Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Monday, June 16, 2003
According to a stunner in this morning’s Washington Post, Rand Beers, a top counter terrorism advisor to President George W. Bush and who “served on the NSC under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and the current Bush,” resigned just five days before the onset of the Iraq II war.

Rand Beers

Eight weeks later this former advisor volunteers as a “national security adviser for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a Democratic candidate for president, in a campaign to oust his former boss”:

"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Beers…"As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out”… "Counter terrorism is like a team sport. The game is deadly. There has to be offense and defense," Beers said. "The Bush administration is primarily offense, and not into teamwork”…Much of what he knows is classified and cannot be discussed. Nevertheless, Beers will say that the administration is "underestimating the enemy." It has failed to address the root causes of terror, he said. "The difficult, long-term issues both at home and abroad have been avoided neglected or shortchanged and generally under funded."

The Post’s Dan Balz writes up the controversial General Wesley Clark’s very Presidential appearance on yesterday’s Meet the Press but omits the majority of the General’s most intriguing reminiscence:

I think it was an effort to convince the American people to do something…it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House…I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, “You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein”…I got people calling me up and they would say, “Well, now, look, don’t you think the president might know something you don’t know?” And I certainly hoped he did. But (the Post quotation) it was never revealed what the imminence of the threat was.

Note: In my most recent Iraq Museum post about the return of the Iruk Vase, the quoted Washington Post story opened with what the Post implied was a daily event:

This is how it happens in Iraq today. A shiny red Toyota, or maybe it's a Nissan, pulls up in front of the National Museum, along a busy roundabout on the Tigris River. Three men in their twenties step out cradling an object wrapped in a blanket and, eschewing the usual social niceties, hand it to museum officials. The officials say thank you. The men drive away.

How ordinary every day and humdrum, right? How great we had that antiquity amnesty so that ordinary Iraqi can return the priceless items, huh? Sunday’s Post possibly adds a hint of realism to the still heavy museum spin with results of the Iraq gun amnesty:

A two-week weapons amnesty program designed to reduce the number of heavy armaments in the hands of Iraqis ended today with scant results. Nationwide, 123 pistols, 76 semiautomatic rifles and shotguns, 435 automatic rifles, 46 machine guns, 162 antitank rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 11 antiaircraft weapons and 381 hand grenades had been turned in…

However, the paper regains a ray of grace with this commentary from spin befuddled but earnest academic and member of the UNESCO cultural mission John Malcolm Russell:

If we were outraged by what we thought was the looting of Iraqi heritage, we should still be, because it is happening still and on a phenomenal scale. We must not allow those who would profit from the backlash to capitalize on it by arguing that the smaller number of losses isn't that bad. It's bad enough.

Photos: Jahi Chikwendiu-Washington Post, DOD, Jamal Saidi-Reuter's

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