Tim Lambert normally does the Iraq war, for example this. But I was struck by a recent Economist (you know, those left-wing pinkos) article bemoaning Iraq's descent into a police state. Which is a shame, because in the nearly-unmitigated disaster that is our adventure in Iraq, the restoration of democracy and the end of torture and the police state were supposed to be among the few successes.
To be fair the article is called "Could a police state return?" and doesn't say it is inevitable. They quote a diplomat who gives it 2-3 years. In the meantime, press freedom is disappearing (just like the journalists), arbitrary arrest is back as is torture (Abu Ghraib was bad but I'd rather be in a US-run prison then than an Iraqi-run one now).
Anyway, enough of my wurbling, read the thing for yourself.
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As many predicted at the turn of the century, ousting Saddam Hussein would mean 10,000 hopefuls to take his place, which seems to have happened, with each 'warlord' consolidating his gains and making, and breaking, temporary alliances.
A little off topic, but am I the only one to remember from Afghanistan Ronald Reagan's Freedom Fighters? Our CIA put together the Taliban to make it impossible for a military to win in Afghanistan. The Soviets lost their war and retreated. And now the US has taken up their cause, which is fighting in vain for as long as the money holds out.
We cannot take on the primary source of funds for the Taliban because we are it. The Taliban tax every project and shipment we send there. Their cut pays their mercenaries and buys their arms. The Taliban is now an international corporation. This is as pointless as trying to do battle with AT&T.
Eli's experience is that the Economist specializes in if cows were horses pigs would fly journalism. They slip in a bunch of assumptions and then treat them as biblical proof. A slippery bunch.
OTOH, Iraq is a tragedy rooted in a farce
Just to clarify, 6EQUJ5: The folks (the "warlords") the CIA armed againt the Soviets are the same ones that are in power in Afghanistan today. The Taliban was formed only subsequently as a reaction against them, and got a lot of Afghan support for promising (and delivering) a more or less honest and stable religious dictatorship in place of the systemic corruption and endless civil war brought by the warlords. The U.S. did sow some of the seeds that led to the Taliban in that it was happy to fan the flames of religious sentiment against the Soviets, but can't be pinned with direct responsibility for its formation or success.