Thursday, March 27, 2008

As Iraq Turns...

With the war in Iraq having entered its sixth year the media have been running retrospectives – mea culpas by a very few, re-examination of the circumstances leading to the intervention, discussions re what needs to be done next, etc., and the architects of the war have been taken to task for their miscalculations. In all of this Condoleezza Rice seems to have been given a bit of a “bye.’ While her contributions to the “mushroom cloud” doomsday scenario have been remembered (specific quote: “we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud…”), I haven’t seen any references to the Iraq Stabilization Group.

Back in October 2003 the news from Iraq was increasingly dominated by mounting casualties, and opinion polls in the United States showed that a majority of the public had begun to question President Bush's handling of the aftermath of the war. The Congress was considering the White House’s $87 billion request for Iraq. And President Bush announced the formation of the Iraq Stabilization Group, putting Rice in charge of the ISG (along with its subcommittees on counterterrorism, economic development, political affairs and media messages) with the goal of managing Iraq and Afghanistan… And that was practically the last that was heard of that group… Not an example of a shining success… However Rice seems to have a free pass on this one.

Rice will manage Iraq's 'new phase' – “President Bush is giving his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, the authority to manage postwar Iraq and the rebuilding of Afghanistan”

White House to Overhaul Iraq and Afghan Missions - “The creation of the stabilization group appears to give more direct control to Ms. Rice, one of the president's closest confidantes, who signed the memorandum announcing it.”

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