The Iraq War – A forty Day Party

As a former Reagan Republican, I cannot help but be severely disappointed by the level of incompetence of the present administration. However, it appears there is still a good deal of support among so-called Bush loyalists, a fact that amazes me. Either they are ignoring the mountain of evidence of malfeasance that has been accruing or they pay no attention to the country’s current military and financial situation. Therefore, I will occasionally post a review of one of the many books that chronicle the run-up to and the prosecution of the Iraq War. These are not Left-wing books of anti-Bush propaganda but books written by thoughtful writers, whose only purpose is to present the facts. And to any that bother to read the facts, they are disturbing.

Here is the first review,

cobra_ii_the_inside_story_of_the_invasion_and_occupation_of_iraq-resized200.jpg

COBRA II by Michael Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor

The Bottom Line:
Cobra II provides a good account of the thinking and non-thinking that propelled us into this never-ending war.

While reading Cobra II – when I wasn’t simmering – I got the impression that the strongest military in the world was being controlled and misused by a modern day version of the Keystone Kops. Not that I’m surprised. I and two thirds of the country (God help the other third) knew something was amiss, but many of the things I suspected were laid out in glaring fashion in this interesting text.

It’s like President “What me worry?” was having his arm twisted by Vice President “Darth Vader” undersecretary Darth Maul (Wolfowitz) to throw a forty day party in Baghdad. That’s right the war that has outlasted both World War I and the Korean War and is fast approaching World War II (It has now surpassed it) was expected to be a thirty to fifty day party and then we all go home with smiles on our faces. Perhaps it would have, except for two things.

First, our Defense Secretary, decided he knew more than all his generals combined. He threw out ten years of military planning for the invasion of Iraq, and proceeded to badger his generals to keep reducing planned invasion troop levels to a number he liked. I guess the secretary is into numerology. The number the generals started with was 380,000. The number the S.O.D. accepted was 140,000 – just enough to get us into Baghdad but not enough to get home.

The second thing, which some knowledgeable people foresaw, but not the myopic administration, was that the party might get crashed by some unwanted guests. Who you ask? Why, a bunch of young hot heads driving Toyotas, some wearing towels over the faces, some carrying funny objects on their shoulders or weapons in their arms and all looking for trouble. The first fatality of the war was caused, not by an Iraqi soldier but, a group of these hot heads in a Toyota Pick-up.

Commanders on the ground noticed this effective, unforeseen adversary, utilizing hit and run guerilla tactics and wanted to confront them, but the bigwigs in Cent Com ordered them to bypass these future insurgents and head straight to Baghdad, do not pass Go. Apparently they felt that once Baghdad fell everything. would fall into place. What they got when they took Baghdad was widespread looting. The authors Michael Gordon and General Bernard Trainor go on to speculate that the fediyeen, which the army was ordered to ignore and bypass on the way to Baghdad, became the backbone for the strong insurgency we now face.

Conclusion

Liberal, Conservative, independent – Right wing, Left wing, it doesn’t matter, reading this book will upset you. The book is not a liberal rag. It does not have a political bias, unless you consider a bias toward incompetence political. It just lays out the facts, often in minute detail. That, in fact is one of the books weaknesses. Cobra II reads like a play by play description of the war to date from the rationale though the planning to the prosecution of the war, with it’s attendant mis-steps. The prosecution portion of the war takes up at least two thirds of the book and unless you are a war junkie and despite some interesting parts begins, after awhile, to all sound the same.

The parts of the book I found most interesting were the initial planning stages and those portions dealing with the dissension that developed between Rumsfeld and Franks and later the turmoil between Franks and the generals in the field. The authors also point out how many of the problems that developed in the initial occupation of Baghdad and the aftermath were anticipated by various sources with suggestions, but were discounted or ignored by the administration. In short, the administration didn’t want to hear anything that might disrupt their vision of a forty day party.

Unfortunately the book only takes us through the war itself and the stirrings of the nascent insurgency. Three years later we are seeing what almost everyone agrees is a low grade civil war, verging on civil war.

Author’s Note; This review was written over a year ago. I would say things are pretty much the same, wouldn’t you?

August 17, 2007. attack, Baghdad, Books, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, crime, dishonest, ethics, explosions, George W. Bush, Iraq, liberators, politics, President, President Bush, Psychiatry, relationship, Rumsfeld, satire, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, slam dunk, suicide, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Uncategorized, Vice Persideny, war.

2 Comments

  1. Mick replied:

    No. The surge is working, haven’t you received your updates from the Hillary machine? Psst. Quiet down about pulling out of Iraq.

  2. ClapSo replied:

    Alas, it isn’t just the failure of the bush crime family. Our entire political system is corrupted by the two parties of the apocalypse!

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

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