The Washington Post's Outlook section contained two complementary articles last weekend which looked at the models the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration undertook to rebuild Bosnia and Iraq respectively. The Clinton Administration used the meta-national institution of the World Bank to legitimize the rebuilding policies and reforms for Bosnia. By contrast the Bush Administration chose American exceptionalism and modeled the rebuilding of Iraq around the Marshall Plan. Both policies alienated European nations, but the Bosnian method secured legitimacy locally with the Bosnian leader and the Bosnian people. The Bush Administration has not achieved this in Iraq.
Bosnia and the World Bank
The article by Sebastian Mallaby titled; "
It Pays for the U.S. to Go to the Bank
" explores the premise of American interests being advanced through international institutions. He uses the Bosnian Crisis in 1995 as the example to study where America's allies were estranged, and American credibility was challenged. Mallaby writes;
A sophisticated US leader can marshal the international system to advance American interests. Over the past decade, moreover, we've seen one administration - Bill Clinton's - that at this art. We've seen another - the current one - that has fumbled it repeatedly.
I recall watching an interview on American television with Bill Clinton where he said that there comes a time when you have to make a deal. The Bush Administration by comparison doesn't appear to make deals. American exceptionalism is an absolute. Ironically many of the international institutions that the Bush Administration and the neo-con cabinet have ignored are meta-national institutions that are largely controlled by the US Government. For instance, the World Bank President is appointed by the US. Which by its very nature points to American influence dominating these institutions.
Mellaby points out that Europe and NATO had told America that their help would not be needed. After the massacre, American joined the combat action with air-strikes. The peace talks at Dayton, Ohio soon after damaged American and European relations even further. The Clinton Administration instead of muscling in further with an American military occupation decided to use the World Bank as the vehicle of resolution. Mellaby writes;
He [David Lipton, Under-secretary for the Treasury] knew exactly how the bank could help: It could be a source of money to finance reconstruction, but it could also provide expertise in infrastructure, micro-finance and all the nuts and bolts of nation building. Just as importantly, he recognized that a reconstruction effort fronted by the World Bank would be more likely than an American-led one to attract international sympathy and money.
The World bank is not without its critics, and its history in nation-building of poor-states is hardly one to be celebrated. Consequently, the second part of that passage is the most important. Rather than the American mission to Bosnia being based on American exceptionalism, with American incurring all the costs, the process gained more legitimacy and support by not being openly under the American banner.
Lipton had been speaking to the World Bank two months before the Dayton Peace talks, in order to establish the process early on. Immediately after World Bank officials met with Bosnian leaders to develop a reconstruction plan, and with the airstrikes of July 1995, the bank led a group of donors to meet with Bosnian leaders. When the talks in Bosnia looked like failing despite the Croats and Serbs agreeing to it, the Bosnian leader, Alija Izetbegovic, finally accepted the peace and explained his decision in part because of the aid package.
With peace between the warring parties established, the Clinton Administration quickly set up a pledge drive for the new Bosnian states. This came one month after Dayton peace negotiations. France was the only government not to pledge money.
The Bush Administration did not start talking to the World Bank until after the Iraq invasion. Quite possibly part of the neo-con distrust of meta-national institutions. The pledge drive for Iraq was held seven months after the invasion as well. Mallaby believes this is due to the late start the Bush Administration had with the World Bank. Mallaby concludes with;
.... I cannot escape this conclusion. The Clinton Administration was staffed with people who understood the frustrations of multilateral institutions, but also knew how to work with them; the Bush Administration is staffed with people who just get frustrated.
It is cheap parting shot by Mallaby, but there is no denying that the Bush Administration does not pursue or even tolerate multi-national institutions unless they are doing as the Bush Administration tells them to do.
Iraq and the Marshall Plan
Michael Hirsh asks in an op-ed; "How Will We Know When We Can Finally Leave?", meaning when will America know when it can leave Iraq. Hirsch recalls seeing Paul Bremer's plan for Iraq when he interviewed him. Bremer's plan modelled the Marshall Plan closely, close enough that in one section the staffer had forgot to change "reichsmark" to "dinar" on one page. The use of the Marshall Plan model was because the goals for Iraq were the same as it had been for Germany in 1945. Hirsch writes;
The administration's [Bush Administration] ultimate endgame in Iraq was - and still is, if judged by rhetoric alone - to emulate in the heart of the Arab world the amazing transformation of Germany in the heart of Europe. It was to convert a fierce enemy into a loyal ally, a regional security threat into a bulwark of regional security.
Hirsch notes that as it is getting tougher in Iraq and the likelihood of an Iraqi transformation into a post-war Germany gets more remote, Administration officials are raising the subject of how difficult it was to nation build Germany. By 1948 Germany was off and running, and there were no insurgencies in Germany either. Iraq has been an ongoing project for two years now and the security and stability appears to be decaying daily.
Faced with an unhappy populace and war that could not be won in Vietnam, Nixon turned to "Vietnamization", the process whereby the conflict was handed over to an unprepared South Vietnamese Army and an illegitimate South Vietnamese government. North Vietnam quickly assumed control of the south. The Bush Administration, unable to have a Marshall Plan take hold in Iraq is now trying "Iraqification". Whereby unprepared and ill-equipped Iraqi forces prop up the government in Iraq long enough for the American and Coalition forces to withdraw before there is defeat.
The announced goal of the Bush Administration and the Coalition of the Willing was regime change, and to replace it with a secure, stable and democratic Iraq. Today Iraq is far from secure and stable. The upcoming elections will not be credible as there are numerous locations in Iraq where electoral officials cannot enter safely.
With the US Government and officials constantly downgrading their hopes and aspirations for Iraq from a post-war Germany, to a policy of Vietnamization, Hirsch asks what can the US do to still create a victory for America - especially considering that a failure will leave Iraq in civil war, as a failed state and new haven for terrorism. Hirsch writes;
For the Administration, winning means discarding the German model and adopting one that in the best case looks more like Bosnia, where US and NATO forces today act as quasi-permanent control rods to prevent the kind of chain-reaction of violence that leads to civil war.
Hirsch fears that if this plan isn't adopted then the Army will "break" on the next rotation to Iraq as professional officers leave the service through dissatisfaction.
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.