Wednesday :: Nov 26, 2003

More Reserves Headed to Iraq, and More Fingerpointing at White House

by Steve

If things are going better in Iraq as Paul Bremer tells us they are, then why did Rummy ruin Thanksgiving for many reservists today when he put thousands of new reservists on alert that they are headed to Iraq in January for up to eighteen months? And why specifically are more Marines headed to Iraq, with Rummy confirming that we will have 110,000 troops in Iraq by May? Since the Governing Council is to take over from us in June, it sure doesn’t appear that we are going to cut and run, or go away anytime soon, regardless of what the Iraqis want. That should be a wonderful campaign issue for the President to sell next fall, right? I’m sure the military, and the reservists and their families will be eager voters for the president next year.

And it appears that Jay Garner didn’t get the memo that all is great in Iraq. Garner told BBC radio today that it was a mistake for Bremer to disband the Iraqi Army. Garner also confirmed what has been said before, that a State Department study of likely postwar problems in Iraq was kept from him by Rummy until just weeks before the invasion. Furthermore, Garner let it slip today that when he brought aboard State’s top Iraq specialist on postwar planning Tom Warrick to improve coordination, he was told by Rummy to fire him on orders from the White House.

The former lieutenant general said that after learning of the State Department plan in February he had brought in Tom Warrick, a senior planner at the State Department involved in the study. But Garner said he was forced to fire Warrick by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"Tom was just beginning to get started with us when one day I was in the office with the secretary of defense, and he said ’Jay, have you got a guy named Warrick on your team?’ I said, ‘yes, I do.’ He said, ’well, I’ve got to ask you to remove him.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to remove him; he’s too valuable.’

"But he said, ’This came to me from such a high level that I can’t overturn it, and I’ve just got to ask you to remove Mr. Warrick.”’

Which means that the responsibility for postwar difficulties in Iraq can plainly be laid at the feet of Bush and Cheney, and cannot be blamed on others.

Steve :: 4:26 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!