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12/14/2008
A STUDY OF INCOMPETENCE

When the history of the Iraq War is written a decade or more from now, it will include a lot more perspective that the press and the war’s foes are giving it now. It will no doubt view events on the ground in that country as other wars have been chronicled; a mix of stunning bravery, horrible leadership, incomprehensible decisions, and the quiet, unremarkable brilliance of the ordinary US soldier in combat.

In a decade, we will also know whether the war was a net plus or minus for US interests. (To make that judgment now is folly. Example: Viet Nam, where many historians now see the war as a pivotal event in the collapse of the Soviet Union.) We will also know a lot more about the corruption, the confusion, the dishonesty, and the jaws dropping incompetence of the the Administration, the Pentagon, the State Department, and many other government agencies who had a hand in the reconstruction fiasco.

We have known for years that the Bush Administration was unprepared for the aftermath of the invasion. We’ve known about the wasted, stolen, and misappropriated reconstruction funds. We’ve known that the Pentagon was not always honest in its assessment of the progress of Iraqi security forces.

What we didn’t know until now is just how truly bad it was.

An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.

The history, the first official account of its kind, is circulating in draft form here and in Washington among a tight circle of technical reviewers, policy experts and senior officials. It also concludes that when the reconstruction began to lag — particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army — the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures.

In one passage, for example, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is quoted as saying that in the months after the 2003 invasion, the Defense Department “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week! ‘We now have 80,000, we now have 100,000, we now have 120,000.’ ”

Mr. Powell’s assertion that the Pentagon inflated the number of competent Iraqi security forces is backed up by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former commander of ground troops in Iraq, and L. Paul Bremer III, the top civilian administrator until an Iraqi government took over in June 2004.

Over the years, the Pentagon has simply lied to us about the readiness of Iraqi forces to “stand up” so we could “stand down.” Certainly they justified some of this lying as “good for the war effort.” But it is just horrific that Rumsfeld could face the press everyday and lie about the progress of training the Iraqi army. We already knew he was a “glass half full” sort of fellow when it came to war news. But this wasn’t spin. These were deliberate lies told to maintain support for the war at home. Those of us who bought these figures and argued with war opponents that progress was being made and asked for patience it now turns out that we were just actors in Rumsfeld’s little dramas.

But it is in the reconstruction area that the Bush Administration reveals itself to be not only incompetent but probably criminally negligent with American taxpayer dollars.

You haven’t heard about it because of a government gag orders but there are at least 70 cases of Iraqi contract fraud across the country waiting for January 20, 2009 to start up against American companies who did business in Iraq with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Some trials have taken place already including one involving the company Custer Battles that was given a contract to convert the Iraqi Dinar to a new currency and ended up robbing the taxpayers of at least $10 million. Another case involving Philip Bloom who admitted bribing DoD officials with sex, booze, and cash in order to get millions in reconstruction contracts. His co-defendant was a CPA official.

The list of transgressions is staggering. Uncompetitive bidding (including the granting of Haliburton a multi-billion dollar contract without any other bidders) outright theft, contract manipulation, nauseatingly incompetent accounting by the CPA, bending and breaking of regulations, political favoritism, and $8 billion in cash that has simply gone “missing.”

That last may involve some wretched accounting by the CPA. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of evidence that a lot of that cash just up and disappeared - stacks and stacks of crisp, brand new $100 bills. How could that happen?

Because the Iraqi banking system was in tatters, the funds were placed in an account with the Federal Reserve in New York. From there, most of the money was flown in cash to Baghdad. Over the first 14 months of the occupation, 363 tonnes of new $100 bills were shipped in - $12bn, in cash. And that is where it all began to go wrong.

“Iraq was awash in cash - in dollar bills. Piles and piles of money,” says Frank Willis, a former senior official with the governing Coalition Provisional Authority. “We played football with some of the bricks of $100 bills before delivery. It was a wild-west crazy atmosphere, the likes of which none of us had ever experienced.”

