January 09, 2006
Bremer Speaks on Iraq: The Buck Stops Over There Somewhere
The Guardian reports that "Paul Bremer, who led the US civilian occupation authority in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, has admitted that the Americans 'didn't really see' the threat coming from insurgents in the country." Shoot, I did, and I'm an American; and so did lots of others. Meanwhile, "he also criticised President George Bush and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying they had not listened to his concerns about the quality of Iraq's army, and that ultimately the White House bore responsibility for decisions that had led to the current violence."
I leave it to those with better inside and up close knowledge, some of whom are not far from this very blogspace, to evaluate the rest.
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Bremer will be speaking here later this month; I'm planning to go. Assuming they call on the short people in the back for once, anything you'd like to ask him if you had the chance?
Posted by: Eva Luna at January 9, 2006 10:10 AM
Why did he break up the Iraq army in the first place? What, exactly, was he thinking?
Posted by: pantom at January 9, 2006 01:48 PM
"Why did he break up the Iraq army in the first place? What, exactly, was he thinking?"
I can imagine the follow-up...
"How, precisely, did you stick your head so far up your ass before reaching that conclusion? And, when viewing the inner recesses of your colon, could you distinguish between it and the average hole in the ground?"
Posted by: mrblue92 at January 9, 2006 07:28 PM
Ah, you could ask that question of anyone who served in this remarkably ridiculous Admin, with the exception of Cheney & Rumsfeld, both of whom knew exactly what they were doing. Unfortunately.
Posted by: pantom at January 9, 2006 08:58 PM
Interesting comments. I presume you refer to yours truly. Have not had time to absorb fully, but in re the army issue Brenner indicates it had "already" disbanded itself.
As I recall there is a significant truth to that assertion, although his formal order in combination with 'de baathification' I still think disastrous miscalculation.
ah yes, and my question would be (as such questions are useless), "would not black combat boots have gone better with his Suit and Combat Boots chic?"
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 9, 2006 09:49 PM
I presume you refer to yours truly.
I refer to anyone who feels like coming up with an interesting question. And yes, I realize they are unlikely to be answered forthrightly, but sometimes at these events you can observe a lot anyway from a) what the speaker doesn’t say; and b) the audience reaction and what other questions are asked.
(And Pantom, trust me, your phrasing wouldn’t be far off from some of the less diplomatic questions I’ve seen asked at these events. Some people like to use them as a soapbox, to the point on occasion where one has to ask, “hey, is there even a question in there somewhere, or are you just filibustering and pissing off the rest of us who would actually like to ask questions? If the former, get to the goddamn point already, and if the latter, shut the hell up.”)
Posted by: Eva Luna at January 10, 2006 11:11 AM
My reference was to the OP, not your question.
I tend to find such Q&A sessions useless except for publicity.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 10, 2006 01:21 PM
As an added thought on this issue, as my small free time is going to work projects at present, I would say reading Bremer I find it potentially credible he did ask for more troops and got jack. His excuse making, though, remains that.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 10, 2006 01:43 PM
Am curious about his book, may pick it up. Will be interesting to see how much of it is frantic ass covering/blame shifting vs. genuine frustration over Pentagon/White House decisionmaking.
I also think black boots would have been much more appropriate. Perhaps with some actual dust on them.
Posted by: eerie at January 10, 2006 02:02 PM
Well, we saw it coming. Anyone with a modicum of fucking sense saw it coming.
I don't believe for one second they didn't see it coming. They just refused to acknowledge it, lest it lose them people's confidence.
Posted by: secretdubai at January 12, 2006 06:48 PM