iraq, so they did. this pretty much brands you a brainwashed, flag-waving cretin.
posted by quonsar at 9:22 AM on July 12, 2003


quonsar, remember: God told him to strike at Al-Qaeda.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:38 AM on July 12, 2003


ok then. a brainwashed, flag-waving cretin blessed in the eyes of god.
posted by quonsar at 9:39 AM on July 12, 2003


quonsar: hardly. But I do not question either the education, scholarship, or intelligence of the administration, falling into the pathetic position that they are just to *stupid* to see the brilliant logic of the left.

In fact, I see the left as naive, simplistic, and neo-isolationist despite their talk of "globalism", and almost childish in their understanding of history and realpolitik. They make the same foolish errors again and again, and embrace ignorance which what could almost be termed as pride. They deserve to lose until they prove they have the guts and brains to win, not just the wit of a con artist.

As far as the right is concerned, I see them as almost Byzantine with their obsessive international "linkages", willingness to engage in mischief in every corner of the planet, mercantilistic and nationalistic in their motivations, and far more bloodthirsty then is depicted in the press. For them, 9-11 killed three times as many Americans as did the attack on Pearl Harbor, so the response must eventually entail three times the destruction of more "enemy" lives than did Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the firebombing of Tokyo combined.

Not stupid. Murderous.

And only a damn fool confuses the two.
posted by kablam at 9:51 AM on July 12, 2003


Wouldn't it be lovely if somehow the Patriot Act was used to bring down Jr...

I saw a theory recently - can't remember where, I've overread on US politics lately, this meejah junkie's gonna be screwed when the US 2004 Election starts in earnest - that, as Bush performs the State Of The Union speech under the Constitutional duty of the President to do so, and that he pledges to perform all of his duties with integrity etc. etc. under oath, his lying/dissembling and casuistry is a 'High Crime & Misdemeanour' if proven to have been deceitful in SOTU 2003.

He can be impeached - esp. if a Deep Throat appears and a shoddy cover-up is uncovered. I know it's too early to make comparisons with atergateway, but we sure do live in interesting times.

I look forward to the utter humiliation of the neocon 'movement', jail time for the main players & funders (where's Ken Lay these days?), and the fall of the Bush junta and it's dangerous, callous policies (at home and abroad).

Boy can dream.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:24 AM on July 12, 2003


"No mention is made AT ALL of the complicated international situation"

Ummm....... Where have you been for the last 6 months? The anti Iraq war folks, including yours truly, have been nailing the complicated situation to the wall, standing on our chairs, and screaming our heads off about this. For months. We said (and you ignored it at the time) that the situation was more complicated than the Bush team seemed to understand. We raised all of the points you do.

And now, NOW you brainwashed dumbass, you try to turn that around and tell us *we* don't get it? How could it be more obvious that the Bush team has bumbled into a situation that they completely misread?

Common Iraqis are shooting our troops because they hate us. Every day. Did Bush see that coming? I did. If fact it seems like Bush & Co misinterpreted things right down the line.

Before the war: Saddam was contained, WMD were being investigated, Iraqis citizens liked the US, and while we were on indefinite air patrols at least our troops weren't being killed every day.

After the war: Saddam is on the loose and seems to be winning the propoganda war, WMDs seem to have been scattered to the four corners, Iraqis hate the US and they're killing US troops 'round the clock, and it the generals tell us we'll be there indefinitely.

Now, please explain to me who forgot to take into consideration how complicated the situation would be.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:36 AM on July 12, 2003


Link to the 'lying under oath' premise.

y63: Common Iraqis are shooting our troops because they hate us. Every day. Did Bush see that coming?

I totally agree, and the reason the neocons here cannot concede - yet - until someone higher up the Bush govt. foodchain admits that the plan (to install in the traditional fashion, a US-picked strongman welcomed with open arms by the grateful and liberated secular Iraqi masses) was the plan, and that it was wrong.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:47 AM on July 12, 2003


It's like any redneck could explain to you: We're from out-of-county. (Or parish, if you're from the Sportsman's Paradise.)
posted by alumshubby at 10:53 AM on July 12, 2003


"The future of this country [Iraq]… is not going to be charted by people who sat out the sonofabitch (Saddam) in London or Cambridge, Massachusetts," one former senior White House official quoted Bush as saying.

