Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

February 28, 2006

Juan Cole Weighs In

Excellent interview by the Metrotimes of Professor Juan Cole. His blog, Informed Comment, is an indispensable resource for everything Middle East. He weighs in on the cartoon protests, the media, Al Qaeda, and the Iraq war, among others.

An excerpt:

MT: We got into this war with this neoconservative blueprint that we would quickly take Iraq, democratize it and move on through the region. Do you see a clear philosophy guiding what the administration is doing at this point?

Cole: No. I think they get up in the morning and they face a set of situations in Iraq and they try to develop policies to deal with those situations, and they get up the next day and there's a new set of situations and they develop policies to deal with those. I think it's reactive. I think it's ad hoc. I don't think there's a big picture. I think they're hoping that they can ultimately muddle through, that things will settle down enough so that they can get out of it with some dignity. I think it's probably a forlorn hope.

In many ways it's over with, it's lost. I hear from my contacts who talk to military people on the ground there, and they say it's over with. If your counterinsurgency operation is about winning hearts and minds, that's finished. In polls of Sunni Arabs, 80 percent say it's legitimate to kill Americans. A larger percentage of Sunni Arabs say that now than the year before, or the year before that. As an enterprise, the Bush administration has admitted it's not going to seek any more money for reconstruction. The vast infrastructure is very bad, and there is some danger of all of the structural improvements made by U.S. firms or the U.S. government in Iraq since the war being lost or degraded, either by sabotage from the guerrillas or because material and techniques were used that the Iraqis just aren't familiar with and so won't be able to keep up afterward. So the whole thing is going south pretty fast.
Read the rest here.

posted at 12:03 AM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
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Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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