New Resource at IISS: “Flashpoint” on Iraq’s Descent into Chaos

-

patrick_cronin.jpg
(IISS Director of Studies and former Bush administration US AID official Patrick Cronin)
Patrick Cronin, Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, has sent me a new publication from the IISS Armed Conflict Database titled “Flashpoint”.
I “think” I have permission to link it here, but may have to take this down if Patrick Cronin tells me that this is a ‘members and friends only’ document. (please note that the order of the pdf pages is off by one page — read page 2 first, then 3, then 4, then page 1)
But it’s very good, and folks should read it. The first issue, “Halting Iraq’s Descent into Chaos,” sets a sober, realistic tone for the mess in which America has tragically displayed real limits to its power:

It seems that the United States and its allies were blinded by possibilities in Iraq: freeing the Iraqi people of a brutal regime; ensuring that a hostile dictator did not possess weapons of mass destruction; and creating a democratic government in the Middle East. The US-led coalition was determined to pursue those ambitious objectives despite a lack of broad support for pre-emptive military action and warnings that state-building would be fraught with difficulties. Those have now become painfully clear and the lofty aims have given way to a desperate effort to arrest a downward spiral towards chaos across much of the country.
Hope has been eroded among Iraqis by the collapse of institutions, the coalition’s lack of preparation, a vicious hybrid insurgency, hostile external influences, the partial fragmentation of society into competing armed groups and the Iraqi government’s inability to foster reconciliation. The will to persevere appears to be diminishing among coalition nations and the international community — a perception reinforced by the outcome of the US mid-term elections. The coalition and Iraqis both want the occupation to end but there is agreement that a premature withdrawal of forces would be likely to lead to an even more devastating civil war that could destabilise the entire region.

Getting the analysis of the current environment right is key before any prescriptions can be considered. This issue of “Flashpoint” provides a great roster of incentives and disincentives for the component pieces of Iraq’s political and military schema to either collaborate or devolve further into anarchy, vicious power struggles, and genuine civil war.
This report also provides a breakdown of military strength of various players:

IRAQI AND COALITION FORCES

Total Iraqi (including police) 320,000
US 148,000
Non-US 16,000 (including 7,000 UK)

INSURGENTS

Active: 20,000-30,000
Including: al-Qaeda up to 1,000; Ansar al Sunna up to 1,000
Support network 80,000-100,000

SHIA MILITIA

Badr Corps. up to 10,000
Mahdi Army 30,000

More later.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

34 comments on “New Resource at IISS: “Flashpoint” on Iraq’s Descent into Chaos

  1. FFXI says:

    The MF and OF monthly card are sold with low price!!The FFXI CDKey is in wholesale by low price!!game

    Reply

  2. wowgold says:

    What is a full-bodied son?What again is to flavor son?What just is quite tasty==the wow let you enjoy full flavorgame

    Reply

  3. MP says:

    “Habeas come-back:
    Gearing up for a major clash with the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress, several key Senate Democrats are planning to overhaul the newly minted legislation governing military tribunals of detainees …”
    Excellent news. I just wrote my Congressman about this point. Thanks for the post.

    Reply

  4. ET says:

    Habeas come-back:
    Gearing up for a major clash with the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress, several key Senate Democrats are planning to overhaul the newly minted legislation governing military tribunals of detainees …
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/y939f3

    Reply

  5. wowgold says:

    Devil of outside, the content of the angel, return hesitant what? game

    Reply

  6. focus says:

    If it is really true that “there is agreement that a premature withdrawal of forces would be likely to lead to an even more devastating civil war,” the rest of the paper should talk not about what the Bush administration says it hoped to do but rather about what would consitute “a premature withdrawal” and under what conditions withdrawal would not be premature. Because if the conditions for “non-premature” withdrawal are impossible, the only options are premature withdrawal or permanent presence.

    Reply

  7. 720866 says:

    Den and POA, great stuff! Bibi Netanyahu is in LA, presumably on a US AID for Apartheid meal ticket, drumming for a good Krystol Nacht nuke of Irania.
    Why we keep seeing visions from Animal Farm every time James Baker III steps up to the microphone? How much taxpayers grifting to Neo phlebotomists?
    Those who think we won must believe in Tinkerbell. That’s why McCane pretended to be a “rebel”, so he could write war crimes *out* of War Crimes Act.
    That’s why the Old Dogs were called out. Not to “find new direction” in Iraq, but to block a way to make a re-direction, maintain the status quo.
    Lies, white is black. Word! Everything Neo-Zi’s say is the opposite of what the Neo strategy is.
    They are going to ride Iraq and US economy down.
    This is all about M-O-N-E-Y. Ours … into theirs.
    Pug’s, Dem’s, NewD’s and US pol’s in general have shown they are too willing to join the hog fest.

