Friday :: Jan 6, 2006

Bremer: We Didn't See The Insurgency Coming


by Steve

At a social gathering several weeks ago, I overheard a family friend tell another friend about a speech he had just attended in San Francisco. Paul Bremer was the speaker, and this may have been a speech to the Commonwealth Club. What I remember from this episode was how impressed the first friend was with Bremer; he indicated that Bremer came off as a smart guy who had a command of what was going on in Iraq when he ran the Coalition Provisional Authority. Our friend is a smart guy himself, a successful attorney who is a Republican. In other words, he is someone like many of the others in attendance that day at the Commonwealth Club who was quite willing to be star-struck at whatever bullshit Bremer spread out that day, and also someone, like the rest of them in the room that day, who wouldn’t think for a moment to ask Bremer point blank in front of the rest of the cultists the following:

"Mr. Bremer, do you regret your terrible mistakes in disbanding the Iraqi army and destroying the Baath civil service?"

Nope, there was no chance that any of the fellow Kool-Aid drinkers in the room that day, within earshot of such an accomplished wise man as presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Paul Bremer, would ever ask him how the hell he could have screwed up so badly as to cost this country another thousand or so of its soldiers due to his direct acts of stupidity.

I remembered this story today when I just saw this hit the wires, just in time for the Sunday chatfests:

Paul Bremer, who led the U.S. civilian occupation authority in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, has admitted the United States did not anticipate the insurgency in the country, NBC Television said on Friday.
Bremer, interviewed by the network in connection with release of his book on Iraq, recounted the decision to disband the Iraqi army quickly after arriving in Baghdad, a move many experts consider a major miscalculation.
When asked who was to blame for the subsequent Iraqi rebellion, in which thousands of Iraqis and Americans have died, Bremer said "we really didn't see the insurgency coming," the network said in a news release.

Really?

Bremer also said he was deeply concerned about fighting insurgents and "became increasingly worried about the Pentagon's push to downsize the number of U.S. forces in Iraq by spring 2004," the network said.
Bremer said he raised his concerns about the numbers and quality of forces with President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and senior military officials.
But he told NBC "there was a tendency by people in the Pentagon to exaggerate the capability of the Iraqi forces and I felt it was not likely we would have professionally trained forces to allow us to withdraw American forces in the spring of 2004."
Asked if he believes he did everything he could do in Iraq, Bremer replied, "I believe I did everything I could do. ... The president, in the end, is responsible for making decisions," the network reported.

Just ignore for a moment the appearance that Bremer is now setting the stage to say "I tried my best, but after I fu*ked up the first two major decisions I had to make, it really is the president’s fault that it all went to hell." Just ignore for a moment that Bremer reported to Rummy, who reported to Bush, and now Bremer wants to sell books by blaming the botched occupation on his superiors solely because he believes that he "did everything (he) could do in Iraq."

Instead, focus on the fact that Bush has already admitted he fu*ked up when it came to the WMDs, and now Bremer is admitting that the administration fu*ked up when it came to the occupation. This means that Bush is 0-2, and still trying to tell us that he is the only guy who can see this through to "victory", whatever the hell that means. And Bush is getting away with this because after the Democrats had him on the ropes previously on both the WMDs and then the exit strategy thorns, Bush and Rove once again successfully beat off the Democrats, who quickly retreated after Bush came off the ropes.

Simply put, the issue of competence has raised its ugly head again with these remarks by Bremer. "We really didn’t see the insurgency coming?" Are you kidding me? Many of us have known this for two years, but now the traditional media has confirmation that these "wise men" and Condi didn’t know their asses from holes in the ground. From this point on, every time that Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rice, Hadley, or any of the apologists in the media or blogosphere attack Democrats for not being tough enough or smart enough to deal with Iraq or terrorism, Democrats need to throw back to the cultists that their moronic heroes were too fucking stupid or arrogant to deal with an insurgency they didn’t see coming. So let’s not talk about who has more smart pills, or who is tougher, OK? The GOP’s checking account is overdrawn on that matter. From this point on, Democrats should begin every statement to the media about Bush's Iraq policy with "Why should the American people have confidence in an administration that couldn't see the insurgency coming?"

That won’t stop the Kool-Aid drinkers from attending Bremer’s speaking tour to plug his book, where he will continue to rack up thousands of dollars from dupes who think he is a wise and accomplished man. But perhaps Bremer should be confronted at one of these appearances by the families of those lost in Iraq due to his negligence and stupidity, in other words, the ones who can’t afford to go inside and attend his speech, but whose kids died so that he could give it.

(Hat tip to Edward Copeland)

Steve :: 3:26 PM :: Comments (26) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!