Saturday, June 04, 2005

Kanan Makiya: Iraq Troubles Stem From De-Baathification Failure

Middle East Quarterly has an interesting interview with Kanan Makiya, author of "Republic of Fear." He blames America's problems in Iraq on a policy of post-war appeasement:

Makiya: The formation of the Fallujah Brigade [in April 2004] was an essential moment in the reversal of de-Baathification. It was by common agreement today a terrible idea and a failure. Its point was to recruit and co-opt former Iraqi officers, who were even allowed to dress up in Baathist uniforms. That kind of reversal had more to do with appeasement--with the vain hope that appeasing Baathists could curb the violence. But the exact opposite, of course, is true. Whether they were for or against de-Baathification, Iraqis recognize what a disastrous policy this reversal was. I expect de-Baathification to become a central plank of the new government.
Makiya makes a lot of sense. Such appeasement policies may be one reason why aggression against the US has increased, rather than diminished, since 9/11...