    Reply

  8. Hans Suter says:

    only half of what I wrote came over. Here is what Nir Rosen says about the same period:
    But it all started in the last months of 2004. Shias had fought alongside Sunnis in April in the first battle of Fallujah, but by November, when a second battle between Americans and insurgents destroyed the Sunni city of Fallujah, some Shias were beginning to think that the Fallujans got what they deserved for harboring Zarqawi and his killing force. The near-daily insurgent attacks against Iraqi policemen and soldiers had taken on a sectarian tone, because these forces were mostly composed of poor Shia men; Sunnis avoided joining. And as Shias grew indifferent to Fallujans’ suffering, Sunnis became resentful, and some turned murderous. Sunni militias started targeting Shias as Shias, not as forces of the occupation.

    Reply

  9. Hans Suter says:

    thanks for the interesting document. I think the “Milestones” explain very well where the problem is:
    “Mar 2004 Mob kills four US contractors in
    Falluja /April 2004 Arrest warrant for radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr prompts widespread uprising /Nov 2004 US forces launch counter-o

    Reply

  10. .. says:

    good analysis Paul in LA.. POA 11:56 post needs to be considered by more mainstream folks as well.

    Reply

  11. Paul in LA says:

    “It seems that the United States and its allies were blinded by possibilities in Iraq: freeing the Iraqi people of a brutal regime; ensuring that a hostile dictator did not possess weapons of mass destruction; and creating a democratic government in the Middle East.”
    HILARIOUS. Where is INSTALLING FOUR GIGANTIC AIRBASES AND A 60-ACRE CITADEL within easy strking distance of Iran?
    Where is tripling the price of oil?
    Where is privatizing our military operations as well as supply?
    Where is defying every international law and treaty that would in any way obstruct the imperial will of a cabal FAR smaller than envisioned under our Constitution?
    Where is lying the country into this adventure?
    The problem with the sort of analysis that leaves those things out is that it is like the ‘football’ which a Lebanese kid picks up on the 50-yard line, which blows his hand off. You can play it where it lays, or you can understand where it came from and how it got there — and maybe keep your hand.

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    The longer this US-UN Israeli fetish goes on the more I am convinced that besides the money part of it in congress’s corruption…they really do “have something” on Bush or Bush I or have something on a lot of VIP’s…there has to be some blackmail or shared crimes involved in all this somewhere on something big.
    They can’t possibly be so stupid as to think anyone thinks Israel is a “moral’ issue for heavens sake or their support of Israel at the UN is on a moral basis…that’s downright laughable considering the whole world has been watching Palestine and Lebanon.
    I think the Israelis and neo’s have so much dirt on each other they have to keep up their mutual blackmail collusion because if one got exposed they might all be hanged. Nothing else makes any sense. Unless they really do think they are going to create some “new world order” with their own UN in Jerusalem…which makes them all really stupid besides crazy.

    Reply

  13. Pissed Off American says:

    The resolution that Bolton protested about simply said said “the assembly regretted the deaths of 19 civilians in an attack by the Israeli military in the town of Beit Hanoun last week.” I guess its not OK with these rabid assholes like Bolton if the deaths of civilians is “regretted”. Unless, of course those civilians are Israelis. When one looks at the actual statistics of the death toll, the deaths of Palestinian civilians FAR FAR outwwiegh that of the Israelis. But hey, thats perfectly OK with Bolton, no regrets, right?
    Once again, the tenacious efforts of Bush to keep Bolton at the UN can only be explained logically as a direct effort to do Israel’s bidding, in conflict with our own interests. Faced with an almost universal condemnation, shared by damned near the ENTIRE world community, of some of Israel’s policies, Bolton acts as though Israel and the United States enjoy exclusive determination of moral perogative. This rabid non-diplomat is little more than a mouthpiece for the Israeli right, and Bush’s efforts to keep him at the UN only serves to further define who Bush’s TRUE masters are.

