Thursday, September 03, 2015

The willfully stupid

The question is no longer how uniformed are Americans, it's how willfully stupid they are.

An editorial last month noted the blame for Iraq's current problems could be spread equally ("Shared Blame") and presented four key events:

1. President Bush’s decision to invade, based on flawed intelligence, with more wishful thinking about “liberating” Iraq than realistic planning for what was likely to happen once Saddam Hussein was overthrown. 

2. The decision of J. Paul Bremer, the leader of the U.S. occupation, to disband the Iraqi army and police and oust all Baath Party members from the government. This generated chaos overnight, and the people Bremer fired became the backbone of the Sunni insurgency and the leaders of ISIS. 

3. The decision in 2010 to throw the weight of the U.S. behind the re-election of Maliki, the Iranian-backed candidate for president, even though Maliki came in second in the Iraq election. Hillary Clinton likely had a voice in that decision, but Maliki’s biggest backer in the administration was Vice President Joe Biden. Maliki became even more punitive toward the Sunnis after the election. 

4. The decision to go through with the full withdrawal in 2011 rather than try to amend the timetable President Bush had signed. Maliki and the Iranians wanted the U.S. out, and so did Obama. But many argue a residual force might have helped restrain Maliki and stave off the loss of territory to ISIS.

Let's deal with the first aspect.

The morons whining to the Cape Cod Times about 'their' editorial?

August 29th is when that publication ran the editorial.

You can find it at many other publications going back to August 13th.

(We highlighted it weeks ago from another publication.)

That doesn't stop the faux outrage or the parade of morons.

Two examples.

1) "To compare the criminal invasion in 2003 and the clueless incompetence of Paul Bremer’s decision to expel the Baathists with Obama’s decision not to remain in Iraq (a decision made by Iraq, a sovereign nation, in case you forgot) is just plain ridiculous." --  Philip Panasci

2)  "First of all, you set up the straw dog of four equal decision points. The basic fallacy is that the first two — the decision to invade and the breaking and expulsion of the military and Baath Party — are far and away the most critical factors leading to the current mess." -- Robert Bucchianeri

Presumably both blow hards are Americans.

This would mean they understand the concept of democracy and elections.

In fact, if the editorial was about the stolen 2000 US election, I have a feeling both would insist on weighing in.

But somehow a 2010 Iraq election being stolen isn't an issue to them.

For years, starting in 2010, we argued that this was a huge mistake, that this would have implications, that the smart thing for the US to do was to stand by the election outcome.  But the White House (Barack is president in 2010, for those who can't remember) decided to back the loser in the election, Nouri al-Maliki.

They didn't back the Iraqi voters.

Nor did it end there.

To give Nouri a second term (after he lost the election), the US brokered a legal contract (The Erbil Agreement) that went around the Iraqi Constitution.  The political leaders signed off because the US got concessions from Nouri (promises) that the leaders wanted.

Barack personally called Ayad Allawi when Allawi's bloc walked out on a Parliament session.  He repeated that The Erbil Agreement had the full support of the White House.

Despite that, Barack never forced Nouri to comply.

After using The Erbil Agreement to get his second term, Nouri then had his spokesperson announce that the contract itself was illegal and unconstitutional.  Nouri used that to avoid meeting the legal promises he made in the contract.

All of that's pretty major.

And that's before we even bring up that Nouri's secret prisons and torture cells were known by the start of 2010.  They'd been exposed by Ned Parker and the Los Angeles Times, among others.  Nouri was a thug.  But Chris Hill, then US ambassador to Iraq, argued this was what Iraq needed.

These are not minor points.

In 2010, most ignored these realities.

As Nouri's second term progressed, it became harder to ignore.

When Nouri attempted to grab a third term, even Barack had to say "no."  And even the press had to get honest.  This is no longer hidden.  And the editorial raises it.

But by then (2014), Nouri's actions had created a climate where IS could foster and breed.

Forgetting all of that or setting it aside, how dare any American claim that a foreign government (the US) overthrowing Iraq's election is a minor thing or unimportant.

As various Latin American countries can attest, a foreign government overthrowing an election is never a minor thing.

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