The environment created by the coalition positively encouraged corruption. “American law was suspended, Iraqi law was suspended, and Iraq basically became a free fraud zone,” says Alan Grayson, a Florida-based attorney who represents whistleblowers now trying to expose the corruption. “In a free fire zone you can shoot at anybody you want. In a free fraud zone you can steal anything you like. And that was what they did.”

Does “criminally negligent” apply? That 513 page report mentioned up top supplies some answers:

Among the overarching conclusions of the history is that five years after embarking on its largest foreign reconstruction project since the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II, the United States government has in place neither the policies and technical capacity nor the organizational structure that would be needed to undertake such a program on anything approaching this scale.

The bitterest message of all for the reconstruction program may be the way the history ends. The hard figures on basic services and industrial production compiled for the report reveal that for all the money spent and promises made, the rebuilding effort never did much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the convulsive looting that followed.

By mid-2008, the history says, $117 billion had been spent on the reconstruction of Iraq, including some $50 billion in United States taxpayer money.

The history contains a catalog of revelations that show the chaotic and often poisonous atmosphere prevailing in the reconstruction effort.

That’s right. To this day, the administration remains clueless about not only the finances of Iraqi reconstruction but even how to go about the task of organizing the effort.

Criminally negligent? Can’t say for sure but there is certainly plenty of evidence that the Bushies didn’t care enough to resolve the parochial disagreements and turf wars that hampered efforts to consolidate the reconstruction effort and get a handle on how much was going out to pay for what and to whom.

There will be an effort in Congress next year to get to the bottom of all this. With the ascension of Henry Waxman to the chairmanship energy committee, the oversight committee chairman could very well be Ed Towns, a New York Congressman who is dogged, thorough, and much less a partisan than Waxman. But I still think it best that an independent commission be formed to look into the entire question of Iraqi reconstruction. We need to investigate the entire episode and not just cherry pick individual occurences of corruption. Congress is much to busy to do a good job in delving into the whole narrative, hence, a bi-partisan panel should be empowered.

The charge of “war profiteering” against some contractors is no doubt overblown. There are hundreds of honest businessmen who contracted with the US or Iraqi governments to supply goods and services who, by all accounts, performed magnificently - sometimes at great personal risk to themselves and their employees. But there is also a growing body of evidence that dozens of contractors saw an easy way to defraud the taxpayer and through bribery, theft, and fraud, enriched themselves.

UPDATE

He’s the only other conservative writing about this story but I still think James Joyner is on the wrong track with this:

That sounds about right. Of course, the Marshall Plan involved giving the money to leaders of advanced countries to rebuild war-ravaged infrastructure after the conflict had ended, whereas this effort had outsiders with virtually no knowledge of the area trying to create a modern state out of an underdeveloped one while terrorists were trying to undermine the effort at every turn.

My history is a little fuzzy but I remember reading Theodore H. White (who wrote extensively about the Marshall Plan when he was working with Colliers Magazine) that the entire taxpayer expenditure for the Marshall Plan was around $15 billion from 1947-51 and that the primary success of the plan lay in its building currencies and creating markets for goods. Using the dollar to stabilize currencies and aiding France so that it could buy German wheat or Great Britain so it could buy French steel are examples of specific Marshall Plan goals. More than one historian has pointed to the plan as a boost to the idea of a European Common Market.

The point being, there was a government wide effort involving State, Defense, Treasury, and Commerce to realize reconstruction based on cooperation and a specific plan. According to the conclusions in that history of Iraq war reconstruction, the Bushies never even took the first step of organizing their own administration and to this day have failed to do so. It wouldn’t have mattered if Iraq was a western industrialized nation or a third world backwater; the problem lay in a lack of focus on putting an overall plan in place with specific goals and targets.

But kudos to James for highlighting what I’m sure is going to be a big story next year.

By: Rick Moran at 10:36 am
21 Responses to “A STUDY OF INCOMPETENCE”
  1. 1
    jambrowski Said:
    11:32 am 

    ahh therein lies the stink and association with Nam. politicians became involved in military matters. as you can’t win a war of attrition, you cannot rebuild a country without CONTROL of that country first. let the warriors do their business first, then let the re-builders come in, under strict oversight of the military. the bad part of all this stink is the association that the military gets, C’est la Vie.. some things never change, politicians suck!

