2005/11/11

Adventures in Nation Building: The Jordanian Border

So everybody and his brother has blogged on the recent attack in Jordan by Al Qaeda in Iraq. Half of the blogsphere is engaging in an exercise in schadenfreude, "The poor Jordanians. They didn't deserve this. Yeah, like the French didn't deserve it. " The other half is crowing about how this proves that the Islamic terrorists are reprehensible scum. "Look, they prey on their own people, even peaceful Jordanians." Though, it's not like the Iraqi insurgency hasn't been proving that on an almost daily basis for over three years.

But maybe, just maybe, there is a different lesson that we should take away from this deplorable incident. Perhaps this is another demonstration of the folly of nation building. Sure, Saddam was murderous dictator, and sure, democracy is wonderful, assuming the Iraqi government doesn't split the country in three. But with no cohesive Iraqi military to secure a porous border; an american military presence stretched to thin to do the same; terrorist cells that probably wouldn't have existed without the US invasion...US policy-makers might regret not having taken the long view. Of course I keep forgetting that we're talking about neo-cons here, for whom any reasonable outcome justifies the means, as long as it makes for good sound bites on Hannity & Colmes.

I'm sure the Jordanians wish we'd taken the long view.

4 Comments:

I haven't blogged about the Jordan bombings. I'm afraid I don't go very deep on that one. The Jordanians work alongside the US government and have diplomatic relations with Israel. Knowing their neighbors, they should expect bombings. The wonder is that they haven't been hit harder sooner.

I'm not excusing this behavior; I'm certainly glad it isn't playing well on the Jordanian street. I'm just saying it doesn't come as any particular surprise. In some ways, it's the price of a tolerant society, which is what, compared to surrounding Arab states, Jordan has.

~
No question Jordan is in a delicate position. Look at where they're located, sandwiched in right between Isreal, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Tough.

I'm just wanted to point out that there situation is now even more delicate for our having engaged in reckless nation building. Democracy is one thing, but I doubt that there would have been a bombing just like this one without a porous Iraqi/Jordanian border.
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Nuther try.

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