I don't understand this line of reasoning. The true dissenters were either killed or left Iraq. The folks left were yes-men and in hiding while those in London were building support for Saddams demise. It makes sense in a Hollywood movie kind of way, emotional and off the cuff.
posted by stbalbach at 11:18 AM on July 12, 2003


Admittedly, you might like to think that everyone in the administration is a simpleton. That they just *felt* like going to war, so they did. This lowers *your* credibility.

LIKE to think? LIKE? You think I enjoy watching a guy who doesn't even read unless it's for a propaganda photo dig the U.S. further into this easily-avoided hole? No, I don't think everyone in the administration is a simpleton - more's the pity. If they were simpletons, they'd never have been able to do this kind of damage to the global political situation, to U.S. foreign relations, and to the U.S. economy. They're worse than simpletons: they're narrow-minded ideologues unfortunately possessed of their full mental faculties. Bush makes war not because it makes sense but because he believes it is right - and he has said as much in public. At this point we all know what the evidence was, and we all know how much ambiguity it contained. Now, I ask you: it's clear as day that the Bush administration picked out the bits of information that would support a war against Iraq and sold it as hard as they could. Is this the way people behave when they are honestly trying to evaluate the situation based on the actual facts in front of them? Hell no. This is the way people behave when they have already decided what they want to do and just need to convince everyone else to go along.

No, Bush is not an idiot. He's worse than that: he's someone who has chosen dogma over truth.

Unfortunately for him, "truth is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Well, here are your dying American soldiers, and your chaos in Iraq, and none of those oh-so-scary fifteen year old nerve gas shells, and absolutely no trace whatsoever of any nuclear material: and that's truth.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:18 AM on July 12, 2003


So now that they are scapegoating the CIA with the pre-war planning, is it time to pin the tail on Powell for post-war planning?


I can't believe that the Bush administration is really trying to divide up the blame in all directions but itself. Alienating the state department during the ramp-up to the war, then claiming that the CIA didn't do enough to stop them from saying stuff they wrote without yet consulting them, I cannot imagine what mad fool would find service in this government a desirable occupation.

Oh, and can anyone else make an uneducated guess about what "bullshit" Colin Powell was refusing to read to the UN? Hmm...

this easily-avoided hole

While I don't think that Bush is a braniac, I also don't subscribe to the belief that any course of action is easy. It would call on the strengths that Bush paid lip service to to deal with the terrorist factor - perseverance, diligence, intelligence, fair-handed administration of force and diplomacy.
posted by Busithoth at 11:59 AM on July 12, 2003


Okay, money where your mouth is time.

If Iraq is so horribly bollixed up, give factual speculation, not wishful thinking, of how the situation will degenerate, ending up with the US leaving Iraq, its tail between its legs.

Do you think the Iraqi people, particularly the Sunni minority areas, where most of the anti-US attacks have occurred, will rise up and kill thousands of US soldiers?

Will the Shiites, popularly supported by Iran with intent to create another "Mullahcracy", foment civil war to drive out the US?

Will the rest of the Security Council of the UN put its foot down and demand that the US (and Britain) leave?

Will the people of the United States suddenly decide to give the majority of both houses of Congress to the democratic part in the mid-term elections? (Please specify *why* the American people are so mad: not finding WMDs, or some other reason.)

Or, are you just still pissed off that a Republican is in the White House and it's just not fair, fair, fair!!!

Your answers may come back to haunt you, if you are so brave as to give a straight answer.
posted by kablam at 1:06 PM on July 12, 2003


kablam - you got it!

1. why?
2. there's no way of knowing.
3. ditto.
4. I doubt it.
5. I dunno. what does that have to do with anything?
6. don't be a troll.

now, BRING'M ON!
posted by mcsweetie at 1:16 PM on July 12, 2003


Kablam: I'm not sure what you are asking, as you are begging the question. I think it's overly reductive to assume people are angry because Bush is a republican. It seems fairly obvious that people are angry because they feel lied too.

The Admin says 'WMD,' but where is the evidence?

The Admin says 'liberation,' but there is no cheering in the streets of Baghdad, only looting, lawlessness and guerrilla fighters killing US soldiers. The best Bush can do is play Fighter Pilot on the tax payer's dime and taunt the Iraqi's with childish rhetoric.

Bush didn't liberate the Iraqi's, he just gave them a new master. No one was liberated from dictatorship, they were liberated from electricity and running water.

