Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How Bush and Saddam F**ked up Iraq

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How Bush and Saddam F**ked up Iraq

    QUOTE
    This intelligence failure about Iraqi society is what is killing us today. Because what really happened after the U.S. invasion is that what little Iraqi state existed just fell apart in our hands, like a broken vase. And then Rummy let the shards get looted. So yes, when the Bush team says rebuilding Iraq is like rebuilding Germany, it's half right. It is like rebuilding Germany, but not post-World War II Germany. It is like rebuilding medieval, pre-modern Germany - the Germany of clans and feudal fiefs, before there was a state.[/b][/quote]

    October 7, 2005
    What Were They Thinking?
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    When the definitive history of the Iraq war is written, future historians will surely want to ask Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush each one big question. To Saddam, the question would be: What were you thinking? If you had no weapons of mass destruction, why did you keep acting as though you did? For Mr. Bush, the question would be: What were you thinking? If you bet your whole presidency on succeeding in Iraq, why did you let Donald Rumsfeld run the war with just enough troops to lose? Why didn't you establish security inside Iraq and along its borders? How could you ever have thought this would be easy?

    The answer to these questions can be found in what was America's greatest intelligence failure in Iraq - and that was not about W.M.D.

    Let me explain. While visiting the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr last week, I spent a morning watching the commanders of the Iraqi Navy hold a staff meeting, while their British and U.S. advisers looked on. On the one hand, you felt as if they were doing a pretty good imitation of a British command briefing. On the other hand, the slightly ragged quality left you feeling that if you pulled the British and U.S. advisers out tomorrow, the whole Iraqi Navy would collapse. The human capital and institutional foundation are simply not there yet. "How these guys ever fought the Iranians for eight years, I will never know," a British trainer remarked to me.

    After that staff meeting, a British Royal Navy officer who was escorting me suggested that we go to Basra to see the flea market there. He said I could find anything I wanted, because so many Iraqis have had to hock basic household goods - stereos, refrigerators, air-conditioners, cars - to survive the last decade under Saddam.

    Message: Failing to find W.M.D. was a big intelligence failure. But the even bigger failure - the one that is the source of all our troubles today - was the failure to understand just how devastated Iraq's society, economy and institutions had become - after eight years of war with Iran, a crushing defeat in Gulf War I and then a decade of U.N. sanctions.

    But I think Saddam knew how busted and bankrupt his country and army were. Therefore, he never wanted to completely erase the impression that he had W.M.D. Saddam lived in a den of wolves. The hint of W.M.D. was his only deterrent shield left against his neighbors, his enemies at home and the West. (This was alluded to in the Duelfer W.M.D. report.) So he tried to allow just enough U.N. inspections to clear him on W.M.D., while playing just enough cat and mouse with the U.N. to leave the impression that he still had something dangerous in the closet.

    The Bush team, and the C.I.A., not only failed to learn that Saddam had no W.M.D., they failed to appreciate how devastated Iraqi society really was. The Bush team, listening largely to exiles who had not lived in Iraq for years, thought that there were much more of an Iraqi middle class and more institutions than actually existed. So Mr. Bush thought taking over Iraq would be easy. That is the only way I can explain his behavior.

    This intelligence failure about Iraqi society is what is killing us today. Because what really happened after the U.S. invasion is that what little Iraqi state existed just fell apart in our hands, like a broken vase. And then Rummy let the shards get looted. So yes, when the Bush team says rebuilding Iraq is like rebuilding Germany, it's half right. It is like rebuilding Germany, but not post-World War II Germany. It is like rebuilding medieval, pre-modern Germany - the Germany of clans and feudal fiefs, before there was a state.

    As this column has long insisted, we are not doing nation-building in Iraq. We are doing nation-creating. It is hugely important, but hugely difficult. I can only assume the C.I.A. didn't know how broken Iraq was, because if the president knew and still put in so few troops, it was criminal.

    Sadly, what Iraq desperately needs most from the U.S. today are A.I.D. workers, State Department advisers and technical experts from every agency of the government who can help rebuild Iraq's human capital. But people are afraid to go. And who can blame them? We have never established basic public order there, because we never had enough troops.

    The president's speech on terrorism yesterday was excellent. He made clear, better than ever, why winning in Iraq is so important to the wider struggle against Islamo-fascism. But it only makes me that much more angry that he fought this war as though it would be easy - never asking for any sacrifice, any military draft, any tax hikes or any gasoline tax - and that he tolerated so much incompetence along the way.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nation-creating, I assume, takes even longer than nation-building. Get comfortable people, this is going to be a long ride. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif[/img]

    But if it makes the NY subways safer, it's well worth it. Right?
    Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

    "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

  • #2
    I saw the title of this thread and thought, "By God, I've GOT to read this one!"

