Thursday | February 20, 2003
Thursday Morning Iraq Update
Let’s get caught up on recent Iraq developments. First, under the category of how to win friends and influence people, we have managed to threaten and piss off both the Germans and now the Turks in the last several days. Rummy went so far as to threaten and begin implementing an economic retaliation against the Germans for their lack of support. Now, we have also threatened the Turks as well, while using an inappropriate ethnic metaphor to boot:
"In private, though, administration officials were fuming, with one senior official calling the Turkish efforts to hold out for more aid — and perhaps access to oil from the Kirkuk region of Iraq — as 'extortion in the name of alliance.' Another said that despite a stream of aid from the United States, "the Turks seem to think that we'll keep the bazaar open all night.'"
Not surprisingly, the Turks now want it in writing from Bush.
Bush’s war timeline appears to be unraveling somewhat, while the Pentagon chafes at Rummy’s micromanagement of the warplans and scrapping of the Powell doctrine. Note that Rummy is ready to repeat the mistakes of Tora Bora, where he made a political decision not to commit sufficient US force to get Bin Laden when we had him.
To top it off, Saddam is overplaying his (dis)advantage and now not cooperating sufficiently with Hans Blix.
Lastly, even GOP stalwarts are now making the point that Bush has played this right into Bin Laden’s hands.
It is nice to see that our foreign/military policy is in such professional hands.