Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 4, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

DISBANDING THE MILITARY....Every time you think you can't be further surprised by the Bush administration's abysmal lack of planning for postwar Iraq, something comes along to prove that you can still be surprised after all. Here's today's example. If there's a single person who comes out of this story looking good, I can't find him.

Kevin Drum 1:54 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (60)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

And here's a view from the ground that we very rarely get to see, from a young Iraqi woman. Read what all she's lost at Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/9/4/11218/77750

Posted by: watercarrier4diogenes on September 4, 2007 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Bremer looks like a worm, but as anyone who has ever been in a position of leadership knows, you never leave people who work under out to dry like that. That shows a "leader" who is not worth serving.

Posted by: JFD on September 4, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

That whole book looks like an exercise in ass-saving. Now, at least, we know that Bush is actually smart enough to know his ass is grass.

Posted by: Kenji on September 4, 2007 at 3:14 AM | PERMALINK

They're all delusional idiots. The sooner everyone acknowledges that, the better. But of course, the media will be the last to admit it.

Posted by: TheOtherWA on September 4, 2007 at 4:13 AM | PERMALINK

Bu -- but, they were so manly! How can they all be wrong? I mean, nobody could have foreseen that the smoking gun would end up being the president's mushroom-shaped bong instead of a cloud, right? Oh, God, how I love the smell of English Leather in the morning ...

Posted by: Christopher M. on September 4, 2007 at 4:23 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know whatever happened to Laurie Milroy, that "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!"-insane, right-wing analyst at Sec. Rumsfeld's Pentagon who did so much to encourage the Bush White House to believe that Saddam's Iraq was behind the 9/11 attack? Why isn't the media talking to her?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 4, 2007 at 4:29 AM | PERMALINK

Sometimes I think I'm watching a group of four year olds "play government" - but more often, I feel like I'm watching drunken monkeys playing with loaded handguns.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 4, 2007 at 4:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well put, Blue Girl. My father said to never wish your life away, but the last 16 months of Bush's disastrous presidency simply cannot go by fast enough...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 4, 2007 at 5:58 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently Mr. Bush thought Bremmer was a personal door mat like so many others - most recently former Atty. Gen. Gozales. Bet W wouldn't do the same with Mr. Cheney - or even Rumsfeld.

It's going to get real lonely in the Whitehouse the next 503 days.

Posted by: Bob on September 4, 2007 at 6:52 AM | PERMALINK

In the 10/31/05 report by the SIGIR, there's a discussion of the human resources side of the invasion. Bowen's report notes that post-war planning in WWII began in Feb. 1942 for the occupation of Germany and Japan. In Iraq, Gen Garner says that he was charged with planning for post-war events at the end of January 2003.

WWII, 3 1/2 years of planning, Iraq, 1 1/2 months. No wonder Bremer was making it up as he went along; the DoD, which threw out all the work by State on Iraq, had no occupation plan at all.

This is news? Only to the WaPo, NYT et al. and their readers.

Posted by: TJM on September 4, 2007 at 7:03 AM | PERMALINK

tjm....

"We're going to stand up an interim government, hand power over to them, and get out of there in 3-to-4 months." - Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita April-2003


General Tommy Franks, head of U.S. Central Command informs his commanders that the vision of the administration is that all but 1-division of American forces will be removed from Iraq by September 2003. - April 2003

how'd that work out?

Posted by: dr. phil on September 4, 2007 at 7:23 AM | PERMALINK

Click the link, Kevin. Always click the link:

...the letters do not show that he (Bush) approved the order or even knew much about it. Mr. Bremer referred only fleetingly to his plan midway through his three-page letter and offered no details.

In other words Bremer was a loose cannon who sabotaged the President's policies by ill-conceived rogue initiatives. Bringing democracy to Iraq will take much longer than planned because of Bremer.

Posted by: Al on September 4, 2007 at 7:23 AM | PERMALINK

When Bush wakes, the lies start. They are told all day. As he sleeps, the lies continue.

This Administration is the Father of Lies.

Posted by: POed Lib on September 4, 2007 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK

Al is a fucking tool, as usual. You are a huge piece of shit, Al, and you lie with every keystroke.

Posted by: POed Lib on September 4, 2007 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

Al- which is why Mr. Bremer was promptly summoned to Washington and shitcanned for violating such an important policy directive. Oh wait, never mind.

i would have an ounce of respect for Bush if he just said 'hey, that was the plan, we thought the result would b X, we were wrong' you know admit responsibility like a man? Heck, even Bill Clinton eventually copped to getting a bj...

