"It's bad in Iraq," Mr Bush conceded to reporters. But he said the violence was not a result of "faulty planning".Now where have I heard that before? Ah yes. Blair has passed on to Bush his ridiculous "nothing to do with us" nonsense. He does have some influence after all.
"It is a deliberate strategy. It is the direct result of outside extremists teaming up with internal extremists... to foment hatred and to throttle at birth the possibility of a non-sectarian democracy."
The notion that none of this is the result of faulty planning or in any way down to Bush and Blair's ignorance of the likely consequences of the invasion is based on the claim that what is happening now couldn't have been predicted in advance. This is disingenuous in the extreme. No, I'll go further; it's a bare faced lie.
I can clearly remember hearing expert warnings that if the U.S. invaded Iraq, "outside extremists" would flock there and attempt to provoke instability. I'm not an expert myself but I knew it was going to happen and I could see that the "coalition" didn't really understand what that would entail and weren't prepared for it. That was one part of the reason why I opposed the war (there are many others). As for the sectarian violence, ask Secretary Baker why he wasn't in favour of removing Saddam back in 1991. These two factors, along with the well known unsuitability of U.S. troops when it comes to peacekeeping and nation building, meant that a disaster of the sort we're now witnessing was always the most likely outcome.
As I've pointed out before, Peter Oborne's documentary contained interviews with more than one expert on Iraq. Before the invasion, these academics warned Blair face to face of the enormous difficulties he should expect in the post-invasion period. Blair didn't listen.
Even Jack Straw, way back in March 2002, warned that "We have also to answer the big question - what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than on anything. Most of the assessments from the US have assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraq's WMD threat. But none [sic] has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be better."
For Bush and Blair to now claim that what is happening wasn't predictable is fatuous, self-serving crap. Only the most unscrupulously dishonest politician would even consider using this garbage as a defence of their indefensible actions. It isn't a surprise, therefore, that Bush and Blair have decided to do exactly that.
One final note about extremism. The Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, recently told a Senate committee that:
The longer this goes on, the less controlled the violence is, the more the violence devolves down to the neighborhood level. The center disappears, and normal people acting not irrationally end up acting like extremists.The coalition's failure to provide security since the invasion is causing normal people to behave like extremists. That's why the situation is deteriorating.
Blair and Bush once claimed that the invasion of Iraq was part of their strategy to defeat extremism. Now that the opposite is happened, as many people warned it would, they want to pretend that it has nothing to do with them. They really are beyond the pale.
Tags: News, Politics, Iraq, Tony Blair