Sweet Iraq panel from the NYT. It’s got Richard Perle and Danielle Pletka and Frederick Kagan and Paul Bremer. That’s four out of the nine slots! Plus you’ve got Ken Pollack, and what Spencer Ackerman describes as “non-liberal members of the reality-based community like Paul Eaton and Anthony Cordesman and Nate Fick.” Representing American liberalism in even the liberal New York Times is Anne-Marie Slaughter all by her lonesome — can’t let too many hippies congregate on one op-ed page.
Griff Witte and Ellen Knickmeyer report that “The shortage in U.S.-funded supplies threatens the Palestinian government’s ability to provide security in the West Bank, which Israel has made a condition of future withdrawals from the occupied territories.” And why is there a shortage in U.S.-funded supplies? Well, in addition to making competent Palestinian security forces a condition for withdrawal from the West Bank, “Israel has traditionally viewed Palestinian security forces as potential adversaries” and therefore “Israel failed to approve delivery of the requested supplies in time for the deployment, according to senior Palestinian officials.”
Obviously, obviously, complex situation, much blame to go around, etc., but this kind of thing — things which most Americans are very ill-informed about — is why Arabs tend to doubt Israel’s protestations that they’re eager for a fair and peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Kevin Drum, talking about Ricardo Sanchez, mentions the idea that “the Wolfowitz/Feith/Rumsfeld plan to immediately draw down to 30,000 troops and essentially abandon Iraq is pretty well known, though never officially acknowledged by the Bush administration to the best of my knowledge.”
Clearly — both in retrospect, at the time, and in advance to anyone with any sense — this was a pretty stupid plan and couldn’t possibly have worked. But given that the alternative hasn’t worked either, wouldn’t it possibly have been better if Bush had just listened to Rumsfeld? I’ve suspected for a while that a lot of pro-war Democrats basically expected that outcome — “the war” would be a “success,” and then there would be the giant postwar mess that average Americans didn’t care much about because it didn’t involve U.S. troops, and then guys like Ken Pollack would point out that they’d written articles saying that successful reconstruction “will likely require a presence of as many as 200,000 troops” for “one or two years” and claiming Bush ineptly screwed things up.