Daily Discussion: To what extent was Bush’s invasion of Iraq responsible for the wave of Arab revolution, if at all?
I know that this discussion is bound to be inflammatory, but maybe we can be as adult and thoughtful as possible. With Gaddafi gone from Libya, with revolutions having toppled leaders or at least shaken up leaders across the Middle East and North Africa, will this eventually be a vindication of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein or is it unrelated?
Now I never was and never will be a fan in the least of George W. Bush, and it’s still debated as to whether the American economy is still riding the tsunami of shit from the end of Bush’s term, but I would argue that perhaps… and as much as I hate to say it… that the last year of revolution in the Arab world is as much to do with Bush as the current, continuing economic crisis.
I also know that by linking the two, there’s a very good chance that this discussion will be derailed into the economy, but if possible, I’d like that to not happen. It’s merely a comparison of conditions that aren’t neatly compacted into the American political four year cubby holes. The real question is: Despite the fact that the Iraq invasion was very unpopular in the US and around the world, and despite the fact that the American government lied many times about their intentions— linking Hussein with Al-Qaeda, Hussein had WMDs just waiting to destroy Israel and European cities, etc.— was the seemingly misguided invasion of Iraq essential to the current climate in the Arab world of revolution or would revolution have been possible with Hussein in power, who was undoubtedly one of the strongest political forces in the region? Would Iraq have risen up on its own?
Update: I updated the headline and some of the wording in response to some of the first few comments on this discussion. I had previously used the terms “Bush’s victory”, which is a political punditry term. Obviously, this is a victory for the peoples of the Arab nations that have won freedom from dictators, but I think what I’m getting at is to what extent the toppling of Saddam Hussein, which was seen as an incredible folly at the time may or may not have been responsible for a general atmosphere of revolution in the area. People have lived under dictators and oppressive regimes in the Middle East and North Africa for decades without rising up. Why now?