Remember back in the 70s and 80s and 90s when there was no terrorism
and the Middle East was this wonderful place
where everyone loved America
? You don't remember those fun times? No worries, Richard Haass is here to remind you: "Iraq Is Not Winnable"
SPIEGEL: And then there are Iraq and the Middle East. You just published an article in the journal Foreign Affairs in which you say that the situation is enough "to make one nostalgic for the old Middle East."
Haass: The old Middle East -- an era which I believe has only recently ended -- was one in which the United States enjoyed tremendous dominance and freedom of maneuver. Oil was available at fairly low prices, the region was largely at peace. I believe largely because of the American decision to go to war in Iraq and how it has been carried out, as well as the emphasis on promoting democracy and a lack of any serious energy policy, the Middle East has considerably grown worse. It's one of history's ironies that the first war in Iraq, a war of necessity, marked the beginning of the American era in the Middle East and the second Iraq war, a war of choice, has precipitated its end.
While I agree with his prediction that things will get worse in the Middle East, I think his nostalgia for "the old Middle East" is quite silly.