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Ear to the Ground

Zakaria Throws in the Towel on Iraq

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Posted on Oct 10, 2006
Fareed Zakaria
From Newsweek

Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek International, a longtime supporter of sending more troops to Iraq, has called it quits. It is time to ... recognize that the Iraqi government has failed… [and] ... that America’s mission in Iraq has substantially failed.

This is big. Like Tom Friedman, who jumped on the antiwar bandwagon in August, Zakaria was a relative moderate who made the war palatable to centrists.


Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek:

When Iraq’s current government was formed last April, after four months of bitter disputes, wrangling and paralysis, many voices in America and in Iraq said the next six months would be the crucial testing period. That was a fair expectation. It has now been almost six months, and what we have seen are bitter disputes, wrangling and paralysis. Meanwhile, the violence has gotten worse, sectarian tensions have risen steeply and ethnic cleansing is now in full swing. There is really no functioning government south of Kurdistan, only power vacuums that have been filled by factions, militias and strongmen. It is time to call an end to the tests, the six-month trials, the waiting and watching, and to recognize that the Iraqi government has failed. It is also time to face the terrible reality that America’s mission in Iraq has substantially failed.

More waiting is unlikely to turn things around, nor will more troops. I understand the impulse of those who want to send in more forces to secure the country. I urged just such a policy from the first week of the occupation. But today we are where we are. Over the past three years the violence has spread and is now franchised down to neighborhoods with local gangs in control. In many areas, local militias are not even controlled by their supposed political masters in Baghdad. In this kind of decentralized street fighting, 10,000 or 20,000 more troops in Baghdad will not have more than a temporary effect. Nor will new American policies help. The reason that the Democrats seem to lack good, concrete suggestions on Iraq is that the Bush administration has actually been pursuing more-sensible policies for more than a year now, trying vainly to reverse many of its errors. But what might well have worked in 2003 is too little, too late in 2006.

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By John C., April 22, 2007 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fareed Zakaria says the “government of Iraq” has
failed? HA! what a laff…the corrupt bushniacs
have made their money with support by cynical journalists and now they’re going to cut and run
like the South American generals in 1988 who left
their messes to their “people”! HA! Zakaria is
an apologist for US Empire and a serious distorter
of historical fact in the service of injustice!

Report this

By jjohnjj, October 11, 2006 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Greg Palast quoted Dan Rather about the fear that U.S. journalists have been living under since 2001: The fear of being “necklaced” with the label of “anti-American” or “unpatriotic”.

(“necklacing” refers to the practice of binding a captive and placing a buring tire around their neck - as one faction of the ANC did to rivals and turncoats in South Africa during the battle against Apartheid)

You gotta remember that the RightWing has a chokehold on the U.S. mass media. What they did to Howard Dean, what they did to Dan Rather… they can do to anybody with a “public” reputation.

This makes elected officials and media personalities pretty much useless. They won’t speak the truth until it’s first gained some traction at the grassroots level.

So - turn off the computer, go outside and ask your neighbor what the hell’s happening in Iraq. Listen before you speak.

Write a letter to your local paper.

Put a sign in the rear window of your car.

Bill O’Reilly isn’t going denounce you in his column. Rush isn’t going to mock me on his radio show.

Guys like Zakaria will jump on the bandwagon only after you and I get it rolling.

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By C Quil, October 11, 2006 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So he was wrong and now he’s right about Iraq. He should hang up his pen and retire from reporting “news” for the rest of his life. He wasn’t credible before and now he’s changing sides when he sees he livelihood going up in smoke.

Is he planning to donate all the money he made during that time to the families of the dead and those disabled by this war? I doubt it. Just a job, after all, isn’t it?

This sounds like the old Prodigal Son story. I could never buy into that one and I don’t buy into this one either. It reeks of self-interest.

And that picture! Do you think he likes himself just a little bit?

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By anonymous, October 11, 2006 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How do you ask a man to be the last man to admit he’s wrong about invading & occupying countries with a lot of oil?

Couldn’t he have held out for just another four weeks?

Besides Canada & Venezuela, I couldn’t think of any countries that have a lot of oil that aren’t run by dictators.

Canada’s probably safe for now.  And the ones that have nukes.

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By Macdonald, October 11, 2006 at 12:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fuck you, Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, AND a longtime supporter of sending more troops to Iraq. This “thing” of yours—what is it now? Um, like, an apology? You are a johnny-come-lately to sensibility. Many millions of us knew from the git-go that this “war”—actually, it is NOT a “war,” which can only be declared by Congress—was a boondoggle, a travesty, a declaration of revenge and impotence, and a quagmire. The data were already all in, the astute among us actually READ the data, the entire world was warning us not to “do” this “war.”

And now—NOW, you asshole—NOW you seem to think you were mistaken! That the whole thing is a senseless enterprise that kills our fellow citizens, our soldiers; needlessly murders our “adversaries,” the Iraqis; depletes our forces and prevents us from focusing on the IMPORTANT anti-terror steps we need to take; and you probably also claim “innocence” by saying you were “duped” into supporting this “war” because of your “trauma” after 9/11.

