Moral Clarity
aka Honesty
A Promise Made is
A Promise Kept
Compassionate Media,
Uncompassionate Voices
Using Compassion
Con credits
About CG/
Search CG


You have selected

*President Bush's lies and deception moral clarity, honesty and integrity 
on the
Iraq invasion - Part B (a continuing saga)

In this course you will learn about the abundant lies, deception or intent to deceive moral clarity, honesty and integrity displayed by compassionate conservative2 President George W. Bush (and his administration speaking on his behalf) on the Iraq invasion (Part B). This part covers his (Government's) miscellaneous statements on the reasons/justifications provided for invading Iraq - AFTER the invasion, and statements relating to the reconstruction/democracy building in Iraq and the order/chaos/security/terrorism situation in Iraq after the invasion. Make sure you drop by again when the Election 04 (2004) campaign starts picking up steam, so that you can refresh your memory on his compassion. 

Please note that the statements made by Bush or his spokespersons/administration3 - as cited in column 3 of the tables below - are by default extracted from one or more of the links shown in column 4. If the source of the statements is different from the link(s) in column 4, then a URL is explicitly provided in column 3. For feedback and corrections, please go here.

A detailed acknowledgement of the sites from which the information below was obtained is listed at this location. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the following sites where I got the vast majority of links from: Atrios/Eschaton, Politics, Law and Autism, Calpundit, Buzzflash, Daily Howler, Talking Points Memo, Thinking it Through, BushwatchSpinsanity

Total Compassion Con credits 2 available from this course to date = 89

Last Update: 12/01/2003


"To questions about whether the attacks on Sept. 11 turned Bush into a better leader, Rove answered that Bush was a great leader all along," the Washington Post reported on December 12: " 'I for one don't buy this theory that September 11th somehow changed George Bush,' " Rove said. " 'You're just paying better attention. He is who he is.' "
"In a lot of ways he is exactly how he's always been, and I think people sort of see him now for how he's always been - very steady, and very disciplined, and a lot of resolve, but also a whole lot of compassion and a way to really connect with people," Laura [Bush] told Tim Russert on December 23.
(from Mark Crispin Miller, The Bush Dyslexicon)


MSNBC - 10/13/03 (bold text is my emphasis):
"...A key Republican lawmaker, Richard Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “the president has to be president” as his top advisers appeared to quarrel. Monday, Bush responded by telling Tribune Broadcasting, “The person who is in charge is me.”
       “In all due respect to politicians here in Washington, D.C., who make comments, they’re just wrong about our strategy,” Bush said. Referring to Paul Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq, by his nickname, Bush added: “We’ve had a strategy from the beginning. Jerry Bremer is running the strategy, and we are making very good progress about the establishment of a free Iraq.”..."


Once you are done with the above sections, you may choose another course by picking one of the options below



Compassion Con credits total = 9

# Topic President Bush or his representative's Compassionate statement Some uncompassionate facts Compassion Con Credits
JU1-01 Justification for Iraq invasion



"...President Bush shot back Tuesday at those suggesting his administration inflated prewar intelligence data on Iraq's weapons program. He said the most important fact was that "the people of Iraq are free."

Eric Alterman (Altercation/MSNBC):
"...A friend writes:
...However — take a look a the following excerpts from Bush’s March 17th address to the nation on the eve of war. In that speech, Bush tells the American people that the major reason for war (if not the ONLY reason for war) is the imminent threat of danger of Saddam’s WMD...Take note especially of the “threat” language that is boldfaced:
 - “The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat. But we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed.”
- “The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security.”
- ”[Saddam Hussein] and terrorists groups might try to conduct terrorist operations against the American people and our friends. These attacks are not inevitable. They are, however, possible. And this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of blackmail. The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed.”
- “We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one year, or five years, the power of Iraq to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over. With these capabilities, Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies could choose the moment of deadly conflict when they are strongest. We choose to meet that threat now, where it arises, before it can appear suddenly in our skies and cities.”
- “Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent. And tonight, as we have done before, America and our allies accept that responsibility.”

His full speech can be found here..."
JU1-02 Justification for Iraq invasion


Bush (6/17/03)

"...President Bush shot back Tuesday at those suggesting his administration inflated prewar intelligence data on Iraq's weapons program. He said the most important fact was that "the people of Iraq are free." [my emphasis]

Bush (6/23/03)

"...He reminded listeners that U.S.-led military operations had toppled governments in Afghanistan and Iraq - two countries he charged were terror havens. "Fifty milion people in those two countries once lived under tyranny, and now they live in freedom," Bush said..."

  Dana Milbank (Washington Post) (7/1/03):
"...President Bush acknowledged yesterday that the United States faces a "massive and long-term undertaking" in Iraq, but said U.S. troops would prevail over what his administration described as well-trained militants that have been killing and injuring U.S. forces..."These groups believe they have found an opportunity to harm America, to shake our resolve in the war on terror and to cause us to leave Iraq before freedom is fully established [CG emphasis]," Bush said. "They are wrong and they will not succeed."..."

Hassan Fattah (The New Republic):
"...On June 9, Al Sa'ah newspaper, one of the new Iraqi broadsheets, published a story alleging that American GIs had raped two teenage girls in the southern governorate of Wasit. According to Al Sa'ah, 18 soldiers raped the girls and left them for dead; one died and the other was killed by her family. The story was a fabrication. Ni'ma Abdul-Razzaq, Al Sa'ah's senior editor, claims he didn't realize it until he scoured Wasit and determined the story was a lie.
The American occupation forces responded aggressively. The U.S. Central Command, which oversees Iraq, warned, "Coalition forces will take every step necessary to correct this report and ensure the Iraqi media becomes a credible source of information for the public." That evening, Abdul-Razzaq issued a retraction and fired the story's reporters. But, despite his actions--standard Western procedure for dealing with falsifying journalists--Iraq's administrator, L. Paul Bremer, quickly made clear just what those necessary steps would be, declaring a new order that placed restrictions on the media that "incite violence." In effect, Bremer imposed a code of conduct on the Iraqi press: He announced that the United States would ban publications that incite violence against the U.S. military, ethnic groups, or women and those that support the Baath Party. Reporters caught violating the decree can be fined, arrested, and detained.
Bremer's proclamation is part of a trend toward muzzling Iraq's nascent press freedom. To be sure, the Iraqi press is freer than under Saddam Hussein, but there are worrying signs in the relationship between American authorities and the media. Last month, Major General David Petraeus, commander of much of northern Iraq, seized control of Mosul's only TV station, citing the station's broadcast of a letter purportedly written by Saddam. "It's our responsibility to maintain the safe and secure environment," Petraeus told reporters. "That includes, if necessary, taking steps to avoid the transmission of segments such as that." According to The Wall Street Journal, an American officer was removed from duty when she argued against Petraeus's decision. The irony was not lost on Iraqis who listened to reports about Saddam's letters on the BBC.
Even the new U.S.-funded Iraqi Media Network (IMN) has not been immune to meddling. American advisers reportedly tried to prevent IMN reporters from airing Koranic recitations, a tradition in much of the Arab world, even though most of the reporters felt they would enhance the station's cultural legitimacy. Meanwhile, Bremer has the power to advise the IMN on any part of its broadcasts, including its editorial decisions. Worse, the United States brought in the wife of Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, who was close to former occupation head Jay Garner, to approve coverage. "It would have been like Ari Fleischer reviewing Dan Rather's scripts," notes Don North, the channel's Canadian-born adviser. Talabani's wife never showed up for work.
But the code of conduct announced after the Al Sa'ah imbroglio represents potentially the most sweeping oversight yet. Bremer's aides say the code is similar to press laws in most Western countries. But Bremer's new regulations define incitement much more broadly than Western press laws..."

(Compassiongate Aside: I don't support hate speech and false accusations, but there is a major double-standard here. Imagine what would happen if serial liars and haters compassionate folks like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Ann "Nuke-them" Coulter, Sean Hannity, etc. were banned altogether in the U.S. not only because they were responsible for wilfully spreading false compassionate information about the previous POTUS - the Supreme Commander of the United States Armed Forces!)

JU1-03 Justification for Iraq invasion



"...President Bush shot back Tuesday at those suggesting his administration inflated prewar intelligence data on Iraq's weapons program. He said the most important fact was that "the people of Iraq are free." "I know there's a lot of revisionist history going on. But he is no longer a threat to the free world," Bush said..."

(a) Regarding the "revisionist" historians...
USA Today
"...Asked what Bush meant by "revisionist history," Fleischer said, "the notion that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction before the war." However, Fleischer said that, since Bush didn't identify who he thought was revising history, he wouldn't either..."

Alexander Keyssar (Washington Post):
"...His national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, made a similar claim a few days earlier. They both seem to think there is something suspect or illegitimate about revisionist history.
Yet revising prevailing interpretations of historical events is precisely what historians do. As new evidence becomes available, or new research methods are developed, or the passage of time shifts our perspective, historians revise their accounts of the past and their explanations of key trends and developments: The writing of history is a continuing, collective effort to attain closer approximations of the truth...
...recast our understanding of Reconstruction. Older, white supremacist histories that depicted that critical era as a struggle between heroic, well-meaning white southerners and ignorant ex-slaves, unscrupulous carpetbaggers and vengeful northern Republicans have been debunked by masses of evidence...The Pentagon Papers, as well as other documents and memoirs, have contributed to revisionist histories of the war in Vietnam. For the past 10 years, the history of the Cold War has been rewritten thanks to the opening of Soviet archives after the collapse of the Soviet Union...
The issue here is not that President Bush has an inadequate appreciation of the historian's craft. (This may be true, but it matters to only a few of us.) It is, rather, that the president and his advisers want to promulgate an official version of history and to deride as untrustworthy any challenges to their account...
...revisionist histories -- multiple, competing, conflicting accounts of important events -- ought not be treated as suspect; they are instead expressions of intellectual and political life in a democracy. The suppression of revisionist history has generally been a mark of dictatorships -- from Hitler to Stalin to Saddam Hussein himself. Or have we forgotten that?..."

(b) Regarding Saddam "no longer being a threat to the free world"...
"...White House officials said on Friday it was unclear whether Saddam Hussein was alive or dead although other officials acknowledged there was growing evidence he might be alive. The New York Times, citing government officials, said the renewed belief that Saddam survived missiles strikes during the war stemmed from intercepted discussions between members of the Saddam Fedayeen paramilitary force and Saddam's intelligence service. The intercepts indicated Saddam was alive and needed to be protected, the newspaper said...Separately, a U.S. official said there was now a "slight preponderance" within the U.S. intelligence community toward the belief that Saddam was alive as opposed to dead but that it was still not conclusive..."
Andrew Buncombe (The Independent):
"...Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq, admitted earlier this month that the failure to find Saddam had an impact on efforts to rebuild the country. "I would obviously prefer that we had clear evidence that Saddam is dead or that we had him alive in our custody," he said. "It does make a difference because it allows the Baathists to go around in the bazaars and villages as they are doing, saying 'Saddam, is alive and he's going to come back and we're going to come back'."..."

JU1-04 Justification for Iraq invasion


Wolfowitz for Bush

"...Q: There was an article published yesterday in Vanity Fair which quoted you as saying that weapons of mass destruction were chosen for bureaucratic reasons to justify war in Iraq.

Wolfowitz: I'm sorry, first of all, that isn't even the way the article puts it, but if you want to know what I actually said I would suggest you read the transcript of the interview which is on our website..."

The New Republic (etc.):
"...So let's take Wolfowitz up on his suggestion and go to the transcript. Here's the exchange with Tanenhaus:
Q: Was that one of the arguments that was raised early on by you and others that Iraq actually does connect, not to connect the dots too much, but the relationship between Saudi Arabia, our troops being there, and bin Laden's rage about that, which he's built on so many years, also connects the World Trade Center attacks, that there's a logic of motive or something like that? Or does that read too much into--
Wolfowitz: No, I think it happens to be correct. The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but--hold on one second--[emphasis added]
At that point there's a pause, and then Wolfowitz aide Kevin Kellems interjects a clarification about an earlier issue in the interview concerning how long troops might stay in Iraq. Then Wolfowitz cuts him off to say that:
[T]here have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two.
So, true enough, Wolfowitz did acknowledge that there was a trio of concerns with Saddam--WMD, support for terrorists, and human rights violations--which filled out the broader strategic picture. But when he tried to tell reporters in Singapore "what I actually said," he was clearly being dishonest, having earlier said that decision to make WMD "the core reason" for the administration's case for war had indeed been dictated by bureaucratic considerations..."
JU1-05 Justification for Iraq invasion


Bush (6/17/03)

"..."We asked other nations to join us in seeing to it that [Saddam] would disarm, and he chose not to do so, so we disarmed him."..."

Let's see. "Disarm" refers to WMDs. None have been found. The Bush administration has been making contradictory statements about them, including stating that Saddam may have destroyed them or "moved" them or "hid" them. When we haven't the slightest clue where the WMDs are and Saddam is still around (as of 6/17/03), how in the world could we be sure we "disarmed him" ???
JU1-06 Justification for Iraq invasion



"..."We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in," Bush said at the White House. "After a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power."..."

Robert Parry (Consortium News):
"...With U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan sitting next to him and White House reporters in front of him, Bush lied. In reality, Hussein’s government had allowed the U.N. inspectors to scour the countryside for months and was even complying with U.N. demands to destroy missiles that exceeded the range permitted by international sanctions.
In early March, U.N. inspectors were requesting more time for their work and noting that the Iraqis finally were filling in details about how they had destroyed earlier stockpiles of weapons. But Bush cut the inspections short and launched his invasion.
Now, asserting a kind of kingly right to say whatever he wishes without contradiction, Bush revised the history to put himself in a more favorable light. The lie was so obvious that some Bush watchers suggest it indicates either a growing brazenness in his deceptions or a disconnect between Bush’s mind and reality..."

Dana Priest and Dana Milbank (Washington Post):
"...The president's assertion that the war began because Iraq did not admit inspectors appeared to contradict the events leading up to war this spring: Hussein had, in fact, admitted the inspectors and Bush had opposed extending their work because he did not believe them effective..."

Letters to the Editor (Washington Post):
"...Dana Priest and Dana Milbank described President Bush's statement that the United States gave Saddam Hussein "a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in" as "appearing to contradict the events leading up to war" [front page, July 15].
Wouldn't "a preposterous and outrageous lie" be a more accurate description of the president's statement?

JU1-07 Justification for Iraq invasion



"...Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States because we removed him, but he was a threat. Such a threat that my predecessor, using the same intelligence in 1998, ordered a bombing of Iraq. I mean, so—he was a threat..."

Daily Howler:
"...What a remarkable answer! How did Bush know that Saddam had WMD? Because he had used them—in 1988! And how did he know that Saddam was a major threat? Because of intelligence reports—from 1998! Can this possibly mean that the Bush Admin was working off five-year-old information? Here at THE HOWLER, we don’t have a clue. But pundits will know not to ask.
Was the Bush Admin using dated info? We don’t know, but it surely would matter. On the June 15 Meet the Press, Wesley Clark offered an intriguing thought about those AWOL WMD:
RUSSERT: Was there an intelligence failure? Was the intelligence hyped, as Senator Joe Biden said? Was the president misled, or did he mislead the American people?
CLARK: Well, several things. First of all, all of us in the community who read intelligence believe that Saddam wanted these capabilities and he had some. We struck very hard in December of ’98, did everything we knew, all of his facilities. I think it was an effective set of strikes. Tony Zinni commanded that, called Operation Desert Fox, and I think that set them back a long ways.
Did those ’98 raids set back Iraq’s programs? Here at THE HOWLER, we don’t have the foggiest. (Predictably, Clark’s comment provoked no discussion.) But yesterday, Bush referred to intelligence reports which would have predated those ’98 raids. Maybe his answer was simply lazy—but his answer was remarkably weak. But don’t worry. The press corps won’t notice..."
None assigned for purely compassionate reasons
JU1-08 Justification for Iraq invasion


(commenting on David Kay's report)

"...The report states that Saddam Hussein's regime had a clandestine network of biological laboratories, a live strain of deadly agent botulinum, sophisticated concealment efforts, and advanced design work on prohibited longer range missiles...[Saddam] actively deceived the international community, that Saddam Hussein, was in clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1441 and that Saddam Hussein was a danger to the world..."

Powell for Bush

"...We are more convinced by the Kay report that we did the right thing..."

Fred Kaplan (MSN/Slate):
"...These statements were mustered to counter criticisms from Democratic senators who, upon reading the report, proclaimed that it proves only that Bush had no basis for whipping up prewar fears of an imminent Iraqi danger.
A close reading of the actual, unclassified report—which Kay delivered as testimony on Oct. 2 to a panel of several congressional committees—reveals not only that Bush's critics are closer to the mark, but something much more significant: that Saddam wanted and, in some cases, tried to resurrect the weapons programs that he had built in the 1980s, but that the United Nations sanctions and inspections prevented him from doing so.
First, let us dispose of the president's argument for taking the report as proof that Saddam posed a "danger to the world." On the White House lawn last Friday, Bush recited the report's finding that Iraq's WMD program "spanned more than two decades" and "involved thousands of people, billions of dollars."
The report does contain these figures, in precisely those words. However, it does not claim, or even pretend to suggest, that the WMD program consumed so much manpower or money toward the end of its run—i.e., on the eve of Gulf War II. In context, the numbers clearly refer to how much Iraq put into the program through its entire 20-plus-year duration. And elsewhere, the report notes that most of this effort was undertaken before Operation Desert Storm, the first Gulf War of 1991.
For instance, there's this eyebrow-raising sentence halfway into the report: "Multiple sources with varied access and reliability have told ISG [the Iraq Survey Group] that Iraq did not have a large, ongoing centrally controlled CW [chemical weapons] program after 1991. … Iraq's large-scale capability to develop, produce, and fill new CW munitions was reduced—if not entirely destroyed—during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Fox [Clinton's 1998 airstrikes], 13 years of UN sanctions and UN inspections."
Throughout the report, Kay kicks up a sandstorm of suggestiveness, but no more. He notes, in alarming tones, the discovery of "a clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service," including equipment "suitable for continuing CBW [chemical and biological weapons] research" (all italics—here and henceforth—added). This is an interesting finding, but it says nothing about CBW development or production or deployment, and proves nothing about whether the equipment was actually intended or designed for CBW purposes.
The report cites "multiple sources" who told Pentagon agents "that Iraq explored the possibility of CW production in recent years." But there is no indication Iraq went any further. In fact, the report adds, when Saddam asked a senior military official "in either 2001 or 2002" how long it would take to produce new chemical weapons, "he responded it would take six months for mustard" gas. Another senior Iraqi official, replying to a similar request in mid-2002 from Saddam's son Odai, estimated it would take "two months to produce mustard and two years for Sarin." 
Though the report doesn't say so explicitly, these exchanges reveal fairly conclusively that, in 2001-02, Iraq had no ongoing CW program. Just about any country, starting from scratch, could produce mustard gas or Sarin along this timetable, given access to the materials. Nor does the report cite any indication that, after posing the question, Saddam or Odai ordered production to commence.
One reason may be that Iraq had no chemical agents to churn into chemical weapons. The report says Iraq "may have engaged" in "research on a possible VX stabilizer" and in "research and development for CW-capable munitions." (Just about any munition can be CW-capable.)
"We have also acquired information related to Iraq's CW doctrine and Iraq's war plans for OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom], but," the report acknowledges, "we have not yet found evidence to confirm pre-war reporting that Iraqi military units were prepared to use CW against Coalition forces." Indeed, the Pentagon teams' efforts "have thus far yielded little reliable information on post-1991 CW stocks and CW agent production."
The section of the report on Saddam's nuclear aspirations is still more revealing—and disingenuous. The section begins with the Pentagon teams learning from several sources that Saddam "remained firmly committed to acquiring nuclear weapons." But read the next two sentences: "These officials assert that Saddam would have resumed nuclear weapons at some future point. Some indicated a resumption after Iraq was free of sanctions."
In other words, Saddam might have restarted his nuclear-weapons program—except for the U.N. sanctions...
At a news conference shortly after his testimony, Kay shed more light on this curious connection within the "axis of evil." Saddam paid North Korea $10 million for the missiles. However, the North Koreans decided delivering the missiles was too risky because they thought the rest of the world was watching Iraqi transactions too closely. (North Korea kept the $10 million, though. Some axis.)
In another indication that the United Nations' prewar sanctions and inspections were working fairly well (though Kay never puts it that way), the report cites Saddam's attempt to convert the HY-2 coastal-defense cruise missile, which had a range of 100 km, into a land-attack missile with a range of 1,000 km. He planned to do this by replacing the HY-2's liquid-fuel rocket engine with a turbine engine from a Russian-built helicopter. However, the report notes, "To prevent discovery by the U.N., Iraq halted engine developing and testing and disassembled the test stand in late 2002 before the design criteria had been met."..."


<go back to the top>

Compassion Con credits total = 26

# Topic President Bush or his representative's Compassionate statement Some uncompassionate facts Compassion Con Credits
RE1-01 Bremer replacing Garner Wolfowitz for Bush

"...Wolfowitz said Garner hadn't been replaced. He had been subsumed: the Pentagon had planned all along to put someone like Bremer in charge..."

