Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Monday, December 08, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.

Time To Fire The Contractor


Guerrillas killed a U.S. soldier with a roadside bomb in northern Iraq on Sunday, and a U.S. military commander said insurgent attacks might not abate even if American troops kill or capture Saddam Hussein.
The top commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, said attacks could surge ahead of a July 1 deadline for a transfer of authority from the U.S.-led coalition to a transitional Iraqi government.

"We expect to see an increase in violence as we move forward toward sovereignty at the end of June," Sanchez said. "The killing or capturing of Saddam Hussein will have an impact on the level of violence, but it will not end it," he said. "It won’t be the end-all solution."

"It’s a needle in a haystack," he said of the hunt for the ousted Iraqi leader. "Clearly we haven’t found the right haystack ... We are moving under the assumption that he is still in the country, that he is still operating."

At least somebody in charge is being realistic.

Saddam matters little, if at all, at this point on the ground. Of course nailing him would be a big political victory for Bush, a chance to parade Saddam's body (like his sons, BushCo ain't going to let him live to see a trial) around and distract people from Osama bin Missing, the ever-rising body count, etc. But from the POV of the insurgents, even if he has some hand in it, Saddam I think is fading in importance. It's the people themselves who are becoming more and more resistant to our occupation.

It's clear that BushCo is unclear about how to handle Iraq, now that our boots are firmly stuck in the sand. Juan Cole notes this about the occupation:

[W]e have three phases of American policy in Iraq and different analogies to other US imperial ventures, based on who was on top:

1. Jay Garner: Was planning to put Iraq on an even keel within 6 months and go home. This plan would have entailed putting Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress in charge of the Iraqi Army and bureaucracy (both would have been retained). It resembled the policy toward France after the US victory in 1945, where the government was handed over to the Free French. This policy was favored by Cheney and Rumsfeld.

2. Paul Bremer, First Phase: Bremer displaces Garner by mid-May. Intends to rule Iraq himself by fiat for two or three years. He disbands the Iraqi army altogether and puts off re-instituting the ministries. This is a Japan sort of plan, with Bremer playing MacArthur. He initially does not plan to have an Interim Governing Council or early elections. This plan was probably favored by Wolfowitz and some other neocons.

(Bremer first phase was modified July 13 when Bremer is forced to appoint an Interim Governing Council, because he simply did not have the legitimacy to rule Iraq by himself).

3. Paul Bremer, Second Phase: The Nov. 15 agreement is hastily hammered out calling for quick elections on a caucus basis, so that Bremer can hand over power to it by July 1, 2004. So, he would depart a year or two before scheduled. This is an Afghanistan model, complete with a US-invented Iraqi analogue to the manipulated Loya Jirga. Again, this model would be supported by Rumsfeld and Cheney and would raise anxieties among the neocons, who are dedicated to a Japan model of completely reshaping Iraq via direct US rule.

So, we've had three different models in less than 8 months, with the Washington infighting reinforced by the problem the US has had in getting control of the security situation.

I'm all for trying to adapt to realities on the ground, but let's face it: BushCo has not had a realistic vision from the start. That's why Phase I and Jay Garner failed so miserably, so quickly. They lost tempo as soon as we began occupying Iraq, and have been stuck reacting to events ever since. That's no way to win a war. You know it's a bad situation when even people on the Right assail Bush's strategy.

And this is what many of us anti-war types had warned about. This is why Bush I didn't want to go to Baghdad. Yeah, Saddam was bad, the world is better off without him in charge, blahblahblah. But on balance, I'm not convinced we have created a greater good.

We peaceniks were not and are not pro-Saddam, but rather pro-Peace. We want to find more constructive ways to deal with the issues at hand, not run headlong into a quagmire. We want to spend our immense resources on trying to be a positive force as a leader among the community of nations. We want to stop throwing away lives and treasure, and instead address the root causes that underlie our problems.

No matter who is President in 2005, he (apologies to Carol Moseley-Braun) is going to have a lot to fix both at home and abroad. I'm going to apply an analogy some have used before to argue why we must stay in Iraq. We hired a BushCo to "change the tone in Washington", to be a "compassionate conservative", and to act "humbl[y] in how we treat nations." Unfortunately, this contractor has gone over-budget, missed deadlines and is delivering an inferior product. It is time to find a new contractor to come in and undo the damage done.


June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 April 2007


Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards

A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.

For more about me, go to You can also e-mail me at

My Weather Stations
Newark WX/Webcam
Fletcher WX

Donate to my Fox lawsuit legal fund (via Paypal or Amazon). Alternately, you can buy me stuff off my Amazon Wish List.

check to have all links open new windows

Boot Bush! Donate to the DNC today
Donate to the DNC

Single Donations: 2 = $170
Sustainer Donations: 1 = $40
Recurring Donations: 0 = $0
Total Donations: 3 = $210

Contribute to John Kerry

Total Donations: 13
Total Dollars: $750
Average Donation: $57.69

Give to MoveOn


Dean is still the messenger.
We are still the message.

My goodness! Rummy loves
these fair and balanced blogs:

The Coalition

Cairo wonders when I'll be fair
and balanced and go throw sticks...

Listed on Blogwise

Powered by Blogger