Disaster in Iraq foretold: Well, not quite

Along with the rest of the neocon crew, Andrew Bolt is blaming the collapse of the Iraqi state on Obama’s withdrawal of US troops in 2011. Exactly how Obama was supposed to repudiate an agreement signed by Bush, and maintain an occupation force against the wishes of the Iraqi government (he tried, but failed to negotiate an extension) is not explained. But, no matter.

At least Bolt and the rest warned us that Iraq was still too fragile to be left on its own, and that an indefinite occupation was needed. Well not exactly. Here he is in 2009, gloating over the fact that Obama was going slow on withdrawal and thereby disappointing his supporters. That could be read either way, I guess, but there’s no warning that Bush’s timetable needed changing.

More striking is this piece from 2007, claiming that “the war has been won“. Here’s what he has to say about future prospects

Violence is falling fast. Al Qaida has been crippled.

The Shiites, Kurds and Marsh Arabs no longer face genocide.

What’s more, the country has stayed unified. The majority now rules.

Despite that, minority Sunni leaders are co-operating in government with Shiite ones.

There is no civil war. The Kurds have not broken away. Iran has not turned Iraq into its puppet.

And the country’s institutions are getting stronger. The Iraqi army is now at full strength, at least in numbers.

The country has a vigorous media. A democratic constitution has been adopted and backed by a popular vote.

Election after election has Iraqis turning up in their millions.

Add it all up. Iraq not only remains a democracy, but shows no sign of collapse.

If I were an American reading that, I would have said it was time to bring the boys and girls home, as Bush agreed to do in October 2008.

142 thoughts on “Disaster in Iraq foretold: Well, not quite

  1. Well, since you’d been talking about the material covered by ss239 and 240 of the commonwealth electoral act for the past week or more I kind of assumed that you’d familiarised yourself with their exact provisions, enough to recognise their numbers at least.

    Clearly this was an unfair assumption. I apologise unreservedly.

  2. J-D @ #24 wrote:

    But there isn’t [a threat of war between the US and its allies on one side and Russia and China on the other].

    A regime of Nazis and right-wing neoliberal extremists, installed on Russia’s border by the same people who in recent years, have on fraudulent pretexts (“incubator babies”, WMDS, Gulf of Tonkin, …) :

    1. Waged war against Iraq twice and applied economic sanctions from 1990 which have killed at least many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (with one estimate putting the figure as high as 3.3 million);

    2. Bombed Sarajevo and overthrew the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic (Milosevic conveniently “committed suicide” in 2006 before he could be tried for his alleged crimes);

    3. Invaded Libya in 2011; and

    4. Started a proxy terrorist war against the people of Syria (including Syrian Christians, some of whom speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus) in which over 160,000 Syrians have died so far;

    … is killing people in the East of Ukraine who do not want to live under the Ukrainian Nazi regime with aerial bombardment, artillery fire, tanks and infantry;

    Europe, and the Unites States have applied sanctions against Russia because of its alleged support for anti-Nazi fighters in East Ukraine and because Crimeans chose to join Russia rather than under the rule of the Nazis in Kiev;

    Promises given to Russia not to expand NATO have been broken. NATO now also includes Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia;

    The United states is expanding its nuclear arsenal and plans to deploy some of them in Eastern Europe, possibly even in Ukraine; and

    NATO is conducting military exercise in the Baltic as war rages in the Ukraine.

    Surely, you can now see how real and terrible the threat of a global war is, J-D?

    If you can’t, please feel welcome to cite Paul Craig Roberts and me in order to explain why we are wrong, J-D.

  3. @Collin Street

    I made no reference to s239 or s240. I quoted s233(1) and s245(15). Should I offer you an apology for mistakenly assuming that you can tell different numbers apart?

  4. My assumption was that in addition to the sections you’ve quoted you’d also read ss239/240, and I thought this because it seemed to me that from their headings alone they would have obvious relevance to the question of what constitutes a vote.

    On what you’ve told me, J-D, this was an unfair assumption, and I apologise for making it.

  5. Incidentally, I’m not entirely sure what continued relevance the details of the australian electoral act have to do with the situation in iraq: perhaps it might be most politic [ha!] to simply drop the matter entirely?

  6. @Fran Barlow

    I am advised by the Australian Electoral Commission that polling officials have instructions that electors who leave the booth without putting ballot papers in the ballot boxes should be reminded of the requirement do so (as you describe happening to yourself in one case); but also that they have instructions that their personal safety and that of others at the polling place is a primary concern and they should not continue to engage with people who are behaving abusively or aggressively.

    What should have happened in the cases that you describe is that details of the incidents should have been reported to the Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) and the DRO should have issued you with an enforcement notice, except that the DRO would not have been able to do this if the polling officials couldn’t supply your name (which is easily possible).

    Since the AEC reports enforcement action on a significant scale, the fact that none was taken against you does not show a systematic policy of non-enforcement.

  7. I wrote (@ #22):

    Can Putin’s Diplomacy Prevail Over Washington’s Coercion?

