Vox is the new project from Juicebox mafia alumni Ezra Klein, Matthew Yglesias and a collection of inexperienced indoctrinated acolytes. It is flogged as explanatory journalism, but that was highly unlikely to emerge from the progressive wonderland the Voxers inhabit.
In case you wondered just how much of a partisan propaganda machine they have built, you need only slog your way through their "explainer" on the reconquest of Iraq by the Islamist savages known as ISIS. To be fair, they do manage to get a fair amount of information correct, the simple parts. But they view the situation through such a distorted lens that anyone actually knowledgeable about the topic will be torn between laughter, tears and an unstoppable desire to break something.
We will get to the liberal talking points soon, but first a quick look at the impressive qualifications of our Vox tour guide to this important international security issue, Mr. Zack Beauchamp. He is a perfect example of the ridiculous journalistic notion that the best person to cover a deep and difficult topic is someone with absolutely no experience at all in that arena. Zack is apparently old enough to grow the obligatory hipster chin mess, but not old enough to have taken off the party favors from his pal's sixth birthday party. Why did I bother spending my entire adult life studying international relations and world conflict when all I had to do was stay up all night in a cuddle pile at a rave. On to the best insight a proper high end liberal education and employment at a propaganda mill can offer.
ISIS grew out of the Iraq war's failure
Well that was a foregone conclusion; that was Bush's war.
ISIS used to be known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the leading Islamist extremist group during the Iraq War. AQI controlled significant amounts of Iraqi territory during the war, until the US military and allied Sunni militias famously defeated it during the post-2006 "surge."
But they hadn't destroyed it.
No Zack, they actually had destroyed it. They beat it into a bloody tangled mess of dead tangos stacked so high that they blotted out the sun, They killed so many of the local bad guys and the thousands of jihadist visitors that King Leonidas sent a dispatch saying "Dag! Nice work". So when you say "the US military and allied Sunni militias famously defeated it" I will accept your words, but not the snotty tone with which you meant them.
You see Zack, the Surge worked. We won the war. The Iraqis actually formed a legitimate democratic government. And then we walked away and said "There you go a Republic, if you can keep it". We took our toys and left. The Bush administration agreed to take all our troops out because that was the only way to get all the Iraqi factions to join in a government. But neither the Iraqis or us expected that to be the final deal. We and they rightfully expected a follow on negotiation about a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) after their elections and some minor legitimacy for the new government.
We needed to stay because they needed our help to actually make the whole thing work. The groundwork was laid, but the new US President Barack Obama completely torpedoed the negotiations and made sure we couldn't stay and help. So they were on their own with Iran on one side and Syria on the other, both of whom had been huge enablers of the insurgency in the first place. It is hardly surprising that the Iraqis didn't dominate at the democracy or the security on their own. And all of us who could identify the clue bag pointed out that our departure would yield this exact outcome.
Shockingly that tidbit of information about Obama failing to negotiate a SOFA and the chance for us to help the Iraqis get the training wheels off is missing from the Vox Explainer. Wow, that is a glaring, yet completely understandable omission as it reflects badly on the one on whose behalf they are "explaining", the leader of the progressive transformation, the one who will cool the Earth and make the oceans recede, Nobel prize winning architect of the Lead from Behind school of war ending, Barack Obama. It would be nice if they would explain how he lost the peace in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, but I am not holding my breath.