[Vision2020] May 23, 2003: The Day We Lost the War

nickgier at adelphia.net nickgier at adelphia.net
Thu May 24 11:10:25 PDT 2007

Good Morning Visionaries:

This just came in from Gary Bennett in Boise.  I would add two things to this list:

First, free market ideology led to the closing of all government own factories, throwing thousands of Iraqis out of work and right into the hands of the insurgents.

Second, rabid partisan politics led to the employment of thousands of unqualified GOP   people to staff all sorts of efforts, most of which have failed.  The same has happened in the Justice Department.

A 23 May Anniversary

May 23 marked the anniversary of that dark day in 2003 when the war against Iraq was lost.  Here are the relevant paragraphs from the book, "Fiasco, The American Military Adventure in Iraq" by Thomas E. Ricks:

"But on May 23, [L. Paul] Bremer issued CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority] Order Number 2, Dissolution of Iraqi Entities, formally doing away with several groups:  the Iraqi armed forces, which accounted for 385,000 people; the staff of the Ministry of the Interior, which amounted to a surprisingly high 285,000 people, because it included police and domestic security forces; and the presidential security units, a force of some 50,000.  'Abruptly terminating the livelihoods of these men created a vast pool of humiliated, antagonized, and politicized men,' noted Faleh Jabar, an expert on the Baathist Party who was a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.  Many of these men were armed.

In addition, Bremer's order clarified his de-Baathification standard, saying that 'any person holding the rank under the former regime of Col. or above, or its equivalent, will be deemed a Senior Party Member' - and so would not be eligible for any pension payments.  This cut off tens of thousands of influential Iraqis, some of them wrongly, because it mistakenly assumed that one couldn't be a senior officer without being a party member.  Only later, did the CPA learn that even some top Iraqi generals were not in the party, a former CPA official recalled.

Central Command was taken aback by the announcement.  'We were surprised at the dissolution of the army,' said Maj. Gen. [Victor] Renuart, adding mildly, 'so that gave us a challenge.'  It is a verbal tic of the U.S. military that officers tend to say challenge when they mean problem.  [Col. John] Agoglia, working as the military liaison to Bremer, told his boss, 'You guys just blindsided Centcom.'  That was the day, he recalled, 'that we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and created an insurgency."

Remember these names because they are responsible for the deaths of over 3,300 Americans and over 600,000 Iraqis along with a debt of $1 trillion (and climbing):

     George W. Bush               Donald Rumsfeld
     Dick Cheney                    Paul Wolfowitz
     I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Douglas Feith
     Condoleezza Rice            Lawrence Di Rita
     Colin L. Powell               Gen. Richard Myers
     Richard Armitage               Richard Perle
     George Tenet                    Gen. Tommy R. Franks
     L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer III  Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez
     Ahmed Chalabi               Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno

Posted with great sadness,

Nick Gier

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