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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

 
I was wrong about Peter Beinart being right about being wrong. He's just wrong.

by digby

Oh good lord. When I look like a fool, I really look like a fool. Just the other day I wrote a nice piece about Peter Beinert being someone worth listening to on Iraq because unlike others, he had repented for being wrong and learned some valuable lessons.

Uhm, I spoke too soon:
Yes, the Iraq War was a disaster of historic proportions. Yes, seeing its architects return to prime time to smugly slam President Obama while taking no responsibility for their own, far greater, failures is infuriating.

But sooner or later, honest liberals will have to admit that Obama’s Iraq policy has been a disaster. Since the president took office, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has grown ever more tyrannical and ever more sectarian, driving his country’s Sunnis toward revolt. Since Obama took office, Iraq watchers—including those within his own administration—have warned that unless the United States pushed hard for inclusive government, the country would slide back into civil war. Yet the White House has been so eager to put Iraq in America’s rearview mirror that, publicly at least, it has given Maliki an almost-free pass. Until now, when it may be too late.

Read on to find out how the Obama administration was supposed to perform magic tricks on the head of a pin to prevent this from happening. They didn't "push hard" against the government to allow troops to stay beyond the Bush administration's residual forces agreement expiration. He quotes his fellow memebers of the wrong about everything caucus Kenneth "Gathering Storm" Pollack saying that the administration "sent the wrong message" saying "the United States under the new Obama administration was no longer going to enforce the rules of the democratic road…. [This] undermined the reform of Iraqi politics and resurrected the specter of the failed state and the civil war.”

For crying out loud. The assumption that the US could have done anything to prevent this short of keeping a large military presence in the country at huge expense to America in blood and treasure is nonsense. That they could have done it by "sending messages" and "pushing harder" is delusional.The sad reality is that we broke Humpty Dumpty and all the presidents horses and all the president's men can't put Humpty Dumpty together again.

So, here's my mea culpa: I was wrong to give Peter Beinart the benefit of the doubt. Just because you acknowledge that you were wrong about Iraq it doesn't prove that you've given up the line of thinking that assumes America has a special ability to change the world by sheer will and good intentions. That's a children's fairy tale.

I won't fall for that one again. (I hope.)

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