The End of Reality in Iraq

Francis Fukuyama, a former pro-war neo-conservative, is now pushing strongly against the Bush Administration’s policy in Iraq. Professor Fukuyama initially predicted that the Iraqis would welcome the United States’ mission to bring democracy to Baghdad and remove Saddam Hussein from power. He is the author of a 1993 book entitled The End of History, in which he reasons that liberal democracy is determined to triumph over other forms of governance in a post-fascist and communist world. Today, however, Fukuyama resents the Bush Administration’s attempts at the Americanization of the Arab World. This defection is part of a rising rebellion within the original neo-con contingent. Many argue that Fukuyama’s thesis in The End of History was, at heart, a product of the Reagan-era neo-conservative revolution and the collapse of communism in the early 1990s. He concedes that the Bush-led operation was unnecessary, undertaken incompetently, and, most important, radically impractical. I emphatically agree. As Fukuyama states, modern Iraq doesn’t possess the “political capital” necessary to uphold democracy. The nation is an historically volatile, sectarian state, which may be unable to sustain the weight of autonomy. With the precondition of cultural and religious tensions, the high tides of democracy seem more tumultuous and threatening than stabilizing, particularly since the terrorists and jihadists are a product of civilians enraged at America and the long civil conflict sparked by the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Fukuyama basically admits, through his contemporary commentary, that his youthful vision of a probable “end of history” raised a myriad of eyebrows by its title. But as he states, his thesis is often mischaracterized; unlike William Kristol of The Weekly Standard or the Bush White House, Fukuyama never advocated a policy for imposing a democratic government on an unwilling nation. But Fukuyama argues convincingly that the United States was never destined to invade all countries whose governments are undemocratic unless a dangerous enemy threatened us. Instead, Fukuyama advocates a foreign policy that favors democracy, but is mindful of global security. It turns out we may have been more secure pre-Iraq invasion than we are now with a Middle Eastern nation that has become a magnet for terrorism and hatred. Fukuyama’s revelation reflects how his contemporaries, namely staunch Bush-supporting neo-cons, live in a warped world, where only one policy is accepted: an unguided and unsupervised imperialism, resolute only in its simple rhetoric. To use Fukuyama’s cliché, if anything we are witnessing “the end of reality” on the part of the Bush Administration and its explanation of the situation in Iraq. Take, for example, the recent presidential press conference held on March 21, which the president devoted almost exclusively to the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Mr. Bush stood against all of the self-evident, established facts. He discussed the Iraq operation as if the government and its citizens were not exposed to the official government position that Saddam Hussein had no connection to 9/11, to the constant death, destruction, and suffering of American servicemen and Iraqi civilians, or to the bloody insurgency that scars the Iraqi people every day. Yet the Bush Administration maintains the existence of a link between 9/11 and Saddam and paints a fictional picture of Iraq. It asserts that civil unrest is limited in its scope, yet the former Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi states, “We are losing each day an average of 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more – if this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is.” Mr. Bush states that he is not swayed by polls; apparently he isn’t influenced by reality either. The seems to be the unreal American presidency, or what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid frequently dubs the “Orwellian Presidency.” But this apparently deliberate blindness to what is actually occurring in Iraq reflects what Bush’s Administration is about: an end of open-mindedness, rational reflection or debate, or any interest in reality. This Administration is composed of a group of neo-cons, who together preach the same old false claims, and reveal an inadequate comprehension or geopolitics. The Administration’s foreign policy scheme is broken, with only one set of advice and views presented in discussions. And when any Administration official has debated the Bush policy, he was fired or ended up resigning. An obvious example is former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who sought diplomacy, not war, but was forced to make a case for military interventions. In another instance, General Eric Shinseki, the Army Chief of Staff, resigned after clashing with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld about how many troops he thought were necessary to conduct the Iraq war. Many suggest he was forced to resign due to his dispute with the Administration. So the deaths of over 2,000 Americans servicemen and women and over 30,000 Iraqi civilians are attributed to the Bush Administration’s own “end of reality:” the end of any acknowledgement of truth about Iraq. It’s a depressing day for America when the President of the United States cannot see reality or engage in an open discussion about a war he began preemptively. His policies are seeped in hypocrisy at its most profound and immoral level when his Administration invades a foreign nation, purportedly to establish the foundations of an inclusive democracy – to educate its populace, to respect and honor all differing opinions, and to better understand truth – when it does not practice such ideals at home. Regrettably, I must say that an “end of reality” is upon us.