Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Iraq elections

Ex-president George Bush's Iraq surge seems to have been a success.  Free elections in Iraq where Sunni arabs participated in force and where there was widespread participation - was one of the positive outcomes that can be attributed to the surge.  Contrary to popular opinion Iran is weakened by a strengthened Iraq and the rational basis for the intervention in Iraq is confirmed.  As John Bolton remarks concerning the Iraqi elections:
"...the elections could make a deep impression on the citizens of Iran and its vassal, Syria. Young, educated, sophisticated Iranians, dissatisfied with their country’s religious orthodoxy and economic failures since the 1979 revolution, will draw their own conclusions from Iraq’s peaceful democratic process."
President Obama argues that the successful, peaceful elections provide support for his policy of US withdrawal. That is probably true but it is evidence too that the surge has been far more successful than its detractors would admit.  Let us hope that Obama takes wise and flexible counsel on the Iraq War.  I believe that history will be kinder to George Bush than to his leftist rabble critics.


Anonymous said...

Wait until the Americans leave, and then wait 12 months, and then see what the situation is. In case Iraq is some lovely peaceful utopia, I'll admit to being far too pessimistic.

Anonymous said...

No country is a lovely peaceful utopia, and I would guess that Iraq won't be the first.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit that the surge has been more successful than its detractors (including me) thought, but completeness demands that you admit why.

The success is almost wholly due to the so-called "Sunni Awakening" and pro-Iranian Shiite cooperation. Both were created by withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi daily lives and explicit promises of US withdrawal from all of Iraq (in particular, the renunciation of the neocon's beloved permanent bases). Which can and should have been done years ago.

Even if Iraq turns out be a great success story in coming years (still unlikely IMO), the cost (in lives, treasure, missed opportunities and destroyed US credibility) of the war means that it would still rate as an illegal and avoidable catastrophe.

So I still want its architects facing a court in the Hague.

hc said...

DD, That is too strong and you know it. Tony Blair, George Bush and John Howard are not war criminals. Most of the deaths in Iraq are due to the actions of murderous Muslim fanatics. That is just true.

Why not attack the killers rather than those trying to establish democracy?

That Iraqis have embraced a rough-and-tumble democracy is remarkable. Where else in the Middle East outside of Israel?

derrida derider said...

The claim that most of the deaths in Iraq are from Muslim fanatics, Harry, is assertion not fact. The Lancet studies show a surprisingly large proportion of the excess deaths came from the US' penchant for using air strikes rather than endangering their GIs. Another large portion came from the destruction of infrastructure attendant upon the war.

Bush instigated a war which was flatly illegal and which led to a holocaust. It was not authorised by UN resolution (as John Bolton himself, who was then US ambassador to the UN, argued in the debate on that final UN SC resolution - he was telling doubters that if they voted for it they'd get another chance to vote for or against war). There was no "imminent threat" of an Iraqi attack. Nuremburg established those as the only two legal grounds for initiating a war.

So it really is difficult to see how Bush, Blair and Howard could be acquitted of a charge of "conspiracy to wage aggressive war" (the language of the major charge at Nuremburg).

Now of course they will never be charged, but I do hope that visions of dead Iraqis haunt these ostentatiously pious men's dreams.