No Accountability at Home, No Accountability in Iraq


President Bush announced the surge in January with a side note about why the military would succeed when previously it had not: “In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time… Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.”

Well, Bush couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only is the Maliki government tolerating sectarian interference, it’s promoting it. From a Washington Post article that is getting a lot of attention today:

A department of the Iraqi prime minister’s office is playing a leading role in the arrest and removal of senior Iraqi army and national police officers, some of whom had apparently worked too aggressively to combat violent Shiite militias.

So Maliki has failed gloriously on a key benchmark. Will Bush hold him accountable? Of course not.

President Bush will not sign any war spending bill that penalizes Iraq’s government for failing to make progress, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday.

We set benchmarks. The Iraqis fail them. We supply them with more money and more troops. Rinse out the blood and repeat.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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