Facts on the Ground

FACTS ON THE GROUND….All I can say about this Matt Yglesias post is, Amen brother. I still find it hard to believe that the folks in charge of Iraqi reconstruction genuinely believed that it would be “sweets and flowers.” I figured they were just painting rosy scenarios in order to maintain support for the war, but more and more it seems like they really, truly believed this. It is, as Matt says, almost literally unbelievable.

Matt’s post was prompted by this article in the New Yorker, which includes this passage:

In the Pentagon?s scenario, the responsibility of managing Iraq would quickly be handed off to exiles, led by [Ahmed] Chalabi?allowing the U.S. to retain control without having to commit more troops and invest a lot of money. ?There was a desire by some in the Vice-President?s office and the Pentagon to cut and run from Iraq and leave it up to Chalabi to run it,? a senior Administration official told me. ?The idea was to put our guy in there and he was going to be so compliant that he?d recognize Israel and all the problems in the Middle East would be solved. He would be our man in Baghdad. Everything would be hunky-dory.? The planning was so wishful that it bordered on self-deception. ?It isn?t pragmatism, it isn?t Realpolitik, it isn?t conservatism, it isn?t liberalism,? the official said. ?It?s theology.?

This quote didn’t come from an administration official, it came from a senior administration official. And not a former official, a current one. Who?

Gotta be somebody at State, right? We all know the State guys hate Cheney and Rumsfeld. But that passage is incredibly brutal. Who would say it? And what does it tell you about the level of animosity and disdain that George Bush’s senior aides have for each other? These guys must be barely able to stay in the same room with each other.