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October 05, 2004


OK, what Bremer says is true. So how many more troops would we have needed? A few hundred thousand? Is there a difference between having troops available and not sending enough, or just plain not having enough available. Should we have shot Iraqi citizens in the midst of their release of anarchistic frenzie. Should we only act when all the stars are in alignment, or do we take the best shot with what we have. Obviously, if you believe we should never have invaded Iraq, or should have waited until some future time, this will be an easy retort. If you believe we had to act as quickly as we could, then the looting issue remains an unfortunate result of necessary action.

How could this administration get re-elected when we daily have news days like this:

Donald Rumsfeld says no hard evidence links Saddam to al-Qaida ...
Boston Globe - 2 hours ago
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a speech that he knew of no clear link between the al-Qaida terror network and Saddam Hussein, although ...
Rumsfeld says Iraq-al-Qaida link weak Washington Times

They made "no mistakes" but... you know...a couple of catastrophic successes threw off their miscalculations.
That and some intelligence problems but...you know... Iraq was a closed society so how were they to know what Iraq did or didn't have or did or didn't know.

The blameless presidency.

You're attempting the 'nothing's perfect' defense or the 'Iraq and a hard place' defense?
Convenient if...you know...the administration didn't actively ignore intel that didn't fit their assumptions.
see Gen. Shinseki and Jay Garner and call me in the morning.

If you believe we had to act as quickly as we could, then the looting issue remains an unfortunate result of necessary action.

But, as we know now, there was no reason to push ahead with the invasion absent any internation support. There was no imminent threat, no smoking gun, no justification for the haste and roughshod arrogance that the Bush administration employed to get their way.

Even if there was any justification for the speed with which the Bush administration moved, it would still have behooved Donald Rumsfeld to treat the looting as a horrible result of that speed, rather than - as he publicly did - a joke.

If you haven't yet, read the salon column penned by Anonymous.

I suspect that Bremer finding his voice coincides with news that he is at the top of the hit list if the neo-cons take over in a second Bush term.

Thank God Kerry is willing to commit more troops to Iraq!

Thank God Kerry is willing to commit more troops to Iraq!

Admit it "Sebastian," you're really David Brooks, aren't you?


This would be funny if it weren't so sad. I feel like recycling one of my old guest posts at Tacitus (from April 27, 2004): "Weren’t your mama’s only boy, but her favorite one it seems." Key passages:

Considered cooly in the quiet despair of a well-lit room, there was no alternative to military action. The invasion of Iraq had to happen.

But it didn't need to be bungled. It was not as if we were unaware of the consequences of failure ...


[And] It was not as if we weren't warned, again and again, of the need for additional troops in Iraq.

Indeed, Tacitus wrote in these pages about the need for more troops frequently. Hell, at least as early as August 21, 2003 (at 4:21 PM GMT) I, too, was arguing for more troops in Iraq (and, actually, it started quite a bit before that). Let me suggest that when a couple of anonymous bloggers have a firmer grasp on nation-building than Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush, it ain't 'cause we're geniuses. It's because Rumsfeld and Bush ain't.

Even go-with-the-flow Bremer requested more time and more troops months ago. Our commanders warned of a long and difficult insurgency. None of these warnings should have been taken lightly.

But we chose to take a pass on reality when the stock was hot.

(and von and everyone else!)
You might enjoy reading this by an active conservative who can no longer support the Bush presidency.

The author's background:
Marshall Wittmann is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and one of the nation's most quoted analysts on political and congressional issues. He specializes in the growing role of the independent voter.

Prior to joining the Institute, Wittmann held notable positions in government and private institutions. In the private sector, he served as the Heritage Foundation's director of congressional relations both for the U.S. House and Senate. Wittmann also served as the Christian Coalition's director of legislative affairs. In the Bush Administration, he served as the deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. Wittmann also was the legislative representative with the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and a public affairs specialist with the National Treasury Employees Union. He holds both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan.


....but...but....I though the Mission Was Accomplished! We won't need more troops in Iraq if they already "won" the war right?

The decision to go light on troops was intentional and made contrary to advice at the time to send more. Moreover, the warning to send more troops was explicitly based on the concern that massive looting would ensue and cause major post-war problems. I am not bothering to link to the many news stories that have reported this since at least one year ago. The only thing new is Bremer's explicit admission that in fact more troops were needed, that the predictable looting did result from inadequate forces and cause major problems, and more troops were asked for last Spring when he arrived in May, 2003 to try to fix things.

The Bush administration purposefully chose not to send more troops and lied about the demands by the military experts that more troops were needed. That lying continues even now in response to Bremer's remarks.

And what is the conservative defense to this? Made up baloney such as haste made it necessary to go light. Or snide dismissiveness that allegedly Kerry would not send more troops. I guess that's why we should stick with the known dishonest failure.

What does this really mean? Bush Repubs cannot be trusted to make critical decisions about national security because they will short change the interests of the nation and the troops for cheap partisan advantages. And lie about it while doing it.

The real question here is "What did the commanders really think about troop levels?" followed by "Did they receive an implicit or explicit message that they shouldn't request more troops 'cause they weren't gonna get any?"

I just find it impossible to believe that everyone *but* the commanders on the ground saw the need for more troops. Yet that is what the administration is telling us.

"Admit it "Sebastian," you're really David Brooks, aren't you?"

Drat, you are close to figuring out that I'm his long-lost gay younger brother. Don't investigate further, I'm warning you! :)

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