(continued from the previous post)
Let's be perfectly clear about this: It was Rumsfeld's decision, not some fuzzy misunderstanding shared between twenty officials in three different organizations. It's documented. Rumsfeld repeatedly, personally, decisively, insisted on cutting troop allocations to a fraction of what was needed. He has his own cronies and advisers, and they're at fault too; and of course George Bush okayed it so he's responsible in the end; but this mess is as clearly Rumsfeld’s fault as anything in the history of military folly.
Indeed...the obvious inability, if not unwillingness, of the occupying forces to keep order once again make clear the flaws in Rumsfeld's assumptions: It was all about Saddam cutting and running right off the bat (and while he's indeed nowhere to be found, Iraqis certainly put up more of a fight than predicted). Like the war itself, the way it was fought is a matter of deliberate choice on the part of this Administration, and thus every dead child and every burnt, irreplaceable artifact is their responsibility. Somehow, I doubt that when Bush is campaigning on his war record (of course he's going to bathe his re-election campaign in the blood of dead Iraqi civilians; domestic politics--"Emboldened by the rapid military success, the president plans to use his new popularity to fight for his undiluted agenda ..."--is among the few of Bush's motivations that have made consistent sense), I don't think he'll be pointing to the (fully foreseen) torching of Iraq's libraries and museums as one of his so-called "triumphs."
There's oh so much more...read the whole thing. I've corrected an egregious oversight and added Ms. Hayden to the blogroll; I've made a few other changes while I was at it.
(via Byzantium's Shores)