Best Defense

Iraq: I’m chidin’ Biden (and Obama, too)

Joe Biden didn’t create the Iraq mess, but he sure has made a hash of it on his watch.

Iraqi protesters gather in the parade grounds outside the parliament in Baghdad's heavily fortified "Green Zone" on May 1, 2016, a day after supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr broke into the area after lawmakers again failed to approve new ministers.
Protesters were withdrawing from Baghdad's Green Zone after breaking into the fortified area and storming Iraq's parliament in an unprecedented security breach the day before. The move, which lessens the pressure on politicians in Baghdad, came as rare bombings in the south killed 33 people and wounded dozens. / AFP / HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI        (Photo credit should read HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqi protesters gather in the parade grounds outside the parliament in Baghdad's heavily fortified "Green Zone" on May 1, 2016, a day after supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr broke into the area after lawmakers again failed to approve new ministers. Protesters were withdrawing from Baghdad's Green Zone after breaking into the fortified area and storming Iraq's parliament in an unprecedented security breach the day before. The move, which lessens the pressure on politicians in Baghdad, came as rare bombings in the south killed 33 people and wounded dozens. / AFP / HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI (Photo credit should read HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

Joe Biden didn’t create the Iraq mess, but he sure has made a hash of it on his watch. I have to blame President Obama for turning it over to Joe years ago, and blame him again for leaving Joe to handle it even after his embrace of Maliki blew up in his face.

And then, a few days ago, Biden makes a surprise visit to Baghdad. He leaves happy to have patched things up. And then all hell breaks loose.

This is what happens when a career hack who doesn’t know much about a place thinks he knows its politics better than people who know the place.

Remember, Joe, “Maliki is our man”!

Photo credit: HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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