The real Iraq endgame

Shukan Daiyamondo recently ran my interview with Michael Izady,  a historian of the Middle East who teaches at Pace University in New York. Izady and I talked in late February by phone about the situation over there, and what might happen. He was, as one might expect, rather grim about the short term.  But he was surprisingly optimistic about America’s role in the Middle East in the longer term, noting that America’s failure in Vietnam did not stop democracy and capitalism from succeeding in other parts of Southeast Asia. In fact, he sees a continuum in American foreign policy since World War II, which has led to capitalist democracies in Western and Eastern Europe, Japan and much of Southeast Asia. That push will continue, he expects. As he put it,

We lost the battle of Vietnam but won the war of Southeast Asia.  In the next 10 to 15 years we will see a large wave of democracy in the Middle East. It may seem like we only have one choice, succeed in Iraq or the whole thing will collapse. But not necessarily.

World Voice: Michael Izady

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