Streams

America’s Future in the Middle East

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Middle East policy analyst Kenneth Pollack says that failed US policy in the region is the greatest danger to America’s peace and prosperity. His new book is A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East.

Guests:

Kenneth Pollack

Comments [14]

j from nyc

re[15] Gene: "Nice."
i know. just thought i'd put it out there. havin' a not-so-down-with-people day to-day.
that's all.
but i do think that there is a place for starting this conversation so that in the same way the repub right wing did their [septic tank] move to the top of the political heap, maybe workable solutions that go around these sort of idealogues on all sides become so commonplace, that people might one day not only be more informed than their leaders, but vote for leaders they expect to be informed.
right now, i'm betting there are a lot of republicans that are just praying that john mcCain quickly learns the difference between a CD drive and a hard drive. hallelujah!

Jul. 17 2008 02:06 AM
megan from Park Slope

Iraq's health ministry reported July was the deadliest month for Iraqi casualties since March 2003. The figures provided were 3,438 Iraqis killed -- 1,855 of those as a result of sectarian violence and 1,583 from bombings and shootings carried out by insurgents. Some 3,600 were wounded during the same period.

These figures followed a UN estimate of nearly 6,000 Iraqis killed during May and June. The killings in Iraq have been indiscriminate, and the killers are mostly Arabs, belonging to Sunni or Shiite sects. It is noteworthy that Iraqi Kurds, who suffered Saddam's genocidal violence, are uninvolved in this sectarian savagery.

There has been no organized protest within the Arab-Muslim world or in the West against the daily toll of Iraqi deaths due to this hate-driven insurgency.

Jul. 16 2008 01:33 PM
kevin from Chelsea

Unlike most reporters who regularly disarm me with their directnessed backed by facts this guy cherry picks and distorts impressions of past issues. Hans and the CIA were sure there were weapons of msss destruction.

If I came across his 'talk" before he was introduced as a reporter I would have assumed he was a politian or political aid.

Also one distortion of the past that is a winning snow job of the hawkish right was to convince us now that our dilema before the war was about whether or not to attack Saddam.

The real argument at the time was whether we should attack Saddam that year [virtually on our own] or inspect for weapons another year and [according to our results and determinations] then attack the next year better prepared and with our European allies on board.

Jul. 16 2008 01:19 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Mr. Pollock is just another imperialist pro colonialist American who really dose not understand Iraq and the Middle East.
The so called success of “surge” is a fantasy. What lies underneath and behind is unseen and cannot be predicated.
Mr. Pollack information comes from the Green Zone Iraqi government. Seen by many as an American puppet.

What we have in Iraq is a metamorphosis to another form of resistance to occupation.
Leonard, it would be a public service if your show could interview Juan Cole who might give a realistic view as to what is really happening in Iraq.

Jul. 16 2008 01:02 PM
donald eremin from roosevelt island, ny

Pollock has a track record as a syncophant and an advocate of u.s. exceptionalism. Everything will come out right if "we" follow his analysis.

wrong wrong wrong..everyone except him..

Jul. 16 2008 12:57 PM
chris o from new york city

What is the greatest danger to American peace and prosperity? Hmm, good question. John McCain recently said alQaeda. I would have to say corporate control over government and continued, expanding anti-democratic policies pushed by the government for corporate profits.

Jul. 16 2008 12:56 PM
chris o from new york city

He is not a neocon per se, because he is a Democrat. He is a neo-lib, I guess you could say. Except there is nothing new about the liberals desire to save the world, as in Woodrow Wilson's foreign policy. So he is neither neo, nor con. He is just a traditonal advocate of American hegemony over the world, in the kinder, gentler fashion of Wilson, Roosevelt (FD that is), etc.

Jul. 16 2008 12:53 PM
RC from queens

Well the IAEA was in Iraq and had concluded that Sadaam did not have nuclear weapons capability.

Also the reason why there was not an international coalition was because the many of the countries knew that it would be a disaster.

So this guy asked for things that were not going happen.

The problem with the surge, is that we have armed the people who were killing U.S. soldiers. The next target are the Shia Militias. All we have done is postpone a civil war.

I am sorry Lenny, but if I screwed up on my job the way these neo-folk screwed up in their job, I probably would have been fired and banished from my industry.

I suggest this guy should get a real job.

Also who has this guy been talking to Iraq? Has he been talking to the rank and file Arab and muslim or just elites?

And how does he reconcile that the DAWA faction and the BADR corps who are main parts of the government had asylum in Iran and are basically Iran puppets and that the US and Iran are backing the same government?

Jul. 16 2008 12:48 PM
chris o from new york city

He is intelligent and decent in discussing the issue, but one of those intellectuals that cater to power, that believe in American exceptionalism, and is just unable to apply universal standards to rogue American behavior. Because when we do it, it is okay, whatever it is.

Jul. 16 2008 12:48 PM
Gene

"a marshall plan for energy policy is what's needed for an information economy using this much energy, and only growing."

Nice.

That would take, however, an administration--and a populace--of vision and reason. And worse, it doesn't make windfall profits for current oil and energy interests.

Jul. 16 2008 12:46 PM
Marco from Manhattan

American intelligence services are and have been a laughing stock. Coupled with ignorant politicians with limited or no experience in foreign policy...or a complete lack of curiosity about the world outside America...it is no wonder the Iraq war turned out to be a disaster.

Jul. 16 2008 12:43 PM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Kenneth Pollack is simply lying -- about Hans Blix and about intelligence reports. The CIA may have tailored things for its right-wing overseers.

BUT British intelligence repeatedly warned Blair that it thought the Americans were inflating things to please Bush and (most importantly) because Bush had already determined to go to war no matter what the facts.

Perhaps he can tell us about the progress in re-building Iraqi infrastructure -- schools, hospitals -- especially outside Baghdad.

Jul. 16 2008 12:42 PM
j from nyc

wouldn't a green energy policy both here and in the middle east [do they not have enough solar?..] be the best option for 'democratizing' the mideast. oil based economies usually are autocratic, historically speaking.
distributive energy would be cheaper than war over limited resources in the long run. the war on terrorism has only made america a country defined by it's enemies, and not by it's opportunities. a marshall plan for energy policy is what's needed for an information economy using this much energy, and only growing.

Jul. 16 2008 12:41 PM
Hugh from Crown Heights

I wouldn't trust Kenneth Pollack to tell me the time of day.

This is the author of The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq. A man who insisted in 2002 that Iraq was months, or at most two years, away from developing a nuclear weapon.

The Saban Center, meanwhile, is the Brookings attempt to make itself more conservative on international issues, particularly more pro-Israel.

Jul. 16 2008 12:36 PM

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