  2. 2
    funny man Said:
    11:50 am 

    Very good analysis. The problem in my opinion always was that the neocons had a dogmatic belief that wasn’t based on reality. They truly thought that by just destroying the despotic power structure of Middle Eastern countries, democracy could take hold. That is why they never wanted to accept any need for rebuilding the country etc. I just want to point out that this was never what I would call conservative foreign policy but an ill-fated attempt into imperialism. That has never been a role that suited the United States well. However, be that as it may, now is now and then is then. I for one am glad that a more realistic policy is being pursued now and I give the Bush administration credit for kicking out the neocons (except for Cheney) and putting in people like Gates. Hopefully this marks a return to a more bipartisan approach to foreign policy.

  3. 3
    Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » History Will Judge Them Pinged With:
    12:08 pm 

    [...] Moran puts it best: Over the years, the Pentagon has simply lied to us about the readiness of Iraqi forces to “stand [...]

  4. 4
    jharp Said:
    1:07 pm 

    “Example: Viet Nam, where many historians now see the war as a pivotal event in the collapse of the Soviet Union.)”

    Really? First I have ever heard this.

    Do you a link or anything to back your claim?

    Thanks in advance.

  5. 5
    michael reynolds Said:
    1:25 pm 

    It’s absolutely true that there was nothing genuinely “conservative” going on here. Conservatives don’t generally favor ambitious efforts to reshape the course of history.

    Unfortunately, once we’d set off on a course of nation-building it was absurd to belatedly apply conservative small-government, magic-of-the-marketplace thinking to the task at hand. Iraq’s problem was not too much regulation. It was a chaotic basket case occupied by a foreign power. At that point we needed people who wanted to use government in an active, interventionist, constructive way. Liberals.

    But I doubt this will be a big story. 50 billion pissed away no longer has the impact it used to. Not when we’ve moved on to pissing away trillions.

  6. 6
    jharp Said:
    2:05 pm 

    “It’s absolutely true that there was nothing genuinely “conservative” going on here.”

    Then why were conservatives water carrying for Bush and Co. the past 8 years?

  7. 7
    busboy33 Said:
    2:07 pm 

    Be fair Mr M. — it is a well known fact that Iraqi termites are notoriously attracted to any pile of cash bigger than a 4-door car. The money probably just got eaten, and since they mostly come out at night (mostly), I’m sure everybody was asleep and didn’t hear the chewing. Perfectly rational explanation.

    When I first started reading back in 2004 about inexperienced, politically-connected college graduates being put in charge of vital aspects of the CPA, I had trouble believing it. At first, I thought the Admin were such dogmatic zealots that they really believed the hard work and dedication of some right-minded kids would magically make it all work out, like a sappy movie.
    Then I started to understand it wasn’t that, but they simply hadn’t bothered to think about staffing, and after the competent professionals left and requests for help from the CPA were met with “just take care of it”, the CPA boots on the ground did the best they could dangling in the wind. Like they’re doing for the troops — we’re not going to get involved, make it work, and good luck.

    Criminal negligence might be the most civil thing I can think to call that.

  8. 8
    michael reynolds Said:
    2:54 pm 

    JHarp:

    I was talking about conservatism as a political philosophy, not the Republican party. The GOP isn’t conservative, in any real sense of the word, it’s a mish-mash of bigot populists, neo-conservative adventurists and Wall Street greed-heads led for the last eight years by an arrogant frat boy who knows not thing one about serious conservative thought. Or any other kind of thought.

  9. 9
    Michael Giles Said:
    3:08 pm 

    First off, I treat anything reported in the NY Times, with a mountain sized grain of salt. Second, to hear still another repeat of that the old “Halliburton/No bid” canard, is beneath you. By now, it should be well known that only two companies in the world could meet the requirements of the Halliburton contract, and the other company was French. Thirdly, as someone pointed out above about the Marshall Plan; this isn’t a question of simply providing the necessaries for getting long established, industrialized, “democracies” back on their feet - it was a question of basically creating everything from scratch. Besides, having witnessed the general waste and incompetence on any given government contract within the US, why should we assume it will better overseas? The country that gave us the “The Big Dig”, shouldn’t pretended to be unacquainted with “public servants” using wads of cash for toilet tissue.