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    More meltdown…
    This would be hysterically comical if it didn’t show so plainly that the US policy is controlled by israelis, pro israelis or whatever you want to call the slimey little creatures.
    Bolton flings hissy fit over the UN condemning Isr and says UN is “useless” and should be gotten rid of and Isr ambassor walks out and says blood of innocents will be on the worlds hands for condeming Israel’s attack in Gaza.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/789457.html
    Then we have Chertoff saying other nations are using International Law like the Geneva conventions is keeping the US from doing what it wants to. Well…er…we helped make those laws before you and your kind came along Mikey….in fact we insisted on them, so what’a you expect?
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N17445714.htm

    Reply

  15. Pissed Off American says:

    Homer, the fact that Americans aren’t on the streets protesting, en masse, by the MILLIONS, verifies everything Den Valdren said. And our failure to do so has resulted in giving Bush the time to legislate against our ability to do so. You now live in a country where the government can point their finger at you, assign a label to you, and through that designation deprive you of Habeas Corpus. And if you do not think they will use that ability to stifle dissent and protest, than you are a damned fool. Your faith, your optimism, is as unrealistic as Bush’s representation of the situation in Iraq is. “It can’t happen here” is a naive mantra that is belied by reality. It CAN happen here, and it HAS happened here.

    Reply

  16. Homer says:

    Den Valdron: My faith in America doesn’t seem to have survived the passage of the Military Commissions Act. I look at the United States and I see a nation gorging itself on lies and delusions,
    Great posts, but I must say that you obviously are not sharp enough to put down your knife and fork in order to stop gobbling and to distinguish the vast majority of Americans from the sociopaths in the Bush administration to whom your energy and time would perhaps be better focussed.
    Based on the above, you seem to accept what you read in the MSM, etc. as fact and write as though no strange shit has been happening in the USA with 9/11, Florida, Diebold, redistricting in TX, ousting of Gray Davis in Calif.
    Your loss of faith Den is due to your eating up the piles shit that you are condemning America for.
    Bon Voyage Den!
    And please, put down your knife and fork and realize there is an America for every American and non-American.
    The USA is dynamic, eclectic, and hard to define.
    America is not the Bush admin.
    Judging by your posts, I would assume you would know this.
    What a surprise!

    Reply

  17. Marky says:

    Impeachment is the only way to forestall 2 more years of bankrupt, immoral, lethal Iraq policy.
    No study can alter the state of Bush’s ineptness, mentaly passivity and horrific cruelty.
    You might as well discuss whether Bush would be a good candidate for finding the Higgs boson—that’s as likely as him making a change of course in Iraq. You heard him in Vietnam: the message is that if you stay, you don’t lose.
    It’s plain as day Steve, Bush will NOT stand down in Iraq—period.

    Reply

  18. Eli Rabett says:

    Steve you appear to be under the delusion that the US has not completely lost in Iraq and the only question is how badly the retreat will go. So do the fools you quote. That Bush may be slightly more deluded is no recommendation for you.

    Reply

  19. RichF says:

    Steve,
    Is it not possible that the President is BOTH in denial AND lied about WMDs?
    You wrote:
    “POA, I disagree with you on this. The Bush team is still very much in denial, across the board, in my view and does not have any where near this level of candor.”
    I mean only that there have been multiple documented accounts of Bush receiving briefings, documents, and intel that disproved the WMD claims he used to muscle the country into war.
    He may have wanted to believe it. He may have insisted the war was necessary, based on the 1% risk, or on what he viewed as a continued threat. But that doesn’t mean public reasons cited by Bush were honest statements. Denial and lies go hand-in-hand, or is it fist-in-glove.
    The shifting rationales are consistent with a less-than-honest attitude that doesn’t discount denial. An admixture of rigid belief/finding the ‘right’ intel/denial of contradictory intel may indicate both were operating at once.
    BTW, what do you make of Bush’s statement on Rush Limbaugh? To the effect that ‘terrorists would control MidEast oil We can’t allow terrorist to control the oil.’ (paraphrasing)
    Agreed he’s very much in denial. But with Kissinger whispering in his ear . . .
    . . . and going to Vietnam–and actually saying the lesson of that war was that withdrawing from the conflict caused the defeat . . .
    Bush may be honest enough to believe that Lying Big is justified by the ‘necessity’ to stay the course–and WIN. Somewhere (IHT?) an official who knew Kissinger said the unilateral power and refusal to listen is part and parcel of complete denial. But such an attitude towards power requires plenty of lying to the public.

