Wednesday, January 31, 2007
First of all, this picture, at first quick glance, made me laugh pretty hard.
It also sums up what James Baker may actually think of the Boy King's Administration and their botch of the training of Iraqis, and this whole mess in the first place. Well, it would if that actually were his middle finger. But really, at first glance, it looked like it.
The Iraq Study Group contends that the wrong agencies were sent to Iraq to train Iraqi police and shape their judicial system.
The U.S. erred by first assigning the task of shaping the judicial system in a largely lawless country to the State Department and private contractors who "did not have the expertise or the manpower to get the job done," Hamilton and Meese said in testimony obtained by The Associated Press.I know. I know. You're shocked and awed that this too was botched. I could hardly believe it myself. That being said, under the grand leadership of Alberto Gonzales, I am not so sure that the Judicial system in Iraq would be any better. I guess they could fire all the existing attorneys in Iraq and replace them with strict anti-Iranian, pro-Isreali attorneys who have spent all their time doing political opposition research. Hasn't that happened somewhere else?
In 2004, the mission was assigned to the Defense Department, which devoted more money to the task. But department officials also were insufficiently trained for the job, Hamilton and Meese said.
As a result, Iraq has little if any on-the-street law enforcement personnel or a functioning judicial system free of corruption, they said.
Justice Department officials, they said, should lead the work of transforming the system. Police executives and supervisors should replace the military police personnel now assigned.
Anyway, read the rest of this article for more on the Police and Judicial system. One of the recommendations, as seen in the above quote, is to have cops train cops, not MPs train cops. Totally different mindset. Ask any cop.
On my way into work this morning, there was a 3 or so minute piece from Ted Koppel on NPR. Check it out here. It's an audio clip right now, not yet in writing, but is excellent. It is a clip about how dishonest the Iraq debate is, from both parties.
Koppel picks holes in both the strategy of troop increases and in the strategy of an immediate withdrawal. Interestingly, he contends that the debate and resulting timeline for withdrawal ought to focus on completion of certain benchmarks, not on failure to complete certain benchmarks. It's a great point.
The way it's being pitched now, if Iraqis fail to meet a benchmark, we will leave, leaving them worse off. Instead, if they meet a benchmark, which we can play a role in helping them get to, then we can leave and they're better off. Seems intuitive.
He spent a moment to define what the Administration means by "the Region (as in withdrawal will make things worse in the region):" not Iraq, but the total oil-rich region. He then contends that despite "Cheney's bravado" that things really are worse in the region and Iraq. If oil is what we want, alluded to by Koppel, we have actually made it harder to keep secure.
He does, nonspecifically, take the Dems' part of the debate to task as being dishonest as well, most likely meaning it was more for their own poliical gain than to actually fix Iraq. But hey, I agree. It got 'em elected. Prove us wrong, and show you're really interested in fixing Iraq, not just in being exactly the opposite of Bush.