Sunday, November 19, 2006

Does anyone truly take WaPo columnist Charles Krauthammer seriously? His Friday column ("Why Iraq Is Crumbling") is so filled with holes, questionable logic, and convenient exclusions that it borders on the absurd.

With regards to what went wrong with Iraq, he states, "I have my own theories. In retrospect, I think we made several serious mistakes -- not shooting looters, not installing an Iraqi exile government right away, and not taking out Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army in its infancy in 2004."

So Iraq would be much better off now if 1) we gunned down looters (because we know they're an enormous reason for so many of Iraq's troubles), 2) shoot everyone in the Mahdi Army (as if that would've put a complete and final end to any new insurgency efforts), and 3) quickly throw together an "exile" government ("exile" meaning like in Greece??).

Oh yeah, these proposed shoulda-coulda fixes would've gone a long way to solving everything.

He then states, "Our objectives in Iraq were twofold and always simple: Depose Saddam Hussein and replace his murderous regime with a self-sustaining, democratic government."

That's just bullsh*t. He's of course leaving out the biggest reason for going to war at the time and is the sole reason which frightened the American public into backing the war: WMD. Remember Charles, that little item of Saddam/Iraq possessing WMD? That we needed to invade before it was too late...?? No, can't recall can you? Well, as Brendan Nyhan (along with Andrew Sullivan) point out, Krauthammer spent the better part of 2002-2003 writing about the supposed WMD in Iraq.

Ahh, but that's past history, right Charles? Best to just exclude such a small proved-wrong issue and shift the argument or debate. Good old selective memory and framing. It's what neocons and the far right do.

He then writes, "Are the Arabs intrinsically incapable of democracy, as the 'realists' imply?....The problem here is Iraq's particular political culture, raped and ruined by 30 years of Hussein's totalitarianism. What was left in its wake was a social desert, a dearth of the trust and good will and sheer human capital required for democratic governance. All that was left for the individual Iraqi to attach himself to was the mosque or clan or militia."

Let's just assume that what he says is true, then what hope was there to begin with Iraq? All of what he says did not have to be learned after the fact, with 20/20 hindsight, but that's exactly what this cheerleader for the war is doing. Now that his experiment has not worked out as desired, Krauthammer is going to characterize the Iraqi people as incapable of ever embracing democracy due to the damage inflicted by Saddam (similar to battered wife syndrome). And in effect, Krauthammer attempts to absolve himself and the neocons of any blame and instead throw all things Iraqi under the bus.

Give me a &*%$# break! Will these guys ever except any blame for any of the Iraq mess? Or will they continue to just revise the past in hopes that people forget how things were then, what was being said and written? Get ready, in due time they'll shift the blame to the Dems, criticizing them for not coming up with the right solutions to the problems that originated under the thorough ineptness of the former majority party.

Oh, and whatever happened to Colin Powell's uttered truism, "you break it, you bought it"? And does Krauthammer consider an exit strategy as one simply comprised of booting Saddam and "installing an Iraqi exile government"? If so, he simply makes the case that in fact there was no exit strategy and for that reason among many others the fault lies with them (GW, Cheney, Rumsfeld, neocons, GOP, etc.) and not the Iraqi people.

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