The Decider Still Doesn’t Know Who Disbanded Iraq’s Military


bush bremer.JPG

President Bush still does not know who actually controverted his policy on keeping Saddam’s military intact and instead disbanded it.  That’s an incredible admission — unbelievable! 

This from a revealing New York Times piece today on Bush biographer Robert Draper’s interviews with Bush (and in his forthcoming book Dead Certain:  The Presidency of George W. Bush):

Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”

But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III,
had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr.
Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember,
I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?'” But, he added,
“Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen
J. Hadley, his national security adviser.

Those still in doubt about how Iraq’s military forces were disbanded and the incompetence and unaccountable idiocy that ran rampant during Bremer’s reign at the Coalition Provisional Authority, watch the dog fight between former senior CPA Office of Reconstruction special initiatives chief Paul Hughes and former Senior Advisor for National Defense in the Coalition Provisional Authority Walter Slocombe in the Sundance Special Jury Grand Prize winning No End in Sight

Hughes is the good guy in the film — and in the real life situation.  And Slocombe admits on film that he decided to disband the military — he just did it, without authorization from anyone.

And Bush still doesn’t get how this happened? or why?  And no one has paid a price. . .

Steve Clemons


19 comments on “The Decider Still Doesn’t Know Who Disbanded Iraq’s Military

  1. Kathleen says:

    Isn’t the OSP and the WHIG making the decisions?
    Perhaps every candidate for high office should have a cetificate from a doctor verifying that they don’t have alzheimers?


  2. carsick says:

    Typo? Please replace “no” for “know” above.


  3. carsick says:

    Just one comment concerning the “Fantastic Freedom Institute.” Some reports are mistakenly using the lower case “f” in their reporting.
    The president is thinking about his legacy and the future.
    After returning to Texas, he plans to put in place his “Road Map to Consolidation”. Only by unifying the Fantastic Four with the Justice League can the goals of our visionary president be realized, ultimately culminating with the formation of the “Fantastic Freedom Institute”.
    Americans will have know doubt about George W. Bush’s place in history after he unites America’s greatest Super Heroes.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Every American should be asked to read this…….
    Baghdad year zero: Pillaging Iraq in Pursuit of Neocon Utopia
    Harpers ^ | September, 2004 | Naomi Klein
    It was only after I had been in Baghdad for a month that I found what I was looking for. I had traveled to Iraq a year after the war began, at the height of what should have been a construction boom, but after weeks of searching I had not seen a single piece of heavy machinery apart from tanks and humvees. Then I saw it: a construction crane. It was big and yellow and impressive, and when I caught a glimpse of it around a corner in a busy shopping district I thought that I was finally about to witness some of the reconstruction I had heard so much about. But as I got closer I noticed that the crane was not actually rebuilding anything—not one of the bombed-out government buildings that still lay in rubble all over the city, nor one of the many power lines that remained in twisted heaps even as the heat of summer was starting to bear down. No, the crane was hoisting a giant billboard to the top of a three-story building. SUNBULAH: HONEY 100% NATURAL, made in Saudi Arabia.
    Seeing the sign, I couldn’t help but think about something Senator John McCain had said back in October. Iraq, he said, is “a huge pot of honey that’s attracting a lot of flies.” The flies McCain was referring to were the Halliburtons and Bechtels, as well as the venture capitalists who flocked to Iraq in the path cleared by Bradley Fighting Vehicles and laser-guided bombs. The honey that drew them was not just no-bid contracts and Iraq’s famed oil wealth but the myriad investment opportunities offered by a country that had just been cracked wide open after decades of being sealed off, first by the nationalist economic policies of Saddam Hussein, then by asphyxiating United Nations sanctions.
    Looking at the honey billboard, I was also reminded of the most common explanation for what has gone wrong in Iraq, a complaint echoed by everyone from John Kerry to Pat Buchanan: Iraq is mired in blood and deprivation because George W. Bush didn’t have “a postwar plan.” The only problem with this theory is that it isn’t true. The Bush Administration did have a plan for what it would do after the war; put simply, it was to lay out as much honey as possible, then sit back and wait for the flies.
    * * *
    The honey theory of Iraqi reconstruction stems from the most cherished belief of the war’s ideological architects: that greed is good. Not good just for them and their friends but good for humanity, and certainly good for Iraqis. Greed creates profit, which creates growth, which creates jobs and products and services and everything else anyone could possibly need or want. The role of good government, then, is to create the optimal conditions for corporations to pursue their bottomless greed, so that they in turn can meet the needs of the society. The problem is that governments, even neoconservative governments, rarely get the chance to prove their sacred theory right: despite their enormous ideological advances, even George Bush’s Republicans are, in their own minds, perennially sabotaged by meddling Democrats, intractable unions, and alarmist environmentalists.
    Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself.
    The fact that the boom never came and Iraq continues to tremble under explosions of a very different sort should never be blamed on the absence of a plan. Rather, the blame rests with the plan itself, and the extraordinarily violent ideology upon which it is based.
    continues at….