  Joe Klein (Time):
"...But this was nonsense; several military experts told me that Garner was replaced because he had been paralyzed by the political and diplomatic complexities of the job; Bremer was said to be more decisive..."

Karen DeYoung (Washington Post):
"...The appointment of L. Paul Bremer III early this month as the new head of the U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq, portrayed by the Bush administration as part of a smoothly running postwar plan, was a hastily arrived-at decision by a White House increasingly worried about collapsing civil order in Iraq, according to senior administration officials. The decision to dispatch Bremer to Baghdad two months before retired Gen. Jay M. Garner was supposed to be replaced in the post came after senior White House advisers and President Bush agreed that both the image and reality of the reconstruction effort were flagging, officials said...
Postwar plans drawn up in January and February included the eventual installation of a senior civilian "of stature" to be in charge of non-military aspects of the occupation during an indefinite period between Garner's early efforts and the election of an Iraqi government. Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had interviewed and signed off on Bremer in April, but announcements of his appointment and departure were still seen as weeks, if not months, away.
Powell was "surprised" by the decision to advance Bremer's departure for Iraq, one official said, "but it was a nice surprise" since Bremer is a former Foreign Service officer..."

Joshua Hammer and Colin Soloway (Newsweek):
"...Last week the White House announced that Jay Garner, the retired general and chief administrator of Iraq, was out of a job, barely three weeks after his arrival in Baghdad. Several top aides are also leaving, including Barbara Bodine, a former ambassador to Yemen who had been in charge of reconstruction for the Baghdad region. Garner’s replacement is L. Paul Bremer, a counterterrorism expert at the State Department. At his first press conference in Baghdad, Bremer praised Garner and insisted that the handover reflected a longstanding plan to turn governance of Iraq to a “civilian administration.” But sources in both Iraq and Washington say that Garner’s brief tenure was a debacle—plagued by inexperience, bureaucratic infighting and inertia—and that the White House had grown alarmed at his failure to establish order and restore basic services in Baghdad. “It was amateur hour,” says a senior ORHA official..."

RE1-02 Iraq Stabilization Group Rice for Bush

"...said over the weekend that she had conferred with Mr. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Vice President Dick Cheney about setting up the new entity [Iraq Stabilization Group]..."

David Stout (New York Times):
"...Mr. Rumsfeld said neither President Bush nor Ms. Rice had told him in advance of the new entity.
The fact that Mr. Rumsfeld was not informed is puzzling at first glance, since he and Ms. Rice are both members of the National Security Council, whose chairman is the president. The council, which includes several other cabinet officers and high-ranking officials, is the president's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy issues with his top advisers.
The secretary said on Tuesday that he did not know why Ms. Rice had felt it necessary to send a memo about the new entity to cabinet officials, or to brief The New York Times about it. The Times reported the creation of the group in an article published Monday.
Alluding to the Iraq Stabilization Group, Mr. Rumsfeld expressed puzzlement over the reasons behind forming such an entity, implying that the move was little more than a bureaucratic change. "That's what the N.S.C.'s charter is," Mr. Rumsfeld said of the new group's purpose in his interview with The Financial Times. "The only thing unusual about it is the attention. I kind of wish they'd just release the memorandum."
Mr. Rumsfeld, who spoke to reporters Tuesday in Colorado Springs before a meeting of NATO defense ministers, said the Pentagon had received a one-page memo on Friday that the National Security Council would conduct "interagency coordination" in Iraq.
Ms. Rice said over the weekend that she had conferred with Mr. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Vice President Dick Cheney about setting up the new entity. But her account seemed at odds with Mr. Rumsfeld's recollection. He told reporters that he did not recall the change being discussed. "I wouldn't know how to comment on it," he said.
At one point, when the interviewer persisted, the secretary lost his patience. "You don't understand English?" Mr. Rumsfeld said. "I was not there for the backgrounding," a reference to the briefing given to The New York Times.
But today, Mr. Rumsfeld said that communications over the new entity had occurred at a level below him, and that there was no problem with that. "The reality is that the National Security Council's responsibility is to do exactly what this one-page memo says they should do," he said. "It is not a problem or an issue."
At the White House today, Mr. McClellan also sought to dispel the impression that Mr. Rumsfeld had been left "completely in the dark about this new effort," as one questioner put it.
"It's important for the National Security Council to coordinate efforts here at a high level," Mr. McClellan said of the Iraq-rebuilding efforts. "We want to do everything we can to assist them in their efforts."
In the interview with The Financial Times, Mr. Rumsfeld did nothing to discourage the impression that he was quite annoyed. And it is no secret that Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Powell have had their policy differences over Iraq and other issues, with the defense secretary generally regarded as more hawkish..."
RE2-01 American soldiers in Iraq Rumsfeld for Bush (7/9/03)

"...Rumsfeld said the division's 3rd Brigade has already reached Kuwait and will be heading home this month. The 2nd Brigade, which had been in the region for 10 months, will be home in August and the 1st Brigade will return in September..."

Needlenose (via Atrios):
"...From the Associated Press today [7/14/03]:
The Army said Monday that thousands of 3rd Infantry Division soldiers have had their deployment in Iraq extended, dashing hopes that the troops would be home by September.
. . . Maj. Gen. Buford C. Blount III, the division's commander, said last week he hoped the division's 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams of roughly 9,000 soldiers could return home to Fort Stewart within the next six weeks.
But homecomings for those soldiers, as well as the division's 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, have now been postponed indefinitely, Fort Stewart spokesman Richard Olson said Monday.
"Now, that timeframe has basically gone away, and there is no timeframe," Olson said..."
None assigned for compassionate reasons
RE3-01 Iraq
resumption of utilities
Bush (8/9/03)

"...Life is returning to normal for the Iraqi people -- hospitals and universities have opened, and in many places, water and other utility services are reaching pre-war levels..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
"...In Basra on Saturday, angry crowds burned a gasoline tanker and threw stones at British troops stationed in the city, protesting the utility shortages that have made life nearly unbearable in heat that reaches up to 125 degrees fahrenheit daily.
Today, residents in the region said the violence in Basra had worsened, and that two people had been killed and seven others wounded in clashes between irate mobs and British troops. They said more tanker trucks had been stolen at gunpoint and that Iraqi police had fled from other violent confrontations. 
Basra Protests Continue for Second Day

Washington Post August 10, 2003..."
None assigned for compassionate reasons
RE3-02 Iraq
resumption of utilities
Rumsfeld for Bush (9/5/03)

"...For a city that's not supposed to have power [Baghdad], there's lights all over the place. It's like Chicago..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
"...BAGHDAD - Interruptions to the electricity supply in Baghdad, lasting for two or three hours at a time, several times a day, are causing havoc for thousands of residents of the Iraqi capital, particularly during the stifling summer heat that regularly soars to 45 degrees Centigrade.
I had to throw away 150 pieces of meat a week ago because it went bad in the heat," 50 year-old Hamid Ramadani, manager of the Spring Time restaurant on Kharada Street in Baghdad, told IRIN. "I can't arrange the food for my customers if I have to throw it in the garbage because it's rotten," he lamented.
A man passing by Ramadani's establishment said it was not just restaurants that were suffering badly. "In homes, at work, in the shops, no one can do any work, because there is no electricity," the passer-by, Ahmed Amel, told IRIN. "Maybe it's on for two hours then off for three. We have many difficulties," he said."
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Damage to power lines hits Baghdad residents hard September 11, 2003
Update 9/12 2:05 PM ET: 
In central Baghdad, meanwhile, a huge running gunbattle broke out for about 45 minutes Friday on a busy street along the Tigris River's east bank, where several of the city's largest hotels are located. No injuries were reported.

I suppose Rumsfeld would remind us that this kind of stuff used to happen all the time in Chicago back during Prohibition. Where's Elliot Ness when you really need him?..."

RE4-01 Iraqi war costs Rumsfeld for Bush

"...told a hearing that the “burn rate” for American money to fund the military presence in Iraq was now $3.9 billion a month—almost $1 billion a week..."

Christopher Dickey (Newsweek):
"...But that billion a week is just the beginning. It doesn’t include the cost of running Iraq’s government and rebuilding it, which could be an additional billion a month, according to rough U.N. estimates made before the war. Then there’s the matter of Iraq’s enormous debts. Last week the major creditor countries in the so-called Paris Club agreed to restructure about $21 billion worth, but estimates of the total external debt, including war reparations to Kuwait, run well over $100 billion. How will the reconstruction be funded? For the administration it’s an especially painful question, in part because it comes at a time when the U.S. economy is in the doldrums, when budget deficits are ballooning and when tax cuts are the preferred method of getting business churning again. No wonder “Rumsfeld lost his cool,” said a former senior official from the first Bush administration. “He was befuddled. I think he’s running out of confidence and wriggle room.”..."
None assigned. Just providing some uncompassionate facts.
RE4-02 Iraq war/ reconstruction costs Cheney for Bush

"...I didn’t see a one-point estimate there that you could say that this is the administration’s estimate. We didn’t know. And if you ask Secretary Rumsfeld, for example—I can remember from his briefings, he said repeatedly he didn’t know. And when you and I talked about it, I couldn’t put a dollar figure on it..."

Tim Russert on Meet The Press:
"...MR. RUSSERT: In terms of costs, Mr. Vice President, there are suggestions again—it was a misjudgment by the administration or even misleading. “Lawrence Lindsey, head of the White House’s National Economic Council, projected the ‘upper bound’ of war costs at $100 billion to $200 billion.”
       We’ve already spent $160 billion after this $87 billion is spent. The Pentagon predicted $50 billion: “The administration’s top budget official [Mitch Daniels] estimated that the cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion...he said...that earlier estimates of $100 billion to $200 billion in Iraq war costs by Lawrence Lindsey, Mr. Bush’s former chief economic adviser, were too high.”
       And Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of Defense, went before Congress and said this: “We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own econstruction, and relatively soon. The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years.” It looked like the administrations truly misjudged the cost of this operation.
       VICE PRES. CHENEY: No, I didn’t see a one-point estimate there that you could say that this is the administration’s estimate. We didn’t know. And if you ask Secretary Rumsfeld, for example—I can remember from his briefings, he said repeatedly he didn’t know. And when you and I talked about it, I couldn’t put a dollar figure on it.
       MR. RUSSERT: But Daniels did say $50 billion.
       VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, that might have been, but I don’t know what is basis was for making that judgment..."

Compassiongate: Either Daniels was lying being compassionate or Cheney was.

RE4-03 Iraq
war/ reconstruction costs
Daniels for Bush

"...dismissed Lindsey's prediction [of Iraq war costs being $100B - $200B] as "very, very high"...."

"...There's just no reason that this [rebuilding Iraq] can't be an affordable endeavor...."

Daniels for Bush

"...The United States is committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid..."

Fleischer for Bush

"...quipped [that] the price of removing Saddam Hussein could be as low as "[t]he cost of one bullet, if the Iraqi people take it on themselves."..."

Rumsfeld for Bush

"..."I notice today everyone was saying, 'Oh my goodness, they did know what the war was going to cost.' And I have said repeatedly we don't know what the war is going to cost, and the truth is, we don't know what the war is going to cost. You can't know it, it's not knowable."..."

Rumsfeld for Bush

"...I don’t know that there is much reconstruction to do..."

David Gilson (Mother Jones):
"...As US troops approached Baghdad in late March, Donald Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon: "I notice today everyone was saying, 'Oh my goodness, they did know what the war was going to cost.' And I have said repeatedly we don't know what the war is going to cost, and the truth is, we don't know what the war is going to cost. You can't know it, it's not knowable." Two days later, he went before Congress to ask for $62 billion in supplemental spending to fund the war...
In July, Paul Bremer, the head US administrator in Iraq, said that the cost of reconstruction is "probably well above $50 billion, $60 billion, maybe $100 billion. It's a lot of money."..."

Rep. Jim McDermott:
"...After passage of the latest $87 billion supplemental, the war in Iraq will have already cost the federal government more than $150 billion. 

*     In April, after the war started, Congress approved an initial $79 billion for military operations.  Of the $87 billion being requested now, $66 billion is for military operations- more than $50 billion of which is for Iraq.  So the military operations in Iraq alone have cost at least $130 billion.  This does not factor in reconstruction costs in Iraq, or continuing military and reconstruction costs in Afghanistan. 

*     Of the $87 billion request, $21 billion is directed to reconstruction efforts in Iraq.  However this is just the first installment on the reconstruction bill there.  It is estimated that the $21 billion is still at least $55 billion short of what the reconstruction will really cost.  Some Pentagon officials have confessed to reporters that the $21 billion is barely enough to make it through this fiscal year. 

*     So, we have already spent more than $150 billion on Iraq, and can realistically expect to pay AT LEAST another $50 billion plus….bringing the total to more than $200 billion.  Interestingly, that is the same number that former Bush Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsey leaked before his abrupt departure...

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: 
Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.” [Source: Media Stakeout, 1/19/03]..."

RE4-04 Iraq war costs Daniels for Bush

"...war with Iraq could cost between $50 billion and $60 billion...The New York Times reported Tuesday. Mitchell Daniels, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the Bush administration had budgeted for both short-term and long-term military campaigns against Iraq..."

Timothy Noah (MSN/Slate):
"...What about the cost of the war, which the Bush administration insisted couldn't be estimated in advance? Larry Lindsey reportedly lost his job as chairman of the National Economic Council for blabbing to the Wall Street Journal that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion. Mitch Daniels, then White House budget director, scoffed at Lindsey's estimate and said the cost would be more like $50 billion or $60 billion. But now the Washington Post is estimating the cost of the war and its aftermath at … $100 billion..."

Also see: The entry above

RE4-05 Iraq reconstruction costs Cheney for Bush


"...But this is not a situation where, you know, it’s only a matter of us writing a check to solve the problem. Iraq sits on top of 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, very significant reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia..."

Wolfowitz for Bush

"...we are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon..."

Rumsfeld for Bush

"...I don't believe that the United States has the responsibility for reconstruction, in a sense… funds can come from those various sources I mentioned -- frozen assets, oil revenues and a variety of other things, including the Oil for Food, which has a very substantial number of billions of dollars in it..."

Micheal Elliott (Time) via Truthout:
"...Iraq's electricity grid is barely functional, and its oil installations aren't much better. "The oil refineries can't be repaired, in my opinion," said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham after a visit to Iraq last month. "They have to be replaced."...Many oil experts spent last winter publicly debunking the Administration's assumptions on oil, pointing out that 12 years of sanctions had left the industry in a terrible state. "There has been a great deal of wishful thinking about Iraqi oil," said the Council on Foreign Relations/Rice University report, noting that the oil sector was "being held together by 'Band-Aids'" and estimating that the Iraqi industry needed $30 billion to $40 billion to rehabilitate active wells and develop new fields. "Put simply," the report continued, "we do not anticipate a bonanza." According to Department of Energy figures, Iraq is pumping only about 1.65 million bbl. of oil a day now, compared with 2.8 million before the war and 3.5 million before 1990, which makes that revelation something of an understatement..."

The New Republic:
"...Actually, the fact is Iraq will require billions in investment just to return to prewar production levels of 2.5 million barrels per day and even then will bring in only a fraction of the money the United States has budgeted for rebuilding..."

Jonathan Weisman and Juliet Eilperin (Washington Post):
"...President Bush's $20.3 billion request for Iraq's reconstruction...details include...$900 million to import petroleum products such as kerosene and diesel to a country with the world's second-largest oil reserves..."We're not talking sanity here," Dyer [Republican staff director of the House Appropriations Committee] said. "The world's second-largest oil country is importing oil, and a country full of concrete is importing concrete."..."

CNN - before the war 3/12/03:
"...The report from the Council on Foreign Relations...comprised of experts from the government, the military and academia...says the president "should announce a multibillion dollar, multiyear post-conflict reconstruction program and seek formal congressional endorsement."...
Task force co-chairmen Thomas Pickering -- who served in the Clinton administration-- and James Schlesinger -- who served in the Nixon and Ford administrations -- said at a news conference that Americans should not assume Iraq's oil wealth will be available in the early years to help pay for Iraq's reconstruction.
"In the early years, oil revenues will be insufficient," Schlesinger said, noting that Iraq's oil infrastructure is in dire need of refurbishing and that the country's oil revenues are committed to supplying food and essentials..."

As much as we hate to feature this so-called journalist, here goes.
Jeff Gerth (New York Times):
"...The Bush administration's optimistic statements earlier this year that Iraq's oil wealth, not American taxpayers, would cover most of the cost of rebuilding Iraq were at odds with a bleaker assessment of a government task force secretly established last fall to study Iraq's oil industry, according to public records and government officials. The task force, which was based at the Pentagon as part of the planning for the war, produced a book-length report that described the Iraqi oil industry as so badly damaged by a decade of trade embargoes that its production capacity had fallen by more than 25 percent, panel members have said. 
Despite those findings, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz told Congress during the war that "we are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."
Moreover, Vice President Dick Cheney said in April, on the day Baghdad fell, that Iraq's oil production could hit 3 million barrels a day by the end of the year, even though the task force had determined that Iraq was generating less than 2.4 million barrels a day before the war....
One expert consulted by the government, Amy Myers Jaffe, who heads the energy program at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, said her group concluded in a report last December that "oil revenues would not be enough and that the expenses of reconstruction would be huge."
In addition, United Nations reports dating back to the late 1990's documented the deterioration that occurred in Iraq's oil system as a result of trade embargoes, which curtailed Iraq's access to technology and equipment...
...Energy Infrastructure Planning Group, whose existence has not been previously disclosed. It drew on the expertise of government specialists including the Central Intelligence Agency and retired senior energy executives. It planned how to secure the oil industry during the war and, afterward, restoring it to its prewar capacity...

The task force concluded that although Iraq's stated production capacity was just over 3 million barrels per day, the system was only producing 2.1 million to 2.4 million barrels, panel members said.
"I think most people would agree that the 2.4 was a little high and the average for 2002 was 2.1," said a Pentagon official on the task force who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The "condition of the Iraqi oil infrastructure was not particularly good," the official said. "That would be evident to anybody who realized the country had been under U.N. sanctions for many years."..."

Jeff Gerth (New York Times):
"...As the Bush administration spends hundreds of millions of dollars to repair the pipes and pumps above ground that carry Iraq's oil, it has not addressed serious problems with Iraq's underground oil reservoirs, which American and Iraqi experts say could severely limit the amount of oil those fields produce.
In northern Iraq, the large but aging Kirkuk field suffers from too much water seeping into its oil deposits, the experts say, and similar problems are evident in the sprawling oil fields in southern Iraq.
Experts familiar with the Iraqi oil industry have said years of poor management damaged the fields, and some warn that the current drive to rapidly return the fields to prewar capacity risks reducing their productivity in the long run. 

"We are losing a lot of oil," said Issam al-Chalabi, Iraq's former oil minister. He said it "is the consensus of all the petroleum engineers" involved in the Iraqi industry that maximizing oil production may be detrimental to the reservoirs. 
A 2000 United Nations report on the Kirkuk field said "the possibility of irreversible damage to the reservoir of this supergiant field is now imminent."...
Wendy Hall, a spokeswoman for Halliburton, the Houston oil services and engineering company managing the Iraqi oil-repair job, said Iraq's present production levels and the administration's future oil goals "cannot be sustained without reservoir maintenance."..."

Also see: Christopher Dickey (Newsweek)

RE4-06 Iraq reconstruction costs Cheney for Bush
(Mar 2003)

"...[said that once Hussein was ousted] "a good part of the world, especially our allies, will come around to our way of thinking."..."

Wolfowitz for Bush
(Feb 2003)

"...I would expect that even countries like France will have a strong interest in assisting Iraq in reconstruction..."

Council for a Livable World:
"...The reality:
Most countries, including France, have been reluctant to send troops or help pay for reconstruction.  Great Britain reduced its initial contribution of 45,000 troops to about 11,000.  There is one Polish-led division of about 9,000 troops composed of forces from more than 20 countries.  In most of the world, the U.S. intervention remains very unpopular with the public and the leaders..."

Keith Richburg and Glenn Kessler (Washington Post):
"...International donors Friday promised at least $9 billion in future loans and as much as $4 billion in grants to help with Iraq's postwar reconstruction over the next five years, following a two-day conference marked by continuing differences over the war and how money would be spent.  
With the Bush administration pledging $20 billion, the total from the meeting came to about $33 billion -- well short of the $56 billion that the World Bank and the United Nations have said Iraq would need over the next five years.
The bulk of the money was promised in the form of loans, not the grants that U.S. officials said they preferred, at a time when Iraq is already burdened with $125 billion in foreign debt. [CG emphasis]
While 73 countries attended the session, more than three-quarters of the non-U.S. pledges came from just three sources -- Japan, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The numbers suggest that the United States could end up carrying most of the international burden for rebuilding Iraq..."

RE4-07 Iraq reconstruction funding Rumsfeld for Bush

"...Tourism is going to be something important in that country,'' he said, ``as soon as the security situation is resolved..."

