Friday, August 04, 2006


Yet another senate panel on violence in Iraq, more questions from senators who voted for the war but want to pretend that they didn't, more scrambled thoughts from the generals in charge, admitting Iraq is close to civil war while at the same time claiming that their latest strategy could turn the tide.

And this priceless quote from beloved Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when asked straight up by Senator Hilary Rodham-Clinton why we should believe a word he says:

"My goodness. First of all, it's true there is sectarian violence in Iraq, and there is a loss of life. And it's an unfortunate and tragic thing that's taking place. And it is true that there are people who are attempting to prevent that government from being successful. And they are the people who are blowing up buildings and killing innocent men, women and children...And the idea of them prevailing is unacceptable."

Where to start?

Everything--everything--that is happening in Iraq can be laid squarely at Rumsfeld's feet. He lowballed the number of troops that were needed to do the job, stood by and watched as Bagdad broke into chaos, and never showed the slightest knowledge of the long-simmering feuds between the Sunnis and Shiites.

Why should he have cared about any of that? It's becoming more and more obvious that the whole enterprise in Iraq was in fact to secure the oil fields. That was done immediately, and while U.S. forces aren't able to stop civil war from breaking out, by God they're able to protect Halliburton's interests. Every little thing we've been told, by Rummy, by Bush and Cheney and Condi and Colin and the whole gang, has been a lie.

Still, there is some truth in what Rumsfeld said yesterday. There are people who are attempting to prevent the government in Iraq from being successful, by installing puppet regimes that the citizens don't want. And they are blowing up buildings and killing innocent men, women and children, by dropping bunker buster bombs on restaurants, then shrugging at the carnage without a word of regret.

For many Iraqis, the U.S. is clearly the enemy. And, as Rummy said, the idea of them prevailing is unacceptable.