Professor of modern Middle Eastern history, culture, and Islamic studies at the University of California Irvine and author of the forthcoming books Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil and Overthrowing Geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv and the Struggle for Palestine, 1880-1948, He is also the editor with Viggo Mortensen and Pilar Perez of Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation. He last spent time in Iraq in the early spring of this year.
If you are going to read anything about Iraq today, I would argue no two other articles combined would give you great pause for thought than
and Giles' interview
Newstatesman piece is quite interesting too. The problem is the conspiracy theory style, in my opinion.
DeVine talks of
American exceptionalism -- the deep belief that our motives are uniquely pure, our goals singularly above reproach.
Pretty comprehensive. If only GW could set aside the time to read them. Writing the newly elected presidents name down reminds me of something I read the other day. According to polls the vast majority of Americans lump these troublesome folk they are having to deal with into the generic "Arab". The point being that it was relatively easy for GW to use what Kepel calls the " dissimulation trope" of saying invading Iraq would help solve 9/11. That's not true any more. He can't use that trick a second time. He won't have to. If Iran gets to the point of developing a nuclear weapon, the Israelis will do the bombing. And, countries in the vicinity have all had a shock to the system and will probably change for the better, which is the reason some of the theorists gave for attacking Iraq.
says that this trickery is nothing new and certainly not exclusive to neocon elements, but general amongst politicians from time immemorial, in that they have had to persuade their electorate (or their non-electorate) to accept something by the use of the usual: plain lies, omission, distortion, et al.
It is difficult to get my head around this being considered the normal mode of working in democracies. They are not worthy of the name, truth be known. If the political philosophy is taken right through to its logical conclusion, the answer is always "Democracy or not, leaders must lead".
A new World Order ought to be about removing this way of governing, even if it did slow things down a little. What's the hurry? It is strange that dissimulation is deemed necessary in the modern world, what with its "governance by opinion poll and focus group". The technology is in place to ask every citizen of voting age what they want on every political concern, not just at election time. The technology is also in place for us to tell our leaders that this how we wish them to do it.
Because a general concensus for war on Iraq was not obtained, the US and UK governments now have to spend inordinate amounts of time and energy spinning on the war spin, instead of getting on with new problems.
Note this from Professor DeVine
the bandaged hand Allawi sported during his recent trip to New York came from "banging his hands on the wall" after leaning of a secret meeting between American Ambassador John Negroponte and Shiite rebel leaders.