San Jose Mercury News:
"...Worried that you, the American taxpayer, will have to pick up the check for Iraq's reconstruction?
Lying awake nights because the river of Iraqi oil that was going to finance the rebuilding won't float a rowboat?
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has a word to ease your mind: Tourism.
``Tourism is going to be something important in that country,'' he said, ``as soon as the security situation is resolved . . .''
Mr. Secretary, we hear you. This will be the mother of all vacations:
• The Museums and Ruins Tour: An archaeological excursion featuring looted antiquities museums and recently ruined holy sites. On the bonus shopping expedition, bid for real antiquities in Baghdad's main bazaar.
• The Biblical Rivers Tour: Take a thrill ride on a barge through the mined harbor of Umm Qasr and sightsee on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (two biblical rivers, one cradle of civilization all for one low price.)
• The WMD Tour: Search for deadly sarin and mustard gas with weapons expert David Kay. (This tour is not recommended for tourists who expect to actually see anything.)
• The Bounty Hunt: Hire an interpreter, rent a Humvee and head off on your own into the wilds of Tikrit in a merry search for the elusive man himself. First one to spot Saddam gets dinner at the White House and $25 million. Includes complimentary deck of ``Most Wanted'' cards for easy identification.
• The Halliburton and Bechtel Reconstruction Tour: Witness truckloads of actual American dollars being dumped in the desert. (Sorry, U.S. citizens only.)
• Grand Finale. Saddam's Groovy Baghdad Love Shacks Tour: From the New York Daily News: ``U.S. soldiers . . . stumbled upon what they believe is one of the tawdry tyrant's secret love lairs. Replete with statues of topless women, a whirlpool tub, beanbag chairs and a king-size bed surrounded with mirrors, the townhouse evoked a groovy, '60s-era playboy pad that would make Austin Powers feel right at home.'' (Over 21 only, must show ID).
• Premium Upgrade Available: Electricity and running water on all tours, prices and hours to be determined.
Book now at Pentagon Expeditions, 1-800-SEE-IRAQ. Ask for John Poindexter."
RE4-08 Iraq reconstruction Rumsfeld for Bush

"...We are not in Iraq to engage in nation building...We are there to help Iraqis build their own country..."

Rumsfeld for Bush

"...I don't believe it's our job to reconstruct that country after 30 years of centralized, Stalinist-like economic controls in that country..."

Arthur Silber (Coldfury):
"...Got that? No "nation building." Uh-huh. No sirree. No way. 
Well, then, what the hell is this?
A new curriculum for training an Iraqi army for $164 million. Five hundred experts, at $200,000 each, to investigate crimes against humanity. A witness protection program for $200,000 per Iraqi participant. A computer study for the Iraqi postal service: $54 million.
Such numbers, buried in President Bush's $20.3 billion request for Iraq's reconstruction, have made some congressional Republicans nervous, even furious. Although the GOP leadership has tried to unite publicly around its president, cracks are beginning to show. ...
As more details seep out, he said, anger is sure to rise.
Those details include $100 million to build seven planned communities with a total of 3,258 houses, plus roads, an elementary school, two high schools, a clinic, a place of worship and a market for each; $10 million to finance 100 prison-building experts for six months, at $100,000 an expert; 40 garbage trucks at $50,000 each; $900 million to import petroleum products such as kerosene and diesel to a country with the world's second-largest oil reserves; and $20 million for a four-week business course, at $10,000 per student.
"If those are what the costs are, I'm glad Congress is asking questions," said Brian Reidl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "If the White House wants to be portrayed as spending tax dollars in Iraq as cost-effectively as they spend [money] anywhere else, they're going to have to explain this."
Already, the administration's request for $400 million to build two 4,000-bed prisons at $50,000 a bed has raised enough questions in Congress to force Provisional Authority Administrator L. Paul Bremer to explain that cement must be imported to make concrete.
"We're not talking sanity here," Dyer said. "The world's second-largest oil country is importing oil, and a country full of concrete is importing concrete."
RE4-09 Iraq reconstruction Rumsfeld for Bush

"...the funds the president requested [$87B] are vital to our success in the global war on terror and to our ability to finish the job in Iraq..."


"...requested the money in September, saying, "We have conducted a thorough assessment of our military and reconstruction needs in Iraq..."


"...[the key to] rebuilding a democratic and prosperous Iraq is the Iraqi people themselves..."

Rod Nordland and Michael Hirsh (Newsweek):
"...Numerous allegations of overspending, favoritism and corruption have surfaced. Halliburton, a major defense contractor once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, has been accused of gouging prices on imported fuel—charging $1.59 a gallon while the Iraqis “get up to speed,” when the Iraqi national oil company says it can now buy it at no more than 98 cents a gallon. (The difference is about $300 million.) Cronies of Iraqi exile leader Ahmad Chalabi, NEWSWEEK has learned, were recently awarded a large chunk of a major contract for mobile telecommunications networks..."
"...As Congress is preparing to vote on the administration's emergency $87 billion request, a new study is challenging the immediate need for the funding.
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld asserted two weeks ago that "the funds the president requested are vital to our success in the global war on terror and to our ability to finish the job in Iraq."1 But that position is being undermined by a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study that has found that Iraq military operations have sufficient funds until May of next year.
The CRS study released yesterday suggests that the recently-passed $368.2 billion 2004 Defense funding bill plus the emergency funding Congress passed at the start of the war provides the Army alone with $37 billion in funding for personnel and operations and maintenance, enough to fund operations through early May.2
President Bush requested the money in September, saying, "We have conducted a thorough assessment of our military and reconstruction needs in Iraq."3 But even prior to the CRS survey's conclusions, Republican aides said that the administration inflated its budget request in part to avoid having to ask for additional funds the following year -- during the election season.4
Bush continues to lobby members personally for passage of the request as it was submitted. Pressure from Congress to scale back or convert portions of the request from a grant to a loan have been met with anger. "I'm not here to debate you," Bush said, in cutting off a Republican senator during a recent meeting to discuss the issue.5...
Even though seven million Iraqis are unemployed1, U.S. sub-contractors are rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure with cheap migrant labor from South Asia.2 The use of Asian laborers is at odds with President Bush's emphasis on the importance of Iraqis taking on the job themselves.
Bush has said the key to "rebuilding a democratic and prosperous Iraq is the Iraqi people themselves."3 Paul Bremer, the Bush appointee overseeing post-war Iraq, likewise has talked of the need to turn around the country's 60 percent unemployment rate and "to fix a very sick economy."4
However, the head of the Iraqi Jobless Association, Kasem Hadi, is critical of the Bush Administration's lack of progress. "Following four rounds of talks with [Bremer's] representatives, we made no progress regarding the unemployment crisis,"5 Hadi says.
Meanwhile, U.S. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, one of Bremer's colleagues, has raised questions about the reliability of foreign workers. "You find [them] in out-of-the-way corners taking 15 minute naps," she notes.6
At the same time, officials of the Iraqi Governing Council are concerned that large American contractors, including Halliburton and Bechtel, may be inflating the cost of the reconstruction projects. The Iraqi governors told members of the U.S. Congress that Iraqi companies could be doing the work at 10 percent of the cost.7..."

Rep. Waxman letter to OMB (via
"...The information I have been receiving is anecdotal. But it is reliable, comes from a variety of different sources, and all points to the same conclusion. 
* Members of the Iraqi Governing Council told my staff that the costs to the American taxpayer of many reconstruction proects could be reduced by 90% if the projects are awarded to local Iraqi companies rather than to large government contractors like Halliburton or Bechtel.
* The general in charge of northern Iraq, Major General David Petraeus, told a congressional delegation that included my staff that U.S. engineers estimated that it would cost $15 million to bring a cement plant in northern Iraq back to Western production standards. Because this estimate far exceeded the funds available to General Petraeus, he gave the project to local Iraqis, who were able to get the cement plant running again for just $80000..."
[CG note: There's a lot more in Waxman's letter]

Center for American Progress:
"...At the same time soldiers are being sent into battle without proper body armor , Reuters reports, "Prospective bidders are salivating over new Iraqi business worth up to $18.7 billion , from sellers of trucks and power generators to construction giants and oil refinery specialists. A sold-out Pentagon conference for contractors at an Arlington , Virginia , hotel on Wednesday had the heady feeling of a Gold Rush. 'There is just so much money that we can tap into. It's just wonderful to have this opportunity,' one prospective bidder gushed."..."

RE5-01 Iraq reconstruction Rumsfeld for Bush

"...I believe that the plan to win the peace in Iraq will succeed -- just as the plan to win the war succeeded...take Kosovo. A driver shuttling international workers around the capital earns 10 times the salary of a university professor, and the U.N. administration pays its local staff between four and 10 times the salary of doctors and nurses. Four years after the war, the United Nations still runs Kosovo by executive fiat, issuing postage stamps, passports and driver's licenses..."

Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post) via Truthout:
In an op-ed published last week in The Post ["Beyond 'Nation-Building,' " Sept. 25], Rumsfeld vigorously denounces the kind of nation-building that the United Nations has engaged in. Were others involved in the Iraq occupation (the United Nations, the State Department), they would mess things up.
You might expect the secretary of defense to engage this crucial subject seriously. There have been several careful studies on nation-building efforts, most recently an excellent one by the Rand Corp. But Rumsfeld refers to none of them, basing his views on a handful of misleading factoids and anecdotes.

The heart of the article is a rehash of a speech Rumsfeld gave in February in which he argued that the United Nations has encouraged places such as East Timor and Kosovo to become politically and economically dependent on it.

As proof of this, Rumsfeld points out that "four years after the war, the United Nations still runs Kosovo by executive fiat, issues postage stamps, passports and driver's licenses." This is shockingly ill informed. Rumsfeld must know that the United Nations still issues postage stamps and passports in Kosovo because the United States and Europe have not yet decided whether the place is a province of Yugoslavia or an independent country. If local authorities were to issue passports, that would settle things on the ground. It is not U.N. bureaucracy that has kept Kosovo in limbo but a political dilemma that Washington has not resolved.

Rumsfeld's other criticism is that these international administrations have produced distortions in the economy. In East Timor, he notes, international workers are paid 200 times the average local wage. In Kosovo, a driver for aid officials makes 10 times the salary of a university professor and the United Nations pays its local staff between four and 10 times the salary of doctors and nurses.

Rumsfeld should get out more. Were he to travel most anywhere in Asia or Africa, he would notice that people who work for Western corporations or nonprofits make vastly more money than locals. This is because of the enormous difference in wages between the West and the developing world, and because Western firms pay their employees abroad on a Western scale.

Rumsfeld's problem, it would seem, is not with international organizations but with global capitalism.

One can see this phenomenon vividly in one country these days -- Iraq. A senior international administrator -- that is, a high-ranking civilian in the Coalition Provisional Authority or a one-star American general -- makes around $10,000 a month, including housing allowances. The Pentagon estimates that doctors in Iraq made $20 a month last year. To be fair, local wages have risen now, but a university professor in Baghdad today makes at most $200 to $300 a month. In other words, a coalition official is probably earning 50 times the salary of a local professor. Iraq makes Kosovo and East Timor look like Swedish-style egalitarian societies
RE5-02 Iraq reconstruction Rice for Bush

"...In fact, what we really underestimated was how brutal Saddam Hussein was to his own people. It’s hard to imagine that you could underestimate that. But when you look at how he really just undermined the mentality of the people so that it was a traumatized population, when you look at the fact that he had a system that was so mismanaged that the country really only had about 50 percent of the electrical power that it actually needed. You know, back then it looked like a gleaming city, but this was really a third- or a fourth-world country because he was using all of the resources of the country to build weapons of mass destruction and to build palaces for himself. So of course, we probably underestimated how much damage he really had done to the society..."

General Pace for Bush

"...until you get in on the ground, you don't have a thorough understanding of how degraded those systems became..."


"..."It is fair to say that the level of decay and underinvestment in the Iraqi infrastructure was worse than almost anybody on the outside anticipated," said one senior administration official. "We were all surprised," said another..."

Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Peter Slevin (Washington Post/IHT) - Oct 2002:
"...UN officials and foreign aid workers say Iraq's overall infrastructure, like the treatment center here, is near the point of collapse - because of lingering damage from the Gulf War, the far-reaching sanctions and the government's decision to focus its limited financial resources on rebuilding the military..."

Eric Schmitt and Joel Brinkley (New York Times):
"...A yearlong State Department study predicted many of the problems that have plagued the American-led occupation of Iraq, according to internal State Department documents and interviews with administration and Congressional officials.
Beginning in April 2002, the State Department project assembled more than 200 Iraqi lawyers, engineers, business people and other experts into 17 working groups to study topics ranging from creating a new justice system to reorganizing the military to revamping the economy.
Their findings included a much more dire assessment of Iraq's dilapidated electrical and water systems than many Pentagon officials assumed. They warned of a society so brutalized by Saddam Hussein's rule that many Iraqis might react coolly to Americans' notion of quickly rebuilding civil society...
"The period immediately after regime change might offer these criminals the opportunity to engage in acts of killing, plunder and looting," the report warned, urging American officials to "organize military patrols by coalition forces in all major cities to prevent lawlessness, especially against vital utilities and key government facilities."...
The group studying defense policy and institutions expected problems if the Iraqi Army was disbanded quickly — a step L. Paul Bremer III, the chief American civil administrator in Iraq, took. The working group recommended that jobs be found for demobilized troops to avoid having them turn against allied forces as some are believed to have done..."

Micheal Elliott (Time) via Truthout:
"...The conventional explanation—offered last week by Marine General Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—is that "until you get in on the ground, you don't have a thorough understanding of how degraded those systems became." But Iraq isn't on the dark side of the moon. "There were plenty of people in and out of Iraq—inspectors and many other potential sources of information about the state of Iraq's infrastructure," says Ralph Peters, a retired Army intelligence officer. "This was a whopping intelligence failure."
Peters has a point. A report on Iraq to the U.N. Security Council last year stated: "The deficit in electric power as a result of damage inflicted and nonavailability of spare parts and equipment for maintenance is a serious problem throughout the country. The network continues to deteriorate." The Council on Foreign Relations/Rice University study estimated that "rebuilding Iraq's electrical power infrastructure could cost $20 billion to restore its pre-1990 capacity." Many oil experts spent last winter publicly debunking the Administration's assumptions on oil, pointing out that 12 years of sanctions had left the industry in a terrible state. "There has been a great deal of wishful thinking about Iraqi oil," said the Council on Foreign Relations/Rice University report, noting that the oil sector was "being held together by 'Band-Aids'" and estimating that the Iraqi industry needed $30 billion to $40 billion to rehabilitate active wells and develop new fields. "Put simply," the report continued, "we do not anticipate a bonanza." According to Department of Energy figures, Iraq is pumping only about 1.65 million bbl. of oil a day now, compared with 2.8 million before the war and 3.5 million before 1990, which makes that revelation something of an understatement..."

Arthur Silber (Coldfury):
"...This is complete and utter bullshit. If you haven't read it already, look at this post from yesterday, and this Jay Bookman column which it discusses. Here are just a few things, among many, that our willfully "ignorant" administration officials were told before the war:
Nine months ago, the well-respected Center for Strategic and International Studies warned that we were sorely ill-prepared for an occupation, listing 10 key steps the United States had to take before invading. Not one was achieved.
The CSIS report cautioned that Iraqi oil proceeds could not begin to cover reconstruction costs. It warned that the Iraqi army had an important role to play, and recommended a donors conference be convened even before war began.
And, as I noted yesterday, the U.S. Army War College, the military's own think tank, said this (again, among many things):
"If the United States assumes control of Iraq, it will assume control of a badly battered economy."..."

RE5-03 Iraq reconstruction Wolfowitz for Bush

"...There's been a lot of talk that there was no plan. There was a plan, but as any military officer can tell you, no plan survives first contact with reality..."

Peter Beaumont and Dan Plesch (The Observer) via CAP:
An official US army review leaked to the US NGO has revealed that the army had no plan for the occupation of Baghdad.
Officially titled the Third Infantry Division (Mechanised) After Action Report, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the study provides the first formal internal view of the Iraq war from the point of view of the soldiers who brought down Saddam Hussein.
The report provides official confirmation of a complete absence of high-level military and political planning to manage the aftermath of victory and indicates some key problems that continue to hamper US army effectiveness to this day.
Some of the lack of planning first became apparent at Baghdad International Airport (BIA): 'Multiple military and inter-agency organisations vied to set up operations at BIA, but the (3rd Infantry) Brigade Combat Team controlling BIA was too engaged in continuing combat operations to coordinate this adequately.'
The report continues that the 3rd Infantry Division itself, which had been engaged in some of the heaviest fighting on the outskirts of Baghdad, 'lacked guidance' on how to deal with the different competing Iraqis they encountered. 'Ongoing struggles for power, establishing security without the benefit of a functioning police system, and re-establishing a pay system for government workers continue to plague the restoration of "normalcy" to Baghdad,' it said..."
RE6-01 Iraq democracy building Bush

"...Iraq now has a Governing Council, the first truly representative institution in that country..."

David Corn (The Nation):
"...But that body was handpicked by the US occupation authorities. How representative is that?..."

John Barry and Evan Thomas (Newsweek) via Truthout:
"...On the ground, the Coalition Provisional Authority, charged with actually running Iraq until the Iraqis can take over, is the source of increasing ridicule. "CPA stands for the Condescending and Patronizing Americans," a Baghdad diplomat told a NEWSWEEK reporter. "So there they are, sitting in their palace: 800 people, 17 of whom speak Arabic, one is an expert on Iraq. Living in this cocoon. Writing papers. It's absurd," says one dissident Pentagon official. He exaggerates, but not by much. Most of the senior civilian staff are not technical experts but diplomats, Republican appointees, White House staffers and the like..."

RE6-02 Iraq democracy building Rice for Bush

"...Recalling her own background as a child growing up in Alabama during the most tumultuous period of the civil-rights movement, she derided "condescending voices" who argue that Iraqis and Arabs are not ready for American-style freedom. "We've heard that argument before," she told the black journalists, "and we more than any, as a people, should be ready to reject it. The view was wrong in 1963 in Birmingham, and it is wrong in 2003 in Baghdad and the rest of the Middle East."..."

James Pinkerton (Newsday):
"...And, one supposes, by that logic, Bush is the equivalent of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, a compassionate man willing to use federal force to keep the peace and open up schools and polling places. 
Rice's claims are, to put it mildly, a stretch. In the '60s, Southern blacks - who were, after all, U.S. citizens - were truly "jubilant" to see federalized troops in Dixie, smiting Jim Crow, because they wanted their piece of the American Dream. By contrast, it's not so clear that ordinary Arabs are pleased to see us in their midst. The jubilation one sees on TV these days is Iraqis whooping it up after an American Humvee is ambushed.
And, of course, African-Americans have long rejected the idea that fighting foreign wars equals advancing civil rights at home. In the '60s, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. opposed the Vietnam War, continuing a long line of pacifism among black leaders. Last year, 32 of the 37 members of the Congressional Black Caucus voted against the administration's war resolution. In March, just as fighting started, a Gallup Poll found that just 29 percent of blacks supported the conflict, compared to 78 percent of whites...
Yet one might wonder: What will happen if the U.S. government repositions Arabs as victims, rather than aggressors - in Iraq, and also, maybe, in the Palestinian areas? The most obvious answer is that such a view will lead to shifts in American strategy. After all, just a few years ago, the United States attempted to subdue Iraq through strangling economic sanctions. Post- Rice, surely we wouldn't do that again. That is, we wouldn't wish to further victimize the "victims." Indeed, if we regard Arabs as "needy," then presumably the spigots of American aid will be opened, just as they were during the Great Society '60s..."
RE6-03 Iraq democracy building Bush

"...Democracy always has skeptics. Some say the culture of the Middle East will not sustain the institutions of democracy. The same doubts were proven wrong nearly six decades ago, when the Republic of the Philippines became the first democracy in Asia..."

Fred Kaplan (MSN/Slate):
"...The comparison between Iraq and the Philippines may be more accurate than the one between Iraq and West Germany, but it is hardly more comforting. In fact, it is so discomfiting—it implies such a dismal forecast for America's occupation in Iraq over the next several years (for that matter, the next few decades)—that it's hard to imagine Bush would have made such a remark if he'd understood its full implications.
It is true, as Bush noted, that the Filipinos endured 300 years of Spanish rule and that they achieved independence in 1946. But Spain ended its rule in 1898. What happened during the 48-year unmentioned interregnum? Nothing pleasant, if the point of the inquiry is to seek parallels with Iraq after Saddam...
The Spanish empire ceded the Philippines to U.S. control in 1898 after losing that "splendid little war" in the Caribbean. The American military then invaded the Philippines and took over the capital, Manila, in fairly short order. Then, as now, the troubles began. Here's how Max Boot described the ensuing conflict in his book The Savage Wars of Peace: "[T]hough successive U.S. generals proclaimed victory at hand, American soldiers kept dying in ambushes, telegraph lines kept getting cut, and army convoys kept getting attacked."
Over the next three and a half years, until July 1902, when the Filipino guerrillas were finally subdued, the U.S. Army lost 4,234 soldiers. Another 2,818 were wounded. (By the Army's own estimate, 69,000 Filipino combatants were killed, along with nearly 200,000 civilians.) The American war effort was marked by much burning, pillaging, and torturing, and the commanders finally achieved victory through a strategy of isolating the guerrillas. They did this by forcing the civilian population out of towns and into "protected zones"; able-bodied men found outside the zones without a pass were arrested or shot.
Even so, sporadic uprisings continued long after 1902. The American military occupation was forced to remain for 44 years. Surely Bush is not suggesting that victory in Iraq requires a similar strategy or timetable.
There is another unfortunate aspect to the Philippines parallel. Much of the resistance was led by "Moors"—i.e., Muslims. American politicians whipped up support for the war by painting it as a Christian crusade..."
RE6-04 Iraq democracy building Bush

"...[U.S. contribution of aid to Iraq is] the greatest financial commitment of its kind since the Marshall Plan..."

