Making it More Broken

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Does it even need saying anymore? I haven’t posted about the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samara, because I honestly haven’t had the heart. Just seeing the pictures of the mosque before and after the bombing, side by side, seems like a metaphor for what’s happened to Iraq since America got the notion to invade. Not that it was in great shape before, but only the most seriously deluded could think it’s better now. We basically went into a bad situation and just made matters worse.

At some point, there’s really no satisfaction in being able to say “I told you so.” Even though 55% of Americans say the Iraq was was a mistake. (Is that the same as calling it “the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time”?) Besides, it’s even more depressing to consider how many of that 55% voted (with trembling hands, no doubt) for the gang that was hell bent on making that mistake. There’ s no really nice or even compassionate way to say it by now. The best I can muster is what Greg Saunders has to say: “This is what happens when you vote for an idiot.” And in case there’s any doubt about just what kind of idiot so many Americans backed, Saunders offers a bit of evidence I’d read before, but couldn’t find a reference for. Before we invaded Iraq, Bush didn’t know Shiite from Sunni.

Peter Galbraith – former U.S. diplomat: January 2003 the President invited three members of the Iraqi opposition to join him to watch the Super Bowl. In the course of the conversation the Iraqis realized that the President was not aware that there was a difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. He looked at them and said, “You mean…they’re not, you know, there, there’s this difference. What is it about?” [emphasis added]

You can see the video for yourself, if you have RealPlayer. Scroll down to “Dispatches — Iraq: The Reckoning.” Galbraith’s interview is at 6:30 in a 48 minutes video.

It didn’t take a genius to know about the Shiite/Sunni rivalry in Iraq, and anyone who was remotely interested in the country wouldn’t be able to avoid learning something about it. In fact, you’d have really have to work to remain ignorant of it. You’d have to not care to know. And Bush didn’t know. Even as the war plans were being drawn up. Perhaps some of the people around him knew, but there’s nothing evident in the unfolding of their plans that suggests they knew or cared.
And there’s no falling back on the favorite refrain — “Who could have known?” — because plenty of people knew. Or at least knew enough to realize that the post-war destabilization would make the country ripe for what even its president is warning about civi war.

Where I come from, conventional wisdom says that if something is broken and you don’t know how to fix — you don’t even know all of the various parts — you leave it alone, because you’re only going end up making it “more broken.” That’s what we’ve done in Iraq. And seeing as how we’ve done it doggedly, against all logic and despite the high probability of the now apparently outcome, there’s really only one conclusion: this is exactly what we intended.

It didn’t take a genius to know about the Shiite/Sunni rivalry in Iraq, and anyone who was remotely interested in the country wouldn’t be able to avoid learning something about it. In fact, you’d have really have to work to remain ignorant of it. You’d have to not care to know. And Bush didn’t know. Even as the war plans were being drawn up. Perhaps some of the people around him knew, but there’s nothing evident in the unfolding of their plans that suggests they knew or cared.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
This entry was posted in Bush, Current Events, Iraq, Terrorism, War on Terror. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Making it More Broken

  1. stroll says:

    Anyone who reads a newspaper once a week would know that there are different Islamic groups in Iraq that don’t get along.  Among other things, Bush’s not-knowing shows that he doesn’t read newspapers.

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