Josh Richman (Daily Democrat) notes US Vice President Joe Biden's planned trip to the Bay Area later this week and, "The vice president earlier Thursday will give a major speech at the National Defense University in Washington about progress made in strengthening Iraq's government and military to defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State, The Associated Press reported. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama next week in Washington." Fred Lucas (Blaze) points out that "the White House is offering little information on why it's Biden, and not Obama, who will be talking about issues of such gravity in close proximity to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s visit."
There are actually a number of reasons Barack might want to take a pass on Iraq. But while it's interesting that Joe's been tasked with the important speech, it's also interesting who's rushing forward to hijack Iraq.
Take the always laughable Steve Benen who wants to prove something but only succeeds in proving stupidity. Benen's a producer with the faltering MSNBC talk show hosted by Rachel Maddow. He wants you to know that people who are "wrong" about the Iranian 'deal' were wrong about Iraq.
Who was wrong about Iraq?
When I say someone was wrong about Iraq, I'm speaking as someone who opposed the illegal war and spoke out against it.
Benen's boss is Rachel Maddow who supported the war before it started, supported in 2004 as an Air America Radio host, repeatedly whored out the lie that "we" (the US) "broke it" (Iraq) so "we" had to pay for it and insisted that was The Pottery Barn Rule. There was no such rule. And this was revealed by Al Franken, whose Air America Radio show aired directly after Unfiltered (hosted by Lizz Winstead, Chuck D and Rachel Maddow) but apparently Rachel never caught those broadcasts.
She did manage to support the Iraq War.
She did refuse to present an anti-Iraq War view on Unfiltered. She did refuse to bring on veterans who were opposed to the war (Janeane Garofalo's The Majority Report had no problem bringing those veterans on) Rachel Maddow, throughout the life of Unfiltered, insisted that the US military could not leave Iraq.
So it's really funny that Steven Benen wants to blog about who was wrong on Iraq and to do so at Rachel's website. Good lackey that he is, he knows to avoid mentioning his boss.
Leaving aside the hypocrisy, let's deal with the larger issue, there is no deal with Iran. There's framework for a deal that might be reached at the end of June -- might not be as well. The whores -- that includes Steve -- rushing forward to defend a 'deal' that isn't one is much more embarrassing than anyone objecting to it.
But you could be wrong on Iraq (I wasn't) and be right to oppose the Iranian 'deal.'
I hope Benen realizes he's doing more harm to his own political party than anything else.
Americans know little about the 'deal' because there's little to now.
But if you want to promote that being wrong on Iraq means you're incapable of rational thought, lots of luck turning out voters if Hillary Wrong On Iraq Clinton gets the Democratic Party's presidential nomination (as many believe she will).
The Democratic Party doesn't know what to do. It was running on fumes some time ago.
Now it doesn't even have fumes.
So they're going to try to make 2016 about the Iraq War.
It's pretty much agreed by party leaders that the 2016 Dem candidate can't run on Barack's coat tails. The promised change never came and too many Americans are still without jobs.
ObamaCare remains deeply unpopular and deeply divisive.
So the party's trying to build a strategy around Iraq.
They're going to be running a lot of Iraq War veterans for that reason.
In 2006, the Iraq War let the Democrats win control of both houses of Congress. In 2008, the Iraq War let the Democrats win the White House.
Having nothing to show for the trust the American people placed in the party, Democratic leadership hopes to use the ghost memories of Iraq to scare up voters in 2016. That's what all the idiotic Tweets of late have been about. (The one that outraged Dem honchos today was a 'friendly' who elected to Tweet that Bully Boy Bush was responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Leadership continues that "crazy" and "harmful.")
There are two basic problems with resurrecting Iraq -- largely forgotten by the American public as a result of the only real withdrawal that took place: the US press withdrawl.
Again, Hillary is seen as the likely nominee.
She's hostile and defensive when talking about her own vote for the Iraq War.
Or was, in 2007 and 2008, hostile and defensive.
