Did the White House Ignore Critical Advice on Iraq in 2003?

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In summary, the White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there, according to a new book by Bob Woodward. The book describes a White House riven by dysfunction and division over the war.
  • #36
Interesting coincidence - Frontline's "The Lost Year in Iraq" seems to run parallel with Woodward's book "State of Denial".



In Woodward's book, Chapter 18-20 are key to understanding the current situation. Garner wanted to use the lower level Baath Party members and military as the means to provide security and reconstruction. However, Bremer, under orders from Rumsfeld et al, instituted a policy of completely eliminating any Baath members or military officers. Garner had told Rumsfeld and Bremer that it was dangerous (these people needed to feed their families), and that about 50,000 Baath members and about 300,000 former military would simply go underground. All the US needed to do was remove the top layer and fund the lower level people - which made sense. This was the policy in Japan and Germany following WWII.

So it seems Rumsfeld (and a few others) has undermined the recovery in Iraq all along! And Bush has been and apparently still is oblivious.

Bremer believes, overall, the CPA achieved a lot. Of course he does. :rolleyes: According to Bremer,
"We put the Iraqis on the right path to a better political future and they now have, certainly, the right plans to rebuild their economy."
Wrong! The CPA went down the wrong path, and the result is the large number of unnecessary Iraqi deaths. If the Iraqis recover, it will be in spite of Bremer and Rumsfeld, and the occupation.
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  • #37
Im done with 2/3 of the book now, and I am still waiting to read something I did not already know...:rolleyes:

I should have stuck to my gut and bought Fiasco by Ricks. I'll buy that one next. So far, this book, well...sucks.
  • #38
cyrusabdollahi said:
Im done with 2/3 of the book now, and I am still waiting to read something I did not already know...:rolleyes:
So, does this imply that what Woodward has written has already been told or written elsewhere? Bits and pieces have been mentioned in the Times and Post, but I think Woodward is the first to put it together in one source, no? And there are still things missing!

Has anyone read Bremer's book?
  • #39
I would say that I knew a good 99.9% of this book before reading it. If you watch as much charlie Rose as I do, you would have heard all of this long ago.

This book is sadly not what I was expecting from Woodward.

I've heard all this stuff from Generals and the like on Rose months ago.

Actually, no. Thomas Ricks beat him to it (Washington Post)- and that will be the next book I get (And it looks like a better book too).

I don't read the newspaper, no time. I watch the news on Tv instead.
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  • #40
Rose, Meet the Press, This Week, The News Hour, Washington Week...

If you listen to hate radio then it would probably be Earth shattering. :biggrin:
  • #41
I don't watch much TV anymore - mostly I read - I have a long list of books to read. :rolleyes:
I used to watch Rose almost every night, and occassionally This Week, The News Hour, and Washington Week. I eventually got frustrated with what was not being reported.

This interview was conducted on July 17, 2003.

So if this has been reported and is not news, why are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al still in office? It's mind-boggling. Might as well have an organized crime syndicate running the country. Oh . . . maybe we do. :rolleyes:

It's amazing when Rumsfeld is blubbering about he's doing the best he can, when clearly he is ignoring contrary advice and is actually undermining the effort in Iraq. And he doesn't tell the president - who is his boss?!

Then again, the president doesn't seem he really wants to know what's going on. :rolleyes:
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  • #42
In short, it is all as bad as we predicted and have said all along.

I guess we're in the advanced class. :biggrin:
  • #43
That it's been going wrong from the beginning and has slowly been going wrong - is utterly astounding.

How Iraq came home to haunt America
For months doubts over Iraq have risen along with the death toll. Last week a tipping point was reached as political leaders in Washington and London began openly to think the unthinkable: that the war was lost.

Colonel Tom Vail is planning a road trip around the United States. It is his last, sad duty before returning to his family from eastern Baghdad. For when the commander of the 4th Brigade of the 101st Airborne arrives back in the States, it will be with videos of the memorial services held in Baghdad for each of his fallen soldiers to give to the families of the dead men.

He knows that some of the families will not want to see him, and he understands. Grief works in different ways, he says. For others, however, it will be an opportunity to talk, to learn something, he hopes, of the inexplicable nature of their children's deaths.