Bremer for Bush

"...[U.S. funds of Iraq] bespeak grandeur of vision equal to the one which created the free world at the end of the Second World II..."

Will Dunham (Reuters):
"...historians questioned the comparison. And some leading congressional Democrats said Bush's actions run counter to the spirit of the Marshall Plan, named for its architect, Nobel Peace Prize laureate George C. Marshall.
"If they want to give money to Iraq to make them a nice democracy, that's OK with me. But we ought not to fool ourselves that we're doing a Marshall Plan," said Larry Bland, a leading authority on the Marshall Plan and editor of the Marshall Papers at the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia.
"The economic elite isn't kidded. So it's political spin rather than reality. We're not going to do a Marshall Plan for them. We're going to do a big, expensive influx of money," Bland added.
"The short answer from my perspective is that it is definitely not a valid comparison," added Imanuel Wexler, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Connecticut who wrote "The Marshall Plan Revisited," a definitive book on the economic aspects of the plan...
Bland said the Marshall Plan was not intended to rebuild the ruined infrastructure of a country, but rather restore trade and halt inflation...
Some Democrats dislike administration references to the Marshall Plan.
"The reconstruction of Europe was undertaken in the context of the spirit of internationalism, multilateralism and collective security that led to the formation of the United Nations, NATO, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund," said Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
"The same can hardly be said -- hardly be said -- today. Come on," added Byrd..."

Susan E. Rice (New York Times):
"...In pressing their request for nearly $20 billion for reconstructing Iraq, Bush administration officials have been invoking the Marshall Plan, as President Bush himself did when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly last month. L. Paul Bremer III, who heads the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, did the same when testifying before Congress. In fact, however, such invocations are highly misleading, and the Congressional conferees who are shaping the final version of the Iraq appropriation bill would do well to review what made the Marshall Plan a success — and how the Bremer plan may be headed for failure.
The Marshall Plan's hallmark was the requirement that European countries work together to devise a plan for postwar reconstruction. Remember George C. Marshall's words in 1947: "It would be neither fitting nor efficacious for this government to undertake to draw up unilaterally a program designed to place Europe on its feet economically. This is the business of the Europeans. The initiative, I think, must come from Europe."
The goal was not only to rebuild Europe but also to encourage former adversaries to form partnerships that could endure after United States assistance ended. The plan succeeded so well that Europe has followed the road of cooperation all the way to the European Union.
But Marshall's central insight is missing in the proposal before Congress. Under the Bremer plan, Iraqis need not do much of anything except sit back and watch American occupiers and contractors decide how to rebuild their country. There is no requirement that Iraqis — Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, Turkmen — resolve their differences and together plan to rebuild. That means there is no opportunity to improve Iraqis' capacity for standing the country on its own feet.
The Bremer plan recalls the cold war era, when the United States pumped billions into corrupt dictators' coffers and asked questions later. A return to this failed approach is odd in an administration that promised last year to revolutionize foreign assistance through the Millennium Challenge Account. To get Millennium Challenge money, a country's government and its nongovernmental organizations will have to work together, will have to relate their program requests to their larger national development strategies, and will be held accountable for the results.
The Millennium Challenge philosophy should be applied to Iraq's reconstruction. The Iraqi Governing Council, and the Iraqis themselves, would decide where the money was needed most. Iraqi businesses would be in a better position to compete directly for contracts, and hiring local companies through transparent bidding procedures would help control costs. Instead, under the current plan, Mr. Bremer and the coalition authority will dole out contracts worth almost double what the American government spends annually on all foreign assistance, and the United States will be no closer to establishing a united and self-sufficient Iraqi government.
The Marshall Plan was also devised to be finite in cost and duration. Congress authorized and appropriated the money after careful review each year. The goal was to give Europeans a limited window of opportunity, not a limitless gravy train, and to give the American people a clear voice in the plan's operation. In contrast, the $20.3 billion proposal for Iraq and Afghanistan is a multiyear request masquerading as an "emergency" supplemental, meaning that lawmakers get to vote only once, and after a relatively hurried period of consideration..."

Richard Wolffe (Newsweek):
"...In today’s dollars, the Marshall Plan spent around twice that figure, or $40 billion, in its first year. That was spent in more than a dozen countries across Europe, with a combined population of more than 250 million—more than 10 times the number of people than in Iraq today.
Remember that the Marshall Plan was designed as an economic plan, not just a way of establishing security in Europe. At the time, the United States enjoyed a vast trade surplus with the rest of the world and it desperately needed to build new markets for its manufacturing plants that were emerging from war-time expansion. Today the United States is suffering a record trade deficit and relies on foreign investors to hold almost half of its debt in U.S. Treasury bonds. If Washington really wants to expand its markets, it could do better by spending the $20 billion in Latin America, where the levels of poverty are far higher than they are in Iraq.
        That’s why the comparisons with the Marshall Plan are far more about massaging expectations than historical reality..."

RE6-05 Iraq democracy building Bush

"...Americans traveling to England always observe more similarities to our country than differences. I've been here only a short time, but I've noticed the tradition of free speech exercised with alive and well here in London.
We have that at home too. They now have that right in Baghdad as well..."

Center for American Progress:
"...CENSORSHIP, IRAQ-STYLE: Speaking about the concept of free speech in London last week, President Bush declared, "They now have that right in Baghdad , as well." That may come as a surprise to journalists in Iraq , however, especially those at the Arab-language television network al Arabiya, which was shut down by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council yesterday with U.S. Civil Administrator Paul Bremer's blessing. The move, which was "sharply criticized by media watchdog groups," was just the latest in a long line of censorship of the Iraqi press. A "recent State Department poll in Iraq found the two Arabic-language networks [al Arabiya and al-Jazeera] were far more trusted than the U.S. channel" that the government has set up in Iraq. The governing council also warned any other media from "incitement," saying the council would go after any media outlet, including the BBC and CNN. In September, the American Prospect reported that, "as criticism of his authority appeared in Iraqi media...Bremer placed controls on [Iraqi Media Network] content and clamped down on the independent media in Iraq, closing down some Iraqi-run newspapers and radio and television stations."
THE THREE R'S DON'T STAND FOR RELIGION : A new controversy is brewing in Iraq over the censorship of textbooks for Iraqi schoolchildren. It "started a few weeks ago when a western consultant working for USAid asked Iraqi ministry of education experts to remove verses from the Koran from experimental teaching materials for Arabic grammar, and replace them with neutral content." This led to criticism from the minister of education in the country, who charged the U.S. was "attempting to limit or ban Islamic religious references in experimental Iraqi school teaching materials paid for by the agency," as well as at least one ministry employee resigning in protest. However, USAid officials are sticking to the story that they're not putting pressure on Iraqi educators, insisting "all decisions in Iraq are 'Iraqi-led.'"..."
RE6-06 Iraq democracy building Rice for Bush

"...If you look at how much the Governing Council has actually been able to achieve in terms of an economic program, in terms of overseeing ministries that have done things like a, thus far, very successful currency reform and exchange, a lot has been achieved by that group..."

Center for American Progress:
Another Day, Another Shift
The U.S. continues to scramble in Iraq without articulating a clear plan. Yesterday National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice announced another shift in the Administration's game plan. The plan to transfer political authority as swiftly as possible to Iraqis could include greater political authority vested in the Iraqi Governing Council. To justify the change in policy, she said the Administration now wants to give the IGC more power, and trumpeted its supposed accomplishments saying, "If you look at how much the Governing Council has actually been able to achieve in terms of an economic program, in terms of overseeing ministries that have done things like a, thus far, very successful currency reform and exchange, a lot has been achieved by that group." This is in direct contrast to a senior administration official who said yesterday that "there's serious frustration about the way [the council] worked so far. The council has not demonstrated the ability to have a seriousness of purpose or single-mindedness about its work." Similarly, other senior U.S. officials in Baghdad said "the United States is deeply frustrated with its hand-picked council members because they have spent more time on their own political or economic interests than in planning for Iraq's political future."
THE CHALABI PROBLEM: The problem with the Administration blaming the IGC is that it was the White House itself that selected the members of the IGC. Of particular concern is the Administration's handpicked leader, Ahmad Chalabi. As the LA Times reports, the Administration has a long-standing relationship with Chalabi, despite the fact that he was convicted of embezzling money in Jordan, and is using his position to direct reconstruction contracts to his friends..."



Compassion Con credits total = 54

# Topic President Bush or his representative's Compassionate statement Some uncompassionate facts Compassion Con Credits
PS1-01 Saddam and his regime Bush (5/1/03)

"...Because of you [U.S. military] the tyrant has fallen and Iraq is free..."

"...the [Iraqi] regime is no more..."

Rumsfeld for Bush (3/23/03)

"...The outcome is clear. The regime of Saddam Hussein is gone. It’s over."..."

Tom Infield (Knight-Ridder) - 5/22/03
"...In the Senate committee hearing in Washington, Wolfowitz, a leading proponent of the war, defended the Bush administration against complaints from both Republicans and Democrats that the United States was moving too slowly to restore stability to Iraq.
He said unrealistic expectations had arisen from "a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of the security problem in Iraq, and, in particular, a failure to appreciate that a regime which has tens of thousands of thugs and war criminals on its payroll does not disappear overnight [CG emphasis]."..."

Peter Slevin (Washington Post) - 5/14/03
"...The U.S. military commander in Iraq declared tonight that remnants of Saddam Hussein's defeated government, who he said are challenging the U.S. occupation, pose a greater threat to rebuilding the country than the persistent street violence that has plagued Baghdad [CG emphasis]. The commander, Army Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, said U.S. intelligence reports show loosely organized groups of Hussein loyalists, which he called "regime elements," have terrorized Iraqis, targeted U.S. troops and destroyed repairs made to Iraq's war-damaged infrastructure. The Baath Party diehards are "committed to a long fight that will complicate the mission of the coalition," he charged. McKiernan's warning, at a news conference in Baghdad, described for the first time a resistance to the five-week-old occupation. Iraqis have not publicly spoken of such groups, complaining instead of looting, robberies, carjackings and gunfire in the night, faulting U.S. forces for failing to stop the chaos..." 

Thomas Ricks (Washington Post) - 6/27/03:
"...The wave of more sophisticated attacks on U.S. troops and civilian occupation forces in Iraq is raising new worries among military experts that the 21-day war that ended in April was an incomplete victory that defeated Saddam Hussein's military but not his Baath political party. Neutralizing Baathist resistance is proving to be a more difficult job than the Pentagon calculated, and the continuing violence is becoming an embarrassment, one U.S. official in Baghdad said...Because the war was so narrowly focused on Hussein's government in Baghdad, a large part of the Iraqi population does not feel as if it was defeated, said retired Army Col. Scott R. Feil. "As I heard one Iraqi say, the Americans defeated Saddam, but not the Iraqi people, so the psychology of the loser is not present," he said. Wolfowitz agreed with that view, saying, "Almost because the regime failed so quickly, the major remnants of the regime were around."..."

PS1-02 Saddam Cheney for Bush

"...I think we did get Saddam Hussein. He was seen being dug out of the rubble and wasn't able to breathe ..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
To the extent that it is not proven that he is not alive there are people who might fear that he could come back. 
Donald Rumsfeld
Media Availability
June 9, 2003...
I think he's still in the country. We'll catch him. He has a lot of places to hide, but we'll catch him. 
L. Paul Bremer Press Interview
June 30, 2003 ..."
PS1-03 Finding Saddam Powell for Bush

"...We have no information about the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein. We don't know if he is dead or if he is alive, but clearly he is no longer in control . . . Where he is as an individual I don't know, but it really doesn't make any difference any more ..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
We must find Saddam Hussein and his sons. When we do, then the people of Iraq will no longer live in fear of his return. 
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
Press Conference 
July 3, 2003

The U.S. Government will offer monetary rewards of up to $25 million for information leading to the capture of Saddam Hussein, and $15 million for each of his sons. 
Coalition Provisional Authority

Press Release July 3, 2003

I have certainly not forgotten Saddam Hussein and his sons. They may or may not still be alive. Until we know for sure, their names will continue to cast a shadow of fear over this country. 
L. Paul Bremer
Address to the Iraqi People
July 3, 2003..."

PS1-04 Finding Saddam Rumsfeld for Bush

"...Q: Well, on the top list, you said must capture or otherwise deal with ...
Rumsfeld: I didn't say "must" to any of these. I said these are on our priority list.
Q: Must capture or otherwise deal with Saddam Hussein and his sons ...
Rumsfeld: No "musts." No "must."..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
"...We still must capture, account for, or otherwise deal with Saddam Hussein and his sons and the senior Iraqi leadership. Donald Rumsfeld Pentagon briefing
April 9, 2003..."
PS2-01 Anarchy and Looting in Iraq Bush (4/24/03)

"...I'm also pleased by the fact that that level of — those riots, or whatever you want to call them, released some steam, and now life is returning to normal. Things have settled down inside the country..."

Washington Post 5/13/03:
"...Though it expected the Iraqi army to crumble and Saddam Hussein's regime to collapse, the Pentagon failed to deploy sufficient forces to keep order in the country: Looters and criminal gangs continue to roam Baghdad at will, undeterred by the 12,000 U.S. soldiers deployed in a city of 5 million. Garbage is piling up on streets, water and electricity remain spotty, and Iraqis wait in days-long lines for gasoline. U.S. administrators remain isolated inside a palace, without adequate communications, transportation or translation's hard to fathom how and why U.S. forces failed to exercise control even over the critical weapons sites for which the war was fought. Around the country many suspected storage and production areas for weapons of mass destruction have been burned and looted; one of the trucks suspected as a mobile biological weapons lab was stripped. According to several media reports, looters were allowed to sack even the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, where tons of enriched uranium and supplies of radioactive isotopes were stored. Iraqi scientists at the site told Newsweek magazine that barrels for storing uranium oxide were being used as play equipment by local children, while stainless steel uranium canisters were for sale in nearby markets..."

Joshua Hammer and Colin Solloway (Newsweek) 5/26/03:
"...In the sweltering streets outside the gates, desperate Iraqis lined up for meager rations of gasoline, armed looters prowled the charred ruins of ministries and banks, and another power outage paralyzed the capital...When looting swept across the city after Saddam’s fall, both ORHA and the military were caught unawares. The Third Infantry Division, which has fewer than 20,000 troops to safeguard a city of 5 million, was overwhelmed...By one count, more than 240 people have been killed in Baghdad during the past three weeks, mostly by gunshots. The Army has still failed to provide security for vital utilities, including 39 electrical substations in Baghdad. (“I need money and security, and I’ve got neither,” an interim minister, Karim Hassan, told NEWSWEEK.) Garner, meanwhile, delayed setting up a civilian police force, and the Army brass often ignored his demands for improved coordination..."

Phil Reeves (The Independent) 5/16/03:
"...Statistics unpublished until today reveal the stark facts: 242 people have died in Baghdad in just over three weeks, almost all from bullet wounds. It is an epidemic, and it is getting worse...Battles between looters and score-settling from the Saddam years have taken hold, fuelled by a security vacuum that owes much to a decision by Donald Rumsfeld, the American Defence Secretary, to invade and occupy Iraq with minimum troop numbers – two divisions short, say well- informed sources within the Allies' reconstruction team. They are the by-product, too, of the failure of the Allies to coax the Baghdad police to return to work in sufficient numbers. Most of the Iraqi officers who have returned have yet to come out of their police stations. And homicide figures are going up. The 124 who died from bullet wounds in the past 10 days is a rise of 60 per cent on the previous 10-day period..."

Arianna Huffington:
"...Really? Just who is preparing his morning briefing papers? Pollyandy Card? Little Condoleezza Sunshine? Did he bother consulting any Iraqis about "normal life" there? Probably not. One of the keys to being a flourishing fanatic is to surround yourself with those of a shared -- and equally deluded -- mindset.
And according to that mindset, the definition of "settling down" can be expanded to include rampant looting, sporadic water and electrical service, hospitals in disastrous condition, outbreaks of cholera and dysentery, streets filled with uncollected garbage and raw sewage, half a dozen ransacked nuclear facilities, missing barrels of radioactive material, growing anti-American sentiment, and disparate ethnic and religious groups arming themselves. No wonder Don Rumsfeld called the media's reporting of all this "an overstatement." It's just another "normal" weekend at Camp David..."

PS2-02 Anarchy and Looting in Iraq Bush

"...a wave of crime that Bush blamed on Saddam, who Bush said emptied jail cells of “common criminals” just before the war and left his people hungry and desperate.
       The criminals “haven’t changed their habits or their ways,” Bush said. “They like to rob, loot. ...We’ll find them.” ..."

Bush (4/24/03)
"...I'm also pleased by the fact that that level of — those riots, or whatever you want to call them, released some steam, and now life is returning to normal. Things have settled down inside the country..."

MaxSpeak citing Rumsfeld from April 2003:
"It's untidy. And freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."

PS2-03 Anarchy and Looting in Iraq Rumsfeld for Bush

"..."It's untidy, and freedom's untidy," he said, jabbing his hand in the air. "Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things." Mr Rumsfeld insisted that words such as anarchy and lawlessness were unrepresentative of the situation in Iraq and "absolutely" ill-chosen..."

(Also see Bush's comments in the previous row of this table about the riots having "released some steam")

  Brian Whitaker (The Guardian):
"...In the absence of any authority, residents of Baghdad have been erecting barricades to keep out marauders and there is some evidence of shooting, either between looters and citizens who are trying to protect their own property, or between rival gangs of looters. Hospitals and laboratories have been ransacked, with thieves often seizing vital equipment - heart monitors, incubators and microscopes - which is of no obvious use to them. A report today says only one hospital in the city still has a functioning operating theatre. The International Committee of the Red Cross has reminded the US and Britain of their legal obligation under the Geneva Convention to protect civilians and essential services such as hospitals..."

Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Washington Post):
"Looters destroyed what war did not...AS EMPLOYEES RETURNED today to survey the damage at one of the world’s greatest repositories of artifacts, they encountered devastation that defied their worst expectations. The floor was covered with shards of broken pottery. An extensive card catalog of every item the museum owns, some of which date back 5,000 years, was destroyed. A cavernous storeroom housing thousands of unclassified pieces was ransacked so badly that an archaeologist predicted it would be impossible to repair many of the items...As throngs of angry and impoverished Iraqis sack government offices and private businesses, making away with everything from porcelain bathtubs and police uniforms to forklifts and ambulances, it has become increasingly clear that the looting that was sparked by the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government — largely unchecked by U.S. forces — has wreaked more damage on Iraq’s civilian infrastructure and economy than three weeks of U.S. bombing..."

PS2-04 Anarchy and Looting in Iraq Rumsfeld for Bush

"...Several times [Rumsfeld] has spoken of another country in "chaos and confusion" during a period characterized by "looting, crime, mobs storming buildings, breakdown of government structures and institutions that maintained civil order, rampant inflation caused by the lack of a stable currency, supporters of the former regime roaming the streets..."
This picture should seem familiar to Americans, he says, because it is based on "historians' descriptions of the conditions here in America in 1783."..."

Mary Beth Norton (New York Times):
"...Well, as someone who has spent three decades teaching and writing about that era, I recognize very little of the postrevolutionary United States in Mr. Rumsfeld's depiction.
First, the factual problems. His insistence that the new nation had to deal with roving loyalists, "many of whom had fought against the Continental Army," is simply not true. Virtually every person who publicly took sides against the Revolution left with the evacuating British forces in 1782 and 1783, and not just because they feared (with reason) for their safety. Most wanted no part of an independent United States. More than 100,000 refugees ended up in the West Indies, Canada or Britain itself.
Nor did a "breakdown of government structures" lead to widespread theft and looting. Historians have uncovered no evidence of a crime wave in the 1780's; states and localities never descended into chaos. The new states had all drafted constitutions by mid-1777 under orders from the Second Continental Congress. By the early 1780's some of those governments were being reorganized, but they never ceased to function.
Further, Mr. Rumsfeld seems to have conflated the problem of inflation during the war itself — when the Continental currency depreciated to worthlessness by 1780 — with postwar circumstances, when the states and national government began to get their finances under control well before the Constitution was drafted.
At least Mr. Rumsfeld is not one of those "revisionist historians" his boss, President Bush, has derided. In fact, the basic interpretation of American history he advances is so ancient it creaks. The idea that America under the Articles of Confederation (from 1781 to 1788) was a time of strife and ineffectual government was first put forward in the 18th century by supporters of the Constitution. It was perpetuated by 19th-century historians who wanted to portray the delegates to the Constitutional Convention as disinterested saviors of the nation. Historians initially challenged this dismal view of the 1780's early in the 20th century, and it has essentially been dead for at least 50 years.
There was, it is true, one major instance of violence in the Confederation years: Shays' Rebellion in western Massachusetts in late 1786 and early 1787. As Mr. Rumsfeld points out, Shaysite mobs did attack courthouses and an armed force assaulted an armory in search of guns and ammunition. But they were not challenging the new nation — they were opposed only to the harsh taxation and land-foreclosure policies in Massachusetts. The rebels (some of whom had served in the revolutionary forces) saw themselves as protecting "the liberties or properties of the people." Massachusetts rather easily put down the Shaysites, but the legislature then quietly acceded to most of their demands. Nothing in the incident seems comparable to events in Iraq...
As part of his education package, President Bush has proposed an initiative to improve the teaching of American history in the public schools. I wonder if his secretary of defense might benefit from a refresher on the revolutionary era..."
PS3-01 Mission accomplished Bush

"...we still have combat operations going on." Bush added: "It's a different kind of combat mission, but, nevertheless, it's combat, just ask the kids that are over there killing and being shot at."..."

