Debunking The Domino Theory

Vesely, Milan
May 2003
Middle East;May2003, Issue 334, p20
A classified February 26, 2003 U.S. State Department document titled "Iraq, the Middle East and Change: No Dominoes," has been leaked to the U.S. media. Under the "domino" clause, the document debunks the theory that fostering democracy in Iraq will have a positive effect on the political systems of Jordan, Syria, Iran and even Egypt. "This idea that you are going to transform the Middle East and fundamentally alter its trajectory is simply not credible," officials who have studied the document conclude. The Vietnam War was justified on the basis of the domino theory. Now that theory is again being tested in Iraq but with a surprisingly different twist: foster democracy in Iraq and it will cast a shadow across the Arab world. The rationale for the "democratic domino" theory has subsequently proved powerful ammunition for leading proponents of the "colonization" of Iraq. Critics claim that establishing a long-term, democratic government in Iraq will be extremely difficult once US fighting forces are reduced, something they see as vital if the Bush administration is to counter rising domestic pressure.


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