Iraq the Model of Failure

Living up to his richly earned reputation as a platitude-regurgitating, self-deluded and absolutely shameless liar, my president made these remarks on the South Lawn of the White House yesterday.

This morning I had a phone call with our ambassador to Iraq. And the ambassador informed me of the progress that the Iraqis are making in forming a unity government. I encouraged the Iraqi leaders to continue to work hard to get this government up and running. The Iraqi people voted for democracy last December; 75 percent of the eligible citizens went to the polls to vote. Now the Iraqi leaders are working together to enact a government that reflects the will of the people. I’m encouraged by the progress. The ambassador was encouraged by it.

I’m sorry. Am I the only one who thinks we deserve a better, more honest assessment than this drivel? Am I the only one who finds it painful to read such meaningless fluff? Many of those who most stridently supported the war conced we are losing and that we are right on the brink of disaster.

Yesterday, in a much-quoted column, conservative George Will, for example, wrote,

[M]ore than any presidency in living memory, George W. Bush’s will be judged by a single problem — Iraq, where on May 30 the war will be twice as long as was U.S. involvement in World War I. Today the impotence of Iraq’s quasi-government is prompting ethnic recleansing: The government is too weak to prevent private groups from pursuing coercive reversals of Saddam Hussein’s various ethnic cleansings. And in the absence of law and order, Iraqis seek safety in sectarian clustering.

As we all know, our first choice for PM in Iraq, Allawi, yesterday said flatly that Iraq is already in a civil war. Will said so, too, in so many words, on TV yesterday. Pro-Bush, anti-Baath blogger Iraq the Model is sounding similarly gloomy nowadays:

Today in Baghdad death crept in silence…

There were no car-bombs, huge explosions or clashes yet more than 80 bodies were found scattered in various districts of the capital and the number is increasing while I’m typing these words. The most disturbing finding is that some of the victims were strangled and others were found hanging from lampposts with the word ‘traitor’ written on the bodies and this makes one think the 4 victims in this particular case were from Sadr city itself because ‘traitor’ is used to describe someone from your own but who turned against you and it makes no sense to use it on strangers.

I think we all get the point. Everyone gets the point. So why are Bush and Rumsfeld parroting the same saccharine phrases about liberation and freedom and peace? How much more of this rubbish can we take before we seriously start considering impeachin our president? At what point does it simply become too much?

Update: This was from last week, but still painfully relevant. Al Sistani, the “moderate” cleric in whom the US has placed all its hope and faith, has called for the slow, painful death of all gays. Your tax dollars at work. Is this what we went to war for? Remember all the talk of a Western-style democracy, a beacon of liberation and tolerance? Anyone still saying that anymore? Conrad? Simon? Sam? FSN9?

The Discussion: 6 Comments

About that last bit: Iran is in the middle of a massive purge of gays (and I mean mass murder), among other “undesirables.”

The situation in Iran is actually even worse than the Bush administration is painting it as. (Hey, whoever said the Bush administration were competent in matters of foreign affairs or intelligence gathering? Not me.) According to my sources – never mind who they are (and I do NOT mean that for dramatic effect here) – Iran has been developing a network of Killing Fields.
And not just for gays, although (just like under Hitler) gays are among the first groups of victims being massacred in Iran now.

Most of the regulars here know that I’m opposed to the Bush administration in almost all matters, especially in foreign policy. And I spoke out against the Iraq war before it started. So I’m not just following the Bush bandwagon when it comes to Iran. And in fact, I’m all the more sickened by the folly of Bush’s war in Iraq, BECAUSE it has destabilised a region where containment and caution should and would have been better long term defenses against Iran.

Not Iraq. Iran. Iraq was not a threat to the US in 2003. But Iran IS close to becoming one now.
And I fear that when it comes to Iran, a war might actually be justified both morally and practically in the near future. Because the idiotica Bush administration threw away the strategy of containment – threw it away on Bush’s (and the Neo-Cons’) toy-soldier commander-codpiece fantasy of “kicking ass” against a weak and convenient target like Iraq.

Well, Iran is NOT a weak or convenient target. But it might soon become a necessary one. And that’s one reason (among many) why I curse Bush for wasting so much blood and treasure and arms on a pissy little “enemy” like Iraq.

And about those “killing fields” in Iran: Anyone who thinks it’s unbelievable ought to remember that very few people outside of Germany believed in the existence of the death-camps until they were discovered in 1945. Iraq had some, yes. Now multiply Iraq’s death camps many-fold, and add a REAL Army to it, and you’ve got Iran. A real enemy this time. Too big for toy-soldiers like Bush to handle.

March 20, 2006 @ 4:21 am | Comment

two points here

1) According to some estimate, 1 civilian is murdered ever 30 minutes in a sectarian or political attack in Iraq.

This is a higher death toll than the one measured out by Sadam.

2) If the Iranian people are angry at America for imposing sanctions, they will look for a leader who can build up alliances with other Russia or other Arab countries who are willing to defy Amrican sanction.

If the Iranian people are afraid that America will attack them, they will look for a leader who is willing to buy weapons in .order to defend their country from America.

If the Iranian people are afraid that America will nuke them, they will look for a leader who will build the bomb so that they can threaten to nuke Israel if America attacks them (I notice that now that North Korea has the bomb, and can nuke Japan or South Korea, Bush has moved off of Bashing the North and is instead bashing Iran).

Is this telling you something?

The more that America pushes Iran, the more the Iranian people will look for a strong leader who can stand up to America.

Guess what, most of these ‘strong leeaders’ are radical Islamists.

If you push somebody, if you bash them, if you make them afraid fo rthe lives of their children, they will step up the rethorict, not step down.

