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The Fifty-First State? by James Fallows

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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:48 PM
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The Fifty-First State? by James Fallows
This long article was published in Nov. 2002. It spells out many of the problems that an occupying force would face in Iraq.

But the neocons were too busy telling everyone about how US troops would be greeted with flowers.

And here we are.

The Fifty-first State?

by James Fallows
The Atlantic Monthly
November 2002

Going to war with Iraq would mean shouldering all the responsibilities of an occupying power the moment victory was achieved. These would include running the economy, keeping domestic peace, and protecting Iraq's bordersand doing it all for years, or perhaps decades. Are we ready for this long-term relationship?

Over the past few months I interviewed several dozen people about what could be expected in Iraq after the United States dislodged Saddam Hussein. An assumption behind the question was that sooner or later the United States would go to warand would go with at best a fraction of the support it enjoyed eleven years ago when fighting Iraq during the Gulf War. Most nations in the region and traditional U.S. allies would be neutral or hostile unless the Bush Administration could present new evidence of imminent danger from Iraq.

A further assumption was that even alone, U.S. forces would win this war. The victory might be slower than in the last war against Iraq, and it would certainly cost more American lives. But in the end U.S. tanks, attack airplanes, precision-guided bombs, special-operations forces, and other assets would crush the Iraqi military. The combat phase of the war would be over when the United States destroyed Saddam Hussein's control over Iraq's government, armed forces, and stockpile of weapons.

What then?

The people I asked were spies, Arabists, oil-company officials, diplomats, scholars, policy experts, and many active-duty and retired soldiers. They were from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Some firmly supported a pre-emptive war against Iraq; more were opposed. As of late summer, before the serious domestic debate had begun, most of the people I spoke with expected a war to occur.

lots more@link

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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-04 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. "the ruminations of insane people,"
Edited on Fri Nov-26-04 08:59 PM by teryang
Woolsey, Pearl, and the rest.

Viewed in its temporal context even this well done article underestimated the difficulties.

Also, the hitler analogy was a classic case of projection. We were the nation going fascist at the time. Incidentally, the royal empires of Europe would have collapsed anyway with or without WWI. Viewed from within Europe the era with its rotting social structure was known as the age of revolution or alternatively, the age of nationalism. I don't think WWI is an appropriate analogy although the hyper colonialism of the age does give a clue as to where we're headed.

Chalmers Johnson likes to compare us to Rome AFTER the fall of the republic which he appears to take as a given. The rapacious Pentagon contractors and their praetorian guard are already in charge. Interestingly, they wish to dismantle the distinction between national security and the domestic police function. Also the invocation of religiosity in government campaigns harkens back both to Machiavelli and the volk movement in Nazism.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Not a bad comparison, although I would choose a point well after Octavian.
But it's telling that Rome rotted out from within, and we appear to
be going down the same route, if a good deal quicker. Everything
happens quicker in these modern times. I have considerable doubt
that the American Herrenvolk can be flogged into any sort of
mobilization much more useful than what we have now, although clearly
the effort is being made as we speak.
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ashiebr Donating Member (198 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
2. Ha! Everybody knows the UK..........
........is the 51st State:

Look out of your windows, watch the skies
Read all the instructions with bright blue eyes
Were W.A.S.P.s, proud American sons
We know how to clean our teeth and how to strip down a gun
We're the 51st state of America

Our star-spangled Union Jack flutters so proud
Over the dancing heads of the merry patriotic crowd
Tip your hat to the Yankee conqueror
We've got no reds under the bed with guns under our pillows
We're the 51st state of America

Here in the land of opportunity
Watch US revel in our liberty
You can say what you like
But it doesn't change anything
'Cos the corridors of power
Are an ocean away
We're the 51st state of America

New Model Army
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-27-04 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. The UK is Airstrip One.
Still, it's a good song.
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Forever Free Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-04 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I worry for the future of our country
and the brave men and women fighting for us on the front lines.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-04 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. And well you should. nt
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