So, when he has a moment, when he is not driving round the battlefield that is eastern Baghdad, Vail examines the map and plans his flights and his car hire. And he wonders at the reception he will receive - a messenger of death, bringing the war back from Iraq to the home front.

For when Vail and his soldiers return, it will be in the knowledge that the United States that they are going home to is not the one that they left. That in their year-long absence a seismic shift has occurred in support for the war in Iraq. And that the deaths that Colonel Vail must carry back with him to grieving families - deaths that once seemed to Americans to be a necessary cost - now seem to the majority a dreadful and pointless waste.
Care of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld.

In October of 2004, the CIA identified four groups participating in the insurgency: 1) former Baathists, 2) foreign fighters (al Qaida, . . .), 3) Iraqi nationalists (who hate the occupation, and who are unemployed, without services, can't feed their families, are at risk from reprisals by other groups in Iraq), and tribal members angry over the death of family members and the heavy-handed door kicking of the coalitions military (not to mention Abu Grahib, the killing of innocent civilians, raping of women, . . .) (ref: State of Denial, Ch 24) - Parenthetical comments are mine.

Bush had a one-on-one meeting with the president, and the request of the president, and . . . Rumsfeld was livid!? :smile:

I guess there are times (rare as it seems to be) when Rumsfeld actually understands that he is NOT president, as much as he tries to be. Similarly with Cheney.
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  • #44
Meanwhile, across the pond -

Britain 'risking defeat in Afghanistan'
Mark Townsend and Peter Beaumont
The Observer, Sunday October 22, 2006
Field Marshal Sir Peter Inge, the former head of Britain's armed forces, has broken ranks to launch an attack on the current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, warning that British forces risk defeat in Afghanistan.

In one of the strongest interventions in the conduct of the War on Terror, Inge also charged a lack of any 'clear strategy' guiding British operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

His comments came as President George Bush met his military and political officials to consider fresh tactics over Iraq, amid a mood of crisis in Washington over the violence.

The remarks by the former chief of the defence staff, who also served on the Butler Commission into intelligence failures in Iraq, follow those by the present head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, who warned that the presence of British troops in Iraq had 'exacerbated' security problems in the country.

Inge's intervention, coming amid growing speculation about Britain's exit strategy from Iraq, is the first criticism of operations by a former head of the British army. His comments, made at a meeting of European experts on Tuesday and published here for the first time, reflect the growing dismay among senior military officers and civil servants involved in defence and foreign affairs, that in the critical areas of Afghanistan and Iraq Britain lacked clear foreign and defence policies separate from the US.
Well, the British forces have been suffering like the US forces. Are there two Rumsfelds on the lose?
  • #45
cyrusabdollahi said:
Im done with 2/3 of the book now, and I am still waiting to read something I did not already know...:rolleyes:

I should have stuck to my gut and bought Fiasco by Ricks.

Ricks is interviewed in Frontline's - "The Lost Year in Iraq".

One year later, as Bremer made a secret exit to evade insurgent attacks, the group left behind a thriving insurgency, economic collapse and much of its idealism. "Our grand initiative there [was] to bring democracy to Iraq," says Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post. Instead, says Chandrasekaran, "we were leaving with our tail between our legs."

Chapter 2 is about Bremer being picked by Rumsfeld and the White House to replace Garner, becuase Garner was moving to quickly and independently to restore Iraq. Garner knew people there and knew what was going on. On the other hand, Bremer, the managing director of Kissinger Associates had no experience or ideas about the middle east - which apparently was perfect for Bush and team. :rolleyes:

Ricks talks about the staff (children's crusade) that Bremer was putting together - former Republican campaign workers, White House interns, Heritage Foundation members, who were vetted by the White House liaison to the Pentagon. Chandrasekaran mentions that the hiring process involved questions that would have 'landed a private sector employer in jail," or at least in court. The hires were asked about their views on Rowe v Wade, whether they believed in capital punishment, . . . "a man of Middle Eastern decent was asked if he was Muslim or Christian" , people were asked for whom they voted for president!

Col. Thomas Hammes talks about a 25 yr old man (on his first job out of college) who was responsible for strategic planning of prisons. Hammes asked how many were working with this kid. The kid replies that there are four others. Hammes remarked that seemed small. The kid said, "yeah but we're really tight 'cause we're frat brothers." :smile: :rolleyes: This in a nation that the US has just about destroyed.

