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March 09, 2008



One of the bigger problems was the generals, like Ricardo Sanchez, who badmouthed everything and everyone as soon as he wasn't in the picture anymore.

The President deferred to the generals, and when the generals weren't good enough, that meant trouble.

Now, thank God, we have Petraeus and Odierno.


Trying to do reconstruction with Clinton Generals and a Clinton State Dept.

How come Colin Powell gets left out??? Eh??? According to Franks, reconstruction was Powell's job. I frankly don't see how Condi gets saddled with that.


Hindsight blindness.

Who had the plan that included the exact Al Qaeda response? How unsporting of them to make the post liberatiion effort so difficult.


Too bad it wasn't a perfect war.

Rick Ballard

I concur with Tommy Franks assessment of Feith. The truly appalling ignorance concerning the nature of islam displayed by Feith & C. had a much greater impact on the post invasion difficulties than anything Franks did or didn't do.

Had Feith & C. displayed even a minimal knowledge of the revenge element of "justice" under islamic doctrine they might been able to provide the President with a coherent range of expectations regarding sectarian violence rather than focusing on the illusory "yearnings" of a population which was extraordiarly less secular than imagined.

There's also the not so improbable possibility that the President knew full well that muslim "justice and honor" required a river of blood to flow for a bit in order for stability to finally ensue.

And then, as Boris notes, AQ joined in the fun, the KSA got rid of quite a number of its most fervent jihadis and... say, didn't Iraq's neighbor to the east contribute to the fun?

All completely forseeable, to be sure. All it would have taken is a brief trip forward in one of these. It's a pity that Wells never furnished the actual plans for the contraption.

There's no doubt that President Bush bears the final responsibility but I don't believe he's any more concerned about it than he is about poll numbers. I kind of like that in a President.

Other Tom

As Eisenhower said, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. Or as Mike Tyson said, everybody's got a plan until they get hit.

At your leisure, go back and take a look at the "planning" for postwar Germany. On the day of the surrender the administration had not decided whether or not to ban all former Nazis from public office--and that's just the beginning. What do you suppose was Lincoln's "plan" for the postwar South? (And brother, whatever it was, the ensuing hundred years sure suggest it was botched.) And so on...

Cecil Turner

Feith also accuses Franks of being uninterested in postwar planning . . .

I'm getting a little tired of this stuff, and am disappointed Feith is engaging in it. Not sure how long you can blame things on Franks, but I'm pretty sure late 2006 is beyond it. The only real military issue was the security situation, and Surge success suggests that could've been turned around at any point where there was a decision to do so. The disconnect appears to've been between the lack of will amongst the generals and the desire to play nice by the diplomats. And sorry, but that's not a planning issue.


I just saw a good piece on McCain on the dreaded 60 Minutes. Some of what McCain said made me mad ("waterboarding is torture, give illegals a pathway") but he came off well, moderate, confident and capable.


What they did not take into consideration was the total lack of faith that the Iraqis, or the Islamic world, had in America and their staying power. Afterall, they had been indoctrinated for years on the "paper tiger" image of America and our ability to "cut and run" at the first sign of blood or difficulty. We didn't follow thru after the First Gulf War, we left the Shiites in the South and the Kurds in the North hanging out to dry and be gassed and killed and dumped in mass graves. We cut and ran in Somali, we did nothing to avenge the USS Cole. Not taking into consideration the hard work that would be necessary to overcome the negative images of America as nothing but talk and no action was no easy task.

And don't think we have entirely overcome this mindset. There are many just waiting out the end of the Bush administration, thinking, with some good reasons to, that a new Democrat administration will allow them back their Islamofascist supremacy.


Hands up all those generals who have planned and executed an invasion,occupation and restructuring of a country the size of Iraq before? Please state which retirement home you reside in or last resting place.


So they are reporting that the democrats are getting behind a mail-in vote for Florida and Michigan. One problem is that Michigan does not have party identification.