If there is a plan, why don't they clearly state what the plan is?
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:40 PM on July 12, 2003


kablam, it's interesting that you think the only negative outcome that really matters is one that results in a shameful exit for the U.S. from Iraq. Civilian (Iraqi) and military (U.S.) deaths, 3.9 billion dollars a month, instability within Iraq, inestimable loss of U.S. 'soft power' around the globe... all in the service of an unnecessary war... apparently none of this counts as evidence of a fuckup to you. Only something that causes shame to a Republican administration would matter. Typical.
posted by stonerose at 1:45 PM on July 12, 2003


If Iraq is so horribly bollixed up, give factual speculation . . .

factual speculation?

So that's what we all should be calling the 2003 SOTU address. My green, woolie-liberal brain just can't keep up with you nutty neo-cons.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:12 PM on July 12, 2003


elwoodwiles: I think it's overly reductive to assume people are angry because Bush is a republican.

Well, given the font of love and affection for Bush shown by so many posters here prior to "No WMDs found in Iraq", I wonder how I might have reached that conclusion. Face it, many of you *hate* Bush: you *hate* his hair, his eye color, how he walks, how he breathes, and you wish he would die so a liberal democrat could take his place. And *hate* is the right word, as in "hate speech."

The first part of fixing yourself is to realize you have a problem.

BTW, I noticed all three posters so far have waffled.
posted by kablam at 2:15 PM on July 12, 2003


Face it, many of you *hate* Bush: you *hate* his hair, his eye color, how he walks, how he breathes, and you wish he would die so a liberal democrat could take his place. And *hate* is the right word, as in "hate speech."

Persecution complex? Paranoia? Psychobilly freakout? Jesus, Kablam, here's a box of clues and grips. Take one of each.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:30 PM on July 12, 2003


I hate the policy sins. I just love the policy sinner.
posted by stonerose at 2:31 PM on July 12, 2003


kablam:
What is your core point here? Do you think that everything in Iraq is going according to plan? Do you think that the administration indeed had an in-depth, miniMarshall plan on the shelf before the war, and now it is unfolding properly? In one sentence or something, do you have anything to share that isn't purely reactionary and directed at the thoughts of other members? Anything that, oh I don't know, addresses the actual underlying issue (which I assure you the aggregate political leanings of a given website's participants is not)?

For what it's worth, though you may think I'm lying, I don't hate Bush at all. Do I have tremendous respect for his intellect or policy acumen? No. However, the real legacy of his Presidency will be a movement of which he is not really a part. I am bothered by the Bush administration because it empowers and emboldens the neoconservatives. Without that disturbing faction, I would still oppose tax cuts in time of recession, but I would not feel like our national values were being sacrificed ad hoc and wholesale.

Do I hate the neoconservatives? Maybe. I'll tell you for sure that the neoconservatives would hate me, if they got to know me.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:45 PM on July 12, 2003


Kablam: I still have no idea what you are looking for. In your earlier post you pretty much answered your own question and then diverted the whole issue into a 'you all hate Bush so none of your thoughts about Iraq are rational' thing. If I'm misreading that and making a strawman, I apologize. I also don't understand how anyone has "waffled" in attempting to respond to you.

*shrugs*

Here, I'll try to respond to your post despite my confusion of its meaning:

First you ask:If Iraq is so horribly bollixed up, give factual speculation, not wishful thinking, of how the situation will degenerate, ending up with the US leaving Iraq, its tail between its legs.

Okay, how about:Do you think the Iraqi people, particularly the Sunni minority areas, where most of the anti-US attacks have occurred, will rise up and kill thousands of US soldiers?
There are currently daily attacks killing US soldiers. On a small scale this is already happening.

or:Will the Shiites, popularly supported by Iran with intent to create another "Mullahcracy", foment civil war to drive out the US?
This very possible, but lucky for us the Iranians are busy with their own internal conflicts right now.

or:Will the rest of the Security Council of the UN put its foot down and demand that the US (and Britain) leave?
Through time it seems to me that the US occupation of Iraq will grow more brutal and repressive as the Iraqi population assert their dislike and distrust against US forces. The US administrators of Iraq have already denied the right of villages to elect leaders, mainly out of fear of who they would elect. Continued denial of the Iraqi people's will for self-determination will create more conflict and end up with a brutal occupation in order to keep everything under control. Once enough protests are repressed by force, the UN could very well start making noise.

