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Monday, June 28, 2004

Iyad Allawi takes over: A milestone in the Iraq disaster

Today marks a milestone in the Iraqi conflict. The US controlled interim government ended, not with a bang, but a whimper. Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi decided to hold a modest changing of the guard, two days early, to forestall any planned terror attacks. Coalition administrator Paul Bremer left Iraq not as a conquering hero, but rather like a man in a hurry to escape. The new independent (more or less) government is also an interim government, which is supposed to pave the way for elections to be held by January, 2005. That date looks increasingly shaky.

by Moderator @ 06:20 PM CST [Link]

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Now he tells us: Paul Wolfowitz reconsiders Iraq

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz tiptoes toward acknowledging that he and his boss Don Rumsfeld are fools:

"If you want to say what might have been underestimated, I think there was probably too great a willingness to believe that once we got the 55 [Iraqi] people on the blacklist, the rest of those killers would stop fighting," Mr. Wolfowitz said.
Might have. Probably.


by Analyst @ 10:11 PM CST [Link]

Friday, June 11, 2004

The Lesser Middle East Reform Initiative

The long awaited and gestated G-8 Greater Middle East Reform Initiative, which terrorized the regimes of the Middle East with fears of democratic reform, a fate worse than apostasy, has finally seen the light of day, with less than dramatic impact.


by Moderator @ 01:39 PM CST [Link]

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Perils of Sharon Returns: Sharon Invictus? or "The Tragedy of Yossi Beilin"

When the Israeli disengagement plan fracas was all over, as I predicted, all the chicken littles who had been busy yelling "The government is falling," "The government is falling," went back to roosting in their coops, their rations by no means diminished by the fact that their prophecies had proven false. A few were quite bitter that Israeli PM Ariel Sharon hadn't "played fair" and had bent the rules of democracy way out of shape. Most of those people were not paying attention of course, when the right didn't "play fair" and the minions of Feiglin stacked the Likud voting lists with people who never voted for the Likud in order to assure right-wing control of the party. It's no fair if only one side has to play fair.


by Moderator @ 05:01 PM CST [Link]

Monday, June 7, 2004

Ronald Reagan's surprising legacy in the Middle East

The administration of the late U.S. President Ronald Wilson Reagan, unforeseeably and through no fault of Reagan's own, has had a disruptive and destructive legacy in the Middle East. This legacy has little to do with the major features of U.S. Middle East policy in the 1980s -- siding with Iraq against Iran, intervening in Lebanon, bombing Tripoli, trading arms for hostages, or opening a dialogue with the PLO. In a surprise, it has had more to do with a seemingly unrelated matter: the fall of the Berlin Wall.


by Analyst @ 08:33 AM CST [Link]

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

The importance of being Ahmad: what Chalabi means to Washington

Sometime in the late 1990s in Washington, DC, long-time Iraqi exile and occasional coup plotter Ahmad Chalabi became a walking Rorschach blot. Whether you were for him or against him pretty much summed up your worldview. Any dispassionate assessment of his trustworthiness would have been besides the point. And there was a reason for this.


by Analyst @ 07:56 PM CST [Link]

Creating a Reality of Israeli-Palestinian Peace

The lesson of the failed Oslo peace process and the stalled roadmap is that paper agreements don't create reality. There are profound actual problems that prevent peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Until we begin to solve those problems, any agreement will fail. In anticipation of such paper agreements, and in the light of the fundamentally adversarial reality, each side has striven to create and maintain "facts on the ground" with the purpose either of gaining a decisive advantage and turning the peace into defeat for the other side, or with the intent of blocking any possibility of peace at all. [more]

by Moderator @ 12:58 PM CST [Link]


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