Boot's Flailing

More
maliki.jpg

Max Boot tries to rationalize staying in Iraqi no matter what Iraq's government says. First:

This is part of a pattern for Maliki, who, though he won office and has stayed alive (literally and politically) with American support, has hardly been an unwavering friend of the United States -- at least in public. Although he was an opponent of the Saddam Hussein regime, he was not a proponent of the U.S.-led invasion.

Some might see in this Maliki as something of an Iraqi patriot or if one wants to put it in less ennobling terms, a nationalist. A guy who doesn't like to be oppressed by Saddam Hussein but also doesn't like to see foreigners conquer his country. Not that Bush is Saddam by any means, but surely I'm not the only American who sympathizes with the view "don't like the current government, wouldn't support foreign conquest." After all, maybe Maliki just thought that once the Americans were in Iraq, the proponents of the invasion would insist on staying forever -- no matter what the Iraqi people or their government wanted. Sure, that'd just be a paranoid conspiracy theory, but you know how prevalent those are in the Arab world.

So based on that Boot says we can safely ignore Maliki and just pay attention to different Iraqi leaders who he liked better. Brigadier General Bilal al-Dayni, who commands troops in Basra, for example was quoted in the Post as saying "we hope they will stay until 2020" which Boot tells us "is similar to the expectation of Iraq's defense minister, Abdul Qadir, who says his forces cannot assume full responsibility for internal security until 2012 and for external security until 2018."

Boot should perhaps consider that the current downswing in anti-American violence is very likely to become an upswing again if the United States insists on not only ignoring Iraqi opinion and Iraq's duly appointed leadership on this issue, but does so in a way that signals we'll never leave unless we're driven out by force.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In