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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Dissonant notes « Previous | |Next »
March 17, 2003

For those who like fluff in the morning try this bit of prose from the delightful Peggy Noonan. Peggy is a big fan of George Bush. For those readers who are not fans of Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defence would not be suprised by this.

This a great line from Thomas L. Freidman's, Repairing the World:

"Lord knows, I don't diminish the threats we face, but for 18 months all we've been doing is exporting our fears to the world. Virtually all of Mr. Bush's speeches are about how we're going to protect ourselves and whom we're going to hit next. America as a beacon of optimism — America as the world's chief carpenter, not just cop — is gone. We need a little less John Wayne and a little more J.F.K."

And this is a good line from Paul Krugman:

"We all hope that the war with Iraq is a swift victory, with a minimum of civilian casualties. But more and more people now realize that even if all goes well at first, it will have been the wrong war, fought for the wrong reasons — and there will be a heavy price to pay."

Too late. The US has wanted this war for a long time. The Bush Administration has had little time for diplomacy. As Maureen Dowd says in 'Mashing Our Monster':

"Everyone thinks the Bush diplomacy on Iraq is a wreck. It isn't. It's a success because it was never meant to succeed. For the hawks, it's a succès d'estime....The Bush hawks never intended to give peace a chance. They intended to give pre-emption a chance."

For those interested in some different perspectives there is this Jordanian Arab perspective, which unsuprisingly, reads the Iraqi war in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

For an assessment of the neo-con Middle East strategy see this piece. This strategy, which was accepted by the President Bush in his recent AEI speech, has three prongs. These are:

This position is defined by three key elements:

1. After September 11 maintaining the status quo, a permanent feature of U.S. policy to the Middle East, was no longer a policy option. This shift is precipitated by the failure of the pro-western Arab regimes in containing Islamism, which hit the U.S. in its dearest symbols.

Furthermore, the Arab world embraces a culture which promotes hatred and antagonism to the U.S. and its values. This culture is induced by an authoritarianism, which is seen to be responsible for the emergence of extreme tendencies in the Islamic world.

2 . Saddam Hussain is a threat to the U.S. and its two intrinsic interests in the region: oil and Israel and, hence, he must be removed.

The removal of Saddam would contribute to the well-being of Israel, secure the oil-rich Gulf region and reduce the likelihood of "terrorists" putting their hands on weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

3. A democratic Iraq would serve as a model for other nations in the Middle East and set the stage for the emergence of a more liberal pro-western élite in the Arab world.

A US State Department Report has undermined 3---the so called democratic domino theory.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:17 PM | | Comments (0)