to be persuaded to do something they had already decided to do, which would some day result in a sale

Those of us not cooking up the latest crack-pot theories about Saddam’s supposed links to al-Queda or WMDs thought that whatever the real reason behind Bush’s obsession with Iraq that once the invasion began that this was serious business. That competence, execution, thinking things through had to, must trump all other considerations, the stakes in terms of lives and costs were far too great to think otherwise, but no Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq

To pass muster with O’Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn’t need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.

O’Beirne’s staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade .

Endowed with $18 billion in U.S. reconstruction funds and a comparatively quiescent environment in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion, the CPA was the U.S. government’s first and best hope to resuscitate Iraq — to establish order, promote rebuilding and assemble a viable government, all of which, experts believe, would have constricted the insurgency and mitigated the chances of civil war. Many of the basic tasks Americans struggle to accomplish today in Iraq — training the army, vetting the police, increasing electricity generation — could have been performed far more effectively in 2003 by the CPA.

But many CPA staff members were more interested in other things: in instituting a flat tax, in selling off government assets, in ending food rations and otherwise fashioning a new nation that looked a lot like the United States. Many of them spent their days cloistered in the Green Zone, a walled-off enclave in central Baghdad with towering palms, posh villas, well-stocked bars and resort-size swimming pools.

If Iraq was to be a model for democracy in the middle-east why was it used like a lab animal from the basement of the Free Enterprise Institute. The rebuilding of Iraq became part of the ideological march of conservatives, a Katrina of the middle-east. If they failed it would be easy to blame the violence. The violence that might not have become so intense if the average Iraqi felt that the most fundamental institutions and infrastructure was on the way to being stabilized. For conservatives Iraq rebuilding cash became became a suitcase full of candy that had been thrown out into the street and they ran out of the woodwork to grab a piece. These are the people that say they deserve your the vote this November and in 2008. The same people that are just getting around to this, U.S. asks finance chiefs to limit Iran’s access to banks

He’s back. Arch neocon Stephen F. Hayes has a rant up about the recent revelations in the Senate Intelligence Report, Intelligence Report? Very bad. by Stephen F. Hayes 09/25/2006, Volume 012, Issue 02. In short Hayes connects Saddam with just about every mid-east Islamic organization that has ever existed in the middle-east,

As early as 1982, the Iraqi regime was openly supporting, training, and funding the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization opposed to the secular regime of Hafez Assad.

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is a group started in 1940 as an off shoot of the original brotherhood started in Egypt. It is a fact that Saddam supported this conservative Islamic group against the Syrian government of the seventies, so how would Saddam support of some inter-Syrian political group against Syria count as a tie to the kind of international terror that al-Queda engages in and since when did the neocons develop a bleeding heart for Syria. If physical presence and financial support constitutes links then why does Hayes continue to gloss over the multitude of links between fundamentalists political groups and Egypt ( the USAs second largest recipient of financial aid), Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Pakistan. There are literally dozens of groups that have had various mixes of political goals in the middle-east and whose alliances have ebbed and flowed with degrees of radicalism and alliances of convenience. The way Hayes spins things to make Iraq, who was a U.S. ally with full diplomatic recognition during the Reagan administration the center of especially egregious terror activity is to display a stunning amount of dishonesty. Hayes continues to indulge in the Big Lie, reeling off names and dates knowing that it creates the illusion of knowledge where obviously knowledge is lacking and at the same time spinning a string of tales that his lap dog right-wing followers eat up without doing a single fact check..
Hayes also mentions that Saddam had relations with a Sudanese fundamentalist Hassan al-Turabi. What is odd about making that association is that when Saudi Arabia wouldn’t help Osama Bin Laden organize a jihad against Saddam’s presence in Kuwait, that is when Bin Laden went to the Sudan where Hassan al-Turabi granted him freedom to orgainize a jihad against Saddam. This sequnce of events is very well documented, si when Hayes fails to include that information that is a pretty big sin of ommission. He clearly omits this information to leave the impression that Saddam had “good” relations with  Hassan al-Turabi, which was not the case.

Hayes mentions one of the right’s favorite links between Iraq and terrorism Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was involved in the first World Trade Center attack of 1993. While of Iraqi heritage, he was American born. Once again while not a great leap for the right, to say that since Yasin was of Iraqi heritage there is a definitive link with Saddam. If your cousin robs a bank does that make you guilty too. If we apply that simplistic standard, why not attack Saudi Arabia since most of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudis. It is also known that Iraq offered to turn over Yasin to the U.S. in return for lifting sanctions. Some suspect that it may have been a show, but Leslie Stahl of CBS interviewed Yasin from an Iraqi prison where he was in hand cuffs and prison garb. Hayes suggests some unsubstantiated rumors,

There is no mention of documents recovered in postwar Iraq confirming that the Iraqi regime provided Yasin with housing and funding after his return to Iraq until the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003. Vice President Dick Cheney has discussed these documents in television and radio interviews.

Here we go again with Dick Cheney’s knowledge and documents that he and he alone possesses. Wouldn’t common sense dictate that with the administration’s poll numbers are in the high thirties and an upcoming election in which it looks like the Democrats will gain control of the House, that Dick Cheney would produce said documents.
Hayes then moves on the Ayman al-Zawahiri. Lets pretend for a moment that we’re trying to find connections between top al-Queda operatives and certain countries we might start by asking where Ayman al-Zawahiri is from. Egypt. He states emphatically that Ayman al-Zawahiri and Saddam were connected, but to date no proof has ever been provided of a collaborative relationship. Even Hayes can’t do much better then site the statement of one captured member of Saddam’s Mukhabarat about a meeting with an Egytian Islamic group and a quote from Joe Klein. There is more, but I’m too short on time to run down all the facts right now. I think Hayes is aware of that just the shear volume of lies, partial truths, distortions, and exaggerations will just wear down some of his adversaries. He weaves bits and pieces from here and there, always without any real documentation just to plant the possibility that his spin could be partially true. That is the game, to keep their version of the narrative going. Like all conspiracy nuts Hayes knows that his have gained a foothold and the die hard kool-aid drinkers will soak it all up without question.

They were his symbols of truth and beauty. Regarding each new intricate mechanism—metal lathe, two-jet carburetor, machine gun, oxyacetylene welder—he learned one good realistic-sounding phrase, and used it over and over, with a delightful feeling of being technical and initiated.

The customer joined him in the worship of machinery, and they came buoyantly up to the tenement and began that examination of plastic slate roof, kalamein doors, and seven-eighths-inch blind-nailed flooring, began those diplomacies of hurt surprise and readiness to be persuaded to do something they had already decided to do, which would some day result in a sale.

from Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis