Well, that was certainly a bust. In hindsight, it looks like our trillion bucks and thousands of casualties didn’t exactly produce the shining democratic example to other Middle Eastern regimes the neocons were hoping for.
Instead, we’re leaving behind a weak sectarian government that will be a puppet of the Iranians, the very bad guys Saddam was doing a fine job of containing before we took him out. Nice job.
Not that our troops let us down. They went in there and fought for their country, the way they wanted to and the way they were expected to. It was the civilian leadership that failed in its duty by squandering them in a pointless endeavor.
If you want to blame somebody for Iraq, blame Florida voters (and not for the reason you’d think). The late Lawton Chiles got tired of being a U.S. Senator from Florida and came back home to run for governor back in 1994. Had he not edged Jeb Bush out in that election, the smart son would have been the heir apparent to the presidency. Instead, W., as governor of Texas, was the only Bush left standing to anoint.
Jeb, whether or not you agree with his politics, would have been competent enough that Poppy Bush wouldn’t have felt compelled to attach training wheels to his boy’s administration in the form of Dick Cheney. Jeb probably wouldn’t have allowed Cheney and his paranoid fellow travelers anywhere near the White House, anyway.
Which is to say that we here in Florida had plenty of chances to screw things up, and we took advantage of every one of them.