From Iyad Allawi, courtesy of Reuters …
Former U.S.-installed Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has denounced the policies of President George W. Bush as an “utter failure” that gave rise to the sectarian venom that ravaged his country.
In an interview published on Saturday in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Allawi found fault with American management of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 as well as the government of present Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
“Yes, Bush’s policies failed utterly,” said Allawi, describing the U.S. administration that once backed him. “Utter failure. Failure of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, including fighting terrorism and economic policy.”
“His insistence on names like ‘democracy’ and ‘open elections’, without giving attention to political stability, was a big mistake. It cast shadows on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Egypt, and I believe this will be remembered in history as President Bush’s policy,” he said.
As I said above, I certainly won’t disagree. But let’s not forget that Allawi connived with Bush for some time when Bush had power. In addition to being more or less accurate, Allawi’s judgment is a telling sign of what it means to have power — both in the deep sense and in the more immediate sense of controlling violence — and what it means to lose it. President Bush had none of the power rooted in respect, judgment and persuasion. He won two elections and he controlled an army. Now he has nothing.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.