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

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bmaz @adamliptak @espinsegall I would have thought so until recent comments by RBG, who I believe was behind failure to decide Perry on merits
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emptywheel Adding to my rule: Feds can have right to effective search when 1 comply meaningfully w/FOIA 2) comply meaningfully w/criminal discovery
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JimWhiteGNV RT @gatorgoat: .@CoachWMuschamp your quarterback is bad and you should feel bad #FreeTreon
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emptywheel RT @the_intercept: Apple Still Has Plenty of Your Data for the Feds: https://t.co/ZPLTaNSzLz by @micahflee
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emptywheel @pwnallthethings An impact. Not clear it'll be major, as most of this will be on Cloud. Where warrant will be served in more controlled way.
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emptywheel Maybe the Feds can have a "right" to an effective search when they start complying meaningfully w/FOIA.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @cocktailhag: Very infuriating to see, in the age of austerity, such a show of lavish gov't spending, on tools of oppression. Priorities…
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emptywheel Seriously, if THAT's "most alarming" thing tech companies have done since Snowden, if it's "outrageous" tech cos need to step it up.
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emptywheel Ferfucksake. It's as if these anonymous people have neverever heard of the Cloud.
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emptywheel "most alarming consequence to date of frayed relationship bt federal govt & tech industry since Snowden revelations" http://t.co/Ob1HkCmIj7
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emptywheel Wahhh! Boohoohoo! DOJ says! Apple and Google are competing on privacy!!! Wahhhhh! http://t.co/LxyatmTVcy Why does DOJ hate capitalism?
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September 2014
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