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Historically, the United States has favored a Sunni-run Iraq. In part, this represented a status quo with which we were familiar and comfortable. More recently Iraq’s ruling Sunnis (led by Saddam) pitched themselves to Western governments as a bulwark against the menace of post-revolutionary Iran. On top of this, our friends in the region are mostly Sunni-ruled and all of them were scared after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Simply put, here is America’s quandary in Iraq: we want to see democracy develop, but we are distrustful of the results. As Americans we have been hard-wired since kindergarten to believe Democracy to be a fundamentally Good Thing. Yet we are slowly realizing that a genuine Iraqi democracy may not be pro-American.
MIAMI -- 2005 could be remembered as the year that Radio and TV Marti finally got their act together.
The timing is perfect for the U.S. government's broadcasting services to Cuba, because 2005 marks the 400th anniversary of the founding of Havana -- and the 20th anniversary of Radio Marti.
Returning to the United States always involves a mixed set of images. Why, I wonder, does the defense of the nation against terrorists require that no one use a mobile phone in Atlanta until they are clear of customs and immigration when travelers arriving at Kennedy airport in New York are perfectly free to let friends and family know they have landed while standing in the 45 minute line at passport control?
China, is an excellent example of the complexity of the American image abroad. U.S. China relations are intertwined at every level of politics, economics, and society and becoming more so daily.
Let me put this in a factual context.
China is now the seventh largest economy in the world. Within five years it is likely to be the fourth largest.
Incipient civil war. The phrase has been repeated over and over since former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft used it in a speech last week to the New America Foundation. “The Iraqi elections, rather than turning out to be a promising turning point, have the great potential for deepening the conflict,” he said, according to the Washington Post.