Chapter 3 - "The Lost Year in Iraq" - Bremer just doesn't remember Garner and a CIA official challenging the de-Baathification plan. The first CPA order given was de-Baathification - and Bremer can't remember one of the most significant meetings in which it was challenged. Bremer is an idiot! But then he's Bush's idiot. :rolleyes:

General Sachez was ordered to control the insurgency, so he has his troops round up young Iraqis men (it doesn't matter if they are invovled in the insurgency or not), who are then sent to Abu Graib (most notorious of Saddam Husseins prisons) and several other prisons. If these young men were neutral going into prison, they were anti-American coming out. Bremer and Sanchez blew it - they treated the Iraqis just like Saddam Hussein did.

Interview with Ricks:
A Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post, Thomas Ricks is the author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. He is harshly critical of the war plan and lack of a postwar plan for Iraq, calling it "the worst war plan in American history." Here he details the mistakes the U.S. made that fueled the insurgency; explains why unity of civilian/military command in Baghdad was critical; and argues that the battle for Baghdad and the future of the country is occurring now, in 2006. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on June 28, 2006.

The biggest single tactical mistake probably in the fall of 2003 was the big cordon-and-sweep operations: Go out and round up all the military-age males in this area and ship them out of here, and send them down to Abu Ghraib, and stuff Abu Ghraib with tens of thousands of Iraqis who may have been neutral about the Americans when they went in but weren't when they came out.

That also swamps the intelligence apparatus. The purpose of a lot of this operation was to get better intelligence: Who was the insurgent? When you go out and you attack friend and foe and neutral by sweeping them all up, you send a signal: We don't even know who our friends and our enemies are. Then when they get to Abu Ghraib, the interrogators were so overwhelmed by this flood of people coming in that even hard-core people weren't interviewed for 90 days after they were captured. The rule of thumb on counterinsurgency is you must conduct your interrogations within 24 hours of capture; otherwise the information goes stale and is useless. And we weren't [interrogating] them for 90 days.

As you say, an insurgency training ground.

What a great opportunity. You've got a bunch of guys who aren't happy with the situation, who have been captured by the Americans, put bags on their heads, might have been beaten, might have had their dignity offended in a country where dignity is a core value. They've got nothing to do, and they're sitting on their hands. Here's an Al Qaeda guy, and here's 1,000's Iraqis sitting here with nothing to do. But what an opportunity we gave them.

As far as I know, even now we don't segregate prisoners by hard-core Al Qaeda, probable insurgent, probably neutral. We have them all intermingled. It's professionally inattentive in a way that is bothersome, because this is a clear lesson from other insurgencies. You have to first of all treat your prisoners well -- a key lesson in insurgencies. But also, you need to pay attention to the politics of your prisoners. ...
And there was the torture and humiliation as shown in pictures around the world.
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  • #46
I like Chuck Hagel, and although I don't necessarily agree with him on some issues, I do appreciate his views on the war in Iraq.

From Chapter 36 (page 39-400) of Woodward's "State of Denial" -

Hadley invited him [Hagel] down to the White House . . . Hagel, who is an earnest student of foreign policy, . . . .
Hadley met Hagel with a team of NSC staffers.

I am pleased to see that Hagel is serious about foreign policy, or at least is a serious student of the subject.

He [Hagel] left unsatisfied and gave an interview to U.S. News & World Report saying, "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality."

Hadley and others at the White House were angry, but Hagel thought it was one of the clearest things he had ever said. His private assessment was worse: The administration had no strategic thinker. Rice was weak. The miliary was being emasculated and severely damaged by uniformed sycophants.

Hagel served in Vietnam with his brother Tom in 1968. They served side by side as infantry squad leaders with the U.S. Army’s 9th Infantry Division. Hagel earned many military decorations and honors, including two Purple Hearts.

Like Jack Murtha, he's been there, and he can see through the BS.
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  • #47
Still in Denial!

Bush 'dissatisfied' with Iraq war
US President George W Bush says he is unhappy with the progress of the war in Iraq, admitting that a recent upsurge in violence is a "serious concern".

"I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation in Iraq," he said. "I'm not satisfied either."

