Thursday, November 09, 2006

The depth of the morass...

I was almost dumbstruck reading this article: Iraqis cheer Rumsfeld departure, look for changes in U.S. approach from this morning's Houston Chronicle.

This demonstrates just how tragically incompetent and disconnected from the reality of Iraq that the Bush administration is/has been.
Iraqis today cheered the resignation of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, blaming him for policy failures and scandals they say helped spawn the daily sectarian carnage wracking their nation.

"Rumsfeld's resignation shows the scale of the mess the U.S. has made in Iraq," said Ibrahim Ali, 44, who works at the Oil Ministry. "The efforts by American politicians to hide their failure are no longer working." ...

"I think that there will a shift in the U.S. policy in Iraq after his resignation," said Osama Ahmed, 50, a civil servant. ...

Whatever suggestions are put forward, however, Iraqis said Rumsfeld's departure was a positive move.

"Rumsfeld's resignation is a good step because he failed to keep security in Iraq," said Saad Jawad, 45, a former army officer who also works at the Oil Ministry.

Many Iraqis blamed Rumsfeld for spurring the emergence of Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias by disbanding the former Iraqi army following the April 2003 toppling of the former government of Saddam Hussein.

Although that order was actually issued by former top U.S. administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, such sentiments show how widely Rumsfeld is identified with failed policies in Iraq.
"I am happy with Rumsfeld's resignation because he played a major role in disbanding the former Iraqi army. He participated in building the new army on a sectarian basis," said Louai Abdel-Hussein, 48, a Shiite who owns a small grocery in Baghdad.

Ahmed, the civil servant, said Rumsfeld should also be held responsible for crimes by American forces in Iraq, particularly the abuse of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison that became known in 2004. "Rumsfeld's resignation is not enough," Ahmed said. "He should be put under investigation for his responsibility in the crimes committed in Abu Ghraib and the killings and rapes carried out by U.S. soldiers against Iraqi citizens, he said.

These are the opinions of the people we "liberated." I do not mean to suggest that the opinions of non-Americans need to drive our appointment of government officials. What I am suggesting is that if this is reflective of the opinions of the peoples whose nation we are occupying - it is evidence of the complete state of denial that Bush and his administration are mired in.

The real question, the difficult question, going forwad will be is George Bush ready to accept reality, admit tragic and monumental mistakes, and actually try to fix the mess he made in Iraq?

My guess is no. I think that starting yesterday, Bush has written Iraq off, and will proceed to concentrate on d0mestic issues for the next two years, in hopes of leaving office with some modicum of positive feeling from the populice. I don't think he's got it in him to take responsibility, admit mistakes, and do the hard work of making corrections.

That will be left for the next administration.

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