Posted by: sean | September 22, 2006

More on Iraq

This first article from the Boston Globe looks at the lessons of Suez and how the US might learn from its former stance in Egypt against Britian, France and Israel in 1956:

[British Prime Minister] Eden was reminded in friendly but forceful terms of the sheer unwisdom of “the use of force” against an Arab country-which would, “it seems to me, vastly increase the area of jeopardy.” The “appeaser” in this case was General Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, in the day when things were different in the White House and the Republican Party. If Eden persevered in his folly, Ike wrote to the prime minister on Sept. 3, 1956, in words just as chilling today, not only the peoples of the Middle East but “all of Asia and Africa, would be consolidated against the West to a degree which, I fear, could not be overcome in a generation.”

The next is an interview in Harper’s with Dr. Emile A. Nakhleh, who served in the CIA for 15 years and retired this summer as the Director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program. When asked what the US should do in Iraq, he had this to say:

I have come to believe that our presence is part of the problem and that we should begin to seriously devise an exit strategy. There’s a civil war in Iraq and our presence is contributing to the violence. We’ve become a lightning rod?we’re not restricting the violence, we’re contributing to it. Iraq has galvanized jihadists; our presence is what is attracting them. We need to get out of there. The idea of Iraq being a model for the region has also been tossed out the window. Now the only question is whether Iraq will become a haven for sectarianism, or follow either the Iranian model or the standard Arab authoritarian model. It’s only three years old, but the once-touted model of a secular, democratic Iraq is all but forgotten. This casts a dark shadow on American efforts to spread democracy in the region.

He also has some interesting things to say about Guantanamo Bay and American’s Iranian policy.


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