Seven long years ago, then President George Bush decided to invade Iraq and build the foundations of a democratic society in an area about which he knew next to nothing. Actually, for over a hundred years the United States has been engaged in nation building from the Philippines in Asia to Haiti or the Dominican Republic or Cuba or other parts of Central America. Heck, George Bush knew all about Texas politics which made him an expert in wheeling and dealing with those who disagreed. But, George and his buddy, Dick Cheney did not realize Iraq politics were simply not the same as those in Chicago or New York, let alone Texas. Today, Vice President Joe Biden is in Iraq attempting to persuade Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to join hands with Ayad Allawi who either won or lost the last election for parliament. Unlike Chicago, it takes months to figure out exactly who was the winner in an election in Iraq. Can Joe pull it off?
The real question is not whether Joe can pull it off, but can the United States get the hell out of Iraq by the end of this year–or next year–or ever? Ah, for the good old days of Boss Daley in Chicago. Perhaps, the Bush mistake was not sending some Chicago politicians to Iraq to teach these fellows how to run elections and how to win. For some reason, the old idea of “scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back” never caught on in Iraq.