Observations on the world today.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Reason - We Don' Need No Stinkin' Reason  

Booking Bush
It is difficult to fault Clarke for arguing that administration officials, especially Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, sought to use Sept. 11 to advance an agenda of war against Iraq. This was amply documented in Bob Woodward's book Bush at War. However, what Wolfowitz's critics have ignored is that his effort to implicate Iraq was the cornerstone of an ambitious strategy for how to respond to the Al Qaeda attacks that, in his mind, addressed the fundamentals of the terrorism problem.

For Wolfowitz, the threat posed to the United States came less from Al Qaeda per se than from the environments allowing such groups to form. As the Bush administration gauged the impact of Sept. 11, policymakers split into two camps: those who argued that the US must respond narrowly against Al Qaeda and its supporters, namely the Taleban in Afghanistan; and those who sought a broader mandate to reshape Middle Eastern countries regarded as terrorist breeding grounds.
Later in the same article:
The last pillar, however, was the most interesting, and went to the heart of the strategy adopted by Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and, ultimately, Bush. By intervening in the relationship between the brutish Iraqi regime and its long-suffering subjects, the US adopted a policy of enforced democratization. As far as the Bush administration was concerned, a democratic Iraq at the heart of the Arab world could become a liberal beacon in the region, prompting demands for openness and real reform inside neighboring states. Ridiculous you say? The Syrian regime, faced in the past two weeks with protests by individuals seeking greater freedom and a revolt by disgruntled Kurds, would surely disagree.
Herein lies the rub.

IF we are to believe that the Bush administration's best and truest reason for Invading Iraq was to start some dominoes theory of capitulation to democracy region-wide, should we not have first had a plan for how to democratize the region in place before the invasion?

Also from the article:
The weak link in the argument was, and remains, Palestine. If the American objective is Arab liberalism, then presumably the Palestinians deserve a share. However, insisting on this should not detract from the validity of the larger message, namely that the future of the Arab world, and its long-term stability, lies in a pluralistic Iraq.
Actually, I would say that this is more than a weak link. It is the lynchpin that has been pulled out allowing the whole chain to collapse. Especially in light of this:
The United Nations Security Council today failed to adopt a resolution that would have condemned the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, with the United States vetoing what it called a one-sided text.

The resolution, sponsored by Algeria and Libya, garnered 11 tallies in favour, with the United States casting the sole vote against it. Germany, Romania and the United Kingdom abstained.
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