PR, Good and Bad

This is a nice story: a couple in Baghdad named their baby “George Bush” “to show their appreciation for U.S. efforts to force Saddam Hussein out of power.”
On the other hand, we have this: “U.S. Miscalculated Security for Iraq.” That’s the headline not in the New York Times, but in the Washington Times. And the story appears to be based not on leaks by Democratic moles buried in the bureaucracy, but on statements by top Administration spokesmen:
“Top Bush administration officials grudgingly acknowledge that their post-Saddam Hussein plan for rebuilding Iraq has been substantially flawed on the security front. Some defense officials said privately in interviews that the plan in place for security after Baghdad’s fall has been an utter failure. They said it failed to predict any significant resistance from Saddam loyalists, much less the deadly combination of Ba’athist holdouts and foreign terrorists preying daily on American troops.
“‘Every briefing on postwar Iraq I attended never mentioned any of this,’ said a civilian policy adviser.”
Ouch. The Administration always seems to think that it will get points for candor. It won’t. The administation has now stipulated that it bungled post-war Iraq, and that its policy is a failure. Whether that is true or not is, in my opinion, highly debatable. I don’t think things in Iraq are going too badly, and I think the casualties there are amazingly low. But for the administration to announce publicly that it never occurred to them that there could be post-war resistance to an American occupation is ridiculous.


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