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Iraq and the American Civil War

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  • Author: albert

Date : Apr 4, 2003 11:01 am

Following is a comment I added on 17 November 2002 to a paper by Kanan Makiya entitled: A Model for Post-Saddam Iraq (presented at the American Enterprise Institute Conference, The Day After: Planning for a Post-Saddam Iraq, October 3, 2002 CONFERENCE)

(NB The original paper can be found at but Albert's comment is now no longer to be found (except on LastSuperpower (see below) - Keza 20/4/04)


As mentioned by the author, the US government has failed to articulate this or any other vision for a democratic Iraq.

Indeed, vague terms such as "a just government" are preferred.

Hopefully that is simply because the US still hopes for support from Saudi Arabia, Turkey etc and is somewhat similar to Lincoln's early hesitation about inscribing abolition of slavery on the union banners in the American civil war:

"Anxiety to keep the loyal slaveholders of the border states in good humour, fear of throwing them into the arms of secession, in a word, tender regard for the interests, prejudices and sensibilities of these ambiguous allies, has smitten the Union government with incurable weakness since the beginning of the war, driven it to half measures, forced it to dissemble away the principle of the war and to spare the foe's most vulnerable spot, the root of the evil-slavery itself."

The logic of events will require a democratic revolutionary program in the Middle East, just as it did in the civil war.

Even the narrowly legalistic program based on enforcement of international law by the UN Security Council, clearly requires democratic changes in Israel and Palestine to have any credibility at all. The impact of that on the whole nature and perspectives of the war will be as enormous as Lincoln's "emancipation" proclamation and like that proclamation, will naturally extend further to a democratic program, not only for Iraq but also for many other countries.

The US helped entrench the fascist and feudalist regimes of the middle east, just as it did in Latin America. US interests now clearly favor replacing them with liberal parliamentary regimes, just as in Latin America.

Posted by Albert Langer @ 11/17/2002 03:52 PM CST

Created by keza
Last modified 2005-01-25 03:22 PM

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