mardi 12 février 2008

Memorandum from Manuel Miranda – Juan Cole’s comments

There is a lasting delusion that we are winning the war militarily as can be seen from this document published @ mountainrunner:

Received this commentary on Ambassador Ryan Crocker and State's effort in Iraq yesterday (Friday) morning. Highlights are mine. Comments from the different communities affected are requested.


To: Ambassador Crocker
From Manuel Miranda,
Office of Legislative Statecraft
Date: February 5, 2008
Re: Departure Assessment of Embassy Baghdad.


As I prepare to sign out after a year with the State Department, I feel it my last duty to offer you my assessment of what I observed. Please accept this assessment in that spirit. The presence of so many Section 3161 temporary direct hires in various areas of expertise in the Embassy is a unique opportunity for the evaluation and oversight of the Foreign Service and the State Department's bureaucracy and competence, whether it is a Service at War or Peace.

We all have opinions. If there is any doubt of the sincerity of mine, I am ready to share to list the names of those scores of other 3161's who share it, each from the vantage point of their areas of expertise and particular experience in the Embassy.

I have kept my observations to the areas that I have most directly observed as Senior Advisor for Legislative Framework in the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office and the Embassy's Rule of Law community, and as Director of the Office for Legislative Statecraft in the Political Section. I apply to this assessment my background as a former counsel to the Senate Majority Leader and as a student of legal institutions, and, as importantly, as a lawyer with 12 years experience in sovereign government negotiations, comparative and international law, and the legal framework and conditions needed for foreign direct investment in energy infrastructure and domestic economic progress and stability in developing democracies.

Nothing in this assessment is intended to be critical of General Petraeus, his leadership, his staff, the efforts of the Coalition forces in Iraq, or the success of the security component of the "Surge" initiative, now one year old. Nothing in this assessment is intended to cast doubt on the diplomatic strengths of the Foreign Service in Iraq. Nothing in this assessment should be read as critical of the hundreds of civilian men and women, of all ages and backgrounds, who work in Iraq tirelessly and at great personal sacrifice of their careers and family lives, and the many at lower levels of internal management who support us. Although my assessment is limited to certain areas of expertise, it is applicable Embassy-wide.

I should point out that I support America's mission in Iraq, while fully recognizing our many errors over time. I support the President's policy that ignores the historic stereotypes of the Middle East and offers the region a culture of liberty protected by responsible government and the rule of law. I support a long-term American military presence in Iraqi bases, welcomed by the overwhelming majority of Iraqis and a democratically-elected government, as a means of bringing peace and stability to the region, as we did in Europe and the Far East. History may recognize this end as singularly worthy of the sacrifice that America's sons and daughters have made.

I believe, however, that the potential for this peace requires the progress of Iraqi society and the confidence of the Iraqi people in their government.That civilian progress, and the Pax Americana, will not be achieved with the Foreign Service and the State Department's bureaucracy at the helm of America's number one policy consideration. You are simply not up to the task, and many of you will readily and honestly admit it. I believe that a better job can be done. It is simply that we have brought to Iraq the worst of America – our bureaucrats – and failed to apply, as President Roosevelt once did, the high-caliber leadership class and intellectual talent, whose rallying has defined all of America's finest hours.


America's success in Iraq requires pacifying the country and assisting its government to inspire the confidence of Iraq's people. America can be confident that the former task is in good hands, but the latter effort will fail if we continue to rely on the State Department and the Foreign Service to lead or manage our civilian support efforts. As we did with the military Surge, America and Iraq would be well served by retaining our diplomats to do the work of diplomacy, but putting the effort to stand up the GOI in more competent hands. This is especially true in the areas of legislative reform and the rule of law. But it is also true in other areas.At stake, as a whole, is not only the success of the mission, the lives of Americans and the future of a country for which we must now bear some responsibility, but also hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars being wasted and poorly managed.


I had this to say:
"This memo seems to be a bold admission that the U.S. government is attempting to engineer an Iraq in it's own image with little regard to the interests of Iraqis, their society, and culture:

Miranda: "I support the President's policy that ignores the historic stereotypes(?) of the Middle East and offers the region a culture of liberty protected by responsible government and the rule of law."

I would HAVE TO ASSUME Mr. Miranda means "WESTERN Law", such as the one that foists Monsanto owned GMO crops off on Iraqi farmers against their better judgment and will, almost at gunpoint by US soldiers during Operation Amber Waves.

Little do these farmers know about 'patent law' and how those crops, and any contaminated crops surrounding those crops are OWNED by Monsanto et al... and indeed, little should they have to know, except for the enforcement of 'western law' foreign to not only Iraqi culture, but truly foreign to muslim culture in totality.

Also, despite the consistently discredited brash claim that "...a long-term American military presence (is) ...welcomed by the overwhelming majority of Iraqis.."I believe it would be just as brash to claim that the State department is any more welcome than our military, except perhaps in it's historic stereotypical (sic) role as an arbiter of trade and diplomatic relations."

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