If America engages in any more imperial military adventures like the one in Iraq, the long-term consequence may be the collapse of Western democracy, or of the globalized economic system on which American imperial power rests, or both. Patriots and democrats should be doing everything in their power to devise new strategies that will avoid such devastating outcomes.
Richard Perle chauffeured him around Washington, promoting him as the George Washington of Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz feted him as the future leader of a free Iraq. Congress funneled tens of millions of dollars into his bank accounts. President George Bush sat him next to First Lady Laura Bush at the State of the Union and led an ovation in his honor. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich still defended him May 23 on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, but Ahmad Chalabi is now widely discredited, called a thief, a liar, even a spy. Tragically, the harm has been done. Together with his American sponsors he pulled off one of the greatest cons in American foreign policy history: helping to convince the majority of Americans that Saddam Hussein had massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and operational ties to Osama bin Laden. Little of what he said was true. Most of it was believed.
The historic events in Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and North Korea have raised several key questions that help frame the proliferation debate over the future direction of U.S. non-proliferation policy.
The pace of developments in nuclear proliferation over the past 18 months is unprecedented, and it is hard for even dedicated experts to keep track and make sense of all the latest developments. Yet with all the developments, from Libya to Pakistan to North Korea, several questions have emerged to form the core debate over the future direction of U.S. nonproliferation policy.
Recent events in Pakistan and Libya are directly affecting the Bush Administration's approach to North Korea's nuclear program. The disclosure of A.Q. Khan's elaborate efforts to uranium enrichment and nuclear weapons technology and the decision by Col. Khadaffi to abandon his WMD programs have reinforced the Bush administration's perception that their tough approach is paying dividends.
Democracy and Rule of Law Project discusses the implications of political turmoil in Iran. Audio from this event is available shortly.