Feith is right to blame Condi for failing to make any choices between the competing teams (Dos on one side;DoD on the other.) Powell got his way with Bremer to soothe his feelings after he was left out of the invasion planning andd that was a giant mistake..Bremer was dreadful/

And while we are on Powell, Feith notes that Powell and Armitage undercut the President and the invasion plans at every turn. No! Hard to believe, isn't it?


A mail-in primary sounds just about like the most horrible idea ever. No doubt the return envelopes will be colored bright yellow or something easily identifiable, the easier to be stolen out of mailboxes statewide.


From where I'm sitting it couldn't have played out better. How else could we have had Sunni Muslims joining American forces to expunge the Jihadis and dealing them the devastating PR blow that Westerners never could? It truly is a battle for hearts and minds in the ME and AQ has been rejected by Muslims. That is huge. I expect liberal doofi to get this wrong but I'm flummoxed by the number of right wingers who seem to be playing checkers in a chess match. I think Bush is both a hero for taking the fight to the enemy and using their own energy against them while standing up unflinchingly to the most vicious drubbing ever from both sides, and a man who is able to coax good luck out of thin air. Yeah I don't agree with everything he's done, but jeez he gets the biggest, most dangerous, most difficult right, against all odds, and all anyone can do is bitch, bitch, bitch. Pathetic.


Feith is right to blame Condi for failing to make any choices between the competing teams (Dos on one side;DoD on the other.)

Yes, but I doubt that the national security adviser has the power to settle such disputes. That's a couple of heavyweights there to deal with.

She needed to present the matter to Bush and he had to settle it.

Question is: Did she bring it to Bush and he ignored it? Or did she fail to notify him of the matter? Given the access she's had historically with Bush, I doubt that Card would have closed the gate on her.

Or perhaps she did bring it to Bush and both Rumsfeld and Powell ignored him?

What was it Machiavelli said?: You can judge a Prince by his Ministers.

Where's Woodward when we need him?


IMO, the lack of preplanning for what the Anti America Americans, especially the Democrat Politicians would do was a major error. They had already demonstrated during the Vietnam War how far they would go to insure America would not win, and nothing was done about it. Why did anyone think Iraq would be any different?
When the leading Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee flies to Syria in Jan 2002 to insure that they get the latest American intelligence long before the War even began, it should have been a clue that the Democrat political leaders intended to hand this war to our enemies just like they did Vietnam. When we have Democrat Senators and Rep shouting about over committed troops while their supporters block shipments of war supplies and destroy recruiting stations
to prevent the military getting replacements, America has a serious Anti America Americans problem that is going to have to be faced.


The problem with that conception of Islamic justice, is that more properly applies to the Sunni not the Shia. They formed the first post colonial govt under Abdlrahman
Al Ghailani; the naquib (head of the religious guild) in Baghdad. Despite the fact that they shaped the political, cultural, economic structures of the society, they formed the Golden Square; a pale imitation of the Black Shirts, led by Ghailani's son. They tried to destabilize the govt in 1935 and 1941; holding power on the last attempt, until Churchill sent a small expedition under Auchinleck to dislodge Ghailani's Arab volunteers. This did not happen before Ghailani's forces, staged the famous farhud 'pogrom' of the Jewish residents of Baghdad. That book by Nicholson Baker, Human Smoke, is reviewed in today's Herald favorably; and Iraq is regarded as a failure because??? This event, led to the massive outflow of Iraqi jews to Israel, preceding the administration of Musa Pachachi's ill fated intervention in the first Arab Israeli
war. The Shia were marginalized in politics
and the professions, after that period consequently they formed the core of the Iraqi Communist Party; the details of which are laid out in Hanna Batatu's massive tome
on the subject. The Baathists, a dialectical
export from Europe, rather fatefully recreated their Nazi exemplars policies.The
'first family of Shiism, the Sadrs, went from a Prime Ministership to the founding of the Da'wa islamic movement, with funds from the nearby Pahlevi allies. Hussein returned the favor by sending Khomeini to
Paris, where he plotted the collapse of the
Sassanid regime. And the Badr brigades arose
from rebellious Shia elements in the Iraqi
army, who fled to Iran, after Saddam's ill considered intervention in 1980-82.

