Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | October 06, 2003

Do over in Iraq and Afghanistan

According to GOP spin and talking points, weren't things in Iraq and Afghanistan going great? Weren't reports of violence and chaos media-induced "if it bleeds, it leads" sensationalism? Well, it looks like the Bush apologists will have to change their tune, since not even the White House is singing it.

The White House has ordered a major reorganization of American efforts to quell violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and to speed the reconstruction of both countries, according to senior administration officials.

The new effort includes the creation of an "Iraq Stabilization Group," which will be run by the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. The decision to create the new group, five months after Mr. Bush declared the end of active combat in Iraq, appears part of an effort to assert more direct White House control over how Washington coordinates its efforts to fight terrorism, develop political structures and encourage economic development in the two countries [...]

"This puts accountability right into the White House," a senior administration official said [...]

The creation of the group, according to several administration officials, grew out of Mr. Bush's frustration at the setbacks in Iraq and the absence of more visible progress in Afghanistan, at a moment when remnants of the Taliban appear to be newly active. It is the closest the White House has come to an admission that its plans for reconstruction in those countries have proved insufficient, and that it was unprepared for the guerrilla-style attacks that have become more frequent in Iraq. There have been more American deaths in Iraq since the end of active combat than during the six weeks it took to take control of the country.

"The president knows his legacy, and maybe his re-election, depends on getting this right," another administration official said. "This is as close as anyone will come to acknowledging that it's not working."

There's no doubt, despite the protestations of Bush's apologists, that the administration has botched the war efforts. And despite what that "senior administration official" said, this White House is already accountable for its failures.

This is Bush's War. Plain and simple. Things didn't turn out as advertised. The war didn't give Bush a free pass in 2004. One by one, every single one of Bush's lies (and those of his cronies) are being exposed. And the president's numbers are plummeting accordingly.

They wanted their war. They got it. And now they're desperately trying to clean things up. They've always been accountable for their failures. For the pilfering of American taxpayers for the PNAC fantasy. For the cost in human lives unecessarily snuffed out.

But now they'll be running the operation directly from inside the White House, rather than from Rummy's Pentagon.

And somehow I'm not reassured.

Posted October 06, 2003 01:25 AM | Comments (136)


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