Earlier today, we talked a bit about punitive expeditions, and why they’re sometimes all a nation at war needs to accomplish in order to achieve its goals. Daniel Pipes argues that that’s all we might be able to accomplish in Iraq:
. . .history suggests that the coalition’s grand aspirations for Iraq will not succeed. However constructive its intentions to build democracy, the coalition cannot win the confidence of Muslim Iraq nor win acceptance as its overlord. Even spending $18 billion in one year on economic development does not improve matters.
I therefore counsel the occupying forces quickly to leave Iraqi cities and then, when feasible, to leave Iraq as a whole. They should seek out what I have been calling for since a year ago: a democratically-minded Iraqi strongman, someone who will work with the coalition forces, provide decent government, and move eventually toward a more open political system.
This sounds slow, dull, and unsatisfactory. But at least it will work