Baghdad embassy

Not So Great Expectations: Paying the Price of Hubris in Iraq, Afghanistan

Developments over the past few days on several different fronts are coming together in a way that outlines just how arrogantly the US conducted the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the consequences of that hubris are now diminishing the previously dominant role for the US in the region going into the future. At the same time, these developments drive home the message of the terrible waste of lives and money the war efforts have been.

In today’s New York Times, we learn that the staff at the gargantuan US embassy in Baghdad is about to be cut in half. It appears that one of the driving forces behind these cuts is that the Iraqis are not making it easy for embassy personnel to move freely into and out of the country:

At every turn, the Americans say, the Iraqi government has interfered with the activities of the diplomatic mission, one they grant that the Iraqis never asked for or agreed upon. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s office — and sometimes even the prime minister himself — now must approve visas for all Americans, resulting in lengthy delays. American diplomats have had trouble setting up meetings with Iraqi officials.

Perhaps Mr. al-Maliki should study the activities of the US Customs Service if he really wants to learn how to make it even clearer to selected foreigners that he doesn’t want them in his country.

But al-Maliki is not the only elected Iraqi official who sees an opportunity to repay the US for the hubris it has shown the region, as the Times quoted Nahida al-Dayni, whom they described as “a lawmaker and member of Iraqiya, a largely Sunni bloc in Parliament” with regard to the embassy compound:

The U.S. had something on their mind when they made it so big. Perhaps they want to run the Middle East from Iraq, and their embassy will be a base for them here.

That US actions in the Middle East would have prompted such an attitude among local officials should have been foreseen, but the Times article informs us that the State Department seems to have been hit by a bit of shock and awe: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz The night the NCAA became indistinguishable from, if it wasn't already, craven self serving malignancy of NFL. Congrats NCAA you've arrived!
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @John_de_Vashon: As always the core @NCAA narative must prevail. #TheFixIsIn #NCAA MT @bmaz: Bullshit play by KY and crapass call by the…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I HATE Notre Dame, and, yet, they got completely ripped off by the refereeing. What a #joke
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Gaius_Publius @MasaccioEW @ChrisInParis ND got fucking ripped off on contact. What a crock of shit. You KNOW I do not say that lightly.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz What a crock of dung. If the roles had been reversed had been reversed, ND would have never gotten the cheesy calls KY did. #FOUL
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Bullshit play by KY and crapass call by the refs
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jhamby Also think Amber Alert site went down sometime today after alert per @RayneToday @eric_analytics @chockenberry @SwiftOnSecurity
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Just saying, some men I know may have more than the luck of the Irish. Craft beers for all!
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jhamby But it included license plate, was for 15 year old teal F250. Even in MI can't be many of those left @chockenberry @SwiftOnSecurity
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jhamby This MI one this morning was statewide too (or at least lower peninsula), I think, from MSP. @chockenberry @SwiftOnSecurity
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Gaius_Publius @MasaccioEW @ChrisInParis Wisconsin is also a classy and easy team to root for.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Gaius_Publius @MasaccioEW @ChrisInParis Hey AZ was more than capable of winning that game. The did NOT. Hat's off to Badgers; they're good.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
March 2015
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031