Friday, May 7, 2004

How many more ways can we screw this up?

The Iraq war has been a series of miscalculations and bungled opportunities.
-Callous dismissal of world opinion before the war. 
-Erroneous "intelligence" on the weapons of mass destruction. 
-The belief that Iraqi oil would pay for reconstruction, at little or no cost to the American taxpayer.
-Inadequate forces to control looting after the fall of Saddam.
-Inadequate civil control which gave terrorists a foothold in Iraq, where none existed before.

-Shutting down a newspaper, in violation of our own principles of a free press, that sparked an uprising.
-Ignoring the festering Fallujah until it exploded.

And now....

 This week the $#!^ has really hit the fan. What were those prison guards thinking? They not only abused Iraqi prisoners, they photographed their own crimes that showed then gloating over their idiocy.

How many more ways can we screw this up?

Bush took a huge gamble by invading Iraq in the first place. Failure would end up making things far worse than before, yet a year later we still have no certainty of success. Success requires competent execution, not just good intentions.

Yet incompetence abounds. The guards in charge of the prison were not trained for such work. There were too few of them for the size of the prison population, and there was no external oversight. Such incompetence wasn't the result of the few bad apples actually in the prison. It goes right up the chain of command to Dummy Rummy and to President Shrub himself. They made bad decisions that allowed this to occur. Resources were spread thin, and the result was that improperly trained soldiers were put in charge of prisoners.

Now the right-wing-nut apologists are out in force, some saying that nothing the American guards did was as bad as what Saddam did every day. That may be true, but that's not the point. The point is that Americans don't do that sort of thing. Ever. It is wrong. We are not supposed to be merely less bad than Saddam. We are supposed to be the good guys, a shining example of freedom, democracy, and apple pie. But today our reputation, which was already suffering, is further tarnished, thanks to Bush and his gang of gung-ho bumblers.

It is time for them to go. We can start with Dummy Rummy today. Unfortunately, Bush will have to wait until November.

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