Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Iraq: Sorry's Not Enough

Jackson Diehl's Washington Post column is about the bitter disappointment of Kanan Makiya ("Republic of Fear") and Rend Rahim as they look at the results of the war in Iraq that they worked so long and so hard to provoke:
"Both liberal Iraqi intellectuals and eloquent English speakers, they made the case that Saddam Hussein's removal was a cause to be embraced on moral and human rights grounds, and that its result could be the replacement of the Arab world's most brutal dictatorship by its first genuine democracy...
"That's why it was so sobering to encounter Makiya and Rahim again last week -- and to hear them speak with brutal honesty about their 'dashed hopes and broken dreams,' as Makiya put it. The occasion was a conference on Iraq sponsored by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, which did so much to lay the intellectual groundwork for the war. A similar AEI conference three years ago this month resounded with upbeat predictions about the democratic, federal and liberal Iraq that could follow Saddam Hussein. This one, led off by Makiya and Rahim, sounded a lot like its funeral.
"Makiya began with a stark conclusion: 'Instead of the fledgling democracy that back then we said was possible, instead of that dream, we have the reality of a virulent insurgency whose efficiency is only rivaled by the barbarous tactics it uses.' The violence, he said, 'is destroying the very idea or the very possibility of Iraq.' ..."

Thanks to Paul Woodward at The War in Context for bringing this to our attention. - CD

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