And here you start making your spin:Will the people of the United States suddenly decide to give the majority of both houses of Congress to the democratic part in the mid-term elections? (Please specify *why* the American people are so mad: not finding WMDs, or some other reason.)
This could also happen if the current scandal about false evidence is picked up by the Democratic party along with the issues of the classwar Bush has been pushing through tax cuts, slashing of benefits and the gutting of civil rights.
I realize the classwar is a loaded term, but I'm going to us it anyway as this is how I see it

Then:Or, are you just still pissed off that a Republican is in the White House and it's just not fair, fair, fair!!!
I have no idea what this means in the context of this thread. It seems like an attempt to change the subject away from the topic at hand.

So there you go, a somewhat confused answer to your somewhat confused query. MMMMmmmmmwaffles.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:46 PM on July 12, 2003


The first part of fixing yourself is to realize you have a problem.

BTW, I noticed all three posters so far have waffled.


Excuse me, Kablam, but if you've 'fixed yourself', haven't you waffled, even just a little bit? Honestly, what better outcome could you hope to get from all these Bush-hating pricks you're blatherskiting about?
posted by Busithoth at 2:47 PM on July 12, 2003


So, we're looking at blowing 45 billion dollars a year at current spending levels without a plan of action. Meanwhile, domestic security efforts are starved for funds. So tell me again, how exactly has this war increased our security?

I've got to fly to Europe next week. If my plane gets shot down by one of the Stinger missiles that Reagan's boys passed out to the Mujahadeen back in the 80s with about as much discretion as a drunk host passing out beers at a summer barbeque, I'm gonna be one pissed-off ghost.
posted by moonbiter at 3:18 PM on July 12, 2003


You know kablam, who really, actually cares if anyone hates Bush? Bush is not the United States of America that each and everyone of us loves. Do you want the country to survive this? I guess the question is: Do YOU care about America?

If you do, it's time to play ball. And to begin, you have to understand that true believing polarization gets all of us nowhere. Do you want to live in an inclusive country in which dissent from the executive branch is protected? Or would you rather those of us who do disappear?

Where then will your USA be then?

My USA however, will be fought for, tooth and nail, so that you, myself and yes, even nascent George W. Bush's can continue to do and say whatever it is they please. All people are capable of opinion, as well as, all citizens in this country are entitled to civil protection when they publically state them.

Bush and the Neo-Con brigade are NOT America. You are. And so is everybody else.
posted by crasspastor at 3:29 PM on July 12, 2003


OK, so not quite three years after five Supreme Court justices decided who our president should be
a) instead of surpluses, the economy's in the toilet, being propped up by Asian economies, with unemployment on the rise and the House chipping away at social services
b) the administration's financial legacy will be interest payments for our grandchildren so that the top .5% can keep more of their (mostly inherited) capital, thus cementing an entrenched, profoundly anti-democratic ruling class
c) nepotism and political favors to cronies has reached unprecedented highs
d) the administration labors mightily to prevent bipartisan inquiries about what led up to 9/11 (including famously the decision to allow a flight of important Saudis to fly home, out of reach of interrogation)
e) we have soldiers doing police work in Iraq, at the behest of a man who ran in part on his dismissal of nation-building
f) that portion of the world which we haven't bought off sees us as arrogant and stupid
g) the White House is run entirely in the interest of positioning the president (not his party) for re-election, with everything designed for maximum PR value, including but not limited to puffing up ersatz "intelligence" for cover
h) our civil rights are eroded to an unprecedented degree, and Americans of Middle Eastern descent and pretty much anyone else who looks the part are living in even more fear than the rest of us

[extend list at your pleasure]

What exactly is going right in the Bush administration? What have they done which genuinely merits acknowledgment if not support? (Don't give me aid for AIDS--that's coming out of other Africa programs being cut.) What would it take for those inclined to support Bush to consider that, well, maybe, there are a few tiny things going wrong?

