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17 June 2006


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Green Zone Cafe

Iraq exposes a fundamental decadence in America: our elites no longer make tough decisions, no longer care about anything more than their own careers, no longer engage their intellects in problem-solving, no longer "can-do."

One time in the Green Zone, I was told by a USAID bureaucrat that if I made a specific policy proposal, I would "become a target."

I replied that the soldiers rolling out the gate every day were always real targets, and that they risked their lives to protect and support us, and that if we did nothing, it's all a waste. I said I would be happy to be a mere bureaucratic "target" to move a solution to the problem forward. It was very frustrating to see issues and problems fester for months without resolution because nobody wanted to make a decision and become a "target."

As one reserve officer on the MNFI staff said to me: "There's no seriousness."

W. Patrick Lang


Yes. No seriousness. Just a lot of screwing around with studies, acronyms and systems. pl

Green Zone Cafe


I did a lot of PowerPoint presentations, work plans, scopes of work and other "plans." Always reprogramming. Of course getting approval to actually execute and follow through to completion was almost impossible (this is post-CPA; the CPA was the other extreme, you could do anything you wanted, including steal money, unfortunately).

Iraqis who have worked with us must have the impression that we are bullshit artists that are always promising, never delivering. I feel a little shame about the things I said the US would be doing, that never got done.

It would be comic if it wasn't so tragic.


Green Zone Cafe is too easy on himself, if all he feels now is "a little shame".

There are those who had the Bushites sized up going into this disaster. Millions around the world, in fact.

Pejoratives are cheap currency. Suffice to say, those who still support the Bushites GOP are no less than American fascists.



Body armor is important, but good leadership will save more soldiers' lives than good body armor. In some cases, soldiers have no choice but to bust into a room where they can be fired on by six ememy soldiers. A good leader's role is to minimize the number of times that has to happen.

When military leaders give up the initiative to the enemy, our soldiers become targets instead of effective combat soldiers.

There is something radically wrong with a military strategy that is almost entirely dependent on body armor and armored vehicles to prevent combat deaths.

W. Patrick Lang


Thanks for telling me. I thought leadership was unimportant. pl



I was trying to keep my posting short. I am very frustrated that many of the Bush administration's critics, particularly timid politicians, tend to focus on the questions of body and vehicle armor instead of challenging fundamental military strategy. John Murtha seems to be the only Congressman to demand that the administration overhaul its Iraq strategy.

As you have pointed out many times before, war is a zero sum game. Either you fight it or you don't.

For a little while, there seemed to be some pressure on the administration. Now it has faded away, and Bush blunders on. We need change now. How can it happen?

There is far more informed debate on your blog than in the Washington Post and New York Times put together.



On a different note...but still staying within the subject of blame/combat...any comment on this?


W. Patrick Lang


Hagee is trying to do the right thing as best he understands it. Ledeen is what he is... pl

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