Saturday, August 23, 2008

Iraq Isn't a Mess?

Francis Fukuyama paid $100 to the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens on a bet that Iraq would be a "mess" five years after the invasion. Although Fukuyama conceded he had lost on the "narrow terms" of the bet, he still writes that the invasion was a mistake.

What's odd is that this mess-less Iraq is also a place where, we learn in a different WSJ op ed (August 22) written by Michael Cohen and Maria Kupcu, that "U.S. Contractors Shouldn't Face Iraqi Courts." According to these writers:

However, placing contractors at the mercy of an underdeveloped Iraqi legal system is not a solution. Greater liability for PSCs will also bring a higher price tag. Furthermore, PSC ranks will become deprofessionalized, as many of the most experienced contractors may decide that the risks of being thrown in an Iraqi prison are not worth a paycheck.
Even with a drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq, American diplomats will need protective security for the foreseeable future -- a capability that currently does not exist in the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

So, this mess-less country is still so bad that, five years after we rained bombs on them for their own good, the place is still such a hell-hole that the U.S. government can't protect its own personnel, and the Iraqi courts can't even be trusted to prosecute accused murderers in a fair process.

That last point is significant. It's not that Cohen and Kupcu are alleging that the Iraqi government is corrupt, and, say, shakes down big corporations for bribes to avoid being harassed by the tax authorities. No, Cohen and Kupcu are saying the Iraqi legal system is so bad, you could be thrown in prison for murder even if you are innocent.

Again, if George Bush had remotely described the situation of post-invasion Iraq 1, 2, ... 5 years after the liberating troops went in, no American would have supported it.


  1. "no American would have supported it."

    Except for those in the "defense/intelligence" industries (and their lobbyists/Congresscritters) pocketing some of the $1+ trillion, you mean.

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