Not everyone thinks President Bush should be sorry

about faulty intelligence in regard to the possession

of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein.



Kurdish Media, Iraqi Kurdistan

President Bush Should Have No Regrets about Faulty Iraq Intelligence


"The U.S. freed a terrorized country from the grips of one of the most dangerous men in the world. In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Army was able to remove Saddam from power, an operation that sent a clear signal to other dictators in the region that they, too, could face a similar fate."


By Butan Amedi


December 12, 2008


Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish Media - Original Article (English)

President Bush pals around with West Point cadets after giving a speech defending the Iraq War and his legacy in general, Dec. 9.


WHITE HOUSE VIDEO: President Bush defends his forign policy decisions before West Point Army cadets, Dec. 9, 00:25:18RealVideo

The costly decisions made in 2003 after the war in Iraq began are no longer subjects of debate. What matters now is the Status of the Forces Agreement (SOFA), a pact between The United States and Iraq, which restricts the powers of the U.S. military and requires America to end its military presence in the country in 2011. But mention should be made of the interview of the Bushes by ABC's Charles Gibson [see video below], which touched upon the post-war situation, when President Bush stated his regrets over the failure of intelligence in regard to Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.


Perhaps one of the Bush Administration's most courageous decisions was the removal of Saddam Hussein. Despite opposition from the United Nations, the U.S. freed a terrorized country from the grips of one of the most dangerous men in the world. In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Army was able to remove Saddam from power, an operation that sent a clear signal to other dictators in the region that they, too, could face a similar fate. The intelligence was wrong, and Saddam didn't have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. But nevertheless, Saddam's regime needed to be removed. He was an oppressive and brutal dictator, unwilling to cooperate with the international community and a threat to the free world.



While for President Bush, the failure of the war on Iraq seems hinged to the intelligence on WMDs, the real setback was post-war management, not a lack of WMDs. When U.S.-led forces entered Baghdad, the Iraqi government collapsed without anything to be put in its place. The lack of a proper authority created anarchy and internal disorder. Unsealed borders with Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia invited the infiltration of a huge influx of al-Qaeda-minded terrorists who carried out attacks on Coalition Forces and Iraqi citizens to further destabilize the country. The United States established the Coalition Provisional Authority led by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, which not only proved incapable of leading Iraq, but it stamped the word “invader” on Washington, despite the fact that the CPA delivered to its promise to hand sovereignty back to Iraqis in June 2004. The CPA established a Governing Council which proved ineffective and involved a number of undemocratic opposition parties from the past to participate on the process of rebuilding the state. In 2005, the people of Iraq were provided an opportunity to elect a national government, and the majority of Iraqis voted for an Islamist, pro-Iran government to take power in Baghdad.


British Lieutenant-General Stanley Maude enters Baghdad after

vanquishing the Turks in 1917. He then issued a statement saying,

'Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors

or enemies, but as liberators.' Sound familiar? WATCH BBC REPORT


Those mistakes were costly, weakened America's image around the world and comforted regional dictators. While Saddam's regime was successfully removed, the Bush Administration's failed post-war management handed power to theocratic, tribal, and dictatorial parties that sponsor militia armies - some which are ideologically unfriendly to the West.


Prior to the American intervention, we continuously heard speeches about efforts to transform Iraq into a model democracy at the heart of the Middle East. Without doubt,  the Bush Administration worked sincerely to democratize Iraq and its efforts cost U.S. tax-payers trillions of dollars. But the Bush government's methods of state-building were unsuitable for this region. Five years have elapsed since the end of major combat operations, and yet there is precious little stability and democracy in the country.  



America's post-war management could have been more effective and cost much less. The United States should have trained and immediately brought in a team of independent technocrats to fill the gap created after the collapse of Saddam's regime. A cabinet, representative in its make-up, could have led the country far more effectively than Ambassador Bremer - and even the undemocratic parties currently in power. They would undoubtedly have prioritized building state institutions before holding elections and would have paved the way for a democratic, civil and secular government. Unfortunately, the decisions made after the war are irreversible and can't be done over - even by President-elect Obama. Meanwhile, contrary to pre-war speeches by Bush Administration officials, Iraq is shifting closer toward theocracy every day.


According to the SOFA agreement, the United States must leave Iraq in 2011. The world is doubtlessly safer without Saddam Hussein, but Iraq has no effective government. President-elect Obama must ensure that Iraq's parties tackle the real challenges confronting the country, like corruption, militia armies, a new oil law, disputed Arabized areas [parts of Kurdistan populated by Arabs under Saddam] and regional interference. Before the United States completely leaves, Iraq must have an effective government.



































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US December 11, 6:15pm]