But Mr Bush ruled out a fixed timetable for withdrawing US troops, adding that victory there was vital to US security.

His comments come two weeks ahead of crucial US mid-term elections, and amid public unease over US policy in Iraq.

In what the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says is an unusual departure from normal practice, the US president began the press conference at the White House by outlining recent setbacks in Iraq.

He said the deaths of 93 US troops and 300 Iraqi security personnel in the last month were of "serious concern" to him.

Civilians had suffered "unspeakable violence at the hands of the terrorists, insurgents, illegal militias, armed groups and criminals," he said.

He warned that if Iraq became a failed state, extremists could gain access to oil wealth and launch fresh attacks.

If the US was not successful in Iraq, he said, extremists could use it as a base from which to try to establish a "radical empire from Spain to Indonesia".

'Tough job'

Mr Bush defended the role of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who has faced a barrage of criticism for the way the Iraq war has been fought.

"I'm satisfied with how he's done all his jobs," Mr Bush said, calling Mr Rumsfeld "a smart, tough, capable administrator".

With opinion polls showing growing doubt over the US role in Iraq, Mr Bush said: "We cannot allow our dissatisfaction to turn into disillusionment about our purpose in this war."

"We're winning and we will win, unless we leave before the job is done," he said.

He said the administration's Iraq goals there had not changed, and that setting a fixed timetable for withdrawal "means defeat", but added that the US was constantly adapting its tactics.

Timeframe hostage to fortune in Iraq

The top US general in Iraq George Casey and the US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad have both offered hostages to fortune by predicting an improvement in Iraq in 12-18 months.

From the heart of the "helluva mess" that is Iraq today, in the reported words of former US Secretary of State James Baker, they laid out their security and political cases that better days lie ahead.

"Success is possible", said the ambassador, adding that the Iraqi leadership "must step up to achieve key political milestones".

These "benchmarks" and "milestones" are significant. They are the new sticks to go along with the carrot of support. The line now is that it is up to the Iraqis to sort out their problems. One can foresee that the next stage, if failure follows, would be for the US to start laying the blame.

Iraqi forces

General Casey said that the Iraqi forces were "75%" along the way towards taking over responsibility (with US back-up) and this, he suggested, might be achieved within the 18 month period.

Ambassador Khalilzad, who is more of a player in Iraqi politics than a traditional diplomat, talked of a "national compact" being in place by the end of the year.

He did not say why, with the constitution already approved, a national compact was needed. He did not need to.

But it would contain, he said, a way of sharing oil wealth that "united the country", a constitutional amendment to give better democratic rights (he did not specify how), a reconciliation commission and reform of the interior ministry.

Political leaders, including Moqtada al-Sadr - leader of the troublesome Mehdi army militia - had promised to tackle the violence and an effort was being made to get Sunni insurgents reconciled with the system.

All this did not amount to a change in strategy in Iraq, it seems, but was evidence of a constantly changing shift in tactics.

Incidentally, for those on Mr Baker's Iraq Study Group, which is expected to report its recommendations on Iraq in December, there were harsh words for Syria and Iran. The Iraq Study Group is reported to be suggesting that both be brought into help but Mr Khalilzad dismissed them and General Casey called them "hostile".

Bush enters Cheney 'torture row'

US President George Bush has reiterated his position that the US administration does not condone torture, following comments by Vice-President Dick Cheney.

In an interview, Mr Cheney agreed that "a dunk in the water" for terrorism suspects during questioning in order to save American lives was a "no-brainer".

His comments have provoked outrage from anti-torture and human rights groups.

When asked about the remark, President Bush said that the United States does not use torture and was not going to.
Of course not. Bush and Cheney just redefine torture as interrogation. Moreover, the US government as security forces of other countries do the torturing. One reason that US hires mercenaries in Iraq is that they are not the government, although they are paid. While the Bush administration likes to use technicalities, they in effect use torture.
  • #48
Rice’s Counselor Gives Advice Others May Not Want to Hear

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 — For the last 18 months, Philip D. Zelikow has churned out confidential memorandums and proposals for his boss and close friend, Condoleezza Rice, that often depart sharply from the Bush administration’s current line.

One described the potential for Iraq to become a “catastrophic failure.” Another, among several that have come to light in recent weeks, was an early call for changes in a detention policy that many in the State Department believed was doing tremendous harm to the United States.

