Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Friday, March 21, 2003
Unfortunately, as I've been saying for quite a long time, Martin Kramer - and Uriel Dann - are right. We are buying a very big responsibility here: the creation of an Iraqi nation. I don't think we had any choice. But I am decidedly not optimistic about the prospects of victory.

A realistic best-case outcome, from my perspective, is: revolution in Iran, mainstreaming of the Turkish Islamists into something like the Christian Democratic parties of Western Europe, and American reliance on these two parties' friendship for us - and mutual suspicion - to keep Iraq reasonably under wraps. Turkey and Iran are nations. Iraq is not. Failed nations will always be running sores on the international scene. And no one knows how to make a nation where there isn't one. As I've also been saying for a long time: there is only one country in the Arab world that approximates a nation-state (and imperfectly at that): Egypt. There are a handful of functioning traditional states making a slow transition to modernity: Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, maybe Kuwait. The rest is tyranny or anarchy (or a combination of both - e.g. Algeria). The challenge in Iraq is: after we depose a particularly dangerous instance of the first, how do we prevent the second. It won't be easy.