The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Brookings Institution on Iraq

The conservative Brookings Institution hosted an event on December 2 to discuss "First-Hand Views From Iraq." The Panel includes Martin Indyk, Charles Duelfer, Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack. Pollack in particular will be interesting as he was one of the main "moderate" voices in favor of the war, most notably through his best-selling book "The Theatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq." Like many Iraqi experts, Pollack was convinced that Iraq possessed an active WMD program. (See his two-part interview with TPM before the war, for instance.)

Here is an excerpt of what he says:

There is a great deal of good going on inside of Iraq, but there's also a great deal of bad going on inside of Iraq. And I think that ultimately it really comes down to what the United States wants to do. If we are willing to stick this operation out and if we're also willing to make some changes in how we're doing things, I see no particular reason why Iraq cannot become a perfectly stable, prosperous, pluralist society. Because there is all kinds of good in Iraq, and there are all kinds of good building block that you could work with.