Posted by: Northzax on September 4, 2007 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

TJM: the DoD ... had no occupation plan at all.

Military leaders were instructed by Rumsfield not to plan for an occupation. He said it would be in and out (though I don't know why you wouldn't plan for that, either, if you thought it would happen). He told the generals that he would fire anyone he caught working on a plan.

Posted by: anandine on September 4, 2007 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

That's the part that bugs me -- 'wars are easier to start than to finish' isn't exactly a hard concept to understand, and it's not like you can have much of a plan for winning a war if you don't think about The Next Day.

It'd be a good question for a Presidential debate: 'Give us an example of a major fuckup in your life, and how you publicly took responsibility.'

Bush sent Bremer, who put AMERICAN ideologues without experience in charge of Iraq, but he didn't do it in a vacuum. There was an alternative plan (hell, it was plan A, BREMER was plan B) to hand over the administration of Iraq to actual Iraqis as fast as possible, and get out.

Even if you take the conspiracy view that Cheney was in charge of it all, he WAS a guy who understood after the first Gulf War that knocking off Saddam would create a shitstorm: likewise with Powell. So what was different this time?

It really does point right to W. He Decided, which was more important to him than WHAT he decided, and damned sure more vital than getting the advice and counsel of folks like his Secretary of State, if only to know when he was suddenly and sharply changing policy: instead of a swift transition to Iraqis running Iraq, now we were going to have American rookies run it like a Heritage singles bar?

And this exchange with Bremer (provided BY Bremer to the NYT) just melts the idea that anybody else is responsible, that Bush is just a figurehead -- Bush's hand-picked and PREFERRED boss for Iraq will disband Iraq's army, he tells Bush about it, but Bush... can't remember making the decision?

WTF??????

Somebody should have expoxied Ike's D-Day draft on the President's desk "If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone," so for once this knucklehead might have taken HIS responsibility seriously.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 4, 2007 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

You got a point there, Al. Who would expect Bush to read a whole page and a half? Bremer should have written it in crayon and in very big letters.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on September 4, 2007 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

Failure is always an orphan.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 4, 2007 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, the article isn't well-enough written to leave everyone clear about what happened. This for example:

On the same day, Mr. Bremer, in Baghdad, had issued the order disbanding the Iraqi military. Mr. Bush did not mention the order to abolish the military, and the letters do not show that he approved the order or even knew much about it. Mr. Bremer referred only fleetingly to his plan midway through his three-page letter and offered no details.

In an interview with Robert Draper, author of the new book, “Dead Certain,” Mr. Bush sounded as if he had been taken aback by the decision, or at least by the need to abandon the original plan to keep the army together.

It's unbelieveable that the president wouldn't know that his subordinates ordered the Iraqi military disbanded. But the article sounds like it's trying to give him a pass on the incriminating letters, as if the president can't be charged with knowledge of something major that appears in a sentence in the middle of (possibly probably one-page long) letter from one of his most important suboridinates.

Indeed, the quote from the unnamed White House official says it all: that Bush must have, should have known.

But the article ends up writtent to sound confusing, and to be rife with quotes for the wingers to cherry-pick for their blogs. Ex.: the "but apparently there was confusion at the WH..." sentence. Way to try to turn it around on Bremer for trying to get his ass out of trouble by turning up the proof that he, in fact, can not be charged solely with responsibility for an action no one can plausibly expect him to be treated as solely responsible for.

Note all the comments on this thread mostly not saying "Wow! The President did such a bad job...", too.

Posted by: Swan on September 4, 2007 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

I wrote:

(possibly probably one-page long) letter

Oops- the quote says "three-page," of course, but that's still pretty short, not much of a difference.

Posted by: Swan on September 4, 2007 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

In my original comment, this paragraph was supposed to be italicized as a quote from the article as well, but I forgot that the comment boxes don't keep italicization after a return unless you type in the italics tags again:

In an interview with Robert Draper, author of the new book, “Dead Certain,” Mr. Bush sounded as if he had been taken aback by the decision, or at least by the need to abandon the original plan to keep the army together.

Posted by: Swan on September 4, 2007 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

Swan we all know the President did a bad job. This ass covering exercise doesn't change that.

Of course, before he became the decider the President had a long string of famous failures to his "credit." We should have known that he couldn't change his stripes. Ultimately the failure is the Republican party's. They should never have nominated a failure in the first place.