Others have proposed new diplomatic initiatives toward North Korea and the Middle East, and one went as far as to call for a reconsideration of the phrase “war on terror” because it alienated many Muslims — an idea that quickly fizzled after opposition from the White House.

Such ideas would have found a more natural home under President George H. W. Bush, for whom Mr. Zelikow and Ms. Rice worked on the staff of the National Security Council. They reflect a sense that American influence is perishable, and can be damaged by overreaching, as allies and other partners react against decisions made in Washington. They form a kind of foreign policy realism that was eclipsed in Mr. Bush’s first term, in favor of a more ideological, unilateral ethos, but that has made something of a comeback in his second term.

Whether Mr. Zelikow, 52, is giving voice to Ms. Rice’s private views, or simply serving as an in-house contrarian, remains unclear. Some of his ideas have become policy: he had called for the closure of secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency a year before the Supreme Court decision that prodded the Bush administration to empty them.

Zelikow made several trips over the past few years in order to assess the situation in Iraq. He is frequently mentioned in the latter third of Woodward's book.
  • #49
Playing the Blame Game on Iraq
All Things Considered, October 28, 2006 · President Bush and U.S. commanders have conceded lately that things are getting worse in Iraq. But some military officers fear the administration may be trying to shift responsibility their way. Army Times reporter Sean Naylor, who has reported on their fears, talks with Debbie Elliott.
So much for supporting the troops. :rolleyes: "Whatever happened to 'the buck stops here'"?

Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Feith were involved in policy, funding, decision making, and to some extent Powell and Rice. They are the ones, in addition to president Bush, who made the decision to go to war, who withheld vital support to the troops, and withheld support for the reconstruction. Bush has shown a considerable LACK of leadearship throughout, and he allowed Rumsfeld and Cheney too much authority.

Meanwhile -

Bush's Iraq Team Switches Its Rhetoric
All Things Considered, October 23, 2006 · NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr comments on a change in rhetoric from the Bush administration. Words like "timetable," "benchmark," and "phased withdrawal" have crept into official discourse about the U.S. strategy in Iraq.

White House Downplays 'Staying the Course'

Colin Powell, In His Own Words
By Daniel Schorr

Baghdad Finally Calm Under Massive U.S. Presence
by Jamie Tarabay

All Things Considered, October 27, 2006 · In Baghdad, a daytime curfew and a massive American street presence ensured a peaceful end to a violent week, in which top officials argued over timelines and security and a U.S. soldier went missing.

Monday, a U.S. soldier of Iraqi descent traveled outside the fortified Green Zone to spend the holiday with Iraqi relatives. His kidnapping prompted a major search by U.S. forces across Baghdad.

"We have detained a number of personnel for possible connection with, or knowledge of, this kidnapping," U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell said. "We're using all assets in our arsenal to find this American soldier."

This week, Iraqis celebrated Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan -- which was also an extremely bloody span of time in Iraq. On average, 40 Iraqis died each day, with more than 300 Iraqi soldiers and police killed.

The U.S. military marked a grim milestone, with at least 96 service members killed this month, the highest death toll since last October.
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  • #50
U.S. Is Said to Fail in Tracking Arms for Iraqis

The American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces and has failed to provide spare parts, maintenance personnel or even repair manuals for most of the weapons given to the Iraqis, a federal report released Sunday has concluded.

The report was undertaken at the request of Senator John W. Warner, the Virginia Republican who is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and who recently expressed an assessment far darker than the Bush administration’s on the situation in Iraq.

Mr. Warner sent his request in May to a federal oversight agency, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. He also asked the inspector general to examine whether Iraqi security forces were developing a logistics operation capable of sustaining the hundreds of thousands of troops and police officers the American military says it has trained.

The answers came Sunday from the inspector general’s office, which found major discrepancies in American military records on where thousands of 9-millimeter pistols and hundreds of assault rifles and other weapons have ended up. The American military did not even take the elementary step of recording the serial numbers of nearly half a million weapons provided to Iraqis, the inspector general found, making it impossible to track or identify any that might be in the wrong hands.