    Comment


    • #3
      QUOTE(Reggie Cleveland @ Oct 7 2005, 10:48 AM) Quoted post

      I saw the title of this thread and thought, "By God, I've GOT to read this one!"
      [/b][/quote]

      Glad you did. Information can sometimes be helpful.

      Carry on.
      Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

      "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

      Comment


      • #4
        could you provide the link to show where president bush ever said in a speech that the war on terror or iraq in particular would be "easy"?

        from his first speech after 9/11 all the president has ever said about the task is how hard and long the task would be.
        Roy Mueller

        "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

        - Walt Disney

        Comment


        • #5
          QUOTE(billiken_roy @ Oct 7 2005, 12:01 PM) Quoted post

          could you provide the link to show where president bush ever said in a speech that the war on terror or iraq in particular would be "easy"? from his first speech after 9/11 all the president has ever said about the task is how hard and long the task would be. [/b][/quote]

          Nobody, including W, ever said the war on terror would be easy, that I can recall, but this thread is about Iraq, specifically. It was supposed to be a cakewalk, remember?
          But wait. There is something that can be done afterall. My good friend Angelo is a cop in the Tampa/Clearwater area. Since I kept all of the files from the access logs when I had the power to see them, guess what, I have everyone's IP addresses. Hmm..what can I do w/ those??
          ...

          Comment


          • #6
            "Its hard work!"
            “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

            Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

            Comment


            • #7
              Are there really that many "stay the course" people here? I'm not.
              "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

              "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004

              Comment


              • #8
                "Mission Accomplished!"
                “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                Comment


                • #9
                  But wait. There is something that can be done afterall. My good friend Angelo is a cop in the Tampa/Clearwater area. Since I kept all of the files from the access logs when I had the power to see them, guess what, I have everyone's IP addresses. Hmm..what can I do w/ those??
                  ...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                    Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have now posted in this thread.
                      If you believe in something sacrifice a hobo to it or don't bother.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There really isn't much of a choice. We have to rebuild/build Iraq. It was ill-advised, and poorly executed, but it's our mess now. I don't care how we do it, there is no escaping the fact that it needs to be done. Too bad we pissed off so many countries in the process and can't ask for their help without admitting fault.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          QUOTE(ksbluesfan @ Oct 7 2005, 10:41 AM) Quoted post

                          There really isn't much of a choice. We have to rebuild/build Iraq. It was ill-advised, and poorly executed, but it's our mess now. I don't care how we do it, there is no escaping the fact that it needs to be done. Too bad we pissed off so many countries in the process and can't ask for their help without admitting fault.
                          [/b][/quote]

                          Let's keep our fingers crossed that China and Japan lend us enough money to finish the job.
                          The Dude abides.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            QUOTE(nick2 @ Oct 7 2005, 10:25 AM) Quoted post

                            QUOTE
                            This intelligence failure about Iraqi society is what is killing us today. Because what really happened after the U.S. invasion is that what little Iraqi state existed just fell apart in our hands, like a broken vase. And then Rummy let the shards get looted. So yes, when the Bush team says rebuilding Iraq is like rebuilding Germany, it's half right. It is like rebuilding Germany, but not post-World War II Germany. It is like rebuilding medieval, pre-modern Germany - the Germany of clans and feudal fiefs, before there was a state.[/b][/quote]

                            October 7, 2005
                            What Were They Thinking?
                            By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

                            When the definitive history of the Iraq war is written, future historians will surely want to ask Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush each one big question. To Saddam, the question would be: What were you thinking? If you had no weapons of mass destruction, why did you keep acting as though you did? For Mr. Bush, the question would be: What were you thinking? If you bet your whole presidency on succeeding in Iraq, why did you let Donald Rumsfeld run the war with just enough troops to lose? Why didn't you establish security inside Iraq and along its borders? How could you ever have thought this would be easy?

                            The answer to these questions can be found in what was America's greatest intelligence failure in Iraq - and that was not about W.M.D.

                            Let me explain. While visiting the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr last week, I spent a morning watching the commanders of the Iraqi Navy hold a staff meeting, while their British and U.S. advisers looked on. On the one hand, you felt as if they were doing a pretty good imitation of a British command briefing. On the other hand, the slightly ragged quality left you feeling that if you pulled the British and U.S. advisers out tomorrow, the whole Iraqi Navy would collapse. The human capital and institutional foundation are simply not there yet. "How these guys ever fought the Iranians for eight years, I will never know," a British trainer remarked to me.