WH website

"..."President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended."
-- Headline on the White House Web site over the same May 1 speech after Bush said in an Aug. 14 interview that "we still have combat operations going on.""

Dana Milbank and Bradley Graham (Washington Post):
"...President Bush, revising his earlier characterization of the fighting in Iraq, said in an interview released yesterday that combat operations are still underway in that country. 
In an interview with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service given on Thursday and released by the White House yesterday, Bush interrupted the questioner when asked about his announcement on May 1 of, as the journalist put it, "the end of combat operations."
"Actually, major military operations," Bush replied. "Because we still have combat operations going on." Bush added: "It's a different kind of combat mission, but, nevertheless, it's combat, just ask the kids that are over there killing and being shot at."

In his May 1 speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln, Bush declared: "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country." The headline on the White House site above Bush's May 1 speech is "President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended."

Since then, a search of Bush speeches on the White House Web site indicates, the president had not spoken of the guerrilla fighting in Iraq as combat until this interview; he had earlier spoken of the "cessation of combat" in Iraq.

A White House spokesman said Bush was not making a distinction between combat and military operations. "What the president declared on May 1 is that major combat operations were over," he said. "He did not say that combat was over."

The description of active combat in Iraq was one of several statements Bush made in the interview that differed with earlier administration positions as he discussed his foreign policy while visiting a military facility in Miramar, Calif..."

Dana Milbank (Washington Post):
"...Major revision:
"President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended."
-- Headline on the White House Web site over May 1 speech by Bush..."

Also see: Ben Fritz (Spinsanity)

PS3-02 Mission accomplished

White House website

"..."President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended."
-- Headline on the White House Web site over the... May 1 speech after Bush said in an Aug. 14 interview that "we still have combat operations going on.""

Dana Milbank (Washington Post):
"...Major revision:
"President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended."
-- Headline on the White House Web site over May 1 speech by Bush..."

Also see: Ben Fritz (Spinsanity)

PS3-03 Mission accomplished


"...The "Mission Accomplished" sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed some how to some ingenious advance man from my staff -- they weren't that ingenious, by the way..."

MWO via Atrios:
"...BILL PRESS: Bush said...the crew of the ship put that sign up. Now we find out the White House has just confirmed, we just got this handed to us...Senior Navy officials now confirm the sign was in fact produced by the White House..."

Jason Sherman and Chris Cavas (Army Times):
"...President George W. Bush’s staff played more of a role in the “Mission Accomplished” sign that hung on the carrier Abraham Lincoln than the president suggested yesterday in a Rose Garden press conference...
“I know it was attributed somehow to some ingenious advance man from my staff — they weren’t that ingenious, by the way,” [Bush] said. Turns out they may have been that ingenious.
Navy officials and the White House yesterday said that while the crew of the Lincoln came up with the banner’s message, the White House printed it...
The White House communications office, well known for the care it takes with the backdrops at Bush speeches, created the “Mission Accomplished” banner in the same style as banners the president uses in other appearances, including one just a week before the carrier appearance in Canton, Ohio. That banner, with the same soft, brush-stroked American flag in the background and the identical typeface, read: “Jobs and Growth.”..."

Daily Kos:
"...The White House thought it was a grand idea, and worked hard to incorporate it into its photo op. To blame the troops for it now is simply deplorable.
Meanwhile, Atrios emailed me the full Bush Qatar quote
I am happy to see you, an so are the long-suffering people of Iraq. America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and to liberate an oppressed people, and that mission has been accomplished.
So he claims he never said those words, and then pins the fault on the troops. What a classy guy..."

Elisabeth Bumiller (New York Times) via Joe Conason:
"...George W. Bush’s ‘‘Top Gun’’ landing on the deck of the carrier Abraham Lincoln will be remembered as one of the most audacious moments of presidential theater in U.S. history. But it was only the latest example of how the Bush administration, going far beyond the foundations of stagecraft set by the Reagan White House, is using the powers of television and technology to promote a presidency like never before...
The most elaborate — and criticized — White House event so far was Bush’s speech aboard the Abraham Lincoln announcing the end of major combat in Iraq. White House officials say that a variety of people, including the president, came up with the idea, and that Sforza embedded himself on the carrier to make preparations days before Bush landed in a flight suit and made his early-evening speech.
Media strategists noted afterward that Sforza and his aides had choreographed every aspect of the event, even down to the members of the Lincoln crew arrayed in coordinated colors over Bush’s right shoulder and the ‘‘Mission Accomplished’’ banner placed to capture the president and the celebratory two words in a single shot. The speech was specifically timed for what image-makers call ‘‘magic-hour light,’’ which cast a golden glow on Bush..."

Washington Post:
"'s also impossible to agree with the banner that was draped near Mr. Bush on the carrier deck, proclaiming "Mission Accomplished." Aides say the slogan was chosen in part to mark a presidential turn toward domestic affairs as his campaign for reelection approaches..."

Eric Umansky (MSN/Slate):
"...NYT reporter Elisabeth Bumiller tries to get to the bottom of what she dubs "Bannergate." To review: President Bush asserted last week that the big "Mission Accomplished" banner that was behind him during his May 1 speech was "of course put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished." Soon after that, press secretary, Scott McClellan clarified that while the White House actually made the banner it "was suggested by those on the ship." Bumiller says she talked with a spokesman on the Lincoln who said some officers attended a meeting in which White House officials asked the officers if they needed any help. The spokesman—who said that Navy ships do occasionally put up such banners—recounted, "Somebody in that meeting said, `You know, it would sure look good if we could have a banner that said 'Mission Accomplished.' " And who was that person, Bumiller asked. The spokesman replied, "No one really remembers."..."

Also see: John Kerry Blog

PS3-04 Mission accomplished

Bush - 5/1/03

" fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed..."

Drew Brown (Knight-Ridder) via Billmon - 10/28/03:
"...More U.S. soldiers have died in combat in Iraq since May 1, when President Bush declared an end to major combat operations, than died during main phase of the war, the U.S. military said on Tuesday...The 115th combat death occurred on Monday - 114 died prior to May 1 - during the wave of bombings in the Iraqi capital..."

Some data from Lunaville Coalition Casualties as of 10/28/03 is even more enlightening.

Total U.S. casualties before "Mission Accomplished speech" = 139

Total U.S. casualties after "Mission Accomplished speech" to-date = 216

PS4-01 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq, looting etc.

(before the invasion)

"...Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse, for world security and for the people of Iraq..."

Walter Pincus (Washington Post):
"...U.S. intelligence agencies warned Bush administration policymakers before the war in Iraq that there would be significant armed opposition to a U.S.-led occupation, according to administration and congressional sources familiar with the reports.  Although general in nature, the sources said, the intelligence agencies' concerns about the degree of resistance U.S. forces would encounter have proved broadly accurate in the months since the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his inner circle.
Among the threats outlined in the intelligence agencies' reporting was that "Iraqis probably would resort to obstruction, resistance and armed opposition if they perceived attempts to keep them dependent on the U.S. and the West," one senior congressional aide said. The general tenor of the reports, according to a senior administration official familiar with the intelligence, was that the postwar period would be more "problematic" than the war to overthrow Hussein.
As U.S. military casualties mount and resistance forces wage a campaign of targeted bombings in Iraq, some administration officials have begun to fault the CIA and other intelligence agencies for being overly optimistic and failing to anticipate such widespread and sustained opposition to a U.S. occupation. But several administration and congressional sources interviewed for this article said the opposite occurred. They said senior policymakers at the White House, Pentagon and elsewhere received classified analyses before the war warning about the dangers of the postwar period.
"Intelligence reports told them at some length about possibilities for unpleasantness," said a senior administration official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity. "The reports were written, but we don't know if they were read."
In the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, senior Pentagon officials were privately optimistic about postwar Iraq, and their assessment shaped calculations about the size of the occupation force that would be required and how long it would have to be there, as well as the overall cost of the U.S. management of Iraq after the fall of the Hussein government.
The more pessimistic view generally remained submerged, but the controversy did occasionally break into the open, most notably when then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki told Congress in February that several hundred thousand occupation troops would be needed. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz rejected his estimate at the time as "wildly off the mark."
...CIA analysts last summer also expressed concerns that the "chaos after war would turn [Iraq] into a laboratory for terrorists," according to another former intelligence analyst..."

Joel Brinkley and Eric Schmitt (New York Times):
"...In the months before the Iraq invasion, Iraqi exile leaders trooped through the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department carrying a message about the future of their homeland: without a strong plan for managing Iraq after toppling Saddam Hussein, widespread looting and violence would erupt. 
"On many occasions, I told the Americans that from the very moment the regime fell, if an alternative government was not ready there would be a power vacuum and there would be chaos and looting," said Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and a longtime ally of the United States. "Given our history, it is very obvious this would occur."
Similar warnings came from international relief experts and from within the United States government. In 1999 the same military command that was preparing to attack Iraq conducted a detailed war game that found that toppling Mr. Hussein risked creating a major security void, said Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, who headed the command...
The exiles were among the most energetic cheerleaders for the war, and critics of the Bush administration have accused some of them of skewing the facts in the process. But more than a dozen of the leaders who have returned to Iraq said in interviews here that they had also warned about the chaos that could follow..."

Eric Schmitt and Joel Brinkley (New York Times):
"...A yearlong State Department study predicted many of the problems that have plagued the American-led occupation of Iraq, according to internal State Department documents and interviews with administration and Congressional officials.
Beginning in April 2002, the State Department project assembled more than 200 Iraqi lawyers, engineers, business people and other experts into 17 working groups to study topics ranging from creating a new justice system to reorganizing the military to revamping the economy.
Their findings included a much more dire assessment of Iraq's dilapidated electrical and water systems than many Pentagon officials assumed. They warned of a society so brutalized by Saddam Hussein's rule that many Iraqis might react coolly to Americans' notion of quickly rebuilding civil society...
"The period immediately after regime change might offer these criminals the opportunity to engage in acts of killing, plunder and looting," the report warned, urging American officials to "organize military patrols by coalition forces in all major cities to prevent lawlessness, especially against vital utilities and key government facilities."...
The group studying defense policy and institutions expected problems if the Iraqi Army was disbanded quickly — a step L. Paul Bremer III, the chief American civil administrator in Iraq, took. The working group recommended that jobs be found for demobilized troops to avoid having them turn against allied forces as some are believed to have done..."

Robert F. Worth (New York Times):
"...the latest reported victim in a wave of kidnappings, Iraqi officials say, by members of Saddam Hussein's security and intelligence services. The kidnappers are well armed and organized, and often use torture techniques similar to those used against political prisoners under the old government. The kidnappers seem to have access to information about the capital's wealthiest families and have been paid as much as $100,000 in ransom. 
American officials working with the Iraqi police say the vast majority of the kidnappings are not being reported, though, because the families either are too frightened or simply lack any faith in the new police force, which is still small and ill equipped. 
"This is happening all the time," said Adnan Shukur, as he sat with Martin and other relatives in the family's elegant living room. "They took him on the street, with people watching. We believe nothing will stop them from taking him away again."
Only four kidnappings since the war have led to full-scale investigations in which the criminals were arrested or identified, said Nouman Shubbar, an Iraqi-born Philadelphia police sergeant who is advising the police. It is unclear whether others might have been reported without an adequate response by the police. 
Based on reports from victims, though, the number of kidnappings over the past three months appears to be at least 40 in Baghdad alone, said Emad Dhia, the director of the Iraq Reconstruction and Development Council, a group of former dissidents who provide intelligence to the United States military and the Iraqi police. In most cases, though
not all, the kidnappers seem to have been members of Saddam Hussein's government, Mr. Dhia said..."

Center for American Progress:
"...With American casualties increasing and the Iraqi resistance becoming more organized and lethal, new questions are surfacing about whether the Bush Administration ever developed a post-war security plan or listened to warnings about the dangers of occupying Iraq. While Vice President Dick Cheney promised that American troops would be "greeted as liberators," the NYT reports, "American intelligence agencies have found increasing evidence that the broad outlines of the guerrilla campaign being waged against American forces in Iraq were laid down before the war by the Iraqi Intelligence Service." According to former British Ambassador to U.S. Christopher Meyer, Cheney himself was warned of this. As the UK Guardian reports, "British warnings that America was failing before the war to prepare properly for a crumbling security situation in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was ousted were ignored by Vice President Dick Cheney and the Pentagon."..."


(being extremely compassionate)

PS4-02 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Bush

"...Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there, and there they must be defeated...This will take time and require sacrifice." ..."

E. J. Dionne (Washington Post):
"...Well, yes. But at no point in the speech did the president explain who would do the sacrificing except, of course, our troops on the ground. 
With his postwar plans in tatters, Bush might at least have offered a wink or a nod to the fact that he did nothing to prepare Americans for the full cost of this enterprise -- perhaps because being too explicit too early about the burdens might have made it harder to pass his dividends tax cut. He couldn't have that.
He might have sacrificed a bit by acknowledging that all the optimistic predictions that emanated from his administration -- that American troops would be treated as liberators and all that -- made this enterprise look a lot easier than it turned out to be. Was this just a big bait-and-switch operation? First persuade Americans to fight the war by minimizing the costs. Then, once we're there, argue that we can't cut and run and demand $87 billion in new spending, and who knows how much more later.
Let's remember that the administration is on the record as predicting the opposite of the long struggle in Iraq that was the theme of Bush's Sunday speech. On March 24 an administration spokesman justified the request for more than $70 billion to cover the costs of the war for the next six months with the prediction of "a period of stabilization in Iraq, and the phased withdrawal of a large number of American forces within that six-month window." Oops.

The same official spokesman said that there was still hope of "substantial international participation in the stabilization and the reconstruction of Iraq."
That was wrong too, and Bush was warned before the war that such aid was unlikely to materialize in the absence of United Nations support for the initial invasion. On March 12 Chris Patten, the European Union's external relations commissioner, predicted correctly: "It will be that much more difficult for the EU to cooperate fully and on a large scale . . . in the longer-term reconstruction process if events unfold without proper U.N. cover and if the member states remain divided."
Yet the president who is now paying a price for ignoring the United Nations is the same president who mocked those Democrats who were wary of going to war without full U.N. support. On Sept. 13, 2002 -- before the midterm elections -- Bush characterized such Democrats as saying: "I think I'm going to wait for the United Nations to make a decision." Bush went on: "If I were running for office, I'm not sure how I'd explain to the American people -- say, 'vote for me, and, oh, by the way, on a matter of national security, I'm going to wait for somebody else to act.' "
Sorry, Mr. President. You can't politicize a national security argument before an election and then just assume that people will believe you are leveling with them now -- especially if you don't level with them on how we got into this fix.
But most astonishing is the fact that Bush can ask for an additional $87 billion without explaining who will make those "sacrifices" he talked about. Who will pay?...
The fiscal burden for this war does not have to be piled onto future generations. And it should not be borne by Americans most in need, the ones who would suffer from the budget cuts that bigger deficits would inevitably bring on. It's now obvious that the country cannot afford huge expenditures for war and reconstruction along with continued outsized tax cuts for the wealthiest among us.
If Bush wants us to believe that this war is as important as he says it is, he needs to ask something from himself and something from Americans who can most afford it. That means rescinding some of his tax cuts for the most well-off even if his campaign contributors squawk. If Bush and his friends aren't willing to sacrifice anything for this cause, they abandon the right to ask sacrifices from of the rest of us..."

(being very very compassionate here)

PS4-03 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Bush administration

Cheney for Bush

"...MR. RUSSERT: We have not been greeted as liberated.
       VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I think we have by most Iraqis. I think the majority of Iraqis are thankful for the fact that the United States is there, that we came and we took down the Saddam Hussein government. And I think if you go in vast areas of the country, the Shia in the south, which are about 60 percent of the population, 20-plus percent in the north, in the Kurdish areas, and in some of the Sunni areas, you’ll find that, for the most part, a majority of Iraqis support what we did..."

Rumsfeld for Bush

"...Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who once again today listed only "dead-enders, foreign terrorists and criminal gangs" as opponents of the American occupation..."

Dana Milbank (Washington Post):
"...Bush, by contrast, said Friday that "it's hard to characterize what kind of movement it is since this is the -- this is one of the major battles of the first war of the 21st century." ..."

Joel Brinkley and Eric Schmitt (New York Times):
"...The fact that the administration embraced their encouragement to go to war but apparently discounted their warnings is an insight into the Pentagon's prewar planning.
"I told them, `Let there not be a political vacuum,' " said Kanan Makiya, an Iraqi author and college professor who said he had consulted with several senior administration officials and met twice with President Bush...
In the end, administration officials appeared to have formed their views by picking and choosing from the advice offered. Mr. Makiya cautioned about the political vacuum, but also told Mr. Bush that American troops entering Baghdad would be greeted with "sweets and flowers."
In a speech just days before the war began, Vice President Dick Cheney said American troops would "be greeted as liberators."
The dangers of the political vacuum were real, Mr. Makiya said. As for the sweets and flowers message, he now says, "I admit I was wrong."..."

Eric Schmitt (New York Times):
"...Mr. Bremer acknowledged what American intelligence reports have been warning for weeks: that ordinary Iraqis are growing increasingly resentful of the American-led mission.
"The reality of foreign troops on the streets is starting to chafe," Mr. Bremer told the Senate panel. "Some Iraqis are beginning to regard us as occupiers and not as liberators."..."

Douglas Jehl and David E. Sanger (New York Times):
"...New intelligence assessments are warning that the United States' most formidable foe in Iraq in the months ahead may be the resentment of ordinary Iraqis increasingly hostile to the American military occupation, Defense Department officials said today.
That picture, shared with American military commanders in Iraq, is very different from the public view currently being presented by senior Bush administration officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who once again today listed only "dead-enders, foreign terrorists and criminal gangs" as opponents of the American occupation.
The defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were concerned about retribution for straying from the official line. They said it was a mistake for the administration to discount the role of ordinary Iraqis who have little in common with the groups Mr. Rumsfeld cited, but whose anger over the American presence appears to be kindling some sympathy for those attacking American forces.
Other United States government officials said some of the concerns had been prompted by recent polling in Iraq by the State Department's intelligence branch. The findings, which remain classified, include significant levels of hostility to the American presence. The officials said indications of that hostility extended well beyond the Sunni heartland of Iraq, which has been the main setting for attacks on American forces, to include the Shiite-dominated south, whose citizens have been more supportive of the American military presence but have also protested loudly about raids and other American actions.
As reasons for Iraqi hostility, the defense officials cited not just disaffection over a lack of electricity and other essential services in the months since the war, but cultural factors that magnify anger about the foreign military presence.
"To a lot of Iraqis, we're no longer the guys who threw out Saddam, but the ones who are busting down doors and barging in on their wives and daughters," one defense official said..."

PS4-04 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq


Sanchez for Bush

"...I still firmly believe that there is no popular support..." (for the attackers)

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
"...Gen. Sanchez might want to have a little chat with some of his commanders: 

US soldiers bulldoze farmers' crops
US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops...
Nusayef Jassim, one of 32 farmers who saw their fruit trees destroyed, said: "They told us that the resistance fighters hide in our farms, but this is not true. They didn't capture anything. They didn't find any weapons."
Other farmers said that US troops had told them, over a loudspeaker in Arabic, that the fruit groves were being bulldozed to punish the farmers for not informing on the resistance which is very active in this Sunni Muslim district...
When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt Col Springman, a US commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us."
Destroying orchards -- thousand year old olive groves, in some cases -- is a standard form of collective punishment in the West Bank and Gaza. But the IDF always has a cover story ready, usually about attacks launched on passing vehicles from just that very orchard, making its demolition an urgent security necessity. 
Actually telling the locals they're being punished for supporting (or at least not informing on) the guerrillas is bad form, since it runs headlong into the Geneva Convention's ban on all forms of collective punishment...."
None assigned since I don't want to be told this is "anecdotal" evidence
PS4-05 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Rice for Bush

"...said that it was "simply naïve" to believe that Iraq today was more of a haven for terrorists than it was before Saddam Hussein was ousted from power.
"There is almost a sense that they were sitting someplace minding their own business — drinking tea, having meetings" and then decided to come to Iraq only after the American military rolled into Baghdad..."