Exactly where untracked weapons could end up — and whether some have been used against American soldiers — were not examined in the report, although black-market arms dealers thrive on the streets of Baghdad, and official Iraq Army and police uniforms can easily be purchased as well, presumably because government shipments are intercepted or otherwise corrupted.
And they wonder why the insurgency has grown stronger. :rolleyes: Then there is the matter that some Iraqi police and military may actually be militia members.
  • #51
Bush says he wants Cheney and Rumsfeld to stay through the remainder of his term. Well, let's see what happens next Tuesday.
  • #52
National Security Adviser Outlines Three-step Plan for Iraq
From "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer"

STEPHEN HADLEY: I think the president gave a very balanced and sober assessment of the situation that we're in, made it clear that there are real challenges, made it clear that, while our basic objective remains the same, we have adapted and made changes in how to pursue that objectives, would be making more changes in the future, that he was open to any constructive ideas, because obviously one thing we can all agree on -- I think Senator Biden would agree -- we need to succeed in Iraq. It's too important for the country.

So I think you saw an openness to be receptive to ideas, but also a steadfastness that we cannot afford to lose in Iraq.


Eliot Cohen, director of the strategic-studies program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and member of the Defense Policy Board: "I wouldn't be surprised if what we end up drifting toward is some sort of withdrawal on some sort of timetable and leaving the place in a pretty ghastly mess.… I do think it's going to end up encouraging various strands of Islamism, both Shia and Sunni, and probably will bring de-stabilization of some regimes of a more traditional kind, which already have their problems.… The best news is that the United States remains a healthy, vibrant, vigorous society. So in a real pinch, we can still pull ourselves together. Unfortunately, it will probably take another big hit. And a very different quality of leadership. Maybe we'll get it."
  • #53
Perhaps the most classic example of failed oversight in the Bush era came in a little-publicized hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee held on February 13th, 2003 -- just weeks before the invasion of Iraq. The hearing offered senators a rare opportunity to grill Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and top Pentagon officials on a wide variety of matters, including the fairly important question of whether they even had a ****ing plan for the open-ended occupation of a gigantic hostile foreign population halfway around the planet. This was the biggest bite that Congress would have at the Iraq apple before the war, and given the gravity of the issue, it should have been a beast of a hearing.

But it wasn't to be. In a meeting that lasted two hours and fifty-three minutes, only one question was asked about the military's readiness on the eve of the invasion. Sen. John Warner, the committee's venerable and powerful chairman, asked Gen. Richard Myers if the U.S. was ready to fight simultaneously in both Iraq and North Korea, if necessary.

Myers answered, "Absolutely."

And that was it. The entire exchange lasted fifteen seconds. The rest of the session followed a pattern familiar to anyone who has watched a hearing on C-Span: The members, when they weren't reading or chatting with one another, used their time with witnesses almost exclusively to address parochial concerns revolving around pork projects in their own districts. Warner set the tone in his opening remarks; after announcing that U.S. troops preparing to invade Iraq could count on his committee's "strongest support," the senator from Virginia quickly turned to the question of how the war would affect the budget for Navy shipbuilding, which, he said, was not increasing "as much as we wish." Not that there's a huge Navy shipyard in Newport News, Virginia, or anything.

Given the lives at stake, and the huge potential cost, Congress made no inquiry - but simply rubber stamped the administrations plans.
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  • #54
There was some very clever manipulation that brought about the rubber stamp from congress. Most Democrats were even in favor of the war initially. Those against the war were intimidated by being called traitors.

I have often wondered: Just who was present in the small group of people who first sat down and declared; "we must invade Iraq"?

How did they, within the law, get the CIA to present information that only made a case for an invasion?

There were some very malicious psyopps going on here at home prior to that hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee held on February 13th, 2003.

The entire lead up to the war was a well orchestrated brainwashing of the American people.
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  • #55
Bush to meet with Iraq Study Group

Well - it's long overdue. Bush should have met with such a group 4 years ago!

WASHINGTON - President Bush and his national security team will meet Monday with members of a blue-ribbon commission trying to devise a new course for the unpopular war in Iraq.

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton of Indiana, is expected to report its recommendations before the end of the year.

Members of the group will have a joint conference at the White House with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

The group will have individual meetings with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, and CIA Director Michael Hayden. They also will talk with Zalmay Khalizad, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad.

