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September 04, 2007


Also, in a recent book, Bush claimed he hadn't even been informed of the decision to dissolve military. By Bremer's account that isn't true.

Just had a chilling thought -- know how OVP was smuggling "official" Justice Department opinions past Ashcroft without his knowledge? What if they were also doing it with the decisions purportedly coming from the Office of the President? Didn't I read somewhere that correspondence to Chimpy is filtered through OVP?


Yes, Cheney has been known to:

  • Get communincation between Bush and other cabinet officers forwarded to him
  • Frame the multiple choice question from which Bush chooses a policy
  • Use cut-outs within the WH to hide his tracks

A lot of this was detailed in the WaPo Angler series, but the general allegations have been out there for some time.

"Several Iraqis have told me, literally with tears in their eyes, that they have waited 30 years for this moment."

Shouldn't this read, several Iraqi exiles? You know, like Ahmed Chalabi? The same Chalabi who said before the war he had no interest in participating in a new government. The same Chalabi that fed false intelligence to the OSP and WHIG in the run-up to the war. Wasn't the State Department, who normally would weigh heavily on these types of issues, effectively neutered by the Pentagon? Who was that Powell guy anyway?

So it's possible that Bush is telling the truth, and he really didn't know (much) about the decision to disband the Iraqi army. Or maybe knew about it only to the extent that the choices given him by Cheney were: A. Disband the army today or B. Disband the army next Tuesday.

Except that he did get this letter, maymayaga. When I first read the story, I figured it was CHeney (and Rummy, as Bremer makes clear) making the decision. But in this case, there's clear proof Bush was aware of the decision.

It's like Bush views the role of the president as just almost exactly like a Cub scout leader. Except of course a Cub scout leader actually expects things from his scouts.

Except for the part where the Bush letter refernences the date of the Bremer letter, there is a huge disconnect between the content of the two.

The Bush letter reads like a form letter drafted by a clerk. There is no explicit reaction to any of the content of Bremer's letter.

Somehow I think Shrub either didn't see the Bremer letter, or merely skimmed the first couple of suck up paragraphs and thought it was just a fel good letter.

not that I am defensing Bush, his own inattetnion would be the source of theproblem.

His is a level of lazy and shiftless that makes Reagen look like a workhorse!


I agree. Though it might just be a reflection of how poor his reading comprehension is--it reads like what I would have gotten from Freshmen at UM.

Though he does mention the living conditions for what I presume is the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs. Which suggests he's talking to someone on the ground.

If this is actually Chimpy's pro forma, superficial response in obedience to a decision actually made by Dick and Rummy, the picture of sycophancy that emerges is Chimpy's toady to Dick's master.

Let's not forget Bremer's title was 'Viceroy of Iraq' - as in 'stand-in for the King' - which can only mean a high-grade Bush Sycophant, an absolute 'yes' man.

So, after prepping for all of TWO WEEKS, Bremer raced into Baghdad, fucked-up almost everything he touched, got the Medal of Freedom from Bush, and wrote an "I Love Me" memoir, 'My Year in Iraq.'


Now, of course, Bush is remembering history differently (maybe Hadley has the notes on this, too /snark,) and has Bremer deviating on his own from the policy of keeping the Iraqi Army together.

Which, once again, puts Bremer in another Hobbes' Choice scenario - get under the Bus or give the Medal back - only a hypocrite could have it both ways.


Actually that line should read thusly:

"Several Iraqis exiles who were paid Iranian spys have told me, literally with tears in their eyes, that they have waited 30 years for this moment."

Paul Bremer may be upset now, but I'm sure he'll get a spot at the George W. Bush Freedom Fries Institute.

"Paul Bremer may be upset now, but I'm sure he'll get a spot at the George W. Bush Freedom Fries Institute."

It is the George W. Bush Fantastic Freedom Fries Institute.

