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Monday, March 17, 2008

Disband on the run: That Iraqi tragedy

Front-page New York Times piece today by, ahem, Michael Gordon on that fateful decision to disband the Iraqi Army. No one wants credit for that disaster, of course. Sounds like Paul Bremer made the decision and the president was out cutting brush, maybe, and no one else knew about it. Here is a key passage: "Colin L. Powell, the secretary of state and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was never asked for advice, and was in Paris when the May 22 meeting was held. Mr. Powell, who views the decree as a major blunder, later asked Condoleezza Rice, who was serving as Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, for an explanation. 'I talked to Rice and said, Condi, what happened?' he recalled. 'And her reaction was: I was surprised too, but it is a decision that has been made and the president is standing behind Jerry’s decision. Jerry is the guy on the ground. And there was no further debate about it.'”

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