This is amusing
President Bush, a Shia-dominated
Iraq would be impossible without
you. Thank you.
As Iraq Deteriorates, Iraqis Get More Blame
U.S. Officials, Lawmakers Change Tone
By Thomas E. Ricks and Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 29, 2006; Page A01
From troops on the ground to members of Congress, Americans increasingly blame the continuing violence and destruction in Iraq on the people most affected by it: the Iraqis.
Even Democrats who have criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the occupation say the people and government of Iraq are not doing enough to rebuild their society. The White House is putting pressure on the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group have debated how much to blame Iraqis for not performing civic duties.
This marks a shift in tone from earlier debate about the responsibility of the United States to restore order after the 2003 invasion, and it seemed to gain currency in October, when sectarian violence surged. Some see the talk of blame as the beginning of the end of U.S. involvement.
"It is the first manifestation of a 'Who lost Iraq?' argument that will likely rage for years to come," said Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University expert on terrorism who has worked as a U.S. government consultant in Iraq.
"I'm tired of nit-picking over how we should bully the Iraqis into becoming better citizens of their own country," former CIA Middle East expert Ray Close wrote in an e-mail to the other advisers to the study group.
Several other experts of various political stripes said this tendency to dump on Baghdad feels like a preamble to withdrawal.
"It's their fault, and by implication not ours, is clearly a theme that's in the air," said retired Army Col. Andrew J. Bacevich, a Vietnam veteran and longtime skeptic of the war in Iraq. It reminds him, he said, of the sour last days of the Vietnam War, when "there was a tendency to blame everything on the 'gooks' -- meaning our South Vietnamese allies who had disappointed us."
"People never understood the culture and the challenges that we faced in trying to build a new Iraq," a senior U.S. intelligence official said. "There's incredible frustration . . . but it also shows a great deal of ignorance."
Anyone with a good history book, and not a total cretin like Ken Pollack, would have known the end game in Iraq meant a Shia state allied with Iran.
Only in Bush's fantasy world did Iraqis share our interests. In reality, they wanted a Shia state and we paved the way for it.
posted by Steve @ 3:08:00 AM