The man is not unintelligent, but he speaks with conviction because of what must be a wonderful capacity for self-delusion. Don't personalize it: it's not Bush-hating, it's figure-head-hating.


posted by palancik at 5:10 PM on July 12, 2003


elwoodwiles: Thank You. You addressed reasoned speculation with reasoned answers to the Iraq question. This should be an example to the rest. And I cannot refute your concerns, though I might argue on some of the details.
But what is *not* visible in any of these arguments is what the US is really doing in Iraq. And I'm talking more of the "nation building" stuff then military defense. Whether or not they had a "plan" beforehand is incidental.
(This is no one here's fault, I might add.)
They are very busy now.
Including such things as reactivating most of the Iraqi government ministries, all at the same time (see each ministry for details.)
And everything else.
posted by kablam at 5:16 PM on July 12, 2003


The rebuilding of Iraq should have been planned better, end of story. But now we need to make sure the dimwits in charge don't privatise too much, and make the same mistakes the US made in Chile, and the Russians made after the Soviet Union fell apart. There are quite a few crazy muslims in Iraq, and we don't want them in charge, we also don't want to see an economy in Iraq where the few have all the riches, and the many are left out in the cold, a situation like that can only lead to problems.
posted by jbou at 6:04 PM on July 12, 2003


"The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader.

Interesting post, owillis. 'Course, those exact antecedents were the intense focus of the (ongoing) propaganda effort. How telling that Bush et al would devote so many resources to smoothly marketing the war, while allowing the "aftermath" ("Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.") to descend into quagmire.

And funny how Bush et al flip-flopped on "nation building":

Speaking to a cheering crowd in Chattanooga, Tenn., one day before the Nov. 7, 2000, election, George W. Bush repeated a line that had by then been a standard part of the stump speech for many, many months--and one that now seems, in the face of looming U.S. military action in Iraq, quite contradictory...."Let me tell you what else I'm worried about: I'm worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence...."

Fast forward to the present. Details have begun emerging in recent days about the Bush administration's vision for postwar Iraq, and clearly the White House has abandoned its aversion to nation building, as it plans for what appears to be the biggest American-led, rebuilding project since the Marshall Plan in the early 1950s. Last week, Washington Post reporter Karen DeYoung's byline topped an astonishing story with this headline Full U.S. Control Planned for Iraq.

"The Bush administration plans to take complete, unilateral control of a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, with an interim administration headed by a yet-to-be named American civilian who would direct the reconstruction of the country and the creation of a 'representative' Iraqi government, according to a now-finalized blueprint described by U.S. officials and other sources," DeYoung reported.

So much for campaign promises. Just another lie by Bush to the American people, one supposes.

~shrug~

Face it, many of you *hate* Bush: you *hate* his hair, his eye color, how he walks, how he breathes, and you wish he would die so a liberal democrat could take his place. And *hate* is the right word, as in "hate speech."

Uh.....typical brittle Tory-hysteria notwithstanding....I was nodding right along to your hypnotic catalog of "hates", there, sparky, celebrating with you, as it were, the contrasting, well-known, joyful true Love of "compassionate conservatism".....until you laid that startling and rather hurtful "hate how he walks" condemnation on we nasty lefties.

Hate how he walks? Hate how he walks?

Actually, I rate GW's ass as one of his best qualities. No, that doesn't really do him justice. I'd rate his ass qualities above anyone's.

But whoa. Easy there. It's not as bad as you fear.

The Left's motto is, as you know: hate the sin -- love the sinner. I'm sure I speak for pinkos everywhere in relating to you our happy anticipation of joining Doobie-ya and Laura in post-impeachment evenings of hemp, Hendrix, and hot hippie group sex. Once we flog them away from The Dark Side.

Once we reclaim, as crasspastor so eloquently put it, the real America, an America that has gone a-glimmering.

Yeah, maybe that's what the loony right really needs now: tough love. (Where the fuck is Dr. Laura when we finally really need her?) Tough love. Keep rubbing their noses in their greed and land-rape and "Patriot Acts" and racism and lies/marketing and cowardly wars and hateful "compassionate conservatism".....but....you know.....have a heart. Be gentle.

Some of these folks obviously have tender feelings.

~belated hugs~

P.S. Say there, kablam....couldn't help but notice that for some reason you didn't give us your responses to your own irrelevant and strawmanish little quiz, while whining about how most everyone else (understandably) ignored it. After all, we thought it was "money where your mouth is time." Kinda looks like, you're, uh, waffling there.

Probably that knee-jerk frenzy about "you all just hate Bush!" threw you off, is all. It's OK. We're OK. You're OK.

~flog/hugs~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:16 PM on July 12, 2003


But now we need to make sure the dimwits in charge don't privatise too much

We're about a month late on that one (self-link).
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:17 PM on July 12, 2003


that portion of the world which we haven't bought off sees us as arrogant and stupid

I'd bet at least some of the people we've bought off see us as stupid and arrogant, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:42 PM on July 12, 2003


fold_and_mutilate: Actually, I'm glad you asked about *my* predictions for Iraq. I'll even throw in a couple about the mid-term elections and the next presidential election, too. And the "whys", why I think so.

