Love — and Hate — in Iraq

Weeks before the war with Iraq, President Bush and his cronies forecast to the world that Iraqis would open their arms and hearts to U.S. troops. Bush neglected to mention Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency warnings about the armed resistance.

The Boston Globe reported last week that in February the CIA gave a formal briefing to the National Security Council and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush concluding that a victory in the war would likely lead to “armed resistance from remnants of the Ba’ath Party and Fedayeen Saddam irregulars.” In the early days of the war, the DIA also alerted the administration that the Ba’ath party loyalists looked like they were reorganizing.

The administration didn’t balk. In fact, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Air Force General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all spoke positively in interviews and at briefings that the war would end quickly, resistance would be minimal and Iraqi citizens hospitable.

U.S. intelligence officials also told the Globe that the possibility of guerrilla warfare was spelled out on numerous occasions to the administration and included the likelihood that guerrilla attacks could possibly hamper reconstruction efforts and that “things would get worse before they got better.”

Last month, the Center for Strategic and International Studies completed a report for the Pentagon, claiming that the troops in Iraq felt unprepared for the postwar challenges. So far, since the official end of the war on May 1, more than 120 soldiers have died keeping the peace and fighting against guerrilla attacks.

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