ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | Iraq: Americans Out and Shi’ites In

Iraq: Americans Out and Shi’ites In

14 November 2003

By Yisrael Ne’eman

Iraq is a disaster zone, hence the announced American attempt at a pull-out and reorganization by June.  Washington hopes for a freely elected assembly and resulting democratic society with equality for all.  Iraq does not have the solid middle class necessary nor historic heritage necessary for a democracy.  In Iraq the peace-keepers are attacked whether they be American, British, Italian, UN, Red Cross or any other.  They are all seen as occupiers.  Democracy is viewed as a western implant and an obstacle not only by supporters of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein but more importantly by the Shi’ite ayatollahs even if not explicitly expressed as such at the moment.

Ahmed Chalabi, the American favorite on the Iraqi Governing Council thought he could lead the post Saddam government along with other “oppositionists”.  It will not work and Washington knows it.

So the US has acquiesced to the demands of the Shi’ite Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani and will apparently grant sovereignty before going for elections, constitutions or whatever.   If luck prevails, the West and international community will be able to withdraw during an “interim” period, turning control over to Iraqis.  Within a short amount of time the Shi’ites will have the upper hand and either battle or come to a modus vivendi with the pro-Saddam Sunnis.

The new government will have no qualms about letting in anti-American types from Syria and Iran, provided they support the government.  One can expect Iraq to become another center of Shi’ite power, striving to eradicate all American influence.  Militant Shi’ite terrorism may very well find another huge training base.

At best the Americans will be given a “decent interval” reminiscent of the South Vietnamese regime from 1973-75.  And if not, the West and international community may be escorted out with a bang and not a whimper.