Brian Knowlton (New York Times):
"...Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, commander of coalition ground forces, told CNN that "we still have a long way to go" before eliminating resistance.
Iraq had become "a terrorist magnet," drawing some anti-American extremists from abroad to "a target of opportunity."
"But this," General Sanchez added, "is exactly where we want to fight them."..."

Bradley Graham (Washington Post):
The top U.S. military commander for the Persian Gulf region said yesterday that terrorism is becoming the "number one security threat" in Iraq, with foreign fighters entering the country through Syria and a revived group called Ansar al-Islam now firmly established in Baghdad. The remarks by Army Gen. John Abizaid, the head of the U.S. Central Command, added to a growing chorus by senior Bush administration officials who have begun to depict postwar Iraq as a magnet for terrorists bent on attacking the United States

Paul Wolfowitz (Wall Street Journal):
When I met recently with their commander, Maj. General Jim Mattis in Hillah, he said that the two groups who fought most aggressively during the major combat operations were the Fedayeen Saddam -- homegrown thugs with a cult-like attachment to Saddam -- and foreign fighters, principally from other Arab countries. The exit card found in the passport of one of these foreigners even stated that the purpose of his "visit" to Iraq was to "volunteer for jihad."
We face that poisonous mixture of former regime loyalists and foreign fighters today..."

William S. Lind (via Counterpunch):
"...Prior to and during the first phase of the war with Iraq, some of us warned that overthrowing Saddam would turn Mesopotamia into a happy hunting ground for non-state, Fourth Generation forces, aka "terrorists." According to America's viceroy in Baghdad, Mr. Paul Bremer, we were right. In the Cleveland Plain Dealer of August 24, Mr. Bremer, referring to the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, said, "We are constantly working to refine and upgrade our intelligence capability, particularly in light of the terrorist threat in Iraq. Iraq has become a new field of battle in this worldwide terrorism fight."
The key word in that quotation is "new." As Mr. Bremer seems to recognize, Iraq was not a place that welcomed terrorists when old Saddam was in power. Dictators seldom offer warm hospitality to elements whose goal is the destruction of states. Bush Administration statements that Saddam was working with al Qaeda turned out to be nonsense. Now, however, thanks to the fact that America destroyed the Iraqi state, Mesopotamia is acting as a magnet to Islamic non-state fighters of every stripe. We opened Iraq's door to all our worst enemies..."

PS4-06 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Rumsfeld for Bush - June 30, 2003

"...Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld dismissed suggestions that 146,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are engaged in a guerrilla war or bogged down in a Vietnam-like "quagmire."
"That doesn't make it anything like a guerrilla war or an organized resistance," Rumsfeld said. "It makes it like five different things going on [in which the groups] are functioning more like terrorists."..."

"...I guess the reason I don't use the phrase "guerrilla war" is because there isn't one, and it would be a misunderstanding and a miscommunication to you and to the people of the country and the world..."

Billmon (Whiskey Bar):
"...There's a guerrilla war there but we can win it. Paul Wolfowitz Testimony before the House Armed Services Committee June 18, 2003..."

Billmon (Whiskey Bar):
"...Update 7/1
"The war has moved into a disturbing new phase, a guerrilla, counter-insurgency phase. We need to adapt," said retired Army Gen. Dan Christman, a former Pentagon planner.
TRANSLATION: The Secretary of Defense is a lying sack of shit. 
[CG note: No, no, no! Compassionate he is!]

W. Patrick Lang, former head of Middle Eastern Affairs at the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the situation in Iraq is "exactly" what a guerrilla war looks like in its early stages.
"It's not unusual for there to be more than one guerrilla group in an insurgency," Lang said in an interview. "It doesn't mean that they won't be able to sufficiently overcome their differences to have an effect against us."
TRANSLATION: The Secretary of Defense is a lying sack of shit. 
[CG note: No, no, no! Compassionate he is!]

Retired Army Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, who commanded the 24th Infantry Division during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, called the Iraqi opposition to U.S. forces "an organizing guerrilla war in which right now we still lack a useful tactical intelligence system. We can't begin to deal with this problem until we put huge resources into building Iraqi police forces and infantry battalions."
TRANSLATION: The Secretary of Defense is a lying sack of shit 
[CG note: No, no, no! Compassionate he is!]..."

PS4-07 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Bush

(responding to series of bombings in Iraq on 10/26/03)

"...The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react...The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, the more electricity is available, the more jobs are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become, because they can't stand the thought of a free society." ..."

"...If this is "progress," what would count as a setback?..."

If this is progress, then what is a sign of fantastic progress? A massive attack on a massive scale that kills a lot more Americans and innocent civilians? (But I thought that is why you went to Iraq to fight in the first place...hmmm....compassionate conservatism, compassionate conservatism).
Not to mention the fact that a massive crime wave in the United States would not exactly be considered a sign that people are doing well. 

Phil Carter (via Calpundit):
"...Today's attacks come on the heels of a coordinated rocket attack on the Al Rasheed hotel where Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying. An American Army colonel was killed in that attack, though Mr. Wolfowitz escaped unscathed. As the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports, this attack represents an evolution from the previous six months of guerilla attacks, both in terms of its sophistication and the level of the risk the attackers took to get so close to a high-value target.
The attack on the U.S.-run Al Rasheed hotel, which sits in a vast "green zone" of Baghdad that is off-limits to ordinary Iraqis, marks a shift in the guerrillas' tactics. Rather than just hit-and-run ambushes, they are using more standoff weapons such as mortars, rockets and remote-controlled explosive devices that allow resistance fighters to strike without being hit in return.
Until recently, these rocket and mortar attacks -- including one on Al Rasheed in September -- usually failed to hit their targets. But, in the past few days, the guerrillas managed to inflict dozens of casualties, several of them fatal, by shelling U.S. bases in the cities of Samarra, Baquba and Balad, and by hitting a power station in Baghdad.
This ability to hit even the most protected U.S. targets raises new questions about how the American-led coalition can pacify Iraq. There are now as many as 35 anticoalition attacks a day, most in Baghdad and Sunni areas to its west and the north. In addition, guerrillas regularly kill Iraqis who help the coalition -- including the chief of police in the southern Amarah province, who was gunned down this past weekend.

...These two attacks are markedly more sophisticated than the hit-and-run guerilla tactics used thus far. Here's how:
- The attacks today were time-coordinated so that they would happen with near simultaneity. That's a significant tactical evolution because a) it's tough to do, and b) it means they're sophisticated enough to know that simultaneous attacks work because your enemy doesn't have time to raise his guard after the first attack...
- The attacks today employed suicide bombers, something not frequently seen in Iraq. Part of this owes to the lack of religious fervor on the part of the Iraqi insurgents -- they simply don't believe in their cause the way that Palestinian insurgents do. But with the exception of some Fedayeen attacks during the war, we have not seen suicide bombings en masse in Iraq. That trend may be changing.
- Today's attacks also were precisely targeted at "soft" symbolic targets of the continuing U.S. occupation. Rather than attack the CPA headquarters itself or other hard targets, they chose to attack the softer Red Cross and Iraqi police stations. These sites have a lot of symbolic value, because of the role that each organization plays in post-war Iraq. I think this is a pretty sophisticated targeting decision.
The trend is clear: We are seeing the outbreak of a truly 4th Generation War in Iraq, which pits American-led forces against a loose-knit network of guerillas with increasingly sophisticated tactics, techniques and procedures..."

Dana Milbank and Thomas E. Ricks (Washington Post):
"...Powell expressed concern that contractors, aid groups and the United Nations will withdraw in significant numbers. "Their work is needed," he said. "And if they are driven out, then the terrorists win." As the Red Cross assessed its future, Doctors Without Borders said it would reduce its presence in Baghdad. .."

PS4-08 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Bush administration

"...The administration continues to insist that "in Iraq, we took another essential step in the war on terror" (Vice President Cheney), that "military and rehabilitation efforts now under way in Iraq are an essential part of the war on terror" (Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz), that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a "terror regime" and that the ongoing war there today must be understood as part of the war on terror (President Bush). ..."

Benjamin R. Barber (Washington Post):
"...To fully understand America's failure, we have to back up to 9/11. Preventive war, the novel national-security doctrine announced after 9/11, exempted the United States from the obligation to justify war on grounds of self-defense or imminent threat. It promulgated a new right "to act against emerging threats before they are fully formed," to "act preemptively" against states that harbor or support terrorism. It is this strategic doctrine, and not tactics or policies on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, that is now failing so catastrophically. ..
...terrorism is flourishing -- not just in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kenya and Indonesia but in Afghanistan, where the Taliban were supposedly defeated, and in Iraq, where, prior to the war, there was no sponsored international terrorism at all.
The harrowing truth is that preventive attacks on "rogue states" and "those who sponsor or harbor terrorism" fail because they are premised on a fatal misunderstanding of what terrorism is and how it operates. In operational terms, terrorists are not cancers on the body of a weakened nation-state that die when the state dies. Rather, they are migrating parasites that temporarily occupy hosts (rogue states, weak governments, even transparent democracies). When a given host is destroyed or rendered immune to such parasites, they opportunistically move on to another host -- ever ready to reoccupy the earlier host if it is revived as a "friendly" regime. With their Taliban host eliminated, al Qaeda cadres moved on -- to the Afghan hinterland, to Pakistan, to Morocco, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the Philippines, maybe back to Hamburg and to those places identified early on as harboring the terrorists of 9/11, Florida and New Jersey, and now back to Baghdad and Kabul.
Terrorists are not states, they use states. As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld himself said after 9/11, in words he has apparently forgotten, "the people who do this don't lose, don't have high-value targets. They have networks and fanaticism."..."
None assigned for compassionate reasons
PS4-09 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Rice for Bush

"...There is an understandable tendency to look back on America's experience in postwar Germany and see only the successes," she told the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio, Texas, on Aug. 25. "But as some of you here today surely remember, the road we traveled was very difficult. 1945 through 1947 was an especially challenging period. Germany was not immediately stable or prosperous. SS officers—called 'werewolves'—engaged in sabotage and attacked both coalition forces and those locals cooperating with them—much like today's Baathist and Fedayeen remnants." ..."

Rumsfeld for Bush

"...One group of those dead-enders was known as "werewolves." They and other Nazi regime remnants targeted Allied soldiers, and they targeted Germans who cooperated with the Allied forces. Mayors were assassinated including the American-appointed mayor of Aachen, the first major German city to be liberated. Children as young as 10 were used as snipers, radio broadcasts, and leaflets warned Germans not to collaborate with the Allies. They plotted sabotage of factories, power plants, rail lines. They blew up police stations and government buildings, and they destroyed stocks of art and antiques that were stored by the Berlin Museum. Does this sound familiar?..."

Daniel Benjamin (MSN/Slate):
"...Well, no, it doesn't. The Rice-Rumsfeld depiction of the Allied occupation of Germany is a farrago of fiction and a few meager facts.
Werwolf tales have been a favorite of schlock novels, but the reality bore no resemblance to Iraq today. As Antony Beevor observes in The Fall of Berlin 1945, the Nazis began creating Werwolf as a resistance organization in September 1944. "In theory, the training programmes covered sabotage using tins of Heinz oxtail soup packed with plastic explosive and detonated with captured British time pencils," Beevor writes. "… Werwolf recruits were taught to kill sentries with a slip-knotted garrotte about a metre long or a Walther pistol with silencer. …"
In practice, Werwolf amounted to next to nothing. The mayor of Aachen was assassinated on March 25, 1945, on Himmler's orders. This was not a nice thing to do, but it happened before the May 7 Nazi surrender at Reims. It's hardly surprising that Berlin sought to undermine the American occupation before the war was over. And as the U.S. Army's official history, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946, points out, the killing was "probably the Werwolf's most sensational achievement."
Indeed, the organization merits but two passing mentions in Occupation of Germany, which dwells far more on how docile the Germans were once the Americans rolled in—and fraternization between former enemies was a bigger problem for the military than confrontation. Although Gen. Eisenhower had been worrying about guerrilla warfare as early as August 1944, little materialized. There was no major campaign of sabotage. There was no destruction of water mains or energy plants worth noting. In fact, the far greater problem for the occupying forces was the misbehavior of desperate displaced persons, who accounted for much of the crime in the American zone.
The Army history records that while there were the occasional anti-occupation leaflets and graffiti, the GIs had reason to feel safe. When an officer in Hesse was asked to investigate rumors that troops were being attacked and castrated, he reported back that there had not been a single attack against an American soldier in four months of occupation. As the distinguished German historian Golo Mann summed it up in The History of Germany Since 1789, "The [Germans'] readiness to work with the victors, to carry out their orders, to accept their advice and their help was genuine; of the resistance which the Allies had expected in the way of 'werewolf' units and nocturnal guerrilla activities, there was no sign. …"
Werwolf itself was filled not so much by fearsome SS officers but teenagers too young for the front. Beevor writes:
In the west, the Allies found that Werwolf was a fiasco. Bunkers prepared for Werwolf operations had supplies "for 10-15 days only" and the fanaticism of the Hitler Youth members they captured had entirely disappeared. They were "no more than frightened, unhappy youths." Few resorted to the suicide pills which they had been given "to escape the strain of interrogation and, above all, the inducement to commit treason." Many, when sent off by their controllers to prepare terrorist acts, had sneaked home.
That's not quite the same as the Rumsfeld version, which claimed that "Today the Nazi dead-enders are largely forgotten, cast to the sidelines of history because they comprised a failed resistance and managed to kill our Allied forces in a war that saw millions fight and die."
It's hard to understand exactly what Rumsfeld was saying, but if he meant that the Nazi resisters killed Americans after the surrender, this would be news. According to America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq, a new study by former Ambassador James Dobbins, who had a lead role in the Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo reconstruction efforts, and a team of RAND Corporation researchers, the total number of post-conflict American combat casualties in Germany—and Japan, Haiti, and the two Balkan cases—was zero [CG emphasis].
So, how did this fanciful version of the American experience in postwar Germany get into the remarks of a Princeton graduate and former trustee of Stanford's Hoover Institute (Rumsfeld) and the former provost of Stanford and co-author of an acclaimed book on German unification (Rice)? Perhaps the British have some intelligence on the matter that still has not been made public. Of course, as the president himself has noted, there is a lot of revisionist history going around..."

Matt Bivens (The Nation):
"...Rumsfeld is right, the mayor of Aachen was indeed murdered -- two months before the Nazis surrendered and the US occupation began. That murder, according to the US Army's official history of the war, was "probably the [werewolves'] most sensational achievement." Another standard World War II encyclopedia says: "The Werewolves existed more in fiction than in fact, being primarily the fictional creation of ... [Joseph] Goebbels."..."

PS4-10 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq

Rumsfeld for Bush
(Aug 2003)

"...Now was—did we—was it possible to anticipate that the battles would take place south of Baghdad and that then there would be a collapse up north, and there would be very little killing and capturing of those folks, because they blended into the countryside [italics Chatterbox's] and they're still fighting their war?..."

Wolfowitz for Bush

" was difficult to imagine before the war that the criminal gang of sadists and gangsters who have run Iraq for 35 years would continue fighting, fighting what has been called a guerrilla war..."

See Rumsfeld's previous (compassionate) statement about learning from WWII.

Timothy Noah (MSN/Slate):
"..."The dilemma that the country is facing right now, Afghanistan, is what should they do about their security situation. They have got Taliban and al Qaeda milling around, that have blended into the countryside [italics Chatterbox's], into the villages, across the borders and are ready to come back in in the event they feel they have the opportunity."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a town hall meeting at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Feb. 20, 2002..."

Tom Infield (Knight-Ridder) - 5/22/03
"...In the Senate committee hearing in Washington, Wolfowitz, a leading proponent of the war, defended the Bush administration against complaints from both Republicans and Democrats that the United States was moving too slowly to restore stability to Iraq.
He said unrealistic expectations had arisen from "a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of the security problem in Iraq, and, in particular, a failure to appreciate that a regime which has tens of thousands of thugs and war criminals on its payroll does not disappear overnight."..."

Kamal Ahmad (The Observer):
British warnings that America was failing before the war to prepare properly for a crumbling security situation in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was ousted were ignored by Vice President Dick Cheney and the Pentagon.
In some of the first direct evidence of serious divisions between the key allies in the run-up to the conflict, the former British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, said the US had failed to focus on what might happen after Saddam had been overthrown...
In an interview with The Observer, Meyer, who was ambassador just before the war began, said there were a series of meetings between British and American officials between the signing of the United Nations Resolution 1441 last November and the start of the war in March.
The British regularly raised their concerns about how much planning was going on to secure the country after Saddam, but the issue was largely ignored..."

Sidney Blumenthal (
According to the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, the administration is required to submit to Congress reports of postwar planning every 60 days. One such report -- previously undisclosed but revealed here -- bears Bush's signature and is dated April 14. It declares: "We are especially concerned that the remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime will continue to use Iraqi civilian populations as a shield for its regular and irregular combat forces or may attack the Iraqi population in an effort to undermine Coalition goals." Moreover, the report goes on: "Coalition planners have prepared for these contingencies, and have designed the military campaign to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure."
Yet on Aug. 25, as the violence in postwar Iraq flared, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed that this possibility was not foreseen: "Now was -- did we -- was it possible to anticipate that the battles would take place south of Baghdad and that then there would be a collapse up north, and there would be very little killing and capturing of those folks, because they blended into the countryside and they're still fighting their war?"
"We read their reports," a Senate source told me. "Too bad they don't read their own reports."..."

Eric Schmitt and Joel Brinkley (New York Times):
"...A yearlong State Department study predicted many of the problems that have plagued the American-led occupation of Iraq, according to internal State Department documents and interviews with administration and Congressional officials.
Beginning in April 2002, the State Department project assembled more than 200 Iraqi lawyers, engineers, business people and other experts into 17 working groups to study topics ranging from creating a new justice system to reorganizing the military to revamping the economy.
Their findings included a much more dire assessment of Iraq's dilapidated electrical and water systems than many Pentagon officials assumed. They warned of a society so brutalized by Saddam Hussein's rule that many Iraqis might react coolly to Americans' notion of quickly rebuilding civil society...
"The period immediately after regime change might offer these criminals the opportunity to engage in acts of killing, plunder and looting," the report warned, urging American officials to "organize military patrols by coalition forces in all major cities to prevent lawlessness, especially against vital utilities and key government facilities."...
The group studying defense policy and institutions expected problems if the Iraqi Army was disbanded quickly — a step L. Paul Bremer III, the chief American civil administrator in Iraq, took. The working group recommended that jobs be found for demobilized troops to avoid having them turn against allied forces as some are believed to have done..."

PS4-11 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Bush (7/2/2003)

"...There are some who feel like -- that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring them on. We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation..."


"..."Anybody who wants to help, we'll welcome the help," Bush said. "But we've got plenty tough force there right now to make sure the situation is secure."..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar (Sep 2003):
"...I've read Shrub's "speech" carefully now (twice) and as far as I can tell there is only one real piece of information in it -- aside from the $87 billion budget request, which was a little bit higher than the leaked estimates but still not really news.
What caught my eye was this:
Two multinational divisions, led by the British and the Poles, are serving alongside our forces. And in order to share the burden more broadly, our commanders have requested a third multinational division to serve in Iraq..."

Seattle Times:
"...Amid growing indications that some of the attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq are organized and coordinated, the chief civilian administrator and Army officers on the ground would like an increase of as many as 50,000 troops in the theater, according to knowledgeable sources.
A plea by U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer for the additional troops was discussed at a national-security council meeting several days ago. The White House has indicated it would be reluctant to agree to such a large increase, the equivalent of more than two divisions, the sources said.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was reviewing the request from Bremer, U.S. officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
A source outside the administration but familiar with the deliberations said, "The White House is aware that Bremer wants them," he said. "They're not happy about it. They don't want a formal request because then, politically, there's fallout."
Another source, who was briefed by senior Army officers, said that Bremer and Army generals inside Iraq would like to reinforce the 146,000 U.S. troops inside Iraq with an additional 50,000.
The issue of troop strength to stabilize a postwar Iraq is a sensitive one.
In February, then-Army chief of staff Eric Shinseki was publicly ridiculed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a key architect of the Iraq policy, for telling Congress that "several hundred thousand" troops would be needed to guarantee stability.
President Bush, meanwhile, began preparing the American public yesterday for a prolonged U.S. role in Iraq, citing the need for "a massive and long-term" effort to bring democracy and prosperity to the war-torn country..."