That said, I am not really letting Bush off the hook. He didn't even try to do the right thing.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 4, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

The disbanding of the Iraqi military is dealt with in detail in the documentary film "No End in Sight". It was clearly a concious decision of the the administration and the CPA. The interviews with Walter Slocum in the film are particularly revealing.

Posted by: Narl Davidson on September 4, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Not only is Bush a pathological liar, by he's a craven little creep. And taking a leaf out of Fredo's book--I don't remember, I don't remember. What we've got is a pack of amnesiacs running this country.

Posted by: Helena Montana on September 4, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Remember the people who moved out of the good 'ol USA after Bush "won" in '04? What did they know, and when did they know it?

Monkeys or idiots, what's the difference? Dear Leader will destroy this country, and then go back to the ranch to clear brush.

Sign me; Still able to be stunned.

Posted by: bobbywally on September 4, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

EVERYONE doesn't know anything! There is no EVERYONE...and, look and listen to the fools (a couple of them right here) who continue to support/defend/believe this fool and what's left of his comrades. As long as there are media types willing to provide any cover at all to Bush (listening Wolfie, Tim, Chris, FAUX NEWS?)and his sad, hurtful, dangerous policies we will not make any progress...and as long as our elected DEMS believe that it is NOT their job to impeach our current leaders we will reap the "benefits" of these two administrations for generations to come!

Posted by: Dancer on September 4, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

a copy of a letter from a friend of mine:

dear walter:

below is the best piece of insight into gwb that i have ever come across:

pres. bush has treated being the head of the executive branch as though he were a frat boy
on a drunken midnight spree, with his buddies,
in a borrowed suv. he and his buddies couldn't
care less if they bust the shocks, fry the transmission or ruin the tires because it isn't
THEIR car and they intend to ditch it on the side of the road when the gas runs out. they will only be too happy to leave it to others to haul away the wreck and pick up the scattered cans and bottles. and most important, of oourse, to pay for it all.

AFTER THEY LYNCH THAT MFER ON THE TALLEST LAMPPOST ON THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN THEY OUGHT TO ENGRAVE THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH ON HIS TOMBSTONE.


i think my friend is right.

Posted by: wschneid25 on September 4, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

The story here is that Bush denied he knew that the Iraqi military was going to be disbanded (amazing!) but Bremer recently ponied up the letters he sent Bush that show that Bush did know, to cover his own ass.

But the NYT article is written so that one can take what one wants from it, or even to ease you into denying what is right in front of your face.

If you're lazy, and you don't click Kevin's link and just skip to the comments, you'd have no idea from the comments who was at fault.

If you're a real liberal, have a heart today and tell everyone you know what really happened.

Corpus juris, funny you should put it that way, because your comment "covers the ass" of the other commenters.

Posted by: Swan on September 4, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Here's how the Bush administration punishes the person who made one of the biggest mistakes of the occupation:

(quote)
Bremer was awarded on December 14, 2004 the Presidential Medal of Freedom,[8] America's highest civil award for "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." "He was also presented with the Department of Defense award for Distinguished Public Service and the Nixon Library[9] honored him with the "Victory of Freedom Award" for "demonstrating leadership and working towards peace and freedom."[10]
(end quote)

Hey, maybe it was part of the plan!!

Heck of a job, Brownie!!

Posted by: Neal on September 4, 2007 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

The money quote is not in the Times article cited, although the BBC version does quote is directly: "I will parallel this step [dismantling the Baath Party] with an even more robust measure dissolving Saddam's military and intelligence structures to emphasise that we mean business."

For someone who thinks Bremer understands the administration's (retroactively) stated policy, it's easy to read an implicit distinction between "Saddam's military and intelligence structures" -- the cronies loyal to him in particular -- and the career army, which, y'know, belongs to the iraqi nation. (If a future US president talks about dismantling the Bushist apparatus in the DoJ or other agencies, for example, only a republican would go out and announce that the dossolution of the entire executive branch was imminent.)

And I'm fairly sure Bremer wrote it just that way, so that if someone had questioned him, he'd have deniability. So combine a bunch of rogues in high places with a president and staff who don't read and don't think -- and certainly aren't curious enough to ask hard questions, and suddenly half a trillion dollars later you're in deep yogurt.

(This isn't to say that everything would have been rosy if the army hadn't been disbanded. The invasion still would have been a disaster, just not one on a nation-destroying scale.)

