Right Wing Attacks Zakaria For Stating Facts About Ethnic Cleansing In Iraq
On ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson on Wednesday, Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria said that fears of genocide in Iraq after an American withdrawal are misplaced because large-scale ethnic cleansing has already occurred:
One of the dirty little secrets about Iraq is that Iraq has increasingly been ethnically cleansed. It’s sad to say, but the American Army has presided over the largest ethnic cleansing in the world since the Balkans. When people say bad things are going to happen if we leave, bad things have already happened. Where were you for the last four years?
Retired Gen. Jack Keane, one of the architects of Bush’s escalation plan, attacked Zakaria’s fact-based assertion. “You are really not describing what’s happening in Iraq. I mean, you’re in the past, to be quite frank about it,” said Keane before claiming the “surge” is working.
Keane’s response to Zakaria has been heralded by the right wing. NewsBusters championed the “rebuke.” The Media Research Center, NewsBuster’s parent organization, approvingly reprinted the post in a cyber alert. The Washington Times’ Greg Pierce highlighted the exchange today.
None of Keane’s supporters note, however, that Zakaria is correct on the facts when he says “Iraq has increasingly been ethnically cleansed.”
Since the initial invasion of Iraq, more than 4.2 million Iraqis have left their homes, with roughly 2.2 million internally displaced while more than 2 million have fled to neighbouring states. Bush’s escalation, which Keane calls “very very encouraging,” has actually increased the pace of ethnic cleansing.
As the Center for American Progress’ Brian Katulis and Anita Sharma write today, the situation in Iraq now comprises “the biggest refugee crisis in the middle east since 1948.” But you won’t learn that reading right-wing diatribes against Zakaria.