Only Secure Enough to Say We’re Winning

That seems to sum up the state of Iraq in a nutshell.

Iraq has found its way into a kind of political paradox here in America.  For those who continue to buoy our efforts there, the path forward is particularly tricky.  They can’t say that there is too much success in Iraq, because then they will have no further need to keep troops over there, but then they can’t realistically report that things aren’t going so well because, well, people are going to not want to keep troops over there.

So selling Iraq has become something of an art, finding that perfect balance of admitting enough success and security to make the claim that we belong there, no more no less.

Which is the perfect context from which to view the news that Saudi Arabia, though promising to do so, is currently unwilling to erect an embassy in Iraq due to security reasons.  But, what about all the success?  What about all the steps to security?  Doesn’t that help?

Apparently for the Saudis, it doesn’t.  Iraq’s secure enough for American spin doctors to make the claim that we’re winning, but we can’t manage to do anything about that, including convincing our Saudi friends to open up an embassy.


There’s the alternative method.  In the article linked above, everyone and their brother is making the claim that this has nothing to do with politics, and that the fact that the Saudis have kept Maliki’s Shia run government at “arms length” is totally irrelevent in the decision to put off opening up the Saudi embassy.

Call me silly, but there might be motivation enough for a few folks to lie about this.

The US definitely doesn’t want that narrative to get out, that a powerful Sunni government is turning its back on Maliki’s government in Iraq because that would draw attention to the fact that there might still be problems with political reconciliation which was supposed to be the “surge’s” prime objective in the first place.

(h/t Cernig)

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