  10. 10
    DMan Said:
    3:12 pm 

    Imperialism my arse! Failure to plan and organize lead to a complete lack of accountability thus fraud and profiteering became the order of the day. The reconstruction effort was doomed from the beginning when the Clinton liberals in the state department and some in the pentagon, whether they agreed or not, failed to do their duty as those who serve this country’s people and set their own agenda to undermine the administration. Basically they are traitors and criminals who should be found out and put behind bars.

    It doesn’t take a scalar to know that corruption is rampant in that part of the world and thus it would require an extreme effort of oversight to keep the thieves at bay in order to be successful in any reconstruction not to mention restoration of anything pre-existing.

    The administration was fighting an internal enemy along with waging war on the Muslim extremist in theater, both were bent on defeating America. The cost of victory has been much greater than it should have been.
    We will never know but it might have been quite a bit shorter with less loss of life and a fraction of tax payer money, had Americans gotten behind it like they should have.

    Damn the liberals, and what they’ve done to this country!

  11. 11
    skeptical Said:
    3:54 pm 

    I’ve been hearing how this was not a “conservative” war except that consternates backed both the methods and rational in droves, and none were critical until years into witnessing the devastating incompetence, and criticized only the lack of more troops.

    It wasn’t until Buckley declared it lost that any conservatives began to complain that it hadn’t been a “conservative” war after all, and few would sign or to his assessment of its being “lost” except to blame liberals and Democrats for saying so.

    Liberals and many Democrat objected to diverting resources from Afghanistan, but were denounced by conservatives as treasonous, as waiting the terrorists to win.

    I agree that history in ten years will have its competing narratives, but no one with access to information will be confused about how the war was sold, supported, criticized, demagogued, the careers advanced and destroyed, when and why.

    If it had been the cakewalk we’d been told to believe it would be, no conservative would be disowning it on principle. Few conservatives have been vocal about the real costs (not just money) and liberals who do are routinely dismissed by conservatives.

    But you go ahead and try to revise history. I was appalled at the lack of spine the “conservatives” exhibited in the run up and first three or so years of this war. Where were the principled conservatives? Why were only liberals vocal when it mattered?

  12. 12
    skeptical Said:
    4:00 pm 

    Also, if some historian or other is saying that our adventure in Vietnam was a major cause of the downfall of the USSR, I’ve never heard it either, but it sounds like a pretty farfetched position since a half million Americans died fighting that war and zero Soviets. I look forward to the links as well.

  13. 13
    retire05 Said:
    1:08 am 

    Colin Powell? I wouldn’t believe Colin Powell if he was standing in front of me telling me his hair is curly. Sanchez? Yeah, another reliable source that gave us huge losses in Iraq along with Abu Ghraib. And Bremer, another prime example of the Peter Principal.

    But then, Bush will be leaving office in five weeks and then we will have the political player from Chicago with all his skills in oversight.

    If you want criminal negligence, Rick, I suggest you start with the $700 billion bail out and banks, who have more money than they have ever had, taking taxpayer dollars to buy banks in China. Or maybe we could talk about the millions Franklin Raines managed to bilk out of the GSEs.

    I am not smart about these things; I admit to that. But I know one damn thing for sure, I am alive and no more Americans have been blown up in tall buildings since George Bush decided to take a hard stance.

    Why do I feel that after just a short time with “The One” in the Oval Office, you will be longing for the days of Bush’s “criminal negligence”?

  14. 14
    Neoliberal Said:
    3:02 am 

    When hasn’t our government inflated numbers about progress during war time?

    However, this revelation does make the liberals argument stronger when it comes to WMD/AL-qaeda in Iraq as being nothing more than fabrications.

    Sounds to me like right wingers are turning judas. You’re like cock roaches!

