Tim Pawlenty capped his incredibly underwhelming performance in tonight’s GOP debate with: “Iraq is the shining example of success in the Middle East.” The quote is bizarre for a number of reasons—not the least of which is the quote’s temporal proximity to the anti-Libya-intervention spasm that occupied the stage for the ten minutes preceding the quote. More importantly, however, is that Pawlenty seems totally unaware that:
- Iraq shattered a worldrecord for length of time needed to form a government after an election in 2010.
- A Shia militant group shelled a U.S. military base in Baghdad last week, killing five soldiers—the largestsingle loss of U.S. life in Iraq in two years.
- Also last week, Leon Panetta suggested that he believes Iraq will request U.S. troops to remain inIraq.
- Attacks in Iraq seem to be spreading once again with oil tanks in southern Iraq being bombed lastweek, as well as suicide car bombs in Tikrit, and IEDs in Baghdad.
These are hardly the hallmarks of a shining example of success in the Middle East. In fact, while Sadr’s militia emerges fromhiding and rallies against an American presence in Iraq—Pawlenty’s paragon of virtue—civilians in liberated Libya rallied in support and appreciation of theUnited States, despite the fact that the U.S. has taken a limited role in that intervention, and belying the nonsensical rants of every single Republican candidate in tonight’s debate. That, dear readers, tells you everything you need to know about Tim Pawlenty and the disastrous Republican field.