Thursday, August 18, 2005

No Surprises Here

None, really. At a time when the anti-war movement is finally getting press attention because of a Gold Star mother who simply wants to meet with the President to find out why her son died, and even Republican senators question the viability of the current administration policy in Iraq, you'd think the President would come up with at least a new vocabulary in discussing the war. You know, something other than "staying the course" or being "resolute." Sadly, that does not appear to be the case.

Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, had this to say in Nebraska:

Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, acknowledged the U.S. military presence was becoming harder and harder to justify. He believes Iraq faces a serious danger of civil war that would threaten Middle East stability, and said there is little Washington can do to avert this.

"We are seen as occupiers, we are targets. We have got to get out. I don't think we can sustain our current policy, nor do I think we should," he said at one stop.
[Emphasis added]

What is especially maddening to those of us who opposed the war with Iraq right from the start is how badly botched the US invasion was right from the start. Here is the latest revelation, although it, again, is certainly no surprise.

One month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, three State Department bureau chiefs warned of "serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance" in a secret memorandum prepared for a superior.

The State Department officials, who had been discussing the issues with top military officers at the Central Command, noted that the military was reluctant "to take on 'policing' roles" in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The three officials warned that "a failure to address short-term public security and humanitarian assistance concerns could result in serious human rights abuses which would undermine an otherwise successful military campaign, and our reputation internationally."
[Emphasis added]

That reluctance by the military resulted in the looting of weapons that are now being used agains US forces. That reluctance also resulted in the compromising of the infrastructure, which was fragile (at best) before the invasion and now is so bad that most Iraqis have less reliable electricity, water, and sewage treatment than they had before the war, there by fueling more frustration in an already beleaguered populace.

Perhaps the saddest (or most laughable, depending on your level of cynicism) comment came from a State Department official:

A senior State Department official said yesterday that the memo provided no new information. "This isn't a new story," he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of department rules. "There's been no shortage of revisiting of decisions made and actions taken."

Apparently this maladministration really can't do anything right.


Blogger dave said...

Hagel was on CNN this afternoon. Said Commander Cuckoo Bananas should have met with Sheehan "immediately." I'm under no illusions that he thought of this as anything but good PR, but he also made a point of referring to her rather respectfully, as the "mother of a fallen soldier" (paraphrase).

5:48 PM  

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