There are many things that get sent to the public e-mail account. Most aren't Iraq related. Those that are Iraq related (or even adjacent) don't always get a nod here for other reasons.
We're not interested in quoting from Kevin Tully's OpEd News piece for two main reasons.
1) It's sarcastic. I have no problem with sarcasm. But I have learned from all our years online that there are readers who may not get that it is sarcasm. You may not need my "That was sarcasm" if you're primary language is English, but if it's one of your languages and you're reading from a country other than the US, you may not grasp that it is sarcasm.
We have a large number of readers from all over the world -- including in Iraq. Tully's attempts at sarcasm would not be understood by some.
2) Tully's written a dishonest piece.
I do not endorse the piece but here's the link to it.
He's lying about Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham.
Why is Tully lying?
Maybe because he's a cheap hack who never learned how to argue?
Maybe because he's too lazy to pay attention to actual events.
He has McCain and Graham insisting that Iraq is a democracy and ignoring all the violence that has been taking place recently.
That's a gross distortion and lie.
And the violence only adds to the argument that Barack Obama made a mistake by withdrawing (most) American troops at the end of 2011. Tully grasps that, right?
Sue Hullett (Register-Guard) argues today that Barack has had many failures and topping her list?
Obama’s first term encountered serious strategic failures. (1) Obama
fled Iraq before solidifying the fledgling democratically elected
government in Iraq. As a result, Sunni- Shia violence re-emerged,
government bodies subverted the democratic path begun out of the
successful American “surge” of forces and funding in 2007-2008, and Iran
sneaked in to intensify Iran-Iraq (Shia) collaboration.
Whether you agree with Hullett or not, you better grasp she's out there and there are many other people who agree with her. You better grasp what we've been pointing out, that the illegal war has garnered public support under Barack.
You better also try grasping that Iraq's only going to get worse. It cannot get better under Nouri al-Maliki. Barack's brain trust of Samantha Power, Valerie Jarrett and Susan Rice told him otherwise.
They were wrong.
As wrong as Kevin Tully is today.
McCain and Graham are publicly on record -- we've covered those Senate hearings -- saying it was a mistake for Barack to pull troops. If Iraq is a mess today -- and it is -- and you're supposedly opposed to war, you need to start making real arguments and stop assuming your bitchery is working. Polls indicate it's not working.
Iraq is a disaster today. The reason it's a disaster is not just because of the 2003 invasion. It's a disaster also because the Iraqi people spoke in 2010 wanting someone other than Nouri al-Maliki to be their prime minister. Barack Obama overruled the Iraqi people, overruled democracy, overruled the vote and not only backed Nouri for eight months -- preventing a caretaker government from being set up -- but he also ordered the creation of the US-brokered Erbil Agreement. Since Nouri didn't 'win' a second term, they had to go around the Constitution and did so with a contract that the various political blocs signed off on.
Iraqis lived under the bad rule of Nouri for four years and did not want four more years. But their needs didn't matter to the White House which thought that they could overrule the will of the Iraqi people.
Nouri is the problem, the problem cannot go away until he does. That can be by election, that can be by bullet. But as long as he's in power, things get worse and worse. He's got basically seven years now of a bad reputation. Even with the p.r. efforts (and big money was just spent hiring a western p.r. outlet), the best they can do is add a layer of make up. But the skin underneat remains the same and as some point the blush and foundation gets removed.
Nouri cannot overcome the reputation he built.
Even if he wanted to and he's too paranoid to want to. He's unstable and he's always been that way. Is Tully unaware of that?
We've noted Nouri's paraonia since 2006, we were at the forefront. Now you can't read articles by people who know him (most recently, just last week, Emma Skye) without them raising the issue of his paranoia.
In 2008, he worked with US military leaders to plot an assault on Sadr's followers in Basra. Is Tulley aware of what the US military says about that?
It's not a secret and we covered it in a week long series of reports when then-Gen David Petraeus appeared before various Congressional committees. Nouri refused to follow the timetable. As the plan was being mapped out, he was all for this assault and that assault, but he didn't like the timetable. So he took the plan and, without informing the US military, he launched the attack leaving everyone else to scramble.
I don't approve of assaulting Moqtada's supporters. But Nouri did. And then he jump-started it. What was the result there? American forces had to save Nouri. His own military had a desertion rate that the US government (unofficially) places at 38%. During that operation, approximately 38% of Nouri's fighters deserted.
That's why what the American military had hoped would be a show of force by Nouri (the whole thing was going to be staged) turned into a nightmare which required the American military not just to provide support but to take the lead.
Again, I don't approve of that military 'adventure.' I think it was wrong, I think it terrorized the Iraqi people in Basra (and in Baghdad where it also was in effect but on a much smaller scale). But Nouri did. He saw it as a way to improve his image. So a stable person, a functioning person, would wait for the best time to carry out the operation. Instead, Nouri jumped the gun and launched it before the Americans were ready and, as the desertion rate demonstrates, before his own forces were ready.
The reality of that assualt is that it strengthened Moqtada al-Sadr.
It led people who wrote him off to rally around him.
He was a minor player at that point. He'd been Iran too long. There was an arrest warrant for him in Iraq, he'd disappeared from the scene except for weekly edicts.
That action elevated him. He was no longer "radical, anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr" as the US press loved to bill him.
And you can probably make an argument that the maturity and growth he shows publicly now (and has since 2009) stems from that attack which became a teachable moment in that he really got it wasn't Nouri against the Sunnis, it was Nouri against everyone.
Anyone who's a potential threat to Nouri, even a popular Shi'ite like Moqtada, is someone Nouri will go after.
Tully seems aware that the US invaded Iraq in 2003 under Bully Boy Bush. He seems unaware of events after and especially unaware of events that took place after Barack became president.
But please, keep distorting McCain and others. That'll help -- if Tully's goal is to build popular support for the Iraq War.
For those of us who know the war was illegal, Tulley's piece is not just useless, it's damaging.
I went back and forth over singling it out. Then I realized we're just weeks away from a lot of bad writing. The 10th anniversary of the ongoing Iraq War is next month. All the blowhards who've ignored Iraq will show up with their easy-bake columns that could have been written in 2003. They'll have no knowledge or insight into Iraq today. They won't be aware of the targeting of the LGBT community. They won't mention what's happening to girls and women in Iraqi prisons and detention centers. They won't mention the 2010 elections.
They'll write their columns and shake their little fists int he air as they rage against Bully Boy Bush, then they'll tell themselves they really accomplished something.
They didn't do a damn thing. I would hope that every editor looking over a commentary on Iraq in the next weeks would use a red marker to write in the sidelines as they reject the piece: "Where's Iraq today? Where in your column is anything about Iraq today?"
The world has enough blowhards. Iraq's about to become trendy for a very brief period. In that blink of an eye, the Iraqi people would benefit from the world paying attention to what is going on in their country right now, not from a bunch of tried, old columns that read like they were dusted off and reprinted.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.
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i hate the war