Posted by: paul on September 4, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe I missed it Swan, but I didn't notice anybody here asking to have their asses covered. Bush blames Bremmer, Bremmer blames Bush, both of them have been or will soon be blaming their assistants for not telling them what the other guy said. CYA is never pretty.

In the recent debate about "very serious people" in the Washington foreign policy establishment, I said there are no post cold war foreign policy experts in Washington. I stand by my statement. All the current foreign policy establishment's cold war training is for naught. That includes people like Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Rummy, Paul Wolfowitz and all the neocons. It also includes Madelene Albright and everybody advising Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment. None of them have a clue about what they are doing. It will take a generation before all the old timers pass away and false lessons of the relatively simple cold war are forgotten.

Look at it this way, the reason the administration wanted to disband the Iraqi army was to remove any rival to Doug Feith's buddy Chalibi. Of course, the morons didn't have a clue who they were dealing with in Chalibi, nor did they want to find out. He didn't make it to the top. In retrospect, only a fool would have thought Chalibi, the Iranian spy, had a chance.

No thinking, no planning, no nothing. Just a bunch of foreign policy waifs wandering around with more power than they deserved.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 4, 2007 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

"Mr. Bremer referred only fleetingly to his plan midway through his three-page letter and offered no details."
There you go. The plan was on page 2. Bush did not know because Bush is a top sheeter.

Posted by: hollywood on September 4, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

It's even odder. In most recountings of the Iraq war (Fiasco, for example) Bremmer is quoted as saying clearly that this policy (to disband) came from the White House or at least from Washington.

In other words, he now reveals that it WAS HIS IDEA and that he was lying when he claimed (at the time) that he had no choice in the matter.

Standard corporate politics (keep a policy from being contested by invoking a higher authority) but still doesn't make him look good.

Second point: are we really to believe that such a key decision was made so indirectly. No meetings on this, no discussion, no assessment of impacts or how to implement?

Posted by: JohnN on September 4, 2007 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

So, instead of focusing on "was it Bremer" or "was it Memorex" who disbanded the Iraqi Army, why not talk of WHY it was disbanded?

To understand "why", we travel back to Panama (watch the documentary; The Panama Deception; which airs on LINK TV sometimes).

The control of the Panama Canal was about to be pulled from the United States and Noriega refused to renew the treaty. Bush Sr. knew Noriega had ties to the Cartel's (in fact, he counted on the CIA being able to use those very contacts and routes) when Noriega was helped to power by the CIA. After the "invasion" (which was carefully choreographed), the new "leaders" (again, instilled into power by our government and CIA) disbanded their own Army. Why? If they had an Army, the United States couldn't use the excuse that we had to protect the canal.

Now, fast-forward to Iraq. We disband the Iraqi Army. Who is going to provide security to the country then? (DING!) correct... the United States military! Which means we need BASES to house our troops so they can protect the oil... er... country.

2 + 2 DOES equal 4... go figure...

Posted by: Michael Gass on September 4, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

One more bit of evidence of the joy of working for Bush, loyalty, except for the highest up, is a one way street, if you make a mistake, no one cares, but if you carry out government policy, and it goes badly, you are on your own. So, how's that search for a new Attorney General coming along?

Posted by: Northzax on September 4, 2007 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

I have no problem believing that GWB was involved in only two decisions: 1) invade, and 2) secure the oil ministry. I'm sure that he was more than willing to let his subordinates deal with everything else.

Posted by: Disputo on September 4, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

fake news from Sub-Rosa News

Some of the News
That may be True


BUSH RESCINDS ORDER TO DISBAND NAVY

Sydney. September 4, 2007 - President Bush released a statement today saying that he had ordered the Secretary of the Navy to cease immediately all actions dismantling the U.S. Navy.

During a brief press conference, Mr. Bush said that he had acted promptly after learning of the disbanding of the Navy. He added that has always been his policy to maintain the operations of the United States Navy. Fortunately, to date only one cruiser and two destroyers had been sold.

In response to a reporter's question noting the existence of President Bush's executive order telling the Joint Chiefs' to take this action, Mr. Bush said he did not remember such an order, adding that "Hadley has notes on that".

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on September 4, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Bush gets off his mountain bike vacations once every three or four months to provide grand sweeping visions like "give us some of that democracy stuff in Iraq, Jerry." That's why policy seems to go in fits and spurts. The decider makes a decision, then for six months his surrounding loyalists worshipfully exclaim, "Good idea, boss!"

