From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Spreading democracy in a Humvee

August 14, 2005 7:18 PM

Front page of this morning's Washington Post, citing U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad:

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months. ... The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges.

A "senior official" involved in policy since the 2003 invasion: "What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground. We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

An experiment in Humvee democracy ... A tragic, colossal, mistake.

More from the archive in War and Peace.

Spreading democracy in a Humvee (08.14.2005)

Next Entry: We're outta there (08.14.2005)
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Read the 1 comments.


One wonders what could have been achieved, if the Bush administration had found a way to put half a million soldiers in Iraq (which would have required a true coalition), prevented the early looting, kept the military and police forces intact while weeding out the Baathist elements, avoided the neocon free market experimentation, skipped the no-bid contracts to Halliburton and made use of Iraqi companies and expertise, and made a commitment to a phased withdrawal of troops over a period of several years (i.e. no permanent bases).

Or, more simply, just imagine that the Bush administration had implemented the recommendations of the State Department's "Future of Iraq Project".

Instead of proving that America can succeed in nation-building, Bush seems to be trying to show that America can survive failing at it. Essentially, we're rich enough to screw up royally and still keep right on truckin.

Mon Aug 15 2005 5:34 PM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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