Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The Bush Administration's mistakes in Iraq--too numerous to count--have been the subjects of scores of books already. Many of the mistakes are also recounted in No End in Sight, an excellent documentary currently in theaters. Perhaps none of the many mistakes, however, was more significant than the decision to disband Iraqi security forces.

We now know, based on letters released by L. Paul Bremer, that President Bush did not object to the plan, developed in the Defense Department, to "make it clear to everyone that we mean business"--Bremer's words--by dismantling Iraq's military. In fact, based on his reply to Bremer, the President seems to have shown very little interest in the issue.

The picture that emerges from more and more documentary evidence related to the Iraq War is one that should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the events of the last six years: The United States is governed by a clueless president surrounded by arrogant and venal advisors. This is hardly an original observation, but it is one that is well worth remembering as the Bush Administration tries to make the case for staying in Iraq.

(For more on Bremer-Bush correspondence, see this post by George Packer.)