Tuesday, August 26, 2003
A Big Moment In Losing The Peace
U.S. civil administrator L. Paul Bremer III had been on the job in Baghdad less than two weeks when he announced a decision that sent shockwaves through Iraqi society.
With a stroke of the pen, Bremer dissolved Iraq's vast armed services, sending pink slips to more than 400,000 armed officers and enlisted men whose light resistance had helped secure the U.S.-led military victory against their government.
It was a decision that went against the advice of U.S. experts and exiled Iraqi military officers. They had spent months preparing detailed plans for the Bush administration that called for giving the Iraqi army a key role in winning the peace.
Now, many Iraqis believe, the cost of that decision is becoming painfully clear. U.S. troops and occupation officials are struggling to go it alone in defending themselves and Iraq against daily attacks by armed opponents, who are blowing up water mains, oil pipelines, electric towers, military convoys and, this month, the Jordanian Embassy and the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.
EL - This was incredibly stupid and all the experts said so, except for that elite college GOP glee club around the VP and Rumsfeld.