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    « Light posting today and tomorrow | Main | Other al-QaQaas (chemical weapons edition) »

    October 28, 2004

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    » A drop in the bucket... or the tip of the iceberg? from INTEL DUMP
    Tom Ricks and Bradley Graham provide some analysis in Friday's Washington Post of the Al Qaqaa story which has taken a life of its own since Monday's initial NY Times repo... [Read More]

    Comments

    Johnny Nemo

    It seems the American government actually swallowed the neo-cons' argument that the invaders would be welcomed with open arms by the Iraqis, so they didn't bother to secure arms depots. Our friends wouldn't use those against us, right?

    No nation has welcomed a conquering and occupying force, no matter how benevolent. And the Americans seem to have wasted no time in proving to the average Iraqi-in-the-street that they're not the Good Guys, they're just the New Guys.

    Amilius

    The thing that stands out is that nowhere along the line were the troops alerted to a specific site that the UN and IAEA had warned the administration to secure. This tragic breakdown in communication and planning is probably why Gen. Tommy Franks showed up stumping, suggesting prior removal of munitions, for his former boss. Apparently, even Franks has a post-war reputation that he feels threatened by such revelations and analysis. Do you suppose now Swiftboatvets will still come out and say they support administration? Chauvinism should never be confused with patriotism.

    Amilius

    The thing that stands out is that nowhere along the line were the troops alerted to a specific site that the UN and IAEA had warned the administration to secure. This tragic breakdown in communication and planning is probably why Gen. Tommy Franks showed up stumping, suggesting prior removal of munitions, for his former boss. Apparently, even Franks has a post-war reputation that he feels threatened by such revelations and analysis. Do you suppose now Swiftboatvets will still come out and say they support administration? Chauvinism should never be confused with patriotism.

    Tom Maguire

    The NY Times was for the theory that munitions had been dispersed before they were against it.

    From the Oct. 20 Times:

    "In a major misreading of Iraq's strategy, the C.I.A. failed to predict the role played by Saddam Hussein's paramilitary forces, which mounted the main attacks on American troops in southern Iraq and surprised them in bloody battles.

    The agency was aware that Iraq was awash in arms but failed to identify the huge caches of weapons that were hidden in mosques and schools to supply enemy fighters."

    A week later, all the explosives that mattered were at Al QaQaa. Next week, who knows.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/20/international/20war.html?ex=1255924800&en=57acdac4dc595f07&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland

    dbt

    Eric -- the enemy DID penetrate our decision making process. the CIA's list of sites to secure, which included the IAEA's greatest hits parade, was shelved in favor of "one suggested by Iraqi exiles". See Political Animal (the washingtonmonthly.com blog).

    I simply cannot get over the sense that we were simply penetrated and conned, with such thoroughness, by the Iranians.

    Bruce Moomaw

    The really fascinating thing about the Bush defense -- that Saddam made off with the Al Qaqaa explosives before we got there, so no one could have expected us to prevent this or know where they were taken -- is that Al Qaqaa was also regarded from the start as one of the biggest likely depots for Saddam's WMDs. What the Bushites are saying, therefore, is that the US either wouldn't or couldn't prevent Saddam from handing over his WMDs en masse to unknown terrorists before we invaded -- although that was the very reason given for the war in the first place! (And although the CIA had warned Bush about just this possibility, at length, in October 2002.)

    In this connection, see also Peter Galbraith's bloodcurdling piece on how he repeatedly witnessed US soldiers standing around idly during the wholesale looting of other likely WMD sites, reluctantly explaining to him that they had received no orders to guard those sites: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/10/27/eyewitness_to_a_failure_in_iraq/ . And this is hardly news; the Washington Post did a piece on the subject within a few weeks of the invasion, which was elaborated on by a professor at the US Naval War College 13 months ago: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2003-10-05-wagner_x.htm . (It's little things like this that drive reluctant Kerry Republicans like Dan Drezner to use such rude phrases as "Mongoloid cluster-fucks" when they describe Bush's Iraq strategy.)

    Bruce Moomaw

    Additional note: As Brad DeLong has been saying for at least 15 months, thank God Saddam DIDN'T have WMDs. If he had, the US would now be considerably farther up Shit Creek than we actually are, thanks to the Bushites' criminal incompetence.

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