Thursday, May 20, 2004

more pot-kettle-ism

From the WashPost:

BAGHDAD, May 20 -- U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police on Thursday raided the home of Ahmad Chalabi, a Governing Council member who was once the Pentagon's pick to run post-war Iraq, and two office buildings used by his Iraqi National Congress.

U.S. troops detained three guards and seized computers, dozens of rifles, and files from the offices of the INC, a coalition of parties headed by Chalabi that opposed Saddam Hussein from exile.

Hours after the morning raids, a U.S. official and an Iraqi judge disclosed to reporters that arrest warrants had been issued for 15 people on charges of kidnapping, fraud, and "associated matters."

Eight of the people on the list have been declared fugitives, the judge said. Each of them is associated with the INC. The judge said the men had illegally detained and tortured people, stolen government cars for personal use, and illegally taken over government facilities.

Chalabi is, if you'll recall, the Iraqi whose word on conditions in Iraq the adminstration chose to believe over more informed sources because he was telling them what they wanted to hear. And don't overlook this paragraph:

INC officials said about 100 U.S. soldiers arrived in the neighborhood before the raids began, and that Iraqi police carried out much of the search at the direction of an American in civilian clothes whom they identified as an official with Central Intelligence Agency.

Interesting that they're actually reporting who's really in charge here.

Hoagland is such a pollyanna

Americans are too individualistic to have great natural talent for warfare. But they learn from their mistakes quickly and adjust decisively. That point is said to have been made by Nazi Germany's greatest general, Erwin Rommel, after he watched U.S. troops turn the fortunes of World War II in North Africa.

The Bush administration stretches the thesis attributed to the Desert Fox to the breaking point with its failure to adjust to mistakes and miscalculations in Iraq. It has been unable to stabilize the position of strategic strength it established a year ago by removing Saddam Hussein's hated regime.

Instead the administration stumbles toward a June 30 transfer of "sovereignty" that is cloaked in confusion and manifest insincerity. The moral clarity that President Bush promised as the centerpiece of his foreign policy is being jettisoned in Iraq, where the obligation and opportunity to demonstrate such clarity were greatest.


This sequence of failure and mishap has robbed the administration of the credibility abroad and national unity at home it needed to carry out its most ambitious regional goals. It must now be realistic and honest about what it can still salvage.

Realistic? honest? In a parallel universe, maybe.


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