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August 19, 2003

my expectations were too low

On the day after the UN building in Baghdad was blown up, the US press is rushing to say that the occupation of Iraq is perilously close to failure. I am a card-carrying dove who opposed the war, as this collection of blog entries shows. However, I was wrong about the aftermath, which I thought would be considerably worse than it has turned out to be. The current situation may actually be closer to what the Bush Administration predicted than to what I expected. I thought that there would be massive communual violence, pitting Shiites against Sunnis and Arabs against Kurds. I thought there would be a civil war over important assets like the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which is disputed between Kurds and Arabs. I thought that neighboring countries would be dragged into the war before Saddam was deposed--including Israel, which I thought Saddam would attack. I thought that the (putative?) illegality of the operation would cause us more trouble with Europe than it has. And I thought that large segments of the Iraqi public might well oppose our invasion violently, mainly because they would hold us responsible for the sanctions regime. None of these awful scenarios has come to pass. That doesn't mean that the Iraqi occupation/liberation is going especially well, but hope certainly remains that it will turn out to be a blessing rather than a curse for both us and the Iraqi people.

August 19, 2003 12:00 PM | category: Iraq and democratic theory | Comments

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