Monday, June 16, 2014

Iraq: The Worst War Plan in History Comes Home to Roost

The Iraq War Gang of Four: Missing? Condoleezza Rice.

Fareed Zakaria lays out the broadly accepted truth: A deeply flawed battle plan, coupled with a disastrous decision to remove Sunnis from power -- de-Baathification -- led to a Shiite-dominated government that broke all agreements with the Sunnis, then turned around and persecuted them, which included torture and execution.

Any attempt by the usual suspects -- McCain, Graham, and all the Chicken Hawks -- to lay this at the feet of Barack Obama is political claptrap and should be rejected out of hand. Zakaria:
If the Bush administration deserves a fair share of blame for “losing Iraq,” what about the Obama administration and its decision to withdraw American forces from the country by the end of 2011? I would have preferred to see a small American force in Iraq to try to prevent the country’s collapse. But let’s remember why this force is not there. Maliki refused to provide the guarantees that every other country in the world that hosts U.S. forces offers. Some commentators have blamed the Obama administration for negotiating badly or halfheartedly and perhaps this is true. But here’s what a senior Iraqi politician told me in the days when the U.S. withdrawal was being discussed: “It will not happen. Maliki cannot allow American troops to stay on. Iran has made very clear to Maliki that its No. 1 demand is that there be no American troops remaining in Iraq. And Maliki owes them.” He reminded me that Maliki spent 24 years in exile, most of them in Tehran and Damascus, and his party was funded by Iran for most of its existence. And in fact, Maliki’s government has followed policies that have been pro-Iranian and pro-Syrian.
Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz
said Iraqi oil would pay for the war. Right.
On the one hand, no one should be surprised that a Shiite, Maliki, would favor his sect in forming his government. However, wiser hands -- which the Bush administration did not have -- would have worked from the beginning to integrate Sunnis, Kurds, and Shiites into a unity government. Or with really wiser hands, they could have decided not to invade Iraq at all. Once the Sunni-dominated power structure, one that had existed for centuries, fell apart, all the players ended up in Humpty-Dumpty Land. The result is a Sunni insurgency, in both Iraq and Syria, funded by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and resisted and counter-funded by elements in Lebanon, Iran, and Syria.

The potential for a regional war split along Sunni-Shiite lines, with Kurds thrown into the mix, was baked into the cake by the Bush/Cheney debacle beginning in 2003. The solution now? Stay the hell out. Boots on the ground? Won't happen. Bomb, bomb, bomb? Who? For how long? Toward what end? It will only stir the hornet's nest and build more hatred for America and the West.

We broke it, and it turns out we couldn't buy it. Real smart.

There she is, the belle of the ball. Nice work. And remember,
her title was National Security Advisor. Heckuva job, Condi!

No comments:

Post a Comment