Blog by reformed leftist "Paul Hue", and his friends, including some UnReformed Leftists; the headlines reflect these competing views.
I hope he is reading his world history. The prime minister of South Vietnam was assassinated before the war escalated...
So agree then that Iraq's president isn't acting like a puppet.
He is acting like a politician. He has to balance the American administration, doing their bidding, but he also has to retain some popularity in Iraq. If he doesn't at least appear to stand up to Bush, his own people will get rid of him. He isn't Saddam. Without a strong army to back him, he can't just squash a rebellion, and I think this is his point.al-Maliki is a puppet with Washington pulling the strings from the top and al-Sadr and the Iraqi people pulling his legs from the bottom. By eliminating the Iraqi army, Bush castrated the Iraqi government. "In a sign of the tense relations with Washington, he chided the US for suggesting his Government was living on 'borrowed time'."With The White House expressing their lack of confidence in him, al-Maliki is trying at this point to save his job and his life. He is on "borrowed time" indeed.
In other words, no matter what facts unfold, your presumption -- that the US would install a puppet -- is correct.When Bush dismantled Hussein's army, where were the geniuses proclaiming that a mistake, and predicting disaster from it? I'll tell you where they were: they didn't exist. Only after problems emerged did geniuses start pointing out mistakes.The same with WMD; nobody proclaimed that WMDs didn't exist prior to the invasion. Only after none turned up did anybody know that they didn't exist.
"When Bush dismantled Hussein's army, where were the geniuses proclaiming that a mistake, and predicting disaster from it?"I was one of them. You knew that there would be an insurgency. Certainly there was no way of knowing who was on your side and who wasn't, but without a structured security force, how do you expect to maintain order. Not with the insufficient number of "coalition" troops that invaded."Only after problems emerged did geniuses start pointing out mistakes."You're still wrong. US generals pointed out the administration's mistakes before the invasion, and they were fired. US diplomats pointed out the mistakes before they happened, and some of them resigned in protest. George H.W. Bush explained what would happen in his memoirs, but his son and his advisors didn't listen. Civilians all over the world knew the invasion was a mistake and we took to the streets in protest. We were all right. You were one of the few fools who actually believed that this war was a good idea (and one of the fewer who still does)."The same with WMD; nobody proclaimed that WMDs didn't exist prior to the invasion. Only after none turned up did anybody know that they didn't exist."Perhaps no one knew for sure, but this is an argument for allowing the UN to complete its inspections. You're rehashing old shit, but at this point, Paul, you should just admit that you were wrong. You were blinded by your fear of terrorists and your blind faith in the "symbol" of the presidency versus the incompetence of the "man" who is the president and the greed of his advisors.
Even now with everyone from 70% of the American people, the Iraqi government, policymakers in both parties and US generals saying that a troop surge is a STUPID idea, Bush is sending more soldiers into Iraq to kill and be killed.The son of a bitch should be impeached, indicted, tried and convicted of violating the constitution, spying on US citizens, promoting torture and committing war crimes. If it doesn't happen soon, more innocent people will die.
Paul,Long before the war started, when Rumsfeld was openly fantasizing about being greeted with roses, commentators on both sides of the Atlantic were warning of a Sunni/Shia split, of bloodletting, or Iran gaining influence, etc. It's wishful revisionism, and frankly a bit shocking, to say at this date, "Only after problems emerged did geniuses start pointing out mistakes." Yes, Nadir and I were among the prewar critics pointing out obvious flaws in the bush strategy, but there were loads of others. Look at back issues of the London Guardian online, for just one example. I was in Europe at the time, and reading the British press. There was quite a vigorous debate about these things going on there, and here, too, for anyone who cared to look past page one of the NYT, etc.
Did these prescient critics at the time argue against dismantling the Iraqi army? Nadir claims now that he knew that was a mistake at the time. I very much doubt that he expressed this at the time. I remember nobody criticizing that move until problems later materialized. And I remain unconvinced that was a mistake. Did the Union forces leave the Confederate army intact? What about the Waffen SS or the Japanese Imperial Navy? Might an in-tact Hussein army have merely provided a well-structured fighting organ to perpetuate Baathist tyranny? Maybe not; maybe the new people feeding its coffers would have purchased its loyalty. I'm not sure, and I don't understand why anybody else is so sure. Did these devoted critics, including Nadir and Tom, predict that GIs would find zero WMD? Nadir says that the uncertainty called for yet more years of inspections, and I do remember him and Tom calling for that. Seems to me that after ten years of non-compliance and endless inspections that led to no complete certifications that this argued for a declaration of inspections as a failure. Again I say verily unto you: I am uncertain that invading was the best choice, but the failure to obtain compliant inspections in ten years of trying, after 911 I can understand the rationale for ending inspections and sending in GIs.I certainly recall that you devoted critics predicted massive failure for the voting, which didn't happen. I admit that I supported this war believing that Bush would implement it better than he has (such as torturing people, some of which surely are innocent, and even the torturing of guilty people harms efforts to create a just and free society), and that we would have success by now. I admit this hasn't happened, but think that it's still too early yet to know for sure that it was a mistake. I admit that it may prove to be.
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