NYT Baghdad bureau chief: The White House lied to Americans for years about what bad shape Iraq was in

posted at 7:21 pm on September 10, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Ace, something to keep in mind tonight while The One is doing his johnny-on-the-spot shtick about fighting jihadism in Iraq. “Lie” is my word, not Tim Arango’s, but read his comment and tell me what’s more likely. That the vast American intelligence community was “ignorant” of how bad things were in a country where we’d spent eight years developing assets? Or that the White House had every reason to know how dangerous Iraq was becoming but chose to suppress that information because the truth was problematic?

Is “ignorant” really the best word to describe willful blindness to a politically inconvenient truth? Obama got elected promising to bring the troops home; the only way he could do that without major domestic headaches was to claim that Iraq didn’t need them anymore. So he did, the truth notwithstanding. Imagine how many low-information voters will watch tonight’s speech and wonder where this bolt-from-the-blue known as ISIS came from. Last they heard, Iraq was doing just fine.

You guys know better, though. I’ve linked it more than once before but it’s worth re-reading Peter Beinart’s post from a few months ago about Obama’s history of malign neglect in Iraq. He had one Iraq goal as president — to get out, come what may, just as he promised voters he would do in 2008. And he did it, even though that meant denying Iraq a small but potent residual American force that could have held Maliki’s sectarian impulses in check (which in turn would have made Iraq’s Sunnis less inclined to turn to ISIS) and would have been well positioned to smash ISIS once it crossed the border from Syria. Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker has written about this at length. Quote:

“We used to restrain Maliki all the time,” Lieutenant General Michael Barbero, the deputy commander in Iraq until January, 2011, told me. “If Maliki was getting ready to send tanks to confront the Kurds, we would tell him and his officials, ‘We will physically block you from moving if you try to do that.’ ” Barbero was angry at the White House for not pushing harder for [a Status of Forces] agreement. “You just had this policy vacuum and this apathy,” he said. “Now we have no leverage in Iraq. Without any troops there, we’re just another group of guys.” There is no longer anyone who can serve as a referee, he said, adding, “Everything that has happened there was not just predictable—we predicted it.”

The American ambassador at the time told Filkins that he and his staff got no guidance from the White House while they were trying to negotiate an agreement with Maliki. “[T]hey wanted to leave,” said Iyad Allawai, “and they handed the country to the Iranians. Iraq is a failed state now, an Iranian colony.” And now we’re going to be fighting on the Iranian side against the Wahhabi monster our absence helped create, a prospect so dismal and dangerous that even the famously hawkish David Frum thinks we should leave ISIS alone for fear of empowering Iran even further. Obama checked out on Iraq and now, thanks to his neglect, he has no choice but to check back in under the worst circumstances.

Like I say, read the Beinart piece. That’s how we got here.


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MarshFox. They lied. Lolz! ; )

Bmore on September 10, 2014 at 9:51 PM

And the NYT and other media covered for him for all that time.

michaelo on September 10, 2014 at 10:00 PM

They can’t forgive that he is failing, and in doing so, he is embarrassing them by demonstrating the (predictable) failure of the progressive ideology.

bofh on September 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

The president lied us into out of a war in Iraq!

Except this time, it’s not hard to catch the president lying, but no one wants to talk about it.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 10, 2014 at 11:31 PM

Man, I am so glad we went into Iraq in order to bring democracy to the Middle East. This is turning out just AWESOME…

JohnGalt23 on September 10, 2014 at 7:52 PM

We didn’t. That’s just a simplistic smear that skips over every reason why we actually did go into Iraq.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 10, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Iraq didn’t matter to Barack Jarrett so it was ignored. The policy is and has been: Appease Iran At All Costs.

aquaviva on September 11, 2014 at 1:42 AM

Obama… making it up as he goes along.

Truth, lies, fantasy, and cynical politics, all mashed into one infantile mess.

President Winging It.

With only one wing.

The left, of course.

Leaving him spinning.

profitsbeard on September 11, 2014 at 2:34 AM

We didn’t. That’s just a simplistic smear that skips over every reason why we actually did go into Iraq.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 10, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Well, I’d say we went in to get rid of WMD’s, but I’m afraid my laughter would spill onto the screen…

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 3:53 AM

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 3:53 AM

Moronic.

