Where Are the Advisors?

| Tue Jun. 7, 2005 10:56 AM PDT

There are days when I wish I had some special insight into goings-on in Iraq—what might be done, whether or not it's all going to turn out okay—but most days it's difficult to read the news and do anything other than echo Juan Cole's line: "Sometimes you are just screwed." Meanwhile, in more good news, Eric Umansky notices that the new Iraqi government is laying off workers—always a good way to add a few disgruntled unemployed Iraqis to the ranks of the insurgency—and is, ah, a tad behind in paying its special forces units. Also a bit of a problem.

Now I know that Iraq is supposed to be a sort-of kind-of sovereign country, and make decisions on its own, but aren't there supposed to be American advisors around trying to warn against this sort of thing? No, apparently not; there hasn't been an ambassador in Baghdad for six months. Of course, let's not accuse the Bush administration of being slow on the draw. On matters of real urgency—like appointing an Ayn Rand acolyte to the SEC—the White House has no problem racing through the nomination process.

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