Tuesday, March 21, 2006


HatTip to Mingi. I haven't read a piece by Francis Fukuyama in a while. Whatever the subject matter, his analysis is typically excellent.

Europeans should beware of wishing for US failure in Iraq

The chaotic outcome of Bush's war is feeding US economic nationalism and isolationism, which are a threat to Europe

Francis Fukuyama
Tuesday March 21, 2006
The Guardian

Many opponents of the Iraq war both in the US and Europe have felt a not-so-secret sense of schadenfreude at the developing chaos in Iraq. While many might intellectually support the emergence of a stable, democratic, pro-western government in Baghdad, "success" in this matter would be seen as a vindication of all of the baggage that the Bush administration loaded on to this project, including its unilateralism, use of force and incompetent execution of the war's aftermath. Many would therefore be happy seeing Washington suffer a setback, to deter such interventions in the future.

But people should be careful what they wish for. A domestic nationalist backlash against the policies that led to the war is brewing, with implications for how the US will deal with Europe and the rest of the world down the road. Like it or not, American power and involvement are necessary to the proper functioning of world order, and the kind of role that a post-Iraq United States may play is very much up for grabs.

Two recent events constitute straws in the wind. After the protests and embassy-burnings over the Danish cartoons, no major US newspaper was willing to publish the cartoons, and most editorialists took a holier-thanthou attitude to those European papers that did. While one might question the prudence of publishing the cartoons, the violent reaction was a clear case of intimidation, in many cases officially sanctioned, and few Americans criticised the protests or stood up for the right of free speech. Many seemed to feel a certain satisfaction that this time Europeans rather than Americans were feeling Muslim wrath. (full article)

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