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Even More Clueless

Glenn Greenwald comments on the hearings by the always serious Henry Waxman in A New Beltway Term — “Oversight”. Representative Henry Waxman and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are looking at the activities of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Digby goes to a portion of the hearings that really interested me, Viceroy Autoteller, i.e. Mr. Bremer’s passing out BILLIONS OF US DOLLARS IN CASH. Bremer said he was faced with a country without banks and a need to pay people working in the various government agencies, so he needed cash.

Okay, this is beyond stupid. In occupations, check your history, the occupation forces issue “script”, limited use money, to pay people. This is how it’s done, and for very good financial reasons.

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February 6, 2007   6 Comments


Lurch of Main and Central notes in Stoking the Furnace of War that between the unguarded munitions dumps of the early part of the invasion and the Iraqi security forces selling their weapons and equipment on the Black Market, it is really silly to claim the Iranians are supplying the militias. The country is awash in weapons, or have they forgotten about the CPA order that every house could have an AK-47 and pistol for security, because the US wasn’t providing any?

With the 4 military helicopters downed¹ in the past couple of weeks, more than 50 helicopters have been downed in Iraq since May 2003. About half were downed by enemy fire. People have started talking about SA-7s, shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missiles coming in via Iran. Aircrews should be so lucky, as military helicopters have defenses against those, but there is no defense for flying low and fast into a hail of automatic weapons fire from the ground.

One of the things that is supposedly going to “improve” the situation in Iraq is the appointment of General David Petraeus, because he was the lead author on the Army manual on counter-insurgency. Well, that might prove of some value in Anbar province where there is an insurgency, but what about the civil war in central Iraq, and the ethnic cleansing in the north? Where is the manual on those forms of unpleasantness?

Actually, if we just get out of Anbar, the problem will be over. Let the Iraqi government deal with that, as it is going to involve deals with the various tribes, and the tribes aren’t likely to make deals with groups that are the target of multiple blood feuds, like the US military.

I’m still waiting for the clear statement of what the US military is supposed to be doing in Iraq. What are the goals and how are they going to be achieved – you know, the strategy?

1. From First Draft

February 6, 2007   2 Comments