October 20, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Who lost Iraq? (Hint: It wasn't the pessimists)

War and Piece reports on the Knight-Ridder story:

Knight-Ridder's Warren Strobel, Jonathan Landay, John Walcott, et al have an important three-part reconstruction of the decisions that led to the US failure to win the peace in Iraq, based on documents and interviews with more than three dozen current and former US officials. Here's a snip from the first part, with the devastating title: "Post-war Planning Non-Existent":
The Bush administration's failure to plan to win the peace in Iraq was the product of many of the same problems that plagued the administration's case for war, including wishful thinking, bad information from Iraqi exiles who said Iraqis would welcome American troops as liberators and contempt for dissenting opinions.

However, the administration's planning for postwar Iraq differed in one crucial respect from its erroneous pre-war claims about Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and links to al Qaida.

The U.S. intelligence community had been divided about the state of Saddam's weapons programs, but there was little disagreement among experts throughout the government that winning the peace in Iraq could be much harder than winning a war. . .

A half-dozen intelligence reports also warned that American troops could face significant postwar resistance. . .

"It was disseminated. And ignored," said a former senior intelligence official.

Why was it ignored? You know the answer. The should-be post-war planners in Feith's office refused to do any planning, except to lobby to install Ahmad Chalabi, now working with Shiite insurgent Moqtada al Sadr and suspected of passing US intelligence to Iran.

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