Thursday, November 16, 2006
This ain't nuttin new: I been here before -- grandma crib, n****s outside a' her door:
Via Matt, I see Laura has a reported Los Angeles Times op-ed revealing that the Bush administration is considering tilting back toward the Shiites in Iraq. Clearly this is a move of pure what-the-fuck-else-can-we-do exhaustion. And, as Matt points out, we've been here before -- during the all-praises-due-Sistani era of winter-spring 2004 and the purple-finger moment of spring 2005. But it's worth pointing out the costs of actively combating a civil war, as I did in this September 2005 TNR piece (back when it looked -- yes, again -- that we were about to do this):
But Bush might well remember that his supposed rationale for invading Iraq is to advance the war on terrorism, which is, in no small part, about convincing millions of Sunnis worldwide that the United States is not opposed to their religion. Directly supporting the Shia against the Sunnis in Iraq is about as counterproductive to the broader war as invading Iraq itself has proved. "I'm not sure the U.S. government could or should--it certainly shouldn't--pit the Sunnis and the Shia against each other," says Richard Clarke, the former Clinton and Bush counterterrorism adviser. "Not that it's in our interest." Unfortunately, in Iraq, acting against U.S. interests is about the only thing Bush has done successfully.
--Spencer Ackerman