Are you ever going to see recriminations now! Who lost Iraq? The Republicans are going to blame the Democrats! The Democrats will blame the Republicans! Everyone gets a free swipe at Maliki. Honest. Play dunk the prime minister and support your local Department of Defense. Play dunk the opposing political party and support your sectarian prime minister.
Think about this one for a second. The Republicans want to blame the Democrats for the mess in Iraq. Think that one through. Suppose someone set your house on fire, then blamed your neighbor for letting it burn down. You’d wonder if the arsonist was a sociopath or something. You know I’m no respecter of Obama’s foreign policy, nor do I think he should blame the Republicans for everything he can think of, but to blame the president for the catastrophe in Iraq is beyond rational.
Do you remember how much we put into training the Iraqi armed forces? “When the Iraqi security forces stand up, we’ll stand down,” our military and political leaders used to say. We would stay in country till the Iraqis were ready to defend themselves. After year upon year of that futile project, we said, “Well, the Iraqi army just doesn’t have good leadership, at any level. That prevents them from becoming a good fighting force.”
And how. Do you know who is allied with ISIS as its army moves south from Mosul? Officers and other experienced men from the Iraqi army we broke up in 2003! That’s where your leadership went! Good move, guys. No army with even adequate, let alone good leadership would have collapsed as quickly as the Iraqi army did this week. The soldiers left their weapons and fled in civilian clothes. Maliki says he wants to prosecute deserters, even as he calls on civilian volunteers to protect the country. That’s a good policy, folks. The army can’t protect the civilians, so now we’ll see if the civilians can protect the army.
No one in Washington wants to confess now that we did something wrong in 2003. Hillary Clinton says she should not have voted for war then, but remember, she wants to be president. Listen for one person in power to say, “We messed up.” Listen for a sincere admission of war guilt. You won’t hear anything. Instead you’ll hear recriminations. “It’s your fault!”
The Iraqis told us in 2011 they didn’t want us to help them anymore. So we left. Now that Maliki’s army in the north has disintegrated, he’d like a little assistance. Our assistance didn’t help five years ago, when he had an army, and Mosul was an Iraqi city. Our assistance won’t help now, as his country falls apart. I wonder if Maliki has called his travel agent yet.