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Thursday, March 27, 2003

Ken Jowitt writes an interesting article for the current issue ofPolicy Review available online here. He clearly has a lot of admiration for the Bush administration's policies, however he does see one of the underlying concerns of the outcome of this war. He states for instance,

--Third, and most important, the attempt to impose democracy in Iraq and the Middle East has all the unreality of Don Quixote. The truth is that an invasion and occupation of Iraq with the pronounced intent of imposing democracy will more likely be a “poison dart” with a “boomerang effect” than a “magic bullet” with a “democratic domino effect” in the region. For decades, the Iraqi middle classes have been forced to act like supplicants towards those who rule them with arbitrary power. Their servility has undoubtedly produced a psychology and culture that emphasize avoidance and distrust of political life. In no way do the Iraqi middle classes resemble the proto-liberal capitalist classes of seventeenth-century Western Europe with their preferences for, and understanding of, a legally framed market economy and individual autonomy. As for Iraqi society in general, it is fragmented into hostile tribes and clans based on kinship, religion, and ethnicity. In such an environment, creating civility will require Promethean effort. Creating a civil society and democratic government will take a miracle.--

He seems aware of nearly all of the now irreversible consequences this war has brought into global politics, still, he ultimately favors the war due to its positive effect of taking WMD's out of the hands of a brutal anti-American dictator. This is the crux of scholarly debate on the issue, and I continually fail to see how intelligent people can determine that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein outweighs starting an alarming precedent of preemption that will allow any nation to follow our path. What's more, as Jowitt points out in the above quote, once we do depose Saddam, we are faced with an alarmingly likely posibility that the democratically elected leadership that follows will turn against us. More scary is the chance that post-Ba'ath Iraq's relations with Iran will improve dramatically. An Iraq/Iran/Pakistan coalition would have all of the weapons the United States fears, and a population that would gladly die using them. The moment that the Arab world realizes the value of an E.U. style alliance rather than its currently impotent Arab League is the day that the United States stops being the world's only super-power.

Bran 11:26 AM : |


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