Tuesday, October 19, 2004

"John Abizaid was the only one who really had his head in the postwar game," General Garner said, referring to the general who served as General Franks's deputy and eventually his successor. "The Bush administration did not. Condi Rice did not. Doug Feith didn't. You could go brief them, but you never saw any initiative come of them. You just kind of got a north and south nod. And so it ends with so many tragic things." -- Jay Garner, the first civilian administrator of Iraq and a retired Army lieutenant general, in today's NY Times

Garner forgot to describe the glazed-over, blank-stare look perceived with the "north and south nod," a look similar to that of the many institutionalized patients in the movie "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest."

Garner's take on things confirms much of what we've been hearing over the last several months, including:

Post-war planning non-existent

WASHINGTON - In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material - and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."

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 administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions.
"We didn't go in with a plan. We went in with a theory," said a veteran State Department officer who was directly involved in Iraq policy.
Rumsfeld's office "was utterly, arrogantly, ignorantly and negligently unprepared" for the aftermath of the war, said Larry Diamond, who was a political adviser in Baghdad from January to March of this year.

It would've been one thing if this administration put the time and "hard work" in concerning plans for a post-war Iraq and THEN things backfired, requiring modifications. However, that's not what happened. Instead, this bunch of slacker no-nothings did not do the necessary work and chose to ignore those people who were most informed. JUST IMAGINE IF CLINTON/GORE DID THIS -- OH, THE REPERCUSSIONS!

But in this case, largely because they're Republicans and not Democrats (yeah, really, that IS a large part of it), they face no harsh fallout, no blistering criticisms in the media, no massive disruptions in staffing, notta. And worse yet, half of this nation is ready to keep them in charge for another term! Once again, it's this sick compulsion to reward ineptness for the sake of fictional promises and symbolism.

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