The buck stops where?

If you don’t read Josh Marshall every day you’re definitely missing out. He outdoes himself today with a prediction that is almost certainly going to become a reality, and it would surely be in full flower already if Andrew Sullivan, ever apoplectic over the BBC and his “fifth column,” weren’t still on vacation.

He spells out a scenario that’s likely to develop as everybody in Team Bush passes the buck on the utter mess that is now Iraq:

It would go something like this: To the extent that we’re facing reverses in Iraq, we’re not facing them because the plan was flawed or incompetently executed. We’re facing them because the plan was sabotaged – by its enemies at home.

The saboteurs were the folks at the State Department and the CIA who stymied effective collaboration with the pre-war Iraqi opposition and members of the defeatist press who have a) demoralized Americans by exaggerating the problems with the occupation of Iraq and b)encouraged the mix of jihadists and Baathists, by creating that demoralization, to keep up their resistance and bombing by giving them the hope that America can be run out of the country.

For my part, I doubt it’ll work. But I think that’s where we’re going.

He likens the scenario to that which developed in Germany after it lost the Great War, when the nationalists (including, most notably, the fuehrer to be) blamed it all on the “November Criminals,” a consortioum of Jews and Communists they insisted were bent on seeing Germany humiliated and defeated.

We’ll know pretty soon whether he’s right. It would be totally consistent with this administration’s behavior as exhibited during the blame-the-CIA frenzy over the Niger uranium.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 2 Comments

I don’t know Richard, I saw a friend of mine last week who just got back from 6 months in the Mideast. She’s a Communications Specialist in the US Army, and said that, Yes the “Sunni Triangle” is very much a mess…but that the Kurdish areas are VERY much ‘normal’, and that the Shiite south is pretty calm too.

She’d been saddened that there hadn’t been a chance to work in one of the calmer parts of Iraq, but that that’s not where they need Comm. Specs. to keep rebuilding things. The Sunni Triangle is.

But it wouldn’t take a genius to predict that that’s where the troubles would be, now would it?

August 31, 2003 @ 9:40 am | Comment

You may be right, and I said I’m willing to give them a chance. But I have to say, watching the throngs of Shi’ites chanting, “Death to America” over the bombing this weekend didn’t make me any more optimistic. Whether their chant is justified or not (and I’d say it is not), it doesn’t fit with the promises we’d be met as beloved liberators.

It’s difficult (for me at least), to the point of impossible, to see through the clutter and measure how things are really going there. So many contradictory descriptions are out there. But nothing I saw on the news this weekend gave me anything to feel optimistic about.

September 1, 2003 @ 12:55 am | Comment

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