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14 June 2014


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Great post. Thanks. Much to consider.

William R. Cumming

A brilliant post and summary IMO! But have not most responsible for the failures been largely unaccountable for their failures as even President Bush was re-elected?
Are not some still in power?


I'd question that secular Sunnis make up 50% of the population. According to the CIA World Factbook, ethnically, Iraq is 75-80% Arab and 15-20% Kurdish, while religion-wise, Iraq is 60-65% Shia and 32-37% Sunni. Since pretty well all the Kurds are Sunni,that means that Sunni Arabs make up about 15% of the total population or 20% of the Arab population.


Democracy was NOT the stated aim for the Iraq invasion of 2003. It was "Saddams WMDs".
"Democracy" was later added on to distract and justify a blatantly, illegal, long premeditated gratuitous attack on Israel's long time rival.


"But it was a neocon faction in the U.S. Defense Department and the White House that made a dreadful error that would result in a nationwide collapse of security and an insurrection that would cost over 2,800 American lives in the field."

As far as neocons and their handlers go, this wasn't any "error". It made sure that Iraq would become a quagmire, and a failed state. That serves Israel well. And if that meant lots of people and american soldiers would die, so be it.

I am still amazed at serious people inadvertently playing the neocon game by trying hard to pretend there is any sincerity in what they say publicly, in effect treating them and their propaganda as well-meaning but wrongheaded ideology, an honest error in judgment which should be debated while the neocons keep blowing Israel's enemies up using american blood and treasure. It won't help. They play a different game and I haven't seen much competent pushback from american patriots in a decade. That kind of pushback should come in more effective ways than public debate.



Censuses are notoriously hard to do in Arab countries. people do not trust government generally and lie a lot. In the case of Iraq there has not been even an attempt at a census for a very long time and the Sunni Arabs have some basis to claim that they are actually more numerous than the 20% figure usually quoted. pl


And a blog thread begun today over at Mondoweiss that explicitly supports Alan's comment: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/about-though-israel.html


"if Saddam had secured order by means of fear, it was still order"

Why once the fear was removed then the Iraqi's would return to the natural state of man where nothing "... is so gentle as man in his primitive state, when placed by nature at an equal distance from the stupidity of brutes and the fatal enlightenment of civil man." So much for Rousseau's theory.



I was first exposed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau in a French literature class at VMI. it was taught by an amusing middle aged esthete whom the cadets called "Suzy Simpson." I have ever after believed that Rousseau was ultimately responsible for much of the political evil that came after him in the world. IMO he should have been strangled with his own umbilical cord and I might have done the job. pl


Yes, romanticism ultimately led to many evils, Nazi Germany being one.


I personally tend to lean towards Hobbes's view of man, but I could just be a cynical individual. What are your thoughts on Locke and Hobbes with regard to the "state of nature" Colonel?


"Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing,
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago..."

This Vietnam War veteran cannot believe the late and continued stupidity he sees regarding foreign policy.

I served with honor and believed it the cause. I was duped. Today, Deja Vu.

"When will they ever learn,
when will they ever, learn?"

[Sorry for an old, anti-war protest song, but I think it today has relevance. No?]


The essay notes that in 2005 the Sunnis were resisting a constitution with federal elements, preferring centralization. I had to look up why, and discovered that it was an argument about oil revenue. If Iraqi regions had control of their own oil revenues, oil-poor Sunni regions could be short-changed.


Rousseau - how could a man, a man of some age, spout such nonsense? How could a man be so profoundly ignorant of the nature of men? All men have a capacity for cruelty, it is not taught - it is innate. With love comes hate - and you can not have one without the other.

His theory... just utopian drivel. Drivel some took seriously.

- Eliot



"I served with honor and believed it the cause. I was duped." You were duped into helping to resist a communist takeover by force? Who did you serve with in Vietnam? What was your MOS? pl



I have always shared Hobbes' view that in a pure state of nature people would be unworthy of the title of "human." Locke believed that "reason" must govern mankind or Hobbes' state of nature would prevail. pl


I was a bit older when I got into college (after a 8 years in the navy). My first exposure to Rousseau was in anthropology classes with an enthusiastic professor. It seemed obvious to me at the time that he (the professor) was living in the utopia that was a small liberal college town.

different clue

Here's an idea then. There are three regions and only two regions have oil. Each oil region could give a third of its oil money to the Sunni part, each oil region could give the next third of its money to a trusted central government which would spend the money only on "all Iraqi" projects, and each oil region could keep the last third of its oil money for itself.

Is this more likely or even thinkable the Two State Solution for Israel and Palestine?

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