David Brooks on Iraq, essays from 6/12/14 and 03/24/03: a comment by Selbstdenker

Mr. Brooks in his column, at the New York Times web site, of June 12, 2014 examines the failures of American Policy in Iraq since the American invasion and finds the whole of it a collection of grievous mistakes, miscalculation and just plain policy incompetence. Add to these failures that of implementation and a lack of commitment, not speak of the failed leadership of both Bush and Obama :
His concluding paragraphs worthy of full quotation:

‘We now have two administrations in a row that committed their worst foreign policy blunders in Iraq. By withdrawing too quickly from Iraq, by failing to build on the surge, the Obama administration has made some similar mistakes made during the early administration of George W. Bush, except in reverse. The dangers of American underreach have been lavishly and horrifically displayed.
It is not too late to help Syrian moderates. In Iraq, the answer is not to send troops back in. It is to provide Maliki help in exchange for concrete measures to reduce sectarian tensions. The Iraqi government could empower regional governments, acknowledging the nation’s diversity. Maliki could re-professionalize the Army. The Constitution could impose term limits on prime ministers.
But these provisions would require a more forward-leaning American posture around the world, an awareness that sometimes a U.S.-created vacuum can be ruinous. The president says his doctrine is don’t do stupid stuff. Sometimes withdrawal is the stupidest thing of all.’

Compare and contrast the June 12, 2014 essay with this editorial by Mr. Brooks at the Weekly Standard of March 24,2003. Here is Mr. Brooks unconstrained by his self-appointment as American Moralist,made actual by his ascension to the New York Times columnist chair, in his true voice bristling with a contempt fueled by unalloyed arrogance.

What matters, and what ultimately sprang the U.N. trap, is American resolve. The administration simply wouldn’t let up. It didn’t matter how Hans Blix muddied the waters with his reports on this or that weapons system. Under the U.N. resolutions, it was up to Saddam to disarm, administration officials repeated ad nauseam, and he wasn’t doing it. It was and is sheer relentlessness that has driven us to where we are today.

Which is ironic. We are in this situation because the first Bush administration was not relentless in its pursuit of Saddam Hussein. That is a mistake this Bush administration will not repeat.

–David Brooks, for the Editors


The ignominious failure of American policy that destroyed a functioning viable society, and it’s intellectual moral collaborators/ rationalizes, now, have the face-saving argument that the Sunni-Shiite divide stands as the ‘reason’ for the collapse of the Iraq house of cards.





About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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