    Reply

  20. Carroll says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/18/world/middleeast/18baker.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
    James Baker is still meeting with Syria.
    But it seems to me that either someone shuts up that f****** imbecile mamma’s boy in the WH or we are still on the path to disaster. Georgie is more than in denial, he is in every way possible divorced from reality. I don’t the clinical term for his mental condition but someone I am sure will look it up.

    Reply

  21. Roger says:

    Nearly everything in the “Flashpoint” article is in Bob Woodward’s book, “State of Denial,” including the idea to divide Iraq as the quickest exit strategy. Partitioning Iraq is unsettling and opposed by most in the Middle East.
    Dividing Iraq may be hottest issue in the coming months as Democrats push for a quick solution.
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1555130,00.html
    http://www.iri.org/newsarchive/2006/2006-10-22-News-ChicagoTribune-Iraq.asp
    “Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States says the partition of Iraq would lead to ethnic cleansing and sectarian killing on a massive scale.” Prince Turki al-Faisal made the remarks during a speech in Washington.
    http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-10-30-voa74.cfm

    Reply

  22. Carroll says:

    O.K. to be fair I read the entire report.
    This is an good “analysis” and review of what has gone wrong but to be fair this has been summarized before by many ME experts.
    And maybe I missed something but I didn’t see any good recommendations except restore hope and formulate some kind of equitable distribution of Iraq’s resources to the population as an incentive.
    I don’t how though, that these things that should have and could have been done “immediately” after the invasion are going to be served up now in the midst of a civil war.
    And especially by the US. We have ruined ourselves there, none of the fractions are going to listen to or trust us.
    Maybe I am just being influenced by the international flow and opinions but I think we are going to have to “give” or “bring in”, so to speak, Iran and other ME countries into any settlement in Iraq. It might not be pretty but it will be better than the alternative of a bloodbath down to the last Iraqi. And again I may be dreaming here but this could be an opportunity to make a grand ally bargin with Iran on many issues in the ME. One that could be tweaked diplomaticaly as needed once a bargin is struck.
    Anyway all I see is more time wasting trying to make this come out our way, which any fool can see won’t happen. We need to bring all Iraq’s neighbors to one table and all the inside Iraq fractions to another table and start sorting out what everyone affected “wants” and then use incentives for tradeoffs in an agreement everyone can live with at least long enough to break the cycle of fighting in Iraq and then go from there. Nothing can get done until that cycle is broken or at least interrupted.
    And when I say “We’in this I don’t mean necessarily the US, it will take probably more than the US and a different “face’ than the US to get everyone to sit down.

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    Posted by Den Valdron at November 18, 2006 01:07 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well Den you are mostly right. But I don’t think it applies to all Americans.
    However it is a sad fact that a majority of people on earth will wait until the famous “nothing left to lose” before they will “fight” authority. So,so stupid.
    Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over

    Reply

  24. Den Valdron says:

    Oh! Excuse me. Patrick *Cronin*. Musn’t mispronounce the douches.

    Reply

  25. Den Valdron says:

    Just passing through, POA. My faith in America doesn’t seem to have survived the passage of the Military Commissions Act. I look at the United States and I see a nation gorging itself on lies and delusions, I am reminded of passages from the Marquis De Sade, as connoisseurs and gourmets discourse pedantically and with overweening pride on meals of shit. What the hell else is Patrick Collin’s little discourse, but a meal of shit, a different flavour certainly, but as empty of nutrition and virtue as all the rest.
    You want the truth, P.O.A.? Everything that Osama Bin Laden ever said about your country was true. It was right. He had your number. Your country has spent the last four years proving everything he’s ever had to say. You’ve gone on an orgy of rape and murder and looting, you’ve degraded everything you’ve ever pretended to stand for. And its not just Bush, or Bush and Cheney, or Bush and Cheney and Bolton. It’s Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, Scalia and Rehnquist, Alito and Kennedy, its Mark Foley and Dennis Hastert, Joe Lieberman, James Carville, Rahm Emanual, Steny Hoyer and Jack Murtha. You think there’s hope? A dozen democratic senators and forty reps voted for the Military Commissions Act. Where’s the integrity?
    America could have been great. But you’ve chosen instead to throw away greatness for lies, for greed and gluttony, hatred and arrogance. Now, as it slips from your grasp, your country clings to your cheapest most plentiful commodity: Lies. The old lies aren’t quite working, well, as Patrick Collins shows us, there’s always new lies, new spin. Your ruling classes are addicted to the notion that the right lies will do the trick, you are addicted to lies.
    History will not be kind. It will record you as a spectacular failure, a crashing disappointment. You will go down as the most explosive misfire since Athens mismanaged the Confederacy of Delos, abandoning its ideals for a failed empire. Damn you all for what you could have been, and what you chose to be instead.

