Saturday, September 16, 2006

Faith-Based Reconstruction

From a longer WaPo piece:
After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003, the opportunity to participate in the U.S.-led effort to reconstruct Iraq attracted all manner of Americans -- restless professionals, Arabic-speaking academics, development specialists and war-zone adventurers. But before they could go to Baghdad, they had to get past Jim O'Beirne's office in the Pentagon.

To pass muster with O'Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn't need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.

O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade.

One former CPA employee who had an office near O'Beirne's wrote an e-mail to a friend describing the recruitment process: "I watched résumés of immensely talented individuals who had sought out CPA to help the country thrown in the trash because their adherence to 'the President's vision for Iraq' (a frequently heard phrase at CPA) was 'uncertain.' I saw senior civil servants from agencies like Treasury, Energy . . . and Commerce denied advisory positions in Baghdad that were instead handed to prominent RNC [Republican National Committee] contributors."

As more and more of O'Beirne's hires arrived in the Green Zone, the CPA's headquarters in Saddam Hussein's marble-walled former Republican Palace felt like a campaign war room. Bumper stickers and mouse pads praising President Bush were standard desk decorations. Other than military uniforms and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" garb, "Bush-Cheney 2004" T-shirts were among the most common pieces of clothing.

"I'm not here for the Iraqis," one worker noted to a reporter over lunch. "I'm here for George Bush."
Read the rest here. I suspect that when real investigative and subpoena power returns to Washington, we'll get a better look behind the curtain. Of course, literally anything will be said or done to prevent that power from changing hands in November. Vigilance....


Blogger Ned said...

Also, this is apparently an excerpt from a new book out on Tuesday, Imperial Life in the Emerald City. A must-read at this rate.

9/16/2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous um said...

When is the cognitive dissonance going to reach critical mass?

9/16/2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger Ned said...

When the successful candidate for the GOP nomination in 2008 does so by specifically campaigning against Bush's record in Iraq. (I'm convinced this is going to happen if the GOP has any chance of returning to the White House.)

9/16/2006 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the article - KS.

9/16/2006 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Heckuva job Beirney"

9/16/2006 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Is this Kate O'Beirne's husband by any chance?

And Ned, the GOP may expunge Bush and his cabinet to their electoral advantage in '08, but in my view the only way the U.S. wil recover international credibility is through impeachment and prompt extradition to The Hague.

9/16/2006 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is no way they will lose november...the only is thing is how to make the win appear believable...

no burning required here...

9/16/2006 10:52 PM  
Blogger reality-based educator said...

C.R., that's IF real investigative and subpoena power returns to Washington. After the $60 million dollar negative ad dump, the "vaunted" GOTV effort, and the usual Diebold shenanagins, we could be looking at another two years of Republican power and no return to oversight and accountability.

9/16/2006 10:57 PM  
Blogger Azael said...

Jonah is saying that the democrats should take over in November.

Guess the stink of failure is getting thick enough that it penetrates beyond the donuts in the NRO break room.

9/16/2006 11:51 PM  
Blogger Ned said...

Is this Kate O'Beirne's husband by any chance?

The very same, as the article mentions. It's well worth a full read. Ever since it went up on the Post site I've been scouring NRO for even a twitch of a response -- so far nothing, but they do tend to be quiet on weekends.

And Ned, the GOP may expunge Bush and his cabinet to their electoral advantage in '08, but in my view the only way the U.S. wil recover international credibility is through impeachment and prompt extradition to The Hague. sure about even the slight feasibility of that last bit?

9/17/2006 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

What then? Rehab?

9/17/2006 3:34 AM  
Blogger Ned said...

All I'd be happy to see is him so discredited and rejected that he hauls down some of the most idiotic policies and stances he's argued for with him, on a variety of fronts. That's also all I'd expect to see anyway. Having him become some sort of martyr in the eyes of starry-eyed followers wouldn't help.

9/17/2006 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bet bush does not step down before he spills blood on home soil...that would make his legacy complete...

'the revolution was effected before the war. the revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people...the radical change in principles, opinions, sentiment and affections of the people was the real american revolution.'[John Adams]

9/17/2006 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From an earlier WaPo article at

"Ledeen's journey to Baghdad began two weeks earlier when she received an e-mail out of the blue from the Pentagon's White House liaison office. The Sept. 16 message informed her that the occupation government in Iraq needed employees to prepare for an international conference.... For months they [Ledeen and others who received the same e-mail] wondered what they had in common, how their names had come to the attention of the Pentagon, until one day they figured it out: They had all posted their resumes at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank."

Friggin' loonies. The people who organized the CPA shouldn't have been allowed to establish a lemonade stand, let alone an occupation government.

9/17/2006 5:10 PM  
Anonymous KevinNYC said...

There were also stories about Douglas Feith and his band of jokers being in on who got chosen at the CPA. Suppossedly anyone who spoke Arabic got turned down.

The two biggest problems we had in Iraq were lack of troops and too few translators.

This is nothing short of criminal and deserves to be a national scandal.

9/17/2006 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you're really naughty, you get sent to run the world bank and un...

9/19/2006 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9/21/2006 12:36 PM  
Blogger Personal Development said...

A typical dictionary definition of hypnosis states that it is: a state that resembles sleep but that is induced by suggestion. However, anyone who has tried hypnosis (and any self respecting hypnotist) will tell you that this is a very simplistic view of the subject!
A much better description comes from the Free Online Dictionary which states that hypnosis is: an artificially induced state of consciousness, characterised by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction. So what does this mean and how can it be used to your advantage?

Well, the subject of hypnosis has been discussed and pondered since the late 1700s. Many explanations and theories have come and gone though science, however, has yet to supply a valid and well-established definition of how it actually happens. It's fairly unlikely that the scientific community will arrive at a definitive explanation for hypnosis in the near future either, as the untapped resources of our 'mostly' uncharted mind still remain something of a mystery.
However, the general characteristics of hypnosis are well documented. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, deep relaxation and heightened imaginative functioning. It's not really like sleep at all, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling you get when you watch a movie or read a captivating book. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the outside world. Your focus is concentrated intensely on the mental processes you are experiencing - if movies didn't provide such disassociation with everyday life and put a person in a very receptive state then they would not be as popular (nor would TV advertising be as effective!). Have you ever stated that a film wasn't great because you just couldn't 'get into it'???
This works very simply; while daydream or watching a movie, an imaginary world becomes almost real to you because it fully engages your emotional responses. Such mental pursuits will on most occasions cause real emotional responses such as fear, sadness or happiness (have you ever cried at a sad movie, felt excited by a future event not yet taken place or shivered at the thought of your worst fear?).
It is widely accepted that these states are all forms of self-hypnosis. If you take this view you can easily see that you go into and out of mild hypnotic states on a daily basis - when driving home from work, washing the dishes, or even listening to a boring conversation. Although these situations produce a mental state that is very receptive to suggestion the most powerful time for self-change occurs in the trance state brought on by intentional relaxation and focusing exercises. This deep hypnosis is often compared to the relaxed mental state between wakefulness and sleep.
In this mental state, people feel uninhibited and relaxed and they release all worries and doubts that normally occupy their mind. A similar experience occurs while you are daydreaming or watching the TV. You become so involved in the onscreen antics

10/21/2006 8:12 AM  
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