Saturday, June 16, 2007
What Will Happen in Iraq?
I was just catching up on Immanuel Wallerstein's last few semi-monthly "commentaries" on the Fernand Braudel Center website. His perspective is almost always provocative and interesting; he does a better job than most commentators at panning away from the day-to-day to reveal the bigger picture. I was especially intrigued by his second-most-recent commentary, which outlines two possible "endgames" for the Iraq War, one based on the realities faced by President Bush, the other on the realities faced by Moqtada al-Sadr. For those of us who believe in the urgency of ending the war/occupation in Iraq, it provides food for thought. One of his side comments is that the Democrats share Bush's desire to keep a U.S. military base in Iraq. Is this true? I wonder if we should be pushing the leading Democratic '08 candidates to commit during the primary season to repudiate any such plans. Of the leading contenders, my sense is that Edwards (still my favorite at the moment) has basically committed to that, with his pledge to leave only U.S. troops to protect the Embassy, while Obama and Clinton have both left the door open to the possibility of a permanent U.S. base. But perhaps they, too, could be swayed to commit if it becomes a more public issue. Some of the less prominent candidates, such as Kucinich and Richardson, seem to have taken an even stronger position than Edwards. Is this something we need to pay attention to? It might matter quite a bit in the long run.