PS4-12 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq

Wolfowitz for Bush
(before the invasion)

"...It's hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his army," Wolfowitz told the House Budget Committee on Feb. 27. "Hard to imagine." ..." (this was to rebut Gen. Shinseki's estimate of troops required)

Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek):
Had the administration been more willing to learn from the past, it would have noted that the United States was involved in several postwar operations during the 1990s. Lesson No. 1 was: have sufficient forces. In Somalia and Haiti, the United States placed too few forces on the ground. The result: it failed. In Bosnia and Kosovo it deployed a large force, which was able to intimidate all potential opposition. As a result, in those two places Coalition forces have suffered zero combat casualties in many years of operation. The Powell Doctrine may not be necessary for war, but it seems to help in keeping the peace. 
To match the number of soldiers per inhabitant as we have in Kosovo, we would need 526,000 in Iraq. To match Bosnia we would need 258,000. Right now there are about 150,000 troops in Iraq. The United States Army does not have extra troops to spare. In fact it is currently spread dangerously thin. Ninety percent of all U.S. military police, for example, are on active duty: 12,000 are in Iraq; most of the rest are in South Korea or Europe. There are no more MPs to call on. 
The shortage is not simply of military personnel. Iraq’s administrator Paul Bremer is an able man who has made several smart choices since he has taken charge. He is, however, understaffed and underfunded. The Coalition Provisional Authority has about 1,000 people working for it. Douglas MacArthur had five times the number when he was nation-building in Japan. Perhaps as urgently as it needs troops, Iraq needs diplomats, political advisers, engineers, agronomists, economists, educators and lawyers. Without deploying this other army the occupation cannot succeed..."

PS4-13 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Wolfowitz for Bush

"...much of what I read on this subject suggests a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of the security problem in Iraq, and in particular, a failure to appreciate that a regime which had tens of thousands of thugs and war criminals on its payroll does not disappear overnight..."

Karen De Young (Washington Post):
"...The administration’s effort to acknowledge the ongoing violence, but blame it on Hussein holdouts, has sometimes appeared at odds with military assessments. Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, who commands the 20,000 troops of the 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, said last week that “about 90 percent” of the security problem “is common criminals — the looters, the car thefts, attempted bank robberies, et cetera — and only about 10 percent . . . is a holdover from the previous regime.”..."
PS4-14 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq

Wolfowitz for Bush

"...don't know what people expected, that suddenly this regime which is responsible for killing a million Muslims, that for 35 years abused and tortured and raped the Iraqi people, would disappear and suddenly everything would be fine overnight? We're what, four or five months into it? People who have been in Kosovo and Bosnia, which was a picnic compared to Iraq, who say that Iraq is already way ahead." [Emphasis added.]..."

Council for a Livable World:
"...Wolfowitz, in a November 17, 2002 interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, suggested: "If you're looking for a historical analogy, it's probably closer to post-liberation France [after World War II]."..."

&c. The New Republic:
"..."[S]ome of the higher-end predictions that we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq, are wildly off the mark. First, it's hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his army. Hard to imagine. Second, in making predictions one should at least pay attention to past experience. And in the case of Iraq we have some recent experience to look to. The northern third of Iraq has been liberated from Saddam Hussein's grasp since Operation Provide Comfort, which we undertook just one month after the cease-fire in the Persian Gulf War in 1991...
"After that operation we withdrew our ground forces from northern Iraq completely in the fall of 1991, and in the 12 years since then we have not had any forces--I emphasize any forces--on the ground there. And yet the northern third of Iraq has remained reasonably stable, even though, sadly, it is subjected to the same economic sanctions that have been applied to the rest of the country...
"There are other differences that suggest that peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than historical experience in the Balkans suggests."
--Wolfowitz, in testimony to the House Budget Committee, February 27, 2003..."

PS4-15 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Cheney for Bush

"...''Things have gotten so bad inside Iraq . . . we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators..."

See for more such quotes

E. J. Dionne (Washington Post):
"...Last March on "Meet the Press," moderator Tim Russert asked Cheney: "If your analysis is not correct and we're not treated as liberators but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, bloody battle with significant American casualties?" 
Cheney replied: "Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators."
The vice president said he knew this because he and the president had met with "various groups and individuals, people who have devoted their lives from the outside to trying to change things inside Iraq. . . . The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."
Please look at those sentences again. Note that for its reading of the situation inside Iraq, the administration relied on people who spent their lives outside Iraq. The administration believed the outsiders because the outsiders said what the administration wanted to hear -- and perhaps because the administration had no clue as to how people inside Iraq might react..."

Barbara Slavin and Dave Moniz (USA Today):
"...Baghdad fell 21 days after the initial assaults, and military analysts describe the campaign as historic, even brilliant.
But so far, the verdict on the aftermath of that campaign is much harsher. More than three months after Baghdad fell, American soldiers are not being treated like liberators. Instead, they face a guerrilla war, according to Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. forces in the region. Shadowy forces prey on U.S. troops, sabotage the nation's electric grid and other vital infrastructure, and spread fear among average Iraqis that Saddam Hussein is coming back.
Administration officials say the violence will eventually subside. But as of mid-July, even the top U.S. official in Iraq was offering no clear forecast for when. ''We need to be patient,'' Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator for Iraq, told Meet the Press on Sunday. Though expressing confidence that resistance could be overcome, he conceded that ''we are going to be there for a while. I don't know how many years.''..."

Center for American Progress:
"...With American casualties increasing and the Iraqi resistance becoming more organized and lethal, new questions are surfacing about whether the Bush Administration ever developed a post-war security plan or listened to warnings about the dangers of occupying Iraq. While Vice President Dick Cheney promised that American troops would be "greeted as liberators," the NYT reports, "American intelligence agencies have found increasing evidence that the broad outlines of the guerrilla campaign being waged against American forces in Iraq were laid down before the war by the Iraqi Intelligence Service." According to former British Ambassador to U.S. Christopher Meyer, Cheney himself was warned of this. As the UK Guardian reports, "British warnings that America was failing before the war to prepare properly for a crumbling security situation in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was ousted were ignored by Vice President Dick Cheney and the Pentagon."..."

PS4-16 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq and troop strength Rumsfeld for Bush

"...In a speech Oct. 10 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Rumsfeld said that of 1,700 coalition patrols per day, only about one-tenth of 1% encounter violence..."

John Diamond (USA Today):
"...That would be fewer than two attacks per day. In fact, at that time, there were about 20-25 attacks per day, or a little more than 1% of the patrols..."

CNN 10/22/03:
"..."I think clearly the number of wounded, also the number of engagements over the past three weeks, have been a little bit higher than we've seen before," Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez said.
"We've seen an average number of [daily] engagements between 20 and 25. We've seen a spike up to 35 in [the] last three weeks."
That's up from an average of between 15 and 20, Sanchez said..."

Compassiongate: 35 = roughly 2% (uncompassionate unfuzzy math)

PS4-17 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq and troop strength Bush (8/19/03)

"...I like to remind people that a free Iraq will no longer serve as a haven for terrorists or as a place for terrorists to get money or arms ..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
"...Today in Baghdad terrorists turned their violence against the United Nations.
George W. Bush Press Remarks
August 19, 2003, 11:05 AM

Iraq is turning out to be a continuing battle in the war on terrorism. 
George W. Bush Press Remarks
August 22, 2003 ..."

John Diamond (USA Today) - 10/26/03:
"...Iraqi guerrillas have an abundant supply of small arms and explosives that could allow them to maintain their pace of attacks indefinitely, Pentagon and U.S. Central Command intelligence analysts have concluded...
Iraq's armed forces disbanded and melted into the countryside in late April during the final stages of the U.S.-led effort to topple Saddam Hussein's regime by force. The Iraqi soldiers took their weapons home with them. Coalition forces took note of an ominous sign at the end of the fighting: hundreds of disabled Iraqi military vehicles along roads and in fields, stripped of any ammunition.
The discovery of thousands of arms caches — not only at military bases, but also in schools, mosques, hospitals and homes — indicates to U.S. commanders that there remain thousands more undiscovered caches accessible to guerrillas.
Coalition commanders have various estimates for how much is stored in those caches. Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez cited an estimate of 650,000 tons, an enormous figure equal to about a third of the U.S. military's vast ammunition stockpile. Brig. Gen. Robert Davis, the officer in charge of a program to collect and destroy Iraqi weapons stocks, said the figure could be closer to 1 million tons
...[CG emphasis]
"We don't have any notion at this point where all of these sites are," Sanchez told reporters in Baghdad last week. "We're still finding ammunition in backyards. Every day we're finding it."
Central Command, the military headquarters responsible for U.S. operations in Iraq, has been under pressure from Capitol Hill to explain why it has not secured all of the conventional weapons caches found since major combat was declared over May 1.
"There are so many different places where the forces on the ground have discovered weapons caches, and to dedicate soldiers to guard them before they are confiscated or destroyed is simply impossible," said a Central Command spokesman, Sgt. Danny Martin.
The problem facing U.S. and allied soldiers stems not from weapons snatched by guerrillas from under the noses of coalition guards but rather from weapons the guerrillas already had when the main fighting ended six months ago...
The combination of readily available small arms and explosives with tactics that require relatively little use of ammunition indicates that Iraqi forces will be able to sustain their ambush-style attacks indefinitely, these two intelligence officials said [CG emphasis]..."

PS4-18 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq and troop strength Rumsfeld for Bush

"...the coalition forces can deal with the terrorists now in Iraq, instead of having to deal with those terrorists elsewhere, including the United States..."


"...said that fighting terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere means "our people will not have to confront terrorist violence in New York, or St. Louis, or Los Angeles."..."


"...We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
"...I just can't keep up with the spinning any more:
Q: My question is why not send in more troops?
Rumsfeld: Simply flooding the zone with two or three times the number of foreign forces that are here, it would increase the number of targets for the handfuls of criminals and the handfuls of terrorists, for the handfuls of Ba'athist remnants.
So, our troops in Iraq are just "targets" for the terrorists? Then we should get them all out of there, no? But I thought we wanted the terrorists to fight us in Iraq, so we wouldn't have to fight 'em in Bumfuck, Kansas, or whatever. So we should send more troops to Iraq, right?  Because Iraq is now the central battle in the war on terrorism, right? But we don't want to make them targets ...(whimpers) My brain hurts ."

Bad Attitudes:
"...Presumably he was using the royal “we.” Certainly he was not speaking for the millions of us who have learned no such thing, for the excellent reason that the evidence of history runs all to the contrary.
Is it the perception of weakness that invites suicide bombers to attack Israel? Has Israel avoided such attacks by engaging the enemy in Palestine and Lebanon? Did England avoid them by engaging the enemy in Ireland? Is Russia avoiding them by engaging the enemy in Chechnya?
What Bush imagines he has learned is preposterous. If his teachers believe it they are fools; if not they are liars of the most dangerous sort..."

James Pinkerton (Newsday):
"...Of all the rationales for the Iraq War, this one might have the most staying power, because it can be used, indefinitely, to justify our continuing casualties. That is, the more Americans fight in Iraq, the more that fighting can be taken as "proof" that such violence pre-empted, in effect, violence in the United States. It's an infinitely looping figure-eight of logic: The more we are attacked in Iraq, the better off we are at home. So bring 'em on.
This argument is dubious, however, for three reasons.
First, terrorism isn't fungible. As a practical matter, it is easier for, say, a Saudi Arabian to cross the border into Iraq than it is for him to get to the United States. Like crime, terrorism is a function of motive plus means; that is, plenty of crime is derailed or deterred by the impregnability or inaccessibility of the target.
Second, the "flypaper" argument was refuted by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz less than four months ago. In an interview for the June issue of Vanity Fair, the Pentagon man said that one benefit of Operation Iraqi Freedom "has gone almost unnoticed." And what was that? "By complete mutual agreement between the U.S. and the Saudi government we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia." And why was that good, to remove the Americans? Because, Wolfowitz continued, "Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It's been a huge recruiting device for al-Qaida."
In other words, according to an interview transcript on May 9, the "flypaper" argument had yet to fly. Wolfowitz's point was that we had done ourselves a favor by taking over Iraq, so that we could withdraw our troops from Saudi Arabia where they were, according to Wolfowitz, not only attracting flies, but actually generating flies. As he said, the American presence was causing the number of al-Qaida recruits to swell.
Which brings us to the third flaw in the flypaper argument. As Wolfowitz argued, the number of terrorists isn't eternally fixed and predetermined; terrorism is, in part, a function of circumstance - and thus the argument that it was good to leave Saudi Arabia. That was Wolfowitz's thinking in May, when he argued that it was good to leave Saudi Arabia.
So how about Iraq? Are we not hatching more flies there? By putting American men and women - great fighters, but ill-trained for post-war "nation-building" and illiterate in local language and customs - into a country of 24 million, we have, in effect, spawned an unknown number of new enemies who might otherwise have never done anything more dangerous than shake their fist at a TV screen.
In fact, throughout history, invasions have had a way of rousing otherwise dormant opposition..."

Daniel Drezner:
"...The thing is, I don't buy it. In terms of the broader neocon vision of transforming the Middle East, Iraq needs to be an oasis of stability, not a grand opening for Terrorists 'R Us...
There's also this little nugget of information contained within today's Los Angeles Times story regarding the U.S. decision to seek another U.N. Security Council resolution in Iraq...  
Washington also hopes the resolution will call on Iraq's neighbors, particularly Iran and Syria, to block the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq, according to diplomats in Washington. The influx of foreign forces has become a leading U.S. security concern. (emphasis added)
If the flypaper hypothesis is correct, then why would the administration be so concerned about border protection?..."

PS4-19 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq and troop strength Rumsfeld for Bush

"...said if Washington's enemies believed Bush might waver or his opponents prevail, that could increase support for their activities.
"They take heart in that and that leads to more money going into these activities or that leads to more recruits or that leads to more encouragement or that leads to more staying power," he told reporters traveling with him on his plane.
"Obviously that does make our task more difficult."..."

Tabassum Zakaria (Reuters) via Common Dreams:
"..."Terrorists studied...instances when the United States was dealt a blow and tucked in, and persuaded themselves that they could in fact cause us to acquiesce in whatever it is they wanted to do," [Rumsfeld] said. "The United States is not going to do that, President (George W.) Bush is not going to do that."..."

"...But wait! Wouldn't that be a good thing?  That is, if it weren't utter nonsense?
Wouldn't that mean that more evildoers would be drawn to the flypaper "magnet," and could be eliminated "in the streets of Baghdad instead of Boston"?  Wouldn't that mean the ultimate act of patriotism is undermining Bush's credibility at home?
The regime doesn't seem able to keep its lies and propaganda straight...

PS4-20 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq and troop strength Bush

"...We're rolling back the terrorist threat, not on the fringes of its influence but at the heart of its power..."

David Corn (The Nation):
"...Rumsfeld observed, "Today, we lack the metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror." He wondered whether more terrorists are being produced on a daily basis than the number of terrorists being captured, killed, deterred or dissuaded by U.S. actions. 
If Rumsfeld says there is no way to measure success or defeat in the campaign against terrorism, how can George W. Bush declare that he is winning the war? Yet while speaking on September 12 at Fort Stewart in Georgia, before soldiers and families of the Third Infantry Division, Bush said, "We're rolling back the terrorist threat, not on the fringes of its influence but at the heart of its power."
As Rumsfeld might put it, according to what metrics, Mr. President?

Compassiongate: Not to mention that terrorism within Iraq was created because of the invasion.

Baghdad Bombings Kill About 40, Hurt 200
...Baghdad Thrown into Shock and Bloody Chaos 
Red Cross Weighs Withdrawal After Baghdad Attack
U.S. Quits Fortified Hotel in Baghdad

PS4-21 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Bush

"...A new Iraqi police force protects the people, instead of bullying them. Schools are open, with textbooks free of propaganda..."

Center for American Progress:
"...Department of Defense officials have admitted that the majority of the Iraqi police force has received little or no training.  With the rapid acceleration of plans to field Iraqis, the vetting process has largely been circumvented, possibly allowing former Baathists and insurgents to infiltrate their ranks. 
Schools and markets may be open, but recent Gallup polls indicate that ninety-four percent of Baghdad residents say that their city is “a more dangerous place than it was before the invasion.”  Eighty-eight percent are afraid to go outside of their home at night for safety reasons.   As a result, news reports indicate that many parents in Baghdad are keeping their kids at home due to fear for their safety..."

Nicholas Blanford (Christian Science Monitor):
Iraq's lightly armed and ill-equipped police force represent easy pickings for the guerrillas operating in the so-called Sunni Triangle, the volatile sector north and west of Baghdad that is witnessing the bulk of violence against American troops and their Iraqi allies. 
Still reeling from the loss of their colleagues and friends last weekend, many policemen in Baquba say they continue to feel vulnerable and fear further bomb attacks...
Despite indications of progress, the police have yet to win the active support of the local population. That's hardly surprising, perhaps, given the sentiments expressed in the spray-painted graffiti covering walls and road signs throughout Baquba...
The lack of basic policing equipment, especially protective measures, also saps morale..."

Christina Asquith (Christian Science Monitor):
with the ouster of former President Saddam Hussein, US officials say teachers will finally be free to teach a more factual account of historical events. But the question is: Whose account will that be?
The first indicator of what a Saddam-free education will look like is arriving this month, as millions of newly revised textbooks roll off the printing presses to be distributed to Iraq's 5.5 million schoolchildren in 16,000 schools. All 563 texts were heavily edited and revised over the summer by a team of US-appointed Iraqi educators. Every image of Saddam and the Baath Party has been removed.
But so has much more - including most of modern history. Pressured for time, and hoping to avoid political controversy, the Ministry of Education under the US-led coalition government removed any content considered "controversial," including the 1991 Gulf War; the Iran-Iraq war; and all references to Israelis, Americans, or Kurds.
"Entire swaths of 20th-century history have been deleted," says Bill Evers, a US Defense Department employee, and one of three American advisers to the Ministry of Education.
The new downsized versions of textbooks underscore the political challenge facing the primarily US-backed government, and the private, and nonprofit groups charged with everything from rebuilding schools to retraining teachers to rewriting text. While US advisers don't want to be seen as heavy-handed in influencing the way Iraqis interpret history, neither do they want to be in the position of endorsing texts that could be anti-American, anti-Israeli, or radically religious.
As a result, some charge, in a matter of months Iraqi education has gone from one-sided to 'no-sided.'
"We considered anything anti-American to be propaganda and we took it out," says Fuad Hussein, the Iraqi in charge of curriculum for the Ministry of Education. "In some cases, we had to remove entire chapters."..."

PS4-22 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq and exit strategy Bush

"...we're staying..."

Rumsfeld for Bush

"...The goal is not to reduce the number of U.S. forces in Iraq . It's not to develop an exit strategy..."

Center for American Progress:
"...Just weeks after the last U.N. resolution which the Bush Administration promised would pave the way for more international military support in Iraq , the White House now says it will request another U.N. resolution, and again promises it will bring international help. Previously, the Administration has claimed it is not seeking an election-motivated exit strategy. On 11/10/03, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, "The goal is not to reduce the number of U.S. forces in Iraq . It's not to develop an exit strategy." President Bush rejected the concept that the U.S. was gearing up for an election-year exit strategy on 11/17/03 saying "we're staying." But the WP quotes a senior Administration official saying the new U.N. initiative is motivated by just that. As the official said, "In the end, we will need a new resolution to bless our exit strategy. We could go into Iraq without the United Nations, but it'll be much harder to get out."..."
PS4-23 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Rumsfeld for Bush

"...Well, I think everyone's concerned about security in Iraq.  One of the terrible things that's happening is that the terrorists are killing innocent men, women and children, and they're overwhelmingly Iraqis...It is a situation that is really quite stable in the north and quite stable in the west and the south. And there's an area in the Baghdad area in the central area and north, in a triangle up towards Tikrit, where, I don't know, maybe 90 percent of all the incidents occur...And if our forces -- I talked this morning with General Abizaid and General Sanchez.  They have been aggressively conducting patrols and raid...And they feel that the problem is in control..."

Center for American Progress:
"...GET YOUR STATEMENTS STRAIGHT: AP reports "Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday the security situation in Iraq will be brought 'under control' by June," a direct refutation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's statement last week that "the [security] problem is in control" already..."
PS4-24 Guerilla/ terrorist attacks in Iraq Bush

"...Foreign terrorists are trying to create conditions of fear [in Iraq]..."

Center for American Progress:
"...CONTROVERSY ABOUT FOREIGN TERRORISTS: The NYT reports that in an attempt to "link the war in Iraq to the global campaign against terror" the Bush Administration has repeatedly "suggested that foreign fighters are continuing to enter Iraq and are behind many of the attacks." The problem is that commanders on the ground are refuting that claim. While Washington estimated the number of foreign fighters in Iraq at 1,000 to 3,000, the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division said, "I want to underscore that most of the attacks on our forces are by former regime loyalists and other Iraqis, not foreign forces." While President Bush said on 10/28/03 "Foreign terrorists are trying to create conditions of fear" in Iraq,  "Gen. John P. Abizaid, the senior American military commander in the Middle East, said loyalists to Saddam Hussein — not foreign terrorists — posed the greatest danger to American troops and to stability in Iraq."..."
PS5-01 Media Bush

"..."There's a sense that people in America aren't getting the truth," Bush said to a reporter for Hearst-Argyle Television, one of five back-to-back White House interviews he granted to regional broadcasters. "I'm mindful of the filter through which some news travels, and sometimes you have to go over the heads of the filter and speak directly to the people."..."


"...We're making good progress in Iraq," he said. "Sometimes it's hard to tell it when you listen to the filter..."
"...We're making great progress -- I don't care what you read about..."

Bartlett for Bush

"..."We believe local media and regional broadcasters are more interested in letting viewers or readers see or hear what the president has to say," said Dan Bartlett, White House communications director. "It's less analytical and more reporting."..."

Bremer for Bush

"...Bremer said there's lots of good news in Iraq, and "life is basically quite normal here."..."

