2004/11/22

Death of the imperial dream in Iraq?

Is it too early to declare the failure of the USA in Iraq?

Not the failure of its stated goals of bringing democracy and prosperity. As the Lancet paper conclusively showed, things are worse now than before, and evidence that already-high levels of child malnutrition have actually doubled clinches it. The failure of those goals was conclusive long ago.

But these goals were always merely rhetoric. Is it too early to declare that the real goals - control of oil, permanent military bases, and domination of the economy - are now impossible?

The razing of Falluja marks a reascendance for the neoconservative tendency of rule thru naked power. Its aftermath - spreading Sunni rebellion and a likely mass Sunni boycott of the January 30 elections - is probably the dying gasp for the re-Baathification strategy adopted last summer. Putting the old power structure back in place is impossible in the face of complete Sunni alienation.

As the likelihood of a near-complete Sunni boycott increases, so too does the likelihood of a sweeping Shi'i victory. Al-Sistani is in the process of putting together a unified Shi'i slate of candidates which is sure to overwhelm the few Kurds who will be elected.

A Shia-dominated legislature would significantly or completely extinguish American power over Iraq. At the same time, it would set the lines for the coming civil war as the Shi'i state goes to work against the Sunni insurgency and perhaps begins the resubjugation of the Kurds.

The only alternative for the Americans is to "delay" (cancel) the elections, governing thru the continued martial law of puppet Allawi. But this would immediately create a general insurgency against the Americans as the Shia joined the Sunnis in a campaign to eject the USA.

It was entirely predictable before the war that communal civil war would follow. It was less obvious that American goals were impossible. We may have reached the point at which nothing can now be salvaged for America's imperial planners.

2 comments:

naureen said...

hi jake

Britt said...

Jake's back!