As she demonstrated in her January 2013 public rage during Congressional testimony, she hasn't honed her social skills since her last run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.
Reviving Iraq and using it as a club to beat political opponents with risks reminding the American public of how wrong Hillary was on Iraq.
The other problem for the Democratic Party is that Barack owns Iraq.
Didn't have to be that way.
He could have ordered US forces out of Iraq upon being sworn in.
Instead, he wanted to put his imprint on Iraq. And he did.
And it's why Iraq is in crises today.
CNN's Arwa Damon Tweets today:
Damon's referring to Emma Sky's "How Obama Abandoned Democracy in Iraq: Bush's mistake was invading the country. His successor's was leaving it to a strongman" which POLITICO published today and which offers more clarity than most articles on Iraq have in the last four years.
Sky explains how, in the 2010 elections, Iraqis reached for something more: a national identity. And the US government could have backed that by supporting Iraqiya's win but instead worked to undermine it so that thug Nouri al-Maliki could have a second term. This was not under Bully Boy Bush. Barack was president. Chris Hill was Barack's (hideous and destructive) US Ambassador to Iraq.
Sky writes of Joe Biden:
Biden visited Iraq at the end of August 2010. By then, Hill had been replaced as ambassador by Jim Jeffrey. In internal meetings, one U.S. adviser argued that Maliki was “our man”: He would give us a follow-on Status of Forces Agreement to keep a small contingent of U.S. forces in Iraq after 2011; he was a nationalist; and he would fight the Sadrists. Furthermore, the official claimed that Maliki had promised him that he would not seek a third term. “Maliki is not our friend,” replied another official, Jeff Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, exasperated at the delusional nature of the discussion. But Biden had been persuaded by the arguments that there was no one but Maliki who could be prime minister and that he would sign a new security agreement with the United States. The Obama administration wanted to see an Iraqi government in place before the U.S. mid-term elections in November. Biden believed the quickest way to form a government was to keep Maliki as prime minister, and to cajole other Iraqis into accepting this.
[. . .]
I tried another tack: “It is important to build belief in the democratic process by showing people that change can come about through elections—rather than violence. The peaceful transfer of power is key—it has never happened in the Arab World.” At the very least, either Maliki or Talabani needed to give up his seat; otherwise, they would both think they owned the seats. Biden did not agree. He responded that there were often elections in the United States that did not bring about any change.
Meeting Iraqiya, Joe would do on to invoke Al Gore, "He said that one of his predecessors, Al Gore, had technically won more votes in the 2000 presidential election, but for the good of America had stepped back rather than keep the country in limbo while fighting over the disputed vote-count."
I know there are many who would argue if Al Gore had fought for the presidency, the Iraq War would not have happened. (I don't argue that. Though Gore came out against the Iraq War before it started, he'd also given an infamous speech that showed he could have gone the other way.)
But it's also true that Al Gore made up his own mind.
Iraq's President Saddam Hussein didn't tell Gore it was time to step aside, for example. But the White House did tell Iraqi leaders that Nouri al-Maliki was getting a second term (despite losing the 2010 elections) and the White House then negotiated The Erbil Agreement which overturned the votes and the election and gave Nouri a second term.
Sky visited Iraq in the summer of 2014 and saw the results of that second term. Here she notes speaking to former Minister of Finance Rafi Issawi:
Rafi listed for me the Sunni grievances that had steadily simmered since I’d left—until they had finally boiled over. Maliki had detained thousands of Sunnis without trial, pushed leading Sunnis, including Rafi, out of the political process by accusing them of terrorism and reneged on payments and pledges to the Iraqi tribes who had bravely fought Al Qaeda in Iraq. Year-long Sunni protests demanding an end to discrimination were met by violence, with dozens of unarmed protesters killed by Iraqi security forces. Maliki had completely subverted the judiciary to his will, so that Sunnis felt unable to achieve justice. The Islamic State, Rafi explained to me, was able to take advantage of this situation, publicly claiming to be the defenders of the Sunnis against the Iranian-backed Maliki government.
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