                            After that staff meeting, a British Royal Navy officer who was escorting me suggested that we go to Basra to see the flea market there. He said I could find anything I wanted, because so many Iraqis have had to hock basic household goods - stereos, refrigerators, air-conditioners, cars - to survive the last decade under Saddam.

                            Message: Failing to find W.M.D. was a big intelligence failure. But the even bigger failure - the one that is the source of all our troubles today - was the failure to understand just how devastated Iraq's society, economy and institutions had become - after eight years of war with Iran, a crushing defeat in Gulf War I and then a decade of U.N. sanctions.

                            But I think Saddam knew how busted and bankrupt his country and army were. Therefore, he never wanted to completely erase the impression that he had W.M.D. Saddam lived in a den of wolves. The hint of W.M.D. was his only deterrent shield left against his neighbors, his enemies at home and the West. (This was alluded to in the Duelfer W.M.D. report.) So he tried to allow just enough U.N. inspections to clear him on W.M.D., while playing just enough cat and mouse with the U.N. to leave the impression that he still had something dangerous in the closet.

                            The Bush team, and the C.I.A., not only failed to learn that Saddam had no W.M.D., they failed to appreciate how devastated Iraqi society really was. The Bush team, listening largely to exiles who had not lived in Iraq for years, thought that there were much more of an Iraqi middle class and more institutions than actually existed. So Mr. Bush thought taking over Iraq would be easy. That is the only way I can explain his behavior.

                            This intelligence failure about Iraqi society is what is killing us today. Because what really happened after the U.S. invasion is that what little Iraqi state existed just fell apart in our hands, like a broken vase. And then Rummy let the shards get looted. So yes, when the Bush team says rebuilding Iraq is like rebuilding Germany, it's half right. It is like rebuilding Germany, but not post-World War II Germany. It is like rebuilding medieval, pre-modern Germany - the Germany of clans and feudal fiefs, before there was a state.

                            As this column has long insisted, we are not doing nation-building in Iraq. We are doing nation-creating. It is hugely important, but hugely difficult. I can only assume the C.I.A. didn't know how broken Iraq was, because if the president knew and still put in so few troops, it was criminal.

                            Sadly, what Iraq desperately needs most from the U.S. today are A.I.D. workers, State Department advisers and technical experts from every agency of the government who can help rebuild Iraq's human capital. But people are afraid to go. And who can blame them? We have never established basic public order there, because we never had enough troops.

                            The president's speech on terrorism yesterday was excellent. He made clear, better than ever, why winning in Iraq is so important to the wider struggle against Islamo-fascism. But it only makes me that much more angry that he fought this war as though it would be easy - never asking for any sacrifice, any military draft, any tax hikes or any gasoline tax - and that he tolerated so much incompetence along the way.
                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Nation-creating, I assume, takes even longer than nation-building. Get comfortable people, this is going to be a long ride. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif[/img]

                            But if it makes the NY subways safer, it's well worth it. Right?
                            [/b][/quote]
                            It`s nice to see something critical of Bush that actually focuses upon a real failure. Friedman is a self important jackass,but he has hit the mark here. The thing that is frustrating about our knowledge of Iraq is not that the CIA failed to understand how broken Iraq was militarily,but the simple matter is that we should have known that it was never a functionable unit to begin with. Our military advisers during the Iran Iraq war saw and reported voluminously about how poorly trained and organized the chain of command was.Iraqs only saving grace was the fact that the clerical leadership at the time had decimated their own military after the Shahs fall,leaving complete incompetents in their place.

                            I would not say that the Iraqi[or there ME] conflict was not a necessary or inevitable war;in truth,I think it is better that it happened now than later....but the incompetence of our leadership[in particular Rumsfeld and perhaps Franks] is inexcusable.
                            "There is an old saying that goes 'no matter how good you are, there is always someone better.' That someone is me." - Chiun

                            I require the lubrication to successfully handle some of them. *sigh*- Sunuvanun

                            Matrem tuam pedicavi

                            "I kinda dig Johnson" -Triggercut

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              QUOTE
                              Too bad we pissed off so many countries in the process and can't ask for their help without admitting fault.[/b][/quote]

                              Like they'd help us if we sucked their dicks at the UN on worldwide TV.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X