Then every six months or so the bad news starts seeping in past the band of loyalists that surround him, and he makes another decision or provides new guidance to fight the fires that started six months previously.

Posted by: Luther on September 4, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, altara.

Whew - That was a close call on the dismantling of the Sequoia - Wanted to see her sail on Lake Crawford with Shrub at the helm. Bike rack aft, of course.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 4, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld:

"You go to war with the Iraqi Army you disbanded, not the Iraqi Army you wish you had at a later time."

Posted by: trex on September 4, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

The guys aren't stupid, they just don't care. It's like the WMDs. Find WMDs? Great! Don't find WMDs? Makes no difference.

Occupation goes smoothly? Wonderful! Iraq devolves into Chaos? Either way there's a good excuse to keep the money flowing.

The only part they cared about was during the Siege of Falluja when it looked like Shia and Sunni would band together to throw out Americans. That they swiftly and competently put and end to.

Posted by: Boronx on September 4, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

So apt for Shrub to dress in all black yesterday with the troops.

Confused though - Who was he trying to play? Jack Wilson, the character played to perfection by Jack Palance in Shane, or Kid Shillene, the drunk version, or Lash LaRue?

Or does he think he is a William Boyd riding atop a White Mountain Bike, ala Hopalong.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 4, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Great moments in have-your-cake-and-Edith's-too hackery:

In other words Bremer was a loose cannon who sabotaged the President's policies by ill-conceived rogue initiatives. Bringing democracy to Iraq will take much longer than planned because of Bremer.


In any case, I think Bremer was right to dismantle the Army. You've got to do away with all of Saddam's terror apparatus, not just a little of it.

source: http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/09/bush_versus_bremer.php#comments


Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 4, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Just a note to say that Mr Draper seems to have written what he hopes to be a historical account and the NYT has reprinted it. And neither asked Mr Bremer is he had any documents concerning it.
If we hadn't been deluged by similar acts of incredible malfeasance by journalists and writers, I'd be outraged.

Posted by: JohnMcC on September 4, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Disbanding the Iraqi Army wasn't really the wrong call, considering 70% of the national population hated that army's guts. An apt comparison would be declaring a Palestinian state with Israeli settlements inside it, and a settler-run and staffed branch of the IDF renamed "the Palestine Defense Forces" serving as its national army.

In the context of an incompetent, unaware, understaffed occupation it can probably be traced to serious problems. But I'm not convinced that not disbanding the Army wouldn't have led to equally serious problems.

Posted by: glasnost on September 4, 2007 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Bremer "sabotaged" the Great Leader. LOL. One of Bremer's subordinates at the CPA says Bush never had an opportunity to reverse Bremer's decision because "his hand wasn't on the throttle". No kidding. The fact that Bremer could bury info about the disbandment of the Iraqi Army into paragraph seven, or whatever, of his letter tells me how much Bush was interested and involved.

Al sounds like an increasingly desperate robot. Didn't know robots could feel desperation.

Posted by: djinn on September 4, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, despite all this, one of the leading Democratic candidates talks of bipartisanship as if lack of cooperation from the Dems led to this fiasco, and the other about continuation of the same shit.

Even if the Dems win, and I think that they won't, this bullshit will continue, and we all will be worse for it.

No need to call Bush names, as our side has shown that we don't have better leaders either.

Posted by: gregor on September 4, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

It's an interesting debate about whether GwB or Bremer or somebody was specifically to blame for the post-invasion screw-up. But that debate begs the question of the systemic screw-up resulting from the internecine Cabinet warfare before the invasion.

Garner was picked by Rumsfeld because of their long association in and out of government (a snapshot of Garner is here) but why was Rumsfeld picking the guy to run post war Iraq? Because Powell got clobbered in the internal debate and GwB picked Rum-dum-Rummy to set up the administration. The Economist says: The Pentagon wanted Mr Chalabi and his fellow exiles put swiftly in charge.

Garner said all he had been charged with in a meeting, again the Economist:“You're in charge,” he told a gathering of 300 or so mystified tribal leaders and exiles who attended a conference soon after his arrival, hoping to discover what the future held under Iraq's new rulers.

Bremer came after it was apparent the Iraqis couldn't govern with all the institutions shattered. He, and Rumsfeld, because of the Cabinet war, ignored the State Department which had a plan. The squabbling also meant that none of the other departments, particularly State, would volunteer their people to fill the billets in the CPA.

