1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Wishful Thinking

Reader comment on item: A Strongman for Iraq?

Submitted by E.A. Remler (United States), Apr 28, 2003 at 14:50

It is very highly improbable that we can find a strongman who will guide Iraq to a democracy and to reasonable relations with the U.S. Postwar Germany, Japan are not reasonable comparisons to the situation today in which Iraqis feel no guilt but rather feel that we are at fault for their woes and are supported in that opnion by all their neighbors. To base policy on the highly improbably hope that we find someone of the caliber of Ataturk is just wishful thinking.

It is fine to try to do this but active pans and steps must be made for an alternative. We must assume that we will be faced with hostility from Arabs for an indefinite period in the future and we should use our victory to make it easier for us to control their violent impulses when they appear to be getting out of hand. Such control will amount to a quick, calming, punch in the nose when necessary--not too dissimilar to what the Israelis do. To that end, we should maintain military bases in Iraq with quick reaction forces and otherwise retreat from their public life--let them look after themselves as best they can.

Their self-rule will probably be a bloody and messy business which we want to keep clear of. It took many centuries for democratic attitudes to evolve in the West--and we know how incompletely they have evolved even to this day. Even with an increased pace of evolution, Democracy will take a century or more to grow in the Mid East. Any policy that ignores this very probable estimate, is no policy at all.
Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Wishful Thinking by E.A. Remler

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)