Kaplan demonstrates pretty convincingly that Iraq is corrupt, divided, and hopelessly sectarian, and takes this as evidence that the United States needs to stay....It's not what I got out of Kaplan's description. Rather, his article persuaded me that the American presence is hopelessly ineffectual and increasingly pointless. Sure, it's possible that our presence can prevent Iraq from descending into an immediate, full-scale civil war, but Kaplan's own evidence seems to indicate that while we might be preventing immediate mayhem, we're not changing any of the underlying dynamics of Iraqi society, even at the margins. If we stuck around for a decade and finally left in 2016, Iraq would be a bloodbath in 2017.Not to mention the many U.S. soldiers that will continue to die -- and for what? If civil war is seemingly inevitable -- whether it be tomorrow, next month, or next year -- than why have our men and women die in the process? With Iran (and other interested parties) working behind the scenes to insure mayhem continues and escalates, and with the three Iraqi groups bitterly divided based on many years of history, where's the hopeful signs that democracy will take root anytime soon?
This administration continues to play up fears when politically convenient, but when it comes to Iraq it's all lip service as even they can't deny that the current situation there is dire, devolving from bad to worse, and the likely preoccupation as we speak is how to best frame and spin the ugliness once it unfolds. First priority: as always, don't accept blame for anything. Second priority: do place blame on anyone/anything else. Third priority: state sh*t happens when democracies are in their infancy.
Drum also discusses the recent Newsweek article which lays out how badly BushCo has botched the "war on terror." He concludes his blog entry with exceedingly true words, "The damage that George Bush has done to the United States is going to be with us for a very long time."