Karl Rove's Strategic Concealment Initiative

Karl Rove has come under fire for masterminding the Bush Administration policy of hiding the discovery of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Rove, along with Bush, had a policy befitting a schoolyard bully victim, and he no doubt believed the argument was lost and didn't want to reopen old wounds. Apparently soldiers in Iraq were under strict orders not to talk about the many canisters of mustard gas and nerve gas found hidden by Saddam Hussein's regime.

The principle argument in defense of this practice is that it was intended to keep these weapons out of the hands of the insurgents; the Administration didn't want the terrorists to know about them, to allow them to use them against U.S. forces.

This argument seems weak.

First, it was believed early on that the insurgency was an extension of the Iraqi military, planned in advance by Saddam and his top brass. While it quickly turned into a general uprising, with foreign fighters thrown in, many of those involved were from Saddam's military. Saddam likely understood he would have to wage guerilla warfare to defeat America's military power.

According to the Chicago Tribune in 2003:

"I believe Saddam Hussein always intended to fight an insurgency should Iraq fall," said Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division and the man responsible for combat operations in the lower Sunni triangle, the most unstable part of Iraq. "That's why you see so many of these arms caches out there in significant numbers all over the country. They were planning to go ahead and fight an insurgency, should Iraq fall."

In an interview Wednesday at his headquarters northwest of the capital, Swannack said the swiftness of the fall of Baghdad in April probably caught Saddam and his followers by surprise and prevented them from launching their planned insurgency for a few months. That would explain why anti-U.S. violence dropped off noticeably in July and early August, but then began to trend upward."

And the Duelfer report came to the same conclusion. According to the New York Times:

"American intelligence agencies have reported since last fall that the broad outlines of the guerrilla campaign being waged against American forces in Iraq were laid down before the war by the Iraqi Intelligence Service. But the intimate picture spelled out in the report by the inspector, Charles A. Duelfer, provides an extraordinary glimpse of Mr. Hussein and his advisers on the eve of war, just three months after the Iraqi leader had finally told his aides that Iraq no longer possessed chemical weapons.

As described by Mr. Duelfer, a deep apprehension among senior Iraqis over having to face the Americans with conventional arms alone competed with a conviction, at least on the part of Mr. Hussein, that the American advance could be slowed with the help of a popular uprising, and that those Iraqis who fled would be free to fight again."

Duelfer and the Iraq Study Group should not to be taken sans sodium; it also said there were no WMD's present, something we now know was monumentally incorrect.

It should be pointed out that many of the current ISIS leaders are former Baathists, buttressing the notion that they were a part of the original insurgency.

Granted, there are those - particularly in the U.S. military - who says Hussein did NOT plan the insurgency. Of course, they also denied there were weapons of mass destruction, so I take such claims with a huge dollop of doubt. The reality is the guerilla warfare was coordinated, and there were caches of weapons stashed all over the country. Saddam himself moved for months from one hiding spot to another, a clear sign he planned for this eventuality.

So it seems strange that we needed to protect our soldiers from weapons that the insurgents had to be aware were present. Even if Saddam didn't plan it, there clearly were Iraqi military with them, and word had to leak out that those weapons were there. And they were hidden on the Iraqi home field. If we could find them surely locals who knew the country and the people involved would also..

Those weapons weren't hidden from the Iraqis. They were hidden from US.

So why didn't the insurgents use them? Because they were fighting a political war as much as a military one, and the use of those weapons would demolish the carefully crafted fiction that "Bush lied and people died". The principal strategy of the Iraqi insurgency was to outlast America, to sour Americans on the war so we would leave. A gas attack would shock many people and support for the war would rise. Not so with traditional methods of attack, which simply disgusted the citizenry with the loss of life. Many Americans were unwilling to support a war predicated on a lie, but would get behind the Bush Administration if it were shown he had been telling the truth - and that we were now facing those very weapons on the field of battle.

Bush took a beating in the court of public opinion on this issue, both at home and overseas. It would be a monumental strategic blunder to prove he was right.

Granted, some loose cannon may well have used those weapons against our troops. At the risk of sounding cold hearted so what? Dead is dead, and if our primary objective was to protect the troops we would have been better served keeping them at home. Invading a country and fighting against guerilla warriors necessitates danger for our soldiers, and we are going to lose them. Would death by a firebomb be preferable to death by gas?  A gas attack would have served our ultimate strategic interests and harmed the enemy's. Protecting the troops from this eventuality only served as a drag on public opinion, making our efforts luke warm, keeping the war smoldering. Aggressive, confident action would have ended the war faster, emboldening both our own troops and our friends in Iraq, pushing the uncommitted civilians to our cause. A guerilla war can only drag on as long as the enemy believes he can win. We gave them that hope by our political infighting at home. At the core dispute of that infighting was the claim that there were no WMD's.

I want to know who exactly suggested this policy? Did it come from the generals? If so, who?  Rove is now free to talk, and he owes us an explanation. I suspect he has none, because it was his own idea. This strategy was absolutely catastrophic; we have ISIS because of it, we have had the disaster that is the Obama Administration and all it has wrought, trillions in spending, socialized medicine, abuse of dissenters by government, open borders, etc. because of the upwelling in disgust for the GOP brand because of it. Karl Rove owes us answers.