So, GwB picked Rumsfeld over Powell, Rumsfeld picked Garner (to await Chalabi) and then Bremer who issued the orders that contributed mightily to the chaos.

I think the situation is like a huge accident or medical malpractice case. There is contributory negligence on the part of all the parties involved, but how much should be assigned to each?

I'd say GwB gets 50% for picking Rumsfeld over Powell; Rumsfeld gets 25% for lack of planning, picking Garner and then Bremer, and Bremer gets 15% for bad choices and the other 10% goes to Congress for passing the AUMF (with that %age flowing through to the voters for putting them in office).

Posted by: TJM on September 4, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I second Narl's comment on "No End in Sight." Bremer clearly said (and has in other interviews) "I had my orders." He wasn't freelancing.

Posted by: Hoyt Pollard on September 4, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

The Conservative Deflator: My father said to never wish your life away, but the last 16 months of Bush's disastrous presidency simply cannot go by fast enough...

Totally agree. What is the count-down. 504 days?

Posted by: PTate in FR on September 4, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I think the situation is like a huge accident or medical malpractice case.

No effing well isn't. This isn't something that "just happened." It's a goddamn military operation, with people in charge who are paid to be responsible for what happens.

There is contributory negligence on the part of all the parties involved, but how much should be assigned to each?I'd say GwB gets 50% for picking Rumsfeld over Powell; Rumsfeld gets 25% for lack of planning, picking Garner and then Bremer, and Bremer gets 15% for bad choices and the other 10% goes to Congress for passing the AUMF (with that %age flowing through to the voters for putting them in office).

You can split it any way you want as long as Bush gets 100%. He's the damn "Chief Executive." "Commander in Chief." The words mean you don't get to say "Geez, wha happen?" and "I don't remember!" and "Don't ask me I just work here."

Posted by: DrBB on September 4, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

If there's a single person who comes out of this story looking good, I can't find him.

[waving] Yoo-hoo! Over heerrrre! Standing over here in this nice concertina-wire "Free Speech Zone" with Ritter and Blix and every other DFH who told everybody right from the start that invading and occupying Iraq was a lousy, rotten, very stupid, no-good idea.

Not that it's been much fun being right, mind you.

Posted by: Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law on September 4, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

What Lionel Hutz said. And no, it's not fun.

Posted by: thersites on September 4, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I guess i'm not expecting GwB to wake up and suddenly admit that he didn't do a good job and screwed everything up. I am now so totally pissed that the MSM is not asking the hard questions directly to him at every opportunity and nailing his sorry ass to all the failures of his administration. All this crap is so wearysome. It will get a little better when monkeyboy leaves, but it will be years before all of his crap can be straightened out and made right. (or maybe fixed is a better word)

Posted by: Erika on September 4, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

al,

"In other words Bremer was a loose cannon who sabotaged the President's policies by ill-conceived rogue initiatives. Bringing democracy to Iraq will take much longer than planned because of Bremer."

So tell us, al, what was your opinion of Bremer at the time? And when he disanded the army, did you approve or disapprove?


Posted by: bobo the chimp on September 4, 2007 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Longer Al: Dubya's plans were so perfect, all it took was Bremer going all spontaneous on him to throw everything in the toilet. But he shtill believesh in democrashy, and that'sh all that'sh important! And anyway, the surge is working. Yay us! (Gulp)

Posted by: Kenji on September 4, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Mark Kleiman reads this the way I do: It's unclear just how explicitly Bremer's intentions -- which after all were communicated via Rumsfeld -- were actually made to Bush. It's perfectly plausible to me that Rumsfeld told Bush of Bremer's plans only in the vaguest, most general way. Of course if that's the case, then it's to Bush's discredit that he never pursued the matter once it actually happened.

Kleiman also notes the complete absence of Condi Rice from the story.

http://www.samefacts.com/archives/public_management_/2007/09/no_more_cutting_insult.php

Posted by: AndrewBW on September 4, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Very quickly: Name ONE thing...ANY one thing...which this administration has had any involvement with which has turned out well!

I'm waiting.....see ya later....I'll be back!

Posted by: dweb on September 4, 2007 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Name ONE thing...ANY one thing...which this administration has had any involvement with which has turned out well!

Tax cuts; worked a bit like a charm.
Iraq; if you're a contractor

dweb, you make the common mistake of thinking this administration cares anything about you. Look at it from their perspective a voila, it's all good.

Posted by: TJM on September 5, 2007 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly