Monday, April 25, 2011

Scorecard on U.S. Involvement in the Muslim World, 2001-2011

It’s been ten years since the U.S. removed the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.  Perhaps this is a good time to review American involvement in the Muslim world.  I assign letter grades in each case.

Israeli-Palestinian peace process: F.  Every U.S. president takes office pledging to give priority to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.  Every president has failed to resolve the issue on leaving office.  The best thing a new president can do is to downgrade the peace process and leave the parties to settle their differences by themselves.

Gaza: F.  Hamas was voted into power with 70% of the vote, more than double the 30% projected by U.S. officials.

Lebanon: F.  Hezbollah, an ally of Iran, holds the presidency following the most recent election.

Iraq: D.  Muqtada al-Sadr, former arch enemy of U.S. forces in Iraq, is a member of Iraq’s governing coalition.  Those who praise the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the establishment of a democratic coalition government in Iraq should wait a year or two to see if the country holds together after U.S. military withdrawal, or if it fragments into separate political units with the Shia majority in closer alliance with Iran.

Egypt: D.  Long-time ally Mubarak was thrown overboard.  The post-September election is likely to show greater influence of the Islamic brotherhood.  Mohamed ElBaradei , with more than 150,000 followers on Twitter and having expressed interest in becoming Egypt’s new president, has stated his desire for tearing up the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

Yemen: INC.  Who knows what pro- or anti-American policies a post-Salleh government will adopt?  Projected grade: D or F.

Libya:  D.  It’s hard to imagine a worse leader than Colonel Qaddafi, but greater influence of Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic factions is likely in Eastern Libya.

Syria: F.  No comments necessary.

Afghanistan: F.  Karzai government probably hopeless.

Pakistan: D.  Unpredictable, unreliable “ally.”

Iran: F.  No comments necessary.

Not a pretty picture.  During the past ten years, costs have exceeded two trillion dollars, thousands dead, and thousands more maimed and wounded.  In a fiscal sense, U.S. military involvement in Muslim countries contributed to the transformation of large annual budget surpluses into massive annual budget deficits and a huge public debt.

1 comment :

ChjpHunter said...

Egypt: D. Long-time ally Mubarak was thrown overboard. The post-September election is likely to show greater influence of the Islamic brotherhood. Mohamed ElBaradei , with more than 150,000 followers on Twitter and having expressed interest in becoming Egypt’s new president, has stated his desire for tearing up the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.SAME ME






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