Thursday, October 28, 2004

Perspectives on Iraq -- Cheney Expected to Ignore

Former diplomat Peter Galbraith wrote in yesterday's Boston Globe that, while he was in Baghdad in April 2003, he witnessed hordes of Iraqis looting the Iraqi equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control, carting away live HIV and black-fever viruses. Mr. Galbraith helped advance the case for an Iraq invasion at the request of Paul Wolfowitz. He said he'd told Wolfowitz about "the catastrophic aftermath of the invasion, the unchecked looting of every public institution in Baghdad, the devastation of Iraq's cultural heritage, the anger of ordinary Iraqis who couldn't understand why the world's only superpower was letting this happen.'' However, Galbraith noted that "[e]ven after my briefing, the Pentagon leaders did nothing to safeguard Iraq's nuclear sites."

Fred Kaplan writes in Slate that the biggest question facing historians will be whether the "Bush administration's fatal mistakes [were] due to bad thinking or to the sheer absence of thinking".

Tom Friedman writes in today's New York Times that "The real question is, What if we get a new Iraqi government but the same old Bush team incompetence? That would be a problem. Even an elected Iraqi government will see its legitimacy wane if we cannot help it provide basic security and jobs." He further writes,"If the Bush team wins re-election, unless it undergoes a policy lobotomy and changes course and tone, the breach between America and the rest of the world will only get larger. But all Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney have told us during this campaign is that they have made no mistakes and see no reason to change."

Proof of Mr. Friedman's last sentence (and the same sentiment voiced in CNB posts here and here), is a quote from VP Cheney in his debate with Sen. Edwards -- "What we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do. If I had it to recommend all over again, I would recommend exactly the same course of action. "