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Once Again, False Advertising

Reader comment on item: A Strongman for Iraq?

Submitted by Mark (United States), May 1, 2003 at 00:14

...As it turned out, the victory was not nearly as painless as the neoconservatives advertised. However, it was also not as horrible as some who opposed the war feared it could be (we can all be thankful for that). Most who opposed the war realized the obvious. The Iraqi military was no match for the US military. We were going to eventually win. The questions were what would be the cost of the war (human costs as well as financial), was a preemptive attack policy wise or moral, is the diplomatic cost of the war worth it, and what would we do with it once we conquered it? In particular, the neoconservatives promised a far rosier picture than the one Dr. Pipes now admits is the reality. I remember all too well how the neoconservatives berated anyone who suggested the road might be difficult or that it could well take over twenty years to develop a true democracy in Iraq. Former CIA chief Mr. Woolsey (under President Clinton, but now a member of the neocon clicque) even stated that those who questioned the ability to easily establish a democracy in Iraq were "bigots". Well, look where we are today.

No easy democracy in Iraq. I am at least glad that some like Mr. Pipes have finally admitted reality. Unfortunately, his new solution is the establishment of a democracy loving strongman (otherwise known as a temporary dictator). There are not too many examples of this kind in history. Very few strongmen will ever give up their power. True it has happened, but it is a poor gamble to hope against the odds that it would happen in this case. Mr. Pipes gave the examples of Ataturk and Chiang Kai-shek. These are not good examples. Both Ataturk and Chiang Kai-shek were indigenous nationalists. They were not thrust onto the scene by an occupying force. Anyone that is installed by an occupying force will always be seen as a puppet by the occupied. Especially if the occupying military remains in the country (even if they are kept from view as Mr. Pipes suggests).

The best example of nation building our country engaged in was West Germany and Japan after WWII. However, there are many important differences between those times and circumstances and where we are today. Just a few of the differencesare as follows: Japan attacked us, Germany first declared war on us, the costs of the war were enormous and demanded a real change and firm commitment, Germany and Japan were long established societies with essentially homogeneous societies (the country of Iraq was created by Britian in the early 1900s), Germany was a Western country, Japan was an Asian country with western ways. None of these apply to Iraq today.

The bad examples of recent nation building (and there are many of them) are Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. All of them remain hell holes. While I believe the war in Afghanistan was necessary, the promised fluorishing crime free democracy has not happened. Due to these experiences, many (including myself) opposed the wisdom of fighting this war (along with some of the other reasons mentioned earlier). However, here we are today. Stuck with yet another faulty project compliments of false advertising. Unfortunately, it just keeps on working.

In the end, President Bush will be forced to bring the UN into Iraq. This is the only way to water down the criticism that Iraq has become an American Colony. Do I like this solution? Absolutely not! The UN has done a lousy job with some of the previous examples I provided. Yet, there really will be no choice at some point. Don't blame me, I was against this mess. I am also concerned about future messes if the neoconservatives get their way. .. The neoconservatives have publically called for rolling over Syria and Iran as well. For that matter, different members of the neoconservatives have also made public calls for armed conflict against Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, North Korea, and others as well. That does not include all those who they want us to punish (by one would hope non-violent means) like France, Germany, and Russia. Please forgive me, it is getting hard to remember all the countries on their lists.

Fortunately, President Bush appears to be backing off of a military solution to Syria at the present time. Between this and his proposed "road map" for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the neoconservatives must be having fits. Good! Maybe that means we will end up with less of these advertised "cake walks".

