March 21, 2007

Bush's Top Ten Mistakes in Iraq during the Past 4 Years

From Juan Cole's Informed Comment:
10. Refusing to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld when his incompetence and maliciousness became apparent in the growing guerrilla war and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

9. Declining to intervene in the collapsed economy or help put Iraqi state industries back on a good footing, on the grounds that the "market" would magically produce prosperity effortlessly.

8. Invading and destroying the Sunni Arab city of Fallujah in November, 2004, thus pushing the Sunni Arabs into the arms of the insurgency in protest and ensuring that they would boycott the January, 2005, parliamentary elections, a boycott that excluded them from power and from a significant voice in crafting the new constitution, which they then rejected.

7. Suddenly announcing that the US would "kill or capture" young nationalist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in spring, 2004, throwing the country into massive turmoil for months.

6. Replying to Baathist guerrilla provocations with harsh search and destroy missions that humiliated and angered ever more Sunni Arab clans, driving them to support or join the budding guerrilla movement.

5. Putting vengeful Shiites in charge of a Debaathification Commission that fired tens of thousands of mostly Sunni Arab state employees simply for having belonged to the Baath Party, leaving large numbers of Sunnis penniless and without hope of employment.

4. Dissolving the Iraqi Army in May, 2003, and sending 400,000 men home, unemployed, resentful and heavily armed.

3. Allowing widespread looting after the fall of Saddam Hussein on April 9, 2003, on the grounds that "stuff happens," "democracy is messy," and "how many vases can they have?"-- and thus signalling that there would be no serious attempt to provide law and order in American Iraq.

2. Plotting to install corrupt financier, notorious liar, and shady operator Ahmad Chalabi as the soft dictator of Iraq, and refusing to plan for a post-war administration of the country because that might forestall Chalabi's coronation.

1. Invading Iraq.
Cole also marks the 4 year anniversary by looking back at Bush's mendacious speech of March 19, 2003:
The accusation that Iraq was planning to attack anyone in 2003, that US cities were in danger from it, was monstrous in its mirroring of Bush intentions toward the Iraqi people. Which innocents have had to dig out of rubble? And, at a time when Bush rushed to war, engaging in dirty tricks in hopes of getting a Baath provocation that would serve as casus belli, and not letting the weapons inspectors even finish their jobs, to say he was "reluctant"! It is impossible to reread this text without images from the destruction of Fallujah, from Abu Ghraib, from Najaf, flashing through one's mind. It is America's nadir, the most Goebbels-like Big Lie in modern American history.


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