Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 16, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

FRANKS: BAD WAR DECISIONS NOT BUSH'S FAULT....I missed this a couple of days ago, but on Wednesday Phil Carter linked to this rather remarkable bit of blame shifting from General Tommy Franks, who apparently agrees that it was a bad idea to disband the Iraqi army:

Franks, who oversaw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, told reporters it may have taken "a couple billion dollars," but that he would have liked to have put Iraqi troops "back on the payroll right quick."

....Neither Bush nor Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld should be blamed because Congress never appropriated money for that purpose and no other country offered to pay for it, Franks said.

Huh? Jay Garner says that money to pay the Iraqi army was budgeted, but that Paul Bremer made the decision to disband the army when he took over from Garner in May 2003. What's more, Bremer has said that the order to disband came directly from the Bush White House. They surely could have issued different orders and gotten the appropriations to carry them out if they had wanted to, but they didn't.

And yet Franks somehow thinks that Congress and Europe are to blame for this, not Bush and Rumsfeld? That's as pathetic an attempt to avoid command reponsibility as I've ever heard. They sure don't make generals like they used to, do they?

Kevin Drum 5:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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