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[casi] Who's Losing Iraq?

1) Who's Losing Iraq?

2) Condi's Phony History
Sorry, Dr. Rice, postwar Germany was nothing like Iraq.


August 31, 2003

Who's Losing Iraq?


Karl Rove has got to be nervous.

The man who last year advised Republican candidates to "focus on war" is
finding out that the Bush doctrine of pre-emption cannot pre-empt anarchy.

Now, General Rove will have to watch Democratic candidates focus on war.

We're getting into very volatile territory in the Middle East.

As Paul Bremer admitted last week, the cost of the Iraq adventure is going
to be spectacular: $2 billion for electrical demands and $16 billion to
deliver clean water.

We're losing one or two American soldiers every day. Saddam and Osama are
still lurking and scheming - the "darkness which may be felt."

After a car bomb exploded outside a Najaf mosque on Friday, killing scores
of people, including the most prominent pro-American Shiite cleric, we may
have to interject our troops into an internecine Shiite dispute - which
Saddam's Baathist guerrillas are no doubt stoking.

With Iraqis in Najaf screaming, "There is no order! There is no government!
We'd rather have Saddam than this!," we had one more ominous illustration
that the Bush team is out of its depth and divided against itself.

You can't conduct a great historical experiment in a petty and bickering
frame of mind. The agencies of the Bush administration are behaving like
high school cliques. The policy in Iraq is paralyzed almost to the point of
nonexistence, stalled by spats between the internationalists and
unilateralists, with the national security director, Condoleezza Rice,
abnegating her job as policy referee.

The State Department will have to stop sulking and being in denial about the
Pentagon running the show in Iraq. And the Pentagon will have to stop being
dogmatic, clinging to the quixotic notion that it only wants to succeed with
its streamlined force and its trompe l'oeil coalition. Rummy has to accept
the magnitude of the task and give up running the Department of Defense the
way a misanthropic accountant would.

Big deeds need big spirits. You can't have a Marshall Plan and a tax cut at
the same time.

It has also now become radiantly clear that we have to drag Dick Cheney out
of the dark and smog. Less Hobbes, more Locke.

So far, American foreign policy has been guided by the vice president's
gloomy theories that fear and force are the best motivators in the world,
that war is man's natural state and that the last great superpower has
sovereign authority to do as it pleases without much consultation with
subjects or other nations.

We can now see the disturbing results of all the decisions Mr. Cheney made
in secret meetings.

The General Accounting Office issued a report last week noting that the vice
president shaped our energy policy with clandestine advice from "petroleum,
coal, nuclear, natural gas, electricity industry representatives and

Favoritism to energy pals led to last week's insane decision to gut part of
the Clean Air Act and allow power plants, refineries and other industrial
sites to belch pollutants.

Another Bush-Cheney energy crony is Anthony Alexander of Ohio's FirstEnergy
Corporation, which helped trigger the blackout after failing to upgrade its
transmission system properly since deregulation. He was a Bush Pioneer,
having raised at least $100,000 for the campaign.

This logrolling attitude has led to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
allowing Halliburton - which made Mr. Cheney a rich man with $20 million
worth of cashed-in stock - to get no-bid contracts in Iraq totaling $1.7
billion, and that's just a start.

All this, and high gas prices, too?

When he wasn't meeting secretly with energy lobbyists, Mr. Cheney was
meeting secretly with Iraqi exiles. The Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad
Chalabi and other defectors conned Mr. Cheney, Rummy and the na´ve Wolfowitz
of Arabia by playing up the danger of Saddam's W.M.D.'s and playing down the
prospect of Iraqi resistance to a U.S. invasion.

According to The Los Angeles Times, U.S. and allied intelligence agencies
are investigating to see if they were duped by Iraqi defectors giving bogus
information to mislead the West before the war.

Some intelligence officials "now fear that key portions of the prewar
information may have been flawed," the story said. "The issue raises fresh
doubts as to whether illicit weapons will be found in Iraq."

Karl Rove has got to be nervous.


