Monday, November 14, 2005

Reversing Bremer

CS Monitor had a nice article on the hopes of regathering Saddam's once 400,000 strong army our brilliant first leader of the 'New Iraq', Paul Bremer, gets the credit for disbanding after the American invasion. The Monitor interviews former Iraqi officers whom the new Iraqi government would like to see rejoin the military. Bremer gets blamed for the decision, but Rumsfeld/Cheney/Wolfowitz/Bush must have approved. The decision is credited with the May '03 rebellion that killed scores of American troops. Sunnis who served Saddam and have managed to survive and not join the rebels (or no longer fight alongside) could be quite useful to unifying the Iraqi 'nation'.

If trust was an issue when the Sunni-commanded force was disbanded and sent home, a heavily Shiite force as exists today can't be much more trustworthy. Brits blamed Shiite-dominated police for many of their troubles and the murdered reporters in S. Iraq has to be an issue of concern. A blended force of Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds must be the aim of the new Iraqi government to get a grip on the incessant bombings. Violent politics are nothing new for Iraq. They'll always have folks who resort to the use of arms to settle disputes, but the major truck/car-bombings have got to be curtailed.

Zarqawi MUST have ample support from Iraqis in order to continue his murder and mayhem spree. Thus, strong-armed assaults as we've witnessed from afar the past weeks in the upper-Euphrates region bordering Syria will ultimately fail to provide the Iraqi government a needed boost. Not that the assaults are useless, but it's ONE part of the necessary approach to squelch the insurgency. Most Sunnis refused to support the uprisings of 1920 in the Shiite-dominated middle and lower Euphrates region and the Brits' air power demolished the rebellion with 500 British (and Indian)dead in 2 months of fighting with approximately 6,000 Iraqis killed. Thankfully, the Shiites have largely decided not to kill Coalition forces since their violent explosion of rebellion in spring 2004. The al-Sadr uprising provided a glimpse of how inadequate our troop numbers have remained. Separating Zarqawi and his allies from their base of support MUST be achieved before any American troops are withdrawn.

Rebuilding the once formidable regional power must be achieved and the regathering of former officers and troops from Saddam's force is crucial. Granted, the worst of the old regime should never be trusted with troops again, but there are plenty who either have no butchery in their past or have relatively minor infractions to besmirch their service. Bremer should be vilified for the decision to disband the army if indeed he is the singular culprit. The decision to disband is evidence of a bungled post-war administration of Iraq after the invasion was completed. The White House has run this war 'on the cheap' and American lives have been lost needlessly because of their brilliant decisions. Rumsfeld and Cheney are obviously more highly qualified than Gen. Shinsecki, since their assessment differed widely from that of the well- trained American general and their war-waging model won. Gen. Franks knew he could defeat the Iraqi army with 150,000 troops, but keeping the peace is a far different subject. Franks said he expected more troops later and those troops never materialized.

If you were pro or con concerning the invasion of Iraq, one thing is crystal-clear about the handling of the war by the White House. The Bush administration were in over their heads. Regarding the war in Vietnam, supposedly one of the "lessons learned" was for the White House to stop trying to run wars and let the military establishment perform their duties as trained. Bush and Company failed to learn that lesson and have to take the blame for the failures in the war to date. They can whine about Democratic Congressman all they want, but those folks weren't allowed any input into the war except to vote to authorize the use of force(not that it would have made a bit of difference in whether Bush and Co. launched the invasion--they would have anyway) and more money for the Bush administration to spend on this fiasco.

3 Comments:

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