Dinars by Grafixar at Morguefile.com

Oops! Wrong Iraqi General

I’ve never seen “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” but I often wonder if it wasn’t foreshadowing Bush the Younger’s administration. They reel from crisis to stop-gap measure to retreat to crisis like a younger Bush the Younger might have done before he stopped thinking. … I mean drinking.

The latest hurly burly is that the US Marine retreat from Fallujah was to be followed up by the increased presence of, and eventual replacement by, the Iraqi Freedom Brigade. This is a rather hopeful sounding name in any event. And the leader was a nice, stout looking fellow named General Saleh, formerly of the Iraqi Republican Guard.

He appeared . . . wait a moment, of the Republican Guard? Weren’t those Saddam Hussein’s crack troops? So my enemy’s friend is now my . . . general?

Whatever might have been, isn’t. The New York Times reports that General Saleh is on the skids. It seems that someone didn’t vet him sufficiently and he might be too closely linked to the former regime. Throw in the reports that some members of the Iraqi Governing Council complained (which begs the question as to whether this is part of their limited sovereignty or if it’s part of the regular run-of-the-mill sovereignty they can expect some time in the future), and you’ve got a mess.

The new commander – Muhammad Latif – looks promising but what do I know, I get my news the same place everyone else does. The bigger question is why someone in the Pentagon or the White House is not spending more time getting this right the first time around. Would you sail in a boat built by these guys? The first hole is free, but the second one is what’ll really sink you!

David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.