The latest, not-so-greatest, from Charles Krauthammer, subtly titled "The civil war in Iraq is not our fault; the Iraqis are to blame."
Yeah, I didn't want to read beyond the title either, but I did. Here are the highlights.
America comes and liberates [the Iraqis] from the tyrant who kept everyone living in fear, and the ancient animosities and more recent resentments begin to play themselves out to deadly effect. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died, the overwhelming majority of them killed by Sunni insurgents, Baathist dead-enders and their al-Qaida allies who carry on the Saddamist pogroms.We midwifed their freedom?!?!
Iraqis were given their freedom and yet many have chosen civil war.
We have made a lot of mistakes in Iraq. But when Arabs kill Arabs and Shiites kill Shiites and Sunnis kill all in a spasm of violence that is blind and furious and has roots in hatreds born long before America was even a republic, to place the blame on the one player, the one country, the one military that has done more than any other to try to separate the combatants and bring conciliation is simply perverse.
It infantilizes Arabs. It demonizes Americans. It willfully overlooks the plainest of facts: Iraq is their country. We midwifed their freedom.
They chose civil war.
Blaming Iraq is the last refuge of the absurdly, painfully desperate-- or the very, very high.
It's not as though this is the butterfly effect, Chuckie-- we invaded their country, took out their government, thus destabilizing the country, and we had no real plan to do anything beyond our original objective of taking out Saddam. It's not exactly a surprising outcome, it's the very outcome many people have worried about since before the first bomb was dropped. Many of us continue to worry that destabilizing Iraq could lead to further destabilization of the Middle East-- maybe even an all out regional war. Which, to some degree, would also be our fault. Why? We kicked the beehive.
Civil war in Iraq is the direct, forseeable consequence of our actions. We need to take some personal responsibility for taking a bad situation and making it far, far worse.