In this context, it's almost remarkable that
the Shia held out so long before starting the Civil War. So in that sense, the past was prologue. Salafism turns out to be toxic in large doses, hence the key ingredient in the success of the surge. Feith I suspect like the majority of neocons were oppossed to a prolonged occupation; thinking that the more politically adept and financially successful exiles, could make a go of it. However, Iraq hasn't had normal politics in anything less than 50-55 years. And the Tikriti Abu Nasr oligarchy, whose echoes are seen in Obama's Auchi ties to Rezko; has also been a shell of what it should be.


Paul:"Yeah I don't agree with everything he's done, but jeez he gets the biggest, most dangerous, most difficult right, against all odds, and all anyone can do is bitch, bitch, bitch. Pathetic."

My feelings exactly.



Democralypse Now



It is my impression that Bush had to go when he did whilst the political will was there.As is clear from the Democrat surrrenderthon which followed the invasion,Iraq was only half the battle,the main front was and still is America.



Saw this item regarding Iraq and Boeing. The Surrender at any cost crowd is going to have to spin this way to win over the wobbly WA delegation. Maybe we can get some comments from Sen. McCain too.

Also read back in Jan that Iraq's oil exports are expected to increase 400k/day in the coming months (from 2.2 mbpd to 2.7 mbpd). That ought to make the Peakers a bit red faced.


I think we should keep track of great lines about The Clintons.

In addition to Peggy Noonans "She will wear a great nation down."
Andrew Sullivan, the ultimate jerk, had this to say about the Clinton couple:

" Up close they are an intolerable, endless, soul-sapping soap opera."

The Clintons, a horror film that never ends

Sorry, if this has been posted. I am catching up. (All the kids have gone home and it was sunny today. Yeahhhh!)


At last it can be revealed what the "H" i Barak H.Obama's name stands for,it stands for


"And don't think we have entirely overcome this mindset." When one looks at the vote count in the 2004 US Presidential election and realize that almost half of all American voters voted for the American who did (IMO) more in the Vietnam defeat to insure that no one could ever again trust the word of any American who promised to defend them; it should be obvious that we are nowhere near overcoming that mindset.




I'm getting a little tired of this stuff,

I've been tired of this stuff.

Since after the 2002 mid-term elections, democrats have undermined Bush at every turn. Instead of constructive criticism, they used destructive criticism. Had we stood united behind the effort, instead of beginning the drum beat of quagmire while our troops were still on the road to Baghdad, things might have turned out differently. The wedge that AQ wanted was taken up by the democrats and all for control in Washington. After democrats lost in 2002, the pundits on the left went to work on Bush's credibility, which was high and stayed high, until the Bush lied, kids died, Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson, got traction. Since then, they have worked their hardest to keep his strongest positive very low. Some of it I blame on Bush for not fighting back more effectively. He should have come out swinging, as I know he can.

Republicans could have held both houses for decades if corruption had not been rampant. I doubt they have learned their lesson.


I should have kept reading. Others expressed what I was trying to say, better.



I expect liberal doofi to get this wrong but I'm flummoxed by the number of right wingers who seem to be playing checkers in a chess match.

I take it that you read the Bush failure article in the Weekly Standard too.

I was thinking about the price spike in oil and the upside to all this is that when the price crash comes (it always does) that it will put incredible pressure on Iran and Venezuela because the ruling elites have been using oil revenues like their own personal piggybank.

Other Tom

The Democratic party's turnaround at the first sign of difficulty in the Iraq venture is the most disgraceful political event of my lifetime. It is far worse than the very worst interpretation of "McCarthyism," and infinitely more costly to the well-being of the nation.

