David Goldman points out numerous times when our foreign policy instincts stunk. But one which stands out to me is our planning for the change of government in Iraq. We did NOT plan. The Iraqi people would be so happy to have democracy that human nature would take its course.
The administration at the time was correct. Human nature did take its course. But it was the nature of a people who hate democracy. A people who see democracy and voting as weakness. What is happening now is the natural result.
As Mr. Goldman points out, we should have had in place a strongman who could take over when we brought down the government. That is the only chance Iraq had for survival.
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 6:42am
I think Mr. Spengler is basically right. The American experiment is unique and unfortunately not desirable to most nations and tribes entrenched in the same sectarian violence for thousands of years.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 12:10pm
Pat Buchanan said: "But nothing that happens in Mesopotamia is going to threaten the existence of the United States. As for the terrorist threat from ISIS, for us, it is neither greater nor less than it was a week ago.
The existential threat here is to Iraq. Its survival as one nation is now in question, with the possibility it could be torn apart in a civil and sectarian war. But this is preeminently Iraq’s problem, not ours.
And if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his 900,000-man army, and Shia militia cannot defend Baghdad from a few thousand Islamist warriors, America is under no obligation to do it for them.
Maliki told us to go home three years ago. We did. And before we plunge back into that misbegotten war, let us consider what the real threats are — to America."......
.....Vladimir Putin lately raised a valid question: Why, in Syria, are the Americans on the same side as the people who took down the twin towers? Indeed, why are we?
And who is fighting al-Qaida and ISIS in Syria, battling those McCain calls an “existential threat” to American security?
The reason for the confusion is that U.S. support for the Shi'a government of Iraq - and by extension, a tacit alliance with Iran - risks permanently alienating our traditional Sunni allies: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and even tiny influential states such as Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, of course, has the lion's share of the oil.
Egypt was a Soviet client state until Sadat replaced Nasser, and risks going back into Moscow's sphere again (even though Russia supports the Iranian-backed, Assad government in Syria). Qatar has al-Jazeera and an influence on the Sunni Arab world disproportionate to its size.
Meanwhile, many Americans - with memories of the embassy takeover - will never reconcile to Iran until Iran no longer has a theocracy.
And, hawkish pro-Israel Americans oppose any reconciliation with Iran given what they see as Iran's existential threat to Israel's very existence.
Remember, these folks have derided Buchanan as an Arabist or anti-Semitic, or both.
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