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June 17, 2014 10:08 AM Returning to the Scene of the Crime

By Ed Kilgore

The mess in Iraq right now, along with the remarkably limited options for any constructive U.S. action to avoid humanitarian and political disaster, and the hostility of American public opinion to doing anything at all, provide fresh reminders that Barack Obama will leave office as he entered it: dealing with the unfinished business and toxic legacy of the George W. Bush administration. From Iraq, to Gitmo, to the NSA, to the housing sector, to the banking sector, to a completely fouled up non-system of campaign finance, to an out-of-control fossil fuel industry, to a long-range structural budget deficit, to a politicized judiciary, and to a radicalized Republican Party: the trouble never ends, and all created by a swaggering crew that inherited peace and prosperity and a budget surplus after the most dubious ascension to power in American history.

And now many of the very people who engineered the invasion and occupation of Iraq are blaming Obama for conditions in that country.

Born in infamy, ruled by arrogance and incompetence, ending in failure and disgrace—you don’t have to believe the 43d president’s tenure was the “worst ever” to think that its leading characters should probably take a vacation from public affairs for a good while. And when it comes to Iraq, they should have the decency not return to the scene of the crime so fast.


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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