Tuesday, June 01, 2004

america vs iraq

i just got the new economist. i can't link to the article because its subscriber only, but it says that the US is making a none-too-conspicuous exit from iraq to alleviate the political pressure. the econ believes that the US has severely messed up its credibility with wmd's issue, the abu ghraib and the world community. the arab street now hates them more than ever, and long term democratic change in the middle east is now in jeopardy for being too aligned with american interests, making democracy a harder sell.

the econ also looks back to the time when britain had the middle east as its backyard. the period from the fall of the ottoman empire until the suez crisis. the econ is basically saying that very little was accomplished then, and it seems to imply that the US is in danger of following britain's mistakes to a T.

still, the article concludes that although there are severe problems with what happened in the aftermath of the war, and it is probably too late to fix these things (more troops, better security, better iraqi training, preventing looting, etc) it is still better than what could have happened. there would still be the terror enabling monster sitting in iraq, waiting to stir things up in the region.

i feel similarly, and my posts back this up. the iraqi has gone badly, but in a very voltaire-esque way: it could be worse. this is not the worst of all possible worlds. we could be talking about how saddam is still committing atrocities or threatening other nations, while millions suffer at his hands.

right now we're bickering about how smoothly the transition will be from coalition government to free elections. this is far better than the alternative.

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