Tuesday, February 21, 2006

do as I say, not as I said

Our man in Baghdad issued a stern warning to the newly, duly elected Iraqi government yesterday.

"The United States is investing billions of dollars" in Iraq's police and army, said the ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad. "We are not going to invest the resources of the American people to build forces run by people who are sectarian."

Is he fucking kidding? The United States has done everything—everything—to bring just this very situation about. From Bush 41’s empty promises to Iraqi Shiites to every poorly planned and mismanaged step taken by Bush 43, from the power vacuum created in the wake of the rapid invasion to the halls of Abu Ghraib, from the force-fed elections timetable designed to suit US domestic politics to the corrupt and corrupting support for traitors like Ahmad Chalabi, the current Iraqi government (and its behavior) bears a great big label reading “made in the USA.”

But ZK goes further:

"I have said to Iraqis that we do not seek to impose our differences with Iran on them," Khalilzad said. "But we do not want Iranian interference in Iraq."

From the perspective of five years back, the worst thing for American interests in the region would have been to drive Iran further away while allowing an Iranian client state to take form in Iraq. Well, that’s exactly what has happened—and it has happened because, and only because, of actions taken at the behest of Bush & Co. For Khalilzad, no doubt at the direction of the Bush administration, to now threaten Iraqis with a cessation of aid because what any rational actor could have predicted has actually come to be is not the height of hypocrisy only because hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to describe the offense.

I guess this is what happens when you use “intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made.


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