Another war lost

It is sad that I have to resort to foreign outlets to be able to read a writeup of Iraq’s elections that is free of pundit sound-bites. That sadness is a different and deeper sort when I read the Independent’s analysis of the Iraqi election.

The neo-con justification for the Iraq War has always been to create a Reganesque “City on the Hill” for the Middle East and cause a reverse domino effect. Many of the brightest minds on the right were willing to sacrifice any means to create that end, even if it meant lying to us.

Though I worried this might be a March of Folly, I hoped I would be wrong. We put America on the path of an empire and all trajectory of all empires contains the fall of it. Maybe those who actually didn’t just use poly sci to fill a humanities elective would prove me to be naïve, for how could one college quarter of game theory compare to a lifetime of agenda setting?

But then you run across this quote:

The US ambassador in Baghdad, [Zalmay] Khalilzad, sounded almost despairing yesterday as he reviewed the results of the election. “It looks as if people have preferred to vote for their ethnic or sectarian identities,” he said. “But for Iraq to succeed there has to be cross-ethnic and cross-sectarian co-operation.”

It shows the simpleton predictions would be true—Iraq is no better than the United States. At the earliest opportunity, a democratic republic degenerates into factious demagoguery. Two millennia has given us nothing but the math to prove the obvious.

As explained in a recent New Yorker article,1 Khalilzad is a brilliant neo-con—not some hanger-on like Wolfowitz or shift-with-the-political-winds like Condoleeza Rice. And the results are easily predicted and expected. The neo-con agenda has not only failed, it has backfired.

In 1787, the founders of this country sought to create “a more perfect union.” We have enjoyed the benfits for over two hundred years, Iraq has not had even a single day—we have killed democracy in its cradle taking ours with it.

1 Unfortunately the article is not available online. The article was π“American Viceroy: Zalmay Khalizad’s mission in Iraq” by Jon Lee Anderson in the December 19th issue of the New Yorker. This almost makes me want to cancel my subscription. I hate when I can’t link articles.

9 thoughts on “Another war lost

  1. If you want to discuss game theory perhaps you should re-direct some of your hate from the neo-cons to the United Nations. Or, more specifically the United Nations as the umbrella organization protecting the whole Iraq/Saddam and France, Germany, and Russia debacle. The U.N. played willing accomplice in helping Saddam perpetrate the oil-for-scandal at the behest of those countries by delaying and generally screwing-up that sham inspection process they had going. What was it 12 years and how many “resolutions” with the threat that they may debate it to death even more before the U.N. would do something. All the while Germany, France, and Russia continue to get their supplies of cheap oil (maybe you guys are finally right, ultimately it is a war having something to do with oil).

    Don’t forget, the only reason Saddam remained in power after the first Gulf War was because he agreed to the resolution and inspections. But, he knew he could count on his good liberal friends to help him out of a jam.

    Oh, what about the Kurds that were gassed o death. Do those count as WMD’s? I’m sure that’s all he had in stock, right? Look, if you don’t think any of his illegal weapons were or are in Syria, or any other Saddam-friendly country, you’re naive. You don’t suppose he was tipped to move them well in advance of our forward movements do you….

    As for the Catholic Church being hijacked, when was it ever an arm of the Democratic party? Yeah, you know us Catholics are kind of wishy-washy on abortion and stuff. Please quit reading (the one thing they can’t do is move on) and try to come to your own conclusions without aid of such “bi-partisan” fish wrap as the Independent.

    Democrats will continue to get killed in the polls as long as they keep rearranging facts and history to pursue an anti-security, strongly anti-American agenda that a majority of Americans don’t want.

  2. – I don’t hate the neo-cons. They forgot their freshman-level political science and made a mistake.

    – I did and continue to fault France and Germany for not understanding how far the U.S. was willing to go for war. Not understanding the American psyche exacerbated a false dilemma that encouraged us to go it alone. Are you crying because some people in another sovereign nation chose to disagree with us and we’re left with a mess of our own doing? What a fucking child, no wonder you feel the need to transfer blame.

    – It turns out the U.S. was just as guilty in the oil-for-food scandal and received “supplies of cheap oil” as the countries you mentioned. Because the trail leads back to certain conservative (not neo-con) U.S. interests, the “scandal” was dropped.

    – Actually, I never claimed that the war had to do directly with oil. The policy was to stabilize the Middle East by creating a stable democracy in Iraq. Oil makes the Middle East significant as opposed to say the genocide occuring in Darfur or the previous ones in Sudan and Rwanda.

    – The evidence now shows beyond any doubt that Saddam actually complied with his side of the resolutions and inspections. Given his deceptions just after the Gulf War, this surprised me. The fact that there were no WMDs (not even chemical ones) shows that this surprised the neo-cons too.

