Saturday, December 13, 2008

Okay, I'm angry.

BAGHDAD — An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.

The history, the first official account of its kind, is circulating in draft form here and in Washington among a tight circle of technical reviewers, policy experts and senior officials. It also concludes that when the reconstruction began to lag — particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army — the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures.
Translation: The Bush administration wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, and told blatant lies to cover their incompetence, stupidity, and ignorance, quite possibly destroying this country as well as the country of Iraq in the process.

You people--you know who you are--voted for George W. Bush, TWICE. You people--you know who you are--cling to the belief that Sarah Palin is a much-maligned, abused innocent who made a valid Vice-Presidential candidate, despite the fact that she is even more ignorant, even more jingoistic, dogmatic and demonstrably incompetent than George W. Bush, and a proven pathological liar as well.

Have. You. No. Shame.


Richard McLaughlin said...

yepp, just like Shea said.

Maybe I'll write a report and say WWII is over.

Anonymous said...

Why would they start having shame now?
Stay the course.
Mission accomplished.
"I'm the Decider."
Business as usual.


You know that old bananas song? If only "shame" had 3 syllables, they could sing
Yes, we have no shame. We have no shame today.

Anonymous said...


Spatula said...

Once again, the resemblance between the Bush administration and the late-stage Soviet government is nothing short of remarkable.

Nancy said...

Lucky me, I got to vote against Bush three times.

I didn't want him for governor either.

Anonymous said...

Nope. No shame.

The snippet you pulled sounds like pretty standard bureaucratic turf protection/ass covering. The $100B number is supposed to impress, considering how much we're spending on the mess created by Chris Dodd's/Barney Frank's pets, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? (Oh, and let's not mention who came in second to Dodd on Fannie and Freddie's donations list. He was new to the game, and should be given the benefit of a doubt.)

Me, I'm glad to hear that an appraisal of what was FUBAR is circulating, and hope Obama reads it thoroughly. Meanwhile, a guy in Iraq can now throw a shoe at President Bush and be pretty sure he won't end up with a bullet in the brain.

Yes, I know, it was the thought that counted. Still, something of a step forward for the region.

My name is Mark Poling, and I approved this message.

Pretty Lady said...


1) Obama was openly and accurately discussing the reasons this operation was highly likely to get FUBAR, back in 2003, which is one of the many reasons I voted for him. The contents of this report do not come as a surprise to anyone who was paying attention; there was an in-depth article in the New Yorker about the incompetence, short-sightedness, and active persecution of EXPERTS in Middle Eastern politics and culture by the Bush administration, back in 2004. There is simply no fucking excuse for this.

2) 'Typical bureaucratic ass-covering' such as this is one of the many things Obama explicitly campaigned to 'CHANGE,' which is another of the many reasons I voted for him.

3) Guys in Iraq haven't got many shoes to throw, at this point--neither do they have clean water, electricity, jobs, or a bullet-free living environment. Not terribly good P.R. for the forcible export of democracy. This episode has convinced me that that freedom is something that must be claimed, and that it cannot be bestowed. Not without a whole host of very nasty unintended consequences.

4) It's a waste of time to argue whether Democratic or Republican policies are more to blame for the economic meltdown. It was a collaborative effort. There's no excuse for denying mortgages to hard-working, responsible people, merely because of their race or their neighborhood; neither is there any excuse for pushing mortgages at predatory terms on people who have no business taking out a loan to buy a used bicycle, then passing on the risk at a leverage to asset ratio of thirty to one.

The true culprits in this meltdown are people who gambled that they could get something for nothing, full stop. It's a human characteristic, not a Democratic or Republican one. Basic education in economics and ethics has been signally lacking in this country since the Reagan administration; we're reaping the consequences.

Anonymous said...

The shoe-throwing was awesome.

Anonymous said...

May I suggest, Pretty Lady, that the problem I have with your post isn't so much with your reasoning as it is with your frothing. It is entirely possible to disagree (even about incredibly important and momentous things) without casting those who don't hold your views as morally degenerate.

I happen to think you are very wrong about Obama, and to a lesser extent about Bush. At least in regards to Obama, I'm willing to fervently hope that I'm mistaken. Hey, your side won, and in the end what I really care about is the health and well being of this country as a whole, not just the part that happens to be in lockstep with me. (FWIW, when all positions are considered, I expect there are at most five of us., so maybe I'm just being pragmatic.)

In other words, please don't cast me as evil because I'm not part of the club. I think that's part and parcel of what ticks you off about fundamentalists. Don't pick up their bad habits.

Pretty Lady said...

Mark, please see the last THREE YEARS of archives of this blog, in which I engage with fundamentalists and right-wingers in a non-frothing manner. The title of this post indicates that, for whatever reason--probably hormonal--I Finally Snapped. I see no reason to apologize for that. The hideous crimes committed by the Bush administration are now a matter of public record; you may defend their motivations, but you cannot seriously dispute their actions.

The whole point about Obama is that he is an open advocate of actively listening and engaging with people with whom one disagrees, in a civilized and respectful manner. The Bush administration NEVER did this. I have spent the last eight years living under a government to whom I am invisible, inaudible and irrelevant. I held up under the pressure relatively well.

You, at the moment, are about to live under an administration which may not agree with your core world-view, but which has, at least, explicitly pledged to pay serious attention to your perspective. The Obama administration has KEPT ON Robert Gates, and will not precipitately and irresponsibly pull out of Iraq for ideological reasons, divorced from reality, the way so many neocons feared they would. Obama is picking competent, experienced, centrist people for his Cabinet, not callow, frothing progressives; although this is EXACTLY what he said he'd do, right-wingers are STILL shocked and suspicious.

It's COMPETENCE, Mark. COMPETENCE is what I voted for. Competence, the willingness to engage, the willingness to admit mistakes, the ability to perceive complexity and nuance, experience of cultures other than the very narrow one of white guys from Texas (which I knew well enough already, when W. was elected, to be nervous about, though I had NO IDEA how badly he'd screw things up at the time.)

It's just not about left- and right-wing ideology. I see no reason to defend Democratic blunders because I believe in universal healthcare; I see no reason to defend Republican blunders because I believe in freedom, democracy and civil liberty. (Au contraire.) I'm not out to demonize anybody, and if you think I am, you haven't been paying attention.