From todays Nelson Report


From today’s Nelson Report

Gloom…has been building over Iraq. Increasingly, the <$NoAd$>Wise Heads are forecasting disaster. Wise Heads say they see no realistic plan, hear no serious concept to get ahead of the situation. Money, training, jobs…all lagging, all reinforce downward spiral highlighted by sickening violence. There seems to be no real “if”, just when, and how badly it will hurt U.S. interests. Define “disaster”? Consensus prediction: if Bush insists on June 30/July 1 turnover, a rapid descent into civil war. May happen anyway, if the young al-Sadr faction really breaks off from its parents. CSIS Anthony Cordesman’s latest blast at Administration ineptitude says in public what Senior Observers say in private…the situation may still be salvaged, but then you have to factor in Sharon’s increasing desperation, and the regional impact.

Note: “quagmire”…when you are in a bad situation you created yourself, and would quit in a minute if you could, but which if you did, it would make everything else worse. So you can’t…and it gets worse anyway. (Apologies to Bierce…)

1. Comes word from Very Senior Foreign Policy Observers that the situation now unfolding in Iraq is “a qualitative change of very profound significance. The chances of something like a general breakdown after the July 1 transfer is accelerating.” The Observation continues: “Even if [dissident cleric Muqtada] al-Sadr is arrested, the whole question is whether the Shi’ia majority is comfortable with continued U.S. occupation.” The suggested answer seems to be “no”.

— the Observer goes on to warn that, on the basis of personal soundings within the Administration, the conviction arises that the White House has “no concept of how to manage the crisis, no plan in place likely to work.” This Observer last week relayed a concern that President Bush was not being given accurate reports from Iraq, but today, one assumes that even a President who prides himself on not reading the newspapers now grasps that things are not necessarily proceeding to our advantage, to borrow an historic phrase.

More to follow …