A Real Conservative

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (80) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Seven years later, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat agrees with this strategy [13 words]PezDispenserAug 7, 2010 17:27176465
A Strongman for Iraq... [369 words]Eleanor GoldsteinNov 12, 2006 11:0465916
Get real [165 words]DavidMay 26, 2004 15:1415371
Is it possible? [42 words]PamelaMay 10, 2003 18:248993
Freedom [23 words]StephenMay 6, 2003 04:198875
Why did we bother? [253 words]Glenn KlotzMay 5, 2003 13:428870
Faux strongman only [57 words]Erik RosaenMay 4, 2003 14:438862
Did the US inch to democracy in steps? [66 words]DerekMay 2, 2003 05:448837
Re: Pipes Is right [89 words]Khaldoun KhelilMay 2, 2003 03:358835
and who will pay? [139 words]royMay 1, 2003 20:538830
The real motives [138 words]Jose L AcevedoMay 1, 2003 19:158826
I agree with Jose L Acevedo [7 words]S Z KFeb 12, 2006 06:148826
Ignorance is bliss [90 words]PeterMay 1, 2003 11:118814
Nonsense [503 words]Abu FitnahMay 1, 2003 02:568812
Once Again, False Advertising [762 words]MarkMay 1, 2003 00:148811
Re-Install Saddam Hussein? [276 words]Oliver Boyd-BarrettApr 30, 2003 18:198807
I Don't see it working [124 words]Tom BewickApr 30, 2003 16:108805
Moderate Muslims [45 words]Ayesha A.Apr 30, 2003 15:148802
Maybe it won't take that long [102 words]R BargerApr 30, 2003 13:158797
Bravo - I think? [25 words]Bruce L. MurrayApr 30, 2003 11:568796
Lack of history sense [166 words]Neil AbramsonApr 30, 2003 11:458794
Please listen [22 words]John W. McGnleyApr 30, 2003 11:348793
Back to square one? [122 words]Ahmad Kamal AbdollahApr 30, 2003 10:258791
Who knows what Iraqi are capable of? [74 words]SallyApr 30, 2003 09:428789
Start a ccc program [96 words]Ted GreenApr 30, 2003 09:038788
Impossible [69 words]Philip SnyderApr 30, 2003 07:538785
Your disperect [634 words]Abdul Razak HarunApr 30, 2003 06:158784
Ataturk [112 words]JohnMay 21, 2008 16:068784
To John [277 words]Abdul RazakMay 22, 2008 03:338784
Saddam Hussein was a strongman... [128 words]H LuceApr 30, 2003 03:278782
Ditch The Onion, Try Scrappleface.com [142 words]John HadjiskyApr 29, 2003 21:118775
Not in our national interest [185 words]Sean OlsonApr 29, 2003 19:128774
Problems with Fundamentalism in Government [59 words]Jaime EisenApr 29, 2003 17:128773
Keep doing what you are doing... [134 words]John W. McGinleyApr 29, 2003 16:528769
Re: comment, "Arab Democracy" [54 words]Khaldoun KhelilApr 29, 2003 16:398768
Praiseworthy as always [15 words]Alexander BarrettoApr 29, 2003 15:548767
1Deja vu? [37 words]Jim VinselApr 29, 2003 13:568762
Auditions for Strongman [77 words]Philip R. JohnsonApr 29, 2003 13:248761
WANTED: Dead or Alive, WMD [56 words]sottomonApr 29, 2003 11:488759
Bravo for common sense! [38 words]Reuben LandauApr 29, 2003 11:408758
Iraqis demand "Yes to Islam" [82 words]A. A.Apr 29, 2003 09:318757
Arab democracy [71 words]Henry E WellingtonApr 29, 2003 03:248755
It might be good improvisation, but [163 words]Alain Jean-MairetApr 29, 2003 02:188754
Are you sure? [47 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Wallace Edward BrandApr 28, 2003 23:408752
Pipes is right. [182 words]Allen DaviesApr 28, 2003 22:358751
A Strongman for Iraq? Where can we find him? [179 words]Doris FitzgeraldApr 28, 2003 21:538750
Who's behind these mullahs? [43 words]D WeissApr 28, 2003 21:488749
Homegrown strongman wanted... apply inside [304 words]Khaldoun KhelilApr 28, 2003 19:488745
Militant Islam vs. Moderate Islam [84 words]Bruce GilboordApr 28, 2003 18:468742
I respectfully disagree [385 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Bill BrentApr 28, 2003 17:538739
Appreciation [135 words]Gary JonesApr 28, 2003 17:368738
Civil Rights Before Elections [226 words]David JacobApr 28, 2003 17:298737
The Evolution of a perceptual consciousness to a Conceptual one. [288 words]David SmithApr 28, 2003 17:098736
3There is no Difference between Islam and Radical Islam [548 words]Yael MedvedApr 28, 2003 16:538735
Basics in Iraq [225 words]Ron Burgo PhDApr 28, 2003 16:488734
Good ideas overall. [77 words]Gary FordApr 28, 2003 16:298733
Guiding Iraq toward Democracy [234 words]John F. BradleyApr 28, 2003 15:358730
Brilliant analysis! [77 words]Gorge SolomosApr 28, 2003 15:028729
Can I Use This in Indonesia? [439 words]William McAuleyApr 28, 2003 14:578728
Democracy: a red herring [368 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Alan NitikmanApr 28, 2003 14:548727
Wishful Thinking [271 words]E.A. RemlerApr 28, 2003 14:508726
Strongman for Iraq? [74 words]Sheldon RabinowitzApr 28, 2003 14:318725
Lasting Peace in Iraq? Divide Iraq along Ethnic and Religious Lines [329 words]William BryanApr 28, 2003 14:238724
Strongman for Iraq? [111 words]Kyle GosnellApr 28, 2003 14:138721
Correct Diagnosis, Wrong Prescription [256 words]Todd WinteringApr 28, 2003 13:538719
Another Alternative - Far-Fetched? [618 words]Ilona MelstradsApr 28, 2003 13:378718
In total agreement with your views [102 words]Carmen Waggoner, Ph.D.Apr 28, 2003 13:318717
I don't agree [136 words]TouficApr 28, 2003 13:208716
on "a strongman for Iraq" [79 words]Daniel TauberApr 28, 2003 13:118715
These two can't be together [175 words]George El MasriApr 28, 2003 12:458713
Comments to Iraqi Strongman [157 words]Mark SmithApr 28, 2003 12:278712
Strongman for Iraq [131 words]Toni HuppApr 28, 2003 11:568711
Strongman for Iraq [123 words]Jim SaxonApr 28, 2003 11:018708
The New Iraq [115 words]Hikmat FarajApr 28, 2003 10:118707
This is exactly what many feared. [94 words]BillApr 28, 2003 10:098706
We already have a strong man. [174 words]William HartApr 28, 2003 10:098705
U.S. Role in Iraq [157 words]A.J. KarloffApr 28, 2003 09:548703
On target! [62 words]GloriaApr 28, 2003 09:508702
Pervez Musharraf, for example? [51 words]Mel FechterApr 28, 2003 09:468700
Pretty interesting [19 words]NedraApr 28, 2003 06:478697

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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