Saturday, April 21, 2007

"New Iraq Team Brings a Fresh Look to War"

(From AP.) Some headline, huh? Like "springtime fresh"? Or "new and improved"?

(I think they mean a fresh look at war, but I may be wrong.) There's nothing really new (or fresh) in this article but it does serve to summarize Bush's new plan for Iraq, part of the purpose of which is to win back public support for his war. I think the public is by now impervious to any further attempts to make this bloody mess look like a winner. Yet it appears the right people are finally in charge.

[Bush's] new crop of Iraq leaders bypasses ideologues and loyalists in favor of professionals with previous experience in Iraq and war zones. [Professionals in government? What a concept!]

"None of them are particularly ideological or were associated with the original public push for the war," said Kurt Campbell, chief executive officer of the nonpartisan, centrist Center for a New American Security. The new leaders "are probably quietly appalled that we find ourselves in the situation that we do in Iraq," Campbell said. . . .

All share a reputation for shrewdness and pragmatism. Their writings and resumes suggest they will make the best of a five-year-old war that has not gone as planned, with an eye to getting U.S. forces and advisers out as fast as possible.

Crocker [the new ambassador to Iraq] is one of the State Department's most experienced Middle East experts and has worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents. He reportedly warned then-Secretary of State Colin Powell before the 2003 invasion that toppling Saddam Hussein would lift the lid on sectarian violence in Iraq. . . .

Sounds like if we'd listened to these guys in the beginning, the war wouldn't have happened. So it looks like Bush has gotten it all backwards. No real surprise there (to my mind, at least).

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