Wednesday, April 21, 2004

A smoking gun admission that Iraq is a quagmire 

I do believe the Bush administration neocon who wrote this memo actually uses the word. Go read it for yourself.

From kos:

CPA memo
by kos
Tue Apr 20th, 2004 at 19:12:43 EDT

The full memo can be found here.

I was going to excerpt the best parts, but it's all good. Such as:

On a micro-level, avoiding the media is my way of addressing what I see as a failure in our strategic communication, which tends to promote American individuals above Iraqis. Iraqis present at the 4 a.m. conclusion of the Governing Council deliberations on the interim constitution were mocking Dan Senor's request that no one say anything to the press until the following afternoon. It was obvious to all that an American wanted to make the announcement and so take credit. Our lack of honesty in saying as much annoyed the Iraqis. Iraqi politicians are savvy enough to understand political posturing, but resent the condescension of our press operation.


We so share culpability in the eyes of ordinary Iraqis. After all, we appointed the Governing Council members. Their corruption is our corruption. When [REDACTED] work to exclude followers of other trends of Shi'a political thought from minister and deputy minister positions, Iraqis blame Bremer, especially because the Governance Group had assured Iraqis that their exclusion from the Governing Council did not mean an exclusion from the process. As it turned out, we lied. People from Kut, for example, see that they have no representation on the Governing Council, and many predict civil war since they doubt that the Governing Council will really allow elections.

In retrospect, both for political and organizational reasons, the decision to allow the Governing Council to pick 25 ministers did the greatest damage. Not only did we endorse nepotism, with men choosing their sons or brothers-in-law; but we also failed to use our prerogative to shape a system that would work. It is true that several Governing Council members have real constituencies, for example, [REDACTED], but what we ignore is that these constituencies are not based on ideology, but rather on the muscle of their respective personal militias and the patronage which we allow them to bestow. We have bestowed approximately $600 million upon the Kurdish leadership, in addition to the salaries we pay, in addition to the USAID projects, in addition to the taxes we have allowed them to collect illegally. I spent the night of March 3 and morning of March 4 watching The Godfather trilogy on DVD with an Iraqi Kurdish contact who had ridiculed me for never having before seen any of the films. The entire evening was spent discussing which Iraqi Kurdish politicians represented which character. It is telling that it's remarkably easy to do -- it was even easy to identify [REDACTED] in the film.

Patronage and oligarchy are the same the world over. Abdul Aziz Hakim receives support from the Iranian government, which long was his host. The ironic thing is that, with proper funding of Iraqi liberals, we could have helped advance them much farther than we did. It is a lesson the Supreme Leader understands in Tehran, Shaykh Zayid understands in Abu Dhabi, and Crown Prince Abdullah understands in Saudi Arabia.

In other words, it's a cluster-you-know-what. And it's clear, reading through the entire memo, that the writer (sources say it's Michael Rubin) truly is a hard-core neocon. No fancy-pants anti-war partisan giving this assessment.


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