RECONSTRUCTING IRAQ….A couple of days ago it looked like we were planning to establish permanent military bases in the New Iraq?, but apparently now we’ve decided not to:
“The likelihood of it seems to me to be so low,” [Donald] Rumsfeld said, suggesting that the United States would more likely use bases in other Middle Eastern countries. “We’ve got all kinds of options and opportunities in that part of the world to locate forces.”
And how about that commitment to stay around for as long as it takes to rebuild Iraq into the thriving democracy it deserves to be? Well, Jay Garner has his own definition of “as long as it takes”:
Speaking to reporters, Garner declined to specify a timetable. “I don’t think I would put 90 days as a mark on the wall, but we will be here as long as it takes,” he said. “But we’ll leave fairly rapidly.”
One of the criticisms of the Clinton administration was that it was always in chaos and never seemed able deliver a consistent message. The Bush administration, run by an MBA, was supposed to be different.
But when it comes to postwar Iraq it seems to be in complete disarray. Military bases? Maybe, maybe not. The UN? Blair says a “vital role,” Bush says “ptui.” WMDs? Around here somewhere….probably. Length of occupation? Somewhere between 90 days and ten years. Democracy? State says “yes,” Defense says “yawn.” Syria? A terrorist state hiding Saddam Hussein last week, gratifying cooperation this week. It’s just trial balloon after trial balloon.
This has gotten ridiculous. Is anyone in this administration in charge? Is there even the vaguest kind of plan in place for the reconstruction of Iraq? It seems like every senior official in the administration is free to shoot off his mouth on any subject at any time, with no one calling the shots. Where’s the CEO?