President Bush is contemplating major changes in the U.S. reconstruction of Iraq for the second time in three months....
As part of the effort, the White House is considering asking several major figures, including former secretary of state James A. Baker III, to take charge of specific tasks such as seeking funds from other countries or restructuring Iraq's debt....
In another augmentation of the postwar structure, the administration plans to name Reuben Jeffery III, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who is now coordinating the federal aid aimed to help reconstruct Lower Manhattan, as Washington-based coordinator for the Iraq reconstruction effort....
Jeffery, the Goldman Sachs veteran, will become the administration's Washington face for the operation in Baghdad. His jobs will include lobbying lawmakers and dealing with other parts of the government. Officials said the White House concluded that, given the distance between Baghdad and Washington, Bremer needed a senior aide in Washington who could navigate the bureaucracy and work with Capitol Hill.
So we're not all on the same page here? We have a GOP White House, a GOP House, and a GOP Senate, and Bremer still can't get what he needs? And no one now in the White House, the Defense Department, or the State Department can rectify this situation? Why is that? Isn't Bush a titanic, magisterial leader before whom all the world trembles?
Oh, and here's my favorite paragraph in the Post article:
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz told reporters this week after a visit to Iraq that some important administration assumptions "turned out to underestimate the problem," and that some conditions "were worse than we anticipated." ...
No! Really? You think so?
...Some officials involved in the occupation planning have complained that the administration underestimated the armed resistance and overestimated the eagerness of Iraqi soldiers and police to embrace the invaders.
A keen grasp of the obvious.
(Three more U.S. troops died today in Iraq, by the way.)
(UPDATE: A fourth U.S. soldier has been killed today.)