Saturday, September 16, 2006


Want to get an idea how things got so fucked up in Iraq? Why it was nothing more than politics over policy. This is nothing new, either. Nothing new at all. And it wasn't just the Administration giving abjectly unqualified people major responsibilities. Washington Post (09.16.06), via Eschaton:
"After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003, the opportunity to participate in the U.S.-led effort to reconstruct Iraq attracted all manner of Americans -- restless professionals, Arabic-speaking academics, development specialists and war-zone adventurers. But before they could go to Baghdad, they had to get past Jim O'Beirne's office in the Pentagon. To pass muster with O'Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn't need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration." Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq
"O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade." "Many of those chosen by O'Beirne's office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance -- but had applied for a White House job -- was sent to reopen Baghdad's stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a background in accounting." "The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration's gravest errors." Ahhh yes. Note the comment that this was just one of their gravest errors. The Mayberry Machiavellis. Update: Billon (09.17.06):
"Now we know how the occupation of Iraq -- the toughest foreign policy job taken on by the U.S. government since the Vietnam War -- came to be run by the kind of conservative dimwits who post at The Corner. How much more do you need to know to understand that failure in Iraq wasn't just an option -- it was inevitable." The RNC Branch Office on the Tigris
"Aside from the Pentagon, no single entity did more to give us the Iraq we know today. And they'd better hope God has mercy on their souls. I know I wouldn't."


Post a Comment