"Moreover, any thought of using the old army was undercut by conditions on the ground. Before the 2003 war, the army had consisted of about 315,000 miserable draftees, almost all Shiite, serving under a largely Sunni officer corps of about 80,000. The Shiite conscripts were regularly brutalized and abused by their Sunni officers. When the draftees saw which way the war was going, they deserted and, like their officers, went back home. But before the soldiers left, they looted the army’s bases right down to the foundations.
So by the time I arrived in Iraq, there was no Iraqi army to disband. Some in the U.S. military and the CIA’s Baghdad station suggested that we try to recall Hussein’s army. We refused, for overwhelming practical, political and military reasons." Bremer
Tenet, Bremer, Franks. This is a trio of sycophants and self-serving careerists, largely devoid of creative thought and any real intellect who were given the job of managing history when all they really wanted was to manage their careers and incomes. They truly deserve to be known as the "Axis of Ineptitude."
Bremer has been allowed by the neocon leadership of the Washington Post to place a whining, mendacious piece in this Sunday’s paper.
It is filled with evidence of his stupidity, ignorance and willingness to deceive in self defense.
As an example, his characterization of the old Iraqi Army is nonsense. That army was a NATIONAL army that stood at the very center of whatever NATIONAL institutions Iraq possessed. That army fought very creditably against the Iranians. Their performance has been much distorted in American popular imagination by the political warfare of the Iranians and their regional allies. In the Iran-Iraq War the Iraqi national army’s mixed units fought well against the sectarian brethren of the Iraqi Shia. There were many senior Shia officers in that army. The commanding general of the Republican Guards Armored Corps in the invasion of Kuwait was a Shia lieutenant general. He is currently employed in the Ministry of Defense in Baghdad. The Iraqis did not fight in the First Gulf War? Ask the US Marines of 2nd Marine Division who had to use MLRS in the "direct fire" mode to stop a counter-attack on their division CP just south of the Kuwait Airport. Did you ever talk to them, Jerry?
US Forces found when they reached Baghdad in ’03 that the personnel records of the Iraqi military, including the Republican Guard, revealed that not more than 8% of the officer corps of the Iraqi military had been members of the Baath Party. See "Cobra II" for that "nugget."
The army, including the Guard, did not fight us hard in ’03? That’s right. They did not. The poor fools believed Bremer’s government’s propaganda which held out to them the prospect that they would participate in building a new Iraq. It was the Baathist militias who fought us. They fought rather hard.
The understanding of the US military before the war was that the Iraqi military would be employed in stabilizing the country. American generals were discussing the basis of that cooperation with their Iraqi counter-parts when Bremer (Feith’s lapdog) announced that they were out of business. The Iraqi military felt betrayed then, and still do. It had all been a lie. Nothing has changed. pl