    Article is by Paul CraigRoberts

    (My introduction: )The article, of 24 June 2014 by Paul Craig Roberts, concerns an issue to which no other issue can approach in urgency and importance – the threat of war between the United States and its allies on the one hand and Russia and China on the other. Such a war could well be the end of humanity. …

    Then M-D wrote (@ #24):

    @malthusista

    If there were a threat of war between the US and its allies on one side and Russia and China on the other, no other issue could approach it in urgency and importance.

    But there isn’t.

    Then I wrote (@ #27):

    A regime of Nazis and right-wing neoliberal extremists, installed on Russia’s border by the same people who in recent years, have on fraudulent pretexts (“incubator babies”, WMDS, Gulf of Tonkin, …) :

    1. Waged war against Iraq twice and applied economic sanctions from 1990 which have killed at least many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (with one estimate putting the figure as high as 3.3 million);

    2. Bombed Sarajevo and overthrew the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic (Milosevic conveniently “committed suicide” in 2006 before he could be tried for his alleged crimes);

    Then M-D wrote (@ #29):

    @malthusista

    No, I still cannot see any threat of a global war between the US and its allies on the one side and Russia and China on the other.

    You should apply for a job at Fox News. Jeanine Pirro and you would make a great team.

  8. @malthusista

    Jeanine Pirro thinks that ISIS is ‘coming for us’. I don’t think that ISIS is ‘coming for us’.

    Jeanine Pirro thinks that the US should bomb ISIS. I don’t think that the US should bomb ISIS.

    Jeanine Pirro thinks that Barack Obama is dancing around with political correctness. I don’t think that Barack Obama is dancing around with political correctness.

    I can’t see anything that Jeanine Pirro and I agree about.

  9. @malthusista
    my comment made at 8:00 am in response to your comment made at 12:48 am is still in moderation! for the sake of one link. so with the link “de-clawed”, i salute you:-

    was it you who posted paul craig roberts here before? i’ve book marked him, thanks. this is good, too:- http://www.vineyardsaker.blogspot.com%5Bdot%5Dau/

    sakar (ex russian army intel) a has situation reports (sitrep) from one “juan” (ex ukrainian army infantry) on the ground in east ukraine. sakar’s take is that they (nato/us/ukraine) were trying to provoke russia into intervention, by bombing civilians from the air and using artillery on suburbs. he has a lot of good stuff including videos – stuff we never see here – but some of the comments have to be taken with a grain of salt. -cheers, a.v.

  10. one more time.

    my comment made at 8:00 am in response to your comment made at 12:48 am is still in moderation! for the sake of one link. so with the link “de-clawed” i salute you:-

    was you who posted paul craig roberts here before? i’ve book marked him, thanks.

    this is good, too: http://www.vineyardsaker.blogspot.com [dot] au/

    sakar (ex russian army intel) a has situation reports (sitrep) from one “juan” (ex ukrainian army infantry) on the ground in east ukraine. sakar’s take is that they (nato/us/ukraine) were trying to provoke russia into intervention, by bombing civilians from the air and using artillery on suburbs. he has a lot of good stuff including videos – stuff we never see here – but some of the comments have to be taken with a grain of salt. -cheers, a.v.

  11. malthusista – i totally get what you’re saying about ukraine. never heard of jeanine pirro, don’t have cable. -a.v.

  12. alfred venison (@ #37, #37)

    Thank you so much for your interest and support.

    The vineyardsaker-dot-blogpot-dot-com web-site seems most impressive.

    Particularly impressive is the music video “Ukraine: Code Red”. It doesn’t seem to lose much by not having English vocals. What is clearly going on in 2014 in Ukraine is very similar to what occurred in Europe from 1933 until 1945. If we aren’t very careful, we may end up with another global conflagration like the Second World War in which 60 million died, or worse.

    Few of our world political leaders are any better than those who appeased the Nazis until 1939. Many are acting no better than the leaders of the Third Reich themselves or all those vile European leaders who collaborated with them: Phillipe Petain, Pier Laval, Vidkun Quisling, Ante Pavelic, etc.

    Have you considered posting to our site? Like (I believe is the case with) Professor Quiggin, we haven’t yet censored any posts (except for abusive posts, posts which are illegal and forum spam). If we can’t defend our views against those who disagree then we should change our views.

    As on this web-site (as I understand) and unlike a few other Australian forum sites, we never censor (except for forum spam, or unless the post is abusive, overly verbose – which hasn’t happened yet- or somehow illegal). If we can’t defend our views with evidence and logic in a free discussion, then we should change those views. This has not happened so far (except on subsidiary questions, like whether or not Vladimir Putin has exercised good judgement when he recntly had the Russian upper house pass legislation).

    Another writer, who is opposed to the New World Order and who is very thoughtful and insightful is Tony Cartalucci (aka “Land Destroyer”). His latest article on Ukraine is here. Some of what he writes goes against my own intuition, but I think even here, he is most likely right.

  13. @alfred venison

    Skimming through Saker’s website my eye chanced to fall on this line:

    Wars are horrible and atrocities are the norm, not the exception.

    I absolutely agree with that. The correct default assumption is that in any war there will be instances of atrocities committed by both sides. And therefore specific evidence of specific atrocities doesn’t generally tell us anything about the structure of the conflict as a whole (except, to repeat, that’s it’s horrible as war always is).

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