Thursday, October 26, 2006

BUBAR’ed Iraq in Spotlight

"Bushed Up Beyond All Recognition" Iraq is center stage as the mid-term election approaches. The man responsible held a press conference on the topic where once again he re-wrote history. A few of his comments are worth highlighting.

Iraqi civilians have suffered unspeakable violence at the hands of the terrorists, insurgents, illegal militias, armed groups, and criminals.

The President left out at the hands of U.S. and coalition soldiers. He left out the highly negative side effects of war and internal conflict on the health of a country’s population.

We overestimated the capability of the civil service in Iraq to continue to provide essential services to the Iraqi people.

Actually we disbanded the government and suspended the ruling party known as the Baath Party. Saddam required all civil servants to be members of the Baath Party so in one fell swoop the U.S. wiped out Iraq’s civil service. The Coalition Provisional Authority headed by Paul Bremer became the government. Its plans to rebuild Iraq have been marked by wasteful spending, corruption and woefully underachieved.

As we fight this enemy, we're working with the Iraqi government to perform the performance -- to improve the performance of their security forces, so they can regain control of the nation's capital, and eventually resume primary responsibility for their country's security.

Which security forces, the army, the police, or the various militias running around Baghdad?

The new Iraqi government has condemned violence from all quarters and agreed to a schedule for resolving issues, such as disarming illegal militias and death squads, sharing oil revenues, amending the Iraqi constitution, and reforming the de-Baathification process.

As for sharing oil revenues, the CPA had the chance 3 years ago to set up an Alaska like oil trust to benefit the citizens of Iraq but passed preferring to push production sharing agreements with western oil companies. And President Bush signed an Executive Order saying anyone involved in oil production in Iraq was basically above the law.

A distinguished independent panel of Republicans and Democrats, led by former Secretary of State Jim Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, is taking a fresh look at the situation in Iraq and will make recommendations to help achieve our goals.

This group will try to set the stage for continued western economic development in Iraq. Funds will be tied to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund which carry a set of restrictive covenants ensuring western corporate access.

It's my responsibility to provide the American people with a candid assessment on the way forward.

But since the President hasn’t been candid on the way to the present, why should anyone believe “the way forward”?

We must not fall prey to the sophisticated propaganda by the enemy, who is trying to undermine our confidence and make us believe that our presence in Iraq is the cause of all its problems.

Since when are Johns Hopkins, MIT and the Pentagon’s Inspector General the enemy? While we are not responsible for all, the United States is certainly responsible for some of Iraq’s current problems. Does anyone recall the unaccounted for $8 billion in reconstruction money?

I take responsibility for the decisions I make. I also understand that those of us in positions of responsibility have the duty to bring honor to the offices we hold… But in order to make this country work, and to make democracy succeed, there's got to be high standards, and people must be held to account to achieve those standards.

And leaving out the hospital with the most patient deaths post Hurricane Katrina in the White House Lessons Learned report is a high standard? Maybe, but it could only be from the perspective its owner, the Carlyle Group and their legal counsel. Who says lawyers don’t run our country?

I thank you for your time. See you on the campaign trail.

Yes, the permanent campaign trail…

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