2002 November 14 Thursday
Jim Hoagland On Bureaucratic Fights Over Iraq

Jim Hoagland argues that the outcome of bureaucratic turf fights in Washington DC that are fought for mostly internal reasons could have large long-term impacts in the future of Iraq.

Two teams of eight CIA agents each, with interpreters, were recently inserted secretly into northern Iraq to work with the rival Kurdish forces of Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talibani. Washington policymakers nominally insist on a united Iraqi opposition. But the agency is seeking to carve out Kurdistan as a separate fiefdom, free from Rumsfeldian influence.

That covert power play will have more impact on the day or the decade after than will theoretical scenarios about territorial unity and democracy in Iraq.

Walt Kelly's cartoon character Pogo used to say that we have met the enemy and he is us. George W. Bush is meeting the real U.S. government and finding out -- Pogo to the contrary -- it is not him.

Hoagland also argues (and I think quite accurately) that Bush lets Powell win on issues of style while BUsh and the hawks get their way on issues of substance. OF course, the acid test of that argument is still yet to come: the start of the invasion of Iraq.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 14 01:42 PM 


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