[lit-ideas] Re: Mark Danner and Realpolitik

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 23:49:42 -0400

Lawrence, I have no objection to parsing the Iraq Invasion as part of
one continuous war that began under Bush, Sr.

On the other hand, what impressed me about Danner's article is the way
he explicated the Iraq occupation mistakes pre-Petraeus, which were not
rooted in de-Baathification per se, but in purely structural errors,
organizational errors of the kind a more managerial President would have
avoided. He quotes Colin Powell:

"...You have to understand that when you have two chains of command and
you don't have a common superior in the theater, it means that every
little half-assed fight they have out there, if they can't work it out,
comes out to one place to be resolved. And that's in the Pentagon. Not
in the NSC or the State Department, but in the Pentagon."

"[H]ow could U.S. officials," asks Danner, "repeatedly and consistently
make such ill-advised and improbably stupid decisions, beginning with
their lack of planning for the "postwar.'?"

Danner continues, "The Iraq occupation would have all the weaknesses of
 two chains of command, weaknesses that became apparent [when Sanchez
and Bremer took over], leaving the occupation in the hands of two
officials who despised one another and hardly spoke."

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