Monday, September 05, 2005

A Classic Imperial Trap?

The editors of Monthly Review have a good analysis of U.S. imperialism in Iraq. Here's a taste:
The United States is thus caught in a classic trap of its own making. It cannot pull out without relinquishing its spoils of war, which given Iraq’s enormous oil reserves and its key geopolitical position in the Persian Gulf oil region as a whole are far from meager. And it cannot do so without “losing face” as in the Vietnam War. Yet, its invasion and occupation of Iraq has turned into an endless and costly effort in which its imperial objectives seem further and further from realization. As in the case of any occupying power caught in such a trap, the United States has been forced to rely increasingly on the promotion of official terror, widespread and indiscriminate arrests, torture of prisoners, and political corruption—in addition to the direct imposition of military force—in a desperate attempt to achieve its ends.
Like much of the left, they hope for a resurgence in the peace movement that has one demand: "the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq." But as most of the left refuses to ask: Which is worse, American imperialism or a failed state engulfed in civil war that remains a haven for Islamist terrorists? I would like to hear that question broached by the Monthly Review editors soon, since it's a legitimate one.