    Reply

  26. Pissed Off American says:

    LOL. Actually, in lieu of “particating”, perhaps I should enjoin you to once again “participate”.

    Reply

  27. Pissed Off American says:

    Den, I sincerely miss your regular participation here. I hope your post signifies a willingness to particate here again.

    Reply

  28. Alex says:

    Some of us can rightly say “we told you so”.
    Not only for the Iraq invasion and occupation. But for the fact the GWB was not qualified for his position. My nickname for him was “George W Hoover”.
    Whatever publications are put out based on hindsite now (and jumping on the fact that the tide turned against the US), the thing they all fail to address is “how they all didn’t do their homework before the test”.
    As far this IISS study, I’ll take a guess and say another tagline that goes along with it is “and please send us some money somewhere along the way so we can be another thinktank”.
    Here’s the question they ought to be addressing:
    How did such two people like Bush and Cheney get into office and completely game the constitutional system to create such a mess without the checks and balances?
    How can it be prevented from happening again.
    Those of us who are fairly knowledgeable about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are quite amazed and not amused with this.

    Reply

  29. Den Valdron says:

    Total Iraqi forces including police – 320,000?
    Yeah right. Someone’s got the crack pipe out?
    On the other hand, US officers have told congress that of this mighty army/police force, less than 10,000 Iraqi troops are deemed to be combat capable without US support. This figure is down from an estimated 25,000 two years ago. Got that, a fraction, a tiny fraction of this military force is rated as capable of functioning, and that fraction has dropped…
    According to some reports as much as 50% of soldiers simply will not show up, most will throw away their weapons rather than fight, there’s persistent refusal to leave their home areas.
    Another 15 to 20% are believed to be infiltrated by enemy or external forces: Sunni insurgents, Badr brigades, Mahdi Army. That level of infiltration, and infiltration that goes all the way up to the highest levels means that the effectiveness of the army and police is zero. Not 50%, not 35%, 0%. Why? Because every single operational decision, every part of the chain of command from top to bottom is compromised.
    Meanwhile, estimates for the Shiite and Sunni militias are entirely speculative since THEY DON’T ACTUALLY STAND STILL FOR A CENSUS. To the extent that these estimates are viable, they’re disastrous, since military theory suggests you need a ten to one numerical advantage to crush an insurgency.
    But there, of course, we discover the reason that the Iraqi Army and police forces have been so inflated… because US forces alone are hopeless… but if you add in the inflated local forces, well, suddenly it all works out.
    But you know what? Bullshit statistics won’t save the day.
    You want a real statistic. Opinion polls show that roughly 80% of Shiites and Sunni support attacks on American forces, that’s about what… 18 million people? Well, good golly, I suppose that suggests that the level of passive support in the population is a lot higher than our hero would like to believe, perhaps four to ten million. Which implies that the level of active support that the insurgents get, and their potential recruiting base for active insurgents, is a lot higher than a mere 100,000. More like half a million to a million?
    How you gonna keep em down on the farm when they’ve blown up some American tail?
    Having read this paper, I’m astonished by how shallow it is. I’m amazed by the endlessly careful parsing in which any hint of actual responsibility for anything going wrong is offloaded. Certain ‘coalition’ policies might have made the situation worse? No shit, sherlock. What a bold admission to make in the face of a relentless fudging to blame everyone and everything but the authors of disaster.
    I could probably take a week to deconstruct every bad assumption, every bit of dishonest evasion, each outright falsehood. But why bother? Why bother?
    No Steve, this is not a very good paper. To the extent that it represents an improvement over the Bush administration’s position, its simply damnation with faint praise.
    In the end, I can only call Patrick Collin’s paper for what it is: Masturbation.
    I’m sorry I wasted my time reading it. Your excerpts were more than enough to demonstrate how bankrupt, how dishonest, how subliminally racist and how obviously worthless it was.

