Monday, December 12, 2011

Iraq’s sovereignty must be respected


Today Obama held a press conference with Iraqi PM Maliki, who Obama called “the elected leader of a sovereign, self-reliant and democratic Iraq.” Not an accurate adjective in that phrase.

AND MOE WAS THE SMARTEST STOOGE: “The Prime Minister leads Iraq’s most inclusive government yet.”


WELL, MAYBE NOT TRANSPARENT, BUT THEY DO HAVE BIG BOMB-BLAST HOLES YOU CAN SEE THROUGH: “Iraqis are working to build institutions that are efficient and independent and transparent.”

IF GROWTH IS MEASURED FROM THE POINT AT WHICH WE’D BOMBED THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE INTO RUBBLE, ANYWAY: “And I think it’s worth considering some remarkable statistics. In the coming years, it’s estimated that Iraq’s economy will grow even faster than China’s or India’s.”

DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO: “For just as Iraq has pledged not to interfere in other nations, other nations must not interfere in Iraq. Iraq’s sovereignty must be respected.”

HE’S ALWAYS SO CONCERNED THAT WE’RE GOING TO MAKE A MISTAKE: “So make no mistake, our strong presence in the Middle East endures”.

“And let us never forget those who gave us this chance -- the untold number of Iraqis who’ve given their lives; more than one million Americans, military and civilian, who have served in Iraq; nearly 4,500 fallen Americans who gave their last full measure of devotion; tens of thousands of wounded warriors, and so many inspiring military families. They are the reason that we can stand here today.” On a large pile of corpses.


Obama said Syrian President Assad’s repression has “deeply eroded” “his capacity to regain legitimacy inside Syria”. As with Qaddafi’s famous lost legitimacy, Obama fails to explain when and how Assad ever gained legitimacy in the first place.

You know, when I heard from Al Jazeera that Iran was refusing to return the US’s downed drone, I assumed it was a preemptive refusal and laughed at the notion that we’d actually have the nerve to ask, but Obama says they did and “We’ll see how the Iranians respond.” Yes, yes we will.



SO IT WAS AAALLLLLL WORTH WHILE: “what’s happened over the last several years has linked the United States and Iraq in a way that is potentially powerful and could end up benefitting not only America and Iraq but also the entire region and the entire world.”

A MODEL: “we think a successful, democratic Iraq can be a model for the entire region. We think an Iraq that is inclusive and brings together all people -- Sunni, Shia, Kurd -- together to build a country, to build a nation, can be a model for others that are aspiring to create democracy in the region.” Yes, one feature of the Arab Spring was how protesters in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, etc all said that they want to be just like Iraq.


Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune asked if Obama still thinks the Iraq War is a “dumb war.” For some reason he neglected to answer: “I think history will judge the original decision to go into Iraq. But what’s absolutely clear is, as a consequence of the enormous sacrifices that have been made by American soldiers and civilians -- American troops and civilians -- as well as the courage of the Iraqi people, that what we have now achieved is an Iraq that is self-governing, that is inclusive, and that has enormous potential.”

Obama thanks the people who’ve worked on Iraq, although perhaps “a bang-up job” was not the most sensitive expression to use.



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