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Monday, May 12, 2003

Posted by Jake
New U.S. Administrator of Iraq Arrives to Take Over (washingtonpost.com)

I think this shake-up might be more indicative of displeasure with Jay Garner than anyone is willing to admit.

While the war itself was clearly prosecuted much better than expected, the peace is not turning out as well as I had hoped. In part, I am reluctant to come to that conclusion because so many people have rushed to judge the administration before all the facts were in (for example, all the commentators who swore we were in a quagmire).

But I think we need to realistically admit at this point that what we are doing to restore infrastructure is not really working. We need more MPs (not regular army personnel) and more resources allocated to both security and turning on the lights. Furthermore, for security reasons the civilian leaders are being restricted in their access to the Iraqi people. It would go really far convincing regular Iraqis that we mean well if they could actually gain access to those in power.

This is not an inditement of the Pentagon (the Democrats have done plenty of that). When all this is over blame will be laid where it is due. I am arguing, however, that in our desire to deflect criticism of the war itself, we may be ignoring what it is and is not working.


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