When three retired, four-star generals turn down a position of war "czar" to manage the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, pay attention [story April 11]. Ret. Gen. John Sheehan declined, saying, "The very fundamental issue is they don't know where the hell they're going." Remember, those who did know spoke up, and were either demoted or removed by George Bush.
Three months after Saddam Hussein was deposed, Gen. Jay Garner, a Bush appointee, told the Iraqis they could hold elections, recommending that our military retire to the borders and let the Iraqis determine their fate. He believed and said, "It's their country, their oil," but the administration believed differently.
Garner was replaced with an inept Paul Bremer, who disbanded the Iraqi army and police, squandered billions and failed to provide security or basic services for Iraqis who had suffered "shock and awe." He postponed elections while laws were written for the benefit of foreign oil interests.
When Muqtada al-Sadr wrote in his newspaper that there was no difference between Saddam and Bremer, Bremer foolishly shut down the newspaper and the insurgency took off.
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Commanders who don't know where they are going are lost, along with their war.