Democracy in Iraq?
The Coalition promised that the Iraqi’s would be able to run their own country. As the threat of an Islamic government grows stronger it appears the coalition promise has some modifiers. Iraqi’s can run their own country as long as they serve US interests in the region.
Administration officials were focused on the overriding goal of defeating Saddam and paid little attention to the dynamics of religion and politics in the region.
“It is a complex equation, and the U.S. government is ill-equipped to figure out how this is going to shake out,” a U.S. State Department official said. “I don’t think anyone took a step backward and asked: What are we looking for? The focus was on the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.”
Complicating matters is that the United States has virtually no diplomatic ties with Iran, leaving American officials in the dark about the intentions of the government in Tehran. The Iranian government is the patron of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the leading Iraqi Shiite group.
The CIA has cultivated some Shiite clerics, but not many, and not for very long.”We don’t want to allow Persian fundamentalism to gain any foothold,” a senior administration official said. “We want to find more moderate clerics and move them into positions of influence.”