  15. 15
    busboy33 Said:
    7:18 am 

    @ retire05:

    “I am not smart about these things; I admit to that. But I know one damn thing for sure, I am alive and no more Americans have been blown up in tall buildings since George Bush decided to take a hard stance.”

    Very true. Blown up in convoys, ambushes, IED targeted set-ups, RPG attacks, random mortar drops into bases and/or the Green Zone . . . thousands of them. But I am unaware of any tall buildings blowing up with Americans in them . . . and if by chance a tall building DID blow up somewhere, then we can always change it to “no tall buildings blew up due to kenetic impact from a passenger airliner with a minimum capacity of X”, so your statement probably still holds water, at some level.

  16. 16
    Neoliberal Said:
    9:52 am 

    “I was talking about conservatism as a political philosophy, not the Republican party. The GOP isn’t conservative, in any real sense of the word, it’s a mish-mash of bigot populists, neo-conservative adventurists and Wall Street greed-heads led for the last eight years by an arrogant frat boy who knows not thing one about serious conservative thought. Or any other kind of thought.”

    I never voted for bush once.

    How are republicans bigots? While I agree with your economical points one only has to look at how bush ran his oil compaines into the ground. However, I’m sorry but I can’t throw bush under the bus when it comes to the war. That frat boy and congress as well picked the perfect geography for the battle with Al-qaeda.
    If we had tried to defeat al-qaeda in Afghanistan we would still be in like a 2006 Iraqi condition today.

    Also Don’t tell me what conservatism is it’s many different social groups and aspects.

    I consider myself a Goldwater conservative on Social-issues.

    I consider myself a freidman libertarian on economical issues.

    I consider myself a Reagan/JFK conservative/democrat on defense issues.

    If you seen the movie american carol you’ll understand why I cited JFK.

  17. 17
    retire05 Said:
    10:05 am 

    busboy, you can use our military to plead your case, but sorry, that is why we have them. Are do you think they are handed a rifle during basic training for cutesy photo ops?

    We have not been attacked again. Something that was prediced to happen almost immediately after 9-11. And for that, you can thank George Bush.

    We have had 8 years of a president that took the “protect and defend” requirement seriously. Now we will get a president that will spend his time apologizing to the rest of the world for us trying to “protect and defend” our nation. I am sure that once “The One” is sitting in that leather chair in the Oval Office all the terrorists will just give up and go back to their goat farms.

  18. 18
    funny man Said:
    1:16 pm 

    To Jharp and others who accuse us of wanting to rewrite history. There are some of us who were always against global hegemony as aspired by neocon think tanks. See here:

    http://www.amconmag.com/aboutus.html

    Of course, there are also some others, as easily identified by the responses here, who lean towards militaristic solutions. All of us would probably still call ourselves ‘conservatives’.

  19. 19
    busboy33 Said:
    4:07 pm 

    @retire05:

    “We have not been attacked again. Something that was prediced to happen almost immediately after 9-11. And for that, you can thank George Bush.”

    The fact that it was predicted to happen does not in any way mean it was going to happen. It was predicted we’d find the WMDs too, especially since Rummy knew where they were, the war would pay for itself in a year, we’d only need 40-50 thousand troops . . . but sometimes predictions turn out to be incorrect.

    At this point, without specific proof of a plot foiled, you can’t “prove” attacks were thwarted anymore than I can “prove” that despite the hysteria we wern’t going to get attacked — both of those lie down the paths of alternate histories and faith at this point. We disagree on this point, but its an article of faith, not fact. I’ll say my “faith” is largely based on the “fact” that there hasn’t been any evidence of real attacks thwarted . . . and I believe that if the Admin did really thwart an attack they would have held a press conference like they did with those idiots in Florida (”Look! Terrorists! We’re on the case!”). You can look at the same facts and think they demonstrate that we’ve stopped attacks so massive in scale the Administration can’t say anything so as not to risk their highly advanced infiltration of the baddies organization. Since we’re drawing conclusions based on the lack of evidence rather than the interpretation of evidence though, its guesswork for both of us and I’ll respectfully disagree but admit you may well be right.

    “busboy, you can use our military to plead your case, but sorry, that is why we have them. Are do you think they are handed a rifle during basic training for cutesy photo ops?”

