One banner read "No, no America," while another said, " Yes, yes for Quran."
American troops are scheduled to depart from Iraq at year's end under a bilateral agreement between the Iraqi government and the United States." CNN
The conspiracy mongers are having a field day ascribing to the US and NATO wonderfully bizarre deviousness in the thwarting of the "Arab Spring" revolts and alarums. "The US was only lukewarm to the Egyptian revolutionaries." "The US wanted Mubarak to leave in something other than the manner of his actual going." "The US has tacitly approved Saudi and Bahreini repression of the Shia revolutionaries in those places."
A lot of people want to believe in the purposfulness of the American government in its policy towards such events. Normally, those who want to believe this are people who have no experience in government and who have not suffered through endless factional internal conflicts over policy in a system (ours) that is designed to delay and impede the implementation of clear policy objectives and in which barriers to decision are everywhere. Some of this naivete is the product of that lack of direct experience. Some is the result of too much exposure to pulp fiction and flashy movies that have nothing to do with reality. Some is just left-over hostility to government brought on by the success of the neocons and the Bushies in fabricating and creating the war hysteria that took us into Iraq in 2003.
Similar internal propaganda "successes" are normally impossible. The public law, the bureaucracy, the skepticism of the press and foot dragging by the public typically block effective action in foreign adventures. In 2002/2003 most people (not me) who had a deep knowledge of Washington did not believe that the conspiratorial efforts of the neocon dominated administration would succeed in actually beinging the United States to invade a country uninvolved in 9/11.
They were wrong in that case but many of the same people have now said that the familiar combination of bureaucracy, faction, press and law will prevail against an "adventure" in Libya. In this instance they are correct. The old pattern holds in this case, but unfortunately the power of that pattern of forces largely dooms the possibility of deep political change in the Islamic World.
As I have previously written, the "freedom agenda" of the Bush and Obama administrations was a powerful enducement for those in the Islamic World who want to see change in the direction of western style constitutional government and elections or just change to re-align countries in the game of nations often in the direction of greater Iranian power in the balance of forces.
Massive change seemed a possibility in aftermath of the Cairo revolt. Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrein and even Saudi Arabia all seemed to be on the verge of something big, REALLY BIG.
Then, the revolt in Libya began, a revolt in which the rebels were clearly outgunned and out spent, and even out organized by those who favor the status quo throughout the region.
The usual factional warfare predictably broke out in Washington, a warfare in which it seemed for a time that the US would offer the modicum of assistance in training, advice and air support that might bring down the tyrant Qathafi. In the end the forces in the US Government and abroad that support "stability" above all else have triumphed. Defeat and destruction appear to be the fate of the Libyan rebels. James Clapper's forecast of their eventual defeat is becoming reality. His forecast was just that, a forecast of future events based on probablities in the event of unchanged circumstance. It was not advocacy.
Qathafi's impending victory is being watched closely by all the tyrants and by the Egyptian officer corps. Their personal interests lie in the direction of the status quo.
Qathafi's victory will bring on a wave of oppression and street war that will dwarf anything yet seen. In the Gulf Iran stands ready to support the diminution of the power of Sunni governments. Casualties in that coming wave of revolt will be high, but the killing power available will favor the givernments. pl