Instead tell us the whole host of other reasons we went in. You’re so smart.

CW on September 11, 2014 at 6:30 AM

“Read the Beinart piece.”

These words make no sense in this arrangement. Like we would read Bucky Beinart and expect to learn something other than what flavor douche Obama uses.

Jaibones on September 11, 2014 at 8:11 AM

“We’re Leaving Behind a Sovereign, Stable, and Self-Reliant Iraq.”

~Barack Hussein Obama; Super Genius

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Well, I’d say we went in to get rid of WMD’s, but I’m afraid my laughter would spill onto the screen…

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 3:53 AM

So, were you also laughing when ISIS seized Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons facility, which never existed according to leftist mythology?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10910868/Iraq-crisis-Obama-may-launch-air-strikes-without-Congress-amid-calls-for-Maliki-to-go-live.html

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/20/isis-captures-chemical-weapons-plant-in-iraq/

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 9:06 AM

How soon before this correspondent is relieved of his job, per orders from above?

Don L on September 11, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Instead tell us the whole host of other reasons we went in. You’re so smart.

CW on September 11, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Leftist fantasists claim that we went into Iraq only so that Dick Cheney’s Halliburton could profitter from Iraq’s oil, and that 9/11 was an inside job.

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Man, I am so glad we went into Iraq in order to bring democracy to the Middle East. This is turning out just AWESOME…

JohnGalt23 on September 10, 2014 at 7:52 PM

You do realize of course, that Barack Obama has been President for six years now, right?

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 9:11 AM

You do realize of course, that Barack Obama has been President for six years now, right?

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 9:11 AM

As I said upthread, plenty of blame to go around.

But just because the Thug-in-Chief dropped the ball, doesn’t excuse GWB for the biggest foreign policy mistake of my lifetime…

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Instead tell us the whole host of other reasons we went in. You’re so smart.

CW on September 11, 2014 at 6:30 AM

How ’bout we let GWB do it in his own words, what say?

“At the United Nations Security Council it is very important that the members understand that the credibility of the United Nations is at stake, that the Security Council must be firm in its resolve to deal with a truth threat to world peace, and that is Saddam Hussein. That the United Nations Security Council must work with the United States and Britain and other concerned parties to send a clear message that we expect Saddam to disarm. And if the United Nations Security Council won’t deal with the problem, the United States and some of our friends will.”

Well, as you know, our government in 1998 — action that my administration has embraced — decided that this regime was not going to honor its commitments to get rid of weapons of mass destruction. The Clinton administration supported regime change. Many members of the United States Senate supported regime change. My administration still supports regime change. There’s all kinds of ways to change regimes.

This man is a man who said he was going to get rid of weapons of mass destruction. And for 11 long years, he has not fulfilled his promise. And we’re going to talk about what to do about it. We owe it to future generations to deal with this problem, and that’s what these discussions are all about. “

“There’s no negotiations, by the way, for Mr. Saddam Hussein. There’s nothing to discuss. He either gets rid of his weapons and the United Nations gets rid of his weapons — he can either get rid of his weapons and the United States can act, or the United States will lead a coalition to disarm this man.

Lotta talk of disarmament, but you might not be able to hear it over the talk of the world.

Now, feel free to quote GWB talking about overthrow for some other reason…

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 10:03 AM

So, were you also laughing when ISIS seized Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons facility, which never existed according to leftist mythology?

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 9:06 AM

That would be the al-Muthanna facility? The one the UN inspectors signed off on? The one that even your own link says: “declared unusable and ‘does not pose a significant security risk'”?

That facility?

I’d tell you to do your homework, but you are clearly too lazy, shiftless, and no-account for that advice to take hold.

Much like the Thug-in-Chief…

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 10:09 AM

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Would that be the same UN that elected Libya as chairman of the Human Rights Commission?

If so, it wouldn’t be too surprising if they were to shrug their shoulders over a facility which potentiall produced the wepaons Hussein used at Halabja.

