Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The US retreat from democratization by Erich Marquardt

Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source for the Middle East

One of the prime motives for the intervention in Iraq was to test the neo-conservative theory of democratic transformation in the Middle East. This theory's chance for success was questionable from the very beginning, since there are few historical examples of an outside power intervening in a country with vast cultural differences and successfully implementing a market democracy there. Additionally, Iraq was a very poor choice for the execution of this theory to begin with, considering that the country has never settled the question of how power will be shared between its three main ethnic/religious groups (Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurd); creating a power vacuum in such a state is a sure way to pull the intervening power into the center of civil strife and potential civil war.

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