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Tags alternate history , Iraq War history , Ronald Bailey

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Old 19th August 2005, 02:01 PM   #1
CBL4
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If Bush had been competent

Ronald Bailey of Reason Magazine writes about an alternate history with Bush having invaded Iraq correctly. It has some 20/20 hindsight but some of the things seemed obvious at the time - to me at least.
http://www.reason.com/links/links081805.shtml

Quote:
Politics Department: Modeling its efforts on the example of General Douglas MacArthur's drafting of a new constitution for Japan after World War II, the PCA Politics Department prepared a federal constitution for Iraq. The idea was to engage immediately the attention of various ethnic and religious factions in a political contest rather than in street fights for supremacy. The constitution also had a bill of rights including freedom of speech and religion, speedy open trials, and the protection of private property.

Security Department: The Security Department had the toughest job in the immediate postwar period. Ending Saddam Hussein's brutal regime would bring decades of submerged resentments to the surface, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was profoundly concerned about the possibility of widespread looting. Fortunately, the PCA's Security Department had worked closely with the ground commanders of Coalition Forces and had coordinated plans to protect crucial infrastructure including power plants, oil depots and pipelines, roads, bridges, hospitals, and government ministry buildings.

Most importantly, using spy-satellite intelligence, the Security Department had identified hundreds of weapons depots scattered around Iraq and made it a priority to secure them as the Coalition Forces advanced. This kept thousands of tons of munitions out the hands of possible insurgents. Experts believe that this effort forestalled the development of a significant guerrilla movement.
Also included are pre-invasion administrative plans for cities, property regulation, pre-invasion contract for rebuilding infrastructure and central bank. In other preparing for peace in addition to preparing for war.

Quote:
Thanks to wise leadership, we can only look back with a mixture of relief and bemusement at the alarmist "quagmire" scenarios imagined by so many early critics of the war.
BTW, Bailey is by no means a Democrat. He is an extreme libertarian who tends to support Republicans.

(I accidentally posted this is in the Science Forum, please ignore that one.)

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Old 19th August 2005, 02:30 PM   #2
patnray
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If he had been competent he wouldn't have invaded Iraq at all.

If he had been competent he wouldn't have botched the war in Afganistan by invading without proper preparation, and OBL would not have escaped.

Quote:
Most importantly, using spy-satellite intelligence, the Security Department had identified hundreds of weapons depots scattered around Iraq and made it a priority to secure them as the Coalition Forces advanced. This kept thousands of tons of munitions out the hands of possible insurgents. Experts believe that this effort forestalled the development of a significant guerrilla movement.
Immediately following the invasion of Iraq came admissions by US military officers that they had no clue about the vast stockpiles of conventional weapons Iraq possessed. Probably because they were so obsessed with the non-existant WMDs... So, no only did they not have what we thought they had, but we had no idea what they did have. I do not understand why this part of our intelligence failure was not a big issue in the last election. If Kerry had been competent...
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Old 19th August 2005, 05:33 PM   #3
davefoc
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The idea that Bush and his administration may be fundamentally incompetent and/or so politically driven that the US is being disastrously misled is a notion that I have been thinking about for awhile.

I don't have any sort of a firm conclusion on this nor anything resembling definitive evidence, but the apparent screwups seem to lend some credence to the idea.

For what it is worth, I was about 60/40 in favor of the Iraq war. Mostly because I believed in the integrity of the Bush administration (particularly Colen Powel) and Tony Blair to evaluate the evidence skillfully and carefully before making such a precipitous decision.

It seems pretty clear that no such careful or skillful evaluation occurred prior to the war .

What we are left with now are a bunch of guys making it up as they go trying to justify their decision. The important issue that remains is are the people that have been responsible for so many miscalculations remotely capable of running this thing well enough for something good to come out of it. Or does the US just sit in Iraq causing more harm than good until we get the heck out.

For what it is worth I have talked to a couple of marines who have spent some time in Iraq and they are optimistic. They claim that the Americans are generally well liked and that Americans routinely take shore leave in a number of middle eastern countries without problems (except of course for that little issue of rockets in Jordan).
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Old 21st August 2005, 06:12 PM   #4
Beerina
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Re: If Bush had been competent

Quote:
Originally posted by CBL4
Modeling its efforts on the example of General Douglas MacArthur's drafting of a new constitution for Japan after World War II, the PCA Politics Department prepared a federal constitution for Iraq.
I wondered why they didn't do this at the time. All this mewling and puking about them developing their own constitution to "give it legitimacy".

What's illegitimate about enshrining basic human rights, then letting politicians hack it out using ammendments later on?

And the result? We may get the idiocy of an Islamic republic where democracy and, more importantly, freedom evaporate after the first year or two.
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Old 21st August 2005, 06:20 PM   #5
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My biggest concern is the Iran influence issue and apparently it is shapping up to be a big thing. We'll see...
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