Robert Gates, picked by Bush to succeed Rumsfeld, has been a member of the Iraq Study Group. He is resigning and will not take part in Monday's meetings, White House press secretary Tony Snow said.

Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state in the last two months of President George H.W. Bush's term, will replace Gates on the commission, said Anais Haase, Eagleburger's executive assistant. . . . .

FYI - http://www.usip.org/isg/
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  • #56
Arianna Huffington on Bob Woodward and 'State of Denial'. Arianna maintains that Woodward is years to0 late and that the book is an attempt to salvage Woodward's reputation after 6 years of lionzing Bush and the administration.


Bob Woodward is getting the journalistic hero treatment for "State of Denial," his self-revising reassessment of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq -- including a cover plug from Newsweek (which called him "the best excavator of inside stories in the nation's capital") and a laudatory lead story segment on "60 Minutes".

Talk about being in a state of denial: praising Woodward for his very-late-to-the-party Iraq pile-on is like a music critic writing a rave of "Let It Be" and getting credit for discovering The Beatles. Or, more fitting, having someone be the 100th -- or is 100,000th? -- person to call 911 to report a car crash and then getting credit for alerting the authorities.

Yet there was Mike Wallace gushing about how Woodward had "unearthed" a "secret" classified graph revealing that -- wait for it -- attacks on "US, Iraqi, and allied forces... have increased dramatically over the last three years." Wow. You don't say! What did Woodward have to do to "unearth" that one? Pick up a newspaper? Or log onto a blog or two -- or two hundred?

Then there was the revelation, breathlessly delivered by Wallace in his intro, that after two years and more than 200 interviews, including "most of the top officials in the administration," Woodward has come to "a damning conclusion: That for the last three years, the White House has not been honest with the American public." Stop the presses, hold the front page! And burn all the copies of "Fiasco," "Cobra II," "The One Percent Doctrine," "Hubris" -- plus 99.9 percent of the blog posts on Iraq that have appeared on HuffPost since we launched -- that have previously come to exactly the same "damning conclusion." Why fork over $30 for much-older-than-yesterday's news?

In her New York Times review of "State of Denial," Michiko Kakutani says that Woodward paints a portrait of President Bush as "a passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional war cabinet and given to an almost religious certainty that makes him disinclined to rethink or re-evaluate decisions he has made about the war."

To which I say: "Welcome to 2002, Bob."

Real media (rm) or mp3 of Huffington interview - http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2972 - which begins at 9 minutes into the file.
  • #57
Astronuc said:
Well - it's long overdue. Bush should have met with such a group 4 years ago!
A little less than 4 years ago, it seems Bush did not know that there were such things as the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam, and that these groups were a dominant part of the Iraqi populace.

This is not a joke. I heard this in a radio interview of (former US Ambassador) Peter Galbraith.
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  • #58
Gokul43201 said:
This is not a joke. I heard this in a radio interview of (former US Ambassador) Peter Galbraith.
Was that an NPR interview? I think I heard part of an interview with Galbraith, and I'd like to hear the whole thing.
  • #60
edward said:
Is this it? Gailbraith has a book out now. "The End of Iraq"

Thanks! Very compelling interview. I think it may be the earlier interview to which Gokul is referring.

Galbraith mentions that the Suni and Shiites are engaged in a civil war for control of the Arab portion of Iraq, and the Shii want to establish a Shii controlled region much like the Kurds have up north.

The Iraqi army is essentially Shiite battalions, who are now fighting Suni insurgents.

Baghdad is divided into Suni west and Shiite east. The US has done nothing to unify the country.
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  • #61
edward said:
Is this it? Gailbraith has a book out now. "The End of Iraq"



edit:the old vision is going the second link is from 05
I guess it's not either of those (though I have that first interview and remember being quite surprised to hear that the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi flag are banned in "Kurdistan").

I searched google with "peter galbraith bush sunni shia" and found a couple hits to blogs that paraphrase this portion of his book.
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  • #62
Just received my latest book order:

State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration
By: James Risen

The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End
By: Peter W. Galbraith

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
By: Thomas E. Ricks

Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
By: Michael R. Gordon, Bernard E. Trainor

:biggrin: :rolleyes:

Who'd've thought that Bush would be the inspiration of so many books - and there's still two more years and 8 weeks.

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