from Juan Cole: Bush's Top Ten Mistakes in Iraq during the Past 4 Years
Source Jim Devine
Date 07/03/20/23:43


Bush's Top Ten Mistakes in Iraq during the Past 4 Years

10. Refusing to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld when his
incompetence and maliciousness became apparent in the growing
guerrilla war and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

9. Declining to intervene in the collapsed economy or help put Iraqi
state industries back on a good footing, on the grounds that the
"market" would magically produce prosperity effortlessly.

8. Invading and destroying the Sunni Arab city of Fallujah in
November, 2004, thus pushing the Sunni Arabs into the arms of the
insurgency in protest and ensuring that they would boycott the
January, 2005, parliamentary elections, a boycott that excluded them
from power and from a significant voice in crafting the new
constitution, which they then rejected.

7. Suddenly announcing that the US would "kill or capture" young
nationalist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in spring, 2004, throwing
the country into massive turmoil for months.

6. Replying to Baathist guerrilla provocations with harsh search and
destroy missions that humiliated and angered ever more Sunni Arab
clans, driving them to support or join the budding guerrilla movement.

5. Putting vengeful Shiites in charge of a Debaathification Commission
that fired tens of thousands of mostly Sunni Arab state employees
simply for having belonged to the Baath Party, leaving large numbers
of Sunnis penniless and without hope of employment.

4. Dissolving the Iraqi Army in May, 2003, and sending 400,000 men
home, unemployed, resentful and heavily armed.

3. Allowing widespread looting after the fall of Saddam Hussein on
April 9, 2003, on the grounds that "stuff happens," "democracy is
messy," and "how many vases can they have?"-- and thus signalling that
there would be no serious attempt to provide law and order in American

2. Plotting to install corrupt financier, notorious liar, and shady
operator Ahmad Chalabi as the soft dictator of Iraq, and refusing to
plan for a post-war administration of the country because that might
forestall Chalabi's coronation.

1. Invading Iraq.

Posted By Juan to Informed Comment at 3/20/2007

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