Tuesday, March 14, 2006
From The Department Of Sufficiently Beaten Horses
John Sawers, Mr Blair's envoy in Baghdad in the aftermath of the invasion, sent a series of confidential memos to Downing Street in May and June 2003 cataloguing US failures. With unusual frankness, he described the US postwar administration, led by the retired general Jay Garner, as "an unbelievable mess" and said "Garner and his top team of 60-year-old retired generals" were "well-meaning but out of their depth"
That assessment is reinforced by Major General Albert Whitley, the most senior British officer with the US land forces. Gen Whitley, in another memo later that summer, expressed alarm that the US-British coalition was in danger of losing the peace. "We may have been seduced into something we might be inclined to regret. Is strategic failure a possibility? The answer has to be 'yes'," he concluded.
Talk about morning-after regrets.
Mr Sawers, in a memo titled Iraq: What's Going Wrong, written on May 11, four days after he had arrived in Baghdad, is uncompromising about the US administration in Baghdad. He wrote: "No leadership, no strategy, no coordination, no structure and inaccessible to ordinary Iraqis." [emphasis mine throughout]
He says that like it's a problem. Meanwhile, in Iraq, sectarian/ethnic violence that we should not label a low-level civil war because that would be irresponsible and defeatist, has claimed more victims - as bodies have begun piling up in mass graves.
Police in the past 24 hours have found the bodies of at least 85 people killed by execution-style shootings - a gruesome wave of apparent sectarian reprisal slayings, officials said Tuesday.
The dead included at least 27 bodies stacked in a mass grave in an eastern Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad.
The bloodshed - the second wave of mass killings in Iraq since bombers destroyed an important Shiite shrine last month - followed weekend attacks in a teeming Shiite slum in which 58 people died and more than 200 were wounded.
This might sound bad to some, but dude, Ralph Peters totally didn't see any of this happening - so one must wonder if it really occurringing. My guess: just that liberal media makin' stuff up to make Bush look bad.