08/05/2005: Hoping For Peace...
Christopher Dickey (Newsweek) has this latest piece:Pre-Emptive Peace:
”…[T]hinking back over the last two and half years, that I had told what were essentially the same stories many times in many different ways. Before the invasion of Iraq, I had warned against the dangers of occupation, the likelihood of civil war and the spawning of new terrorist movements. "After the shock and awe, the sweets and flowers, the anarchy and atrocity, Iraq could well be called disarmed and dangerous," I wrote the week Saddam Hussein's statue was hauled down in Baghdad.
I was wrong about the sweets and flowers. We never saw them. But all the rest came to pass even more quickly and brutally than I’d anticipated. So there is an undertone of sadness and anger, but also of genuine incredulity, that runs through many of the columns. And that just won’t go away. Every day there are new events that hammer home the same essential problem: a basic misreading by this administration of the realities of the Middle East and, because of that, a fundamental negation of common sense.
Well, as I’ve found myself saying often over the last couple of years, let’s hope. But the insurgency in Iraq has grown worse, the terrorism (which is related but not always the same) has grown worse. And as that Iraqi Army stands up, you can bet its generals will see democracy as an obstacle in their efforts to crush their enemies. The United States has a record dating back at least a century trying to establish what used to be called “apolitical constabularies” in countries it occupied. But as soon as its local men got strong, and the U.S. military decided it could leave, those locals became strongmen.
Looking back over the 99 previous Shadowland columns, there's a narrative there. The historian Barbara Tuchman might have called it "the march of folly": a story of grand designs with unintended consequences, the bold strokes of vainglorious men—President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—foiled by the complex nuances of societies that they evidently thought they could dominate without bothering to comprehend. They were going to fight a pre-emptive war to build permanent peace. What they gave us was a war we never needed to fight, and no hint of peace in sight...."
The entire article is very well written with links to the earlier pieces he has covered about this evolving and worsening War for Peace. Give it a full read at the link above.
Karen on 08.05.05 @ 03:05 PM CST