Saturday, September 09, 2006

A president without a plan is no president at all

Kevin Drum linked yesterday to a post by Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy regarding "a remarkable interview with Brigadier General Mark Scheid, chief of the Logistics War Plans Division after 9/11, and one of the people with primary responsibility for war planning".

According to General Scheid, Rumsfeld's "plan" for the Iraq War was essentially to go in, take out Saddam, and leave. That was it. There was no planning for a possible occupation of Iraq after the fall of Saddam's regime, and, indeed, Rumsfeld said he would "fire the next person" who said there ought to be.

I agree with Kevin that "this is old news". However: "The guy who was actually in charge of logistics has now directly confirmed that Rumsfeld not only didn't intend to rebuild Iraq in any serious way, but threatened to fire anyone who wasted time on the idea."

More: "[T]his also means that all of Bush's talk about democracy was nothing but hot air. If you're serious about planting democracy after a war, you don't plan to simply topple a government and then leave... The bulk of the evidence continues to suggest that democracy and rebuilding were simply not on Bush's radar."

The interview can be found in, of all places, the Hampton Roads (Virginia) Daily Press. It deserves more attention. It proves what we already knew, or suspected, but does so in such a way as to lay the blame squarely at Rumsfeld's, and by extension Bush's, feet.

When will Rumsfeld -- when will Bush himself -- be held responsible for what has gone so badly wrong in Iraq?

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