Sunday, August 22, 2004

 

Neocon Grip


Some Good News!

Over a period of three months, I have tried to give you an idea of what has happened in Iraq during the past 17 months from an Iraqi point of view. I have outlined some of the mistakes, the wrong policies and some of the resulting damage. I have even tried to locate the source of this misfortune!

Ever since 9/11, the neocons have been extremely influential in running US foreign policy, the pre-war campaign in the US and the post-war campaign in Iraq. Their policies have not only failed miserably, but have led to disaster both to Iraq and to America. This view has been confirmed by numerous non-partisan prominent Americans who have held senior positions in the US government and army.

However, realities fortunately govern this world. And politicians operate almost totally within the realms of reality. In America, this invariably seems to mean “election” reality (which is a good thing really). I therefore do not expect the present US administration to publicly admit these errors. That would be political suicide, especially in an election year.

But if you look closely at the changes taking place in handling the Iraqi file by the administration, particularly since the Fallujah massacre and the prisoner-abuse scandal, you can see a dramatic shift of policy.

This has been demonstrated by the compromises the administration has had to make to reach consensus for UN Security council Resolution 1546. [Details posted below].

It is also manifested by the substantially increased involvement of the State Department in Iraq’s management.

Another important indicator has been the fall from grace of the neocons' chief crony Mr. Chalabi – for a long time their hope for a new Iraqi leader.


All these events indicate that the grip of the neocons on the Iraqi business and on foreign policy has been loosening - Not because somebody suddenly discovered that they were immoral, but because they were leading the administration itself to disaster.

I find some consolation in this! But we have to keep in mind two facts:

1. The damage that has already been done to Iraq and to America has been enormous.
2. These people still hold the same positions of responsibility in the administration, ready to take charge, riding on a wave of fear and hatred, when conditions are again "favorable".


Comments:

It would be interesting to hear what you think a Kerry administration should do (I pretty much take for granted there's so little goodwill left for Bush that he couldn't fix things even if he tried...)

For example, do you think it would help if US forces were to withdraw to bases in the western desert? (This would lessen chances for conflict in population centers, but would retain a sufficient US military presence to prevent the country from descending into complete anarchy, or turning into an "Afghanistan-with-oil" super-duper Al-Qaeda training camp...) Would this require replacement international troops (presumably from nonadjacent Muslim nations)?
 
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(reposted for formatting reasons, hopefully I'll get it right this time)

Abu Khaleel,

Their policies have not only failed miserably, but have led to disaster both to Iraq and to America. This view has been confirmed by numerous non-partisan prominent Americans who have held senior positions in the US government and army.

You can safely mention Francis Fukuyama on your "americansoniraq" blog site. From one of his recent essays, which you can find here quoted in full in the comments section:

Lurking like an unbidden guest at a dinner party is the reality of what has happened in Iraq since the U.S. invasion: We have been our usual inept and disorganized selves in planning for and carrying out the reconstruction, something that was predictable in advance and should not have surprised anyone familiar with American history.

There is just one problem. Francis Fukuyama is one of the most prominent neo-conservative Americans. In another article (Jerusalem Post subscription required) he says that Rumsfeld definitely isn't.
 
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My apologies for spamming. It took several tries to get the formatting right, and now blogger won't let me delete my old comments.
 
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This Francis guy seems to think that the reason Japan, Germany and South Korea were successes were due to the long-term presence of American troops. This is not a controlled experiment. And I think it is total rubbish. Those countries are successes because of the underlying nature of the people. Taiwan is another success story. No US troops there either. It developed in much the same way that South Korea did.
 
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