That's remarkably selective memory you've got there, Jimsd.
The complete mess you're mentioning was the war in Afghanistan, where Bush agreed, along with the Ds in Congress, to conduct the war precisely as his 2004 opponent John Kerry demanded -- that we turn it over to international forces.
As to Iraq and Paul Bremer, Bush's strategy was to rely on indigenous influences, like Chalabi. It was the Ds in State who insisted on Bremmer -- and who ran disinformation campaigns to undermine Bush's policies, like the Plame and Abu Graib games.
So, yes, in a sense, Bush was surrounded by incompetents -- career Democrats in State, CIA, and Congress.