Two men are missing in action: Paul Bremer. And a "senior White House official."
Think about it. A year after the conquest of Iraq, Baghdad is so dangerous that the presence of a "senior White House official" in Baghdad can’t be announced in advance because of "security concerns." Pathetic. He is the "man who isn’t there."
But what about the "man who wasn’t there?" Paul Bremer. Bremer has not been in Iraq since May 2003. Mercifully, his last days of nonexistence are approaching.
Nine months ago, I began to criticize Bremer’s incompetence. The White House eventually responded by smearing Internet journalists (yours truly) and noting that Bremer and President Bush lifted weights together (Washington Post).
My criticisms have been relentless. But so has Bremer’s incompetence. The British have a slang term for a jerk, a "wally." Bremer is a world-class wally.
This week all of Bremer’s incompetence has come home to roost. Ka-chung. Ka-chung. Ka-chung.
Point One: imagine, if you will, that a year after "victory" over Saddam, and three months after Saddam’s capture, Iraq is so dangerous that an American official has to travel to Baghdad with a paper sack over his head. Baghdad is so dangerous no one is safe. How can a deteriorating security situation-Baghdad was safe for Americans a year ago-be deemed "mission accomplished?" It can’t. Calling John Kerry.
Point Two: Baghdad’s "Green Zone," which I labeled the "Emerald City" last June, has become one big fat target for terrorism. Bremer may be the most incompetent diplomat in American history, but he takes second place to no one when it comes to ego. Instead of quickly moving the American mission out of Saddam’s "palaces," Bremer firmly planted his feet (in concrete?) in the Green Zone. Bremer plans to enshrine the U.S. mission in the "Green Zone," and in the "palaces," indefinitely. (More commentary on this diplomatic disaster-in-the-making in a couple of days)
Point Three: Bremer claims he is now "sealing" the border with Iran. Fat chance. Ever try sealing a sieve? Iranian pilgrims flock to Iraq, to Najaf and Karbala, which is why these two Shiite holy cities have become targets of repeated bombings.
I did exclusive research in Najaf last October, shortly after the assassination of a senior Iraqi ayatollah. I identified Iran as the source of the August bomb that killed Ayatollah Al-Hakim. American "intelligence" still hasn’t figured it out.
On and on it goes. Bremer has presided over the most incompetent diplomatic mission in history.
Point Four: Bremer again. Why would the White House need to send some dweeb from Washington to tell Iraqis what to do, when Bremer has been there since last May (when he wasn’t on vacation in Vermont). Because Bremer "wasn’t there." He gets no respect. And the little respect he gets is rapidly evaporating as June 30th approaches.
Point Five: the knockout for Bushies. Bremer’s incompetence has forced the Bush Administration to take its most bitter pill yet in Iraq: after making a joke of the U.N., Bush is now reduced to begging the U.N. to take over when we leave. Is it any wonder that Iraqis have contempt and condescension for Bremer and Bush (pump a little more iron, boys)? It’s downright embarrassing what Bremer has done. He has squandered the American Empire in Iraq in barely ten months. Worse, he has made a laughingstock of Bush and Cheney.
If history confirms anything, it proves that once Bush realizes he has become a laughingstock-and he has in Iraq and the Middle East-Bremer’s days are numbered. Instead of pumping iron together, Bremer is going to be pushed overboard. And fast. Being ridiculed is something Bush has a low tolerance for. And Bremer’s behavior is ridiculous. He has made a joke of American power, he has squandered the American blood that was spilled. (sound effect: Democratic dogs barking in the background)
Look for Bremer to step aside soon, saying his "mission has been accomplished." Now where have I heard that before?