Friday, June 13, 2014

Pointing Fingers

As Iraq descends into civil war, as was inevitable from the day Dick Cheney whispered into the tunnel to George Bush's empty head, we know that the right will (has already begun to) blame it all on President Obama's decision to end US military involvement. (For an excellent response to that kind of mendacity, read this.) And I suppose if you believe the history of the war began sometime after 2009, you could make the argument. After all, it was either pull out, after more than ten years of death, treasure, and futility, or commit tens of thousands of US troops to remain until Jesus returns to sort it all out. So damn Obama for following the terms of an agreement signed by George Bush in 2008.

But this result was evident to everyone but George Bush and the neocons who pulled his strings, from the outset. It's why George's dad, with the agreement at the time of Cheney and Powell, demurred when urged to march right on into Baghdad from Kuwait. And if any other outcome was remotely possible after Bush pulled the trigger on a half-loaded gun, it ended when Rumsfeld et al buried the "Future of Iraq" project deeper than Saddam Hussein in a spider hole. Didn't fit the narrative running between their ears. Said it was a complex and expensive process, requiring that nation-building stuff which Condi Rice said -- rightly, it turns out, if in another context -- the US doesn't do. Not well, anyway.

So. Nope. You can't blame a building collapse on the people called in to shore it up, when it was built on quicksand with material that wasn't up to code. And much as our insaner and insaner right wing would have it, you can't blame Iraq's current state on Obama unless you're down with the idea of keeping our forces there forever, over the objection of Iraq's government, figured it was part of the plan all along, believe we should fight forever when their own army refuses to; or unless you can come up with a convincing approach that would have prevented a nation of permanent tribal hatreds and religious incompatibilities, built on a culture of grievance, honor killings, revenge, and repression, from doing exactly what it did when its admittedly ruthless dictator was taken down. For no reason involving the security of the US.

The opposite, in fact.

And John McCain thinks we should hitch up and do it all over again. Because this time, well ....

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