“About f*cking time” Dep’t

The Administration has just set up task forces to work on issues such as security and electricity supply in Iraq. Just now. Really.

Really, you can’t make this stuff up. From today’s WaPo:

At his meeting with his war cabinet yesterday, Bush reviewed the latest developments but reported no new direction. The administration has set up seven interagency groups focused on its main priorities in Iraq. These are providing security and training Iraqi forces, building national political institutions, restoring energy and other services, tackling economic problems, establishing rule of law, enlisting international help, and improving strategic communications.

Now they’re figuring out what the priority areas are and setting up groups to work on them? Now?

Maybe if they’d been doing that back in the summer of 2003 — when Rummy was dismissing the looting as no biggie and telling his subordinates he didn’t care whether Iraqi civil servants got paid or not — instead of making “Mission Accomplished” banners for the President to stand in front of, we might have actually accomplished the mission.

Of course, that would have required giving the need to make peace work in Iraq precedence over patronage and crony capitalism in the management of the occupation. The problem with despising “reality” and those who pay attention to it is that sometimes reality bites back.

The latest pro-Bush talking point is that all opposition to the war is based on nothing but Bush-hatred, and that those who now oppose the war would support it were it being waged under a different President. That omits the possibility that, under a different President, it would have been waged more competently.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com