Sunday, October 17, 2004

Staying the Course of To Be Provided 

I just want one thing from those who are generally liberal, but support Bush because they think that Iraq was a valid front in the broader "War on Terror" and that those who deny this fact are misunderstanding the broad (and, really, liberal) underpinnings of the broader war as one of liberalism against facism.

The one thing I want? Admission that the Bush administration has fucked up the prosecution of the Iraq war drastically.

Give me that and I won't understand your vote for Bush, but at least I can be certain that it comes from deep convictions about something other than the man receiving the vote...

I say this after reading this article from Knight Ridder. The important part:
WASHINGTON - In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material - and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."

A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country. The administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions.

In fact, some senior Pentagon officials had thought they could bring most American soldiers home from Iraq by September 2003. Instead, more than a year later, 138,000 U.S. troops are still fighting terrorists who slip easily across Iraq's long borders, diehards from the old regime and Iraqis angered by their country's widespread crime and unemployment and America's sometimes heavy boots.

"We didn't go in with a plan. We went in with a theory," said a veteran State Department officer who was directly involved in Iraq policy.
Now everyone knows I think the war in Iraq was a mistake from the get-go. But even if you think it a valid military adventure, can we at least all agree that the method of its prosecution, from the PR-blitz style of the run-up to the total lack of post-war planning, has been flawed to the point of making what may have been a step forward a step backward. In other words, I feel very strongly that even those who support the Iraq endeavor in theory must reject it in fact, or at least demand that something other than "stay the course" be the plan to fix the country we broke.

"Staying the Course" of "To Be Provided" is never a good idea.


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