I wonder if the Kurds feld that al-Muthanna posed a significant security risk? Maybe we could ask them. Oh wait…

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Boy I wish I could edit posts. My fingers are darn clumsy before coffee.

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Would that be the same UN that elected Libya as chairman of the Human Rights Commission?

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 10:31 AM

That would be the UN whose security resolutions we used as a cassus belli. Resolutions, it turns out, the Hussein regime was largely in compliance with.

Now, I don’t like scumbags of Turtle Bay any more than you, and likely a lot less. But the facility you mentioned was looked at by the very inspectors we deemed the line between war and peace, and they signed off on the peace side.

Which,if you read your own sources, you would know.

Boy I wish I could edit posts.

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 10:32 AM

I bet…

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 10:38 AM

How much longer do you think that Tim Arango will be employed by the NYTs. This objective response doesn’t fit with what the NYT has espoused over the last 6 years.

regmgr on September 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

That would be the UN whose security resolutions we used as a cassus belli. Resolutions, it turns out, the Hussein regime was largely in compliance with.

Would that be the same UN that dutifully cataloged the 550 tons of yellowcake that we did the heavy lifting on?

But the facility you mentioned was looked at by the very inspectors we deemed the line between war and peace, and they signed off on the peace side.

I guess I don’t place as much faith in the world’s largest gathering of despots as you do. Perhaps you’ll be celebrating United Nations Day this coming October with some sort of flatulence bouquet amongst your friends.

Which,if you read your own sources, you would know.

It’s important for you to understand, that just because the sources I cite mention that the facilities were inspected by the organization that we’ve apparently surrendered our sovereignty to in your opinion, doesn’t mean that I’m required to give those inspectors or their determinations any more weight than Mad Magazine.

I bet…

Yes. I hate typos.

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

South Vietnam redux. How many more of our allies & people will have to die horribly as then for our lawless, fascist commie “government” to have its way, while Americans slumber on and do nothing as millions are brutally murdered.

russedav on September 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM

I guess the NY Times was ignorant of what was going on until they read it in the NY Times.

Sounds like Jugears excuse

txdoc on September 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Would that be the same UN that dutifully cataloged the 550 tons of yellowcake that we did the heavy lifting on?

That weapons-grade yellowcake, is it? Had reactors and centrifuges did he? Or just a whole lot of ore, which, AFAIK, wasn’t prohibited him in any way shape or form?

I guess I don’t place as much faith in the world’s largest gathering of despots as you do.

Or as much as GWB, apparently. Remember him? The guy who was placing them as the dividing line between war and peace? They guy whose war you are currently defending? The guy whose war was contingent upon representatives of the very body you decry faith in? Why not decry GWB’s faith in them?

Oh yeah… because that would make you a little less slobbering of a sycophant, wouldn’t it? And we can’t have that.

It’s important for you to understand, that just because I don’t need to read the sources I cite mention that the facilities were inspected by the organization that we’ve apparently surrendered our sovereignty to in your opinion, doesn’t mean that I’m required to give those inspectors or their determinations any more weight than Mad Magazine. because I’m just not that intellectually honest

FTFY.

Yes. I hate typos.

Apparently not as much as you love having your own sources contradict you…

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

That weapons-grade yellowcake, is it? Had reactors and centrifuges did he? Or just a whole lot of ore, which, AFAIK, wasn’t prohibited him in any way shape or form?

Weren’t you just adminishing me for not reading my sources?

From the NBC piece:

“The removal of 550 metric tons of “yellowcake” — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy.”

Or as much as GWB, apparently. Remember him? The guy who was placing them as the dividing line between war and peace? They guy whose war you are currently defending? The guy whose war was contingent upon representatives of the very body you decry faith in? Why not decry GWB’s faith in them?

Oh yeah… because that would make you a little less slobbering of a sycophant, wouldn’t it? And we can’t have that.

Breathe. Slowly.

Draw a breath in….hold it….and let it out….ahhhhhh……

But-Bushing is soooo 2008.

Are you suggesting that this qualifies as faith in th U.N.?

Bush’s essential message is, the United Nations is irrelevant if it doesn’t do exactly what Washington demands. And Bush has chided the United Nations not to become another failure like the League of Nations, though the League of Nations collapsed, in part, because the U.S. Senate never ratified U.S. entry into the organization.

