Those who would accuse the Times of tilted reporting take note. Of possible choices, the word misjudgment would be last on my list for a headline.
The police, initially envisioned by the Bush administration as a cornerstone in a new democracy, have instead become part of Iraq's grim constellation of shadowy commandos, ruthless political militias and other armed groups. Iraq's new prime minister and senior American officials now say the country's future — and the ability of America to withdraw its troops — rests in large measure on whether the police can be reformed and rogue groups reined in.
Like so much that has defined the course of the war, the realities on the ground in Iraq did not match the planning in Washington. An examination of the American effort to train a police force in Iraq...shows a cascading series of misjudgments by White House and Pentagon officials, who repeatedly underestimated the role the United States would need to play in rebuilding the police and generally maintaining order.
"Cascading series of misjudgements" comes nowhere near reality. Read the article if your name is on the cookie list, but don't bother to sign up just for this one.
Closer to the sad reality is Kevin Drum's little blogpost, FUBAR IN IRAQ.
...Three different groups wrote plans that nobody on the ground ever heard of; the number of trainers was laughably minuscule to start with and got even more laughable over time; and nobody really seemed to care much because they didn't figure we'd be staying around for long anyway. It's the usual story with this gang.
Confession. The real reason for this post is to publish a few snarky gems from the comments thread. Reader feedback is like loud, public cell phone talking. Sometimes you find a goodie or two.
...I think that the main problem is that the idea of Iraq invasion was fundamentally unsound ab initio, and no amount of careful planning and execution would have resulted in the beautification of the ugly pig.
...The greatest irony in all this is that for decades the Republicans claimed that the feds were meddling and that liberals were obsessed with regulating the masses. Well, now that the Neocons have had 6 years, the tables have turned, upside down. Increasingly, people are hungry for that more minimal form of Democratic regulation.
...Given a key strategist seriously advocating that we take our dirsction from Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition, it's little surprise he had no interest in policing the rubble of Iraq...
...We/They have truly f'd this up. And with it the country....it is really hard to form a cogent argument as to how these people can be so wrong so much of the time unless it is on purpose. Could any group of people that has risen to these positions of power be so completely void of common sense or competence?
There are more, but here is The Lounsbury's wonderful take in toto.
In some ways it is almost boring to speak of the Bush Administration's stunning incompetence with respect to Iraq. Leaving aside tedious over generalisations by the Loony Left types, it strikes me that there was something particularly rotten in the heart of this American administration, a rottenness born of incompetence, sheer incompetence and an utter blindness born of utterly misplaced confidence.
Really quite painful.
Not as sexy as the War Profiteering and Evil Right songs the Loony Left wishes to sing, but I should think for Americans on the Right, more profoundly disturbing.
It is a pity that the ideologues, the Right Bolshies as I call them, persist in Stalinesque behaviour of singing out Party Propaganda and enabling this criminal incompetence. They only make the Left look better by doing so, but still the Chernoffian fable spinning 'good news' crew continues. Stupid idiot Right Bolshy whankers.
I feel better having got that off my plate.
Good news! Nouri al-Maliki has formed a government and the lipstick is on the pig.