Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

historical footsteps « Previous | |Next »
April 12, 2004

Conservatives are probably right to say that Iraq is not Vietnam and the Iraq/Vietnam analogy does not hold up. However, the neo-American rhetoric of liberating the country to bring freedom and democracy to Iraqi and then to the rest of the Middle East has taken a beaten these last few days. A democratic political arrangement that depends on counter-insurgency tactics and soldiers has little shelf life.
Allan Moir

The "democratization" talk of Rumsfeld and his neccon associates in Washington and Baghdad looks increasingly hollow. Democracy in Iraq is not about electing representatives to office on a one-person, one-vote basis. Democracy in Iraq for the US means the US--ie., the Pentagon---trying to set up a client regime based around Iraqi exiles, notably around Ahmad Chalabi. The Pentagon is intending to ease Chalabi into power in Iraq. He and his militia are not considered a threat to democracy. The Shiites are.

In the face of the evidence to the contrary, the Howard Government continues to maintain that those driving the opposition in Iraq are former Baathist leaders and secret police who are trying to defeat those who want a better way in Iraq. The Shiite insurgency is quietly ignored. Remember, it was the US military who decided to pick a fight with the radical Shiites. As an editorial in the Washington Post points out the quagmire the US is walking into is one of its own making.

The standard conservative line of the war hawks--that criticisms of the US signifies "either wishful thinking by an obsessively anti-American faction of politicians, journalists and academics, or an abysmal ignorance of history" is rather cliched.

Anti-American? The criticisms of the British military in Iraq are anti-American? Would not the sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut approach fuel Iraqi resistance and insurgency because of its high civilian casuality rate?

The history is one of occupation of Iraq by a foreign power that in turn creates a movement of resistance by Iraqi nationalists. Though the Americans have a different strategic objective to the British (the core strategic objective is to ensure United States military superiority across the world), they are walking in the historical footsteps of the British imperialists.

The other standard hawk line is that those who criticise the US occupation of Iraq are trucking with isolationism. What is conveniently overlooked is the commitment to the internationalism of the UN, as opposed to the Bush doctrine of unilaterial action and pre-emptive strikes. Or the committment to an engagement with Asia.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:28 AM | | Comments (1)


Maybe its more like Afghanistan 1980s. With the Yanks as the Russians. Like the Russki's they will be stuck there for years with various attempts at puppet regimes. But will it bring down the Yanks like it did to the Russians?