Condi's Phony History
Sorry, Dr. Rice, postwar Germany was nothing like Iraq.
By Daniel Benjamin
Posted Friday, August 29, 2003, at 4:04 PM PT

As American post-conflict combat deaths in Iraq overtook the wartime number,
the administration counseled patience. "The war on terror is a test of our
strength. It is a test of our perseverance, our patience, and our will,"
President Bush told an American Legion convention.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice embellished the message with what
former White House speechwriters immediately recognize as a
greatest-generation pander. "There is an understandable tendency to look
back on America's experience in postwar Germany and see only the successes,"
she told the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio, Texas, on Aug. 25.
"But as some of you here today surely remember, the road we traveled was
very difficult. 1945 through 1947 was an especially challenging period.
Germany was not immediately stable or prosperous. SS officers-called
'werewolves'-engaged in sabotage and attacked both coalition forces and
those locals cooperating with them-much like today's Baathist and Fedayeen

Speaking to the same group on the same day, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld noted,

  One group of those dead-enders was known as "werewolves." They and other
Nazi regime remnants targeted Allied soldiers, and they targeted Germans who
cooperated with the Allied forces. Mayors were assassinated including the
American-appointed mayor of Aachen, the first major German city to be
liberated. Children as young as 10 were used as snipers, radio broadcasts,
and leaflets warned Germans not to collaborate with the Allies. They plotted
sabotage of factories, power plants, rail lines. They blew up police
stations and government buildings, and they destroyed stocks of art and
antiques that were stored by the Berlin Museum. Does this sound familiar?

Well, no, it doesn't. The Rice-Rumsfeld depiction of the Allied occupation
of Germany is a farrago of fiction and a few meager facts.

Werwolf tales have been a favorite of schlock novels, but the reality bore
no resemblance to Iraq today. As Antony Beevor observes in The Fall of
Berlin 1945, the Nazis began creating Werwolf as a resistance organization
in September 1944. "In theory, the training programmes covered sabotage
using tins of Heinz oxtail soup packed with plastic explosive and detonated
with captured British time pencils," Beevor writes. ". Werwolf recruits were
taught to kill sentries with a slip-knotted garrotte about a metre long or a
Walther pistol with silencer. ."

In practice, Werwolf amounted to next to nothing. The mayor of Aachen was
assassinated on March 25, 1945, on Himmler's orders. This was not a nice
thing to do, but it happened before the May 7 Nazi surrender at Reims. It's
hardly surprising that Berlin sought to undermine the American occupation
before the war was over. And as the U.S. Army's official history, The U.S.
Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946, points out, the killing was
"probably the Werwolf's most sensational achievement."

Indeed, the organization merits but two passing mentions in Occupation of
Germany, which dwells far more on how docile the Germans were once the
Americans rolled in-and fraternization between former enemies was a bigger
problem for the military than confrontation. Although Gen. Eisenhower had
been worrying about guerrilla warfare as early as August 1944, little
materialized. There was no major campaign of sabotage. There was no
destruction of water mains or energy plants worth noting. In fact, the far
greater problem for the occupying forces was the misbehavior of desperate
displaced persons, who accounted for much of the crime in the American zone.

The Army history records that while there were the occasional
anti-occupation leaflets and graffiti, the GIs had reason to feel safe. When
an officer in Hesse was asked to investigate rumors that troops were being
attacked and castrated, he reported back that there had not been a single
attack against an American soldier in four months of occupation. As the
distinguished German historian Golo Mann summed it up in The History of
Germany Since 1789, "The [Germans'] readiness to work with the victors, to
carry out their orders, to accept their advice and their help was genuine;
of the resistance which the Allies had expected in the way of 'werewolf'
units and nocturnal guerrilla activities, there was no sign. ."

Werwolf itself was filled not so much by fearsome SS officers but teenagers
too young for the front. Beevor writes:

  In the west, the Allies found that Werwolf was a fiasco. Bunkers prepared
for Werwolf operations had supplies "for 10-15 days only" and the fanaticism
of the Hitler Youth members they captured had entirely disappeared. They
were "no more than frightened, unhappy youths." Few resorted to the suicide
pills which they had been given "to escape the strain of interrogation and,
above all, the inducement to commit treason." Many, when sent off by their
controllers to prepare terrorist acts, had sneaked home.

That's not quite the same as the Rumsfeld version, which claimed that "Today
the Nazi dead-enders are largely forgotten, cast to the sidelines of history
because they comprised a failed resistance and managed to kill our Allied
forces in a war that saw millions fight and die."

It's hard to understand exactly what Rumsfeld was saying, but if he meant
that the Nazi resisters killed Americans after the surrender, this would be
news. According to America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq,
a new study by former Ambassador James Dobbins, who had a lead role in the
Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo reconstruction efforts, and a team of
RAND Corporation researchers, the total number of post-conflict American
combat casualties in Germany-and Japan, Haiti, and the two Balkan cases-was

So, how did this fanciful version of the American experience in postwar
Germany get into the remarks of a Princeton graduate and former trustee of
Stanford's Hoover Institute (Rumsfeld) and the former provost of Stanford
and co-author of an acclaimed book on German unification (Rice)? Perhaps the
British have some intelligence on the matter that still has not been made
public. Of course, as the president himself has noted, there is a lot of
revisionist history going around.

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