I'm shocked. SHOCKED!

From the Washington Post:

Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq

Adapted from "Imperial Life in the Emerald City," by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, copyright Knopf 2006

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 .
Jaws all over the world are hitting the floor in absolute stupification. In the last five years, Republicans, and the Bush Administration in particular, have been nothing but paragons competence. They have worked studiously to find the most qualified experts to weigh in on all subjects and preside over all situations. Always idolizing the candidate who is most educated, most enlightened, and most experienced, the GOP has gone so far as to eschew the less precise arguments, emotion, feeling, belief, and passion when deciding how best to steer the Ship of State. After such stunning triumphs as Harriet Miers, the following must be the shock of the century.
Many of those chosen by O'Beirne's office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance -- but had applied for a White House job -- was sent to reopen Baghdad's stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a background in accounting.
It seems that with the exception of 'right-wing street cred' I'm just as qualified as the gentleman who was in charge of the foundations of Iraq's economy.

As I've already noted, people are starting to notice that when you let ideology trump the real world, things don't work out very well. After this revelation, I don't see how anybody can think that the handling of Iraq was in the same room with competent.

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