Monday, November 06, 2006

Iraq tipping point

Much news about the situation there, dire despite the sentencing of Saddam Hussein (and lots of rumors about whether it was timed to help the Republicans in tomorrow's election):

First, a new release from the National Security Archives, The Post-Saddam Iraq War Game. It's the briefing books from the1999 Desert Crossing exercise, headed by Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, which determined it would require an invasion force of 400,000 troops "and still a mess".
The results of Desert Crossing, however, drew pessimistic conclusions regarding the immediate possible outcomes of such action. Some of these conclusions are interestingly similar to the events which actually occurred after Saddam was overthrown.

(Note Zinni's 2002 speech on the question of invading Iraq: "I'm not sure what planet they live on", in this Salon story from that year.)

Vanity Fair reports that the war's neoconservative boosters have turned sharply on the Bush administration. It has quotes from people like Richard Perle, who says:
"Huge mistakes were made, and I want to be very clear on this: They were not made by neoconservatives, who had almost no voice in what happened, and certainly almost no voice in what happened after the downfall of the regime in Baghdad. I'm getting damn tired of being described as an architect of the war."

And Michael Ledeen:
"Ask yourself who the most powerful people in the White House are. They are women who are in love with the president: Laura [Bush], Condi, Harriet Miers, and Karen Hughes."

Vanity Fair subtitles the report: "Now they tell us". Kevin Drum comments; so does Glenn Greenwald.

From Juan Cole: Top ten ways we know we've lost the war in Iraq. Number two:
When the Neoconservatives are suddenly against having invaded Iraq, then you know the Iraq War is lost. Talk about rats and a sinking ship!

Harper's reviews a new book, On the Brink:
According to Drumheller, understanding the way the Bush Administration manipulated intelligence is central to determining an exit strategy from Iraq. “We can't begin to address the conflict until the pre-war period is confronted in an honest fashion,” he said. “We don't even know what we're confronting over there because we keep changing the reason that we went there in the first place.”


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