Aug. 30, 2006 -- Have the President and his men accomplished their objectives in Iraq? Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to Saudi Arabia or the region. However, since he was contained before the war, little has been gained on that score. Oil is no more secure than before. In fact, Iran threatens to disrupt supply. Oil prices have risen sharply. The United States has not yet restored Iraq's oil production, and issues relating to restoring the oil infrastructure and adjudicating old oil contracts remain unresolved.
Iran has become a larger and bolder threat to other countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia. It has a higher degree of influence over some factions in Iraq. Iran’s oil revenues are up. Iraq’s economy is in tatters. The United States is tied down in Iraq, and U.S. forces are vulnerable to attack. The shape of political things to come in Iraq is highly uncertain. To an unknown extent, the United States has strengthened the hand of Muslim jihadists although al-Qaeda will be little welcomed in Iraq once the United States withdraws. None of this was in the Iraq war blueprint.
Iraq is not a threat to Israel at present, but it was not a severe threat to Israel before the war began. Iran is now a greater threat, but Israel’s nuclear weapons deter Iran.
Democracy was a tertiary objective, but we can’t take the Bush administration seriously about this one. Assuming this was important and is supposed to mean a friendly government with a parliament, periodic elections, parties, campaigns, and all the standard democratic socialist bells and whistles, this hasn’t happened. The country is having a civil war.