President Barack Obama and Iraqi leaders may try to sugarcoat the bitter pill for the United States by talking up the achievements of the six-year occupation, but the public celebrations by Iraqis marking the American pullout from Iraq’s cities tell the painful story of a U.S. strategic failure.
The big news organizations also didn’t want to admit their own complicity in this crime since almost everyone in American journalism, who wanted to keep a comfortable seat at the Establishment’s table, either endorsed the enterprise or kept quiet.
So even today – more than five months after Bush left office – it’s still much easier to dismiss what happened as “unnecessary,” to cite the pre-war “intelligence failures,” and to criticize Bush primarily for his tactical misjudgments in planning an effective occupation -- not committing enough troops and not having a detailed enough post-invasion plan.
Accusing him of criminality is much trickier. After all, in the view of the mainstream news media, war crimes are something that “rogue states” commit, petty tyrants from Rwanda or Yugoslavia who can then be dragged off to The Hague and put on trial.
Such humiliations are not for the former “Leader of the Free World” and his subordinates (nor for an ex-British prime minister). [...]
At this point, chances of any serious accountability look slim to none. Though a vocal supporter of international law, President Obama has made it clear that he won’t tolerate any serious investigation of the Bush administration’s crimes. Obama says he wants “to look forward, not backward.”
As part of that ducking of the past, Obama also can be expected to avoid describing the war as a failure. That would only provoke Republicans and right-wing pundits to accuse him of defeatism and “apologizing for America.”
Instead, to protect the withdrawal’s political flanks, Obama will pretend that the sacrifice of American troops achieved great things in Iraq.
The irony was that Bush’s desire to use the SOFA to cement a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq had the opposite result.
Given broad Iraqi opposition to the U.S. occupation, Iraqi political factions decided to position themselves as defenders of the nation’s sovereignty, not as American puppets.
The likely outcome in Iraq now appears to be the departure of U.S. forces with Washington left with little to show for its investment in blood and treasure. As the Washington Post reported on June 30, “there is little talk among U.S. commanders and diplomats of engineering a victory in the 2½ years they expect to remain here.”
For the United States, memories of its military intervention in a country halfway around the world may fade gradually into history, swallowed by the shifting sands of the ancient land of Mesopotamia, another chapter of failed imperial overreach in that region, a long and bloody saga dating back to Biblical times.
Despite the terrible price in lives, money and prestige, little may remain of Bush’s macho adventure besides the eventual recognition of a painful strategic defeat for the United States.
It's what happens when you let a moral weakling get put in charge by neocon/corporate criminals. We haven't yet begun to see the damage Bush let them cause. Nor are any of us alive today likely to see the end of it.