    Nope — I think they were trained to fight wars. The difference is your version has them acting as America’s personal Secret Service, throwing themselves in front of the bullets to save us back home, and I absolutely don’t think that’s what they’re there for.
    They aren’t there to catch the bullet for you. They aren’t there to negotiate with local tribal warlords. They aren’t there to rebuild infrastructure. They exist to take control of land and defend it — period.
    Frankly, that’s why the “War on Terror” was a great soundbite but a stupid policy. You can’t wage war with a military against an opponent that has no territory to capture. War against the Taliban? Well, we waged war against Afganistan, won it, and are trying to hold it. But against the Taliban? Against Al Quieda? The only “war” you can fight against them is metaphorical, like the “War on Drugs” or the “War on Poverty”.
    The only way the military can defend us from terrorism is if they take and hold ALL the land, so the terrorists can’t just move elsewhere. In the War on Drugs, military units took over cocaine fields. They took and held the land. But the “enemy” just went somewhere else. Bin Laden ran to Afganistan, and we took and (to some extent) held the land. What did he do? He moved. But he clearly didn’t move to Iraq, so fighting there only protects us here if attacks were coming from that territory, or from the Iraqi regeime — and not only do you have ZERO evidence of that, but there’s some pretty solid evidence that it wasn’t true.
    If there isn’t/wasn’t a massive bombing attack coming from Iraq, then the only way the military is “protecting” us from such an attack is by providing a decoy target that’s easier for anybody that might want to kill Americans but hasn’t worked out the logistics of getting over here — and they deserve better than that.

    I won’t bother with the whole “inspiring more terrorists thereby increasing our risk” argument as I assume you simply don’t believe it, which is fine. Let me ask you this though: the majority of the 9/11 attackers came from Saudi Arabia. How does the combat in Baghdad inhibit Saudis from plottong to attack us, or executing such an attack? Assuming bin Laden is in the mountains of Northern Pakistan, how does a military convoy outside of Tikrit getting hit with an IED slow them down?

    It doesn’t. Not even a teensy bit. Those Americans dying aren’t doing it to “combat terrorism”, and their sacrifice isn’t making you any safer from the next jet liner being hijacked.

    We didn’t have 8 years of a president that took “protect and defend” seriously — we’ve had 8 years of a president that hasn’t bothered to think about the consequences of his actions seriously because since we invaded Iraq we HAVEN’T been chasing bin Laden. Remember him? The one guy on the planet that we know for an absolute fact actually tries to figure out ways to attack you here on the homeland? The guy we know isn’t in Iraq? The guy who got his funding from Saudis . . . not Saddam? The guy we had cornered in Afganistan, and then W refused to send the additional troops needed to cut off the escape route to Pakistan because we needed to invade Iraq IMMEDIATELY, before we got the the most credible threat to that next attack you’re worried about? “Protect and defend” my slowly wrinkling ass.

    I understand you don’t believe a word of this — it’s all lies propagated by the Liberal conspiracy. But I’m not “using the military to plead my case”. I call those Americans killed because of W’s presidency. You seem to claim that their dealths are expected in order to protect us here — and unless you can offer any rational explanation of how fighting in Iraq protects us from a terrorist offensive, then those men and women being killed (more than died in the collapsing buildings and crashing planes, and that’s not including all the scarred, maimed, wounded) have NOTHING to do with you not getting attacked . . . and I’m going to believe your hypothetical fairytale (”Saddam might have tried to work with terrorists or get WMDs more immediately than the threat from AQ, and mabye there were lots of attacks that we’re stopped but everybody’s just too damn modest towant to take credit for protecting us, bless their hearts . . .”) is just the same series of lies you’ve been spoon-fed for the last 8 years by the NeoCon despots.

    By the way, you might want to look the oath up. W didn’t pledge to “protect and defend” you or I. He plegded to do so for the Constitution of the United States (the language of the oath is mandatory — U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section I, Clause 8).

  20. 20
    Neoliberal Said:
    8:39 am 

    - Bush pledged to up hold the Constitution to the best of his ability. You Left that part out sherlock.