March 20, 2006 @ 4:52 am | Comment


I agree with your first point about the death toll in Iraq going up after the illegal US/UK invasion. And as I’ve said, I opposed that war – in public and at some personal sacrifice – before it started. So I have clean hands when it comes to the war in Iraq.

But as for what you say about Iran, you are only partly correct. It IS true to say that the people of ANY country, will rally around a “strong leader” when they fear attack (or when they are attacked. I hate to admit it, but even the German Air Force had SOME good and rightful reasons to shoot back at the British and American bombers over Germany, for the simple and justifiable reason of defending their homes. They did NOT break the laws of war by fighting back – although Hitler and Tojo DID break the laws of war by attacking other countries.)

But, with all due respect, I think you give too much credit to the issue of “fear of attack” as the main reason for Iran arming itself. Iran’s GOVERNMENT, IS aggressive and fanatical.
Please think logically about this. Just because the people of Iran might be afraid of being attacked, does NOT mean that their own government are not aggressive.

I agree that the people of Iran have good reason to fear being attacked. But I do NOT agree that most of the blame for this should be placed on America or on other countries. Iran’s government IS FANATICAL, and evil. And aggressive. Far more than you know.

And the paradox here – which really pains me – is that while Bush was absolutely wrong and criminal to attack Iraq, he (or his successor) MIGHT actually have good reasons to attack Iran in the near future. Because, Iraq was not a threat to America or to the world. But Iran is, and it is not just America’s fault. The main fault for Iran resides in its fanatical, theocratic, barbarian leaders.

But still, yes I do agree that the Bush administration’s stupidity has made this situation even worse, and poured petrol onto the smoldering fire of Iran.

March 20, 2006 @ 5:58 am | Comment

“Because, Iraq was not a threat to America or to the world. But Iran is, and it is not just America’s fault. The main fault for Iran resides in its fanatical, theocratic, barbarian leaders.”

I’m afraid that you’re going to have to clarify this.

Before the Iraq war, I was told that Iraq was threatening the world. Row upon row of US advisers and security sources were wheeled out in front of me to say that Iraq was sponsoring terrorism, that it was developing WMD, and that it was prepped to launch NBC warheads in 40 minute.

Later on, were were conclusively shown that all of this was bunkum.

I was also informed that Saddam had strong links to Al Quida and that he supported 9/11.

I was told this at a time when I knew full well that Al Quida had market Saddam’s SECULAR regime for death ‘come the revolution’ because it was ‘un-Islamic’ and when I knew full well that Saddam was more worried that Al Quida had it in for him that he was enthusiastic about joining with them.

Now I hear you telling me that Iran is a threat to the world, yet I see very little threatening about Iran other than it’s language.

“Iran’s government IS FANATICAL, and evil. And aggressive. Far more than you know.”

Again, please enlighten me.

Tell me about a SPECIFIC INCIDENT in which Iran’s government committed an act of aggression.

I took a brief glance around for evidence of an Iranian threat, and do you know what I found?

I found suggestions (not proof though) that Iranians (not the Iranian government, mind you) were supplying IED parts to the resistance in Iraq.

I found reports that linked Iran to resistance fighters in Lebanon, Palestine, both of whom were exclusively fighting against fighting Israel, and most of which happened over a decade ago.

Other than that, I found only a few active accusations that Iran had provided moral support, or ‘was away of’ terrorist activities. In fact, the most recent and credible evidence that I found of Iran being a danger to anybody was this from the CFR.

“U.S. officials say Iran supported and inspired the group behind the 1996 truck bombing of Khobar Towers, a U.S. military residence in Saudi Arabia, which killed nineteen U.S. Servicemen.

Please tell me which people Iran helped to kill, which terrorist groups it is backing (and please don’t say Al Quida, tell me which branch in which country and who they are fighting against, and which bombings were down to them) and what it is doing other than making some silly threats about Israel that it can’t follow through on.

If Iran is so very dangerous, why am I seeing documents that say “in 1984 Iran supported a group that did X” or “In 1995 Iran knew about the kidnapping of Y”.

I refuse to deal with nebulous references that tell me that Iran is dangerous or that it sponsors terrorism by people who can’t actually name me a terrorist act that Iran committed in the last 10 years.

Go away, read an intel report, Google Iran and terrorism, but don’t tell a trained analyst that they should take your word for it unless you are willing to name names, provide dates, and describe events.

I’m not saying that there aren’t some nasty works with Iran’s name stamped on them, I’m calling you out to FIND THEM.

March 20, 2006 @ 6:59 am | Comment

Ivan, thanks for the chilling analysis of what’s going on in Iran. Don’t mind my friend ACB – he doesn’t realize it, but he reflexively defends anyone and anything that Bush is against. It doesn’t take a huge amount of research into how Iran and its pseudo-democracy work, and what its aspirations are. Unfortunately, there’s no denying that the US and Europe and those who put/kept the Shah in power had a lot to do with breeding and cultivating this insanity.

March 20, 2006 @ 5:47 pm | Comment

My hands are dirty on Iraq.

No matter what we do to try to fix failed foreign policy. no answer will be right.

Cannot put a dictator back in charge and face reality Containment sucks as strategy. It is better to let them share what we have than to try to cut them off and expect them to suffer for the sake of “Security”.
It should have been obvious that dialogue was needed after these few events happened. What is happening is just that.

I loathe war.

We could not see other options. We are stuck with it so let us try, as bad as it may be seen, to repair it.
But to brate the process only adheres to doom and that is not policy of any person or government that I know of except for Iran at this moment.

Sorry for how bad it looks but interesting times they are indeed.

By the way, I love your blog!.

March 20, 2006 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

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