    Reply

  30. Pissed Off American says:

    And bear in mind, when considering these so called “hostile external influences”, the relatively small numbers of so called “Al Qaeda” that have been killed or captured in Iraq, for the most part, have merely been presented to us as being Al Qaeda members. Presented to us, I might add, by an Administration that has consistently lied to us and misrepresented the facts on the ground in Iraq. In order to advance this great lie that is the foundation for their policies, this so called front in “the War on Terror” that they claim Iraq is, they MUST show the chaos there as being largely fed by outside terrorists. This not only provides the foundation for their continued execution of this Iraq campaign, it also fuels their rationale for future action against Iran.
    Is there any doubt we have been mislead into our current situation? Than why do we seemingly continue to accept the foundational premises upon which the original deception is based?

    Reply

  31. Pissed Off American says:

    “Hope has been eroded among Iraqis by the collapse of institutions, the coalition’s lack of preparation, a vicious hybrid insurgency, hostile external influences, the partial fragmentation of society into competing armed groups and the Iraqi government’s inability to foster reconciliation. The will to persevere appears to be diminishing among coalition nations and the international community — a perception reinforced by the outcome of the US mid-term elections. The coalition and Iraqis both want the occupation to end but there is agreement that a premature withdrawal of forces would be likely to lead to an even more devastating civil war that could destabilise the entire region.
    Actually Steve, your disagreement notwithstanding, I find the second paragraph as propaganda ridden as the first. For instance, it’s repetitive mention of the so called “coalition” is nothing more than the time-worn attempt to shift responsibility onto a nonexistent pool of mutual participants, when in fact, as you know, this was primarily a unilaterally waged process of decision making and actions by the upper echelon of the United Staes government. With exception of Britain, the other partricipant’s contributions were in logistics only, and they had very to do with policy decisions. “Coalition”, as a term used to describe the principle actors in this debacle, is deceptive and ill-applied.
    And when the paragraph states that “….Iraqis both want the occupation to end but there is agreement that a premature withdrawal of forces would be likely to lead to an even more devastating civil war that could destabilise the entire region.” what “Iraqis” is it referring to? The Sunnis? The Kurds? The Shiites? Sadr’s Shiites, or more moderate Shiites, such as Sistani’s followers? The statement, as presented, seems to imply a unified Iraqi concensus, when IN FACT the actual problem in Iraq is that no such concensus exists. I think you would be hard pressed to defend that statement with any factual evidence that such a concensus exists.
    Eventually, it may come to pass here on this thread that I need to actually read this report in order to support my argument. But there is nothing in those first two paragraphs that compel me to do so. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I have heard all this before, about WMDs, about democratization, about coalitions, about Iraqi concensus’s, about so called “hostile external influences”…..and it was horseshit then, and its horseshit now.

    Reply

  32. profmarcus says:

    “It seems that the United States and its allies were blinded by possibilities in Iraq: freeing the Iraqi people of a brutal regime; ensuring that a hostile dictator did not possess weapons of mass destruction; and creating a democratic government in the Middle East.”
    it is supremely disingenuous, in the discussion of “blinding possibilities,” to NOT mention iraq’s oil… to label the publication “very good” and then to fall in to that bottomless hole in the very first sentence of the excerpt, brings the credibility of the entire publication into question…
    http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  33. Steve Clemons says:

    POA, I disagree with you on this. The Bush team is still very much in denial, across the board, in my view and does not have any where near this level of candor. Clearly, you are more definitive in your assessment — but this IISS report is nowhere near where the Bush admin’s self assessment is. . .even with all of the hype about the Prez’s interest in Baker-Hamilton, which I think is more contrived than real.
    best, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  34. Pissed Off American says:

    “It seems that the United States and its allies were blinded by possibilities in Iraq: freeing the Iraqi people of a brutal regime; ensuring that a hostile dictator did not possess weapons of mass destruction; and creating a democratic government in the Middle East.”
    The report cites motives that are just rehashed talking points that have been shown by history to be little more than propaganda. Bush LIED about the WMDs, therefore we KNOW that “ensuring that a hostile dictator did not possess weapons of mass destruction” was not a legitimate justification for the invasion.
    If this first paragraph is indicative of the rest of the report, it might as well be stamped “From the desk of George Bush”.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *