“Advisors split as War Unfolds, One Faction Hopes Bush Notes ‘Bum Advice,’” reads a piece in today’s Washington Post. What’s going on, of course, is those opposed to President Bush’s policy in Iraq are doing their very best to undermine the president’s advisors working in the offices of Cheney and Rumsfeld and to pump up their status as seasoned foreign policy hands. One “former [Republican] party official” is quoted as saying that “Powell won’t pick up the fight and won’t represent State Department professionals who are appalled by what is about to happen.”
State Department “professionals” — Well, let’s take a look at the track record of these “professionals.” Saddam invades Kuwait after a State “professional” tells him that the US doesn’t really have much of an opinion on his dispute with Kuwait. Saddam invades and the “professionals” at State push sanctions over force to contain Saddam. Once war commences, State “professionals” support the limited war aim of kicking Iraq out of Kuwait and that’s it. Then, after the war, the US encourages a Shiite revolt against Saddam but the US, on advice of many “professionals” at State, does nothing and tens of thousands Shiites are slaughtered by Saddam’s henchmen. You see, State “professionals” wanted stability over freedom and to that end constructed a containment policy to box in Saddam after he crushed the revolt in the south. As part of this containment, large US forces were stationed on the Arabian peninsula, which, in turn, poured more and more fuel onto the fire of bin ladenism. You get the picture. Over the years, the “professionals” at State have made a huge mess in the Middle East by peddling out lots of bum advice to other US government officials. And, incidentally, we’re paying the price today because of the advice of State “professionals” in 1991. These quotes come from two pieces (Warily, Iraqis Get Acquainted With Marines,” “US Troops Meet Iraqis Peacefully”) in today’s New York Times.
“‘If the Americans want to get rid of Saddam, that’s O.K. with me,’ he [Khalid Juwad] said. ‘The only thing that would bother me is if they don’t finish the job. Then Saddam will come back, like he did in 1991.’”
“‘Don’t make the mistake of 1991,’ said a man in the crowd named Hussein, sidling up to an American. ‘People blame the USA because they prevent the uprising of 1991 and let Saddam kill people. There are 60 people gone from this town, and until today their families do not know whether they are in jail or not.’”