Sunday :: Nov 16, 2003

Cheney Ignored British Warnings on Iraq


by Steve

At the same time that Tony Blair and Bush agree apparently on an exit strategy from Iraq sometime in 2006, British officials revealed that they warned the US that not enough planning was done to prepare for a post-war Iraq between the passage of the UN resolutions last November and the March invasion. According to tomorrow’s Observer, the Brits told the Americans over the course of several meetings that more needed to be done, but Dick Cheney and the Pentagon ignored such warnings. Why? Because the Americans seemed to be only able to focus on one thing at a time, and all they cared about was war. And Bush told Blair that the US was ready to invade in February, even before the diplomatic efforts were completed.

As for the exit strategy, the Brits and Americans have agreed that their troops will need to be in the country until 2006, even though the Governing Council told the media today that they would assume power in June 2004 and that foreign troops would be “invited guests” after that. Rummy made it clear today that there will be no pullout of US troops, even though others are saying that the replacement of US troops with Arab League troops is the only way to calm the situation in Iraq.

As far as domestic politics are concerned, it is clear that Karl Rove has convinced Bush that the recent uptick in deaths is a mortal threat to W’s election prospects in 2004. Despite comments to the contrary just weeks ago, the Administration is now prepared to cede authority over Iraq to an entity they were disparaging just days ago. But Bush would rather seek political cover and reduce troop levels in time for November instead of maintaining the muscular go-it-along posture that got us here. As such, Rove will try and convince Americans that Bush was right all along because Iraq is free and we “liberated” them. It may work. For a country that wants the troops home, and has proven itself capable of being misled and lied to with impunity, many will swallow this “Bush Was Right” mantra. But what will also be clear is that the Iraq campaign accomplished nothing to make us safer, and will only have made the Arab world more hostile to us than before.

Steve :: 12:40 AM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!