Thursday, February 23, 2006

How We Screwed Up Iraq

There's nothing more annoying then a young Republican political junkie. I know, I was one. The kind of precious arrogance that comes from knowing nothing about the world, the nasty one-upmanship of an insecure ego, the hormone-driven self-love of thinking that no one has ever been as smart as you. It's a lovely cocktail of adolescent nastiness and undeserved cockiness that just makes most people want to punch you in the throat.

Well, apparently that includes Iraqis. The Mercury News explores the myriad ways we blew it, including letting these smarmy pricks loose in an ancient land:

The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion. A much more senior Iraqi interlocutor (a widely experienced Iraqi-American lawyer) became so exasperated with the young man's audacity that he finally challenged him:
``You must have thoroughly studied the history of the British occupation of Iraq.''
``Yes, I did,'' the young American replied proudly.
``I thought so,'' said the Iraqi, ``because you seem determined to repeat every one of their mistakes.''


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