then and now and here and there

Question: if Iraq hadn't been invaded back then, would we be seeing the same kind of thing in Baghdad as we saw in Cairo yesterday? I don't think you can definitively say yes. If revolutions were predictable, they wouldn't happen at all. But it seems equally impossible to say that it couldn't have happened in the light of events over the last two months. Of course, between 2003 and whenever it did happen the Iraqis would have had to put up with Saddam. But given what they've had to put up with since then that would not necessarily have been the worst option.

4 thoughts on “then and now and here and there

  1. You could ask the question the other way round. If we had not invaded Iraq, would we have seen there the same things we are seeing now in Cairo? Don’;t say that Saddam’s secret police would have stopped it because Mubarak’s guys were tough too and they had a free hand from America.

  2. Question: if Europe hadn’t been invaded by Hitler, would we be seeing a EU today ? :-)))

  3. makeup of Egypt totally different, 90% sunni and 100% arab, means that societal elite cna see regime change without all of society being upended, this allows military to turn on Mubarak (with slight push from Us). In Iraq whole sunni power structure would crumble given shiite majority and kurdish separatism leaving Saddam elite with no option but to stand united behind Saddam and fight to bitter end. would posit that iraq invasion delayed actions in tunisia and egypt by shifting focus from internal stagnation to external issues. once iraq sidelined, these internal pressures rose. Another factor was age of mubarak, why would you stick with mubarak if he could die at any time. if mubarak was 50 years old, maybe thigns would be different.

  4. in other words, saddam would have crushed as he had in the past any protest and would have had support of suni power structure. Mubarak was unable to do, had to resort to non-uniformed thugs because power elite could see a future without him. In addition US influence a positive insofar as it could nudge military in right direction. That being said, if egypt society was similar to iraq (see Bahrain), US suggestions for transition etc.. would have been ignored. tunisia fits egypt mold, syria fits iraq mold.

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