Damian Penny: When you don't mind getting your eye-opening revelations about Iraq-related fuckups a couple years after they're worth anything:
Coughlin: "De-Ba'athification" destroyed Iraq
Daily Telegraph defence correspondent Con Coughlin says Iraq was lost in the first few weeks after Saddam Hussein was overthrown, when the Americans shut down Iraq's old military and government institutions
Wow. I mean, who would have guessed that sweeping the Ba'athists out would have such nasty blowback? Oh, wait ... this guy did, as far back as 2003:
In removing the Baath regime and eliminating constraints on Iraqi Islamism, the United States has unleashed a new political force in the Gulf: not the upsurge of civic organization and democratic sentiment fantasized by American neoconservatives, but the aspirations of Iraqi Shiites to build an Islamic republic. That result was an entirely predictable consequence of the past 30 years of political conflict between the Shiites and the Baathist regime, and American policy analysts have expected a different result only by ignoring that history.
Ooooooh ... that Juan Cole, he one smart guy, no? Just the kind of guy you'd like to have giving you advice in situations like that, right? Apparently not.
The American neo-con movement: where staying stupid isn't just a job, it's a way of life.