    As for the reast of your typical liberal diatribe:

    - We are in Iraq until the government is stablized. Which appears it will be by 2013.

    - The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America. This documentary puts your lies to rest about Bush not keeping us safe from more radical islamic terrorist attacks. This Film documents alot of evidence you claimed didn’t exist or was trivial at best. You’re wrong on both accounts.

    - a new study showed radicalism is on the decline even with America in Iraq.

    - Would you rather have Al-qaeda in charge of the Iraqi government? Would you rather have ethnic cleansing?

    - Bin laden also wanted to fight us in Iraq.(his words.)

    - We stopped chasing bin laden because he became marginalized. He remains that way to this very day. The war is bigger than Osama. They radical islamist aren’t going to stop because osama bin laden was killed or caught.

    - I agree the war was badly named, it should of been called the war on Jihadist.
    There tactic: Terrorism.

    - The reason bin laden escaped was because we sent in the Northern alliance when we should of sent in our paramilitary troops. Bone headed? sure.
    Due to Iraq or deliberate? Your the first to ever claim that poppycock.

    - The Idea is to minimalize the radical islamic threat much like the pirate threat has been minimalized today. However, You’re logic of comparing the war on drugs to radical islamic terrorism is weak. What you’re saying is you agree with radical Islam and everything they’re doing. Thus, Just let them do it. To be comical about your ignorance; legalize radical islamic terrorism.

  21. 21
    busboy33 Said:
    1:40 pm 

    “– Would you rather have Al-qaeda in charge of the Iraqi government? Would you rather have ethnic cleansing?”

    No . . . I wouldn’t want Nazis in charge of Iraq either. Since neither of these two options had a snowball’s chance in Hell of happening prior to us invading (and next-to-a-snowball’s chance in hell of happening after), raising it as a “deflected scenario” is laughable.

    “– Bin laden also wanted to fight us in Iraq.(his words.)”
    Yes . . .AFTER we invaded and made complete asses of ourselves. After recruitment went up for AQ and other terrorist agencies. After arabs lined up to rush to Iraq to repel the infidels. Worked out great for him.

    “– We stopped chasing bin laden because he became marginalized. He remains that way to this very day. The war is bigger than Osama. They radical islamist aren’t going to stop because osama bin laden was killed or caught.”

    ??? So the war in Iraq is focused on shutting down radical Islam? Given that the dictatorship of Hussein was pretty much the exact opposite of radical Islam, how did removing it help promote your goal? Take your time . . . this one might require some serious contoritions.
    Bin Laden is marginalized? I assume that means that AQ is marginalized too. So they are not a threat to America? Interesting. Glad he doesn’t serve as a symbol that you can attack America and get away with it.
    I agree the radical islamist isn’t going to stop because OBL is killed or caught — why would they stop because we invaded Iraq?

    “– The reason bin laden escaped was because we sent in the Northern alliance when we should of sent in our paramilitary troops. Bone headed? sure.
    Due to Iraq or deliberate? Your the first to ever claim that poppycock.”
    Never said deliberate (as in deliberately let him go). Given that multiple requests were made for reinforcements, that briefers spoke face-to-face with W and stated the current reliance on the Pakistan forces was untenable, and given that the buildup for Iraq started shortly after . . . calling it “poppycock” seems laughably ignorant. Only person claiming reinforcements were rejected? http://www.madison.com/post/blogs/militarymatters/98800
    http://www.politicalcortex.com/story/2006/9/27/84111/0004
    http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/content/view/1996/

    “However, You’re logic of comparing the war on drugs to radical islamic terrorism is weak. What you’re saying is you agree with radical Islam and everything they’re doing.”
    . . . You mock my comments, then make this unbelievably unsupported, astoundingly ignorant, comically pathetic statement? How you draw the conclusion that I support radical Islam, or that such a conclusion is related to the metaphor of a War on Drugs, defies description. Your comment actually made some legitimate, thoughtful points. This reduces your comments to hysterical blather, and should fill you with embarassment and shame. Really, this is just ignorant. I’d say you should know better, but obviously you don’t.

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