    – Nice try to deliberately confuse the timeline. The Kurds were gassed to death before the first Gulf War and the weapons and logistical support were actually provided by the United States. Those weapons were found and destroyed after the first Gulf War.

    – A lot of his weapons are all over the place because we didn’t think to secure it after the war. As for if any of them are illegal—maybe in the strictest sense: the range of some of the missiles is beyond what they are permitted. Of course those weapons were only illegal for Iraq, not Syria. Also you have the problem that the burden of proof lies with the accuser.

    – He didn’t need to be “tipped.” It takes months to position your forces even for an invasion on the small scale we did. The reality is that Saddam would have saved his own ass before any weapons of his and he wasn’t even able to do that, was he?

    – Catholic Church? Wrong fucking article moron.

    – I don’t read, but I do sometimes watch Fox News. Of course your poor accusation is known as an ad hominem. But don’t let things such as facts and logic stop you. Rant on. I need a good laugh.

    – The Democratic party is being killed in the polls because single issue idiots like you will vote against them because your echo chamber tells you they are to blame for all the ills in your pathetic life. I feel sorry for you. No wait… I don’t. I think I’ll save my charity for someone more deserving.

    – Haven’t you heard, the majority of Americans don’t agree with any of your views on Iraq, U.N., abortion, etc.

    I’m sorry you are a product of a shitty education system. I’m sorry that I’ll make a lot more money than you and benefit from all the tax cuts that you gave me. Keep voting the way you are and making me richer.

  3. The Times has an editorial confirming the conclusions of this article. The cause is a different incident—reneging the Shiite pledge to amend the constitution after the election, but the modus operandi is the same: a conclusion a first-year game theory student could understand: if you have an outright majority, there is no need to deal.

    How bad did the vote turn out to be? Former war hawk (and Western Pennsylvanian) congressman John Murtha states that we are watching a Civil War unfold.

    The Vietnam War proved the Domino Theory to be bunk; The Iraq war does the same to the City on the Hill.

    How cheaply America trades with her Life, Liberty and Happiness?

  4. Well it looks like the obvious happened. Isn’t it interesting how Iraq civil war inexorably moved from those who guessed (those warning about post-war preparations), to the cognoscenti (Zamilay Khalilzad and the like), to the dissenters (New York Times Op Ed and John Murtha), until it becomes an established fact (yesterday and today, news around the world).

  5. More on the Iraq Civil War.

    I think it is instructive to reread this article and “Hoss”’s response. Notice how he is indicting one-of-their-own: Iraq envoy and neo-con, Zamilay Khalilzad, just because he stated something these right wing radicals don’t want to hear. You can spin your perceptions, but you can’t spin the truth.

    Even Bush’s bubble will burst.

  6. Amen!

    I was happy to see Saddam go, because of what he did prior to the Bush I war in Iraq. Had the justification for overthrowing Saddam by Bush II been on the grounds of “never again” to ethnic “cleansing” and genocide post Hitler, it would have been easier to swallow. Lying to me about the reasons and the “slam dunk” is just an insult.

    Sadly, it was another in a long line of brilliant foreign policy decisions by the US Government. Ask anyone who escaped the Nixon sponsored CIA death squad attacks in Central America or listen to Gen. Schwarzkopf bemoaning the training the US gave to bin Laden in Afghanistan when the Russians were there or look at the pictures of Rumsfeld with a Cheshire Cat grin “pressing the flesh” with Saddam when he worked for Ford, foreign policy is more about expedience and ensuring corporte profits than it is a moral decision. If the former Yugoslavia had oil, the NATO bombs would have fallen much sooner than they did. Of course, the genocide in Cambodia in the early ’70s and then later in places like Darfur and Rwanda would have had much more international response had they had significant business interests in those locations. Of course, we cannot forget the illegal arms deals under Reagan where weapons were sold to a terrorist state (Iran) so that the money could be funneled to the Contras in Nicaragua. Ollie North became a hero for selling arms to one of our sworn enemies as a real “American” and now Daniel Ortega, whom they were trying to stop, was just elected president in Nicaragua.

    We won’t even go into the mass genocide inflicted on the Native Americans and the African Slaves by this country. It was not that long ago that it can be forgotten as a relic of a long distant past. Many people still want to fly the Confederate flag. Since when did treason become a laudable heritage?

    Perhaps the problem is not with the “soft” liberals who want to placate everyone. Perhaps it is the arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity of the “conservatives” who think that they can spread democracy around the world just by walking in and displaying the stars and stripes without any cultural understanding or awareness.

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