Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Plan to Rebuild: To Be Provided

So this may just be piling it on at this point, but I read a couple of interesting articles this morning about the plan for "winning the peace" in Iraq after the initial defeat of Saddam. Sen. Kerry's been hitting Pres. Bush pretty hard on this for a while now and the Philly Inquirer has a report about one of the final planning meetings before invasion in Spring 2003 (I actually read it originally at Slate Magazine in this Op/Ed which discusses not just this meeting, but also Secy Rumsfeld's plan to transform the military and his progress to date.):

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

When I first read this, I could do nothing but stare in disbelief. Are you kidding me??

Far be it for me to know what exactly is needed to rebuild Iraq. I claim no expertise. But judging from the Inquirer report, it's pretty clear that most military minds saw a gaping hole in the war planning. This just adds more weight to argument that the administration went into this with full momentum and didn't really want to hear dissenting voices. It's clear that the top level was giving Pres. Bush what he wanted to hear (thus when Bush says that the military said they were comfortable with the Iraq war plans, he's being technically correct), but any meaningful dissent was filtered out to ensure the momentum would not be affected.

Call it blinders, call it willful ignorance, call sheer stupidity, either way, it has put us in a situation that probably could have been prevented (or at least lessened). Of course we can improve the situation, but seriously, how much more of this should we have to take? I'm annoyed enough when such willful disregard happens are work, shouldn't we be fucking sick of it when it comes to the leaders of our country?

One last rant: The argument about whether or not we should have gone to war is a completely separate one. There are wide opinions and reasonings about the worth of going to war in Iraq and I'm happy to discuss them, but I don't think any argument can be made about the prosecution of this war and the incompetence which has lead to the current situation in Iraq.

Nuff Said.

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