Sunday 26th of January 2020

history can be a pain in the butt .....

Rice acknowledges
'thousands' of mistakes in Iraq

US Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice has acknowledged that the United States has made "thousands"
of tactical errors in Iraq. 

But she pleaded that the US and
British invasion of Iraq three years ago be judged on its strategic goal -
the ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein to pave the way for democracy - as
she defended Washington's policy in the region. 

"I know we've made tactical
errors, thousands of them, I'm sure," Dr Rice told a gathering of 200
foreign policy experts, local officials and journalists organised by the
Chatham House foreign policy institute. 

"This could have gone that
way, or that could have gone that way. But when you look back in history,
what will be judged is did you make the right strategic decision. 

"If you spend all of your
time trying to judge this tactical issue or that tactical issue, I think
you miss the larger sweep."

princess of darkness .....

Yes Gus.

Perhaps the "princess of darkness" would care to ask the 200,000+ inncocent Iraqis murdered by her evil coalition what they think of history's grand sweep?

It is of little consolation to those lost souls that Rice & Rumsfeld, along with the Rodent, "aussie blair" & "toy nero", will find themselves in history's dock, convicted as war criminals, liars & freebooters. 

Stategic or tactical mess?

U.S. Plan to Build Iraq Clinics Falters
Contractor Will Try to Finish 20 of 142 Sites
By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 3, 2006; Page A01

BAGHDAD -- A reconstruction contract for the building of 142 primary health centers across Iraq is running out of money, after two years and roughly $200 million, with no more than 20 clinics now expected to be completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.

The contract, awarded to U.S. construction giant Parsons Inc. in the flush, early days of reconstruction in Iraq, was expected to lay the foundation of a modern health care system for the country, putting quality medical care within reach of all Iraqis.

People receive medicine from U.S. troops in Shumeyt village, north of Baghdad. A contract for the building of 142 primary health centers across Iraq has run out of money, with 20 clinics now expected to be completed. (By Sasa Kralj -- Associated Press)

Parsons, according to the Corps, will walk away from more than 120 clinics that on average are two-thirds finished. Auditors say the project serves as a warning for other U.S. reconstruction efforts due to be completed this year.

Brig. Gen. William McCoy, the Army Corps commander overseeing reconstruction in Iraq, said he still hoped to complete all 142 clinics as promised and was seeking emergency funds from the U.S. military and foreign donors. "I'm fairly confident," McCoy said.

Coming with little public warning, the 86 percent shortfall of completions dismayed the World Health Organization's representative for Iraq. "That's not good. That's shocking," Naeema al-Gasseer said by telephone from Cairo. "We're not sending the right message here. That's affecting people's expectations and people's trust, I must say."

By the end of 2006, the $18.4 billion that Washington has allocated for Iraq's reconstruction runs out. All remaining projects in the U.S. reconstruction program, including electricity, water, sewer, health care and the justice system, are due for completion. As a result, the next nine months are crunchtime for the easy-term contracts that were awarded to American contractors early on, before surging violence drove up security costs and idled workers.

Read more at The Washington Post

There WAS a peaceful solution to the Saddam problem

From The Wasington Post

Iraq Violence Kills at Least 50; 6 U.S. Personnel Reported Dead
By John Ward Anderson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 3, 2006; Page A16

BAGHDAD, April 2 -- At least 50 people were killed Sunday in Iraq in a catalogue of violence that included a mortar attack, military firefights, roadside bombings and other explosions.

In addition, the U.S. military reported the deaths of six soldiers and airmen, including two who were killed when their helicopter apparently was shot down during a combat air patrol southwest of Baghdad on Saturday.

These blokes are nuts!