“Bush has made it abundantly clear that he feels the United Nations is just a nuisance,” says John Anderson, head of the World Federalist Association, who ran for President as an independent in 1980. “It’s a very specious and hypocritical attitude to sigh and wonder whether the U.N. is going the way of the League of Nations when Bush himself has done everything in his power to see that this happens.”

It’s an interesting aspect of the leftist pyschopathology how they will even revise their own revised histories.

It’s important for you to understand, I don’t need to read the sources I cite because I’m just not that intellectually honest.

You need to read Carl Sagan’s Fine Art of Baloney Detection.

Apparently not as much as you love having your own sources contradict you…

And maybe someday that will happen.

For today however, let’s conflict this:

Well, I’d say we went in to get rid of WMD’s, but I’m afraid my laughter would spill onto the screen…

That would be the UN whose security resolutions we used as a cassus belli. Resolutions, it turns out, the Hussein regime was largely in compliance with.

With this:

The United Nations has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003.

Now, could you describe for us in detail how that makes you feel please?

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Like we would read Bucky Beinart and expect to learn something other than what flavor douche Obama uses.

Jaibones on September 11, 2014 at 8:11 AM

It’s just reading the man’s article, not kissing him on the mouth, sheesh!

cornbred on September 11, 2014 at 12:54 PM

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 3:53 AM

Moronic.

Instead tell us the whole host of other reasons we went in. You’re so smart.

CW on September 11, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Nothing moronic about it. There was NEVER a good reason to go into Iraq. Afghanistan – yes; to destroy Al Qaeda, but there was no reason to stay as we have.

earlgrey on September 11, 2014 at 1:22 PM

The guy with the rape rooms threatening to nuc us for a decade? Yeah, I don’t remember him being in charge when The Won took us off the board in 2011, either.

But I sure don’t remember no ISIS in no control of no territory when Saddam Hussein was in charge…

JohnGalt23 on September 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Recon5 on September 11, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Bueller?

Star Bird on September 11, 2014 at 3:32 PM

So the imbecilic NYT knew that The One was lying to us, but chose to not expose that lie. Even worst than hiding that lie, they expanded on it.

But, the NYT still wants to be considered ‘credible’, Really!?

Sorry NYT the cows have already left that barn.

WestTexasBirdDog on September 11, 2014 at 7:50 PM

JohnGalt23 on September 11, 2014 at 3:53 AM

Moronic.

Instead tell us the whole host of other reasons we went in. You’re so smart.

CW on September 11, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Nothing moronic about it. There was NEVER a good reason to go into Iraq. Afghanistan – yes; to destroy Al Qaeda, but there was no reason to stay as we have.

earlgrey on September 11, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Except for that it’s doubly moronic, now that I’ve posted information indicating several good reasons to into Iraq.

I mean, what do you guys need, a satellite photo?

See, here’s the thing about “doing your homework.”

Homework requires more than just absorbing only one propagandist point of view. Homework requires critical thought. Homework requires questioning everything you read and hear from everyone. Homework requires seeking out more than one voice, so you don’t become a “sycophant.”

More importantly though, homework requires that you be willing to adjust and change your world view when presented with new and/or conflicting data, even if it means that doing so will force you to abandon well-rehearsed rhetoric that you’ve become emotionally attached to. Particularly when 99% of what your professors have taught you is in fact worthless garbage.

Unwillingness to do so makes you an ineducable idealogue, no matter how many “facts” you may have memorized.

Star Bird on September 12, 2014 at 9:13 AM

But I sure don’t remember no ISIS in no control of no territory when Saddam Hussein was in charge…

JohnGalt23 on September 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Yes.

As far as I can recall, when Saddam Hussein was in charge he issued free ingots of pure gold to every Iraqi citizen, turned the waters of the Tigris an Euphrates into wine, mandated rainbows after every rain storm, donated to children’s charities, founded a soup kitchen for the homeless, volunteered at his local hospice, and drove a Prius to save the planet.

Star Bird on September 12, 2014 at 10:33 AM

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