Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Daily Kos: British Envoy on US in Iraq: Thirteen Words Say It All

Daily Kos: British Envoy on US in Iraq: Thirteen Words Say It All: "'No leadership, no strategy, no coordination, no structure and inaccessible to ordinary Iraqis.'

That was British envoy John Sawers' assessment of the U.S. occupation forces to Tony Blair in May 2003, four days after he arrived in Iraq. Three years ago. The scathing report was loaded into a memo even more scathingly titled 'What's Going Wrong,' one of a series of leaked documents given to The Guardian, which described the exchanges as peppered with 'unusual frankness.'

The memos - written in the immediate aftermath of Mr. Bush's infamous 'Mission Accomplished' photo op on the USS Lincoln - detail a devastating ineptness and indifference at every level of the occupation. The Guardian's laundry list of Sawers' observations include:

* A lack of interest by the US commander, General Tommy Franks, in the post-invasion phase.
* The presence in the capital of the US Third Infantry Division, which took a heavyhanded approach to security.
* Squandering the initial sympathy of Iraqis.
* Bechtel, the main US civilian contractor, moving too slowly to reconnect basic services, such as electricity and water.
* Failure to deal with health hazards, such as 40% of Baghdad's sewage pouring into the Tigris and rubbish piling up in the streets.
* Sacking of many of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party, even though many of them held relatively junior posts."


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