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September 08, 2008

New Tomdispatch


Who Lost Iraq?
Is the Maliki Government Jumping Off the American Ship of State?

By Michael Schwartz

As the Bush administration was entering office in 2000, Donald Rumsfeld exuberantly expressed its grandiose ambitions for Middle East domination, telling a National Security Council meeting: "Imagine what the region would look like without Saddam and with a regime that's aligned with U.S. interests. It would change everything in the region and beyond."

A few weeks later, Bush speechwriter David Frum offered an even more exuberant version of the same vision to the New York Times Magazine: "An American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and the replacement of the radical Baathist dictatorship with a new government more closely aligned with the United States, would put America more wholly in charge of the region than any power since the Ottomans, or maybe even the Romans."

From the moment on May 1, 2003, when the President declared "major combat operations… ended" on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, such exuberant administration statements have repeatedly been deflated by events on the ground. Left unsaid through all the twists and turns in Iraq has been this: Whatever their disappointments, administration officials never actually gave up on their grandiose ambitions. Through thick and thin, Washington has sought to install a regime "aligned with U.S. interests" -- a government ready to cooperate in establishing the United States as the predominant power in the Middle East.

Recently, with significantly lower levels of violence in Iraq extending into a second year, Washington insiders have begun crediting themselves with -- finally -- a winning strategy (a claim neatly punctured by Juan Cole, among other Middle East experts). In this context, actual Bush policy aims have, once again, emerged more clearly, but so has the administration's striking and continual failure to implement them -- thanks to the Iraqis.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at September 8, 2008 02:52 PM

Don't worry, the Iraqis will show US the door. (OUR costs and shame will be exceedingly great, but that's the door prize for following GREEDY and STUPID these 8 long years.)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 8, 2008 03:47 PM

Schwartz doesn't actually get into the answer to his question, but the answer to "Who Lost Iraq?" will be "those terrarist lovin' far left radical librul Democrats", "dirty hippie peace activists", and other conservative bogey-men.

Scapegoating is useful. That way the far more important question of "Why the fuck were we in Iraq in the first place" will never have to be answered.

Posted by: NonyNony at September 8, 2008 09:10 PM