After Pearl Harbor there were a few--a very few--Republicans who sought to make hay out of FDR's unprepredness. They were rightly and immediately shamed into silence. The corresponding effort at the first indication of trouble in Iraq was a wholesale Democratic effort to characterize Bush as having "lied." Shame on these people, and God damn their souls. They have shown themselves to be utter moral cowards; never forget that they made as their 2004 standard-bearer a man who came back from four months in Vietnam and stabbed his comrades-in-arms in the back, en masse. And the son of a bitch came close to winning.

This is no country for old men, I'm afraid. And heaven help the young ones.


Andrew Sullivan, the ultimate jerk, had this to say about the Clinton couple:

" Up close they are an intolerable, endless, soul-sapping soap opera."

Takes one to know one.


Democratic party's turnaround at the first sign of difficulty in the Iraq venture is the most disgraceful political event

They couldn't help it. It was just too much to watch W exploit 911 and force them into doing things, terrible things, they had to undure with their precious freedom of dissent squelched and horribly stifled choking the life right out of their broken spirits.


(That would be in reference to Sullivan of course, not you, Ann!)



You said it pretty well.


I think we can count on there being a flood of this type of book by immature and insecure officials like Feith who were on duty during the past 8 years.

I suspect their argument will be variations on the one several of my daughters used unsuccessfully when bad events (broken lamps, missing cookies, etc., etc.) seemed to have occurred in their presence:

"It wasn't me", or "I didn't do it", or, my personal favorite, "Ken [Barbie's boyfriend who was always around somewhere] did it."

The arguments will be just as effective as my daughters were.

Unlike Eisenhower, who, on June 1944, wrote out an alternate message in the event the Normandy invasion failed in which he took full responsibility, these officials have only the necessary courage or integrity for history's bit players.


OT:"Shame on these people, and God damn their souls. They have shown themselves to be utter moral cowards; never forget that they made as their 2004 standard-bearer a man who came back from four months in Vietnam and stabbed his comrades-in-arms in the back, en masse. And the son of a bitch came close to winning."

My thoughts exactly.


What the poor sods don't understand is that their dream of a marvelous world works a hell of a lot better when there is a force for civilization and order, at which the US and a variable coalition of the functioning democracies fill the bill a lot better than the UN or other permanent transnational organization does.




I expect liberal doofi to get this wrong but I'm flummoxed by the number of right wingers who seem to be playing checkers in a chess match.

I take it that you read the Bush failure article in the Weekly Standard too."

I read someone's take on it. I forget who. Anyway Bush failure as a topic is of no interest to me. I've heard it all ad nauseum and I'm revolted by the lack of respect and gratitude for the man for what he's done and had to endure personally. My point is that all the bitching and moaning about how the post invasion should or should not have been orchestrated is stupid considering the only way the Jihadis could turn the Iraqis against them was for them to get a foothold, be the insufferable monsters they are, try to start a civil war, fail, and have the Americans come to the rescue. Which fortunately, whether by luck or design, is what happened. The big picture here is that Muslims are rejecting Islamism in favor of some flavor of democratic capitalism. I thought that was the whole point? Five years and 3000 American casualties is too steep a price to pay for shifting the momentum of the ME away from the former and toward the latter? The mass myopia is staggering. I'm seeing a chance for avoiding a World War that I thought was inevitable. I expect the left, which is composed of useful idiots, outright traitors, and clueless adolescents to totally miss the point. Republicans and conservatives I hold to a higher standard, but what is wrong with them?


Other Tom, My admiration of you grows by every word you post.

Thanks for the link. I finally agree with Daschle:

"It may be the first time in history that the person who is running number two would offer the person running number one the number two position," Daschle told "Meet the Press."

I, also, think this could backfire on The Clintons, Big Time!
Once again, they are putting black people in their place....Second!!

