Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What's Going On?

I'm still shaking my head over the underwhelming non-coverage of the Iraqis' call for a U.S. troop withdrawal at the conference held in Cairo, Egypt under the sponsorship of the Arab League.

The relative silence from both the administration and Congress is puzzling to say the least. One needs to dig like a gopher for any official comment from Washington. An Associated Press report filed at noon eastern time today by SALAH NASRAWI:
A day after the communiqué was finalized by Iraqi Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni leaders, Washington reiterated Tuesday that the United States would stay only as long as it takes to stabilize Iraq…

… On Tuesday, the State Department "the United States supports the ongoing transitional political process in Iraq, and encourages participation by all Iraqis in the political process."
"President Bush has made our position very clear," department spokeswoman Julie Reside said. "The coalition remains committed to helping the Iraqi people achieve stability and security as they rebuild their country. We will stay as long as it takes to achieve those goals and no longer."

I had to Google clear down to China World to find this:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (Xinhuanet)-- The United States hailed on Monday positive role of the Arab League (AL) to push forward Iraq's peace process by hosting the preparatory meeting for an Iraqi national reconciliation conference in Cairo, Egypt.

Adam Ereli, deputy spokesman of the US State Department, told anews briefing that the AL-sponsored conference will be instrumental to in pushing forward the national reconciliation process and reconstruction in Iraq.
What the Arab League has done is a good thing, and is consistent with what the United States is aiming at in Iraq, Ereli said.


Maybe I've gone totally web-dumb, but I can't find a copy of the actual communiqué the Iraqis' released on Monday. Why the mainstream media can report on what it said but can't provide a translated copy of it is a bit beyond me. To say the MSM doesn't want to release it so the blogosphere knows what it knows might be a stretch of the imagination, but not the kind of stretch that would pull a muscle. (Or some mixed metaphor like that.)


Despite the limited information available so far on the communiqué and the influence America's state department had on its composition, I'm actually optimistic that this action by the Arab League may be a positive step in moving to a more stable world order.

If you haven't seen my previous posts on this subject, here's a rough sketch of what I've described at various times as the multi-tiered "Leveraged Balance of Power" model.

The Rational Tiers
Major Powers: United States, European Union, China.

Balance Powers: England, Russia, Japan.

Regional Powers: A loosely defined group of national/political entities with geographically dominant economies. India and Brazil are two examples.

The Unstable Tiers
Wild Cards: The Middle East, Africa, and North Korea.

Others: Everyone and everything else.


The Arab League meeting may signal that the Middle East is collectively beginning to get its act together in a "rational" attempt to transform itself from a wild card into a balance power, possibly positioning itself into a position to become one of the major powers.

Click here to see a map of the nations that make up the Arab League, and you'll see that they cover geo-strategically vital areas of both the Middle East and Africa.

Let's consider a few "ifs."

If the Arab League, whether under the aegis of U.S. influence or not, can get a handle on Islamo-fabulist extremism or whatever we're calling it these days, and make a concerted effort to bring their geographic sphere of influence into the 21st century, and…

If the U.S. can learn to wean itself from over-dependence on military force as its primary means of national power and…

If the U.S. can use diplomacy, economy, and information to lead the growing ranks of rational powers to adopt a policy of Mutual Assured Prosperity and Security (MAPS, a hokey take on the Cold War MAD policy), then…

Just maybe, cockroaches won't be the only creatures left on earth when the 22nd century dawns.


  1. Islamo-fabulist? That's FABULOUS!

    tee hee!

  2. I think that reaching out to the Arab League might be the best tactic we could use. If we push really hard to integrate the Arab League as a collective into the discussion over what to do about Iraq, we might be able to con--I mean, persuade them into helping to provide security in Iraq. Mubarak already offered to send troops and to train Iraqis, and we keep on giving lip service to his offers. We're so afraid of infiltration of foreign terrorists that we're refusing the kind of help that they could give, which is the worst kind of "throwing out the baby with the bathwater" in which we can engage.

  3. I agree, Sadiq. If we give the AU the message that if they can become an upper tier political entity if they get a handle on their geographic sphere of influence, I think we've created the kind of "win-win" atmosphere that Bush I was describing when he said he wanted to see America become a "kinder, gentler nation."

    What the hell? If America can't lead the world to peace, no one ever will.