Bush Aide Fires Back at Critics On Justification for War in Iraq
It is certainly true, as NSC advisor Hadley argues, that there was near consensus in Washington about Saddam Hussein's desire to develop WMD. However, what Hadley's rejoinder ignores that is not only that the Bushies exaggerated the level of the threat posed by Iraq, but they failed utterly to understand the dynamics of Iraqi politics. Among there many errors of judgment were the following:
-Poor reading the Shi'i community, which was thought to be highly secular in orientation. The role of senior clerics such as Ayatollah Sistani was completely ignored. Moreover, America's willingness to standby while Saddam brutally suppressed the 1991 uprising (which was encouraged by George Bush, Sr.) severely tempered Shi'i enthusiasm for American projects in Iraq.
-Absence of an effective plan to protect and restore Iraqi public services.
-Failure to anticipate effective resistance to a U.S. occupation, which was predicted in assessments provided by the CIA according to press reports.
And the list goes on....