From the Guardian

International laws hinder UK troops - Reid

Defense secretary calls for Geneva conventions to be redrawn

Richard Norton-Taylor and Clare Dyer
Tuesday April 4, 2006
The Guardian

John Reid demanded sweeping changes to international law yesterday to free British soldiers from the restraints of the Geneva conventions and make it easier for the west to mount military actions against other states.
In his speech, the defense secretary addressed three key issues: the treatment of prisoners, when to mount a preemptive strikes, and when to intervene to stop a humanitarian crisis. In all these areas, he indicated that the UK and west was being hamstrung by existing inadequate law.

Mr Reid indicated he believed existing rules, including some of the conventions - a bedrock of international law - were out of date and inadequate to deal with the threat of international terrorists.

"We are finding an enemy which obeys no rules whatsoever", he said, referring to what he called "barbaric terrorism"

Read more at the Guardian...

Gus is flabbergasted... So, according to John Reid, the British "aggression secretary" we need to adopt barbaric behaviour to defeat "barbaric terrorism"? Where will it end? Would adopting barbaric ways entice a rising tide of sadism in our midst? This bloke's nuts!
and he's in charge of the war department... Brother!

Rejecting the facts is happiness

From the Guardian

The tethered goat strategy

Amid an internal crisis of credibility, Condoleezza Rice has washed her hands of her department

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday April 6, 2006
The Guardian

Since the Iraqi elections in January, US foreign service officers at the Baghdad embassy have been writing a steady stream of disturbing cables describing drastically worsening conditions. Violence from incipient communal civil war is rapidly rising. Last month there were eight times as many assassinations committed by Shia militias as terrorist murders by Sunni insurgents. The insurgency, according to the reports, also continues to mutate. Meanwhile, President Bush's strategy of training Iraqi police and army to take over from coalition forces - "when they stand up, we'll stand down" - is perversely and portentously accelerating the strife. State department officials in the field are reporting that Shia militias use training as cover to infiltrate key positions. Thus the strategy to create institutions of order and security is fuelling civil war.
Rather than being received as invaluable intelligence, the messages are discarded or, worse, considered signs of disloyalty. Rejecting the facts on the ground apparently requires blaming the messengers. So far, two top attaches at the embassy have been reassigned elsewhere for producing factual reports that are too upsetting.

The Bush administration's preferred response to increasing disintegration is to act as if it has a strategy that is succeeding. "More delusion as a solution in the absence of a solution," said a senior state department official.
Read morer at the Guardian

Being bombed, figuratively...

From the Washington Post

Rumsfeld Challenges Rice on 'Tactical Errors' in Iraq
By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 6, 2006; Page A21

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he did not know what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was talking about when she said last week that the United States had made thousands of "tactical errors" in handling the war in Iraq, a statement she later said was meant figuratively.

Speaking during a radio interview on WDAY in Fargo, N.D., on Tuesday, Rumsfeld said calling changes in military tactics during the war "errors" reflects a lack of understanding of warfare. Rumsfeld defended his war plan for Iraq but added that such plans inevitably do not survive first contact with the enemy.

"Why? Because the enemy's got a brain; the enemy watches what you do and then adjusts to that, so you have to constantly adjust and change your tactics, your techniques and your procedures," Rumsfeld told interviewer Scott Hennen...

Read more at the Washhington Post


Gus says this confirms these blokes are nutty nuts! (as if it did need confirming....)

Reconstructed demolition?

From the New York Times
In Bid to Rebuild Razed Bridge, Recovery and War Vie in Iraq

HUSAYBA, Iraq, April 2 — Last August, under daily attack from car bombs and mortars, the Marines took down the only bridge over the Euphrates River for miles around.

Now they are trying to rebuild it.

With the bridge down, marines say, insurgents and foreign fighters can no longer infiltrate as easily into this town near the Syrian border in western Anbar Province, the heavily Sunni Arab area that has formed the heart of the insurgency. But Iraqis who live on the river's northern bank grumble that they have no easy way to get to town to buy and sell goods or to see the doctor.

"The biggest complaint I hear is that we took down the bridge," said Lt. Col. Nick Marano, commander of the Marine battalion here. "We have to replace it and we will."

read more at the New York Times...