(Second-rate, Second hand, Second fiddle, Second banana, Second base, Second best, Second class, Second thought, Second-run, etc.)

That would make a great ad for Obama, IMHO! :)


"Second place,O
He's just a second rate Shmoo.
He'd never get the prize he so adores...."
(Sung to the tune of Second Hand Rose"


(That would be in reference to Sullivan of course, not you, Ann!)

Porchlight, LOL, Don't worry....smooches!


I'm with Rick and SteveMG on this.


LOL Clarice,

I could see Omarosa singing that song:

MO Second Hand Rose


McCarthyism has been swiftboated. The Sen was a jackass, but what he did was necessary. Our government was riddled with Communists and sympathizers. (Sorta like today, huh?)


crank news


How many missed this statement ?

In his statement, al-Sadr said: “Many persons who are close to me have split for materialistic reasons or for wanting to be independent, and this was one of the reasons behind my absence.

“Yet I still have many people loyal and faithful to me and I advise them to direct society toward education and teaching.”

He said, “the presence of the occupier” and his movement’s failure “to liberate Iraq ... as well as the disobedience of many people and their deviation from the right course has pushed me into isolation in protest over this.”

Yes, Moktada al-Sadr has chickened out and moved permanently to Iran, where he claims he’s studying for his Doctor of Ayatollah degree.


He needs to grow up to fill his Daddy's shoes. Sistani beat him in the mosques.


I wonder what Madelaine Albright's NSA contributed to the Iraqi-Liberation plan. Anything?

Anyway, Feith fails to mention the political context that Bush was forced to work in. Recall that, like Bush's tax-cuts, the "Surge" was hotly opposed in the Legislature and liberal media, and that Bush had to lay the political groundwork for its eventual enactment.

Of course, Feith and friends opposed Bush's every effort to lay this groundwork at the time. As a direct result, Bush was forced to pull our troops back to the protective Green Zone to reduce IED casualties, and to let AQ go on killing Iraqis. Perversely, the deaths caused by the politicization of the War back home wound up greasing the rails for the Surge anyway.

Feith should let History write itself...but, like petulant children, our literary revisionists can't wait for the ink to dry on the first draft of history before they start pouring-on the red-ink.




We do not need a rerun of the 1970s.


From what I've read so far, Chalabi and an interim government were all set up and ready to go - with a planned quick withdrawal of most US troops - the idea was to take Saddam down, set up the interim government and get out quickly. That plan was torpedoed by Chalabi's political enemies in the US, including high officials in the adminstration, CIA and State.

Timmerman attributes this to many factors, including personal grudges, such as the fact that Armitage wanted to be secretary of defense (or under secdef), Powell having his own ideas - silently undermining others in his attempt to establish his "legacy" or some such; CIA and State entrenched dems trying to usurp policy-making;the general belief that the Bush admin was illegitimate.

He ties all this together into a big conspiracy (I doubt that), but my point is, that right up until the fall of Baghdad, the war-planners thought the Chalabi government would be set up quickly.

We're leaving out the radio station debaucle - never made the news of course, but we were supposed to be broadcasting into Iraq or in Iraq, but the station never went on the air, so the other Arabic stations took over. This was crucial to the plan. It fits right in with not even trying to get our troops in through Turkey - we only had half an invasion force.

The Iraqi army was supposed to be in the service of the new Chalabi government, but since there was none, the army was disbanded, and those men unemployed.

I agree with Timmerman that someone pulled the rug out at the last mintue, I just don't think it was once coherent plan, it was several different groups/individuals, each with their own agenda.

The old addage - Bush deserved it, he trusted his people. He did pretty good considering.

It will be interesting to see what Feith has to say.

Now - suddenly, after all this time, the Senate Intel Committee has completed their investigation into "Bush's prewar claims" (minus a few details). click my name for a quick link if you haven't seen the news report.


