Someone named Michael Knight wants you to know that, while this development gives him big sads because it's so utterly shocking, shocking given the degree to which the U.S. "...laid the foundations for (post-Saddam Iraq's) democratic traditions..., "Iraq is unraveling".
Excuse me while I take a moment to shove my arm in my mouth to keep from becoming hysteric.
You mean that by invading a precariously cobbled post-Ottoman multiethnic kleptocratic peri-state (rich with a tradition of dictatorial strongmen and winner-take-all politics), proceeding to devastate the physical and economic landscape while enabling the Shiite and Kurdish elements that were the last men standing after we defenestrated the Tikriti mafia, we then left behind a perilously unstable entity that is now in the process of deconstructing into a Maliki dictatorship amid the political, social and economic wreckage that "shock and awe" and a horrendously mismanaged occupation produced?
No shit, Sherlock.
But the best part of the Foreign Policy article is here: "The United States laid the foundations for these democratic traditions, and can still be a powerful voice in getting Iraq back on track."
What Iraqi with a functioning brain cell would want the United States anywhere within the maximum effective range of anything to do with the governance of Iraq? Is this Knight guy completely whack? Does he think that in a mere decade the Iraqis have forgotten Viceroy Bremer and his shambolic Coalition Provisional Authority? Forgotten checkpoint shootings, arbitrary detentions, Blackwater goons shooting up random streets, bags of unmarked cash filling unnammed pockets? Forgotten the massive corruption, colossal ignorance, and hubris we showed turning up with a 30 round magazine and a copy of Atlas Shrugged, ready to hustle the East?
Every so often I am reminded that "we" as in We the People (and particularly We the People in our representatives in the U.S. government) really haven't the slightest clue what we look like from the outside. People like this Knight, who seems to have actually been there and done that, and yet still seem to think that we have anything to say to Iraq and the Iraqis other than "Oops, my bad."
I'll be the first to say that I hope that the U.S. government and its foreign policy agencies have some sort of idea how to help this place that we knocked down because of some lying grifters' lies and then turned upside-down and shook until its face turned red.
But I'll also be the first to admit that we didn't have a goddamn idea when we had thousands of armed soldiers there on how to actually do that. And that for someone, anyone, to try and pretend - and con the U.S. public into believing - that we now have anything more than a whisper of a hope in hell?
In a just world that person would be kicked in the ass so hard that he would be unable to sit down for a week.
But it is symptomatic of the world we have created that the ass of Mr. Knight and those like him in our government and our punditry will remain as soft and pillowy as a fluffy white cloud.
While the asses of those people who paid the bitter price for the lies and the illusions of Mr. Knight and his ilk will be sore as boils assuming that those poor bastards are still alive to feel the pain.
And there is just no damn justice in that at all.