Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nir Rosen: I am not a neo-con, and other denials

Nir Rosen did not like what I wrote yesterday about his lousy conclusion in his article on Iraq, so he sent me this (I cite with his permission): "first of all there is no contradiction between what i wrote and what the economist wrote, at least in those quotes and its unfair to just take that quote from the article and make me look like a neocon supporter. i'm saying that there was an incredibly high price that iraqis paid, but in the end americans will forget that and the neocons will gloat that they sort of got what they wanted because anyway who cares about dead iraqis (or even dead american soldiers). and look here: thats the economist saying "Nir Rosen has been generally right about Iraq all along, and he's optimistic."america's influence is definitely in decline in iraq. but my point is that this is a good thing, and that america doesnt have a role to play, and certainly not a military one i only mean that iraq is becoming stronger and more assertive and its system, while not a democracy, is certainly more representative than anything else in the region. and iraq is not going to be beholden to the iranians and even today its scaring the shit out of the saudis and there is nobody writing for the economist who has spent half the time i have in iraq or visited half the places i have visited in many ways US troops already have left the country. you know i have always been anti-occupation, but iraq is no longer occupied, its wrong to think of it like that these days. maliki does not need the americans to stay in power. in fact i think he can even get a popular mandate. and i'm not saying he's an ideal leader, but he's probably more legitimate than most rulers in the region and with more popular backing he will not be run out, he and his people are not perceived to be like nuri said, or like karzai, they arent puppets, and they control a very strong army and police force- and these security forces back maliki the less pragmatic anti-occupation forces, whether the sadrists or the resistance, are weak now, or even defeated militarily and ideologically, so there is nobody who can oppose maliki or the government on nationalist grounds. so its just about providing services or the nature of the oil law, things like that. you're looking at iraq like somebody who watches the news, and that doesnt give you a sense of how things have changed. i'm not celebrating all of those changes, but i am happy that the phase of mass violence is over and besides, your biggest mistake is to assume US forces will be out of the country. they will not. they will be reduced significantly, to fifty thousand or whatever, but they will remain, even if not in the cities." He also wants you to see this.