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October 16, 2004 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Confirming the Obvious: "A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country... The Bush administration's failure to plan to win the peace in Iraq was the product of many of the same problems that plagued the administration's case for war, including wishful thinking, bad information from Iraqi exiles who said Iraqis would welcome American troops as liberators and contempt for dissenting opinions." Just in case anyone you know is still pretending this administration had the slightest idea what it was doing after "Mission Accomplished."
posted by jscalzi (11 comments total)

 
Duh.
posted by interrobang at 9:17 PM on October 16, 2004


i'm shocked and awed.
posted by quonsar at 9:27 PM on October 16, 2004


So is this the media's october surprise? A bunch of limp-wristed endorsements and "Iraq is bad, mmkay?" op-eds? Where were you guys when Powell told a pack of lies at the UN? Where were you guys while Bush et al were purposely confusing 9/11 and Iraq?

Keep up the shitty work.
posted by skallas at 9:41 PM on October 16, 2004


it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan

Is it just me or does anyone else feel that the plan was to have no plan? I think its classic Straussian.

See, much as we like to make fun of Bush - the fact is the neocons aren't dummies. They were told by the military that in order to stabilize Iraq we would need multiple hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground - the fact that they ignored this advice means one of two things - either our country is run by a cabal of madmen or "winning the peace" in Iraq isn't really the goal.

Is a strong, independent, Islamic-run country with the world's second richest oil supply something the neocons really want?

Seems to me a destabilized, fractured (and nurtured) Iraq with a corupt puppet government might be just fine in so far as American foreign policy interests are concerned.

Not saying it's right... just saying...
posted by wfrgms at 11:04 PM on October 16, 2004


The number of troops used in Iraq was what the field commander requested. Others may think it wasn't enough, but at the time, *he* felt it was enough. Should he have been overruled by the armchair generals?

Next point: the "lack of a comprehensive plan" is one of the more ridiculous arguments around. How in blue blazes do you plan for the innumerable variations in the situation *after a war*? The assumption was that Iraq was going to be in *war* ruins, with huge numbers of refugees living in tent cities. The preparations at that point were planning to rebuild Iraq from scratch. If people have food and water and shelter, much of that job is done.

Ironically, the situation the US found itself in was an Iraq *not* devastated by war, and advanced *years* beyond what we were expecting, with totally unexpected assets and needs. Had Iraq been devastated, it would be years *from now* before anyone would be worrying about restoring their electrical grid, for example. Instead, because we are not able to do that *right now* and "chop-chop", it supposedly means that the US is incompetant? Give me a break!

This is like a surgeon expecting to perform emergency surgery on an accident victim with multiple broken bones and internal injuries, who instead finds himself operating on a person with multiple cancers in various parts of their body. It is *not* his fault that the equipment he requested isn't right, or that he isn't "ready" to operate immediately.

"The Bush administration's failure to plan to win the peace in Iraq..." is an axiom I utterly reject. The US has won the peace hands down. The enemies of Iraq have won nothing. They are reduced to killing unarmed Iraqis, who hate and despise them, and see them as "criminals", not "insurgents" or "freedom fighters".

The US is even fighting less and less, letting the Iraqis handle their own problems, which they are doing with considerable effect. The Iraqis now run almost all of their government, are getting billions of dollars in oil revenue each month, and are still planning their elections on schedule. How is this "losing" anything?

Granted, y2karl will now post several articles in their entirety, instead of just links, in an effort to deny the obvious through sheer mass. Hopefully it will take him several hours to do so. John Kerry will still lose in this last referendum of the Vietnam War.
posted by kablam at 8:53 AM on October 17, 2004


The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
With Out A Doubt
posted by y2karl at 9:49 AM on October 17, 2004


two incredible, and damning, things in that story:

1) The slide said: "To Be Provided."

2) Intelligence officials now charge that Chalabi or some of his senior aides were paid agents of Iran's intelligence service, and that Chalabi or his security chief provided classified U.S. military information to Iran.
posted by amberglow at 10:11 AM on October 17, 2004


The US is even fighting less and less, letting the Iraqis handle their own problems, which they are doing with considerable effect. The Iraqis now run almost all of their government, are getting billions of dollars in oil revenue each month, and are still planning their elections on schedule.

why, even as we speak, literal armies of dedicated elves are slaving away night and day assembling toys, while crack teams of journeymen sleighmeisters fine tune the reindeer teams and groom the polar landing strip.
posted by quonsar at 10:41 AM on October 17, 2004


kablam, what the hell are you smoking?
posted by johnnydark at 11:55 AM on October 17, 2004


Kablam writes:

"The US is even fighting less and less, letting the Iraqis handle their own problems, which they are doing with considerable effect."

Meanwhile, in the real world:

"Fierce clashes between U.S. troops and insurgents broke out on a highway east of Fallujah and in the southern part of the city, witnesses said. The road, which leads to Baghdad, has been completely blocked. Residents reported fresh aerial and artillery attacks as explosions boomed across the city."
posted by jscalzi at 11:59 AM on October 17, 2004


The US is even fighting less and less, letting the Iraqis handle their own problems, which they are doing with considerable effect.

Walking a Beat With Officer Muhammed

When President Bush boasts, as he has several times lately, of "100,000 fully trained" security personnel in Iraq, he is talking about men like Adnan Majeed Muhammed...

After almost eight weeks at the academy, Mr. Muhammed had learned the basics of law enforcement: how to handcuff prisoners and search cars, how to properly detain a suspect, the fundamentals of Iraqi law. "But what surprised me totally," he told me through a translator, as his fellow cadets nodded in wondrous agreement, "was this whole concept of human rights!"

A few days later, Officer Muhammed was sent out with a pistol to protect and serve in a city under constant attack from car bombs and rocket-propelled grenades.

"That's a standard of training Americans would never accept," said Gerald F. Burke, a retired Massachusetts State Police major who spent more than a year as an adviser to Baghdad police commanders. "It's a standard the Iraqis wouldn't accept if they didn't have to. Really, it's just an excuse for us to be able to say, 'Hey, we tried.' ''

So even if Mr. Bush's numbers are correct, to claim 125,000 Iraqis will be "fully trained" for the Iraqi Army, National Guard, police and security services by year's end is to redefine the term so far downward as to be meaningless. Adnan Muhammed, in fact, is among the best trained police officers, one of only about 8,000 raw recruits who completed the full eight-week academy course. Thousands more were simply handed a badge and blue shirt on their first day.

The blame does not lie with Mr. Burke or the other civilians and American soldiers running the academies and advising Iraqi commanders. Rather, the Iraqi security forces are in such dreary shape for the same reason the rest of the country is a spiraling disaster: the Bush administration ignored the advice of its own people and tried to do the job on the cheap.


Losing the war and peace

The US has lost the military initiative in Iraq and is in danger of losing the war. Eighteen months after coalition forces swept victoriously into Baghdad, a hard-pressed US occupying army is now facing a rapidly evolving guerilla war that it is singularly ill-equipped to surmount.

That's the view of coalition military experts who worry that the US army is undermanned and over-stretched, lacking the essential military skills to deal with a resourceful enemy holed up in Shia and Sunni strongholds across the country.

Britain's army chief, General Michael Jackson, admitted recently his troops were "back at war" in Iraq and flat out fighting a widening insurgency.

So serious is the deteriorating security situation in Iraq that, privately, coalition military leaders are contemplating strategies for eventual withdrawal from a war they admit probably cannot be won.

posted by y2karl at 3:50 PM on October 17, 2004


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