Lt. Col. Nate "Heavy Dose of Fear and Violence" Sassaman is back in the news this week. His men allegedly forced some Iraqi curfew violators to jump off a bridge into the Tigris (wearing flex cuffs, apparently), and one of the Iraqis allegedly never came out of the water. Oh yeah, and then Sassaman allegedly covered it up.

But otherwise, things are going well over in Iraq. Looks we'll have a nice orderly transition of power to the new government (Ahmed Chalabi) come June, and then we can all pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Sure, there are a few problem regions and an "outlaw cleric" to be dealt with, but overall, the Bush team--and especially the "brain" Dick Cheney--has done a superlative job on this thing.

- tom moody 4-06-2004 7:07 pm

And as long as Chalabi is going to be in power, it really seems silly not to make Wolfowitz ambassador to Iraq.
- jim 4-06-2004 7:45 pm

I know I shouldn't single out Cheney for praise. There are so many smart men behind this operation. Kudos to Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld and whoever else I'm forgetting for their brilliant, brilliant work in stabilizing the country and preparing it for a calm handover.

- tom moody 4-07-2004 6:43 am

It has just now occurred to me that maybe the current government isn't handling the situation in Iraq with the utmost of sensitivity. Tom, I really think you should re-think your stance on this to encompass the possibility that the Bush government may have (inadvertently of course) made some tactical errors. You really need to be more open minded.
- joester 4-07-2004 8:02 am

I know, I know. I want to say that shutting down al-Sadr's newspaper and starting riots which escalated into open warfare, just because Paul Bremer was personally piqued by some of the paper's attacks on him, was kind of dumb, but I have faith that because these guys are so smart, it's part of a clever plan.

As for the issue of whether the Iraqis ordered to jump off the bridge were wearing flex cuffs when they hit the water (I just added a mention of this), the article isn't exactly crystal clear. The only reference to it is here:

Sassaman's "lapse in judgment," Rudesheim said, was in not telling investigators that it was true the Iraqis had been forced into the river. "What was being said initially was that they were dropped off, and the flex cuffs cut off them, and that was all there was to it. . . . They left that piece out, that they had actually been in the water."

- tom moody 4-07-2004 9:30 am

Well, I know when I use the phrase "dropped off" in a sentence, the auxilliary phrase "the bridge" is usually just understood. I mean he's a busy man, he's got to spell everything out for you?
- jim 4-07-2004 6:54 pm

Perhaps, prior to the invasion, the White House just had some vague impressions of whirling Dervishes gleaned from the World Book Encyclopedia. It may explain a few miscalculations in regards to Shiite and Sunni populations. Whirling Dervishes! So picturesque, so colourful! The music! It's great!! It puts me in a great mood just thinking about it!
- LM (guest) 4-08-2004 12:05 am

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