A friend of mine wrote me asking for my thoughts on what is going to happen in Post War Iraq. The email response became long enough / deep enough to merit a blog entry --
An examination of postwar strategy was published just this morning in WaPo:
Alas, I suspect that part of the reason that the Post-War plan hasn't been super clearly spelled out by the administration is precisely because it generates the headline that the WaPo editors gave it "Full US Control"... eek... Complete with stern, unsmiling face shot of General Tommy Franks. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
That headline is exactly what many of our allies are secretly and not-so-secretly afraid of. It doesn't matter so much if things will get better, it's that they don't like the idea of our memes not only being vindicated but also replicated. They don't want to come to terms with the scale / scope of the "civil reengineering" project that must be undertaken in the Middle East.
When I provocatively phrase it like that to myself, even I'm a little aghast -- how dare we embark on such an mission? Who are we to tell these proud people how their women should be treated, what their newspapers should say and what their media decency laws should cover.
As a Western Classical Liberal, I'm likely a little more "morally self confident" than many and if I have slight queaziness, I can imagine how deeply it affects the comparative moral relativists inside the country. And then notch up "moral relativism" into "Post Modern moral hostility" and you get much of what's going in Europe.
On the plus side, there are enough youngsters in the region (for ex. nearby Iran) who have enough self-assertiveness & confidence that they can make those types of decisions for themselves rather than delegating up to the local Mullah. (they aren't the ones you see covered in the News reports on Madrassah's -- although those kids exist -- they're the ones who eat up Bollywood movies when given the chance)
At the end of the day, I just don't feel like we have much choice. Swamp draining is hard work and with WMD, the mosquitos off yonder are suddenly able to devastate our cities. With or without a strong, public plan for "what's next" we still have to go in.