First of all, the tiny amount of resistance against the US is centered in the "Saddam Triangle" north of Baghdad, all Sunni, less loyal to 'Saddam', then to the fact that he was of their tribe. (And I do mean Saddam in the past tense. If there are any pretenses to his being alive, it's just to flush out his buddies.) In any event, the US will calm these areas with...ta-daa...self governance. The reason being that their towns are small fish, so let them rule themselves. But if they want to rule the country, they had better mind their manners and play ball.
The big oil centers will be no problem under their Kurdish owners, as long as they don't raise their Kurdish flag, and they promise loyalty to greater Iraq. We have already convinced them that limited autonomy will be more profitable to them then trying to found a new "Kurdistan", and getting slaughtered by the Turks. If they behave, they will become wealthy.

The Shiites, to the south, are behaving themselves, knowing that if they bide their time, they will get power. They probably figure on getting a quick national government, then asking the US to leave, then seizing it all for themselves. The US will defeat this by taking its time and fully integrating the new government, insuring a balance of power. Then it will set up "Urban" Iraq against "Rural" Iraq, encouraging the "Urban" government to keep a lid on the rural fanatics by keeping secular government in power. "If the government remains secular, you keep your heads" as the motivator.

Another big lever on the Shiites, and indirectly on Iran, is the holy city of Najaf. A friendly-to-the-US government could make Najaf a carrot and stick situation to the Iranians. Much like how the Saudis use their ownership of Mecca and Medina to make other Moslems behave.

The Syrians are bending over backwards to appease the US right now, pulling perhaps 30,000 troops out of Lebanon and leaving Hizbollah to fend for itself. Look forward to a maybe discreet, maybe not, extermination of both the Hizbollah and Hamas by the US and maybe Israel. And no, the US has not forgotten the US marine barracks bombing.

The rest of Iraq will be bought and paid for: peace through capitalism. "Sure, you could fight us, but you'll lose money." The dictatorship of the Jaycees and Rotarians. Also, the US wants women on a par with men through as much of Iraq as possible--definitely a stabilizing influence.

The bottom line is to turn Iraq into a "US-East", a vigorous democracy that puts tremendous pressure on the entire region just by the nature of its existence, giving petty dictators and Mullahs endless sleepless nights. Also serving as a major base of operations for the US in the region. After a few years of explosive growth and prosperity, the typical Iraqi will be the US's "best bud", and last but not least, there will be a free trade agreement.

Bush will do okay in the mid-terms, maybe lose a few in the House and one or two in the Senate at worst. In the presidential race, he will kick it out of the "Weebles" (Jon Stewart), if for no other reason than he has $165M RIGHT NOW and the most any of them has is maybe $10M.
posted by kablam at 7:09 PM on July 12, 2003


...and as the economy crumbles further, America itself will slide further into the toilet, topped with tasty neo-con turdlets!

It's a win-win situation, people!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:28 PM on July 12, 2003


kablam:
The bottom line is to turn Iraq into a "US-East",

Wow. Does that fall under "WMD" or "he gassed his own people?"
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:00 PM on July 12, 2003


nix, nix, nix, f & m - even if they repent, the Bushes are not on my guest list for future evenings of hemp, Hendrix, and hot hippie group sex. A girl's gotta have some morals.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:19 PM on July 12, 2003


<homer>
mmmm. hot hippie group sex. aughaughaughaugh...
</homer>
posted by quonsar at 8:23 PM on July 12, 2003


speaking about Jon Stewart, this bush vs. bush debate comes to mind every time the president opens his mouth these days.
posted by birdherder at 8:28 PM on July 12, 2003


Bill Moyers interviewed Stewart on NOW this week, here's the transcript.
posted by homunculus at 8:38 PM on July 12, 2003


What's that you say, the US is working hard at rebuilding Iraq? No shit. Just about as hard as I work two hours before an assignment is due or cramming for an exam. Its called not having a plan.

Our military is working overtime in the desert heat while being shot at by various Iraqi guerilla warriors (not just angry Sunnis from Tikrit ) because Rumsfeld and co. thought they could sell us this war not only on very shaky intel if not out-right lies, but on the cheap also. On the cheap now means four billion US a month.

