It’s a fair cop:
. . .looking back at what Washington’s foreign policy community expected from an intervention in Iraq, it’s striking how much of the trouble the U.S. mission now faces was accurately and publicly predicted.
On my desk is a pile of more than a dozen studies and pieces of congressional testimony on the likely conditions of postwar Iraq, prepared before the invasion by think tanks of the left, center and right, by task forces of veteran diplomats and area experts, and by freelancing academics.
That’s Jackson Diehl in today’s Washington Post. It’s also old news — complaints about how President Bush has handled postwar Iraq go all the way back to the toppling of the Saddam statue in Baghdad. And let’s face it: the occupation did get off to a bumbling start, and the level of violence was woefully underestimated by Bush, the Pentagon, and the State Department.
But then there’s Diehl’s solution:
Almost all the studies recommended that the United States try to avoid the political trouble it now has by handing control over Iraq, or at least its political transition, to the United Nations, and by exercising its influence indirectly.
What in the UN’s track record makes anyone think it’s better qualified to handle building a free Iraq than the US is? Can anyone name a single example?
Also left unsaid by Diehl is that after a rocky start, the rebuilding effort is improving. Perhaps not quickly enough, but still better than anything ever managed by the UN’s kleptocracy.