Fouad Ajami skri­ver om “Iraq and the Arabs’ Future” i For­eign Affairs januar/februarutgave.

There should be no illu­sions about the sort of Arab lands­cape that Ame­rica is destined to find if, or when, it embarks on a war against the Iraqi regime. There would be no “hearts and minds” to be won in the Arab world, no pub­lic diplo­macy that would con­vince the over­whel­ming majority of Arabs that this war would be a just war. An Ame­ri­can expedition in the wake of thwar­ted UN ins­pec­tions would be seen by the vast majority of Arabs as an impe­rial reach into their world, a favor to Israel, or a way for the Uni­ted Sta­tes to secure con­trol over Iraq’s oil. No hea­ring would be given to the great for­eign power.

Ame­rica ought to be able to live with this dis­trust and dis­count a good deal of this anti-Ame­ri­ca­nism as the “road rage” of a thwar­ted Arab world — the con­ge­ni­tal con­dition of a cul­ture yet to take full respon­s­i­bi­lity for its self-inflicted wounds. There is no need to pay exces­sive defe­rence to the poli­ti­cal pie­ties and givens of the region. Indeed, this is one of those set­tings where a refor­ming for­eign power’s sim­pler guid­e­li­nes offer a bet­ter way than the region’s age-old pro­hi­bitions and defects.

Above and beyond topp­ling the regime of Sad­dam Hus­sein and dis­mant­ling its deadly weapons, the dri­ving moti­va­tion of a new Ame­ri­can ende­a­vor in Iraq and in neigh­bo­ring Arab lands should be moder­ni­zing the Arab world.”

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