Tuesday, October 05, 2004
The timing of these new revelations seems designed to embarrass Dick Cheney, whose role as the pivotal architect of the Iraq invasion is impossible to deny. And today of all days! A few minutes ago CNN inadvertently stated the obvious quite succinctly: tonight will be the first debate Cheney has engaged in since he met Joe Lieberman four years ago. In other words, John Edwards will be the first American to speak to Cheney without signing a loyalty oath.
Today is "Let's all beat up on Cheney" day.
But Cheney's bad news keeps piling on. First the CIA, then Paul Bremer ( , sub. req,d.): WSJ Not spending a lot of time looking back is a characteristic trait, hopefully a fatal flaw, of the entire administration. The U.S. didn't have enough troops in Iraq immediately following the ouster of Saddam Hussein and "paid a big price" for it, the former head of the U.S. occupation there said Monday.
L. Paul Bremer said he arrived in Iraq on May 6, 2003, to find "horrid" looting and a very unstable situation.
"We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness," Mr. Bremer said during an address Monday in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, to an insurance group, which reported his comments.
"We never had enough troops on the ground," he said.
His comments raise eyebrows because they are similar in tone to criticism in March 2003 from then-Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki that the U.S. needed several hundred thousand troops to keep the peace in postwar Iraq. Gen. Shinseki's comments were rebuked by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Pentagon superiors.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, locked in tight race with President Bush, has fired similar criticism at the White House on the campaign trail.
He also disputed criticism that the Bush administration had no plans for post-war Iraq.
"There was planning, but planning for a situation that didn't arise," he said, including a large-scale humanitarian or refugee crisis. "Could it have been done better? Frankly, I didn't spend a lot of time looking back."
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