Magazine article The American Conservative

Desert Wandering

Magazine article The American Conservative

Desert Wandering

Article excerpt

[IRAQ]

The cakewalk caucus was so preoccupied with the ideological dimensions of its grand design for Iraq that it didn't count the human cost. Apparently millions of Iraqis were supposed to wait patiently-jobless and homeless-while we built a democratic Disneyland.

On some level, the two million who have fled are lucky: they escaped with their heads. But little else. The professional class, those citizens with the skills and resources vital for reconstructing a livable society, was first to go. It won't soon return. Meanwhile, the 50,000-70,000 new refugees displaced each month pile unsustainable pressure on Iraq's neighbors, riven with sectarian struggles of their own and straining to manage the humanitarian crisis.

Questioned for a New York Times Magazine article, former UN Ambassador John Bolton claimed that the refugees have "absolutely nothing to do with our overthrow of Saddam." Further, "our obligation was to give them new institutions and provide security. We have fulfilled that obligation. …

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