Monday, April 12, 2004

Reality Check This is how badly L. Paul Bremer is disconnected from reality. From Meet The Press on Sunday, April 11, 2004: MR. RUSSERT: June 30: You're going to turn the keys over to the Iraqis. Who do you turn them over to? AMB. BREMER: Well, that's a good question, and it's an important part of the ongoing crisis we have here now. We've always said that there are two dimensions to dealing with the problems of Iraq. One, of course, is the military dimension, which we're working on right now, but the other is to give a political perspective for the Iraqis to have more and more responsibility. We've been working on that for months. We are now working with the secretary-general of the U.N.'s special representative here, Mr. Brahimi, to figure out the best way to get a representative government in place before the end of June so it has a little practice and then turn over sovereignty to it on June 30. And I'm confident that working with him and with the Iraqi people, we, in fact, will get that. We'll get a representative government in place before June 30. And then there’s this revealing exchange: MR. RUSSERT: John Burns of The New York Times was taken in custody for several hours, and his driver, who had been in prison for two years under Saddam, said, "It was God who finished Saddam, not the Americans," "The Americans broke all their promises to us, they have brought their infidel beliefs to Iraq. We hate them, and they are worse than Saddam." How do you deal with that mind-set? AMB. BREMER: Well, first, isn't it nice that an Iraqi could speak his mind freely to a Western journalist a year after he would have had his tongue cut out for saying that under Saddam? Isn't that really the message? Notice how Bremer avoids the reality that this Iraqi, who was part of an armed group fighting American troops near Fallujah, is clearly enraged and blames the United States for screwing up his country. He’s so angry that he’s ready to fight and die to rid his country of the occupation. Instead, Bremer spins black into white. War News for April 12, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Seven Chinese citizens kidnapped in Iraq. Bring ‘em on: Fighting resumes near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Three US Marines killed in al-Anbar province. Pure incompetence. “When Bremer ordered the shutdown of al-Hawza, there was no intention to use force to apprehend al-Sadr or leaders of his militia, according to occupation authority officials familiar with the decision. One U.S. official said there was not even a fully developed backup plan for military action in case al-Sadr chose to react violently. The newspaper closure was intended "to send another signal to al-Sadr, just like telling him about the arrest warrant," the official said. ‘In hindsight, it was a huge mistake. The best-case scenario was that he would ignore it, like the earlier threat, or that he would capitulate. The worst case was that he would lash back. But we weren't ready for that.’ At the time, occupation-authority officials figured that al-Sadr had between 3,000 and 6,000 militiamen, only 2,000 of whom were armed fighters — a figure that seems to have turned out to be a vast underestimate. ‘We were relying on the most optimistic predictions possible,’ the official said.” Baghdad fashion maven and incompetent administrator L. Paul Bremer needs to pack up his extensive wardrobe, hairspray, and cosmetics and get the hell out of Baghdad. Soldiers are getting killed because of this silly little peacock. Cowboy George. "I want heads to roll," US President George W. Bush told top US officials here last week following the murder of four and mutilation of two American contractors in Fallujah. Note to Readers I apologize for the short update today, but I have a shitload of work to get done, and I don't mean one of those dinky metric shitloads. I've got a full Imperial shitload sitting in my in-box. I also encourage you to read the Seattle Times article posted above (originally published in the Washington Post) because it gives some insight into the CPA's perception and planning regarding the Fallujah operation and the reaction to al-Sadr's growing movement. The CPA (and the Bush administration) followed their usual pattern of behavior when confronted with unpleasant reality: 1. Procrastinate, dither, and hope reality changes to suit ideology until the threat becomes imminent. 2. Select a military solution based on the best-case scenario and false assumptions. 3. Fail to plan for any other contingency than the desired outcome. 4. Cave when the worst-case scenario becomes reality. 5. Apply rhetoric to spin the disaster into success on the TV talk shows. If any head is righteously deserving of a good roll, it's the one perched on L. Paul Bremer's spindly neck. 86-43-04. Bring it on.


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