Ivan Eland: Despite George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s efforts to topple foreign dictators and use military power to forcefully impose democracy from without, democracy usually works better if it bubbles up from below by popular desire.
Vijay Prashad: Having Iraq exercise its sovereignty is not sufficient to justify the war in the first place. Eight years after the war, no justifications remain. It was a dumb war, and it remains so.
Gareth Porter: The ambitious plans of the U.S. military to use Iraq to dominate the Middle East militarily and politically had been foiled by the very regime the United States had installed
Denis Campbell: Ironic that Egypt’s pro-democracy demonstrators fought and freed a nation from a brutal dictator in 18 Days, yet in just 1 less day’s length 3,400 people in Camp Ashraf may be condemned to die in the middle of the Iraqi desert because of apathy and inaction.
Denis Campbell: Now the worry is 3,400 people in the Iraqi desert will also be let down because no matter how hard they try, their voices are constantly lost in a sea of “more important” news.
Gareth Porter: The big question looming over U.S.-Iraqi negotiations on a U.S. military presence after 2011 is what game Shi’a leader Moqtada al-Sadr is playing on the issue.
Tom Hayden: Any “new deal” will have to satisfy the power agenda of al-Sadr and his allies in Iran, or risk a renewal of fighting against the retention of the smallest contingent of U.S. troops in Iraq since 2003.
Ivan Eland: The American media continues to tout the reduced violence in Iraq without foreseeing the long-term potential for a resumption of severe ethno-sectarian violence and the absence of mechanisms—à la Sudan—to defuse it.
Ivan Eland: It is too early for the U.S. elite’s self-congratulation that democracy has finally been solidified in Iraq. Defeat could yet be snatched from the jaws of victory after U.S. forces leave, and even before that if the latest election is as destabilizing as was the one in 2005.
Ivan Eland: So far, Iraq has been quiet enough that many in the media and public have redirected their attention to the wars du jour of Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The relative peace (punctuated by an occasional violent attack) in Iraq may be about to evaporate and cause yet another crisis for the president.
Ten days before Christmas more than 3,000 people face eviction from their home of 20 years in what Labour peer and British civil liberties champion Lord Robin Corbett has described as ‘a pact with the devil’.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised U.S. soldiers for helping Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki build and nurture Iraq’s public institutions, which are central to the American war effort. But at the same time Schwarzenegger is systematically (even gleefully) dismantling similar public institutions in California.