REVIEW: The Struggle for Iraq’s Future
By Imad Harb, May 28, 2014
There are few examples of a modern nation-state so rapidly deteriorating into the abject condition of today’s Iraq. Many may argue that it was inevitable that this Mesopotamian Eden would collapse once it was free of Baathist authoritarianism. Others may counter that the collapse was more the result of an unfamiliar political system imposed by ignorant invaders and practiced by a kleptocratic leadership. Whatever the reasons for Iraq’s situation, the country is a failed state possibly on its way to partition and decay.
The story of Iraq’s deterioration is told in painstaking detail in Zaid al-Ali’s The Struggle for Iraq’s Future, spanning the country’s history from the 1950s to about a decade past the American-British-led invasion of 2003. It is not an academic book, but an account of the status quo and how it came to pass, relying on a respectable bibliography, research of current affairs, anecdotes, observations and expert opinion. Like so many (now disillusioned) expatriate Iraqis who returned to Iraq and saw an opportunity to help rebuild the nation of their fathers, Al-Ali goes to pains explaining developments, exposing failures, enumerating missed opportunities, and lamenting what might have been.