Machiavelli on Iraq

Uprooting a totalitarian regime —— a regime that has penetrated all corners of society —— and replacing it with something more humane is no easy task. This week's fighting in Fallujah and other hotspots attests to this sobering fact. Regime change involves not simply removing the ancien regime, rehabilitating infrastructure, and writing constitutions, but instilling the habit of self—restraint among the populace. Too many Iraqis are prone to pick up the gun to further their political ambitions. In short, regime change in Iraq was not simply a matter of toppling Saddam Hussein. Exactly how long it will take, and whether it ultimately succeeds, will depend on Iraqis themselves. For guidance it's worth consulting an unlikely source: Niccolo Machiavelli, best known as the author of the 16th—century treatise The Prince. Reviled for propounding an end—justifies—the—means doctrine of statecraft, Machiavelli nonetheless makes a sturdy...(Read Full Article)

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