Thursday, December 14, 2006


In Iraq, the Bush administration is doing what it does so often: rewarding people who failed.

... Gen. Raymond Odierno, who assumed command of multinational forces in Iraq on Thursday, is known throughout the Army as a kick-in-the-doors guy. Odierno, who once commanded the 4th Infantry Division in Anbar province, was credited for helping to capture Saddam Hussein in late 2003. But he was also savagely criticized by Washington Post's Pentagon correspondent, Tom Ricks, in his recent best-selling book "Fiasco," for helping to generate the Sunni insurgency. Under Odierno, Ricks wrote, the "4th ID's indiscriminate detention of Iraqis filled Abu Ghraib prison, swamped the U.S. interrogation system and overwhelmed the U.S. soldiers guarding the prison." Odierno's 4th ID was criticized for the same tactics in an internal Army investigation in December 2003....

Another fast-rising general whose tactics may figure large in Iraq, Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman, ... last directed Operation Forward Together, the Army's failed attempt to pacify Baghdad by redeploying about 8,000 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqi soldiers to the capital.... after weeks of spouting statistics about lowered murder rates, the multinational forces spoksman, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, conceded that the operation "has not met our overall expectations of sustaining a reduction in the levels of violence." ...

I'm sure the president thinks they've done a heckuva job.

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