The day in question being last Tuesday, November 7, 2006. A momentus day for United States politics, but also for the global community. The Neo-Con experiment can be now seen to have failed and failed spectacularly with great loss of life, enormous expense and ruination of reputation of not only a nation and culture, but many, many individuals as well. All due to adventurism and some mis-led evangelistic fervour for a world dominated by Pax Americana.
The Bush administration will surely be remembered as the worst led, most divisive, most arrogant American political leadership in that nation’s history. All things come to those who wait, and the world has waited more than long enough. It’s good to read articles such as this one. It’s reassuring that the broad sunlit upland once spoken of by Winston Churchill does still exist and that public opinion still counts when the counting matters most.
So, what will happen with Iraq, now that a US and subsequently all other coalition nations withdrawal in the short-term looks increasingly likely? Difficult to tell, but with the US and Britain to look seriously at asking Iran and Syria to become involved in aiding Iraq’s evolution to democracy, one can almost assume that Iraq will evolve into some form of fundamentalist Islamic state, divided on ethnic lines between Kurds, Sunni Islam and Shi’ite Islam, the latter being the power holders. Christians and other faiths will definitely be in the minority. Will Iraq become a fundamentalist state? With Iran a fundamentalist republic on one side and Syria a Ba’athist secular state on the other, again, it is difficult to foresee. Clearly Shia Islam holds much sway in Iraq, however the former Ba’athists of Saddam Hussein still exist in great numbers. It is even postulated that the current anti-western, anti-US insurgency in Iraq is primarily Ba’athist based. Maybe so, but whatever the end game, it is clear that the US and other western foreigners must leave if Iraq is to ever have any chance at becoming anything other than a failed state. Of course, with the Whitehouse now looking increasingly likely to be talking to Syria and Iran, the question of the angst which exists between the US and those nations becomes more pertinent.
Can the US truly negotiate a withdrawal with some honour from Iraq, while railing at Iran over it’s nuclear program, or castigating Syria for meddling in Lebanon’s future? To me, this doesn’t appear likely. There is a huge pie containing a lot of crow which the nations of the Middle-East will want the US to swallow before this Iraq business is all over. At the end of it all, once America has withdrawn and the Arab world quietly smiles knowingly to itself, what kind of American psyche are we likely to see being portrayed to the global community? One which is non-plussed? Perhaps haughtily dismissive of its failure? Cowed? No, not the last. America never bows out, beaten. But a much quieter, more considering US is likely to take shape. One which will still want to have its voice heard above all others, but one which is unlikely to shout and rattle its sabre as it has during the neo-con era.