Monday, January 15, 2007

"Well, let's not start suckin' each other's dicks quite yet."

Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, chronicling the C.P.A.'s time in Iraq, prompted me to self-injurious behavior. Many times I had to put the book down, smack myself on the head and exclaim "you've got to be shitting me!" For a taste, go here.

In a new story he reports on some positive developments:

The plan unveiled by Bush last week calls for many people who lost their jobs under Bremer's de-Baathification decree to be rehired. It calls for more Sunnis, who were marginalized under the CPA, to be brought into the government. It calls for state-owned factories to be reopened. It calls for more reconstruction personnel to be stationed outside the Green Zone. It calls for a counterinsurgency strategy that emphasizes providing security to the civilian population over transferring responsibility to local military forces.

Carney believes such measures could have been effective three years ago. Today, he worries they will be too little, too late.

How and when did this turn-around occur?

Bush and his national security team began working on their new Iraq strategy in earnest shortly after the Nov. 7 midterm elections, which amounted to a rebuke of the president's war policy.

So this decision to change course was based not on what was actually happening in Iraq, but on the results of the election?

Another disturbing item: apparently things are still being carried out in seat-of-the-pants style:

But it wasn't until Monday, when Bush was going over a draft of the address he planned to deliver on television Wednesday, that they confronted the issue of who would coordinate the administration's new economic initiatives for Iraq.


"Who's going to coordinate this?" Bush asked as he read through the economic initiatives, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting.

When Satterfield got back to his State Department office, he told his staff to "give me names."

The next day -- less than 36 hours before Bush addressed the nation -- Satterfield called Carney.

If only we had someone like "The Wolf" in Pulp Fiction to clean up the mess. Lest we get any encouragement from any change in Iraq policy:

THE WOLF: Fine job, gentlemen. We may get out of this yet.

JIMMIE: I can't believe that's the same car.

THE WOLF: Well, let's not start suckin' each other's dicks quite yet.

Script here.


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