Iraq Flashback

I hate to be unoriginal, but I do not mind piling on in a good cause. It's looking an awful lot like the aughties right now, which is a flashback to a bad trip, man. It's the political equivalent of eating the brown acid at Woodstock or being at the front at Altamont, man. The MSM is all revved up about a terrorist/jihadist group in Iraq and they're calling upon "experts" for commentary and unwisdom. That's right, the same bunch of poltroons who got *everything* wrong about Iraq the first time around are back on the teevee machine and the op-ed pages.

It's bad enough that they're chatting up McCain and the man who Charlie Pierce calls Huckleberry Butchmeup and I call Little Lindsey. But they're trotting out Paul Wolfowitz and his comb, Bill Kristol, L Paul Bremer, Ken Pollack and, most hilariously, Athenae's old friend Doug Feith. All of whom said that Iraq had WMD's and that the Iraqi people would greet our boys like the French, Belgians, and Dutch at the end of WWII, the big one. They were wrong, wrong, wronger, and wrongest. Not sure if that's a word but it applies to all of them, especially Bremer whose depth of knowledge is as thin as a, uh, Bremner wafer and just as tasteless. Actually, Bremner wafers are bland whereas the man who likes to be called Jerry is toxic. The only good thing about Bremer's re-emergence is that I get to use that biscuity, crackery pun again. I coulda lived without making it…

In Great Britain, Tony Blair is back and as wrong about Iraq as ever:

Tony Blair has strongly rejected claims that the 2003 US-UK invasion of Iraq was to blame for the current crisis gripping the country, pointing the finger instead firmly at the Maliki government and the war in Syria.

In a passionate essay published on his website, the former prime minister said it was a "bizarre" reading of the situation to argue that the US-British invasion of Iraq had allowed the growth of Sunni jihadist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), whose fighters have swept through towns and cities north and west of Baghdad over the past week.

"We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that 'we' have caused this. We haven't. We can argue as to whether our policies at points have helped or not: and whether action or inaction is the best policy. But the fundamental cause of the crisis lies within the region not outside it.

"We have to put aside the differences of the past and act now to save the future," says Blair, adding that force may be necessary. "Where the extremists are fighting, they have to be countered hard, with force."

The only thing that's less bad about Blair's bizarre bizarre comment than the bad right wing company that he keeps is the fact that he doesn't blame President Obama. According to Senator Walnuts, the President should have waved his magic wand and made Maliki be nice to other sects and keep our troops there. They wanted us out and it's their country, not ours. You got that Senator?

Back to Tony Blair. His continued malakatude on Iraq grieves me. I remember when he became Labour leader and led his fractious party back into government in 1997. He was a hero for a few years there as well as one of the most talented politicians around. But like so many other liberal interventionists (i.e. Christopher Hitchens), he drew the wrong lessons from the humanitarian disasters in Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. Iraq was obviously the wrong place to put those ideas into action and the Bush-Cheney-Rummy team were clearly the wrong allies. Pick your cliches: if you lie down with garbage you smell like it, or if you lie down with fleas, you get them. Either is depressingly applicable here.

I wish the public Blair sounded more like the private Blair as depicted in Andrew Rawnsley's superb account of the Blair government's second and third terms, The End of the Party. That Blair is frazzled and depressed by the fiasco in Iraq. It's a pity he kept a stiff upper lip in public but he did, so he's gone from popular to pariah at home.

Back to the American war/fear/scaremongers. Their advice on Iraq should come with a warning label complete with a skull and crossbones and say: Always wrong but never sorry. 

One thought on “Iraq Flashback

  1. MichaelF says:

    Guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the lack of accountability, but I really did think when it all spiraled downward so quickly — from Commander Codpiece to long slog — that at least a few of these clowns (Kristol, Feith, Wolfowitz) would at least be subject to permanent demotion, i.e., if not “no more national TV exposure for you!” then at least some degree of media purgatory…
    But I wasn’t as cynical ten years ago…

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