Monday, October 21, 2013

What comes after searching for an ass to kick

Remember that country where a U.S. invasion in 2003 and subsequent occupation touched off a vicious civil war -- and from which we departed tails between legs in 2011? Oh yes, Iraq.

Marc Lynch, who used to write useful journalism about Middle Eastern media as Abu Aardvark, points out that Iraq is currently boiling.

Iraq is facing a rising death toll, with more than 5,000 recorded deaths from a horrific wave of car bombs, and attacks by a reinvigorated insurgency driven by Syria's war and by [Prime Minister] Maliki's obstinately sectarian and autocratic politics.

Lynch thinks Maliki can be persuaded to reduce Shiite domination of his government and to bring disaffected Sunnis back into some power within his state. It's hard to see why he thinks this can be accomplished. Maliki's incentive to maintain Shiite rule not likely to go away -- it is the source of his own authoritarian regime

Or so reading Nir Rosen's mammoth Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World would lead me to believe. Rosen, alone among U.S. journalists that I've read, was able to pass unnoticed through the dangerous streets and towns of Iraq for most of the last decade, to meet and befriend (male) Iraqis from all camps including some close to al-Qaeda, and tell their stories. His book is long and intricate and absolutely worth the effort to learn what it was we did in that unhappy country.

And it certainly reveals the absurdity of thinking that Maliki's upcoming visit to Washington is going to change much of anything.
Will Bunch at Attytood reminds us of the "real reason" the U.S. chose to invade Iraq, set off events that killed at least 500000 people, and destabilize an already unstable region:

A senior official from former President George W. Bush's administration is quoted in “Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House” [by journalist Peter Baker] saying American troops went into Iraq because the U.S. was looking for a fight.

"The only reason we went into Iraq, I tell people now, is we were looking for somebody’s ass to kick. Afghanistan was too easy," the anonymous official said, according to Politico.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

They thought Iraq would be an easy win, like Grenada or the Falklands.

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