What I'd like to see in the first State of the Union address after the Bush junta has been ousted:

"The dissolution of his chosen instrument of political domination, the Republican Party, has been very well received. Several Americans have told me, literally with tears in their eyes, that they have waited 30 years for this moment. While the resulting dismissal of public servants has caused some inefficiencies and griping, in most cases younger civil servants have expressed pleasure, even joy, at the measure. (At a minimum they are attracted to the prospect of promotion opportunities.) I will parallel this step with an even more robust measure dissolving Bush's military and intelligence structures to emphasize that we mean business. We are seeing signs that the outlawed organizations are behind some of the street violence here."

Not as eloquent as Ted Sorensen, but I was struck by the parallels!

Looseheadprop, emptywheel... just read another blog post that takes the line that no, after all that, Bush probably didn't read the letter from Bremer. It's at Comments from Left Field.

The poster makes two points, one from No End In Sight, about those who worked so hard to distill their analysis into a 1-page executive summary that Bush didn't end up reading.

And two, noting that the letter from Bremer was 3 pages long, and the part about dismantling Iraqi army is on page 3.

So the disconnect you note between letter and response fits into a larger picture: no, Bush didn't read the letter, happy to haplessly delegate the pesky details to his hapless underlings.

I will say this.

Both my father (who was there the first year) and brother (the one currently in Iraq) said that Bremer was a f*ucking disaster. On that they are unequivocal.

The military had a nice plan using career officers from Saddam's army that weren't so contaminated, and whom the rank and file soldiers would follow, to form a nucleus of an Iraqi security force that would hold the country together, and it was shot down by this Bremer idiot.

Just basically the military was told that this was a "civilian decision" and to butt out.

Jodi, you are a true believer. You see disaster after disaster as a result of this boy king and his ideologue crew of democracy hating shysters, yet you continue to praise the king and come back for more abuse.

Ironic, isn't it... Jodi posting on a thread called "What Sycophancy Looks Like"?

Jodi's in agreement with the point of view on the related issue - disbanding the army - but likely because she can rely on family members' assessments and not any argument put forth on these pages.

Regardless, it's good to know what Jodi's father and brother think of this issue.

Given the comments on this thread about reading comprehension, here's some food for thought.
Translating the fairly 'abstract' words of Bremer's passage, as well as words of 8 letters or more that might be considered 'abstract', Bremer's passage looks like this:

The xxxxxxxxxxx.... has been very well received.
Several Iraqis have told me...that they have waited 30 years for this moment.
While the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx of public servants has caused some xxxxxxxxxxxxxx and griping, in most cases younger civil servants have expressed pleasure... at the measure. (xxxxxxxxxxxx they are attracted to the xxxxxxxx of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.)
I will xxxxxxxx this step with an even more xxxxx xxxxxxx dissolving Saddam's military and intelligence xxxxxxxxxx to xxxxxxxxx that we mean business.
We are seeing signs that the outlawed organizations are behind some of the street violence here.


People who aren't very skilled readers, who don't enjoy reading, **tend** to blur out big words and skip what they don't understand. Such a reader would very likely 'collapse' or 'condense' the text into something closer to this:

very well received. Iraqis have told me they waited 30 years. younger civil servants {happy}. I will [dissolve] Saddam's military and intel. we mean business. We [see] signs that outlawed organizations are behind street violence.

In many circumstances, this is a very useful cognitive style. People with this cognitive style can be extremely competent, effective, and productive -- PROVIDED they do not encounter novel situations.

I'm not claiming that this typifies GWBush's reading style, but it does seem consistent with his behaviors, remarks, and willingness to let others deal with complex documents and information. It would also support his views of himself as "a decider"; who repeatedly appears impatient with complex, or disconfirming, information.
Problems arise when the devil is in the details, which is where the devil generally tends to hang out.

FWIW, food for thought.

It would seem the express purpose of George W. Bush was to utterly destroy Iraq and not just to topple Saddam. And, certainly not to reconstruct anything.


Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking--only it sounds so much cooler the way you describe it...

I dunno about 'cooler', but I'd definitely go with 'scarier'.

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