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05 August 2005


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His distinction between GWOT and GIS is apt.

But I'm confused by 2 points:

1. Why would the constitional backing of shari'a push the judiciary to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi, instead of Iran?

2. Isn't this (shari'a becoming the law of the land) a function of implementing a democracy in a truly non-Western area?



1-I suspect that De Borchgrave simply forgot that point. All these states either tend in the direction of, or run on the basis of Sharia law.

2-I guess you have to decide if you think that the US should be sponsoring the creation of a government that will deny women equal rights in employment, inheritance and marital status. Create a state religion which makes all other faiths tolerated at best, enjoin punishment by amputation, stoning, etc.

It doesn't seem like a great improvement over what was there before. pl


"It doesn't seem like a great improvement over what was there before."

Which is why those of us who had a clue were against the U.S. going into Iraq in the first place. Saddam certainly was not my idea of a guy I'd like to have over for a beer, but at least he was not an Islamist intent upon the destruction of the West. He was just another petty tyrant Joe Stalin wanna-be. The proper time to go into Iraq would have been after Saddam had kicked this mortal coil and the country fell into the inevitable chaos that we see today. Then we truly *would* have been seen as liberators rather than conquerors, much as the Afghan people welcomed the Taliban after years of civil war in the aftermath of the collapse of the Communist government there. The point being that most people just want to be left alone to do their thing, and don't really care who rules their country as long as they keep the streets safe and the garbage picked up and the water and electricity flowing, and even thugs like the Taliban can seem like liberators if you've been subjected to civil war for a few years.

Of course, now we can't play that role. It seems likely that Iran, instead, will play the role of "liberator". All predictable. In fact, Dubya's own daddy predicted it back in '92, which is why he didn't overthrow Saddam then.


Col. Lang, I agree it's not an improvement over Saddam's regime. There is no democracy without universal suffrage. But I don't know how you force this on the Iraqis.

It reminds me of the scene from Austin Powers where Mike Myers is trying to turn around his golf cart in the narrow corridor. He can't go forward or backward.

Do you have a plan as to how the constitution should be built to allow for true religious and sexual tolerance?



You can't force anything like this on anyone, especially Arabs. That is why the project to invade Iraq and create a model western style country was a fantasy. We are paying the price for that fantasy. pl


Bad Tux,

Absolutely right. I was asked right after the first war my opinion of the idea of advancing to Basra to assist the Shia rebels. I said that if we were to do that we would end by occupying Iraq and that the Iraqis would revolt. None of the leading lights in the present administration were interested in facing that prospect. Their ideas clearly "developed" during the Clinton period.

As for this war, you can read my article "Drinking the Koolaid" on www.mepc.org
to see my view. pl


What's heart-breaking is that in the 2000 Republican debates against McCain, when pressed by moderator Jim Lehrer, Bush said he was against nation building on principle.

If only he had ignored the neocons.

Other Lisa

I'm curious - I think the whole Iraq/Iran scenario posited here is very plausible. If the Kurds go their own way (or try to, given Turkey), where do you see the Sunnis ending up? Surely they won't put up with domination by Iran any more than they would occupation by the US.


Other Lisa,

I think it is quite plausible that the Sunni Arab dominated areas of the country may never be fully under the control of whatever government emerges from the current political process. That is why the process is so important.

In that situation, these areas would continue to receive to receive support from co-religionists throughout the Islamic World and the government's writ would not run there unless the government went in with massive force. It is not really possible to occupy a hostile population skilled in arms and determined to resist without a tremendous amount of force. We are now learning that.

This is an old pattern in Arab history. Ibn Khaldun would have called the resulting zone of unrest, "The Land of Insolence." pl

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