Rory Stewart on Iraq

If you haven’t read either of Rory Stewart’s books — on Afghanistan and Iraq respectively — you really should. While taking somewhat unusual perspectives on both countries, they are painfully personal narratives that communicate more of the tragedies in these two broken countries than you will get almost anywhere else.

Anyway, the current New York Review of Books contains the transcript of a recent Q&A with Stewart from an event in New York. It’s a street-level view of what is happening in Iraq — Stewart originally supported the U.S. invasion and presence — and it is worth reading in its entirely.

What would I do in Iraq now? I am not an expert, but I believe that the
time has come to withdraw, that our presence is infantilizing the Iraqi
political system. That we’re like an inadequate antibiotic. We are
sufficiently strong to have turned what might have been a conventional
civil war into a highly unconventional neighborhood conflict. But we’re
not strong enough to eliminate it entirely. At the same time I fear
that, without intending to, we have discredited democracy in the eyes
of many Iraqis.

Related posts:

  1. Break Point in Iraq
  2. Mortality in Iraq
  3. Stupendously Surreal Jon Stewart Appearance on Crossfire
  4. Jon Stewart & the Perils of Uncontrolled Marketing Events
  5. Fastow vs. Stewart: Bigger is Better

Comments

  1. Daniel Murray says:

    Just another attempt to lead by someone with no standing. The only infantile assesment is in appraising the Iraqi capacity to form a functioning society. The leadership capacity of a society that for generations discouraged individual thinking will take two generations to evolve. so far it;s been four years. We are overflowing with expectation and short on patience, will and guts.

  2. Daniel Murray says:

    Just another attempt to lead by someone with no standing. The only infantile assesment is in appraising the Iraqi capacity to form a functioning society. The leadership capacity of a society that for generations discouraged individual thinking will take two generations to evolve. so far it;s been four years. We are overflowing with expectation and short on patience, will and guts.

  3. sheila says:

    or maybe we’re just realists. you want to carry on a 20 year experiment, i suggest you fund it out of your own pocket.