Friday, August 31, 2007

Cheerleader in chief

Rather than learn from its readily apparent missteps in Iraq, the Bush administration is taking its closed-eyes version of policy making to a new level. The administration has rejected findings from Congress' General Accountability Office on the failures of the Iraqi government and is downplaying a report from an independent commission recommending an overhaul of the Iraqi national police. Instead, the president wants the nation to wait until we hear from Gen. David Patraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker later in September. They are expected to say the surge is making progress and should be continued. If all the president wants are reports that support his current policies, regardless of how successful or unsuccessful they are, why are we wasting our time and resources with other panels and other investigations? It's like when government contractors prepare reports to satisfy the oversight requirements of federal or state law. They hire "experts" to give them the recommendations they want, not people who will give them unbiased opinions. This defeats the whole purpose of oversight, doesn't it? In Iraq, it is painfully obvious why American forces were so unprepared for what happened. Remember? There weren't enough troops, there wasn't enough armor for them or for their vehicles, the equipment was inadequate, there weren't enough people who could speak Arabic, the troops did not protect vital assets after Saddam fell -- the list went on and on and continues to go on and on. If the president intends to rule by himself and ignore other voices, such as Congress, he'd better at least get things right.

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