The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Better late than never?

I read the recommendations and descriptions of the Iraq Study Group report wit a mixture of elation and rage. Elation because this was the final nail in the coffin of the whole incredibly destructive US neo-con mission to remake the Middle East. It was the reassertion of traditional realpolitik over US policy -- not necessarily the best and most constructive approach, but certainly less destructive that Bush Jr. and his psychopaths. I’m sure many would say it’s not even the lesser of two evils, but under the cold calculating approach by people like Baker and the others, Iraq would not have been so horrifically destabilized. As the cartoon in the Guardian said, it was time for the adults to get back into politics. God save us from the visionaries.


But if the price for Bush’s humiliation was the wholesale dismantling of Iraq’s social fiber, was it really worth it? And that’s where the rage comes in. It’s a good report, it’s familiar reading because all of us – media, Iraqis, international organizations – have been saying this for years. Where the hell was this panel a year and a half ago before got quite so awful?

Why do these old fogies say it and everyone, including the president, nod sagaciously and accept it, while everyone else was ignored before. The upbeat military weekly military press conferences, the blog attacks on the “liberal media�, the Bush administration’s defense of the situation … suddenly it’s all gone, as though it never was, and everyone seems to have no problem acknowledging that the situation in Iraq has become beyond awful.

Better late than never. I guess.

Unless of course it’s too late.
PostsAbu RayIraq, US7 Comments