The reasons and how this war was executed are the realization of neo-con policies. These policies are shit, no American should have stepped one foot in iraq.

> No one was liberated from dictatorship, they were liberated from electricity and running water.

That's not fair. Thousands were also liberated from their bodies.
posted by skallas at 9:26 PM on July 12, 2003


Madam J.J.Jive:
even if they repent, the Bushes are not on my guest list for future evenings of hemp, Hendrix, and hot hippie group sex. A girl's gotta have some morals.

Can I be on your guest list? ;) if those buttholes aren't around, so much the better.

Drunk? oh yes.
posted by notsnot at 9:26 PM on July 12, 2003


On the cheap now means four billion US a month.

Yes, let's play "What can I buy for $4 billion?" I'll go first.
I am here today to say that if the U.S. Government elects to take steps to protect commercial aircraft from the MANPADS threat, our Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system can be easily configured to protect commercial airliners. ...

Northrop Grumman has developed a realistic plan worthy of the government's serious consideration. In developing this plan we have given every consideration to driving down costs and limiting the downtime for commercial aircraft. Our plan calls for equipping 300 aircraft, which fly internationally, with LAIRCM for approximately $2 million per plane.

If the government decided to equip significantly more than 300 planes, the cost per plane could drop to around $1 million per plane. For example, equipping approximately 3,000 aircraft of the U.S. domestic commercial aircraft fleet would cost approximately $3 billion and would require about six years to complete.
Wowee, that's even leaves us a billion to spare!

Now, remind me again why we are in Iraq?
posted by moonbiter at 9:45 PM on July 12, 2003


Let's see if I've got this straight:

they had better mind their manners and play ball.

If they behave, they will become wealthy.

The Shiites, to the south, are behaving themselves

A friendly-to-the-US government could make Najaf a carrot and stick situation to the Iranians. Much like how the Saudis use their ownership of Mecca and Medina to make other Moslems behave.

The rest of Iraq will be bought and paid for: peace through capitalism.


Wow. And you wonder why the US is seen throughout the world as arrogant imperialists bent imposing their will through sheer force? Christ. And do you really think that democracy=capitalism, automatically? What if Iraq democratically votes in a fundamentalist government?
posted by jokeefe at 9:49 PM on July 12, 2003


nix, nix, nix, f & m - even if they repent, the Bushes are not on my guest list for future evenings of hemp, Hendrix, and hot hippie group sex. A girl's gotta have some morals.

I sympathize, mjjj, I really do, but the potential thrill of corrupting Laura Bush, as she realizes that what she's been missing all her life has been hot hippie same sex luuurrrvvvv, is almost too irresistable.

But on second thought, ack. There's only so much I can do for the revolution....
posted by jokeefe at 9:53 PM on July 12, 2003


you mean like america did in 2000...
posted by quonsar at 9:57 PM on July 12, 2003


oh crap. i KNEW i should have quoted you.

What if Iraq democratically votes in a fundamentalist government?

you mean like america did in 2000...
posted by quonsar at 9:58 PM on July 12, 2003


jokeefe: And you wonder why the US is seen throughout the world as arrogant imperialists bent imposing their will through sheer force?

You certainly have a weird definition of "sheer force". What you quoted from me could accurately be called, in order: rewarding peaceful behavior with government participation, rewarding peaceful behavior with prosperity, rewarding peaceful behavior by allowing the majority to evolve into responsible majority rule, rewarding peaceful behavior by allowing free and unrestricted access to previously prohibited holy sites, and offering a choice between armed resistance against prosperity and becoming prosperous themselves.

(sarcasm)Man, that is like a bayonet at the throat. How could they possibly tolerate that? I can see how the rest of the world would do it so much better!(/sarcasm)
posted by kablam at 10:13 PM on July 12, 2003


yes. rewarding. like parents do. i'm certain the iraqi people of every faction simply cannot wait to submit to our parenting. how could they possibly not?
posted by quonsar at 10:26 PM on July 12, 2003


"Rewarding". This doesn't involve a relationship of equals, but tht of one in power and one being "rewarded". That was my argument, and the fact that you didn't get it really just proves my point about unexamined arrogance.

And quonsar, you call that an election? Hmmmph.
posted by jokeefe at 10:49 PM on July 12, 2003


If the US forces are going to be there a while at least get them enough protective vests and batteries [transcript of Lou Dobbs on 7/10 - key dialog about 3/4 down the page].

