History’s Worst Military Blunder

After the cease-fire in 1991 that halted military action in the Gulf War, Schwarzkopf took to the podium in a celebratory press conference. He was beaming and bragging. A reporter asked him what kind of military leadership skills Saddam Hussein possessed. He laughed and went “Hah,” indicating that Saddam was a nitwit in these areas.

Today, Schwarzkopf, if a man of honesty, would like to take back that verbal slight of Saddam. Currently, the U.S. military is bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq. It can’t leave, but it is having a difficult time staying. All this scenario was caused by the Iraqi resistance, a force that was designed by Saddam Hussein and his top aides years before the U.S. invaded Iraq.

“Bring ’em on,” said George Bush in July 2003. The resistance has taken Bush’s statement literally and Iraq is a nightmare for U.S. troops.

On January 6, 2006, Al-Jazeera News published an article titled “U.S. Did Not Anticipate Iraq Insurgency.” According to the piece:

Paul Bremer, who led the U.S. civilian occupation authority in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, has admitted the United States did not anticipate the insurgency in the country.

Bremer, interviewed by America’s NBC television in connection with release of his book on Iraq, recounted the decision to disband the Iraqi army quickly after arriving in Baghdad, a move many experts consider a major miscalculation.

When asked who was to blame for the subsequent Iraqi rebellion, in which thousands of Iraqis and Americans have died, Bremer said, “We really didn’t see the insurgency coming,” the network said in a news release.

This is quite an astounding statement to make while discussing his book on the subject of Iraq. He admitted to the biggest military blunder in history, all the time basking in glory about his new book.

Bremer is one of these murky individuals, much like April Glaspie, who are sent to areas of the world to create havoc. Soon after their tasks are done, they disappear. He has been a “special assistant or executive assistant” to six secretaries of state, during his 23-year State Department career. Like other shady characters in the U.S. political arena, he is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, as well as the Council on Foreign Relations. In other words, he is the right kind of scumbag for the job.

Bremer’s one-year term in Iraq was disastrous for Iraq. The day before he left his appointment, he presented a 100-item list of orders for Iraq that can not be changed by any incoming Iraqi government. One of the most well-known of these edicts disallows Iraqi farmers from using their own seeds for planting. For millennia, Iraqi farmers have used seeds from previous crops. A swoop of Bremer’s pen made this practice illegal. Iraqi farmers are now being monitored and if they use their own seeds, they are heavily fined by Monstanto, the multinational company who now owns the sole rights to sell Iraqi farmers genetically-modified seeds.

For all his dastardly work, Bremer received an award. On December 14, 2004, Bush awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian award. The word “freedom” is used quite loosely here. One man’s freedom is another’s slavery. Bremer was the ultimate slave master.

Let’s get back to the statement about the U.S. not seeing the insurgency coming. Only the most stupid, mindless dupe would believe this. Prior to the illegal March 2003 invasion, I could have told the U.S. government exactly what would happen after an invasion of Iraq. So could my Iraqi-American friend Tony, or my Iraqi-American friend Issam. It was a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, the only Iraqis questioned about this were those of the Ahmed Chalabi persuasion: liars and thieves only looking for a payday from Washington. The U.S. administration never asked real Iraqis what would happen if Iraq was invaded.

Pundit-after-pundit took to the airwaves stating how the U.S. would be welcomed with flowers and candy. “Three days,” “three weeks,” and other such nonsensical time periods were predicted by the array of retired generals assembled by the Bush team to appear as “experts” on the talk shows. If you tell a lie enough times, you come to believe it yourself.

Here are two scenarios depicted by observers. One was in the minority, but it appears to be the most accurate:

Today, U.S. soldiers are begging to be sent to Baghdad. They are the most popular people in Iraq. In the evenings, the cafes are jammed with off-duty soldiers who are given free drinks by the establishment’s owner, while young, chic Iraqi women are clinging to the soldiers’ arms.

Another major contribution to Iraq has been the introduction of baseball to the country. Two major stadiums are now being built. Every evening, U.S. soldiers can be seen instructing young Iraqis in the nuances of the sport. Usually, the parents of the players invite the soldiers to their houses after the practices and honor them with an Iraqi feast to show their gratitude for bringing democracy to their country.

Iraq is hell for U.S. soldiers. They can not go on any street in Baghdad without heavy armament. Most do not even see the city because they are in the heavily-protected “green zone” or are stationed on military bases which they can not leave unless part of a military convoy. Most convoys are attacked by members of the Iraqi resistance. Signs with statements such as “U.S. Out” or “No to the U.S.” are abundant.

Unlike other wars in which U.S. soldiers had the availability of retreating to a safe zone at night, such as Saigon, for entertainment, there is no where for a U.S. soldier to go at night except for base-related activities. The number of pregnancies of U.S. female soldiers is staggering. The U.S. male soldier cannot go to Baghdad and find a female to engage with in sex. The soldier cannot go to Baghdad to watch a movie, or see a concert, or buy a kabob. Their entire lives are spent on the base or on dangerous missions.

The first scenario is what Chalabi told the U.S. administration. The second is real.

There is much speculation as to what went wrong in Iraq. Each side blames the other while they all are upset about being misled. They wanted to be misled and did not listen to the few experts, such as Scott Ritter, who accurately predicted the current turmoil in Iraq. They could have listened to my friend Tony, or Issam. Instead, they put themselves in an impenetrable dome of fantasy.

This denial of what may have happened has cost about $400 billion so far and has caused the cessation of life for about 200,000 people since March 2003. There is no end in sight.

The cavalier manner in which officials now state that they were surprised by the resistance is mind-boggling. The biggest military blunder in history is being depicted as a slight error in judgement. All the time, not one U.S. official has apologized to the Iraqi people for killing their family members; destroying the infrastructure of their country; or destroying any hope of a functional Iraq for the next few decades. They just don’t understand some aspects of humanity that the resistance has and they lack: integrity and pride.