Well, you ignoramus, you lose this one. You are representative of the millions of US citizens who cry the same chant, who bellow the same memes, who now suddenly say they are “awakened” to the lies, depredations, and horrible duplicity of this “president’s” regime.

You make me sick. You are a minor, dissembling factor in the forward march toward a reasonable world.

Religion is the devil’s handiwork! Fuck Mohammed. Fuck Jesus. Fuck Buddha. Fuck religion—ALL RELIGION. It is what traipses us back, soothingly and at the same time assuredly, into a Medieval world of ignorance and torture, finality and futility, and into a world that believes that there were NO DINOSAURS! (Can you believe I just said that? My daughter, in high school, tells me that she has a friend who DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT DINOSAURS EVER EXISTED—this friend is a Born-Again Christian).

You are unrecognizable as a Human Being. Human Beings have BRAINS to think things through. I hope your career as a columnist withers and finally disintegrates into Nothingness.

Note that I am but ONE US citizen among millions. You can bet that my disdain for you and the entire “republican” party (no longer recognizable as such) is indicative of multiple millions in this country.

Now go away and write no more. You are a moron—but I ask, is that above or below the ranking of idiot? Is imbecile better? I don’t know the ins and outs of the rankings. But “idiot” works for me. And millions of my kind.

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By Jim, October 11, 2006 at 12:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a proud member of the “far left” in America. How is it that I knew America would fail in Iraq and these supposed “experts” in Washington didn’t know? Anybody who regularly read a newspaper over the last 16 years knew that Saddam was bombed repeatedly for 12 years, making it extremely unlikely that WMD existed in 2003. How come I knew Iraq had three main religious factions who hate each other, and that eliminating Saddam would unleash this hatred and cause a civil war, but the policy wonks in DC didn’t know? I surprise myself at how much SMARTER I am compared to the incompetent and ignorant assholes—the supposed “experts”—in the White House. Scary shit! Next time, America, listen to the “far left” before waging war.

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By ptcruiser, October 10, 2006 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sure the families, relatives, friends and acquaintances of all of our dead, maimed and injured military personnel will appreciate Mr. Zakaria’s decision to throw up his hands about the American War in Iraq. For good measure we should add the families, relatives, friends and acquaintances of the tens of thousands dead, maimed and injured Iraqis too.

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By Michael Ritter, October 10, 2006 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any journalist wanting to keep his/her job has to come around. It’s blatantly obvious that Iraq is OVER.

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By So Not Impressed, October 10, 2006 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This idiot “pundit” needs to be drummed out of the pundit club, along with Tom Friedman. It was plain long before this war started that it was a fraud - and destined to be a fiasco as well. Zakaria and Friedman have forever lost their right to pontificate from their privileged perches about US foreign policy.

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By harald hardrada, October 10, 2006 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

whoever was paying this nitwit to be pro-war has stopped making deposits into his numbered account

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By Jon, October 10, 2006 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There were people opposed the war from the start. These brainy people knew the costs and consequences. Then there were not so brainy lot who supported the war and now change their minds when the disastrous outcome becomes inevitable.

As a joe the reader, I prefer the first group than the second lot.

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By reena, October 10, 2006 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i agree with kevin99999 as we all have just learned from bob woodwards new book zakaria was involved in private meetings with wolfwitz et all from the beginning, which of course he failed to mention while he wrote and spoke about the iraq fiasco.

he like friedman, gergen, etc…gave credibility to this fantasy that has hurt all of us and tucker carlson was right on the chris mathews show this sunday when he said we are all complicit unfortunately even those of us who were protesting before and during the war.

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By Rionn Fears Malechem, October 10, 2006 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s nice to see these people come around, but it would be more palatable if they could admit that invading Iraq was clearly always going to be a disaster.

As far as pullout goes, is Newsweek going to commit to continuing to report on Iraq and the aftermath of our occupation? We caused a state to fail, and I fear that will slip quickly from the public mind, even as they continue to pay if off over the next several generations.

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By david, October 10, 2006 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By American standards, Iraq is a paradise.  It seems that everyone has a gun.  Is that not what the NRA stands for?  We as Americans should be cheering from the rooftops that the Iraqi people are settling their differences just like Americans do; dog eat dog; every man for himself; to the winner go the spoils; kill or be killed.  The right to self defense is ingrained in our former constitution.  Letting them duke it out is the only truly American policy that really makes sense.  After all, how can we take away the guns of Iraqis and promote US style democracy at the same time?  As I believe Moses said, ‘they can have my gun when they pry it out of my cold, dead, hands’.  Excellent motto for any Iraqi, don’t you think?

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By Kaliforniya, October 10, 2006 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For once Zakaria is right about Iraq.

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By kevin99999, October 10, 2006 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While Zakaria continued to appear in the news media and writing news articals, he never divulged to the public that he played role in getting the U.S. into the Iraq war. I do not trust what this man has to say on the subject of iraw war or any other subject. He may just have another hidden agenda.

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