President Bush is in Iraq right now, his fourth visit there. It's a farewell to the site of the signature event of his presidency -- the illegal, unnecessary and botched invasion and occupation of that country. Bush may actually be holding onto the idea that history will exonerate his decision; if so, he is delusional.
A government report, which hasn't been released yet but has been leaked, condemns the entire Iraq rebuilding effort as "crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners" and then "molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence, and gaps in knowledge," according to today's Globe.
The reports is called "Hard Lessons" and was put together by the federal Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. Among other incompetence and dishonesty, the report quotes no less than Colin Powell, backed up by two other high-ranking sources, saying that the reported numbers of Iraqi troops trained by US forces were made up. The Pentagon just kept increasing the amount each week.
Also in the news recently is the indictment of five Blackwater guards, employed by the US government to do security work in Iraq. They are charged with firing their machine guns and grenade launchers into a Baghdad crowd in September of 2007 and killing 17 civilians. The use of private security forces is an underreported story in this conflict. These guys were totally out of control.
One of the biggest factors that I think motivated Americans on Nov. 4 was the incompetence of the current administration. At least, the citizenry collectively said, we want people in charge who know what they are doing. Nowhere has the lack of foresight, ideological blindness, intellectual cowardice and outright stupidity of George W. Bush and his minions been more apparent and costly than in Iraq.