Tommy Franks Criticizes Bush’s Handling of Iraq

From Holden:

Gen. Franks is a staunch Bush suppository supporter, but he can still find room for criticism in the way the preznit prosecuted his War on Iraq:

The United States should have quickly reformed the Iraqi army after most of its soldiers walked off the battlefield and got them “working for us,” retired Gen. Tommy Franks said Tuesday.


“What we could have done better, should have done better, what I would have liked to have seen done better, once they were gone, is hire them back,” the former Army general said before making his first Florida campaign appearance for President Bush.

Neither Bush nor Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld should be blamed because Congress never appropriated money for that purpose and no other country offered to pay for it, Franks said.

“I fault bureaucratic behavior in my own country and in the international community,” he said.

Franks blames Congress for the administration’s decision to disband the Iraqi army because they never appropriated money to keep the army intact? Are you kidding me? Hell, the Bushites prepared for the invasion of Iraq with money appropriated for operations in Afghanistan, couldn’t they have done the same for the Iraqi army?

Anyway, it was Bush who decided to disband the army, not Congress.

Administration officials said today that this decision was made on the ground in Iraq, rather than in Washington. Before the war, the plan was to get rid of Iraqi Army officers but use regular troops for security and reconstruction after Saddam’s ouster. But Bremer “flipped that around,” said a White House official. He added that Bremer and his deputy, Walt Slocombe, made the decision by themselves.

But Bremer and Garner have previously indicated the decision was made in Washington. According to one official who attended a meeting that Bremer had with his staff upon his arrival in Baghdad in mid-May of 2003, Bremer was warned he would cause chaos by demobilizing the army. The CIA station chief told him, “That’s another 350,000 Iraqis you’re pissing off, and they’ve got guns.” According to one source who was at the meeting, Garner then asked if they could discuss the matter further in a smaller meeting. Garner then said: “Before you announce this thing let’s do all the pros and cons of this, because we are going to have a hell of a lot of problems with it. There are a hell of a lot more cons than there are pros. Let’s line them all up then get on the phone to [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld.” Bremer replied: “I don’t have any choice. I have to do this.” Garner then protested further, but Bremer cut him off. “The president told me that de-Baathification comes before the immediate needs of the Iraqi people.”