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

a long shadow « Previous | |Next »
September 12, 2004

At least someone in the Australia government is beginning to acknowledge political realities, even if they still have to surround their talking sense with fog. One would also hope that the triumphal fantasies about nation building a unified nation-state, which were based on a blissful ignorance of Iraq's history and society, are also fading.

The Howard Government needs to become more realistic, because death casts a long shadow. It is a long way from Iraq and the shadow spreads from the Middle East across South East Asia to Australia.


What will they do? How will they respond?

At least the muscled up ones are not currently saying that the greater the violence, the more evidence that their military policies are working. However, they do continue to always agree with the last utterance of the imperial presidency.

This question needs to be asked: How goes the war on terror then?

Not well you would have to say.

Currently in Iraq we have two intense military insurgencies of the Sunnis and Shia with the Kurds currently threatening a third insurgency.

The US occupation of Iraq has been bungled. The US has failed to meet the basic needs of ordinary people in postwar Iraq, and this is the major reason so many Iraqis feel so bitterly angry with the occupation. It continues to try to solve political problems with military solutions.

I have previusly advocated a federal Iraq based around a loose federation consisting of secular Kurdistan, a Sunni entity in the center, and an Islamist Shiite entity in the south, with Baghdad as a jointly administered federal capital. However, the consequence of the US occupation is the possibility of breakup of Iraq now seems more likely than a successful transition to centralized democracy.

As Peter Galbraith observes:

"The United States faces a near-impossible dilemma in Iraq. If it withdraws prematurely, it risks leaving behind a weak government unable to cope with the chaos that is the breeding ground of terrorism. By staying in Iraq, the United States undermines the legitimacy of the Iraqi government it wants to support, while US military action produces more recruits for its enemies."

A loose federation that recognizes the political realities of powerful regions may be the only way out of the dilemma.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:41 PM | | Comments (1)


Iraq is looking more like Yugoslavia after Tito died. You take out the strongman and let loose the dogs of war.