...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Monday, November 24, 2003
      ( 1:13 PM )
Despite Every Single Report to the Contrary,
Things are Going GREAT in Iraq!

You've already heard the news about the latest US casualties in Iraq, including the brutal and savage attacks on two soldiers in what used to be friendly territory in Mosul. But did you hear this one?

From the "But we've built new schools and opened them!" File:

American's top man in Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer,
last week fired 28,000 Iraqi teachers as political
punishment for their former membership in the
Saddam Hussein-dominated Baath Party, fueling
anti-U.S. resistance on the ground, administration
officials have told United Press International.


"It's a piece of real stupidity on the part of the
neocons to try and equate the Baath Party with
the Nazis," said former CIA official Larry Johnson.
"You have to make a choice: Either you are going
to deal with Iraqis who are capable of rebuilding
and running the country or you're going to turn
Iraq over to those who can't."

Facing a spreading insurgency, this was "not the
time to turn out into the street more recruits for
the anti-U.S. insurgency," Johnson said.

This is another symptom of the problem that the Bushies created by putting Ahmed Chalabi in charge. Once again, ignoring experienced voices in the field and intelligence other than what they gleaned for their own personal use, the administration has made another huge misstep in the rebuilding of Iraq. By judging all members of the Baath party by the bitter standards of the likes of Chalabi, we have now gotten rid of the experienced and sympathetic teachers needed to educate Iraq's children. It is widely known that most people who had membership in the Baath party did so in order to keep their jobs, support their families or avoid death. It wasn't a political or ideological choice for most of them. Now there are not the needed teachers for the schools and there are thousands more families who have gone anti-US because of this.

According to several serving and former U.S. intelligence
officials, the latest firings are only one of a series
of what one State Department official called "disastrous
misjudgments." He cites, as one of the first, how
senior Pentagon officials, relying on Chalabi's advice,
led the Bush administration to believe it would inherit
the Iraqi government bureaucracy virtually intact at
the end of the war.

This same group ignored warnings from the internal
CIA and State Department studies about looting and
general lawlessness in the event of a U.S. victory,
these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Oh but wait, it's not only happening in Iraq:

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld even
moved to get rid of 16 of 20 State Department
people because they were seen to be "Arabists"
-- overly sympathetic to Iraqis, U.S. government
officials said

Things are going swimmingly indeed.

(thanks to Maru for the link)

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