Bush Adventure Expensive Political Science Experiment

By Ziad, Homayra | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 2003 | Go to article overview

Bush Adventure Expensive Political Science Experiment


Ziad, Homayra, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


The Policy Institute for Religion and State (PIFRAS) convened an April 28 panel discussion at the Senate Dirksen Building in Washington, DC, to assess prospects for pluralistic and democratic governance in Afghanistan and Iraq. Moderator John Prabhudoss, director of PIFRAS, expressed his wish that the United States have the "appetite to stay and build a democracy" in Iraq, and implied that the process had not been taken seriously in Afghanistan. Prabhudoss insisted that the U.S. has an obligation to help build a pluralist liberal democracy in both countries, with freedom of expression, religion, and human rights.

Dr. Michael Hudson, professor of international relations and Arab studies at Georgetown University, posed the question of how favorable Iraq's political terrain is for a liberal democratic project. The study of democratic transition in most underdeveloped countries focuses on the nature of and relationship between the state and society, and the history of their political culture. The good news, said Hudson, is that Iraq is no blank slate. Until the end of the 1980s, Iraq was the most developed country in the Arab world, and its human indicators were comparable to Southern and Eastern Europe. Saddam Hussain's regime even won a UNESCO prize for its highly successful anti-illiteracy campaign. Per capita income was high, the economy was promising (even in non-oil sectors), literacy was high, and the pool of skilled manpower was "at the top."

However, noted Hudson, Iraq's "disastrous decision of 1990 [to invade Kuwait] was followed by debilitating sanctions, by which many of the promising accomplishments were undone. Iraq has slipped back catastrophically."

Hudson briefly summarized post-Ottoman Iraqi political structures, from the British-installed constitutional monarchy to the single-party, state-dominated model from 1958 onward. Nevertheless, there was a strong history of political activity and participation, and Iraq developed "dense political structures normally understood to be among the prerequisites of a stable, functioning, liberal democracy." In 1979, under Saddam Hussain, the government developed into a tyranny, and the great monetary resources available to the regime allowed it to develop the comprehensive tools of a mukhabarat, or informant-based, state. Hussain's regime was very concerned about deviant political activity, and over the course of his rule independent institutions were suppressed.

In light of this history, observed Hudson, it was no surprise that "chaos erupted" after the latest war. The Bush administration, he argued, did not understand the nature of social and political institutions under Hussain. The most durable groups during Hussain's rule were, as is normal, religion- and kinship-based. The war did not free "a lot of suppressed liberal democrats," Hudson quipped. "Rather, in an atmosphere of chaos laced with uncertainty, there has been an emergence of factions in the south centered around religious figures, and of Kurdish ethnic national groups in the north." Neighbors like Iran are "finding troubled waters to fish in," he said, and there is also an appearance of self-styled local personalities, and others linked to tribal groups. Hudson described the Bush adventure as "the most expensive political science experiment that's ever been undertaken."

Comparing the current situation with Lebanon, Hudson was adamant that the United States should not leave Iraq too soon for fear of total collapse, but cautioned that over-staying its welcome may make the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bush Adventure Expensive Political Science Experiment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.