Friday, February 16, 2007

Simply delusional

It's been a long-standing joke about Iraq that the NeoCon cabal which drove the US to war - Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney and friends - believed that US troops would be greeted as liberators, and that the postwar phase would consist solely of a victory parade through baghdad, in which smiling Iraqi children would shower victorious US troops with flowers and rosewater. However, it's not so funny when you realise that the US military believed it too. The National Security Archive - a US research institute which explores national security issues - has obtained prewar briefings which lay out the plan for the postwar occupation of Iraq. And according to the plan laid out in August 2002, the US expected to have only 5,000 soldiers in Iraq today.

The National Security Archive calls this "delusional" - and they're right. Among the assumptions which underlay the plan were that a credible provisional government would be in place on the day of the invasion, that Iraqi troops would stay in their barracks rather than fighting, and that the only tasks facing the US after Saddam had been toppled were to "gather intelligence, detain terrorists and war criminals, [and] free individuals unjustly detained". They couldn't have got it more wrong - and over 3,100 US troops and 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result.


Good post. It reminded me of a passage in Robert D. Kaplan's latest book, 'Imperial Grunts'. A US special forces team in southeast Afghanistan drives around the countryside in Humvees. When they pass local villagers they lower the windows, hand out energy bars, then they roar off in a clous of dust. This is called winning the war against the Taliban through 'hearts and minds'.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/17/2007 08:48:00 AM

Yea, they expected it, it wasn't on tv (much) so it didn't happen.

Oh yes, we did expect them to work together to build a peaceful government, clearly that was wrong and we should have left them under than hand of a brutal dictator.

Nice quoting of two sets of incorrect figures.

The Iraqi army didn't do much that was useful in the end (or were you watching a different war) and might as well have stayed at home.

As for your figures, quoting 655,000 Iraqi dead just destroys the credibility of your blog. You know the study that produced this has been completely discredited, why do you quote it?

Posted by Anonymous : 2/17/2007 09:37:00 AM

Nice one scrub. Can't wait to hear your brilliant "at least we did something" defense trotted out at the next medical misadventure investigation:
"Patient presented with tumour on right arm. We conceived brilliant plan to strap grenade to his arm to remove tumour. Unfortunately patient died during procedure in completely unforseen circumstances".

As to discreditation of excess deaths, I wasn't aware the jury was as unanimous as you seem to believe. Care to post a link to the (no doubt brilliant and thorough) discreditation?

Posted by Anonymous : 2/17/2007 10:21:00 AM

The Lancet study has about the same credibility as the man who once claimed to have slept with 10,000 women - it sounds good but the numbers simply don't stack up.

The Iraq Body Count says this:
"In the light of such extreme and improbable implications, a rational alternative conclusion to be considered is that the authors have drawn conclusions from unrepresentative data."

The BBC says this:
"The Lancet admits the research is based on a small sample - under 1,000 homes - but says the findings are "convincing"."

That's just the first two articles I came up with on a Google search.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/17/2007 05:08:00 PM