I am talking about Iraq of course. The current candidates are –
1- Invasion of the "Iraq of Our Dreams" rather than the Iraq of objective reality. Chas Freeman cites this formulation of mine on occasion. What this refers to is that before the war as well as now, the US government abandoned the standard of objective reality in making judgments concerning the nature of Iraqi society in favor of making judgments "relevant to policy" as a neocon yuppy recently expressed the phenomenon to me. This kid was in OSD in the "great days of high adventure" when intelligence analysts’ opinions were dismissed as worthless by professors and their "familiars" from among their favorite graduate students. "Just give us the data," was the refrain in those days. We went to Ivy League colleges and our daddies have money, and so we must be smarter than you civil servants and soldiers. What was the result? The USG conceived of Iraq as a "nation" of wogs, each of whom contained in his/her breast an American yearning to be set free as part of the upward and inevitable progress of mankind toward Westernization and latte for all. The neocons, the oil men, Chalabi and behind him probably the Iranians all played a role, but as the president said yesterday, he is the "decider." Astonishingly, the Americans involved still do not seem to understand the enormity of their folly.
2 – P–s poor planning for OIC. Planning conducted under the supervision of men like General Keane, former Vice-Chief of Staff who yesterday admitted on the Newshour that the army that he had supervised threw away everything it knew about counter-insurgency after Vietnam or the lackeys who ran CENTCOM before and during OIC and who allowed Rummy to intimidate them. Pathetic.
3- Disbanding the Iraqi Army. This requires no comment at this point.
I vote for #1.