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After the Celebrations « Previous | |Next »
March 25, 2003

The Americans (ie., Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence) are confident that the war will be over soon and the Iraqi people will end up being liberated. They are confident that those living in Baghdad are going about their business and they are impressed with the precision of those targeting the bombs and missiles. The resistance encountered on the road to Baghdad is little more than "sporadic firefights from some dead-enders", whilst the Iraqi people that have been liberated in the southern part of this country are grateful and appreciative. And that will be the case as Baghdad is liberated.

Some counter views. This is about the ongoing fallout in Basra from 1991.This is counter view of the current situation in Basra based on Russian military intelligence. The language is dry and bureaucratic----its the UN after all--- but this assessment of the impact of war is sobering. It states that nearly 500,000 Iraqis are prone to suffer serious injuries during the first phase of an attack. The report says that the number “includes up to 100,000 wounded in combat, and another 400,000 hurt in the devastation expected during any U.S.-led attack on Iraq. "

From our perspective its the peace thats the problem. There are two scenarios and we give each of them a dialectical twist.

The Ken Parish view, in which the US easily triumphs in the war Iraq, installs liberal democracy+free market and manages to deal effectively with potential internal Iraqi frictions and external complications.

The downside of this scenario is that the Bush administration's disdain for the Europeans, the Arabs and the UN continues to grow as it becomes increasingly confident of being a hegemonic power in the world of nations. This points to a hawkish agenda regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that dovetails with that of Israeli Prime Minister Sharon.

The second scenario is the anarchy one suggested by this weblog. Here the conquering American forces become an occupying force and find themselves hopelessly embroiled in Iraqi civil wars, tribal insurrections, Shi'ite-Sunni and Turkish-Kurdish fights, and increased terrorism and incitement.

The upside of this is that, faced with a living hell the US might seek to placate the surrounding Arab world and the Europeans by adopting an energetic peace process agenda that puts pressure on both Israel and the Palestinians. The weblog has suggested a bi-national liberal state with national citizenship as the pathway out of the quagmire.

That as far as I have got. The international fallout on the Middle East has been explored further and from both the Palestinian and Israeli perspective. I concur that with the view of Mouin Rabbani that "Israel will emerge as the main regional winner of this war, and that its various adversaries will in the process be cut down to size or eliminated."

Mouin Rabbani goes on to say that:

"While Israel certainly stands to gain in numerous ways--this is, after all, one of the reasons this war is being fought--celebration seems somewhat premature. Israel’s military victories in 1956, 1967, and 1982, it bears remembering, ultimately resolved nothing. And viewed in historical perspective, they appear dubious indeed."

The prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace process are not looking good. This is an Israeli strategic analysis of the region after the collapse of the Iraqi regime. The section called, 'Securing the Northern Border', focuses on containing Syria.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:47 AM | | Comments (2)


Israel's victories in 1967 did resolve that the State of Isreal would continue to exist.

How dubious indeed.

And, 1967 was a pre-emptive strike too.

Scott, true. Israel survives as a nation state and becomes a regional power. But the military strike did not solve the political problems re the Palestinians; nor the regional inter-relationships with its neighbours.

The military strike is an instrument for political ends. It is the politics --regional peace, balance of power and cooperation that has been a failure.

Sharon thinks that he can solve the political problems of the region by the use of force.