  5. Steve Clemons says:

    David — I read many of the comments, but not all — but do try and pay close attention to what you write. But notes here not withstanding, the fact that Bush himself admitted this — and showed little curiosity about the deeper back story…is stunning. There is a difference between assertion about what Bush may or may not have known about this — and what Bush says himself.
    But keep posting. I’m reading…though we have our own takes on things. And keep coming to New America — and I’ll keep being pleasant. 😉
    best, Steve


  6. dalivision says:

    Bush can’t remember?
    Neither can Gonzo. This is typical of this administration.


  7. David N says:

    Once upon a time, I thought I was the only one who had these thoughts.
    Wonder if Steve is actually reading anything we put in here, or just looking at the names so he can say nice things when we see him at NAF events?
    Of course, the issue now is, now that we know what the problem is, what are we going to do about it?
    Me, I’m working with the local Democratic committee, and with MoveOn when the time comes. It was very rewarding last year, so let’s see what happens now.


  8. JohnH says:

    With Bush promoting them, freedom and democracy will surely be destroyed as a brands. Arabs already view America as a failed model of democracy. (This from someone who worked on the inside in Baghdad.) The rest of the world is not far behind in their thinking.
    On a positive note, if people start comparing freedom and democracy rhetoric to reality, maybe they’ll begin to want the real thing, not the made in DC brand.


  9. TonyForesta says:

    Riveting post David N. and I agree with you in toto. No one in government dares to mention or even peek into the rampant profiteering ongoing in the corpor fascist take over of the private military, and private intelligence industrial complexs’. Billions of the peoples dollars are being funnelled into the offsheet accounts of contractors who are awarded multi-hundred million dollar, nobid, openended contracts, with no review, no recourse or remedy for abuse, no accounting, and clear mandate as to mission, or loyalty. More disturbing is that most of these private military and private intelligence contractors are both piloted by rightwingideologue fundamentalist kristians, with all to cozy link to and interpenetraton with the fascist cabals in the Bush government, and what I term the republican reich.
    Deliver us from, evil, the stupid, and the fascist!


  10. Goober Gravis says:

    Who’s the President of the United States? “I can’t remember!”…George Bush
    Yeah, Bush can’t remember a lot of things. However, Bush CAN remember to get a whole lot of fine American boys and girls killed and worse. Golly, shouldn’t Nancy Pelosi “remember” to put impeachment back on the table?


  11. David N says:

    Not that I find anything objectionable in your post . . . . .
    Let’s go further.
    Before Bush, there was his model and hero, Reagan. Hailed as “The Great Communicator” because he could read a teleprompter and sound sincere. I never did understand what was so hard about telling people what they wanted to hear, that they could have their cake and eat it, too.
    More than that, Reagan established the very context in which all the crimes of today were grounded. He deregulated the S&Ls without understanding that he was simply promoting risk-free gambling, a move that led to millions of lost funds by innocent depositors, and billions in taxpayer funds spent to replace the money the gamblers lost. He established the slogan that government didn’t work, and the policy that Republicans’ mission was to make sure that was true. Without Reagan, Bush would not have been possible, and that’s without the connection to Poppy.
    Before Reagan, there was Nixon, who established the pattern of lying your way into office (more than had already been the case). More, it was Nixon, not the Democrats, who set up hundreds of “reforms” of New Deal and Great Society programs that made them unworkable in the long run, helped, as has Bush, by nominal Democrats who were actually corporate Republican supporters. Let’s not even get into comparing their war policies.
    This is not a matter of one man, or one collection of criminals. This is a generational, long-term campaign to not just take over government for the benefit of corporate powers, but also to take over news and entertainment media for the same purpose, destroy the American educational system to — along with the aforementioned media — dumb down the American people so that they’ll accept the damage done them by corporo-Republican fascists, and damage social welfare programs so that both the poor and the middle class will have no choice but to accept what their employers and marketers choose to hand out to them, or they starve. The ultimate free market incentive.
    I know, it sounds fantastic. It sounds conspiratorial. It sounds, sad to say, like the 1890’s. I don’t really think it is all some master plan by a group of evil billionaires (chaired by Murdock) in an underground bunker. It is a natural, evolutionary process of corporations and powerful private interests doing what comes naturally, which is to gather as much power and profit as they can, whenever they can.
    And the fact is that if they ever do stumble into the destruction of the middle class, there go the consumers that provide the source of their profits and power, and we will all pay the price of allowing corporations to be treated — as a legal fiction — as real citizens. The fact is that if we ever do find ourselves in the regulation-free world they envision as the ideal, it won’t just be our children dying from choking and lead poisoning, our rivers dying from pollution, our cities dying from crime and congestion. It just could be our planet dying from heat, greed, and righteousness.
    “Deliver us from stupid.”


