No Accountability at Home, No Accountability in Iraq

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President Bush announced the surge in January with a side note about why the military would succeed when previously it had not: “In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time… Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.”

Well, Bush couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only is the Maliki government tolerating sectarian interference, it’s promoting it. From a Washington Post article that is getting a lot of attention today:

A department of the Iraqi prime minister’s office is playing a leading role in the arrest and removal of senior Iraqi army and national police officers, some of whom had apparently worked too aggressively to combat violent Shiite militias.

So Maliki has failed gloriously on a key benchmark. Will Bush hold him accountable? Of course not.

President Bush will not sign any war spending bill that penalizes Iraq’s government for failing to make progress, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday.

We set benchmarks. The Iraqis fail them. We supply them with more money and more troops. Rinse out the blood and repeat.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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