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
emptywheel RT @daveweigel: BREAKING: ABC News is demanding its share of credit for the Chelsea Clinton pregnancy.
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @carolrosenberg Does he have that "prepared for a marathon" on auto-play?
19mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I'm going to start referring to Crystal City as SCATTERED CASTLES.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JasonLeopold Forgot the BREAKING tag. Oh wait. We knew that.
26mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @tweetsintheME It's true. I've shamed flyover country.
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TimothyS Why should defense contractors face consequences if the banks don't have to?
34mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Wonder if Darrell Issa will be as bothered by news IRS doesn't audit large partnerships as he is by political review http://t.co/rbjfbFr2v5
35mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @tweetsintheME I don't live in DC and I indulged in that stupidity!
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Really excited we'll have Bush v. Clinton to look forward to in the 2060 election, just like the 2016.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @PhilPerspective @Will_Bunch It is just a freaking traffic matter, there is no reason for delayed sentencing that I can fathom.
47mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @PhilPerspective @Will_Bunch Not sure why, the docket indicates he ganged his plea (that could only be to "guilty") on 4/3.
48mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch @PhilPerspective Was it MCSO? All I saw was it was justice court, which could be either Joe or AZ-DPS. Looks like pled out 4/3.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
April 2014
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930