Iraq Is A Success While Tibet Remains A Problem – Macro Viewpoints & Charles Krauthammer

Last July, we wrote an article about Iraq that offered a different view point than most media articles at that time. That article, titled “Iraq & Tibet – Strategic Will Of The American and Chinese People” was received very well and it remains one of the top 10 articles of this blog to this day. In that article, we laid out our case why a continued American presence in Iraq is vital to long-term American interests. (–tibet–strategic-will-of-americans-and-chinese.aspx  ).

Iraq is already a success and, in a short period of 6 years, is on its way to becoming a modern, democratic state due to American values, American troop presence and American focus on improving Iraq. In contrast, even after 60 years, Tibet continues to be a problem for China, an occupied country of oppressed people held down by the heavy boot of the Chinese military.

We covered the success of the surge in Iraq and the critical as well as courageous stand by President Bush in our September 13, 2008 article “The Second Term of President George W. Bush – A Foreign Policy Success Story” (—a-foreign-policy-success-story.aspx  ).

Last week Iraq had a free, democratic election in which 14,400 candidates from 400 parties participated. The election took place without any violence. The nationalist, pro-Iraq parties swept the election dealing a major defeat to both the Islamic parties as well as pro-Iranian parties.

This is simply an amazing success of the Bush-Petraeus effort that stabilized Iraq, brought the Sunnis into the electoral process and virtually eliminated the insurgency. Yet, the American TV and Print media virtually ignored this great “win” in Iraq.

Rarely do we come across an article that we totally concur with, especially when the author of the article is not someone with whom we generally see eye-to-eye. We speak of Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post and his article “Iraq: Good News Is No News” on February 13, 2009. We have always been slightly left-of-central liberals in our social and political outlook. Pragmatism is our motto and we abide by the Keynes dictum “We change our minds when the facts change.” Mr. Krauthammer, on the other hand, is a doctrinaire conservative Republican.  

We strongly encourage all readers to read Mr. Krauthammer’s article at .  Below are some excerpts from this article:

  • “Iraq moved away from religious sectarianism toward more secular nationalism. “All the parties that had the words ‘Islamic’ or ‘Arab’ in their names lost,” noted Middle East expert Amir Taheri. “By contrast, all those that had the words ‘Iraq’ or ‘Iraqi’ gained.”
  • “Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki went from leader of a small Islamic party to leader of the “State of Law Party,” campaigning on security and secular nationalism. He won a smashing victory. His chief rival, a more sectarian and pro-Iranian Shiite religious party, was devastated. Another major Islamic party, the pro-Iranian Sadr faction, went from 11 percent of the vote to 3 percent, losing badly in its stronghold of Baghdad. The Islamic Fadhila party that had dominated Basra was almost wiped out.”
  • “The big strategic winner here is the United States. The big loser is Iran. The parties Tehran backed are in retreat. The prime minister who staked his career on a strategic cooperation agreement with the United States emerged victorious. Moreover, this realignment from enemy state to emerging democratic ally, unlike Egypt’s flip from Soviet to U.S. ally in the 1970s, is not the work of a single autocrat (like Anwar Sadat), but a reflection of national opinion expressed in a democratic election.”
  • “This is not to say that these astonishing gains are irreversible. There loom three possible threats: (a) a coup from a rising and relatively clean military disgusted with the corruption of civilian politicians — the familiar post-colonial pattern of the past half-century; (b) a strongman emerging from a democratic system (Maliki?) and then subverting it, following the Russian and Venezuelan models; or (c) the collapse of the current system because of a premature U.S. withdrawal that leads to a collapse of security.”
We have written* about the European frame of reference of most media-acknowledged pandits and their built-in racist condescending attitudes towards non-European societies. Mr. Krauthammer seems to echo this opinion in the following excerpt:

  • “One leading conservative thinker had concluded as early as 2004 that democracy in Iraq was “a childish fantasy.” Another sneered that the 2005 election that brought Maliki to power was “not an election but a census” — meaning people voted robotically according to their ethnicity and religious identity. The implication being that these primitives have no conception of democracy, and that trying to build one there is a fool’s errand.”
Mr. Krauthammer ends his article with this appeal to President Obama:

  • “Despite Obama’s opposition, America went on to create a small miracle in the heart of the Arab Middle East. President Obama is now the custodian of that miracle. It is his duty as leader of the nation that gave birth to this fledgling democracy to ensure that he does nothing to undermine it.”

We wrote in our september 13, 2008 article 
If America stays in Iraq for the next 10-20 years, it would change Iraq in to a modern state. This would be an extraordinarily important and perhaps a transformational development for the Middle East. Such a development would transform President Bush’s intervention in Iraq into one of the greatest foreign policy successes in American History.”

Today, Iraq is on its way to become a foreign policy success for America. It is President Obama’s responsibility to make sure Iraq remains on this path.

* “Afghanistan & Vietnam – Newsweek, Zakaria, Stephanopoulos & Admiral Mullen” – February 1, 2009–vietnam–newsweek-zakaria-stephanopoulos–admiral-mullen.aspx

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