Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Most Telegraphed Black Swan Event in History

President Obama expressed surprise that ISIL rose in power and that the Iraqi security forces were insufficient to deal with them without our intervention. Who can blame him for this intelligence failure?

In January 2012, I was already worried that democracy and rule of law were threatened (risking sectarian divisions) in our absence and complained about our refusal to remain in Iraq to defend our gains.

In September 2012 I worried that Iraq was faltering and that our president just didn't want it to fail before the election.

In October 2012 I urged us to help Iraq's security forces before it was too late to halt al Qaeda.

In April 2013 I complained that our failures in Iraq and Syria allowed jihadis in Iraq and Syria to unite.

In June 2013 I urged us to help Iraq defeat al Qaeda if we didn't want to lose Iraq.

And I wondered if friggin' China might do something to bolster Iraq in our absence.

And I worried about rising Shia death squads to match Sunni Arab terrorists, as we stood aside ignoring the problem.

In July 2013 I warned that a failure to defeat an enemy can let them recover, and I condemned our abandonment of the fight in Iraq which was allowing al Qaeda to recover.

In September 2013 I lamented that our absence in Iraq was allowing Iraq's cohesion to deteriorate. And asked for our special forces back in Iraq to kill jihadis.

In October 2013 I wanted us to help defeat al Qaeda terrorism in Iraq before it provoked worse internal divisions and violence.

In November 2013 I urged us to help Iraq defeat al Qaeda lest Iraqi's Sunni Arabs be driven to support the jihadis and to show Shias we are a better partner.

In December 2013 I warned that our failure to overthrow Assad in Syria, our failure to weaken Iran, and our failure to stay in Iraq risked sectarian violence in Iraq.

And I complained that odds of success for Iraq were dropping as we stood aside.

In January 2014 I urged us to intervene after al Qaeda swept into Anbar before things got worse.

And since then, I've been blogging about Iraq a lot more than I should be.

But really, how on Earth could our president have possibly known that Iraq was faltering as ISIL was rising in Iraq and Syria? Who was even talking about such nonsense?

And this was just a quick keyword search of my archives with somewhat random checks of the hits rather than a complete review of my posts.

There is no excuse for the president pleading ignorance on Iraq.