Democracy Arsenal

« America's Ugly Self-Portrait | Main | O'Hanlon and the Op-Ed Pages »

March 10, 2008

More on O'Hanlongate
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Some intrepid reporting from Spencer Ackerman has turned up more detail as O'Hanlon responds to the pressure and puts up more "transparent" version.

On a scale of 0 to 1 for each category, we accord a 1 for the pensions law, and for the 2008 budget.

We then estimate half points for six categories: passing of the reformed de-Baathification law (which may or may not work out as well as intended in the actual implementation), purging extremists from the government (which is going fairly well but largely at U.S. insistence and cajoling), hiring Sons of Iraq into the security forces (again, going well, but there is some interest from the Shia-led government in limiting the number of Sons of Iraq who can join security forces as opposed to gaining other types of government jobs), passing of the amnesty law (again, the law is promising, but implementation is key), central government sharing of money with the provinces (far better than before, but still needing to progress further), and passing of the provincial powers act (recently passed, but also recently vetoed, leaving it in some limbo).

We accord the Iraqis 0 for resolving Kirkuk, for creating a permanent hydrocarbons law, and for passing a provincial election law.

This is one of the dumber things I’ve seen in a while.  Can someone please explain what any of this means?  There are certain things that just don’t translate into numerical analysis.  Everyone of these benchmarks requires at least 2-3 paragraphs just to explain the situation.  Half a sentence and a number ranking just doesn’t do it.  O’Hanlon might consider taking a look at some of Brian Katulis’s work and actually build a coherent argument


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference More on O'Hanlongate:


The US Government long ago established eight key areas as pillars of US strategy in Iraq.

The Eight Pillars
1 Defeat terrorists, neutralize insurgents
2 Transition Iraq to Security self-reliance
3 Help Iraqis forge a compact for democratic governance
4 Help Iraq build government capacity and essential services
5 Help Iraq strengthen the economy
6 Help Iraq strengthen the rule of law
7 Increase international support for Iraq
8 Strengthen public understanding of coalition efforts and public isolation of the insurgents

Two military pillars, one economic, three political, one diplomatic and one propaganda

Security in Iraq (they say) is no longer a problem. We all know that the "terrorists" have been virtually defeated due to the remarkable efforts of General Petraeus. SecDef Gate reported in January that "Over the past year, Iraqi security forces have grown in capability, confidence and size, expanding by more than a hundred thousand." There are now eleven Iraqi Army Divisions in the field and the IA is in full charge of most Iraqi Provinces. (So why are US force levels being maintained?)

How are we doing in the political and diplomatic spheres? According to the most recent US State Department Iraq Weekly Status Report on the Eight Pillars, under "political", is the following: Charges against Ministry of Health Officials Dropped, U.S. Accepting More Iraqi Refugees, Iraqis Begin Processing Amnesty Applications and Execution of Chemical Ali Approved.

Under diplomatic: Talabani to Visit Turkey, Proposal to Increase European Union Involvement in Iraq, Iranian President's Iraq Visit Ends with Seven MoUs and $1 Billion Loan, and BBC Prepares to Launch New Arabic-language News Channel.

This useless information was obviously taken from wire service news reports. This inability of the US government to report to the American public what's actually going on in Iraq, specifically progress on the Eight Pillars, as advertised, leaves the door wide open for others to come up with their own cockamamie appraisals.

I am so with you,rolex watch
luxury watchStrengthen public understanding of coalition efforts and public isolation of the insurgents

It seems that whenever the lawmakers make these laws, they make sure it is so ambiguous that everything can be turned against the alleged perpetrators.I don't know anything about politics,everything seems so complicated.I prefer to read and cheer for people like Aaron DelSignore,who are dedicated to helping those in need and defending civil rights.

The Iraqi Prime Minister has signed the National Safety Law which will allow his government to impose martial law in any area of Iraq where there is a "threat to the lives of its citizens because of some people's permanent violent campaign to prevent the creation of a government that represents all Iraqis".The measures permitted include curfews, wide powers of search,criminal background check and arrest, the banning of meetings, protests and political groupings, interception of letters and phone conversations and restrictions on the movement of foreigners.Although needed,their laws sometimes seem a little too harsh.

Talking with a couple of Louisiana personal injury attorneys I've came to see Iraq and the situation there from an other perspective.In Islam,elections, constitutions, republics are just cover-ups or smokescreens until they have a global Caliphate and can impose Sharia law worldwide.To the consternation of Islamic conservatives,Saddam's government gave women freedom and offered them high-level government and industry jobs. Saddam also created a Western-style legal system, making Iraq the only country in the Persian Gulf region not ruled according to traditional Islamic law (Sharia). Saddam abolished the Sharia courts, except for personal injury claims.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

This weblog only allows comments from registered users. To comment, please Sign In.

Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use