Read more from Tim at The Aviary.

Karl Rove has come under fire for masterminding the Bush Administration policy of hiding the discovery of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Rove, along with Bush, had a policy befitting a schoolyard bully victim, and he no doubt believed the argument was lost and didn't want to reopen old wounds. Apparently soldiers in Iraq were under strict orders not to talk about the many canisters of mustard gas and nerve gas found hidden by Saddam Hussein's regime.

The principle argument in defense of this practice is that it was intended to keep these weapons out of the hands of the insurgents; the Administration didn't want the terrorists to know about them, to allow them to use them against U.S. forces.

This argument seems weak.

First, it was believed early on that the insurgency was an extension of the Iraqi military, planned in advance by Saddam and his top brass. While it quickly turned into a general uprising, with foreign fighters thrown in, many of those involved were from Saddam's military. Saddam likely understood he would have to wage guerilla warfare to defeat America's military power.

According to the Chicago Tribune in 2003:

"I believe Saddam Hussein always intended to fight an insurgency should Iraq fall," said Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division and the man responsible for combat operations in the lower Sunni triangle, the most unstable part of Iraq. "That's why you see so many of these arms caches out there in significant numbers all over the country. They were planning to go ahead and fight an insurgency, should Iraq fall."

In an interview Wednesday at his headquarters northwest of the capital, Swannack said the swiftness of the fall of Baghdad in April probably caught Saddam and his followers by surprise and prevented them from launching their planned insurgency for a few months. That would explain why anti-U.S. violence dropped off noticeably in July and early August, but then began to trend upward."

And the Duelfer report came to the same conclusion. According to the New York Times:

"American intelligence agencies have reported since last fall that the broad outlines of the guerrilla campaign being waged against American forces in Iraq were laid down before the war by the Iraqi Intelligence Service. But the intimate picture spelled out in the report by the inspector, Charles A. Duelfer, provides an extraordinary glimpse of Mr. Hussein and his advisers on the eve of war, just three months after the Iraqi leader had finally told his aides that Iraq no longer possessed chemical weapons.

As described by Mr. Duelfer, a deep apprehension among senior Iraqis over having to face the Americans with conventional arms alone competed with a conviction, at least on the part of Mr. Hussein, that the American advance could be slowed with the help of a popular uprising, and that those Iraqis who fled would be free to fight again."

Duelfer and the Iraq Study Group should not to be taken sans sodium; it also said there were no WMD's present, something we now know was monumentally incorrect.

It should be pointed out that many of the current ISIS leaders are former Baathists, buttressing the notion that they were a part of the original insurgency.

Granted, there are those - particularly in the U.S. military - who says Hussein did NOT plan the insurgency. Of course, they also denied there were weapons of mass destruction, so I take such claims with a huge dollop of doubt. The reality is the guerilla warfare was coordinated, and there were caches of weapons stashed all over the country. Saddam himself moved for months from one hiding spot to another, a clear sign he planned for this eventuality.

So it seems strange that we needed to protect our soldiers from weapons that the insurgents had to be aware were present. Even if Saddam didn't plan it, there clearly were Iraqi military with them, and word had to leak out that those weapons were there. And they were hidden on the Iraqi home field. If we could find them surely locals who knew the country and the people involved would also..

Those weapons weren't hidden from the Iraqis. They were hidden from US.

So why didn't the insurgents use them? Because they were fighting a political war as much as a military one, and the use of those weapons would demolish the carefully crafted fiction that "Bush lied and people died". The principal strategy of the Iraqi insurgency was to outlast America, to sour Americans on the war so we would leave. A gas attack would shock many people and support for the war would rise. Not so with traditional methods of attack, which simply disgusted the citizenry with the loss of life. Many Americans were unwilling to support a war predicated on a lie, but would get behind the Bush Administration if it were shown he had been telling the truth - and that we were now facing those very weapons on the field of battle.

Bush took a beating in the court of public opinion on this issue, both at home and overseas. It would be a monumental strategic blunder to prove he was right.

Granted, some loose cannon may well have used those weapons against our troops. At the risk of sounding cold hearted so what? Dead is dead, and if our primary objective was to protect the troops we would have been better served keeping them at home. Invading a country and fighting against guerilla warriors necessitates danger for our soldiers, and we are going to lose them. Would death by a firebomb be preferable to death by gas?  A gas attack would have served our ultimate strategic interests and harmed the enemy's. Protecting the troops from this eventuality only served as a drag on public opinion, making our efforts luke warm, keeping the war smoldering. Aggressive, confident action would have ended the war faster, emboldening both our own troops and our friends in Iraq, pushing the uncommitted civilians to our cause. A guerilla war can only drag on as long as the enemy believes he can win. We gave them that hope by our political infighting at home. At the core dispute of that infighting was the claim that there were no WMD's.

I want to know who exactly suggested this policy? Did it come from the generals? If so, who?  Rove is now free to talk, and he owes us an explanation. I suspect he has none, because it was his own idea. This strategy was absolutely catastrophic; we have ISIS because of it, we have had the disaster that is the Obama Administration and all it has wrought, trillions in spending, socialized medicine, abuse of dissenters by government, open borders, etc. because of the upwelling in disgust for the GOP brand because of it. Karl Rove owes us answers.

Read more from Tim at The Aviary.