Sometimes things are so obvious that there maybe a tendency to think that they are not worth noting, surely everyone sees the obvious. Still as Galileo had his Pope Paul V and Cardinal Bellarmine rational Americans have the nationalist Right all too willing to blame the press, Democrats or any passer by for their inability to comprehend reality, Bush’s Top Ten Mistakes in Iraq during the Past 4 Years
10. Refusing to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld when his incompetence and maliciousness became apparent in the growing guerrilla war and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.
9. Declining to intervene in the collapsed economy or help put Iraqi state industries back on a good footing, on the grounds that the “market” would magically produce prosperity effortlessly.
8. Invading and destroying the Sunni Arab city of Fallujah in November, 2004, thus pushing the Sunni Arabs into the arms of the insurgency in protest and ensuring that they would boycott the January, 2005, parliamentary elections, a boycott that excluded them from power and from a significant voice in crafting the new constitution, which they then rejected.
7. Suddenly announcing that the US would “kill or capture” young nationalist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in spring, 2004, throwing the country into massive turmoil for months.
The other six are at the link. Note number eight. Ideally or even as a practical matter it would have calmed things down at least a degree or two if the Shia and Sunni shared power. The Shia, you know the majority religion of Iran now has all the power in Iraq’s government. Oops Bush and the neocons say to themselves as about two American a day are killed in Iaq, all that cheer leading for the Shia instead of a balanced representational government might have been a mistake, so now the conservative grand wizards of American foreign policy are secretly funneling money to the Sunni. Because of Bush and the neocons glaring lack of insights into the religious and tribal loyalties in Iraq did Bush and his genuflecting apologists refuse to see the error of their ways. Of course not – thus we now have the escalation or “surge” which more then anything is about literally dying for Bush’s screw-ups.
Ordinary screw-ups are inevitable, but to really screw-up you have to drink the kool-aid, Pentagon withholds critical Iraqi troop info from Congress
A Government Accountability Office document says that the Pentagon won’t tell Congress what shape the Iraqi army is in. GAO official Joseph A. Christoff said in a prepared statement to a House armed services subcommittee that the Department of Defense is refusing to provide the GAO and Congressional committees with the department’s Transition Readiness Assessments, monthly reports that include detailed information on the training and capabilities of Iraqi army units.
….What Christoff said, repeatedly, is that without the information collected in the TRAs, Congress has no way of knowing whether Pentagon requests for funding to train and support Iraqi troops are reasonable, and no way of knowing whether the expenditures are producing results. These are obviously things the Pentagon doesn’t want Congress to know, probably for the usual reasons: the administration doesn’t think Congress has any business butting into the matter, and the news isn’t good.
Let me make some excuse for the big bad Pentagon. Like every institution in America from corporations to large universities there is an inner system of structural politics – anyone that has worked in an office knows what I mean. The Pentagon is no exception. Under Bush and Unka Karl we have a Pentagon on egg shells. No dissenting views allowed. Speak up and say say something about equipment or troop readiness and just coincidently you’ll probably be taking an early retirement. The spokespersons we hear from out of the Pentagon are spokesman because they’ve shown the kind of ideological loyalty, rather then loyalty to facts that Bush and the Right have always placed above what was good for the troops or America. This is one of the defining characteristic of modern Republican nationalism. Ideology first, abet painted over with a thin coat of patriotism then sell it to the American public like a new improved deodorant.
Democrats on Capitol Hill were privately urging reporters on Wednesday to press the Bush administration to explain why in the thousands of pages of e-mail messages and documents turned over to investigators, there is almost nothing from Nov. 16 to Dec. 7, the day seven of the firings occurred. In contrast, there are hundreds of pages from the weeks after the dismissals. One of the last e-mail messages before this period was sent by D. Kyle Sampson, then chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, to Harriet E. Miers, then the White House counsel, and includes a request that the White House approve the plan. “We’ll stand by for a green light from you,” said the Nov. 15 e-mail message.
“If they issue subpoenas, the offer is withdrawn,” President Bush’s press secretary, Tony Snow, said Tuesday, though he quickly tried to put the onus on the Democrats by saying he hoped they would accept what he repeatedly described as an “extraordinarily generous offer.”
Republican lawmakers have lined up behind the White House for now, saying that they considered subpoenas premature given that the administration had produced thousands of pages of documents and allowed some Justice Department officials to testify publicly.
Would those missing document be part of what Snow describes as the administration’s generosity. The Senate is being generous in allowing the Whitehouse some time to rethink their shaky Constitutional stance, obvious lack of ethics and clumsy duplicity in the U.S. attorney purge.
DETROIT — A Republican congressman from Michigan said parts of Iraq are no more dangerous than Detroit, drawing the ire of the mayor’s office and the state Democratic Party.
During an interview Monday with WILS-AM, Rep. Tim Walberg said the returning troops he has talked with “indicate to me that 80 to 85 percent, in a conservative fashion, of the country is reasonably under control, at least as well as Detroit or Chicago or any of our other big cities. That’s an encouraging sign.”
I think that the dead-ender Rep. Tim Walberg (R) has a very good point. Too bad he is like the kid who has memorized how to solve a quadratic equation and doesn’t really understand how he got the results or what they mean. If Iraq is no more violent then Detroit ot Chicago then there is absolutely no reason to have American troops there. Let the Iraqis police their own country. There is nothing like cherry picking, and cherry picking anecdotal evidence at that, “indicate to me that 80 to 85 percent, in a conservative fashion, of the country is reasonably under control, at least as well as Detroit or Chicago or any of our other big cities. That’s an encouraging sign.” Support the Troops By Sending Them to War!
The opposition to the war shown by these soldiers and their families is consistent with polls of soldiers. More than a year ago a Zogby poll showed that 73% of soldiers in Iraq believed the U.S. should come home within a year. And a poll by Military Times found that their readers, who are generally more senior and career military, found a majority opposed the war.
Here a great idea. Since Detroit and Chicago are stepped in violence we could bring the troops home, deputize them and get our domestic crime under control that should make Walberg happy, if prioritizing our resources for use where they are needed most is his utter most concern. Inspector General Details Failures of Iraq Reconstruction
The U.S. government was unprepared for the extensive nation-building required after it invaded Iraq, and at each juncture where it could have adjusted its efforts, it failed even to understand the problems it faced, according to the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.
In a stinging, wide-ranging assessment of U.S. reconstruction efforts, Stuart W. Bowen Jr. said that in the days after the invasion, the Defense Department had no strategy for restoring either government institutions or infrastructure. And in the years since, other agencies joined the effort without an overall plan and without a structure in place to organize and execute a task of such magnitude.
All of which has lead to the deaths of husbands, mothers, sisters, brothers, and fathers that Republicans swear day after day that they really really care about.
Stanley Motss: It’s all, you know, thinking ahead thinking ahead.
Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean: It’s like being a plumber.
Stanley Motss: Yea, it’s like a plumber: do your job right and nobody should notice. But when you fuck it up, everything gets full of shit.
from the movie Wag the Dog (1997)