Yes,SD http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/10/richard_armitage_and_the_quiet.html>Armitage and Radio Liberty


It is of course Liberty TV not radio Liberty and I don't know why my peabrain constantly reverses them--but it does. Nevertheless, it is but one example of the perfidies of the Armitage-Powells.


Very interesting, SunnyDay, and thanks. It seems on balance that intelligence stank and Bushco was generally justified. It'll be fascinating to see the minority addendum.


I'd still like to know how Chalabi got torpedoed, and particularly who ordered the invasion of his household. He and Sistani are the real powers over there, the Master of the Bazaar, and the Master of the Mosque.


This is a repeat of something I posted a long time ago elsewhere.The problem is that the prize of ruling the worlds only superpower is simply too much for domestic politicians to resist.
Secondly the immense power brings with it a belief that whatever happens in the international arena is irrelevant to America.There is a belief,inculcated by the Vietnam conflict,that a battle lost here,a war lost there is no consequence,America will thrive regardless.
The smoke filled back room politics of America are regarded as a model which will work when negotiating with other cultures.A deal can always be made.This will not work with those who have no intention of keeping to the deal,cultures who believe that agreeing buys time until they can attack again.
Foreign policy becomes a part of domestic politics,a pawn in the great power game.Sadly any enemy only has to manipulate American domestic politics,wait out the current president and they are home free.


You should all google 'Rambabe'.


The only "perfect" script for war is written in Hollywood ... where you can re-write and do-over all you want.

I, for one, see our post-war planning "failures" as a positive thing. It means we don't get enough practice actually doing it.

Other Tom

PeterUK, I well remember how flustered LBJ was at Ho Chi Minh's refusal to play the game in accordance with US Senate rules regarding pork and patronage. LBJ was proposing a vast public works project, a sort of Vietnamese Tennessee Valley Authority, if only Ho would call it quits in the fighting. He was just bewildered that somebody could turn down such munificence, and instead would opt for fighting on to victory.

So LBJ and the wizard McNamara came up with their gradualist strategy: we'll hit 'em a bit here, see how they like it, and if that doesn't work we'll hit e'm a bit harder, and a bit farther north. The very name of the bombing campaign, Rolling Thunder, carried the theme of gradually intensifying the effort. My father was the J-3 of the Joint Staff during much of this period, and I think the sheer amateurism of this approach may have shortened his life. He and his professional colleagues were simply appalled at this reluctance to use superior military force as it has always been used throughout history, viz. to launch an overwhelming campaign of maximum ferocity to bring the matter to a close as promptly as possible, and ultimately with far less bloodshed. But no, McNamara and his whiz kids knew better...


Ooooh Elliott Spitzer involved in a prostition ring. Breaking News!

Yes there is a god.


Oh, Jane! I can't wait - where?

Kim - the story is in "Shadow Warriors" Ken Timmerman. He may have some of it on his website. I gave my copy of the book to someone or I would scan and email it to you. :(


Clarice, I bet my CRS can beat your CRS. :D


It's everywhere - the Emporer's Ring, which was busted last week. Feb 13th was the fateful day in DC. (Or maybe he's been visiting for a long time) Why in hell would he use his own name. Apparently the 'ring" was broken up last week and a lawyer sold him out.

Tee Hee


Plus la change!

Politicians have no comprehension of masculist societies where "face" is all.


Elliott Spizer - New York Times He has a mention in the house organ.


Fox says he came out, apologized to family, took no questions and left


Is it Bush's fault yet?


We've got a winner in the center row: Peter's the first to use "Spitzer" and "organ" in the same comment!



When I read the NYT article it is surrounded by ads to 'Reconnect at the Ritz-Carlton' and 'Send a hint to your special someone'. I don't know whether google ad did that or a layout person, but whoever did deserves a Pulitzer.


Oh boy, a whole new avocation; a collection of the unintentional irony of google ads.

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