Monday, October 25, 2004

Feeling Safer

...while allowing the weapons to roam free. When the United States secured Baghdad, the priorities of the occupying force have become legendary. While looters cleaned out other government offices, museums, shops, and pretty much took hold of anything not bolted down, the Iraqi Oil Ministry was heavily guarded by American troops, sending just the right signal to cynical Arabs certain the US had invaded to seize the second-largest oil reserve on the planet.

Meanwhile, while a whole lot of paperwork was well protected, the occupying force allowed 380 tons of powerful explosives to vanish just after the invasion. Was anyone else wondering where all the explosives used by the insurgency were coming from? I admit, I had assumed that guerilla chemists were cooking up batches of explosives out of consumer products, but a little more attention to the magnitude of the attacks should have clued me in to the idea that they had a better source.

So, here we have, arguably, some real live weapons of, at least, impressive destructive power, at a site monitoredby the IAEA for years -- got that? Years! -- before the invasion , internationally known to be the repository of high-grade explosives, and the bright lights over at the Pentagon and this criminally negligent adminstration fail to secure them as a first priority, post-invasion.
The International Atomic Energy Agency publicly warned about the danger of these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United States officials about the need to keep the explosives secured, European diplomats said in interviews last week. Administration officials say they cannot explain why the explosives were not safeguarded, beyond the fact that the occupation force was overwhelmed by the amount of munitions they found throughout the country.
American citizens feel safer with this bungling crew of incompetents? How many Iraqis and coalition soldiers have already been killed with this stuff? How many more will die because this adminstration couldn't be bothered to pay attention to anything other than future oil profits for its corrupting constituency?

Meanwhile Condi Rice -- remember her, National Security Adviser? -- is out on the stump in battleground states peddling the Bush Administration's snake oil. Hey, chaotic Iraq to Ms. Rice: Get your ass back to DC and try doing your job. Or, wait, better idea, resign and let a grown-up take over.


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