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The Forum > Article Comments > Playing dominoes in Iraq > Comments

Playing dominoes in Iraq : Comments

By John Hickman, published 13/2/2006

With no weapons of mass destruction and democracy not likely to be long term the US will have to justify the War in Iraq some other way.

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I anticipate that most of the posts that develop in this will be quick, smart, anti Bush slogans along the lines of "I told you so".

The number of country references in the State of the Union (SOTU) address probably does not have the same self evident importance to us Aussies as a basis for argument that is does for John Hickman.

The last paragraph is gold though:

"...Bush asserted that a sudden withdrawal of US forces from Iraq would leave a strategic country under the control of Sunni Islamists and show that US commitments were unreliable. This is nonsense."

Not nonsense in the sense that future US invasions to "liberate" and "install democracy" will indeed be seen as "unreliable".

However Hickman may be right in the next sentence "When the US military ultimately withdraws, the Iranians will probably end up controlling oil rich southern Iraq and perhaps the rest of the country as well."

This is a genuine risk particularly if Iran has (or about to have) nuclear weapons. Iraq's conventional army has also been decimated by 2 to 3 years of US "assistance and training".

This is in the historical context that Iraq and Iran fought a large war between 1980 and 1988 in which there were around a million casualties.

The "domino theory" may indeed be trotted out by the US as a partial reason. Hickman means that the US needs to defend "democratic" Iraq against a hungry Iran - in order to prevent the next dominoes (Kuwait, Syria etc) falling to Iran.

The US may be correct about this Iran threat. Its hard to prove the US is wrong on complex, future, international crises.

We have lots of preconceptions but its wide open about this.

After the ritualised anti Bush sloganeering posters below may ponder what Iran has said and done.
Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 13 February 2006 11:51:16 AM
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The democratisation rhetoric is changing of late. Rumsfeld criticizes the several times democratically re-elected Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for "consolidating his power". The blackguard, fancy consolidating his power, what nerve! So democracy is ok, as long as it delivers a right wing government. But if it delivers a left wing or fundamentalist government, then democracy is not so reliable, in the US's (and by default Howard's) eyes.

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.

So Plantagenet, yes, we told you so. You must admit that Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster of the hugest proportions. And don't tell me that it was worth it to capture Saddam or to install democracy. You can't give one justification before an action, and then choose another one afterwards. Howard said "We KNOW Saddam has WMDs". He knew damn well that was a lie.
Posted by AMSADL, Monday, 13 February 2006 1:05:42 PM
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I would love some of the anti-war posters to please explain to me how they would safeguard our appropriation of most of the Middle East's oil resources, make the world safe for capitalism, and maintain our current standard of living other than with a little war now and then. The way the maniac running Iran is going on, the prospect of a major war in the region is increasing steadily. At least this time there seems to be no division between europe and america, with everyone dusting off their missiles and re-orienting them toward Teheran. At least the west has major forces near the iranian border. They most probably wouldn't invade, just launch missiles to destroy Iran's infrastructure.
Posted by plerdsus, Monday, 13 February 2006 4:34:33 PM
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You are so right, Plersedus,

It is not a case of saying hullo to the new world, but a case of 'long time no see' to an old aquaintance, British colonialism.
Simply a case of changing from gunboat diplomacy to missile diplomacy. A case since the end of the all generous Marshall Plan after WW2, of swinging back to the colonial free market, just pasting a 'neo' behind it.

Without the Soviets, wish we could have ideas like the Marshall Plan back - days of generosity and forgiveness, and sharing the blame, what is needed so much right now in the world
Posted by bushbred, Monday, 13 February 2006 5:23:09 PM
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What is "democracy?" Do we have democracy in Australia ? We have a totaliarian government, who do whatever they want, irrespective of public opinion or the 49% who did not vote for them.
Example of Australian democracy, we have a member of federal parliament, who received 1.88% of the primary vote, who has the power to dictate how policy should go accordingly to his belief. The other part of the "Coalition" party enjoy representation in the lower federal house yet received less votes than another opposing party, who have no representation. George Bush received 38% of the vote of the USA populace and enjoys world power.
Before we impose "Democracy" on other nations who have never known democracy. How about we bring a fair political representation of democracy to Australia.
As to the USA government, they are still playing the old tune to prove their exsistence.
Posted by Kipp, Monday, 13 February 2006 5:58:01 PM
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Professor Hickman has penned his article with the black ink of pessimism, cynicism, and sarcasm. He decries the project of the Americans to establish democracy in the region as a "millennial expectation", and hence, as a blatant failure. He derides "neoconservative thinking" to "trigger a wave of democratization across the Arab... world and usher in Immanuel Kant's long awaited Democratic Peace". This really "embroiders" his pessimism about the establishment of democracy, if that is what he means by "Democratic Peace", with the golden threads of the great philosopher's thoughts that were span in the 1760s. Democracy in Europe was established long after the 1847-48 revolutions, whose volcanic waves would bring forth the birth of democracy on the continent. So democracy in the Arab region is of a long haul, although far from being as long as Europe's, and cannot be accomplished overnight, as apparently Hickman expects.

The goal of establishing democracy in the Mideast will bring economic prosperity and freedom from fear for its people. It will also deliver security to Western nations by defeating terrorism. It's not a millennarian goal nor does it need "rhetorical justification", in the aftermath of 9/11.

Also, Hickman, does not even ponder the high probability that Saddam's WMD were moved to Syria, just prior to the invasion. It's inconceivable to imagine, that whilst his major rival Iran was developing nuclear weapons, that Saddam would give up his own. This would have been akin that the iron dictator all of a sudden became a votary of the Dalai Lama.

Blog NEMESIS: http://congeorgekotzabasis.blogspot.com
Posted by Themistocles, Monday, 13 February 2006 7:21:02 PM
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