Rethinking Iraq


Fawaz Turki, the prominent Palestinian-American writer whose views of the Iraq war could hardly have been more disdainful, has changed his mind.

He writes in the English-language Arab News that, "I'm convinced—and berate me here from your patriotic bleachers, if you must—that what we have seen in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates in recent months may turn out to be the most serendipitous event in its modern history."

Noting that he has "no illusions about the shenanigans and hypocrisies of a big power like the US," he nevertheless concludes: "Washington may not succeed in turning Iraq into a 'beacon of democracy' but it will succeed, after all is said and done, in turning it into a society of laws and institutions…."

Turki's column is noteworthy to an Arab audience not only for its content, but for his Palestinian credentials. Arab intellectual opinion often hinges on the Palestinian issue; celebrating the overthrow of a figure like Saddam can be interpreted as a betrayal of the Palestinians, whose cause is expected to take precedence. Of course, the complexities of Arab cultural identity has been a theme of Turki's, one that may now be playing out in his political commentary.

Link thanks to: Glenn Reynolds