At $4B/mth I would think basic supplies like that would be included.
posted by birdherder at 10:58 PM on July 12, 2003


Most of the $4 billion is tithings to Fallwell.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:46 PM on July 12, 2003


kablam, you forgot the terror groups attacking US interests in Iraq, you forgot the folks sabotaging the US rebuilding projects, hell, they couldn't even build a soccer field.


Let me ask you this Kablam, we have soldiers getting attacked at close range by people who disappear back into the crowd, this crowd doesn't try and stop the attacker? and they don't seem to be ratting out the attackers?

Kablam, what makes you think greed will win out in the end? A lot of these folks are fanatical muslims who put religion in front of everything else, even money. You know, they follow the Koran, not Ayn Rand.

Lastly, who the fuck are we to tell the Iraqi people who their leaders are going to be?
posted by jbou at 11:56 PM on July 12, 2003


This "hatred" thing is pretty fascinating.

Except there is only one slice of the demographic who truly has any ounce of humanitarian heart at all. And that is, all those who heretofore didn't give a damn about person one shall the decree not come from AM radio propa-heaven.

You've spent years and years listening to intestinal matter smearing those who have fought and sacrificed for human rights. Feminazis. Ecoterrorists. Pinkos. Socialist scum. Situational ethicists. Godless homosexual supporting agenda makers. That's what we are.

To you.

To me, we are all people. And I must say, to witness the cognitive dissonance so prevalent in the ideology of the American Right 2003, is really heartbreaking. You were individuals once. You once thought on your own. As children you certainly saw through absurdity. All children do.

Why now? Why cling to something so uncertain, so dynamically out of your hands? If Bush and his TOLD THE TRUTH there would be NO NEED for a "fall guy". The truth is self-evident.

Fuck where the blame lies. The truth is the nectar of sentient humanity. You can not seek sentience without some nod to factualism.

This administration rules by fear, uncertainty and doubt. A matter of emphasis. Stay the course good American. Your brain is only a hindrance.

Personally, I'm sick of having to write, talk, think, worry, obsess about this shite.
posted by crasspastor at 4:10 AM on July 13, 2003


crasspastor: This "hatred" thing is pretty fascinating.

Except there is only one slice of the demographic who truly has any ounce of humanitarian heart at all.


Didn't it just occur to you that what you *just* said amounts to hatred? Don't you get it?

jbou: A lot of these folks are fanatical muslims who put religion in front of everything else, even money. You know, they follow the Koran, not Ayn Rand.

I'm sure that Muslims, who follow the Koran, who put their religion at the forefront of their lives, like an old boss of mine, a blond haired, blue eyed Irish Moslem, really appreciate being associated with "fanaticism" in such bigoted statements. Kind of like calling you a "George Bush Christian." You're a "fanatic Christian" like him because you are an American, or British or whatever. "Well, 'a lot' of you are "fanatical Christians" like him. They do what it says in the Bible."

jokeefe: "Rewarding". This doesn't involve a relationship of equals, but tht of one in power and one being "rewarded".

It isn't a "relationship of equals", or an "us and them" situation. More like the relationship a referee has to a soccer match. Except a half dozen teams are competing with each other at the same time. The US rewards those who play fair and cooperate, and punishes those who do not by not letting them play. This also explains why the US will not let Iraq become a theocracy instead of a democracy, at least while the US is there, and also why we prohibit ex-Ba'athists and known criminals from belonging to the power structure. It would be foolish to do otherwise.
Once they have a government, freely elected and responsible, that is, not oppressing any hated minority, then the US can leave in good conscience, leaving Iraq as a "fair and equal partner" in the world, able to defend itself, and also able to choose its own destiny. This seems to be the fastest way to a fair and just outcome. Would you prefer that Iraq have remained in Ba'athist hands, or that the US just leave now, and let the Iraqis murder their way to power, might makes right?
posted by kablam at 7:18 AM on July 13, 2003


enjoy your self-appointed 'parent to the world' delusion while you can kablam, because it's almost time for the rest of us to carefully read the second amendment and re-establish a government by, of, and for the people in this country.
posted by quonsar at 7:01 PM on July 13, 2003


or that the US just leave now, and let the Iraqis murder their way to power, might makes right?

Can you honestly say that the administration you keep apologizing for has any problem with doing precisely that? Think about it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:15 PM on July 13, 2003


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