January 10th, 2006

More Fun With Paul Bremer

Boy can you tell this guy wants to clear his name from the fiasco that is Iraq. The same guy who was given the Medal of Freedom (I just have to keep reminding folks of that) has bluntly stated in his new book, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope that that “senior US military officials including the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, tried to make him a scapegoat for their failings.”

Bremer goes on to rip the administration for going out of their way to mismanage the occupation. According to Bremer, Mr Rumsfeld and other military leaders were determined to reduce US troop levels even in the face of the growing insurgency. He even told Condoleezza Rice that “We’ve become the worst of all things: an ineffective occupier.”

Boy, ain’t the the truth.

Speaking of the insurgency, Bremer claims that it completely caught them off guard and that the U.S. wasn’t prepared for it. According to the Washington Post

With fresh signs of a determined Iraqi resistance appearing in July 2003, Bremer says, he “sensed that the Pentagon did not grasp the need to crush a mounting Baathist-jihadi insurgency, and to crush it early on. The sheer size and institutional inertia of the Pentagon were part of the problem.”

Pentagon officials at the time described the opposition as limited to a relatively small number of former loyalists of ousted President Saddam Hussein and some foreign jihadist fighters. But Bremer writes that in August 2003 he was shown a document from the Mukhabarat, Hussein’s secret police. The document, dated the previous January — about two months before the U.S. invasion — presented “a strategy of organized resistance which included the classic pattern of forming cells and training combatants in insurgency,” Bremer says.

Of course more troops would have helped to quell that uprising, but we know that didn’t happen. Here is where it gets interesting. The President has repeatedly said that troop levels were based on recomendations by his military commanders. Even yesterday, Scott McClellan repeated that party line, adding “they’re the ones who are in the best position to say what they need to complete the mission.”

Compare that with this:

By the spring of 2004, after a surge in opposition activity and the collapse of some fledgling Iraqi security forces, Bremer concluded that a larger coalition force was needed. Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then the top U.S. commander in Iraq, reinforced this view, telling Bremer that with two more divisions, Baghdad could be controlled, Bremer recounts.

In a memo dated May 18, 2004, Bremer urged Rumsfeld to send more troops. “We were trying to cover too many fronts with too few resources,”

and something clearly doesn’t add up. If the man in charge of Iraq, and the top U.S. commander in Iraq both say they need more troops, who is the idiot that argued against fulfilling the request.

My hunch, his name rhymes with Ponald Pumsfeld.

Who knows what would have happened if anyone in that brain trust had realized that there would be a bunch of angry people ready to organize and fight back? Who knows what would have happened if the brain trust had actually sent more help when it would have served a purpose? How many lives, both American and Iraqi would have been saved if the brain trust had listened to the people on the ground, and not clung foolishly to their overly optimistic delusions?

We will never know, but it seems as if Paul Bremer is making the case that we had the chance to find out, and our leadership, as usual, failed this country.

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  1. LiberPaul Says :

    Idiots! I have been saying it for years….

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