Don't let anyone tell you the US "won" the Iraq war. During his stint in Iraq, State Department officer Peter Van Buren was so shocked by "the eye-watering waste and mismanagement" he saw that he wrote a blistering book about it. Nothing that's happened since has changed his conclusion that "we failed in the reconstruction and, through that failure, lost the war," he writes in Salon. Today's Iraq is beset by "an angry symphony of suicide bombers."
The upcoming Arab League summit isn't a sign of progress, it's a sham for the cameras; authorities have shut down Baghdad, clearing the streets, turning off cell phone service, and spending $500 million on the route to and from the Green Zone. "Somebody in Iraq must have googled 'Potemkin Village," snorts Van Buren. What's more, he's been shocked by the State Department's retaliation and spying against him, using tools supposedly put in place to catch terrorists. "We're becoming East Germany," he warns. Read Van Buren's full column here.