My latest New Matilda column is about the disintegration of the Iraqi state:
Andrew Bolt wrote in his Herald Sun column last week: ‘Almost unacknowledged by the Australian media, the tide in Iraq is turning. We can now dare to think Iraq will indeed survive as a democracy.’
How delightful it must be to walk in Bolt’s shoes. A shameless booster of the Iraq War, tireless defender of George W Bush and his policies, and brave fighter against Islamofascism, the Murdoch columnist was recently as excited as a cadet — confident that the ‘surge’ had finally vindicated the War Party’s tactics.
For a man who’s spent a few hours in Baghdad’s Green Zone with Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and who’s seen first hand the brilliance of US military strategy, Washington’s approved spin was terribly comforting. The price has been worth it, after all. The estimated million civilian deaths since 2003, four million refugees dispersed across the Middle East and the nearly one million internal refugees could be ignored. American ‘prestige’ was intact.
But Bolt is an irrelevance. The reality on the ground makes his ignorant pronouncements obscene. Iraq, even as a barely functioning entity, no longer exists. Whole communities are being ethnically cleansed. Sunni and Shi’ite death squads — supported variously by the US, Iran and a host of other nations — have recognised the most important fact of all: that America no longer controls the situation, its power drained after years of inept planning and criminal negligence.
My New Matilda archive is here.