Iraq War Fallout: U.S. 'Ally' Backs Syrian DictatorAugust 15th, 2011 10:30 pm Joe Conason
The grim realities of the Iraq war, from its multi-trillion-dollar expense to its awful cost in American and Iraqi lives, were supposed to be mitigated by progress toward democracy in the Mideast – or so the neoconservative politicians and pundits who promoted the invasion have long told us. Now the credibility of that argument, which was never compelling, has been decisively undermined by the latest developments in Baghdad, where President Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is lending support to the Assad regime’s bloody repression of non-violent democracy protesters in neighboring Syria.
Troubling questions about the nature of the Shia parties that came to power following the fall of Saddam Hussein – and especially their relationship with the Iranian government — have long been voiced by critics of the war. Yet today, as Maliki and members of his ruling party openly attack the Syrian protesters while promoting economic deals with both Iran and Syria, those questions seem to have been answered. The Iraqi regime has delivered a verdict on the neoconservative justification for the war – and that verdict could scarcely be more negative.