Operation Iraqi Freedom/External links: Beginnings of a quagmire (November 2003)
The Beginnings of a Quagmire in Operation Iraqi Freedom become blatantly apparent in the headlines following the "successful conclusion" of the preemptive war waged by the U.S.-led coalition of the willing in Post-war Iraq. U.S. military activities in the Persian Gulf promises to become a major issue for the U.S. presidential election, 2004.
- This article covers the time period of November 2003.
- Also see:
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Year Two
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Beginnings of a Quagmire (January-March 2004)
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Beginnings of a Quagmire (December 2003)
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Beginnings of a Quagmire which covers the time period from December 2002 through October 2003.
- Related SourceWatch Resources
- 6 November 2003: "Number of Troops in Iraq to Expand. US Force to Grow by Up to 50,000" by Bryan Bender, Boston Globe: "The Pentagon has decided to dispatch thousands of Marines to Iraq early next year as part of a revised troop rotation that will swell the size of the US occupation by up to 50,000 troops during critical months when the United States hopes to hand off greater security responsibilities to Iraqis."
- 6 November 2003: "The Iraq Trap: Watch Out What You Ask For" by Norman Solomon, AlterNet: "The occupation of Iraq must be challenged not merely because the Bush administration miscalculated or because it's inept, but - much more importantly - because militarism and empire are reprehensible. Instead of ceding the media ground to those who demand a better occupation, we should widen the debate by giving voice to a very different vision."
- 6 November 2003: "Is Iraq Another Vietnam?" by Ivan Eland, AlterNet: "As the insurgency in Iraq gets bolder, more sophisticated and more deadly, the hawks are falling all over themselves to pooh-pooh comparisons of Iraq to the debacle in Vietnam. But the White House should be alarmed that such comparisons are even being made. Despite some differences between the conflicts, in both wars avoiding defeat means winning "hearts and minds" - of the American people."
- 6 November 2003: "Chopper Down In the New Vietnam" by Raymond McGovern, AlterNet: "While today's civilian leaders at the Defense Department hobbled through what passed for post-war planning for Iraq early this year, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that post-war Iraq would require 'something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers.' He was immediately ridiculed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Dundes Wolfowitz for having exaggerated the requirement. This evokes vivid memories of how Robert Strange McNamara and his civilian Whiz Kids dissed our professional military--and at such a high eventual price. ...Instead of drawdowns, pressure will inexorably grow from those neo-conservatives already pushing for a larger troop commitment. Having learned nothing from history, from the US intelligence community, or from the professional military, Rumsfeld's whiz kids may persuade President Bush that the best course is to send more troops to 'get the job done'--(and thereby seal his fate!) One small problem, of course, is the unwelcome fact that all too few troops are available for reinforcement. But this kind of military 'detail' would not likely affect the urgings of advisers like William Kristol and Kenneth Adelman."
- 11 November 2003: "Listening to Veterans" by Ted Sexauer, AlterNet: "The more the soldiers fear for themselves and their companions, the more harshly they treat the local people - and the more the locals resent their presence. The cycle feeds on itself, as it did in Vietnam. ... We will soon be welcoming home the first of another generation of emotionally damaged veterans. Many will have trouble relating to people who have not seen what they've seen."
- 13 November 2003: "Iraq War a Poor Vehicle for the Spread of Democracy" by William O. Beeman, Pacific News Service: "The Bush administration is trying to sell the disastrous war in Iraq to the American public as a vehicle for promoting democracy in the Middle East. This approach is misbegotten, especially given the vehicle the United States has chosen to promulgate democratic institutions - the Iraqi Governing Council."
- 13 November 2003: "'We could lose this situation'. CIA says insurgents now 50,000 strong. Crisis talks over transfer of power" by Julian Borger and Rory McCarthy, Guardian/UK.
- 13 November 2003: "CIA warns of growing Iraq resistance" by Nick Childs, BBC/UK: "A US intelligence official has confirmed to the BBC that a new report by the CIA warns that the Iraq resistance appears to be gathering strength because of a lack of clear progress by the US-led coalition."
- 13 November 2003: "Brave Face Belies Administration's Panic" by Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service: "This week's abrupt and unscheduled return here by L. Paul Bremer, Washington's proconsul in Baghdad, for top-level White House consultations, as well as the partial leak of a pessimistic Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report on public attitudes in Iraq, pushed the Bush administration off balance."
- 14 November 2003: "Ball of Confusion" by Bill Berkowitz, WorkingForChange: "Now that bombing has resumed, do you suppose President Bush will retrace his steps back to the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln and declare that the battle has been re-engaged?"
- 14 November 2003: "Won't Run, Will Bug Out" by Molly Ivins, AlterNet: "Now we're going to bug out before next year's election, Paul Bremer has been called in for an emergency confab, troops must be down to 105,000 by spring. The CIA, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, has sent a report from Baghdad saying the whole thing's going south. We're back to bombing Baghdad. Forget a constitution, we have to hand it all over to the Iraqis right away. ... I'm glad all this bug-out stuff is coming from the administration - if some liberal said it, we'd all be accused of treason." (See Treating dissent as treason for reference.)
- 17 November 2003: "Politics at war. We're in Iraq for the wrong reasons -- let's hope we don't leave prematurely for worse ones" by Cynthia Tucker, United Press Syndicate: "The White House is showing signs of panic."
- 18 November 2003: "In Defense of Bugging Out" by Christopher Scheer, AlterNet: "... the conventional wisdom has been that whether or not you thought the occupation of Iraq was a good idea, now that we're there, 'we've got to get it right.' More troops, more money, better leadership, better decisions - whatever it takes. ... Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom is dead wrong. It is based on the same confabulation of circular logic, paternalistic neocolonialism, faulty intelligence, fuzzy morality and lack of historical perspective that sucked us into the vortex of war in Indochina 40 years ago. And when it naively supposes that the mainstream hopes for this war - a defeat for tyranny and terrorism, the spread of peace and democracy - match up with the goals of those who are actually at the helm of power, it completely collapses."
- 20 November 2003: "Bush Says He'll Raise Troop Level in Iraq if Needed," Reuters: "President Bush said on Thursday he could increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, a statement that contrasts with Pentagon plans to reduce deployment ahead of the" 2004 U.S. presidential election.
- 20 November 2003: "Iraqis question US tactics" by Peter Biles, BBC/UK: "'Operation Iron Hammer, Operation Ivy Cyclone and like operations quite simply will continue as long as there are people out there that will attack the coalition and Iraqi citizens,' said spokesman Brigadier-General Mark Kimmitt."
- 21 November 2003: "The Iraq Dossier" by Geov Parrish, WorkingForChange: "...headlines each day detail yet more deaths of American soldiers, and more quotes from Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and 'senior White House officials' dismissing the increasingly bold and sophisticated attacks as the isolated, desperate last stand of a handful of Saddam 'dead-enders' and foreign terrorists."
- 26 November 2003: "Bombing and blasting while cutting and running. 'Operation Iron Hammer' aims to keep lid on resistance until after election" by Bill Berkowitz, WorkingForChange: "Now, in one of the more cynical twists to the entire cockamamie Iraq saga, the Bush Administration has decided that come June 2004, it will turn over authority in Iraq to a provisional government. No constitution will be in place; no elections will have been held; the resistance will still be resisting. After June 2004, the U.S. -- especially the military -- will remain in Iraq as 'invited guests'. ... In effect, the Bush Administration is 'cutting and running'."