Foreign Policy Magazine’s March/April 2007 issue asks the question “Who Won in Iraq?” and comes up with a Top Ten List of people, nations and ideas that can claim victory. Needless to say, George W. Bush isn’t listed in there anywhere.
1. Iran: After nearly 25 years of wrestling with Saddam Hussein, Iran’s Shiite rulers have the war to thank for their newfound power.
For Iran, the war in Iraq turned out to be a strategic windfall, uprooting Baathism and pacifying a nemesis that had been a thorn in its side.
2. Moqtada al-Sadr: How a radical Shiite cleric became the most powerful man in Iraq.
The Americans would like to see Moqtada off the scene; many moderate Shiite leaders would like to see him dead. Yet Sadr appears unassailable.
3. Al Qaeda: The terrorist network was on life support after Sept. 11 — until a new front opened in Baghdad and revived its mission.
4. Samuel Huntington: The man who envisioned a clash of civilizations looks more prescient than ever.
Paul Wolfowitz has lost. Sam Huntington has won.
5. China: The United States’ missteps in Iraq have given a rising superpower in the East room to grow.
Commitments in Iraq mean the U.S. military now has fewer resources to build up the capabilities to win a potential war with China over Taiwan.
6. Arab Dictators: The Middle East’s strongmen were under pressure to reform. Now, they rest easy.
As the U.S. has become mired in bloody chaos in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have wound up back in Washington’s good graces. But it’s not because they’ve become more democratic.
7. The Price of Oil: The war in Iraq triggered record oil prices, and the region’s petrostates will enjoy the windfall for years to come.
8. The United Nations: Suddenly, the global body’s brand of multilateral diplomacy doesn’t look so bad.
The United Nations is likely to be more effective than the spasmodic interventions of a solitary and inattentive superpower.
9. Old Europe: Four years on, Europe’s naysayers are looking wise beyound their years. But can they do any more than sit back and gloat?
Old Europe’s ambassadors crisscross the globe politely suggesting, “Well, we told you so.”
10. Israel: The war in Iraq eliminated several of Israel’s biggest enemies — even if it made a few new ones along the way.