"...Presumably the Bush administration does have some idea of how things are going in Iraq, so how have they reacted to events?

  • Before the war they expected to draw down troop levels to around 30,000 by now. This hasn't happened, so obviously events on the ground have turned out to be a lot worse than they originally expected. 

  • In fact, as I mentioned last month, we've seen the following actions recently: (a) keeping the 3rd ID in country after scheduling them to return, (b) rotating officers and senior NCOs out of their units, (c) extending the tours of regular troops, and (d) extending the tours of reservists. Now apparently leaves are being shortened. These are risky moves, and the Army wouldn't be making them unless the reality on the ground continued to be grim. 

  • The White House has shuffled responsibility for Iraqi reconstruction three times, first to Jay Garner, then to Jerry Bremer, and finally giving Condoleezza Rice a bigger role, the last move provoking a furious response from Donald Rumsfeld, who apparently learned about it via memo and media reports.

  • Last month Bush shocked everyone by requesting an additional $87 billion for Iraqi reconstruction. He wouldn't have requested a sum this large if he could have gotten by with less.

  • Finally, there's the UN. Regardless of what his apologists say now, it's pretty obvious that Bush didn't want to fight for another UN resolution. He wouldn't have done this unless he'd been convinced that he had no other choice.

This is not a knock on the Bush administration. The fact that they're willing to change track when events call for it is fine. Nevertheless, their reaction doesn't strike me as the reaction of an administration that thinks things are going according to plan.
Bottom line: I'm still not sure how things are going in Iraq, but based on the evidence I lean pretty negative. The fact that progress is being made is encouraging, but hardly conclusive. With 130,000 troops in the country and billions of dollars being spent, of course some progress is being made.
But the Sunni triangle still seems to be a war zone, ambushes are taking place at an alarming rate, oil production is not ramping up very quickly, NGOs (and the UN) have pulled out because conditions are so unsafe, unemployment is over 50%, and Saddam is still loose. Compared to this, it's hard to take seriously the evidence of a few miscellaneous visitors who proclaim that everything looks safe to them while refusing to go anywhere without a heavy armed guard..."

David Corn (LA Weekly):
A simple question for the president of the United States: If you don’t read the newspapers, how can you criticize the media coverage of Iraq? [CG emphasis]
A few weeks ago, George W. Bush noted during an interview that while he glances at newspaper headlines, he “rarely” reads the actual articles because “A lot of times there’s opinions mixed in with news.” So where does he get his info? Bush said he prefers to be briefed by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. “The best way to get the news,” he explained, “is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what’s happening in the world.” Lately Bush also has been warning the American public not to pay attention to other sources, such as journalists who report that all is not going well in the land of occupation. “We’re making good progress in Iraq,” Bush said. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell when you listen to the filter.” The filter is Bushspeak for the media..."

Michael Kinsley (Washington Post):
"...To President Bush, the news is like a cigarette. You can get it filtered or unfiltered. And which way does he prefer it? Well, that depends on the circumstances. When he is trying to send a message to the public, Bush prefers to have it go out unfiltered. He feels, for example, that the "good news about Iraq" is getting filtered out by the national media. "Somehow you just got to go over the heads of the filter and speak directly to the people," he said the other day. So, lately, he has been talking to local and regional media, which he trusts to filter less. 
But when he is on the receiving end, Bush prefers his news heavily filtered. "I glance at the headlines, just to get kind of a flavor," he told Brit Hume of Fox News last month. But, "I rarely read the stories" because "a lot of times there's opinions mixed in with news." Instead, "I get briefed by [White House Chief of Staff] Andy Card and Condi [Rice, the national security adviser] in the morning."
The president concluded, "The best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world."
Bush's beef about news from Iraq is a variation on the famous complaint that the media never report about all the planes that land safely. And it's true: Many American soldiers have not been killed since the war officially ended. You rarely read stories about all the electricity that works, or the many Iraqis who aren't shouting anti-American slogans. For that matter, what about all the countries we haven't invaded and occupied in the past year? And what about the unreported fact that Saddam Hussein has been removed from power? Well, maybe that isn't actually unreported. But an unfilterish media would surely report it again and again in every story every day, in case people forgot...
In this media cacophony the president probably has more ability to deliver his message without a filter than anyone else on Earth. Anything the president says is automatically news. If he wants to commandeer all the TV networks for a speech in prime time, he can usually do it. The president can even hold a news conference, although this president rarely bothers.  
Bush also will have a campaign treasury of $170 million that he can spend in the next year delivering any message he wants, completely unfiltered. Who can top that? Well, until recently there was Saddam Hussein. He could talk as long as he wanted and Iraqi TV never cut away for a commercial, let alone brought on annoying pundits to pick and pick and pick. And the next day's Baghdad Gazette would publish every single word, also without any tedious analysis. A few others, such as Fidel Castro, still have this privilege. I was under the impression that George W. Bush found this distasteful -- the sort of thing one might even tighten a boycott or start a war over.
Bush doesn't really want people to get the news unfiltered. He wants people to get the news filtered by George W. Bush. Or, rather, he wants everyone to get the news filtered by the same people who apparently filter it for him..."

James Pinkerton (Newsday):
"...Others, too, are part of this Orwellian tactic, although they sometimes bobble their assignment. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) had just returned home from a government-sponsored tour of Iraq when she appeared on Fox News to comment on Sunday's car bombing in Baghdad. Proving she's a good listener, she insisted that the suicide attack was actually good news. How's that? Speaking of the American nation-building effort, she explained, "As it's working, there are more incidents like this, from people who don't want it to work." By that inverted logic, of course, it would be bad news if there were fewer bombings.
But then, undercutting Granger's case, the interviewer noted that Granger and her fellow visitors had not actually stayed overnight in Iraq while they were visiting the country; each night, they were flown back to Kuwait, some 400 miles south of Baghdad. One might think for a moment about the implications of such a long-distance commute. If all the American security in Iraq can't make Iraq secure for VIPs, then maybe Iraq isn't so secure..."

Sarita Chourey (The Hill):
"...On returning from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, a group of Senate Republicans said yesterday that the Bush administration deserves a lot more credit for successful reconstruction efforts in those war-torn nations.
Meanwhile, several Senate Democrats complained that they were denied access to a plane for a inspection tour of their own.
“For whatever reason, Sens. [Chris] Dodd [D-Conn.] and others who requested the opportunity to travel were prohibited from doing so, and I think that requires a better explanation that the one I’ve been given so far,” Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) said.
“We have no understanding. We were told that an [Air Force] airplane was not available,” adding that Britain offered them the use of an airplane. “If Britain can offer United States senators an airplane, you would think the United States government could do so as well.”..."

Richard Wolffe and Rod Norland (Newsweek)
"...SOMEONE THREW A homemade grenade at the Americans, wounding 13 servicemen. According to the Oct. 8 Daily Threat Assessment—the Coalition’s internal casualty report, which was shown to NEWSWEEK—eight soldiers were wounded seriously enough to be evacuated to military hospitals. Yet at a press conference the next day, there was no mention of the attack. Pushed by reporters, U.S. officials would only say the incident was under investigation. It was as if the ambush, and the casualties, had never happened.
        In Baghdad, official control over the news is getting tighter. Journalists used to walk freely into the city’s hospitals and the morgue to keep count of the day’s dead and wounded. Now the hospitals have been declared off-limits and morgue officials turn away reporters who aren’t accompanied by a Coalition escort. Iraqi police refer reporters’ questions to American forces; the Americans refer them back to the Iraqis...
“All the TV wants to cover is some sensational, isolated terrorist attack,” Evans told NEWSWEEK on his flight back to Washington. “I went over expecting to find an environment where people were frightened. But I found a country that was alive with hope and optimism.” Yet reporters who covered the war say that some of the Coalition’s achievements are less impressive than they sound. Paul (Jerry) Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq, proudly announced the reopening of Iraq’s schools this month, while White House officials point to the opening of Iraq’s 240 hospitals. In fact, many schools were already open in May, once major combat ended, and no major hospital closed during the war. But that didn’t stop a group of Republican senators from tearing into American reporters covering Iraq earlier this month. “I was not told by the media... that thousands and thousands of Iraqi schoolchildren went back to school,” said Larry Craig of Idaho, who recently toured Iraq. The senator neglected to mention that he slept both nights of his trip in Kuwait, not Iraq..."

Joe Conason (
If the deaths of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians went unreported by the news "filter," would those people still be alive? If the critics of U.S. policy in Iraq kept quiet, would that policy be working rather than failing? If U.S. policy is failing, at the cost of American and Iraqi lives, is the duty of patriots to pretend otherwise or to speak out? 
I only ask because -- until the terrible week that culminated in yesterday's Chinook helicopter downing -- the line from the White House and the Pentagon was that America's worst problems in Iraq were "negative" news coverage and domestic "political" sniping. That propaganda trope is no longer plausible even to those who fervently support the administration and the war..."

Fred Barbash (Washington Post):
", new signs appeared of increasing isolation for the United States in Iraq.
Turkey ruled out sending in troops without "a clear initiative from the Iraqi people," according to Turkey's ambassador in Washington, Faruk Logulu. Such a clear initiative is unlikely, thanks to opposition to a Turkish presence within the Iraqi Governing Council.

Meanwhile, Spain announced today that it was pulling out most of its 29-member diplomatic staff from Iraq because of the dangerous situation, although the embassy will remain open. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has taken considerable political risks by joining the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq, contributing 1,300 soldiers to the effort in the face of hostile Spanish public opinion.
The cut back announced by a Spanish Foreign Ministry official today follows similar actions by the United Nations and the International Red Cross, which have pulled out or reduced their presence in the country..."

Daniel Williams (Washington Post):
American troops patrol less frequently, townspeople openly threaten Iraqi security personnel who cooperate with U.S. forces, and the night belongs to the guerrillas.  
That is the reality in this little town 60 miles north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials say, and it reflects a shifting balance of power in U.S.-occupied central Iraq. Resistance forces move with impunity in Thuluiya and throughout the so-called Sunni Triangle, despite repeated raids on suspected hide-outs and arms caches. 
Since June, when attacks on U.S. forces began in earnest, the average number of ambushes has more than doubled, soaring from about 12 a day to 37 in late October before falling to 29 last week, according to Col. William Darley, an Army spokesman..."

Jonathan S. Landay (Sun Herald):
"...A new, top-secret CIA report from Iraq warns that growing numbers of Iraqis are concluding that the U.S.-led coalition can be defeated and are supporting the resistance. 
The report paints a bleak picture of the political and security situation in Iraq and cautions that the U.S.-led drive to rebuild the country as a democracy could collapse unless corrective actions are taken immediately. 
L. Paul Bremer, head of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, who arrived unexpectedly in Washington for strategy sessions on Tuesday, essentially endorsed the CIA's findings, said a senior administration official. 
The report's bleak tone and Bremer's private endorsement differ sharply with the upbeat public assessments that President Bush, his chief aides and Bremer are giving as part of an aggressive publicity campaign aimed at countering rising anxieties at home over increasing U.S. casualties in Iraq..."

Also see: CNN

PS5-02 Media Bush

"...[life in Iraq is] "a lot better than you probably think. Just ask people who have been there." ..."

Sanchez for Bush

"...Are you going to find soldiers on any given day who are down on morale? Of course. There are days when I wake up and don’t feel very good and I’d probably bite your head off. I walk around and talk to all sorts of soldiers also, and I honestly believe our soldiers are doing very, very well. There is no morale problem..."

Bradley Graham and Walter Pincus (Washington Post):
"...A broad survey of U.S. troops in Iraq by a Pentagon-funded newspaper found that half of those questioned described their unit's morale as low and their training as insufficient, and said they do not plan to reenlist. The survey, conducted by the Stars and Stripes newspaper, also recorded about a third of the respondents complaining that their mission lacks clear definition and characterizing the war in Iraq as of little or no value. Fully 40 percent said the jobs they were doing had little or nothing to do with their training...In the survey, 34 percent described their morale as low, compared with 27 percent who described it as high and 37 percent who said it was average; 49 percent described their unit's morale as low, while 16 percent called it high. ..
Stars and Stripes raised questions about what those visiting dignitaries saw in Iraq. "Many soldiers -- including several officers -- allege that VIP visits from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill are only given hand-picked troops to meet with during their tours of Iraq," the newspaper said in its interview with Sanchez. "The phrase 'Dog and Pony Show' is usually used. Some troops even go so far as to say they've been ordered not to talk to VIPs because leaders are afraid of what they might say."
The newspaper also noted in that interview that its reporters were told that some soldiers who had complained of morale problems had faced disciplinary actions known as Article 15s, which can result in reprimand, extra duties and forfeiture of pay. Sanchez said he did not know of any such punishments, but he added that they would have been handled at a lower level.
The paper's project recorded significant differences in the morale of various units, but overall found that Army troops tended to sound more dissatisfied than Air Force personnel and Marines, and that reservists were the most troubled..."

Los Angeles Times/Reuters:
"...Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard B. Myers expressed concern Thursday over a survey suggesting major morale problems among U.S. troops in Iraq, saying he was worried that he and other top officers were sometimes allowed to talk only to "all the happy folks" when they visited service members.
"I want to see the folks that have complaints. And sometimes they won't let them near me," Myers said when asked about the Stars and Stripes newspaper survey in which half of 1,939 troops responding said morale in their units was low or very low and that they did not plan to reenlist...
Myers and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld addressed troop morale after the Army said at least 13 U.S. soldiers had committed suicide in Iraq, representing more than 10% of American noncombat deaths there. The Army said it had dispatched a suicide-prevention expert to assess the problem..."

Also see:

PS6-01 Iraqi opinions of the U.S. Bremer and Wolfowitz for Bush

" testimony before Congress, L. Paul Bremer III, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz both cited a recent Gallup Poll that found that almost two-thirds of those polled in Baghdad said it was worth the hardships suffered since the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein. Bremer also told Congress that 67 percent thought that in five years they would be better off, and only 11 percent thought they would be worse off..."

Cheney for Bush

"...on NBC's "Meet the Press" discussed findings from a Zogby International poll of 600 Iraqis done in August in conjunction with American Enterprise magazine. He described the poll as "carefully done" and said it found "very positive news in it in terms of the numbers it shows with respect to the attitudes to what Americans have done."
"The U.S. wins hands down," Cheney said, when Iraqis were asked what model of government they would prefer among five choices...
Cheney also said, "If you want to ask them do they want an Islamic government established, by two-to-one margins they say no, including the Shia population." He said that when asked how long they want the Americans to stay, "over 60 percent of the people polled said they want the U.S. to stay for at least another year."

Cheney for Bush

"...I think the majority of Iraqis are thankful for the fact that the United States is there..."

John Zogby:
"...while Cheney noted that when asked what kind of government they would like, Iraqis chose “the US... hands down,” in fact, the results of the poll are actually quite different. Twenty-three percent of Iraqis say that they would like to model their new government after the US; 17.5 percent would like their model to be Saudi Arabia; 12 percent say Syria, 7 percent say Egypt and 37 percent say “none of the above.” That’s hardly “winning hands down.”
When given the choice as to whether they “would like to see the American and British forces leave Iraq in six months, one year, or two years,” 31.5 percent of Iraqis say these forces should leave in six months; 34 percent say a year, and only 25 percent say two or more years.
So while technically Cheney might say that “over 60 percent (actually it’s 59 percent) ... want the US to stay at least another year,” an equally correct observation would be that 65.5 percent want the US and Britain to leave in one year or less.
Other numbers found in the poll go further to dampen the vice president’s and the AEI’s rosy interpretations. For example, when asked if “democracy can work well in Iraq,” 51 percent said “no; it is a Western way of doing things and will not work here.”
And attitudes toward the US were not positive. When asked whether over the next five years, they felt that the “US would help or hurt Iraq,” 50 percent said that the US would hurt Iraq, while only 35.5 percent felt the US would help the country. On the other hand, 61 percent of Iraqis felt that Saudi Arabia would help Iraq in the next five years, as opposed to only 7.5 percent, who felt Saudi Arabia would hurt their country. Some 50.5 percent felt that the United Nations would help Iraq, while 18.5 percent felt it would hurt. Iran’s rating was very close to the US’, with 53.5 percent of Iraqis saying Iran would hurt them in the next five years, while only 21.5 percent felt that Iran might help them.
It is disturbing that the AEI and the vice president could get it so wrong. Their misuse of the polling numbers to make the point that they wanted to make, resembles the way critics have noted that the administration used “intelligence data” to make their case to justify the war...
Consider some of the other poll findings:
* Over 55 percent give a negative rating to “how the US military is dealing with Iraqi civilians.” Only 20 percent gave the US military a positive rating...
* When asked how they would describe the attacks on the US military, 49 percent described them as “resistance operations.” Only 29 percent saw them as attacks by “Baath loyalists.”
*When asked whom they preferred to “provide security and restore order in their country,” only 6.5 percent said the US. Twenty-seven percent said the US and the UN together, 14.5 percent preferred only the UN. And the largest group, 45 percent, said they would prefer the “Iraqi military” to do the job alone..."

Walter Pincus (Washington Post):
"...That same poll, however, found that, countrywide, only 33 percent thought they were better off than they were before the invasion and 47 percent said they were worse off. And 94 percent said that Baghdad was a more dangerous place for them to live, a finding the administration officials did not discuss.
The poll also found that 29 percent of Baghdad residents had a favorable view of the United States, while 44 percent had a negative view. By comparison, 55 percent had a favorable view of France.

Similarly, half of Baghdad residents had a negative view of President Bush, while 29 percent had a favorable view of him. In contrast, French President Jacques Chirac drew a 42 percent favorable rating.
...Cheney's information, according to an aide, came from the American Enterprise essay on the poll that said 37 percent of respondents chose the United States, and 28 percent selected Saudi Arabia.
But a look at the raw data from the poll on the magazine's Web site revealed different figures. According to the data, only 21.5 percent chose the United States, while 20 percent refused to select any model, and 16 percent selected the Saudi government...
the poll also found that half of respondents said Western democracy would not work well in Iraq, while 40 percent said it would. Asked whether the United States would help or hurt Iraq over the next five years, 35 percent said the U.S. would help but half said it would hurt Iraq. Also, on the question of an Islamic government, the alternative offered was "or instead let all people practice their own religion," which implied that could not be done under the former..."


Maureen Fan (San Jose Mercury News):
"...Most Iraqis feel unsafe in their neighborhoods, think the local Iraqi police can protect them better than coalition forces and increasingly view Americans as occupiers rather than liberators, according to a poll released Thursday by the independent, privately funded Iraq Center for Research & Strategic Studies in Baghdad. 
Coalition forces have squandered the good will that resulted from removing Saddam Hussein from power, with nearly 43 percent of Iraqis viewing them as liberators six months ago but only 14.8 percent feeling the same way now..."

PS6-02 Iraqi opinions of U.S. Rumsfeld for Bush

"..."Before the war in Iraq, you stated the case very eloquently and you said . . . they would welcome us with open arms," Sinclair Broadcasting anchor Morris Jones said to Rumsfeld as the prelude to a question.

The defense chief quickly cut him off.
"Never said that," he said. "Never did. You may remember it well, but you're thinking of somebody else. You can't find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those two things you just said I said."..."

Eric Rosenberg (Online Star-Banner):
"...For example, on Feb. 20, a month before the invasion, Rumsfeld fielded a question about whether Americans would be greeted as liberators if they invaded Iraq.
"Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?" Jim Lehrer asked the defense secretary on PBS' "The News Hour."
"There is no question but that they would be welcomed," Rumsfeld replied, referring to American forces. "Go back to Afghanistan, the people were in the streets playing music, cheering, flying kites, and doing all the things that the Taliban and the al-Qaeda would not let them do."
The Americans-as-liberators theme was repeated by other senior administration officials in the weeks preceding the war, including Rumsfeld's No. 2 - Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz - and Vice President Cheney..."
PS7-01 Militia in Iraq Bremer for Bush

"...The militias ... on the streets of Najaf ... were there with the full authority of the Coalition Provisional Authority, and in full cooperation with the coalition forces. That is to say, they were licensed in accordance with our existing programs..."

Billmon/Whiskey Bar:
"...Coalition forces look set for a showdown with Iraqi militias after a deadline demanding they disarm in Najaf went unheeded. Captain Edward Lofland said those caught with weapons would be jailed. "After that, we will take their arms away and, if they resist, we will arrest them and put them in jail," Lofland said. 
Sky News
Najaf Showdown Looms
September 7, 2003..."















1. Now some of you might wonder where this University is located - so, it is appropriate to make it clear right here that this is not a real University - it is only a hypothetical institute of lower higher learning.

2. I sometimes prefer to truncate the words Compassionate Conservative to Compassion Con. There is no intent here to imply anything significant by this (at least anything more than is commonly understood). I reserve all moral clarity rights to the use of this term. One Compassion Con credit is assigned to every instance of compassion (i.e., misleading, deceptive or inaccurate statement or outright lie/mendacity).

3. Note that Compassionate statements made by Mr. Bush's spokespersons, advisers or appointees - speaking clearly on behalf of Mr. Bush - are considered as being supported by Mr. Bush, absent a public statement to the contrary.


















Hit Counter