  12. TonyForesta says:

    So we are to believer that the self avowed “decider” just didn’t know about Holcomb or Bremmer’s decision to disband the Iraqi military and purge all Ba’athist from any position and/or employment in Iraq, and then after the news was out, we are further expected to take the monumental leap of faith, that the socalled “decider” then was incapable of “correcting” this fateful decision? Pathetic!!! How many pathological lies do the American people have to take before challenging the “deciders’ twisted version of events, and how is it possible that all the problems, incompetence, failures, abuses, and deceptions, and wanotn profiteering are cowardly blamed on someone else?
    Bush is a pathological LIAR, incapable of discerning fact from fiction, or recognizing his own debilities, catastrophic failures, radical abuses, grievous deceptions, and wanton profiteering.
    History will mark the “commander guy’s” presidency as a total failure, and future Americans will be forced to hazard and endure the epic problems and terrible costs in blood, treasure, and lost credibility resulting from Bush’s failed, deceptive, abusive, incompetent, and petulent presidency, and the wanton profiteering of Bush and all the fascists cabals that bow to, defend, apologize for, excuse, and/or actually support the pathological liar, pampered papa’s boy, Andover cheerleader, and rank fascism of the Bush presidency.
    “Deliver us from evil!”


  13. Carroll says:

    Now, that’s what can get a feller riled . . . . .
    Posted by David N at September 2, 2007 04:30 PM
    I know.
    That’s why I can’t even pay that much attention to George any more and all the endless books and speculations about “why” he is the way he is, or why he does what he does…I don’t care what his “id” problems are. I just want him disappeared to whereever before he starts another “wur”.


  14. Carroll says:

    Slocombe, btw…is/was very active in arguing for “Premptive Strikes”.
    Typical of the cockroach cabal he argues that they must be made “legitimate” even though they are not legally accepted. And to make them legitimate to the “American public” we must get other countries to go along with this also as legitimate so the public will see it as a universaly accepted action.
    These people are so gd nuts…by their reasoning Iran would have a right to attack the US or Israel for threatening military action against them.
    The only thing I approve in the neocon playbook is assassinations…as in someone please assassinate these freaks asap.


  15. David N says:

    It’s so serious, it’s deadly.
    But the big joke is the idea that this idiot will be roaming the country and the world “promoting democracy,” as if he has the faintest notion what it means.
    We can only hope — with some confidence in this case — that he gets bored a lot and stays on the ranch. He’s done far less damage during the, what, quarter of his time in office he’s spent pretending to be a cowboy.
    Finally: If he gives speeches as a private citizen, other than the cost of the tickets, will there be a political screening for those who attend? Will he insist on continuing to talk to only those who will tell him he’s right, no matter how stupid what he says may be? Will he continue to live in a fantasy world, protected from reality by taxpayer money instead of Daddy’s, for the rest of his life?
    Now, that’s what can get a feller riled . . . . .


  16. Carroll says:

    You’re surprised?
    THE FANTASTIC FREEDOM INSTITUTE….George Bush talks about retirement with author Robert Draper:
    First, Mr. Bush said, “I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers.” With assets that have been estimated as high as nearly $21 million, Mr. Bush added, “I don’t know what my dad gets — it’s more than 50-75” thousand dollars a speech, and “Clinton’s making a lot of money.”
    Then he said, “We’ll have a nice place in Dallas,” where he will be running what he called “a fantastic Freedom Institute” promoting democracy around the world. But he added, “I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch.”
    This guy is president of the United States? Seriously?
    —Kevin Drum
    Prematurely senile cockroches are the gold standard for political office in the USA.


  17. john somer says:

    As Rumsfled said at the time of the Baghdad looting “Things happen”. Well, they also happened in Washington….


  18. EricL says:

    I know you know this distinction, but no one has paid a ‘professional’ price. The Iraqi’s, US military, US tax payer, etc. continue to pay to this brain dead decision – as well as the litany of other ill thought out decision related to Iraq.
    The lack of accountability is something that may be talked about for years.


  19. MarkL says:

    yeah, too bad “4th branch” is still calling the shots, eh? If only Bush were free of the influence of that dark charlatan, things would be so much rosier.


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